Posts Tagged ‘family travel’

Planning a Family Celebration? Think Dude Ranch

October 5, 2021
Our family sets out for a horseback ride amidst the gorgeous red rock scenery at the Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming. Guest ranches are ideal venues for family celebrations and get-togethers ©Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Cody, WY – The past 18 months reinforced the need for celebration and commemoration. Graduations, weddings, births, memorials, so much had to be postponed, canceled, and worse, ignored to tend to the needs of the global pandemic. However, summer 2021 began with a sense of normalcy, and by mid-summer, events and family reunions were the most welcomed of events for relatives.

Dude ranches were born from the idea of bringing families and loved ones together for adventures, community cuisine, and spectacular star-filled evenings with roaring campfires, plenty of S’mores, and loads of stories. This epitome of Wild West adventure is not only thriving and coveted in 2021, it’s now the destination to reunite for the most monumental life moments.

There are nearly 100 Dude Ranchers’ Association member guest ranches across the Western United States and Canada, each entirely different from one another. How does one choose where to plan one of the most exhilarating, inspirational, and exceptional experiences of a lifetime? Let the leading guest ranch experts, Dude Ranchers’ Association, help! Here’s a sampling of ranches that help honor friends and family, dude ranch style.

Circle Z Ranch
Patagonia, Arizona
Autumn and Early Winter Celebrations

Circle Z Ranch is an astounding atonal adventure for honeymooners, family reunions and intimate weddings. And, the ranch runs phenomenal programming and deals up until Christmas. 

C Lazy U Ranch
Granby, Colorado
White Winter Wonderlust

Looking for a last-minute destination wedding for 70 and 90 folks? Then C Lazy U might be the most perfect winter wedding host. The 100-year-old ranch is notorious for melding dude ranch activity with luxury cuisine and beverage for the most elegant of affairs. 

Rawah Ranch
Glendevey, Colorado
Raw Wilderness

Rawah Ranch, a stunning oasis, is an all-inclusive experience that is thoughtfully curated for those who wish to disconnect. Pick up a fly rod, horseback ride along alpine ridges, take a hike along meandering aspen-lined trails. Relax in a rocking chair on your front porch to watch for moose and elk. 

Kay El Bar Guest Ranch
Wickenburg, Arizona
Reuniting in the Wild West

This stunning boutique dude and guest ranch is ideal for family reunions and anniversaries with a 24-person maximum. The ranch is located in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains on the banks of the Hassayampa River in the iconic Sonoran Desert. 

Greenhorn Ranch
Quincy, California
Weekend Getaways

Greenhorn Ranch is located in the stunning Lost Sierra Wilderness on 660 acres with access to 500,000 acres of public land for riding. The year-round, California high woods destination has multiple lodging options and activities for all seasons.
  

Regardless of the celebratory event, there’s reason now to gather and rejoice in some of America’s most isolated and beautiful places. Autumn in Arizona to fresh snow tracks in Colorado, there is something magical to be encountered and experienced at a dude ranch. Unsure of what ranch is right for you? The Dude Ranch Association can help you narrow down your destination options, so you can book your celebratory gathering at a dude ranch. 307-587-2339  info@duderanch.org, duderanch.org.

See also:

WYOMING’S RED REFLET RANCH PROVIDES UNMATCHED EXPERIENCE FOR FAMILIES

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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 Camping Opportunities on New York’s Canals

July 10, 2021
The Erie Canal at Macedon. Tentrr now has a camping site at the Palmyra-Macedon Lock E-29 (Palmyra-Macedon which offers picturesque views of the Erie Canal and easy access to a whole lot of outdoor fun – especially biking on the Canalway © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Through a new partnership between the New York Power Authority, New York State Canal Corporation and Tentrr, the state is opening more hassle-free campsites alongside New York’s Canals this summer. As part of Governor Cuomo’s Reimagine the Canals initiative and the recently announced “On the Canals” excursions program, Tentrr created four fully-outfitted campsites for visitors to reserve, most within a short distance of a free “On the Canals” excursion opportunity.

Each of the Canalside camping locations offers turnkey, outfitted camping facilities, allowing guests to camp in style amongst the Canals. Each site is fully equipped with all the amenities for comfortable camping including spacious canvas tents atop a raised platform, queen size memory foam mattress, solar-powered showers, picnic tables and Adirondack chairs, set up in advance of arrival.

The campsites available this summer within 15 minutes of an “On the Canals” excursion include:

Yankee Hill Getaway (Amsterdam, Town of Florida) Wedged between the Adirondack and Catskills parks in the Mohawk Valley, the Yankee Hill Getaway site lies on a thin strip of land between the original Erie Canal and the current Canal system. Three sites available.

Oak Island Vista (Waterloo) Nestled between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes along the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, the beautiful Oak Island site offers easy access to the best of the Finger Lakes Region. Five sites available.

Montezuma Canal View at Lock E-26 (Galen) Campers at Lock E-26 will wake to views of the tranquil Erie Canal and have easy access to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and Northern Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Six sites available.

Palmyra-Macedon Getaway at Lock E-29 (Palmyra-Macedon) The Palmyra-Macedon site offers picturesque views of the Erie Canal and easy access to a whole lot of outdoor fun. Five sites available.

