9,349 Active Members • 52,393 Members Since 1979
Early Bird Gets the Worm… AND the Seat on the Bus Since Tour Preview Day last September, we have had a bit of a problem. Many of our travel offerings are selling as fast as we put them on the shelf. Don’t get us wrong, it’s a wonderful problem to have. But it is creating disappointment among some travelers who aren’t as quick on the draw as others. With many of our tours accommodating only 25 people, the need to register early is accelerated. Many people can plan months or even a year in advance for their travels. Not everyone has that luxury. Some travelers have medical conditions which require them to wait until closer to departure date to reserve their space, to better insure they are able to travel. But waiting to register for a Sports Leisure trip might mean you aren’t going.
Here are a couple of ideas. Register early without risk. Because we allow full refunds, including the cost of cancellation protection, on domestic trips until 60 days prior to departure, you can register early and cancel with no liability at all if you cancel at least two months prior to departure (U.S. and Canadian tours only, international departures have different cancellation protection with different refund rules).
JAN/FEB | VOL. 38 | NO. 3
Watch the newsletter “lists.” On the back cover of every newsletter, we list the tours which are sold out and we also list the trips which have 10 or fewer seats available on them. If you are sitting on the sidelines, this list can help you know there is only limited space left and it’s time to act. Since we are in the “making dreams come true” business, we hate to tell someone their trip is full and a waitlist is the only option. Reserve as early as you can to insure you get the destinations you desire.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE Just One Man’s Opinion............................ 2 Guest Column (Scott Angeletti)................ 3 The Customers Always Write................. 4-5 The Human Side....................................... 5 Casino Daytrips, Ballpark Express............ 6 Day Trips & Theatre Outings.................. 7-9 New Vacations & Getaways............... 10-13 Barber Pole............................................. 14 Tour Calendar..................................... 14-23 Coupons and Tour Updates......Back Cover HHHHHHHHHHHH Editor...................................Mark Hoffmann Executive Editor ................... Kevin Murphy Staff Writers............. P. Hansen, R. Goodge, S. Angeletti & C. Whitehead, D. Anderson Contributing Photographer.......C. Galloway
Evgenia Medvedeva is crowned Women’s Champion at the 2016 World Skating Championships in Boston. The United States Championships for 2017 will be held in San Jose next January. At the San Jose competition, the U.S. Olympic Team will be chosen. Sports Leisure attended the World Championships last March and we will be in San Jose next January. Packages are available now and are expected to sell out quickly. They will include the opportunity not only to see the evening championships, but to attend many of the daytime sessions also. If you reserve now, you can take advantage of the opportunity to sit close to the ice (colder, closer to the skaters) or higher up (fewer stairs to climb, warmer). Check out the new tours section, page 13, for complete details. Because space is limited, early reservations are recommended (yes, a year in advance).
9812 Old Winery Place, Suite 1 • Sacramento, CA 95827 • (916) 361-2051 • Toll-Free (800) 951-5556 • www.sportsleisure.com • CA Travel #2011549-40
Just One Man’s Opinion by Mark Hoffmann Putting the “sports” in Sports Leisure It’s not often I get to appear on these pages touting the product which started the company, nearly four decades ago. Trips to Giants baseball games at Candlestick Park is what got this all started. Back then the cost was only $16 per person, which included a better ticket than we get today and transportation. The only downside was that refreshments were sold on the bus instead of included at no charge. I see this year’s baseball day trips, after a second year of ticket price increases from the Giants, will cost about ten times that price. Of course, LeiSure VacationS not many things areSportS priced like they were in 1979. And I’m not sure those old prices allowed for a profit. Now, a rarity has occurred. The travel company with “sports” in its name actually 106 has a rasher of sports-related trips to offer. There’s baseball, where we started. Our annual trip to Spring Training in March is nearly full, so jump on that one quickly if you want to go. On these pages, you will find the schedule of Giants and A’s daytrips for the coming season. The schedule is lighter than previous years for two reasons. The Giants schedule has the most popular opponents visiting on weekdays and playing only night games. That sort of leaves us out. We will offer only one A’s trip this year, because there just isn’t much interest in watching the A’s. Clayton isn’t a big fan of spectator sports… with one exception: Horse racing. He’s taken several groups previously to Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, but has declared that event the biggest &$%#^&%* %&^$%# of all time. Too many people in too small of a space. An uncovered space (which is important if the weather turns). Clayton’s derby days may be over.
But he has found a new event, a new horse race if you will. One with the top horses, racing for the Triple Crown. It’s The Preakness, and when it’s run for the 142nd time at Pimlico Race Track near Baltimore this May, Sports Leisure Travelers will be there. (The Preakness is the second leg of the Triple Crown, held after the Derby.) He has this amazing package, for a small group of less than 20, with reserved, covered seating in an exclusive area. Sounds like the only way to go to the races. Sort of like what we do at Golden Gate Fields. His itinerary also includes the chance to see an Orioles game at Camden Yards, and there’s a host of sightseeing. But mostly, you go for the first race and see it in style! Sports Leisure style! This is likely a one-time opportunity, so get in touch with Clayton today and get your name on the list. Perhaps our biggest announcement in the world of sports trips is the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, to be held in early January of next year, in San Jose. It is at this event that the U.S. Olympic Team will be chosen. Tickets will be at a premium, no doubt. But for those reading this message, you need not worry. Your favorite travel company has already secured tickets and hotel rooms for all the major events. Our tickets include the opportunity to see not only the evening events, but the daytime finals also. All the details can be found on page 13. We strongly encourage you to reserve early for this event. We have gotten in ahead of the public sale, and gotten some great ticket locations. If you reserve now, you can have a choice of sitting close to the ice (closer to all the action), or close to the top of the lower deck (fewer steps, warmer because it’s not close to the ice). A wonderful Sunday brunch and some sightseeing are planned for those not wishing to immerse themselves in the skating. But the package allows you both options. Finally, the big baseball trip of the year is our regular season excursion to Cincinnati, Cooperstown and New York. The itinerary
SUCCESS STORIES—A SpECIAl AdvERTISIng SECTIOn
9812 old Winery place, Sacramento, ca 95827 (916) 361-2051 www.sportsleisure.com • travelguysradio.com
After working in the Mission Oaks Recreation and Park District, Mark Hoffmann founded Sports Leisure Vacations out of his Fulton Avenue apartment in 1979. Though Mark admits to ‘just sort of happening into it”, he found his niche in the retail tour business, enabling folks to achieve their travel dreams. Given the fact that Mark and his staff strive to exceed customer wants, they’ve been most successful in serving a niche of mature travelers, often those who need a little extra consideration. Sports Leisure Vacations assembles and operates custom tours and vacations of one to fifteen days in length, and can accommodate a wide variety of travel interests. Check out the website to see an amazing array of travel options. The company culture has centered around refusing to put profits ahead of service, and a mantra: “We love our travelers and they love us back.” It’s working- not only is the company thriving in its 32nd year, but community support and acknowledgement have resulted, including a prestigious award for contributions to the Arts from the Sacramento Arts and Business Council. For twenty years Sports Leisure has been an underwriter of KVIE Public Television. VP Clayton Whitehead has served on the KVIE Board and Mark was president of the National Tour Association in 2000. Mark and Tom Romano host the Travel Guys on KFBK, Sundays 2 p.m. to 3 p.m.
j a n ua r y 2 0 11 s a c m a g . c o m
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
includes four Giants games (2 vs. the Reds, 2 vs. the Mets), plus two nights at the magnificent Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown, where you will visit the Baseball Hall of Fame. We have already reserved our tickets, and have excellent seating for all games. The trip goes in early May, in hopes of catching warm but not too hot/humid weather in the east. Only 23 can go, and this brand new tour is available on page 10. HHHHHHHH
Our Christmas in Solvang and Santa Barbara excursion and Christmas Mystery Tour (Seattle, Snohomish, Warm Beach lights, Portland) were both declared a success by those who came along. The biggest reason for that was the last minute scouting trips made to the tour destinations. Holiday tours are a bit different from others, because they often rely on events staffed by volunteers, and can’t always be booked until a few weeks before arrival. This means a constant shifting of the list of attractions. Of course, on a Mystery Tour, you don’t know how much has changed behind-the-scenes, you only care if the end result is a great trip. I want to thank both the travelers on those trips this year, and my scouting/Tour Director partner on both trips, Chris Galloway. Check out our Facebook page for a picture of Chris in his elf costume… Our Spring Preview Day will be held on Saturday, April 1. Reservations will be accepted beginning February 15th. Details on the event will be posted online about February 1st. Thank you for your continued support. The little tour company with the great ideas and the awesome travelers is continuing to make dreams of all kinds and sizes come true. And so it goes…
Mark Hoffmann, CTP Owner/Founder
Guest Column by Scott Angeletti A Dream Destination You Might Not Have on Your List: Croatia by Land & Sea May 13-28 Ladies and gentlemen, please follow along with me for a few minutes while I tell you about an incredibly unique trip! Here are a few quotes to spark your interest. From the National Tour Association’s (NTA) Trip Planner Magazine: “Although it’s unlikely George Bernard Shaw was ever officially employed by the Croatian National Tourist Office, the Irish playwright gave the country’s promotional efforts a boost when he wrote ‘Those who seek paradise on earth must come to Dubrovnik.’” Actor, producer, activist, and now hotelier Brad Pitt is set to build a luxury resort in Croatia and he says “Croatia is the most beautiful country I have ever visited.” Considering Mr. Pitt
is a world-traveler, that is quite a statement. I echo his words. I fell in love with Croatia on my first visit three years ago. I then escorted a Sports Leisure group in 2015 and it was a great success. In May of 2016 I returned to scout a new land itinerary and it is available now, with only 10 seats remaining. The tour will start in Venice, Italy and travel to Bled, Slovenia, a piece of heaven on earth set at the base of the Alps and on the shore of Lake Bled. To make this fairytale destination even more impressive, Bled Castle sits high above the lake on a limestone cliff. Then we continue to Opatia, Croatia and the former summer home of Austrian and Hungarian royalty. Another highlight
of the tour is Plitvice Lakes National Park. It consists of 16 lakes connected by magnificent waterfalls. In this writer’s opinion there is not a more beautiful setting anywhere in the world. The most amazing part of the adventure is the 7-day cruise on a private yacht just for our Sports Leisure travelers. We will be cruising on one of the region’s newest luxury ships, built in 2016, which has only 19 cabins. Imagine a leisurely morning having breakfast on the ship as we cruise past panoramic scenery. Enjoy a guided walking tour on each island in the afternoon and have the evening free with the ship docked in port so you can come and go as you please. If you still need a reason to visit this magical destination, the US dollar is at the highest exchange rate it’s been in 13 years in Europe. Those exchange rates mean the trip is cheaper and the money you spend while traveling will go farther. Croatia joined the European Union several years ago but still uses it own currency the Kuna. Now is the time to go! Details on the trip are in the Tour Calendar (page 16) or see page 29 of our tour catalog. If you have any questions, or would just like to know about the trip in further detail, visit us online at www.sportsleisure.com or call me at the Sports Leisure office. I’m in the office Monday to Wednesday, 9:15am – 4:30pm.
Looking for ONE person who wants to see the Northern Lights… Scott has ONE opening on his Alaska’s Aurora Borealis trip, leaving on March 17 for 6 nights in Alaska. The single occupancy price is $5115. We have some on the waiting list, but only pairs. If you’d like to claim this single spot, contact Scott Angeletti at our office. The complete tour itinerary can be viewed online.
