Category Archives: Travel

Travel stories from around the world. Vacation hot spots and tourism.

Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too!

 

Vacation Locations: Knowledge is Fun Too!

by Amy Lignor

 

Most children (and adults, too) will either roll their eyes or sigh when, while speaking about vacation locations, the word “learning” just happens to be mentioned. Yes, it is a fact that school trips take all of us during our younger years to everything from museums to libraries to historic locations in order to teach us things we should know. But when thinking about your vacation, you should know that by considering journeying to a particular place that just happens to register high on the historical or educational meter, you could have even more fun.

Smithsonian, historical battles, Mount Rushmore, Gettysburg, Statue of Liberty, Memorials, Monuments, America

One of the greatest trips this writer ever had as a child was to Washington, D.C. From the Smithsonian to the monuments…the place was buzzing with activity, cool things to look at, and was so much fun you didn’t even notice all that learning that was being soaked up by your brain as you were having a good time.

 

So make sure that if you’re looking up beach getaways, you also take the time to look up some truly awesome areas of the U.S. that you and the family can head to, have fun at, and even learn a few things as a bonus to the cool trip.

 

For those interested in historical battles, taking the family to Fort McHenry (located in Baltimore Harbor) is a whole lot of fun and education rolled into one. This star-shaped Fort has seen it all since its creation in 1794-1805. Famous for the crucial battles it held up against, it also played as the backdrop for an American named Francis Scott Key as he composed what would become the national anthem of the United States: “The Star Spangled Banner.”

 

In South Dakota, Mount Rushmore is there in all its glory, with a ton of things to do for those who love nature, hiking, sightseeing and more. Those glorious faces of Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln are certainly a sight to see. Meticulously chiseled, these were four men who not only created the U.S. but changed it under their reigns in government and should not be missed by anyone.

 

Coming to my favorite, D.C., that Smithsonian Institution is one of the biggest and most amazing creations in the world. Everything from Lincoln’s car where he stood and delivered his famous “Four-Score” speech, to the history of flight, to the technology and amazing inventions that only this country can claim, there is something for everyone to gape at as they learn. But, of course, D.C. has far more for both adults and children in the way of learning and fun.

 

The massive marble temple that houses the stunning likeness of America’s 16th President, the Lincoln Memorial, is dedicated to one of America’s most beloved presidents and humans. Opened in 1922, this is one that cannot be missed by anyone’s gaze.

 

From the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to the JeffersonMemorial to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial – there is a list of ‘must-sees’ that only America’s capital can boast. And when it comes to tall structures that mean something to every citizen of this country, The Washington Monument, erected for the first President of the United States, is something to be seen up close and not only on the Internet. Although construction began on this stunning obelisk in 1848, the structure was not actually completed until 1884, due in large part to the years in which the country was fighting the Civil War (1861 – 1865). Today, the 554-foot tall structure (the world’s tallest structure made of stone) stands within Washington D.C.’s National Mall.

 

Last, but certainly not least (for this article) is that lady that stands for everything this country (once) stood for and should stand for to this day. Given as a gift by the French in 1886, the Statue of Liberty stands 151 feet tall and is considered by most to be the epitome of freedom. Located off the southern tip of Manhattan, with Ellis Island yet another sight to see close by, Lady Liberty to this day greets all ships and vessels entering New York City. Some passengers still have dreams in their minds and hope for better lives in their hearts. Let us hope that remains for a good long time to come.

 

There are thousands of memorials, structures, forts, and cities that bring about awe – such as Gettysburg, Pennsylvania – that all families should venture to on their summer vacations. Not only will you have fun and make lasting memories, but that extra knowledge never hurts either. Enjoy!

 

Source:  Baret News

 

This Summer the RV Gets an A+

 

This Summer the RV Gets an A+

by Amy Lignor

 

When it comes to summer vacation (and vacation plans for the fall, by the way) it is a fact that almost *80% of Americans are planning to get in their RVs and hit the highways for a road trip in 2017. (*Statistics provided from AAA). No, it’s not just those who love to camp, or hunt, or fish, or be a part of the Great Outdoors – choosing the RV comes from low gas prices, great weather, and being provided with some of the coolest places on the map to visit.

summer vacation, road trip, adventure, explore, family fun, American freedom, AAA, RVing, fall foliage, destinations

Hitting the road is part of American freedom, in a way. By living in your own ‘motel,’ you experience an easier ride, so to speak, than other travelers: Taking any road you want, traveling anywhere you wish to go, not having to worry about plane rides and delays, not having to pay big money at restaurants, because you’re able to eat inside your own RV ‘motel,’ and the list goes on. You also experience more fun by putting together a plan that allows you to hit as many tourist destinations as you want.

 

Recently, AAA, and other travel sites, have put together their own lists when it comes to the perfect places for RVers to go and take a gander at. These are places most researched on the Internet, as well as places that some may not even know about but that are perfect for the RV traveler.

