Best Cities to Walk and Eat in North America

There are few experiences more satisfying than walking and eating your way around a new city. In fact, eating while exploring is one of our favorite activities here at Zen Travellers, and we have the worn shoes and belly bulges to prove it. Here are some guides to walking and eating in a few our favorite North American cities. Montreal, Chicago, and Mexico City are all cities with streets that are made for walking and eats that are sure to satisfy.

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Travel Horror Stories

Halloween is just around the corner so what better time to turn our minds to our scariest travel stories. Travel horror stories are unique in that they’re less about ghosts and ghouls, and often about missed connections and lost luggage, but they are terrifying nonetheless. I’ve been fortunate enough not to suffer through too many truly scary travel experiences, but have encountered some frights on the road nonetheless. Here are some of my most terrifying travel experiences.

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Best Lesser-Known Places to Travel in the Fall

Autumn is both a beautiful season of transformation and a wonderful time to travel. September, October, and November are considered off-season months in many places that feature lower prices, crisp fall weather, and trees that truly shine with their autumnal foliage. Fall is one of my favorite times to sneak away for a short trip to find some local zen. The following are some off-the-beaten-path gems where you can enjoy all the best that fall has to offer without the crowds.

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The Best Hikes to See Golden Larches in the Fall

Another summer hiking season has come and gone in Alberta but fall offers up one last chance to experience the Canadian Rockies in their full golden splendour. The locals call this time “Larch Madness.”  We always make a point to end our hiking season on this exceptionally high note and have a few recommendations for the best hikes for a range of abilities to see the golden larch trees in the fall!

Over the next couple of weeks the larch trees that line the mountainsides in Kananaskis and Banff turn a beautiful golden colour. They stand out amidst the evergreens and shine against the bright blue sky and granite peaks lightly dusted with snow. This special time of year only lasts a couple of weeks and is certainly a rewarding way to end your hiking season. 

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Hiking (Responsibly) in Tonquin Valley

With so many stunning trails and views picking a highlight of Jasper National Park can be a challenge, but hiking in the Tonquin Valley must be a contender. The combination of sky high views of the rugged “Ramparts” range jutting up from serene alpine lakes, and the chance to see rare wild mountain caribou make it as worthy a destination as any. It is also an accessible backcountry trail that can cater to many ability levels and even be trekked on horseback. Considering all these factors, it’s easy to see why the Tonquin Valley is a popular area for locals and tourists alike. But it just may be getting a little too popular for its own good.

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Backcountry Zen: The Northover Ridge Hike

Few trails in the Alberta Rockies are as challenging but immensely rewarding as the  Northover Ridge hike. Deep in the heart of Kananaskis Country (a series of provincial parks that are closer to Calgary and less busy than Banff National Park), Northover Ridge is a 36km loop that takes the average hiker about 3 days. The trail straddles the continental divide between Alberta and British Columbia and is a considered a very challenging trip due to a narrow ridgewalk and the need for advanced routefinding skills as we learned all too clearly (more on that later). Despite these challenges, it’s path through meandering wilderness, breathtaking views,  and exhilarating climax atop the ridge adds to its reputation as one of the best backpacking trips in Alberta. To that end, opinionated experts such as the Copelands who wrote Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies, give it such a resounding recommendation that we knew that it had to be part of our Alberta Bucketlist. Continue reading “Backcountry Zen: The Northover Ridge Hike”

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