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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Hawaiian Airlines To Start Nonstop Flights From Boston To Honolulu

One of the big stories in the Boston world of travel this past week is the announcement that Hawaiian Airlines will soon be flying out of Logan Airport's Terminal E. Starting April 4, 2019, Hawaiian Airlines will fly five times a week on the longest scheduled domestic route in America, a whopping 5,095 miles. It will take 11 hours and 40 minutes for the Airbus A330 to fly westbound to Hawaii and 10 hours 15 minutes to return to Boston. Book through tomorrow, September 20th, and fly in April 2019 and the round-trip cost starts at $643 per person. Once in Hawaii, let ActiveTravels take over. We know the islands, lodgings, and activities extremely well. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/19/18 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Biking the Emerald Necklace to View the Fog Sculptures

I've always visited one Emerald Necklace park at a time, say a stroll around Jamaica Pond or through the century-old maples and gardens at Arnold Arboretum. And that's pretty much how the great landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted, intended-to treat each one of his verdant urban oases as a jewel. But when the Emerald Necklace Conservatory decided to display five works of Japanese fog artist Fujiko Nakaya across all their green spaces, I decided it was time to connect the dots and bike most of the seven-mile long stretch from Olmsted Park to Franklin Park. On display until October 31st in Boston, "Fog x FLO" is a unique treat, where fog is spewed out of nozzles at specific times to create a hazy display through the woods or on the water. 

 
We parked at Willow Pond at Olmsted Park and biked along a trail to Leverett Pond, just in time to see the fog rolling out on the water, reflecting the clouds above. That whet our appetite for the rest. We retraced our steps past Willow Pond and up to Jamaica Pond to eye the next fog display on the beach. Stick to the sidewalks and bike lanes to reach Arnold Arboretum, the only real tricky part of the bike ride. It's worth the effort to view "Fog on the Hill," an 8-minute spray of immense fog that goes off on the hour. We watched as the fog rolled down the hillside, splintered with sunshine. Then we were off to our final stop, Franklin Park, on newly paved bike trails and a bike lane the entire way. Here the fog spews out into the ruins of a building Olmsted originally designed the structure as a field house to use as a changing room or view the sports on the adjacent fields. A mile later, I was downing a Santa Fe Salad at The Dogwood, across from the massive Forest Hills T Station. My reward for all the biking. A wonderful outing, especially on a Sunday! 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/18/18 at 06:00 AM
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Monday, September 17, 2018

Dreaming of the Seychelles

We went to the big Africa Showcase in Boston several weeks ago, where reps from many of the sub-Saharan African countries and many lodge owners do their version of speed pitches for some 6 hours. Loved meeting people from Uganda, Zambia, and Namibia, all high on my wish list. But I absolutely adored the presentation on the Seychelles, 115 dreamy islands in the Indian Ocean. Only 2 hours by flights from Nairobi or Dar, it's the perfect add-on to a safari in the Masai Mara and the Serengeti. Especially when you realize that the Seychelles are home to some of the finest island resorts in the world. If I was a honeymooner, I'd take a good look at Fregate Island, North Island, Six Senses, the Four Seasons, or MAIA. Contact ActiveTravels and you'll receive extra Virtuoso amenities like free upgrade, spa treatments, and meals when booking. We're here to make dreams come true! 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/17/18 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, September 14, 2018

Height of Fall Foliage in Vermont Could Be a Week Later in 2018

We had a very warm summer in New England, one of the warmest on record. And it's still continuing to be warm this weekend, with highs expected to reach the mid-80s on Sunday. So meteorologists in the region are already starting to predict a later fall foliage, similar to last year. The typical peak in central Vermont, from Stowe to Woodstock, is usually around Columbus Day. But I would expect peak to be closer to the week of October 15th. To view the foliage without the crowds, please check out my story for Yankee Magazine last October. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/14/18 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, September 13, 2018

Two Good Reasons to Visit Paris Later this Year

Joan Miró's first major one-man show in Paris was at the Gallery Pierre in 1925. The private viewing opened at midnight and quickly became legendary, both for the art on the walls and the guest list, which included the Surrealist Andre Breton. Miro's whimsical works of his vivid imagination will be back on display this fall and winter in Paris, when the Grand Palais presents a retrospective of the great Catalan artist's body of work. From October 3, 2018 to February 4, 2019, over 150 works coming from the greatest European and American museums, as well as from private collections, will pinpoint the milestones of his career. It's the first retrospective of the artist since the Tate Modern show in 2010. If that's not enough of a reason to get you on a flight to Paris, the same Grand Palais is offering a second exhibition this fall on the career of singer Michael Jackson. "Michael Jackson, Off the Wall," on view from November 23 to February 14, 2019, will mark the 10th anniversary of Michael Jackson's death and examine the contribution of the world's most famous pop singer to the creative arts over the past 30 years. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/13/18 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Four Seasons Astir Palace Athens to Open Early 2019

For those of you who want to see the Parthenon and then head out of the city to the nearby beaches, look no further than the new Four Seasons Astir Palace Athens, set to debut early next year. Only a 30-minute drive from downtown Athens, the 303-room property fronts two beaches and houses 3 pools. There will also be a spa and a choice of 8 restaurants and bars. It's the perfect venue for starting or ending your trip to Greece, only a 30-minute drive from the international airport. Also be on the lookout for the Four Seasons Resort and Residences Napa Valley, slated to open the summer of 2019. Set on a serene vineyard in Napa, the property will feature 85 villas, each with a fireplace and private terrace. If either resort looks enticing, please send us your dates and ActiveTravels will be happy to check pricing and availability. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/12/18 at 06:00 AM
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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Exploring Prince Edward County, Ontario

Guest Post and Photo by Amy Perry Basseches 

For many years, New England was my playground to explore, and, in much the same way, I am now discovering the province of Ontario. Recently, I was off to Prince Edward County, about 2 ½ hours northeast of Toronto, "an island on the northern shore of Lake Ontario where you go to fall in love with food, nature, art and community all over again," says the official tourism site. I stayed with an artist friend in Demorestville, and visited Picton, Wellington, Lake on the Mountain, and Bloomfield. I loved the small towns, field upon field of agricultural use, numerous options for water activity, wineries (there are 30!), artists' studios, antique stores, old stone buildings, and excellent farm-to-table food. 
 
