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Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Opening of L’atelier des Lumières in Paris

Paris' art scene will get a breath of fresh air when L’Atelier des Lumières opens in April to the public. Devoted to immersive art experiences, each year the Atelier will showcase a major exhibition offering a digital perspective on one of art's biggest names, allowing you to step inside the world’s most famous artworks. Covering a whopping 2000 square meters, L’Atelier des Lumières is set to utterly transform a 19th-century factory, with innovative, 8 meter-high projections cloaking its walls. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/24/18 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Debut of the Perry Lane Hotel, Savannah, Georgia

On the main thoroughfare of Savannah’s downtown corridor, the Perry Lane promises to bridge the antebellum past with modern comforts when it opens on May 18. The owners spent five years studying Savannah, so they've figured out how to transform all that history into a 21st-century hotel. A Starwood Luxury Collection Hotel, the property offers 167 guest rooms, rooftop bar, pool, and Emporium Kitchen and Wine Bar featuring locally sourced meats, fish, and cheeses. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/23/18 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, January 22, 2018

Under Canvas, Grand Canyon, Arizona

This week, I’m excited to feature five of the most highly participated resort debuts in 2018. Anyone who’s been on a mobile safari in the Serengeti knows that living under a tent can often be as luxurious as a suite in the Four Seasons. All the modern comforts of space, lighting, and private shower can be found inside. Now the upscale glamping scene is starting to catch on with America’s National Parks, thanks to Upscale Canvas. The company already offers luxury tent options in Zion, Yellowstone, Moab, Glacier, Mount Rushmore, and now have their sights set on the Grand Canyon. Located in Williams, a 40-minute drive from the South Rim, 56 secluded acres of forest will be transformed into the ultimate glamping experience. Head over to that big gaping hole for a hike or enjoy a sampling of nearby activities like horseback riding and mountain biking. 

 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/22/18 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, January 19, 2018

DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. Offering New Trips to South Africa and Greece

Clients of ours just returned from a DuVine trip to Portugal and raved about the high level of biking, service, food, and lodging. That’s not surprising. DuVine is the crème de la crème of bike tours. The company is best known for their small-group trips to the wine regions of the world, like Burgundy and Napa, often bringing well-known sommeliers and chefs along for the ride. Another classic itinerary which clients love is the Tour de France trip where you ride part of the challenging Tour de France route while catching some of the race. Now DuVine has their sights set on Greece and South Africa. We sat down with DuVine’s Kyla Briggs this week and she told us the Greece trip is already selling out in 2018. Not a surprise when you look at the route, aboard a 10-passenger yacht to off-the-beaten-track Dodecanese islands of Kos, Nisyros, and Kalymnos, stopping to bike through the small villages and wineries on these islands. On the dreamy South Africa itinerary, you not only get to bike the famous Chapman’s Peak route south of Cape Town, but you’ll get a taste of off-road biking in the Stellenbosch wine country. 

If you’re interested in any of the DuVine trips in 2018, please let ActiveTravels know and we’ll look into pricing, availability, ages of riders already signed up, and pre- and post-lodging choices. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/19/18 at 07:45 AM
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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Four Seasons Debuts New Resort in the French Alps

Next week, I’m excited to divulge my 5 favorite hotel openings in 2018. But I thought we’d get things started early with the debut of the Four Seasons' first European mountain hotel. Especially since Megeve, France has been getting dumped on this past week, with a foot of fresh snowfall in the past 24 hours. A modern interpretation of an alpine chalet, Four Seasons Megeve offers 55 guest rooms and suites, and five restaurants and lounges, including a new incarnation of the Michelin two-star restaurant Le 1920. The only hotel directly on the Mont d'Arbois slopes, expect 235 groomed runs at your front door. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/18/18 at 05:59 AM
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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Vermont Announces At-Par Lodging Promotion for Canadians

Close to 2 million Canadians visit Vermont each year, spending approximately $200 million on tourism. To give Canadians even more incentive this ski season, the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing has teamed with Toronto-based Porter Airlines to offer a lodging promotion where the price of the room is the same in American and Canadian dollars. Currently, $1 US dollar is $1.24 Canadian dollar. So you’ll be saving $24 Canadian for every $100 of lodging. More than 20 lodging properties in Burlington, Stowe, and Mad River Valley are offering Porter Airlines’ passengers this discount, including Hotel Vermont in Burlington and Green Mountain Inn in Stowe. The offer is good through May 3, 2018. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/17/18 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Get into the Winter Olympics Spirit at Lake Placid

