Mango Bay Hotels Gear Up for Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival

October 1, 2014
The Mango Bay Hotel Group properties, Mango Bay Hotel and Island Inn Hotel welcome attendees of the annual Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival, taking place Nov. 20-23.

The Mango Bay Hotel Group properties, Mango Bay Hotel and Island Inn Hotel welcome attendees of the annual Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival, taking place Nov. 20-23.

The Mango Bay Hotel Group properties, Mango Bay Hotel (www.MangoBayBarbados.com) and Island Inn Hotel (www.IslandInnBarbados.com), welcome attendees of the annual Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival, taking place Nov. 20-23.

This year’s edition of the annual festival will gather culinary superstars including celebrity chefs Tyler Florence, Marcus Samuelsson, Ann Burrell and Ed Baines to offer residents and visitors to the island the very best in food, wine, rum and culture.  For more information on the festival, visit www.FoodWineRum.com.

Mango Bay, located in the Holetown area on the famed Gold Coast of Barbados, is a short walk from the posh Limegrove Lifestyle Centre. Here vacationers can shop till they drop at global luxury retailers such as Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors and Cartier.

The 76-room beachfront resort is known for its casual sophistication and all-inclusive value, an ideal tropical retreat.

A Mango Bay all-inclusive vacation provides hotel accommodations, all meals, afternoon tea, all local and brand name drinks including glasses of wine, use of the on-site gym, and nightly entertainment. Water skiing, kayaking, snorkeling, wakeboarding, pedal boats, a glass bottom boat ride and a catamaran trip to snorkel with the turtles are also included. Mango Bay is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2014 with discounted rates starting at $384 per room, per night, based on double occupancy, on an all-inclusive basis when booked directly.

For more information on Mango Bay, call (246) 432-1384, email reservations@mangobaybarbados.comor visit www.MangoBayBarbados.com.

The quaint, 24-room Island Inn Hotel is the perfect setting for a tropical vacation steeped with a rich, historic past, situated just footsteps from beautiful Carlisle Bay, less than one mile from the centre of Bridgetown and conveniently located near the UNESCO world heritage site in the Garrison Historic Area of Barbados, which also boasts numerous shops and nightlife options. The property amazes guests with its local past and chic décor.

An Island Inn Hotel all-inclusive vacation includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, afternoon tea and all beverages (except specialty wines, champagne and bottled water) as well as in-pool scuba lessons. Rates start at US$350 per room, per night, based on double occupancy.

For more information on the Island Inn Hotel, call (246) 436-6393; email bookings@islandinnbarbados.com or visit www.IslandInnBarbados.com.

 

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Cape May’s Designer Show House Highlights Best of Victorian Seaside City

October 1, 2014
Victorian Cape May, New Jersey © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Victorian Cape May, New Jersey © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Cape May’s Designer Show House returns for its 9th year with an exciting project in 2014-15 that highlights the best of Cape May: the city’s Victorian architecture beautifully preserved, the creativity of those who come here, and the joy of celebrating holidays here.

The Ocean Victorian, 25 Ocean St., opens its doors to the public on Friday, Oct. 10 as the 2014-15 Cape May Designer Show House, with the theme “Celebrating Holidays,” presented by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) and sponsored by DesignNJ magazine.

Visitors will discover the joy of celebrating holidays in Cape May inside this seaside retreat with tours from Oct. 10 through June 14, 2015. Tours can also be combined with dining packages and special events.

This year’s Designer Show House is located within steps of Cape May’s beaches in a majestic row alongside some of Cape May’s most recognized historic structures. This 5,000 square foot home is being transformed with significant upgrades to the interior. Visitors will see how the region’s top designers creatively portray a different holiday in each of 12 rooms in this circa 1880 Cape May landmark, making the 2014-15 Designer Show House a must-see in Cape May.

This classic Mansard-style home was built soon after the great fire of 1878. The Mansard roof is crowned by ornamental wrought ironwork, and the house offers breathtaking ocean views. A private home before and after the great fire for nearly 100 years, the building was restored and operated as an award-winning bed and breakfast inn known as The Inn on Ocean for more than 25 years, before being converted as a retreat for family vacations for the past 10 years.

