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October 07, 2011

Top 10 Getaways for Parents without the Kids

Top 10 Getaways Without the Kids

Enjoy a Kid-Free Holiday at a Top 10 Getaway for Parents

As the kids are transitioning back into school mode, call in the grandparents and ask them to baby-sit while you and your significant other take a kid-free vacation.  Of course you love the kids, but sometimes we all need a break from the little rascals. Below are five parent getaways worth checking out over the next few months.

  • Lunenburg, Nova Scotia - In 1995, the old town of Lunenburg on Canada’s east coast was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its survival as a British colonial settlement. This quaint coastal village off Mahone Bay is the perfect place to book a bed-and-breakfast or small cottage and explore the history, do a little kayaking or simply unwind. Let Lunenburg’s small-town charm and the tranquil seaside views win you over. When looking for things to do, visit Bluenose, the world-famous wooden racing schooner, check out the Fisheries Museum and learn about the salty men who navigated the Atlantic, then head over to the Ironworks Distillery for artisan spirit tastings.

  • Portofino, Italy - The words “Italian Riviera” are usually enticing enough to dust off the suitcases, and Portofino is considered to be the most beautiful harbor of them all. What was once a quaint fishing village is now a popular boating and yachting destination. The best place to stay is on a boat, and there are plenty of exquisite restaurants and high-end boutiques that line the harbor. If sleeping on dry land is more your style, travel the sea by water taxi to other towns along the Riviera, including Genoa and San Fruttuoso. And, if you haven’t seen enough breathtaking scenery, head up to Castello Brown to check out the beautiful views and stunning gardens. Full story

October 06, 2011

Find Fall Foliage in Lincoln's Boyhood Home of Indiana

Abe Lincoln's Boyhood Home in Indiana, USA

by Carol Troesch, Spencer County Visitors Bureau


Southern Indiana is known for its rolling hills, endless outdoor recreation, and great family fun, but did you know that it’s also the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln? Because of the area’s mild autumn days and cool evenings, it also produces some of the most striking and vibrant autumn colors, which makes it a great fall destination!

The fall foliage season, when the changing palette of deciduous trees is full of blazing color, is a terrific time to visit places that can offer not only an amazing views, but also allow you to enjoy some relaxing family activities.

Lincoln State Park in Lincoln City, Indiana

Here, you can enjoy the rich colors of fall as you visit the fertile ground of Lincoln’s childhood home at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial in Lincoln City. The memorial is located on the site where Lincoln lived with his family from age 7 to 21. The Visitor Center features two Memorial Halls, a museum with a variety of exhibits, and an orientation film. From the Memorial Center, it is a short walk up the Lincoln Boyhood Trail to the gravesite of Nancy Hanks Lincoln, who died of milk sickness in 1818. FULL STORY

September 30, 2011

Where to Find the Best Fall Foliage

Exploring the Shades of Fall

by Suzanne Carmel

When the summer travel season ends and throngs of tourists head back home to work and school, the fall season brings cool, crisp weather, vibrant colors and an easy pace in which to explore the landscape. As autumn leaves change color, hikers, bikers and road trippers come outdoors to welcome the new season.

There are many wonderful places across the United States where September and October usher in shades of red, yellow and orange; magically transforming vistas already breathtakingly beautiful. During fall, every twist on a path or road brings a new surprise, as the possibilities in these five states illustrate.

Photo ©Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

Massachusetts

The best time to experience fall in this East Coast state is from the middle of September to the end of October. State foresters issue fall foliage reports in the morning three times a week so you're sure to have the inside scoop on where to see the best hues. The state tourist office offers tips such as visiting mid week or exploring back roads to enjoy the season leisurely. Locals and visitors alike enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing — even tramping through a pumpkin patch to find the perfect one.

Consider driving down roads in Cape Cod, the Berkshires, and on the Mohawk Trail — one of the most traveled fall foliage routes. Historic small villages, bucolic farms, seaside towns and rolling countryside are all awaiting your visit.

Full story

September 29, 2011

Where to Find the Best Fall Foliage

Exploring the Shades of Fall

by Suzanne Carmel

When the summer travel season ends and throngs of tourists head back home to work and school, the fall season brings cool, crisp weather, vibrant colors and an easy pace in which to explore the landscape. As autumn leaves change color, hikers, bikers and road trippers come outdoors to welcome the new season.

There are many wonderful places across the United States where September and October usher in shades of red, yellow and orange; magically transforming vistas already breathtakingly beautiful. During fall, every twist on a path or road brings a new surprise, as the possibilities in these five states illustrate.

Photo ©Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism

Massachusetts

The best time to experience fall in this East Coast state is from the middle of September to the end of October. State foresters issue fall foliage reports in the morning three times a week so you're sure to have the inside scoop on where to see the best hues. The state tourist office offers tips such as visiting mid week or exploring back roads to enjoy the season leisurely. Locals and visitors alike enjoy hiking, biking, canoeing — even tramping through a pumpkin patch to find the perfect one.

