40th Birthday in Canada

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Oct 31st, 2008, 07:46 PM
  #1
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40th Birthday in Canada

I want to celebrate my husband's big 4-0 in Canada next year. I want to take the kids which would be of ages of 11, 6, and 3. I live in Florida and only have 10 days to spare (this includes flight days).
We don't care much for the big cities, but instead LOVE beautiful sceneries, pebble stone streets and such.
His birthday is in July, although I am not locked to that month. I thought of Quebec and Montreal. What do you all suggest? B & B are nice, but with 3 children, I don't know if that would be a good idea. What do you think? Suggestions on where to stay are appreciated.
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Nov 1st, 2008, 06:04 AM
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I think that Vancouver and Vancouver Island would be the better choice with three children. Montreal and Quebec City are wonderful places with cobbled streets, but keeping the children entertained would be difficult. Vancouver has beaches and mountains and the boat trip to Vancouver Island would be an excellent way to give them some memorable experiences. Accomodation can be found on the web. Perhaps others can recommend places.
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Nov 1st, 2008, 06:29 AM
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Hello Javi

Montreal with (last I checked) an estimated 1.2 million people on Montreal island and ~3 million people greater Montreal area is at least what I'd call a medium-size city, although it IS relatively compact compared to many North American cities. I've even heard people describe Montreal as being New Yorkish for various reasons (sizeable Jewish community, very hustle-and-bustle in places, multicultural). I agree in terms of high fashion/ethnocultural mix and vibrant cultural/arts/street life that there's a New Yorkish quality, although I find it resembles more Boston in terms of pace, density of population and use of park space. So, Montreal may not be for you if you don't like big cities.

Even Quebec City with ~600,000 people greater metropolitan area I would not exactly call small either and can be quite humming with people especially at the height of tourist season.

Both cities are unique in North America however (do not feel generic), have their charm however and yes plenty of pebble stone streets. And even in relatively-large Montreal, I'll tell you, I can *even* bike or take public transit to some beautiful very isolated-feeling parks with beautiful river views (or walk up Mont Royal which is lovely).

However, if you really want to get away from the cities, you may wish to fly into Montreal and then drive to the Laurentians or Eastern Townships near Montreal or the Charlevoix region north of Quebec City. Plenty of beautiful scenery in Quebec province!

But I'd still recommend a few days in Montreal and Quebec City so you can see what they're about.

Best wishes

Daniel in Montreal
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Nov 2nd, 2008, 03:05 PM
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From Florida, you will use full days to travel to and from the West Coast - and airfare to Vancouver may be quite expensive. Nevertheless, it's certainly worth looking into because the scenery is awe-inspiring.

In addition to Quebec (Daniel's suggestions are good ones), you might consider Nova Scotia or Prince Edward Island if you want scenery, historic towns but not big cities. You could look at renting a house as an alternative to B&Bs or hotels.
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Nov 3rd, 2008, 03:35 PM
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I agree that if you love beautiful scenery and want to avoid big cities, Montreal may not be your ideal vacation destination. Quebec City has a small and picturesque "Old" historic section where all the tourists go, cobblestone steets and laneways, etc., but you can walk it all in a couple of days and the younger children might be bored.
The National Parks of the Canadian Rockies are truly spectacular and could easily keep you busy for 10 days (Banff, Jasper and others). They get busy in the summer though - book early. Or - as already suggested - The Atlantic Provinces are quite wonderful and scenic with lots of interesting little towns. I particularly like Nova Scotia - Cape Breton Highlands National Park has a scenic roadway, the Cabot Trail, which offers awesome scenic vistas and lots of "nature", the "Lighthouse Route" has lots of small historic towns and fishing villages, and Halifax which is a city but not a huge one, has a vibrant Harbor district with museums, restaurants, historic buildings and shops. Families with kids seem to enjoy the beaches and attractions of Prince Edward Island - although as you live in Florida, beaches may not be of unique appeal to you. In any event, 10 days would be enough time to tour some of the highlights of Atlantic Canada, flying in and out of Halifax and renting a car.
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Nov 4th, 2008, 03:56 AM
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I'm not sure, but Nova Scotia also may be a lot less expensive than either the Rockies or Vancouver (in terms of airfares and hotels).
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Nov 4th, 2008, 07:01 AM
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We tend to keep our pebblestone streets inthe big cities; lots of this in Montreal and Quebec City.

I used to be the father of a three year old who lived in Montreal, and he seemed to enjoyt he place and not get too bored.

