Page 1

RIDE THE RAILS ACROSS CANADA

S U M M E R 20 17

50 CHICAGO’S

DEEP DIVES!

Bask in island bliss PLUS HOT NIGHTS, COOL SITES IN THE SOUTH THE SPIN ON CYCLING VACATIONS BLOCKBUSTER DRIVE-INS

Ravine Cyrique waterfall, Dominica


GET YOUR on


SUMMER 2017

PAUL BROUSSARD

SOUTHERN TOWNS Lively, thriving, surviving

3


REGIONS

SUMMER 2017

n NORTHEAST 78

80 86 90

Maksim Chmerkovskiy’s Fort Lee, N.J. Visit Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard Maine Windjammers Fort Meade, Md.’s Spy Museum

n SOUTHEAST 94 96 100

174

Pujol

UP FRONT 10

AIRPORT NEWS

14

VACATIONING WITH TECH

16

USING TRAVEL AGENTS

20

AUGUST’S TOTAL ECLIPSE

22

CANADA TURNS 150

24

NEW U.S. CASINOS

26

GOLF ENVIRONMENTALLY

30

URBAN GREENWAYS

32

NEW ENGLAND’S BEST LOBSTER ROLLS

FEATURES NEVIS 36 HAMILTON’S From the Caribbean to U.S. history

102 106 112

Donnell Rawlings’ Alexandria, Va. What’s New in Orlando Beyond the Orlando Theme Parks Surf Cocoa Beach, Fla. Virginia Wines Shaker Village in Ky.

n MIDWEST 118 Mario Batali’s

Northport, Mich.

120 Beautiful Duluth, Minn. 124 Chicago Shipwrecks 130 Cincinnati’s Beer Trail

n WEST 138 140 148 154

Hayley Orrantia’s Dallas N.M. Atomic Tourism Comfy Camping in Utah Funky Big Bend, Texas

VIA BIKE 42 VACATION How to see the world on two wheels

n PACIFIC

70 New takes on old-school fun

162 San Francisco: Eats and Views 164 Washington Lavender Festival 166 Palm Springs’ Midcentury

DRIVE-IN MOVIES

160 Kristi Yamaguchi’s Bay Area, Calif.

Modern Design

DESTINATIONS 174 n MEXICO Mexico City: Hottest New Restaurants Isla Mujeres: A Place for Respite

186 n CANADA See the Rockies Via Train Toronto’s Urban Parks

194 n EUROPE 200 n CARIBBEAN Dominica: Hike, Tour, Relax

204 n CRUISES 2017’s Biggest Ships

ON THE COVER: Ravine Cyrique waterfall, Dominica PHOTO BY: Getty Images

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164

208 n ONE FOR THE ROAD Share the Experience All prices and availability are subject to change.

ARACELI PAZ; LISA MEYERS MCCLINTICK

Croatia Brings the Past to Life


FEATURED CONTRIBUTORS

PREMIUM PUBLICATION EDITORIAL

DIRECTOR Jeanette Barrett-Stokes jbstokes@usatoday.com

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates specializes in writing cultural travel stories that reflect a destination’s history and traditions. Whether that means munching fried grasshoppers in Oaxaca or scaling UNESCO forts in Haiti, she’s down for it. Islandhopping is one of her favorite pastimes, and Nevis (page 36) is always at the top of her itinerary. Her work has appeared in Hemispheres, The Miami Herald, Brides, Midwest Living, Woman’s Day and Rough Guide to Women Travel, among others. A music and arts critic, she’s the author of Exploring Chicago Blues: Inside the Scene, Past and Present. Twitter and Instagram: @farsightedgirl

Jennifer Bradley Franklin is an Atlanta-based multimedia journalist, storyteller, producer, editor and author who is always on the hunt for the next adventure. Her work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Delta Sky, American Way, People, Food Network, Southbound, Atlanta Magazine and Hospitality Design. For this issue, she writes about freewheeling bicycle tours in honor of the 200th anniversary of the bike’s invention (page 42) and actress Hayley Orrantia’s hometown, Dallas (page 138). Twitter and Instagram: @JennBFranklin

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jerald Council jcouncil@usatoday.com MANAGING EDITOR Michelle Washington mjwashington@usatoday.com ISSUE EDITOR Elizabeth Neus EDITORS Tracy Scott Forson Patricia Kime Sara Schwartz Debbie Williams ISSUE DESIGNER Lisa M. Zilka DESIGNERS Miranda Pellicano Gina Toole Saunders INTERNS Antoinette D’Addario Rosalie Haizlett CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Diane Bair, Brian Barth, Kit Bernardi, Jennifer Billock, Rosalind Cummings-Yeates, Hollie Deese, Jim Dillon, Allison Entrekin, Jennifer Bradley Franklin, Carmen Gentile, Adrienne Jordan, Melanie D.G. Kaplan, Julie Kendrick, Alexis Korman, Cindy Kuzma, Lisa Meyers McClintick, Katie Morell, Hilary Nangle, Shelley Seale, Sarah Sekula, Kate Silver, Annette Thompson, Kristi Valentini, Talia Wooldridge, Pamela Wright

COURTESY OF THE CONTRIBUTORS

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Melanie D.G. Kaplan is a Washington, D.C-based travel writer and regular contributor to The Washington Post, National Parks and Washingtonian. She and her beagle Hammy, who spent the first four years of his life in a testing lab, have a fondness for the open road and love nothing more than a car packed for a month — bike, paddleboard and dog treats in tow. She visited the nation’s coolest drive-ins (page 70) and the museum at the National Security Agency (page 90). Website: melaniedgkaplan.com

Annette Thompson is drawn to front porch conversations, kitschy roadside stops and the aroma of barbecue smoke when exploring outside her Birmingham home. She cut her travel writing teeth as an editor at Southern Living magazine and now works on stories around the globe. Join her in some of the best Southern towns (page 52). She publishes an online, biweekly travel zine written by women for women who have postponed their own dreams while helping others achieve theirs. Website: secondchancetravels.com

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BILLING COORDINATOR Julie Marco This is a product of

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PRINTED IN THE USA

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travel.usatoday.com JUST FOR FUN NAME THAT AIRPORT

Each week, we post a mystery photo and ask readers to identify which airport it’s from. Join the guessing game at: utodayinthesky.usatoday.com

STUNNING DESIGNS 25 MUST-SEE BUILDINGS IN EVERY STATE

HOW TO AVOID SUMMER VISA PROBLEMS

• Mind your expiration dates. Both visas and passports have an expiration date. Be aware of them and make sure you don’t overstay. Most countries require six months remaining on your passport for entry. Some countries will allow you to use a valid visa affixed to an expired passport as long as you have a new, valid passport and present them together. • Take the right photo. When submitting your visa application, you usually need at least one passport photo. Countries are specific about their requirements (no sunglasses, no hats, specific formatting). Pro tip: Never staple the photo to your application; it could void the entire application. • Remember, a visa isn’t a guarantee of admission. Travelers assume a visa is a permit to enter the country. “This is quite far from the truth,” says Anton Petrescu de Perrella, a visa expert with Tzell Travel Group in New York. “The immigration officer at the point of entry of the country concerned is the ultimate authority and determines if you will be allowed to enter or not.”

6 GO ESCAPE | SUMMER 2017

TASTING TOURS TANGY TEXAS

Everything is bigger in Texas, and the flavors are no exception. A boom of culinary creativity continues to sweep over Austin, making it a go-to city for food with a Texas twist. Get a taste of the fare of Austin (and other destinations) at USA TODAY Eats.

uusatoday.com/ story/travel/ experience/ food-andwine/2017/04/03/ austin-texastrademarktastes/99951162

Explore America’s extraordinary architectural heritage with an exclusive series spotlighting the best buildings in every state. Find a new photo tour each week at: uusatoday.com/travel/destinations

MUST-SEE VIDEO A CHURCH WITH A UNIQUE LOCATION

In the shimmering Bay of Kotor off the Adriatic Sea, you’ll see a sight that will make you check your eyes. Learn the secrets of the extraordinary “floating church” of Montenegro.

uusatoday.com/story/travel/destinations/2017/03/31/ our-lady-of-the-rocks-church-montenegro/99829190

BILL GRIMMER; CAROLYN BROWN; CURIOUS TRAVELER

CONSUMER CORNER


GET AWAY TO PITTSBURGH Pittsburgh is one hot city. The City of Bridges continues

National Aviary

t o be recognized as a must-see travel destination. With one-of-a-kind family-friendly attractions, awardwinning restaurants, world-renowned museums and so much more, it’s no wonder why everyone is looking at Pittsburgh. Book your Pittsburgh getaway at visitpittsburgh.com and get discounts on attraction tickets, hotels and more. One visit and you’ll #LovePGH.

To learn more, go to

Carnegie Museum of Art


Bleed Area: 8.4167 x 10.9167 Actual Page Size: 8 x 10.5 Live Image/Safe Area: 7.5 x 10


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UP FRONT I N T H E N O W, I N T H E K N O W

GETTING AROUND 10

|

EVENTS 20

|

GAMING 24

|

GO OUTSIDE 26

|

FOOD + DRINK 32

OPEN ROADS

GETTY IMAGES

We’re here to help you get away from it all — whether “it” is a stressful job, a demanding family or just the onslaught of daily news. The next hill you climb should be one that you actually want to scale, with a sense of accomplishment when you reach the top. Turn the page, and begin your journey.

9


UP FRONT | GETTING AROUND

Take This Info Onboard News from the airline and airport industry USA TODAY

FINDING CHEAP FARES

2

The peak summer travel season is well underway, but there are still days where you can find less expensive airfares. Just remember, fare hikes (and drops) can vary slightly depending on the route, and airlines are constantly tweaking prices. U.S. DOMESTIC FLIGHTS

CHECK YOUR ID

▶ June 15: Expect a hike as the

— Harriet Baskas

10 GO ESCAPE | SUMMER 2017

most expensive vacation fares go into effect. You can still save by departing on or before June 14. ▶ Aug. 30: The fall deal zone gets a little later start than in recent years, but if you can delay a trip until Aug. 30, you will see a drop from peakseason pricing. FLIGHTS TO EUROPE

▶ Aug. 21: Trans-Atlantic fares drop on this date; fly in late August and avoid summer fares and summer crowds. FLIGHTS TO ASIA

▶ July 20: The final price hike of the season.

▶ Aug. 7: Summer prices drop somewhat.

▶ Aug. 20: A more significant drop; this would be a good time to fly.

— Rick Seaney

GETTY IMAGES (2); TRANSPORTATION SECURITY ADMINISTRATION

1

Signs have sprouted up at many airports to alert travelers that beginning Jan. 22, the Transportation Security Administration will begin strict enforcement of the REAL ID Act requirements at airport security checkpoints. That means that passengers presenting a driver’s license or identification card from a state where those documents don’t meet the REAL ID Act’s minimum security standards — and where extensions to meet those requirements have not been granted — may be turned away. (Find out your state’s status here: dhs.gov/current-status-states-territories) TSA will continue its current practice of accepting alternate forms of ID, such as a passport, military ID or permanent resident card, at airports. But next year, driver’s licenses and state-issued ID cards from states that don’t yet have REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and IDs won’t be accepted. Enacted by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act established minimum security standards for state-issued IDs and requires them to include a person’s full legal name, birth date, gender, address, signature, an ID number, a photo and a security feature such as a bar code or hologram.


UP FRONT | GETTING AROUND

FEWER FLIGHTS TO CUBA

4

3

Frequent fliers, listen up. Tuesday is the “cheapest” day to use your airline

miles. And you’re most likely to find the lowest-mileage domestic coach-class award tickets on Southwest and Delta. At least that’s the finding of a new report out by MileCards.com, a website that lets users compare travel credit cards based on where they want to fly. The group says it analyzed “over 100,000 award travel date and route combinations among the frequent-flier programs of the five biggest U.S. airlines,” which are American, Delta, United, Southwest and Alaska Airlines. The MileCards.com analysis looked exclusively at domestic awards for economy class travel. Among the notable findings: ▶ On average, frequent fliers will expend the fewest miles or points for award travel on Tuesdays. According to MileCards.com, “across all airlines studied, prices on Tuesday are 26 percent lower on average than those on the most expensive day,” which is Sunday. ▶ Southwest’s Rapid Rewards and Delta’s SkyMiles were cheapest for awards in the U.S., according to MileCards.com. Its analysis found Southwest charged an average of 13,629 miles for a round-trip award. “The catch,” according to MileCards.com, is that “Southwest doesn’t fly to Hawaii, or some popular award destinations in the mainland U.S., like Vail and Anchorage.”

— Ben Mutzabaugh

12 GO ESCAPE | SUMMER 2017

5

It’s going to be a little more difficult to get to Cuba from the U.S. Spirit Airlines has become the latest U.S. airline to give up on scheduled passenger service to the island nation; it was scheduled to halt its Havana-Fort Lauderdale flight schedule May 31. That makes Spirit the third U.S. carrier to exit the Cuban market this year, after similar plans were announced in March by Frontier Airlines and Silver Airways. American and JetBlue have reduced capacity to Cuba, though they’ve done so by changing frequency or switching to smaller aircraft rather than discontinuing routes. Spirit’s decision to exit Cuba comes about eight months after regular passenger flights to the island resumed for the first time in nearly 50 years. Despite Spirit’s move, South Florida travelers will still have numerous options for non-stop flights to Havana. American and Delta fly to Havana from Miami, while JetBlue and Southwest fly from Fort Lauderdale.

In the past, only the biggest and busiest U.S. airports had international air service. Now smaller airports — such as Bradley International near Hartford, Conn.; T.F. Green Airport near Providence, R.I.; and Stewart International Airport in New York’s Hudson Valley — have snagged direct flights to Europe and a slice of the trans-Atlantic air service pie. They’re adding amenities and sprucing up facilities. Bradley, which is adding Norwegian Air flights to Edinburgh, built a dutyfree shop for international travelers. T. F. Green is currently expanding its international arrival facility, with the goal of having enhancements in place for Norwegian Air flights beginning in June. Stewart just finished razing a World War II vintage hangar to make room for more aircraft parking. It gets international service with Norwegian Air’s daily flights to Edinburgh starting in June. Flights from Stewart to Dublin and Belfast begin July 1, and flights to Shannon, Ireland, and Bergen, Norway, kick off on July 2.

— Ben Mutzabaugh

— Harriet Baskas

UNITED MAKES IT UP TO PASSENGERS

6

In the wake of negative publicity over its treatment of passengers, United Airlines now offers up to $10,000 compensation for travelers who voluntarily give up their seats on an overbooked flight. United also said it would reduce overbooking, and will no longer attempt to involuntarily remove passengers who’ve already boarded their flights “unless safety or security is at risk.” And the carrier is making permanent a policy it adopted April 12 that it will no longer call law enforcement officers to remove passengers except in cases of “safety and security.”

— Ben Mutzabaugh

GETTY IMAGES

SOUTHWEST, DELTA WIN KUDOS

TINY AIRPORTS GO INTL.


UP FRONT | GETTING AROUND

Traveling With Tech Keeping your devices safe, charged and useful BY MARC SALTZMAN AND JEFFERSON GRAHAM

LAPTOPS

CHARGING

DEVICES

GENERAL TIPS

Travelers flying to the United States from one of nine Middle Eastern or African airports with extra restrictions are required to check any device larger than a smartphone, despite advice that it’s safer to take your tech on board to prevent loss. The ban may expand; check dhs.gov for updates and search for “laptop ban.”

Check your airline’s website to see whether the plane will have a USB port or a 110-volt outlet on board. Most have at least one. Bring a small, portable backup battery just in case airport outlets are rare. Charge your device at the hotel by plugging your USB cord into the TV if you forgot your wall plug.

Using your phone to make calls outside the U.S. can trigger roaming fees; contact your carrier to find out whether it has an affordable international or travel plan. Consider using a local SIM card with prepaid service if you’re able to install one on your phone. Or make free calls using Skype, WhatsApp or Facetime.

Before arriving in a foreign country, check the voltage used; you may need to buy an AC adapter that changes the shape of the prongs. Don’t pay a car rental company for a GPS if you have your smartphone. If you don’t want to rely on spotty Wi-Fi access, Google Maps lets you download directions to use offline.

14 GO ESCAPE | SUMMER 2017

GETTY IMAGES

TODAY’S TRAVELERS LIKELY have hightech companions to help keep them organized, productive, entertained and in touch. But to avoid any hiccups while on the road — whether it’s for a summer vacation or a quick business trip — here are a few considerations before you pack your gear:


UP FRONT | GETTING AROUND

Return of the Travel Agent Face-to-face consultations give travelers tailored experiences online sites can’t provide

SEASONED TRAVELERS ANNALISA and Brian White typically plan their own vacations. But when it came time to think about their January honeymoon, they asked Audley Travel, a Boston-based company specializing in tailormade journeys, to plan their trip to Morocco down to every last detail. We’re talking private cooking classes in Fez, a scrubdown in a hammam, a tasting tour in Marrakech and a Saharan glamping experience complete with camels. Prior to the trip, they were given etiquette tips, commonly used Arabic phrases and a customized itinerary app. Like the Whites, many travelers

16 GO ESCAPE | SUMMER 2017

are once again turning to travel agents. But with popular booking sites likes kayak.com and hotels. com at our fingertips, the question is: Why? The answer is simple: the human element. For example, in 2010 when 10,000 flights were canceled after a holiday blizzard, travel agents were the ones hunting down flights and helping people rebook in the wee hours. DIY travel-planning sites were useless. Back in the pre-Internet days, travel agents’ institutional knowledge went far — they knew the best routes and could use a GDS (Global Distribution System) like Sabre, Worldspan or Galileo

GETTY IMAGES

BY SARAH SEKULA


Savings can take you to sights.

amazing

geico.com | 1-877-434-2678 | Local Office

Some discounts, coverages, payment plans and features are not available in all states or all GEICO companies. GEICO is a registered service mark of Government Employees Insurance Company, Washington, D.C. 20076; a Berkshire Hathaway Inc. subsidiary. Š 2017 GEICO


UP FRONT | GETTING AROUND

BY THE NUMBERS

TIP The more complex the trip, the more useful a travel agent can be with planning.

18% The percentage of American travelers who used a traditional travel agent for at least one vacation during 2016, up from 12 percent in 2013. Twenty-three percent of American travelers in 2016 plan to use the services of a traditional travel agent for a vacation during the next two years, up from 17 percent in 2013.

