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Showing posts from July, 2018

Top train trips around the world

Top train trips around the world By Damien Martin
     Train travel hearkens back to a romantic bygone era. While there are certainly faster ways to get from one place to another, riding the rails really delivers on showcasing the natural beauty of a destination. In lieu of flying from major city to major city, trains can show travelers how urban and rural areas fit together to form a country. Part of your perfect vacation could be devoting some time to just staring out the window and daydreaming. Here are few of our favorite trains and itineraries for it.

Rocky Mountaineer
     Running through British Columbia and Alberta, Rocky Mountaineer takes passengers on a journey through Western Canada. The cities of Vancouver and Calgary mingle with gorgeous mountain scenery, including national parks such as Jasper and Lake Louise. The view from the Virtuoso-preferred Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is iconic. If you want to do some exploring on your own, Rocky Mountaineer has the option of combi…

Top short getaways and stopovers

Top short getaways and stopovers By Damien Martin

     Perhaps you’re traveling for business and trying to squeeze in a bleasure trip. Maybe you won’t be back to that part of the world in a while. Possibly you can only get away for a few days. Or you just want a few more days to relax before you head back to work. Whatever the reason, you can explore these destinations in less than a week, either on their own or as part of a longer trip.

Channel Islands, California
      Off the coast from Los Angeles, this archipelago is home to a national park and the resort island of Santa Catalina. More than a million visitors arrive on Catalina annually, doing boat tours, snorkeling and SCUBA diving and enjoying the beach or a nice wine mixer. Five of the chain’s eight islands form Channel Islands National Park. Lindblad Expeditions offers five-day/four-night itineraries out of L.A. on its Base Camp Channel Islands program, which combines wildness and wellness. Mornings begin with yoga or another e…

Christmas in July: Make your festive vacation plans now

Christmas in July: Make your festive vacation plans now By Damien Martin       It’s not quite the same as Christmas in July, but you can give yourself the gift of peace of mind by booking your festive season travel now. If you have a specific resort or destination in mind, you might be surprised to find how tight space is already for the period around Christmas and New Year’s. You can’t exactly go on vacation and leave a couple of your kids behind because you couldn’t get another room. So do yourself a favor and start planning as soon as possible.
     People who stayed at resorts over the festive season last winter got first dibs on booking that space for the upcoming season. Perhaps they had such a good time, they invited more of their family members to join them this year and have already had their rooms secured for months. If the winters are cold in your neck of the woods, you can rest assured that your neighbors will be flocking in droves to sunny resorts in Hawaii, Mexico and the…

World Cup semifinals: ranking the destinations

World Cup semifinals: ranking the destinations By Damien Martin
     Though the final isn’t until Sunday, we do know one thing for sure about the team that will hoist the World Cup: The winning country will hail from Europe. With the last remaining South American teams, Uruguay and Brazil, ousted in the quarterfinals we’re left with an all-Europe final four. While each team has a unique story of making it this far and its own collection of stars who led the way, we’re making our picks based on what the semifinalist countries have to offer for travelers.

France vs. Belgium
      It’s matchup of haute cuisine vs. comfort foods. Cassoulet and escargot vs. waffles and chocolate. Those French fries we’re all so fond of? The origin is highly in dispute. Ask a Belgian, and he’ll say that Belgium invented the delicious potato everyone knows and loves, and that the term “French fries” comes from a French gastronomic hegemony that subsumed neighboring cuisine under the French umbrella. One thin…

Fourth of July: best fireworks shows

Fourth of July: best fireworks shows By Damien Martin
     The World Cup continues without the U.S., which didn’t even qualify this time around. July 4 falls on a Wednesday this year, throwing off schedules nationwide. But there’s still plenty to celebrate this Independence Day. Cities and towns all over the country will do just that with vivid fireworks displays. Here’s a sampling of the best shows from sea to shining sea.

Washington, D.C.
     The backdrop of the National Mall as fireworks pop over the Lincoln Memorial and Capitol buildings is enough to inspire awe, but that is just the capper on a full day of events in the nation’s capital. The festivities include the National Independence Day Parade and a re-enactment of Frederick Douglass’ impassioned “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” speech. Before the grand finale, Jimmy Buffett, The Beach Boys and The Temptations will entertain at A Capitol Fourth.

South Lake Tahoe
      Purple mountains’ majesty will be on full display…