New York State’s 524-Mile Canal System Reopens for Navigation; Tolls Waived for Second Year

May 15, 2018
Erie Canal

Explore the Erie Canal on a Mid-Navigation Lakes Lockmaster canalboat. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Navigation has reopened for the 2018 season along the 524-mile New York State Canal System, as it celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The eastern Erie Canal, stretching from Brewerton to Waterford, opens today. The remainder of the system, including the Erie Canal, from Brewerton to Lockport, and the Champlain, Oswego and Cayuga-Seneca canals, opens on May 18.

For the second straight year, the Canal Corporation has waived tolls for recreational vessels to encourage more boaters to visit. The canals will remain open to recreational boaters through Oct. 10.

“New York’s canal system helped build the Empire State and it remains a key economic and tourism driver,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “I encourage New Yorkers and visitors alike to come and experience this great New York resource for themselves.”

This is the 194th year vessels have traversed the Erie Canal. The first boats of the year began their journey on the system following a ceremony this morning in Waterford, the Erie Canal’s eastern terminus.

“The Erie Canal is an integral part of New York history and has always been one of my favorite summertime destinations,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “For many years the Canal System was an essential part of our transportation economy and today is a significant driver of tourism across upstate, supporting jobs and small businesses. I look forward to another great season on the canal.”

New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian U. Stratton said, “This is always a special time of year because we once again get to show off our great New York State canals, which have become an increasingly important economic engine as more tourism and recreational assets become available.”

A study commissioned by the Canal Corporation found there is nearly $400 million annually of direct tourism and recreational spending tied to the canals and Erie Canalway Trail. The Canal System also has an estimated $6.3 billion economic impact from non-tourism spending tied to hydropower, irrigation, providing water to golf courses and factory operations as well as commercial traffic.

The state Canal System, formerly known as the Barge Canal, was first championed at the end of the 19th century by then-Governor Theodore Roosevelt, who wanted to enlarge New York’s canals and make them more competitive with railroads to attract freight shipments. The Erie Canal had first opened in 1825, but it had lost traffic because it was deemed too narrow and shallow to accommodate large shipments.

Instead of relying exclusively on manmade channels, as the first two versions of the canals did, engineers “canalized” large lakes and rivers and installed locks, movable dams and guard gates to regulate water flow and enable safe navigation channels.

The Barge Canal was built starting in 1905 and officially opened in Waterford on May 15, 1918.

Compared to the Panama Canal, which was built in roughly the same time frame, the Barge Canal is 10 times longer, has nearly 10 times as many locks, and yet was built for one-third the cost using only state money.

Major events on the Canal System this year include a four-month journey by the Corning Museum of Glass GlassBarge, to mark the 150th anniversary of when the Flint Glass Company moved its operations from Brooklyn to Corning and shipped its equipment on the Erie Canal. The GlassBarge, which will have a mobile glass-blowing theatre with 150 seats, will open to the public in Brooklyn on May 17 and make 28 public stops through September.

This is also the 20th year of the Cycle the Erie Ride run by Parks and Trails New York. The eight-day sojourn from Buffalo to Albany starts July 8. Last year, the event attracted more than 750 cyclists. (See: Cycle the Erie: 400 Miles & 400 Years of History Flow By on Canalway Bike Tour Across New York State)

Don’t have your own boat? You can rent a houseboat and travel along the canals wherever whimsy takes you, tying up and using the facilities that are all along the canals, having the delight of going through the locks and under the lift bridges.

Mid-Lakes Navigation, a family-owned company operating out of Skaneateles, New York, offers its specially designed lockmaster canalboats which are easy to maneuver, delightful to stay (galley, shower and toilet facilities), operating when the Erie Canal is open. They provide bikes (but you would do well to bring or rent your own) so you can spend the day riding on the Canalway and exploring the canaltowns. (Mid-Lakes Navigation, 11 Jordan St., PO Box 61, Skaneateles, NY 13152, 315-685-8500, toll-free: 800-545-4318, info@midlakesnav.com, https://midlakesnav.com/).

(See: Journey by boat and bike along the Erie Canal)

For a list of events on the canals, go to https://eriecanalway.org/explore/events. For more information on the Canal System, including hours when locks are open, go to www.canals.ny.gov.

 

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US Navy Blue Angels, Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds Highlight Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, Long Island

May 12, 2018
JonesBchAirShow_052816_809e2(c) Karen Rubin-USN BlueAngels

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels, last at Jones Beach in 2016, are returning to the Bethpage Air Show for their eighth performance during their 72nd anniversary season and will provide the climatic final performance of the show © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The world-renowned United States Navy Blue Angels and the Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds will headline the 15th Annual Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, taking place Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 26 and Sunday, May 27, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The heart-stopping event is presented by Bethpage Federal Credit Union and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

The U.S. Navy Blue Angels, last at Jones Beach in 2016, are returning to the Bethpage Air Show for their eighth performance during their 72nd anniversary season and will provide the climatic final performance of the show at approximately 2 p.m. The Royal Canadian Air Force Snowbirds will be making their fourth performance at the Bethpage Air Show, where they will thrill fans with more than 50 different formations and maneuvers.