To book, go to https://www.tentrr.com/pages/new-york-canals.

In addition to these new campsites, Camp Rockaway is managing a glamping site at Lock C-5 on the Champlain Canal in Schuylerville through September 8th.

Through the Reimagine the Canals initiative, Governor Cuomo and the New York Power Authority committed $300 million over five years to revitalize the Erie Canal corridor as a tourism and recreation destination while simultaneously boosting economic development and improving the resiliency of Canalside communities.

Top Ways to Cool Off this Summer in New England

May 23, 2021
Guest at  Glenmoor By The Sea in Lincolnville, Maine can take a boat cruise on Penobscot Bay, bait lobster traps, bird watch, and count the local lighthouses.

Looking for a nearby summer getaway? The New England Inns & Resorts Association (NEIRA) has collected the best accommodations with water experiences for travelers to Cool Off  this summer in the region’s lakes, rivers, oceans, pools, and waterfalls.

Water activities include beach getaways, pool passes, fly fishing, waterfall hunting, SUP excursions. For example:

  • Beach Loving Cows at the Nobnocket Boutique Inn at Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts: explore the Elizabeth Islands by boat, stopping to swim with the highland cattle of Nashawena Island.
  • Waterfall Tour at the Stone Hill Inn in Stowe, Vermont: visit all of Vermont’s famous waterfalls on a 2-hour guided excursion through the Green Mountains.
  • Tuna Fishing at the Beauport Hotel Gloucester in Gloucester, Massachusetts: the crew from the popular TV show “Wicked Tuna” will take guests hunting giant tuna and split the total earnings.
  • Paddle a Lazy River at the Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford, Vermont: floating the Clyde River, view birds and wildlife before returning for a romantic dinner at the inn.
  • Themed Water Park at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis, Massachusetts: the indoor/outdoor 30,000 square foot water park with themed pools at the resort offers a magical family getaway.
  • Lobsters & Lighthouses at the Glenmoor By The Sea in Lincolnville, Maine: cruising Penobscot Bay, guests will bait lobster traps, bird watch, and count the local lighthouses on a boat cruise.  

NEIRA is a one-stop shop for travelers to discover more than 300 places to sleep in New England by filtering properties by state, offers, and interests.

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Club Med All-Inclusive Resorts Offer Splash into Summer Sale

May 6, 2021
Learning to scuba dive at Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Florida, one of Club Med’s most family-friendly resorts. Club Med was a pioneer in the all-inclusive resort concept. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

MIAMI  — Club Med, a pioneer of the all-inclusive resort concept, invites families, couples, and solo travelers alike to take advantage of up to 45% off, plus perks, at its top resorts in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Florida. The Splash into Summer sale is open for bookings now through June 30, 2021, with select travel dates from now to December 17, 2021. Perks include a free water view room upgrade and free stay for kids under 4. Club Med offers guests an all-inclusive experience tailor-made for any travel style, whether they’re seeking a family-friendly vacation or an adults-exclusive getaway.

Club Med’s spacious low-density resorts are surrounded by nature, spread across 50 acres, and operate at a limited capacity, allowing guests peace of mind and the freedom to unwind while creating cherished memories together. Guests will enjoy an all-encompassing vacation with unlimited culinary options, premium accommodations, and activities for all interests – from flying trapeze and sailing to poolside yoga and oceanfront spa treatments. Families will particularly enjoy Club Med’s Amazing Family program, a fun-filled agenda of weekly activities designed to help families bond, reconnect, and experience a greater sense of reunion. Club Med’s enhanced safety and hygiene protocols, free onsite antigen testing, and flexible policies also allow travelers to feel confident and protected while booking an upcoming getaway.

Splash into Summer Sale

  • Booking window: Today through June 30, 2021
  • Travel window: Select dates from May 5, 2021 – December 17, 2021 (blackout dates apply)
  • 45% off plus perks:
    • Free water view room upgrade
    • Kids under 4 stay FREE
    • No single supplement
    • Free Cancellations^
    • Free Emergency Assistance Program ^^
    • Free Onsite Antigen Testing

Participating Club Med Resorts
Travelers looking for opportunities to reconnect, unwind, and create cherished memories on their next vacation will find that peace of mind is a destination at several Club Med resorts, including:

  • Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic: On a 2,000-foot stretch of beach, Club Med Punta Cana welcomes travelers to unwind under the Caribbean sun through: a newly renovated Tiara Exclusive Collection space featuring spacious oceanside suites with upscale, personalized services such as a dedicated concierge and poolside champagne service at the dedicated infinity pool and bar. The new Club Med Amazing Family program features a fun-filled agenda of weekly activities for families to bond and create memories like Club Med CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil, an interactive playground with more than 25 acrobatic and artistic activities for guests of all ages. Guests looking for additional serenity can indulge in lavender treatments at the Club Med Spa by L’OCCITANE before escaping to the sophisticated adult-exclusive tropical hideaway, Zen Oasis, where intimate cabanas, an oversized lagoon pool and bar, and a dedicated Zen Beach with canopies and lounge chairs await.
  • Club Med Michés Playa EsmeraldaDominican Republic: Reopening June 2021. The first and only operating resort in the undiscovered region of Miches – and Club Med’s only Exclusive Collection resort in North America – offers a luxury experience wrapped in an all-inclusive vacation. The eco-chic resort features four boutique villages specializing in wellness, adventure, kid-friendly, and adults-only concepts, catering to an array of travelers seeking a boutique hotel-within-a-hotel experience. Enjoy unlimited, refined culinary options, Zen moments with an on-site Club Med Spa by Cinq Mondes, treetop yoga, and a naturally-filtered Zen pool, as well as must-try family experiences from learning how to plant and compost ingredients at the on-site community garden to discovering a Secret Chocolate Room – a first-of-its-kind kid’s speakeasy featuring unlimited sweets crafted with locally-sourced cocoa (and adults can get in on the fun, too!). 
  • Club Med CancúnMexico: Club Med Cancún is the perfect location for families looking to reconnect after spending a long year apart. The resort’s Aguamarina family oasis area features spacious two-bedroom oceanfront family rooms, exhilarating water games at the dedicated family pool, and outdoor activities as part of the new Club Med Amazing Family programming. For added R&R, indulge in private oceanfront massages on the beach, private spa treatments at the newly renovated Club Med Spa by L’OCCITANE, and a variety of refined, locally inspired cuisine. Guests looking for an added sense of adventure can explore the Mayan ruins at Chichén-Itzá or discover life under the sea by snorkeling through the world’s second-largest coral reef surrounding the resort.
  • Club Med Sandpiper BayFlorida: The spacious family-friendly resort, located in between Miami and Orlando, offers an all-inclusive getaway – sans passport – with a variety of activities for all interests, like kayaking, paddle boarding, sailing, pickleball, and the flying trapeze. Golfers of all levels can enjoy an elevated experience at the newly renovated championship golf course reopening this summer, while wellness seekers can enjoy some R&R at the new 6,000-sq-ft Club Med Spa by Sothys, the only Sothys Spa in the U.S. While kids enjoy time at the children’s clubs with unlimited all-day activities, adults can relax by the adults-exclusive pool or on the beach situated alongside the St. Lucie River. Beginning June 2021, guests can elevate their family dining experience atop the new open-air terrace at Riverside Steakhouse, featuring diverse cuts of top-quality meat, an array of vegan culinary options, and a curated selection of international wine and spirits with spectacular views of the glistening sunset over the river.
  • Club Med QuébecCanada: Opening December 2021. The four-season all-inclusive mountain resort will be Club Med’s first resort in Canada, just an hour away from Québec City in the Le Massif de Charlevoix region. With over 300 rooms spread across 300+ acres, the family-friendly resort will feature locally inspired culinary experiences, a private 5-Trident (5-star) Exclusive Collection space, sweeping views of the scenic St. Lawrence River and surrounding mountains, and unlimited ski-in/ski-out access. Families can enjoy year-round activities including skiing, biking, and hiking, as well as activities traditional to the region like ice skating and dog sledding. For added Zen, the resort offers an expansive wellness area with a 25-yard heated pool overlooking the river, an outdoor jacuzzi, and a variety of à la carte Nordic spa-inspired treatments.

Additional participating resorts include Club Med Caravelle, Guadeloupe, French Caribbean, Club Med Buccaneer’s Creek, Martinique, French Caribbean, and Club Med Turkoise, Turks and Caicos.

Flexible Policies
To ensure added flexibility and peace of mind for travelers, Club Med also offers:

  • Free Cancellation Policy: For new bookings made on or after May 18, 2020, guests can receive a full refund should they need to cancel their stay (up to 15 days prior to the anticipated travel date) for stays on or prior to December 16, 2021.
  • Emergency Assistance Program: All guests traveling before December 31, 2022 will receive coverage for emergency medical expenses during their stay, including those related to COVID-19. 
  • Safe Together protocols: Implemented in all of the brand’s resorts as they reopen, including those in Florida, Mexico, and the Caribbean, these newly enhanced hygiene and safety measures were developed through recommendations from the World Health Organization, local health authorities, and the advice of an International Scientific Committee comprised of a specialized team of doctors and professors.
  • PCR + Rapid Antigen Testing: As required for re-entry into the United States from international destinations, Club Med offers complimentary Rapid Antigen COVID-19 tests on-site. PCR testing is also available at an additional cost.
  • Club Med, founded in 1950 by Gérard Blitz, is the pioneer of the all-inclusive concept, offering approximately 70 premium resorts in stunning locations around the world including North and South America, Caribbean, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean. Each Club Med resort features authentic local style and comfortably upscale accommodations, superior sports programming and activities, enriching children’s programs, gourmet dining, and warm and friendly service by its world-renown staff with legendary hospitality skills, an all-encompassing energy and diverse backgrounds. 

Club Med operates in more than 30 countries and continues to maintain its authentic Club Med spirit with an international staff of more than 23,000 employees from more than 110 different nationalities. Led by its pioneering spirit, Club Med continues to grow and adapt to each market with three to five new resort openings or renovations per year, including a new Alpine ski resort annually. 

