Travel: 3 places to visit right now

Downtown Bozeman, Montana.
Downtown Bozeman, Montana. | Dennis Lennox

With peak summer travel just around the corner, now is the time to book a getaway.

Don’t worry if you have no idea where to go. The following three destinations are great places to take a summer vacation. They’re listed in no particular order.

Bozeman, Montana

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Bozeman has become the place to be in the American West.

It’s easy to see why this one-time cowboy town is so popular — not least since remote work became a thing during the pandemic.

Besides seemingly endless trails and outdoor recreation opportunities, there’s also the lively downtown along Main Street. Another dynamic comes in late summer and fall, when Montana State University has its home football games.

The old mining town of Virginia City, Montana.
The old mining town of Virginia City, Montana. | Dennis Lennox

In addition to everything in and around Bozeman, do a day trip to Virginia City. This quaint old mining town, located about 65 miles away, isn’t quite a ghost town as real people still call it home. A little closer is the small town of Three Forks, which sits near the headwaters of the Missouri River in the Gallatin Valley. This area was first explored by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark (Lewis and Clark).

Consider staying in Three Forks at the Sacajawea Hotel — a spectacular old-school railroad hotel. Alternatively, the Kimpton Armory Hotel in downtown Bozeman is the discerning traveler’s best option.

Winnipeg, Manitoba

Canada’s seventh-largest city and the provincial capital of Manitoba is one of those places that punches above its weight — especially in the summer.

The Forks was once a dilapidated railyard. Now, it’s a popular year-round gathering spot with shops and eateries overlooking the spot where the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet. In winter the frozen rivers become the world’s longest skating rink.

St. Boniface Cathedral in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
St. Boniface Cathedral in Winnipeg, Manitoba. | Dennis Lennox

Anchoring one of Canada’s largest Francophone communities outside Quebec is the Roman Catholic cathedral.

As one might expect, the cathedral is dedicated to Boniface. The English monk and missionary, known as the apostle to the Germans, was martyred in the late eighth century. The present cathedral — a modern edifice not dissimilar from other architecturally hideous post-Vatican II churches — stands behind the imposing ruins of an earlier cathedral that was destroyed by fire in 1968. Nearby is the must-visit St. Boniface Museum.

Book a room at the Fairmont.

Rochester, New York

As with elsewhere in the Rust Belt, this city in upstate New York has unquestionably seen better days. That aside, Rochester offers an experience for every kind of visitor.

Some come for the architecturally significant old churches. Others enjoy Lake Ontario or the beauty of the nearby Finger Lakes. This columnist prefers the museums. Among the most notable are the George Eastman Museum and Memorial Art Gallery.

Named after George Eastman, the founder of Kodak, the Eastman isn’t a company museum. Instead, it includes one of the best collections of photography and cinematography. Also part of the museum is Eastman’s stately house, which has been restored to its period grandeur.

The Erie Canal in Pittsford on the outskirts of Rochester, New York.
The Erie Canal in Pittsford on the outskirts of Rochester, New York. | Dennis Lennox

The University of Rochester’s Memorial Art Gallery has the kind of collection you expect to find in a famous big-city museum. Think works by Rubens, Monet, Rembrandt, van Dyck, Gainsborough, Romney and others.

The Del Monte Lodge, which is flagged under Marriott’s Renaissance brand, is recommended. The hotel is located about 15 minutes from downtown in Pittsford, a quaint village on the banks of the storied Erie Canal.

Dennis Lennox writes a travel column for The Christian Post.

Dennis Lennox writes about travel, politics and religious affairs. He has been published in the Financial Times, Independent, The Detroit News, Toronto Sun and other publications. Follow @dennislennox on Twitter.

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