Category Archives: Tours

The Best View in Town: Observatoire de la Capitale in Quebec City

Observatoire de la Capitale – the viewing deck on the 31st floor of the Marie-Guyart Building in Quebec City, Canada – boasts it has “the best view in town” from “221 meters up.”

And they’re absolutely right – the views are spectacular.

The Views

To the east, you can see the beautiful and picturesque Old Quebec and the citadel:

view from the Observatoire de la Capitale toward Old Quebec and the citadel
view from the Observatoire de la Capitale toward Old Quebec and the citadel

Looking a bit to the north, you can get a glimpse of the expanse of St. Lawrence River, the Quebec City port, and the mountain ranges in the distance: Continue reading The Best View in Town: Observatoire de la Capitale in Quebec City

Old Quebec Bus Tours: Les Tours du Vieux Quebec

Whenever we’re in a new city, and especially if we’re there for only a few days, we like to do a bus tour, because it’s a great way to cover a large area in a relatively short time, and also helps us see if there are any places that we might like to visit again during the rest of our stay.

During our recent trip to Québec City, we spent the first day of our short stay there admiring the city from the second deck of a big red bus, on a sightseeing tour organized by Les Tours du Vieux Québec (Old Quebec Tours).

Where Do You Get On?

The tours begin in the Old Québec, at Place d’Armes, right by the famous (and impressive) Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, but you can get on the bus at any of the 12 stops. Just make sure to check the bus schedule to see what time the next bus is coming, because they depart every 30 minutes so, and you might be in for quite a bit of a wait if you just miss the previous one, like we did the second time we boarded.

route of Ligne Rouge (Red Loop) of Les Tours du Vieux Quebec (click on the photo to open the pdf of the official tour guide)
route of Ligne Rouge (Red Loop) of Les Tours du Vieux Quebec (click on the photo to open the pdf of the official tour guide)

Continue reading Old Quebec Bus Tours: Les Tours du Vieux Quebec

Have you ever seen the village of Lacock? You might have

Have you ever seen the village of Lacock in Wiltshire, UK?

Before you say “No,” let me ask you – Have you ever watched the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, Moll Flanders, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Cranford, Wolfman, Downton Abbey, or Harry Potter?

If you answered “Yes” to any of the above, then you have seen Lacock. On screen.

Compare the image above with the shot below. Look familiar?

shot of the corner of East and High Streets in Lacock, during filming of the BBC Pride and Prejudice
shot of the corner of East and High Streets in Lacock, during filming of the BBC Pride and Prejudice

You can also see some great shots of the cast of Downton Abbey in “Downton Abbey filming held back by local tour guide.”

Continue reading Have you ever seen the village of Lacock? You might have

How much can you see in three-and-a-half days in Quebec City?

Mind you, just so we’re clear on that – three-and-a-half days is NOT enough to see everything worth seeing in Québec City and the area.

From its centuries-old stone buildings that look like they were transported straight from France, to its many museums, this charming city of about half a million has a lot to offer to visitors.

Unfortunately, we only had a long weekend for this visit, but if you have more time, do yourself a favor and spend a few more days in this capital of the Canadian province of Québec.

It’s an about six-hour drive from Boston, another old city worth seeing, but it’s very different than any American cities you will see, including the also-French New Orleans.

We saw the following attractions in Québec City. You can decide whether you want to put them on your to-see list as well.

Continue reading How much can you see in three-and-a-half days in Quebec City?

Dolphin Cruise on the Sea Thunder in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

For April vacation this year we needed something fun and kid friendly, and when it comes to the kids, especially our daughter, the thought of dolphins is never too far from the tip of the tongue.  We were spending the week at a resort in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and there are a number of options available.  We chose a ride on the Sea Thunder.

How to get to the Sea Thunder

Getting there wasn’t too difficult – it’s a short drive from the beach, less than ten minutes from our resort.

Be careful if you’re using Google Maps, though – it will send you to the wrong location.

Sea Thunder is at the Harbourgate Marina, directly behind the Harbourgate Resort, and the dock for the Sea Thunder is almost directly under the Rt. 17 bridge.

Google Maps will put you on a residential street on the other side of Rt. 17.

Instead, you should go down Little River Neck Road, and go past the entrance for the resort (even though the sign does say “Harbourgate Resort & Marina”). The turn for the Marina parking lot is just before you go under Rt. 17.

Do NOT turn down Sea Mountain Hwy, or you may end up stuck in traffic while an interesting drawbridge (which is actually a swivel bridge) lets the boating traffic pass in front of you.

location of the dock for the Sea Thunder Dolphin Cruises
location of the dock for the Sea Thunder Dolphin Cruises

Continue reading Dolphin Cruise on the Sea Thunder in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

In the footsteps of movie stars: Boston TV & Movie Sites On Location Tour with Javier

The top requirement for the Boston TV & Movie Sites On Location Tour guides states: “must be working actors or actresses [… ] with television and film experience. Stand-up comedy, singing and improv experience is a plus.”

That is correct. The tour that takes you all around Boston, to places the other tours won’t take you, such as Southie (South Boston) and Charleston, is not just a tour, it’s a one-man show, and a very entertaining one at that.

I was impressed at how our tour guide, Javier, could talk nearly non stop for the whole tour, while at the same time operating the buttons of a DVD player remote to cue in relevant movie clips, just at the right moment.

As you tour the locations with Boston TV & Movie Sites Tour you also get to watch clips from movies shot at the locations you are passing by
As you tour the locations with Boston TV & Movie Sites Tour you also get to watch clips from movies shot at the locations you are passing by

Continue reading In the footsteps of movie stars: Boston TV & Movie Sites On Location Tour with Javier