Lori Knowles, Special to QMI Agency

Freelancer Lori Knowles wrote family travel and skiing columns for Sun Media.


During big wave season, surfing on Oahu's North Shore is best left the pros. Waves are smaller and gentler during the summer months. KIRK LEE AEDER/HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY

Surfing on Oahu's North Shore

They call it The Surf Bus -- a groovy, Scooby-Doo-like Mystery Machine that chortles up to our hotel, the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Honolulu.

Some newly minted surfers pose with their boards at the Surf Sisters base in Tofino, B.C. PHOTO COURTESY SURF SISTERS/TOFINO TOURISM

Tofino, B.C. a wild west coast getaway

This time our target is Tofino, B.C., a ruggedly handsome spot for active moms and career girls getting away from kids and work -- women who like to hike, surf, stroll, soak, and of course, eat.

The Upper Canada Village's Alight at Night Festival has returned again this year. The annual festival is close to their one million light goal making the village brighter than ever. (Handout)

Trips keep kids busy over the holidays

I can hear the inner cries of many moms and dads -- my comrades in arms -- as the holiday season approaches: "Two weeks off school? How will we cope?"

<b>OLD MONTREAL:</b> A family visit to Montreal must include a walk -- or ride -- around Vieux-Montreal, the city's birthplace in the 1600s. Take an organized tour of this once-walled city. There are preserved fortifications still visible, and there are spots that were frequented by Canada's First Nations people some 2,500 years ago. Kids are thrilled by horse-and-buggy rides through the cobbled streets. See oldmontrealextravaganza.com and old.montreal.qc.ca. (QMI Agency)

Top family attractions in Montreal

There's a city with an old-world/new-world feel that's equally cosmopolitan and equally family oriented, yet a whole lot closer to home: Montreal.

This year's Crankworx (Aug. 10-19) is expected to draw almost 140,000 people to Whistler. A popular concert series rounds out the extreme mountain-biking events. BLAKE JORGENSON PHOTO/Special to QMI Agency

Extreme summer fun in Whistler

For a village that was little more than a chairlift and a garbage dump a few decades ago, Whistler, B.C., sure has a way of drawing a crowd.

The 8.5-metre-long CanaDream RV parked on the red sand of North Rustico, P.E.I,. a lobster fishing village. PETER GILBERT/Special to QMI Agency

King of the road in P.E.I.

Here are 10 tips that will make this ultimate family road trip a relatively smooth one!

Crews line up on board ships tethered to the piers at Norfolk, Va. LORI KNOWLES/Special to QMI Agency

Going nautical in Norfolk

The time to tour the docks of Norfolk, Va., is 7 a.m. on a summer morning, just as the yachtsmen and women are brewing coffee, flipping eggs, stirring grits, searing bacon.

Crew of an Opsail tall ship stand tall during the Parade of Sail into Norfolk, Va., in June 2012. (LORI KNOWLES/Special to QMI Agency)

Clear sailing on eastern seaboard

It happens once every 10 years, spectacular tall ships with billowing sails and multiple masts glide smoothly into harbours along the U.S. eastern seaboard.

Provincial park campsites with a lake view such as this one will soon be filled with summer campers. (Barbara Fox/Special to QMI Agency)

Camping 101 in Ontario

Curious as to why so many of us are missing out on the one activity that is supposed come as naturally as hockey, Ontario Parks asked why.

Families will find lots of prehistoric-themed fun at DinoFest in Drumheller, Alta., June 1-3. Events take place around town and at the Royal Tyrrell Museum. (Handout)

Warmer weather getaways

To help you prepare for warmer weather getaways, here are a few fun and family friendly travel ideas.

The va et vient ski tows—also known as “slingshots”— are unique to Portillo. (PETER GILBERT/Special to QMI Agency)

Summer on the slopes

It's a cruise ship kind of start to the day in Portillo, Chile.