Visitors will discover the joy of celebrating holidays in Cape May inside this seaside retreat with tours from Oct. 10 through June 14, 2015. Tours can also be combined with dining packages and special events.

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Eurail Off-Peak Promotion Gives 20% Discount on Rail Passes

October 1, 2014
Using Eurailpass for the overnight train from Munich to Dijon © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Using Eurailpass for the overnight train from Munich to Dijon © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Travelers residing outside of Europe can once again take advantage of a special 20% discount off the regular price of Eurail Global & Select Passes during the fall and winter season. The off-peak promotional passes are available until December 31, 2014 and pass holders can travel through March 31, 2015. The offer is applicable to all product variations and includes both first and second class.

“The Eurail Off-Peak Promotion has already proven its success over the past two years. Increasingly travelers are realizing the advantages of Europe’s off-peak season,” says Silvia Görlach, Eurail Group’s Sales and Marketing Manager. “It is a win-win situation: not only can tourists benefit from a discounted Eurail Global or Eurail Select Pass, but travelers can also profit from discounted airfares, a wider selection of affordable hotel rooms and shorter or no lines when visiting popular tourist attractions,” Görlach concludes.

Fall and winter seasons showcase Europe in a different light. Sceneries from the train turn into winter wonderlands in much of central and northern Europe, while traditions change as well. Christmas markets, winter festivals and winter sports activities can be discovered across a variety of countries. Eurail Pass holders may also choose to head towards the Mediterranean where the temperature is warmer, yet the crowds much thinner versus summer.

Eurail Global Passes are valid for travel in 24 European countries (including free or discounted travel on some major shipping lines) and offer independent travelers the flexibility to create their own itinerary whilst hopping on and off trains across Europe. The Eurail Global Pass continues to be the most popular pass in the Eurail portfolio, followed closely by the Eurail Select Pass, valid for travel in four adjoining Eurail countries, offering travelers 27 participating countries to choose from.

Eurail Passes are available from a worldwide network of Authorized General Sales Agents.  For more information, visit: www.eurailgroup.org/eurail-vendors.

Eurail Group G.I.E., the organization which markets and manages the Eurail and InterRail Passes, is wholly owned by 30 participating railways and shipping companies. In addition, the Group has many benefit partners, including hotels, transport companies and museums, which offer their services either at a reduced rate or free of charge to rail pass holders.

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Intrawest’s Passport Gives 6 days Each at 6 Resorts; Free Skiing for Kids

September 30, 2014
Skiing at Stratton Mountain, Vermont. Stratton is one of six Intrawest Resorts where the Intrawest Passport can be used © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Skiing at Stratton Mountain, Vermont. Stratton is one of six Intrawest Resorts where the Intrawest Passport can be used © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Intrawest Resort Holdings, Inc., the parent company of six North American ski resorts, is unveiling what it boasts is the most affordable and flexible multi-mountain ski pass available this season, The Intrawest Passport™. A key benefit? Up to five children 12 and under can ski for free on one adult’s pass.

The Intrawest Passport™ is on sale now and is guaranteed at the fall introductory price now through October 20. The Intrawest Passport will only be available for purchase through November 15.

Making ski-industry history, The Intrawest Passport™ (http://www.intrawestpassport.com) will offer children 12 and under free skiing, as well as redefine what a “Family Pass” is all about, by allowing groups of up to 16 to purchase the Passport at the heavily discounted price. This is the first winter for The Intrawest Passport™, a season pass that includes six days of skiing at each of six participating North American ski resorts.

The Intrawest Passport™ only requires one adult pass to be purchased, which means a single parent and up to five children can all ski at six resorts, for a total of 36 days each for as low as $589. The pass can be used at Stratton, Vt., Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado, Blue Mountain Ski Area, Ontario and Mont Tremblant Ski Resort, Quebec, and Snowshoe Mountain Resort, WV.