For wineries, I can recommend Karlo Estates, with its wonderful tasting room inside an historic barn, and Waupoos Estates Winery, overlooking the waters of Prince Edward Bay. I thoroughly enjoyed the local food at the Drake Devonshire Hotel sitting outside on the beach. Also good was The Miller House Cafe, located in a 1796 former residence in Lake on the Mountain Provincial Park, 62 meters above Lake Ontario, with views of the Bay of Quinte below. I found antiquing success at the humorously-named Dead People's Stuff, where I purchased a set of lovely highball glasses and a set of deep blue snifter glasses for my son (who recently moved into his first apartment in Boston). Lastly, it was off to Sandbanks Provincial Park, with "the world's largest baymouth barrier dune formation," and long sandy beaches. I wish I had had more time to walk on the trails and swim in the surf. 
 
Also in Prince Edward County: theater, music, birding, as well as a renowned "Great Canadian Cheese Festival" every June, and a famous August Jazz Festival. The Globe and Mail ran an article recently entitled "Ten new things to see, do, eat and drink in Prince Edward County." It's definitely a weekend destination I'll return to. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/11/18 at 06:00 AM
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Friday, September 07, 2018

My Life as Travel Writer is Woven into the Landscape of Maine

Heading back to Maine last week with the family, it's hard not to think of all the stories I crafted on the adventures in this state. The vast wilderness of the interior and rambling ocean shoreline has provided the inspiration for at least 100 stories and many chapters of travel guidebooks. Paddling on Long Pond and listening to loons in Maine's North Woods, it was hard not to think of the time I paddled with the Conovers on the Allagash River or Kevin Slater on the West Branch of the Penobscot, still one of my favorite stories for Sierra Magazine. Slipping into the waters of Boothbay Harbor, I was reminded of the time I wrote a piece for Men's Journal on inn-to-inn sea kayaking along the Sheepscot River with Jeff Cooper, a flawless paddler and the so-called Director of Fun. Maine has been my playground for the past quarter century, and if last week's roster of activities is any indication, bagging a peak, paddling a lonely waterway, and sea kayaking along the rugged coast, I know it will spur my sense of adventure the next 25 years. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/07/18 at 06:00 AM
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Thursday, September 06, 2018

Maine Week-A Must Stop at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

I was so impressed with my first visit to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, back when I was penning a story on Linekin Bay Resort for The Boston Globe, that I knew I'd be back some day. I'm happy I made that wise decision. In my opinion, it's the finest botanical garden in the northeast after the Bronx and Montreal. We first strolled through the Butterfly House to see the intriguing caterpillars (one looked like an aboriginal art painting) and butterflies. Then wandered around the Garden of the Five Senses, a real highlight. We smelled the sweet lemon verbena, touched the soft, velvety lamb's ear, even took off our shoes to walk on the smooth stones of the reflexology spiral. Just as magical is the Children's Garden, where the stone paths lead to fish-filled ponds, oversized cabbages, hungry chickens, and small huts filled with hand-made puppet-sized fairies. Adults seem to have just as much fun here as the children. Oh, did I mention all the flowers in bloom last week, including rows of white hydrangea and sweet-smelling roses? Give yourself at least 3 hours to be nurtured by all this beauty. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/06/18 at 06:00 AM
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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Maine Week-The Advantage of Using an AMC Guide

On the first morning after breakfast at Gorman Chairback, we met up with our guide, Katie. Katie leads day trips for the AMC's guests at the three lodges in Maine's North Woods, Gorman Chairback, Little Lyford, and the recently reopened Medawisla. Not only is she an AMC guide, but she's a Registered Maine Guide who can take people out in the summer to bag a peak, paddle, or fly-fish, and in winter to cross-country ski and snowshoe. We chose to canoe across 4-mile Long Pond with Katie and it was a wise choice. She shared the Old Town with Lisa, while my son, Jake, and I grabbed the second canoe. We had hopes of seeing a moose but that never panned out. Instead we followed a family of loons, mergansers, and even spotted a bald eagle atop a dead hemlock tree. The waters of Long Pond were like glass that morning, reflecting the surrounding mountains atop the surface. All you could hear was that mesmerizing call of the loon as there no other traffic on the pond. No boats, no canoes, nothing.

Katie was a wealth of information regarding Maine's North Woods, telling us about the timber industry, people she lives with in nearby Greenville, and the surrounding mountains and lakes which she pointed out on a great map. We stopped for lunch on a deserted beach as she planned the following day for us, a hike to the peak of Third Mountain. The next day we were having lunch atop Third Mountain all by our lonesome looking out at that same body of water we had just paddled. The AMC offers custom-guided adventures in the White Mountains and Maine's North Woods and it's a wonderful way to learn far more about these two regions of the Northeast. AMC guides can take groups out for a half day or a full day tour, providing natural history insights and points of interest along the way. The itinerary is based on the ability and desire of the group. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 09/05/18 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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