Now you can avoid time-consuming layovers and get right to the good stuff. Tour the iconic sights in these world-class cities, then venture off the beaten path for something completely different. And before you jet off, check out AMATravel.ca for more suggestions on where to go, what to do and where to stay.
From Edmonton: 6 h 15 min
Iceland is cool personified. But want to really blend in? Catch the one-hour show How to Become Icelandic in 60 Minutes at Harpa, the city’s ultra-modern concert hall. In this light- hearted romp, an English- speaking performer teaches you Nordic nuances.
Book with AMA: Stopover in Iceland for 2 days, 1 night. Includes hotel, breakfast, and a free 24-hour museum card for museums and galleries, a ferry trip and shopping discounts, plus unlimited bus travel in Reykjavik. From $150 (plus tax), AMATravel.ca/Iceland
From Calgary: 3 h 19 min
From Edmonton: 3 h 35 min
Go whole hog—or alligator or boar or goose—at Frontier in the Windy City’s West Town neighbourhood. The restaurant offers an appropriately named Animal Service, where you can order an entire beast. Dinners are served at communal tables and priced per animal, including the meaty main plus all the fixings.
Book with AMA: For something a little less wild, book a dinner cruise to soak in views of the Chicago skyline while savouring a three-course meal. From $126 USD per person, AMATravel.ca/Activities
From Calgary: 3 h 9 min
From Edmonton: 3 h 20 min
Ever wonder how they get that tiny prophecy inside your fortune cookie? See how at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. Tucked away on Ross Alley in San Fran’s famed Chinatown, the bustling bakery is one of the few places that still crafts cookies by hand. For something more authentically Chinese, head to Stockton Street, a humming boulevard where you can shop for delicacies like live quail and water eels.
Book with AMA: See Chinatown under the stars on the Chinatown and North Beach night walking tour. You’ll explore historic alleys, sample top-notch dim sum and learn about ancient Chinese legends. $96, AMATravel.ca/Activities
From Calgary: 5 h 5 min
Turn your Florida trip on its head—literally! WonderWorks is an “edutainment” park located in a giant upside-down house. The learning-made-fun facility features hands-on exhibits ranging from earthquake simulators and spacesuit try-ons to a bubble-blowing lab and a life-size Lite-Brite installation.
Book with AMA: Craving more kid-friendly fun? Head to Universal Orlando for top thrills , action and adventure. For member savings, visit AMATravel.ca/Universal.
From Calgary: 8 h 35 min
After you’ve been to the Tate and the Tower, tour some thirst-quenching landmarks in British history. Book a tour to see notable watering holes including: The George Inn, which dates back to the 1500s (and one of Dickens’s favourite pubs); and the Ten Bells Pub, a regular haunt Jack the Ripper victims and—as legend has it—the killer himself.
Book with AMA: Explore more mouth-watering history on a weeklong London getaway. Package includes airfare, taxes, six nights hotel, daily breakfast and a half-day sightseeing tour. From $2,514, 1-866-667-4777
From Calgary: 8 h 50 min From Edmonton: 8 h 45 min
Things you want in a restaurant: inventive cuisine, cozy atmosphere and…a zoo? Café-Restaurant de Plantage has it all. The restaurant is located on the Artis Zoo grounds—you can see the flamingo enclosure from the patio. And it’s housed in a Victorian-era glass conservatory, so you’ll always have a stellar view as you nibble on roasted pork belly, eggplant carpaccio or goat cheese tartine.
Book with AMA: No trip to the Netherlands is complete without tulips. On the seven-day Best of Holland tour, you will tour the world-famous Keukenhof, a massive garden and park featuring more than 7 million bulbs. From $2,216 per person, 1-866-667-4777
From Calgary: 9 h 25 min
After the kids have relaxed on their direct flight, they’ll be ready to stretch their legs and their imaginations. Let your budding artistes express themselves in a craft workshop at the Kindermuseum (Childrens’ Museum). Kids can create their own pop-up books, felted toy or necklace for a fully custom souvenir.
Book with AMA: After the Kindermuseum, take the Frankfurt City Hop-On Hop-Off tour—the tour starts at Hauptwache station, about a block away from the museum. $24, AMATravel.ca/Attractions
From Calgary: 10 h 20 min
You don’t have to travel all day or endure awful airport food on multiple layovers to get to this Asian metropolis. In just over 10 hours, you’ll be ready for every Japanese twist and turn. This frenetic city is the king of quirk, but for something truly out of this world, head to Robot Restaurant for the cosmic robot cabaret show. Bots of all sizes groove to their metal heart’s content at the nightly extravaganza.
Book with AMA: The robo-cabaret offers nightly shows at 6:30, 8:30 or 9:30 p.m. Book with AMA for show admission and a free cocktail. $72, AMATravel.ca/Attractions
From Calgary: 3 h 15 min
The world-famous San Diego Zoo is probably on your list of must-see attractions. But wake up early for an extra-special experience: book an Early Morning with the Pandas tour to watch the zoo’s most adorable residents nibble on their bamboo breakfast.
Book with AMA: To get discounts at San Diego’s top attractions, including the zoo and nearly 50 more, order a Go San Diego Card at AMATravel.ca/Activities.
From Calgary: 3 h 15 min
Fly direct to “America’s Alberta” and channel your inner J.R. with a visit to Southfork Ranch. The sprawling, working cattle ranch doubled as the family home of the Ewing clan on TV’s classic backstabbing filled drama, Dallas. The farm is about 25 miles northeast of the city, and here you can tour the ranch house or pickup a new ten-gallon that would make any Ewing proud.
Book with AMA: After Southfork, sidle up to some of the top sights in Dallas with a CityPass. It’ll get you free admission at select museums and attractions.