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Yosemite Photos Can Win a Stay at Tenaya Lodge

August 8, 2019
Yosemite National Park, Calif.

Views of purple mountain majesty from The John Muir Trail, Yosemite National Park © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

You can win a stay in one of Tenaya Lodge’s new two-bedroom Explorer Cabins. Tenaya, located right at the doorstep to Yosemite National Park, California, is running a fun photo contest on Instagram and Twitter — all you need to do to enter is share a photo of a Yosemite adventure using #mytenaya and tag Tenaya Lodge.

The grand prize winner will receive a three night stay in the all-new Explorer Cabins at Tenaya Lodge in addition to:

  • Full-Day Yosemite Tour for four
  • Two 90-minute Spa Treatments
  • Two on-site resort activities for four
  • $300 dining credit
  • One tandem jump at Skydive Yosemite

Plus, weekly prize winners receive Tenaya Lodge swag.

For more information, follow this link: https://bit.ly/2YUgdJL.

Tenaya Lodge, 1122 Highway 41, Fish Camp, CA 93623, 800-722-8584, tenayalodge.com.

To see more about Tenaya Lodge, see:

Tenaya Lodge Provides Luxury Lodging Resort Experience at Gateway to Yosemite National Park 

Yosemite National Park: Best Valley Hikes for First Timers 

Yosemite National Park: Surprising Diversity, Dramatic Scenes Hiking Chilnualna Falls Trail, Wawona

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Hotel PACAI in Vilnius Old Town, First Member of Design Hotels in the Baltics, Celebrates First Anniversary

August 8, 2019
Hotel Pacai Vilnius

The award-winning Hotel PACAI, located in the Vilnius’s old city, Lithuania, celebrated its first anniversary. A former palace for the noble family of Pacai, the hotel is now becoming increasingly popular among travelers seeking to unwind in comfort and style and explore the city’s vibrant social scene.

Situated in the heart of the historic Vilnius Old Town of the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, Hotel PACAI celebrated its first anniversary since it opened. The stylish hotel realized its promise to mesmerize guests seeking authentic experiences, offering a blend of history and sophisticated high-end design which so far has delighted nearly 25,000 guests from around the globe.

Former residence of the noble Lithuanian Pacai family, the building that hosts the hotel is a Baroque palace dating back to 1677. The historic palace outlived the Lithuanian-Polish Commonwealth, the reign of Russian tsars, as well as Napoleon and his armies. Throughout history, countless historic personalities frequently visited the Pacai mansion during their travels in Vilnius.

PACAI is currently the only hotel in the Baltic states that holds a Design Hotels membership. In order for a hotel to become a part of Design Hotels, it must meet the rigorous admittance criteria. Most importantly, a hotel must harmoniously blend into local surroundings and preserve local traditions.

Guests looking to capture the spirit of stylish and sensory Vilnius visit from nearly every corner of the world – with travelers from the USA, Israel, France, Australia, and the United Kingdom being the most frequent visitors. As a testament to its authenticity, Hotel PACAI is also appreciated by locals wanting to reconnect with their history, as well as people from neighboring countries looking to try out the best of internationally acknowledged Lithuanian hospitality.

During its first year of operation, the hotel has been awarded a 1st place in the design category at the International Hospitality Awards. Furthermore, it was also included among the best new design hotels ranked by the Surface magazine. PACAI has also been noticed in a variety of regional awards for the effort to revive historic buildings, sustainable attitude, and the quality of services.

“We are a unique hotel in Vilnius and the Baltic states in that we offer the most integrated experience. The music, the plants and the decor are all matched with our theme of un-fussed sophistication. We integrate works by local artists and blend modern aesthetics with authenticity. The 25 thousand guests that have visited us in the past year is the best testament to our creativity and effort to make staying at PACAI an extraordinary experience,” says Rūta Pulkauninkaitė-Macikė, General Manager of Hotel PACAI.

It is not only the historic appeal of the opulent Baroque palace that makes staying at PACAI a unique experience. The guests can also indulge in authentic experiences at the hotel’s restaurants and SPA.

Restaurant Nineteen18, featured in The White Guide as 2nd best restaurant in the Nordics, is located on the premises of the hotel. It invites to indulge in its tasting menus of the New Nordic Cuisine that uses Lithuanian ingredients and local food traditions. The chefs source the food from local farms located within a 100-kilometer radius around Vilnius, ensuring locally inspired gastronomical experience.

Brasserie 14 HORSES, also sourcing seasonal products from local suppliers and infused with Lithuanian and Baltic traditions, is a perfect place for breakfast, lunch or a laid-back dinner. Evenings at PACAI usually end up in SOFIJA bar, where guests can unwind in comfort and style while enjoying classic and modern cocktails, local craft beers, artisanal spirits, champagne and wine from around the globe.

