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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Quick Escape: Provincetown, Massachusetts

June and September are our favorite months to visit P’town, before or after the summer crowds arrive. Stay with our friends at the Salt House Inn, smack dab in the center of Provincetown (with parking, no less). Then go whale watching, bike up and down the dunes on the unique Province Lands Bike Path, see the glorious pine warblers swoop from pine to pine just inland of the parking lot at the Province Lands Visitor Center, and, of course stroll the stretch of beach at Race Point surrounded by the sea. For dinner, head to that P’town classic, the Mews, to dine on lobster risotto, pan seared scallops, or almond crusted cod. Remember that you can take the 90-minute high-speed ferry from Boston’s Long Wharf to Provincetown and avoid an often congested drive. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/11/19 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, June 10, 2019

Stay in a Treehouse in Ohio’s Amish Country

Drive about 90 minutes northeast of Columbus or 90 minutes southwest of Cleveland and you’ll reach Glenmont, Ohio, the heart of Ohio’s Amish Country. This is where you’ll find The Mohicans, best known as the country’s largest treehouse village. They offer 6 treehouses, 2 of which were designed by Pete Nelson, the star of the Discovery Channel’s series, “Treehouse Masters.” Moonlit Treasure looks the best to me, but all are impressive. Nestled in the woods, this is a place to relax, walk the paths, and then dine on tasty farm-to-table cuisine. It’s perfect for families looking at colleges in Ohio. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/10/19 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, June 06, 2019

New in the Adirondacks

If you’re headed to the Adirondacks, my old boyhood stomping grounds, to hike the 46 High Peaks, paddle one of the large lakes, rambling rivers or countless ponds, or to visit the fantastic Adirondack Experience, the Museum on Blue Mountain Lake, you’ll want to know about the latest lodgings to make their debut in this 6 million acre playground. The Woods Inn in Inlet, on the shores of Fourth Lake, unveils the new Carriage House this summer.  The lodging includes a wellness center and lounge, a ground-floor handicapped-accessible suite and 4 two-story, two-bedroom townhouse rental units, perfect for families. Chalet Whiteface is a newly opened 11-bedroom boutique lodge and restaurant in Wilmington, home of Whiteface Mountain, High Falls Gorge, Santa’s Workshop and miles and miles of hiking and biking trails. The Hotel Saranac, a downtown landmark since 1927, reopened in 2017 after undergoing a $35 million refurbishment that brought out its Jazz Age roots. Lastly, Trail Break at Schroon Lake opens in June with remodeled rooms and an attached restaurant. Get out there and hit the trails! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/06/19 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, June 04, 2019

Stargazing in Northern California

A 3-hour drive north of San Francisco past Santa Rosa and Healdsburg, you reach the Mendocino Coast, home to the fifth-generation owned Little River Inn. The oceanfront property perched on the hillside overlooking the Pacific, feels nestled in its own world, far away from the lights of a city. Indeed, it’s the perfect locale to see the stars on a crystal-clear night. Even better now that the property is offering the Stargazing Family Fun package. Spend 2 nights in an ocean view room with two queen beds and you’ll receive a Little River Inn travel blanket, loan of their custom stargazing kit with special binoculars, star map, star guide and flashlight, hot chocolate to enjoy while stargazing one night, and detailed information on stargazing in the area. Cost of the package for a family of 4 begins at $430 a night. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/04/19 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, June 03, 2019

Hotel Vermont’s New Summer Beer Exploration Package

If you like Heady Topper as much as I do, then you’re going to enjoy Hotel Vermont’s Summer Beer Exploration Package. Offered once a month from June through October, the two-day event starts with a five-course beer pairing dinner featuring Vermont’s most highly rated breweries (Hill Farmstead, The Alchemist, Foam Brewers, Lawson’s Finest Liquids) curated by Beer Concierge, Matt Canning. The next morning, you’ll have breakfast with the team at Foam Brewers while firing up the brew kettle and mashing in the grain to start the day’s brew. Then you’ll head 10 miles south to the new state-of-the-art Peterson Quality Malt facility at Nordic Farm. The defunct dairy barn now serves as Vermont’s only craft malt house producing the base ingredient for Vermont’s world-renowned breweries. Afterwards, enjoy lunch and a beer tasting in the fields of barley, with stunning views of both the Green and Adirondack Mountains. Cost of the Beer Exploration Package, including 2 nights at the Hotel Vermont, starts at $1130 for two guests. Interested? Let ActiveTravels know and we'll check availability. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/03/19 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Chatham Bars Inn Introduces New Fly-Fishing School

Wanna catch stripers on the fly? In comfort, no less! Cape Cod’s Chatham Bars Inn has teamed up with Orvis to open the only saltwater fly-fishing school in Massachusetts. Open to both guests of the resort and the general public, Chatham Bars Inn will offer one-day ($279) and two-day schools ($489) on select dates from May through October 2019. Schools will be led by an endorsed Orvis instructor and go over fly casting techniques, how to tie essential knots, how to choose your gear and tackle, striper feeding habits, proper fly selection, and how to read water, currents, and tides. One-day school dates are May 25, June 1, July 27 and August 3. Two-day school dates are June 15-16, June 29-30, July 13-14, August 19-20, September 13-14 and October 5-6. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/29/19 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