For more information, visit www.clubmed.us, call 1-800-Club-Med (1-800-258-2633), or contact a preferred travel professional. For an inside look at Club Med, follow Club Med on FacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube

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Vail Resorts in Northeast Gear Up for Summer with Mountain Biking, Golf, Zip Tours

April 30, 2021

Epic Pass prices reduced 20%, now available at EpicPass.com for 2021/22 winter season

Vail Resorts’ Mount Snow in Vermont is gearing up for mountain biking this summer. (Photo courtesy Mount Snow Resort

Broomfield, Colo. – Vail Resorts today announced summer operating dates and activities at six of its Northeast resorts including Mount Snow, Stowe and Okemo in Vermont and Mount Sunapee, Attitash and Wildcat in New Hampshire. After a winter season unlike any before, each resort is excited to welcome guests to experience summertime splendor in the mountains with activities for those of all ages. All opening dates will be compliant with state and local guidelines and may be subject to change.

Mount Snow Resort

The Mount Snow Golf Club tees off starting May 21. The Mount Snow Golf Course has matured into one of Vermont’s premier mountain courses and has been rated one of the top five in the state by Golf Digest.

Mountain biking begins on May 29 at theMount Snow Bike Park. Now in its 33rd season, making it one of the oldest bike parks in North America, the bike park is a four-time Top Five finisher in the MTBparks.com Riders’ Choice Best Bike Parks Awards for the Northeast. The lift-served park’s 10 trails offer a variety of cross-country, downhill, freeride and mixed-use terrain with a total vertical of 1,000 feet.Mount Snow also offers the First Lift and First Drop programs, which are clinics geared toward introducing people to the sport of downhill mountain biking and helping them build their skills.

Scenic chairlift rides on the Bluebird Express to the summit of Mount Snow will also begin on May 29, with views of Somerset Reservoir, Mount Monadnock and sometimes even Mount Washington.

Food and beverage options will be available at Mount Snow this summer at the Bullwheel Tavern on the summit, Canned in the base area and Fairways Restaurant at the golf course. The resort will also resume hosting concerts, festivals and other warm weather events this year. The resort’s events calendar is updated frequently, so be sure to check back for all the latest happenings.

Stowe Mountain Resort

Stowe’s Zip Tour Adventure, which opens on July 1, allows guests to see and experience the mountain canopy in ways never imagined. ‘ZipTour’ is the world’s fastest and most exhilarating zip line experience. Ride our Summit Gondola to the launching point near the top of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak. Then enjoy the thrill of flying down three of the world’s longest zip-spans, both above and through the Green Mountain State Forest.

Stowe’s Treetop Adventure offers six different levels of courses consisting of aerial tree-to-tree connections with 68 various Challenge/Game elements intertwined in the experience. First, you’ll learn to use our state-of- the-art safety cable system, giving you the knowledge and skill to achieve feats on our Adventure Courses that will leave you motivated to conquer the world. Suitable for most ages, the courses are designed to progressively build confidence.

The Mount Mansfield Auto Toll Road also opens May 28. The 4.5-mile unpaved road begins next to the Inn at the Mountain and climbs to an elevation of 3,850 feet. The road ends at a parking lot next to the Mount Mansfield Summit Station for spectacular hiking options. All hikers should stop into the Green Mountain Club prior to hiking for an orientation. Hiking maps are distributed upon arrival.

An equally spectacular mountain ascent is provided by the Mount Mansfield Gondola, scheduled to open June 18. The comfortable, eight-passenger gondolas depart from the Gondola Barn, which is served by its own access road and parking lot approximately ¼ mile north of the historic Mount Mansfield Base Lodge.

Food and beverage options will be available at the Spruce Peak Plaza this summer, along with family friendly programming and events. The Spruce Peak events calendar is updated frequently, so be sure to check back.

Okemo Mountain Resort

At Okemo, lift-served mountain biking will be offered beginning on June 17 on the lower mountain out of the Sugar House mid-mountain lodge. The Sunburst Six will provide scenic chairlift rides to the summit of Okemo Mountain. Okemo’s Adventure Zone at Jackson Gore will feature the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster, Miniature Golf, Disc Golf, Haulback Challenge Course and Coleman Brook Mining Company Sluice.

Food and beverage options will be available at Okemo this summer at the Summit Lodge, The Sugar House and at Jackson Gore with a takeout window for day visitors and dinner at Coleman Brook Tavern.

Mount Sunapee

Mount Sunapee opens for summer guests on June 18. In addition to scenic chairlift rides to the summit of Mount Sunapee and lift-served mountain biking, visitors can enjoy hiking trails, an archery course, and the Mount Sunapee Adventure Park that includes miniature golf, disc golf, an aerial challenge course, a mining sluice and a new pump track.

Food and beverage options will be available at Mount Sunapee this summer in the base area and specialty dinners will be scheduled the summit. The return of warm-weather events this summer will include the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen’s Fair, scheduled for Aug. 7 through Aug. 15.