33%

18 GO ESCAPE | SUMMER 2017

11% The percentage of boomer travelers in both 2013 and 2016 who used a traditional travel agent for at least one vacation during the past 12 months. Similarly, the same percentage of those travelers in 2013 and 2016 — 18 percent — plan to use the services of a traditional travel agent for a vacation during the next two years. SOURCE: MMGY GLOBAL’S 2016 PORTRAIT OF AMERICAN TRAVELERS SURVEY

GETTY IMAGES

for quick access to published airfares. They were a necessity. But these days, agents have become specialists in order to compete with the online travel sites. In the Whites’ case, that meant an agent with extensive knowledge of Morocco, and connections to boot. “Our specialist picked up on the fact that we are both interested in culture and history,” Annalisa says. “Getting advice from experts helps you to travel efficiently and enjoy your trip rather than wondering if you’re making the right choices and seeing the right things.” Fueling the trend are millennials, those born between 1981 and 1991. Thirty-three percent of these travelers used a travel agent to book at least one vacation in the past 12 months, up from 14 percent in 2013, according to a 2016 Portrait of American Travelers survey published by MMGY Global, a travel and hospitality marketing firm. But when it came to baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), 11 percent of them used travel agents in 2016, the same percentage as in 2013. So how does it work? Claire Saylor, senior marketing manager at Audley Travel, says agents make money through commissions paid by hotels and transportation and excursions companies. They also negotiate contract rates better than most clients will find themselves, adding in a service fee. She adds that the best trips to book with an agent are the complicated ones — a group trip of folks with varied interests, one where you’re making multiple stops with tricky transportation logistics or a special occasion where things must go smoothly, like a honeymoon. “We try to offer the kind of experiences that will become those golden nuggets you refer to at dinner parties,” Saylor says. l

The percentage of millennials millennials who used a traditional travel agent for at least one vacation during 2016, up from 14 percent in 2013. And 35 percent of millennials in 2016 plan to use the services of a traditional travel agent for a vacation during the next two years, up from 18 percent in 2013. They’re responsible for much of the growth in travel agent usage.


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UP FRONT | EVENTS

On the Dark Side

10:20 A.M. PT

Kimberly, Ore.

First total solar eclipse in 26 years draws visitors across America

11:30 A.M. MT

Arco, Idaho

BY LARRY BLEIBERG

ON AUG. 21, a swath of the U.S. will plunge into darkness during a rare continent-wide total solar eclipse. The zone of totality, where stars could be visible in the middle of the day, crosses 12 states from Oregon to South Carolina. Already, hotel rooms are selling out. “A lot of people will have a chance to see a spectacular sight,” says George Moromisato, author of 101 Amazing Sights of the Night Sky. He shares some promising places, tracking from west to east, to enjoy the celestial event.

NATIONAL MONUMENT

Kimberly, Ore. The National Park Service is already planning for crowds in this quiet northeastern corner of Oregon. The monument’s three units, known for an abundance of plant and animal fossils, will plunge into darkness for as long as two minutes around 10:20 a.m. PT. “It’s a wonderful setting with a great chance of clear skies,” Moromisato says. The monument bookstore will sell eclipse-viewing glasses and filters, but suggests visitors bring their own just in case. unps.gov/joda CRATERS OF THE MOON NATIONAL MONUMENT

moon: “It’s an otherworldly place right at the edge of the path.” Total darkness will last about a minute, starting around 11:30 a.m. MT at Bottolfsen Park. unps.gov/crmo GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK

Moose, Wyo. The famed Rockies park — which officials expect to be packed — sits in the center line of the eclipse path and will experience up to two minutes and 20 seconds of darkness beginning around 11:35 a.m. MT. The park will have rangers on hand near the viewing areas. “It’s another great reason to see it in a national park,” Moromisato says. unps.gov/grte

AND PRESERVE

Arco, Idaho Moromisato says there’s a certain symmetry to watching an eclipse involving the moon near a landscape named after the

20 GO ESCAPE | SUMMER 2017

HOMESTEAD NATIONAL MONUMENT OF AMERICA

Beatrice, Neb. Normally focused on the history of this country’s pioneering homesteaders,

11:35 A.M. MT

KEY

Predicted viewing area Places to visit

this park plans a full celebration leading up to the Monday eclipse, promising “Darkness over the Prairie” starting around 1:02 p.m. CT. The park gift shop is already selling souvenir merchandise. unps.gov/home ST. JOSEPH, MO.

The town north of Kansas City will experience two minutes and 38 seconds of totality starting at 1:06 p.m. CT, near the maximum possible. There will be five primary watch areas, as well as other viewing

200 mi

areas, including a historic mansion overlooking the Missouri River bluffs. The local chamber of commerce urges visitors to call local hotels directly to make reservations; some national hotel websites are incorrectly indicating the city’s hotels are sold out. ustjomoeclipse.com CARBONDALE, ILL.

The home of Southern Illinois University is promoting itself as the “Eclipse Crossroads of America.” The city is at the center of the excitement

MAP: GETTY IMAGES; PHOTO: CRAIG WOLFROM

JOHN DAY FOSSIL BEDS

Moose, Wyo.


1:02 P.M. CT

Beatrice, Neb. St. Joseph, Mo.

1:20 P.M. CT

Carbondale, Ill.

1:27 P.M. CT

1:06 P.M. CT

Nashville, Tenn. Hopkinsville, Ky. 1:24 P.M. CT

2:47 P.M. ET

Charleston, S.C.

Get unlit!

ST. JOSEPH’S VISITORS BUREAU; NASHVILLE CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

For more info, see eclipse2017. nasa.gov.

this year — with a nearmaximum two minutes and 38 seconds of darkness beginning at 1:20 p.m. CT — but in seven years, on April 8, 2024, it will experience a similar event when another eclipse crosses the country from Texas to Maine. ucarbondaleeclipse.com

HOPKINSVILLE, KY.

NASHVILLE

If you want to eke out every second of the eclipse, this Kentucky town is one of your best bets. It will experience a full two minutes and 40 seconds of darkness starting at 1:24 p.m. CT. The event coincides with the town’s annual Little Green Men Festival, inspired by a UFO incident from the 1950s. ueclipseville.com

Tennessee’s capital will be the largest U.S. city to go dark for two minutes, starting about 1:27 p.m. CT. “Anyone can just walk out the door and see a total eclipse. It’s going to be a shared experience,” Moromisato says. uvisitmusiccity.com/ eclipse CHARLESTON, S.C.

The historic city has rolled

out an array of events, from hotel rooftop viewing with an astronomy instructor to a blues-and-barbecue cruise. Says Moromisato: “This is essentially the last place in the United States that will see the eclipse,” at 2:47 p.m. ET, 94 minutes after it begins. ucharlestoncvb.com/ special-offers/packages/ eclipse

21


UP FRONT | EVENTS

TORONTO

Mike Myers shares where to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday BY LARRY BLEIBERG

CANADA CELEBRATES ITS 150th birthday this year, and perhaps there’s no one more excited than Mike Myers. The native son, who played Austin Powers, voiced Shrek and created Wayne’s World, hasn’t forgotten his roots. He recently published Canada, a book that lovingly explores the nation’s quirks and strengths. “Canadians have taken politeness to an almost burlesque level,” he says. “It is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, filled with reasonable, civilized, peaceful, cultured people.” He shares some of his favorite spots with USA TODAY.

22 GO ESCAPE | SUMMER 2017

ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND

Closer to Ireland than parts of Canada, this provincial capital can feel like its own world. “St. John’s harbor looks like a harbor from Lord of the Rings. The people are even more magical,” Myers says. “The Newfie accent is so distinct that you cannot believe it’s in North America.” And it’s more difficult to understand after imbibing the local moonshine called screech. newfoundlandlabrador.com PEGGY’S COVE, NOVA SCOTIA

This Atlantic coast village, known for a landmark lighthouse, may be the prettiest spot in the country. Myers calls it “a study in quaint. It’s like stepping into an Edward Hopper painting.” After soaking in the scenery, leave time for lunch. He suggests the seafood chowder at The Sou’wester. novascotia.com

QUEBEC CITY

Myers can’t resist the history and charm of North America’s only remaining walled city. “The whole city is a movie set. Prepare to have your mind blown.” Try traditional Canadian pea soup at Restaurant Aux Anciens Canadiens. quebecregion.com

BANFF, ALBERTA

How pretty is this corner of Alberta? “The Rocky Mountains and Lake Louise form a natural tableau that will literally make you laugh out loud at its perfection,” Myers says. travelalberta.com

VANCOUVER

One of the world’s most beautifully situated cities offers majestic mountain and harbor views. “Make sure to catch the sea planes landing,” Myers says. “And while it does rain a lot (think Seattle), I happen to love the rain. The climate is way milder than the rest of Canada.” Also check out Stanley Park, with its totem poles and sweeping views. tourismvancouver.com

VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA

You’ll fall for British Columbia‘s seaside capital on the ferry ride over from Vancouver. “The combination of pine, rocky outcroppings and deep blue sea are intoxicating,” Myers says. Upon arrival, you’ll find a town that looks like England 100 years ago. Complete the experience with high tea at the Empress Hotel, he adds. tourism victoria.com

JAMIE MCCARTHY/GETTY IMAGES; SHAWN HUDSON; CLIFTON LI; DESTINATION CANADA (3)

Party On!

Canada’s largest city stands out for its livability, says Myers, who grew up in the city’s Scarborough district and started his comedy career with Toronto’s famous The Second City improv group. “Toronto has been described as ‘New York run by the Swiss,’” he says. It’s efficient, vibrant, safe and blessed with a thriving arts scene. seetorontonow.com


This Gamble Paid Off The East Coast becomes a landing site for massive new casinos BY NANCY TREJOS

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MICHAEL AND DIANE Engel chose to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary at VUE 24 at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut. The couple from Sayville, N.Y., weren’t just there for the view of the hundreds of acres of woods belonging to the Mashantucket Pequot Native American tribe. Michael wanted to gamble, and Diane wanted to try the cuisine of celebrity chefs such as Guy Fieri. She also wanted to shop at Tanger Outlets and catch a show or two. (Among the upcoming performers: Lee Brice, John Legend and Idina Menzel.) The Engels are the sweet spot for this casino resort that debuted 25 years ago, sparking a new wave of East Coast gambling opportunities for hospitality giants such as Wynn and MGM. It used to be that anyone who wanted a combination of gambling and entertainment had to head to Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Now, 40 states have gaming of some sort, whether it be walk-in casinos or major resorts that offer gambling. In Massachusetts, Wynn Resorts is developing a five-star luxury resort and casino in Everett outside Boston. Next year, MGM Resorts International is slated to open a resort in Springfield, Mass. And in December, MGM National Harbor debuted in Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

PAPERCAMERA/TRACEY BROWN PHOTOGRAPHY

UP FRONT | GAMING


A CAPITAL SPOT

MGM National Harbor

Fish by José Andrés

PHOTOS BY ROBB SCHARETG/PROVIDED BY MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL

Bob Dylan’s metal sculpture, Portal

“It’s really indicative that gaming has become the mainstream of American culture,” says Erik Balsbaugh, vice president of public affairs at the American Gaming Association. “It’s no longer this little island outpost of Las Vegas and Atlantic City.” Just like Vegas, casinos on the East Coast have had to reinvent themselves. They can no longer just focus on gamblers. Rather, they have to diversify and attract those who want to spend as much money on food and entertainment as they do on slots and poker tables. “It’s just a well-thought-out package,” notes Monique Sebastian, vice president of entertainment and marketing at Foxwoods. To appeal to families, the resort offers special programming during school breaks that includes free movies, petting zoos and scavenger hunts. To take advantage of its outdoor space, Foxwoods is experimenting with Coachella-like music festivals. And to appeal to millennials — those younger travelers who are expected to become the largest spending demographic in a few years — Foxwoods has added the Shrine nightclub and King Ink, a tattoo parlor by celebrity tattooist Mario Barth. “That’s the future,” Sebastian says. “When we look at the next generation, they are amenity driven. Gaming comes second.”

With 125,000 square feet of gambling space, including 124 table games and more than 3,000 slot machines, the MGM National Harbor casino sparkles near the banks of the Potomac River. But the Maryland-based resort, just minutes from Washington, D.C., follows the new tradition of East Coast casinos by offering far more than just games of chance. The splashy, $1.4 billion Las Vegas-style property is the state’s sixth casino but the only one (so far) with a 3,000-seat theater, which has hosted Boyz II Men, Duran Duran and Bruno Mars since opening in December. Cher begins a short residency in August. The theater isn’t the only detail borrowed from Vegas. The flowerfilled conservatory and French-style pastries at Bellagio Patisserie are reminiscent of those at the Bellagio, and the 20-foot-tall water wall near the casino entrance reflects the one at Aria Resort & Casino. And star chefs Marcus Samuelsson and José Andrés also opened eateries inside. “There’s a lot of great aspects of our resorts in Vegas that we brought to here,” says Bill Boasberg, the resort’s general manager. Executives at MGM Resorts International are also banking on celebrities and local connections to draw visitors to the rest of the 308-room property. Shoe lovers won’t be able to resist SJP, actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s first stand-alone boutique, included in the 18,000-square-foot retail district. Local chefs Bryan and Michael Voltaggio’s Voltaggio Brothers Steak House features childhood photos of the Marylandborn Top Chef contestants. The resort also features 50,000 square feet of meeting space, plus a salon and spa with 11 treatment rooms, an outdoor pool and a fitness center. And in the public spaces, fine art takes center stage: Nobel Prize winner and singing legend Bob Dylan created his first permanent public work of art for the resort, a metal sculpture called Portal at the entrance to the casino floor.

— Julekha Dash

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UP FRONT | GO OUTSIDE

Par for the Course Five facilities that put the green back in golf BY ANNETTE THOMPSON

With no street ights, fountains or other embellishments, the Streamsong Resort embodies minimalism.

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STREAMSONG RESORT Streamsong, Fla. When Mosaic, the world’s largest phosphate and potash mining company, stopped mining on a 16,000-acre plot in Central Florida after 100 years, its developers created three golf courses with a minimalist touch — and they couldn’t have been better planned. The mining process separated the clay and sand from the phosphate; the clay was returned to the shallow pits first, allowing it to harden. Then sand was pumped on top, and nature reshaped it with wind and water into naturalized dunes, some almost 100 feet tall and now fuzzy with indigenous vegetation. “This allowed a unique water recycling system,” says Tom Sunnarborg, vice president of land development and management for Mosaic. “Irrigation and rainwater hits our courses, (percolates) through the sand, hits the clay and travels back to our irrigation lakes and is recycled.” 1000 Streamsong Dr., Streamsong, Fla.; 888-2946322; streamsongresort.com

LARRY LAMBRECHT; AL HURLEY

THE MAJOR TREND in golf courses these days is a more natural experience. Sure, golfers and course superintendents still want emerald fairways and obsessively tended putting greens. But the more natural the course, the closer the experience is to nature and the more satisfying. Hundreds of golf facilities across the U.S. are designated as sanctuaries. They limit pesticides, enhance habitats and institute green initiatives such as solarpowered carts and geothermal clubhouses. Many reclaim water, use the natural environment and promote eco-friendly practices to players. So once you’re done checking out a course’s routing, design and hole descriptions, find out just how green your game can be.


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UP FRONT | GO OUTSIDE

CHAMBERS BAY Tacoma, Wash. The links-style layout converted a sandand-gravel mine into a venue after Scottish tradition, connecting scrub-lined holes along the coast and allowing public jogging trails and walking paths. The successful design made Chambers Bay the host of the 2015 U.S. Open Championship, with Puget Sound, Mount Rainier and the Olympic Mountains as its backdrop — the youngest course to host the event. 6320 Grandview Dr., University Place, Wash.; 253-460-4653; chambersbaygolf.com

MOSSY OAK GOLF CLUB

LOS ROBLES GREENS GOLF COURSE Thousand Oaks, Calif. California’s severe drought wreaked havoc, resulting in tough state restrictions on water, pesticides and native tree removal. The city of Thousand Oaks wanted its 1960s-era golf course to be environmentally friendly and decided to renovate. From the 100-acre course, designers removed 30 acres of irrigated turf and naturalized 40 acres with more than 55,000 naturally drought- and pest-resistant native plants. The course does not use drip irrigation. All of this reduced the use of water, fertilizer, pesticides and fossil fuels, going far beyond the city’s target. 299 South Moorpark Rd., Thousand Oaks, Calif.; 805-495-6421; losroblesgreens.com

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THE BROADMOOR Colorado Springs, Colo. The five-star resort’s three courses share views of the Rockies as well as a sophisticated computercontrolled irrigation system to reuse water. The Broadmoor has converted some turf to native grass and all three courses are certified Audubon sanctuaries — a designation earned by fewer than 10 percent of all golf courses. “We have to show that we’re managing fungicides and insecticides in an environmentally friendly way,” says Zach Bauer, superintendent of the West Course. Consequently, wildlife congregates on the course, to everyone’s delight. “We see mule deer. We have coyotes and foxes (and) black bear mothers with cubs in season. Bobcats are rare, but we still see them early in the mornings,” he says. “Birds — Cooper’s hawks, red-tailed hawks, raptors. Rabbits. It’s a good diverse ecosystem.” 1 Lake Ave., Colorado Springs, Colo.; 719-577-5790; broadmoor.com

CHAMBERS BAY; BROADMOOR; MICHAEL CLEMMER; PROVIDED BY LOS ROBLES GREENS GOLF COURSE

West Point, Miss. When outfitter Mossy Oak wanted to build a golf course not far from its headquarters, management chose architect Gil Hanse, a minimalist who created the 2016 Olympic course. Set in the Black Prairie region, the land had been a dairy farm with hills and ponds. The course restored natural areas to the prairie grasses in a walkable format. It sports 103 bunkers using sand pulled from a local riverbed. 1 Mossy Oak Dr., West Point, Miss.; 662-524-1000; mossyoakgolf.com


More than Just a Museum Dedicated to preserving, curating and archiving historically significant regional history, genealogical interest, and to provide innovative, educational programming that celebrates the culture and community of Amory, Mississippi and the surrounding area. MUSEUM HOURS Tuesday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. • Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Closed Sundays, Mondays, and Major Holidays FREE ADMISSION!

CONTACT US For more information, please call 662-256-2761. bomiller@cityofamoryms.com 801 3rd Street South Amory, MS 38821

VISIT tupelo.net

HOME TO THE CORINTH CIVIL WAR INTERPRETATIVE CENTER (662) 287-8300 www.corinth.net

FIND US. FOLLOW US. SHARE US.

mschildrensmuseum.org • Jackson, MS This project is partially funded through a grant by Visit Jackson.


UP FRONT | GO OUTSIDE

ATLANTA BELTLINE

Abandoned rail lines create new paths into U.S. cities

Atlanta BeltLine

WHEN THE FIRST section of New York City’s High Line opened in 2009, the transformation of the abandoned railroad line into stunning urban green space triggered the imagination of other cities. The team that designed the High Line will be working to improve the C&O Canal that runs through the posh Washington, D.C., neighborhood of Georgetown. And in Philadelphia, construction is underway on the 3-mile Reading Viaduct Rail Park that runs along 50 city blocks near the Schuylkill River. Some cities already have their new greenways in place, and residents and visitors alike are paying plenty of visits.

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Based on a loop of old rail lines that circles the city of Atlanta, the partially finished BeltLine already offers four trails that cover 11 miles, with another two trails under construction (one should open this fall). When it’s finished in 2030, the 22-mile route will connect 45 neighborhoods and offer 1,300 acres of parks. The project is changing a city notorious for its traffic. “You see 1.7 million people a year use the (trails),” says Rob Brawner, executive director of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership. “They ride bikes to work, walk to the store, meet up with friends in the parks.” Along the Eastside Trail, walkers and riders can find the Ponce City Market, a redeveloped Sears distribution facility now home to a variety of shops and restaurants (and free bike valet parking). The historic and popular Piedmont Park is also along that trail. The West End Trail features the first plantings of the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum, and the Southwest Connector Spur Trail doubles as an improved route for children to get to a nearby elementary school. The Northside Trail skirts the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta Memorial Park. This fall, the BeltLine will host Art on the Atlanta BeltLine, the city’s largest temporary art exhibit, kicking off Sept. 9 with the Lantern Parade. In its eighth year, the exhibition’s most popular event promises to be a magical evening of live music and thousands of creative lanterns.