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
The Customers Always Write Hi Mark, Great idea to partner up with your old friend Stan for Thanksgiving dinner at the National Hotel in Jackson. Perfect weather, charming surroundings, dinner – just like home-cooked, and wrap it all up with a lovely Christmas ornament memento from Sports Leisure. Thank you and your staff for all their efforts, always, Ruth Werner Ed. Note: My old buddy Stan Luke owns the National Hotel in Jackson now, so we went up for Thanksgiving. I agree with Ruth, it was pretty darned good. Next year, we are planning an overnighter, staying in Jackson (The National or the Best Western), with dinner and some fun shopping the day after Thanksgiving in Jackson, Sutter Creek and surroundings. Hello Mark, Wanted to thank the two of you so much for including us in your “mystery tour.” It was a good group and we had a lot of fun. They did a lot of shopping and it was a good support for our small business. Thanks and thanks to Chris as well. Sue, Perennial Tea Room, Seattle Ed. Note: This was part of our Christmas Mystery Tour. Everyone knows Pike Place on the Seattle Waterfront. We found some neat shops in a place called “Post Alley” just up the street from Pike Place. There’s a chocolate shop, a tea store and a Made in Washington outlet. Our gang went on a “sponsored” shopping excursion to all of them. Great fun. See you on next year’s Christmas Mystery Tour to _____________. Well, I can’t tell you where it’s going. It’s a mystery tour! But we have already decided on the destination. The Christmas Mystery Tour for 2017 will be announced on April 1, 2017, at our Spring Preview Day. You may RSVP beginning February 15.
Dear Mark, Here is my sister-in-law’s cookbook I promised you. I hope you enjoy some of her recipes! It took her five years to put together. I so appreciate traveling with you and your tour guides. You have opened a whole world of wonderful adventures, fun and friendships for me! Thank you, Mary Vrablick Ed. Note: Thank you so much Mary. There are some yummy-looking, simple recipes in there. I might have to try one or two! Dear Mark and all the people who make Sports Leisure such a fun group to travel with: Unfortunately, time limits my activities and I cannot travel now. So, as much as I enjoy your magazine, I guess it is time to “cancel’ my membership and remember all the great adventures I took with all of you! Thank all of you for taking such good care of me, when I was with you. Enjoy all your new adventures and give everyone my “blessings” for safe traveling. Sincerely, friends forever, Patricia Gobin Ed. Note: Patricia, we are sending you this edition of The Traveler, so you will know your letter made it to us. I love the “friends forever” phrase. Thank you for sharing that, made my day. Dear Mark, We want to thank you for our wonderful trips. Because of health reasons we won’t be going on any more trips. Save your money by not sending us anymore “The Sports Leisure Travelers.” Thank you, Al & Sue Hornbuckle Ed. Note: As much as we hate getting “retirement” letters, we truly appreciate it when you write us. We are happy to remove your name from the list, but, for those who stop traveling and are still members and wish to receive The Traveler, we are pleased to send it to you. “Friends forever…” Dear Pat (Hansen), Just a note to say thank you for three wonderful museum trips to San Francisco.
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
You are an excellent tour guide. I really appreciate you for making each trip special. Eleanor Wolf Dear Mark Hoffmann, This is to let you know how much I enjoyed yesterday’s trip to see the S.F. Gay Men’s Chorus. Richard and Joey were terrific. Not all of your tour guides have Joey’s poise & people skills. Richard drove us down on back roads with view of fresh green grass, sheep, horses, cattle and egrets. Lunch at the Flamingo Hotel was one of the best buffets I’ve ever been to and the staff couldn’t have been nicer. We arrived at the Luther Burbank Center in plenty of time for restroom and refreshments. Our seats were excellent – dead center front. The show was even better than I expected. Our trip home was rainy and in heavy traffic but Richard got us home safely and on time, as Joey served drinks and snacks. Thanks to a great duo and I look forward to my next Sports Leisure adventure, Sincerely, Theron Collins Mark, Clayton, & Staff Thanks so much for the lovely poinsettia. It starts the holiday season for my home. Ramona and Greg did a great job. I think we just about bought the place out. That is a great holiday trip (Holiday Sweets & Goodies). I wish all a great holiday season. Sincerely, Bernice Jurach
If you have a comment, suggestion or tour idea, we invite you to drop us a line. Due to space limitations, not all letters can be printed (others may be edited). Mail to: Sports Leisure Vacations Attn: Mark/Clayton 9812 Old Winery Place, Suite 1 Sacramento, CA 95827 Or e-mail Mark or Clayton at: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
The Human Side Learn, Laugh, Reflect Places We’ve Been… The fall/winter season has seen Sports Leisure Travelers in a variety of venues. Here, Chris Galloway and Georgianne Gee try to catch snowflakes with their tongues on a snowy morning in Snohomish, WA, on the Christmas Mystery Tour; just below, some of the costumed characters at the Dickens Christmas Faire in San Francisco; on the bottom, Kevin Murphy with his gang of Disney adventurers on our November trip.
Remembering Our Friends… Madeleine Moseley Muriel Aune Art Smith Donna Townsend Kay Pesce Sharon Hoffart If you know of someone in our travel family who has recently passed, please let us know so we can honor their memory here. Rest in peace. Pictured Below: Among those we lost in 2016, Art and Harriett, pictured below with Harriett in her favorite holiday vest. It a strange twist of fate, Art’s Grandson, Brett Smith, age 32, passed on the same day as Art. One of our charities for your admissions at Tour Preview Day is the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery near Dixon. At Christmas, they remember our veterans by placing wreaths on every grave. It’s expensive, but important. This year, our donation contributed significantly to the cost. Tom Jennings was one of our travelers and it is his final resting place.
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
Casino Daytrips, Ballpark Express Take the Snow Train to Reno All aboard Amtrak’s California Zephyr for the Sierra Nevada 2 Days • February 14-15 or March 7-8 Our traditional train/coach overnighters to Reno. Why ride the train to Reno and take the coach back? Because the return train originates in Chicago, and with winter weather a possibility crossing the plains, the train doesn’t always arrive in Reno anywhere close to on time. So we take the train one way, returning by SuperCoach, which we can be pretty sure will be on time. The package includes overnight accommodations at the Silver Legacy, Amtrak fare, gourmet box lunch on board and casino bonuses. $279 p.p./dbl.occ., $309 single Add door-to-door service for $80 p.p.
We appraise and/or buy old coins Just about everyone has a jar of old coins sitting around. Turn those coin collections, big and small, into cash. Mark was a coin dealer in his previous life and is interested in expanding his collection. Call for an appointment to have your coins appraised and/or purchased. Find out what your treasures are worth! 916-361-2051 and ask for Bob or Mark.
The Travel Guys Radio Show Contests,
Travel News, updates on your
favorite and M m Romano
San Francisco Giants Wed., May 17
Giants vs. Dodgers
Mon., May 29
Giants vs. Nationals
Wed., June 14
Giants vs. Royals
Sun., June 25
Giants vs. Mets
Wed., June 28
Giants vs. Rockies
Giants vs. Indians
Wed., July 26
Giants vs. Pirates
Wed., August 9
Giants vs. Cubs
Sun., Sept. 3
Giants vs. Cardinals
Sun., October 1
Giants vs. Padres
*Includes one-way transportation on the SF Bay Ferry from Vallejo to AT&T Park. Ferry schedule/availability subject to change.
Oakland Athletics Sat., June 17
A’s vs. Yankees
The Champagne Express to Tahoe Thursday, March 14 and Wednesday, April 19 Our popular Champagne Express to Harvey’s at Lake Tahoe continues in 2017. Your 6-hour stay includes a $20 slot credit and $7 food credit. You must be a member of Harvey’s Total Rewards Program to receive the bonus! $50
Blueberry Photographic Society WINNER
Cultural Arts and FUN!
OTOGRA PH P C SOCIET HI
For over 37 years, the BEST way to get to the major league ballparks in Oakland and San Francisco has been with Sports Leisure Vacations. Our original Ballpark Express allows you to travel to games in comfort without the traffic, tolls, gas, food stops, etc. Refreshments are served on board the motorcoach on your way to and from each game. You’ll enjoy Field Reserved seating for A’s games and Lower Box seating for all Giants games.
UEBERR Y BL
nn ark Hoffma
The 2017 Ballpark Express
EVERY Sunday 3:00-4:00 PM
KFBK, AM 1530, FM 93.1 Each Sunday, someone who has traveled with us recently wins a $100 Travel Card, no winner and the value increases $100 a week!
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
Blueberry as matchmaker!? It appears so as he introduces Frederick of Innsbruck to Fredericka from Salzburg on the October “Cruise on the Blue Danube.” Looks like a match made in heaven thanks to Linda Cruz!
Day Trips & Theatre Outings Comic Strippers
Great American Songbook
For the gals who just want to have an evening of fun! Gallo Center, Modesto Friday, February 3 Enjoy the antics of Canadian performers as they parody a fictitious troupe of male strippers… they try to be sexy but everything they do ends up funny instead! There is no extreme nudity. Dinner is at the Canal Street Grille prior to the 8pm show. Limited space! $157
Featuring the Santa Rosa Symphony Sunday, February 19 Ann Hampton joins the Santa Rosa Symphony for an afternoon of the timeless music of Gershwin, Kern, Sondheim, and Cole Porter. An early lunch is included at Dempsey’s before the pre-concert talk and 3pm performance. Limited space! $173
Saturday, February 25 or Sunday, March 5 In celebration of Chinese New Year, we return to the Buddha’s Universal Church in San Francisco for this year’s production of Will Auntie Face Justice? Presented in both English and Cantonese, the ongoing drama of Peony, her innocent baby, Golden Pearl’s jealousy, and the fateful schemes of “Auntie” come to a series finale of the Ming Family. With colorful costumes, music, dance, and playful monkeys, the show is always an entertaining and pleasant day away in the city. A family-style lunch is included at the Cathay House Restaurant with some time to stroll historic Grant Street in the heart of Chinatown before the 2pm performance. Return to Sacramento immediately following the show. $118
Gallo Center, Modesto Saturday, February 4 Four stars from the original “Jersey Boys” cast celebrate the music of the 60’s. After dinner at the Canal Street Grille, enjoy the music of The Beatles, The Rascals, Motown and the Four Seasons amongst others during this 8pm show. Limited space! $178
Rent Golden Gate Theatre, SF Saturday, February 11 This Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award®winning masterpiece returns to the stage in a vibrant 20th anniversary touring production. A re-imagining of Puccini’s La Bohème, Rent follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out. With its inspiring message of joy and hope in the face of fear, this timeless celebration of friendship and creativity reminds us to measure our lives with the only thing that truly matters – love. The Saturday trip includes lunch-on-yourown in Union Square, orchestra seating and a return following the 2pm show. $179
“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” Sacramento Theater Company, downtown Sunday, February 12 A lovable comedy and a Lasagna Dinner. Includes a ticket to the 7pm curtain and 5:30pm dinner. No transportation provided. $45 (it’s a benefit performance for a community group)
Chinese New Year in San Francisco
Sister Act Sierra Repertory Theatre, Sonora Sunday, February 26 Follow the antics of Delores as she transitions from showgirl to the singing nun on the run in this hilarious story of one small group of nuns trying to save their convent and community. Lunch is included at the City Hotel prior to the 3pm matinee musical. $149
