As 2016 draws to a close, we look back at our favourite trips of the year.
I’ve been inside Heathrow Airport six times but had never actually made it into London. This year, I finally got to experience this incredible city. I only had about 48 hours, so it was a bit of a whirlwind, but I managed to cram in everything from Portobello Road to London Bridge, with stops in Kensington Gardens, Buckingham Palace and Piccadilly Circus along the way. A highlight was a Sunday morning brunch on Gloucester Road at Coco Momo. I went for the full English and perfectly made cappuccino. —Sara Samson, associate editor
My favourite trip this year was actually two. I managed to visit Toronto in the winter and the summer, and got to see what makes this city special in two different seasons. Turns out, it’s a lot of things. Highlights included skating in Nathan Phillips Square with the lit-up Toronto sign as a backdrop, attending my first Blue Jays games in the midst of baseball fever and taking the ferry over to the Toronto Islands. With two seasons covered, I’m already hoping to go back again next year in the fall during the Toronto International Film Festival. —Alana Willerton, editorial assistant, print
I went to Maui in January with my sister. The goal was to do the things you can’t do in a Canadian winter. We woke up at 5 a.m. to look down at the sun rising above the Haleakala crater. We wound our way along the Road to Hana, stopping at the black sand beach. We ate shave ice, watched whales and admired surfers. The trip ended with us dancing into the night at a luau. It was one of my favourite family vacations of all time.— Jaelyn Molyneux, executive editor, digital content
Oliver and Osoyoos
This past October, a trip to British Columbia’s Oliver and Osoyoos, both located in the south end of the Okanagan Valley, ticked off two of my downtime pleasures: nature and wine. The crisp mornings were spent stand-up paddleboarding on Osoyoos Lake, while the sunny days were filled with tours and tastings of Oliver’s wineries. One of my favourites was Covert Farms Family Estate, where, after a tour of the property, the meat and cheese charcuterie board provided a perfect accompaniment to the flight of organic wines. —Diane Bolt, assistant editor
My wife and I enjoyed a few relaxing days in Santa Barbara last winter. From our hotel, we walked down to Brophy Bros. on Santa Barbara Harbor for an open-air lunch of garlic-baked clams and crab cakes. Afterward, on the waterfront, we found a pamphlet for Sunset Kidd Sailing Cruises. That evening, we shared a sunset sail, a round of bubbly and laughs with a couple who operate a small California winery. We had no plans on our Santa Barbara trip, yet every day was fun and full. —Ian Doig, editor
My visit to Music City was even better than I’d hoped. This “town” (locals never call it a city) is a perfect mix of young, creative energy and southern hospitality. There are many small, intimate venues in which to see live music here, but my favourites were The Basement (it took five minutes to find the alleyway entrance), The Bluebird Cafe (known for shushing loud talkers during performances) and the iconic bluegrass venue, Station Inn (beer only, plastic cups and foldable chairs). —Alyssa Quirico, editorial assistant, digital