 

We begin with…an island. The KOA Campground on South Padre Island is awesome. A long barrier island situated in the Gulf of Mexico, there are miles of beaches and other campgrounds that are incredible for the RV. Just think, you’re between Padre Island National Seashore and Port Isabel, which means you have all the time in the world to enjoy your ‘motel on wheels’ as you soak in the sun.

 

Ahhh…Florida. Key West, as most people know, is the ultimate vacation spot. Here is the end of the line when it comes to the U.S. of A., offering the most stunning sunsets and most delicious drinks in all the land. Being the very last town to hit in the long chain of islands that stretch into the Gulf, the campgrounds are just waiting for your RV to arrive so that you and the family can fish, snorkel, or just sit back and enjoy those drinks as you watch the fiery sun set.

 

A completely different view, but the same sort of awesomeness when it comes to vacationing in the RV, can be found at Horse Thief Lake in South Dakota. Yes, Mount Rushmore is the big money-maker up there for tourists, but Horse Thief Lake is ‘the’ spot for the perfect camping experience. The trails all around are inspiring, and investigating the Black Hills National Forest before returning to the RV every evening is something that will live in the memory banks for all time.

 

In southern Oregon, RVers have talked about the spectacular views around Crater Lake, which is a lake filled only with rainwater and snow that goes down 1,900 feet. Many RV parks are there to choose from, and heading out there to enjoy this deepest lake in the U.S. is the perfect choice if you want to bike, boat, swim and more.

 

We all know that RVers love Yellowstone, as well, and love to park their ‘motel’ in order to sit in this magnificent area and witness everything from Old Faithful spewing to the most amazing array of wildlife imaginable. But there are also other spots you may not know about.

 

Looking for a true historical journey in the RV? Well, then look no further than Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Stretching over 300+ acres, you are talking about exploring the past in your RV. Driving and walking, you will become a part of the 18th century as you explore hundreds of buildings and shops that have been reconstructed on their original foundations. This is one trip so cool that both adults and kids will find history to be a whole lot of fun!

 

If wanting to visit the West, Arches National Park in Utah is one that RVers will enjoy. Instead of historical buildings, you will discover 2,000 natural sandstone arches set among other incredible rock formations. Millions of years of geologic history can be found here, and while sitting outside the RV having dinner, watching the textures and colors of the desert all come together makes for the most incredible sights to witness.

 

Last, but certainly not least, if you’re an RVer looking to plan something for the cooler days of autumn, heading over the highways and roads of the small towns and historic locales located in the Northeast United States is absolutely perfect. Here is ‘the’ area that must be visited at least once in order to be a part of the incredible fall foliage season. Beginning in September in the northern regions and ending in early November in the southern locations of the Northeast, a fall foliage RV tour is a ‘bucket list’ must.

 

So forget those long lines at ticket counters and the uncomfortable beds in those hotel rooms. RVing is a national pastime that has once again become uber-popular with travelers and should be enjoyed!

 

Source:  Baret News

 

The B&B’s Offer A+ Service for Your Vacation

 

The B&B’s Offer A+ Service for Your Vacation

by Amy Lignor

 

When it comes to vacations people always think and worry about the locale. Where will they go? Does it have something for the kids? Are they looking at a camping trip, a historical location where they can treasure hunt through the museums, or simply that relaxing by the beach vacation that has everything to do with getting the right tan while sipping those amazing cocktails with the bright, colorful umbrellas? However…there is definitely another thing to think about. The location is a big deal, true, but what about the choice of lodging?

Bed & Breakfasts, Travel, Summer, Vacation, lodging, comfort, personal attention, delectable meals

There are hotels and motels all over the place in this country (and others). Everywhere across the highways of America you will find those familiar signs that offer a place to stay. But when it comes to pure luxury, there are also those lodgings out there called Bed & Breakfasts that give far more in the way of comfort and amenities than any old hotel/motel you can think of – not to mention, offer up lasting memories where the lodging is actually more beautiful and fun than the actual location where it sits.

 

For those who are unaware, or feel that staying at a Bed & Breakfast would take more money out of the wallet than your standard hotel/motel, there are things you need to know. There are actually B&B’s that can be found almost anywhere you go, in any location you choose, that provide much more bang for your buck. You receive personal attention and delectable meals. When it comes to a motel/hotel, you receive a room that’s normally on the small side. And as far as “extras,” you’d be lucky to receive free parking. And that good old continental breakfast they serve is always sub-standard. You also end up having to pay for things like snacks, and if you open up that wine bar, the word ‘complimentary’ no longer applies.

 

There are many differences between the B&B and the standard hotel room. At a B&B the room is more than comfortable and the décor is amazing. Some even pride themselves on having ‘themes’ for each of their rooms in order to appeal to all guest’s individual tastes. Whether or not you wish to stay in a place that “feels like home” or has the fun and exuberance that home may be missing, there is a B&B out there just as unique as you are.

