Category Archives: Destinations

An insider’s guide for Active City Travel’s favorite vacation destinations in Canada, Europe, USA, the Caribbean and Mexico.

Vacation in Canada – Where Should You Travel Now?

There’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy leisurely outdoor fun throughout Canada, from the east coast to the west coast, on these great vacation options for the Great White North.

Fox Harb’r Golf Resort and Spa | Nova Scotia

Fox Harb'r Golf Course fairway
Fox Harb’r Golf Course fairway Photo Credit: Sherel Purcell

Fox Harb’r, Nova Scotia’s only five-star property and gated community, once hosted Tiger Woods. While you could arrive in style via the private airstrip or marina, the drive is a scenic two hours from the Halifax International Airport. Owner Ron Joyce, of Tim Hortons coffee fame, provides his highly addictive substance in all the suites and the otherwise high-end dining room.

The back nine holes hugging the Atlantic Ocean offer true links-style golf while the front nine feature super fast greens on odd-shaped holes carved out of the forest. A nine-hole par 3 course – perfect for the kids – is free with all reservations.

Eastern Townships | Quebec

Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey, Eastern Townships, Quebec
Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey photo credit: Sherel Purcell

Just north of Vermont and an hour south of Montreal, Quebec’s Eastern Townships offer a good selection of top quality inns, resorts, hotels and spas for all budgets. Scenic cycling and hiking trails, mountains and lakes and championship golf courses all provide ample opportunity to work off the extra calories of this popular foodie destination and add to your vacation enjoyment.

If you time it right, you can listen to monks performing Gregorian chants at the Saint-Benoît-du-Lac Abbey before stopping into their boutique for top-quality chocolate and cheese – all made on-site.

Mont-Tremblant | Quebec

Le Maitre 18th green
Le Maitre 18th green photo credit: John Cameron

Mont-Tremblant is a 1.5-hour drive from Montreal, serving as a playground for those who want to get out of the city. During winter, it’s a prime ski destination. The rest of the year finds the mountains and forests transformed into excellent golf tracks.

Thanks to the topography of the Canadian Shield, golfers can enjoy championship golf experiences with dramatic elevation changes.

CTMA Cruises | Montreal

Montreal from the deck of CTMA Vacancier
Montreal from the deck of CTMA Vacancier photo credit: Sherel Purcell

CTMA Cruises depart from the Bickerdike Basin Pier near the Old Port of Montreal and provide visitors a glimpse of the city and life along the St. Lawrence River, views that others rarely see. This departure point is a favorite of filmmakers for its unparalleled views of Montreal en route down the St. Lawrence River, all the way to the Magdalen Islands where another ferry continues on to Prince Edward Island.

Canada’s capital city | Ottawa

Diefenbunker, Canada's Cold War Museum, Ottawa
Diefenbunker photo credit: John Cameron

Ottawa’s favorite festival, Winterlude, encourages participants to traverse the frozen canals of this capital city on skates. In the other three seasons, visitors can hike the Gatineau Park trails and cycle the Rideau Canal.

Head underground to the Diefenbunker Museum for a look into Canada’s secret cold war past. Be sure to tour the Parliament buildings and grounds, as well as the sculpture garden of the National Art Gallery nearby.

Kingston, Ont.

St. James Anglican Church, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
St. James Anglican Church photo credit: John Cameron

Kingston, named the first capital of Canada in 1841, sits at the junction of Lake Ontario, Rideau Canal and St. Lawrence River.  You’ll find ample award-winning museums to explore and excellent dining to satisfy any foodie’s desires in this pretty limestone city.

It’s easy to get out of town, via Highway 15, for an afternoon stopover at the Jones Falls Lock station on the Rideau Canal. You can learn all about water management systems that accommodate boats, and paddlers can camp here with the option of using the locks or portaging their vessels.

Deerhurst Highlands Golf Course | Huntsville, Ont.

Deerhurst Highlands Golf Course
Deerhurst Highlands Photo credit: John Cameron

“A great golf course starts with a great piece of land,” says Thomas McBroom, co-designer of Deerhurst Highlands Golf Course in Ontario’s cottage country.

