Archive for the ‘fall getaways’ Category

Fall Foliage Getaway in Williamsburg, Virginia

September 25, 2021
Kingsmill Resort, Williamsburg VA (Photo by Kim Kiely Photography)

People typically think of New England for fall foliage, but the fall colors usually come early (as in September) whereas in Virginia, where the climates are more temperate, the leaves turn later, peaking in late October.  Here are favorite ways to enjoy fall in Williamsburg:

Go Leaf Peeping: From the Colonial Parkway to Waller Mill Park to the Island Loop around Jamestown Island, there’s a plethora of places to admire fall foliage. From ash, poplar, and maple to wildflowers such as goldenrod, asters, tickseeds, and thoroughworts, the pageant of blazing reds and brilliant yellows is dazzling. Late October through early November is usually the best time, but it depends on the weather so check Virginia’s fall foliage updates. 

Take a Hike: Take in the season’s majesty while hiking on one of many trails through forests, wetlands, and fields. Start on the scenic four-mile walking path that winds its way through Kingsmill itself. Then head to The Greensprings Greenway Interpretative Trail, which links history and nature over more than five miles (with several loop options) in Jamestown Settlement. Explore a different landscape on the dozen short trails of the coastal estuary at York River State Park.

Sample the Bounty of the Season: Feast on produce, prepared foods, and farm products grown or made in Virginia by some 40 vendors at the Williamsburg Farmers Market in Merchants’ Square every Saturday morning (8 a.m.- noon) through December. Or shop for produce, baked goods, and arts and crafts at Yorktown Market Days, another Saturday morning option, at Riverwalk Landing. Special themed markets in historic Yorktown include Harvest Market (Nov. 20) with log-carving demonstrations, bluegrass music, hayrides; Virginia Living Museum’s 9th annual Oyster Roast on Nov. 13, where you can enjoy all-you-can-eat local Virginia oysters, fried seafood, chowder, craft beers, live music, raffles. Explore colonial cooking techniques of 17th- and 18th-century America during Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia, Nov. 26-28 and at the Yorktown Victory Center learn about the typical grub served to soldiers during the Revolution. 

Go for Halloween Thrills and Chills:

Haunted houses and ghost walks, and creepy carriage rides, oh my! Get your spook on in Greater Williamsburg. Take a one-hour candlelit Haunted Williamsburg tour at 7:00 each night, with exclusive access to historic outdoor spaces and costumed storytellers who share their unnerving tales. 

Screaming is an Olympic sport during Halloween and the blood-curdling horror happens at Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream. On Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from Sept. 10 to Oct. 31, five haunted houses, four terror-tories, four sinister shows, two party zones, and surprise horrors await at every turn. Go ahead, start shaking in your boots now. Little ones can celebrate not-so-spooky fun with a costume party and trick-or-treating at The Count’s Spooktacular.

Listen to tales of paranormal activities on a guided tour through the 1726 Berkeley Plantation mansion in Charles City followed by a lantern-led walk through the gardens, grounds, cemetery, and corn maze. The Twilight Ghost Tour of one of Virginia’s most historic plantations takes place Oct. 9 and 22.

Jamestown Settlement hosts Family Frights, a Halloween-themed program for the whole family on Oct. 23 and 24 featuring trick-or-treating, ghostly tales, haunted houses and ships, and grisly games.  

Dig Into Thanksgiving

The nation’s first Thanksgiving? It’s not what you think. It took place at Berkeley Plantation when the first settlers celebrated “a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God,” but without a grand meal. In fact, they likely fasted. On Nov. 7, you can celebrate the event with a living history program, tribal dancers, arts and crafts, choral music, and a reenactment of the landing of 38 British settlers on Dec. 4, 1619 — two years before the more famous festivities in Plymouth, Mass. But because fasting isn’t fun, the celebration features smoked turkey legs, Brunswick stew, BBQ, Virginia ham biscuits, hot dogs, kettle corn, and funnel cakes throughout the day.

Get a Jump on Christmas Shopping at Williamsburg Premium Outlets, with 120 stores including Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Michael Kors, Calvin Klein, and Nautica.

For a luxurious resort stay, look to  Kingsmill Resort, the only AAA Four Diamond resort in Williamsburg, and the only resort on the majestic James River.

