Toronto: North America's Amsterdam
For my 33rd Birthday I wanted to take my celebrations to Toronto as I heard it was a vibrant city full of fun and diversity. From Michigan it took roughly 4 hours by car. We arrived in the middle of a warm August afternoon excited to explore the city. Our hotel was located in the heart of downtown near Rogers Centre (where the Toronto Blue Jays play). It was a great spot as we were walking distance to great bars, restaurants and the beach. We immediately set out in search of fun which wasn’t far. One block from our hotel was a rooftop bar hosting a promo for a new vodka company and serving BBQ plates. For $10 CAD we had 5 drink tickets and delicious BBQ. This wasn’t planned but we had a blast! We met a lot of people from different backgrounds and cultures. We cabbed to the CN tower where we took witness to a live latin bachata band playing in front of the tower where people were openly engaging in dance. We took the elevator up to the restaurant and put our names on the list for a short wait before we were seated. 72 minutes or so of full rotation showed you the entire city of Toronto and the Toronto Islands. The food was fabulous and the drinks were nice and strong. Since we were paying guests, following dinner, we visited the observation deck without charge (if you plan on visiting the tower, just eat dinner there to view the city and visit the observation deck for no extra charge, it’s almost the same price). For night entertainment we headed to Lula Lounge as we were told this was the place to go for salsa dancing. I have been to quite a bit of salsa clubs across the world and was ultra impressed with this club. It had a warehouse size dance floor and alongside it the dining took place at an elevated level so that no matter where you were or what you were doing you had clear view of the stage. The stage was set up for a killer live band with all the instruments needed to perform at a live salsa/bachata venue.
The next day we visited Casa Loma which was a hilltop castle and garden known for its views of the city. It was absolutely breathtaking. We spent hours enjoying this majestic castle and taking in the views. We later arrived to the Distillery District (my favorite part) and wandered the area where they had street art, live music and distilleries and could drop into any distillery for samples. We purchased a few bottles of goodies to take back home with us. China Town was the last location we visited in the city which was a melting pot of culture and a foodies dream. There was a wide variety of small shops and eateries you could explore and enjoy.
Toronto is a fantastic city. I highly recommend for young groups and couples as it is an “adult” town. They have the nightlife, history, culture, diversity, events, markets, live music, art, brothels, sex clubs, specialty smoke shops, nude beaches and so much more. Everything that you need to engage in a weekend of sinful fun if that's your thing ;)