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Showing posts from June, 2018

Historic hotels of the U.S.

Historic hotels of the U.S. By Damien Martin
     Travel is a great source of nostalgia. That feeling of hitting the road and breaking free of your daily routine calls to mind the thrill of school being out and summer vacations of years past. No matter how old we get, summer is always waiting for us, letting us pick back up where we left off last summer. It’s the same with a great historic hotel. Each time you come back, no matter how many years pass, there’s that feeling of awe. You imagine all the good times had by travelers throughout the eras. There are more than 300 properties registered as Historic Hotels of America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. These are a few of our favorites, all of them Virtuoso-preferred.

Cavallo Point
     Just across the bay from San Francisco, in the shadows of the Golden Gate Bridge, Cavallo Point occupies what used to be Fort Baker, built between 1901-15. Cavallo Point’s selection of historic rooms are in what used to be officers’ resid…

World Cup 2018: Whom to root for based on your travel style

World Cup 2018: Whom to root for based on your travel style By Damien Martin
     The World Cup is in full swing in Russia, and as you must know by now, the U.S. men’s national team failed to qualify. Despite that fact, there’s still a month’s worth of games to be played, so you might need a new team to root for. Sure, you could trace your ancestry and pull for that country. Or, you could back a team based on your travel style.

      The nation of about 330,000 people is in its first World Cup after a quarterfinal run in the 2016 European championships. The soccer team’s rise has coincided with a spike in tourism to the land of fire and ice. Iceland as a team is the plucky underdog that everyone is abuzz over, much like the country itself. With beards covering their chiseled Nordic jaws, ‎Gylfi SigurĂ°sson and the crew are the hipsters of the World Cup, the soccer world’s answer to lumbersexuals. When you hop on the Iceland bandwagon, just remember, we liked them before it was …

Top kitesurfing destinations

Top kitesurfing destinations By Damien Martin
     It may look daunting at first, but it’s a fairly easy sport to take up. Yes, like any other watersport, you need balance and discipline. But in kitesurfing, you get a big assist from the elements. Given the right conditions, a novice can soon look like an old pro, and the experience is exhilarating for beginners and more experienced wave riders alike. Here are some of the world’s top spots for kitesurfing, whether it’s your first time or you’re looking for a new challenge. Just add wind and water.

     Ka‘a Point on the north shore of Maui near the airport has a great combination of water conditions, with a protected cove that has flat water close to the shore, chop in intermediate depths and good jumping waves just off the point. Nearby “Action Beach” is home to instructional schools and a good place for learners to get started. Watch the pros compete in contests at Ho‘okipa Beach and pick up some pointers. Take your lessons well …

Top gardens around the world

Top gardens around the world By Damien Martin
     If you have a garden, no doubt you’ve spent countless hours trying to make it just right. You’ve hand-selected flowers and other plants and researched the best methods for growing them and keeping them alive. For National Garden Week, we thought we’d showcase some of our favorite gardens around the world. While yours might never look like these, maybe you can take a break, plan a trip and get a few pointers.

Butchart Gardens
     Not to be missed on any trip to Vancouver, the gardens have been a staple in Victoria, across the Salish Sea on Vancouver Island for more than 100 years. Built atop a former quarry, the gardens cover 55 acres and feature 900 plant varieties. The main attraction is the sunken garden, full of planted beds, trees and shrubs. Other highlights include the specialized Rose Garden, Japanese Garden and Italian Garden. Don’t feel too badly if your efforts don’t measure up; Butchart employs 50 full-time gardeners.