The 2900-acre gated resort features a massive indoor pool, a million dollar spa, two championship golf courses and miles of hiking/biking trails make it the perfect getaway base camp for all the area has to offer in the fall months. It also boasts a plethora of one and three-bedroom condo style accommodations with separate bathrooms, large living rooms, kitchens, dining areas, washer and dryer and even working fireplaces.  It’s ideal for families and friends traveling together.

Located on the James River off I-64 between Richmond and Norfolk the property is within minutes from Williamsburg’s numerous destinations including Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, The College of William & Mary, Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center. To plan your trip to Kingsmill, visit www.kingsmill.com.

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Jellystone Parks Offers Tips for Fall Camping

September 23, 2021
Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park is one of North America’s leading family camping and glamping destination, known for providing attractions such as pools, water slides, and splash grounds; activities including jumping pillows, wagon rides, and foam parties; fun-filled theme weekends such as Halloween Spooktacular.

CINCINNATI – The 2021 fall family camping forecast includes cooler temperatures, trees changing colors and record bookings as more parents and kids celebrate autumn and Halloween in the great outdoors.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts, North America’s leading family camping, glamping and entertainment destination, reports fall reservations are up 52% over 2020, which was a record year. The camping and RV industries continue to see a huge influx of families, many who are camping for the first time.

“Most new campers want to do things the correct way, but they just don’t know how. That’s where education and  a few simple tips for a safe experience can make a huge difference,” said Jack Steward, a camping expert who hosted the Emmy Award-winning show Rock the Parks on ABC for six years.

Steward and Jellystone Park are partnering to help families get the most out of their fall camping and glamping outings. “Great experiences lead to lifelong memories,” added Steward. “It’s really just about being respectful of the park and your neighbors while you’re camping.”

They offer these seven suggestions:

1. Select the right campground. If you are new to camping or glamping, decide if you want a trip filled with family attractions and activities or a quiet, serene experience. Jellystone Park locations offer fall themed weekends including trick-or-treating, costume parades, and site decorating contests and attractions such as wagon rides, mini golf, and jumping pillows. If your family is looking for a more rustic  camping experience, a state or national park is probably a better fit.

It also is important to pick a campground with the right kind of accommodations for your family. If you want a cabin with warm beds, hot showers, and kitchenettes, select a camp-resort such as Jellystone Park. If you prefer to “rough it,” find a state or national park near you. If staying connected online is important to your family, be sure the park has good WiFi.

2. Read the rules before you go. All campgrounds have guest rules and policies. Many don’t allow campers to bring in outside firewood as it can carry diseases and bugs. Not all campgrounds are pet-friendly or allow pets in their cabins. If you plan to bring your pet with you, ask about the park’s pet policies in advance. Be sure to check your campground’s check-in and check-out times so you can plan your arrival and departure accordingly. Every campground’s policies vary. Make sure you are familiar with them to avoid unnecessary problems.

3. Create a packing list so you don’t forget anything. Your fall packing list should include the essentials, as well as Halloween costumes and decorations, warm clothes, and plenty of s’mores supplies. If you’ll be staying in a cabin, check whether or not linens and kitchen supplies are provided. If you do forget or run out of supplies, Jellystone Park locations operate well stocked camp stores.

4. Avoid the road to RV ruin. If you’re new to RVing, consider reserving a site with a cement pad to make your set up easier. Book a pull-through site if possible to eliminate the need to back up into or out of your site. Also, be sure your RV is compatible with the park’s water, sewer, and electric services. Premium sites tend to sell out so book your stay as far in advance as possible. Allow the campground staff to help you park your camper. Before you head to the campground, find a safe place to practice maneuvering your RV.

5. Be kind to the environment. It’s tempting to go exploring, but too many people wandering in the woods damages plants and wildlife habitats. Be sure to stay on trails and take only pictures, not plants or rocks. Don’t approach wildlife, and never leave fires unattended.

6. Be a good neighbor. Don’t walk through any other family’s campsite, and be mindful of noise, especially at night. Keep your site clean and put food away to avoid attracting unwanted bugs and animals. Dispose of trash in the proper receptacles.

7. Be a responsible pet owner. Keep your dog leashed unless you are in a dog park, which many Jellystone Park locations offer. Always pick up after your pets, and never leave them unattended at your site.

With glamping, camping and RVing so popular these days, many campgrounds are sold out on weekends. However, weekday camping is an option, especially for families who are working and learning remotely. A number of Jellystone Park locations in warmer locations are open all year, with some hosting special Christmas events. The off-season is a good time to camp as parks are quieter and rates are lower.