 

A majority of the B&Bs also offer everything from free parking to free snacks, and one of the greatest ‘gifts’ is a real complimentary breakfast every morning that literally is more delicious than a home-cooked meal. None of that ‘cereal in a box’ stuff or doughnuts and muffins that are a week old. Some B&B’s also offer discounts on the local attractions.

 

If you’re looking for history, there are lists of B&B’s that boast exciting histories; there are some B&B’s that are restored buildings hundreds of years old. In the Deep South of the U.S. you will find some B&B’s that were once plantation houses that are stunningly beautiful. In France you can stay in historical authentic chateaus. And in the U.K., there are B&B’s that were actual castles that played a large part in Britain’s history. So make sure that no matter where you go you ask the innkeeper about the background of the inn. You may be extremely surprised by what you learn.

 

Another thing B&B’s offer that hotels and motels have no interest in providing is personal attention. At a B&B the staff goes above and beyond to make sure the guests are comfortable, feel welcome, and have all the amenities they require (and more). You are not simply a ‘person staying in a single room with a double bed’. At the B&B you have an actual name and they make sure you know up front that they are available to help you when you need it. If you want tips on what to do in the area, or have questions about the B&B itself, those innkeepers are always there to answer your questions.

 

Little extras will always be found at the B&B, as well. There are those that leave out freshly baked bread or cookies in the dining area for their guests, while others have a Happy Hour where wine and appetizers are served. Some even offer a library of books and/or DVDs for the guests who wish to curl up in their comfortable room for the evening.

 

There is even a competition run every year for the best “dish” served at a B&B that features some of the most intriguing and innovative recipes ever seen. Innkeepers from all over enter this contest with this year’s winner coming from the Chestnut Street Inn in Sheffield, Illinois, with their breakfast offering: Elvis Toast with Candied Bacon. Now, really, are you ever going to find anything that cool at the Motel 6, 8 (or whatever number you wish to place in here) that looms on the side of the highway? I think not, my friends.

 

So when you’re thinking about the location of your trip, make sure to think long and hard about the wonderful lodging that you can have by simply turning to those Bed & Breakfasts across the land just waiting to welcome you to their neck of the woods.

 

Source:  Baret News

 

The Ultimate Vacations for the Ultimate Animal Lover

 

The Ultimate Vacations for the Ultimate Animal Lover

by Amy Lignor

 

The numbers may still shock some, but I sincerely doubt it. It is a fact that 79.7 million people living in the U.S. own and absolutely love their pet. (The Humane Society). Oddly enough, however, there are also millions who want to view unique wildlife with their own eyes. Yes, the dog and cat are fine for the home, but being able to satisfy the urge to go out to these exotic locales and see how extraordinary animals live is something that’s most definitely appearing on ‘bucket lists’ across the country. From national reserves to safaris to guided excursions into the extreme outback, here are just a few that more and more animal lovers are choosing as their 2017 vacation.

Image Credit: Dee Ann

There are so many in this world who want to get a good, up-close view of the mighty elephant before they perhaps become an extinct species. In Maputaland, South Africa, however, at the Tembe Elephant Park, this is one species that will not go extinct anytime soon. First set up in order to protect the elephants migrating between Maputaland and Mozambique, the park now boasts over 250 of the largest elephants in the world. You can be a part of these elephant’s lives and be awestruck at the regal stature of these creatures.

 

Yet another elephant paradise can be found at the Elephant Nature Park in Thailand. Through the hard work of both visitors and volunteers these elephants were rescued from neglect and deprivation and brought to this elephant rescue and rehabilitation center that you will absolutely love to see!

 

The mighty gorilla is also an animal that other animal lovers want to set eyes upon. This they can easily do by Gorilla Trekking in Rwanda, Africa. Said to be one of the greatest experiences for animal lovers anywhere across the globe, it is here that small groups are guided across mountains and through forests in order to observe the gorillas in their natural habitat. Sadly, when it comes to extinction, being that the gorillas are numbering less than 700 in this entire world, taking this trip could soon become a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.

Gorilla Trekking
Image Credit: Hjalmar Gislason

If you’re more into life “under the sea,” Kaikoura, New Zealand is the place where you can swim with the dolphins and remember it forever. You will truly find yourself in an ocean filled with hundreds of these adorable, intelligent creatures right beside you – close enough to touch.

 

If wishing to enlarge that aquatic experience, you can also head on to Kadavu, Fiji and go swimming with the Manta’s. A bit more exciting (AKA: frightening) than the dolphins, the Manta Ray’s in Fiji’s famous Manta Reef are large in size. But once the heart beat slows down from the thrill of it all, you can sit next to the reef and lay eyes on the most beautiful sunrise in the world.

