Travel highlights and trends

KH shares her favourite 2012 travel experience and top spot for 2013

2012 highlight: LA
Admittedly LA with its bright lights, big hotels, freeways, smog and super sized shopping malls isn’t for everyone. Me? As Randy Newman once sang: I love L.A!

The City of Angels boasts brilliant beaches and fabulous theme parks, plus outstanding museums, a slew of trendy bars, live music venues, and fine restaurants – all patronised by a perma tanned clientele. What’s more, it is – despite what the detractors say – surprisingly easy to explore without a car: the new Metro seven day pass, valid on all buses and trains, has helped ease the gridlock and made it a doddle to reach iconic sights such as the famous Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame.

LA has long loomed large in my imagination. Now, having been fortunate enough to visit twice in 2012, it fills a piece of my heart…

2013 tip: Montreal
Compared to cities such as New York and Paris, Montreal often gets overlooked – like a middle child, overshadowed by its siblings. But in my mind, cosmopolitan, cultural, characterful Montreal is one of the world’s greatest cities.

As a city break destination, Montreal has everything: an amazing eating out scene (Montreal has more restaurants per capita than any other city in North America), a scenic waterfront, stunning stone buildings, magnificent cathedrals, cobblestone streets,  one off shops and cafes selling flaky almond crossiants and coffee (Montreal does French better than France, in every possible way).

It’s also a destination that knows how to let its hair down: this is a place of parades, festivals and year round raucous concerts. And with Montreal set to explode onto the world stage next summer with the release of Steven Spielberg’s Montreal shot sci-fi thriller Robopocalypse, it won’t be long before the secret is out.