“There is no other ski pass on the market that offers the flexibility and affordability of The Intrawest Passport™. We developed this inter-mountain pass to make destination skiing easier and offer more value for families this winter. This pass is a first of its kind in the industry as it changes the rules and allows up to five children, 12 and younger, to ski for free with the purchase of just one Adult Passport,” explains Bill Jensen, CEO, Intrawest Resorts.

When one adult purchases the Passport it allows an additional 15 other people to join in on your ‘family pass.’ These can be traditional family members or people who are like family.

With no blackout dates the flexibility means families or Passport groups can use The Intrawest Passport™ to travel on holidays, single day ski trips or extended ski trips. The Intrawest Passport’s™ introductory fall price is being offered on a sliding scale:

  • One primary adult Passport initially offered at $589
  • Five additional adults can be added at $449 each
  • Five passes for 13-20 year olds can be added at $249 each
  • Five passes for children 12 and under are free
  • Total of 16 Passports available under one “Family Pass”

The Intrawest Passport™ will allow guests to ski/ride for six days during the 2014-2015 ski season at each of Steamboat and Winter Park in Colorado; Blue Mountain in Ontario; Mont Tremblant in Quebec; Stratton Mountain in Vermont; and Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia.

“Our goal with The Intrawest Passport™ is to continue to encourage the passion for the sport of skiing and snowboarding by making it affordable to those who want to come out this winter and check out our mountains,” Heidi Kercher-Pratt, Chief Marketing Officer, Intrawest Resorts, said. “By offering children 12 and under free skiing and boarding this pass makes it easier for single parents, tri-generational families, really anyone who wants to share the mountain experience with their kids.”

The biggest differentiators for The Intrawest Passport™:

  • Children 12 and under ski free
  • Flexibility to define your “family” the way it works best for you. This can include extended family members, stepfamilies, non-traditional families and even good friends that are like family.
  • After the first primary adult pass is purchased, families can purchase up to 15 additional Passports
  • Extended age for “Teen” Passport: allows teens and young adults through age 20 to receive the discount.

The Intrawest Passport™ only requires one adult pass to be purchased, which means a single parent and up to five children can all ski at six resorts, for a total of 36 days each for as low as $589.

The Intrawest Passport™ is available for purchase at www.IntrawestPassport.com as well as on the participating resort’s websites:

Steamboat, CO: Colorado’s Ski Town USA the home of champagne powder:
http://www.steamboat.com

Winter Park, CO: Colorado’s favorite family skiing destination:
http://www.winterparkresort.com

Blue Mountain Ski Area, Ontario: Ontario’s premiere skiing and boarding destination:
http://www.bluemountain.ca/

Mont Tremblant Ski Resort, Quebec: Where a taste of Europe is only a drive away:
http://www.tremblant.ca

Stratton Mountain Ski Resort, VT: Vermont’s favorite mountainside village:
http://www.stratton.com

Snowshoe Mountain Resort, WV: Mid-Atlantic’s #1 Skiing Destination:
http://www.snowshoemtn.com

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Royal Caribbean International Five-Day WOW Sale

September 26, 2014

Royal Caribbean International has launched a five-day WOW Sale.

For all new individual and named group bookings made in the U.S. and Canada with required deposit from Sept. 27 through Oct. 1, 2014, guests can receive $50 onboard credit per stateroom for five-night and shorter itineraries, $100 onboard credit per stateroom for six- to nine-night itineraries, and $200 onboard credit per stateroom for 10-night and longer itineraries. Additionally, vacationers can reserve a stateroom with a 50 percent reduced deposit – as low as $50 per guest. The WOW sale applies for all open Royal Caribbean International sailings, based on availability, except aboard Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas. For more information, visit http://www.RoyalCaribbean.com/DealsandMore.

Vacationers can combine the special five-day WOW Sale with additional concurrent offers for even greater value on a Royal Caribbean vacation. All offers exclude Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas and additional restrictions may apply.

•Holiday Cruise Deal: For all new individual and named group bookings made aboard three- to eight-night Bahamas and Caribbean itineraries, sailing Dec. 15 through 31, 2014, the second guest receives 50 percent off with the first guest at full fare.

