ActiveTravels | get up & go!  
 subscribe to ActiveTravels
 Subscribe by RSS By RSS Feed or Email
 
Follow ActiveTravels on Twitter Like ActiveTravels on Facebook View the ActiveTravels YouTube channel
 
ActiveTravels - Travel Agents You Can Trust
   
     
 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ski Quebec on a Budget

If you’re looking for a Northeastern ski area with a dose of affordable French flavor, then a visit to Quebec’s Eastern Townships is in order. With a lift ticket at Stowe reaching $99 this winter, you can head another hour north and be skiing at half the price. This is especially true with the current rate of exchange at US$1 to CAN$1.27. On the shores of Lake Memphremagog, Owl’s Head offers the best of Vermont skiing, but at Quebec’s prices. For a measly US$78, you get one night lodging, supper, breakfast, and a lift ticket! And this being Quebec, that breakfast will include freshly baked croissants, patisserie, and café au lait. 

 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/15/17 at 06:00 AM
Skiing • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Ski Stowe

Thanks to Vail Resorts $41 million acquisition of Stowe, their first ski area in the East, New England skiers now have a good reason to purchase their Epic Pass. For $899 a person, ski as much as you want this season at Stowe, Vail, Beaver Creek, Whistler Blackcomb, Breckenridge, Park City, Keystone, Heavenly, Northstar, Kirkwood, Wilmot, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Perisher (2018 access) and Arapahoe Basin. Also included is access to 30 European resorts across Austria, France, Italy and Switzerland. There are no restricted dates but you do have to purchase the Epic Pass by Sunday, November 19th. Compare that to the current lift ticket price for an adult at Stowe, $99. That can add up quickly. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/14/17 at 06:00 AM
Skiing • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Monday, November 13, 2017

Ski Jay Peak, Vermont

It was unusually cold in Boston this weekend, which is good for many of the ski areas in New England that are now open. First on my wish list this season is Jay Peak. Over the past 8 years, the northern Vermont ski resort opened the 176-room Hotel Jay, the largest indoor waterpark in Vermont, an indoor skating rink for ice skating and hockey games, the Stateside Hotel and base lodge with restaurants and locker rooms, a rental center, 84 new mountain cottages, and a complete redo of the resort’s entrance. Most of the funds used to revamp the resort were collected through an elaborate EB-5 program, where international investors were offered green cards if they invested $500,000. Then in April 2016, a federal lawsuit accused the owners of misusing $200 million raised through the EB-5 program in a Ponzi-like scheme for other projects and their own personal use. Many folks in the ski world thought Jay Peak would shut down once the owners were arrested, but Jay was placed in federal receivership and all employees were told to stay on. They even continued with their construction plans and opened a new theater this summer. What we have now is a world-class ski resort that receives more annual snowfall than any other area in New England, often in excess of 400 inches. I’m ready for a return trip, having last visited when they opened their indoor water park in 2012

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/13/17 at 06:00 AM
Skiing • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Friday, November 10, 2017

Day in the Life: Kosrae, Micronesia

Guest Post and Photos by Claudia Danford 

Welcome to Kosrae, a small island in Micronesia where I’ve wisely decided to spend part of my gap year between high school and university. It was my cousin who initially came to Micronesia ten years ago for WorldTeach. In 2014, he founded the Green Banana Paper Company, an eco-factory making wallets from the fibers of banana tree trunks that would otherwise rot. Matt now has 25 employees and is one of the largest private employers on the island. While Kosrae itself is not a big travel destination, certainly not compared to the other islands in the Pacific region, I hope to give you a taste of “island life” through this blog post. 

I grew up in a small town in western Massachusetts, far from the ocean and jungle. Now I’m smack dab in the middle of the Pacific with 6,600 people and a bunch of tropical fruit. I am outside the realm of any past experiences. My days consist of surfing, scuba diving, consuming lots of coconuts and bananas (many varieties of bananas!), learning to speak Kosraean, and hiking in the jungle to waterfalls. Living in this land of piercing sun and luscious green, soaking up local culture, working in the eco-commerce world at Green Banana Paper, and writing for its website have been wonderful learning experiences. 

Kosrae is part of the Federated States of Micronesia, comprised of Kosrae, Yap, Pohnpei, and Chuuk. The USA gives FSM money for education and government, and, in return, America gets land, air bases, and water for military use. Big ships deliver goods every few weeks, and there are four flights a week: two towards Hawaii and two towards Guam.

