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Monday, April 12, 2010

Serious Rafting Only a 30-Minute Drive from Boston

Starting next Saturday, April 17th, you can go on a rollicking good ride on the Concord River, just north of Boston. Zoar Outdoor, known for their rafting trips down the Deerfield River in central Mass, is leading guided jaunts on the Concord for any one 14 years and older. For the price of $82, you can rip through three major class III and IV rapids—Twisted Sister, Three Beauties, and Middlesex Dam. Zoar supplies all gear. All you have to do is show up and get ready to scream.

 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/12/10 at 01:00 PM
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Friday, April 09, 2010

Yoga Atop New England’s Tallest Peak

Carlene Sullivan, owner of Symmetree Yoga in North Conway, New Hampshire, has just introduced a 2-night Yoga Adventure, where you take a guided hike or drive to the top of 6,288-foot Mount Washington, and top it off with yoga and meditation on the summit surrounded by the other ridges of the White Mountains. Prices start at $260 per person and include two nights' accommodation, breakfast, lunch, and dinner, yoga class, breath work, and meditation, and transportation to the site from North Conway. Carlene also offers day-trips, where you hike to a serene spot in the Whites and have your own private yoga session next to a waterfall or rambling stream. 
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/09/10 at 12:59 PM
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Thursday, April 08, 2010

Self-Guided Inn-to-Inn Bike Trips in New England

The rhododendrons are already in bloom and the yellow warblers just arrived at my birdfeeder in the Boston burbs. With temps hitting the mid-80s today, it’s time to break out the bike for a ride. For riders looking for a little inn-to-inn action this summer, it’s never been cheaper to bike in New England. Two outfitters, Bike the Whites in New Hampshire, and Country Inns Along the Trail in Vermont, are offering three days of riding for as low as $299 per person. What does that 300 bucks get you?  Detailed maps depending on you ability, from 20 to 80 miles a day, emergency roadside assistance, two nights lodging, two dinners, two breakfasts, and transport of your luggage from one inn to the next. Country Inns has rides in several of my favorite spots in Vermont, including Addison along Lake Champlain, where you spend the night at the Barsen House Inn. See the story I wrote on biking in this part of Vermont for The Boston Globe Sunday Magazine.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/08/10 at 01:00 PM
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Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Neutralizing the Carbon Footprint of Pearl Jam

How does a rock band offset its carbon emissions from a 32-date world tour in 2009? Well, if that rock band is Pearl Jam, they plant 33 acres of trees around Puget Sound in Washington. The band just donated $210,000 to Cascade Land Conservancy to provide the plantings, which will help to make up for the 5.474 metric tons of carbon used during last year’s tour. The group has been mitigating its carbon output since 2003 and plans to do just that after this summer’s tour. When Pearl Jam rocks out to “Force of Nature,” they mean it.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/07/10 at 01:00 PM
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Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Staycations Still Popular the Summer of 2010

Staycations, the stay close to home trend of last year continues into this summer as travelers are still trying to save money in this wretched economy. The Fairmont Battery Wharf is doing its part, offering a 10% discount on the best available rate, plus a free upgrade to all New Englanders. Open a little over a year ago, the hotel is located on Battery Wharf, once owned in its entirety by Paul Revere’s son. The 150-room property has good views of Boston Harbor and the Coast Guard carrier on the neighboring dock. It’s a great locale for families, within easy walking distance to the New England Aquarium, Quincy Market, the Freedom Trail, and the Italian restaurants of the North End.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/06/10 at 01:00 PM
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Monday, April 05, 2010

Sarah Palin, Your New Guide to Alaskan Wildlife

Let me get this straight. The woman who fought against increased protections for America’s struggling polar bear population, fought against increased protections for the dwindling Cook Inlet beluga whales, and once had the audacity to put a $150 bounty on the carcasses of dead wolves is now hosting her own Alaskan Animal Kingdom show. On Discovery Channel, no less? Talk about selling out to the lowest common denominator. Heck, why not throw her on the deck of the Exxon Valdez and spew oil while cruising the Alaskan coast! This is a sad mockery, especially for all those naturalists currently hosting shows who genuinely care about the wildlife around them. Sarah Palin is obviously cashing in on her 15 Minutes of Infamy before she follows in the footsteps of Dan Quayle, who actually made it to the Vice Presidency. But who would have thought that Discovery Channel was desperate enough to buy it, hook, line, and stinker. Do your part and sign a petition with the Defenders of Wildlife, a nonprofit in Washington, DC, who help protect wildlife in the USA.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/05/10 at 01:00 PM
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Friday, April 02, 2010