•Three Ways to Save: For all new individual and named group bookings made aboard itineraries sailing on or after Oct. 15, 2014, vacationers have a choice of the savings to enhance their Royal Caribbean vacation: enjoy 50 percent off for the second guest with the first guest at full fare, or free cruise fare for the third and fourth guests in the same stateroom, or save up to $1,500 per balcony and suite-category stateroom when purchasing air travel through Royal Caribbean’s ChoiceAir. This offer also excludes itineraries sailing from Dec. 15 through 31, 2014.

“This is the best time to plan a multigenerational family vacation and couple’s getaway aboard some of the world’s most innovative cruise ships,” said Carol Schuster, senior vice president of Marketing, Royal Caribbean International. “Vacationers have choices of nearly every Royal Caribbean ship sailing around the world, plus additional offers to deliver greater value and savings wherever they choose to go. Throughout, our friendly and engaging staff and crew members will deliver the WOW to every guest to help make memories that will last a lifetime.”

For additional information or to make reservations, vacationers should call their travel agent; visit RoyalCaribbean.com; or call (800) ROYAL-CARIBBEAN. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/RoyalCaribbean or on Twitter @RoyalCaribbean.
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7 Reasons to Book a Family Holiday Cruise Now

September 19, 2014
A cruise is a fabulous way for families to spend the holidays together.

A cruise is a fabulous way for families to spend the holidays together.

Cruise vacations are ideal for families for the winter holidays, says Crown Cruise Vacations President Ross Spalding. He offers 7 reasons to consider a family holiday cruise this year:

 

  1. Truly festive atmosphere – After Thanksgiving, the cruise lines get in the holiday spirit by decorating their ships from bow to stern. Some cruise lines spend in excess of $100,000 annually on holiday decorations. Christmas trees, lights, garlands and even artificial snow bring the festive season alive at sea. Hanukkah customs and celebrations also are observed. Religious services of all types are often held aboard.2.  Special guests – Christmas-time cruises would not be complete without guest appearances from Santa, Mrs. Claus and their elf friends. They make appearances on many ships during the holiday season in the spirit of fun and relaxation leading up to Christmas Day. As expected, Santa’s bag of goodies is full for the kids on board.3.  New Year’s fun – Ringing in the New Year is a splash aboard a cruise ship. Elaborate parties take place at sea for people of all ages and tastes. Special food, entertainment, toasts, party favors and more make the night memorable. For sports fans, many of the cruise lines offer special all-day tailgate parties to watch New Year’s Day football.

    4.  True relaxation – Leave the hustle and bustle (and accompanying stress) of the holidays behind and enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere with the family on a cruise vacation. There is no better way to spend an afternoon in December than lying poolside while sailing across the ocean, or snorkeling through a secluded reef on a cruise line private island.

    5.  Unique gifts – A cruise vacation is one holiday gift that will be truly appreciated. Plus, there is interesting shopping onboard the ship (The Jackie Kennedy Jewelry Collection on board the Golden Princess is quite reasonable and very beautiful) and in various ports. Special shipping arrangements can be made to get the gifts home. If Santa is going to visit the kids, the cruise lines recommend small token gifts that are easy to hide and transport. Leave big gifts at home to open before or after the trip and remember not to wrap presents before you stow them in your luggage, as they may need to be opened for security reasons.

    6.  No snow –- A holiday cruise is ideal for people looking for a change of scenery as colder weather moves in at home. With Caribbean temperatures in the low 80s during this time of year, the closest you’ll come to cold weather on a cruise ship is the air conditioning. (Some ships do feature snow falling in the ship’s atrium, but it is manmade and wonderfully designed to melt before hitting the floor.)

    7.  Great food- Nobody goes hungry on a cruise vacation, especially during the holidays. A variety of eats are available 24/7. Cruise menus fit the season, with world-class chefs preparing traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas meals, plus special kosher foods during Hanukkah. There are no shortages of gingerbread, cookies, pies and other deserts. Even better… you don’t do the cooking!