One of the most unique aspects of PACAI SPA is that it’s located in the historical Hotel PACAI and is surrounded by exposed antique brick walls and artifacts.

Member of the Design HotelsPACAI is a 104 room hotel situated in a 17th century Baroque Palace in Vilnius, Lithuania. Opened in May 2018, the 5 star hotel was designed to preserve as many architectural details as possible, showcasing elegant simplicity through local aesthetics. Breaking creative boundaries, the PACAI complex is now a meeting point with local artists and entrepreneurs, and home to the Nineteen18 restaurant, a brasserie and a cocktail bar as well as a SPA, specializing in uniquely tailored treatments and beauty packages.

 

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Love ACKtually: Top Reasons to Visit Nantucket This Summer

August 8, 2019
Nantucket-White Elephant e2

The famous White Elephant waterfront hotel on Nantucket.

Located 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, Nantucket is the former whaling capital of the world. Today, it’s home to 82 miles of public beaches, untouched moors and dunes, dramatic cliffs, and quiet harbors. With the summer travel season in full swing, there will never be a better time to escape to the “Grey Lady.”

What’s New on Nantucket: Nantucket is booming and its hydrangeas are blooming. New restaurants complement island favorites, and accommodations are opening due to demand. Despite the development, conservation remains king, with almost half the island under preservation. As the island carefully expands its offerings, here’s a look at what is new this season.

The Wauwinet, located on the northeast end of the island and sandwiched between two private beaches, re-opened in April following a multi-million-dollar restoration of its 32 guest rooms and cottages. As part of the renovation, the hotel collaborated with Serena & Lily to re-design the property’s three-bedroom Anchorage House. The interior now features the brand’s signature coastal prints and beachy furniture.

New dining options on the island include Pizzeria Gemelle, which offers Neapolitan pies using ingredients from the nearby Bartlett Farm; Or The Whale, an American bistro whose name was inspired by Herman Melville’s Moby Dick; and Saltbox Tavern & Table, which serves comfort food favorites like fried pickles and truffle honey risotto.  Also new to the island is Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop MRKT pop-up. The general store/beach house hybrid offers curated summer items like Sperry boat shoes, Alo Yoga activewear, and Vintner’s Daughter Skincare. In other retail news, Veronica Beard partnered with local Perch boutique to feature their signature jackets; and ACK4170’s first brick and mortar outpost has goods like tote bags printed with hand-drawn Nantucket maps from the early 1900s.

JetBlue has new direct flights to Nantucket from LaGuardia Airport in New York City and Westchester County Airport in White Plains, New York. The service began last month. The new routes supplement existing service to Nantucket from JFK, Boston, and Washington D.C. Southern Airways Express has also launched service from three New England-based airports: Norwood, Massachusetts; New Haven, Connecticut; and Warwick, Rhode Island.

“Pet Set” to ACK: The Woof Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin are designed especially for guests traveling with pets. Pups are welcomed with Draper Canine beds, a basket of treats and toys, food and water bowls, dog-walking services, and personalized pet tags. For tips on the best dog-friendly activities on Nantucket, guests can contact Bailey, the Cottages’ resident golden retriever and new pet concierge at petconcierage@niresorts.com.

“Summer for Less” means 25% off at the Residences at the White Elephant if you stay at least three consecutive nights on select dates through September. For guests seeking an early week getaway, the “Hot Dates, Cool Rates” promotion offers savings up to 20% when booking directly with any of the Nantucket Island Resorts properties for Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Added perk: Stay in one of the top three-bedroom suites at the White Elephant or The Wauwinet and receive the keys to a 2019 BMW SUV vehicle for your entire trip. The amenity equals a savings of up to $450 per day by forgoing a jeep rental.

COVER Swim X White Elephant: The waterfront hotel partnered with Cover Swim to create a children’s sun shirt, which is now available online and at the hotel’s boutique. The blue and white shirt is dotted with White Elephant’s “trunket” mascot and blocks 98% of UV rays in and around water. Sizes vary, for children ages 2-9 years old. Cost: $85

 

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Summer at Alta, Utah’s Wildcat Basecamp Will Be Different This year

July 3, 2019
Alta-summer e2

Summer in Alta, Utah

Summer at Alta will look a bit differently this year. First, there is plentiful snow covering many beloved hiking trails and second, construction will close the Albion parking lot and Sunnyside lift this summer. The summer road into the Albion Basin is scheduled to open July 16th (conditions permitting). With limited parking in the Albion Basin, an amenity fee per vehicle will be charged. Your best bet for free parking and base area trailhead access can be found at the Wildcat base or as we call it, Wildcat Basecamp.