— Antoinette D’Addario

CHRISTOPHER T. MARTIN

Follow The Trail

beltline.org


ments and contributions made to American life and culture.

— Frances Katz

THE 606, CHICAGO the606.org

Rose Kennedy Greenway

ROSE KENNEDY GREENWAY, BOSTON

ROSE KENNEDY GREENWAY CONSERVANCY; COLIN HINKLE/PROVIDED BY THE TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND

rosekennedygreenway.org The Rose Kennedy Greenway wasn’t always an oasis in the middle of Boston. The 1.5-mile-long green space running parallel to the Financial District and Waterfront is the result of a 15-year project dubbed the Big Dig, which turned the city into one of the largest construction sites in the world from 1991 to 2006. The project moved a deteriorating, elevated portion of Interstate 93 underground because it could no longer accommodate the commuter traffic, and new bridges and tunnels were created to move more traffic more efficiently. Before the dig began, the state required that 75 percent of the land created by burying the highway must be left as open space. That park sitting above the underground highway

tunnel is now known as the Rose Kennedy Greenway — complete with awe-inspiring art, performance spaces, produce markets and fountains. And while the old highway cut off waterfront neighborhoods from the rest of the city, the Greenway now provides easy access to Boston Harbor, the Italian North End, the New England Aquarium and surrounding wharfs. Divided into six parks with their own personalities, walkers and cyclists can experience Boston mainstays such as the Freedom Trail, the New England Aquarium and Faneuil Hall, all near or within walking distance of the greenway. They can also visit trail-specific attractions such as the Canal Fountains, a shallow water “canal” with vertical water jets perfect for cooling off in the summer, or the Labyrinth, a circular winding path designed as a tribute to accomplish-

Like much of Chicago’s modern design, The 606 elevated trail traces its roots back to the Great Fire of 1871. As crews rebuilt the scorched city, the Chicago & Pacific Railroad laid tracks down the middle of Bloomingdale Avenue. In the 1990s, as businesses moved out, trains were rerouted. Trees, flowers and animals began to reclaim the land, providing residents in an area starved of green space an unintentional nature trail that eventually became an official park. Its name, The 606, refers to the first three digits of Chicago ZIP codes. Aptly enough, the trail opened for public use on June 6, 2016. Runners, walkers and cyclists use the trail for swift passage through parts of the city’s west side. But slow down and you can take in

thought-provoking artwork, intriguing local boutiques, delicious bites and refreshing drinks on the 2.7-mile route. Snag a sunny window table at Jane’s, a 22-year-old neighborhood gem nestled inside a cozy cottage, for a weekend brunch of blueberry pancakes or a classy breakfast burrito topped with avocado mousse. The Brick House, a 26-foot-long snakelike structure of rubber tires and stainless steel at the Damen Arts Plaza, is built from construction materials that withstand tough winters and evoke the city’s gritty diversity. If your playful side has been awakened, frolic on the climbing web and spider sculpture at Julia de Burgos Park at the Whipple Street crossing. Don’t miss the spectacular sunset view from the circular Exelon Observatory. If you’re lucky, you might happen upon an astronomy discussion led by a local scientist.

— Cindy Kuzma

The 606

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UP FRONT | FOOD + DRINK

Bite Into Maine’s lobster roll

New England Treats Lobster rolls are a food that symbolizes a region

FEW FOODS ARE more singular to New England than the succulent lobster roll. Far from being onenote, the interpretations of the dish are as particular as the eateries serving them. Opinions run high, akin to barbecue loyalties in the South. It’s generally accepted that there are two

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primary styles: the cold, or Maine, lobster roll, dressed with mayonnaise and piled into a simple, white-bread bun; and the hot, or Connecticutstyle, drenched in butter. However, the variations are nearly endless. Sally “Lobster Gal” Lerman sampled more than 250 unique sandwiches to

write her 2014 book, Lobster Rolls of New England. “If you’ve had one, you definitely have not had them all,” she says. “Restaurants can use different parts — tail, claw, knuckle, fresh or frozen, plain bread or specialty. … All of those decisions result in very different sandwiches.”

BITE INTO MAINE

BY JENNIFER BRADLEY FRANKLIN


PICK A WINNER

GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY CITY FISH MARKET; BF BRAWN PHOTOGRAPHY; ANA M. REYES; BITE INTO MAINE; LOGAN BUCOLO

A FEW OF THE BEST LOBSTER ROLLS

CONNECTICUT

NEW HAMPSHIRE

MASSACHUSETTS

City Fish Market

The Ice House

Neptune Oyster

This market is in Connecticut, but the owners generously offer both a hot lobster roll option and a “lobster salad” roll, Maine-style, lightly tossed with mayonnaise. u884 Silas Deane Highway, Wethersfield; 860-522-3129; cfishct. com

Warm buttered lobster rolls have been this family-owned restaurant’s house specialty since 1980. Finish the meal with one of their famous ice cream cones. u112 Wentworth Rd., Rye; 603-431-3086; theicehouserestaurant. com

While this North End restaurant does serve Maine-style rolls, it has a near-cult following for its succulent warm version: fresh-steamed knuckle, tail and claw meat piled into a grilled brioche bun. u63 Salem St., Boston; 617-742-3474; neptuneoyster.com

MAINE

RHODE ISLAND

Bite Into Maine

Anthony’s Seafood

This food truck manages to turn out six different versions of lobster rolls, including the signature “Picnic” style, which comes layered with coleslaw, warm butter and celery salt. u1000 Shore Rd., Cape Elizabeth; 207-420-0294; biteintomaine.com

Fresh-picked lobster tossed with peppered mayo and thinly sliced celery in a grilled hot dog bun is the house specialty. u963 Aquidneck Ave., Middletown; 401-846-9620; anthonysseafood.net

FRESH IS BEST If the menu doesn’t explicitly say “fresh-picked,” ask! A good lobster roll shouldn’t be made with previously frozen meat. MIX IT UP A lobster roll should be like eating a lobster dinner, but on bread with all of the parts mixed in — tail, knuckles and claws. Think of it as a “lazy lobster dinner,” because someone else does the work for you. WHOLE DEAL Look for whole chunks of tender meat. The lobster shouldn’t be shredded and mashed like tuna salad. RISE UP The roll itself should be a vehicle for the sweet meat, without competing for the taste spotlight. SKIP THE SIDES You might spend close to $20 for a sandwich, which can be a half a pound of lobster meat. Without fries and slaw, you’ll have more room to finish your roll. — Jennifer Bradley Franklin


Hamilton

Home for a

Don’t throw away your shot at visiting Nevis BY ROSALIND CUMMINGS-YEATES

T

he opening song for the blockbuster musical Hamilton describes the founding father’s birthplace as “the middle of a forgotten spot in the Caribbean.” At only 36 square miles, Nevis, the undeveloped and reserved sister island to flashier St. Kitts, does get overlooked at times. Skipping this oasis is an ill-advised move for anyone interested in stunning landscapes, flawless beaches and the early years of Alexander Hamilton. You won’t find the twisty drama of the Broadway play, but you will uncover the quiet charm of the island that helped define an American hero. >

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CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY IMAGES


Hamilton

Home for a

“He is enterprising, quick

in his perception and his

judgment is intuitively great.”

island’s parliamentary body, meets on the second floor. The building dates to 1680 but was destroyed by an earthquake in 1840, and was restored — with the original exterior staircase — in 1983. With the soundtrack from Hamilton playing in the background, I’m ushered into the humble showcase of the war hero’s early life. The small museum features a painting of the house as it looked when he was born, a portrait and quotes from his contemporaries: “He is enterprising, quick in his perception and his judgment is intuitively great,” said George Washington. The other half of the museum shows off historic artifacts of the island itself, including pottery and carnival costumes. Across the courtyard, the Nevis Heritage Center displays the permanent exhibit, Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America, a version of which toured the U.S. a couple of years ago. The showcase lays out Hamilton’s journey from a poor boy born out of wedlock (the “bastard, orphan, son of a whore” described by nemesis Aaron Burr in the musical) to a powerful statesman. Just outside the center, the island’s slave market was located next door to the Hamilton house. The location isn’t marked, but older locals can tell you exactly where it is. It’s widely believed, especially on Nevis, that Hamilton >

GETTY IMAGES

— GEORGE WASHINGTON

Sugar mills dot Nevis’ emerald slopes and Georgian buildings line its narrow streets, probably little different from when Hamilton was a boy. As I step past women carrying parasols to block the sun and glimpse monkeys darting between the palm trees, it does feel like I’ve traveled back in time. In Charlestown, the island’s tiny and colorful capital, gingerbread houses and winding roads supply the backdrop for the start of Hamilton’s intriguing history. An eye-catching tree known as a flamboyant — the national flower of St. Kitts and Nevis — swoops over the stone walls of the Nevis Heritage Center (nevisheritage. org), its crimson blooms forming a pretty canopy over the entrance. A bronze plaque hangs on the wall, announcing that this is the site where Hamilton, the first U.S. treasury secretary and the man who established the U.S. Mint, was born in 1757. This two-story Georgian overlooking the waterfront houses the Museum of Nevis History (explorenevis.com/themuseum-of-nevis-history) and the first floor boasts the restored remnants of Hamilton’s birthplace as well as exhibits on the culture and history of Nevis. The Nevis House of Assembly, the

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✦ OFFICIAL ENTRANCE TO THE ISLAND OF NEVIS

GETTY IMAGES; CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY IMAGES (2); GETTY IMAGES

✦ VIEW OF ST. KITTS AND THE NARROWS FROM NEVIS

✦ ST. PAUL’S ANGLICAN CHURCH

✦ PINNEY’S BEACH

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Hamilton

Home for a

the ruins of what many historians believe was once the biggest synagogue in the Caribbean. When Hamilton was a boy in the mid-1700s, one-fourth of Nevis’ population was Jewish, descendants of Sephardic Jews who had fled the Inquisition. It’s thought that this synagogue was the place where young Hamilton was educated; the local school run by the Anglican Church reportedly refused to educate him. On Low Street, St. Paul’s Anglican church rises imposingly, its pathway adorned with golden allamandas flowers. Next door sits the church’s school, topped with a double gabled roof. Established between 1680 and 1700, this was the church school that likely banned Hamilton from entering. Strolling through the elegantly landscaped church complex, I imagine the rejection and insecurity

✦ MUSEUM OF NEVIS HISTORY

that Hamilton must have felt. One could assume these were the feelings that pushed him to succeed and help establish a more open society in the newly formed U.S. Just outside of Charlestown, perched on a hill from which neighboring St. Kitts is visible, the extensive ruins of the Hamilton estate beckon. I gape at the towering stone windmill and the sprawling foundation for the great house crumbling amid lush vegetation. This 18th-century sugar plantation was owned by his father’s family long after Alexander left Nevis at 8 years of age. He moved with his family to St. Croix, but his father abandoned the family and returned to St. Kitts. Taking in the panorama of the island’s rolling hills with the estate framing them, it’s easy to imagine how Nevis might have inspired Alexander Hamilton to help create a new country. l

TAKE A BREAK Don’t miss the legendary Killer Bee rum cocktail and grilled lobster at Sunshine’s Beach Bar and Grill. sun shinesnevis.com For elegant threecourse gourmet dining and views, try the Great House at the Nisbet Plantation. nisbetplantation. com Bask under the Caribbean sun surrounded by verdant landscape while sampling Thai cuisine at Oasis in the Garden, located in the Botanical Gardens of Nevis. botanicalgarden nevis.com/oasisgardens-restaurant For an authentic taste of laid-back Nevis style, check out Oualie Beach Resort, an ecofriendly enclave of gingerbread cottages and secluded beaches. oualiebeach.com For a more upscale stay, Four Seasons Resort Nevis supplies everything from a golf course to beachside spa treatments. fourseasons.com/ nevis

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ROSALIND CUMMINGS-YEATES

fought for the abolition of slavery and never owned any slaves — even though this was a practice followed by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and other national icons — because he had seen firsthand how they were treated on Nevis. “Growing up next to the slave landing point would have influenced his outlook and ideals as they relate to slavery,” says Devon Liburd, director of sales and marketing at the Nevis Tourism Authority. “His quest later in life was to do all in his power to end slavery in the USA.” Because of his birth to unwed parents, Hamilton already knew what it was like to be scorned by society. This influenced much of his life’s path, starting with his education. On Government Road, a Jewish cemetery dating from the 1600s is dotted with a cluster of 19 flat, rectangular tombstones. Nearby stand


p

s u a r e e l

Bike tours use leg power to fuel exploration BY JENNIFER BRADLEY FRANKLIN

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s


T

as you’re passing through.” For Felfoldi and her husband, David, experiencing local treasures has meant picking blueberries in Maine’s Acadia National Park, sipping French wine on a roadside picnic in Quebec and discovering hidden waterfalls in Nova Scotia. Chris Skilling, vice president of worldwide product for VBT (vbt.com), which offers bike tours in more than 20 countries, adds that choosing a respected outfitter can take the stress out of planning your own two-wheeled vacation. “The logistics involved in planning support, finding the best time and locating highlights along the way would be a lot of work,” he says. “Going with a trusted operator allows people to really come on vacation and enjoy it from the moment they arrive.” With a VBT tour, for example, everything is >

GETTY IMAGES

he bicycle began life as a workhorse, a way for people to get around during a time when actual horses had died due to starvation during a tough winter. Two hundred years later, on the anniversary of the invention of the two-wheeled innovation, it’s become more than a means of transportation. For intrepid travelers who like their exploration with a side of activity (and some guilt-free calorie consumption), the guided bike tour has become a way to see the world up-close. “Cycling on vacation is the Goldilocks way to travel,” says Jessica Felfoldi, an Atlanta-based attorney who has been on three bike vacations over the past few years. “You’re going fast enough to see a lot of the area, but not so fast you don’t notice the little things

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pleasures

CHART YOUR OWN COURSE Exploring on your own? Use these helpful resources before you pedal out: Adventure Cycling Association offers maps of more than 45,000 miles of North American routes. uadventurecycling.org The free Map My Ride app features user-rated ride routes and a calorie tracker. umapmyride.com

IVAN BASTIEN/GETTY IMAGES; GETTY IMAGES

Warm Showers is an online community for cyclists who are looking for free lodging with other bike-enthusiast hosts along their route. uwarmshowers.org

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LATHAM JENKINS

provided, from a guest’s choice of bike (road, hybrid or electric-assisted), helmet, voice-guided navigation, hotels, several meals, two local guides and a support van in case a rider wants alternate transportation. The secret benefit of doing a bike tour (as opposed to just riding your bike on a trip you design yourself) is that there is little restriction on what you can bring — the tour makes sure your suitcase gets to the hotel ahead of you every day. They’ll even transport any shopping finds that you pick up along the way. People who are particular about their gear may want to bring their own pedals and cycling shoes, or even their own seat to mount on the company’s bike, although it’s not necessary. Tour operators around the world offer trips ranging from just a few hours to longer than a week, tailored for different fitness levels. While support is always available, Skilling notes that it’s important to choose a tour matching your experience and to put in some time getting used to being in the saddle prior to setting out — to the tune of two or three rides a week for several weeks. It’s less about developing cardio skills than it is about getting comfortable

on a bike for long periods of time. In addition, a good pair or two of padded bike shorts can also make a big difference in your comfort, as can a pair of padded cycling gloves; you’ll spend anywhere from an hour to more than four hours a day pedaling in a seated position while leaning on your hands. Riders who are regular recreational cyclists are more than likely to be in the right shape to do a tour (although they should still choose one that matches their comfort level — an average rider who rides once or twice a month may not want to choose an “advanced” tour). And there’s an out if you’re not feeling up to a ride while on a tour. Guides give out the details of the day’s rides each morning, and participants can pick and choose what they want to do. For example, if the morning ride is 8 miles and the afternoon one is 16, you can pick the shorter one if your legs are sore. A bonus of cycling the sites? Depending on the trip’s intensity, riders can burn upwards of 600 calories an hour, which means rich dinners, wine tastings and ice cream stops along the way may all be guilt-free. Plus, the camaraderie of fellow adventurers is a highlight. You can cycle next to someone to chat, then speed up or slow down when you’re ready for some alone time. “We’ve met friends from all around the country and even Brazil,” Felfoldi says. Also, in any given group — tours can be as small as eight people or as large as 24 — there’s always a range of fitness and experience levels, and you can ride at your own pace. If you’re slow, the guide will loop back to check on you, as will the support van, so no one is left behind. Whether you’re traveling solo or with a significant other, to explore a new part of the world or simply up your adventure travel game, you’re practically guaranteed a good time. After all, there are few activities that elicit more childlike joy than jumping on a bike to explore. l

TOP TOURS California Wine Country & the Pacific Coast, VBT Explore the rolling vineyards and rugged coastline landscapes of Sonoma, Healdsburg and Bodega Bay for six days. uvbt.com

Maine’s Gold Coast, Summer Feet Cycling Adventures This six-day seaside Maine tour explores Camden and Acadia. usummerfeet.net

Tour of the Tetons, Teton Mountain Bike Spend five days riding through jaw-dropping Grand Teton, above, and Yellowstone national parks. utetonmtbike.com

Ottawa to Montreal, Sojourn For one week, riders explore two of Canada’s bike-friendly cities. ugosojourn.com

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pleasures

ry seeing a big city from a different point of view: atop a two-wheeled chariot. In Chicago, the nation’s third-largest city, locals and tourists alike can pick up a bike and ride no matter where they live or lodge. Divvy, the city’s bikesharing program, boasts about 5,800 bikes at more than 580 stations. For $9.95 a day, you can actively explore the Windy City as well as adjacent suburbs Evanston and Oak Park. Find the closest station at divvybikes.com. Better yet, download the Transit app from either iTunes or Google Play, which will also allow you to purchase a pass and check the status of bikes and docks. This will come in handy on your route — if you ride for longer than 30 minutes, you incur an extra charge. Docking every half-hour and picking up a new bike prevents this. For 18 unobstructed miles and glorious skyline views, head east to the Chicago Lakefront Trail. Start in Grant Park, home to the impressive Buckingham Fountain, as well as the postcard-perfect Cloud

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Gate sculpture — which most people know as the shiny silver “Bean” — in the Millennium Park section. Take a deep breath for a mouth-watering whiff from the relatively nearby Blommer Chocolate Company, a scent you’d likely miss if in an enclosed vehicle. Zoom north and hit the beach at North Avenue, cavort with animals at Lincoln Park Zoo less than a mile away or leave the trail at West Addison Street for a pilgrimage to Wrigley Field, home of the 2016 World Series champion Chicago Cubs. Head back south to pedal past the Navy Pier Ferris wheel and visit the Field Museum (residence of Sue, currently the largest complete T. rex on exhibit), Adler Planetarium or the Shedd Aquarium. The Chicago Bears’ Soldier Field looms over the trail and the Museum Campus area. Want to duck into any site? Parking is simple: the area has four Divvy stations. Further inland, tool through the Loop business district without fear of downtown traffic via the city’s ever-expanding net-

work of barrier-protected bike lanes. Start at Wells and Huron streets and ride south to experience the “Green Wave” — lights timed to accommodate a cycling-friendly 12 miles per hour. Just BYOH — bring your own helmet — for a rolling perspective of the city that’s far from pedestrian.