There are a number of outstanding sailings for families. The specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations offer these sailings as examples of cruises to choose from for a high-seas family holiday:

4-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on the Royal Caribbean International Brilliance of the Seas sailing Nov. 27, 2014, or sailing Dec. 20, 2014: round-trip Tampa, Fla., with stops in Cozumel, Mexico; with two days at sea.

5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on Royal Caribbean International’s Brilliance of the Seas sailing Dec. 24, 2014: round-trip Tampa, Fla., with stops in George Town, Grand Cayman; Cozumel, Mexico; with two days at sea.

3-Night Bahamas Cruise on the Disney Dream, sailing Nov. 28, 2014: round trip Port Canaveral, Fla., with stops in Nassau, Bahamas; and private island Castaway Cay.

5-Night Western Caribbean Cruise on the Disney Wonder, sailing Dec. 21, 2014; round trip Miami, Fla., with stops at Cozumel, Mexico; and Castaway Cay; with two days at sea.

Crown Cruise Vacations was named North America’s Leading Cruise Travel Agent 2013 by the prestigious World Travel Awards, which acknowledges excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Crown Cruise Vacations is the preferred provider of Artful Traveler’s PTV at Sea cruises, which enrich, inspire and entertain with informative programming presented by some of public broadcasting’s most acclaimed personalities.

Based in Princeton, New Jersey, Crown Cruise Vacations specialists are comprised of a unique team of experienced, accredited travel agents and managers with a multitude of years selling leisure travel. For more information, please visit us at http://www.crowncruisevacations.com/.

Cruise specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations provide exclusive offers, value and service and can assist with cruise information and bookings for all types of cruises. For more information and to book a cruise call 877-283-1114 toll-free USA/Canada, 609-945-9801 direct dial or visit www.crowncruisevacations.com.

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Homer Hickam & Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival October 3-5 in West Virginia Mountains

September 19, 2014
Homer Hickam is coming to Beckley, West Virginia, October 3-5 for the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival.

Homer Hickam is coming to Beckley, West Virginia, October 3-5 for the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival.

The Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival is coming to Beckley, West Virginia the first weekend in October, just in time for peak mountain fall foliage, featuring Homer Hickam and the Rocket Boys and special celebrity guest of honor Hollywood actor Chris Ellis, who played Homer’s Big Creek High School Principal Turner in the movie “October Sky.”

The Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival central location is Beckley’s New River Park, which boasts an authentic exhibition working coal mine that will be open for discounted tours, taking riders on a motorized tour 1,500 feet underground. The park also features an award-winning youth museum and planetarium, great Appalachian food, a complete full size replica of a 1950’s mining town like Coalwood, a miner’s museum, and more.

Fans of Homer Hickam’s New York Times #1 best seller “Rocket Boys” and the movie version “October Sky” will have the opportunity to enjoy free autograph signings and photo ops with actual Rocket Boys Hickam, Roy Lee Cooke, Jimmy “O’Dell” Carroll and Billy Rose and movie cast member Chris Ellis.

Mr. Ellis is one of Hollywood’s most prolific character actors; in addition to  “October Sky,” Chris has appeared in dozens of movie and TV roles in his three decade career including “Apollo 13,” “Armageddon,” “Batman-The Dark Knight Rises,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Transformers,” “That Thing You Do,” “Days of Thunder,” “My Cousin Vinny,” “Law and Order,” “CSI,” “The Mentalist,” “The Office,” and more too numerous to mention.

Fans of Universal Studios “October Sky” can enjoy a special movie screening as part of the festival hosted by Ellis and the Rocket Boys. Prior to the screening, Chris will conduct an informal actor’s workshop and “Inside the Actor’s Studio” Q&A session, with behind the scenes details on the movie’s filming and how Hollywood made Coalwood come to life on the big screen.