New Life Hiking Spa Now Open for its 42nd Summer in Vermont

The weather finally started to warm up this weekend in New England and we took full advantage of it in Boston, biking the Minuteman Trail in Arlington and Cambridge. At last, we can escape the indoor gym and hit the trails. One of the best ways is with New Life Hiking Spa out of Killington, Vermont, in operation since 1978. For $229 to $269 per person, per night, you’ll receive a private room, three meals a day, healthy snacks, daily guided hikes, all fitness and wellness classes, evening activities, and massages. Three levels of professionally guided hikes are offered every day to accommodate your level of fitness. All meals are prepared fresh, on site, and created by a team of professional chefs who specialize in regional healthy cuisine. There’s no better way to start the summer than hit the trails, eat Vermont-grown goods, and perhaps lose a pound or two. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/28/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, May 24, 2019

Spain, DayTrip, Montreal, and More in May ActiveTravels Newsletter

We were picked up promptly at 9 am in Granada, Spain, by Damir, a driver and guide for a company we’ve been working with more and more in Europe, Daytrip. We could have rented our own car and made the 3-hour trek from Granada to Seville, but it’s so much more relaxing to have someone else drive, especially when you want to stop and visit another town along the way. Two hours later, after sitting in the back of a comfortable Mercedes sedan and peering out at the rolling hills and mountains of this bucolic region of Spain, we arrived in Ronda. Damir guided us around the town, walking along the edge of the famous gorge, touring the oldest bullring in Spain, the one Hemingway wrote about when he lived here (it’s also the town where Orson Welles retired and died), and the historic Moorish settlement at the bottom of the hill. After a lunch of tapas, we arrived in Seville around 4 pm. It ended up being one of the most relaxing days of our recent Spain trip. Daytrip is now expanding to Asia. It’s a wonderful way to connect the dots between destinations, while stopping at off-the-beaten track locales. 
 
To read more about our trip to Spain, a special deal on Relais and Chateaux properties, and what’s happening in Montreal this summer, please check out the latest ActiveTravels newsletter. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/24/19 at 05:00 AM
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Thursday, May 09, 2019

Bermuda Beckons

Soft and cushiony, with a shade of pink to enhance the dramatic effect, the sand on the beaches of Bermuda is better than advertised. Hemmed in by jagged rock formations and backed by cliffs, the finest beaches are a mix of horseshoe-shaped coves filled with tanning bodies and small jewel-like pockets of sand with just enough space to contain a couple or two. This sublime stretch of coastline serves as the ideal welcome mat for the weary waves that have rolled some 600 miles from the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the closest landmass to the west. May and early June are the ideal months to visit this 23-mile speck of land in the Atlantic. The surge of travelers, many venturing here aboard cruises in the height of summer, have yet to arrive, so you can see the island in its natural relaxed state. Stay at the newly revamped rooms and suites at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess and they’ll escort you by jitney to their private beach. Or try the resort that’s been receiving rave reviews since its debut the summer of 2017, The Loren. Flights are direct and only 2 hours from New York, Boston, and DC. If you need suggestions on what to do while you’re there, please see my Boston Globe story. ActiveTravels is here to help check lodging availability and pricing. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/09/19 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Deal of the Week: Cruising French Polynesia with Paul Gauguin Cruises

French Polynesia will always hold a special place in my heart. It was here and other South Pacific locales like Fiji and the Cook Islands that I received my start in travel writing, penning stories for Rodale’s Scuba Diving and resort reviews for Bride’s Magazine. In 1994, Lisa and I went on a freighter cruise to the Marquesas Islands that still to this day is one of the highlights of my career in travel. But you don’t have to deliver food to the locals to savor French Polynesia. Go in style aboard the m/s Paul Gauguin, a luxury cruise ship that has been plying these waters for 20 years. Now through May 18, The Gauguin is offering a savings up to $3,650 per person on select voyages, including round-trip airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco. It’s only a 7-hour flight from LA to Tahiti, a mere two hours past Hawaii. Then you arrive in dreamy French Polynesia, where the emerald green mountains rise from the aquamarine waters. I’ve been all over Hawaii and the South Pacific and these are my favorite islands in the world, half of them deserted motus, specks of land surrounded by pristine white sand that are ideal for snorkeling and then walking the lonesome beach. Summer is the ideal time to visit French Polynesia, without the threat of cyclone. So if you’re considering a river cruise in Europe this year, maybe you want to head to the South Pacific instead. For the same price, you can follow in Paul Gauguin’s footsteps. Let ActiveTravels know and we’ll check pricing and availability. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/08/19 at 06:00 AM
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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.

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