Archive for the ‘fall getaway travel’ Category

Come to Atlantic Canada for Foliage, Flavor and Festivals This Fall

September 29, 2017
Canada-PEI fall e2

Prince Edward Island’s red clay roads are delightful for biking in fall.

ATLANTIC CANADA  – The Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island offer more than breathtaking horizons of gold, crimson and amber leaves in autumn.  This fall, travelers to Atlantic Canada’s coastal region will find fewer crowds, lower rates and a variety of festivals, culinary indulgences and experiences that deliver more than simply peeping at leaves from a car.

Prince Edward Island

Throughout September, the Fall Flavours Festival takes foodies on a culinary journey across Prince Edward Island.  From mussel and lobster shore boils and grilled cheese chef challenges, to made in Canada food tours, the festival also features signature events hosted by popular celebrity chefs including PEI’s own Chef Michael Smith. Pricing for individual events vary.

For leaf peepers, the red clay roads on Prince Edward Island(http://www.tourismpei.com) are lined with trees full of apricot orange, fiery red and bright yellow and showcase best between mid-September and mid-October.  Bicycling on the Confederation Trail, which is built on old railroad tracks and spans about 270 miles (435 kilometers), offers spectacular views of colorful foliage with sections that lead through wooded areas and along the coastline.

Nova Scotia

With a famed heritage for its giant pumpkins, Windsor in  Nova Scotia ( http://www.novascotia.com) hosts the annual Pumpkin Festival and Regatta, where people paddle in hollowed out oversized pumpkins and race across Lake Pezaquid. With a backdrop of autumn leaves, spectators can cheer on the pumpkin racers, children can participate in scavenger hunts and so much more during the festivities on October 9.  For more information, visit http://worldsbiggestpumpkins.com

For nine days in October, Cape Breton Island is alive with music, activities and events celebrating the community’s rich culture during the annual Celtic Colours International Festival.  Held from October 6-14 when the leaves of Cape Breton are vibrant in red, yellow and orange hues, Celtic Colours has grown to become one of Canada’s premier musical events. At one of the many concerts, guests will be entertained by musicians from around the world sharing the stage with Cape Breton’s best singers, dancers, players, story-tellers and culture bearers in venues that range from community halls and churches to modern schools and theatres. For more information, visit http://celtic-colours.com/.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Foliage enthusiasts looking for an offbeat way to view fall colors can head to Newfoundland and Labrador (http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com)and hop on an ATV.  In Western Newfoundland, Mount Musgrave ATV Tours travels along Marble Mountain’s jaw-dropping vistas of Humber Valley. The one and half hour tour brings ATVing guests beyond the chairlift to the summit of Mount Musgrave to spot wildlife such as moose, caribou, black bear, and of course, the vibrant hues of changing leaves. Available through October 31, price is $55 CAD per person.

From October 6-8, Fogo Island celebrates the partridgeberry, the tart red berry that grows in abundance in Newfoundland and Labrador.  The Fogo Island Partridgeberry Harvest Festival showcases local produce of Fogo Island and Change Islands through farmer’s market, crafts, bake-offs, harvest competitions, demonstration of traditional woodworking and quilting, music, jam sessions and much more.

New Brunswick

Indulge, New Brunswick’s annual food and wine festival in St. Andrews by-the-Sea, features three days of food experiences and more from October 13 to 15. From a walking tour and tasting of top chefs’ wares along shorefront Water Street to a farmer’s market, tasting dinners and wine trails, guests enjoy local culinary delights.  On October 14, adventurists can race the tide across the ocean floor on bike during Cyclocross the Tide on Ministers Island.  Pricing for individual events vary.

In Miramichi, New Brunswick (http://www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca), the newly opened Over the Cove Zipline stretches more than 980 feet (300 meters). Adventurers can zip over water and through the changing colored leaves in two directions at French Fort Cove, which also offers walking, hiking and biking trails. Over the Cove Zipline is open weekends through October 9. Price is $20 CAD per person.