Rocket Boys Rock & Roll

This year’s festivities will also include a Friday night “Rocket Boys Rock & Roll Caravan” presented by the Beckley Concert Association. The world famous “Bill Haley’s Comets,” the band often credited with having the first ever Rock and Roll hit, will headline the show. The Comets name was inspired by America’s 1950’s fascination with space will perform their classics including “Rock Around The Clock,” “See Ya Later Alligator,” “Shake Rattle and Roll,” and lots more. The Comets special guests will be beach music pros “The Entertainers,” direct from Elsie Hickam’s favorite spot, Myrtle Beach South Carolina! Festivalgoers will also enjoy free live music on Saturday at the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival grounds from several artists, including the award winning bluegrass band Johnny Staats and the Delivery Boys.

The annual Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival will include a writers workshop hosted by Homer Hickam for aspiring and seasoned authors, as well as book signings from other notable writers including Dreama Denver, wife of late “Gilligan’s Island” star Bob Denver who will be signing copies of her memoir “Gilligan’s Dreams,” and Daniel Boyd, the West Virginia filmmaker (“Chillers,” “Invasion of the Space Preachers,” “Paradise Park”) and author whose latest graphic novel “Carbon” is set in the West Virginia coalfields.

Saturday evening is topped off with a huge Chili Night celebration, which annually attracts thousands of visitors to downtown Beckley. Sunday will feature a chartered bus tour to the town of Coalwood to see many of the sites featured in the book and movie, hosted by Rocket Boy Roy Lee Cooke, and includes a homemade lunch in Coalwood.

Fans of Homer Hickam’s books come in great numbers each year to get a chance to meet the New York Times #1 best selling author and see the sites and characters portrayed in his Coalwood series of memoirs. “Rocket Boys” Roy Lee Cooke, Jimmy O’Dell Carroll, Billy Rose and Hickam himself return each October to visit old and new friends and share stories of the “Coalwood Way.” Every year the crowd grows, drawing in fans both national and international as well as busloads of students from West Virginia and surrounding states. Many can be seen carrying their own treasured, often dog-eared, copy of Hickam’s “Rocket Boys,” one of the most read books in schools. Hickam’s books will be available for purchase and autographing at the festival.

Rockets Launch

One of the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival highlights is the dozens of students from schools all over America who join Hickam and the other Rocket Boys to launch rockets at New River Park’s hilltop “Cape Coalwood” launch pad. Rocket kits and launch supplies will be available for sale at the festival. Proceeds from the sale will benefit the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival and the local chapter of the American Red Cross.

Construction and launch is easy – even for first timers. Students from Homer Hickam’s alma mater Virginia Tech will be there to assist. NASA representatives from Goddard Space Flight Center will also be in attendance to talk rockets and space with festival-goers and provide their rocketry expertise.

Beckley, WV is located on Interstate 64 in southern West Virginia, and is also accessible via Beckley/Raleigh County Airport with daily non-stops via United Airlines to Washington Dulles airport and Amtrak service on the Cardinal line.

More information on the Rocket Boys/October Sky Festival, including a complete schedule of events and lodging information, is available online at http://www.rocketboysfestival.com.

 

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AccuWeather Fall Foliage Forecast: Exceptional Year for Northeast

September 17, 2014
The Berkshires, Massachusetts. Accuweather is predicting an exceptional fall foliage this season © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Berkshires, Massachusetts. Accuweather is predicting an exceptional fall foliage this season © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Start planning your fall getaway! AccuWeather experts say the summer season has set the stage for potentially exceptional fall colors in the Northeast, though the weather through mid-October will ultimately determine how stellar of a display will emerge, reports Jillian MacMath, Staff Writer for AccuWeather.com.

The Northeastern states have had a good to excellent growing season without any major disturbances, according to Dr. Michael Day, University of Maine research professor of Physiological Ecology.

“In addition, adequate precipitation and lack of wind disturbances has resulted in trees with an exceptional amount of foliage still attached,” he said.

Slight drought stress in the late summer helped to signal a seasonal change but did not force an early leaf drop.

The upcoming weather will play a critical role.

A cold snap in the next four to six weeks would bring out the vibrant fall colors, resulting in what Day considers an ‘exceptional’ year for fall foliage in the Northeast.

