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Announcements

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Time to Step Back and Work on Other Projects

2021 marks the 25th anniversary of my first book, Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England. Since that time, I’ve written or contributed chapters to 9 other books, including New England Seacoast Adventures, and penned more than 500 stories on the region for the Boston Globe, Yankee, Men’s Journal, and a slew of other magazines. I’ve also designed over 200 itineraries to New England for clients since our travel agency, ActiveTravels, made its debut eight years ago. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of my first book, I’ve been wanting to distill all my knowledge of the region this past quarter century into a new book, tentatively titled New England in a Nutshell. Now thanks to the current state of the travel industry, I have nothing but time. This is not going to be the typical comprehensive guidebook on the entire region. More like my column for Yankee Magazine, listing my top beach towns, fall foliage drives, adventures, lobster shacks, art history outings, etc…In other words, get straight to the point and divulge my favorite gems. 

That’s not to say this blog is going to disappear. On the contrary, we’ve been busy working with our wonderful web designers in Portland, Maine, iBec Creative, who these past 3 months have been busy redesigning both the ActiveTravels blog and website. Hopefully, we’ll launch in mid-May to celebrate our 8th anniversary, but that all depends on the spread of the Coronavirus and if the travel industry is up and running again. 
 
In the meantime, I leave you with this, my latest published story, Hot Air Ballooning in Cappadocia from the March issue of Global Traveler Magazine. 
 
Stay tuned, stay active, and stay healthy! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 03/18/20 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, February 20, 2020

Want to see the Northern Lights in the Yukon this September?

Guest Post and Photo by Amy Perry Basseches 
 
Canada is the third largest country by landmass in the world, containing 10 provinces and 3 territories. Now living in Toronto, I am determined to explore as much as I can. Part of my journey will take me to the Yukon in September, the northernmost and westernmost point in Canada (bordering Alaska). Care to join me?
 
The Yukon is one of the least densely populated regions in the continent. It’s a wild area, full of mountains, valleys, lakes, glaciers, deserts, and forests…everything you could want to explore in nature (as well as being known for the Klondike gold fever in the 19th century). Less than 10 minutes away from the capital of Whitehorse, the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis) can be seen perfectly. I've been told that September would be a fantastic time to see the Northern Lights, the fall colors, and it’s not too cold!
 
Here’s my plan. 
Sep 7 - Arrive in Whitehorse. Aurora hunting at night.
Sep 8  - Visit the Carcross/Tagish First Nation, also Emerald Lake and Carcross Desert; do some hiking. Aurora hunting at night. 
Sep 9 - Visit Kluane National Park, do some hiking. 
Sep 10 - Visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve & Takhini Hot Springs. Aurora hunting at night.
Sep 11 - Morning hiking around Whitehorse. Departure in the afternoon.
4 nights at Coast High Country Inn, Whitehorse. 
 
Guided touring and ground transportation will be with Tobias Barth, the owner of EPIC North. Tobias moved from Germany to the Yukon five years ago. He says, “being here is such a treat, I’m happy every day, it’s paradise here, we have this awesome nature/untouched wilderness all around us.” He's also an aviation photographer who specializes in glider air-to-air pictures.
 
Total cost per person in a double room will be (at most) $1630 USD, $2160 CAD (plus 5% tax). Single rooms are available at higher cost. The more people who say “yes,” the lower the price. Deposit of 25%, final payment 30 days prior. The best way to get to Whitehorse is through Vancouver, serviced by AirCanada. WestJet also has some flights, and AirNorth. 
 
Please let me know if you are interested: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/20/20 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, February 17, 2020

New Direct Flight from Boston to Asheville, North Carolina

Starting May 8th, Allegiant Airlines will be flying direct from Boston to Asheville. I’m really excited about the opportunity for clients to visit this town on a direct flight and to see the expansive Biltmore Estate and its resplendent gardens, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. From beginning to late spring, the gardens come to life with the tulip bloom followed by multi-colored azaleas, rhododendrons, and come May, roses in the rose garden. Another joy is the 80-mile stretch of roadway between Asheville and Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are numerous opportunities to stretch your legs and stroll to lonely mountain streams and waterfalls. Back in Asheville, a celebrated foodie destination, grab tapas like squid ink paella at Curate. Luella’s Bar-B-Que (just north of downtown) serves ribs, pulled pork, smoked chicken wings, even barbecued tempeh.

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/17/20 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Paint the Town Red in Kennebunkport This February

Celebrate Valentine’s Day on the Maine coast, where Kennebunkport is painting the town red for romance. Throughout the month of February, all businesses at Dock Square in downtown Kennebunkport will be decked out in red lights. Start it off this Saturday, February 1st, at The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel, which will be hosting the opening Igloo Ice Lounge party, complete with four igloos decked out in plush fur, cozy throw blankets and abundance of candles with views of the sparkling stars above, s’mores, and a dance party. On Valentine’s Day, enjoy a 3-course meal at the Burleigh, located in the Kennebunkport Inn. Two nights later, On February 16th, you can savor Bubbles and Truffles at Earth at Hidden Pond, when chocolate truffles will be paired with a flight of sparkling wines. For those looking for an over-the-top engagement, Put a Ring on It puts the Cupid Concierge on speed dial to help curate that perfect romantic weekend. The package includes an original love poem, bottle of Dom Pérignon in Waterford crystal champagne flutes, a personal photographer to capture the “big ask,” four dozen red roses and chocolate covered strawberries. Available through February 29, the package can be booked by phone at 1-207-967-1517 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/28/20 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, December 20, 2019

See You Again in 2020!

