Chicago is the third largest city in the United States, located at the southwestern tip of Lake Michigan. With its many attractions it attracts 33 million visitors a year. One can find upscale shopping along the Magnificent Mile. The 3,000 foot long Navy Pier is home to retail shops, restaurants, museums, exhibition halls, and auditoriums. Other museums and galleries in Chicago include The Museum of Science and Industry, The Oriental Institute (part of the University of Chicago, with an extensive collection of Egyptian and Near Eastern artifacts), The Chicago History Museum, and Hyde Park Art Center – among many, many more. Chicago is also a sports town, named best sports city in the United States by The Sporting News in 2006. It is also well known for its gritty urban blues music.
The European flavor of Holland, Michigan stems from its roots as a haven for Dutch immigrants who arrived in the mid-1800’s. Popular attractions such as DeZwaan, the only authentic Dutch windmill in the U.S.; the new Dutch Galleries at the Holland Museum, a world-class collection of 17th, 18th, and 19th century art, furniture and artifacts from the Netherlands; their internationally-known Tulip Time Festival; and more recently the Tulipanes Lationo Art and Film Festival, continue to bring acclaim to Holland.
Mackinac Island, MI
Located in the Straits of Mackinac, where the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan meet, Mackinac Island is a living Victorian town. Personal motorized vehicles are prohibited – all those visiting or living on the island travel by horse or horse drawn carriage, bicycle, or walking. While Mackinac Island is known for its opulent Victorian homes and hotels it has had a long history. Anishinaabe-Ojibwe tradition holds that the island was a sacred place populated by the first people and was home to the Great Spirit Gitchie Manitou. Because of its location, it was a Native American gathering place. Since then it has been the site of French missionary churches, a center of the fur trade, and later, the fishing industry, before becoming dependent on tourism to fuel the local economy.
Little Current, ON
Little Current is a community in the town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands. The main town is on the northeast side of Manitoulin Island, a large island located at the northern end of Lake Huron and northwest of Georgian Bay. Manitoulin is the world’s largest freshwater lake island. Little Current is known for its swining bridge, a one-lane bridge and the only vehicular access to Manitoulin Island except for a daily passenger-vehicle ferry that runs from late spring to October.
Parry Sound, ON
Parry Sound is located on the eastern shore of Georgian Bay in Lake Huron. It is the world’s deepest natural freshwater port. The body of water that gives the town its name was named after the Arctic explorer Sir William Edward Parry. The modern townsite was established in 1857 and in the late 19th century rail service reached Parry Sound making it an important depot along the rail lines to Western Canada. The town was important during the First and Second World Wars with its explosives and munitions factory. The birthplace of hockey legend, Bobby Orr, the town also is known for its annual sailing regatta and performing arts festival.
Midland is the main town and economic center of the area located at the southern end of Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay’s 30,000 Islands. Points of interest in or near Midland include the Jesuit mission of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, a living museum depicting 17th century missionary life. Also, one can visit the Huronia Museum and the adjacent Indian Village. For bird lovers, the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre is a habitat for Trumpeter Swans, Black Terns, and Least Bitterns. By the harbor there is a large statue of the trumpeter swan, considered the symbol of Midland.
Known as “The Rose City” or “City of Roses” for its several large parks and gardens on its waterfront, Windsor is Canada’s southernmost city, located directly south of Detroit, Michigan, across the Detroit River. Although known as the “Automotive Capital of Canada”, the city maintains 3,000 acres of green space, 180 parks, and 40 miles of trails. Tourist attractions include a lively downtown, Little Italy, the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Odette Sculpture Park, and the nearby Point Pelee National Park. Also not to be missed is the Charles Brooks Memorial Peace Fountain which actually floats in the Detroit River and has a colored light display at night. The fountain in the largest of its kind in North America and symbolizes the peaceful relationship between Canada and the United States.
Niagara Falls, ON
Established in 1892, Niagara Falls is shared by both Ontario and New York, each laying claim to half of this area. Three waterfalls – Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls – comprise Niagara Falls, which stands at 165 feet tall. Take a tour of the falls and explore the Queen Street Arts & Culture District during a stop in Niagara Falls, ON.
Originally a native Indian settlement and a French Fur trading post, Toronto is a delight to explore from Eaton Centre Shopping Mall, where you can find anything available in the world, to the north end’s Chinatown, to the Bata Shoe Museum. Discover Inuit Indian artifacts, the modern sculptures of Henry Moore and Pop Art in the Art Gallery of Ontario. Throughout the city there are art museums and exhibits to fulfill every art lover’s dreams. Shoppers will delight in Queen Street West, where chic boutiques replaced this old warehouse area and Kensington Street, where retro bargains abound.
Kingston is home to the restored British Bastion, Old Fort Henry; a living military museum, brought to life by guards in bright scarlet period uniforms, who perform traditional fife and drum music of the 1860’s. Once a center for shipbuilding and fur trade, Kingston is still one of the freshwater sailing capitols of North America and home to the Marine Museum of the Great Lakes. There you will revel in a display of the first ship built for the Lakes, in 1678.
Clayton is a hidden treasure located on the south bank of the St. Lawrence River. This rural village is incredibly diverse and offers a number of interesting experiences, including tours of the famed Antique Boat Museum and Clayton Opera House. Enjoy a warm summer day in Clayton, exploring the area’s wonderful shops, galleries, and exquisite boutiques.
Discover Montreal’s many facets, visiting Mont Royal (the “mountain,” to locals) which towers above the city, the downtown sector which blends a rich historical past with a bright future to keep Montreal in the forefront, the city’s main shopping artery with the elegance of its boutiques, department stores and shopping complexes, and finally, Old Montreal. This area offers one of North America’s most remarkable architectural ensembles with a concentration of 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century buildings.