Lucy Izon answered your questions about vacationing in Canada, May 18, 2004
Author of "The 10 most incredible National Parks of Canada" in the May issue of Budget Travel, Izon chatted on Tuesday, May 18, 2004, at noon Eastern time.
Whether you are looking for advice and sources of information on exploring Canada, or backpacking budget travel, she'll be here to help to steer you in the right direction.
For 25 years Lucy Izon has written a syndicated youth/budget travel column, which appears in leading Canadian and American newspapers, including The Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. She is the author of Izon's Backpacker Journal (Ten Speed Press) co-author of Thomas Cook's Touring Eastern Canada, and a contributor to Chicken Soup for the Traveler's Soul. She has served as the Canadian Chapter Chair, and Vice President of the Society of American Travel Writers.
Lucy recently launched greatlearningvacations.com/ - an ezine focusing on experiential learning for travelers. Stories and listings highlight intriguing international opportunities ranging from photography tours with award-winning experts, to working on an archaeological dig.
Read the transcript below.
Lucy Izon: Hi, I'm Lucy and I'm sitting in Toronto and happy to answer your questions.
Portland, OR: Travel in Montreal, Canada: is it friendly for Americans who do not speak French?
Lucy Izon: I was in Montreal just a week ago and it was a good experience. Montreal needs tourists, so visitors should find the people working in that industry are very welcoming. It's novel to be in a North American city where English is not the first language, but that's part of the reason we travel -- to experience differences. Take advantage of what Montreal does especially well -- which is throw a good party! Try to schedule your visit for one of the major festivals. Two of the most popular are: The Montreal International Jazz Festival (montrealjazzfest.com/), which opens with by Diana Krall on June 29th and run until July 11 (there are 150 indoor concerts, and 350 free outdoor events); and the another great event, which draws top North American Comedians, is the annual Just for Laughs Festival (hahaha.com/). This year it runs July 15 to 25. Visit the websites, or Tourism Montreal (tourism-montreal.org/) for details on special event tickets & accommodation packages.
Oshkosh, WI: What are the "must sees" in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island? We'll be there for two weeks in late June. Thanks!
Lucy Izon: For Nova Scotia definitely Lunenburg, a wonderful village with a shipbuilding heritage. Stop on your way in Chester, a beautiful vacation spot popular with Canadians and Americans for decades. Schedule time for one of the best drives in the world - the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton Island. In PEI my favorite is to be in Charlottetown on July 1 for the Canada Day celebrations. It's a great 'family-style' event at the birthplace of Canada's Confederation.
Worcester, MA: I am interested in taking a hiking vacation for 2 weeks in Cape Breton Highlands and Gros Morne Parks this July. However, I'm not a big fan of humid weather. I've seen that the average temperature in July in Nova Scotia is about the same for Massachusetts - what's the humidity factor? Would early September be better to avoid the humidity? Thanks!
Lucy Izon: Can't tell for sure what mother nature is going to do, but in Atlantic Canada you have to be prepared for rain. I'd contact Nova Scotia Tourism novascotia.com/ and Newfoundland Tourism gov.nl.ca/tourism for their weather recommendations. I was actually in NFLD in the winter this year, beside Gros Morne, and was surprised to find that there is a good ski centre, with wonderful accommodation in luxury houses in the woods. Maxxim vacations maxximvacations.com/ has some very well-priced packages.
Milwaukee, WI: Hi Lucy, Thanks so much for answering our questions on traveling Canada! My fiance and I are planning a honeymoon in Vancouver/Victoria Sept 20-27, 2004. What are some good places to stay, eat, and see? How would you recommend that we split our time? Any information you can provide would be great! Thanks again!