The F-22 Raptor, the United States Air Force’s newest fighter aircraft, which performs both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, will also make an appearance at the 15th anniversary show.  The F-22 was designed to project air dominance, rapidly and at great distances, and defeat threats attempting to deny access to our nation’s Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The F-22 cannot be matched by any known or projected fighter aircraft. The F-22 will perform for crowds with its own remarkable demonstration, as well as alongside the United States Air Force Heritage Flight Team for a special aerial performance.

Other thrilling performers at this year’s show include the United States Army Golden Knights Parachute Team, performing in their 13th Bethpage Air Show; legendary air show pilot Sean Tucker performing in his custom-built Oracle Challenger II biplane; extraordinary aerobatic pilot Matt Chapman; the John Klatt Airshows — Jack Links’ Screamin’ Sasquatch Jet Waco Aerobatic Team; the world famous GEICO Skytypers and their flight squadron of six vintage WWII aircraft; the American Airpower Museum Warbirds; Long Island’s own David Windmiller; the Yankee Lady B17, our hometown, 106th Air Rescue Wing will show their support by performing  a HC-130 and HH-60 fly-by demonstration; and new for their third air show performance, the SUNY Farmingdale State College Flying Rams, who will fly seven of their 22 college-owned aircraft in a fly-by piloted by their top academic professional pilot performers.

“This year we have a remarkable lineup of world-class performers, and are very pleased to welcome back the United States Navy Blue Angels to Long Island. We are also especially excited to be included in the Grunt Style Air Show Majors Tour, which unites the most prestigious air shows in the country,” said George Gorman, deputy regional director, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.   “The tour was developed to help increase awareness for the air show industry, so we look forward to welcoming many new guests to Jones Beach for our amazing show.”

“The Bethpage Air Show is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, due in large part to the endless enthusiasm and passion of our audience,” said Linda Armyn, senior vice president of corporate affairs, Bethpage. “We are all privileged to be able to continue to honor our nation’s military by bringing many of the world’s best military and civilian performers together for a show of this magnitude. The Bethpage Air Show has become a celebrated Long Island tradition, and we looking forward to another wonderful show.”

Two years ago, when the Blue Angels last headlined the show, the Bethpage Air Show had record-breaking attendance with 453,000 spectators.  Last year, over 347,000 fans attended the Bethpage Air Show when the United States Air Force Thunderbirds headlined the show.

In addition to Bethpage Federal Credit Union and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach is sponsored by Newsday, WABC-TV Channel 7, PSEG Long Island, Natural Heritage Trust, the U.S. Army, Loacker, New York Islanders and Connoisseur Media Long Island. The show can be heard in its entirety on WHLI 1100 and 1370 AM. Bethpage Air Show announcers will lead air show activities from the Jones Beach State Park Central Mall Boardwalk area where food, beverages and ground activities will be available for fans.

The Bethpage Air Show is free to the public, but the standard $10 vehicle use fee will be collected each day upon entry to the State Park. For the 2018 NYS Empire Passport holders, there is no vehicle use fee charge.

For $80, the Empire Passport card provides unlimited vehicle access to most facilities operated by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Empire Passports are available for purchase at any Long Island State Park and can be utilized immediately to enjoy the forests, the seashores and the lakefronts of New York State’s parks through all of New York’s beautiful seasons.

For more information about this year’s show, visit http://www.bethpageairshow.com or contact the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Regional Office, Recreation Department at 631-321-3510.

See photos from 2017 Bethpage Memorial Day Air Show at Jones Beach:

USAF Thunderbirds Headline Memorial Day Weekend Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach, Long Island

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WalletHub: Best Credit Cards for Foreign Travel

May 12, 2018
JF Kennedy International Airport, NY

WalletHub released a study of the best credit cards for foreign travel © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

With 72 million Americans planning a foreign trip this year, credit cards providing up to 13 international travel benefits and 86% of people not fully understanding how foreign fees work, WalletHub released a report identifying the best cards to use.

WalletHub also released the results of its 2018 Foreign Transaction Fee Survey, which provides insights into people’s attitudes toward and understanding of foreign fees. You can find highlights from both below.

  • 96% of credit cards offer rental car insurance, while 86% offer travel accident insurance and 37% offer a form of luggage insurance.
  • The best credit cards for international travelers are the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card, Bank of America Travel Rewards and Barclays Arrival Premier World Elite Mastercard.
  • 86% of people don’t fully understand when credit cards can charge foreign transaction fees. 82% think foreign transaction fees are unfair.
  • 51% of Americans worry more about foreign transaction fees on credit cards than tariffs on Chinese imports.
  • Two-thirds of people think credit cards should charge lower foreign transaction fees in countries allied with the U.S.
  • Capital One, Discover, USAA and Barclays are the only major issuers that exclusively offer no foreign transaction fee credit cards. Getting such a card, along with a no foreign fee debit card, enables international travelers to minimize the cost of currency conversion.

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Sandy Pines Camping Resort in Kennebunkport Opens Second Season with New Glamping Accommodations, Programming

May 11, 2018
Sandy Pines Campground. Kennebunkport, Maine.

New custom-designed glamping accommodations open at Sandy Pines Campground, Kennebunkport, Maine, in its second season (photo by Douglas Merriam)

Kennebunkport, ME Sandy Pines Campground opens May 11, 2018 for its second season with a roster of curated new experiences, custom designed glamping accommodations and engaging programming benefiting every level and style of camper – from RVers and traditional tent campers to glampers.