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The Best of CA Highway 1: Must-See Spots in Cayucos by The Sea

October 8, 2016
Cass-House-2-Cass-House---Pavilion-credit-Lindsey-Hahn

Check out the Historic Cass House and Historical Museum in Cayucos along the Highway 1 Discovery Route, Photo Credit Lindsey Hahn. (PRNewsFoto/California Highway 1 Discovery)

A Beachcomber’s Paradise, A Foodie’s Nirvana, And A Vacationer’s Dream Come True; With a Rich History, Cayucos Features a White Sandy Beach, a Fishing Pier, Tide Pools, Hiking, Biking and Horseback Riding Trails, Plus Enter To Win A Must See Getaway To The Coolest California Beach Town

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif.– Roam around the Coolest California Beach Town! Take the plunge into the classic beach town of Cayucos along the iconic CA Highway 1 Discovery Route in Coastal San Luis Obispo County midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Enjoy miles of pet-friendly beach, surfing, kayaking, strolling the historic pier and getting up close and personal with sea life (think adorable sea otters). With plenty of family-owned restaurants, wineries and local artisan goods, there’s so much for you to enjoy, especially on a fall, mid-week getaway to Cayucos.

Voted “the coolest small town in America” in 2009, Cayucos by the Sea is a surprising gem of a town that appears like magic out of the misty fog. Cayucos is truly an authentic California beach town with a long stretch of white sandy beach, sun more often than fog, a free public fishing pier, an historic saloon, and a quaint old-fashioned main street. Television personality Huell Howser selected Cayucos for an episode of his show, California’s Gold, and filmed most of it strolling up the center of Ocean Avenue, marveling at its un-crowded yet ultra-desirable qualities.

Win a Must-See Cayucos Getaway 
Immerse yourself in Cayucos by entering to win the Must-See Getaway Contest. It’s easy. Just fill out this form and you could be selected to win two night lodging at one of the town’s quaint hotels, wine tasting at Cayucos Cellars, dining and a private kayak tour for two.

Must-See Cayucos by the Sea – As Close To Perfection As You Can Get

Unscathed by the big developers, the population of Cayucos is about 3,000. Despite its small size, Cayucos has an eating establishment to meet everyone’s palate, from a chowder house to five-star dining. You’ll also find fabulous antique stores, surf shops with handcrafted boards, and locally owned gift stores. For children, there are three play areas designed just for them including, picnic tables, barbecues, and a paid lifeguard during the summer. There’s even a fresh water swimming pool in the summer near Hardie Park and two lighted tennis courts, located a short walk away from the pier. Grownups looking for a bit of “spice” will find that “in spades” if you’ll forgive the pun, at The Old Cayucos Tavern, a historic bar with card-playing rooms, pool tables, dancing, and some of the best live music around. Check out this video to see all there is to do in the cool seaside town or visit http://ci.highway1discoveryroute.com/files/Must_See_Caycuos__10416.pdf. For more information on the California Highway 1 Discovery Route, visit www.Highway1DiscoveryRoute.com.

 

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Story of Mad Butcher & Severed Heads Reenacted During Halloween Weekends at West Virginia’s ACE Adventure Resort

October 6, 2016
Nightmare in the Gorge Haunted Trail is the grand finale of a fun-laden season at ACE Adventure Resort on 1,500 acres in West Virginia’s southern hills.

Nightmare in the Gorge Haunted Trail is the grand finale of a fun-laden season at ACE Adventure Resort on 1,500 acres in West Virginia’s southern hills.

NEW RIVER GORGE, WV – How much fear fun can you handle when forests become primeval, distressed ghouls linger in the thickets and overall, for four late October nights, the hair on the back of everyone’s neck will rise?

Nightmare in the Gorge Haunted Trail is the grand finale of a fun-laden season at ACE Adventure Resort on 1,500 acres in West Virginia’s southern hills. Here Nightmare in the Gorge Haunted Hike takes place from 7:30 p.m. to 11:45 p.m. Oct. 21 and 22 and again on Oct. 28 and 29, 2016. To participate, the per person rate is $13 for adults and $10 for youth. Visitors can combine the walk with a Night Sky Zip Line Tour and the rate is $99 for adults, $89 for youth. Add a 5K Zombie Run on Oct. 22 only at $129 for adults and $119 for youth.

And over these two weekends the resort’s cabins can be rented for half price.

The resort comes by its haunting naturally, locals say. There’s an old story from 1960’s about a mad butcher and a number of murders that occurred in the area. The mad butcher, never convicted, has been in and out of mental institutions, while rumors of dismembered heads stayed put. The murders were never solved.