Attitash Mountain Resort

Beginning June 26, Attitash will welcome guests back to the heart of the White Mountains with its classic Alpine Slide and the Flying Yankee Scenic Chair. Celebrating over 40 years at Attitash Mountain Resort, the two alpine slides provide thrills for all who ride the chutes. Ride up the Flying Yankee chairlift to begin this exciting journey down rolling slopes, straightaways and S-turns. Or, simply enjoy the views on the scenic Flying Yankee Chair.

Wildcat Mountain Resort

Summer visitors can enjoy the Wildcat Express Scenic Ride staring June 26, which offers spectacular views of Mount Washington and the surrounding Presidential Mountain range. Wildcat Mountain is the only place in North America where you’ll find the unique lift conversion from a high-speed Quad in the winter to a scenic gondola in the summer. To view the Best Scenery in the East – consistently named #1 by SKI Magazine Readers –  ride aboard our four-person enclosed scenic gondola to Wildcat Mountain’s 4,000+ foot summit.

COVID-19 Safety

Health and safety remains the company’s top priority. Its resorts this summer will be operating according to local public health orders and following their guidance as it relates to face coverings. Guests are encouraged to follow CDC guidelines as the pandemic continues to evolve.

Epic Pass Lineup & Price Reset

Vail Resorts recently announced a bold price reset of Epic Pass products to continue to deliver on our commitment of Epic for Everyone and to honor the loyalty of our pass holders. Epic Pass prices have been reduced by 20 percent across the board, and are now available to purchase at EpicPass.com for the 2021/22 winter season.

For skiers and riders in Vermont and New Hampshire, the Northeast Value Pass offers incredible value for next season,priced at $479 (down from $599 last season) and offering access to all seven Vermont and New Hampshire resorts plus Hunter, Roundtop and more. The Northeast Midweek Pass is now $359, down from $449. The price reduction applies to the entire portfolio of the company’s North American pass lineup. The Epic Local Pass is now available for $583 (down from $729 last season) and the full Epic Pass is priced at $783 (down from $979 last season).

Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is the leading global mountain resort operator. Vail Resorts’ subsidiaries operate 37 destination mountain resorts and regional ski areas, including Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Crested Butte in Colorado; Park City in Utah; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Whistler Blackcomb in British Columbia, Canada; Perisher, Falls Creek and Hotham in Australia; Stowe, Mount Snow, Okemo in Vermont; Hunter Mountain in New York; Mount Sunapee, Attitash, Wildcat and Crotched in New Hampshire; Stevens Pass in Washington; Liberty, Roundtop, Whitetail, Jack Frost and Big Boulder in Pennsylvania; Alpine Valley, Boston Mills, Brandywine and Mad River in Ohio; Hidden Valley and Snow Creek in Missouri; Wilmot in Wisconsin; Afton Alps in Minnesota; Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and Paoli Peaks in Indiana. Vail Resorts owns and/or manages a collection of casually elegant hotels under the RockResorts brand, as well as the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning and development subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN).

Visit www.epicpass.com and www.snow.com for more information.

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Resorts Gear Up for Families Seeking Escape

March 19, 2021
Mayan dancers at Xcaret, an archaeological theme park. Families who stay at the all-inclusive Hotel Xcaret resort on Mexico’s Riviera Maya on the Caribbean have unlimited access to Xcaret parks: Xel-Ha, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xavage, Xoximilco, Xenses, and the Xenotes and Xichen tours. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Domestic and international resorts are gearing up to provide secluded and unique getaways for families bursting to get out and be together in new and exciting locales.  From educational programming, plenty of outdoor fun (ice-fishing in Wisconsin, learning about the Florida keys, SUP boarding in Turks & Caicos), suites or cabins with full kitchens, these resorts are sure to make all members of the family happy while helping to create new memories in a much-needed change of scenery.

Many of the resort destinations are also providing flexibility in cancellations due to the current travel climate. Additionally, these international resorts have begun implementing onsite testing for COVID-19 to meet reentry requirements to the U.S.

FAMILY FUN IN THE U.S.

Hawks Cay Resort in Duck Key, Florida Keys

Hawks Cay Resort, a one of a kind destination resort in the Florida Keys, offers families looking for a safe spring break getaway this year, the ideal location to spread out and find entertaining programming for everyone in the family. From the full-service marina, guests have access to snorkeling and fishing charters, as well as kayaking and standup paddleboarding. The onsite Dolphin Connection offers families both in-water and dockside experiences, and for those who want to participate in activities together, the resort has a wide variety of new COVID friendly activities including an environmental education class and astronomy lesson. The resort offers guests a variety of room categories including 177 hotel rooms and 250 two- and three-bedroom townhome-style villas that come equipped with washer and dryer and a full kitchen for guests who prefer dine in, and multiple dining outlets that are offering both outdoor and grab and go options. For more information, visit www.hawkscay.com.