“When guests come to Sandy Pines, we aim to immerse them in the best of Maine – its natural beauty, nostalgic charm, a feeling of community – and set the stage for making new memories each time they visit,” said co-founder and hotelier Tim Harrington. “During our first season, we took note of what campers enjoyed most and built on those types of offerings for 2018.”

Sandy Pines opened in June 2017 with a plethora of resort-level amenities, including a rustic Grand Lodge, General Store stocked with local Maine provisions and a dedicated s’mores section, heated saltwater pool, Kids’ Kamp, lawn games and more.

For Summer 2018, campers can look forward to weekly entertainment like TBT Movie Nights by the Pool, screening throwback flicks served with popcorn and ice cream bars; Saturday Night Fever, where campers can convene for live music, a burger bash and cocktails – mixers provided, BYOB; and Sundae Funday ice cream buffet complete with toppings bar.

The Snack Bar will offer tasty breakfast options such as freshly baked pastries and breakfast burritos, plus grab-and-go salads and sandwiches, perfect for easy outdoor dining. A Maine visit isn’t complete without lobster and Sandy Pines campers can pre-order lobster dinners for delivery, which include steamed lobster, butter, sides, dessert and utensils. 

Grownups don’t get all the fun! New Kids’ Kamp activities will keep tiny tykes busy crafting dreamcatchers, learning to build teepee shelters, tie-dying keepsake t-shirts and more. Parents can loosen the leash on their free-roaming pre-teens but ensure they’re well-fed with Camper Cash, redeemable for ice cream, the snack bar or other in-park activities.

Glamping

Nature enthusiasts angling for elevated accommodations can choose from several new options available for nightly rental, beginning late June 2018. 

This season, Sandy Pines will unveil 12 Camp Carriages, akin to stylish cottages on wheels. These retreats are uniquely decorated by Kennebunkport designer Krista Stokes and are outfitted with king-size beds, A/C, exterior window shutters, fire pits and seating areas.  Krista also collaborated on designing 12 Hideaway Huts, wooden A-frames that are sleek and modern, yet rustic. The cozy structures feature full-size beds and lighting with outdoor seating areas and fire pits.

Lastly, Sandy Pines will add four more of their popular safari-style Glamp Tents, bringing the total to 16 professionally decorated accommodations, each with unique elements like antiques, four-post beds, chandeliers and more. Kennebunkport’s Louise Hurlbutt designed the four new tents, named Tradewinds, Robin’s Nest, Elements and Under the Stars.

Themed Weekends

Sandy Pines will expand their experiential park programming with new themed weekends. The first is Vintage Camping Weekend, June 15-17 during Father’s Day weekend, where owners of restored, DIY and unique campers will converge to swap stories, play games, enjoy live music, BBQ and the Great Outdoors. All park guests are invited to get in on the fun and tour the vintage campers.

To celebrate the Fall Equinox on September 22, Sandy Pines will host a family-focused “Great Maine Camp Out.” Campers of all ages are invited to spend the night, take an astronomy class, learn techniques for campfire cooking, listen to fireside storytelling by local authors and more.

Located minutes from Goose Rocks Beach in charming Kennebunkport, Sandy Pines Campground provides an experience that is authentically Maine, embodying the best of the Pine Tree State’s coast – natural beauty, salty breezes and a small-town ambiance. New England charm is infused throughout the grounds, from the rustic Grand Lodge to the General Store stocked with Maine provisions, including a section solely for s’mores creations, and a multitude of outdoor activities. The park’s campsites cater to traditional tent campers and RVers along with the option of booking professionally-decorated Glamp Tents, Camp Carriages and Hideaway Huts for nightly rental or purchasing a park model RV “tiny home.”

Sandy Pines Campground, 277 Mills Road, Kennebunkport, Maine 04046, www.sandypinescamping.com or call (207) 967-2483. Follow on Facebook at Sandy Pines Maine and on Instagram at @sandypinesmaine.

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Free Hotel Nights Promotion This Summer in The Palm Beaches

May 10, 2018
The Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa

The AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa has an award-winning 42,000 square foot Eau Spa, three Har-Tru tennis courts, two oceanfront pools, a fitness center and exciting kids and teens programs © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Discover The Palm Beaches (DTPB), the tourism marketing organization for Palm Beach County, has unveiled its highly-anticipated “Free Nights” hotel promotion for Summer 2018. For a limited time, 13 hotels are offering guests a free night, while prices start from about $115 to $700 per night – a savings of almost 50 percent compared to winter rates for some of the participating properties. This diverse collection of hotels and resorts provides travelers of nearly any budget an opportunity to enjoy the wealth of experiences available throughout The Palm Beaches.

“Visitors will find our legendary luxury experiences at an exceptional value during the summer,” said Jorge Pesquera, president and CEO of DTPB. “You’ll find the best vacation experiences in affordable packages – so we invite you to discover how this outstanding travel destination offers amazing value for getaways or memorable family events.”

Free-Night Promotions

The following hotels and resorts are offering free-night promotions, with a free extra night added to a stay at regular rates. Details pertaining to each offer are as follows:

A part of West Palm Beach’s history for 50 years, this classic Florida hotel has hosted Elvis and Marilyn Monroe. Conveniently located across the street from the Palm Beach Outlets, this hotel features a tropical pool and courtyard, gazebo, waterfall, and meditation garden.