 

Looking for the perfect safari? Look no further than Tanzania. An exclusive and unique retreat called the Singita Serengeti House, built on the Sabi Sand Game Reserve is waiting for you and your family. Offering twelve lodges and camps in five separate wilderness regions that span three African countries, it is the perfect destination for an animal lover looking for the ultimate animal adventure.

 

If you wish to see the tallest of all animals in their natural habitat, head to Giraffe Manor in Kenya. There is no hotel as unique as this one. Set on a dozen acres of private land, the giraffes roam freely, even poking their necks through the open windows of the hotel to personally welcome you and the family to Kenya.

 

Now, we do have a special one for those millions of dog loves out there. In Invernesshire, Scotland, a true puppy celebration can be found at the Golden Retriever Festival. But if in the mood for a more adventurous experience, in Finnmark, Norway, you can have your very own dog sledding experience. As the pups do the work, you will also be able to explore the incredible landscapes that play home to everything from seals to polar foxes and polar bears.

 

If you wish to stay in the U.S. for your vacation, the National Elk Refuge in Kelly, Wyoming offers a thrilling adventure for the animal lover in you. A refuge that has been in business for over a century, the refuge consists of almost 25,000 acres playing home to 47 different mammals and 150+ species of birds. Here the animal lover in you can witness everything from elk to bison to mule deer to so much more.

 

And after that awesome trip has been had, you can then head home to share your pictures with your absolute favorite “best friend.”

 

Source:  Baret News

 

 

Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All

 

 

Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All

by Amy Lignor

 

It is a fact that the largest travel locations are also beyond popular. Among the downsides of this fact is that when you’re looking for peace, quiet, and basically a chance to do nothing more than spend time with yourself and, perhaps, one other best friend, the most popular places don’t offer that. In other words, it is the most remote (sometimes most beautiful) spots out there that you want to visit. If so, here are just a few that are there for the taking:

Deception Island, Easter Island, Heavenly Lake, Lake Baikal, Perth, Kauai, peace & quiet, vacation, remote

Located north of the Antarctic Peninsula lies an island that may surprise you. It should, considering the name: Deception Island. With a protected interior port, the island is actually the partially submerged caldera of an active volcano. Oddly enough, even though that’s the case, it has provided nothing but peace – a safe harbor for sailors and otherwise. In addition, because of the geothermally-heated water, it is literally only one of the very few places in Antarctica where it’s warm enough to go swimming.

 

Another island that is great fun, as well as being remote, does have many travelers showing up to view a massive attraction. However, Easter Island in Chile, despite the giant moai monoliths, is incredibly remote and will provide you with solo quiet time. Protected by the organization UNESCO, you can camp as well as stargaze, hike and bike. You can also enjoy the caves on Easter Island that are truly too stunning to miss.

 

Speaking of stunning, in China you can visit a remote area called “Heavenly Lake.” Although where it sits, Urumqi, is a commercial hub, the actual locale is highly remote, located over 1,500 miles away from the nearest coastline. Oddly enough, this location also looks more like it should be in Switzerland atop the Alps and not in Asia. Snow-capped mountains are all around you and everything from horseback riding to hiking and relaxing beside the turquoise-colored lake is there to choose from. Talk about “heavenly.”

Lake Baikal

For those into spending their quiet time birdwatching or exploring a plethora of plant species, Lake Baikal, Russia, is a remote location to choose. Immense, this area is surrounded by mountains, wild rivers and forests; the lake, itself, is the world’s oldest (approximately 25m years) and deepest freshwater lake in existence – containing more water than all the Great Lakes combined. Because of this, visitors can view more than 2,000 species of plants and animals – 75% of which cannot be found anywhere else in the entire world.

 

If looking for a remote locale and lean towards having an affinity for Crocodile Dundee’s accent, head to Perth, Australia. You may shake your head at this suggestion, seeing as that with over two million citizens it seems to be as remote as New York City, itself. It is actually a fact, though, that Perth offers up some of the most quiet, peaceful locations available on the map. The most isolated city in Australia, it is located almost 4,000 km from the capital of Sydney by road, and is filled with pristine parks, the nearby bush, ocean beaches, and more.

 

Last, but not least, if wishing to stay (or travel to) America for your peace and quiet, Kauai is one of the most remote and coolest locations available to visit. It may even seem “remotely familiar” to you, considering this is the place that served as a backdrop in famous films, like “Jurassic Park.” New routes are being created all the time throughout the island. There is even now a trail that leads visitors through North America’s largest mahogany forest. You can include this with all the other unforgettable views, including the towering Na Pali Coast sea cliffs, cascading waterfalls, Waimea Canyon, and truly off-beaten treks that lead through the lush landscapes of this true Hawaiian beauty.

 

Enjoy the “remote” lifestyle while gaining the epitome of rest and relaxation.

