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Northern America Travel Guide

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					                          Northern America Travel Guide

Canada

Mounties, Mooses and Ice Hockey comes to mind when thinking of Canada but, once you have
visited the country will also think of the friendly, welcoming people, relaxed atmosphere and
beautiful landscapes.

Although Canada as a country has only been in existence since 1867, the history of the area has
certainly been one full of events. In Central and Eastern Canada you will see evidence of the
struggles of the British and French, the first European settlers. These ties may explain the great
connection Europeans have with the residents of Canada and for this reason you will find Canadians
very easy to get along with.

Today, alongside the original French and British settlers, you will find a host of communities who
maintain the traditions of their homelands; Chinese, Ukranians, Portuguese, Indian, Dutch and
Greek to name but a few. For the visitor, the result of is that one region can be completely different
from another just a couple of hours away making a trip from one to the other seem like going to a
different country in lots of cases. Each gives the visitor a completely different insight into past and
present life in Canada.

Coupled with this is the Canada that no amount of immigration could ever change - the natural
landscape. Soaring mountain peaks, alpine lakes, rugged glaciers, waterfalls and immense forests.
Every natural feature you can possibly imagine is located in this remarkable country. All you have
to do is ensure that you make the most of them.

Canada is a great vacation destination. And Whistler, nestled in the Coastal Mountains of British
Columbia, is the perfect Canadian resort for winter or summer fun. Whistler-Blackcomb mountains
are one vertical mile. Over 7,000 skiable acres. Two mountains. More than 200 trails. Three
glaciers. 33 lifts. Twelve alpine bowls. The numbers speak for themselves.

Banff National Park is a nature-lover's paradise. Visitors will find more than ample space for a
solitary experience in one of the world's natural wonders. Lake Louise is one of the park's most
popular spots. Follow trails to Mt. Victoria's glacial viewpoints, enjoy skiing in the winter or
canoeing in the summer.

Jasper National Park is the largest of Canada's Rocky Mountain national parks at 10,878 km square
(4200 square miles) and is brimming with natural beauty and human history.

Greenland

Greenland is probably one of the most beautiful and remote places in the world you will ever visit.
Around 90% of the country is covered in an ice cap and as such the settlements are scattered round
the edges. Everywhere is so isolated that chances are you will only see a very small portion of the
country, but this is not a problem. Everything is so breathtaking that you won’t feel as though you
have missed out.

I visited the less populated eastern side of the country and was based around Tasiilaq. The transport
in Greenland (in the summer) is nearly always by boat. One exception to this is the journey from
Kulusuck airport which can be either by boat or by helicopter. The helicopter ride is an experience
you’ll never forget. There are no roads between settlements so the fjords are used to get around. In
winter this is no longer possible as they are blocked by pack ice.

One thing to be aware of is that all the settlements have both Greenlandic and Danish names. The
Greenlandic names are becoming more commonly used but maps often still use the Danish
versions.

Accommodation in Tasiilaq is limited to three options. A posh western style hotel, The Red House
which is basically a hostel or the ‘campsite’ on the hill overlooking the towns rubbish tip. Not that
you’re likely to be there long the great appeal of Greenland is not its towns but its unspoilt beauty
when you trek into the mountains.

Whilst in Tasiilaq there are however a number of things not to be missed, the Inuit museum, the
modern church, the fur and bone carving souvenir shop and trying seal meat.

United States

Huge cars, enormous theme parks, immense portions of food, everything in the States is larger than
life! This includes the people who often go out of their way to make visitors feel welcome.
USA is an extremely diverse country, ranging from the buzzing New York metropolis to
breathtaking landscapes such as the Grand Canyon. There is something for everyone in the States,
whether you would prefer to learn to surf or snowboard in California, go clubbing in Miami or try
your luck in Las Vegas.

Getting about is cheap and simple. Overland options include the Greyhound or taking a backpacker
bus tour with companies such as Trek America or Green Tortoise. Rail travel with Amtrak is quick
and best suited for traveling along the coast. Taking a cheap flight is a good option if crossing from
coast to coast and can be often obtained for a very competitive cost.

An alternative method of getting around is to take a Road Trip. Auto Transport companies such as
Autodriveaway.com & Driveaway.com can arrange for you to deliver customers’ cars to their
desired location giving you free use of the car along the way.

With so much to see and do in the States, it is an idyllic spot for any budding backpacker. However,
many travellers who visit USA near the end of their RTW trip tend not to venture further than LA or
their city of arrival and therefore miss out on a great adventure.

From January 20th 2010, if you are a citizen of a country participating in the Visa Waiver Program,
you are now required to apply to the program online and are recommended to do so at least 72
hours prior to travel. More information on whether your country qualifies and how to apply, can be
obtained from the official U.S Department of State website

Boston, Massachusetts
Best places to stay
The cheapest way to stay is to go to the B&B's. They're really good value for money and are mostly
near the centre of Cambridge. There are a handful of them - here are two:
    • Irving House
    • A B'n'B in Cambridge

Transport
Getting around Boston is easy thanks to the T system (shortened for MBTA - Massachusetts Bay
Transportation Authority). Journeys are $1.25 each, although sometimes they have exit fares, so
when on the T, be sure to carry a big stack of quarters. For London visitors, remember that the space
between T stops is quite a bit further than the space between central London tube stops. A "quick,
relaxing walk" may actually mean "a 90 minute crawl". If you are sight seeing, buy yourself a day
ticket for $7.50 and have fun.

Shopping
Boston has a lot of shopping opportunities, and the area around Newbury Street in the Back Bay
houses lots of big shops for fashion. If you are looking for something a little more nondescript and
corporate, the Prudential Centre between the Back Bay, Berklee and the First Church of Christ
Scientist, has all the big chain shops. If you are looking for books, there are numerous great book
shops in Cambridge, especially the Harvard Book Store on Mass Ave. There is another book shop -
the name of which I can't recall - on Mass Ave about half way between Harvard and Central. Also,
Trident Booksellers on Newbury.