Sand Valley, Nekoosa, Wisconsin

Sand Valley resort, a short road trip from many Midwest states, is the ideal back-to-nature getaway for families who are looking for a secluded and safe spring break destination. With a variety of outdoor activities, cozy lodging options that are thoughtfully spaced out for added safety, stunning views, and a culinary experience to match, Sand Valley is the perfect Midwest spring break escape. Outdoor adventures available include hiking, fat-tire biking, bird watching, fishing, yoga, star gazing and snow activities when the weather permits (i.e., snowshoeing, ice skating). Since most Sand Valley cottages are furnished with a full kitchen for cooking and dining, pre-packaged meal kits with local Wisconsin ingredients and recipes curated by Sand Valley chefs await guests upon request. Guests can also arrange for a chef-curated meal in the comfort of their cottage or villa, private dining and in-home meals. From lodging options to greatly enhanced housekeeping procedures to frictionless delivery options, Sand Valley takes the health and wellbeing of visitors incredibly seriously. Find information on the resort’s COVID protocol linked here.

ADVENTURES IN MEXICO

Grand Residences, Puerto Morelos, Mexico

Grand Residences is a secluded coastal resort located about half an hour outside of Cancun and home to its own private beach area. The resort offers an array of onsite activities (i.e., Zumba class, Spanish lessons) and immersive experiences for guests of all ages. Through their Kids Club programming, younger guests, ages 12 and under, are able to learn about local culture and traditions through interactive games and art projects. Some of the activities include learning how to create and play an authentic Mexican lottery game called La Lotería, creating Piñatas, masks and bracelets, treasure. All-inclusive and stay alone travel packages are available and children 12 and under stay free. Grand Residences is also providing complimentary antigen testing for guests.

Hotel Xcaret México, Quintana Roo, México

Hotel Xcaret Mexico is located by the azure blue Caribbean Sea and verdant Riviera Maya jungle.  The premier all-inclusive resort has 900 spacious guest suites, 12 distinct dining destinations, multiple swimming pools, a world-class spa and wellness center.  The resort offers guests all the perks of its exclusive All-Fun Inclusive concept, where travelers have unlimited access to Xcaret parks: Xel-Ha, Xplor, Xplor Fuego, Xavage, Xoximilco, Xenses, and the Xenotes and Xichen tours. In addition to food and beverages, the resort offers  transportation between parks and airport shuttle.  

Rates for the All-Fun Inclusive package range from $285 – $358/night  through April 30. Guests can cancel without any penalty up to seven days prior to their arrival. 

COVID-19 Testing: Hotel Xcaret Mexico has implemented the 360 Xafety model assisting guests with COVID-19 detection tests at the company’s resort and parks.  Guests staying at the hotel have access to a complimentary COVID-19 antigen test, with results delivered the same day, or a PCR test for $140, with results delivered within 24 to 48 hours.

CARRIBBEAN AND CENTRAL AMERICAN GETAWAYS

The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort, Riviera Pacifica, Panama

The Buenaventura Golf & Beach Resort is a destination resort on the Pacific coast of Panama and a short flight from major cities in the U.S.  It is the perfect family getaway offering travelers a quick, yet exotic getaway with miles of uncrowded beaches, unique rainforest experiences, and plenty of activities for all ages to enjoy while properly social distancing.  The 118-room luxury resort seven swimming pools, a complimentary Kid’s Club, Nicklaus designed 18-hole championship golf course, biking, tennis, a zoo, sports club, and many other nearby experiences. 

Families can take advantage of the resort’s Family Experiences package with rates starting at $249 that includes daily breakfast, complimentary stand-up paddle boards and kayak, daily activities in the Kids Club, a visit to the on-site Zoo, complimentary Wi-Fi and the use of tennis and volleyball courts.  Guests can book from now until Dec. 8, 2021 using promotional code: MAJ.  The resort offers guests the flexibility to change their reservations without any penalty or restrictions with added benefits to reschedule for a future stay. 

COVID-19 Testing: Guests have access to an on-site private clinic, Vidatec, which offer COVID-19 PRC tests for $95, quantitative antibody tests for $35, and antigen tests for $45.  Results are delivered by email within 24 to 48 hours. 

Ocean Club Resorts, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos

Located directly along the world-renowned Grace Bay Beach, sits Ocean Club Resorts, two all-suite properties that provide the ideal open-air setting and direct beach access for guests to enjoy without going overbudget. Suites at both locations feature a kitchen, washer/dryer and enclosed private porch area, providing each visitor with the comforts of home. Watersports, bike rentals, tennis courts, beachside activities and an interactive learning game for younger guests known as Seafari can all be found at the resorts and are included in each stay. Ocean Club Resorts has also begun implementing complimentary breakfast. The resorts have offered guests in the new state of travel a flexible cancellation policy, discounted travel offers and a concierge service that assists with the coordination of regulations in travel to the island. With the news of the latest travel restrictions, Ocean Club Resorts has begun extending their concierge services to now include helping U.S. travelers with ensuring they receive testing on-island. See here for additional details.

PRIVATE ISLAND FAMILY TRAVEL

Cayo Espanto, Belize

Home to seven villas total and located three miles off the coast of Belize, Cayo Espanto is a private island resort perfect for a luxe family getaway. Each villa comes equipped with a personal butler, private dock area and customized meals set by the on-island world-renowned chef – allowing everyone’s tastebuds to be satisfied. The resort’s ability to tailor activities based on guest preferences enables families to ensure all members of their traveling party has the time of their life. Fishing lessons on a private dock a tropical spa treatment set to the sounds of the Belizean waters watch a movie under the stars. Strong WiFi and private docks attached to spacious villas, also allot for extended virtual work/school stays to provide a much-needed paradisal change of scenery. To adhere to new CDC travel guidelines, the resort has arranged for the island physician to begin administering COVID testing from the convenience of each guest’s villa.

