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The World’s Most Beautiful Vineyards

The World’s Five Most Beautiful Vineyards   A holiday to a wine resort is one sure-fire way of guaranteeing a good time. Wine inexplicably tastes better when you’re drinking it whilst admiring the vines that created it. Of course, with good wine, comes good food and luxurious...

Maui’s Most Romantic Sites To Take Your Breath Away

Hawaii feels made for romance with turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, exotic flowers, Polynesian culture and a laid-back vibe. Sure, you can spend all day at the beach near your resort or near one of the many Hawaii villa rentals, but if you are like my...

World’s Most Thrilling High-Country Drives

The world’s great high-country drives offer unparalleled scenery through the windshield. From the bear-prowled highlands of America’s Northern Rockies to the glacier-thick buttresses of New Zealand’s backbone, mountain roads are rich in scenery—and, with sheer drop-offs, avalanche delays, and tempestuous weather often the norm, a...

Unique Hawaii – A Local Expert Shares His Secrets

While millions of tourists descend on this gorgeous state every year, I believe too few ever venture far from their hotel's beach or the tried-and-true tourist attractions to see the true beauty of the islands. This is a real shame, as the Hawaiian...

Beef Pasty
Try A Ridiculously Good Pasty from Butte, Montana

 A yummy treat from my visit to Butte America: Land of Mullets and Pasties  When visiting Butte, Montana, you will quickly discover that you are not, in fact, visiting Butte, Montana, but rather: you are visiting Butte, America.  Or, so the locals here tell me.  Also,...

Maine Windjammers
Discover a Love For The Sea on a Maine Windjammer Cruise

When did the urge to go to sail on a Tall Ship first tickle your imagination? Was it while watching Errol Flynn swashbuckle his way through tropical ports, reading Jim Hawkins' adventures on Treasure Island, humming Crosby, Still & Nash's Wooden Ships, or perhaps...

Dramatic, Secluded Lighthouse Bed and Breakfast Inns

Popham Beach LighthouseDramatic lighthouse accommodations dot the coastline along the east and west of the United States and along the shore of the Great Lakes.  Imagine wandering along a craggy coast this summer and staying at an historic lighthouse that’s been turned into a charming Lighthouse Keepers Inn or captivating Bed & Breakfast.  Fascinating Lighthouse Inns can also be found in Canada, Scotland, Wales and The Netherlands.

Images of perfect solitude embrace guests of lighthouse dwellings. Perched at the very edge of the continent, lighthouses were built to withstand all of natures furies and to offer warmth and security to lighthouse keepers and their families as they kept beacons illuminating dangerous coastal passages. Many of these lodgings are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places and offer a peak back to simpler times when nothing came between man and nature.

If you’re ready to feel the exhilaration of breathtaking views from coastal bluffs and headlands, check out some of these prominent Lighthouse Lodgings:

New England
Keeper’s House, Isle au Haut, Maine – Weekly stays only at present
Popham Beach B&B, Phippsburge, Maine –
The Lighthouse Inn, West Dennis, Massachusetts
Race Point Lighthouse, North Truro, Massachusetts
Rose Island Lighthouse, Newport, Rhode Island
Saugerties Lighthouse
, Hudson River, New York

Amelia Island – An Enchanting Getaway Destination That’s Easy To Reach and Full of Fun

Amelia Island BeachBeautiful Beaches, Intriguing History, Gorgeous Inns,  Divine Food, Good Shopping – Wow What A Great Vacation Spot! I’ve just spent a completely magical long weekend on Amelia Island in Florida.  If you’ve never visited this beautiful and fascinating island just off the coast of Jacksonville Florida, you’re missing a lot. When I think of what makes a great island getaway destination, a few musts come to mind – long stretches of soft sand beach, awesome restaurants in varying price categories, friendly pubs with quirky personalities, interesting accommodation choices, great walks, a bit of history to learn about, excursions out on the water, and oh yes… artsy boutique shopping.  Amelia Island has all these in SPADES!  Let me tell you about our 3 days of fun on Amelia Island.