Wildcat Basecamp Provisions

Wildcat Basecamp provides all the essentials snacks, beverages, restrooms, parking and more. Enjoy food and beverages at the Wildcat Basecamp concession area after hiking among the wildflowers. The concession stand will be open from June 29th through September 2nd, weekdays 10-7 pm and on holidays/weekends 8:30-7 pm.

Hiking

Beginning July 20th hikers can load a shuttle from Wildcat Basecamp for a fee of $5 per person into Albion Basin. The shuttle will operate on weekends and holidays July 20th through September 2nd from 9-6 pm. We highly encourage hikers to start from Wildcat Basecamp to get the full breath Alta has to offer and due to limited parking in the basin. There will be knowledgeable mountain hosts to answer questions at the Wildcat Basecamp on weekends and holidays. All hikers are encouraged to stay on designated trails.

Lunch and Brunch

Let Alta Lodge do the cooking on the weekend. Savor, Saturday lunch from 12-2 pm or Sunday Brunch served from 9:30-2 pm. Check out the new Snowpine Lodge restaurant Swen’s, open on Saturdays and Sundays from 8-2 pm or the Gulch Pub is open daily from 3-9 pm.

Stewardship Programs

The Alta Environmental Center and community partners host sustainability events and educational events throughout the summer. Escape the heat and join us for one of our monthly volunteer days or other stewardship days. For more information on summer stewardship or educational events: GET INVOLVED.

Friday HawkWatch Bird of Prey Show and Hike

Town of Alta Restoration Day

Wasatch Wildflower Festival

Volunteer Day

With the bees buzzing, and blooming flowers, we are excited for summer at Alta. For more information on all things summer at Alta visit: Events and Summer at Alta.

See also: Alta, Utah: If You Can See It You Can Ski It!

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The Equinox to Open First Hotel in NYC’s Hudson Yards With Exclusive Offers for Virtuoso Travelers

June 29, 2019
NYC-TheShed_20190410_124347e2 (c) Karen Rubin

The Shed, the newest cultural/performance venue in New York City, is one of the attractions in the city’s newest neighborhood, the Hudson Yards, where the Equinox is opening its first hotel. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK, NY Equinox Hotel, New York City, the first property by the celebrated fitness brand debuts July 15, 2019. Based on the same philosophy as its clubs, Equinox Hotels will inspire people pursuing their maximum potential. With only weeks until its opening, Equinox Hotel, New York City is giving guests a multitude of enticements to reserve their stay through a Virtuoso® travel advisor, including complimentary advantages available only through Virtuoso’s Preview Program:

  • Upgrade at time of booking, if available
  • Early check-in and late checkout, if available
  • Continental breakfast daily for two
  • US$100 hotel credit, once per stay
  • Wi-Fi
  • Airport transfer for Suite reservations of two nights or longer
  • Private helicopter airport transfer for Equinox Suite reservations of two nights or longer

Virtuoso guests also receive one of these exclusive extras available from June 15 – December 31, 2019:

  • Additional US$100 spa credit, per stay
  • Complimentary personal training session
  • Two complimentary SoulCycle classes with swag

Equinox Hotel, New York City will open in the luxurious new Hudson Yards neighborhood on Manhattan’s West Side, where guests will also find The Shed, the city’s newest cultural and performance venue, the Highline, an elevated urban park which has become one of the most popular attractions in New York State, and the intriguing Nest.

Over 25 years, Equinox has developed a brand representing service, quality, expertise, leadership and results. Equinox Hotels, where the science of fitness meets the art of travel, will continue this commitment to excellence.

“Equinox Hotel, New York City is reinventing luxury lifestyle travel for people who play as hard as they train and work,” says Albert Herrera, Virtuoso’s senior vice president of Global Product Partnerships. “The distinction in its holistic approach to everything from sleep to dining to spa treatments is evident in the innovative details. Hudson Yards will add to this this next-level lifestyle movement, offering world-class shopping and dining in thoroughly upscale surroundings.”

The 212 rooms, including 48 suites, will be the ultimate slumber chambers featuring soundproofing and blackout blinds. Beds use natural-fiber mattresses that adapt to any form and employ a Scandinavian technique of two duvets for temperature regulation. An Equinox Sleep Coach will be available to optimize a restful night.

Guests, who automatically become Equinox Fitness Club members during their stay, will have 24-hour access to the largest-ever 60,000-square-foot flagship Equinox Fitness Club. Group fitness classes, private Pilates, personal training, 25-yard indoor salt-water pool, hot and cold plunge pools, outdoor pool and terrace as well as a next-generation SoulCycle studio will also be offered. Equinox’s digital experience connects the club and hotel, streamlining needs from check-in to room service to booking sessions and amenities.

Crafted by experts and backed by Equinox’s Health Advisory Board, the Spa will emphasize recovery-based treatments, science-grounded technology, regeneration and relaxation. It will offer inter-modal experiences including cryotherapy, infrared sauna, quantum harmonics, massage, bodywork and skin therapies.