— Cindy Kuzma

DIVVY

BIG-CITY BIKING T


GETTY IMAGES

PEDAL THROUGH THE TULIPS D

ay one of our eight-day, eight-city cycling loop through Holland is best described as “direct.” My husband and I pick up our trusty steeds at a bike shop in Amsterdam and ride a quick 12 miles along a suburban bike path. We make no stops before arriving in Haarlem, a charming cobblestone town, where we’ll stay the night. Fast forward to our last day, and we’ve learned to meander the remaining 30 miles back to Amsterdam from Utrecht, this time pausing to moo at cows, hop on a handcranked, bike-toting ferry and indulge in puffy Dutch pancakes called poffertjes. Between those days, we’d learned an important lesson: A cycling trip isn’t about speed. It’s about pacing and discovery. We found that locals — not Google Maps — could best advise us on the most colorful routes along our 250-mile loop.

Fueled by the advice of Dutch friends, we pedaled slowly past 19 windmills built in the 18th century at Kinderdijk; savored beer at La Trappe, one of only a handful of Trappist breweries in the world; slept in a hotel in a former water tower in the sleepy town of Dordrecht; ducked into a tiny cube-shaped house in Rotterdam; and lucked into Carnival in Den Bosch. Looking back, it’s the little surprises that made me smile, like pedaling around a “hovenring” (a UFO-shaped bridge built for bicycles), devouring fresh strawberries from a farm stand and a meet-and-greet with a tiny horse living by the bike path. For our next trip, we know that the destination isn’t at the end of a ride. It’s every stop you take along the way.

— Kate Silver

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pleasures Pelotonia

n early 2016, riding in the Pelotonia charity bicycle tour seemed improbable for me. I had undergone debilitating treatment for leukemia in June 2015, and I was still recovering. But the event captivated me. My treatment had taken place at Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, where I learned about the two-day Pelotonia and how it raises millions of dollars each year for cancer research at the university. It was more than another bike tour; it was a worthy cause, and one I wanted to join. I shared my desire and soon had my wife’s support, my doctor’s OK and a riding partner. That spring, my friend Mark Placenti and I registered to ride 50 miles in the Pelotonia in August. First, though, I needed to raise money and train. Raising the $2,000 I pledged proved easier than the training. My longest training ride was 25 miles — half the distance I needed to cover. That nicked my self-confidence.

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But Aug. 6, Pelotonia Day, arrived cool and clear. We joined other riders at the start near downtown Columbus, then took off in a large group. Bystanders along the route cheered us on. I felt invincible. Mark, an experienced Pelotonia participant, set a good pace between the three rest stops. I stayed with him until near the end when, after a long climb, I felt exhausted and fell behind. I entered an intersection barely rolling. A cop directing traffic there saw me. “C’mon, man. Keep going,” he shouted. “You’ve got to kick cancer’s butt!” I felt a rush of adrenaline. I refocused on the mission. The road leveled out, and I rejoined Mark. We crossed the finish line together in nearby New Albany and celebrated with loved ones. Improbable? No, the Pelotonia was magical.

— Jim Dillon

CHARITY EVENTS Dozens of charity bike tours take place in the summer and fall. Here are details on a few top events: Pelotonia 17 Columbus, Ohio, Aug. 4

upelotonia.org Tour de Cure, American Diabetes Association Multiple individual tours nationwide through December

utour.diabetes.org Bike MS, National Multiple Sclerosis Society Multiple individual tours nationwide through October

ubikems.org

KENT NAFZIGER; GETTY IMAGES

RIDE FOR A REASON I


THIS IS NOT YOUR GRANDMA’S FRONT PORCH LEMONADE. CHART YOUR ADVENTURE ALONG GAHANNA, OHIO’S HERBAL COCKTAIL TRAIL. 8 signature herbal cocktails. One Passport. Learn more at VISITGAHANNA.COM 614.418.9114


pleasures

Lake Calhoun trail

inneapolis is a city that grew up around its beautiful landscape instead of paving over it. Calling itself “The City by Nature,” it’s been ranked as one of the best biking cities by Bike Score, in no small part because of its Grand Rounds trail system (minneapolisparks.org). Designated as a National Scenic Byway, the system is 51 miles of connected cycling trails that never fail to deliver a stunning skyscape or a diverting — and often delicious — side trip. Whether you’re aiming to tackle part or all of the Grand Rounds, you’ll find incredible variety in each of its seven

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unique districts — from the dense woods that surround Minnehaha Creek, to the gorges along the Mississippi River that allow views of University of Minnesota crew teams and glimpses of bald eagles in flight, to the metropolitan crown jewel known as the Chain of Lakes (it’s exactly what it sounds like). “I always tell people not to go too fast, because you’ll miss all the scenery, the neighborhoods and the perfect places to stop for a water break,” says local writer and cyclist Liz Ward. “You’ll see the life of the Twin Cities on this route.” Another tip: Bring along a hearty appetite,

because the trails will lead you past several chef-driven restaurants located in historic park buildings, including the seasonal Sea Salt Eatery (seasalteatery.wordpress. com), located near the side-trip-worthy, 53-foot waterfall, Minnehaha Falls, part of the Mississippi National River & Recreation Area (nps. gov/miss). “When you’re riding the Grand Rounds, it’s hard to believe you’re in a major metropolitan area, because you’re cycling through so many beautiful natural settings,” says Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Superintendent Jayne Miller.

— Julie Kendrick

Stone Arch Bridge

Minnehaha Falls

MINNEAPOLIS PARK AND RECREATION BOARD

A GRAND RIDE M


VisitRSHFIELD MA.“walk . . and take a on the wild side!”

Excavated prehistoric creatures from the Iron Age

Rare Twin Kodiak Bear Cubs at the

Go to

visitmarshfield.com for more things to see and do in Marshfield! • Indoor & Outdoor Heated Pool • One & Two Bedroom Suites • Whirlpool & Sauna • On-Site Free Bikes • Indoor Children’s Play Area • Grilling & Picnic Areas • Fitness Center Free breakfast and many recreational amenities. PLAN YOUR NEXT VISIT TO DOOR COUNTY TODAY!!

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Welcome to Waupaca, WIwhere natural beauty surrounds you. Great dining and comfy accommodations await you. There’s plenty to do in every seasonsilent sports, boating, camping and family friendly events.

Worthington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau 800-279-2919 • 507-372-2919

www.worthingtonmnchamber.com wcofc@worthingtonmnchamber.com

Hint: Worthington, MN is the perfect stop at the intersection of I-90 and Highways 59 & 60.


SOUTHERN SPIRIT Fine food, great music, gorgeous outdoor scenery — the South can provide all this for travelers and more. Whether you're a solo hipster looking for the hottest new sounds or a family that wants to spend a relaxing time together, you'll find a place that fits.


CLOCKWISE FROM UPPER LEFT: BENTONVILLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE; RUSH JAGOE; PROVIDED BY THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, HOUSTON; VISIT BATON ROUGE; RANDY SCHMIDT; NEW ORLEANS CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU; ROBERT FOGARTY OF DEAR WORLD; GATLINBURG CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

Real Down-Home Character Gothic, classic, history, weirdness; down South, they’ve got it all ... and they flaunt it BY ANNETTE THOMPSON

S

outherners don’t have to wander far to explore remarkable destinations. Sure, sauntering through the Tuileries in Paris may make for exotic photos, but strolling a Southern main street will turn up a great experience, too. Come with us, and visit a few.


SOUTHERN TOWNS

Music Towns

There’s something about the water in northwest Alabama. The area informally known as The Shoals encompasses four towns along the Tennessee River — Florence, Muscle Shoals, Sheffield and Tuscumbia — each with its own famous sound. Infused with the glamour of ’60s and ’70s rock gods, Muscle Shoals became the hit recording capital of the world at FAME Recording Studios, where artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to Alicia Keys have recorded; mingle around the same organ used in Wilson Pickett’s Mustang Sally. Next, explore the tiny Muscle Shoals Sound Studios in Sheffield, where the famed rhythm section known as the Swampers recorded with legends including the Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul Simon and Cher, who used the studio’s address (3614 Jackson Highway) as an album title and the building as cover art in 1969. End your day at Florence’s FloBama, which serves up barbecue, burgers and smoking-hot, modern-day bands.

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u FAME Recording Studios 603 E. Avalon Ave., Muscle Shoals; 256-381-0801; fame2.com u Muscle Shoals Sound Studios 3614 Jackson Highway, Sheffield; 256-978-5151; msmusic foundation.org u FloBama: 311 N. Court St., Florence; 256-7642225; facebook.com/ flobamadowntown

DAN GLEN/PROVIDED BY FAME RECORDING STUDIOS

FAME Recording Studios


In Mississippi’s Delta, a distinctive sign marks the spot of the Devil’s Crossroads in Clarksdale, where bluesman Robert Johnson supposedly sold his soul to the devil in exchange for supernatural guitar licks. Poke around a bit in this sleepy village to uncover the Delta Blues and the Rock & Blues museums, which trace the rise of both genres. Rhythmic songs rose out of the surrounding cotton fields by day and wafted into the juke joints at night. Blues and rock ’n’ roll take the stage along with a mess of fried catfish and steamy tamales at Ground Zero Blues Club, an eatery coowned by actor and Delta resident Morgan Freeman. When the fireflies come out, relax on the porch of a 1930s-style sharecroppers’ cottage at The Shack Up Inn on Hopson Plantation, where blues and rock musicians all jam.

u Devil’s Crossroads 599 N. State St. u Delta Blues Museum 1 Blues Alley; 662-627-6820; deltabluesmuseum.org uRock & Blues Museum 113 E. Second St.; 662-524-5144; blues2rock.com uGround Zero Blues Club 387 Delta Ave.; 662-621-9009; groundzerobluesclub.com

PROVIDED BY DELTA BLUES MUSEUM; CLARKSDALE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE; AUSTIN BRITT

uThe Shack Up Inn on Hopson Plantation 001 Commissary Circle; 662-6248329; shackupinn.com

Devil’s Crossroads and Shack Up Inn

Delta Blues Museum

55


SOUTHERN TOWNS

Towns That Live to Eat Saltus River Grill

Beaufort Marina

u Wren Bistro & Bar 210 Carteret St.; 843-524-9463; wrenbeaufort.com u Breakwater Restaurant & Bar 203 Carteret St.; 843-379-0052; breakwatersc.com

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u Saltus River Grill 802 Bay St.; 843-379-3474; saltusrivergrill.com u Penn Center 16 Penn Center Circle West, St. Helena Island; 843-838-2474; penncenter.com u Shrimp Shack 1925 Sea Island Pkwy., St. Helena Island; 843-838-2962; facebook. com/shrimpshacksc

BEAUFORT CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (2)

Often described as the most beautiful town in the South, Beaufort, S.C., is surrounded by water. This Lowcountry island village perches halfway between Charleston and Savannah, Ga., where marshes glow golden at sunrise and sunset. While folks come for the history — Beaufort dates to before the American Revolution — the restaurants keep them satisfied. You’ll find shrimp and grits for breakfast, and a bounty of seafood at lunch and dinner. Noteworthy spots include Wren, Breakwater and Saltus River Grill restaurants, all serving sea flavors with farm produce. On a drive out to tour St. Helena Island’s Penn Center, one of the first schools for freed slaves, stop by the Shrimp Shack for a shrimp burger.


Legends live on in Corolla. Corolla.

Discover a land of wild wonder on the Currituck Outer Banks, North Carolina.

The legendary wild horses of Corolla, unique historical sites, family friendly beaches and warm coastal temperatures are just a few of the reasons why now is a great time to visit.

Call 877.287.7488 for a free visitor’s guide

www.VisitCurrituck.com


SOUTHERN TOWNS

Towns That Live to Eat La Provence

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u Oxlot 9 428 E. Boston St.; 985-400-5663; oxlot9.com uDel Porto Ristorante 501 E. Boston St.; 985-875-1006; delportoristorante.com uLa Provence 25020 U.S. 190, Lacombe; 985626-7662; laprovencerestaurant. com

RUSH JAGOE

New Orleans glimmers to the south across Lake Pontchartrain, but Covington, La., has also transformed its charming streets into a food paradise. First courses begin at the Oxlot 9 dining room inside the Southern Hotel, where chef Jeffrey Hansell dishes up crispy frog legs. He discovered his cooking chops at NOLA’s famed Commander’s Palace, and has brought fine Southern dining to the Northshore. Nearby Del Porto is one of those Italian swoon-inducing gems that blends housemade pastas with local flavors such as fried rabbit bathed in fennel-sausage gravy. Take a drive into the countryside to visit La Provence, a French-inspired farm and eatery. A small farm next to the extensive garden includes rare Mangalitsa pigs, happy chickens and honey-producing bees. It doesn’t get more farm-to-table than this drool-worthy place.


FOR EVERYDAY ADVENTURES, BIG AND SMALL

GET

$15

OFF

a purchase of $60 or more*

*Not valid on gift cards or prior purchases. Can be combined with the in-store promotion when dollar threshold is met. Limit restrictions and exclusions may apply. See store for details. Offer subject to change without notice. Valid only at Crocs-owned Stores and Outlets, not valid online. Present barcode when shopping in store for discount. Expires Tuesday, August 15, 2017.


SOUTHERN TOWNS

Artsy Towns The National Quilt Museum

uThe National Quilt Museum 215 Jefferson St.; 270-442-8856; quiltmuseum.org uDowntown Paducah and the LowerTown Arts District paducahmainstreet.org uPaducah Symphony Orchestra 760 Broadway; 270-444-0065; paducahsymphony.org

The fiber arts hanging in The National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Ky., have more in common with the masterpieces in the Guggenheim than they do bedspreads. Paducah's 50-block downtown area — its entirety listed on the National Register of Historic Places — is home to a $40 million performing arts center with a symphony that makes larger cities envious. The Market House Theatre converts a historic open-air market into a thriving venue with stage shows. The LowerTown Arts District has changed a Victorian neighborhood into a modern artists’ colony. So far, 50 artists call it home. Paducah may be the perfect place for an arts weekend.

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Market House Theatre

PROVIDED BY THE NATIONAL QUILT MUSEUM; PROVIDED BY MARKET HOUSE THEATRE

uMarket House Theatre 132 Market House Square; 270444-6828; markethousetheatre.org


SOUTHERN TOWNS

Artsy Towns

Walmart started in rural Arkansas, but because the world’s largest retailer operates around the globe, Bentonville — Walmart’s tiny hometown — has become quite a sophisticated spot. Think Mayberry (of The Andy Griffith Show), if it was located in France, with great food and lodging. Don’t miss Tusk & Trotter, home of “fork art,” and check into the 21C, a hotel/modern art museum. The first new major American museum in 50 years, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art displays works ranging from Gilbert Stuart’s famous portrait of George Washington to an outdoor sculpture by the late graffiti artist Keith Haring and beyond. In addition, the museum this summer features an outdoor exhibition of Dale Chihuly’s colorful glasswork, along with a Buckminster Fuller-designed dome and a new entrance that will connect patrons to the surrounding woods.

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uTusk & Trotter 110 S.E. A St.; 479-268-4494; tuskandtrotter.com u21C Museum Hotel 200 N.E. A St.; 479-286-6500; 21cmuseumhotels.com uCrystal Bridges Museum of American Art 600 Museum Way; 479-418-5700; crystalbridges.org

ADAIR CREATIVE/PROVIDED BY CRYSTAL BRIDGES MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art


SOUTHERN TOWNS

Crescent City Bridge, New Orleans

Louisiana Bounces Back

How one state keeps the tourists coming in the face of disaster

W

hether the disasters have been manmade or natural, Louisiana has survived its fair share of famous ones (we’re looking at you, Hurricane Katrina). And the vibrant state — celebrated the world over for its gorgeous bayous, historic plantations and unique culinary traditions — continuously finds ways to

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bounce back, boasting more tourist-friendly attractions than ever. “As New Orleans approaches its 300th anniversary (in 2018), we are reminded that this city has endured all manner of tribulations in its rich history, including a British invasion, hurricanes and an oil spill, to name a few,” says Kristian Sonnier, vice president of communications at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (neworleanscvb.com). “Yet, after each of these challenges, New Orleanians

NEW ORLEANS CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

BY ALEXIS KORMAN


MAGGIE BOWLES/VISIT BATON ROUGE; PAUL BROUSSARD

manage to persevere and reinvent the Crescent City, resulting in a place inhabited by the most resilient people I’ve ever seen.” “Resiliency” is a word often heard in Louisiana. August 2016 brought historic, unprecedented flooding to the state’s capital city of Baton Rouge, leaving tens of thousands of homes and businesses destroyed. Yet, less than a year later, Baton Rouge has re-emerged with a robust schedule of outdoor festivals, sporting events and new food and drink destinations, sending a clear signal: open for visitors. “We’re proud to see the progress that continues in Louisiana’s capital city, as businesses are expanding and the offerings available to groups are plentiful,” says Paul Arrigo, president and CEO of Visit Baton Rouge (visitbatonrouge.com) of the growth spurt the city has seen despite the disasters of 2016. “The burst of energy that this city has right now is not only part of our resilient culture, but our way of life.” Given Louisiana’s Gulf Coast location and seafood-focused cuisine, it’s no surprise that the state’s top chefs have spearheaded many creative comeback initiatives. “With the scarcities of fish following Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill (in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010), it formed a newfound appreciation for utilizing every aspect of a fish,” says executive chef Michael Nelson of GW Fins (gwfins.com),

Louisiana State University Tiger Marching Band

a high-end seafood restaurant in New Orleans’ French Quarter. “We challenge ourselves to think outside the box, using local varieties in ways that decrease waste and promote sustainability.” He experimented with previously unused fish parts and created new dishes, “like ‘fin wings’ — the chicken wing of the sea — incorporating collars from all the fish we receive. You can find crispy fish-skin taco shells, tempura fried cheeks, fish-head cheese or a gelée made from scales on our daily menu. Tourists are looking to Louisiana as a culinary hub and chefs are delivering with cutting-edge ideas.”

Tourism Tidbits u In 2016, visitors to New Orleans spent $7.4 billion, a 5.1 percent increase from the record set the year before. The city also hosted a recordbreaking 10.5 million visitors, the most since 2004 and a 6.9 percent increase from 2015. u Baton Rouge is celebrating its bicentennial throughout 2017 (batonrouge200.com), marking 200 years as an incorporated city. u New Orleans hosted three new festivals in March alone: the Jazz in the Park Treme Crab Festival, the Bourbon Festival and Top Taco. A fourth, the NOLA Mac N Cheese Fest, is set for Oct. 21 (nolamacncheese fest.com). Did we mention food is an obsession here?

Cafe Du Monde

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SOUTHERN TOWNS

Gatlinburg Sky Lift

Open for Business

Fire damage can’t hold back visitors to the Smoky Mountains

T

his June, a 72-acre, $42 million attraction called Anakeesta, with shopping, a mountain coaster, zip lines and dining is set to open in downtown Gatlinburg, just the latest sign that the beautiful east Tennessee town is open for business after devastating fires burned more than 10,000 acres in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and damaged or destroyed more than 2,000 buildings last fall. But months removed from the fire, Gatlinburg Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO and President Mark Adams says, people should have no reservations about coming.