Coco Collection, Maldives

Comprised of two different boutique island resorts, Coco Bodu Hithi and Coco Palm Dhuni Kohlhu, each create a unique Maldivian experience ranging from luxe amenities to eco-forward initiatives for families to indulge in during their stay. The secluded resorts offer the ideal dreamy escape and provide opportunities for families to learn about the local marine life through guided marine biologist adventures, taking a peek at the progress of Coco Bodu Hithi’s coral nurseries initiative or simply enjoying the vast underwater life through snorkeling. Guests of all ages also have the option to become immersed in Maldivian culture through spending an afternoon with locals on a neighboring island. From simply relaxing in your villa or along the private island’s shores, delighting in incredible cuisine, enjoying water activities both below and above (i.e., SUP boarding), Coco Collection is a dream-come-true private island escape. In response to the new CDC regulation, Coco Collection has begun offering guests PCR testing at the resorts.

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Dude Ranchers’ Association Launches Dynamic New Website Providing Easy Access to THE All-American Vacation

March 11, 2021
A new website from the Dude Ranchers’ Association makes it easy to book a ranch vacation at more than 90 destinations.

Cody, WY– Timeless American landscapes and portraits of people preserving centuries-old lifestyles explode from The Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) https://duderanch.org/ recently launched, redesigned and retooled website. This dynamic site is the calling card for a select, pre-qualified collection of 90-plus ranch vacation destinations where lifelong friendships and memories linger long after climbing down from the saddle.
 
“We are so excited to see this new website go live! We hope our visitors enjoy browsing through it as much as we enjoyed building it,” said Bryce Albright, Executive Director of the DRA. She credits 829 Studios, LLC of Boston, MA, for going “above and beyond in an eight-month effort that is absolutely incredible for a website of such magnitude!”
 
The presentation evokes the patina of old Westerns, not quite in sepia but softly intimating a way of life with feet still firmly planted in bygone years. The focus on welcoming ranch hosts and their families creates warm feelings well before you get into the saddle.
 
Visitors to this easy-to-navigate site can learn about dude ranch vacations by imagining themselves in the same settings. They can then narrow down the choices on the Find a Ranch Page. Still have questions? An interactive Chat capability welcomes questions directed to a live dude ranch representative. Also available on the site is helpful information about how to choose the right ranch, what to pack, travel insurance and much more. Visitors can request a brochure online at: https://duderanch.org/request-brochure/.
 
Nearly 500,000 unique visitors annually access the DRA website. Albright expects the new site to become a must-visit in a time when people are twitching to travel domestically and get out into Nature – if only they knew where to go.
 
“Now they can find their way quickly to our ranches,” she said.
 
The Dude Ranchers’ Association was formed in 1926 to preserve a special way of life and the wonderful environment in which dude ranching takes place. Vacation travelers who choose to vacation at a Dude Ranchers’ Association member ranch can be sure they will receive a quality vacation. Member ranches endure a rigorous inspection and approval process that ensures guests are treated to genuine western hospitality combined with the lodging industry’s highest standards. Dude and guest ranches offer an unparalleled all-inclusive vacation experience. Visitors are always welcome at the DRA headquarters located at 1122 12th Street, in downtown Cody, Wyoming.

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/duderanchvacations/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/DudeRanchers
Website:     https://duderanch.org/
Email:         info@duderanch.org
Tel:             307-587-2339

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Grand Geneva, Timber Ridge Lodge Are Ideal Resorts for Grandtravel Trend

December 26, 2019

grandtravel e2

Grandparents are taking grandkids on more vacations and leaving mom and dad home in 2020. Grand Geneva Resort and Spa, Timber Ridge Lodge and Waterpark in Geneva, Wisconsin are ideal resorts for the grandtravel trend.

Grandparents are taking grandkids on more vacations and leaving mom and dad home in 2020. Here are two midwest resorts that already offer “grandparent” experiences.

Multigenerational travel may still be happening, but the hottest new trend is “skip-generation travel,” where grandparents travel with their grandkids and leave the middle generation — the parents — at home. About one-third of grandparents have taken such trips, according to recent AARP research. Ditching the middleman offers a unique bonding opportunity, especially for family members who live far apart from one another, and lets both generations hit the road together, creating memories of a lifetime. It also gives mom and dad a break of their own.

There are resorts such as Grand Geneva Resort & Spa (grandgeneva.com, 262-248-8811) and Timber Ridge Lodge & Waterpark (www.timberridgelodge.com, 262-249-3400) in Lake Geneva, WI that have already begun to see this family travel trend on the rise and offer special vacation experiences tailored towards “skip-gen” travelers. Amenities include all-suite accommodation options, special memory-making experiences and low-impact adventures such as indoor waterpark fun, mini-golf, beginner hikes, biking, seasonal skiing and more. Grandparents and grandchildren don’t need to leave the resort and can spend several days together enjoying new experiences. During the peak summer months when grandchildren are out of school, Timber Ridge offers a getaway specifically created for grandparents and grandchildren for easy vacation planning. The ‘Grandparents Getaway’ includes accommodations, food & beverage credit, arcade tokens and 4 rounds of mini golf.