The hotel will feature Stephen Starr’s new signature restaurant and bar, Electric Lemon, boasting an 8,000 square-foot terrace providing views over Manhattan and the Hudson River from the 24th floor. Menus balancing flavor and fuel will be offered in the restaurant, guestrooms, and social spaces. Other in-room dining options will include high-performance breakfasts, nourishing dinners, nutritious performance kits, sleep-promoting items and next-level mini-bar snacks. Guests will even have access to in-room IV vitamin drips for energy or hydration.

Equinox Hotel, New York City is the latest property to premiere with a boost from the renowned Virtuoso Preview program, which provides advantages exclusively through the network’s 20,000 travel advisors. Preview is part of Virtuoso’s industry-leading Hotels & Resorts Program, with over 1,300 properties in more than 100 countries.

These complimentary benefits at Equinox Hotel, New York City are offered only through booking with a Virtuoso travel advisor or at www.virtuoso.com, where guests will be paired with an advisor to facilitate the reservation and other trip elements. To find Virtuoso’s roster of advisors, visit https://www.virtuoso.com/advisors#.

 

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New Helping Hands Program Offers Opportunity to Live, Work in Yellowstone National Park

June 18, 2019
Yosemite National Park, Calif.

Imagine living and working in Yellowstone National Park © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

by Veronica Stoddart

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK – “I don’t know too many people who get to spend five weeks in Yellowstone,” gushes Bernd Linzbach of his experience with the park’s Helping Hands program. “It was a great opportunity to explore the park,” says the retiree from Prescott Valley, Ariz.

He’s referring to the year-old Helping Hands program run by the Xanterra Travel Collection, which manages the Yellowstone National Park Lodges. It offers part-time, short-term jobs to people who want to immerse themselves more deeply in the nation’s first national park by living and working there while offering a “helping hand.”

“It’s a chance to spend real time in Yellowstone and explore the park when you’re not working,” observes Linzbach, who first experienced the program with his wife Debra in the fall of 2018. They enjoyed it so much that they repeated it in the spring of 2019. The Lizbachs worked in the housekeeping department at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and the Old Faithful Inn, tidying up, re-stocking, and getting the rooms ready for the housekeepers to turn them over for incoming guests.

Helping Hands requires participants to work 20 hours per week, between four and eight hours per day. They live in the park in dorm accommodations, which Linzbach says are basic with no TVs and slow WiFi. Some rooms have private baths; others are shared. Meals are cafeteria style, which at the Lake Hotel means having the same cooks as the guests have, who turn out food “of a very high standard,” he says.

Highlights for the Linzbachs were viewing wildlife and meeting people, including other participants in the program. “It’s not like a vacation where you have to try to see everything in a few days,” says Linzbach. “(When you live there), if you don’t see an animal one day, you’ll see it another. We were able to see grizzlies, bison, elk, deer, coyotes, moose, and even a wolf. It’s very special and fantastic to see all those animals.”

What advice does Linzbach have for others? “I would highly recommend this program for anybody interested in nature,” he says. “It was so inspiring,” he adds, that he and Debra are already preparing to apply for the fall season.

How to Participate

Submit your application now for the fall season. Arrival is on Sept. 5 and 12, 2019, and departure is on Oct. 15, 2019.

You could be assigned to the lodging or food and beverage department. Jobs include housekeeper, dishwasher, busser, or host. Training will be provided for each one. Housekeepers do light cleaning and prepare guest rooms for the full-time housekeeping staff; kitchen crew workers do prep, set up, service, and clean up; and hosts provide guest services in the restaurants.

You will be assigned to work in one of the following locations: Old FaithfulCanyon Village, Mammoth, Grant Village, and Lake Yellowstone.

Program perks include employee discounts in and around Yellowstone.

For more travel experiences available from the Xanterra Travel Collection and its affiliated properties, visit xanterra.com/explore.

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Fine Arts & Festivals in the Great Northern Catskills

May 30, 2019
Olana National Historic Site

Hudson River Skywalk, a walking path on the Rip Van Winkle bridge, is viewed from artist Frederic Edwin Church’s Olana, and connects to the Thomas Cole historic site, on the Hudson River School Art Trail © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Where can you see Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, and Brooks & Dunn all in one place? At the Taste of Country Music Festival at Hunter Mountain, June 7-9! One of the Catskill’s premier summer festivals, country music fans flock to this three-day event each year. Camp out for the complete experience and you’ll be rewarded with special concerts, great food, and craft beer from a wide variety of amazing vendors.