Most mornings, I amble out of bed to the colorful, expansive Pacific Ocean and let the waves and sun awaken me. I have also loved scuba diving since being introduced to it here. On one of my first boat rides to a scuba diving site, dolphins swam in front of the boat for a while, just another friendly reminder of all of the beautiful and vibrant life that surrounds this little gem of an island. I later went diving in Lelu Harbor to find two shipwrecks. Apparently there are four ships and two or three planes from World War II in the Harbor. The visibility was very poor because the bottom is murky, but swimming around was wild and somewhat eerie. Above the water are the beautiful lush green mountains and picturesque views, but underneath the remnants of war. Quite a contrast. 

One Saturday afternoon, I was reading in my hammock, hung between coconut trees at the beach, when I noticed a little girl of around 5 years old curiously looking at me. She giggled and came closer, and started drawing in the sand. We ended up playing together for a while, drawing in the sand and swinging in the hammock. She fanned through the book I was reading, looking at the pages and excitedly pointing out pictures. She also climbed a little ways up a coconut tree and jumped into my arms, then ran back to the base of the tree to climb again, and again, and again. She constantly chatted in Kosraean and I only understood a small fraction of what she said. I am now very motivated to improving my skills with the local language. We mostly laughed together; I used Kosraean when I could.

All in all, I encourage you to consider being “active travelers” and explore the Western Pacific and the greater Pacific region if you have the chance. Kosrae is known as the Island of the Sleeping Lady because its collection of mountain peaks resembles a sleeping lady. The beauty of this region is breathtaking, and embracing the island culture is fulfilling my goal of experiencing a vastly different way of life.
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/10/17 at 06:00 AM
Green Travel • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Thursday, November 09, 2017

On the Road to Djibouti

This is the time of year when everyone in the travel publishing world comes out with their top choices for travel in 2018. I usually like the Lonely Planet country picks the best. This year, they’ve included Chile, Portugal, New Zealand, and South Africa, all increasingly popular destinations for our clientele right now. I also like the republic of Georgia, which I blogged about earlier this year, and Mauritius, which seems to be the first choice for relaxation after safari in East or South Africa. Lonely Planet always throws in something way off the radar and 2018 is no exception with their choice of Djibouti. Really? If this destination excites you, stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog when guest writer Claudia Danford describes her trip to the Micronesian island of Kosrae. 
 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/09/17 at 06:00 AM
Travel Advice • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Austin Adventures Joins Forces with Life Is Good

Next week, we’ll be heading to an event in Boston to announce the launch of the new Austin Adventures partnership with Life Is Good. “Life is Good Vacations will allow us to combine our love and respect for the outdoors with Life is Good’s mission to approach each day with positivity. We will work together to design multi-sport itineraries, with activities including hiking, biking, kayaking, horseback riding and mountain top yoga, infused with expressions of gratitude and optimism,” says Austin Adventures founder, Dan Austin. I’ve traveled twice with Austin Adventures, on a family multisport to the Canadian Rockies and with Dan Austin and his daughter, Kasey, on a relatively new outing to the Broadmoor Wilderness Camps on the outskirts of Colorado Springs. Both trips were memorable. So much, in fact, that we have no qualms about placing our ActiveTravels members on any of their itineraries. They always come back with glowing reviews from their experience. But I’m excited to hear about this new venture. In 2018, Austin plans to offer six family and adult Life Is Good Vacations in Montana, Utah, the Canadian Rockies and Costa Rica. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/08/17 at 06:00 AM
Multisport Adventure • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Allegiant and Frontier Airlines Start Flying From Providence

Providence’s T.F. Green Airport is quickly becoming a hub for low-cost carriers. On the heels of Norwegian Air’s new routes this past summer from Providence direct to Dublin, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cork and Shannon, both Allegiant and Frontier Airlines announced that they are starting new routes from T. F. Green this autumn. Allegiant is flying direct to Punta Gorda in southwest Florida (a 35-minute drive north of Fort Myers for you Red Sox spring training fans), St. Petersburg, and Cincinnati. Colorado ski lovers will want to know that Frontier now flies direct to Denver as well as Orlando. So the next time you think of booking a flight out of Boston’s Logan Airport, be sure to add Providence’s T.F. Green (PVD) to the mix. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/07/17 at 06:00 AM
Deals • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Thursday, November 02, 2017

Checking Out Cartagena and the Rosario Islands on My College Break

Guest Post and Photo by Sophie Basseches 
 
A few weeks ago, during my 5-day fall break from college, I was lucky enough to go on an adventure. I journeyed all the way to Colombia to visit my brother who is teaching English at a school there. I know, it seems kind of crazy to go so far for such a short period of time, but it was amazing! 
 