The Olympic venues from the 1980 Games in Lake Placid are still used today for national and international competitions, and are open to the public. Visitors can tour many of the Olympic sites from the 1980 Games, including the chance to skate on the Olympic Speed Skating Oval, ski at Whiteface Mountain (site of all the Olympic downhill events) and take a bobsled ride (with an experienced driver) at the Olympics Sports Complex. The FIS 2018 Freestyle World Cup aerials competition (Jan. 19-20) and the Empire State Winter Games (Feb. 1-4) are two of the events leading to the Olympic Games in PyeongChang. Or head to the Lake Placid Training Center on February 24th for the USOC PyeongChang Olympic Winter Fest. You’ll get to meet and greet with former Olympic greats like speedskater Eric  Heiden and hockey player Jim Craig, dine on s’mores, and catch a concert by Third Eye Blind. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/16/18 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, January 15, 2018

Visit a National Park for Free on MLK Day

To celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday, all entrance fees to national parks in the US are waived today. And if you’re considering visiting Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches, the five national parks in southern Utah, you might want to head there in late April. This year’s National Park Week is April 21-29, when all national parks in the United States are free. September 22nd and November 11, Veteran’s Day, are the other dates in 2018 when you’ll find no entrance fees to the national parks. Take advantage of this opportunity to be active amidst the majestic beauty of America. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/15/18 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, January 12, 2018

Up for Breakfast in Manchester, Vermont

Guest Post by Amy Perry Basseches 

Breakfast and brunch are the only meals you can get at Up for Breakfast (UFB), and you better believe they do them well. Open since 1989 in their unique and tiny second floor location (which has never thought of expansion -- it’s just right this way), UFB is a casual and cozy spot with great food. Open 7am-12:30 pm (1:30 pm on Saturdays and Sundays), don’t miss it, at 4935 Main Street. Consider getting there on the early side for a table, no wait. We literally go on every trip to Manchester. I favor the Eggs Vegetarian (complete with artichoke hearts and fresh Hollandaise); my husband Josh likes the Wild Turkey Hash, or sometimes one of the amazing daily specials (or a special homemade sausage like pheasant with hazelnut and cognac).
 
Every time we visit, we see the same servers. It’s a family-run place. Owner Bonnie Bruce is well known in town. On a personal note, there was a front page story in the Boston Globe in 2016 about her family (not about UFB). The next time I went for a meal, I pulled her aside to say I had read the article and wanted to share a quiet moment with her. We ended up sitting and talking in the storage room off the small kitchen for quite a while. 
 
If your travels take you to Southern Vermont, let us know. ActiveTravels would be more than happy to help with lodgings, restaurant, and (indoor and outdoor) activity recommendations.
 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/12/18 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Necessary Stop at Manchester Hot Glass in Southern Vermont

Guest Post and Photo by Amy Perry Basseches 
 
Manchester, Vermont is a year-round destination for many people from the Northeastern U.S. Having grown up in the NYC area, followed by more than three decades in Boston, I’ve been visiting since the 1970s. Recently, for an ActiveTravels member who was here for several days in late December, I had cause to compile 40 years of travel advice for the area. That was a long list! Today, I’m writing about one of my favorite local businesses and travel activities, Manchester Hot Glass
 
Manchester Hot Glass is a glass blowing studio open daily to the public, founded in 2000. Owner/artist/teacher Andrew Weill is from New Jersey and started working with glass as a teenager. He says, “Right from the start, I learned a great lesson in humility. Glass is an amazing material – it can be hot and malleable and cold and delicate all at the same time. There is nothing like it. The surprises it can produce are equally as unique.”
 
Believe me, Andrew is a work of art himself. His welcoming nature and fun-loving spirit come through to all who take his classes. In my humble opinion, no trip to Southern Vermont is complete without Andrew. Classes in glassblowing are available any time of year; from $50 - $350, you can be tutored by the best and then take home a unique hand-crafted original (or two or three). 
 
“I blow glass simply because I love it. If I can afford to go to work each day and do what I love, I figure I’m better off than most.” What a great line!  I’ll leave you with this from Andrew: “Glass to me is a lifetime pursuit of knowledge and skill. There is always something new to learn and skills that can be improved upon. As a glass blower, I am primarily concerned with the issues of design, and it is my goal to create unique pieces that people will enjoy.” 
 
If your travels take you to Southern Vermont, let us know. ActiveTravels would be more than happy to help with lodgings, restaurant, and (indoor and outdoor) activity recommendations, as well as in the Berkshires area nearby. 
 
(Photo: Amy’s daughter Sophie and Steve/Lisa’s daughter Melanie at Manchester Hot Glass, August 2012)
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/11/18 at 06:00 AM
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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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