ActiveTravels | get up & go!  
 subscribe to ActiveTravels
 Subscribe by RSS By RSS Feed or Email
 
Follow ActiveTravels on Twitter Like ActiveTravels on Facebook View the ActiveTravels YouTube channel
 
ActiveTravels - Travel Agents You Can Trust
   
     
 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Caribbean Comeback, Hotels Picks in Ireland, and MuseumHack in May ActiveTravels Newsletter

In a May 2nd travel story in the Boston Globe, writer Christopher Muther noted that due to the battering of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Caribbean "lost nearly 1 million visitors and an estimated $900 million in tourism-related spending." He goes on to add that "the Caribbean could see losses totaling more than $3 billion during the next four years until visitor rates climb back." Thus the reason why it's imperative to support the region now more than ever or thousands of jobs will be lost. Thankfully, many of the top properties have spent the year rebuilding and have announced opening dates for the upcoming winter season. Please consider staying at one of the resorts we mention in our May ActiveTravels Newsletter when thinking about escaping the cold this coming winter. Also in this month's issue is a round-up of our clients' preferred properties in Ireland and why Williamsburg, Virginia is far more than a historic hub. Please have a look! 

We're off to Ithaca with the family to celebrate our son, Jake's graduation from Cornell. Have a fantastic Memorial Day Weekend! We'll be back next Wednesday. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/24/18 at 05:00 AM
Travel Advice • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

What’s New at Hurtigruten

Lisa and I went to an all-day seminar on Monday with Tourism Norway to meet with a dozen travel reps from all over this Scandinavian country. I'll probably write a longer piece on Norway for the newsletter, but I wanted to report on all the exciting new developments at Norway's signature cruise line, Hurtigruten. They will debut a new hybrid vessel, the MS Roald Amundsen, this coming July. Not only will it cut fuel by 20 percent, but they can turn off the engines off when coasting within the fjords and you'll won't hear a sound. The interior was designed by Rolls Royce so expect the finest details. The ship will be heading along the Norwegian coast late May 2019 on a glorious 15-day cruise that starts and ends in Hamburg, Germany. We just booked it today for two of our clients. Already sold out in 2019 is the 14-day Northwest Passage cruise that starts in Greenland before crossing the Davis Strait and venturing into the Canadian Arctic Archipelago of Nunavut. If interested, ActiveTravels will be happy to look into the 2020 voyage. Lastly, Hurtigruten cruises run year-round in Norway and they mentioned that one of the best times to see the fjords is in the October/November months, when the mountains are snowcapped and you have a good chance of viewing the Northern Lights. In fact, Hurtigruten will guarantee you see the Northern Lights on one of their 12-day itineraries from October 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019 or receive another weeklong cruise for free!  
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/23/18 at 05:59 AM
Cruises • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Backroads Rolls Out Custom-Designed Titanium Bikes This Summer

Backroads, the world's number one active travel company, has just announced that all trips this year will feature their custom-designed titanium bikes. The bikes are lighter than last year's bikes and offer electronic shifting. The company also offers e-bikes on all trips. New Bike Tours in 2018 include Chile's Lakes District, Croatia & Slovenia, Cuba, and Portugal. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/22/18 at 06:00 AM
Biking • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Monday, May 21, 2018

Book Rooms Now For Next Summer’s FĂȘte des Vignerons in Vevey, Switzerland

I had the pleasure of having lunch last week with PR Maven, Gayle Conran, and Cindy Maghenzani, head of communications for Switzerland's Lake Geneva Region. They reminded me that next summer, from July 26 to August 11, 2019, the Fête des Vignerons or Winegrower's Festival returns to the glorious lakeside town of Vevey, located between Lausanne and Montreux. Why is this significant? Because the event only occurs once every 20 years! Join singers, dancers, wine experts, and loads of other performers for the extravaganza. It would be wise to book rooms now to ensure you have a place to stay. Grand Hotel du Lac, the property Lisa and I stayed on our last visit is a great choice, especially since it's celebrating its 150th birthday, as Everett Potter reports in his latest column for Forbes. While in Vevey, visit the relatively new Chaplin's World, where Charlie Chaplin spent his last years, and the majestic Chillon Castle, always a must-see sight when I'm in the area. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/21/18 at 06:00 AM
Drink • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Friday, May 18, 2018

Going on Safari in Kenya Will Get Easier Come October

Very excited that Kenya Airways will start daily non-stop service from New York's JFK Airport to Nairobi on October 28, 2018. A member of the SkyTeam Alliance, the only African carrier in the group, Kenya Airways will offer 30 Premier World lie-flat seats in each Dreamliner aircraft. The 7,360-mile journey is scheduled to take 14.5 hours from New York to Nairobi and 15 hours on the return flight. October is an ideal time to be in the Maasai Mara, when the summer crowds are long gone. Go on a circuit route with The Safari Collection and spend the first two nights at Nairobi's Giraffe Manor, which I visited when writing this story for The Boston Globe. Then head north for 3 nights to the cultural hub of Samburu and the luxury lodge, Sasaab, before spending the final 3 nights at Sala's Camp in the Mara. Contact ActiveTravels and we'll be happy to package together all lodging, guides, and flights with Kenya Airlines. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/18/18 at 06:00 AM
Wildlife Viewing • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Thursday, May 17, 2018

A Rejuvenating Stay at Inn by the Sea

Lisa and I recently spent a night on the outskirts of Portland, Maine, at one of our favorite properties in New England, Inn by the Sea. We wanted to check out their new Cove and Beach Suites and were happy we made the effort. Both were very spacious 2-bedroom suites, ideal for families of 4, with full kitchen, fireplace, and large balcony. Even the Cove Suites, which overlook the lawn, had views of the Atlantic from the balcony. Inn by the Sea is located in a glorious spot on Cape Elizabeth, with a sloping lawn and outdoor pool that leads to a small path and the 3-mile stretch of Crescent Beach. It's become a popular retreat for dog lovers, many of whom adopted dogs from behind the front desk at the resort. The property runs a program with a local dog shelter and a remarkable 117 dogs have been adopted. The real surprise was the food and wine at the resort's Sea Glass restaurant. Chef Andrew Chadwick was recently asked to create a Maine dinner at the James Beard House in New York and now I understand why. The food was by far the best I've ever had at the restaurant. Chadwick, who ran the Chatham Bars restaurant on Cape Cod, knows his way around seafood, especially the sublime lobster tacos. He's joined by the knowledgeable sommelier Donald Linscott, who paired the dinner with exceptional Oregon pinot noir. A memorable stay!