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“When the fire first happened, it was almost like people had a missing loved one,” Adams says. “They wanted a reassurance that where their family memories were made is still intact. For the most part, they are.” The businesses along the downtown parkway largely survived, as well as the attractions at Ober Gatlinburg Amusement Park & Ski Area (obergatlinburg.com). Damage from the fires kept the iconic Gatlinburg Sky Lift (gatlinburgskylift.com) closed for months, but operators had planned to have it open by Memorial Day. Originally constructed in 1954, the lift to the top of Crockett Mountain still offers a spectacular panorama of town and the Smoky Mountains.

JED DEKALB

BY HOLLIE DEESE


A RETREAT BETWEEN THE MOUNTAINS AND THE RIVER IN GATLINBURG, TENNESSEE

Visit greystonelodgetn.com | 800-451-9202


SOUTHERN TOWNS

Anakeesta zip line

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“Pigeon Forge’s only industry is tourism, and if you don’t change, people will say, ‘Why go?’” says Leon Downey, executive director of the department of tourism for Pigeon Forge. “There’s always something new and different in Pigeon Forge.” Dollywood also hosts a number of summer festivals, and Gatlinburg boasts the country’s first Fourth of July Parade each year, too, kicking off at 12:01 a.m. on July 4, with 50,000 people lining the streets and bands from all over the country. “The fire happened. We can’t change that,” Adams says. “The great thing is we have new attractions, new hotels and new everything being built. You can come and make new memories here.”

The Island in Pigeon Forge

PROVIDED BY ANAKEESTA; BOB SCHATZ

“The views are more amazing than ever,” Adams says. “This fire, while it was widespread, was really a fast-moving, low fire. It burned a lot of the underbrush. We are now able to see wildflowers we haven’t seen in years, and we’re actually seeing some new birth as well.” Dollywood, Dollywood’s Splash Country and Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort in nearby Pigeon Forge were threatened but unaffected by the fires, though 17 cabins did perish, says Pete Owens, director of communications for Dollywood (dollywood.com). The number of cabins lost in the area overall topped 600, but that has not stopped people from making plans to visit this summer. “We are tracking ahead of where we thought we would be for this year, and we have some attractions we’re adding (that were) scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend,” Owens says. Among them, the Drop Line offers a 230foot free fall experience; and a junior roller coaster, Whistle Punk Chaser, accommodates young children. Splash Country has added TailSpin Racer, a multilane, mat-racer-style slide. All the additions are part of Dolly Parton’s $300 million investment in the park complex that was announced in 2013. Also new in Pigeon Forge is the Alcatraz East Crime Museum (alcatrazeast.com) with O.J. Simpson’s infamous white Bronco and Al Pacino’s Scarface machine gun on display. New hotels are opening, too.


Birthplace of Country Music

Who says you can’t be in two places at once

865-453-4707 | www.islanddrivelodge.com Island Drive Lodge

is a great place to stay during your next visit to the Great Smoky Mountains. Located in the heart of Pigeon Forge, directly across the street from The Island Entertainment Complex

2760 Parkway Pigeon Forge, TN 37863

Use promo code USASMR to receive a discount off your stay.

VISIT GRACELAND IN MEMPHIS

®

Featuring an All-New, Immersive Entertainment Experience

GRACELAND.COM • 800-238-2000 © EPE. Graceland and its marks are trademarks of EPE. All Rights Reserved. Elvis Presley™ © 2017 ABG EPE IP LLC

Bristol Motor Speedway

www.DiscoverBristol.org


e i v o M

TO A P U L L PU

CREATE NEW DRIVE-IN MEMORIES IN CLASSIC LOCATIONS

GETTY IMAGES

BY MELANIE D.G. KAPLAN


PROVIDED BY STAR DRIVE IN; MELANIE D.G. KAPLAN; GETTY IMAGES

Star Drive In

Last August, while visiting national parks in Colorado, I happened upon a real treat: Star Drive In, an outdoor theater that opened in 1955 in the southern part of the state. But my delight didn’t end there. Next door, I found the Best Western Movie Manor Motel, where you can look out a big window and watch the Star’s outdoor screen … from your bed! Each room is named for a movie star. Booking a night at the motel was a no-brainer. I checked into my no-frills Mel Gibson room and crawled into bed for the feature. According to Wheeler Winston Dixon, a film expert at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the first drive-ins appeared in 1933 in Camden, N.J. They hit their peak midcentury with about 4,000 locations, roughly one-quarter of the nation’s total movie screens. Now, he says, they account for just 1.5 percent. “Like so many things, it belongs to the past,” Winston Dixon says. It was tough for all the theater operators to run a business dependent on weather, he notes; the fuzzy projection and tinny sound from the window speakers didn’t help. “Today’s audiences want a huge screen, enormous chairs and surround sound,” he says. “They want a more immersive experience.” But moviegoers who long for nostalgia and low-cost fun are in luck. A few hundred drive-ins still exist, and we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites. Remember two things: Use your parking lights when entering and exiting, and please take a moment to enjoy the stars on the ceiling.

ADMISSION: Adults, $8 Kids, $3. Open nightly March through October. 2830 U.S. Highway 160 W., Monte Vista, Colo.; 719-852-2613 Best Western Movie Manor Motel 2830 U.S. Highway 160 W., Monte Vista, Colo.; 719-852-5921; bestwesterncolorado. com/hotels/bestwestern-movie-manor

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Moviegoers who long for nostalgia and low-cost fun are in luck. A few hundred drive-ins still exist, and we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites.

SCOTT OLSON/GETTY IMAGES

TK-Starlite Drive-In Theater in Neligh, Neb.

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-In Theatre Hull’s Drive

The country’s first nonprofit, community-owned drive-in, Hull’s was purchased in 2000 by a group called Hull’s Angels after the historic theater couldn’t afford to stay open. Today, the 67-year-old pet-friendly drive-in, located 5 miles from historic Lexington, Va., presents double and triple features of current movies. Hull’s claims to have the best popcorn in town (large, $5.25). But the real draw — because they’re completely awesome — may be the funnel cake fries ($3). ADMISSION: Adults, $7 Kids 5-11, $3 Under 4, free Cash/check only at box office. Open weekends, mid-March through October. u2367 N. Lee Hwy., Lexington, Va.; 540-463-2621; hullsdrivein.com

MICHAEL COLE (2); GETTY IMAGES

Summer drive-in fun on Cape Cod begins weekend mornings at the 200-vendor flea market, and ends with first-run double features on a 100-foot screen. Built in 1957, the theater’s snack bar menu includes drive-in staples, and the Wellfleet Dairy Bar and Grill serves burgers, pizza, soft-serve ice cream and beer/wine. Grown-ups: Stop by the beer garden. Kids: Check out the playground. ADMISSION: Adults, $11 Seniors 62 and older and kids 4-11, $8 Under 3, free Cash only at box office. Open nightly May through mid-September. u51 State Highway Route 6, Wellfleet, Mass.; 508-349-7176; wellfleetcinemas.com/ drive-in-theatre

Nostalgic Bengies claims to have the largest movie theater screen in the nation, at 120 by 52 feet. The 61-year-old drive-in shows triple features, with classic cartoons, vintage trailers and clips during intermission. Drivers with registered historic vehicles get free admission on Sundays. Bengies has perhaps the most extensive menu of any drive-in, from the pulled pork sandwich ($6.75) and fried breaded mushrooms ($5.25) to caramel apples ($4.95) and fresh-baked cookies ($1.99). ADMISSION: Adults, $5 -$10 Kids 4-10, $5 Under 4, free Cash only at box office. u3417 Eastern Blvd., Baltimore; 410-687-5627; bengies.com

Cars will line up! Get there early to reserve your spot!

HULL’S DRIVE-IN claims to have the best popcorn in town! See for yourself!


Pull up to a Movie

Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre concession stand Be prepared for a great experience.

Check to see what payment methods are accepted — some venues only accept cash.

Make sure to look at the forecast before heading out.

Celebrate weekends in Newville, Pa., with a triple feature at the Cumberland. If you’re driving from a distance, you can reserve a vehicle space. Movies are family-friendly, and a playground keeps kids entertained until the first feature begins. Stock up on eats at the snack bar: slushies, burgers, barbecue, hot sausage and jumbo dogs. If you choose to sit outside (or don’t trust your car battery), rent a portable radio for $2. ADMISSION: Adults, $8 Kids 3-12, $4 Under 3, free. u715 Centerville Rd., Newville, Pa.; 717-776-5212; http://81fun.com/ drivein_home/

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Remember to turn off your headlights if entering around showtime.

Arrive well before sunset to get a good parking spot.

Bring extra seating so you can leave your car and stretch your legs during the movie.

ANNE POWELL (2); GETTY IMAGES

One of the few year-round drive-ins, Silver Moon first opened in 1948 in Lakeland, Fla. At that time, tickets were 35 cents, and vendors sold cigarettes along with popcorn. Today, each of the theater’s two screens has a double feature seven nights a week. The snack bar sells homemade pizza, hot dogs, corn dogs, nachos, soft pretzels, popcorn, beer and large dill pickles — a Silver Moon fave. On Saturdays and Sundays, the grounds are transformed into the Swap Shop flea market. ADMISSION: Adults, $5 Kids 4-9, $1 Under 3, free. u4100 New Tampa Hwy., Lakeland, Fla.; 863-682-0849; silvermoondrivein.com


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Three virtual reality shows each week full of adrenaline-pumping adventures you can only get from the USA TODAY NETWORK.

Immerse yourself

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EXPLORE 164

86 120 118 80 78 124 90 130

160 162

94 106

112

148

140 166

138

96

102

MAP: MIRANDA PELLICANO

154

NORTHEAST 78 My Town: Fort Lee, N.J.

SOUTHEAST 94 My Town: Alexandria, Va.

MIDWEST 118 My Town: Northport, Mich.

WEST 138 My Town: Dallas

PACIFIC 160 My Town: Bay Area, Calif.

80 Visit Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard

96 What’s New in Orlando

120 The Unexpected Beauty of Duluth

140 Nuclear Tourism at Los Alamos

162 Views of San Francisco

124 Dive Chicago’s Shipwrecks

148 Luxury in Utah’s Back Country

130 Cincinnati’s Brewing Heritage

154 Funky Big Bend, Texas

86 Maine Windjammers 90 Coding Secrets at Fort Meade, Md.

102 Surf Florida’s Waves 106 Virginia Wine Country 112 Shaker Village, Ky.

164 Washington Lavender Fest 166 Midcentury Modern in Palm Springs

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MAKSIM CHMERKOVSKIY’S

Fort Lee, N.J. When he’s not on Dancing with the Stars, Maksim Chmerkovskiy can be found in his adopted home of Fort Lee with fellow Dancing pro Peta Murgatroyd and their son, Shai. “Fort Lee has always seemed like the best place on earth,” says the LivOn Labs spokesman. “It’s close to Manhattan, so there’s that energy, but there’s also so much greenery.”

“ BEST PLACE TO

DANCE Maks is a co-founder of Dance With Me dance studios, which offer ballroom dancing instruction in a social environment. Partners include fellow DwtS pros Val Chmerkovskiy (Maks’ brother) and Tony Dovolani. “People always tell me that dancing at our studios is on their bucket list,” Maks says. “I want people to enjoy dance; it’s very important to me that people dance for their health.” 2029 Lemoine Ave. #201; 201-9417797; dancewithmeusa.com

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(At the iPic Hudson Lights movie theater), you can lay down and people serve you food while you watch a movie. When we found out they were opening last fall, Peta was very excited about it.” 2023 Hudson St.; 201-5827100; ipictheaters.com

BEST PLACE TO

BEST PLACE FOR

SHOP

A LATE-NIGHT SNACK

When fashion maven Chmerkovskiy is looking for something trendy, he stops by Loit, a boutique for men and women. “They don’t have a huge inventory, but it’s all very hip, fresh, new stuff,” he says. “If you were a stylist, you’d definitely go there.” 2029 Lemoine Ave. #101; 201-363-4600; theloit.com

After a night of dancing, Chmerkovskiy likes to stop by Raku Izakaya, a Japanese tapas joint owned by his friend James Yim. He orders the avocado tuna salad (“it’s incredible”) and grooves to the party atmosphere. “This is the only place in town that plays Biggie (Smalls) at 1 in the morning,” he says. 209 Main St.; 201-585-0707

BEST PLACE TO

TAKE OUTOF-TOWNERS When Chmerkovskiy and Murgatroyd have visitors, they show off their town at Fort Lee Historic Park just south of the George Washington Bridge. “The view of Manhattan is amazing,” Chmerkovskiy says. “You stroll around the trees and you breathe clean, oxygenized air. As I’m walking around, I’ll think, ‘We’re fortunate that we live here.’” Hudson Terrace; 201-461-1776; njpalisades.org/fortlee. html

MONICA SCHIPPER/GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY DANCE WITH ME STUDIOS; DREW ANGERER/GETTY IMAGES

— ALLISON ENTREKIN


A country getaway full of history, a little mystery, and summertime fun. This world-famous place only 90 minutes north of families, business moguls, actors, and musicians. Join us this summer to visit the historic site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Or cast a line in two-headed trout. There are outdoor concerts, farm to table restaurants, wineries, breweries, and B&B, inn, campground or family resort.

1.800.882.CATS

SullivanCatskills.com

#SullivanCatskills

ÂŽ I LOVE NEW YORK logo is a registered trademark/service mark of the NYS Dept. of Economic Development, used with permission.

SARATOGA C O U N T Y, N Y

1-800-526-8970 • ilovesaratoga.us


NORTHEAST | M A SSACH USET TS

Beyond The Beach A low-key, low-impact getaway to an Atlantic island paradise BY ALLISON TIBALDI

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MIKE GALVIN/NANTUCKET CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

N

antucket’s mythical beauty has inspired generations of artists, writers, beachcombers and stargazers. With 82 miles of unspoiled coastline, the island paradise provides breathtaking views and seashell-strewn shores. Visitors return year after year, beckoned by its nautical charm and understated elegance. But dramatic landscapes and pristine beaches aren’t the only story. With no chain stores, fast food or traffic lights, an Americana spirit infuses the quaint downtown. The independently owned shops, eateries and boutiques are reminiscent of when life was just a tad simpler. For visitors seeking lowimpact travel, 32 miles of bike paths, the efficient islandwide WAVE shuttle and a compact, pedestrian-friendly village make it a fine car-optional vacation. Nantucket is located 30 miles off the shore of Cape Cod, and getting there is part of the fun. Catch the year-round ferry from Hyannis, with more than a dozen daily departures in high season, and you’ll be treated to striking seascapes along your breezy journey. The ferry docks at the picture-perfect harbor brimming with seaworthy vessels, and you’re just a short stroll from the island’s premier hotels, beaches and attractions.


BEYOND THE BEACH

If the fickle New England weather doesn’t cooperate, you can still find engaging indoor diversions that highlight Nantucket’s rich maritime history. The Whaling Museum is not just for fans of Melville’s Moby-Dick. If you’re curious about the folklore, traditions and history of Nantucket, you’ll find artifacts and exhibits that paint a vivid picture of the island during its heyday as a whaling capital. nha.org

Cisco Beach

Cisco

POTENT POTABLES

MIKE GALVIN/NANTUCKET CHAMBER OF COMMERCE; WILLIAM DESOUSA-MOUK; PROVIDED BY THE MUSEUM; GABRIEL FRASCA

THE BEACHES

The variety and quality of beaches on this 14-milelong island are dazzling. Nearly all of its beaches, including private ones, are publicly accessible via designated entryways. If you’re looking for calm seas, stick to the island’s north side, where public beaches such as Jetties and Dionis Beach present tranquil waters. The public beaches on the island’s southern fringe can have rough surf with powerful riptides. Kite fliers favor the stretch of sand on the western edge of south-facing Surfside Beach, so you’ll be sharing the beach with whimsical flying objects and frolicking families. If you’re seeking aquatic adventures, surfers ride the break at south shore’s Cisco Beach, where surfboards and stand-up paddleboards can be rented. Novices can take a lesson from the experienced instructors at Nantucket Island Surf School. nantucketsurfing.com

If you’re partial to hops and barley beverages, Nantucket has its very own craft brewery, Cisco. Give one of their specialty Island Reserve beers a try or sip the English-style Whale’s Tale Pale Ale, a balanced thirst quencher. 5 Bartlett Farm Rd.; 508325-5929; ciscobrewers. com

Elegant hand-woven rattan and wood baskets — Nantucket Lightship Baskets — are a unique island-made craft and stylistically in tune with the island’s Quaker simplicity. You can find these tempting beauties for sale at a number of shops in town (though with astronomical price tags). The best way to gain some insight into their heritage is by viewing the collection at the Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum. Open seasonally. Admission $5. nantucketlightship basketmuseum.org

If you require something more fortifying, clink glasses with a local crowd at the Rose & Crown. 23 South Water St.; 508-228-2595; theroseandcrown.com

FRESH EATS

Epicureans will find a range of global cuisines, but expect fresh seafood to dominate. Locals flock to casual Sayle’s Seafood to feast on the ocean-to-plate offerings. Order takeout and dine alfresco on their rustic patio. 99 Washington Extension; 508-228-4599; saylesseafood.com Treat your taste buds to a confection at Petticoat Row Bakery, which serves nostalgic baked goods with a homespun edge, such as lemon squares and oatmeal raisin cookies. Morning buns — buttery croissant dough rolled in brown sugar — are a house specialty. 35 Centre St.; 508-228-3700; petticoatrowbakery.com

Ventuno

At Ventuno, house-made pasta, hearty meats and fresh fish are served in a romantic setting. The radiatori di farro is a lush tangle of woodsy wild mushrooms sautéed with pasta so light it could levitate off the plate. Open seasonally. 21 Federal St.; 508-228-4242; ventunorestaurant.com

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YEAR-ROUND FERRIES FROM HYANNIS Hy-Line Cruises: Daily high-speed ferries year-round, with an additional departure on Friday evening. 220 Ocean St.; 800-4928082; hylinecruises.com The Steamship Authority: Daily traditional and high-speed ferries in high season. 1 Steamboat Wharf; 508-228-0262; steamshipauthority.com Seastreak Ferry: From New Bedford; operates May 24 through Sept. 4, departs from 49 State Pier. New Bedford; 800-2628743; seastreak.com

Jared Coffin House

Freedom Cruise Line: From Harwich Port, Cape Cod; starts in late May. 508-432-8999; nantucketislandferry.com

The 60-room Nantucket Hotel blends old-school charm with sophisticated comfort. Complimentary lemonade and cookies are an afternoon delight. 77 Easton St.; 508-228-4747; thenantuckethotel.com If you’re looking for lodging that blends Nantucket’s past and present with panache, consider the Jared Coffin House, located in an 1845 mansion downtown. The 30 rooms in the main building are available seasonally, while 13 rooms in the adjacent Daniel Webster building provide guests with an intimate experience year-round. 29 Broad St.; 508-228-2400; jaredcoffinhouse.com

A CYCLING UTOPIA

Family-owned Young’s Bicycle Shop has been renting two-wheelers since 1931. Owner Harvey Young will happily map out a ride to suit anyone but recommends the 20-mile round-trip ride to the adorable yesteryear village of Siasconset, locally known as ’Sconset. 6 Broad St.; 508-228-1151; youngsbicycleshop.com

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Nantucket’s airport provides year-round service to Boston, Hyannis, Martha’s Vineyard and White Plains, N.Y.

