Crossing borders in the days of tightened security can be a hassle, but it’s worth hopping over the Detroit River for a day trip into Canada. The views from Windsor’s riverfront parks are magnificent, with the soaring Detroit skyline—particularly impressive when lit up at night—providing a backdrop for huge freighters floating by, nearly close enough to touch. For distractions, Windsor boasts a revamped upscale casino, opening in June 2008 as a Caesars Palace, and a restaurant-rich Little Italy district. Though no passport is required, you need a government-issued photo I.D. and birth certificate.
Tip: Beware weekend nights, when rowdy 19-year-old Americans arrive to take advantage of Canada’s lower legal drinking age.
Bonus Tip: Though many Windsor businesses accept U.S. dollars, it’s wise to get Canadian dollars or use your credit card.
Admission: Toll is $3.50 each way at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel; it’s $4 each way at the Ambassador Bridge.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.