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Showing posts from March, 2018

Must-see spring blooms

Must-see spring blooms
By Damien Martin       Depending on where you live, it might not yet be evident, but it is officially spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Soon enough, birdsongs will fill the air and everything will be in blossom. While there is an abundance of festivals celebrating the renaissance of greenery, these places’ blooms are among the best.
Washington, D.C.
     Peaking near the end of March, the famed cherry blossoms turn the Tidal Basin into a dazzling canvas of pink and white. Gifts from Japan more than a century ago, the cherry trees have come to symbolize the start of spring in our nation’s capital. There are nearly 4,000 trees in 11 varieties near the National Mall, and peak bloom is expected this week. The National Cherry Blossom Festival runs until April 15.
Japan      The ancestral home of D.C.’s cherry trees, Japan has several areas throughout its islands that are great for viewing sakura. Utilizing the bullet train system, visitors can make their quickly fro…

Authentic Ireland experiences

Authentic Ireland experiences           It’s 363 days until next St. Patrick’s Day, but if you still have some partying left in you after Saturday, get yourself to the Emerald Isle for an authentic Irish cultural experience. With so many regions worth checking out, Ireland is best explored by car, either driving yourself or, better yet, with a driver-guide. Fly into Dublin in the east or Shannon in the west -- preclearing U.S. customs at either airport on the way home -- and circumnavigate the island for an enchanting journey through the land of St. Patrick.

Dublin
      Visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the capital to see where the country’s patron saint baptized converts to Christianity and admire the illuminated manuscript of the Book of Kells at Trinity College. Get some fresh air in the urban oases of Phoenix Park and St. Stephen’s Green or walk in the footsteps of great writers such as Oscar Wilde and William Butler Yeats, or their characters, such as James Joyce’s Leopold Bloom…

Quick island getaways

Quick island getawaysBy Damien Martin

      After another round of snowmaggedon, it seems like the warm weather might never arrive. But you really need to get out of the house and stop freezing, maybe even see solid ground. Fortunately, with these island getaways just a few hours’ nonstop flight from the major airports on the East Coast, you can get yourself to the warmth without too much trouble.
Bermuda
     Leave in the morning and by afternoon find yourself stretched out a long pink or white beach. Hit the links at one of the island’s many top-flight golf courses. Try your hand at sailing in the waters that were to last year’s America’s Cup races. Fish for all manner of species in the clear waters off the beach, over the reefs or out in the deep sea. Or just get an eyeful of the colorful aquatic life by diving or snorkeling around the more than 350 shipwrecks offshore.
Bahamas
     Jump on a nonstop flight to Nassau and you’ll be soaking up the sun in no time. There you’ll find …

Top dude ranches

Top dude ranches
     After a long winter spent cooped up inside, it’s hard not to dream of open skies and lying out under the stars. The Western U.S. has a lot of great ranches where you can live out your cowboy fantasies and get your fill of the Great Outdoors. Descriptions courtesy of Virtuoso’s Best of the Best catalogue.
The Resort at Paws Up
     Known as “The Last Best Place,” The Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, Mont., may be just that. A pristine escape in the Rocky Mountains, taking full advantage of the Big Sky countryside, this wilderness outpost offers something for all energy levels. Explore the land on horseback, cast a fly for trout or simply indulge in spa treatments at Spa Town. As for accommodations, you can choose from 28 luxurious vacation homes, or you can experience upscale camping in one of 36 luxury tents, with decadent furnishings, your own private bathroom and even the services of a Camping Butler. It's nature served on a silver platter.
Triple Creek Ranch
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