Cool, dry weather into September and October is typically ideal for producing the bright colors favored by tourists and locals alike.

The next month is forecast to deliver just what the doctor ordered with dry periods and some chilly weather in the northern areas of New York state and northern New England for the second half of September, according to AccuWeather.com Expert Long-Range Forecaster Paul Pastelok.

Meanwhile, those in the Midwest and Southeast may be shortchanged. An abundance of wet and warm weather may hinder the display for the Midwest, southern Appalachians and Southeast.

According to the 2014 AccuWeather.com Fall Forecast, wet weather will be focused from the Ohio Valley to the Gulf coast in October.

Though the early emergence of color can already be seen in many locations throughout the East, the peak of colors will hold off for a while, according to Dr. Marc Abrams, professor of Forest Ecology and Physiology at Penn State University.

Those planning trips to see the foliage in late September should head north, but trips to the Southeast should be put off until late October, Abrams said.

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Eurail Pass Travelers Save Up to 40% on European Ferry Crossings on Grimaldi Lines

September 5, 2014

Eurail Pass travelers get even deeper discounts on ferry crossings between Spain, Greece, Sicily and Sardinia with an augmented partnership between Eurail and Grimaldi Lines.

Eurail’s benefit partner Grimaldi Lines offers a 20% discount on ferry crossings and a 10% discount on accommodation supplements such as Pullman seats, berths and cabins to Eurail Pass travelers who purchase a Eurail Pass on or after this date. These discounts apply to standard as well as special fares such as advanced booking offers. The discounts are also applicable in the off-season, providing even more value for money by saving 40% when booking ship passages between September 15 and December 21, 2104. Eurail Pass travelers can make reservations and redeem these special discounts via Grimaldiˈs Contact Centers and at its points of sales in Italy and Spain. For more information, please visit www.grimaldi-lines.com.

In addition, Eurail travelers can find detailed information about the Grimaldi Lines discounts on the Rail Planner App. This free and off-line app is available from the App Store or Google Play, providing travelers with valuable information such as a complete list of Eurail Pass benefits by country, a European railway timetable and more. For further details, visit: http://www.eurailgroup.org/railplanner

Grimaldi Lines, owned by the Grimaldi Group, is one of Europe’s leading shipping companies, offering ferry services to the most popular tourism destinations in the Mediterranean region. Grimaldi Lines connections are synonymous with convenience, comfort and safety, while its Cruise Roma and Cruise Barcelona routes, servicing Sardinia and Spain, offer facilities and services similar to those of cruise ships.

Eurail offers four types of Eurail Passes as part of its product portfolio to those residing outside of Europe: the Eurail Global Pass valid in 24 member countries, Eurail Select Pass, Eurail Regional Pass and Eurail One Country Pass. Eurail Passes are available from a worldwide network of Authorized Sales Agents.  Please visit: www.eurailgroup.org/eurail-vendors.

 

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St. Maarten Resorts Entice Fall Getaway Travelers with Discounted Rates, Incentives

September 5, 2014
 St Maarten resorts and hotels are providing discounts up to 40% off standard rates, along with other travel incentives and activities for fall getaways.


St Maarten resorts and hotels are providing discounts up to 40% off standard rates, along with other travel incentives and activities for fall getaways.

The lively and picturesque island of St. Maarten (www.VacationStMaarten.com) is enticing travelers to fall getaways with resorts and hotels providing discounts up to 40% off standard rates, along with other travel incentives and activities.

Mary’s Boon Beach Resort is offering travelers two special packages for those interested in visiting the friendly island this September. Guests who book three nights in a garden or beachfront studio will receive a fourth night free, starting from just $342 including tax and service charges. Those wanting to stay a full week in St. Maarten can book the seven-night package, with guests only responsible for the cost of five nights. The seven-night special is available for garden, beachfront and deluxe beachfront studios and starts at $570 inclusive of taxes and service charges. These fall specials include a 15% discount on additional nights, free welcome fruit/rum punch and free Wi-Fi. The specials are valid for travel through Sept. 30, 2014. To book, e-mail info@marysboon.com or call (800) 497-5834.