11 and 6 year olds should find lots of interest.

That said, 10 days is a long time.

Willing to rent a car? A visit that starts and finishes in Montreal, includes the Old City area and the insectarium and a few fun restaurants and the railrod museum in Candiac, followed by a drive up into the Laurentian Mountains (Mont Tremblent, St. Jovite, etc.) and then to Ottawa via the Quebec Side of the Ottawa River, a day or two in Ottawa, which has wonderfulmuseums for kids, including 3 year old (and their parents) and then a few days in the rideau Lakes area between Montreal and Kingston and back to Montreal would fill your 10 days, enthrall the kids, entertain the grownups, be easy to get to from Florida, show the kids a whole giant area where people speak a different language...

Vancouver's like going to Seattle. Monteal's (almost) like going to Europe.

BAK
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Nov 4th, 2008, 10:52 AM
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Further to my comment about Seattle. Nothing wrong with that, and the other night while watching US football, I decided I neeeded a team to cheer for, and that was Seattle.

I used to own part of a company based there.

But MOntreal will be really different from the USA for a couple of kids.
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Nov 5th, 2008, 09:03 AM
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Hi! I've been thinking since last evening where to go in Canada with 3 young children with only 10 days. It's difficult to suggest places with water and beaches, because you have access to some of the nicest beaches in the world. If you think of something like an outdoor amusement part, you have to scrap that because you are close to the best parks in the world, too. So we have to think of something that Florida doesn't offer, so I was thinking maybe the Rocky Mountains of Alberta.What airport would you access to leave Florida?I looked on the air Canada website and it takes between 10-11 hours to go from Orlando to Calgary but the connections didn't look too bad. What kind of accomodation would you prefer, a condo with kitchen facilities, or a hotel room? In Canmore, about 1 and a half hours from Calgary airport, there are many condo/like accomodations. The newest one is Blackstone Lodge, but there are 4 other properties alone, managed by Bellstar. You can look up their website. We have stayed at the Mystic Springs and Firemountain Lodge and both are very nice, but the Mystic Springs has a wonderful pool. Canmore is about 20 minutes drive from Banff, which is located in a National Park, so you will have to pay to get in. A year park pass is about 130.00, but is your best deal for the amount of time you would be there.If you'd rather stay right in Banff, there is a variety of hotels. You could look on trip advisor to get some ideas. The Banff Springs Hotel looks like a castle, and offers a family package, but I imagine it would be very pricey!

Now, for some activites to do there. There is Lake Minnewanka which offers boat tours, for people of all ages, so it wouldn't exclude your 3 year old. There is the Gondola at Sulpur Mountain, which offers beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains. There is the Banff hotsprings which is a sulphur heated pool, very nice and clean. Again, the scenery is stunning. Downtown banff offers all kinds of stores. There is also a Park's office down there where there are many ideas for hikes, some interpretive programs for kids. Also teepees set up in one of the parks, and you could get some idea of the first nation people of Canada. You could drive out to Johnson's canyon, and walk the the boardwalk and see some beautiful springs. Lake Louise is about an hour away, and is very nice as well. I think you could find plenty of things to do. You can find lots of information by looking at the Parks Canada- Banff website. I wish you happy travelling wherever you decide to go.
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Nov 5th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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Hi! Actually, United flies in just over 7 hours from Orlando to Calgary.Much better with young kids.
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Nov 16th, 2008, 09:24 AM
  #11
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Oh my gosh! 7 hours with a 2 year old must be hell!
I would be more than willing to rent a car. Let me look more closely at all the suggestions as they all sound so wonderful!
I might have to ask a couple more questions once I decide where exactly I want to go in Canada.
Catch you later.
Thank you all!!
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Nov 23rd, 2008, 01:10 AM
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Orlando to Calgary in 7 hours?! You can fly from Vancouver to Cancun in 5 and a half hours - surely Calgary to Florida takes less time?
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Nov 25th, 2008, 12:19 PM
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Hi! I don't think there is any direct flights from anywhere in Florida to Calgary. If you know of any, please let me know.
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Nov 25th, 2008, 12:22 PM
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Sorry, I should of said that I'm assuming the Cancun to Vancouver is a direct flight, whereas the Orlando to Calgary flight isn't. So depending on how long the layover is as to how long the flight is. Which I guess with young children is obviously something to consider.
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Dec 20th, 2008, 09:16 PM
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Vancouver, Victoria , Whistler
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