“We expect 2022 will be another record-breaking year for the camping industry,” Steward said. “Families should start planning and booking their spring break and summer vacations now to avoid missing out on the best dates and locations.”

For more helpful advice, connect with Jellystone Park online at www.jellystonepark.com or on social media at @campjellystone.

Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park is one of North America’s leading family camping and glamping destinations, known for providing guests with attractions such as pools, water slides, and splash grounds; activities including jumping pillows, wagon rides, and foam parties; fun-filled theme weekends such as Chocolate Lovers Weekend and Halloween Spooktacular Weekends; and interactions with Yogi Bear costumed characters. Jellystone Park guests can choose from a variety of accommodation options including premium cabins, yurts, deluxe RV sites, and traditional tenting campsites. There are 75 Jellystone Park locations in the U.S. and Canada. Follow Jellystone Park at @campjellystone and visit www.jellystonepark.com for more information.

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New York State Begins Weekly ILoveNY Fall Foliage Reports; New Interactive Map

September 8, 2021
View from Chimney Mountain, The Adirondacks. ILoveny.com/foliage report helps you monitor the progress of fall foliage throughout New York State © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The 2021 fall foliage season is underway in New York State. Fall is one of the most popular travel times in New York, attracting visitors from around the world to explore the state’s unique communities and support local businesses. To help travelers and foliage enthusiasts plan a fall getaway, I LOVE NY will begin issuing its weekly fall foliage reports on Wednesday, September 8, and will now include a new enhanced interactive progression map (www.iloveny.com/foliage).    

The foliage report is compiled each week using the on-location field observations from I LOVE NY’s team of volunteer leaf peepers. More than 85 spotters extending across the state’s 11 vacation regions are tasked with keeping track of the color change in their area as leaves progress each week. Reports detail the predominant leaf colors, approximate percentage of change, and how much color change has progressed relative to peak conditions.  

New this year, I LOVE NY is introducing an enhanced, interactive map that tracks weekly foliage change and progression across the state throughout the season. The map, located on the I LOVE NY foliage website, showcases great foliage viewing locations in each of the various regions throughout the state. Visitors can also use the map to see what the foliage is like during peak viewing in a given area, and learn about nearby, must-see attractions. 

Thanks in part to its size and location, New York State has one of the longest and most colorful foliage seasons in the country. On any weekend from late September through mid-November, part of the state is likely experiencing peak foliage.  

“Every autumn, New York State’s spectacular foliage and natural beauty beckons travelers to our world-class state parks, majestic overlooks, historic sites and unparalleled attractions,” Governor Hochul said.”New Yorkers have long known about the stunning displays of color showcased all across the state, from Niagara Falls to Montauk Point. Now is the perfect time for residents and visitors alike to plan a fall escape and experience this incredibly colorful season in our great state.”  

“The fall foliage season in New York State is always a magical time of year, and the I LOVE NY weekly foliage report is a great tool for visitors looking to plan a seasonal getaway,” Empire State Development Vice President and Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said. “Our new interactive fall foliage map highlights a variety of attractions and events, from harvest festivals to Halloween celebrations, craft beverage trails, museums and family fun, helping residents and visitors alike to find what they love while exploring the amazing palette of autumn colors on display across the state.”  

Travelers are also invited to share their photos of New York State’s amazing foliage on social media by using the #NYLovesFall hashtag. Photos submitted to this hashtag have a chance of being featured on the I LOVE NY fall foliage website and official I LOVE NY social media accounts reaching nearly two million followers. Reports and the new interactive map are updated Wednesdays throughout the season at www.iloveny.com/foliage.Reports are also available toll-free by dialing 800/CALL-NYS (800/225-5697) from anywhere in the U.S., its territories and Canada. For more information on how to volunteer for as an I LOVE NY leaf peeper, e-mail your name, address and phone number to foliage@esd.ny.gov.

Fall Deals from Topnotch Resort in Stowe, Vt.: Adult Sleepaway Camp + O’Christmas Tree Package

October 26, 2019

Topnotch Resort

The AAA Four-Diamond Topnotch Resort, Stowe, Vermont, is offering fall deals including an an Adult Sleepaway Camp Promotion and O’ Christmas Tree Package.