ACE Adventure Resort’s (https://aceraft.com/) designer of fear is Chris Colin, who also stages the resort’s annual music festival. He explained that this year the haunted trail plays off the mad butcher story with a butcher shop with a hillbilly kitchen, a maze through a hillbilly workshop garage, a haunted house – or two – and the introduction of new fear-inspiring characters to the scene.

“We had 1,500 people over four days last year,” Colin said. “We expect to double that number this year.”

The nighttime zip line, a year-round staple, is enhanced by spooky qualities in deference to the season. West Virginia’s New River Gorge becomes a blur as shadows lengthen and people begin to soar like bats through the treetops and moving shadows. Senses leap into overdrive over seven zips and a sky bridge that keeps participants enthralled for over two hours. Adventurers must be 13 years or older and weigh at least 100 pounds (but not over 200).

The 5KM Zombie Run on the first weekend works like flag football. The runners, laden with flags, have to keep their flags away from the aggressive zombies. If they lose their flags, they become zombies too.

Fall colors at ACE Adventure Resort peak mid to late October depending on the weather. However, the protected depths of the New River Gorge can keep colors longer than usual along the river bottom. Prime foliage viewing is best from secluded overlooks which include the Endless Wall Trail, named the best national park hike in the United States by the readers of USA Today. ACE’s popular New River Bridge Catwalk Tour that takes adventurers under the longest single arch bridge in the western hemisphere spans 1.5 miles on a 24-inch wide catwalk (with railings). The fall colors can be truly spectacular with the right timing (this can be coupled with a raft trip).

Most of the activities that have made ACE Adventure Resort a #1 Outfitter in West Virginia continue through fall as well: zip liningmountain bikingdisc golfstand up paddle boarding and rock climbing. The adjacent 70,000-acre New River Gorge National River is an option for miles of wilderness exploring afoot and on horseback or fat tire bike. Guests may also enjoy world class fishing on the New River for small mouth bass. Conditions for rock climbing and mountain biking are usually optimal this time of year.

ACE Adventure Resort is the East Coast’s largest mountain hideaway exclusively focused on world-class whitewater rafting along with guided adventures, outdoor sports and activities, lodging, camping and other amenities. The nearby New River Gorge National River is affectionately known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” and features rafting from April to October. The New and Gauley Rivers combined offer over 100 miles of rapids all within 30 minutes of the resort. Both rivers are administered by the National Park Service.  ACE’s passion since 1980 has been to create vacations wrapped around these rivers and other outdoor adventures so that guests can experience “a world of adventure in one place.” The 1,500 acres here encompass both forest and a 5-acre lake plus a series of ponds, a mining-era ghost town and spectacular cliffs for rock climbing, waterfalls and overlooks.

For more information and to make trip and lodging reservations, please telephone (800) 787-3982 or email ace@aceraft.com. Visit the website at www.aceraft.com.

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Vermont, Staking Claim for ‘World’s Best Foliage’ Provides Weekly Foliage Reports

October 2, 2015

After years of watching other states attempt to position themselves as autumn destinations, Vermont has thrown down the gauntlet and declared itself the home of the World’s Best Foliage.

“No one does foliage better than Vermont,” declared Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin. “Three-quarters of our state is forested, and we have the highest percentage of maple trees in the country. With our flaming reds, blazing oranges and glowing yellows, we have the most vibrant fall colors in the world.”

In previous years, states as far away as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Arizona have claimed their fall season was as pretty as Vermont’s. “Clearly, we’re the bar,” said Megan Smith, Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing. “Our fall advertising campaign will articulate the myriad reasons we have the World’s Best Foliage. Our hope is that people will be inspired to come see it for themselves.”

Smith added that Vermont’s fall campaign isn’t just about bragging rights. Visitors spend $460 million during the foliage season, which represents about a quarter of overall visitor spending each year. Nearly 3.5 million people travel to Vermont in the fall to experience its unique working landscape of bucolic villages, pastoral meadows, and forested hillsides.

To help visitors plan their trip during “peak” season, the state’s official tourism website, www.VermontVacation.com, will offer weekly foliage reports, Best Bets for driving tours, and a foliage tracker. The website will rely on information from the state’s Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and its commissioner, Michael Snyder. Snyder is a well-regarded forester, and with over 30 years of professional experience, has earned the title of Vermont’s official Foliage Forecaster.