Fernandina Amelia IslandGetting to Amelia Island – We stopped by on our (end of winter) drive north from Florida back to Boston.  Amelia Island is located along the Jacksonville coast, making it a quick detour off Route 95 to Route 17 then over the bridge onto A1A.  If you’re flying there’s more good news – JetBlue often has reasonably priced nonstop flights to Jacksonville from many of the cities they serve.  You should be able to find a good array of flight choices into Jacksonville (JAX) airport.

Lobster Rolls, Frog Jumping Contests & White Water Rafting – It Must Be Summer in Maine

Northern Outdoor RaftingThis summer is an old fashioned SCORCHA! – so it’s time to head to the cool, clear mountain villages of Maine where breezes blow and temperatures are comfortable.  While throngs of tourists cling to the rocky coastline (which is impressive we must admit), more discerning families head inland where spring fed lakes and rumbling rivers guarantee a refreshing vacation stay.

Rafting the Kennebec

NorthernOutdoors.com

Be A Really Cool Family – Go White Water Rafting On The Kennebec River! You can’t get much more refreshing than a plunge down the rapids in an inflatable boat.  The adrenaline rush all the water and amusement parks are trying to duplicate is right here in northern Maine on the Kennebec, Penobscot and Dead rivers.  Until July 15th it’s value season at Northern Outdoors – you can take 35% off standard summer rafting and lodging prices.  AND all summer long, kids raft at half price on weekdays.  On Wednesday it’s single parent day, two kids pay half price with a single paying parent.  These rivers will give you the ride of your life! 

New England Fall Foliage Trains – Scenic Views Without The Traffic

          New England is blessed with some of the most spectacular fall foliage displays in the world.  The diverse variety of hardwood forests climbing dramatic mountainsides and reflected in shimmering lakes guarantee scenic overload.  This year skip the traffic jams on the highways and view the...

6 Heavenly New York Brunch Spots

Just because the stores and museums are closed, doesn’t mean Sunday mornings need to be dull in NYC.  Beat the heat and the city noise by heading to a rooftop garden restaurant for brunch close to the heavens. Few cities are as vertically exuberant as New York, with skyscrapers reaching for the clouds everywhere you look.  This summer there’s a new trend in dining, “high-altitude brunches” where great food meets awesome views – a perfect pairing.  Here are 6 locations around the city to enjoy cooling breezes, spectacular views and delicious cuisine:

#1  230 Fifth Let the bubbly flow on Saturdays and Sundays (year round) at the Champagne Party Brunch.  This is Manhattan’s largest rooftop venue, offering 14,000 square feet of palm-decorated dining and stunning views of the city including the Empire State Building.

#2  Hotel Gansevoort Super chic hotel in the former meat packing district. The Plunge Bar invites you to a “Get Up Get Down Brunch” (Sat & Sun) where diners are wowed with 360 degree views of the Hudson River and Manhattan. 

World's Most Luscious Food Markets

Local food markets give a glimpse into the soul of a destination.  The crops that local farmers grow and the culinary creations that food artisans produce speak to the history of the location and the traditions of its citizens.  Nothing is more pleasing and engrossing than roaming among the stalls of a neighborhood farmer’s market or the grand food halls of a metropolitan city.  In China I was almost afraid to look (bugs on a stick?!), in Vancouver the smells and colors were dazzling, in Hawaii I found vegetables I had never seen before in my life, and the markets in Rome and Paris were sensuous.  Now that it’s harvest time around the world, don’t miss the opportunity to visit a luscious food market wherever you roam – here are some of the world’s favorites:

Americas
New York
Chelsea Market, a hub of foodie activity
San Francisco
Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, large Organics Markets, operates 3 times per week
New Orleans – Crescent City Farmers Market
, Uptown and Downtown fabulous fruits
Seattle – Freemont Sunday Market
– more than fruits & veggies – treasures of all description
Hawaii – Hawaii Farmers Markets Online, several gorgeous markets on every island
Vancouver – Granville Island Public Market
, The ethnic diversity of Vancouver makes this market a sensory explosion
Mexico City –
Mercado de la Merced, nirvana for chili pepper lovers – every color of the rainbow!