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We have traveled from CA to FL three times and absolutely love the Everglades. There are State Parks in Florida with and without hookups that are very reasonable, anywhere from 10.00 to 30.00. There are a lot of Federal Parks, around 10.00 a night, without hook ups. The bathrooms and showers are always very clean. There are nature walks, that are free, where the Rangers take you out over the swamp where you can see the aligators, wood storks, green storks, herons, turtles, water moccasins, just to name a few. We were there in January, after the hurricanes and some of them were closed. I took wonderful photographs of all the animals and waterways.
In Chocoloskee, in the Everglades, there is a campground we love. It's on the bay and has wonderful sunsets - each night is something spectacular. Everyone meets around 5:00 to watch the sun set and meet each other.
As we travel through all the states to Florida, we spend each night in a State Park and it is usually under 20.00 a night. If there is none around, we stay in the Wal Mart parking lot. They have 24 hours camera security. In Deming, New Mexico, we stayed in the Rock Hound State Park where you can take up to 10 lbs of gem stones that you find.
In Junction, TX, we stayed in Llano River State Campground. There we saw over 100 wild turkeys and over 30 deer grazing. After setting up our chairs and sitting to relax, a deer strolled by, then a cotton tail rabbit. After awhile we heard a noise on the other side of our truck and went to investigate. It was a red cardinal sitting on the side mirror pecking at himself in the mirror. He kept that up until sunset. The next morning after sun rise, he was back again doing the same thing. The bathrooms were heated and very clean.
In Louisiana, we stayed in a State Park 7 miles from Lake Charles. The park was in a Pecan Orchard.
On the way to Grand Isle, LA, we went through a small, quaint town called Morgan City. The buildings were very old and beautiful. We stopped just to walk around and check out things. We went into one store and talked to the owners. They told us we had to have a Shrimp Po-Boy from "Harry's". They were closed when we went past and on the way from Grand Isle 3 days later, we stopped and bought one. It was a foot long and soooo very good. She asked if we wanted it "dressed". I asked what that meant and she said with mayo, lettuce and tomatoes. We said, absolutely.
When we arrived in New Orleans, we stayed in the Westwego State Park in Westwego, a beautiful campground with red cardinal, trees and cooling breezes. We drove to the free ferry on the Mississippi, parked and rode the ferry to Canal Street. After spending the day in New Orleans, we rode the ferry back to our truck.
From there we drove to Chidfland LA and stayed in the Manatee State park, on the Swanee River. They had a walkway out over the swamp to the river and we saw a mother manatee and her youngsters. The Ranger was there to answer our questions and tell us the history. The campground had majestic oak trees with spanish moss hanging from them.
The next night we stayed in a State Park in Bonita Springs. While we were eating dinnter, a family of racoons with 3 babies, walked through our camp, within three feet of us, as if we were not there.
We finally arrived at the Keys. After hearing the songs and stories about Key Largo and Key West, we were really excited about being there. We spent three days on Key West in a campground on the beach. I do believe it was the windiest camp ground in Key West. We caught the city bus that took us to the town where we went on a sunset cruise.
Each time we take a trip, we learn of new places and really look forward to our next trip.
When will the travel guide winners be announced?
Editor's Note: We're shooting for Monday so we have the weekend to go through them.
This is a guide I put together for people I host for free throughout the year (usually backpakers). It's not the entire guide but just a quickie reference:
The Coast Magazine (FREE Weekly Guide avail. Every Thursday around Halifax)
Bus Stop Theater 2203 Gottingen Street - Great Indie Plays for under $15
Zen / Relaxation / Beauty
The Yoga Loft (5663 Cornwallis Street 429-3330 - $5 Community Yoga Saturdays 16:00-17:30)
The Shambhala Centre (1084 Tower Rd 420-1118 Free Meditation sessions Wednesdays @ 19:00hrs)
Thrift & Discount Stores
The Army Store (2660 Agricola Street - 454-4330)
Dressed in Time (5670 Spring Garden Road 463-3444 - Vintage Clothing)
Frenchy's (Robie Street Second Hand Clothing & Accessories)
Dollarama (Halifax Shopping Centre)
123 Dollar Store (In Scotia Square Mall @ Duke/Barrington)
Salvation Army (5280 Green Street - 425-7684)
Value Village (42 Canal Street, Dartmouth 463-4054 Second Hand Items & Clothing)
Fun Stuff to Do
Anchor Archive Zine Library (5684 Roberts Street Tuesdays 18:00-21:00hrs & Sundays 14:00-17:00hrs)
Brewery Farmers Market (1496 Lower Water Street Saturdays from 08:00-13:00hrs)
Halifax Ghost Walk (July to October - $10 - 466-1060)
McNab's Island (Return Ferry from Fisherman's Cove is $10 465-4563)
McNabs Island is about 5 km long and up to 1.5 km wide, its 400 ha (1000 acres) present a combination of historical, natural resources and outstanding recreational and educational opportunities. It is about 25 minutes by tour boat from downtown Halifax, or 5 minutes from Eastern Passage. http://www.mcnabsisland.ca
View of the Halifax Harbour for Cheap
For just two bucks you can ride the ferry from Halifax Harbourfront to Dartmouth. If you stay on you can come back without paying another fare.Really nice view of Halifax Harbour if you go on the roof of the ferry! Ferry Terminal is located right behind the building where Perks Coffee is on Lower Water street.
