3 Days in Savannah

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Day 1

MORNING Have a light breakfast at your hotel, you’ll want to save room for lunch.

MID-MORNING Make it a design day. Start at Forsyth Park and enjoy the majestic fountain before you stroll along Bull Street to West Jones Street for some shopping.

12 NOON Get in line early (10:30-11:00 am) because you won’t want to miss family style dining at Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room.

AFTERNOON After a large meal, take a walk through the Design District on Whitaker Street. Visit One Fish, Two Fish, Arcanum and No. Four Eleven.

LATE AFTERNOON Book a tour at Mercer House and enjoy the interiors (and the tiny garden) so deliciously described in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Shop the Mercer Carriage Store for goodies to take back home.

EVENING Once you’ve walked off your lunch and gained an appetite again, have a delicious urban-style meal at Local 11 Ten.

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Day 2

MORNING Have a tasty breakfast at B. Matthew’s on East Bay Street.

MID-MORNING Continue along East Bay Street and shop the Factors Walk towards City Market.

12 NOON You must be hungry again? Stop for a cheesy slice at Vinnie Van Go-Go.

AFTERNOON Dedicate at least three hours to shopping on Broughton Street.

LATE AFTERNOON Coffee time. Make it a café au lait at The Paris Market & Brocante.

EVENING Head back towards East Bay Street for a lovely meal and great views at Vic’s On the River.

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Day 3

MID-MORNING If you’ve got time for a day trip you won’t want to miss Tybee Island.

12 NOON Enjoy some fresh seafood at the Crab Shack: “Where the elite eat and shop in their bare feet.”

AFTERNOON Lounge on the beach and take advantage of the Savannah sun.

EVENING Return to Savannah for a fabulous meal at the Olde Pink House. If you don’t see a ghost there, take a late night Ghost Walking Tour.

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3 Days in Barcelona

Day 1

MORNING Take in a late breakfast at Bar Lobo then stroll down La Rambla and marvel at the crowds and abundant shopping. Crossing into the city’s oldest neighbourhoods the pace slows, which suits architecture buffs who will enjoy the views of medieval buildings en route to Picasso Museu. With an impressive collection and equally magnificent surroundings you’ll need a minimum of two hours for the experience. The adjoining gift shop is lovely as well.

12 NOON Return to La Rambla and wind your way to Mercat Bouqueria where bustling doesn’t quite describe the market scene; it’s more of a contact sport. Inside, grab a stool at Universal Kiosk and enjoy light tapas that is fresh, fast and reasonably priced.

EVENING It would hardly be a trip to Spain without a little Flamenco dancing, so ask your concierge to recommend a show before dinner.

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Day 2

MORNING Immerse yourself in Gaudí’s Barcelona today. Purchase a Hop On, Hop Off bus pass or hire a knowledgeable, private guide to lead you through the primary sites.

LATE AFTERNOON With a serious dose of culture under your belt, it’s time for some guilt-free shopping on Passeig de Gràcia. There are hundreds of shops to visit and nearly as many tapas and wine bars, so pace yourself.

EVENING No doubt exhausted from the day’s festivities, make time for a siesta so you’ll be awake for a late night dinner at one of our recommendations.

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Day 3

MORNING A light breakfast is all you’ll need this morning and a trip to Caelum’s for coffee and a pastry is sure to satisfy.

MID-MORNING Brush up on your Catalan cooking skills with Cook and Taste. Since you’re in the neighbourhood anyway, don’t forget to visit the nearby Roman ruins.

AFTERNOON There’s more shopping in the Born neighbourhood and no reason to hurry back since dinner is late tonight anyway. Save the rest of the day for aimless exploring.

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3 Days in Budapest

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Day 1

MORNING Spend your first day in Pest and enjoy the flat terrain as you wander it most impressive sites. Start with a hearty breakfast of apple strudel and strong coffee at Első Pesti Rétesház just steps from the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace and St. Stephen’s Basilica— two destinations at the top of your itinerary today.

MID-MORNING Wander towards the Gothic Revival style Hungarian Parliament Building near the edge of the Danuble. The red star of communism was removed from the central steeple in 1990 and today the building is a symbol of Hungary’s solidarity. It’s worth a short side trip to cross over to the edge of the Danube from the Parliament Building and locate the Shoes on the Danube Promenade.

NOON A tour of the Dohány Street Great Synagogue is a moving and sobering experience. Professional guides provide historic context and point out the area’s most moving monuments.

AFTERNOON Next, hop a street car and exit at the Great Market Hall. Surely, you’re hungry by now? Order a cold beer and sausage with sauerkraut before taking in the souvenirs on display.

EVENING Stroll along picturesque Andrássy útca en route to dinner and an opera. Café Callas neighbours the Hungarian State Opera House so you’ll have time to eat and make the 7:00 pm curtain.

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Day 2

MORNING Have an early breakfast at your hotel before heading to the Ecseri Flea Market. Hunt for vintage Herend porcelain and fine art oil paintings among rustic outdoor stands.

Dabble Savvy: Bring cash and expect to bargain.

LUNCH Ask the cab to drop you at Buda Castle and you’re steps from Alabárdos Étterem and a truly memorable meal. Authentic home cooking tastes even better served on fine Herend china.

AFTERNOON Buda Castle’s majestic Hungarian National Gallery is the premier place to appreciate Hungary’s artistic achievements. The paintings rival Europe’s finest and a knowledgeable guide brings the experience to life.

MID-AFTERNOON For culture of a different varietal, the cellars of Királyi Borok are steps from Buda Castle.

EVENING Dinner at Café Kör is simply a must.

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Day 3

MORNING Spend the morning shopping in the folksy village of Szentendre, a mere 30 minutes from the city centre. Stay for lunch and then grab a cab back into town.