This trend dovetails with the aging of the world population. By 2020, those aged 65+ worldwide will have grown to over 700 million people. At the same time, this aging generation is healthier and fitter than ever before, so they’re well poised for “grand” travel.

 

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Family Ranch Vacations Embolden Children to Become NextGen Environmentalists, Explorers, says Dude Ranch Expert

May 13, 2019

dude ranch-Rankin Ranch CA e2

Rankin Ranch, California: Dude ranch vacations are ideal for families, says Gene Kilgore.

SONOMA, CA – Kids, horses and wranglers are the heart and soul of family dude ranch vacations, says Gene Kilgore, a leading expert on dude ranch vacations. “Take children to a beach and ask them 10 years later to name that beach and they will have forgotten. But take them to a ranch and they’ll remember the name of the ranch and the names of their horses for the rest of their lives.”

“A thread common to these ranches is the attention staff lavish on children exploring an exciting new, wild world of ranch vacations,” he adds. “Meanwhile their parents are unplugging, riding or maybe fly fishing, reading a book or musing about becoming a family who lives year-round on a ranch. They’ve never seen their children this happy.

He points to ranches from the Rockies to California “where Mother Nature emboldens children to become next generation environmentalists, explorers and adventurers.”.

In the Canadian Rockies, Three Bars Guest and Cattle Ranch invites ages 6 and up to ride, target practice with kid-size archery equipment, shoot clays with lightweight rifles, river raft, swim (supervised), mountain bike, fish, hunt for frogs, build forts and pan for British Columbia gold. Host Tyler Beckley notes, “The first day or so most families tend to ride together. As children feel more secure and after they’ve made friends, they’re off and running.” Evenings everyone eats together. Children under 6 can ride around the arena on horses led by wranglers and meet other animals in a petting zoo. Log cabins of up to three bedrooms accommodate 45 guests (see https://www.top50ranches.com/ranch-vacations/three-bars-ranch).

California’s Rankin Ranch has run cattle at the southern tip of the Sierra Nevada mountain range since 1863. Supervised activities for ages 4 to 11 combine hiking and swimming with ping pong, shuffleboard, archery, badminton, horseshoes and the list goes on. Ages 6 and up enjoy twice daily trail rides through areas where cattle are grazing. “Evenings youngsters feed chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, a miniature donkey and miniature horses. They get to brush the animals and collect eggs,” says Amanda Rankin Barrett, Ranch Manager. More fun comes with hay wagon rides, square dancing and a children’s race on stick horses they’ve created.  Adults bet on them with play money. Accommodations are for 45 in duplex cabins (see https://ranchweb.com/tour/bill-rankin/).

Colorado’s Lost Valley Ranch in the front range of the Rockies welcomes ages 6 and up to walk, trot and even lope under the supervision of trained counselors. Ages 3 to 5 can also be led around on horseback to explore the ranch. “Children learn the true ropes of being cowgirls and cowboys,” explains Stephanie Geary in Guest Services. “Sometimes they ride from ten in the morning until four in the afternoon. Every day the rides are mixed up with games, a creek swim or stories the wranglers tell about the history of Lost Valley.” Scavenger hunts and themed outings challenge imaginations while exploring this ranch world. Cabins with one, two or three bedrooms accommodate up to 85 guests during the summer season (see https://ranchweb.com/tour/lost-valley-ranch/).

Montana’s Nine Quarter Circle Ranch wants parents to feel comfortable fishing and riding while their children are learning the ins and outs of horsemanship with a kid wrangler or spreading their wings playing hide and seek or fishing. “Our Small Fry group (5 and under) can be led around on horses and supervised while parents spend time in the saddle.  One of our gems is our Rough Riders group (ages 6 to 9), which has the individualized attention of our Kiddie Wrangler. They learn skills on horseback, gaining confidence with their peers throughout the week,” underscores Sally Kelsey, co-general manager. Ages 10 and up are paired with horses and group trail rides according to ability levels. Accommodations for 55 are log cabins from one to four bedrooms (see https://ranchweb.com/?s=quarter+circle).

Wyoming’s Paradise Ranch in the Big Horn Mountains has been a dude ranch since 1907. “We get a lot of extended families because the kids are totally taken care of,” says Clay Miller, who is Managing Owner with his wife Leah. “We really emphasize getting the kids – even the teens — outdoors and becoming involved in activities that re-attach them to the outdoors.” One staff person is assigned to teens and three others to younger guests. Under age 6 can enjoy pony rides and older kids are on horses. The ranch can also accommodate infants. Accommodations for 70 are in newly renovated log cabins with up to four bedrooms. For details see https://www.top50ranches.com/ranch-vacations/paradise-ranch

Gene Kilgore publishes three websites, www.top50ranches.comwww.ranchweb.com and www.ranchvacations.com, which focus on what truly is one of America’s most iconic homegrown experiences – the dude ranch vacation.

 

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