GREAT CANADIAN ROAD TRIP WITH AMERICAN EXPRESS
When you think about some iconic Canadian destinations, the Rocky Mountains immediately come to mind. The one thing that can easily be forgotten is that Canada is a really REALLY large country, and while the Rockies are indeed a sight to behold (as we showed you in our last road trip post) we have a new must-see destination on our radar! I am talking about the real East COAST: the Maritimes. The Maritime provinces, PEI, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are home to people and culture that are vastly different from the rest of the country. It literally felt like we were in a different world. The coast has quickly become one of my favourite places to visit and I am already planning my return, but until then I want to share with you this amazing experience… just in case you are heading that way before I do.
Our East Coast adventure began with a simple e-mail, yet a dream offer nonetheless. We were asked to document a great Canadian road trip as American Express Cardmembers and the destination was ours for the choosing. Having grown up with Anne of Green Gables I knew exactly where I wanted to go. Behind this amazing trip was an equally amazing brand: American Express Canada. The American Express Travel team and our American Express Platinum Concierge were our guides, second pair of eyes and a helping hand every step of the way. Amex offers a simple, easy to use travel booking sitethat is accessible to ALL American Express Cardmembers with competitive pricing, hotel sales and destination information. And for American Express Platinum Cardmembers, the benefits spread across over 900 premium properties throughout the world, which means you will be taken care of anywhere you choose to go.
This must have been one of the most seamless trips we have ever done. Before our departure, I spoke to our Platinum Concierge & Travel teams and outlined all the spots we wanted to hit while we were on our trip. Not knowing much about that part of Canada, I was going in pretty much blind folded. Our lives have gotten so busy that we hardly have the time to dream up destinations, let alone research them. I really loved the whole Amex travel experience because not only did they book our flights and hotels, but they also planned our itinerary, keeping in mind all of the things we wanted to see and do. They even helped us book reservations at some of the best restaurants! The East Coast is widely known for their amazing seafood, so you guessed we had lobster chowder all day, every day (actually not even exaggerating).
We enjoyed our Amex Travel benefits from the moment we stepped out of the cab at Toronto’s Pearson Airport. Thanks to the Cloud 10 and Platinum Card offerings, we breezed through the security line and also had access to free Wi-Fi and free music and book downloads to help us relax before our flight. Some additional on-site benefits available to Platinum Cardmembers include complimentary valet services, 15% parking discount at Express Park in Terminal 1 and Daily Park in Terminals 1 & 3 , discounts on car care, priority taxi and limo lanes and my favourite, complimentary access to Plaza Premium lounges! It was my first time at the Plaza Premium Lounge at Pearson and let me just say that getting to the airport early is definitely worth it! Think lots of comfortable seating space, free food and for those in need of some liquid courage, even an open bar! Amex had me feeling like more than just a Cardmember with these travel benefits, we were total VIPs.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND (PEI)
Where to stay: the Holeman Grand Hotel in the heart of Charlottetown (used $200 Cardmember Travel Credit)
Where to eat: Sims Corner Steakhouse & Oyster Bar, recommended to us by bloggers, other restaurants and of course our Platinum Concierge. Expect seafood and steak with a modern twist.
Travelling to Charlottetown quickly gave us a Maritimes wakeup call. For one, there is a LOT to explore passed Toronto and Montreal. The flight from Toronto to Charlottetown was two hours east, and we hadn’t even hit the most eastern point of the country yet! Did you know that it takes 7 hours to fly from Victoria to Saint Johns? That’s across the entire country and longer than it takes to cross the Atlantic for those who don’t know their geography).. Secondly, the weather in the Maritimes is different. It’s wet, and cold. As a small island surrounded by a cold ocean, PEI summers start a bit later and last into the fall, making their most desirable times to visit, August, September and October.
We reluctantly picked up our luggage and without giving it another thought met with the lovely Garry Sowerby and his wife Lisa. Garry is a four-time world record holder for long-distance driving, we’re talking Guinness Book of World Records. It was incredibly fitting that he dropped off our ride for our seven day road trip exploring Canada. Check out his book, ‘driven mind‘, a copy of which he gifted us on our arrival (thanks Garry!)
It was really nice to have a brand new Buick Encore waiting for us at the airport. We literally jumped right into our trip heading straight for Charlottetown. It’s been a while since we explored something for the very first time and I loved the sense of adventure and the unknown. Charlottetown is a small town of 34,000, yet it is one of the most important places in our country; the birthplace of The Confederation! With a short history like Canada’s, it really does feel like we are not so far removed from all that’s passed. I highly recommend visiting the Confederation Centre of the Arts and walking Victoria Row. We loved browsing the little shops and cafes lining the street, and snacking on avocado toast at the Receiver Coffee Co.
Read the full post on Ania's blog