If you prefer banjos and stand-up basses, the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival is for you. Held at Walsh Farm from July 18-21, Grey Fox’s who’s who of bluegrass line-up boasts 40 bands playing on six outdoor stages over four days. It’s non-stop, family-friendly, toe-tapping fun. Combine your bluegrass experience with a visit to the Annual Catskills Irish Arts Week, held concurrently from July 14-20 in East Durham. It’s a week-long celebration of Irish culture that includes live music, traditional Irish dancers, workshops, lectures, art, and more.

A festival on two wheels, the 12th Annual Tour of the Catskills Pro-Am Bicycle Road Race will be held in Tannersville on August 3. One of the nation’s top cycling events, this Pro-Am race draws over 250 racers each year from throughout the world. Considered one of the toughest cycling courses in the country for amateurs and professionals alike, racers will give their all just to get through the ‘Devil’s Kitchen Climb,’ a grueling uphill portion of the course. Cheer the athletes on, or register and see if you have what it takes!

Rev up the fun and watch daring riders kick up the dirt and reach serious speeds at Diamondback Motocross of East Durham. With three Sunday race days this summer – June 16, July 7, and July 28 – there’s no excuse for missing this thrilling event. Landing big-air jumps and racing around tight corners, it’s an adrenaline junkie’s dream come true for riders, and a heartpounding spectacle for those on the sidelines!

The Catskill Region has long been a place where poets, painters, writers, and photographers have found artistic inspiration. The stunning natural surroundings and ample opportunities for reflective solitude make it a haven for creative minds. As a result, it also holds incredible appeal for those who appreciate the fine arts.

There is no better place to begin your Catskills arts and culture exploration than at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. There, the former home and studio of Hudson River School of Art founder Thomas Cole still stands, now serving as a museum of Catskills art history and a working gallery and studio.

Exchange traditional for contemporary when you visit the LUMBERYARD Center for Film and Performing Arts. This modern-day studio and performance center is a wonderful place for audiences to enjoy unique theater, dance, and film productions, and a place for budding artists to hone their craft and blaze their own artistic path. Browse their upcoming events or learn more about their leading-edge artist-in-residence programs.

With so many incredible performance spaces and galleries to choose from, it’s easy to make the arts part of any visit to the Great Northern Catskills. Check the performance schedules of the Bridge Street Theatre in Catskill and the Orpheum Film and Performing Arts Center in Tannersville to find world class concerts, theater productions, and one-of-a-kind shows, or stop by a local art gallery to see breathtaking works by talented local artists.

What is it about the Great Northern Catskills that is so inspiring to artistic minds? Take a walk along the new Hudson River Skywalk to see for yourself! Hundreds of feet in the air, the mile-long Skywalk connects the homes of two famed Hudson River School painters, Thomas Cole and Frederic Church. Spanning a picturesque portion of the Hudson River, several outlooks along the path provide panoramic views of the water below and the surrounding mountains. It is a view that has inspired countless photographs, paintings, and written works, including the famous fable of Rip Van Winkle. While pets are not allowed, sketch books, cameras, and easels are encouraged!

Greene County Tourism, 800-355-CATS, 518-943-3223, www.greatnortherncatskills.com..

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Nantucket’s White Elephant Partners with Mandarin Oriental, Boston to Offer ‘2 If by Land, 3 if by Sea’ Package

May 29, 2019
Nantucket-White Elephant e2

The White Elephant on Nantucket

Can’t decide between a beach holiday on an iconic island and a city stay packed with culture and history?

The White Elephant on Nantucket is partnering with Mandarin Oriental, Boston to offer guests a New England vacation experience with three nights on the island and two nights under the city lights. The package also includes experiences such as a sailing tour around Nantucket and tickets to the Whaling Museum, the backbone of the island’s history. Rates start at $3,398 for two guests.

Overlooking Nantucket Harbor, White Elephant is the quintessential New England retreat composed of peaceful, light-filled guest rooms and charming garden cottages that dot the water’s edge. Guests of the hotel can dine al fresco at Brant Point Grill, Nantucket’s premier steak and seafood restaurant, or pick up a book from the on-property library and spend the day in a chaise on the Harborside Lawn. White Elephant also offers complimentary Priority Bicycle rentals, making for an easy ride to the island’s many beaches and favorite spots such as Bartlett’s Farm and the Brant Point Lighthouse. Guests who book the top suite at the hotel will also receive the keys to a 2019 BMW vehicle for the duration of their stay.

During a visit to Mandarin Oriental, Boston guests can unwind with The Spa’s tension melting New England Retreat therapy. The treatment begins with a full dry body brush exfoliation, followed by a targeted tension relieving massage. To finish, warm muds and de-stressing muscle gels are applied to revitalize and refresh. Guests will also enjoy a personal shopping experience at Lilly Pulitzer on nearby Newbury Street so they can deck themselves out in the perfect seaside attire.