 

Source:  Baret News

 

Adventure Trips That “Erupt” with Excitement

 

Adventure Trips That “Erupt” with Excitement

by Amy Lignor

 

This is one of those articles for that ‘Indiana Jones’ breed out there who wants nothing but excitement, adventure and a bit of living-on-the-edge when it comes to where they wish to spend their summer vacation. Yes, there are those groups of travelers out there that find nothing cooler than heading to the hottest places in the world that could literally erupt at any moment. Or visiting those exotic locations that include jungles, mountains, glaciers and more, where perhaps undiscovered species roam. Well…today we are putting together that list of places to go that literally dwell in the shadow of a volcano. Although they haven’t actually ‘spewed’ anything lately, the potential of danger is there, which makes for a truly captivating trip.

Volcanos
Mount Arenal

We begin with one of the biggest attractions in South America. Mount Arenal in Costa Rica was actually known to regularly spew forth everything from ash to lava. But since 2010, this has calmed down a bit and the area offers everything from lush rainforests to rapid waters and real-life bridges that dangle over hot springs far below. Indiana Jones would love this kind of stuff, as he got in that raft with his oars or rappelled from trees or even sat with some howler monkeys, while always in the shadow of a volcano that is always on the verge of coming alive.

 

When it comes to trips that involve seeing the most amazing wildlife there is, the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador are the place to visit. What people may not know, however, is the fact that nine active volcanoes are also there (yes, I said active) and are always creating brand new landscape that is home to a brand new variety of flora and fauna. You want to learn about evolution at the very center of it all? Then head here and have a ball.

 

Heading from blistering hot to horrendously cold, Eyjafallajökull, Iceland (say that five times fast) is resting in a peaceful slumber after causing absolute chaos back in April of 2010. This is a place made for the Indiana Jones junkie out there who can choose to explore the glacier by jeep or helicopter. But for those really intense vacationers who want to see up close the extreme differences between fire and ice landscapes, you can hike to the summit on foot…if you dare.

 

The highest and most scenic mountain in Japan is Mount Fuji. Oddly enough, even though this particular volcano has not blown its top since 1708, it is still in the active category. Steam can be seen escaping those craters and vents, and gosh knows it’s been waiting a long time to rear its ugly head once again. But that does not stop tourists from ascending to the summit.

 

If wanting to hear a little Australian accent during your vacation, Tongariro National Park located in New Zealand lies within the Taupo Volcanic Zone. AKA: the southern tip of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Talk about stunning! Lakes that literally look emerald are towered over by several active volcanoes, including Ruapehu which starred in the Lord of the Rings trilogy) and last announced its presence in 2007. The region is constantly monitored, but everything from hiking trails to ski resorts are constantly packed by those danger-loving tourists.

 

Saving the best for last, Mount Vesuvius in Italy allows for that true adventurer and lover of history and all things ancient to have the most stunning and memorable trip humanly possible. What became and still remains to this day the most infamous eruption ever seen by mankind, it was Mount Vesuvius that, in 79AD, destroyed and decimated the people of Pompeii and Herculaneum in an explosion that was a hundred thousand times the thermal energy of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Burying these towns for centuries, when they were rediscovered and excavated ancient history of elite proportions was opened for the world to see. Will Mount V. be the one to once again make horrible history by producing yet another catastrophic event? Who knows? But the smoke and steam continues to rise, offering a menacing view. Yet this is one location people will not stay away from.

 

So have fun. Get the adrenaline pumping, take breathtaking pictures, co-exist with flora and fauna that the eye may never see again and…bring your best running shoes, just in case.

 

Source:  Baret News

Swimming Holes Ain’t What They Used to Be. They’re Better!

 
Swimming Holes Ain’t What They Used to Be. They’re Better!

by Amy Lignor

 

Oh, come now, you remember back when… The excitement that school was finally over for the year and you were getting that two month reprieve to go and have some fun, leaving those “books and teachers’ dirty looks” behind. Perhaps down the road in your small town there was a swimming hole where you would all gather. The tire swing hung from that old oak limb that looked as if it would break, even though it had held up under all kinds of weather for hundreds of years. Maybe you lived in a city and you longed for a swimming hole, but the only thing available was the community pool. It was okay but, let’s face it, it was confining and every time you wanted to go with you and your friends there were always a million others who had the same idea to do it before you got there.

 

You may not be aware of the numerous swimming holes just waiting to be explored, dotting the landscape of states that would make perfect vacation spots for you and the family this summer. There are always reports in regards to the ‘best of the best’ swimming holes out there, but let’s take a look at some true ‘paradises on earth’ that will give you the swimming, scuba diving, or snorkeling opportunity you just can’t find anywhere else.

Paradise, swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, Havasu Falls, Homestead Crater, Devil’s Den, Dorset Quarry,
Havasu Falls Photo Credit: Andy Withers

It seems intelligent that one of the hottest states on the map provides one of the most amazing swimming holes in the world. In Arizona, Havasu Falls in located on the Havasupai Indian Reservation. We are talking here about one of the most stunning waterfalls imaginable. Located in the Grand Canyon, it is a perfect spot for those who like to swim as well as trek. You see, in order to get to this breathtaking location, you must first hike ten miles. If you are a hiker or an adventurer, you can take this trek with a friend. If not, you can book a guided tour that will have an expert take you to the Falls. But book soon. This is one place, being that it is on the reservation, that you need a permit to see. And as more and more hear about this spot, less and less trips are available to book.