MIKE GALVIN/NANTUCKET CHAMBER OF COMMERCE (2); GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY YOUNG'S BICYCLE SHOP

COZY DIGS


G O AH E AD,

GET CARRIED AWAY.

Trade in the everyday for adventure in the Pocono Mountains. We have 67,000 sprawling acres for you to zip, climb, hike, and bike across. Whether you’d rather fly through a forest or sit lakeside with loved ones, Mother Nature has something in store. Start planning your next trip at PoconoMountains.com.


NORTHEAST | M A SSACH USET TS

Destination: Martha’s Vineyard Spend 24 hours on this beachy East Coast enclave

W

ith miles of sandy beaches and plenty of unspoiled green spaces, Martha’s Vineyard is the idyllic New England summer getaway. Bursting with traditional seafood shacks, trendy restaurants, general stores and artisan boutiques, this hotspot can easily be a day trip. The Vineyard is known for its celebrity and presidential visitors, but you don’t need a lot of money to have a wonderful time. In fact, you don’t even need a car. Clocking in at about 96 mostly flat square miles, the layout of the island makes everything easily accessible by foot, bike or moped. (And if you do suddenly need a car, Uber has come to the island to get you where you need to go.) We recommend making the town of Oak Bluffs your base. Of the Vineyard towns — Edgartown, Vineyard Haven, Acquinnah, Chilmark and West Tisbury — Oak Bluffs (the primary ferry landing site) has the easiest access to beaches, shops, bars, restaurants and quintessential Vineyard history.

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GETTY IMAGES; CJ RIVARD; MAX BOSSMAN; ROBERT DOUGLAS JR.

BY FRANCES KATZ


MORNING

Miles of Beaches, Colorful Cottages Take the Steamship Authority ferry from Woods Hole, Mass. As you exit the ferry, the Oak Bluffs Town Beach is to your left. Bike or take a shuttle bus down Seaview Avenue, which turns into Beach Road, to find the ideal spot for sunning, swimming and picnicking. You’ll pass the Joseph Sylvia State Beach, where Steven Spielberg shot scenes for Jaws and you’ll see kids jumping off the American Legion Memorial Bridge — known as the “Jaws Bridge." If you don’t mind ignoring the signs saying not to do it, jump in at high tide. When you’re ready to head back into Oak Bluffs, cut through Ocean Park and make your way toward one of the most iconic Vineyard sights, the colorful and charming Victorian gingerbread cottages known as the Campground, a community that dates back to the 1800s. The Martha’s Vineyard Camp Meeting Association (mvcma.org) is a private foundation dedicated to preserving the campgrounds and the Tabernacle, which were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

MIDDAY

Lunch and Liveliness If your stomach is rumbling, head to Nancy’s (nancysrestaurant.com), which overlooks Oak Bluffs Harbor. Enjoy a perfect Martha’s Vineyard lunch of a lobster roll, skinny onion rings and a cold beverage. (Last year, former first daughter Sasha Obama worked the takeout window.) If you’re feeling a bit more formal, head to the upstairs dining room for succulent lobster ravioli, crab-and-corn-crusted cod and seared salmon. For a lively afternoon, head up the road to the Flying Horses Carousel (mvpreservation. org/properties/flying-horses-carousel), the oldest operating platform carousel in the country. The attached arcade features vintage games like pinball and whack-a-mole. Walk along Circuit Avenue and check out the many small shops and boutiques. Among the treats are island-made fudge, handmade jewelry and a variety of other handmade items in addition to the traditional souvenirs — including the popular black-and-white “MV” badge for your car.

EVENING

GETTY IMAGES

Black Dog and desserts All those brightly colored T-shirts with the black dogs on them are souvenirs from the island’s popular The Black Dog Tavern (theblackdog.com). The original sandwich shop and restaurant are in Vineyard Haven, a 10-minute shuttle bus ride from Oak Bluffs. The biggest crowds are around the gift shop, which stocks clothing for everyone — including your dog. In Oak Bluffs, hop in line at Martha’s Vineyard Gourmet Café & Bakery (mvbakery.com), which serves hot, fresh apple fritters, cinnamon rolls, doughnuts and croissants at the “back door” from 7 p.m. to 12:58 a.m. Walk to the beach or Ocean Park to listen to the waves and gaze up at the amazing array of stars. After dinner, it’s time to think about getting back to the mainland. The last bus back to Boston and points north leaves Woods Hole at 8 p.m., but check the schedule for any changes or updates.

Getting There If you’re coming from Boston, drive or take the bus from Boston Logan International Airport or Copley Place in Boston’s Back Bay. Because car reservations on the ferry can be difficult to get (reserve several months in advance), leaving your vehicle behind is easiest. Park in one of the many marked lots that provide shuttle service to the Steamship Authority ferry in Woods Hole. Free shuttle buses meet both ferries heading to the island’s major towns, including Oak Bluffs. The ferry runs several times a day; check website for pricing and hours. 1 Cowdry Rd.; 508-4778600; steamship authority.com

For more information Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce 24 Beach St., Vineyard Haven; 800-505-4815; mvy.com

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Dancing with the Wind Weave between islands and visit remote villages on a Maine windjammer cruise BY HILARY NANGLE

PHOTOS PROVIDED B Y LADONA

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aves splash the deck, and I brace my feet, trying to hold steady as the Ladona leans into the wind, racing its sister schooner, the Stephen Taber, across the choppy waters of Maine’s Penobscot Bay. Other passengers scramble for dry positions, laughing while soaking in the experience of sailing aboard a Maine windjammer. In an era ruled by technology, windjamming is an aberration, an unscripted adventure. Wind and tide set the pace and itinerary; sunrise and sunset schedule the day. “Penobscot Bay is a national treasure,” says second-generation captain Noah Barnes, who grew up on the Taber and restored the Ladona with Capt. J. R. Braugh. Stretching broadly from Rockport to Bar Harbor, the bay is salted with thousands of rock-girdled, spruce-fringed islands and edged with a handful of granite-tipped fingers. Gulls squeal. Seals frolic. Lobster boats

chug. Lighthouses wink. Bell buoys clang. “Arriving under sail at perfect, uninhabited, unbuilt-up islands or coastal fishing villages, artist communities and gallery towns is hitting the aesthetic jackpot,” Barnes says. Passenger windjamming dates from 1936, when an enterprising sea captain retrofitted an old cargo schooner with bunks and invited paying customers aboard. I booked my adventure through the Maine Windjammer Association, which carries on the tradition. Its nine members homeport in Rockland or Camden and vary in both size — they take on between 16 and 40 passengers — and amenities. Cruises, offered May into October, range between one and 10 days, with rates beginning around $200 per day. Some windjammers are restored and others are purpose-built; five, including the Taber, are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. “The Ladona’s a classic thoroughbred with a racing pedigree,” Barnes says. Designed by William Hand and built in 1922 as a private yacht, Ladona won >

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XXXXXXX

XXXXXXX

XXXXXXX

Maine Windjammer Association 800-807-9463; sailmainecoast.com

Schooners Ladona and Stephen Taber 207-594-4723; schoonerladona.com, stephentaber.com

its class in the 1923 Bermuda Cup and served on a Navy submarine patrol before sinking at the dock. Sold as salvage, it was refitted as a fishing dragger, then rebuilt as a sail-training vessel before joining Maine’s windjammer fleet. When bankruptcy left it rotting at the dock, Barnes and Braugh rescued it, aiming to create the ultimate windjammer experience by marrying Ladona’s rich history, classic lines and speed with contemporary amenities including electrical outlets, USB ports and shared tiled baths with rainwater showers. I’m sun-drying my hair when the sister schooners anchor for an all-you-can-eat lobster bake and beach barbeque off McGlathery, an undeveloped island with sand pockets scalloping the craggy shoreline. Both cruises have a special wine theme, and while we savor a guided tasting, executive chef Anna Miller lays out an appetizer spread that resembles the small-plates selection at a fine restaurant. The passengers — a mix of newbies and old salts returning for their umpteenth cruise — sip, nibble, chat and feast. Friendships are sealed over campfire-toasted Nutella waffle s’mores, as the

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day’s vivid blues cede to smoky pinks chased by fiery golds and reds. “You know it’s working when people stop referring to their cellphones,” Barnes says. “It’s one thing to remove the ability to connect, another to remove the desire.” Back aboard, I watch the last whisper of light fade, merging sky and sea into inky darkness. One star emerges, then another, and I retire to my cabin, lulled to sleep by the gentle rhythmic slip-slap of soft waves, mentally restored by the sun, sea and dancing with the wind, and eager for the promise of tomorrow. l

PROVIDED BY LADONA (2); NADRA EDGERLEY

In an era ruled by technology, windjamming is an aberration, an unscripted adventure. Wind and tide set the pace and itinerary; sunrise and sunset schedule the day.


moment

CREATE YOUR

A place where simply being is your only responsibility.

SPA CREEK ST. MARY’S CHURCH WATERFRONT VisitMaryland.org

County of Kent Maryland’s Upper Eastern Shore on the Chesapeake Bay

A Scenic Peninsula with fishing, boating, kayaking, sunset cruises, antiques, museums, theaters, art galleries, winery, distillery, local seafood and more.

www.kentcounty.com


NORTHEAST | M A RY L A N D

From the first machine to encrypt speech to the Enigma code machine used by the Germans in World War II to a handwritten code book from the Civil War era, spies have had many ways to hide information.

Visit a code-breaking museum located near a property filled with real spies

GIFTS FOR THE CRYPTOLOGIST

BY MELANIE D.G. KAPLAN

At the National Cryptologic Museum’s gift shop, you’ll find souvenir standbys, including koozies, shot glasses and golf balls. But you’ll also find nuggets like the NSA Moscow mule mug ($17.50), a G.I. Joe Navajo Code Talker ($54), a periscope ($11) and an NSA Magic 8 ball ($8.75). It’s tough to pass up night goggles ($17.50) or NSA playing cards ($3.25), but the coolest item may be the cheapest: a heat-sensitive NSA pencil (55 cents). It changes colors when you hold it.

T

he National Security Agency headquarters in Fort Meade, Md., is heavily secured. Most of the agency’s employees can’t talk about their work, and if you think you can casually stroll around the property, think again — unless you’re headed to the small, one-story building nearby housing the National Cryptologic Museum. The museum opened in 1993 to house NSA artifacts in what was once a Colony 7 Motor Inn. Today, this gem offers the public a rare glimpse into the secret world of code-making and code-breaking. The museum is free, and if you pass muster with the friendly staff at the information desk, consider yourself inside security. In the museum, you’ll learn about the most dramatic times in American cryptology, from the Civil War through the Cold War and beyond. Among the oldest artifacts: the first printed book on cryptology,

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NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY (3); GETTY IMAGES

Sneak Peeks


NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCY; GETTY IMAGES

from 1518, and an 18th century cipher device that scrambles alphabets to code a message. The museum’s most popular exhibit is on the German Enigma, which was used to encrypt tens National Cryptologic of thousands of messages during World War II. Museum The museum has five authentic, working Enigma 8290 Colony Seven machines, and visitors can use them to create their Rd., Annapolis own secret messages. Junction, Md.; 301Visitors can also write in invisible ink, read about 688-5849; nsa.gov/ the Native American Code Talkers (the Navajo about/cryptologiclanguage as well as Choctaw and other Native heritage/ American languages were considered unbreakable museum codes in World War II), learn how the Soviets bugged the U.S. during the Cold War era, play with a NASA communications console that controlled and configured the cryptologic units between the space shuttle and the Johnson Space Center and see an early NSA supercomputer. Curator Patrick Weadon says it’s tricky to teach people about cryptology “without giving away the crown jewels,” meaning that the government has to handle its secrets with extreme care. The museum can only display a document or artifact once the government has declassified it. Then, Weadon says, it’s the museum’s job to tell the tale. “We take stories from the past,” he says, “and hope people can extrapolate from those stories how important the present-day mission is.” l

Cold War-era Washington-Moscow hotline

Q&A WITH CURATOR PATRICK WEADON Q: NSA wasn’t a household name until about five years ago. How has that changed things at the museum? A: It hasn’t. The attendance is consistently 50,000 to 70,000 a year. And I can count on one hand the number of visitors who have brought up any controversies. Q: Do you see cryptology history repeating itself? A: This museum is a testament to the fact that since the beginning of time, people have been protecting information. Group A believes they have secure means of communication. Group B gets through security. Group A wonders how they could have been so shortsighted. This repeats itself over and over again. Once you believe everything is copacetic, you set yourself up for failure. Q: I know you can’t play favorites with the exhibits, but … A: Oh, I don’t have a problem playing favorites! One is the most popular exhibit, the Enigma, which attracts visitors from around the world. It’s our Mona Lisa. The other is an exhibit on the Battle of Midway, probably the best example of cryptology. (After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. broke Japan’s naval code and staged an ambush that changed the course of the war.) The point we make is that cryptologists don’t win battles. But they do help a country achieve its goals, and they do save lives. — Melanie D.G. Kaplan

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SOUTHEAST | M Y TOW N

DONNELL RAWLINGS'

Alexandria,Va. Comedian Donnell Rawlings first made headlines in the Washington, D.C., comedy clubs near his hometown of Alexandria before hitting it big on HBO’s Def Comedy Jam. But it wasn’t until after he teamed up with fellow funnyman Dave Chappelle on the award-winning and critically acclaimed Chappelle’s Show as an actor and writer that he became a household name. He is currently on tour, sometimes doubleheading with Chappelle. — HOLLIE DEESE

WAFFLES Waffle Shop: “Serving the best waffles for about 50 years, if you had a late-night hot date or needed a place to have food after your prom date, you had to go to the waffle house. This was the best place to go if you needed to catch up on your community gossip.” (Yes, the awning signs are misspelled “Wafle” on purpose.) 3864 Mount Vernon Ave.; 703-836-8851; facebook.com/ thewaffleshopalexandria

(Blue and White Carry Out is) a staple of Alexandria. (If you) need to crave your feelings for a fried chicken sandwich, you must go here. From preachers to politicians, you’re nobody unless you had a chicken sandwich with hot sauce! Don’t judge me!” 1024 Wythe St.; 703-548-3867

BEST PLACE TO

GET INSPIRED Torpedo Factory Art Center: “Whenever I wanted to feel like the most interesting man in the world, I would go to the Torpedo Factory (named for its original purpose: building torpedoes) to check out new art and walk on the pier to reflect.” 105 N. Union St.; 703-746-4570; torpedofactory.org

BEST

CELEBRATION George Washington Birthday Celebration: “Alexandria is not a city that has a lot of celebrations, but every year we would celebrate the history of Old Town Alexandria by watching the George Washington (Birthday) Parade on Presidents Day, one of the only events that brought all communities together.” Held the third Monday of each February; washingtonbirthday.com

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BONNIE RZM; M. ENRIQUEZ FOR VISIT ALEXANDRIA: ELIZABETH NEUS; VISIT ALEXANDRIA

BEST PLACE FOR


SAVOR THE SEASONS

“We found ours!” Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail www.nps.gov/ovvi * 864.936.3477 Kings Mountain National Military Park www.nps.gov/kimo * 864.936.7921 Cowpens National Battlefield www.nps.gov/cowp * 864.461.2828 Gaffney Visitors Center & Art Gallery 210 W. Frederick Street, Gaffney, SC 29341 864-487-6244

inUpcountry South Carolina |

ANDERSON OCONEE

|

CHEROKEE PICKENS

|

|

GREENVILLE

S PA R TA N B U R G

E

njoy the blooming Dogwoods and Azaleas in Spring. In Summer, explore waterfalls, rivers and lakes.Take a drive along scenic byways for the fabulous Fall foliage. Spend a weekend in a cozy cabin during Winter. Whenever you choose to visit, the Upcountry will be Perfectly Seasoned for you! Perfectly Seasoned

www.getintogaffney.com #GetN2GaffneySC

your adventure

awaits

A source of hospitality for generations of families and vacationers, Hardeeville is proud to be the gateway to the Lowcountry and the connection to the islands. No matter what you’ll be doing on your next Lowcountry adventure, you’ll want to stay in the center of the action. A place that’s within 30 minutes of Savannah, Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, and Beaufort. A place that has unique discoveries and treasures of its own. We are Historic Hardeeville and New River. We are southern charm. We are Hardeeville, South Carolina. Where your adventure awaits.

cityofhardeeville.com

UpcountrySC.com | 800.849.4766 | FREE Visitors Guide


SOUTHEAST | FLOR IDA

The Rides of Your Life Orlando’s theme parks take you to new worlds — and a virtual New York

J

ust when you think they can’t possibly top the fire-breathing dragon at Gringotts Bank, Orlando’s theme park wizards are at it again with a spellbinding array of new attractions. This summer, the “Theme Park Capital of the World” launches some of the “most state-of-the-art” expansions in theme park history, says George Aguel, president and CEO of Visit Orlando. And to think it all started with a simple 2-D pants-wearing mouse! Here’s a look:

RACE THROUGH NEW YORK STARRING JIMMY FALLON Universal Orlando Resort Board a “flying” theater seat for a crazy computer-simulated tour of New York City with Jimmy Fallon, the goofball host of NBC’s The Tonight Show. Count on seeing zany characters from the show, including the Ragtime Gals and Hashtag the Panda as you race through the streets and skies

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of the Big Apple. (Fallon’s family makes a cameo appearance near the pizza parlor.) You’ll careen through a Manhattan subway tunnel, dive into the East River and dodge skyscrapers as your senses are stimulated even more by piped-in pizza scent, fireworks and music from Fallon’s house band, The Roots. After experiencing all this, a seat in the audience at the real Studio 6B might seem pretty tame.

SPRING FOR A BITE AT DISNEY SPRINGS Buh-bye, mammoth turkey legs, and hello, celebrity chefs. Disney Springs, an upscale dining and shopping zone at Walt Disney World, is home to restaurants connected to James Beard Awardwinning chefs Rick Bayless, Masaharu Morimoto and Art Smith. Joining them is TV personality/ chef Guy Fieri, above, who created a sandwich menu for the Planet Hollywood Observatory, an eye-popping four-story sphere with an outdoor terrace. Count on "off the hook” (in Fieri parlance) burgers and 20 Florida craft beers on tap. If you survive all the new attractions, drinks are on us. disneysprings. com

PROVIDED BY UNIVERSAL STUDIOS; GERARDO MORA/GETTY IMAGES

BY DIANE BAIR AND PAMELA WRIGHT


CHILL OUT IN

Captiva Welcome to Island Life

Unforgettable moments happen every day at the secluded South Seas Island Resort. Whether you’re ready for an epic fishing adventure, a relaxing day on the beach, retreating to a romantic private cabana, or shelling with the kids, there’s something for everyone. With plentiful amenities, the conveniences of home, lush tropical surroundings and unparalleled oceanfront views, why not start packing now? Summer is heating up at South Seas Island Resort. Stay 3 nights at our regular rates, and get your 4th night FREE. Plus, you will also receive a coupon book with more than $250 in resort savings and kids enjoy free daily breakfast. Use promo code USATODAY. BEST RATES

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This offer cannot be combined with other packages, promotions or group rates, and cannot be applied to existing reservations. Offer is subject to availability. Resort fee and taxes additional. Available 05/01/2017 - 09/30/2017. Standard stay is 2 - 10 nights. ©2017 South Seas Island Resort

DISCOVER PARADISE

Imagine yourself off the beaten path on a semi-private island at the southern-most end of Fort Myers Beach. Relax in all suite accommodations with amazing views of the Gulf of Mexico and Estero Bay from your private balcony.

