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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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Thursday, January 03, 2019

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. Hotels, restaurants, galleries, and shops will welcome travelers with savings, from Red Plate dining specials to Five Shades of Red hotel packages, and Red Tag sales from retailers. The Love KPT package starts at $479 and includes a two-night stay at The Boathouse Waterfront Hotel, the Kennebunkport Inn, or the Grand Hotel, arrival goodies of red wine and chocolate-covered strawberries, a three-course dinner for two and late check-out. The package is available for travel through March 31, 2019. 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 28, 2019, the package can be booked by phone at 1-800-573-7186. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/03/19 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, November 19, 2018

Purchase Membership to ActiveTravels and Proceeds Will Go to World Central Kitchen

Since we started ActiveTravels in 2012, we've always had a Holiday push in November and December to help spread the word and to share the yearly membership fee with a worthy cause. In the past, we have donated to Heifer International and Ryan's Well Foundation. This Holiday Season, if you purchase a membership to ActiveTravels for you, a friend or family member, we will donate half of the proceeds to World Central Kitchen. Founded by renowned Chef José Andrés, the World Central Kitchen team arrived in Puerto Rico September 2017 just a few days after Hurricane Maria wiped out the entire power grid. After cooking a few thousand meals at his friend's restaurant, Andrés began receiving calls for aid from all over the island. He quickly expanded operations, mobilizing a network of emergency kitchens, food trucks, and partner organizations to make sure that communities in need received quality meals. They want on to serve over 150,000 meals in a single day, becoming the largest fresh meal operation following the hurricane. They have since served a mind-boggling 3.6 million meals in Puerto Rico and have moved on to help other regions hit by hurricanes and earthquakes, like Florida, North Carolina, and Indonesia. With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday all coming up this week, consider purchasing the gift of travel and all the memorable experiences associated with your vacations. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/19/18 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, June 26, 2018

ActiveTravels Presents the Fran Golden Cruise to Alaska in 2019

After years of toying with the idea of designing our own group trips utilizing the talent that we know as guides, we've finally decided to take the plunge next year. We're delighted to announce that one of the most renowned cruise writers, Fran Golden, former travel editor of the Boston Herald and author of Frommer's EasyGuide to Alaskan Cruises and Ports of Call (2018), will be hosting an Alaskan cruise June 15-22, 2019. On the Inaugural Fran Golden Alaskan Cruise, we'll board the newly refurbished Eurodam (see the latest review in Travel & Leisure) in Seattle. Then make our way up the Pacific coast with stops in Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria, before arriving back in Seattle. Fran will select her favorite shore excursions along the route and provide anecdotes from her other memorable cruises. For more information, please contact ActiveTravels

I'm off to San Francisco for a family reunion, back next Tuesday. Have a great week! 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/26/18 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, May 11, 2018

ActiveTravels Ranks No. 278 of World’s Top Travel Blogs 2018

Found out this week that ActiveTravels made the list of top travel blogs in the world, according to Gary Arndt's Everything Everywhere. The extensive list was based on SEO metrics, but it's obviously skewered toward his liking since Everything Everywhere is ranked number 4. Regardless, I appreciate the effort Gary took to finally have a list of travel bloggers all over the world. He mistakenly notes that I started blogging 19 years ago. I actually purchased the ActiveTravels URL 19 years ago but didn't start blogging until 2009. It's nice to be recognized for my work on the blog. I can't thank you enough for taking the time to check in now and then to find out what's new in the world of travel. Keep it up so I can crack the Top 100 listing by 2020! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 05/11/18 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, February 26, 2018

An Update on Santa Barbara, the American Riviera

Guest Post and Photo by Amy Perry Basseches

Thanks to the generosity of a long-time friend, I recently spent a weekend at his lovely home, dating back to the 1920s, high in the hills above Santa Barbara. At ActiveTravels, we often get asked about the impact of recent fires and mudslides on Southern California travel plans, so I was grateful for the chance to check things out first-hand.
 