Free Bus Tour Around Halifax
Brought to you by the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, Fred (free rides everywhere downtown) is Halifax's FREE shuttle service operating in the downtown area during the summer months.(July to October. Services Specially Marked Stops Only, on a 40 minute frequency. !0:30-17:30 , 7 days a week.
Pier 21 Museum Entrance . Marginal Rd . Lower Water St . Water Street Terminal . Water St . Marriott Harbourfront Hotel . Casino driveway to stop . Upper Water Street . Barrington St . Spring Garden Rd . Brunswick St . Sackville St . Citadel Hill . Sackville St . South Park St . Spring Garden Rd . Barrington St . Hollis St . Terminal Rd . Marginal Rd . Pier 21 Museum entrance
If you have any questions about this service, please contact the Downtown Halifax Business Commission at #423-6658, or visit their website at www.downtownhalifax.ns.ca
Year Round Budget Accommodations
Halifax Backpackers (2193 Gottingen Street 431-3170 $20 for a dorm bed - $57 private room)
Halifax International Hostel (1253 Barrington Street 422-3863 - $25 dorm/member $30 non-member)
Fountain View Guest House (2138Robie Street 422-4169 - $25 single shared bath/ $38 double shared bath)
FREE ACCOMMODATIONS WORLDWIDE
Couchsurfing.com is a worldwide network for making connections
between travelers and the local communities they visit. I've hosted
a number of people through this. Very Awesome. Free to join:
Food Not Bombs
(Tasty Vegan eats prepared from salvaged food - Every Sunday in front of the North End Library @ 13:00hrs
& Wed. in front of Spring Garden Library @ 17:00hrs)
Fancy Lebanese Bakery (2573 Agriccola Street)
(Free Pita on random days/nights on the side of the building)
Cheap Yummy Food
(*Vegan & Veggie Friendly)
(6499 Quinpool Road 423-7523 Old fashioned family diner)
*Bob & Lori's Food Emporium
(2179 Gottingen Street 08:00-16:00hrs Great homemade food! Best Sandwiches!)
Bud the Spud
(Fry Truck on Spring Garden Road in front of Library Voted best fries in town)
(Vegan/Veggie Burritos delivered to your door Saturdays from 19:00-02:00hrs for $4)
*Dio Mio Gelato
(5670 Spring Garden Road Birmingham St Entrance Great Homemade Veggie Burgers)
(6249 Quinpool Road a Huge meal for $12 taxes incl can be shared!)
(Spring Garden Place 5670 Spring Garden Rd) Inexpensive Sushi lunch combos from 11-4
*Halifax Brewery Farmer's Market
(1496 Lower Water Street Anything and everything fresh and local! Saturdays 08:00-13:00hrs)
*Mary's Place Cafe
(2752 Robie Street Best place for inexpensive breakfasts. Vegan: $6.99tx incl)
*Ray's Falafel (Scotia Square @ Duke/Barrington) Voted Best Falafel $3.50!)
*Rani's Curry & Roti Shop
5280 Green Street 404-3440 (yummy Rotis start at $5.25)
Shiraz Persian Restaurant
(1240 Hollis Street 3-4 tables! Great cozy spot)
Willman's Fish & Chips
(5644 Kane Street; 454-0929 - $4.95 1 piece fish/chips)
Best Coffee Places
(Organic Fair Trade)
AlterEgos (2193 Gottingen street Cozy Café located inside backpackers hostel)
Coburg Coffee House (6085 Coburg Rd Mostly University crowd)
Java Blend (6027 North St. - Coffee roasted on premises!)
Just Us (5896 Spring Garden Rd & 1678 Barrington Street)
Steve-o-Renos (1536 Brunswick Street & Booth @ 2854 Robie Street)
The Smiling Goat Organic Espresso Bar (1551 South Park Street)
Public Places to Wander/Swim
Point Pleasant Park
Point Pleasant Park is one of Halifax Regional Municipality's great civic spaces. It is the largest forested park on the Halifax peninsula and offers fine views of the Atlantic Ocean. Point Pleasant Park is located at 5178 Point Pleasant Park Drive on the southern tip of Halifax Peninsula. The park is about 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles) from downtown Halifax.
Public Gardens (South Park/Spring Garden) Closed in Winter
Officially opened in 1867 The Halifax Public Gardens have survived for more than a century. Thanks to a series of talented and dedicated superintendents they have been little altered and still retain much of their original Victorian character.
Chocolate Lake (Off Purcell's Cove Road - Take a swim, just a bus ride away!)
Crystal Crescent Beach (East Bull Point Road in Sambro, NS about a 20min drive from Halifax)
Alternative Radio Stations
(Dalhousie Campus Radio)
Tourist Radio 97.9FM
(Broadcasts 15-minute "loops" of weather, bridge reports, road reports, airport arrivals and
departures, coming events, Maritime trivia, and commentary.)
Area Code: (902)
Bus ticket price: $2.00
Emergency: Dial 911 (free)
Calling outside North America (dial 011-(country code) + (Area code without the 0) + number
Calling Cards: You can usually find calling cards in small corner stores (depanneurs) around town. Grocery stores have them as well but the rates are slightly higher. Or buy online at www.ontariophonecards.com
There are lots of WiFi spots around Halifax, primarily in cafes: Starbucks & Uncommon Grounds,Second Cup, Alter Egos (you can use their computers), ThePaper Chase, & of course the Halifax Public Libraries on Spring Garden & Gottingen Street locations.
Please feel free to e-mail me with any comments, feedback or listings:
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