Oyster Bay Beach Resort is luring travelers with a variety of discounted rates throughout the fall season. Guests will enjoy 40% off standard rates when traveling through Sept. 30, 2014, 20% on travel Oct. 1 – 31, 2014 and 10% off travel Nov. 1 – Dec. 19, 2014. Oyster Bay Beach Resort is perched on a coral reef overlooking the Caribbean Sea and Oyster Pond Marina, and provides breathtaking ocean views, a white sandy beach and countless amenities.  For reservations, visit www.OysterBayBeachResort.com, call (866) 978-0212 or email reservations@obbr.com.

Princess Heights Luxury Boutique Condo Hotel is providing vacationers with a free rental car when booking directly with the hotel from Aug. 30, 2014 for reservations through Dec. 18, 2014. Princess Heights is located in a quiet and exclusive neighborhood with a multitude of activities including watersports, spas, casinos and restaurants only a few minutes away. Rates start at $139 per room, per night. Visit www.PrincessHeights.com, call (800) 881-1744 or e-mail info@princessheights.com to book.

Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Casino & Spa is affording travelers extra value with its Fall Into Savings special, offering a fourth night free plus $300 in resort credits for travel through Dec. 18, 2014, when booked by Sept. 30, 2014.  Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa is a serene Caribbean haven and St. Maarten’s premier, limitless all-inclusive, adults-only resort. To book the Fall Into Savings special, visit www.Sonesta.com/GreatBay.

Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino is also offering vacationers a Fall Into Savings special, providing a third night free, plus $200 in resort credits for travel through Dec. 18, 2014 on reservations booked by Sept. 30, 2014. This all-inclusive St. Maarten resort is a spectacular destination within a destination, offering endless activities for travelers’ enjoyment and relaxation. To book this deal, visit www.Sonesta.com/MahoBeach.

Brand new to the island this fall, Sonesta Oceant Point Resort is celebrating its soft opening with 35% off standard rates, plus a tour to St. Barth’s, on reservations seven-nights or longer. This special is valid for travel Nov. 1, 2014 – Dec. 24, 2015 and must be booked by Oct. 31, 2014. To be one of the first to experience this new property, visit www.Sonesta.com/OceanPoint.

The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa is affording guests with discounted rates when booking two nights or more. For every night travelers pay the standard rate, they receive 40% off the next night. The property features 310 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and 15 suites, with two restaurants, a lobby bar and swim-up bar, a poolside deli, a full-service European-style spa, fitness studio, casino, retail shops and a beachfront watersports shop. The Westin is the only major resort in the Caribbean to install and utilize solar panels to replace its energy consumption. This special offer is valid for travel through Dec. 31, 2014. For reservations, visit www.westinstmaarten.com or call (866) 716-8108 and mention rate plan ZB4.

For more information on St. Maarten, visit the official site of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau at www.VacationStMaarten.com.

Two Nations, Multi-Cultural

St. Maarten is the smallest island in the world to be shared by two nations, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and France, creating a European-influenced vibe with a Caribbean flair.  As “the culinary capital of the Caribbean,” St. Maarten offers an eclectic array of cuisine fusion for food lovers with more than 365 restaurants, one for each day of the year to satisfy the tastes of every palate and pocketbook.

Located at the northern end of the Lesser Antilles, the island’s 37 square miles has 37 breathtaking beaches and is home to many historical and family-oriented attractions.  During the day, watersport enthusiasts can take full advantage of the island’s scuba diving and snorkeling facilities.  The capital of Philipsburg offers duty-free shopping with a bustling city atmosphere, while 14 casinos and numerous nightclubs provide endless entertainment.

Accommodations are varied and include elegant private villas, family oriented resorts, quaint cottages and luxury spa resorts.  Air service is available to Princess Juliana International Airport from numerous U.S. and Canadian cities as well as from Europe, South America and the Caribbean.

Find St. Maarten on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VacationStMaarten and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/StMaartenTravel.  For more information, visit www.VacationStMaarten.com.

 

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures


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