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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Run the Alps Offers New Slate of Trips This Summer

Doug Mayer, founder of Run the Alps, one of the premier running outfitters in the world, sent me his list of 2019 trips this week. These sell out quickly, with many returning guests, so if there’s a trip you like, don’t wait too long to book. In Chamonix, France, even the Mayor is an ultrarunner. The famed alpine town at the base of Mont Blanc is also the world epicenter of trail running. Join Run the Alps for a week of running here (June 24-31), which includes a stop at breathtaking Courmayeur, Italy, and the chance to take part in the Cross du Mont Blanc, one of the oldest trail races in the Alps. Their itinerary running the iconic Berner Oberland route still has openings July 21-27. In Zermatt and Grindelwald, Run the Alps has revised their itineraries to fit a variety of trail running abilities. They’ve also secured entries into the Eiger and Ultraks trail race series, with races including distances of 10, 30, 50 and 101 km, if you’d like to take part in an Alps trail race. Who wouldn’t want to run with the Matterhorn as your backdrop? 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/23/19 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Country Walkers Turns 40

Country Walkers, the tour operator that likes to slow down to appreciate the splendor of the world on two feet, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2019 with a slew of new trips to far-flung locales like Zambia, Chile, and New Zealand. But we really like the itinerary to Sri Lanka, an 11-day jaunt coined "Sri Lanka: Ancient Temples & Tea Trails." The February trip is already sold out, but there's still availability on the December trip. We had dinner in Bangkok recently with a woman who has traveled all of Asia on 2 to 4-hour flights. She told us she loves Sri Lanka and returns there often. Fantastic scenery, history, culture, and people. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/26/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, September 15, 2017

Still Time to Hit the Beach in New England

Next week, I’ll be discussing my favorite fall foliage activities in the region. Yet, I love September just as much as October in New England. The summer crowds are gone leaving the beaches deserted. It’s been unseasonably warm all week, in the low to mid-80s. With cousins in town from Arizona and my brother in from New York, we took advantage of the warm weather on Tuesday to drive up to a family favorite, Wingaersheek Beach in Gloucester. A mere 45-minute drive from my home and I was sifting my feet in the soft white flour-like sand looking at the gorgeous lighthouse at the point. It was low tide and we walked on a long sandbar almost out to that lighthouse. There were few people on the beach and best yet, there was no charge to enter. When we had our fill of sun, sand, and ocean, we headed to nearby Woodman’s for the requisite lobster roll, steamers, and onion rings. This place always has a long line in summer, but we marched right up to the counter to make our order. The weather is supposed to be warm and sunny the rest of the month so hit the coastline and dip your feet in the ocean one last time. 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/15/17 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, June 26, 2017

Adventures in New Brunswick Week—Hiking to Barnaby Head

Almost equidistant between Saint John and Saint Andrews, New River Beach is best known as one of the finest stretches of sand on the Bay of Fundy. Yet, just a wee bit to the east of the crescent-shaped beach is one New Brunswick’s most glorious hikes, the nature trail to Barnaby Head. Walk on a boardwalk lined with long planks through a bog that a moose could love. Soon the vistas of the Bay of Fundy open up as you arrive at Chittick’s Beach. The rocky shores are sandwiched between jagged bluffs and boulders carpeted by seaweed. Out to sea, you could never tell that the Bay of Fundy experiences one of the greatest tidal shifts on earth, often more than 30 feet difference between high and low tide. The water looked as flat as an ice skating rink and there were no signs of boat life on this overcast day. There were also no other hikers as we made our way on a narrow, root-littered trail that hugs the shoreline. What a treat! You enter an emerald forest where both rocks and trees are smothered in moss and the soft path feels springy. The sweet smell of pine only enhances the experience. We enter another lonely beach, Deep Cove, where we hear the distinct yodeling call of the loon and see the white tops of eider ducks. Soon we’re at the tip of the peninsula, Barnaby Head, hearing the clanging of a buoy bell on the water. The crisp sea air is therapeutic, washing away any worries. It’s good to be back in New Brunswick. 