A Day at the Races Golden Gate Fields, Berkeley Thursday, March 9 or May 18 Our always popular Day at the Races includes a sumptuous buffet lunch and seating in the enclosed Turf Club at Golden Gate Fields by beautiful San Francisco Bay
in Berkeley. Enjoy the races with betting windows nearby and television monitors throughout the dining room. $115
Take the Train with Brunch Sunday, March 19 Travel to Berkeley on board SuperCoach III with mimosas served at your seat. A Champagne Sunday Brunch buffet is served at Hs Lordship’s Restaurant on the bay at the Berkeley Marina; featuring fresh seafood, cooked-to-order omelets and carved meats in addition to other hot entrees. Return to Sacramento aboard Amtrak’s Capitol Corridor. Leave Sacramento around 8am and be back around 2pm. A short day out but very tasty! $167
Masters of Soul Gallo Center, Modesto Friday, March 31 A tribute to the look and sound made famous by the great Motown stars: Smokey Robinson, Diana Ross & the Supremes, Lou Rawls, Barry White, and The Commodores amongst others. Enjoy an evening of the Motown magic with dinner included at the Canal Street Grille prior to the 8pm show. $157
San Francisco Flower & Garden Show San Mateo Event Center Thursday, April 6 Welcome spring with a visit to the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show. Celebrating its 31st Anniversary, this year’s theme is “Discover the Magic.” The show presents a wonderland of displays and exhibits to inspire ideas for your own home and garden. Experience full-scale gardens by professional landscapers, seminars and demonstrations by master gardeners, and stroll the vast marketplace filled with flowers, plants, tools, gifts, and everything you could need for your own do-it-yourself project. Lunch is on your own from a variety of onsite food booths and vendors. $99
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
50th Anniversary Cherry Blossom Festival Saturday, April 8 The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will be celebrating its 50th year in 2017! It is one of California’s most prominent celebrations of Asian traditions and the biggest on the West Coast. The festival will be held in Japantown in San Francisco on Post Street between Laguna and Fillmore Streets. There will be food booths, cultural performances, martial arts demonstrations, live bands and more! You will have ample time to enjoy the festival and lunch on your own. $88
Monet: The Early Years Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco Thursday, April 13 Monet: The Early Years is the first major exhibit of paintings that focuses on the initial works and emerging phase of the artistic career of Claude Monet. With a selection of works gathered from the Musee d’Orsay of Paris, National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and other public and private collections, visitors can see the development of his style and how he influenced the artistic movement known today as “Impressionism.” Approximately sixty paintings demonstrate his brilliance and command of not only his iconic landscapes, but also still life’s and portraits. The audio guide for the exhibit is included for your enjoyment. An option to shuttle to the de Young Museum for its permanent collections will be available in the afternoon. Lunch is on your own at either museum. $103
Easter Brunch at Ironstone Sunday, April 16 Return to the Sierra Foothills with our festive daytrip to enjoy an Easter brunch buffet at the beautiful Ironstone Winery, just outside Murphys, overlooking its green vineyards and orchards. Stroll through the blooming gardens, visit the history museum and, of course, sample some of the winery’s award-winning wines and maybe bring home a few bottles! You may even catch the area’s children in a spirited Easter egg
hunt on the lawns of the estate. Spring is the perfect time to enjoy the drive through the foothills and quaint gold rush towns. $130
Architectural Icons of San Francisco Tuesday, April 18 Considered one of the most important cities for art and architecture in the United States, San Francisco is recognized for both historic and modern buildings, sculptures, monuments, and public places. With the personable Craig Smith as our guide, this walking tour includes stops at public and private institutions in the downtown and business areas including the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange, Hobart Building, 101 California, and Paris-London Bank. Lunch is included mid-day at Pompei’s Grotto at Fisherman’s Wharf. $124
The San Joaquin Asparagus Festival San Joaquin County Fairgrounds Friday, April 21 For nearly 30 years, the Asparagus Festival has been a regional party honoring that strange green stalk of a vegetable! The festival takes place at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds and includes cooking demonstrations, a farmers market, arts and crafts, and, of course, lots of opportunities to eat asparagus: asparagus ice cream anyone? Stroll the festival grounds and enjoy lunch from any one of the many vendors. Return to Sacramento early, between 2pm and 3pm. $91
Country Legends in Concert Featuring the Santa Rosa Symphony Sunday, April 23 The pops series at the Luther Burbank Center goes country as the symphony and friends pay tribute to the greatest stars of country music. It is an afternoon of songs by famed singers and songwriters like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Faith Hill, and Hank Williams. An early lunch is included at Dempsey’s before the pre-concert talk and 3pm performance. $173
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
Men are from Mars, Women from Venus Marines’ Memorial Theater, SF Sunday, April 23 This off-Broadway hit comedy is a oneman fusion of theatre and stand-up and is a light-hearted theatrical comedy based on The New York Times #1 best-selling book of the last decade by John Gray. Moving swiftly through a series of vignettes, the show covers everything from dating and marriage to the bedroom. It’s funny, sexy and fast paced, definitely a show for adults. Our Sunday trip will get you to San Francisco’s Union Square area in time to enjoy lunch on your own, the 2pm show with orchestra seating in this intimate and newly renovated 564-seat theater. Return to Sacramento after the show. $116
Riders in the Sky Livermore Performing Arts Center Friday, April 28 Livin’ life the Cowboy Way! For three decades, Riders in the Sky have kept alive the musical flame passed on by Gene Autry and Roy Rogers. Revitalizing the genre, they retain the integrity of Western music while branding it with their own wacky humor and way-out Western wit. “Woody’s Round-Up” from Disney’s Toy Story 2 made them the only western band to win a Grammy Award, an honor they have achieved twice! Dinner precedes the 8pm show at, where else? Cattleman’s Restaurant! $174
Rave On! The Buddy Holly Experience Gallo Center, Modesto Tuesday, May 2 The premiere Buddy Holly interpreter, Billy McGuigan, breathes new life into Holly’s music in this electrifying performance. Buddy’s popular tunes including “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday” and “That’ll be the Day,” promise a special evening of special music. An early dinner is included at the Canal Street Grille prior to the 7:30pm performance. $161
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The White Snake Nevada Theatre, Nevada City Saturday, May 6 Community Asian Theatre of the Sierra (CATS) brings another special performance to Nevada City. A comedy/drama featuring original music, The White Snake is an ancient Chinese fable about a gentle serpent spirit and her feisty companion who transform themselves into beautiful women and travel down to the world of humans. White Snake falls in love and decides to stay human until a wicked monk suspects her true identity and vows to destroy her. Lunch is included at Tofanelli’s Restaurant in nearby Grass Valley prior to the 2pm matinee. $124
New Discoveries: China’s Han Dynasty Asian Art Museum, San Francisco Thursday, May 11 Newly discovered in the tombs of Han royalty, this rare exhibit of more than 100 artifacts have survived over two thousand years. Spanning over four centuries, the Han period is considered a golden age in Chinese history and to this day, China’s majority ethnic group refers to itself as the “Han people” and Chinese script is referred to as “Han characters.” The Han royalty sought to glorify their status in life and the afterlife with lavish pleasures and dazzling goods of crafted jade, bronze, and gold. From the Nanjing Art Museum in China, and on view for the first time in the United States, the Asian Art Museum will be the only venue for this exhibit. A private, docent-led tour is included for the exhibit. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore exhibits of the permanent collection and lunch on your own in the museum café. $105
DooWop Project An evening of tight harmonies Gallo Center, Modesto Saturday, June 10 Starring performers from “Jersey Boys” and “Motown,” this show traces the evolution of guys singing tight harmonies on the street corner to today’s biggest radio hits. Dinner is included at the Canal Street Grille prior to the 8pm show. $161
National Treasures, Desert Beauty and British Columbia Ramona’s Top Picks for 2017 Ask Ramona what her favorite destination is for 2017 and her answer is outdoors! She has picked trips with varying levels of difficulty, though you know she loves to get you up close and personal to the trees, flora and wildlife, so naturally there is some walking on uneven park paths, rides in jeeps, jet boat excursions, and even a float plane ride. You can find the itineraries for all the trips Ramona picked in either the 2017 Dream Book or online. Ramona recently visited Anza- Borrega State Park and Joshua Tree Nat’l Park in anticipation of her Desert Beauty trip. The barrel cacti are plentiful and huge; the Joshua Trees magnificent. Travel through the desert during the peak flower season and discover the beauty of the area, March 6-9. In April you can travel to the Sonoma Coast for a visit to the ocean and the mighty Redwoods. Ramona loves to share the history of the Russian fur trading business and, of course, hug those mighty redwoods! Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks were Ramona’s home before joining the team at Sports Leisure 20 years ago. Join her on a return to the area; overnighting at the Wonder Valley Guest Ranch and daytripping into Kings Canyon National Park. The name says it all: Wonder Valley, Kings Canyon and the Sequoias. Perhaps one of Ramona’s favorite trips is to explore the Dakotas: From the Grasslands to the Black Hills. (For those of you who need to visit North Dakota to finish your list of 50 states, this is your opportunity!) Learn a bit about the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Teddy Roosevelt; and of course visit the national icon, Mt. Rushmore. A special trip to the top of Crazy Horse is thrilling! Teddy said that he would never have been the conservationist and president that he was, if it hadn’t been for his time in the Dakotas. July is the perfect time to travel to
Northern California to visit Prairie Creek State Park. (You know how much Ramona loves to talk about trees and wildlife.) Spend two nights in Brookings, with rooms that open out to the beach. The mail boat ride up the Rogue River is exciting! The trip concludes with a concert in Coos Bay at the Oregon Coast Music Festival. British Columbia is Ramona’s top destination for 2017. She has two signature trips into BC this fall. One is steeped in history, the other the wildlife! First, you can travel to the northern region of the province with a flight to Prince George, then work your way down the Cariboo Gold Rush Trail. Highlights include a visit to Barkerville and a 2-night stay at the Echo Valley Ranch. As you discover this region you will understand that it really is a Land Without Limits! For the truly adventurous, journey into the wilds for Grizzly Bear viewing. Spend 3 nights at the fantastic Knight Inlet Lodge, a floating wilderness lodge in the Great Bear Rainforest along British Columbia’s rugged coastline. Our first group went last October and they can’t stop talking about the beauty, the incredible food and of course, the awesome bears. So don your walking shoes, put on the sunscreen and get outdoors in 2017!
