Five Canadian Fall Food Festivals October 1, 2016 · 8 min. readDisclaimer: While the thoughts and opinions are my own, this article was brought to you by a third party. Also, this article may contain affiliate links.
Autumn has officially begun, and with it comes plenty of crunchy leaves, wool toques, cool nights and freshly harvested food. It doesn't matter if you live near the icy shores of the Atlantic, in a bustling metropolis like Toronto, among the rolling plains of Alberta or in the towering mountains of British Columbia; the whole country is in the midst of harvest. While I have already written about the Savour the Southeast Festival in Medicine Hat, there are plenty of other food festivals going on across Canada for you to enjoy.
Fall Flavours, Prince Edward Island
(Sept. 2 - Oct. 2)
While the Fall Flavours is nearing its completion, the food served out on the East Coast is so unique that it is worth visiting any time of the year. PEI is famous for its large yield of potatoes, and the abundance of lobster, mussels, and scallops allows for an unmatched culinary treat. Their website also mentions several family friendly events like potato picking, lobster catching, and oyster harvesting for participants to take part in.
One of the oldest locations in Canada, Charlottetown has plenty of character hotels and buildings to lodge in. One of these hotels is The Great George, built in 1846. This is the location where delegates for the 1864 Charlottetown Conference stayed, an event which ultimately led to Confederation and the formation of Canada. This location would be ideal for anybody interested in visiting the Birthplace of Confederation for the 150th anniversary of Canada next year. Rooms are about $170 a night.
Indulge New Brunswick Food and Wine Festival, St. Andrews, New Brunswick
(Oct. 14 - 15)
Similar to PEI, New Brunswick loves their potatoes, fresh fish and wonderful wines. While I have never been to St. Andrews, I discovered this adorable city during my Cross-Canada Instagram Challenge last year and I immediately added it to my bucket-list. With a population near only 2,000 people, St. Andrews is a major tourist destination during the summer but quickly dies off in the fall – making this the perfect time to visit! This city boasts many historical buildings, with several structures having been floated up from Maine during the American Revolutionary War in 1783. For more information about the festival, visit their website.
During my Cross-Canada Instagram Challenge last year I also discovered the Algonquin Resort, which is right near St. Andrews. While the hotel has many unique features, one of the most peculiar are their bathtubs. Unlike bathtubs in other hotels, the bathtubs at the Algonquin Resort have four taps – two cold and hot water taps, and two cold and hot salt water taps. Situated near the Bay of Fundy, the hotel has water pumped up right from the ocean into the guests' hotel room. At four stories tall, this legendary hotel has over 240 rooms and two restaurants, making it the perfect Maritime getaway.
Toronto Chocolate Festival, Ontario
(Oct. 15 - Nov. 6, 2016)
It's a chocolate festival. Do I really have to say more? Once a 10-day-long event, it has grown to a 23-day-long event in the past 10 years. The purpose of the festival is to incorporate as many chocolate themed events as possible. These events are all either entertaining, educational or just plain fun. They include things such as a Chocolate Afternoon Tea, the Toronto Luxury Chocolate Show and the ChocOlympics featuring the original 911 Chocolate Relay. Don't forget to visit their website to read more about what's happening during this three-week-long festival.
There are scores of places to stay in Toronto, but one of the nicest is The Omni King Edward Hotel. First opening in 1903, this century-old building once hailed as being completely fire proof. It has just shy of 300 rooms and has hosted several of the biggest celebrities in history, such as Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Elvis Presley, Britney Spears and the Beatles. It can be a little pricey to stay here, with rooms upwards of $567 a night, but it is well worth the cost.
Rocky Mountain Food and Wine Festival, Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta
(Oct. 14 - 15, and Nov. 4 - 5, 2016)
The Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival is the largest wine and food festival in Alberta. It showcases a wide variety of different wines, scotches, imported beers and premium spirits. Gourmet food samples from local restaurants and hotels are also available for ticket-holders. A portion of the sales of early-bird or front-of-the-line tickets goes toward the residents of Fort McMurray, who had their city devastated by a fire earlier this year.