And also dine with us at our award-winning waterfront restaurant Flippers on the Bay. For more information and reservations, please call

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Incredible Hiking Do More

Cozy Camping

Sky-High Ziplining Take in our scenic views while kayaking downstream, explore breathtaking canyons, and wrap your adventure up with a night under the stars in Ocala/Marion County. Explore and do more at OcalaMarion.com ocalamarion

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SOUTHEAST | FLOR IDA

The Krakatau Aqua Coaster at Volcano Bay Need more thrills, you energetic tourist, you? Check out the new Dolphin Days show at SeaWorld Orlando (seaworldparks. com) and Ninjago, where kids can become ninjas, at LEGOLAND Florida resort (legoland.com).

Pandora

Universal Orlando Resort Joining Universal Studios Florida and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, the 30-acre Volcano Bay water park recalls the languid lagoons and palmfringed islets of the South Pacific. Call it serenity spiked with squealing: Erupting out of the park’s steaming 200-foot volcano is the shriek-inducing Krakatau Aqua Coaster. Aboard a specially designed canoe, guests cruise up and down the volcano’s peaks and valleys, lurch into dark passageways and splash through waterfalls. Other elements include a wave pool with sandy beaches, a winding river, multipassenger raft rides and a waterslide that plunges from the top of the volcano into the water below. Every Volcano Bay guest

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receives the TapuTapu wearable device. Designed exclusively for use in this water park, it will hold your place in line and offer tap-to-play experiences. Use it to shoot water cannons, make "whale spouts" and illuminate images in hidden caves.

PANDORA — THE WORLD OF AVATAR Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park Way back in 2009, Avatar and its blue-hued human-alien hybrids broke box-office records — it’s still the top-grossing movie ever worldwide. Now, new Avatar films are in the works, and for those who can’t wait, the movie’s Oscar-winning creator, James Cameron, and his team have collaborated with the folks at Walt Disney Imagineering to bring the lush, digitally created world of Pandora to life. It’s a dreamlike landscape of floating mountains, bioluminescent rainforests, glowing plants and Pandoran creatures galore. Mount a winged banshee and ride the Avatar Flight of Passage into a multisensory experience. You’ll actually feel the banshee “breathe” as you soar past floating mountains into the forest and head to a confrontation with the Great Leonopteryx, the most feared predator in Pandora’s fictional world. The Na’vi River Journey is a gentler ride aboard an eight-seat boat into the midst of a mystical, musical Na’vi ceremony. The highlight: a close-up encounter with the Na’vi Shaman of Songs. “She is the most technically advanced audioanimatronic figure ever created,” says Terry Brinkoetter, public relations director for Disney Destinations.

2016 UNVERSAL ORLANDO RESORT; GETTY IMAGES; DISNEY

VOLCANO BAY


WHERE GEORGIA COMES TOGETHER Sit down & relax at our casual restaurants, where the only thing you have to worry about is enjoying the food!

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SOUTHEAST | FLOR IDA

THINK OUTSIDE THE PARKS Orlando is more than the sum of its attractions

Away from its storied attractions, Orlando is a magic kingdom all its own. Its vibrant neighborhoods, lively dining scene and trendy boutiques showcase the city’s stylish side and make it a vacation destination in its own right. Your first stop is Winter Park, located seven miles northeast of Orlando. Its most celebrated street is brick-paved Park Avenue, lined with high-end boutiques such as locally owned Tuni (shoptuni. com) and hip restaurants. Don’t miss Prato (prato-wp.com), an Italian eatery with some of the best people-watching in town. Park Avenue is also home to The Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art (morsemuseum. org), which houses the world’s most comprehensive collection of works by stained-glass artist Louis Comfort Tiffany. From the museum, it’s a short stroll to the launching point for Winter Park’s Scenic Boat Tour (scenicboattours.com), which takes guests by pontoon boat through 19th-century canals and pristine lakes. Four miles southwest of Winter Park is Ivanhoe Village, where galleries and antique shops frame lovely Lake Ivanhoe. Browse for

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Prato

Scenic Boat Tour

East End Market

Leu Gardens

funky pop art and gifts at Boom-Art by Rogers Studio (1821 N. Orange Ave.; 407-895-0280), owned by two former circus clowns. Celebrate your splurge with a locally brewed beer at The Imperial, a one-of-a-kind furniture store, wine bar and beer garden in one (imperialwinebar. com). If you’re hungry, check out Mesa21 (mesa21.com), a new Mexican joint where authentic carnitas are complemented by alfresco lakeside dining. Over in Audubon Park, 3 miles east, East End Market (eastendmkt.com) is home to a 14,000-square-foot indoor farmer’s market. Come for the craft coffee at Lineage Coffee Roasting (lineageroasting.com); stay for the gardening inspiration at Porch Therapy (porchtherapy.com). In the mood for a cold brew? Check out Redlight Redlight (redlightredlight beerparlour.com), consistently ranked one of the top craft beer bars in the Southeast. Don’t leave the area without visiting the 50-acre Harry P. Leu Gardens on the shores of Lake Rowena (leugardens.org). Wander the grounds to explore more than 12,000 plants and a lovingly restored turn-of-the-century home.

GETTY IMAGES; MICHAEL PISARRI; VISIT ORLANDO; MATT MARRIOTT; VISIT ORLANDO

BY ALLISON ENTREKIN


Ashland/Boyd Co. is located on US 23 Country Music Highway - a mecca for arts, festivals, great food, entertainment, trails and off-road adventure. Come check us out - you’ll be glad you did!

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Hartwell/Lake Hartwell awaits to explore, fish, hike, boat, bike, ski, camp, shop and enjoy. Just 90 minutes NE of Atlanta and one hour south of Greenville, SC could be your new hometown or your best vacation yet! Contact the Hart County Chamber at 706-376-8590, email hartchamber@hartcom.net

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SOUTHEAST | FLOR IDA

Surf Florida The Atlantic coast waves a cheery hello to boarders BY TALIA WOOLDRIDGE

W

hen it comes to famous U.S. surfing destinations, Hawaii and California may be the best known to non-surfers, but the swells along Florida’s east coast — the waves that come onshore at Cocoa Beach

— are worthy rivals. The region known as the Space Coast (the Kennedy Space Center is about 20 miles north) is where surfing champions Kelly Slater, C.J. Hobgood and his twin brother, Damien Hobgood, grew up. The Hobgoods and Slater are

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part of a prestigious fraternity of surfers from Florida’s east coast that includes multiple world champions, high-achievers on the professional circuit, innovators and cultivators of surf talent and community. The area is also the site of major surfing competitions and the headquarters for the world’s largest surf shop, Ron Jon. I took an impromptu road trip to visit friends and see what all the fuss is about. I was in for an amazing four days of surf, swells and unrivaled happy hours. Just south of the city of Cocoa Beach, you’ll find terrific breaks along the A1A Highway, all named after local


CRAIG RUBADOUX/FLORIDA TODAY; GETTY IMAGES; ROBERTO GONZALEZ/GETTY IMAGES

Storm Portman cuts back on a wave during the NKF 30th Annual Surf Festival in Cocoa Beach in 2015. The site attracts surfers of all abilities.

features that are easy to spot — Picnic Tables, 2nd Light (as in traffic light) and Hangars, near Patrick Air Force Base. They’re popular sites, but newbies should be careful in the crowds on the waves. Continuing south, Hightower Beach is a must-surf, with strong breaks that can rise 5 to 8 feet high. It’s also where non-surfers can watch wildlife, with more than 500 feet of boardwalk, two observation decks and a picnic pavilion from which to take in the scene. Next up is Satellite Beach and its world-class breaks, where C.J. (who has retired, but still lives nearby) and Damien Hobgood learned to ride. You can learn more about their stellar, lengthy careers — not to mention the coast’s entire surfing history — at the Florida Surf Museum (floridasurfmuseum.org). A few miles south, Sebastian Inlet has been attracting world-class surfers since the 1960s. Most recently, it was home to the O’Neill Sebastian Inlet Pro surfing event from 2005 to 2011, which ended partly due to the loss of its sponsorship. “It was the biggest pro surfing contest on the East Coast, and got us a lot of buzz and a lot of attention,” says Mitch Varnes, a Satellite Beach resident and sports promoter who helped coordinate the event and is trying to start a new one. The Inlet is known for its famed First, Second and Third Peaks — named and ranked for their difficulty. First Peak’s legendary waves have been altered over the years because of construction to a nearby jetty (“I miss Sebastian (Inlet), truly,” Kelly Slater told Surfer magazine in 2016. “I’d do anything to bring it back to its glory.”) but still attracts surfers looking for a challenge. Second and Third Peaks are smaller, better for less experienced surfers. If you want to try some waves outside Cocoa Beach proper, head north of the city. About an hour away, you’ll find New Smyrna Beach, named one of the world’s top surf towns by both National Geographic and Surfer, where the waves break consistently — there’s rarely a bad day for surfing. When it’s time to take a break from the breaks — but not the surfing life — drive along North Atlantic Avenue in Cocoa Beach and stop by Ron Jon’s brightly colored headquarters. This famous surf retail chain was founded in 1959 in New Jersey by Ron DiMenna, who moved to Cocoa Beach a couple of years later and began an empire. In Cocoa Beach, Ron Jon (ronjonsurfshop. com) also serves as a place to get surfing and kiteboarding lessons as well as rental equipment. The surfing festivals and competitions attract as many visitors as the actual waves: The popular Ron Jon Van’s Pro Surf Competition, held during Ron Jon’s annual Beach ’N Boards Fest every March (beachnboardsfest.com), is a spring-break highlight. In June, the Waterman’s Challenge Surf Contest,

SURF’S UP

Get the details on the waves before you head into the water: Ron Jon provides information and realtime camera feeds on several Florida beaches. ronjonsurfshop.com/ surfreport.aspx Surfline reports on surf nationwide, but you can get details on individual Cocoa Beach breaks as well. surfline.com The National Weather Service creates surf zone forecasts for the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. ripcurrents.noaa.gov/ forecasts.shtml

Watching a rocket launch

103


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Tandem surfing

Ron Jon in Cocoa Beach

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over dinner at The Island Waterfront Bar & Grill (1891 E. Merritt Island Causeway, Merritt Island; 321-806-3661) and Sandbar Sports Grill (sandbarsportsgrill.net), home to the extremely strong Category 5 Hurricane drink, made with triple sec and five kinds of rum. Jump’s Tiny

Tavern (jumpstinytavern. brandyourself.com) is a fun dive bar worth a stop. And lest you forget, the region is called the Space Coast for a reason. Stop at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex (kennedyspacecenter.com), where rockets have been lifting off since the 1960s, for a tour of the starting point for humankind’s greatest journeys. If you’re lucky, you might even get to see a launch. Between flights, though, the astronauts knew that Cocoa Beach was the place to party — and it’s still the place to catch a great wave today. Contributing: Dave Berman; Michelle Mulak

MALCOLM DENEMARK/FLORIDA TODAY; PROVIDED BY RON JON SURF SHOP

geared for surfers of all ages and levels, offers amateurs the chance to compete like the pros. The USA Junior Olympic Windsurfing Festival is scheduled for late June. The massive NKF Rich Salick Pro-Am Surf Festival (nkfsurf.com), a competition and major fundraiser for the National Kidney Foundation (it was started by a surfer who’d had a kidney transplant), runs every Labor Day weekend. Pro-am surfing, beach parties and more bring in the crowds and the cash. But this part of the Sunshine State offers more than surfing. If you want stellar live music and amazing happy hours, Cocoa Beach is home to some of the best. “It’s honestly cheaper to eat out here than go grocery shopping,” says Cocoa Beach resident and snowbird Bryan Jackson. His wife, Catherine, has been coming to Cocoa Beach since she was young. “It has a special place in my heart.” While enjoying seared ahi tuna, ultimate nachos and delicious drinks at Coconuts on the Beach (coconutsonthebeach.com), a spacious seafront restaurant and bar located on the ocean, I watched local surfers ride smaller swells. It’s also a great vantage point to spot porpoises, see gorgeous sunsets and take in starry nights. The next two nights, we took in excellent live music


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SOUTHEAST | V IRGIN I A

From Bud to Bottle Northern Virginia shines when it comes to vineyards BY SARA SCHWARTZ

V

irginia isn’t the most ideal state for producing wine, but that has stopped few from trying. Even Thomas Jefferson labored for decades to grow multiple grape varieties at his Monticello estate, never producing even one bottle. And while the founding father’s unwavering persistence ultimately proved unsuccessful, it did inspire generations of winemakers who learned to work with the environment and land to grow wine grapes in the commonwealth. Today, we can quite literally drink in their progress.

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WV

MD

3

2 1

4 5

6

VIRGINIA

1 NARMADA WINERY 2 BARREL OAK WINERY 3 868 ESTATE VINEYARDS 4 STONE TOWER WINERY 5 THE WINERY AT BULL RUN 6 PARADISE SPRINGS WINERY

Over the past several years, Virginia winemakers have produced award-winning, highly drinkable wines on stunning estates that nearly rival California and Europe. And, as viticulture —

the science and study of grapes — continues to evolve, breakthroughs bring varietals that wow. Today, the state boasts more than 250 wineries, nearly 100 of which are in northern Virginia, within an hour’s drive of Washington, D.C., according to the Virginia Wine Board, a state-sponsored trade association. (For a full list of wineries, visit virginiawine.org.) If you’re overwhelmed by too many great choices, board director Annette Boyd recommends choosing just a few. “Do two to three wineries a day,” she says. “A lot of the things that make those visits so special are being able to stop and smell the flowers and savor the wines.”

868; MAP: MIRANDA PELLICANO

Grandale Vintner's Table at 868 Estate Vineyards


Beauty

in the Blue Ridge SCOTT K. BROWN, VIRGINIA TOURISM CORPORATION

There’s LOTS to do and LOTS to see IN and AROUND

Amherst County,VA Parks, Trails, Boating, Fishing, Camping, Festivals, Wineries & more!

countyofamherst.com | 434-946-0990

E s c a p e , d i s c o v e r & p l a y.

Surprise Someone You Love with an Island Getaway S T. SI MONS ISL A N D, GEORGI A

Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park

Before family dramas made primetime,

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SOUTHEAST | V IRGIN I A

Barrel Oak Winery

Narmada Winery

Grandale Vintner’s Table

HITCH A RIDE; DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE Instead of trying to decide who in the group will stay sober to usher your crew home, hire a driver. Here are three companies recommended by the Virginia Wine Board. “Driving and tasting wine do not go together,” says board director Annette Boyd. ▶ Reston Limousine 45685 Elmwood Court, Dulles; 703-478-0500; restonlimo.com/services/ tours-trips/wine-tours ▶ Point-to-Point Limousine 9 Fort Evans Rd. S.E., Leesburg; 703-771-8100; pointtopointlimo.com ▶ Wine Pro Tours 2805 Ninth St. S., #61B, Arlington; 703-209-7139; wineprotours.com

EAT UP

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For some international flavor, head to Narmada Winery in Rappahannock County, where the estate’s wines are paired with Indian fare. Owner and CEO Pandit Patil and his wife, Sudha, the estate’s winemaker, named the winery after Pandit’s mother, whose support made it possible for him to head to the U.S. to earn an engineering degree decades ago. There’s a limited menu during the week, but the weekends bring on mmmm-inducing dishes — spiced butter chicken, creamy vegetable korma and aromatic papri chaat, all with recommended wine pairings. One variety to try: Narmada Mom, blended from two grape varieties grown on the estate as a tribute to hardworking moms around the world. ▶ 43 Narmada Lane, Amissville; 540-937-8215; narmadawinery.com

HOW SWEET IT IS Dessert wines are the perfect end to a meal, so for a sweet treat, head to Barrel Oak Winery in Fauquier County for its Chocolate Lab, a wine made from estate-grown chambourcin grapes. After the grapes complete fermentation, the wine is fortified with distilled grape spirits, and organic cocoa nibs are steeped in it to give a hint of natural chocolate flavor. The name is both a nod to the winery’s dog-friendly atmosphere (Barrel Oak Winery as an acronym, with “wow” added, is BOW WOW) and to the wine’s origins as a laboratory experiment with chocolate. ▶ 3623 Grove Lane, Delaplane; 540-364-6402; barreloak.com Relative newcomer Stone Tower Winery touts multiple French varietals grown on the rolling hills of Hogback Mountain in Leesburg. (Be sure to head to the outdoor seating area and rub the nose of the bronze hog for good luck.) After your tasting, pick up a bottle of Porton, a port-style wine from the Norton grape originally bottled in

NARMADA WINERY; PROVIDED BY JENNIFER HEFFNER; 868; GETTY IMAGES

Traversing the serene vistas of Virginia wine country can work up an appetite. Thankfully, there’s 868 Estate Vineyard’s restaurant, Grandale Vintner’s Table, which serves fresh gourmet food in Loudoun County. Spring and summer brings visitors to the restaurant’s deck, while a fire warms patrons inside during fall and winter. Wine flights, daily specials and a seasonal menu are part of 868’s congenial charm. The winery, named for the property’s elevation, grows merlot, cabernet franc, chardonnay and many other varieties. Taste the 2015 Cabernet Franc, blended with cabernet sauvignon and merlot, 100 percent estate-grown. Before you leave, make sure to shoot pics of the gorgeous, 125-year-old barn for your Instagram feed. ▶ 14001 Harpers Ferry Rd., Neersville; 540668-7008; 868estatevineyards.com


Our Forefathers’ aim in visiting what would become America was at first mere curiosity. But now it feels right to sacrifice for a cause as noble as the hills here are beautiful. They stopped because of abundant water and fertile soil. They stayed to build upon the nation’s great ideals. As you visit, make sure to explore the treasures of a community that embodies service and sacrifice at every turn. Contact us to start planning your visit at 1-888-98-HEROES or VisitFayettevilleNC.com.

Lejeune Memorial Gardens

82,102 Names Countless Stories Visit JacksonvilleNC.com

Home to Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and Marine Corps Air Station New River


SOUTHEAST | V IRGIN I A

The Winery at Bull Run

Sing it! Paradise Springs Winery’s chardonnay pairs well with music.