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
New Vacations & Getaways Giants Roadtrip & Cooperstown
7. Sleep in a little this morning before the Chicago’s Midway Airport, we’ll arrive in next game, an afternoon affair starting at Albany in the late afternoon and drive to Featuring the National Baseball Hall 1:10pm. After the game you have the option Cooperstown. Your accommodations for of Fame of joining your Tour Director for a subway the next two nights are at the Otesaga 8 Days • May 4-11 trip into New York City for dinner and to take Resort, nestled on the southern shore of in the lights of Times Square. Could you Otsego Lake. This is include a Broadway show? Sure you could, where the Hall of but it will mean a late return to the hotel Fame inductees tonight. We’ll discuss the options with you stay when they are a couple of months before the tour departs! in Cooperstown! (B) Breakfast and dinner 8. We have an early afternoon departure are included in the so rest up this morning before heading to hotel’s attractive LaGuardia Airport for your return flight dining room. home. (B) Otesaga Resort – 2 This tour includes door-to-door service, nights (FB,D) all airfares, accommodations, all games and 5. Spend as attractions listed, 12 meals (2B,5FB,2L,3D), much time as you and the services of a Sports Leisure need exploring the Vacations Tour Director. National Baseball Step back in history at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown $3610 p.p./dbl.occ., $4130 single Hall of Fame. The 1. Fly to Cincinnati arriving in the late repository for all of baseball’s treasures, afternoon. Your home for the next three nights this museum and shrine should be at the The Sounds of Music in is across the river from Great American top of every baseball fan’s bucket list! Leavenworth Ballpark, the home of the Cincinnati Reds, in Cooperstown itself is the perfect American Take the Train to Washington’s Little Bavaria Covington, KY. Arrive at the hotel in time for town to host such an attraction; Explore 4 Days • August 7-10 the nightly Manager’s Reception. Embassy the shops along Main Street in the early This summertime favorite is back again! It Suites Covington – 3 nights afternoon, discover Doubleday Field, and has a little bit of everything: theatre, stunning 2. Travel north to the world-famous visit the James Fenimore Cooper Museum. outdoor views, a train ride through beautiful Cincinnati Zoo. It’s the second oldest zoo in (FB,D) mountain terrain, and the old world charm of the country and well-known for its breeding 6. Say farewell to Cooperstown and travel Bavaria without a long plane ride! programs for animals such as California sea through the Hudson River Valley to the 1. Fly to Seattle this morning. Dine at a lions, South African cheetahs, Sumatran historic Hotel Thayer in West Point for lunch. local institution, Chandler’s Crabhouse, rhinoceros, Malayan tigers, and western Before continuing the journey to New York located along the shore of Lake Union. In lowland gorillas. You will have time to City, pause at the West explore the zoo on your own and have lunch Point Military Academy at your leisure. Return to the hotel in the Museum, located nearby, early afternoon to rest up for tonight’s first and learn the interesting game between the Reds and the Giants at history of our nation’s 7:10pm. A buffet dinner is included at the oldest military service ballpark in the Champions Club. (FB,D) academy. Arrive in New 3. A city tour of the “Queen City” greets you York City and your home this morning with lunch at Cincinatti’s own for the next two nights. Skyline Chili. Ever had Cincinnati Spaghetti? The second game of Here’s your chance! Rest up back at your the series between the hotel for tonight’s second game between the Giants and Mets begins Giants and the Reds. (FB,L) at 7:10pm. SpringHill 4. Depart the hotel in the morning for Suites by Marriott-LGA Dayton, Southwest Airlines’ hub airport in – 2 nights (FB,L) this neck of the woods. Connecting through See The Sound of Music in an outdoor setting
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
the late afternoon, board Amtrak’s Empire Builder for a short journey into the majestic mountains of Washington. Enjoy a box meal on board the train for dinner. At the heart of the state you’ll find Leavenworth, Washington’s own Little Bavaria. Your wellappointed and beautiful accommodations are located close to the center of the village with a full breakfast included each day. Bavarian Lodge – 3 nights (L,BD) 2. Located in the heart of the Wenatchee Valley and surrounded by orchards, the community of Cashmere is known as the home of Liberty Orchards, makers of “Applets and Cottlets,” the fruit and nut confections. Tour the factory along with the Pioneer Village and Museum. Back in Leavenworth, enjoy lunch at your leisure and an optional walking tour of historic downtown. Dinner is included at King Ludwig’s German Restaurant and served family-style. Tonight, the hills come alive as The Sound of Music is performed in an outdoor amphitheater surrounded by majestic mountains. You’ll feel like you’re in the hills of Switzerland with the Von Trapp Family! (FB,D) 3. Discover Rocky Reach Dam and the Columbia River Museum on a tour today. After an included lunch, visit Ohme Gardens, situated on top of a large bluff overlooking the Columbia River. Tonight Annie, the musical story of the spunky orphan, is performed under the stars at Hatchery Park Amphitheater. (FB,L) 4. Bid farewell to Leavenworth and begin your journey westward with lunch in the small town of Snohomish. Conclude your visit to the Evergreen State with a stop at the Boeing Museum of Flight. A return flight from Seattle returns you home in the early evening. (FB,L) The tour includes door-to-door airport service, roundtrip air, deluxe motorcoach service, passage aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder, accommodations, all attractions and shows listed, 8 meals (3FB,3L,1BD,1D), and the services of a Sports Leisure Vacations Tour Director. 1900/2200 Gold Passport Points $1890 p.p./dbl.occ., $2165 single $ave $60 until February 1
Canada Coast to Coast by Rail Featuring three rail experiences across Canada on board VIA Rail 9 Days • September 22-30 H Highlights H • First-class train accommodations aboard VIA Rail as you travel across the continent • Halifax: 2 nights at the Westin Hotel, city sightseeing including Citadel Hill • Montréal: Overnight at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, visit Vieux Montréal (Old Montréal) and the Basilica of Notre Dame • Toronto: Dinner at the CN Tower, high atop the city • Vancouver: City tour with lunch • Visit picturesque Peggy’s Cove • 18 meals: 7full breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners • Roundtrip airfare to Halifax/from Vancouver • Door-to-door airport service • 5850/6200 Gold Passport Points 1. Meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers at the airport. Get the long travel day out of the way early with your flights to Halifax, Nova Scotia, arriving in the late evening. Westin Hotel – 2 nights 2. Halifax is truly one of Canada’s most amazing cities. Nestled on the Atlantic Coast, you’ll see for yourself during an early afternoon tour following an included lunch. Visit the waterfront, historic downtown,
and pause at well-known Citadel National Historic Site. (FB,L) 3. Explore Peggy’s Cove, a quaint fishing village and one of the most photographed communities in the world, before meeting your first train, VIA Rail’s Ocean. The service and hospitality of Easterly Class begins from the moment you step on board with an included lunch. Couples will enjoy private sleeping quarters, which feature upper/lower berths while single travelers will occupy a roomette, a smaller accommodation. Overnight on board The Ocean (FB,L,D) 4. Bienvenue à Montréal! A morning tour highlights the old and new of this beautiful metropolis, including the Basilica of Notre Dame and a visit to Vieux Montreál (Old Montreál) with an opportunity to do a little shopping. After lunch, the afternoon and evening are yours to explore this walkable city or simply relax at your hotel, a former Canadian Pacific hotel built by the famous railroad and recently closed for one year for a complete top to bottom renovation. Located atop the rail station, you can’t find a better location for your travels! Fairmont Queen Elizabeth (FB,L) 5. Strolling back down to the train station, begin your next rail experience aboard VIA Rail’s Corridor train, traveling from Montréal to Toronto. Arrive in Toronto in the early afternoon and in time to enjoy a visit to the Royal Ontario Museum. Discover Canada’s premier collection of art and artifacts during a private tour. Dinner tonight is a “tall order,”
Travel the breadth of Canada by rail Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
served high above the city at the CN Tower. Spend some time exploring the tower’s observation deck, with its infamous glass floor, and then make the short drive back to the train station to meet your final train, VIA Rail’s Train #1, The Canadian, scheduled for a 10pm departure. Your sleeping car attendant will have your cabin ready for you. On board The Canadian – 4 nights (D) 6-8. Your final days in Canada will be spent surrounded by the spectacular scenery of the western and central provinces as you pass through the lakes and rivers of Ontario, the prairies of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and the tall mountain peaks of the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and British Columbia en route to Vancouver. While on board the train, you will enjoy VIA Rail’s famed Silver and Blue Service. All meals are included on board in the Dining Car and you will have access to the Park Car, with its sightseeing dome, and the Bullet Lounge. VIA Rail’s on board service staff will be on hand during every mile of the journey to prepare your room and assist with meal reservations. (3FB,3L,3D) 9. Your long journey from coast to coast across Canada comes to an end today with a morning arrival in Vancouver. A quick visit to Stanley Park and Canada Place precede time for lunch and shopping for those last minute Canadian Treasures at Granville Market. Your return flight home arrives in the early evening. (FB) $5850 p.p./dbl.occ., $6175 single $ave $150 until February 1 This vacation requires a valid passport!
Albany, New York. The first night will be spent there at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel. We will begin sightseeing in earnest on October 9 with a drive that is promised to only add to your leaf-peeping experience as we travel from southern to northern Vermont and pay visits to Bennington’s Apple Barn and Weston’s celebrated Vermont Country Store. Upon arrival at the Basin Harbor Resort, the itinerary will pick up as originally presented. So what about the price? Albany gives us many more airlines to consider including Southwest. They usually announce their fares a few months after the legacy carriers, and they are usually less which forces everyone to come down to meet them. Our Travel Agency Manager Michael Downer suggests we wait a few more months before committing to anything. Until then, place your name on the Priority Notification List if you’ve not already done so. We’ll let you know when everything has fallen into place.
Sedona & Grand Canyon National Park Featuring a visit to Bearizona Wildlife Park 5 days • October 22–26 • 2 nights at the Hilton Sedona Resort, nestled amongst the red rocks • Lunch at the Enchantment Resort • Trolley tour to the Chapel of The Holy Cross
New England Fall Foliage Spectacular Leaf-peeping in Vermont, New Hampshire and along the Maine Coast New Da te 8 Days • October 8-15 New De s! tails! We rolled out this tour in the last newsletter (pages 11-12) with a daily itinerary and the promise of a price “in a few weeks” as it was too early to book air reservations. When air prices and schedules came into view, they weren’t pretty. Starting in Burlington was proving to be a costly decision, but thankfully it was not too late to rethink the start of the trip. Our tour will now begin on October 8 in
Kolb Studios clings to the edge of the Grand Canyon
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
• Lunch at the historic El Tovar Hotel • Guided tour along the rim of the Grand Canyon • VIP guided tour of the Grand Canyon village historic sites • 9 meals: 4 full breakfasts, 1 brunch, 4 lunches • Tour Director: Scott Angeletti • 2350/2700 Gold Passport Points 1. Fly direct to Phoenix on Southwest Airlines. Enjoy a lavish brunch at the historic Wrigley Mansion before arriving at the red rocks of Sedona and your beautiful accommodations. Hilton Sedona Resort at Bell Rock – 2 nights (BR) 2. Start the day off with a private, fully narrated trolley tour of Sedona where you will learn about the history, geology, flora and fauna of the area. The tour takes you through the Mexican-style village of Tlaquepaque, nestled beneath the shade of the sycamores on the banks of beautiful Oak Creek. There’s also a stop at the famous Chapel of the Holy Cross. Gaze through floorto-ceiling windows at the dramatic towering red sandstone cliffs while enjoying lunch at the Enchantment Resort. The afternoon is at your leisure – browse the shops of Uptown or Tlaquepaque. (FB,L) 3. Head north through scenic Oak Creek Canyon to Williams and one of Northern Arizona’s newest attractions Bearizona, a 150-acre drive-through wildlife park that
promises to give you a close encounter of the wild kind with big horn sheep, buffalo and, of course, bears and many more animals all roaming free. In the afternoon arrive in the town of Tusayan, just outside Grand Canyon National Park. Get a sneak peek at the wonders that await you with a viewing of the IMAX movie “Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets.” Best Western Squire Inn – 2 nights (FB,L) 4. This morning enter one of the world’s greatest natural wonders, Grand Canyon National Park. Enjoy a private guided tour along the southern rim to Hermits Rest, pausing to capture the colors of the canyon during your photo stops along the way. Experience lunch at the historic El Tovar Hotel before this afternoon’s guided tour of the village. Visit the Bright Angel History Room, telling the story of Fred Harvey and his Harvey Girls. Stop at Mary Jane Colter’s architectural marvel known as Lookout Studio. Go behind-the-scenes and view fascinating art exhibits at the Kolb Studio, which clings to the very edge of the Grand Canyon. It was the home and studio of pioneers Emery and Ellsworth Kolb. (FB,L) 5. We have one more must see attraction before exiting the park’s east entrance: The Desert View Watchtower constructed in 1932, is a replica of a prehistoric, 70-foot Indian tower and commands a magnificent view of the Grand Canyon and the Painted Desert. During your visit view the interior walls of the tower which feature murals by Hopi artist Fred Kabotie. Travel back to Phoenix this afternoon for your flight home. (FB,L) $2325 p.p./dbl.occ., $2670 single $ave $60 until February 1
SAVE THE DATE! Our Spring Preview Day will be held on Saturday, April 1. Reservations will be accepted beginning February 15th. Details on the event will be posted online about February 1st. Proud members of the
Italy… That’s Amore Three of the world’s greatest cities – Rome, Florence & Venice – are yours to discover! 9 Days (7 Nights) • October 22-30 H Highlights H • 2 nights each – Venice and Florence; 3 nights Rome • See the Doges’ Palace and St. Marks’s Square in Venice • Explore Florence’s Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery and beautiful Dromo • Witness Rome’s ancient monuments from the Forum to the Colosseum • Tour Vatican City, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel • Visit the Medieval hill town of Assisi • 14 meals: Daily full breakfast, 1 lunch, 6 dinners • Services of a Sports Leisure Tour Director and a certified Italian Guide • Roundtrip airfare to Venice/from Rome • Door-to-door airport transportation • 5250/6100 Gold Passport Points This tour was announced as a teaser in the November/December issue of the Traveler. You can find the complete itinerary in that publication as well as on our website: www.sportsleisure.com. $5240 p.p./dbl.occ., $6095 single $ave $150 until February 1 This vacation requires a valid passport!