    • An Extra Night for Tropical Fun: Stay three nights at the hotel’s regular rate, and the fourth night is free. Available from May 1 – September 30, 2018. To book, call 561-683-8810, ext. 452.
  • Boca Raton Resort & Club – Boca Raton, Florida

One of the country’s premier resort destinations and private club facilities, the Boca Raton Resort & Club features amenities including a half-mile stretch of private beach at the Boca Beach Club, Spa Palazzo, two 18-hole championship golf courses and the Dave Pelz Scoring Game School, the Resort’s tennis program, full-service 32-slip marina, seven swimming pools, three state-of-the-art fitness centers, and a variety of water sports.

    • Another Day in Paradise: Book best available rate for three nights, and the fourth night is complimentary for summer arrivals (including July 4th and Labor Day Weekend). Available through October 31, 2018. This offer must be booked 60 days before arrival. To book, use the promo code “PBADPA” at www.BocaResort.com. The complimentary fourth night is reflected in the daily room rate for this promo code as 25% off the room rate, per night, for four consecutive nights.
  • The Brazilian Court Hotel — Palm Beach, Florida

Just steps from Worth Avenue and the Atlantic Ocean, The Brazilian Court is a historic landmark infused throughout with Roaring ’20s glamour. Guests can savor the cuisine of internationally acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud at Café Boulud, enjoy pampering at the world-renowned Frederic Fekkai Salon & Spa, or relax by the secluded, palm-fringed pool.

    • One More Night in Tropical Boutique Style: Stay two nights, and the third night is free, or stay three nights, and the fourth night is free. Available May 1 – September 30, 2018. When booking, savings is included in rate. To book, call 561-655-7740. 

Ready to revel in the sunshine? Once you stay, you’ll understand. And once you start saving, you’ll want to stay longer. Founded on the sands of Palm Beach in 1896, The Breakers is known for its gracious staff and seaside glamour. Amenities geared to families include a 6,100-square-foot Family Entertainment Center and interactive playground, Camp Breakers for kids ages 3 – 12, poolside bungalows for daytime rental, and a roster of daily activities designed for guests of all ages. While here, guests also receive complimentary daily benefits-including free daily breakfast, kids’ menu meals for ages 12 and under, unlimited golf, and more (applicable to guests booked at prevailing regular rates. Not available to groups).

If you seek one of those “out of the way” hideaways off the beaten path, for ultimate privacy and relaxation, discover the best in South Florida hospitality at Casa Grandview. As a AAA 4-Diamond historic property, this boutique hotel offers a luxurious, but casual, tropical Florida atmosphere.

    • Free Night in a Vacation Rental: Sixth night free when you stay six consecutive nights in an Art Deco Apartment, Nola or Savannah Apartment. Available June 1 – October 31, 2018. This offer is based on availability, and certain restrictions may apply. To book, reserve online at https://casagrandview.com with the promo code “SUMMER”.
    • Fun-Filled Family Vacation with a Free Night: Receive one night free when you book a new stay of seven or more nights. Available June 1 – October 31, 2018. To book, reserve online at https://casagrandview.com with the promo code “FV2”.
  • The Chesterfield Palm Beach — Palm Beach, Florida

Recognized as a historical landmark by the Palm Beach Preservation Foundation, this glorious boutique hotel combines modern Florida sophistication with old-world English elegance. Its indulgent amenities include a tranquil outdoor swimming pool, a wood-paneled library, and the legendary Leopard Lounge & Restaurant, which features exciting international cuisine, creative cocktails, and live music.

    • 3 Nights for the Price of 2: Stay a little longer in one of the hotel’s unique rooms or suites, offering as much unrestrained luxury as you need. Every third night you stay is free. Offer applies to all room types. Maximum of 3 free nights/9 nights total. Available through December 31, 2018. To book, call 561-659-5800 or 800-243-7871.

Nestled between Boca Raton and Delray Beach, Delray Sands combines the intimacy of a boutique hotel with resort-style amenities in an oceanfront setting. Families will appreciate the separate children’s pool and proximity to Palm Beach’s top attractions, including shopping and entertainment at Mizner Park and Delray’s Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens.

    • Have an Extra Night Beachfront: Stay two nights, and the third night is free. Available from May 1-September 30, 2018, excluding weekends. To book, call 866-943-0950.

Situated on a secluded private beach on seven acres of the Atlantic coast with breathtaking ocean views and lush tropical gardens, the AAA Five Diamond and Forbes Five-Star Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa was recognized as Florida’s top resort in 2015 and 2016 for the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. After being greeted with a glass of champagne upon check-in, guests are escorted to spacious accommodations designed by Jonathan Adler featuring private balconies with hanging chairs to enjoy ocean views. The resort’s many amenities include the Forbes Five-Star, award-winning 42,000 square foot Eau Spa, three Har-Tru tennis courts, two oceanfront pools, a fitness center and exciting kids and teens programs.

    • More Beach Time with a Free Night: Stay three nights in an Ocean View Room category or higher, and the fourth night is complimentary. Available from May 1-31, 2018. To book, call 800-328-0170.