Utilizing Muskoka’s granite rock faces, tree-topped hills, lakes and ponds, McBroom and his mentor, Bob Cupp, created a beautiful – and playable – course. Watch out for deer crossing the cart path as it meanders through maple, white birch and pine trees. Across a narrow wooden bridge, spanning two pink and grey granite cliffs, sits an undulating practice green.

Canmore, Alberta

Sunrise over the Rockies in Canmore Alberta
Canmore Alberta photo credit: John Cameron

With endless ways to enjoy the outdoors, any winter getaway to the Canadian Rockies and Banff National Park should begin in Canmore. The countless peaks and vast wilderness offer snow enthusiasts ample opportunities for leisurely cross-country and downhill skiing, dog sledding, backcountry hiking and snowshoeing.

Dude ranch experience | British Columbia

Dude Ranch riders
Dude Ranch riders photo credit: John Cameron

If you’re heading to British Columbia, your Canadian outdoor adventure should include a visit to a dude or guest ranch. Similar to their U.S. counterparts, these week-long vacations receive high marks for the value of the leisure dollar. Excellent food, top-notch horseback riding instruction, beautiful trails to suit all abilities, a convivial social atmosphere and a range of outdoor activities keep the dudes coming back year after year.

Previously Published on USA Today 10Best.com

Can Pritikin Help You Achieve Your Health Goals?

Plan a healthy vacation at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami, and you’ll learn how to lose weight with better diet and lifestyle decisions.

It took nearly 40 years for the world to catch up to Nathan Pritikin and his then-radical ideas about diet and lifestyle. What is conventional advice today – eat more fruit and vegetables, consume less salt and sugar and exercise regularly – was once hearsay.

More than 100,000 guests worldwide have visited the Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa to prevent and reverse problems such as excess weight, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cancer risk factors.

A hallmark of Pritikin is its strong medical presence. Upon intake, your current health and fitness levels are assessed. Certified physicians provide each guest with the expert medical attention required for achieving major life changes. A stress test is given to make sure those not used to exercising don’t overextend themselves.

Pritikin Center Lap Pool
Pritikin Center Lap Pool photo credit: John Cameron

You’ll stay on-site at the Pritikin Center in a Standard Villa room or at luxurious Trump National Doral, a short walk away. (Either way, your stay at Pritikin gives you access to the Doral facilities, which include the beautiful swimming pools and championship golf courses.) Here, you’ll be in a community of like-minded individuals who want to transform their lives.

A typical day at Pritikin starts with breakfast, followed by 45 minutes of cardio, then followed by weight training and alternating days with stretching. After a buffet lunch, where diners are encouraged to start with large salads followed by hot vegetable–based entrees, participants attend lectures to learn the skills to maintain the Pritikin lifestyle when they return home in a week or two or three, depending on the client.

Pritikin Center weight room
Pritikin Center weight room photo credit: John Cameron

Two factors set Pritikin apart from all other health resorts:

1. Scientifically documented results

2. An education program that teaches guests how to sustain these results.

Pritikin’s faculty – leaders in the fields of medicine, nutrition, psychology and exercise – lead eye-opening classes focused on subjects including dining out, reading labels and calorie density.

The popular lecture on processed food label reading is put into practice with a fun shopping trip, complete with a scavenger hunt for the healthiest products at a local supermarket. You’ll learn to decipher the correct information on the back of the package. 

A few pointers: Never believe anything on the front of the package, as it’s all unregulated marketing. Make sure the first ingredient is not sugar. Red flags are fat, sodium, added sugar and refined grain.

Another popular lecture – “Sitting Is the New Smoking” – challenges our contemporary sedentary lifestyle. Continuous sitting for more than three hours per day means you’re 64% more likely to die from heart disease.

Pritikin Center Dining Room
Pritikin Center Dining Room photo credit: John Cameron

In other lectures, participants learn about mindful eating. Did you know that stomach receptors malfunction if you multitask while eating?

Stop eating while comfortable. It takes 15 to 20 minutes for your stretch receptors to work. Start with servings of vegetables and fruit, and you’ll feel full sooner. The concept of food displacement is related to calorie density, a key Pritikin idea.

Pritikin is more than a diet; it’s a lifestyle. A one-week stay at Pritikin Longevity Center in Miami is the inspiration for permanent change that includes weight loss, a sensible exercise plan and effective tools to make good nutritional choices, both at restaurants and supermarkets. 

Previously Published on USA Today 10Best.com