For North Shore residents, spring is taking its sweet time to arrive. Some days, it feels like the sun pinned up a “Gone Fishing” sign and left us for good. We’re nearing mid-May and record-breaking rains, perpetual grayness, coupled with a barrage of bad news coming at us from every direction might mean it’s time to let the boss know you’ll be taking advantage of some of those much-deserved vacation days. If you’ve been dreaming up a spring holiday for some time, and need some travel inspiration, here are 10 destinations options to get you started.
Las Vegas, Nevada
I recently returned from an over-the-top luxury getaway in Las Vegas, and it was just what the doctor ordered. Appropriately coined the entertainment capital of the world, the city that never sleeps offers up the perfect distraction from miserable weather back home. Michelin Starred restaurants, glitzy nightclubs, extravagant productions, and of course, millions of square feet dedicated to your dreams of winning big await you. (Ask me about the current “4th Night Free Promo” with The Cosmopolitan Hotel with Air Canada Vacations).
Big Island, Hawaii
The Spring Break crowds have come and gone, and that means idyllic Hawaii is once again affordable. A short 5.5 hour flight will take you to the sugary shores of Maui, the turtle-filled waters of Ohau, or the fiery and lush scenes of my personal favourite, the Big Island. With flights hovering somewhere between $500-$600 and plenty of accommodation options for every budget, Hawaii is the perfect way for North Shore residents to escape the never ending rains.
I know, I know, you’re not the cruising kind. Before you object, I was dragged onto my first cruise (yes, dragged) about five years ago. I never thought it was be something I could enjoy, but I’m a bit of a convert now. Cruising somewhere like the Caribbean allows you to explore various ports of call, in a short amount of time, all the while being spoiled with five star luxury on board. Unpack once, open your door to new scenery every day, and enjoy the azure seas of the Caribbean.
London, United Kingdom
One of the best times to head to “The Continent” is early Spring, and London could be your first stop. You may be asking yourself “isn’t our weather exactly the same as theirs?” Not necessarily. With current temperatures sitting at a balmy 21 degrees celsius, less tourists and the Pound Sterling weaker than it was last summer, a bit of culture, a few pub crawls and some epic sightseeing may just be what you’re needing to get off the North Shore.
By early May, the rains have dissipated and the small island of Bali is bathed in endless days of sunshine, with the distinctive aroma of frangipani unfurling across lush landscapes. For North Shore residents, being lulled into a zen-like state, eating sumptuous fusion dishes, shopping at funky boutiques, and experiencing the uniqueness of Balinese Hinduism may be the perfect reason to carve out some holiday time. If you’re not quite ready to take off just yet, ask me about sizzling summer escapes to this idyllic island (July & August are the driest months of the year in Bali).
Magic carpets, 1001 Arabian Nights, vibrant souks; Marrakech is personally one of my favourite destinations to explore and to share with clients. Ancient culture and cosmopolitan persuasions collide in this beautiful North African city. Spend your nights looking up at the stars in a luxurious riad, afternoons wandering the souks and sipping mint tea served up by blue-eyed Berbers and your evenings dining on Tajine, watching city goers converse in intoxicating tones of French and Arabic. If you’ve got some extra time, consider side trip across the desert to the Atlas Mountains to experience what picturesque rural North African life is all about.
New Orleans, Louisiana
In the words of the legendary Bob Dylan, “everything in New Orleans is a good idea.” He was referring specifically to its eclectic architecture, from Greek Revival, to Gothic cathedrals, and then there’s everything else. The food, the hypnotic music scene, the sultry voodoo scene, its heavy history and all that makes the city uniquely ‘nawlins – There is no city in the world like it. Spring is the perfect time to visit this southern city, and with pricing still reasonable in May-June, this may be the escape you’re looking for.
Israel is one of the hottest destinations in 2017, and with a number of airline routings opening up in the next two months, it’s never been easier to access the Holy Land. In a country that would fit within the shorelines of Vancouver Island (a mere 20,770 km²), it’s home to the world’s most contentious religious sites, the world’s lowest point (Dead Sea), ranches, vineyards, seaside luxury, and all the archaeological sites you can handle – This corner of the world is full of surprising and is sure to challenge all of your preconceptions in the best way.
Have you noticed all the screamin’ deals to Asia right now? Spring is the one of the best times to visit the orient, especially China. Don’t feel like spending your holiday in a mega city? Consider a less touristy option like the mountain town of Lijiang, a World Unesco Heritage city, full of meandering cobble-stoned streets, colorful open food markets brimming with exotic produce, breathtaking mountain views and if you listen closely, you’ll hear various indigenous dialects spoken here.
Trinidad de Cuba, Cuba
Despite all the hype about the so-called American invasion, Cuba is still mostly frequented Canadian, European and South American travelers. And with the buffet of accommodation and sustainable touring options, travellers are no longer restricted to spending their holidays confined to mega beach-side resorts. From World Unesco Heritage Sites to infectious salsa beats, vintage automobiles, smiling faces and some of the most beautiful geography the Caribbean has to offer, Cuba is a must for any North Shore resident.