Holiday Recs: US & Canada

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by BCains, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. BCains macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Gold Coast, Australia
    #1
    Hi All,

    I'm heading over to the US and Canada at the end of this year, 26th Dec till 12th Jan.
    Yes we realise it's going to be cold! that's why we are going, to change it up from the usual Queensland weather.

    It'll be myself (20), brother (15) and mother (unnecessary) ;)

    I've got all the hotels and flights sorted, just after a few things to do. I've got a pretty good idea,
    but opening it up to the locals. Interests in music, sporting & shopping, not so much galleries/museums .

    I'm after any recommendations i.e restaurants, must sees and do's etc.

    I haven't been to any of these cities apart from LA/Santa Monica.

    Seattle
    Calgary
    Montreal
    Ottawa
    Chicago
    LA/Santa Monica (Staying in SM)

    Thanks, much appreciated.
     
  2. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    #2
    Close friends of mine came up last year from Cairns around that same time and had a blast. Definitely a shock with the climate change! Unless you've been to the Alps down there, you probably haven't seen snow, but if you have, take what you get down there, triple it, and imagine shoveling your way out of your driveway! that's what we get in the Midwest here, around Chicago. But you'll love it.

    Sights? If you can, and I say this as a tourist, hit Las Vegas around New Year's Eve. You'll be in for a nice time then! ;) Outside of that, Vegas would be a good stop not just for the casinos, but you're less than an hour from the Grand Canyon, Redrock Canyon, Route 66, and some of the best scenery you've ever seen.

    Depending on how long you have in Seattle, take the 2 - 3 hour drive up to Vancouver. You might be there in time for the Olympics.

    Unless you stay in the South, anywhere in the Midwest/East Coast is going to be cold. Football might be in order, but don't expect it to be anything like footy; bigger guys, bigger guts, and a lotta trash talking.

    Anyone else have any ideas? Oh.. if you're going to Chicago, hit up Lee. He'll hook you up!

    BL.
     
  3. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #3
    It's gonna be cold! I don't think you really realize just how cold you will be in Montreal at the end of December. That is one of the coldest places I've ever been to. Brrrrrrrr........

    Have you ever experienced cold like -20° C before?

    I would suggest going to Toronto instead of Ottawa. If you aren't into museums/galleries, and would rather some shopping/restaurants, Toronto is a much better choice for those activites. Ottawa is kind of yawn.....(no disrespect)

    I can suggest some stuff in West Los Angeles (which includes Santa Monica). What kind of restaurants and stuff are you guys into/looking for?

    Somewhere to start is this very recent I'm-going-to-Los Angeles thread with some good suggestions.
     
  4. BCains thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Gold Coast, Australia
    #4
    Hey Guys,

    Yes we have been to the US and Canada a few times in winter, this willbe our forth trip

    Canada we've done: Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto & Niagara
    US we've done: LA, SF, Vegas, NY, D.C, Philly, Boston & Orlando

    P.S The cities i've listed are the ones we are going to, looking for things to do in those cities. :D

    Thanks for the link to the other thread, i'll check it out.
    As for what type of restaurants; mexican, sports bar, grills, burger joints etc.
     
  5. GGGUUUYYY macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #5
    ottawa

    I'm not sure if the rideau canal will be open that early if it is you could ice skate on it.

    Defiantly get a beavertail at the byward market if you haven't had one.
     
  6. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #6
    You didn't say that it was your fourth trip to Canada/US. Your OP seems as if you've never been to this part of the world before. Hence my suggestion of changing your itinerary to somewhere more to your interests.


    For those types of restaurants in LA, you can pretty much throw a rock and you'll hit one. I very rarely eat at those types of places, but one suggestion I can give for burgers is The Counter in Santa Monica. Yelp.com could be helpful for other places.

    Plus, if you do a search, you'll find a bunch other Los Angeles threads that I remember over the past couple of years that can prove helpful.

    Yup, that's pretty much Ottawa in the winter. I think they do the frozen maple syrup on a stick there too, no?
     
  7. nadyne macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2004
    Location:
    Mountain View, CA USA
    #7
    In Seattle, check out the Experience Music Project. It's awesome.

