The Seattle-based adventure cruise line has just announced new fall and spring departures in Washington’s Puget Sound and Salish Sea that bring together local micro-brew experts with adventure while cruising the scenic area from South Hood Canal to Olympic National Park and the San Juan Islands.
New Connections Journeys to Cuba to Begin in September 2013
Although only 90 miles separate the United States from Cuba, for decades it has remained off-limits for most Americans. Travel provider, Abercrombie & Kent is bridging the gap with Cuba: People to People, a 10-day program filled with meaningful interactions and people-to-people connections which reveal the spirit of this fascinating, culturally-rich island.
What to expect:
Limited to just 24 guests in a program that enables Americans to discover Cuba through a combination of authentic personal encounters designed to transform their understanding of the people of this enigmatic country, Abercrombie & Kent USA has been granted a license by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control to offer people-to-people educational exchange programs to Cuba.
Wondering where you can go to enjoy autumn’s finest hues without leaving the comforts of an inn’s porch or the privacy of your room’s deck (or Jacuzzi tub)? To help you make the most of the season, here are 10 inns where laid-back leaf peepers can sit back, relax and take in the foliage from the best seat in the house.
Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn & Spa —Sautee Nacoochee, GA: Sitting atop a mountain does have its advantages. This 10-room inn boasts 360 degree views of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia. Admire the canopy of color from a rocker on the wide deck before taking in a game of badminton or croquet on the lawn with the foliage as your scenic background.
Wildberry Lodge — Leicester, NC: This rustic log cabin lodge is situated on 45 acres in the Great Smokey Mountainsand a short drive to downtown Asheville. You can step out onto their sundeck or flagstone patio to admire the foliage or soak up the views from the private porch off the Blackberry Suite.
Lookout Point Lakeside Inn —Hot Springs, AR: Indulge in deep relaxation at this retreat situated in the Ouachita Mountains overlooking placid Lake Hamilton. Enjoy your morning coffee and the foliage view from your private deck before taking a walk along the labyrinth waterfront trail.
From rich history in the heart of Peru and the nearly untouched wilds of the Galapagos Islands, to a trek to the height of the Himalayas, or a voyage to the emerald coasts of Ireland, REI Adventures’ classic trips feature world-class wildlife viewing, some of the world’s most spectacular natural wonders, and unmatched experiences for learning & adventure.
For those seeking a healthy, outdoor alternative to the traditional fall foliage viewing or road trip this autumn, here are four REI travel experiences that take the idea of fitness vacations to a whole new level:
· Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Multisport – An award-winning adventure for 2012, this trip combines two classic destinations in one unforgettable expedition. Beginning in South America’s oldest continually inhabited city, Cusco, and working its way through the ancient Inca culture, it then takes adventurers to the Galapagos Islands, where there are plenty of opportunities to swim, kayak, snorkel and hike. Trips leave once a month, through November.
· Zion and Bryce Canyon Hiking – Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks, known for their stunning red and white-walled canyons, plentiful hiking opportunities and panoramic views, are perfect destinations to visit in the fall, when the intense heat of summer eases into pleasant hiking weather. Adventurers will hike the canyons, learn about the landscape and spend their evenings in a secluded lodge on a private 1,000 acre ranch.
· Everest Base Camp Trek – One of adventurers’ most coveted destinations, the peak of Mt. Everest towers far above timberline; travelers will see the stark banner of clouds and snow pluming from mountain peaks and experience the colorful Buddhist and Hindu traditions to be found in the surrounding areas. This journey will take folks to the peak of Kala Patar (18,100 ft.) for an unobstructed view of Everest’s summit.
· Ireland Coast-to-Coast – From Dublin to Dingle, hike from the Irish Sea to the Atlantic Ocean for a trip of unmatched scenic variety and authentic Irish experiences. Take this trip in the fall – it’s sold out for nearly every departure date from now through August.
When kids go back to school, many adult travelers head to U.S. national parks. Depending on the location, the parks are visited by fewer people during the fall months, and temperatures are typically moderate. No matter where you go, however, there are plenty of appealing activities, as well as lodging choices for every budget.
Here are three examples of autumn-season national park adventures:
Death Valley National Park, California. Unlike most national parks, fall is just the beginning of the park’s peak season. Concessioner Xanterra Parks & Resorts operates the luxurious, 66-room Inn at Furnace Creek, which opens its doors for the season in mid-October. Xanterra also operates the year-round Ranch at Furnace Creek. The resort features three restaurants, lounge, gift stores, golf course, swimming pools and more. Activities in Death Valley include golfing at the world’s lowest golf course, horseback riding, Jeep tours, bicycling, tours of historic Scotty’s Castle, hiking and touring by car.
Autumn is a perfect time of year to travel. Temperatures are moderate, the crowds of summer vacationers have dissipated and the scenery in many parts of North America are bursting with vibrant colors. These annual displays of nature are the basis of many of Vacations By Rail’s popular autumn rail tours—where the only things more brilliant than the fall colors are the scenic train excursions that take travelers through the spectacular scenery.
One of the premier autumn travel destinations is New England, renowned for its spectacular red, orange and gold foliage on display. Fall foliage rail vacations visit popular New England sights like Boston, Mystic Seaport, the Breakers mansion, White Mountain National Forest and Cape Cod and include spectacular train excursions throughout the region including the Mt. Washington Cog Railway, the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway with some of the steepest railway tracks in existence, the Conway Scenic Railroad, the Cape Cod Central Railroad, and the Essex Steam Train, among others. Some tours, like the 8-day fall foliage favorite New England Rails and Sails, also include scenic lake and harbor cruises, which offer a unique perspective on the stunning colors.