Rooms at this family-friendly hotel, which is convenient to I-95 and steps from the Palm Beach Outlets, include separate living rooms, full kitchenettes, full size refrigerator, dishwasher, two burner cook-top range and two 42″ LCD TV’s. Guests can enjoy a heated outdoor pool and a free bike-share program.

    • Fourth Night Free: Stay three nights at regular rates, and the fourth night is free. Available May 1 – September 30, 2018, based on availability. To book, call 561-472-7000, ext. 723, and ask for booking code “LKCC”.

In addition to its tropical beachfront location, Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa is the home of two award-winning restaurants, an oceanfront pool, hot tub and state-of-the-art fitness center. Family-friendly activities range from basketball and tennis to movie nights to Sea Turtle Walks with local experts.

    • More Time to Explore Jupiter: Stay two nights, and the third night is free. Available through December 20, 2018. To book, call 877-389-0571.

This AAA four-diamond resort not only has a 28-year legacy of hosting prestigious golf events including the PGA TOUR’s Honda Classic and the Ryder Cup, but also offers guests a world-class spa, state-of-the-art sports and racquet club along with an outstanding array of gourmet dining experiences.

    • More Time for Spa and Golf: Stay two nights, and the third night is free. Available through September 30, 2018. To book, visit http://www.pgaresort.com and use the promo code, “DIS3FR”.

Discover breathtaking oceanfront views with a contemporary twist at Tideline Ocean Resort & Spa. Poised between the Atlantic Ocean and palatial Palm Beach mansions, our contemporary exterior harbors guest rooms and suites that are equally exotic. Outside, choose between the serenity of the ocean steps away, or the private pool & cabanas.

Edging Jupiter’s Intracoastal Waterway, the Wyndham Grand Jupiter at Harbourside Place is surrounded by distinctive dining, shopping, and entertainment. After a refreshing night’s sleep in plush, signature bedding, guests can enjoy a swim in the sparkling rooftop pool, then lounge poolside with a hand-crafted cocktail, while soaking up the views and gentle breezes.

    • Another Night to Do More in Jupiter: Stay three nights, and the fourth night is free. Available May 1 – September 30, 2018. To book, visit http://www.wyndhamgrandjupiter.com and use promo code “H4NF25”.

Discover The Palm Beaches, formerly the Palm Beach County Convention and Visitors Bureau, is the official tourism marketing corporation that promotes the collection of 39 cities and towns commonly referred to as “The Palm Beaches,” which spans more than 2,300 square miles and 47 miles of pristine, golden beaches from Boca Raton to Jupiter and Tequesta. Tourism is among Palm Beach County’s major industries, generating $4.7 billion in direct visitor spending and supporting 70,000 jobs with an economic impact of about $7 billion. Once recognized as a tropical escape for elite travelers in the late 1800s, America’s First Resort Destination® is making its resurgence as The Best Way To Experience Florida®, welcoming a record 7,890,000 people in 2017. The Palm Beaches are home to nearly 17,000 hotel rooms, ranging from historic resorts to boutique inns. The destination features more than 100 family-friendly attractions, world-class luxury and antique shopping experiences, 125 miles of peaceful waterways for on- or in-the-water activities, more than 150 artificial reefs that line the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream current, 160 golf courses, award-winning restaurants and a thriving entertainment scene boasting more than 200 art and culture organizations.

Situated along I-95, The Palm Beaches are also home to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), with more than 200 daily direct flights to 27 domestic and international destinations in the United States and Canada. The Palm Beaches are also conveniently located next to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood and Miami International airports, each one only an hour away. In addition, with the new Brightline train, transportation into The Palm Beaches from Fort Lauderdale is even faster and more convenient – with connections to Miami and Orlando coming soon.

For more information about The Palm Beaches, visit www.ThePalmBeaches.com and connect on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @PalmBeachesFL, YouTube at Discover The Palm Beaches and the hashtag #ThePalmBeaches. Tune-in to The Palm Beaches TV for 24/7 streaming content of the destination’s hotels, attractions, restaurants and experiences.

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Perillo Invites Bachelors to ‘La Dolce Vita’ Before Saying ‘Arrivederci’ to Single Life

May 1, 2018
Perillo-TestDriveFirenze e2

Test Drive a Ferrari, Golf in Florence, and More on Perillo’s La Dolce Vita Bachelor Party Package (photo by TestDriveFirenze)

WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ  – Grooms (and groomsmen) tired of the same old stag party can skip the cliché traditions with Perillo’s Learning Journeys’ new “La Dolce Vita” Ultimate Bachelor Party package. From test driving a Ferrari in Florence to wine tasting in the hills of Chianti, the four-night Tuscan getaway is filled with unforgettable experiences to help the groom-to-be say “arrivederci” to his single days.

Upon arrival in Florence, the boys will head to the heart of Tuscany via private transfer to Villa Il Poggiale. Situated near San Casciano in Val Di Pisa, this luxury renaissance villa is surrounded by an estate of tall cypress trees, standing guard over miles of vineyards and olive groves. The next morning, a golf outing awaits at Golf Ugolino. The course is filled with natural beauty weaving through indigenous vines and olive trees, and utilizing the natural contours of the Chianti slopes as fairways to create a challenging 18-holes.

