Ask Joan: New York city and a train journey across the Rockies

Your travel questions answered

Vermilion Lakes in Banff National Park

Vermilion Lakes in Banff National Park


We are heading to new York, next month, two ladies, we have been there before and have seen the main sights. Now we would like to see some new or other things, maybe try some different restaurant. - CW, Dublin

New York is so dynamic that one of the best ways to explore the city and get a feel for what’s new or different is to take a tour with a local. The Big Apple greeters, a voluntary service, is a lovely way to see the city. Book in advance on

New York is all about rooftops lately and there has been a proliferation of rooftop restaurants, gardens and pools. See the Roof Garden Café at the Metropolitan Museum 100 Fifth Avenue at 55th St or the Hudson Hotel at 356 West 58th Street. The most recent way to take in New York is the Highline, a former raised freight railway that has been turned into a linear park, see At the end of the Highline the Standard Hotel has great views and a meal in the Grill followed by a cocktail in the rooftop lounge is great.

For booking restaurants, have a look at A drink in the Campbell Apartment at Grand Central Terminal is also worth a visit for a feel of 1920s New York and people watching. Grand Central is celebrating 100 years this year.

If you like a little bit of history I suggest a tour of any of the following Federal Mansions. Gracie Mansion - Home of the Mayor - Hamilton Grange. See also for tourism information.

Can you recommend any escorted trips from dublin to the West coast of Canada to include a train journey in the rockies? – MNG, Dublin

The train journey through the Rockies is one of the best ways to see the spectacular scenery and is included in a six-night trip to the west coast of Canada by American Holidays.

The holiday begins from Vancouver where you will stay and explore the city before heading off on the journey by rail on the famous Rocky Mountaineer railway in the RedLeaf service.

On the trip you will get to visit Grouse Mountain, Banff, Lake Louise, Kamloops, have a helicopter trip and fly home from Calgary. It costs from ¤2,369pps for flights, accommodation and some meals (tel: 01-673 3804,

Another company doing rail tours of the Rockies is Canadian Affair, which is part of the AirTransat group and has ®®an extensive Canadian holiday programme.

The rail journeys are escorted and you can add it to an itinerary of western Canada, which would allow you to plan some of the holiday independently.

You can contact them on tel: 01- 8666 700 and

We are planning a visit to Chicago for two weeks in July. we will stay with cousins for one week, which is long enough to encroach on them. The second week we would love to rent a place on the lakeside or stay somewhere our active sons could enjoy water sports, ycling and the outdoors. - ST Sligo.

The Silver Lake Sand Dunes area in West Michigan is a lovely lakeside beach town. It is a really active place with lots of water sports, outdoor activities and dune driving, which the boys would love.

There are lots of cycling and hiking trails and fishing in the lake. See for things to do and a list of places to rent.

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