Consider driving down roads in Cape Cod, the Berkshires, and on the Mohawk Trail — one of the most traveled fall foliage routes. Historic small villages, bucolic farms, seaside towns and rolling countryside are all awaiting your visit.

Full story

September 26, 2011

Take Time for Yourself with a Dude - At a Dude Ranch

Best Guest Ranch Vacations for Women

A Directory to the Finest Dude Ranches for Women by Patti Schmidt

The Homestead Ranch
Matfield Green, Kansas
Prairie Women Adventures and Retreat
[read our story about The Homestead Ranch]

The Homestead Ranch is a 4,000-acre working cattle ranch in the Kansas Flint Hills. Wildlife is abundant and Native American arrowheads and tools still crop up in pastures and creekbeds after spring rains. Owner Jane Koger, a fourth-generation rancher, and her mostly women ranch crews have been handling things for 20 years. William Least Heat Moon wrote about Jane and the others in Chase County in his book PrairyErth, the American Library Association's Best Work of Nonfiction for 1991. The county is the geographical center of the U.S.

Programs: Prairie Women Adventures and Retreat offers several programs: two three-day Prairie Ecology programs, which focus on the ecology and use of native prairie plants and four horseback riding programs, for those who want "just a little more time with the horses"; one branding vacation, where guests will help inoculate, brand, and band (turn bull calves into steers) them; and one pasture-burning program each spring. Program manager Ginifer Maceau stressed that this ranch does things "the preferred Humane Society way; for example, we freeze brand rather than hot-iron brand." She believes women are a lot more comfortable with that.

Amenities: Guests reside in a modern bunkhouse: up to two in the one private bedroom; the other 10 guests sleep dormitory style in the bunkhouse, which is heated, air-conditioned, and includes a hot tub on the deck. All meals are provided; the afternoon I spoke with Maceau, they were having teriyaki beef kabobs, rice pilaf, salad, fresh bread and lemonade pie with strawberries.

For more information: contact Prairie Women Adventures and Retreat / The Homestead Ranch Guest Programs at (620) 753-3416.
Website: http://www.guestranches.com/homestead
Email: ginifer@wheatstate.com

Wilderness Trails Dude Ranch
Durango, Colo.
Women's Week

The San Juan Mountains and the Los Pinos Valley lend this 160-acre ranch beauty; it also shares a fence line with the Piedra Wilderness Study Area. The Roberts family-Gene, Jan, Randy, Lance, and Erika, who have owned it since 1970- are responsible for its designation in Gene Kilgore 's Ranch Vacations as "one of the finest ranch vacation experiences in the country." At times of the year other than Women's Week, especially in summer, families provide this ranch about 95 percent of its often repeat customers.

FULL ARTICLE

September 23, 2011

Top 10 World Road Trip Destinations

Top 10 Road Trip Destinations Around the World

There’s something about hitting the road that makes travel come alive, especially when the drive is through some of the world’s most scenic roadways and locales. Here are our choices of the best destinations for exploring by car. Our Top 10 Road Trips Worldwide highlights the best of the best for ambling by car - whether it’s stopping to taste wine at vineyards in New Zealand or to pitch a tent in Alberta’s Banff National Park.

Road tripping empowers you as a traveler with the flexibility to route – and re-route – your itinerary at any time. Whether traveling with the family, with a group of friends or with your partner, there’s no better way to discover new cultures, see great sites or navigate an unknown terrain than by car.

  • Pacific Coast Highway, California, U.S. - There’s no better vantage point for spectacular views of the Pacific than from California’s Pacific Coast Highway. Start your drive in sunny Los Angeles and, after dipping your toes in the waves at Malibu’s highfalutin beaches, point your car due north – well, nearly – to San Francisco. Stop in coastal towns like Santa Barbara and Monterey, or wherever you feel like pulling off. The absolute must-see is Big Sur. Situated roughly 150 miles south of San Francisco, the cluster of seaside national parks offers wonderful options – camping, hiking and surfing – for even the hardest-to-please adventure travelers.
  • Provence, France - Wine lovers, art lovers, food lovers – heck, even lavender lovers – love Provence. From Paris, take a train to Avignon – there, visit the Papal Palace and grab a chèvre chaud salad al fresco – before renting a car and touring the back roads of a region that astonishingly resembles works by Monet. Drive between Montpellier, Salon-de-Provence and Arles, and stop for exquisite wines (the region produces the best rosé in the world) and light fare. Stock up on satchels full of lavender – wonderful souvenirs for friends back home – and shop for antiques among endless fields of sunflowers, lavender and grapes. Full story

September 13, 2011

Top 10 Getaways for a Kid-Free Holiday

Top 10 Getaways Without the Kids

As the kids are transitioning back into school mode, call in the grandparents and ask them to baby-sit while you and your significant other take a kid-free vacation.  Of course you love the kids, but sometimes we all need a break from the little rascals. Below are five parent getaways worth checking out over the next few months.

