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Proof that Canada’s VIA Rail train is so much more than a basic commuter train? When you disembark, you’ll feel sad saying goodbye to the conductors.
Two of our favorites, who held court in touring class on VIA Rail’s “Skeena” route across mountainous, snow-capped British Columbia, were Patrick and Gilbert. They helped us with our bags, sure, but they also offered historical factoids, let us browse the library of provincial history books that they kept on board, and served wine. Gilbert even brought along flowers from his garden for the curved, vintage caboose car.
All the while, we traveled along the thundering Skeena River from Jasper, just over the British Columbia boarder in Alberta, to the charming coastal town of Prince Rupert. The entertainment, besides Patrick and Gilbert? Hundreds of miles of breathtaking scenery – untouched forest, show-capped mountains, the occasional ancient petroglyph, and the rusting remnants of Skeena River canneries. Read more
On the rugged coast of British Columbia, 40 miles from the Alaska border, there’s a wildlife park without trails or camp sites. There is no potable water and no boating. Fishing and hunting are not permitted, and there are stern warnings against bringing pets. Visitors can only enter with a guide, and only a few companies are authorized to lead tours.
Such delicate handling of the terrain might seem daunting for visitors. But the careful preservation of this land, known as the Khutzeymateen sanctuary, is a boon for its fuzzy inhabitants. Dozens of grizzly bears call the park home, and if you happen to join one of those guided tours, you’ll get an incredible glimpse of these bears in the wild.
Prince Rupert Adventure Tours, which is based in the laidback coastal town of the same name, takes guests out to the sanctuary on a sleek yellow boat, which allows for some up-close-and-personal grizzly viewing. Read more
Summer may be peak season in Vancouver, but a full calendar of free events means a lot less stress on your wallet once you arrive in this idyllic coastal city. Moreover, many of these festivals highlight Vancouver’s distinct international flavor and diverse population that makes it so unique.
Starting this weekend, the Rio Alcan Dragon Boat Festival on June 15-17 draws 100,000 spectators for multi-cultural food, music, and dance performances, as well as the signature boat race.
At the International Jazz Festival taking place June 22-July 1, many of the 150 concerts are free, including performances downtown at the Vancouver Art Gallery and on Granville Island at the Public Market.
Romance is revving up all over the place during the month of February, from sun-kissed beaches to sophisticated big cities. Here are 25 deals and packages – from Fort Lauderdale to Fiji, Maine to Madrid, and St. Kitts to Sedona – that you can still book to make this Valentine’s Day the most memorable ever:
IN THE U.S. & CANADA
The Grand Del Mar: Unplug and relax with the “Disconnect Package” at the luxurious The Grand Del Mar near San Diego (shown above at left) and you’ll get one night’s accommodations (with the room TV unplugged and upgrade upon booking if available), berry-infused champagne cocktail upon arrival, choice of a 60-minute couples massage, or a 2-hour horseback ride for two, breakfast in bed for two, and late checkout, from $795/night. Read more
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to spend more quality time with the person you love, then I suggest you enjoy that togetherness someplace amazing! And what’s better or more romantic than a stunning, sun-kissed island? There’s something innately sexy and bond-inspiring about the sea – floating together in gentle turquoise surf, walking hand-in-hand at sunset, enjoying the day’s fresh catch paired with a rum cocktail or a fine wine. So as the new year begins, here are my top 10 picks for the most amazing islands to escape to together in 2012. Read more
Black Friday bargains may lure intrepid shoppers, but it’s Cyber Monday that travel-savvy couples should be on the lookout for. A range of hotels around the country– as well as in the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America – are offering 20 to 65 percent discounts on rooms for travel this winter and coming spring. The hitch: You have just 24 hours (from midnight to 11:59pm this coming Monday, November 28, 2011) to book them. Here are 10 great Cyber Monday deals that are primed for romantics: Read more
The sport of climbing has gained remarkable momentum as of late, with young stars like Chris Sharma and Alex Honnold sparking unprecedented participation, especially among wide-eyed newbies. If you’re among them (I sure am, after being mesmerized watching climbers scale Yosemite’s world-renowned El Capitan), then why not take your next trip to new heights by visiting one of these great climbing towns?
The following destinations are great picks for climbing enthusiasts of all levels, whether you’re an aspiring novice or expert rock hound.
Heads up, skiiers and boarders: Though it’s only October, you can start dusting off your gear – if it’s gathered any, that is, since the spring season continued so late into the summer – for some sweet early season deals on the slopes.
We’ve already given you the scoop on Mammoth Mountain’s offerings in this Daily Deal post (snowfall report: The resort already has 18 inches!) but there are plenty of other places where snow is falling (thanks, La Niña!) and prices are, too.
Everyone loves to travel during the summer – including families with cranky babies, manic preschoolers, and brooding teens. And when it’s just the two of you on a relaxing and romantic getaway, the last thing you want is to choose two chaises on the beach or near the pool and have the moment ruined when a family straight out of National Lampoon’s Vacation plops down right next to you.
So, here are some tips for how to out-maneuver those omnipresent family groups – and with multi-generational travel all the rage, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins are all too often along for the ride, too – and truly enjoy some adult time (such as the daybeds at the adult-only pool area at the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai on Hawaii’s Big Island, shown at left).
Spring is a great time for a romantic getaway – either to Europe, the Caribbean, Mexico, Canada, or the West Coast – so here are four tips to help you maximize your enjoyment of the destination, and each other, while away à deux:
Avoid kids and conferences: Nothing wrecks a romantic mood more than screaming kids – but loud, badge-wearing conference-goers are a close second. The best way to avoid both is to book a smaller resort, preferably one where children under 16 are either not allowed or discouraged.
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