AFTERNOON What trip to Budapest would be complete without a visit to the Gellért Baths? Don’t forget your bathing suit and bring a towel from your hotel.

EVENING It’s hard to resist the romantic pull of a Danube River cruise. There are dozens of boats leaving at various times, so ask your concierge for a recommendation. For those who prefer dry land, a meal at Gundel is memorable.

3 Days in Charleston

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Day 1

MORNING Wake up early and start your day with an espresso and decadent pastry at Caviar and Bananas on George Street. Fortified, you’re ready to walk the entire Design District. Even with frequent stopping and lingering it won’t take more than three to four hours to shop ‘til you drop. Make sure to sample the honeys at Savannah Bee Company.

NOON Once you’ve worked up an appetite, have a casual lunch at Fast and French on Broad Street. A soup, sandwich and glass of wine come in around $10 so you’ll have funds for shopping. After lunch, take a horse and carriage ride down King Street and enjoy a guided historic tour. Stop at the Nathaniel Russell House or Calhoun Masion to learn more about Antebellum homes.

EVENING Eat an early dinner at FIG and you’ll have plenty of time to watch the sun set at Waterfront Park. Or, if you’re visiting in the spring or fall, take one of the Home and Garden Tours. Prepare yourself for three hours of walking. You’ll want a comfortable pair of walking shoes and a flashlight for evening tours.

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Day 2

MORNING If you are staying in the lovely Charleston Place Hotel, you’ll want to enjoy breakfast at your hotel before heading out for a day at the plantations. Hop in your rental car and take a one hour drive to Middleton Place. Linger in the gardens.

12 NOON A lowcountry lunch at the Middleton Place Restaurant is a hearty affair, but may be worth the extra hole in your belt. If you have energy after lunch head to the nearby Magnolia Plantation and enjoy their tour as well.

EVENING Head back to Charleston for a tasty dinner on East Broad Street. Try the shrimp and grits at SNOB or the oysters at Pearlz and then take a stroll on Vendue Street and finish the day with a scoop from Paolo’s Gelato.

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Day 3

MORNING It may be a good morning to sleep in and that’s just an excuse for brunch. High Cotton is an excellent choice and it’s just cross the street from the city’s best kitchen shop and cooking classes at Charleston Cooks. If you’d like to take a class, arrange it ahead of time.

AFTERNOON Spend the remainder of the afternoon poking around the city’s art galleries or finish your souvenir shopping at City Market.

EVENING It’s easier to stroll on the sidewalk of the French Quarter since cobblestone streets are tough to negotiate. Afterwards, take in the theatre at the Footlight Players.

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1-2-3 Days in St. Pierre and Miquelon

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A Passion for Travel

When American Express Canada approached me to test drive the American Express Gold Rewards Card, I was interested to see how far these points could take me.After using my points to book a round trip flight to St. John’s, I was pleased at how easy it was to supplement my travel using points I earned on purchases. In total I saved approximately $500 on my fare to Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, which of course gave me yet another great excuse to go shopping.Earning points is easy; the hardest part is deciding how to spend them. But I sure had fun in St. Pierre and Miquelon doing just that. Thanks American Express Canada.

Day 1

SAINT-PIERRE

MORNING After a breakfast of coffee and croissants, jump in Jean-Claude‘s roomy mini-van for an island tour. Stop at historic homes, abandoned fishing plants, the Pointe aux Canons lighthouse and Les Salines Fishing Stations to bask in the local colour.

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12 NOON Lunch happens. You made a reservation, right? At Cyber Poly Gone Home relax with a glass of wine and the special of the day.

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MID-AFTERNOON If the urge for carbohydrates hits, Patisserie Guillard has an eclair with your name on it. Properly fueled, head to Musee Heritagefor some island culture.

EVENING Dinner at Ongi Etorriis a trip highlight. Then off to bed because tomorrow is an early start.

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Day 2

MIQUELON ET LANGLADE

MORNING Catch the 8:00 am Le Cabestan ferry to Miquelon. Disembark at 8:55 am and head to Le Petit Indien for coffee and breakfast. Get a taste of local history at Musee de Miquelon and local crafts at Art Passion.

LUNCH The pizza is delicious, but you may be ready for a light salad at this point. Brasserie Mikhael in Miquelon serves both. NOTE: There are no restaurants on Langlade, so be prepared.

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AFTERNOON Enjoy the unpredictable landscape and wild horses on your drive to Langlade Village. On the way back to Miquelon, scan the sea rocks for visiting whales and seals.

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MID-AFTERNOON There’s time for one last coffee at Le Petit Indien before the 7:00 pm ferry returns to Saint-Pierre. Say good-bye to Miquelon and promise to stay longer next time.

EVENING Reserve a spot for dinner at L’Atelier Gourmand, which is conveniently near the ferry landing.

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Day 3

SAINT-PIERRE

MORNING Time to shop. Pick up French writing supplies at Nouvelle Papeterie, hip fashions at Diabolo-Menthe and French soaps and gifts at La Maison du Cadeau. While you’re at it, some chocolate from Arts et Delice is a great idea.

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AFTERNOON A trip to France without a crepe? Can’t imagine it. Enjoy the selection at Restaurant Creperie du Vieux Port before you walk along the harbour and bid a final adieu to Les Salines Fishing Stations and Pointe aux Canons lighthouse.

LATE AFTERNOON By now, you’ll have adapted to the slower pace of the island, so enjoy a leisurely walk up and down the town’s narrow hilly streets. Stop for coffee at the aptly named Pause Cafe (look for the building with the ‘Loto’ sign).

EVENING Tucked under trees at the top of a short incline is Auberge Quatre Temps. After a superb meal, enjoy a final stroll in the fresh night air.