  • Lunenburg, Nova Scotia - In 1995, the old town of Lunenburg on Canada’s east coast was deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its survival as a British colonial settlement. This quaint coastal village off Mahone Bay is the perfect place to book a bed-and-breakfast or small cottage and explore the history, do a little kayaking or simply unwind. Let Lunenburg’s small-town charm and the tranquil seaside views win you over. When looking for things to do, visit Bluenose, the world-famous wooden racing schooner, check out the Fisheries Museum and learn about the salty men who navigated the Atlantic, then head over to the Ironworks Distillery for artisan spirit tastings.

  • Portofino, Italy - The words “Italian Riviera” are usually enticing enough to dust off the suitcases, and Portofino is considered to be the most beautiful harbor of them all. What was once a quaint fishing village is now a popular boating and yachting destination. The best place to stay is on a boat, and there are plenty of exquisite restaurants and high-end boutiques that line the harbor. If sleeping on dry land is more your style, travel the sea by water taxi to other towns along the Riviera, including Genoa and San Fruttuoso. And, if you haven’t seen enough breathtaking scenery, head up to Castello Brown to check out the beautiful views and stunning gardens. Read more.

August 23, 2011

Tips for Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Enjoying & Preparing for Great Outdoors

How to Enjoy the Great Outdoors with the Right Preparations

by John Ricci
Founder & Chief Adventurer, Wandrian Adventures

Now that it’s summer time in North America and people have time off and children are out of school, it’s time to hit the great outdoors. The great outdoors can give you most of the comforts of home (Usually not a microwave or a DVR, but everything else is possible) and with some proper planning and a can do attitude; you will be at home in the wilderness and sharing stories around the fire. Here are a few tips everyone should consider as they plan their own Great Outdoors experience.

I live by the Mantra of Know before you go….Know that you can be comfortable in the outdoors with the right preparations…. … Know the rules, know the weather, Know what you have access to (water, provisions, firewood, bathrooms etc.) All of the above are crucial to your comfort as well as safety and will allow you greater enjoyment.

Whenever possible, carry out whatever you carry in and leave only footprints and take only pictures. We are lucky to have National Parks like The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Baxter State Park and others to enjoy. The more we take care of them and tread lightly, the better chance others will have that same experience in the future.

Lastly, be prepared for the unexpected – weather, accidents etc. know that accidents can occur and know that you are prepared to handle them if you came with a plan.  There are several other things you should account for depending on where you are going and for how long, but the above covers all adventures, everywhere. Full Story

August 19, 2011

Teaching Students How to Travel on a Budget

Teaching Students How & Where to Travel on a Budget

Top 10 Student Getaways and Tips on How to Save

With the summer winding down, many college students are gearing up for the year ahead. Taking a break to shake off the stress that comes from all-nighters and dining hall “food” is not only essential but can be done within a student budget with tips from Cheapflights.com’s guide on How To Travel on a Student Budget. And, whether you’re in need of a weekend away to detox before exams or a spring break packed with parties - err, culture – we have suggestions. Our list features affordable getaway ideas for a long weekend break, spring break, winter break or the summer holidays. 

Below are four student getaways from our Top 10 College Student Destinations from each of the vacation categories.

  • Over a long weekend … Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada - As a college student, it’s important to get your money’s worth without spending an arm and a leg. Niagara Falls can satisfy that for cash-strapped youth. Cheap hotels by the Falls abound, and you can move around town easily on foot, as many of the attractions are within walking distance of each other. Pack your weekend with visits to the Falls and Marineland Theme Park, where you’ll get your fix of seafaring animals like dolphins and killer whales – combined with the thrill of amusement park rides. The drinking age is 19, so a visit to the Fallsview Casino – and Dragonfly Nightclub after – is an absolute must. READ MORE

July 29, 2011

Adventure Tours for Women Travelers

RVers Will Travel Despite High Gas Prices
Get Gutsy on These Exciting Adventure Tours for Women

Attention Women Travelers! Every have a hankering to go out and do something wild? Or have you wanted to go somewhere out of the ordinary, but just couldn’t find someone to share the experience? Well, chances are you’re not the only one. Women of adventure now have a plethora of choices for the closet thrill seeker inside you.

So, if your friends want to lounge around a posh hotel and get pampered, but you want something with more thrills & chills, check out these adventure groups and get whisked away to wherever the wind blows…

Adventures in Good Company

Adventures in Good Company

Say good-bye to the stress and clutter of daily life. Reconnect with what is truly essential. Spend a few days—or a few weeks—in the peace and splendor of some of the world’s most beautiful natural locations. Reinvigorate your mind…rejuvenate your body…nurture your spirit. And share the adventure with other active women as you laugh, support, and inspire each other to take on new challenges, both on your journey and in your life.

[Learn More]