If staying in Edmonton, you'll want to visit the Westin Edmonton Hotel. It is close to the heart of Alberta's capital and is only a six-minute drive from Commonwealth Stadium. If staying in Calgary, I recommend visiting Hotel Arts, a popular boutique style hotel. Both hotels are also the host for the wine and food festival.
Okanagan Wine Festival, Okanagan Valley, British Columbia
(Sept. 29 - Oct. 9, 2016)
By the number of orchards in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, there is no surprise that this is the finest place in the country for growing grapes. With beautiful weather late into the year, the Okanagan Valley is full of a variety of green, orange, yellow and red trees, improving the already beautiful landscape. An oenophile paradise, The Okanagan Wine Festival also offers many local foods and dishes to complement their endless tastes of wine. If wine, snacks and some of the most stunning landscapes in Canada are your forte, you won't want to miss out on this festival!
If you're looking to get away and spoil yourself, you'll want to check out the Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, BC. This resort opened in 2010 and strives to combine European hospitality with North American luxury. The hotel is also infused with 3.5 million Swarovski crystals that dazzle guests upon entering. Between the Okanagan and Kalamalka Lakes, this hotel offers an unprecedented view of the dynamic British Columbian landscape.
Have you been to any of these festivals? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!
The links on this article are not affilate links. All images were provided by Hotels.com or the respective festivals.
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And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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The past few weeks have been really busy for me, with a lot more time at the office and a lot less time travelling. Thankfully, the weekend is just around the corner and with it comes the possibility of a two day vacation. Having traveled to Lac La Ronge earlier this month, I've been thinking more and more about these short trips and how rejuvenating they can be.
Unfortunately, I haven't done as much travelling around Saskatchewan as I'd like, so I wasn't sure what the best places to visit were. There were of course the obvious choices such as Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw, but I wanted someplace remote, yet somewhat close. For this project I approached some of my fellow travel bloggers and I got some ideas of what to go do and see for a weekend. I went through their ideas and came up with this short list of 5 weekend destinations in Saskatchewan.
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A few articles ago I listed Ogema as one of the top destinations to visit in Saskatchewan. Immediately after I wrote the article, I put my money where my mouth was and booked a weekend trip to Ogema for my girlfriend and me. I figured it wouldn't be fair to my readers to recommend a place for them to visit without actually visiting it myself, and after getting my new Galaxy S7 from TELUS I figured I needed a reason to test it out.
Earlier this year I took my Galaxy S6 to La Ronge, and had very little coverage. I wanted to use Facebook's new Live Video option, but I couldn't get enough service to even send a text message. I was pretty disappointed by the coverage with that provider, so I was interested to see how TELUS' network was in Ogema.
The result was pretty darn good! We streamed Spotify all the way there, were able to do a Live Video from the Deep South Pioneer Museum and took some really great pictures and videos of the trip. It also helped to have a reliable network when I got lost driving there (don't ask me how!). TELUS has invested over $29 billion into their network since 2000 and it has really paid off. It's a great feeling knowing that no matter where you travel, you can rely on TELUS to keep you connected.
Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania shut its doors in 1970. A year later, in 1971, it would briefly reopen and house inmates from Holmesburg Prison after a devastating riot. After the prisoners were returned to Holmesburg, Eastern State would sit empty for over two decades. It would rot, decay and collapse. Trees and shrubs would grow into the structure and a clowder of cats would take residence. These hallowed halls would sit empty, the only noise being the chatter of startled birds and the trotter of feline paws.
The following decades would see various discussions of what to do with the building. Eventually, it was decided to preserve it and turn it into a tourist attraction. Although it officially opened for tours in 1994, attendants would have to sign a waiver and wear hardhats before entering until 2008. They had 10,000 visitors the opening year, a number of tourists not seen in the prison since 1858.
From 1829 to 1970, Eastern State Penitentiary underwent a variety of changes and transformations. This massive, sprawling, 11-acre complex was founded under the belief that solitary confinement was the cure needed to prevent criminals from committing future crimes. It was believed criminals who served in solitary confinement would turn to a higher power to reconcile with themselves for their crimes – hence feeling "penitent". To assist in this process, each cell was equipped with a slit window on the ceiling nicknamed "The Eye of God". It would be the only light source available to the inmate.