Photo by Jeff Katz

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/26/17 at 05:00 AM
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Friday, December 02, 2016

Walking Newport’s Cliff Walk in the Off-Season

Monday morning, Lisa and I had the privilege of walking the Cliff Walk under sunny skies. Rhode Island’s most popular trail is perched on the rocky shores above the Atlantic, ocean on one side, the backyards of the massive Bellevue Avenue mansions on the other. In the summer months, this 3 ½-mile route is crowded with hundreds of folks yearning to see the sloping lawns and backside of those summer “cottages” the Vanderbilts, Whitneys, and Astors built at the turn of the century. This time of year, you’ll pass the occasional dog walker or jogger as you take in the expanse of the sea all by your lonesome. Park your car on Narragansett Avenue near the walk and proceed to the right. The sun was beating down on the clear and shimmering ocean waters. We soon spotted The Breakers, the Italian-style villa commissioned by Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1895. Another highlight is the red and gold lacquered Chinese-style pagoda at the Marble House. We enjoyed learning about the history of each estate at sign posts scattered throughout the walk. Simply type the number into the website and you’ll get the scoop.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/02/16 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Get into the Holiday Spirit at Newport

Just returned from a rejuvenating 24 hours in Newport, one of my favorite stopovers in New England any time of year. Starting today, the historic seaport gets into the Holiday spirit with a month-long citywide celebration simply called Christmas in Newport. The long list of activities includes live music at The Breakers estate and lantern walks over the twisting cobblestone streets. Newport is also home to a slew of intriguing boutique shops, ideal for Holiday shopping. Not far from the mansions on Bellevue Avenue is the Alloy Gallery, owned by a Rhode Island School of Design-trained jewelry artist who displays contemporary wares created by her and her colleagues. Women’s blouses, dresses, and jackets can be found at Tyler Boe, at Bannister’s Wharf. Kids will like the quirky games, clothing, books, and other odd miscellaneous knickknacks found at Pleasant Surprise on Thames Street. Close by is the Newport Historical Society Gift Shop, selling sea soap, shells, gardening and history books on New England. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/01/16 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, October 21, 2016

Favorite Fall Foliage Walks In and Around Boston, Broadmoor Wildlife Sanctuary

A family favorite, this 600-acre Mass Audubon sanctuary in Natick is a popular birdwatching and walking retreat in the western suburbs. Bordering the Charles River, nine miles of trails weave over marsh and river on boardwalks and into thick forests of tall pines. There’s even a small waterfall to be seen. Rest atop one of the bridges to look for lounging turtles or to spot a great blue heron spreading its vast wings and slowly taking to flight. Other birds include kingfishers, osprey, and wood ducks. Trails are open dawn to dusk and cost $5 for nonmembers. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/21/16 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Favorite Fall Foliage Walks In and Around Boston, Mt. Auburn Cemetery

It might sound macabre to hike through a cemetery, but Mt. Auburn is no ordinary burial ground. Opened in 1831, it is the first large-scale designed landscape in the country. Now a National Historic Landmark, the 174-acre arboretum is known for its peaceful strolls along ponds or in dense woodlands which boast more than 700 types of trees. Walk amidst the century-old sugar maples while you visit the graves of Winslow Homer, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Isabella Stewart Gardner. The Friends of Mount Auburn offer guided walking tours during the fall. Visitors are welcome every day of the year from 8 am to 5 pm.


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/20/16 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Favorite Fall Foliage Walks In and Around Boston, Walden Pond

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived,” wrote Henry David Thoreau in his best known work, Walden. Thoreau ventured to the woods with ax in tow in March 1845 to build his historic hut. Never would this modest writer imagine what an impact his philosophical musings would have on the world 160 years later. For two years, two months, and two days, Thoreau lived alone in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in his rustic abode built near the shores of Walden Pond in Concord.  While a replica of the hut only exists now, the woods make for a wonderful ramble, especially in mid-October with the maples aflame. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/19/16 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Favorite Fall Foliage Walks in Boston, Strolling Arnold Arboretum

It could actually hit 80 degrees today in Boston. If my bike ride to Concord this past Saturday is any indication, we’re starting to see the first phases of fall foliage in the region. So take advantage of the wonderful weather and the fall colors this week to visit some of my favorite walking spots around Boston. With its maze of one-way streets, rotaries, and few parking options, Boston can be hell on wheels. It is, however, one of the best walking cities in the country. This is especially true when you consider all the green spaces we have around town or in the near suburbs. So ditch the car and take a quiet stroll at the locales I’m going to discuss this week. 

It’s easy to forget you’re still in Boston when walking under century-old elms, maples, and beeches at Arnold Arboretum. Located in Jamaica Plain, the 265-acre plot was donated to Harvard University in 1872. The immense botanical garden is known for its exotic array of flora including Australian trees, Japanese Gardens, and every type of rose imaginable. To learn more about the flora, consider taking a guided tour during the weekend throughout October. The grounds are open from sunrise to sunset every day of the year and admission is free.  

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/18/16 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. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

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