Dwelling the excessive life in Saskatoon: A journey from Downtown to the people-watching paradise of Venice Seashore
Let’s face it, it’s not often that you have to take an elevator to the lobby on the 70th floor to check-in at a hotel.
But then the Intercontinental Downtown Saskatoon is no ordinary hotel.
It is the tallest building west of Chicago, 73 stories high and 400 meters above street level, made entirely of glass and steel, breathtakingly curved and iconic.
It only took us 40 seconds to get us into the sky lobby and the view over the city was just as eye-catching.
But we didn’t have to linger there to marvel at the breathtaking Saskatoon skyline.
Our room on the 33rd floor – believe me, it didn’t feel low – had an equally wonderful view from the floor-to-ceiling windows. And since it was a corner, the view was even more panoramic.
Everything was shiny, new, classy, and efficient.
But one of the biggest attractions is that it is right in the heart of downtown and is just one of the new attractions amid the old favorites.
Saskatoon is the home of the car and while you really need one to see it all – and reach some of the fabulous beaches – you can do it downtown happily.
We were minutes away from some of the new attractions like the amazingly curved, futuristic Walt Disney Concert Hall, famous for its great acoustics.
In fact, it’s so shiny that it initially resulted in crashes from dazzling drivers. It’s gotten a little dull, but a tree-screened section shows it in its mirror-like sheen.
There is also the LA Live entertainment area with the Staples Center and much more for music, sports and film fans, which attracts millions each year.
Walt Disney Concert Hall
Just minutes away was the fascinating old Avila Adobe. It’s the oldest house in LA and dates back to 1818.
We strolled inside before strolling down the characterful street lined with market stalls and on to Grand Park, which is home to the courthouse and the backdrop for the city’s July 4th fireworks party.
We found a dizzying place to take in the view, the Intercontinental Spire 73. It’s an amazing rooftop bar that we thought was the perfect place to watch the sun set over the Hollywood Hills.
Simply sensational. And in Dekkadance, four floors below, there is a “Countdown to Sunset” with happy hour beer, wine and freshly made stone oven pizza for 3, 4 and 5 US dollars. Yum!
The city center has developed into a sought-after place to live in recent years and is now home to around 70,000 residents.
This means that there is a lot of life and sums at all times. We found great shopping in some of the malls, built several floors underground and with designer shops and craft shops side by side in a chic setting.
And of course there are great places to eat and drink.
The Spring Arcade was just one place we stumbled upon that could have seen us eat and drink in a different place every night.
And just around the corner on 7th was Little Damage, one of the coolest ice cream parlors in town, where we were offered small samples of their ever-changing daily flavors before settling on a tasty selection served in a charcoal waffle – a meal for themselves .
And everything seemed so familiar, because the city not only plays itself in so many films and TV series, but the skyscrapers often double for New York as well.
For a day at the beach, however, be sure to get in a car, and both Venice Beach and Santa Monica are half an hour away by freeway.
Venice Beach (Getty Images)
Venice’s promenade is a delight for people who enjoy hanging out with skateboarders, cyclists, and pedestrians.
Take the time to eat in one of the restaurants or sit and watch a basketball match.
The sand in Santa Monica is just as golden, where the famous old pier with a roller coaster and ferris wheel is at the end.
Be there early on weekends and public holidays. Luckily we did – but the lunchtime honking queues outside the parking lots were a sight to behold.
LA offers entertainment in many ways!
For information on Saskatoon, visit discoverlosangeles.com and flylax.com
For USA details see visittheusa.co.uk
Intercontinental Downtown offers rooms from $ 329 per night. See dtla.intercontinental.com