 

In the state of Utah people can enjoy one of the most amazing natural wonders of the world. Not only do visitors see it as a swimming hole, but it is also the only warm scuba diving destination in the continental U.S. People come from everywhere across the country to swim or snorkel in the 96-degree water. Hidden under a rock dome, with an opening at the top that allows for both sunlight and air, lies the Homestead Crater. At one time people would have to rappel down into the dome to enjoy the beauty inside. Now, of course, there is easy access through a side tunnel made for visitors who are craving to jump in to that mineral spring water just waiting to relax the bones.

 

Speaking of both swimming and scuba diving, Devil’s Den in the Sunshine State is an amazing place that will literally bring you back in time. Although the name seems a bit scary, all Floridians will tell you that the reason for this is actually very benign. The Den earned its name from the steam that rises up from the surface of the water, stemming from the underground spring that holds the water to 72-degrees at all times – even when the winter winds may be blowing. This spring calls out to snorkelers, offering gear to rent. And when it comes to history, artifacts as well as extinct animal fossils dating all the way back to the Pleistocene Age have been found inside Devil’s Den. But don’t worry, there’s no possibility that a dinosaur will raise its head out of that water…we assume.

 

The East Coast is home to one of the most amazing and, again, historical swimming spots you can possibly imagine. Called Dorset Quarry in the state of Vermont, just looking at pictures of this place on a computer will have your eyes grow wide. A marble quarry 6-feet deep, the smooth rock areas allow you a place to sit and watch the sun’s rays bring out the multitude of colors in the marble, or even give you the perfect place to jump from…into the water below, of course. This location is huge. Thirty yards across and approximately 125 yards long, the quarry allows swimmers the ultimate spot to have a good time while cooling off in the summer. A popular swimming hole since the 1920s, you do not want to miss this!

 

There are many to choose from spanning the Continental U.S. and going all the way to China. It all depends on just how far you’re willing to travel to experience that ultimate swimming hole.

 

Source:  Baret News

“Go Big! Go Six Flags!”

 

“Go Big! Go Six Flags!”

by Amy Lignor

 

That is the beloved motto of the company that provides the ultimate in entertainment and fun. Summer is here. School is already dismissed in many states which means Six Flags Parks are gearing up to provide you and your family with the best summer trips, daily visits, and all-out massive family vacation destinations.

 multi-dimensional virtual roller coaster
Photo Credit: Rebecca Chatfield

The Six Flags Entertainment Corporation has been thrilling people for over 56 years. They are the world’s largest regional theme park company with parks open all across North America. Taking in $1.3 billion in revenue, Six Flags has provided and continues to provide new and thrilling world-class roller coasters, water parks, the most unique attractions you could hope for, and even movie-themed rides.

 

And this is not all about the family. Six Flags offers discounts for entire companies to bring their staff to the park in order to reward hard work or simply to motivate a team. Youth groups, associations, religious organizations – you name it, Six Flags works hard to make sure that no matter who you’re tagging along with, that you have the absolute time of your lives. They also will provide you with special pricing, catering packages, parking for buses and even free admission for bus drivers.

 

Six Flags Entertainment Corporation focused on building a brand new assortment of innovative rides for the 2017 season, including diving into Warner Brothers and DC Comics branded attractions. In addition, the company is opening a brand new water park in Mexico called, Hurricane Harbor Oaxtepec Mexico, adding yet another amazing location to its already extensive family.

 

At Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Great Adventure, and Six Flags Over Georgia, the award-winning JUSTICE LEAGUE: Battle for Metropolis is a ride taking the world by storm. A multi-sensory “dark ride” featuring some of the most sophisticated technology available, guests are immersed in a video gaming world. Becoming members of the actual JUSTICE LEAGUE Reserve Team, people battle alongside their favorites: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and The Flash. Not only are they with their beloved superheroes, but they battle the worst of the worst (Lex Luthor, The Joker, et. Al.)

 

When it comes to Six Flags Over Texas, Six Flags Great America, and Six Flags New England:

THE JOKER rollercoaster is the biggest and most amazing in the world. THE JOKER lifts riders straight up a 12-story, 90-degree hill where they then flip head-over-heels at least six times. Unexpected drops, tumbling from one level to the next, sitting in wing seats that show the rider absolutely no track either above or below them makes for a thrilling and unforgettable experience.

 

Seeing as that it will be the biggest summer movie in 2017, it is no surprise that this mighty heroine gets her just reward at Six Flags America. WONDER WOMAN Lasso of Truth is what you would call the ultimate swing ride, spinning thrill seekers in a 98-foot circle at speeds of 40 miles per hour atop a 24-story tower.

