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Thursday, June 20, 2019

Still Possible to Visit Cuba

While cruise ships can no longer visit Cuba and the People to People Educational travel category is being eliminated, we still have clients traveling to Cuba over the next year. Our friend Megumi, who runs the tour operator HabanaLive in Cuba, tells us that clients can either join a People to People trip that has been grandfathered in (they have grandfathered FIT bookings available on multiple dates throughout fall/winter/spring) or travel under a different approved travel category. They have fantastic programing options under the Support for the Cuban People, Professional Research & Meetings, and Religious travel categories. So if you want to visit Cuba, ActiveTravels will get you there! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/20/19 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Samoset Unveils New Renovated Rooms and Suites

The crown jewel of Maine’s mid-coast, the 230-acre Samoset Resort in Rockland, has undergone extensive room renovations this winter. All 178 rooms and suites now have a contemporary coastal flair, thanks to the blue and white palette that livens up the décor. Samoset will also debut six new “Family Suites” this month. Each Family Suite will feature a kid’s bunkbed room, separate from the main bedroom, ideally suited for families with tweens and teens. The bunk room features amenities like board and video games and fun, educational books about Maine. The resort also features an 18-hole golf course, outdoor and indoor heated pools, hot tubs, tennis courts, health club, spa, basketball courts, and fire pits. Also nearby is my favorite breakwater to walk in the state and the James Beard-award winning restaurant, Primo

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/19/19 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Arenal’s Nayara Tented Camp to Debut in December

If you have plans to visit Costa Rica this winter and want a luxurious retreat, consider staying in the Arenal region at the new Nayara Tented Camp. Sister property to the Nayara Hotel and Nayara Springs (16 private villas), Nayara Tented Camp is the brainchild of owner Leo Ghitis who was inspired by the luxury canvas lodges of Africa and Asia. The 29 air-conditioned accommodations, each spacious at 1,496 square feet, have been built at a higher altitude on the hillside to provide unobstructed views of the Arenal volcano. The property is surrounded by creeks and natural hot springs, approximately a 2 ½-hour drive from San Jose Int’l Airport. Transfers are available for an additional cost. Or contact ActiveTravels and we’ll put together a package with another region on the beach, like Manuel Antonio, Osa Peninsula, or Guanacaste. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/18/19 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, June 17, 2019

Road Trip to The Atlantic Maritimes

For me, Canada’s Atlantic Maritimes are an extension of New England, a place I visit yearly, if not two or three times a year to pen stories on whalewatching and sea kayaking New Brunswick’s Bay of Fundy, walking the dunes and biking the island-long bike trail of verdant Prince Edward Island, and listening to the live Celtic music of Cape Breton. Far less congested than parts of New England, the region is a joy to drive, the reason why it’s become a requisite road trip for many Northeasterners. For members who come to us with last minute summer requests, we always suggest this road trip. ActiveTravels will design our patented Dream Day Itinerary, which includes our favorite lodging, activities, driving routes, and restaurants. Also remember that the current rate of exchange is very advantageous to Americans, $1 US is currently $1.34 Canadian! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/17/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, June 14, 2019

Spend an Active Weekend in the Finger Lakes

Known for its award-winning Rieslings, New York’s Finger Lakes deserve its reputation as one of the best spots in America to go wine tasting. Yet, its majestic scenery also lends itself well to adventure. At the southern end of Seneca Lake, we hiked alongside a handful of waterfalls in the famous gorge of Watkins Glen. The next morning, Lisa and I kayaked through a cattail-laden marsh and saw countless herons, turtles, and a beaver. Talk about adventure—a 40-pound carp jumped out of the marsh and slammed against my arm as I shrieked. But my favorite part of the weekend was a quiet bike ride along a peninsula that juts into Keuka Lake. Start your ride from Keuka College and follow East and West Bluff Roads as they pass the small waterfront cottages with cute names like Hide N’ Seek. There’s one killer hill on the 20-mile ride that takes you atop a bluff, before cruising downhill back to the college. Afterwards, we rewarded ourselves with a lobster roll and glass of semi-dry Riesling at Heron Hill’s Blue Heron Cafe. We were fortunate to book a room at the Black Sheep Inn in Hammondsport, on the northern tip of Keuka Lake. Owners Debbie Meritsky and Marc Rotman spent over 6 years refurbishing the rare octagonal-shaped house. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/14/19 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, June 13, 2019

A Great Time to Raft the Deerfield River in Massachusetts

Thanks to a far too wet spring, New Englanders are blessed with more water in our backyard than we’ve had in years. Many of the whitewater rivers, like the Deerfield that Zoar Outdoor runs, gain their momentum from dam releases at power plants. The more water these plants have in their reservoirs from snow and rain, the more water you have to surge over rapids in a raft or kayak. Raft Zoar Outdoor’s most popular trip, the Zoar Gap. Minimum age is 7 and rates range from $60-$104 depending on age. Their highly regarded white-water kayaking school is also one of the best places to learn the sport in the northeast.

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/13/19 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Best Summer Drives in New England

One doesn’t drive in New England simply to get from Point A to Point B. No, we like to linger, savor the beauty, cherish the history. We’re fortunate to be blessed with a diverse landscape full of majestic sights like the jagged shoreline of Maine, the granite notches of New Hampshire, the verdant farmland of Vermont, and the long stretch of white beach found in Rhode Island. We stop not only to post photos to our Instagram and Facebook accounts, but to dine on lobster rolls and fried clams at renowned seafood shacks, hike on the same shoreline and forest paths that inspired Winslow Homer and Robert Frost, and stop to stay at legendary inns or a new cabin built into the vast Maine wilderness. To read my story for Yankee Magazine on 8 Great Summer Drives, including maps, please click here

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/12/19 at 06:00 AM
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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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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.

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