With the kids back at school and (hopefully) settled into a new school year routine, it’s your turn to go to sleepaway camp and get some rest and relaxation in before the busy holiday season kicks into high gear.  Topnotch Resort in Stowe, Vt. has an Adult Sleepaway Camp Promotion valid on travel Oct. 20 through Dec. 13: there are still s’mores (with a glass of wine), activities (tennis or beer/distillery tours, anyone?) and time to relax (soothing spa treatments) but the accommodations and company are upgraded from our youth. Stay one night, get one free 50 minute spa service, 22% gratuity included (offer valid per room and limited to one treatment per room night). Rates start at $212 per night. Book here.

And come December, picking out the family Christmas tree is a great way to kick off the holiday season, and Topnotch’s O’ Christmas Tree Package includes luxury overnight accommodations and a wagon ride through a tree farm to find the perfect tree (up to 9 feet tall) that you select and cut on-site. Once cut, the tree is professionally wrapped, packaged and loaded onto your car for a safe trip home.  Rates start at $179 per night and the package is available Nov. 29 through Dec. 20. Book here.

The AAA Four-Diamond Topnotch Resort is located 10 minutes from Stowe with the best views in the area of Mount Mansfield. Relax in the award-winning spa, enjoy locally-sourced dining at two restaurants with sweeping views of the Green Mountains, take a tennis or pickleball lesson at the Topnotch Tennis Center, or marvel at the stunning mountain views from the heated outdoor pool and Jacuzzi while sipping hot chocolate or a specialty cocktail at the outdoor fire pits, or during a horseback or carriage ride arranged through the Equestrian Center at Topnotch. Mountain Ops Outdoor Gear located on property can arrange and outfit for any activity year-round, from skiing and boarding to mountain biking and fishing, or take the Topnotch Brewery and Distillery Tour which visits the region’s highly acclaimed breweries and distilleries. Dogs are welcome at Topnotch, with dog beds, CBD treats and special canine-friendly turndown service and spa treatments.

Call 800-451-8686 or visit www.topnotchresort.com/.

 

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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.

Follow ACE Adventure Resort on Social Media:
Facebook:     ACE Adventure Resort
Twitter:          @ACEadventures
YouTube:      https://www.youtube.com/user/aceadventurevideo
Pinterest:       https://www.pinterest.com/aceadventure/
Instagram:     https://instagram.com/aceadventureresort/
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New Hampshire’s RiverFire Festival Transforms Androscoggin River Into A Floating Blaze

October 2, 2015

During the RiverFire Festival, the River Walk Bridge in Berlin is decorated with hundreds of creatively carved jack-o-lanterns. The festival, which takes place at the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin, draws more than 5,000 people, and features a day of family-friendly Halloween fun and food before the dramatic lighting of the Androscoggin River at dusk.

During the RiverFire Festival, the River Walk Bridge in Berlin is decorated with hundreds of creatively carved jack-o-lanterns. The festival, which takes place at the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin, draws more than 5,000 people, and features a day of family-friendly Halloween fun and food before the dramatic lighting of the Androscoggin River at dusk.

Burning brighter and hotter than ever with hundreds of jack-o-lanterns and bonfires illuminating the river, the spectacular annual RiverFire Festival presented by Service Credit Union in Berlin will set the Androscoggin River ablaze at dusk on Saturday, October 17.

Now in its 12th year as one of the Grand North’s most celebrated events, the RiverFire Festival draws more than 5,000 people each year to the Northern Forest Heritage Park, 942 Main Street in Berlin, to take part in a day of family-friendly Halloween fun, food and promotions before the dramatic lighting of the Androscoggin River. RiverFire festivities will kick off at 2 p.m. with free admission.

“The RiverFire Festival presented by Service Credit Union is a perfect way to experience New Hampshire’s Grand North in the fall and it is a fantastic opportunity for families to get a head-start on celebrating the Halloween season,” said Paula Kinney, of the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce, which puts on the RiverFire Festival. “To see the river illuminated by fire is simply breathtaking. The striking contrast between the Androscoggin River’s dark waters with the dramatic bonfires and glowing jack-o-lanterns is truly a visual experience that cannot be missed. Along with the dramatic fires on the river beginning at dusk, RiverFire also boasts a full day of fun for the whole family.”