Adrenaline junkies will get their thrills with a morning test drive of the new Ferrari California Turbo. Starting at Piazza Michelangelo in Florence, the test ride will take drivers through the famous city up to the Florentine hills for panoramic views. That afternoon, it’s off to the Tuscan countryside for a wine tasting. The last day is spent at Tenuta Torciano winery in Chianti for a hands-on barbeque featuring the flavors of Tuscan peasant cooking including grilled meats, roast vegetables, Tuscan cheeses, and more. The guys will have the opportunity to man the grill and learn to cook on the rotisserie. Lunch is accompanied by variety of regional wines and tasting of local Tuscan products including balsamic vinegars and truffle oils.

The “La Dolce Vita” Bachelor Party package starts at $2,850 per person (with a minimum of four guests) and includes four hotel nights in Tuscany, one 18-hole round of golf with club rental and golf cart, Ferrari test drive experience, Tuscan wine tasting, Chianti countryside barbeque and wine tasting experience, private hotel transfers, and select meals.

Bachelor party packages can be customized with additional nights, add-ons and tailored experiences such as city tours, cigar and whiskey tasting, private chef villa dinners, and more.  For more information, visit https://www.learningjourneys.com/journeys/la-dolce-vita-ultimate-bachelor-party.  To book, call 1-888-884-8259.

For more information on Perillo’s Learning Journeys, visit www.learningjourneys.com, contact a local travel professional, or call 888-884-8259.

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Days Inn by Wyndham Invites Applications for (Paid) Summer Internship Capturing Amazing Photos

May 1, 2018
GC_0740e2 S Kaibab (c) Karen Rubin-hikers

Hiking the South Kaibab Trail into the Grand Canyon. Days Inn Flagstaff is located on the South Rim Grand Canyon . Days Inn by Wyndham is looking for a summer intern to photograph outdoors scenes © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Parsippany, N.J. – Spending a summer job indoors filling filing cabinets and soaking in artificial light might sound like a win to some, but Days Inn by Wyndham is flipping the script for thrill-seeking, soul-searching internship hunters. The iconic hotel brand known and loved for its sun-drenched logo beckons you to pack your shades, your appetite for adventure and your SPF because it’s seeking a sun-chaser for the season’s hottest travel and photography post: the coveted Days Inn Summer “Sun-tern.”

Now through May 20, 2018, Days Inn is seeking a bright, aspiring photographer with a passion for the outdoors to travel across the country and capture the sun in all of its glory.

“Summer days are built for seizing every sun-lit moment doing something you love, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t get paid for it,” said Patrick Breen, senior vice president, brand operations for Days Inn. “We make it our job to brighten guests’ days at our hotels, and now we’re delivering an opportunity that puts the sunray reins in our travelers’ hands. The Summer Sun-ternship is all about living that carpe diem life, adventuring across the country and experiencing daybreak, the golden hour, and dusk through a new lens – plus stocking up on awesome work perks.”  

About the Role:

Here’s your opportunity to seize the summer days. The month-long “Sun-ternship” will have you snapping photos in America’s sunniest cities. Why? Because the sweet days of summer gift us more sunlight, and with Days Inn on your side, together you’ll show the world how to make the most of travel, wherever it takes you.

What’s more, you’ll get major photo props. Photos captured along the way will plaster the brand’s website – daysinn.com – its social media channels, and hotel walls: the iconic hotel chain is bringing the sunshine inside with sun-themed art in nearly 1,500 hotels across the country and your very own sun shots will star in select locations.

Your summer mission in a snapshot? Seize the days. Take beautiful photos of the sun. See those photos featured in hotels and online. Get paid. Be the envy (and most sun-kissed) of all your friends.

Responsibilities:

  • Travel to select sunny cities across America over the course of one month this summer.
  • Capture as many sun-inspired photos as your camera roll will hold.

Qualifications:

  • A bright, creative, aspiring photographer.
  • At least 21 years old and a U.S. resident.
  • A thrill-seeker open to new, unforgettable experiences.
  • A passion for travel, adventure, and the outdoors.
  • The ability to travel across the U.S. for one month.
  • Unlike the sun, you don’t need 27 million (academic) degrees.

The Perks:

  • A $10,000 stipend.
  • Photos featured on the brand’s website, social channels, and walls at select Days Inn hotels in the U.S.
  • Paid travel expenses to explore sunny destinations around the country for one month.
  • Wyndham Rewards Diamond status. Not Gold, not Platinum – Diamond. That means early check-in, late check-out and more. Visit wyndhamrewards.com to learn how your status with Days Inn’s award-winning guest loyalty program can also get you free nights.
  • A glowing recommendation upon completion of the Sun-ternship from Barry Goldstein, Wyndham Hotel Group’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer.

How to apply:

  • Show what you’ve got: visit daysinn.com/suntern by May 20, 2018, to submit your best original outdoor photo along with 100 words describing why you’re the brightest person for the job.
  • Applicants must be 21 years of age or older and a resident of the U.S.

For more information or to apply, visit daysinn.com/suntern.

 

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Town of North Hempstead Memorial Day Commemoration and Fireworks Slated for May 26

May 1, 2018

The Town of North Hempstead, Long Island, hosts Memorial Day Commemoration Fireworks at North Hempstead Beach on May 26 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Town of North Hempstead, Long Island is hosting Memorial Day Fireworks and Commemoration Ceremony, will be held at North Hempstead Beach Park on Saturday, May 26, with the program beginning at 6:30 p.m.

