Day Trips or Be a Tourist in Your Own Town.

Even though fall is here, school has started and it makes it almost impossible to travel for any length of time, why not be a tourist in your own home town? More than not, we tend to overlook the own city that we live in with the hopes of bigger and brighter things.

Well, we did just that. The city I live in is quite large and has a lot of history behind it. It is one of the oldest cities in Canada (formed in 1847), so there is quite a few points of interest in my city that would appeal to someone interested in history.

One such museum is the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. This museum boasts about 40 WW2 planes (lovingly restored and flown regularly) as will as planes from the jet age. The museum is home to the only Lancaster bomber from WW2 in North America. It also contains many interactive displays, audio/video displays, a theatre, gift shop and restaurant is also on the premises. This is an interesting place to visit for those that are into history (such as me) and/or the airplane. (We have visited this museum as a family.)

Another interesting history museum is the H.M.C.S. Haida. This World War 2 tribal class destroyer and is now parked in Hamilton Harbour. This ship saw service in both WW2 and in Korea and still fires its guns everyday in salute and to make it more authentic to the visiting public, the soldiers are dressed in uniforms that are from that era. (I have visited this ship with a school trip).

If you have children, the Childrens Museum is a must see. This museum offers interactive things for children to do and since the displays change on a regular basis, the museum never gets boring. (I have gone there on a school trip as well.)

If you have a history of labour or unions in your background, this is a place you will want to visit. The Workers Arts and Heritage Centre is a celebration of the labour union and what it has done for the worker. Through a series of displays, it shows what the hardworking Canadians have done to shape Canada and make it what it is today.

If culture is a little more to your liking, the Art Gallery of Hamilton is a great place to go. After recently receiving a total make over, the AGH has totally revamped its look and is now home to one of the best collections in Canada. And what city would be without their symphony orchestra? The city of Hamilton is no different. It offers concert series throughout the season and if the theatre is what interests you check out the Du Maurier Centre for the latest in theatre productions. There is always something interesting to see there (I saw an Agatha Christie play with my mom there).

The out doors in the Hamilton and surrounding area are beautiful and a treat to visit any time of the year. Hamilton, Ontario Canada is situated on a large piece of land (called the Escarpment) that begins northeast of the city and goes on to form the basis for Niagara Falls. This piece of land (fondly known as the mountain here in Hamilton) is conducive to many waterfalls in and around the city and when the leaves change colour in the Autumn, it is a breathtaking spectacular! There are many public parks and conservations areas in and around the city that celebrate nature.

Also Hamilton is part of the Bruce Trail, which begins in the Niagara region and travels all the way up to Georgian Bay and literally, the longest footpath in Canada. If you are a plant lover, you will want to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens. The RBG is the largest of its kind in Canada and has something for everyone throughout the entire year. In January, you can see the cacti and the bulbs they are getting ready for spring, in May, children can visit the discovery garden, during the summer months, the RBG has many thousands of plants on display, during the fall months, you can see the fall mums as well as the beautiful fall colours and in the months leading up til Christmas, you can see the holiday plants that they have. All in all, it is a garden and plant lovers dream!

All in all, it pays to be a tourist in your own town because you never know what you will discover and what surprises lay in your own back yard!

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