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Sports And Adventure
Adrenaline-loving travelers looking to push the boundaries in 2014 have plenty of enticing destinations to choose from next year. Whether it’s the time-warped villages of Burma, or the far-flung shores of Antarctica (which, as it happens, will be in the spotlight for the 100th anniversary of Sir Ernest Shackleton‘s epic adventure), 2014 is sure to be filled with inspiration, adventure, and plenty of good photo ops.
Known the world over for its gorgeous sunsets, super-friendly locals, and spectacular resorts, lush, laid-back Bali is one of those places you always hear other people talk about and think to yourself, “Maybe one day…” But with airfares being what they are ($2429 roundtrip from New York in January? No thank you!) and an abundance of top-tier resorts (Oberoi, Anantara, Four Seasons, and the recently announced Ritz-Carlton Reserve, which will open in 2015) promising the “quintessential” Bali experience for upwards of $600 per night, it’s easy to be tricked into thinking the idyllic southeast Asian island is for big spenders and honeymooners alone.
But to experience the island’s secluded lagoons, jungles, and white sandy beaches – namely, everything you’re there to see – it’s possible, and in many ways, necessary, to venture out of the five-star resorts and explore Bali’s nature spots on your own. The island is literally teeming with bustling wildlife reserves, beginner-friendly diving spots, and ethereal rice terraces. Below, we’ve picked a few of the island’s most accessible, locally-favored, and,visually stunning nature spots that you can experience all on your own: and cheaply, too.
Take note, a camera will come in handy!
Adventure traveler or not, few things inspire wanderlusters everywhere to brave the elements like the jewel-hued Northern Lights. If you’ve dreamed of chasing this legendary phenomenon, now’s the time: The aurora is reaching solar peaks this winter and next, meaning visibility will be the greatest in this time for a good decade. And as with all epic travel experiences, you’ll probably want to capture your sightings on film (or an SD card). Here’s how. Read more
A visit to major national parks like Death Valley and the Grand Canyon is guaranteed to be memorable no matter what time of year you go – but rest assured, your experience will vary. Blistering heat, overcrowding, and rim fires are just a few ways summer visits can be compromised. Instead, consider a visit to the U.S.’s most stunning natural wonders during the colder months. Just remember to pack extra layers! Read more
It’s not hard to understand why someone, on their first visit to New York, would be reluctant to venture outside of New York City. It’s where the action is. It offers an incredibly rich culture. It’s iconic. But just north of the city lies a whole state, waiting to be explored: Hudson Valley, Saratoga, Finger Lakes, Catskills, to name a few. And those are the parts that Governor Cuomo is hoping to draw attention to in a new online tourism guide.
The “Sustainable Tourism” guide will be web-only, and will promote eco-friendly activities in all regions of New York, like exploring Buffalo’s sustainably-built Burchfield Penney Arts Center, or hiking Mount Marcy, near Lake Placid. Whatever your interest, the comprehensive guide aims to (re-)acquaint even the most fresh-air-averse traveler with New York’s stunning mountains, lakes, and villages. Below, a few of the choicest places to visit:
Time to dust off the skis and snowboards: the 2013-14 ski season is already underway, with several resorts already open and plenty more set to do so in coming weeks – which is a promising sign for the season to come. This year, some enticing deals and passes, as well as more direct flights to resort destinations, are a great excuse for a winter weekend getaway. Here are some of the best (and budget-friendly) offers.
Alta and Snowbird, Utah: Known for epic powder and deliciously long runs, these Utah resorts are also offering out-of-state visitors a killer deal this year: half off lift tickets within 24 hours of arrival at Salt Lake City International Airport. The offer is good throughout the 2013-14 ski season, Monday through Friday, and saves $39.50. Read more
Lots of travelers have a safari somewhere on their bucket lists. Gerry van der Walt, safari and photography expert, and co-founder of Wild Eye Photo Safaris, offers some tips and advice for planning and enjoying your Africa trip of a lifetime.
There’s no denying that Santa Barbara, one of the most beautiful towns on California’s central coast (and perhaps the entire United States), comes at a cost. But while you might not be able to stay in Montecito, or dine at San Ysidro Ranch, it’s still possible to experience the charm of this Pacific Ocean coastal town without depleting your travel budget in a single day. Of course, beaches are always a good option to while away an afternoon, but here are five other cheap activities to help you stay in motion: Read more
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts recently re-branded three lodges in Park City, Utah; Beaver Creek, Colorado; and Lake Tahoe, California as part of their new Hyatt Mountain Collection. Targeting skiers, the collection aims to drum up interest in the high-up mountain resorts, with one deal in particular leading the way.
