A Romantic City Break Away
Sometimes it is just good to get away. That trip is even more pleasurable if taken with someone special and the destination offers a romantic combination of natural beauty and charm. French flavoured Quebec City is the epitome of elegance. Victoria, half a continent away, is the perfect blend of architectural wonders and natural beauty. A visit to Lahaina will have you basking in the sun, just as the kings and queens of the Hawaiian Islands loved to do.
Quebec City, Quebec
Vieux Quebec, or Old Quebec, is over 400 years old. Upper Quebec overlooks the St Lawrence River and Dufferin Terrace, a pedestrian walkway filled with strategically placed benches and gazebos that encourage stopping to enjoy the view. The funicular, a sort of glassed-in outdoor elevator, takes riders from Dufferin Terrace down to the oldest part of the city, simply called Lower Quebec. Take a tour of the cobblestone streets in a horse drawn caleshe, or carriage. In winter riders snuggle under warm blankets and robes, making things that much cosier. Round one cobblestone corner next to the shopping district of Quartier Petit Champlain and come face to face with a wall sized mural that is so lifelike you are tempted to touch the figures to make sure they aren't breathing. Dine on delicate crepes or French onion soup at a number of cafes along the way.
Victoria, British Columbia
Boasting the most forgiving climate in all of Canada and claiming the snow capped Olympic Mountains as its backdrop, the city of Victoria exudes a mixture of Canadian and British charm. Find romance from the balcony of your Inner Harbour hotel as you watch the sunset and the fairy lights of the Parliament Building twinkle on. Miles of pathways lead through the city's Beacon Hill Park. In summer this park, as well as planters on the city's streets, are ablaze with flowers of every hue. Dine on fresh caught seafood, discover the delights of an English high tea and go whale watching to find the pod of resident orcas that live in the Juan de Fuca Strait. On weekends, Bastion Square, part of Old Town, is filled with street musicians and artists selling hand made souvenirs.
Lahaina Town, Maui
Lahaina, Maui was once the summer home of King Kamehameha the Great. Later it became a rather rowdy whaling port, filled with boisterous sailors out for a brew and a good time. Today this one time capital of Hawaii is the historic jewel of Maui's west coast. One piece of living history is the famed Banyan Tree, standing 60 feet tall and covering almost an acre. Couples take late night walks beneath its branches, on their way to and from the waterfront or one of the town's clubs or restaurants. Though most of the beaches are to the north in Kaanapali and south towards Wailea, Kamehameha Iki Park is in the centre of Lahaina. Walk in the footsteps of royalty as you unpack your picnic and settle in on the palm fringed expanse of lawn.
Whether your idea of the perfect get-a-way is in an age old city brimming with history or a tropical island treasure, your romantic city is waiting for you. Just pack your bags, cuddle that special someone, and go.
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