The Two if by Land, Three if by Sea package starts at $3,398 plus taxes and gratuities and includes:

Two if by Land at Mandarin Oriental, Boston

–          Two-night stay in luxurious accommodations

–          Daily breakfast at Bar Boulud or in-room for two people

–          Boston-themed welcome amenity

–          New England Retreat treatment at The Spa for two people

–          $250 gift card to Lilly Pulitzer

 

Three if by Sea at White Elephant, Nantucket

–          Three-night stay in seaside accommodations

–          Daily breakfast for two people

–          Nantucket-themed welcome amenity

–          Endeavor sunset sail and island tour

–          Two tickets to the Whaling Museum

–          Three-course dinner with wine pairings at the waterfront Brant Point Grill for two people

The package is available until November 2, 2019, is based on double occupancy and is subject to availability. It must be booked a minimum of 7 days prior to arrival and additional nights can be booked at the best available rate. Reservations can be made by contacting hotels directly.

White Elephant, Nantucket: 1.800.445.6574

Mandarin Oriental, Boston: 617.535.8880 or emailing mosbo-reservations@mohg.com.

Nantucket Island Resorts is a collection of premier hotels on Nantucket that specialize in bringing the unique Nantucket lifestyle to all guests. From boating to fine dining to a large number of island festivals and events, Nantucket Island Resorts caters to its visitors and offers vacation planning that lets you get the most out of a Nantucket vacation while staying in a fantastic array of accommodations. Properties include The Wauwinet, which unveiled a multi-million dollar renovation in April 2019 and offers access and views of both bay and ocean beaches and home to AAA Five Diamond-rated TOPPER’S restaurant; White Elephant, offers a choice of accommodations including  an iconic hotel located right on Nantucket Harbor that offers a lovely arrangements of rooms, suites, cottages, and two stunning in-town luxury lofts as well as the Brant Point Grill. Down the street is the Inn with well-appointed deluxe rooms and suites and one-, two-, and three-bedroom Residences, that all enjoy access to the on-property heated pool; Jared Coffin House, a historic and charming hotel located in Nantucket Town and its restaurant, Nantucket Prime; The Cottages at Nantucket Boat Basin, waterfront cottages with full kitchens located on three wharves jutting out into Nantucket Harbor and featuring 12 pet-friendly accommodations. All properties were recognized by 2018 Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards. The Nantucket Boat Basin, a 240 slip full-service award winning marina, is also part of the collection and located at the base of Town. 

An intimately luxurious hotel, Mandarin Oriental, Boston combines classic New England elegance with refined Oriental touches to create one of the most distinctive hospitality experiences in the region. Awarded both Forbes Five-Stars and AAA Five-Diamonds, Mandarin Oriental, Boston features 148 of the city’s most spacious guestrooms and suites, exquisite meeting and event facilities and legendary personalized service. Hotel amenities include Massachusetts’ only holistic Five-Star awarded spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center and our signature restaurant Bar Boulud, a French-inspired bistro and wine bar from internationally acclaimed chef Daniel Boulud. A short 15-minute drive from Logan International Airport, Mandarin Oriental, Boston connects guests to the city’s finest shopping, cultural venues and business institutions from its prime location in the heart of Boston’s chic Back Bay on Boylston Street.

 

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National Comedy Center in Lucille Ball’s Hometown Close to Being Officially Designated by United States

February 23, 2019
NYS-Natl Comedy Ctr Jamestown

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York – iconic comedian Lucille Ball’s hometown – is close to being designated the official “National Comedy Center” of the United States.

The National Comedy Center in Jamestown, New York – iconic comedian Lucille Ball’s hometown – is close to being designated the official “National Comedy Center” of the United States.

US Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer included a provision in the 2019 Lands Package that called on The Comedy Center, located in downtown Jamestown and built in-part to honor the massive national impact of Jamestown native Lucille Ball, to serve as America’s official center of comedy and its rich history in our nation. Schumer said this official congressional designation will help solidify the facility as a civic landmark and cultural institution, and the premiere “National Comedy Center” of the United States, and called on his colleagues in Congress to pass the Lands Package as soon as possible.

“Comedy is an art form, and it’s a part of our rich cultural history in America. I am proud to stand here today, in front of the revolutionary National Comedy Center, to continue my push to pass legislation that will officially designate it as the National Comedy Center of the United States,” Schumer said. “As the birthplace of the iconic Lucille Ball, and home to the Annual Comedy Festival, Jamestown has rapidly become an epicenter for comedy in the nation, and is the perfect home for the National Comedy Center. This organization is becoming a cultural institution, attracting visitors from far and wide, creating jobs, and injecting millions of tourism dollars into the region. I vow to do everything in my power to shuttle this legislation through Congress and on to the president’s desk, because I know that this institution has become a national attraction and a smash hit!”

