The List: Best trips of 2013, best cities for NYE

Clockwise, from top-left: Notre Dame Cathedral, Montreal; Kensington Market, Toronto; just south of downtown Nashville; Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, Orlando.

Clockwise, from top-left: Notre Dame Cathedral, Montreal; Kensington Market, Toronto; just south of downtown Nashville; Universal Studios Islands of Adventure, Orlando.

It’s pretty much protocol for any writer to do a year-end wrap-up story. Most the times, publications do these lists because half (or more) of the staff is on vacation and they don’t have the resources to do real reporting, so they regurgitate stories that they hope at least a handful of people will find interesting, in addition to filling blank pages. Thankfully, this is a bog, so you’re only getting GRADE A REGURGITATION — no need to worry about filling space on the interwebs, no sir …

The Rover team — even including, at times, Bailey –traveled a bunch in 2013: Nashville, northern Michigan, Toronto, Montreal, Orlando, Detroit and Columbus, Ohio were just some of the many metros we visited this year.

Below are our three favorite trips from 2013 (drum roll, please):

Each of the 32 rooms within The Book Loft is home to a different genre of book (i.e., travel, food, romance, etc.). Make a point to swing by this treasure, located in the german Village neighborhood.

Each of the 32 rooms within The Book Loft in Columbus is home to a different genre of book (i.e., travel, food, romance, etc.). Make a point to swing by this treasure, located in the german Village neighborhood.

3. Columbus, Ohio: Next to Chicago, Columbus might have some of the best vegetarian fare in the midwest. In addition, any city with an NHL team gets high marks in my book and any city with a fantastic boutique district (called the “Short North” here) gets props from Caitlyn. With the always fascinating Book Loft and ever-changing Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus is a world-class city in the heart of the midwest. Read our full reviews on food and lodging/activities here.

The view of downtown from the Mount Royal Chateau.

The view of downtown from the Mount Royal Chateau in Montreal.

2. Montreal. I can’t speak French, but that didn’t stop me from liking this mini-France just north of the border. From shopping and a vibrant performing arts scene to sweeping panoramic views of the city from Mount Royal, there’s something to do for everyone in Montreal. Yeah, we wish so many people didn’t smoke, and we question their interpretation of what a “Hoosier” is (apparently, according to the eponymous store, we’re all cowboys and cowgirls), but Montreal is like visiting Europe without the jet lag. Read our full reviews here and here (food review).

The elusive poutine with vegan gravy. Found, in all places, Toronto (and not Montreal).

The elusive poutine with vegan gravy. Found, in all places, Toronto (and not Montreal).

1. Toronto. I’m biased. I’ve always loved this city, but Caitlyn fell in love with it, too, when we made the train voyage from Montreal to Toronto last spring. West Queen Street and Kensington Market are full of quirky, eclectic shops that remind us of some of Indy’s cultural districts, while Bloor Street is largely for window-shopping in the high-end stores. Truly one of the more cosmopolitan cities on the continent, don’t overlook Toronto when deciding where to go for a big-city trip. Read our full reviews on itineraries and food.

Wanderlust? It’s not too late to take in one last trip in 2013! Here’s a link to what Travel & Leisure says are the best U.S. cities for New Year’s Eve (Spoiler alert: NYC is NOT No. 1).

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