Rafting the Chilko River, British Columbia

It was 1997 when I first met Brian McCutcheon, owner of Rivers, Oceans, and Mountains, or simply ROAM. I had been hired by Men’s Journal magazine to write about the first descent of the Klinaklini River in British Columbia. It was a spectacular journey down a rip-roaring river dwarfed by snowcapped peaks and glaciers. I was accompanying Johnny Morris, the owner of Bass Pro Shops, who came to the Northwest with his entourage to hook salmon on the fly. The fish weren’t biting but the scenery and excitement of riding the Klinaklini more than made up for the lack of salmon.

McCutcheon now offers multisport trips around the globe, including his latest and greatest, the lakes district of Argentina. But it’s his native BC that he knows best. For starters, try one of the most exciting whitewater rafting runs in North America, a weeklong jaunt down the Chilko River in southwestern BC. Take an hour seaplane flight from Vancouver to 4,000-foot high Chilko Lake where a new $10 million lodge was recently unveiled.  Then let the rollercoaster ride begin. You’ll cruise 130 miles, dropping 3,000 feet through a tumultuous blur of lava gorges and narrow chutes. Looming overhead are sloping carpets of forest and jagged peaks. And, on those rare moments when you slow down, you might find yourself staring at an eagle or grizzly. BC also stands for serious Bear Country, home to 12,000-plus grizzlies.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/02/10 at 01:00 PM
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Thursday, April 01, 2010

Washington DC for Families, Now an iPhone App

More and more of my travel writing buddies are entering into the world of iPhone apps, simply utilizing their expertise in another medium. Take my friend, Alistair Wearmouth, a writer and editor at Away.com who happens to be a parent living in the Washington, DC area. Few know the region better than him, so it makes perfect sense that he’s just come out with an app on the DC area for families. It includes more than 125 listings for the best places to sleep, eat, play, and visit, slideshows of over 1,000 photographs, and recommendations relative to your current GPS locale. Since Alistair has a love of the outdoors, many of the sites have an active component, like places to bring the kids to bike, paddle, and stroll in parks. Cost is a measly $1.99.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/01/10 at 12:58 PM
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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Viva Italia!

Maybe it’s the lure of Italian cooking, the chance to finally see the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican in Rome, biking through the countryside of Tuscany, or driving along the spectacular Amalfi coastline, that has made Italy such a hot destination in 2010. I just received a call from Go Ahead Tours in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who noted that bookings are up a remarkable 55% on trips to Italy compared to last year.  So much, in fact, that they decided to host an event on April 10th called “A Taste of Tuscany in Boston.” On hand will be best-selling author Frances Mayes, who’s releasing her new book, “Every Day in Tuscany.” Italian food and wine will also be presented. Join in the festivities at the EF Center on 1 Education Street in Cambridge from 2-5 pm. Save a spot by remembering to RSVP.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/31/10 at 01:00 PM
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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Another Hotel Deal in New York

Last December, I wrote about staying at the Hotel @ Times Square, a new hotel that just opened up in Midtown Manhattan, on 46th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues. Since the place was spanking new, the beds were comfortable, the baths had large shower heads, and the room was equipped with Wi-Fi, Ipod docking station, and flat screen television. Included in the $150 a night price was a free continental breakfast of bagels, donuts, hot and cold cereal, coffee and juice. Word spreads quickly, because the hotel was already packed with European families when I arrived. New this month in Midtown Manhattan is the Distrikt Hotel, 155-room property located on West 40th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. Through April, the Distrikt is offering an introductory rate of $159 a night. Each floor of the hotel is decorated in the style of New York’s many neighborhoods, from “SoHo” on the 12th floor to “Chelsea” on the 20th floor. The hotel is also home to Collage restaurant, celebrating New York foodie favorites paired with local microbrews.
 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/30/10 at 01:00 PM
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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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