“Predicting fall’s color changes is part science and part luck,” admitted Snyder. “We know the science of color change and the factors that influence it, but we don’t know exactly how it will unfold in any given year. The good news is, our foliage is like a day on the slopes—when it’s good, it’s great. And even when it’s a bit off, it’s still really good.”  Snyder says Vermont’s abundant spring rain and summer sunshine have created the right conditions for a spectacular fall in 2015.

To see the top reasons why Vermont has the World’s Best Foliage, go to www.VermontVacation.com/worldsbestfoliage.

 

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Topnotch Partners with Outfitters to Offer Excursions to Immerse in Stowe, Vermont’s Fall Foliage

October 2, 2015

With the highest percentage of maple trees in New England, Vermont’s reputation as the most vibrant destination for fall foliage is undisputed.  At Topnotch Resort in Stowe, travelers are encouraged to do more than peep at leaves from the car window and has a new program of activities for guests to explore the resort’s natural surroundings, in and among the colorful maple trees.

The new Topnotch Experience Center has been designed to create customized and memorable guest experiences. For the nature-loving, active travelers, the resort offers an array of new activities like Pilates sessions under a canopy of trees in the forest, introductory climbing and bouldering, guided river walks for kids and wake-up foliage hikes. For foodies, visits to local selection of Vermont’s many blossoming Micro Breweries, Creameries and Organic Farms are offered as well as on-site Mixology classes to whet guest appetites.

“The new programming utilizes every one of the 120 acres and acclaimed facilities that have long been the essence of the Topnotch experience, from the base of Mt. Mansfield to the equestrian center and the five-mile Rec trail around Stowe,” says Bob Sassani, general manager of Topnotch Resort. “With vantage points to see foliage right from the windows and outdoor space of our restaurants and from inside the guest rooms, our guests also have the opportunity to not just look, but to get out there and do.”

In addition to a roster of complimentary activities for kids and grown-ups – like hair braiding in the salon, guided nature walks and more – Topnotch offers activities through partnerships with local tour operators and outfitters including:

  • Sunrise Mountain Guides offers morning three to six mile runs or hikes, half day hike options and introductions to climbing and bouldering. Prices range from $25 to $150, per person.
  • Daily guided mountain bike tour through the forests of the Green Mountains led by Mansfield Cycle Bike Tours, priced at $180.00, per couple.
  • New fitness classes like stand up paddleboard classes in the resort’s indoor pool to tone and learn the basics ($20 per class); and “Into the Woods” hike and Saturday mornings Pilates sessions.
  • Topnotch Beer Tastings are held every Tuesday evening starting at 6pm at The Roost in the resort, priced at $10 per person.
  • Five-hour Topnotch Guided Brewery tours to The Crop Brewery, The Rock Art Brewery, The Lost Nation and the von Trapp Brewery, led by Greg Doremus of Vermont Guided Tours, priced at $125 per person.

Leading the charge on program development, Topnotch has enlisted the expertise of Jesse George, the resort’s new “Experience Manager” to research, create and implement activities suited for a wide variety of personalities and ages as well as build partnerships with local vendors.  “The new Experience Center pulls in Topnotch elements and amenities across spa, fitness, and dining, as well as valued partners like Sunrise Mountain Guides, Mansfield Cycle, Vermont Guided Tours and Paddle North to create bespoke vacations for each and every guest,” explains George.

Set within 120 acres of woodland at the foot of Mount Mansfield in the village of Stowe, Vermont, Topnotch Resort blends the gracious charm of a ski lodge with the luxurious amenities of world-class resort. A recent $15M renovation encompassed all 68 guest rooms, 9,000 square feet of meeting space and added a new concept restaurant, The Roost, to complement the locally sourced, full-service restaurant Flannel.   Additional accommodations can be found in a variety of Resort Homes. Amenities at the luxury boutique resort include the 35,000 square foot Topnotch Spa; the Tennis Center with four indoor and six outdoor courts; a state-of-the-art Fitness Center; and water features such as an indoor pool, a whirlpool/Jacuzzi, and two outdoor pools with mountain-views – one of which is heated year-round. Among the outdoor pursuits is cross-country and downhill skiing, mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding.  One of members of the MetWest Terra Hospitality collection of boutique hotels, Topnotch Resort is a AAA Four-Diamond property and a Preferred Boutique Resort. www.topnotchresort.com

For more information on Topnotch Resort and the new “Activities & Experience Center,” visit www.topnotchresort.com or call 1-800-451-8686.

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