Please Plan My Vacation
March 30, 2011 6:20 AM   Subscribe

Where should we spend our anniversary?

My husband and I like to take a long weekend and do something special for our anniversary every year. This year is a little tricky because our finances are a little tighter and we haven't had a "real" vacation since February 2010, so we are very much looking forward to this.

In the past we have visited Canada's Wonderland and have spent the last few years at The Hedges which we love, but unfortunately our anniversary falls during black fly season, which keeps us from doing most of the outdoor activities the Adirondacks are great for. We suffered through the past two times, but it really does put a damper on things.

We considered Mohonk Mountain House and the Dogfish Head 360 Degree Experience, but both are out of our budget for the weekends we would like.

What we are looking for:
- within a 6ish hour drive of Syracuse or Buffalo.
- the weekend of June 3rd, 4th and 5th or 9th, 10th and 11th.
- Under $700 for hotel, transportation and food.

What we like:
- beer
- interesting food
- having tons of options for things to do
- the outdoors

What we would like to avoid:
- shellfish, I'm allergic.
- wine tours, we have a closet full of bottles.
- tropical beaches, though I doubt that's an issue.

We've been all over most of New York State, so Ithaca, Cooperstown and Niagara Falls aren't very exciting to us but, we are open to other suggestions. I can't stand Long Island. We're willing to travel out of the state or to Canada. I am just desperate to get away!
posted by ridiculous to Travel & Transportation (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you enjoyed Canada's Wonderland, Cedar Point is little over 4 hours from Buffalo. CP might not be enough for a long weekend but you could combine that trip with Cleveland attractions or Cuyahoga Valley National Park in northern Ohio.
posted by mmascolino at 6:48 AM on March 30, 2011

Maybe the Poconos in Pennsylvania?
posted by LaurenIpsum at 6:53 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm projecting here but I would love to go to Montreal. I've heard it's just lovely and it should be at that time of year. What about Lake George, Lake Placid, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh?
posted by kat518 at 7:24 AM on March 30, 2011

Best answer: Montreal is really lovely in June, has lots of beer and food, has stuff to do in the city, and is near to lots of outdoor things. You can certainly get by on less than 700 here for a weekend.
posted by jeather at 7:38 AM on March 30, 2011

Response by poster: I am liking the idea of Montreal, I have never been, any suggestions for restaurants, hotels and other attractions?
posted by ridiculous at 7:49 AM on March 30, 2011

Have you been to Niagra on the Lake? It is charming and nice to walk around; not sure if that is what you're looking for.
posted by cestmoi15 at 8:05 AM on March 30, 2011 [1 favorite]

We were in Montreal at the beginning of July a couple of years ago, and it was great. We Pricelined a hotel room (it was really, really cheap), and wound up at the Omni Mont-Royal, which was nice and reasonably well-located.

We're big dorks and dug the Biodome, and you can't miss Schwartz's for probably the best deli you'll ever have. And if you're into beer, you need to stop by Dieu du Ciel. (I can't help with a "nice" or interesting meal, unfortunately.) It seemed to be a great city to just walk around, if that's what you're looking for.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:38 AM on March 30, 2011

'tis a shame you don't eat shellfish, because the shellfish tower at "Au Pied du Cochon" is one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. But it is still a great resto worth checking out in Montreal.

Other suggestions
Club Chasse et Peche
Joe Beef

amongst others.

check out Jean-Talon Market as well.
posted by JPD at 8:42 AM on March 30, 2011

Response by poster: So, after talking to the hubs it appears as though Montreal is the place! I am very excited, and currently reading previous threads. But, I am still very much open for suggestions of things to do, eat, see and stay!
posted by ridiculous at 8:54 AM on March 30, 2011

Is there something more specific than "no shellfish, stuff to do, outdoors" that you like?

My favourite brunch place is L'Avenue, 922 Mont-Royal E, but it gets very long lines on the weekend. Chowhound has lots of excellent food suggestions.
posted by jeather at 9:29 AM on March 30, 2011

Response by poster: jeather- good point, now that things have been narrowed down a bit I guess it's easier to elaborate.

On food:
Although I'm allergic to shellfish I love all other seafood and can still eat mollusks. We are fairly adventurous eaters, although not enough to eat eyeball, internal organs or the like. He loves Thai. We are big fans of restaurants that make an effort to work with local and seasonal ingredients. Our favorite local restaurant does small plates and we love going and getting 4 of those to split for a meal. We love coffee and tea.

For beer:
One of our biggest disappointments in traveling to Ireland was the lack of a local brewing scene, at least that we didn't come across any. We love craft brews and visiting regional breweries. We'll try anything.

For Activities:
The public bike system that Montreal appears to have is right up the hubby's alley. I am a big hockey fan, he's a new fan with interest in the sport's history. I love boutique shopping, but can't really afford any splurges right now. Walkable parks and neighborhoods would interest us both. Something low key where we could get a cocktail or craft brew in the evenings.
posted by ridiculous at 10:37 AM on March 30, 2011

Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City (or elsewhere in the old city).
posted by lathrop at 11:47 AM on March 30, 2011

After a friend visited and enjoyed Montreal, I read a NYT article about it. Here's their section on it
posted by kat518 at 2:06 PM on March 30, 2011

For food recommendations, you're really best off with Chowhound. I don't like beer much, but Dieu de Ciel is excellent. Bixi bikes are great, though remember you cannot keep any individual bike longer than half an hour at a time, you need to replace it and take another one.

Most of the city is walkable, especially in July. The mountain in the middle of the city is a lovely park, Lafontaine park is one I also like. The Plateau/Mile End is a good walking area, but so is NDG. The Lachine Canal is nice to walk along, from the Atwater Market (nice market, small) to Old Montreal, though it's probably too early for water sports? I don't know. Jean-Talon Market is also nice to walk around.

If you want to look at boutique stores you should look along St Laurent from Sherbrooke to Mont Royal or St Joseph, St Denis about the same area, and most of the small streets attaching the two, especially but not exclusively Mont Royal (which, near my favourite brunch place, has my favourite ice cream place, Patio).

The Terracotta Warriors will be on at the fine art museum, too, and there are a number of nice museums, but you won't go far wrong just exploring the neighbourhoods for a few days.
posted by jeather at 9:14 AM on April 1, 2011

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