My brother is stationed in Barranquilla. One look at the city and you can tell it’s not an ideal tourist destination. Instead, my brother, his two friends, and I took a 2-hour bus ride over to the old walled city of Cartagena. From $5 dollar vegan brunches to 4 am salsa dancing, this city has everything a newbie to the country could want. Cartagena is the perfect mix of beauty and culture, quite appealing to a college student like myself. 
 
Cartagena is also not too far from some other interesting destinations. On our second day in the city we headed 35 miles southeast to San Basilio de Palenque. We went there expecting a tiny drum festival but were in for a huge treat. After a bumpy and cramped bus ride, we landed in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere and had to take motorcycles down the 5-mile dirt road to the city. Once we got there, what we experienced was anything but dull. There were hundreds of people, amazing food, quality beer, and stunning singing and dance performances done by citizens of all ages, each of them more talented than the next. The drum festival isn’t the only unique aspect of Palenque. Many Africans escaped from the slave ship port of Cartagena and set up Palenque de San Basilio. In 1691, the Spanish Government guaranteed freedom to the Palenque de San Basilio Africans. They were, in fact, the first free Africans in the Americas, and as a result, Palenque was named a UNESCO world heritage site. 
 
I know you’re thinking that this sounds like a lot to do in just five days but there were more adventures to come! Cartagena is on the coast and we had to take advantage of the ideal location. We took a small boat out to the Islas del Rosario (Rosario Islands), a group of approximately 30 islands, all of them beautiful with crystal blue water, white sand, and exquisite sunsets. On the islands there are numerous trails to hike or bike, perfect snorkeling spots, and for those lazy/tired like myself, hundreds of picturesque beaches to nap on. This trip to Colombia was my first time in South America, but after my amazing experience, I know it won’t be my last. 
 
(Photo caption: Sophie and her brother, Jake, in San Basilio de Palenque)
 
 

 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/02/17 at 06:00 AM
Travel Advice • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Aman New York to Open in 2020

Fans of the ultra-sybaritic Aman brand will be happy to know about its latest undertaking, the refurbishment of the iconic Crown Building overlooking Central Park in Manhattan. Set to debut in 2020, the property will feature 83 guest rooms and 20 residences in the circa-1921 Beaux-Arts building, once the original home of the Museum of Modern Art. This will be Aman’s third hotel in the US and only the second in a major city, after Tokyo. Located on 5th Avenue and 57th Street, Aman New York will feature an Aman Spa that will span 22,000 square feet on the 7th, 8th, and 9th floors and include an 80-foot indoor swimming pool surrounded by daybeds. The wraparound Garden Terrace, located on the 10th floor, will offer guests a panoramic view of Central Park, a restaurant, and a cigar bar. The hotel also plans to open a piano bar in the Sky Lobby, Wine Library for tastings and events, and a subterranean Jazz Club. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 11/01/17 at 06:00 AM
Lodging • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Quick Escape to Portsmouth

While the crowds were in Salem this past weekend to celebrate Halloween, we headed a little father up the road to Portsmouth. Stores, restaurants, and the historic streets were all decorated for today’s festivities, which includes a parade. We dropped our bags off at one of the 10 rooms at the conveniently located Ale House Inn, one of the first Lark Hotels properties to debut (they also manage the Hotel Portsmouth on the other end of town). Then took a short walk over to the Portsmouth Brewery for a pint of their pumpkin ale, rimmed with cinnamon sugar. It went down so smoothly I had to sample another one of their signature brews, the Surrender to the Flow IPA. Afterwards, we headed over to Franklin Oyster House for a selection of New Hampshire oysters, harissa-rubbed grilled shrimp, and fries cooked in duckfat. Saturday was a glorious day of sunshine and seasonally warm temps, so we walked all over town, checking out the piers at Prescott Park, the 17th-century homes at Strawberry Banke, the farmers market at City Hall (snagged the last empire apples of the season), and then strolled across Memorial Bridge into Maine for most likely our last lobster roll of the year at Warren’s (outstanding salad bar to boot). Portsmouth Restaurant Week starts November 2nd, so go check out Franklin Oyster, Portsmouth Brewery, and the James-Beard nominated Black Trumpet at a discount. 

 

Posted by Steve Jermanok on 10/31/17 at 06:00 AM
Urban Adventure • (0) CommentsPermalink Bookmark and Share


Page 3 of 150 pages  <  1 2 3 4 5 >  Last »

 

 
 
 

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

 

tags