While the fires appear to be floating on the water, the blazes actually burn on the historic boom piers dotting the river. The piers were used during the height of the logging era, when they separated and guided lumber as it floated down the river to the mills of Berlin. During RiverFire, the boom piers are stacked with skids and set on fire creating a dynamic contrast between the dark waters and the bright orange flames. Along with the bonfires, the River Walk Bridge will be decorated with hundreds of creatively carved jack-o-lanterns.

To go along with the spectacular fires on the water, other family-friendly activities include hay rides, pumpkin carving, a petting zoo, duck races, a bouncy house, a children’s Halloween costume parade, and mouth-watering food. The third annual Zombie ATV Poker Run has become a big hit at the festival. In a new nighttime feature this year, RiverFire will also include laser tag from 5 to 9 p.m. In addition, Duke, one of New England’s best country rock bands, will kick off evening festivities with some great live tunes. Food vendors and the 21-plus Beer Tent will be available throughout the afternoon as well. For more information on the schedule of events and activities, visit: http://www.androscogginvalleychamber.com/riverfire-festival/schedule/.

“The RiverFire Festival has become one of the true marquee events of the Grand North, drawing families from all over the region,” said Karl Stone, Marketing Manager for New Hampshire Grand, the official visitor information source for Coos County and the northern White Mountains. “Incredible ‘floating fires,’ a fun-filled Halloween-themed day for families, and a great opportunity to walk Berlin’s historic Main Street, make the RiverFire Festival the hottest event in the Grand North.”

In the third annual Zombie ATV Poker Run, ATV enthusiasts dress in zombie costumes and decorate their ATVs for a chance to win prizes for best costume and most festive ATV. Register at White Mountain ATV Rental, 299 Main Street in Gorham, and ride to the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin. Registration takes place on October 17th from 9-11 a.m. Parking is free.

The third annual RiverFire 5K Run/Walk, which is hosted by Coos County Family Health Services, begins at 2 p.m. Runners leave from Heritage Park, proceed over the 12th-Street Bridge to the cemeteries and return to Heritage Park. For more information and to register, please visit: http://www.coosfamilyhealth.org/riverfire.pdf.

RiverFire presented by Service Credit Union is hosted by the Androscoggin Valley Chamber of Commerce. Sponsors include Service Credit Union, AutoNorth Pre-Owned Superstore, Northeast Credit Union, Brookfield Renewable, Northway Bank, Bank of New Hampshire, Great Northwoods Container Service, ReMax Northern Edge Realty, Capone Iron Corporation and Nordic Construction.

For additional information, call (603) 752-6060, or click on www.riverfirenh.com or www.facebook.com/riverfire.berlinnh.

 

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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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Oahu’s Turtle Bay Resort offers ‘Fantastic Fall’ Rates as Pro Surfers Gather

October 2, 2014

Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s fabled North Shore is celebrating the season’s world-class North Shore surf with Fantastic Fall rates starting at $209 a night for newly renovated epic ocean-view accommodations. Be there for the kickoff to the world’s top surf competitions with fall rates for travel from Sept. 1-Nov. 27, 2014.

For surfers and their global followers, this 7-mile stretch of white sand beaches possesses its own heroes, legends, and icons. The epic waves, the incredible natural beauty and the friendly people have inspired distinctive music, art, photography, film, and even food that are uniquely part of the North Shore vibe.

Be one of the first to experience Turtle Bay’s recent renovations, including newly renovated guestrooms; two new restaurants with farm-to-table and sea-to-table cuisine; the new Nalu Kinetic Spa and Wellness Center; and two new retail outlets with exclusive coastal styles. Plus, the fall lineup of North Shore surf events is unrivaled – check out the HIC Pro at Sunset Beach from Oct.28-Nov.10, 2014, or the REEF Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa from Nov.12-23, 2014. The Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach runs Nov. 24-Dec. 1, 2014.

Turtle Bay also offers incredible value with an unbeatable lineup of on-site activities – from stand-up paddle boarding and surf lessons at the Hans Hedemann Surf Center to Segway tours, hiking and mountain biking across the resort’s 880 acres to horseback rides at the Stables, beachside yoga at the new Nalu Kinetic Spa and 36 holes of championship golf on two renowned courses. As part of the special Golftober event at Turtle Bay, all guests golf for free throughout the month of October on either course.

Limited quantities of Fantastic Fall rates are available, and rates are subject to change. Call (808) 293-6000 or visit turtlebayresort.com for more.

To discover the destination and stay up to date on the Turtle Bay experience, check out Oahusfablednorthshore.com.

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