 

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary in the huge Six Flags family this year, Six Flags Fiesta Texas opens the very first rocket blast water-coaster in North America. Called Thunder Rapids, this state of the art ride is a coaster/water slide, featuring a custom-designed inline raft and new water jet propulsion technology for lightning-fast uphill speeds and drops. The entire structure is 942-feet long!

If heading to Six Flags St. Louis, a high-flying attraction called Spinsanity is new for 2017. A completely new technological and creative masterpiece, this massive disc spins first one direction and then another, while also swinging from side-to-side. Forty guests perch on motorcycle-style seats facing outward as the disc flies along a 51-foot high halfpipe track while whirling around at 14 revolutions per minute.

 

At Six Flags Mexico, North America’s very first fully-integrated Virtual Reality roller coaster will debut called The New Revolution. Riders wear Samsung Gear VR headsets in order to experience a multi-dimensional virtual roller coaster. Talk about unique and innovative, hi-def imagery storytelling with the unique track configuration of the Medusa Steel Coaster combine to create a one-of-a-kind, never-before-seen thrill ride that seamlessly allows the rider to cross from real world into virtual world and back again.

Six Flags Parks, family vacation, destination, summer, world-class roller coasters, unique attractions, WONDER WOMAN, THE JOKER

From events to celebrations to food fests, there is even more when it comes to the Six Flags creativity for 2017, so head to www.sixflags.com to check out all these amazing and stunning things to do this summer. It is most definitely time to book those tickets and “Go Big!”

 

Source:  Baret News

Once Upon a Time Vacations

 

Once Upon a Time Vacations

by Amy Lignor

 

Whether you are a lover of history or you simply have the “Beauty & the Beast” obsession – which, according to movie revenue data, millions all over the world are suffering from – just think how amazing it would be to stay in an actual castle. We already know what the beauty would be from the female perspective, but when it comes to the gentlemen out there, just think about how much better that “moment” on bended knee would be if you popped the question in a very real castle.

 

There are once in a lifetime vacations. However, here we delve into those “Once Upon A Time” trips that include a stay in some of the most elegant homes ever built; homes of royals and historical heroes and heroines that will have you impressing that girl you love, or giving that history-loving mind of yours an unforgettable gift.

 

When you talk about castles, Europe is the hands-down winner of the oldest and most highly esteemed palaces ever built. Not a surprise, considering you are talking about countries ruled by kings and queens who erected walled cities and grand battlements to be able to withstand centuries of war.

Balfour Castle
BALFOUR CASTLE  Photo Credit: Stephen McKay

Talk about a rich history. We begin at Balfour Castle in Scotland, which is the most northerly castle in the world where you and yours can stay. 5-Star luxury is an understatement. At Balfour, you will be amongst some of the most impressive wilderness as you dwell in the castle on the small island of Shapinsay, which is quite famous for its sheltered bays that once provided safety to Viking ships.

 

If wishing to head to Italy for the amazing culture and even more amazing food, you can stay in Castel Relais Porrona, which is a 12th century castle located in the midst of olive trees and vineyards in Tuscany. From saunas to pools to horseback riding, this is one palace that is beyond compare.

 

Built almost 1000 years ago, situated just 60 miles from London, Amberley Castle can be found. This is one choice that will live in your memory for all time because of the fact that the castle has maintained its original medieval architecture. Each of the 19 rooms available feature whirlpool baths and other modern-day amenities, of course; yet the gardens, walls and magnificent twin-tower gatehouse still stand and add to the beauty of a world that has not existed for quite some time.

 

If France is the country of choice, the luxurious Chateau de Bourron can be found just an hour’s ride from the heart of Paris. Built in the traditional brick and stone style, this fortress was constructed in the early 17th century and even has the spring-fed moats to add to the perfect picture of what a castle should be.

 

If looking for a Spanish experience, Pousada de Óbidos is the place to visit in Portugal.

The actual city of Óbidos is walled; the castle, itself, was begun in 718 AD and not completed until the mid-1300’s. This is where the troops that defeated Napoleon for the first time were dispatched from – which feeds into that historical mind of yours. And when it comes to irresistible beauty, Pousada de Óbidos is close by the white-sand beaches and the pristine waters of the Silver Coast. From hot air balloon rides to sailing, this is one castle adventure that should not be missed.

 

The architecture in India is breathtaking, and the Neemrana Fort Palace near Delhi is one that steals the show. It was back in 1464 that the palace was constructed on a hillside by order of the king, so that he could see his lands at any time he wished to view them. Seven palace wings built over 14 layers make up the tiers of the hill, making this one of the most unique castles in the entire world.