The 2019 Lands Package includes legislation from Senator Schumer that will formally designate the National Comedy Center as the ‘national’ comedy center. Schumer noted that this designation will allow the center to build on the success of other Upstate New York tourist attractions like the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. The National Comedy Center employs 38 people and has created nearly 200 spin-off jobs and is projected to have a $23 million impact on the region. Currently, the annual comedy festival hosts about 20,000 people and has been visited by famous comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Joan Rivers, Jay Leno, and Nick Offerman. Schumer said this designation is vital to the center’s continued growth, and pointed out that Jamestown’s National Comedy Center is the only museum of its kind with the mission of preserving, protecting, and showcasing the art of American comedy and its role in our culture.

“The Jamestown Comedy Center is a celebration of talent and has quickly become a must-see location in New York. When I toured the museum, I was amazed by the incredible job done to transform an old train station into a state-of-the-art center dedicated to preserving the history of comedy in our nation,” said Senator  Kirsten Gillibrand. “This museum is a destination for families, tourists, and comedy lovers from all over the country, and it has played in important role in Jamestown’s revitalization. That’s why I fought to make sure that this year’s Land’s Package would designate the museum as the National Comedy Center, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this bill.”

“The National Comedy Center is committed to Lucille Ball’s vision for her hometown of Jamestown, New York to honor comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that educate, engage and inspire future generations. With visitors who’ve already come from all 50 states since our opening last August, we truly are the nation’s museum for the celebration of comedy. We thank Senator Schumer for everything he’s done to make the National Comedy Center a reality, and welcome this official Congressional designation in 2019,” said Tom Benson, Chairman, National Comedy Center.

“As the country’s first national-scale museum and cultural institution dedicated to presenting, preserving and celebrating the art form of comedy, the National Comedy Center — and Comedy — is deserving of this important recognition by Congress. We are grateful to Senator Schumer for his tremendous support and look forward to the bill’s passage in both the Senate and the House in the coming weeks,” said Journey Gunderson, Executive Director of the National Comedy Center.

The National Comedy Center, located at 203-217 West Second Street in Jamestown, New York, pays tribute to the art of American comedy through all eras, mediums, and genres. The 37,000 square foot, $50 million facility tells the story of comedy from its origins through the present, with more than 50 immersive, interactive exhibits. As of January 2019, the National Comedy Center has already attracted visitors from all fifty states and nine countries total. It was also recently named the second “Best New Attraction in America,” by USA Today.

Each visitor experiences a personalized trip through the Center as exhibits reflect one’s personal comedic sensibilities via use of a bracelet fitted with an RFID chip worn throughout the stay. Highlights of the collection include George Carlin’s massive personal archives that provide a glimpse into one of comedy’s most prolific minds, a hologram theater that presents performances of some of comedy’s most notable figures, and experiences that allow visitors to step into the shoes of a stand-up comedian. Additionally, the National Comedy Center features rare artifacts from some of comedy’s greatest names. In 2018, Senator Schumer helped deliver one such artifact, as a customs snag threatened to delay the arrival of a vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was donated to the NCC by Dan Aykroyd.

Design of the museum and the repurposing of Jamestown’s original 1930 art-deco Gateway Train Station was provided by some of the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, the College Football Hall of Fame, Saturday Night Live: The Experience, Universal Studios, and more. The Center celebrates comedy in all of its forms, educating and engendering in visitors an appreciation for the art form and its artists.

The National Comedy Center opened in 2018, and ground was first broken on the project in 2015. Schumer noted he pushed a resolution in March of 2018 to formally recognize the National Comedy Center. Schumer also noted his successful push for $1.7 million from the Economic Development Administration, and $5M in net benefit due to New Market Tax Credits. In addition to this federal funding, the National Comedy Center has also received $10M from NYS, and private donations from the Gebbie Foundation, the John R. Oishei Foundation, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, the Lenna Foundation, Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the Ralph C. Sheldon Foundation, the Johnson Foundation, and the Jessie Smith Darrah Fund. Schumer said the National Comedy Center shines a spotlight on Jamestown as a global comedy destination.  

 

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News Ways to Sip, Savor and Sightsee by the Sea in Nova Scotia

February 23, 2019
Nova Scotia e2

Nova Scotia offers a multitude of diverse signature culinary experiences along its 4,500 miles of coastline.

NOVA SCOTIA  – Nova Scotia, which produces a quarter of Canada’s seafood and boasting a billion-plus dollar fish and seafood export industry annually, offers a multitude of diverse signature culinary experiences along its 4,500 miles of coastline. And, Nova Scotia is now closer to more U.S. travelers with new non-stop service to the capital city of Halifax from Chicago and Philadelphia beginning in June 2019, adding to the direct flights currently offered out of New York City and Boston.

