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Sydney Beach
Australia Beaches – Sydney to Melbourne

Australia is famous for its beaches and with very good reason. They are some of the most beautiful and least crowded of any country, anywhere in the world. You don't have to go far off the beaten track to get a stretch of warm golden...

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,...

We Have Secrets To Share – A Trip Report

Secrets Wild Orchid Resort JamaicaJamaica has a new all-inclusive luxury resort that’s just opened in Montego Bay promising “Unlimited-Luxury” for their guests.  Secrets Wild Orchid and Secrets St. James sit side by side on a lovely stretch of beach just a short journey from the airport.   It’s time to let the Secrets out – these are beautiful properties!

I’m just back from the first-ever Travel Bloggers Meet-Up in Jamaica where we were hosted by Secrets Resorts and the Jamaican Tourism Board.  You can be sure we took full advantage of all the Unlimited Luxury and tested all the resort amenities – on YOUR behalf of course!  Here are some of the delights in store for you when you choose a luxurious Jamaica Holiday.

Wild Orchid Beach
Resort Amenities:  These properties are all about couples and providing romantic landscapes.  Both resorts are adults-only with plenty of waterside activities – gorgeous beaches, swim up bars, multiple pool complexes, and seaside restaurants.  The beach towels and loungers are plentiful (no need to get up a dawn and claim your lounge chair – I hate that!!)   This property has done it right with loads of areas for relaxing by the pools and beachfront. 

Dunns River Falls Jamaica – A Must-Do Adventure

Our enthusiastic group of two dozen Travel Bloggers joined hands and slipped and dipped our way upward. We were fortunate to have arrived late in the afternoon and had the climb all to ourselves. Before long we were squealing and laughing as currents twirled us...

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! 

Cat Island Bahamas – The Paradise You’ve Been Dreaming Of!

Don't wait another minute to discover Cat Island in the Out Islands of the Bahamas - you'll find miles and miles of gorgeous (undeveloped) beachfront and delightful laid-back intimate resorts.  I'm just back from a fabulous vacation at the Fernandez Bay Village on Cat Island...

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!

5 Fun and Surprising Outdoor Activities in Paris

Beach It In Paris – yes, Paris!
Each July and August since 2002, Paris creates its own beaches right along the banks of the River Seine (by the Pont Neuf, Notre-Dame and Pont au Change).  Industrious crews bring in over 3,000 tons of sand to create an urban beach right along the city’s beloved Seine River, for all Parisians (and visitors) to soak up some rays and participate in (my favorite activity) – eye popping people watching!  But it doesn’t stop with sand – we’re talking palm trees, chaise lounges, umbrellas, hammocks, wifi, games and books, grassy lawns and raised decking – a sun lovers paradise for sure!  Find all the details at Paris Plage
Swim The Seine, really – no pollution involved
A number of giant swimming barges (floating swimming pools) have been anchored along the banks of the Seine creating the illusion of being able to swim in the river.  Perhaps the most notable is the Josephine Baker, where a 25 meter pool can delight 375 swimmers at once.  After your refreshing swim, relax in the cafe, on the sun deck, or work out in the gym facilities.  Their sliding roof makes this spot perfect on any day, in any weather.  Here’s where you can find all the info on the Josephine Baker Swimming Pool.

The Out Islands of the Bahamas Are Heavenly In Spring

It’s been a long cold winter and you haven’t had a good dose of sunshine and sand between your toes in a long time. Spring breezes may have you itching to dig in the garden, but for me, Spring brings yearnings for crystal clear waters lapping on endless miles of pristine beaches. Yes my friends, May and June are the perfect months to fly off to the Out Islands of the Bahamas where temperatures are in the 80’s and life is a beach!  Grab your flip flops and several bathing suits and you’re ready to go.

If your vision of the Bahamas is Nassau and Paradise Island, you have a whole new world of soft adventure waiting to explore.  There are roughly 700 islands in  the Bahamas chain, and one is more beautiful than the next.