This year, the Memorial Day Fireworks and Commemoration Ceremony will a feature fireworks display by Santore Fireworks, musical entertainment from Wonderous Stories and special guests. After the fireworks, there will be a DJ performance. During the ceremony, students from Carle Place High School will sing the National Anthem and Cub Scouts from Pack 221 will perform the Pledge of Allegiance. Scenic North Hempstead Beach Park offers a boardwalk along the water and picnic areas so visitors can enjoy a start to the summer season.

“Each year we look forward to hosting our Memorial Day Fireworks Commemoration and Fireworks at North Hempstead Beach Park,” said North Hempstead Town Supervisor Judi  Bosworth.  “This event serves to pay tribute to our veterans, active duty military personnel and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice fighting for our freedom.”

The program will start at 6:30 p.m.  Fireworks will begin at darkness.

The Town offers FREE parking for veterans and active duty military on May 26 for the Annual Memorial Day Commemoration and Fireworks Extravaganza at North Hempstead Beach Park.  Parking pass will be available at various facilities throughout the Town with a proof of ID.  For more information on how to receiving a free parking pass call 516-869-6311 or visit: https://bit.ly/2Fh4xGZ.

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Bike Expo New York (May 4-5) Relocated to Pier 12, Brooklyn; Venue to Pick up Packets for TD 5 Boro Bike Tour

April 16, 2018

Some 32,000 riders line up for the start of the TD Five Boro Bike Tour Presented by REI, the largest noncompetitive bike tour in North America, a 40-mile route that gives an incomparable view of New York City’s neighborhoods. This year’s Bike Expo New York, where participants pick up their packets, takes place on May 4 and 5 at Pier 12 in Brooklyn; the bike tour takes place on Sunday, May 6. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

After six years at Basketball City, Bike Expo New York, the largest bike show on the East Coast, is moving to Pier 12 in Brooklyn New York, on May 4 and 5.

Less than a month before the event, Bike New York announced it had to move the Bike Expo New York due to unexpected maintenance at Pier 36 which prevented the nonprofit from obtaining a permit to hold the event at Basketball City, where the event has taken place for six years.

“It’s no small undertaking to move an event that draws more than 60,000 people from all over the world, especially in this short a timeframe,” said Ken Podziba, President & CEO of Bike New York. “However, we are encouraged by all that Pier 12 has to offer and we will make every effort to ensure that the quality and experience of Bike Expo New York will be what our attendees and exhibitors have come to expect over the past six years.”

The venue is accessible by public transportation, including subway, bus, and ferry; the ferry docks on site. Bike valet and car parking will be available, and there are several Citi Bike docking stations nearby.

The Expo, which is free and open to the public, also serves as the rider packet pick-up location for the TD Five Boro Bike Tour Presented by REI, which takes place on Sunday, May 6; like the Tour, the event benefits Bike New York, New York City’s leading bike education nonprofit.

Among the 100-plus exhibitors are top bike, gear, and apparel brands, tourism companies, bike event organizers, advocacy groups, and many others dedicated to active lifestyles.

In addition to exhibitor booths, Bike Expo New York is packed with programming for casual and serious cyclists alike, including a fashion show, how-to demonstrations, and competitions. The Expo will also feature a beer garden, beer samples from New Belgium Brewing, food trucks, and amazing views of Manhattan, Governors Island, and the Statue of Liberty.

The TD Five Boro Bike Tour – which caps participation at 32,000 – is the largest noncompetitive bike tour in North America. It is remarkable to consider that the first ride in 1977 had just 250 participants.

The annual event raises money for bike education – 17,000 people a year learn how to ride, the largest free biking education program in the country. Bike New York operates bike education centers, after school programs, summer camps, and last year launched a Women’s Initiative, as well as a membership program. Individual slots are taken, but there is still a way to participate in the 5 Boro Tour, by signing on to one of the many charities, such as Doctors Without Borders, which also use the event for fundraising, purchasing registrations which participants then raise money against.

The ride is designed to be a family friendly tour, not a competition, appealing to cyclists of all abilities and ages – indeed, you see all manners of cycles. A pace car keeps the speed down, and keep it safe, and there are support vehicles to assist.

“Diversity is what makes the ride,” says Sam Polcer, who handles communications for Bike New York.

The 40-mile route embraces all five boroughs – and each shows off its pride and character with street entertainment. There are also well-positioned rest stops along the way which have a festive atmosphere.

About Bike New York Bike New York is 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose mission is to transform lives and communities through bicycling. In 2017, they taught bike skills to more than 25,000 kids and adults. Funding for these programs comes from numerous annual events, including the TD Five Boro Bike Tour Presented by REI, Bike Expo New York, and regional events. http://www.bike.nyc

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5 Vie to Win 2018 ‘Your Big Break’ Talent Competition, April 21 at Gold Coast Arts Center, Long Island

April 12, 2018
Gold Coast Your Big Break Talent Competition

Winners of Round 2 of “Your Big Break” Talent Competition at Gold Coast Arts Center with judges. The finals take place on April 21 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Gold Coast Arts Center, Love Revolution Org, and the Rick Eberle Agency are gearing up for what promises to be an exciting final round of this year’s “Your Big Break Competition” on Saturday, April  21, at the Center’s Acoustic Café, 113 Middle Neck Road, Great Neck, Long Island.

Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the first act taking the stage at 8:00 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for students, and $20 at the door). To purchase tickets in advance visit: goldcoastarts.org/your-big-break-final/.

The top five remaining finalists, who survived the first two knockout rounds held earlier this years, will perform for judges in the music business that includes producers, radio and television personalities and music business executives. The winner will be chosen by the judges and audience members, as the performers vie to win prizes and recognition that can help boost their music careers. Among the prizes include the chance to open for national acts at major local venues like The Paramount; recording time at DCITY Studios; a feature on Reverbnation.com; musical equipment from All Music Inc. and ZOOM North America; and public relations and social media campaign, booking and label services consultation with the Rick Eberle Agency.

This years “Your Big Break Competition” finalists are singer/songwriters Kaylee Shahira and Lydia von Hof; and bands 37 Stripes, All Types of Kinds, and Psychopompus.

Gold Coast Your Big Break Talent Competition

Kaylee Shahira performing in Knockout Round 2 of “Your Big Break” Talent Competition at Gold Coast Arts Center © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Kaylee Shahira is a young, passionate indie-pop artist with a killer sound who hails from northwest Indiana. Shahira loves writing about the questions nobody can answer — living with mental illness, personal life philosophies, and the intricacies of being a social animal. Shahira exudes promise as an emerging artist.

Gold Coast Your Big Break Talent Competition

37 Stripes performing in Knockout Round 2 of “Your Big Break” Talent Competition at Gold Coast Arts Center © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The band 37 Stripes formed in the fall of 2016. The members were introduced at the iSchool of Music and Art on Long Island and quickly connected with one another and settled on musical upheaval as an alternative expression. 37 Stripes have been writing their music and playing at festivals and venues around New York City. Band members are Manhasset residents Andrew Hahn, who plays Fender bass, sax, and keyboard; Oscar Cellura on Fender guitars, and keyboard; and percussionist Zach Levine, a resident of Syosset, who plays the drums. The band has played at the renowned “Bitter End” in Greenwich Village and Mulcahy’s in Wantagh, NY. 37 Stripes were also finalists in the Town of Oyster Bay’s Battle of the Bands and the Morgan Park (Glen Cove) Summer Music Festival.

Gold Coast Your Big Break Talent Competition

Psychopompous, which boasts alumni of Great Neck South High School, performing in Knockout Round 2 of “Your Big Break” Talent Competition at Gold Coast Arts Center © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

First formed at Great Neck South High/Middle School in 2010, Psychopompous is the most recent nominal iteration of the musical project formed by singer and guitarist Justin Kelly, percussionist Beni Hahitti, and bassist Maximillian Nero. The three created  Psychopompous through a mutual interest primarily in progressive rock, and then expanded into an unending plethora of musical interests that continues to grow at an alarming, and often frustrating rate. Their music has taken notes from progressive rock, heavy metal, alternative, blues, funk, psychedelia, Gregorian chant, Tibetan throat singing, and occasionally whale songs. They have been known in the past for their sincere love of technical music, experimentation, improvisation, and their unbridled willingness to play music nobody wants to hear.

Gold Coast Your Big Break Talent Competition

All types of Kinds performing in Knockout Round 2 of “Your Big Break” Talent Competition at Gold Coast Arts Center © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

All Types of Kinds is a New York City-based Alternative band consisting of guitarists Billy Conahan, Ray Rubio, and Rocco Stoker, along with percussionist Berk O. As a group, they have performed from folk to rap and other genres in between. Their music and shows reflect the band’s diverse background in helping them achieve success in the New York metropolitan area. Band members are all singer/songwriters with an extensive repertoire of songs. Having grown up performing in musical theater, stand-up comedy, and as actors, the group is skilled at crowd engagement, making their shows unique and upbeat. Their personal and group experiences give them the ability to read and play to any crowd, creating a show that is always changing and entertaining to diverse audiences. 

Lydia von Hof is a 16-year-old singer, piano player, and songwriter from Commack, New York. She performed as a soloist at Madison Square Garden at a New York Knicks halftime show and is the 2016 winner of Long Island’s Got Talent. Aside from singing pop, jazz, R&B, Broadway, and opera, Lydia is a classically trained pianist and has performed classical piano solos at both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.  She has been a returning musical guest on PATV’s “The Brick Wall.”

Gold Coast Arts Center Your Big Break

Lydia von Hof and Annamaria from Round 1 of “Your Big Break” Talent Competition at Gold Coast Arts Center, Great Neck, Long Island. The finals take place on April 21 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The Gold Coast Arts Center is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance and outreach. Located on the North Shore of Long Island, it has brought the arts to tens of thousands of people throughout the region for over 20 years. Among the Center’s offerings are its School for the Arts, which holds year-round classes in visual and performing arts for students of all ages and abilities; a free public art gallery; a concert and lecture series; film screenings and discussions; the annual Gold Coast International Film Festival; and initiatives that focus on senior citizens and underserved communities. These initiatives include artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher-training workshops and parent-child workshops. The Gold Coast Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Partners in Education program, and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. More information can be found at www.goldcoastarts.org.

 

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