3 urban getaways to enjoy spring

The mild weather, the buds and the terraces will be back (very) soon.

3 urban getaways to enjoy spring

The mild weather, the buds and the terraces will be back (very) soon. It's time to plan an urban getaway under the sign of spring! Here are some ideas for a stay with your loved one or with friends.

The good weather always shows up a little earlier in Toronto! To take advantage of it, we start by taking a walk: we take advantage of the shops and cafes of Kensington Market (without missing the Fika Cafe); we walk between the skyscrapers of downtown (stopping at Shook for a delicious veggie lunch); we explore the galleries and independent shops of Queen Street West.

The sun is shining? We stroll under the cherry blossoms of High Park (usually at their peak in late April, early May) or on the beautiful beaches of the Toronto Islands (accessible only by ferry). We continue with a Blue Jay baseball game or a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto.

In the evening, we put down our suitcases at the Drake Hotel. Famous for its rooftop terrace, its restaurant and its Underground bar, this iconic Toronto hotel has just inaugurated 32 new rooms worthy of “Mad Men” and a small “lobby bar” perfect for sipping a cocktail.

Every spring, no less than 300,000 tulips color the streets and parks of Ottawa as part of the Canadian Tulip Festival. It takes place this year from May 13 to 23 and it is a good time to visit the Canadian capital. But of course, it's not just the flowers.

Other classics include Parliament, the Rideau Canal and the famous ByWard Market, with its shops and restaurants like the new Starling or the classic Zack’s Diner. There is also Wellington West Street, west of the city center, where you go to discover galleries, restaurants, pubs, thrift stores and original boutiques.

A trip to Ottawa was not complete without a stopover in the Outaouais (!), we also plan a visit to the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau and a day of relaxation at the Nordik spa-nature in Chelsea, which houses a panoramic lounge and a beer garden.

In terms of accommodation, Le Germain Ottawa is to be considered for ultra-comfortable nights in the heart of the capital.

Want to combine classics and spring discoveries in Chicago? We start with a stop at Millenium Park, where the famous Cloud Gate sculpture (nicknamed “The Bean”) is located, and we visit the renowned Art Institute of Chicago. Then, we take a cruise on the Chicago River to discover the architecture of the city (with the Chicago Architecture Foundation at sunset, for example).

Next? We stroll between the bars, cafes and attractions of the famous Chicago Riverwalk or we discover the Bloomingdale Trail, in the northwest of the city, a walk reminiscent of New York's High Line Park.

You also have to eat! Chicago has 23 star restaurants (BOKA, Ever, Alinea, etc.) and is known for “deep dish pizza” (try Pequod's Pizza).

For a drink, we are spoiled for choice in terms of microbreweries (there are more than 160!), but also rooftop terraces (Cindy’s, Raised, etc.). And the same goes for accommodation. For a luxurious night in a historic setting, consider the boutique hotel Chicago Athletic Association Hotel, near Millenium Park.


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