 

And there is no other way to complete a list of the best castles other than with Ireland and the beautiful Ashford Castle. This is literally the oldest Irish castle in existence. Medieval, Ashford was constructed in 1228, and the Guinness family (who purchased Ashford in the 1800’s) added to the property, yet did not disturb the natural beauty that made up the castle in the first place. A true recipe of the ‘old’ (ramparts, chandeliers, medieval armor) mixed with the ‘new’ (spas, horseback riding, golf courses, and more), this Irish castle is most definitely one that will take your breath away.

 

So…ready for a historical walk through a royal world? Ready for the perfect spot to propose? Or are you simply ready for your own chance to have a true castle-in-the-air experience? Then check out these stunners as you move forward to book a magical vacation.

Source:  Baret News

It’s Time to Travel to These Wonders of the World that May Soon Disappear

 

It’s Time to Travel to These Wonders of the World that May Soon Disappear

by Amy Lignor

 

When it comes to travel, there are many locations you and your family should take the chance to see. However, there are also a few that should be seen now, before they become listed among the “missing” Wonders of the World. It is a fact, no matter how you look at life, that the Earth is in danger when it comes to global warming, air pollution, rising sea levels, deforestation and a list of other environmental and ecological problems. Whether by human hands or simply the changes Mother Nature has decided upon, the landscape is being altered, causing one-of-a-kind areas to slowly disappear.

jungles, rainforests, Alaska, Tuvalu, Antarctica, Venice, Italy, Disneyworld, Glacier National Park

So as you sit down and begin researching that next big family trip, take a look at these areas that provide excellent guides, adventure, fun, and create memories that will last – even if the areas themselves do not.

 

A good place to start is Alaska. Falling under the already sparse category of “unique,” this state experienced output from several Canadian copper and gold mines, posing a hazard to Alaska’s major salmon rivers. Now is the perfect time to book a true, authentic Alaskan fishing lodge where you and other passionate anglers can cast for Pacific salmon, char, and more. In addition, with animal and plant species facing extinction as they lose their natural habitats, heading to Alaska and viewing the wildlife makes for a great time.

 

Along the same lines, with jungles and rainforests shrinking because of oil drilling, logging, mining, etc., taking a trip to the country of Rwanda would be a jaw-dropping experience you’ll never forget. Here, you can encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas, as well as golden monkeys and chimpanzees. Studies have been released showing that 60 percent of primate species are threatened with extinction, which means now is the time to soak in a Rwanda experience with some of the best guides in the business.

 

A very remote location that’s not appearing on vacation “bucket lists,” considering that only about 1,000 tourists visit here per year* (*UN data), Tuvalu in the South Pacific is perhaps the one true paradise still on Earth that should be seen. With stunning beaches, brilliant blue waters and colorful lagoons, this little nation is sinking into those rising waters at a rate of 0.2 inches per year. Seeing as that Tuvalu lies just 6.6 feet above sea level, taking pictures of those lagoons, enjoying the culture and cuisine, and walking those beaches are a must.

 

Along the same path as Tuvalu, the Solomon Islands are also being “drowned” by rising sea levels, with five of the islands already gone from view. Stunning villages have had to be relocated because of erosion on other islands, so if looking to capture that cultural experience while relishing in secluded bays and snorkeling in coral reefs, the Solomon Islands are your top choice.

Solomon Islands

Although most people want only those relaxing, warm beaches in the summertime, there are those (believe it or not) who love to partake in more adventurous pursuits. If you rate in this category, than it’s time to head to Antarctica. With the major ice shelves along the Antarctic Peninsula breaking, retreating or losing volume over the past decades, exploring the peninsula is definitely something you’ll never forget. From snowshoeing to mountaineering to kayaking and camping, an Antarctic excursion offers it all.

 

Greenland, as well, is suffering from its melting ice sheet. This is a country that actually logged its highest average summer temperature on record just last year. If looking for a phenomenal adventure that includes seeing those Arctic landscapes, Greenland is the perfect location. But if looking for a trip closer to home, head to Glacier National Park in Montana. If you are unaware, this is one of the most popular spots in all of the U.S. Unfortunately, those increasing numbers of visitors come from the fact that people are attempting to get a last look at the once giant glaciers that originally shaped the park. At one time this was home to approximately 150 glaciers but is now down to 25. Some scientists call for their complete disappearance by 2030, but other estimates call for the demise to be sooner than that.

 

Although there are a slew of others to be seen, one that must be mentioned is not only one of the most beautiful places on Earth but is also one of the most romantic cities and has been utilized in films galore, and been written about in tons of books. It is Venice, Italy: The city where you can take that authentic gondola ride down the canal and view the hundreds of bridges, stunning waterways and amazing architecture. Yes, Venice has been sinking for centuries, but scientific evidence has suggested that the process is speeding up, causing the one-of-a-kind city to sink almost five times faster.

 

Knowing this information, when booking your next vacation try to remember odds are positive places like Disneyworld will be around for a long time to come, but there are others out there that are just too fantastic to risk missing.

 

Source:  Baret News