As of April 1st, a negative Covid-19 test is no longer required to enter Canada. This will make it easier to organize cross-border road trips.
If you feel like planning a vacation to the sea in the next few months, here are some ideas of American cities to (re)visit.
1. HAMPTON BEACH, NEW HAMPSHIRE
New Hampshire is best known for its towering White Mountains, but it also offers 25 miles of coastline with beautiful, soft sand beaches. For a lively family vacation, head to Hampton Beach. You'll find the typical retro atmosphere of the East Coast: motels, souvenir stores, arcades, creameries, festivals, fireworks. Nearby are quieter beaches (Seabrook Beach, Wallis Sands State Beach) as well as the city of Portsmouth, with its colonial relics, duty-free stores and restaurants.
2. OGUNQUIT, MAINE
Dunes and wild roses, shingled houses and nearly six kilometres of beach: Ogunquit - which means "the beautiful place by the water" in Abenaki - epitomizes New England's maritime charm. In addition to beautiful beaches, you'll find a host of small souvenir and candy stores, art galleries, restaurants, patios and lobster shacks. Don't miss Perkins Cove, a fishing village that is now touristy, but still has a nice character, from where you can take short hikes or sea excursions.
3. PROVINCETOWN, CAPE COD, MASSACHUSETTS
Just 100 miles off the coast of Massachusetts, Provincetown is a well-known LGBTQ+ destination and one of Cape Cod's darlings. In the summer, its population grows from 3,000 to about 60,000! In addition to its restaurants, bars, stores, festivals and lively side streets, the town offers an interesting bike network and beautiful nature. A large part of the Cape Cod National Seashore Park is located here, with dunes and sandy beaches like Herring Cove Beach or Race Point Beach. As for swimming, caution is advised, as great white sharks also visit Cape Cod at certain times of the year... Be well informed!
4. CAPE MAY, NEW JERSEY
Cape May is believed to be one of the oldest seaside resorts in the United States. It has the largest concentration of Victorian architecture in the country, including no less than 600 restored villas and mansions. In addition to its unique style and ambiance, it is prized for its quiet white beaches that stretch for miles, its lighthouse, seafood, local wines, golf courses and 400 species of migratory birds. Nearby Wildwood offers a roller coaster, Ferris wheel and several other waterfront attractions.
5. VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA
Virginia Beach has long been a favourite of Canadians, both for its sandy beaches and its nearly 3-mile-long waterfront promenade. It's a large city (450,000 people) with plenty of restaurants, bars, cafes, microbreweries, stores and attractions, but you can easily get away to nature from time to time, if you feel like it. Green spaces like False Cape State Park, First Landing State Park and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge are nearby, and water activities in the area range from kayaking and surfing to canoeing and paddleboarding.
6. AVON, OUTER BANKS, CAROLINE DU NORD
Do you know the Outer Banks? It's a series of barrier islands about 200 miles off the coast of North Carolina that offer beautiful dunes, endless beaches and plenty of stilt houses for rent by the sea. Many people go there to kitesurf or fish. If you're looking for a peaceful and relatively central base camp, the village of Avon may be for you. There is a friendly wharf, beautiful beaches, several shops and restaurants, and you can go on excursions both north (hang gliding at Kitty Hawk, wild horse watching at Corolla, etc.) and south (Cape Hatteras lighthouse, Ocracoke Island where Blackbeard once hid, etc.).