By selecting the Stay at Three, Ski for Free offer, guests who book a 3-night stay at each of the three properties in the Hyatt Mountain Collection from November 27, 2013 through April 20th, 2014, will receive a complimentary Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass for the 2014/2015 winter season. The ski pass, which normally costs $729, provides unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Canyons, Heavenl, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Arapahoe Basin, and Eldora – with no blackout dates. Not a bad deal, especially if you had already planned to spend some time out west this fall – just nine nights spent at Hyatt hotels, and you’ll be set for the entire 2014/2015 ski season!
The three properties in the Hyatt Mountain Collection are the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa (from $229); Hyatt Escala Lodge Park City (from $153); and Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino (from $179)
To Book: Visit www.hyattmountaincollection.com and reserve each stay using the code EPIC.
Travelers across the US are starting to dust off their ski poles and practice their knee bends, as resorts in the northeast, midwest, southwest – anywhere, really, where there’s fresh powder to be had – prepare to open for the season. But for most of us, skiing is only half the fun. The rest of the trip (finding cozy lodges to sip hot chocolate, visiting local shops and galleries, or maybe even stopping in at a ‘cowboy bar’) should be every bit as memorable as the time you spend on the trails. Below, a few recommendations for towns that provide a quiet setting for your alpine getaway, and with lower prices to boot, could be a better deal than larger resorts in better-known areas.
Hanover, New Hampshire (above)
On your way to or from the Dartmouth Skiway, set aside some time to enjoy the cultural offerings of the college town of Hanover, 20 minutes to the south. Visit the Hood Museum contemporary art center where interning Dartmouth students help to curate the frequently changing exhibits – current exhibits feature Picasso and Fan Tchunpi. The Hanover Inn, which occupies a building dating from 1780 and overlooks Dartmouth Green, is connected to the Hood Museum via a passageway and is home to a farm-to-table restaurant named PINE, created by celebrity Boston chef, (and James Beard award winner) Michael Schlow.
Across the green, in the college’s Baker library, is the Epic of American Civilization, one Mexican muralist José Clemente Orozco’s three grand frescoes in the United States (the others are in California and New York City.) Read more
San Francisco is arguably one of the world’s most enchanting cities – but it’s also one of the most expensive, too (weekend rates for a mid-range hotel will set you back around $250 a night, on average). But a trip to the City by the Bay doesn’t have to be a budget-buster. Here, five ways for visitors to get an affordable, yet authentic SF experience – in other words, while you’re saving money, you’ll be mingling with the locals too. Need further incentive? October is a beautiful month to visit, with fewer crowds than summer and still-warm days. Read more
As it gets colder, travelers are beginning to think about ski destinations. And while Denver, Colorado might be on many people’s lists, they should also consider it for shoulder season cycling. There are plenty of trail options for bicyclists and you don’t have to go too far outside the city to find them. Scattered in the Front Range (where you’ll find Denver and Boulder) and in nearby Breckenridge (about an hour and a half west of Denver) are prime trails where bikers can get their thrills.
Shannon Galpin, 2013 National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and an avid cyclist. In 2009, she became the first woman to mountain bike in Afghanistan, a country where the culture doesn’t allow women to ride bikes. Galpin lives in Breckenridge and we’ve asked her to share her five favorite trail rides in Breckenridge and the Front Range. All can be reached by bike from the nearest town and are equally accessible to hikers. Read more
The first national park established in Canada (in 1885) and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Banff National Park occupies a sweet spot in the Canadian Rockies and includes unspoiled wilderness and beautiful mountain lakes, like Lake Louise. Want to include Banff in your vacation plans? Follow our tips: Read more
While October might not scream “beach season,” many parts of the U.S. are still enjoying weather that calls for shorts and a lounge chair. Sure, you can go to Florida or Southern California pretty much year-round for sun and sand, but what about beach destinations that get cooler as fall sets in? For now, many of them are still prime for a late-season visit, with great deals, fewer crowds, and comfortable temperatures. Okay, so you might not get a sunburn (Who wants that, anyway?), but you’ll still find plenty to do in these seven locales: Read more
The cold, snowy months of the U.S. winter feel a lot brighter when you hit the ski slopes. But traveling to the best resorts at the height of the season also means you’ll have to contend with crowded slopes and high prices.
If you want to miss those crowds, and don’t mind not actually getting to ski, consider visiting during shoulder season (from now until around mid-to-late-November) when there are still lots of activities on offer, but the resorts will be quieter and the prices lower.
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