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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Top 5 Beaches in New England to Be Active: Mountain Bike Bluff Point Beach, Connecticut

Feel like mountain biking to the beach? At the 778-acre Bluff Point State Park in Groton, a dirt road lines Poquonock River as you head straight to Bluff Point Beach. If you want to ride by your lonesome, numerous singletracks spread out in every direction from the main trail like spokes on a wheel. Choose one and ramble along the shores or inland to the John Winthrop house, dating from the early 1700s. Take a breather on the rocky bluffs where you can see directly across the Long Island Sound to New York’s Fishers Island and left to Rhode Island’s Watch Hill.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/24/10 at 01:00 PM
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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Top 5 Beaches in New England to Be Active: Windsurf Kalmus Beach, Hyannis, Massachusetts

All a windsurfer needs is a prevailing wind and steady diet of waves to catch some air. On Nantucket Sound, wind speeds exceeding 20 knots are the norm, not the exception, and the shallow water help windsurfers mount waves quickly. Kalmus Beach, south of Hyannis, is the boardsailing mecca, be it spring summer, or fall. If the crowds get to you, try nearby West Dennis Beach or Forest Beach, at the end of Forest Beach Road in Chatham.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/23/10 at 01:00 PM
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Top 5 Beaches in New England to Be Active: Bike to Briggs Beach, Little Compton, Rhode Island

South of Route 195 and the gritty mill towns of Fall River and New Bedford lies countryside so fertile you’ll feel like you’re in Vermont. Stretching from Dartmouth, Massachusetts, to Little Compton, Rhode Island, the area is known as the Heritage Farm Coast. It has the sunniest and most temperate climate in New England and thus the longest growing season. Dairy farms, corn fields, even vineyards, border the Sakonnet River as it washes into the Atlantic. Add the crescent of sand at Briggs Beach and you have the perfect country and coast ride. For a good 20-mile loop, take Route 77 south from Tiverton Four Corners to Sakonnet Point and return on backcountry roads past the village green of Little Compton.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/22/10 at 01:00 PM
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Monday, June 21, 2010

Top 5 Beaches in New England to Be Active: Sea Kayak Mile Beach, Georgetown, Maine

There are two types of New England beach lover. The first heads to his favorite stretch of sand, squeezes his towel in between the masses, layers on the lotion, and kisses away the day. The second thinks of the beach as a welcome mat to that great expanse of ocean that lies ahead—a starting point to a slew of activities like sea kayaking, surfing, or sailing.  Even if you prefer to stay on terra firma, there are New England beaches that cater to the mountain biker or walker. This week, I’m delving into my favorite beaches in New England to be active.  First up is Mile Beach in Georgetown, Maine.

Shrouded in an early morning mist, the fog recedes and you’re treated to a view of Maine’s coastline few have seen since Winslow Homer captured it on his canvases over a century ago. This is why one heads to Georgetown’s Reid State Park to sea kayak along the shores of Sheepscot Bay. The sand at Mile Beach soon gives way to the boulder strewn coastline where the Northern Atlantic pounds the rocks, spewing foam high into the air. Juniper pines, dwarfed by forceful gales, refuse to budge from the land above.  You’ll no doubt be joined by seals that pop their heads out of the water like periscopes to look around.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/21/10 at 01:00 PM
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Friday, June 18, 2010

Another Ridiculous Assignment from an Editor

Yesterday, I received a call from an editor of an auto magazine in Detroit, wanting me to rent a Chevy Malibu in Boston and drive to Washington, DC. A photographer will be joining me to take shots. She wants me to describe the drive. Okay, not exactly the most scenic stretch of highway in America, especially when you’re passing the chemical plants in northern New Jersey. I’ve been a travel writer for 20 years, so I’ve had my fair share of absurd assignments. The worst was a request from Men’s Journal to backpack along a stretch of the Mojave Desert with a guy who was designing a long-distance Desert Trail though the Western states. I had to backpack in with over 30 pounds of water and my own blend of dehydrated food. The heat was brutal and the only signs of civilization I saw were deflated balloons hanging from the cacti. You want to know where your kid's helium balloons go when they lose them? This forgotten hellhole. By the third day, my feet were covered with blisters, my supply of water was sucked dry, and the tape in my trusty microcassette recorder had melted. The editor ended up cutting my 1500-word story to 500 words due to space limitations. But I did better than the photographer I was traveling with, who had to schlep in his heavy camera equipment on top of the water. They didn’t accept any of his work. Must have been that glaring sun.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/18/10 at 01:00 PM
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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Bike Around the Perimeter of Manhattan