Often a first stop for visitors, Halifax is home to the oldest farmers market in North America and has the notable distinction of having more pubs per capita than any other province in Canada among its many culinary charms.

New opportunities to “sip, savor, and sightsee” in 2019 incorporate experiences for active and adventurous travelers throughout Nova Scotia.

Here are a few highlights:

A Distillery Tour on Foot and by Boat 

Old Town Lunenburg UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to artisan distilleries with award-winning rum, colorful architecture, and traditional foods. Here, on foot and by boat travelers can explore the waterfront of the historic town with their taste buds. The Lunenburg Distilled: Culinary Adventure takes guests on a walking tour with an eighth generation Lunenburger to Ironworks Distillery, the first artisan distillery in the province. Listeners will gain insight on creating spirits and liqueurs from scratch. Afterwards, a boat tour with Heritage Fishing Tours drops visitors at an exclusive Dory Shop to sample traditional foods from the region. The tour ends with a seafood dinner onboard the Teresea D. Conner, a historic schooner from the Lunenburg waterfront. Price is $395 CAD per person. Dates available: June 19, July 14, August 21, and September 25.

Wine Blending on the Bay

A reflection of the region that’s shaped by the sea, Avondale Sky Winery’s crisp Tidal Bay was the first appellation wine of Nova Scotia. This year, guests can be a winemaker for the day with the Avondale Sky Wine Lab AdventureA tour of the vineyard reveals rolling hills situated on the St. Croix River as it meets the Bay of Fundy, home to the highest tides in the world. Samplings are done in the tasting room and experimenting begins in the wine lab, where guests ultimately create their own Tidal Bay blend with a signature custom-made label. Award-winning winemaker, Ben Swetnam, will lead a blind tasting competition of the blends to crown the next master winemaker. The chosen wine is served at a gourmet, chef-prepared dinner for the group to enjoy. Price is $295 CAD per person. Dates available: June 22, July 6, July 20, and August 24. 

Hike, Eat, Repeat 

Active travelers work up their appetite for seafood by hiking, kayaking, and swimming during the Seaside Adventure & Beachside Feast. The day starts with a hike to the Kejimkujik National Park Seaside with Parks Canada interpreters, followed by a two-hour kayak tour through this unique and protected coastal estuary. Participants will fuel up with a lobster roll picnic and cool off by enjoying a swim on the white sand beaches. A final seafood feast will be served at the Quarterdeck Beachside Villas, and a night in a new studio loft at this luxurious beachside resort is included in the experience. The one day and one-night starts at $849 CAD per person or $1,600 CAD per couple. Dates available: July 3, July 22, August 24, August 28, September 7, September 18, and October 5.  

Coastal Helicopter Ride and Picnic 

For a birds-eye view of the stunning Nova Scotia coastline, travelers can journey by helicopter to a sommelier-led picnic on a private island. The Heli-Picnic Island Escape, a two-hour tour over Halifax to Sambro Island, is an opportunity to view the wildlife and coastline from a new perspective. After landing on a private beach, guests will indulge in Nova Scotia bubbly while exploring the hidden coves. The sommelier in attendance will lead a tasting picnic of local wines, smoked salmon, cheese, and chocolate at a lighthouse. Price is $575 CAD per person. Dates to be announced. 

Sunsets and Stargazing 

Storytelling, sunsets, seafood, and stargazing make up the Lightkeeper’s SeaFeastThe tour begins on a Cape Islander’s fishing boat that sets sail from the Yarmouth waterfront. The boat comes equipped with oysters, Nova Scotia wine, and stories with Tusket Island Tours. After landing at the Cape Forchu lighthouse, a chef prepares a lobster feast on the beach, and guests watch the sunset over the water while being entertained by Acadian songs. The tour goes on after the sun sets, with a dark-sky expert leading stargazers through a certified Starlight Tourist Destination. This experience is available on Thursday nights throughout July, August, and September. Price to be announced.

For more information about the province, visit Nova Scotia or call 1-800-565-0000.

For more information on the four provinces, visit these websites or follow on social media: 

New Brunswick

Web: www.tourismnewbrunswick.ca

Instagram: @DestinationNB

Twitter: @SeeNewBrunswick

Facebook: @DestinationNB

 

Nova Scotia

Web: www.novascotia.com

Instagram: @VisitNovaScotia

Twitter: @VisitNovaScotia

Facebook: @NovaScotia

 

Newfoundland and Labrador

Web: www.newfoundlandlabrador.com

Instagram:  @newfoundlandlabrador

Twitter: @NLtweets

Facebook:  @NewfoundlandLabradorTourism

 

Prince Edward Island

Web: www.tourismpei.com

Instagram: @tourismpei

Twitter: @tourismpei

Facebook: @tourismpei

 

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