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French-speaking, thoroughly romantic and exquisitely cultured, Montreal definitely warrants a pre- or post-cruise stay. The Old Port is a hub of entertainment, while the Museum of Fine Arts is revered for its collection of more than 30,000 objects. For a respite from the vibrant city, stroll the Montreal Botanical Garden, a draw since 1931.
Surrounded by several miles of granite walls dating back hundreds of years, Quebec City’s fabulous Old Town exudes European character, exemplified in the iconic Château Frontenac. Another architectural gem is the fascinating Musée de la Civilisation, a treasure trove of items recreating the French-speaking city’s early days.
Head to La Baie and tour the Musée du Fjord, admire the frescoes covering every nook and corner of barber and painter Arthur Villeneuve’s home, tour a goat farm or travel the Craftsman Road to see artisans in their element creating cheeses, glass-blowing and soap-making. Don’t miss a hike through Saguenay National Park, which cradles the dramatic fjord that has enchanted travelers for centuries.
Historic Sydney boasts several landmarks from the late 1700s, such as the colonial Cossit House and the Jost House, which features an unusual beehive bake-oven. St. Patrick’s, the city’s oldest Catholic Church, doubles as a fascinating museum.
Founded by the British in 1749, Halifax still has a British military air about it. Every day at noon, a ceremonial gun is fired at the Halifax Citadel, a star-shaped fortress where the guides wear military uniforms. The exhibits have a more seafaring slant at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic and include the nearly 100-year-old Acadia.
Explore Canada’s oldest continuing museum, the New Brunswick, where displays include the skeletal remains of a rare North Atlantic right whale. Saint John is also known for the bizarre Reversing Falls, a daily tidal phenomenon so severe it reverses the flow of the Saint John River. Birders will enjoy serene Irving Nature Park.
Established in the 19th century as New England’s premier summer resort city, Bar Harbor was originally called Eden. It’s still a seaside paradise, especially for lovers of the outdoors. Hike through Acadia National Park, behold the sweeping vistas from Cadillac Mountain, and watch for migrating humpback whales. The Wabanaki Indian exhibits in the Abbe Museum are also fascinating.
Boston’s enormous role during the American Revolution is inescapable, and it’s easy to trace by following the Freedom Trail, which links more than a dozen historic sights throughout town from the Paul Revere House to the Old North Church. But don’t forgo exploring Boston’s appealing modern side. For a 360-degree view of the city, head for the skywalk observatory on the 50th floor of the Prudential Tower. For art, browse the Museum of Fine Arts, which includes works from Van Gogh to Egyptian sculpture. If your interests lie in the natural world, wander through the remarkable New England Aquarium or Franklin Zoo.
Famous for its Gilded Age mansions, many of which are open for tours, such as the Vanderbilt’s opulent Marble House, Newport remains a charming, well-heeled resort city. For a different view of the mansions, take the scenic Cliff Walk. The rocky shoreline is also dotted with lighthouses, including the granite Castle Hill.
The Big Apple. The City That Never Sleeps. Call it what you may, New York reigns as one of the world’s most dynamic cities. But where to begin? The sacred soil of Ground Zero or stunning Central Park? The Guggenheim or the American Museum of Natural History? Should you take in a Broadway show or simply enjoy the nonstop show of people that parade through the streets? The possibilities are endless in the five boroughs of New York City, so get out and enjoy.
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