    For mom-friendly activities that don't suck, take her up in the Space Needle on a clear day. It's the best view around.
     
  8. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #8
    As you gave recommendations for what kind of food you like, it'd probably similarly help for music and shopping....

    For Chicago, though (this is all in the city limits)... For Mexican food, two recommendations come to mind right away:
    - In Pilsen, there is Nuevo Leon which is my personal fave standard fare restaurant.
    - In Humboldt Park, there is Maiz, which has a lot of slightly modernized versions of traditional Central American foods, all around a theme of maize.
    - Mixteco (never been) gets great reviews, and I also really like Jack Rabbit (have been).
    - Most of the best sports bars are in Wrigleyville, near the Cubs' stadium, although honestly, you have to deal with Cubs fans. :p There's a bit of this in Wicker Park / Bucktown also.
    - A fairly amazing burger restaurant is Kuma's Corner. It's a heavy metal theme with lots of weird German art on the walls and all their burgers are named after metal bands. The food is great. Getting a table on a Friday or Saturday night however is not easy (they're close to full even in the middle of the week).

    Music-wise...
    - For Jazz, there are a number of famous historic jazz clubs, Green Mill, Kingston Mines, and Green Dolphin Street are three...
    - For rock, there are lots and lots of local venues that are worth checking out... I go to shows on artists more than venue, but Metro Chicago is definitely one of the better ones, and Subterranean and Bottom Lounge are pretty great, too. And of course the Hideout.

    Shopping-wise...
    - Broadway St in Lakeview East has lots of fun miscellaneous things, including the flagship store of Threadless.
     
  9. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #9
    ^^^^^^^^ The Green Mill is awesome. I used to go there quite a bit when I lived in Chicago.

    Good call on the Threadless Store. You can also go to the Threadless warehouse store to pick up some of the prints that aren't in the store- the store employees can direct you there.

    There is a The Counter in Chicago too.

    Don't forget the Wiener Circle for late-night chili dogs and fries. The only time to go there is at 2 or 3 am on a Thurs, Fri, or Sat night....... hilarious. It's a must.
     
  10. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #10
    Oooh, now this I have not done. *drool* :eek:

    Actually, with a lot of these destinations, I wonder if it isn't worth broadening your culinary palette? I mean, meh, there are some amazing places to eat hamburgers (Kuma's Corner really is worth the experience) and some sports bars are better than others, but... you can do a lot better than eating Mexican and burgers the whole time you're in North America. :p

    EDIT: Oh, if you like steak, perhaps put Tango Sur (also in Lakeview) on your list. It's a South American steakhouse that gets rave reviews....
     
  11. BCains thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Gold Coast, Australia
    #11
    Sorry about that surely... :p

    Thanks for all the recommendations, i'll add them to the list.

    In regards to food, we are willing to try different styles but $$ is limited hence
    no "fancy dining", just good cheapish eats. We need money to shop as well!! :D

    Also do the music venues have a minimum age requirement? i.e 18 or 21?
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    Hmmm, that's a good question. I'm pretty sure that in Chicago, Metro, Subterranean (less sure), and Reggie's Rock Club do all ages shows. Most of the live scene is at bars, however, so the number of shows accessible under 21 is somewhat less so....
     
  13. Surely Guest

    Surely

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #13
    No worries..... thanks..... just trying to help.....

    Music venues......
    I was at the Troubadour a few weeks ago to see The Sam Roberts Band, and they were putting wristbands on people old enough to drink. People under 21 yoa were let in, but no wristband. I'm not sure about the minimum age to get in, but I'd guess 18. Check their website. Tickets to see them were $15- my brother lives in Australia, and said that Sam Roberts tickets there were around $75. You can see some great music at some of the small music venues here.