Places to See
Make sure you pop in to Boston Public Library just off Copley Square. This is a seriously
impressive building, with beautiful ceilings and an exquisite courtyard. The Museum of Science.
I'm going back next month, and I'll put more stuff on here - if I remember.

Las Vegas
Recommended things to do and places to go
Most definitely, the Las Vegas strip... it offers the most spectacular hotels and casinos, each one
having its own theme and feel. They're all unique and have their own special features, the main ones
being:
    • The Mandalay Bay - one of the most beautiful, has a Shark Reef and a conference centre. Is
       one of the larger hotels and casinos. It also is home to the House of Blues.
    • Luxor - Egyptian theme. Stunning pyramid with strobe lights that can be seen for miles at
       night. The talking camels aren't to be missed!
    • Excalibur - Castle/medieval theme - has a Krispy Kreme and the Tournament of Kings
       dinner show.
    • New York New York - stunning hotel shaped like the Manhattan skyline. New York style
       bars and restaurants and a 203ft Rollercoaster with views of the Las Vegas Strip.
    • MGM Grand - the fabulous Cirque du Soleil show and its famous Lion Habitat. I went to the
       Rainforest Café there and would definitely recommend it. Also has lots of shopping and the
       Las Vegas Monorail.
    • Monte Carlo - its main attraction is the Lance Burton illusionist show. There is also
       Houdini's Lounge with piano music.
    • Caesars Palace - the Forum shops (160 boutiques and 13 restaurants). Celine Dion and Elton
       John also have shows here.
    • Bellagio - the ultimate luxury. My personal highlight were the beautiful dancing fountains
       and the botanical gardens. It is also home to designer boutiques such as Dior and Chanel.
       The "O" Cirque du Soleil is also a world renowned show. The fine dining there is
       phenomenal - with restaurants such as Le Cirque and Picasso which are pricey but pure
       luxury.
    • Mirage - the erupting volcano at the front of the hotel and the dolphins. Has shows such as
       The Beatles LOVE Cirque du Soleil and Danny Gans impressionist. Has international fine
       dine restaurants that are japanese, chinese, brazilia, italian - you name it, its at the Mirage.
       The pool/spa complex is also one of the best in Vegas.
    • The Venetian - Venice theme with gondolas which take you through the Grand Canal
       Shoppes, and shows such as The Phantom of the Opera.
    • Treasure Island' - Sirens Cove battle scene at the front of the hotel with a battle show
       between sirens and pirates. Italian American dining at Francesco's and Mexican at Isla's.
    • Paris - French theme. The 1/2 size Eiffel Tower with lift ride giving you a stunning,
      panoramic view of the Strip, from 460 feet above the ground.
    • Stratosphere - the Stratosphere Tower is the tallest freestanding observation tower in the
      USA at 1140 ft. Visitors to the Tower are whisked from ground level to the observation
      decks in less than 30 seconds in double decker elevators traveling at speeds of 1,800 feet per
      minute or three floors a second. The views of the Strip are fantastic.

There are many more hotels on the strip, but I've listed the main ones with the best attractions.
Places to eat

Each of the hotels has an array of restaurants with both fine dining and casual dining - I've listed
some of the best but there are literally hundreds to choose from.

Aside from the strip, I'd personally recommend the Hard Rock Café on Paradise Road and Tony
Roma's in Henderson.

Great things to do whilst you're there
Aside from the strip, Vegas has lots more to offer. I went in a helicopter through the Grand Canyon
and landed in a working western ranch. This is the experience of a lifetime, you'll never see views
like it, and is totally worth the expense.

I'd also personally recommend taking a horseback ride through Red Rock canyon (in the Nevada
desert). I went on the Sunset Trail and had a wonderful time. Although I've had 8 years riding
experience, you don't need to have had any in order to go. Afterwards, there's a grill BBQ with
fantastic chicken and steaks and you get to toast marshmallows over a camp fire!

Other attractions on the Strip
Aside from the hotels and casinos, there's so much more to do - M&M's World is definitely worth a
visit to reveal the inner child in you! The merchandising is phenomenal and there's an entire WALL
filled with M&M's! What's not to love?

Behind Treasure Island hotel there's the Fashion Show Mall with department stores such as Macy's,
Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus etc. There's also stores such as Abercrombie and Fitch
and Hollister. The mall is huge and can take an entire afternoon to look round!

Las Vegas is possibly the best place I've ever been, and has so much to offer. Everyone should visit
at least once in a lifetime!

Florida

Florida. The Sunshine State
Named after it’s average of 300 solid days of sunshine a year. It boarders with Georgia, and
Alabama, and has the 4th largest population in the USA with 15,982,378 inhabitants. Florida thrives
from tourism, with 60 million tourists visiting the state each year. The warm weather and the long,
golden beaches attract many holiday makers from around the world, but of course, many people
visit Florida for it’s theme parks.
     • Walt Disney World Resort

California

California is very difficult to get around without a car. One of the best ways to get around is by
using the Amtrak service. There are three routes that the Amtrak does including the pacific coast
liner, the capital corridor and San Joaquins. Other than that your options are limited to taxis and
either local or greyhound buses, which while relatively irregular, do offer a cost-effective way to get
around. the greyhound station in LA is a complete dive though, I'd avoid it at all costs.

Within California there are numerous activities such as; sea world: San Diego zoo: Universal
studios: some of the best beaches in the world. San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge and a
myriad of other great things, including Berkeley, MOMA and the Castro. It also has BART, which is
a quick and easy way to get around. Best city in the world by far.

				
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