Europe In Your Backyard

There’s no denying the allure of a prospective European vacation. Every country on the “continent” has something special to offer the history buff, nature lover, foodie, and sportsman. On the other hand, various groups coming to North America from Europe over the centuries left their cultural mark. This means a great European adventure does not necessarily require you cross the ocean.

December 8, 2016

oldtownmontreal

St. Augustine, FL

Founded
1565
European Origin
Spain
Setting Down Roots
Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, Florida’s first governor, named the settlement “San Agustín” after on the feast day of St. Augustine, the date his ships bearing settlers, troops, and supplies from Spain had first sighted land.
Storied Hotel
The Casa Monica Hotel, built in 1888 and re-opened in 1997 by hotelier Richard Kessler, is constructed in a Victorian “Moorish Revival” style capturing the mood of Spain’s Andalusian south, a Moroccan “riad,” and a big city art museum in the public areas and the Henry Flagler and Casa Monica ballrooms. Other distinctive amenities include two early 20th century vintage cars available for rent; the Poseidon Spa, offering top drawer massages on-site or in-room; and Casa Brava, overseen by Chef Fred Mera, blending Spanish, Floridian, and Mediterranean culinary influences.

sangriasbyday

Local Flavor
St. Augustine Distillery and The Ice Plant, the perfect cocktail of hometown distillery and upscale, down-home fare. Also recommended: La Pentola, The Floridian, and Catch 27. Sangria and Cellar 6 for cocktails.
Cultural Happenings
7th Annual Fiesta de Aviles, Oct. 4, 2016 St. Augustine’s historic Spanish heritage comes alive with live music, costumes, art exhibits, and a special running of the “bulls” along Aviles Street. 4th Annual St. Augustine Maritime Heritage Festival, Oct. 18-19, 2016 Celebrate the city’s maritime heritage at the Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. Events include the Quick and Dirty Boat Building Competition & Race, Old City Bartending Challenge, educational exhibits, craft vendors, book signings, and lecturers.
See and Do
Castillo de San Marcos National Monument; Anastasia State Park and Lighthouse; St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum; World Golf Hall of Fame, DEA Boat Charters, and Fish St. Augustine.
augustine.com

viewfrommarriott

Montréal, QC, Canada

Founded
1642
European Origin
France
Setting Down Roots
Montréal was founded as a missionary colony under the direction of Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance, though fur trade soon became its main activity.
Storied Hotel
While the legendary Queen Elizabeth Hotel (where John and Yoko asked the world to “give peace a chance” in 1969) will reopen in 2017 in time for the city’s 350th birthday, Montréal Château Champlain (built for Expo ’67) has everything going for it, from its downtown location to lobby access to the Bonaventure METRO stop, swanky Bar Samuel de Champlain, extensive meeting accommodations, beautifully appointed rooms, and Presidential Suite.
Local Flavor
Savor an authentic taste of Italy at DaEmma, located in a former women’s prison in up-and-coming Griffintown; enjoy modern Quebecois dining at Les Enfants Terribles, Restaurant Holder and Accords; artisanal cocktails at La Distillerie, Orange Rouge, and Mayfair.
Cultural Happenings
Grands Prix Cyclistes de Montréal, Sept. 11, 2016 Experience North America’s biggest cycling event of the year. Pop Montréal International Music Festival, Sept. 21-25, 2016 Explore Montréal’s trendiest neighbor-
hoods (Plateau Mont-Royal and Mile End) while checking out groundbreaking music groups and artists. MTL a Table/Montréal’s Restaurant Week, November 3-13, 2016.  It’s a feast for the senses, represented by 150 restaurants in Old Montréal and Vieux Port.
See and Do
Before you hit the town, hit the interactive MTLGo on the 45th floor of Place Ville Marie for a customized travel itinerary; Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, Rue St. Paul/Old Montréal, Notre-Dame Basilica.
tourisme-montreal.org

sonnenalpvailexterior

Vail, CO

Founded
1966
European Inspiration
The Alps
Setting Down Roots
Natives of Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, and France are credited for shaping Colorado culture with a European flavor through their ski resorts, ski schools, shops, hotels, restaurants, bakeries, bars, and more.
Storied Hotel
The Sonnenalp Hotel, operated by the Faessler family since 1979, captures the spirit and aesthetic of the European Alps in its décor and attention-to-detail service reminiscent of the family’s original guest house in the Bavarian Alps opened 1919. It also offers access to the 7,100-yard championship links style course in the Sonnenalp Club, just 13 miles west of Vail Village from early April to late October.
Local Flavor
The Little Diner, Sweet Basil, Mountain Standard, Bully Ranch
Cultural Happenings
Vail Octoberfest at Lionshead (Sept. 9-11) & Vail Village (Sept. 16-18) Munich comes to Vail for a celebration of beer, music, and Bavarian fun, including crowd pleasers like the Bratwurst Eating Contests and Keg Bowling. Vail Snow Days, Dec. 9-11 Welcome winter with the largest early-season mountain bash in North America, from fresh tracks on the mountain and sponsor expo village by day to après parties and free concerts by night.
See and Do
Vail Mountain Resort; horseback riding; Colorado Ski Museum/Ski Hall of Fame

vcd_3658_01vailskiing

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