The Santa Barbara area is called the American Riviera, and, as far as I could tell, the joint was jumping. We were graced with glorious sunshine and warm (but not hot) temperatures. We journeyed into the waters off Santa Barbara aboard the Sunset Kidd, looking for migrating whales, but instead were treated to dozens of dolphins swimming and jumping right alongside us. We ate wonderful meals at Opal and at Blackbird. The latter is part of the newly opened Hotel Californian, very near the beach in the “Funk Zone” neighborhood (more on that later). The hotel features Spanish Colonial Revival architecture and modern Moorish themed interior décor, and incorporates the façade of the original 1925 Hotel Californian. To relax at the rooftop pool, or in the Turkish-inspired spa, would be amazing. After having a tour around with the Catering Manager Inga Winkler, I would not hesitate to reserve rooms there for ActiveTravels members (note: the chef at Blackbird whipped up an original vegetarian dish for my daughter, which was much appreciated). 
 
The “Funk Zone” near the hotel has enjoyed a renaissance. Formerly “the railroad track neighborhood,” it is now full of boutique tasting rooms, cafes, galleries, and shops that cater to Santa Barbara’s contemporary side. Converted warehouses and buildings decorated with graffiti murals and art pieces set the tone. 
 
We wine tasted at Skyenna, a stone’s throw from the famous Stearns Wharf, which we had visited on a prior trip. There was also an outdoor art fair in Shoreline Park, shops to check out on State Street, the Old Mission to admire, burritos at the original Freebird in Isla Vista near UC Santa Barbara, sushi at Arigato, and authentic Mexican food at Super-Rica Taqueria. One place my friend had recommended we visit for fine dining was closed due to the mudslides, the San Ysidro Ranch, so it’s definitely still an issue for some businesses. But, if Santa Barbara interests you, ActiveTravels would be happy to help you enjoy the hills, beach, water, food, and wine.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 02/26/18 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, December 29, 2017

Ski-In/Ski-Out Resorts, New York on a Budget, and Grand Cayman Featured in December Newsletter

Snowmaking is not a problem right now in America, now that more than half the country is experiencing an arctic freeze. In this month’s issue of the ActiveTravels newsletter, we divulge our client’s favorite ski-in/ski-out resorts, learn about the new adventure travel company called Life is Good Vacations, talk about the hotel deals in New York in January, and tell you where to stay on Grand Cayman now that the temps have dipped. With direct flights from most cities on the East Coast,  the island is perfectly suited for a Quick Escape. 

Have a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2018! We’ll be back next week with our Top 5 Dream Days in 2017. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/29/17 at 05:59 AM
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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Puerto Rico Hotel Update

According to the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), 75 percent of Puerto Rico’s hotels, or 113 out of 149, are open and operating. They include the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, Hotel El Convento, Wyndham Rio Mar, La Concha Renaissance, Olive Boutique Hotel, and the San Juan Marriott Resort. El Conquistador, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, plans to open April 1, 2018. Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve will reopen October 1, 2018. The Ritz-Carlton San Juan Hotel and Hotel St. Regis at Bahia Beach Resort also plan to reopen on October 1st. W Retreat & Spa Vieques will reopen Dec. 31, 2018. Cruise ships running in and out of San Juan are now 90% operational and expect to be 100% operational by Christmas. Puerto Rico desperately needs your business and there are good deals on hotel rates and cruises to get you back down there. Contact ActiveTravels and we’ll fill you in. 

 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 12/05/17 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, October 27, 2017

Caribbean Update, Kauai Resorts, and Maine’s Cliff House in October ActiveTravels Newsletter

In the October ActiveTravels Newsletter, we discuss the Caribbean locales that weren’t affected by the hurricanes, pick our favorite hotels in Kauai, talk about how Amazon can help you in a pinch, and introduce you to one of the finest new resorts in Maine, the Cliff House. Please have a look! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/27/17 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

New Zealand Top Choice for North American Adventure Travelers

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) just completed a study with Outside Magazine on how adventure travel trends have changed in the last decade. The top 5 desired destinations for the intrepid today are New Zealand, Australia, South America, South Pacific, and Western Europe. North America and the Middle East, both in the top 5 in 2006, slipped down to number 7 and 16, respectively. Hiking, backpacking, and sea kayaking were the top activities in 2016, replacing more hardcore sports a decade ago like rock climbing. I was surprised that biking and mountain biking weren’t taken into consideration. I would think that the popularity of both sports would be near the top today, judging from the increasing number of our clients who want to join a biking trip. The multisport trip, where you sample a different activity every day, also remains strong, especially with families. But I didn’t see it mentioned in this report. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/25/17 at 05:59 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.

ActiveTravels.com is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

Adventure Travel Trade Association

 

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