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/17/18 at 06:00 AM
Lodging • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Quick Escape: Williamsburg, Virginia

Hop on a 2-hour direct flight from Boston to Richmond and drive less than an hour to reach historic Williamsburg. Best known as a Colonial outpost and neighbor to Jamestown, America's first permanent settlement, Williamsburg now attracts music lovers, foodies, and active travelers. Local Bruce Hornsby is bringing back Funhouse Fest, the 2-day music festival that gathers award-winning artists on the lawn of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, June 22-23. Outdoor lovers can rent bikes and hit the Colonial Parkway. This two-lane road transports you back to an earlier time connecting Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown over 23 miles. Most of the ride is flat and offers vistas of water and woods, of marshes and herons. For an alternative, check out the Historic Jamestown Bike Trail, a 5-mile loop on Island Drive that features 11 interpretive stops including a panoramic view of the James River, archaeological excavation sites, and the nests of bald eagles. Bay County Kayaking offers a range of guided 2 to 3-hour kayak eco tours including trips to Queen's Creek, a tidal creek that empties into the York River, where you might see otter, muskrat, crabs, and deer. You'll hear from your guide about its rich history in the Revolutionary and Civil wars. 

Crabs, oysters, shrimp, clams, mussels and a variety of fish, all pulled from local waters, make Williamsburg a seafood hot spot. Waypoint Seafood and Grill celebrates the Chesapeake Bay, featuring York River Oysters, local jumbo lump crabmeat, a fried oyster salad, and market fish of the day. Take a short drive along a country road out of town to Café Provencal, on the grounds of The Williamsburg Winery. The French-inspired cooking features local ingredients in an elegant yet relaxed setting, like a raw plate with marinated amberjack, seared scallops, soft shell crabs in season and roasted black bass. Be sure to ask ActiveTravels about our hotel pick in the area, including the Williamsburg Inn and the Kingsmill Resort.
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/16/18 at 06:00 AM
Urban Adventure • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Must-Stop at Philly’s Magic Gardens

I finally made it to Isaiah Zagar's monumental mosaic masterpiece, the Magic Gardens, on my latest visit to Philadelphia two weeks ago. Spanning half a block on South Street (between 10th and 11th Streets), Zagar started working on these vacant lots in 1994. Using folk art, found objects like bicycle tires, colorful glass bottles, and thousands of handmade tiles and glittering mirrors, Zagar created one of the most unique public artworks in America. Stroll in and out of the stairwells looking at the dramatic colors, reflections, and figurative works. You'll be thankful that the neighborhood stood up for Zagar and his work once the landlord of the property found out what he had done and wanted to dismantle the massive sculpture in 2002. The nonprofit is now used for mosaic workshops, community outreach, and talks with the 79-year-old artist. Magic Gardens is open to the public Wednesdays through Mondays 11 am to 6 pm; cost is $10 for adults, $8 for students. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/15/18 at 06:00 AM
Art Finds • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Monday, May 14, 2018

The Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Is Once Again a Victorian Gem

For my recent road trip article for Chevrolet's New Roads Magazine on Revolutionary War sites, I spent a night in Saratoga and was fortunate to stay at the recently renovated Adelphi Hotel. Growing up in upstate New York, I spent many weekends in Saratoga dancing at the Rafters, seeing concerts at SPAC, and going to the track. It's a wonderful spot for a weekend retreat, especially now that the Adelphi Hotel has returned to its circa-1877 roots after a 5-year renovation. Walk into the lobby and you can't help but be impressed with the Victorian era grandeur. The lobby bar, Morrissey's, was busy, even on a Monday night and the restaurant, Blue Hen, is housed under a glass conservatory. But it's the spacious rooms that are really impressive, replete with freestanding tubs, heated floor tiles and towel racks, and sumptuous beds. After a good night's sleep, wake up in the morning and stroll to Sweet Mimi's, owned by friends. You can't go wrong with the lemon ricotta or toasted coconut pancakes.  

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/14/18 at 06:00 AM
Lodging • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Friday, May 11, 2018

ActiveTravels Ranks No. 278 of World’s Top Travel Blogs 2018

Found out this week that ActiveTravels made the list of top travel blogs in the world, according to Gary Arndt's Everything Everywhere. The extensive list was based on SEO metrics, but it's obviously skewered toward his liking since Everything Everywhere is ranked number 4. Regardless, I appreciate the effort Gary took to finally have a list of travel bloggers all over the world. He mistakenly notes that I started blogging 19 years ago. I actually purchased the ActiveTravels URL 19 years ago but didn't start blogging until 2009. It's nice to be recognized for my work on the blog. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to check in now and then to find out what's new in the world of travel. Keep it up so I can crack the Top 100 listing by 2020! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/11/18 at 06:00 AM
Announcements • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Page 1 of 158 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »

 

 
 
 

about us
photo of Steve Jermanok
Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk.

ActiveTravels.com is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

Adventure Travel Trade Association

 

tags