I spent last Saturday biking around Manhattan with my son and friends, led by my old college roommate, Alex Cigale. Now living in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, near the northern tip of the island, Cigale is an avid biker who commutes to work in Midtown on two wheels and has biked atop every bridge out of the city. Today, however, he was taking us around the perimeter of the island on the 32-mile Greenway.  Many riders have biked the 6-mile loop around Central Park, but to really appreciate Manhattan, you have to bike with the skyscrapers at your side around the entire island. Thankfully, most of the loop is on bike trails, with the only detours on city streets from 35th to 59th Street around the United Nations and 130th to 155 Streets, both on the East Side. The West Side is a straight shot down on bike trails from Inwood Hill Park, under the GW Bridge, into Riverside Park, past the condos of Trump City and the USS Intrepid carrier, and then around the World Financial Center, with the Statue of Liberty in view. Grab a Bike NYC map from any bike rental shop or Visitors Center and do this memorable day trip.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/17/10 at 01:00 PM
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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Ocean Edge Resort Takes Advantage of its Waterfront Setting

With six pools, a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course, tennis courts, and bike paths that connect easily to the 22-mile long Cape Cod Rail Trail, the Ocean Edge Resort offers its guests more than enough outdoor activity. Yet, I’m most excited about the resort’s latest partnership with Cape Cod Museum of Natural History to go on naturalist-led walks on the mud flats of Bay Pines Beach. Throughout the summer, you’ll explore Cape Cod Bay at low tide, searching for clams, crabs, sea cucumbers, and other marine life. The beachcombing is appropriate for ages 5 and up and they don’t need to dress up like SpongeBob. Though it might help find other critters.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/16/10 at 01:00 PM
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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Win a Vacation for the Next 50 Years

Travelers with a good sense of humor should submit a photo of themselves to a new contest hosted by If you can somehow get others to vote for you "desperately needing a summer vacation," earning top vote getter, you’ll win an all-expenses paid, five-night getaway with roundtrip airfare and $1000 cash FOR THE NEXT 50 YEARS! is also giving away FLIP camcorders daily.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/15/10 at 12:59 PM
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Monday, June 14, 2010

So You Want to Own a B&B, Part Two

In 2004, I wrote a cover story for the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine called, “So You Want to Own a B&B.” In the article, I spoke about the dream of leaving your current job and opening a country inn. The new innkeepers underestimated the amount of hours it took to run a B&B and many burned out quickly. During my research, I met a couple, Jennifer and Ed Dorta-Duque, who were taking a course on the ups and downs of running an inn. At the time, they had quit their jobs as software developers in Baltimore and had been searching for an inn for over 1 ½ years, looking at more than 50 properties in Annapolis, Pennsylvania, Cape Cod, Nantucket, and New York’s Finger Lakes region.  Finally, they came upon the Three Mountain Inn in Jamaica, Vermont, and made the purchase. Six years later, the couple is still going strong and the inn, located in a quiet village on the backside of Stratton Mountain, is a wonderful weekend retreat any time of year.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/14/10 at 01:00 PM
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Friday, June 11, 2010

Sea Kayak God’s Pocket Marine Provincial Park, British Colombia

Those of you who’ve had the good fortune to sea kayak the Gulf Islands accompanied by seals, sea lions, and the occasional whale know the sheer exuberance of paddling in British Colombia. But the word has certainly spread, with more and more sea kayaking and whale watching outfitters joining the fray and dotting the waters of Johnstone Strait. That’s why Sea Kayak Adventures has decided to venture farther north this August to paddle in Canada’s newest marine park, . Starting in the North Vancouver Island town of Port Hardy, the six-day jaunt takes you through the remote waters of Queen Charlotte Strait to spot humpback, minke, and orca whales, porpoises, seals, and sea otters. You’ll camp on the quiet island shores, hike into the lush rain forest, and explore tidal pools for colorful sea stars. Cost is $1595 per person Canadian and includes guides, all meals, camping, and kayaking gear. Dates are August 9-14 and August 16-21.

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 06/11/10 at 01:00 PM
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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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