    Cheap food in LA.....
    As I mentioned, The Counter for gourmet burgers.
    Sushi: Yamato in Westwood Village. And then go to Diddy Riese for a $1.50 ice cream and cookie sandwich.
    Sub sandwiches: Socko's subs in Westwood Village. Get the #14.
    Chinese: It's not the nicest place, but Fu's Palace at Pico and Robertson is the best we've found so far.
    Vietnamese: Pho 99 on Wilshire in Brentwood.
    Cheesecake Factory is always good. Huge portions, and great cheesecake.
    Deli: Pico Kosher Deli. Not as good as anything in Toronto (Centre Street Deli) or Montreal (Schwartz's or Snowden Deli), but good.
    Panini Cafe. Great Mediterranean food. The chicken kabobs plate and the sandwiches are amazing. Great place to go for lunch or dinner while in Beverly Hills. It's at the corner of Rodeo and Little Santa Monica.
    Baja Fresh- can't go wrong with this place for lunch. A fast-food good-quality Mexican food chain of restaurants.

    That's a good start....... but really, check out Yelp
     
  14. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #14
    In LA, for cheap eats, you should also totally get Korean taco truck. I'm seriously craving that and wishing someone did it here.... Having a cell phone with SMS or data so you can follow them on Twitter would probably help, though. I think that would be my Job #1 if I were going to LA right now. :D
     
  15. GGGUUUYYY macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2009
    #15
    I think it's mostly a springtime event when the sap is running, but you could buy some maple syrup and put it in the snow.. lol
     
  16. BCains thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Location:
    Gold Coast, Australia
    #16
    thanks for all the tips guys, plenty of restaurants to consider now!
     
  17. Kirjava444 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2008
    #17
    The weather changes really fast. It's really quite insane.

    Peter's Drive-In. Best fast food hamburgers ever. And milkshakes.

    Umm... there's some cows or something downtown, and some other statues there. Not much point in going to the Stampede grounds in the winter since the Stampede is in the summer.

    You might find some interesting shops downtown, I don't really go down there so often so I'm not sure. There's a few record shops, Melodiya on 17th Ave and The Inner Sleeve in Marda Loop, and another one elsewhere, can't remember where. We do have an Apple store in Market Mall if you really feel the need to see yet another Apple store.. it's a pretty small one. Also two Mac dealers, Westworld and My Mac Dealer.

    Mountain Equipment Co-Op is neat if you like... well, sporty outdoor equipment stuff. Decent prices sometimes, really good quality. There's also a pretty decent burger place across the street. It's on 10th Ave I think.

    Canada Olympic Park if you want to go skiing or something, never been there but I do know that we have it and that they have snow and hills and all that!

    We've got lots of malls and stuff too but they're all the same as any mall anywhere really. If you like used books, Fair's Fair in Inglewood is the best used book store in the city in my opinion, they also have a location on Macleod Trail (believe me, you will become very intimate with Macleod Trail and Deerfoot trail) that is pretty good.

    Watch out for stupid drivers, particularly on Deerfoot trail. And a lot of our traffic lights give out speeding tickets even on green lights now, so just slow down at lights or something if you're driving lol. There is also transit, the C-Train is alright for some areas of the city, other areas you'll need the bus. Be careful if you go to the North East part of the city. Safest (and prettiest lol) part is the Southwest.

    That's all I can think of right now.

    Edit: Oh! We also have a big rock.. it's south of Okotoks, which is about 15 minutes south of Calgary. It really is just a really, really big rock but it's a tourist attraction because it was dropped by a glacier a long time ago or something. It's sinking now but it's still pretty big and they like to name schools and stuff after it (Big Rock). So if you're really bored you could go see that I guess.
     
  18. neoserver macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    #18
    I second this. You can't go to Calgary without stopping at Pete's.
     
  19. joshbing macrumors member

    joshbing

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    San Antonio, Tx
    #19
    Seattle is a great city

    like a previous post the space needle and the experience music project are great. go up the space needle before dark, watch the sunset, and see all the city light turn on. its beautiful.
    those are both part of the Seattle Center which has a lot of other great stuff too.

    go and check out the peer, the pike's place market, the ballard locks, and the golden gardens park.

    If your Christian, Mars Hill Church is a great place to check out.

    Hope you enjoy your trip!
     
  20. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #20
    Music venues have either all ages or 21 and over shows. It depends on the night you go, even at Metro, etc. You have to check the venue's site or call for the info.
     

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