It seems like yesterday that I was writing a story for Men’s Journal on the best trips to take over the new millennium. Now it’s 20 years later! This year has been a banner year for ActiveTravels, reaching long-term goals on both sales and membership. It’s a privilege to write about my journeys all these years and to send clients to the countries and states that excite me the most. 2020 marks the 30th year of being in the travel industry and there’s no way I’d still be here without your support, especially post-2008 recession, when publications folded and half my editors found other lines of work. I’ve been blogging ever since and I’m excited to report that next year, this blog will finally be updated as we make important changes to the ActiveTravels website. Thank you for your support and please stay tuned. 

We’re off to the outskirts of Playa del Carmen to get some much-needed R&R with the family. Have a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous New Year! We’ll be returning the week of January 6th with our Top Dream Days of Travel in 2019. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/20/19 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, October 28, 2019

First Prize for Best Family Travel Story

I was delighted to receive word last week that my story for Virtuoso Traveler on traveling with the family to the Swiss Alps won first prize in the Family Travel category at the Society of American Travel Writers Eastern Chapter Writing Contest. I don’t take this lightly. I must have submitted 20 stories over the past 25 stories and haven’t received any recognition since my book, Outside Magazine’s Adventure Guide to New England, was published in 1996! Rereading this particular story on Switzerland, I touched on loss, how my kids were getting older, soon graduating from college, and you can’t take these family trips for granted much longer. I think it was this part of the piece that resonated with the judges. Even more surprising was that I received an Honorable Mention in the Miscellaneous category for my Road Trip to Revolutionary War Sites story for Chevrolet’s New Roads Magazine. The highlight of researching this story was having dinner with an old high school friend in Saratoga and spending time with my nephew, Max, in Philly, who was going to school at UPenn. Please have a look at the winning entries. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/28/19 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, May 07, 2019

Another Exciting Summer in Montreal

Visit Montreal in June and you’ll see the Botanical Garden in full bloom. It’s also the time of year when its laundry list of summer events and festivals begin, starting with the Montreal Grand Prix on June 9th. The Montreal International Jazz Festival comes to town late June 27-July 6, followed by Just for Laughs Comedy Festival July 10-28, the premiere comedy event in North America. Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and other top tennis pros are on hand for the Rogers Cup August 2-11. Stay at the brand new Four Seasons Hotel Montreal, slated to make its debut on June 1st. The hotel will feature 169 rooms and suites, acclaimed Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s first restaurant in Canada, Marcus, a 24-hour fitness center, sky-lit indoor swimming pool, and spa. Please let ActiveTravels know you’re headed to Montreal and we’ll check hotel availability and design our patented Dream Day Itinerary to other regions of Quebec, which we know very well. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/07/19 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, May 06, 2019

New in New York

I had lunch with Alyssa Schmid and Rachel Peace from NYC and Company last Thursday, and, not surprisingly, there’s a lot happening in New York City this summer. WorldPride will make its debut in the City June 26-30 to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Numerous cultural organizations have arranged exhibitions highlighting the Year of Pride, like the Mapplethorpe show now at the Guggenheim. I’ve already discussed the debut of The Vessel and The Shed at Hudson Yards on this page. The first-ever Equinox Hotel (to open in July) and the tallest outdoor observation deck in the Western Hemisphere, the Edge (2020), will soon be joining them. MoMA will close in late June and reopen October 21st after its latest expansion. The TWA Hotel, residing in the former TWA Hotel Center from the 1960s, debuts on May 15th, bringing glamour back to JFK Airport. Ian Schrager’s Times Square EDITION just opened above Times Square to rave reviews. Aman and Six Senses properties will soon be unveiled. They’ll need all these hotel rooms for the record number of visitors arriving each year, a whopping 65 million visitors in 2018. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/06/19 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Join the Festivities this Summer in Switzerland

Yesterday I talked about the slate of trips now being offered by Run the Alps. While we’re discussing that part of the world, I want to fill you in on what’s happening this summer in Switzerland from a recent luncheon I had in Boston with old friends from Swiss Tourism. The big news is that Fête des Vignerons or the Winegrower’s Festival returns to the glorious Lake Geneva seaside town of Vevey from July 26 to August 11, 2019. This event only occurs once every 20 years! Join singers, dancers, wine experts, and loads of other performers for the extravaganza. Elton John, Sting, Quincy Jones, Slash, and Chick Corea are a just a handful of renowned performers appearing at the Montreux Jazz Festival June 28 to July 13. And from September 20-22, Roger Federer will get to compete in front of the home crowd along with Rafael Nadal, when the Laver Cup comes to Geneva. The Swiss know how to have a good time! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 04/24/19 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, January 18, 2019

ActiveTravels January Newsletter, Best of The New Travel in 2019

We look forward to bringing you the ActiveTravels January Newsletter each year because it gives us a chance to discover what's new in the world of travel. If it wows us, then it passes the test and we're excited to share it with you. Please have a look to see our roundup of the latest and greatest hotels, resorts, cruises, adventures and restaurants to debut in 2019. 

We're off to Hong Kong and Bangkok tonight for the next two weeks. We had to leave two days early to avoid the winter storm and snow headed to Boston. We'll be back on February 4th with the highlights from Amy's recent trip to Thailand and Laos. Thanks, as always, for checking in! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/18/19 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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