U.S. Figure Skating Championships SAP Center Arena, San Jose 5 Days • January 4-8, 2018 Only Sports Leisure has exclusive access to ticket locations to offer you right now! This is the event at which the U.S. Olympic Team will be chosen. Your ticket allows you to see not only the evening programs, but the daily skating events at the SAP Center in San Jose. Friday morning you’ll have the opportunity to visit one of San Jose’s museums, including the Tech Museum of Innovation or the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum. We will provide a sightseeing tour of Silicon Valley on Saturday morning, and enjoy a great brunch on Sunday. In the afternoons and evenings, you can enjoy the country’s best skaters in action. Your accommodations are at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Milpitas, where
The country’s best skaters will be in San Jose
you will enjoy a full cooked-to-order breakfast each morning and complimentary cocktails if you are onsite in the evenings. Shuttle transportation to/from the arena will be provided on a daily basis. There will also be a guest skating speaker one morning at the hotel, to give you an insider’s look. Please note: You have a choice of seating available to you. There is no difference in price. You can choose a seat closer to the ice (it will be cold because it’s a big sheet of ICE, of course, but you will have an up close look at the action) or closer to the concourse (warmer, fewer steps to navigate up and down, better overview of the skating). There is a 6-8 row difference in locations. (Lower seating is limited and this choice is offered to those registering early, as long as our ticket allotment lasts.) According to the tentative draft schedule, you will have the opportunity to see the following: Opening Ceremonies, Championship Pairs Short Program, Junior Free Dance, Junior Men’s Free Skate, Championship Short Dance, Championship Ladies Short Program, Championship Pairs Free Skate, Championship Men’s Free Skate, Championship Free Dance, and Championship Ladies Free Skate. We fully expect this package to sell out early. We have purchased our tickets prior to the public sale and strongly encourage you to make your reservations early before we begin advertising outside the Travel Club. $2365 p.p./dbl.occ., $2595 single $ave $100 until February 1
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
The Barber Pole, or Once Over Lightly Not All Door-to-Door Service is the Same Recently, on the Christmas Mystery Tour, I was lamenting how Sports Leisure had been one of the first companies to offer doorto-door service to our travelers, after John Stachnik, co-owner of Mayflower Tours, shared the idea and his company’s success with it at a National Tour Association meeting in the early 90’s. I went on to mention that many companies, including Collette Vacations, had now copied the concept, and I was proud of the fact we did it before many others. It was at that point one of our travelers spoke up. I truly wish I remembered who it was. Perhaps she will read this and know of whom I’m speaking. She related, “Sure Collette technically picks you up at home and takes you to the airport, but that’s all they do. There’s no one there unlike Sports Leisure, which has staff (usually Michael) there to meet the car and take care of the luggage. Collette’s driver just dumped me on the curb and let me fend for myself. No boarding pass pre-printed, certainly no Tour Director, as I was flying to another city to meet the group. It was a ride to the airport, nothing more.” “Another thing,” she continued, “On your return trip, if your flight is delayed, or if you miss your connection, there’s no way to know if your ride will be waiting for you or not when you finally get home. Other companies may say they give door-to-door service, but they don’t do it anything like Sports Leisure does. I feel a lot more comfortable when I’m with you.” Wow. Cool. Who knew? And now I know the rest of the story. Thank you. – Mark
New Air Service In recent months, some exciting new service options have been announced for Sacramento International Airport. Alaska Airlines, which recently agreed to buy Virgin America, will be adding three roundtrips to San Diego from Sacramento in the spring. In June, Alaska will start flying non-stop to Cabo San Lucas every Saturday.
About Our Gold Passport Rewards Program for our Gold Travelers Since 1991, Sports Leisure Vacations has offered a rewards program for our most frequent travelers. Travelers attain Gold status by traveling 20 days with us over an indefinite period of time. Once your little Gold card has 20 signatures on it (can be a total of 20 on more than one card), you will be Gold forever.
Gold Member Benefits Gold Member Benefits include double Travel Club Member Di$counts. So on daytrips, your $1 di$count will always be $2; on overnighters $2 becomes $4; trips of 3 days or longer, your member di$count doubles from $5 to $10. Forever. Current Gold Member is our highest level of frequent traveler. Every member, upon achieving Gold status, will receive Current Gold Benefits for one year. In order to remain Current Gold, you must travel 8 days a year. Current Gold Members receive the additional benefit of having their Traveler newsletters mailed by first class mail. This is a significant benefit, as it gives you a jump start on the rest of our 8,500 members. The mission of our Travel Club Gold Program is to give our frequent travelers a reward for their loyalty and patronage.
Gold Passport Points Program Rewards Number of Points Required to Earn Travel Rewards 5,000.....................................................$50 7,000.....................................................$75 9,000...................................................$100 11,000.................................................$125 12,000...................SLV All-Weather Jacket (Retail Value $129) 15,000.................................................$175 20,000.................................................$250
25,000.................................................$325 30,000.................................................$400 35,000.................................................$500 40,000.................................................$750 50,000...............................................$1200 60,000...............................................$1800 70,000...............................................$2500 75,000...............................................$3000
Awards can be used on any trip created by Sports Leisure Vacations. They cannot be redeemed for independent travel. Awards are transferable, but points are not. Points stay in your account until used, provided you travel at least once every 24 months. The awards scale may be revised in the future with advance notice. To redeem points, simply advise us when making a tour payment by telephone or in person. It will be done instantaneously with no paperwork required. You may also redeem your points and take the award in the form of a Travel Certificate. The certificate can be issued in your name or in the name of another should you wish to give the gift of travel.
The Phenomenon that is “Hamilton” We secured about 200 tickets for Hamilton. We notified interested travelers via our By Inviation Only list, and the tickets were sold in two hours. Nearly 20 people came to our office to insure getting tickets, and it took persistence to get through on the phones. We don’t anticipate getting any more tickets, but we do have a waitlist for our four dates and you are welcome to call the office and add your name to the list. We sold our packages (rear orchestra seats) for $345, which includes transportation. If you look at secondary resale markets online, the cheapest tickets available are about $400, and those aren’t on the main floor. Online prices for orchestra seats start at about $600!
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
The Tour Calendar (Previously Announced) Desert Beauty: Anza-Borrego and Joshua Tree National Park Springtime wildflowers, majestic landscapes, and splendid beauty 4 Days • March 7-10 This is Ramona’s newest adventure. Fly to San Diego and overnight in a Marriott Hotel, then head to the desert for two nights at the Aqua Caliente Casino Resort in Rancho Mirage. Joshua Tree National Park, Anza-Borrego State Park, the quaint town of Julian and the Indian Canyons of Aqua Caliente are all part of the itinerary, which includes air and 3 lunches. $1675 p.p./dbl.occ., $1875 single
The New Colorful Coast St. Augustine, Savannah, Charleston and so much in-between! 7 Days • March 10-16 One seat remains at press time. Please refer to page 16 in the catalog or go online for details. Tour Director: Clayton Whitehead. $3065 p.p./dbl.occ., $3445 single
California’s Marvelous Missions Celebrate the history and beauty of The Golden State along the Camino Real 6 Days • March 21-26 H Highlights H • Visit 11 of California’s Missions and the Junípero Serra Museum, full description on page 24 of the catalog • Travel Southern California’s scenic coast aboard Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner • Experience lunch waterside at Ventura Harbor • 2 nights in Solvang at the intimate Hotel Corque • Tour the Santa Inés Valley • Sunday Champagne Brunch at the Dolce Hayes Mansion • Door-to-door service, one-way flight to San Diego, return by SuperCoach II • 12 meals: 2 breakfasts, 3 full breakfasts, 1 brunch, 3 lunches, 3 dinners • Tour Director: Chris Galloway $2335 p.p./dbl.occ., $2655 single
24th Annual Spring Training in Arizona
Ireland’s Castles, Manor Houses and Gardens
4 nights in a luxurious Marriott Hotel, ballgames every day 5 Days • March 16-20 (3 seats available) H Highlights H • 4 nights at the Phoenix Airport Marriott • Tickets to 5 Cactus League games, schedule announced in January • Lunch en suite or on the patio for one game • Baseball Banquet, featuring a former or current player, coach, broadcaster or umpire • A fabulous Sunday Brunch at the historic Wrigley Mansion • 8 meals, including a full buffet breakfast each morning, airfare, door-to-door service • Tour Directors: Mark and Chris $2275 p.p./dbl.occ., $2565 single
Featuring accommodations that are truly fit for a king (or queen)! 9 Days/7 Nights • April 2-10 While this trip is sold out, there is currently no waitlist. If you are interested, we encourage you to call and ask for Michael. $5330 p.p./dbl.occ., $6320 single This vacation requires a valid passport!
Simply Solvang and Santa Barbara
Springtime in Monterey Featuring a tour of Filoli Mansion and Gardens 3 Days • April 9-11 H Highlights H • Explore 17-Mile drive on a guided tour, full details on page 14 of the catalog • Meet undersea life at Monterey Bay Aquarium • Enjoy lunch in Half Moon Bay and at the historic Steinbeck House • Discover the Salinas Valley during an agricultural tour • Door-to-door service to and from the Sports Leisure office, travel in comfort by deluxe motorcoach • 5 meals: 2 breakfast, 3 lunches $1135 p.p./dbl.occ., $1285 single
Featuring the very best of California’s Central Coast 5 Days • March 27-31 H Highlights H • Enjoy a comfortable ride to the Central Coast with a short flight home, avoid a long bus day, full details on page 15 of the catalog • Tour the Santa Barbara Mission, County Courthouse and The Reagan Ranch Center • Catamaran Cocktail Cruise in the Santa Barbara Harbor • Visit the new National Disaster Search Dog Foundation • One way air return from Southern California • 7 meals: 2 full breakfasts, 1 brunch, The Dutch village of Solvang is waiting to be discovered 2 lunches, 2 dinners • Door-to-door service Visit us on the web at: • Tour Director: Chris Galloway www.sportsleisure.com $2050 p.p./dbl.occ., $2355 single
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
On the Central Coast Oceanfront accommodations in Avila Beach and the Oceano Melodrama 4 Days • April 24-27 H Highlights H • Stay 3 nights at the scenic Avila Lighthouse Suites, full tour description on page 21 of the catalog • Attend the Great American Melodrama in Oceano • Ride an historic trolley to Point San Luis Lighthouse • Tour San Luis Obispo, the Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande • Door-to-door service to the Sports Leisure office • 7 meals: 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches • Tour Director: Scott Angeletti $1385 p.p./dbl.occ., $1645 single
New York City – Behind Broadway and The Bronx Featuring two nights of Broadway theatre and a pops concert at Carnegie Hall 6 Days • April 27 – May 2 H Highlights H • 5 nights at the Marriott Marquis Times Square, New York’s best location • 3 nights of entertainment – 2 Broadway shows (one we select [Sunset Boulevard starring Glenn Close] and one you choose – an exclusive SLV feature); plus a pops concert at Carnegie Hall
• A Day Downtown – Wall Street, Federal Hall, the 9/11 Memorial/Museum/ Observation Deck (all 3 experiences included) • A Day in The Bronx – stop in at a police and a fire station and meet the first responders, lunch in The Bronx, with a variety of stops in “Little Italy” • Behind Broadway – visit a rehearsal hall and learn how a show comes together, meet Broadway performers, dine with a theater reviewer (Peter Filichia) – fun and educational • Free day to visit Ellis and Liberty Islands, museums, shops, etc. • Roundtrip air to/from NYC, door-to-door airport transfers • 6 meals: 1 brunch, 2 lunches, 3 dinners • Tour Directors: Mark & Chris $3725 p.p./dbl.occ., $4230 single
H Highlights H • Private deluxe yacht with only 19 cabins, find the full description on page 29 of the catalog • Walking tour of Venice • Lake Bled cruise and Vogel Gondola • Predjama Castle and Lipizzaner Horse Farm • See spectacular Plitvice Lakes Nat’l Park • Roundtrip airfare to Venice, from Dubrovnik • Door-to-door airport service • 25 meals: 14 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners • Tour Director: Scott Angeletti • Gold Passport Points based on cabin category Prices starting at: $6550 p.p./dbl.occ, $7850 single, This vacation requires a valid passport!
Beautiful Bodega Bay
Kauai and Maui – The Best of Hawaii
Featuring Ft. Ross & Armstrong State Parks 3 Days • April 30 – May 2 H Highlights H • Travel through Sonoma County to Santa Rosa for brunch at a Sports Leisure favorite, the Flamingo Hotel • Tour historic Fort Ross, one of the first European settlements in Northern California • Explore the ancient giants of Armstrong Woods with a docent-led tour • Lunch at The Tides, a Sonoma coast landmark • 2 nights at the Bodega Lodge & Spa overlooking Dorian State Beach, with optional spa services available • Door-to-door service • 5 meals: 2 full breakfasts, 1 brunch, 2 lunches • Services of a Sports Leisure Vacations Tour Director $1035 p.p./dbl.occ., $1200 single
Croatia by Land and Sea Venice, Italy; Slovenia; Croatia and a private seven-day Adriatic cruise 16 Days • May 13-28 This is our second trip to Croatia. The first two years ago was a success and our return visit will be just a bit better. Glenn Close reprises her signature role on Broadway
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
4 nights on each island, flightseeing on Kauai, foodie tours 9 Days • May 16-24 Not your ordinary Hawaii tour. Visits to two islands with a variety of exclusive attractions and dining experiences. You’ve never on a Hawaiian vacation like this one. (Unless you’ve been with Sports Leisure to the islands before!) Find a full description on pages 26-27 of the catalog. Tour Director(s): Mark and/or Chris. H Highlights H • 2 four-night stays on Maui and Kauai, minimal packing & unpacking • Fantastic LOCAL food experiences: Aunty Liliko’i’s Passion Fruit, the Kauai Cookie Company, Steelgrass Chocolate Farm, and the Surfing Goat Dairy Farm • Private flightseeing over the incredibly beautiful Na Pali Coast & Waimea Canyon on Kauai • Unique shopping experiences at the Salty Wahine, Kauai Coffee, and the Hali-male General Store • Dine at Plantation Gardens at Poipu Beach, enjoy a farm-to-fork demo and luncheon at O’o Farms • Traditional Hawaiian cultural entertainment at U’lalena with dinner in Lahaina
• Roundtrip air to Kauai/from Maui plus one-way from Kauai to Maui • 17 meals: 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners • Door-to-door airport service $4795 p.p./dbl.occ., $5585 single $ave $100 until February 1
The Preakness Stakes Take your seat for the second leg of the Triple Crown 5 Days • May 18-22 H Highlights H • Accommodations at the hip new Hotel RL in downtown Baltimore, full tour description on page 17 of the catalog • Experience The Preakness Stakes from the exclusive seating in Turfside Terrace
Wonder Valley, Kings Canyon and The Sequoias Featuring natural beauty and western hospitality 3 Days • May 29-31 Find the full tour description on page 30 of the catalog. Wonder Valley has a long and colorful history: from the traditions of the Yokuts, the Native Americans who called the valley home, to the days of the Dalton Gang – holed up on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley. Located in the Sierra foothills outside of Fresno, enjoy fine hospitality as you take in the rich history and the leisurely activities offered by the resort. On day two, take a trip into Sequoia & Kings Canyon Nat’l Park. See the Giant Redwoods and the roaring waters of the
You’re in the middle of the action during the Preakness Stakes!
• Visit Ft. McHenry, Babe Ruth Birthplace, National Aquarium, Geppi’s Entertainment and American Visionary Art Museums • Spend a day in Horse (and Crab) Country on the Eastern Shore • Roundtrip air to/from Baltimore • Door-to-door airport service • 9 meals: 4 continental breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 dinner • Tour Director: Clayton Whitehead $3340 p.p./dbl.occ., $3705 single $ave $50 until February 1
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canyon. One of our most often overlooked national park adventures, but perhaps one of the best. Tour Director: Ramona Goodge (who once worked in Sequoia National Park). All 7 meals included. $1150 p.p./dbl.occ., $1220 single
The Stories of Santa Fe and Taos Perfect blend of history, culture, art, shopping and dining! 4 Days • May 29 – June 1 H Highlights H • 3 nights in the city center of Santa Fe • Discover Santa Fe’s Palace of the Governors on a guided tour • Visit Chimayo, Taos and the Taos Pueblo • Enjoy shopping in Madrid, New Mexico
• Roundtrip air to/from Albuquerque, • Door-to-door service • 6 meals: 3 full breakfasts, 2 lunches, 1 dinner • Tour Director: Chris Galloway $1725 p.p./dbl.occ., $1960 single
Alaska: Wildlife and Glaciers, a Land Package Two nights inside Denali National Park and the coastal town of Valdez 7 Days • June 4-10 We have two different Alaska offerings next year, this one by land and the second, leaving a week later, is a cruise package. Both are outstanding, just depends on what you are looking for. Tour Director: Scott Angeletti. Find details on page 32 of the catalog. H Highlights H • Cruise Prince William Sound on a Wildlife & Glacier Cruise • Ride the Alaska Railroad with Gold Star service from Denali to Anchorage • Discover the local wildlife on a bus tour in Denali National Park • Stay at the Talkeetna Alaskan Lodge • Scenic drives, Thompson Pass & Keystone Canyon • Roundtrip airfare to Valdez/from Anchorage, door-to-door service • 13 Meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 2 dinners $5550 p.p./dbl.occ., $6160 single $ave $50 until February 1
38th Annual SLV Anniversary Tour – Portland Roses and Oregon’s Coast Featuring covered, reserved seating for the Grand Floral Parade 5 Days • June 9-13 Join Clayton and Mark on this special regional tour to celebrate Sports Leisure’s 38th birthday. See the spectacular Portland Rose Parade, with the comfort of indoor seating; then head to Newport for an extended stay in one of our favorite destinations and hotels! H Highlights H • Overnight in Portland with tours designed to experience the city like a local
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
• Portland Rose Festival’s Grand Floral Parade and Rose Show • 3 nights oceanfront at Newport’s Elizabeth Street Inn • Marine cruise, lighthouse and the Oregon Aquarium in/around Newport • Buggy ride over the sand dunes in Florence • Lincoln City and Tillamook • Roundtrip air to/from Portland • Door-to-door airport service • 10 meals: 1 full breakfast, 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners $1995 p.p./dbl.occ., $2230 single
Things to Know Before You Go: Airfare: On all trips where air travel is indicated, airfares are included in the listed prices. Home Pick-up: Our exclusive home pick-up is included on all trips listed here of three days or longer. Sacramento Limousines and their partners provide transportation to/ from the airport, Sacramento’s Amtrak station or the Sports Leisure Vacations office. Meals: Please refer to the day-by-day itinerary for a break down of the included breakfasts, brunches, lunches and dinners. *Early Registration/Payment Discounts: Trips with this note after the price indicate there is a discount available for Early Registration and Payment. Please refer to the back page of the newsletter for more details on Early Registration/Payment Discounts. The Fine Print: Our Special Tour & Vacation Notes brochure contains the answers to many often-asked questions. A copy is sent with your reservations. Sports Leisure online: You are invited to visit our website at www.sportsleisure.com for more information on any tour listed here, or call our office and we will be happy to send you a detailed itinerary.
office hours: 9:00am – 4:30pm MON. thru FRI. Closed weekends & major holidays CLOSED TUES. 12:00pm – 1:15pm
Glacier Discovery Cruise in Alaska Travel in comfort aboard Holland America’s m/v Noordam 9 Days • June 10-18 H Highlights H • Pre-cruise overnight stay in Anchorage at the Hilton Hotel • Bon Voyage Dinner in Anchorage • Visit with the animals of the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center • All meals included on board the m/v Noordam • Prices include all transfers, port taxes • Roundtrip air to Anchorage/from Vancouver, door-to-door airport service • Fully escorted by a Sports Leisure Tour Director Inside cabins start at $3145 p.p./dbl.occ., $4150 single Outside Cabins start at $3495 p.p./dbl.occ., $4945 single This vacation requires a valid passport! THE ULTIMATE ALASKA Combine our Alaska land tour and Holland America cruise into a once-in-alifetime visit to The Last Frontier! Call for pricing.
The Best of the Dakotas: From the Grasslands to the Black Hills Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse 8 Days • June 20-27 H Highlights H • Relive the passion and excitement of the Western Expansion with the Medora Musical • Get a sense of the wide open plains of North Dakota, with roaming herds of buffalo and wild horses during your visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park • Experience the grandeur of Crazy Horse National Monument as you stand on the carving, viewing the lands of his people • Visit Mt. Rushmore, both during the day and at night, for a patriotic tribute to the United States • Thrill to the beauty of the Black Hills as you ride in jeeps across the hills – this is where buffalo roam and antelope play
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
• Roundtrip airfare to Bismarck/from Rapid City • Door-to-door service • 13 meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 full breakfasts, 6 lunches, 2 dinners • Tour Director: Ramona Goodge $3760 p.p./dbl.occ., $4220 single
Kenya Wildlife Safari A once-in-a-lifetime look at the world’s most naturally diverse continent 13 Days • June 24 – July 6 At press time, only one double occupancy accommodation is available in our capacity of 18. Single travelers can join a waitlist. Please see page 41 of the catalog, go online or call our for a complete itinerary. $7895 p.p./dbl.occ., $8445 single This vacation requires a valid passport!
Crater Lake & the Umpqua National Scenic Byway Featuring natural scenic wonder in Oregon 6 Days • July 3-8 H Highlights H • Guided rim tour of Crater Lake National Park with lunch at Crater Lake Lodge, catalog page 39 • Independence Day Fireworks in Roseburg • Up close animal encounters at Wildlife Safari • Hellgate Jet Boat tour • Visit the charming town of Ashland • Optional (extra cost) performance at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival • Door-to-door service • 10 meals: 5 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 dinner • Tour Director: Scott Angeletti $1725 p.p./dbl.occ., $1995 single
Ferries and Towns of Puget Sound Spend a few days riding ferries and exploring quirky small towns, the ultimate “just for fun” trip 3 Days • July 9-11 H Highlights H • 4 ferry rides on Puget Sound, including the longest route, Seattle to Bremerton • Visit the villages of Poulsbo, Port Townsend, Sequim, Port Gamble,
Mukilteo and Langley as you make your way around the sound • Guided tour in Poulsbo, learn about the town’s Norwegian heritage • 2 nights Clearwater Casino Resort in Suquamish – gaming for those who enjoy it, beautiful views for those who don’t • Explore the Mukilteo Lighthouse Park • Roundtrip air to Seattle • Door-to-door airport service • 5 meals, including Sunday Brunch in Seattle • Tour Director: Mark or Chris $1495 p.p./dbl.occ., $1675 single
Skamania Lodge, Gateway to the Columbia River Gorge
Happy Birthday Canada! Celebrate the Sesquicentennial of our neighbor to the North 7 Days • July 18-24 H Highlights H • 2 nights Ottawa, Canada’s Capital City • See the House of Parliament, Changing of the Guard and Northern Lights • 3 nights Québec City during Rendezvous 2017 • Québec City tour, riverfront festival and fireworks! • Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré and Montmorency Falls • Montréal tour including Notre-Dame Cathedral • 12 meals: 6 full breakfasts, 2 lunches, 4 dinners including lunch served in Québec’s Hôtel du Parliament • Roundtrip air to Ottawa/from Montréal • Door-to-door airport service • 3650/4150 Gold Passport Points 1. Away to Ottawa, Canada’s understated Capital City. Our historic accommodations are well-located in the heart of downtown and the shadow of Parliament Hill. Lord Elgin Hotel – 2 nights (D)
Getaway to a beautiful retreat, nestled near the Columbia and the Cascade Mountains 4 Days • July 16-19 New Da A brand new tour, te! featuring a mountain lodge with easy walking paths and wonderful accommodations. Day sightseeing trips, evenings on the giant porch by the fire. Tour Director: Mark Hoffmann, see page 5 of the catalog for full details. H Highlights H • 3 nights at Skamania Lodge, just off the Columbia River Gorge at the foot of the Cascades, lots of onsite activities, or just relax and enjoy the view • Ride the Mt. Hood Railroad • Visit the Maryhill Museum of Art and the Stonehenge Memorial • “Meet the Raptors” Bucket list item? Try ziplining in the mountains show at the lodge • Optional zipline (additional charge) and 2. Your tour around Ottawa includes a guided nature walks (free) visit to the Houses of Parliament during the • 8 meals: 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, impressive Changing of the Guard ceremony. 1 dinner, roundtrip air to/from Portland Next, learn the important role both officers • Door-to-door airport service and horses play in the history and safety $1625 p.p./dbl.occ., $1815 single of the country at the RCMP Stables. After $ave $40 until February 1 lunch, the Canadian Museum of History offers a look at milestones in the country’s 150 years of confederation. After dark don’t
miss Northern Lights, a spectacular sound and light show broadcast on Parliament’s striking façade. (FB,L) 3. Explore the Canadian countryside as you train across la belle province, arriving in Québec City in the late afternoon. You’re just in time for dinner and entertainment at a real sugar shack, Erabliére le Chemin du Roy – a meal fit for a king! Hilton Hotel Québec – 3 nights (FB,D) 4. Canada’s most impressive birthday celebration is Rendez-vous 2017, a Tall Ships Regatta on the St. Lawrence River, and you’ll be there for the spectacle as 40 ships converge upon the province! Tour the city in the morning, starting with breakfast served within the hallowed walls of the Hôtel du Parliament (Québec’s national assembly building). The walking tour continues to the Citadelle and ends in Old Town where you can remain to explore visiting ships and the festival atmosphere along the river to complete your day. (FB) 5. The Cathedral of Sainte-Anne-deBeaupré and majestic Montmorency Falls are only a short drive from Québec. Visit the shrine, then view the falls via cable car to the top. You’ll also visit the Copper Art Studio showcasing the work of artist Albert Gilles, whose masterpieces adorn Ste. Anne. A family member will be there to help you craft an objet d’art of your own. In the evening, cross over to Isle de Orleans for dinner and a stunning view of Québec City’s spectacular musical fireworks show. (FB,L,D) 6. At midday, the tall ships depart Québec in a procession you won’t want to miss. Then you’re off by motorcoach to Québec’s most cosmopolitan city, Montréal. Your farewell dinner at the popular Restaurant du Vieux Port offers up a final taste of gastronomie canadienne-française. Germain Hotel (FB,D) 7. Holy sites, Olympic venues, history and culture – all with a decidedly French flair – are yours to discover on a guided morning sightseeing tour. The interior of Notre-Dame Basilica is breathtaking – the perfect place to end a perfect Canadian adventure. (FB) $3605 p.p./dbl.occ., $4115 single
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Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
Spectacular Redwoods and the Oregon Coast Featuring the Oregon Coast Music Festival 6 Days • July 23-28 H Highlights H • Travel along the Avenue of the Giants with a local guide and historian, see the full description on page 42 • Walk through the ancient groves in Prairie Creek State Park, Redwood National and State Parks, Humboldt State Park • Enjoy 2 nights of comfort and beauty with oceanview rooms in Brookings • Ride the historic Mail Boats of the Rogue River • Enjoy the sounds of the 39th Annual Oregon Music Festival • Bayview rooms in Coos Bay at The Mill • Long sandy beaches, rugged sea stacks, fresh crab and spectacular views of the Oregon coastline • Door-to-door transportation, unique one way by motorcoach with return by air from Coos Bay • 11 meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 full breakfast, 1 brunch, 3 lunches, 2 dinners $2755 p.p./dbl.occ., $3125 single $ave $75 until February 1
Laguna Beach and The Pageant of New Da te! the Masters Art comes to life at one of the world’s most unique festivals 3 Days • July 30 – August 1, August 6-8 or August 20-22 Amazingly, already 71 of the 84 available spaces on the two departures are already booked! Unprecedented for a short tour this far in advance. But what it means is you must consider booking soon or not be able to go with us next year. No wonder it’s so popular. Patricia Hansen has nurtured this trip for many years, adding pieces to create a complete pageant experience. There are two great lunches away from the pageant, at Las Brisas and on a yacht off Newport Harbor, both pretty classy. Speaking of pretty classy, you’ll stay two nights at the Marriott Newport Hotel. At the pageant, you’ll dine, tour, watch, listen and learn. Because we’ve included a guided tour, dinner, a speaker the following morning and of course tickets to California’s most unique cultural pageant. We encourage you to see the video from the 2016 trip online at www.sportsleisure.com, click on California trips and scroll down to the Laguna departures, then click on the “watch video” link. We had some technical issues with the video last newsletter, but It’s fixed now. Page 12 in the catalog is where you’ll find the tour. $1495 p.p./dbl.occ., $1675 single (July)* $1395 p.p./dbl.occ., $1575 single (Aug.) *Prices for the new July departure reflect a donation to Sacramento’s National Public Radio (NPR) station.
Vancouver and Victoria Ramona poses with a sacred giant sequoia
The very best of British Columbia 6 Days • August 1-6 H Highlights H • Enjoy High Tea at the Empress Hotel, see the complete description on page 37 of the catalog • Explore famed Butchart Gardens with lunch in the original family home • Experience a double-decker bus tour of
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
Victoria and city tour of Vancouver • Be awed by an outstanding fireworks display over English Bay • Travel by ferry to Vancouver Island • Roundtrip airfare to Vancouver/from Victoria • Door-to-door service • 7 meals: 1 high tea, 5 lunches, 1 dinner • Tour Director: Chris Galloway $2620 p.p./dbl.occ., $2990 single This vacation requires a valid passport!
Washington’s Masterpiece, The Olympic Peninsula Featuring Ocean Shores, Lake Quinault and the Hoh Rainforest 4 Days • September 4-7 H Highlights H • Sleep with the peaceful sound of ocean waves at Ocean Shores, see the complete description on page 44 of the catalog • Let your imagination run wild as you stroll through a temperate rainforest • Stand high above the Strait of San Juan De Fuca – you’ll feel like you are on top of the world at Hurricane Ridge • Ride the Bainbridge Ferry and take in one of the best views of Seattle • Stay at Lake Quinault Lodge, in lakeview rooms, nestled in the rainforest • Roundtrip airfare to/from Seattle • Door-to-door airport service • 6 meals: 1 breakfast, 1 full breakfast, 3 lunches, 1 dinner • Tour Director: Ramona Goodge $2005 p.p./dbl.occ., $2265 single $ave $50 until February 1
Postcards from Puget Sound 4 Days • September 11-14 H Highlights H • Visit charming seaside communities • Enjoy excellent Pacific Northwest cuisine • Seaplane flight over the San Juan Islands • Roundtrip air to/from Seattle • Door-to-door airport service • 9 meals: 3 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners • 2150/2400 Gold Passport Points Take in the stunning natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest by land, air, and
sea! Idyllic coastal towns, artist enclaves, boutique shopping and upscale cuisine showcase the best of the San Juan Islands. 1. Fly to Seattle and travel to Mukilteo. Lunch is at Ivar’s, famous for clam chowder! Visit the historic lighthouse before boarding the Washington State Ferry headed for Whidbey Island. Langley is your first stop to shop, with an included gift card, for all things chocolate at a boutique dedicated to its aromatic qualities. We will treat you to chocolate truffles at Sweet Mona’s. An early dinner is en route to your hotel. Best Western – Oak Harbor. (L,D) 2. Depart with a local guide and learn of Eby’s Landing, the end of the Oregon Trail. Visit Admiralty Head Lighthouse on the grounds of Fort Casey, dating back to the Civil War. Stop in La Conner for an included lunch with time to stroll the main street shops. In Anacortes, the gorgeous Majestic Inn is your home for the next two nights. Get an overview of the town’s history at a local museum prior to check-in. A farm-to-table dinner at the 5th Street Bistro, located in your hotel, is yours to enjoy at leisure. The Majestic Inn – 2 nights (B,L,D) 3. Sail through the San Juan Islands’ picturesque scenery to Friday Harbor. Upon arrival, tour the island. Have you ever heard of the Pig War? This was a real skirmish (sort of) between American and British forces. Visit an alpaca farm, taste lavender-infused vanilla ice cream and take a seaplane to go flightseeing over the island archipelago. Lunch is in Roche Harbor at the Madrona Grill. If you thought the morning sail was beautiful, just wait until you see it at sunset. Breathtaking! (FB,L) 4. In Everett, home of Boeing, learn about the company’s storied history and groundbreaking technology during the Future of Flight tour. At the assembly plant for the 787 Dreamliner, see the assembly process for yourself! Snohomish is your lunch stop with time to browse the eclectic antique shops before an early evening flight. (FB,L) $2135 p.p./dbl.occ., $2390 single $ave $60 until February 1
Yellowstone & Glacier National Parks
off The Magnificent Mile downtown. From the views atop the Hancock Building to the Polish Museum and the Polish dinner that goes with it, to the magnificent collection at the Art Institute and the 32,000 “friends in residence” at Shedd Aquarium, you won’t run out of great things to do. (Plus,
The Ultimate Natural Experience in Montana and Wyoming – Our Premier Park tour of 2017 9 Days • September 6-14 Trips with accommodations inside or so close to the parks, covering such a magnificent array of natural scenery, don’t come along often. This trip isn’t inexpensive, but consider the length and the number of places visited and we think you will agree it offers solid value. Plus, with three 2-night Buffalo and hot springs: two of Yellowstone’s most precious possessions stays, we believe the pace of the tour is excellent. See page 36 Chris knows all the important secrets, like of the catalog for the detailed, day-by-day where the Magnolia Bakery is and how to itinerary. get that famous Garrett’s Popcorn. See, the H Highlights H important stuff.) A better description is on • Explore Grand Teton National Park by page 17 of the catalog, or check online. Or coach and Snake River float trip bother Chris next time you see him. • Yellowstone National Park unveiled: $2565 p.p./dbl.occ., $2940 single Old Faithful, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs, Land Without Limits: Midway Geyser Basin, Fountain Paint British Columbia’s Cariboo Pots and local wildlife Chilcotin • Lake cruises plus Going-to-the-Sun Road Ramona’s newest adventure to the interior by Jammer Car in Glacier National Park of British Columbia • Tour the Smokejumpers Base in Missoula 7 Days • September 22-28 • Lunch at the Lake Hotel in Yellowstone H Highlights H • Discover Native American and Jesuit • Spend 2 nights in comfort and luxury histories at St. Ignatius Mission surrounded by the beauty of the Chilcotin • Roundtrip airfare to Jackson, WY/from Mountains at the Echo Valley Ranch, Kalispell, MT; complete itinerary found on page 45 of • 15 meals: 8 breakfasts, 2 lunches, the catalog 5 dinners • Step into the Gold Rush at Barkerville • Tour Director: Scott Angeletti Historic Town and Park, with living history $5195 p.p./dbl.occ., $6170 single characters, and storytellers. Ride the $ave $125 until February 1 stagecoach, visit with craftsmen, and enjoy the show. Chicago: Your Kind of Town • Participate in a cooking demonstration, 5 Days • September 21-25 ride horseback, relax with a Thai Chris Galloway is the latest Sports massage at the Echo Valley Ranch Leisure staff member to fall in love with The • Visit a First Nation site – Xats’ull Heritage Windy City. Join him on this “city adventure.” Village; and a Gold Rush-era site – Hat Stay 4 nights at the Embassy Suites, just Creek Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
• Dine next to the Fraser River, doze next to the South Thompson River • Roundtrip airfare to Vancouver/from Kamloops in addition to air between Vancouver and Prince George • Door-to-door airport service • 11 meals: 3 full breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners • Tour Director: Ramona Goodge $3990 p.p./dbl.occ., $4330 single This vacation requires a valid passport!
Canyons and Monuments Featuring Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly and Lake Powell 7 Days • October 3-9 H Highlights H • Discover Lake Powell on a scenic boat cruise and in the air by helicopter, stay two nights at the Lake Powell Resort – find the complete itinerary online or on page 49 of the catalog • Learn about famous Antelope Canyon on a guided tour • Explore Monument Valley & Canyon de Chelly by four-wheeled drive vehicles, stay at famous Goulding’s Lodge overnight, Native American tour of the canyon, a memorable experience • Roundtrip air to/from Phoenix • Door-to-door service • Tour Director: Scott Angeletti • 13 meals: 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches $3205 p.p./dbl.occ., $3585 single $ave $100 until February 1
British Columbia Bear Experience Featuring the Knight Inlet Lodge and Grizzly Bear viewing 6 Days • October 4-9 H Highlights H • 3 nights at the Knight Inlet remote floating wilderness lodge in a comfortable room with private washroom and shower • 2½ days of guided wildlife viewing, including watching grizzly bears from nearby viewing platforms • Marine wildlife viewing excursions as weather allows • Seaplane from/to Campbell River • Interpretive rainforest walk in the Kwalate Valley or a walk above the clouds
interpretive programs. Activities may • Roundtrip airfare to/from Vancouver include (weather permitting) excursions • 12 meals: 1 breakfast, 4 full breakfasts, into Johnstone Strait for marine wildlife 4 lunches, 3 dinners viewing; Bald Eagle and other bird life • Door-to-door airport service viewing; a rainforest walk; and of course, • 5750/7000 Gold Passport Points daily excursions out by either boat or foot This is truly an incredible opportunity and to watch the Grizzlies. Daily schedules are a must on your bucket list if you are a nature arranged with optimum wildlife viewing in enthusiast! Our 2016 group of adventurers mind. Check out Knight Inlet Lodge on didn’t want to leave! Knight Inlet is home to Facebook for weekly photos and updates; one of the largest concentrations of Grizzly you will want to be there! Bears in British Columbia. With ample Accommodations include modest yet seafood and other food sources, these comfortable rooms featuring queen-sized Grizzlies are magnificent! We will be visiting beds with private washroom and shower. during the fall salmon run so we will be The dining room features bountiful fresh walking out to viewing platforms in order to see the bears filling up on fresh salmon. Bring your cameras and binoculars for spectacular viewing! This is a Sports Leisure Vacations exclusive, as we are the only tour operator with the premier fall viewing season availability! Please note: The Knight Inlet Lodge Visit the bears in British Columbia is a remote floating and local ingredients prepared in West lodge in the wilderness accessible only Coast cuisine-style, with daily specials, fine by seaplane or boat; and many activities wines (included) and decadent desserts. include climbing into marine vessels, (They will try to accommodate most walking through water and on uneven dietary preferences, with advance notice. surfaces. For these reasons, you must be Please advise at the time of making your in stable physical condition, with good reservations if you have restrictions.) Knight mobility. We do not recommend this tour Inlet Lodge – 3 nights (1B,2FB,3L,3D) for travelers with serious mobility issues. If 5. Say goodbye to the lodge as the you have questions or concerns, talk with seaplane arrives to return you to Vancouver Ramona before booking. Space is limited, Island. We will spend the night in Nanaimo. with only 4 rooms available for single For the adventurous, go out and walk this occupancy. harborside town in search of the perfect 1. Arrive in Vancouver in time to catch the Nanaimo Bar (this is a local sweet, not an ferry for an afternoon crossing of Georgia adult beverage establishment!). Coast Strait. Arrive in Campbell River in the early Bastion Hotel (FB,L) evening and settle into your room. Campbell 6. The morning ferry returns us to the River Comfort Inn mainland in time for a scatter lunch along 2-4. A morning seaplane flight delivers the waterfront in Steveson. We will have an you to deep into Knight Inlet for three full early evening flight home. (FB) days of immersion into the lives of British $5750 p.p./dbl.occ., $6985 single Columbia wildlife. Naturalists are on hand $ave $200 until December 20* for all your questions, to direct your viewing This vacation requires a valid passport! experiences, and to provide evening
Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Featuring reserved upgraded seating in the Chasers Lounge – this trip fills early 4 Days • October 11-14 H Highlights H • Stay 3 nights at the Drury Inn & Suites with daily breakfasts and evening hospitality, find the complete itinerary on pages 30-31 in the catalog • 4 balloon events including Balloon Glow, Special Shapes and Mass Ascensions • Upgraded seating in the Chasers Lounge • Guided tour of the Abruzzo International Balloon Museum • Presentation at the Turquoise Museum • Roundtrip air to Albuquerque • Door-to-door airport service • 7 meals: 3 breakfasts, 2 lunches,1 dinner • Tour Director: Scott Angeletti $1960 p.p./dbl.occ., $2235 single
Autumn in Appalachia, Asheville to Nashville The Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains in Fall majesty 8 Days • October 23-30 H Highlights H • Feel the thrill during a tour of Charlotte Motor Speedway, read the itinerary on page 25 of the catalog • Travel through the scenic wonder of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains • Sample flavored moonshine at Ole Smoky Moonshine Distillery • Spend a day at Dollywood Theme Park
• Experience a behind-the-scenes-tour of The Grand Ole Opry and attend the show • Roundtrip airfare to Charlotte/from Nashville • Door-to-door service • 14 meals: 7 full breakfasts, 5 lunches, 2 dinners • Tour Director: Chris Galloway $3960 p.p./dbl.occ., $4370 single
Key West, Miami and The Everglades Key Largo and 4 nights in Key West 7 Days • January 20-26, 2018 H Highlights H • Florida Everglades, air boats and alligators • History – the Hemingway Home, The Aquarium and Truman’s “Little White House,” Old Town Trolley island tour • Exclusive lunch on private Sunset Key • “Taste of Key West” food tour by trolley; sample local culinary treats (including Key Lime Pie, Conch Fritters, Cuban Sandwiches) • Sunset at Mallory Square meet one of the street performers for a closer look at his craft • Day cruise on an authentic clipper ship (optional), visit the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory • Cabaret Dinner Show at La Te Da; lunch at Hemingway’s Sloppy Joe’s, a local landmark • Overnight Ft. Lauderdale – Miami city
tour featuring South Beach and Coral Gables; overnight in Key Largo; 4 nights Key West • Tour the Turtle Hospital in the Keys • Roundtrip air to Ft. Lauderdale/from Key West • 14 meals, door-to-door airport service • Tour Directors: Mark & Chris Key West has become one of our most popular destinations with our annual tour selling out every year, months ahead of departure. Key West is a pedestrian-friendly destination, and because of that we walk to many attractions. During your extended stay in Key West, your accommodations are in the very best location in town, at the historic La Concha Crowne Plaza. The hotel is a landmarked building and it’s right in the middle of famous Duval Street, allowing you to make the most of your free time in town, because you can walk to just about everything. Restaurants and shops are close and best of all, your breakfast is included every morning! We do not recommend this tour for travelers with serious mobility issues. $3895 p.p./dbl.occ., $4450 single $ave $100 until February 1
Cruising the (NEW) Panama Canal Travel in comfort aboard Holland America’s m/v Westerdam 17 Days • February 3-19, 2018 H Highlights H • Pre-cruise overnight stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Plantation • Bon Voyage Dinner at Texas de Brazil Restaurant in Fort Lauderdale • All meals included on board the m/v Westerdam • Prices include all transfers, port taxes • Roundtrip air to Ft. Lauderdale/from San Diego • Door-to-door airport service • Fully escorted by a Sports Leisure Tour Director Inside cabins start at $4095 p.p./dbl.occ., $5610 single Outside cabins start at $4370 p.p./dbl.occ., $6090 single, $ave $125 until February 1
Scott Angeletti with his sons Ryan and Sean at Balloon Fiesta with local weather man Steve Stucker waiting for the Balloons to start launching! I think the balloon pin collecting is getting way out of control. Sports Leisure Vacations / January – February 2017
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Sacramento, CA PERMIT NO. 517
9812 Old Winery Place, Suite 1 Sacramento, CA 95827 ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
EARLY PAYMENT Di$count Coupon Early Registration Payment Di$counts listed here expire on Wednesday, February 1, 2017; or may be withdrawn when 50% of the available space has been reserved. To receive the discount, you must pay in full within ten days of registration. If you accept this option, the monies paid, including the cost of Cancellation Protection, are returned to you in full if you cancel more than 60 days prior to departure for US and Canadian tours or 75 days prior for International tours, regardless of the reason for cancellation. Within the time limits noted above, restrictions on refunds apply. See the Special Vacation Notes & Information brochure for complete details. May – Kauai and Maui: The Best of Hawaii – $ave $100 May – The Preakness Stakes – $ave $50 Jun. – Alaska: Wildlife & Glaciers – $ave $50 Jul. – Skamania Lodge, Columbia River Gorge – $ave $40 Jul. – Spectacular Redwoods & the Oregon Coast – $ave $75 Aug. – Washington’s Masterpiece: Olympic Peninsula – $ave $50 Aug. – Sounds of Music in Leavenworth – $ave $60 Sep. – Postcards from Puget Sound – $ave $60 Sep. – Canada Coast to Coast by Rail – $ave $150 Sep. – Yellowstone & Glacier National Park – $ave $1245 Oct. – British Columbia Bear Experience – $ave $200 Oct. – Italy, That’s Amore – $ave $150 Oct. – Canyons & Monuments – $ave $100 Oct. – Sedona & The Grand Canyon – $ave $60 Jan. 2018 – Key West, Miami & Everglades – $ave $100 Jan. 2018 – US Figure Skating Championships – $ave $100 Feb. 2018 – Cruising the (New) Panama Canal – $ave $125
9:00am – 4:30pm MON. thru FRI. Closed weekends & major holidays CLOSED TUES. 12:00pm – 1:15pm
$ave $10–$40 per person on Cancellation Protection Valid only when used with the adjacent coupon on the tours listed. Your savings depend on the double-occupancy price of the tour. $ave $10 on tours priced from $451-$800, $ave $20 on tours priced from $801-$2250, $ave $30 on tours priced from $2251-$3500, $ave $40 on tours priced at $3501 or more. The regular cost of this protection is $15-$295, depending on the tour price. To receive the above discounts, you must pay in full within ten days of registration and purchase the protection at the time you pay for your tour. Within 60/75 days of departure (see adjoining coupon), coverage is limited to verified medical emergencies. Please refer to the Special Vacation Notes & Information brochure for details, or call our office.
TOUR UPDATE… A brief list of tours which are sold out, or have only a limited amount of space (10 or fewer seats, number in parenthesis) remaining. Day trips are not listed.
Sold-Out Tours (waiting list available) Winter at the Ahwahnee
Winter in Yellowstone
Mystery Tours Are Okay, Eh?
New Orleans & the Sunset Limited
Ferries, Islands & Towns of Cape Cod
Pure Michigan: Mackinca & The U.P.
Great American Mystery Tour
Oktoberfest, Canadian Thanksgiving
Moab, Gateway to Arches Nat’l Park
Limited Space (10 or fewer seats) Spring Training in Arizona (6)
Kenya Wildlife Safari (2)
On the Central Coast (1)
Happy Birthday Canada! (7)
Giants Roadtrip & Hall of Fame (8)
Pageant of the Masters – Aug. 6 (3)
Alaska Wildlife & Glaciers (4)
Pageant of the Masters – Aug. 20 (9)
Best of the Dakotas (5)
Colorful Carolina Coast (1)