2016, first cultivated in Richmond, Va. (though today, Missouri claims it as its state grape). Because the production of the wine was relatively small — only about 100 cases; the winery plans to make more this summer — it’s treated as a “speakeasy” product, not advertised in the tasting room and only poured at special events. ▶ 19925 Hogback Mountain Rd., Leesburg; 703-777-2797; stonetowerwinery.com

HITTING ALL THE RIGHT NOTES Cheese isn’t the only thing that pairs well with wine. The Winery at Bull Run features live acoustic music every Friday, Saturday and Sunday year-round. While the estate’s two vineyards grow Norton

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NOTE Some wineries require reservations for large groups, so always call ahead.

grapes, viognier (named Virginia’s official grape in 2011), cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot, merlot, chambourcin, chardonnay and traminette grapes are grown at the winery’s Rock Mill Vineyard in Little Washington, about 40 miles away. The working farm-vineyard takes its name from its history. The first major land battle of Civil War, the First Battle of Bull Run, took place on the property, as did the Second Battle of Bull Run a year later. The Confederates referred to the battle site as Manassas, after the nearby town; the Union called it Bull Run, for the creek that ran through the site. Check out the winery’s Civil War museum, populated with relics from the two Manassas battles. ▶ 15950 Lee Highway, Centreville; 703-815-2233; wineryatbullrun.com

Paradise Springs Winery also features a bit of history. The Fairfax County winery hosts free live musical acts every Friday evening and Saturday afternoon (and some Sundays) for winery patrons. Before you get settled, take note of the estate’s spaces — which include an 1800s log cabin, renovated in 1955 by Howard Richter, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright, and a red barn relocated from downtown Fairfax, Va., that houses the tasting and music spaces. Paradise Springs’ estate-grown cabernet franc and viognier, from fruit grown on properties in Loudoun County and the Shenandoah Valley region, are sublime. ▶ 13219 Yates Ford Rd., Clifton; 703-830-9463; paradisespringswinery.com

PARADISE SPRINGS WINERY; LISA DAMICO; JEFF HAUSER; GETTY IMAGES

Stone Tower Winery


FOR YOU

Music, Mush, Baseball & BBQ TourClevelandCounty.com Home of the Earl Scruggs Center and The Don Gibson Theatre Host of Official Liver Mush Festival of North Carolina and NC Brew Fest and Chili Cook-Off October 20-21 NC BREW FEST & CHILI COOK-OFF

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SOUTHEAST | K EN T UCK Y

Shaker Village’s main lane

Utopia Reborn Revisit the lives of the vanishing Shakers in Kentucky

Staff member at meetinghouse

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY SHELLEY SEALE

I

n the 18th century, America was a place of opportunity, attracting tens of thousands from around the world for its promise of work, land and independence. One small group — members of a religion known as the Shakers — is nearly defunct today, but its austere way of life (and their design aesthetic) left an impact.

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And nowhere is their lifestyle more beautifully preserved than in the rolling hills of Kentucky at the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill (shakervillageky.org). The Shakers came to America from England beginning in the 1770s, seeking to escape religious persecution. They were a spiritual group derived from the Quakers, who embraced pacifism and equality. >


Horses, bourbon and amazing outdoor adventure. These are just some of the experiences that await when you get away to The Bluegrass State. Visit KentuckyTourism.com/famous.

Come experience what we’re famous for. #travelky


SOUTHEAST | K EN T UCK Y

Quilt-making workshop

Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours until 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. Daily admission is $10 for ages 13 and over; $5 for ages 6 to 12; and free for ages 5 and under. 3501 Lexington Rd., Harrodsburg, Ky.; 859-734-5411; shakervillageky.org

Shaker wagon But unlike the Quakers, whose worship evolved into quiet contemplation, the Shakers worshipped ecstatically, dancing violently, trembling and praising God loudly. The group became known as the “Shaking Quakers,” and eventually, just the Shakers. Among the new Americans seeking opportunities was Micajah Burnett, who, in 1809 at age 17, settled near Harrodsburg, Ky., with his parents. The Shaker community in Harrodsburg had only been established a few years earlier, but members quickly went about converting local citizens, including the Burnetts. The group eventually grew into one of the largest Shaker communities in the

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country, with 600 members. And largely under the influence of Burnett (architect, designer, builder and all-around city planner), the Shaker community called Pleasant Hill evolved, too, into one of the most impressive settlements, with 250 buildings, including a meetinghouse, dwellings, shops and barns.

Today, the collection — the largest restored Shaker community in the United States — provides visitors a unique glimpse of life in this private society, now down to just two members living in Sabbathday Lake, Maine. The Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill is a step back in time, a sanctuary on 3,000 acres of >


SOUTHEAST | K EN T UCK Y

beautiful farmland, with horses, gardens, an incredible collection of original and reproduced furnishings and other original artifacts. The 34 original structures on the site comprise the largest private collection of original 19th-century buildings in the U.S., and the largest National Historic Landmark in Kentucky. Burnett’s buildings are still standing, having been painstakingly restored and opened so that 21st-century visitors can experience the Shakers' unique lifestyle and even sleep in cottages Information that members did 200 on the Shaker years ago. Historic Trail — A central structure 15 communities today, as it was for from Maine the Shakers, is the to Kentucky, meetinghouse, built including nine in 1820. Micajah Buropen to the nett had to employ public plenty of ingenuity nps.gov/nr/travel/ in its design; the shaker/index.htm building needed to be large enough to accommodate the entire community, yet also be free of any columns, walls or other obstructions to the physically expressive worship. And it had to be sturdy enough to withstand the vibrations. Although the meetinghouse design looks simple, one visit with a guide in period dress shows otherwise. As she demonstrates the stomping and shaking dances used by the group, the vibrations can be felt everywhere. The building’s acoustics are naturally surround sound; as the guide walks to each corner singing an old Shaker song, her voice bounces and reverberates off walls, corners and ceilings to create a natural, easy-to-hear sound. The village is a place of discovery, with demonstrations of weaving, building and gardening as well as tours of the barnyard. Talks on the schooling and life of the Shakers happen daily, and artistsin-residence exhibit an array of original works. If you’d prefer a more immersive experience, Pleasant Hill makes it easy, offering rooms in 13 restored buildings. These well-appointed lodgings feature Shaker reproduction furniture, hardwood

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Original Shaker building

The largest restored Shaker community in the United States provides visitors a unique glimpse of life in this private society.

floors and spectacular country views. For dining, the Trustees’ Table restaurant serves regional Kentucky dishes — fried chicken, corn muffins, tomato celery soup — with local seasonal ingredients. And for those who want to take home Shaker style, there are offerings in the Shops at Shaker Village, including furniture and signature wooden boxes. The religion

dwindled by the turn of the 20th century: the celibate Shakers could only add members through recruitment or adoption, and with Shaker children being allowed to leave the order at age 21, many did. But this group’s love of simplicity and its penchant for utility continue to influence today’s designers, ensuring that the religion — or at least the Shaker name — will not be lost to history. l


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MIDWEST | M Y TOW N

MARIO BATALI’S

Northport, Mich. You may have seen this famous chef dishing about all things food on ABC’s The Chew or glimpsed one of his 11 cookbooks sitting on a shelf. When he’s not opening restaurants (26 so far!) or launching yet another location of his popular gourmet markets, Eataly, you can find Mario Batali unwinding at his summer home. “There’s a serenity that washes over me the moment we touch down in Cherry Capital Airport. Our house is on the beach looking out to the Caribbeanblue waters of Lake Michigan. It’s the most peaceful place I know.” — KRISTI VALENTINI

INDULGE “I go to Barb’s Bakery for glazed cake donuts and fantastic cinnamon buns!” 112 N. Mill St.; 231-386-5851

BEST PLACE TO

HAVE A BEER “I love an ice cold Stella (Artois) at Garage Bar.” 108 S. Waukazoo St.; 231-386-5511

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I am madly in love with the Leelanau Peninsula. It’s a quiet gem hidden in the Midwest and my antidote to the bustle of New York City.”

BEST PLACE TO

HANG WITH FRIENDS “Playing nine holes at Northport Creek Golf Course followed by lunch at Tribune — they have a killer whitefish sandwich. It’s the perfect way to spend a day with friends.” Northport Creek Golf: 355 W.Eighth St.; 231-386-1088; northportcreek.com; Tribune: 110 E. Nagonaba St.; 231-386-1055; northporttribune.com

BEST PLACE TO

TRY SOMETHING NEW “I like experimenting with different street food snacks at our local food truck, Earth Wind and Fryer.” 112 W. Nagonaba St.; facebook. com/earthwindandfryer

KEN GOODMAN PHOTOGRAPHY; MIKE NORTON (2); PROVIDED BY EARTH WIND & FRYER

BEST PLACE TO


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Coastal Cool The port city of Duluth excels with superior urban adventure BY LISA MEYERS MCCLINTICK

GETTY IMAGES

A

horn blares its throaty greeting as a 1,000-footlong ore ship slides into the canal of Duluth, Minn., three hours north of Minneapolis-St. Paul on Lake Superior’s southwestern tip. The higher-pitched bells of the iconic Aerial Lift Bridge answer, and its deck rises as tourists snap photos and the towering boat glides underneath and into the harbor. This up-close look at Duluth shipping should be on every visitor’s to-do list, but tour guides with The Duluth Experience also recommend a trip up the city’s famously steep hills to Skyline Parkway, according to co-owner and CEO Dave Grandmaison. Along this scenic byway and from the Enger Tower, expansive views put this city’s unique features into perspective. To the south, the St. Louis River diffuses into North America’s largest freshwater estuary before it empties into Lake Superior. In the harbor, supersized “lakers,” which operate within the Great Lakes, >

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MAKE A TRIP OF IT Va Bene Caffe: Tuck into pastas, seafood and gelato in outdoor seating alongside a sweeping lakeside view. 734 E. Superior St.; 218-722-1518; vabenecaffe.com Vikre Distillery: Tap the region’s Scandinavian heritage while nibbling on locally smoked fish and pickled beets and enjoying fragrant gin flights with a side of soda and homemade tonic. Many of the spirits are distilled with water from Lake Superior. 525 Lake Ave. S.; 218-481-7401; vikredistillery.com Canal Park Lodge: Stay in the heart of Canal Park in this arts-and-crafts-style shoreline hotel. 250 Canal Park Dr.; 218-2796000; canalparklodge.com

mingle with smaller “salties,” vessels that journey more than 2,000 miles from the sea to Duluth, the world’s farthest-inland freshwater port city. Beyond the Lift Bridge, the world’s longest freshwater Visit Duluth 800-438-5884; sandbar stretches 7 miles to Park Point and beckons visitduluth.com with its public beach. On the ridges above Duluth (population 86,000), mountain bikers enjoy the views while rolling along 80 miles of new world-class trails that clinch Duluth’s place among the country’s top outdoor destinations (it was voted Best Town in America by Outside magazine in 2014). Hikers hop onto segments of the 300-plus-mile Superior Hiking Trail that threads across ravines where rivers — like visitors — inevitably find themselves drawn to Lake Superior’s shore. In the sticky summer, breezes across Superior’s super-chilled surface cool off visitors in Canal Park. Whiffs of wood smoke and toasted marshmallows drift from a hotel across the Lakewalk as a family pedals by on a four-person surrey. Seagulls circle and dive noisily. Many visitors simply find a shoreline spot and sit for hours, combing through tumbled rocks, tossing them into the water and waiting for the next big boat to glide in. “There is nothing more mesmerizing than the beauty of the North Shore and Lake Superior,” said Sandy LeTendre of White Bear Lake, Minn. “It gets in your blood and keeps calling you back.” l

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Historic Inns of Duluth: Mansions from Duluth’s lumber-boom years, converted to bed-and-breakfasts, offer elegant rooms and big breakfasts. duluthbandb.com Canal Park: This historic district hums with hotels, dining, art galleries and boutiques filled with local products such as Duluth Pack waxed canvas bags for outdoor adventures. canalpark.com Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center: Free exhibits feature shipwrecks (including a program on the wreck of the famed Edmund Fitzgerald), model ships and history, and also put guests in the pilothouse. Daily ship arrivals and departures are visible from the museum; get times on the door or at duluthboats.com. 600 S. Lake Ave.; 218-7205260; lsmma.com

The Duluth Experience: Guides offer narrated walking, kayaking, biking and brewery tours, plus multiday bike treks. 211 E. Second St.; 218-464-6337; theduluthexperience.com

VIKRE DISTILLERY (2); THE DULUTH EXPERIENCE

Joel and Emily Vikre distill their self-named, Wisconsin-made vodka with water from Lake Superior.

Fitger’s: Rooms in this converted (and still working) brewery — listed on the National Register of Historic Places — feature lake views and connect to restaurants and shopping on the Lakewalk. 600 E. Superior St.; 218-722-8826; fitgers.com


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Divers examine the intact remains of the Wells Burt, a bulk carrier that sank near Chicago in 1883.

Dive Deep into the Midwest Explore the shipwrecks on Chicago’s Old Maritime Highway BY JENNIFER BILLOCK

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WINDY CITY DIVING

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early a year to the day after burning for the first time, the 366-ton propeller steamboat Louisville caught fire again in September 1857. She was on her way to St. Joseph, Mich., out of Chicago, carrying wood, corn, flour, seed, horses and 39 passengers from Iowa. The ship began to burn about 10 miles out from Chicago, between decks and surrounded by cargo. The crew could not reach the flames in time to extinguish them before the boat was consumed. The Louisville now sits on the bottom of Lake Michigan off the Chicago coast, along with around 50 other shipwrecks that divers can explore — though estimates are that as many as 500 shipwrecks may be a diveable distance from shore. Twenty or so are commonly visited. Most of the wrecks date back to Chicago’s time as a shipping hub in the 1800s, transporting people and cargo from east to west in the ever-present urge for westward expansion.


MIDWEST | IL L INOIS

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icy freshwater, though waves will eventually destroy them. The Louisville, according to Dean Nolan, president of the Underwater Archaeological Society of Chicago, is among the most commonly dived wrecks are: uThe Straits of Mackinac, a 204-foot-long former car ferry intentionally sunk in 2003 to create an artificial reef. It now rests 82 feet down northeast of Chicago’s Navy Pier. uThe Tacoma, an 1894 tugboat that sprang a leak and sank in 1929, now about 35 feet down in a spot 2.5 miles from the Calumet Harbor Light. uThe Wells Burt, an 1873 bulk carrier that sank in a violent 1883 storm, and that remains mostly (and unusually) intact

A school of alewives swim past one of the many shipwrecks on the bottom of Lake Michigan. Below, the hull of the Wells Burt.

WINDY CITY DIVING (2)

“Transportation, food production and manufacturing infrastructure had all ratcheted up to supply the needs of people moving west,” says Keith Pearson, the main captain at Double Action Dive Charters. “Not to mention, gold had just been found in California at Sutter’s Mill. The bulk of this movement used the easiest, fastest and cheapest transportation methods — which was using the Great Lakes as the highway — and it all funneled through Chicago.” Those 500 shipwrecks span history, from antiquated fur trader boats to more sophisticated boats that sank in the last 100 years. There are coal-powered steamers and diesel-engine ships, small boats and large vessels — all preserved by the lake’s


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HOW TO GET DOWN Windy City Diving With two dive boats — one harbored in downtown Chicago in the Field Museum area and another near the Wisconsin-Illinois border — shipwreck aficionados have access to at least 14 dive spots. Trips are limited to six divers. 630-209-2445; windycitydiving.net

Dive Chicago Operating from March 15 through Oct. 15 (although you can make an appointment for a winter trip), this company takes its 24-passenger dive boat to nearly 30 wrecks. 312-922-5090; divechicago. com

today, about 45 miles down 3 miles east of Evanston. It's considered one of the best shipwrecks to dive. uThe Material Service freighter, which sank in a 1936 storm and is also near the Calumet Harbor Light. “Sunken ships off Chicago are as diverse as the items transported and the men and women who sailed them,” Pearson says. A few spots along the Illinois lakefront have wrecks that people can snorkel to, including the Silver Spray a few hundred feet off the shore near Hyde Park. But in order to get the best experience, he says, diving is the way to go.

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The season is short — from May to October — and wetsuits are required because Lake Michigan water is generally chilly, especially closer to May. Water clarity is best early in the season, before plankton take over the lake and block the view. Only one life was lost in the Louisville shipwreck. About 2 miles away, the schooner Elbe awaited lifeboats from the ill-fated Louisville. Five people climbed into one small boat, which then toppled from the Louisville’s propeller force, drowning the one man who may have tried hardest to save the boat from burning: fireman John Hannan.

Double Action Dive Charters Two marinas — one in Hammond, Ind., just south of Chicago, and the other on the northern end of the metropolitan area near the Wisconsin border — provide a broad base for divers. 815-600-7090; doubleactiondivecharters. com

Underwater Safaris Divers can take advantage of a training center and indoor practice pool before shipping out on their adventures. 773-3483999; uwsafaris.com

Elmer’s Watersports Buy equipment for your chartered trip to a shipwreck. Dive classes are available at Northwestern University. 847-475-7946; elmerswatersports.com

GETTY IMAGES

As many as 500 shipwrecks sit on the bottom of Lake Michigan near Chicago, and many make great diving spots.


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MIDWEST | OHIO

Nick Baehl and Nicole Oatman do the chicken dance at Cincinnati's Oktoberfest, the second largest in the world.

One Hoppy Playground Cincinnati celebrates its German brewing heritage

eer is to Cincinnati as bourbon is to Kentucky. In the 19th century and well into the 20th, the Queen City was one of the largest beer-drinking and beer-brewing cities in the U.S. One of Cincinnati’s first breweries opened in 1812 on the banks of the Ohio River, just a few years after Ohio became a state, and another 250 opened and closed in the period that ended in the 1970s and 1980s.

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In 1893, the average annual beer consumption per person in the city was 40 gallons, more than twice the national average, in part because of the belief that beer was safer to drink than the local unpurified water. Cincinnati’s brewing industry would have made a present-day American politician weep with jealousy: From hops dealers to barrel makers, 40,000 jobs were created. Even during the 13 long, dry years of Prohibition when alcohol was illegal

MEG VOGEL /THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER; GETTY IMAGES

B

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MAKE A WEEKEND OF IT Cincinnati’s Oktoberfest: Happening Sept. 15-17, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati attracts more than 600,000 people during a weekend-long festival that features German food and music, the world’s largest chicken dance, the annual Running of the Wieners, and of course, beer. oktoberfestzinzinnati.com In addition to the gigantic party — which has become so large that last year it was moved to a more accommodating part of downtown — the Cincinnati Reds have a homestand the same weekend against division rival Pittsburgh. It will include a game featuring Oktoberfest-themed swag and drinks. reds.com

Chef Daniel Wright has a playful take on pub food at Senate, including a menu featuring eight different hot dogs, such as the Croque Madame (with Black Forest ham, poached egg and béchamel), and a rotating celebrity-themed option like the Lindsey Lohan (goat cheese, caramelized onions, bacon, arugula, balsamic vinegar and “tons of drama”). 1212 Vine St.; 513-421-2020; senatepub.com

OVER-THE-RHINE HISTORIC DISTRICT Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine, a predominantly low-income and working-class transitional neighborhood just north of downtown, is one of the largest, most intact urban historic districts in the U.S. — it often stands in for old New York City in movies, including 2015’s Carol and Miles Ahead. Even in its slightly dilapidated condition, it has a distinctive architectural splendor heralded by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for its Italianate design the nation’s largest contiguous

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▲ Historic Findlay Market is Ohio’s oldest continuously operated public market, in business since 1855. Its merchants include butchers, produce vendors, retailers and street performers, and it often hosts special events on weekends. Local favorites include Taste of Belgium for authentic Belgian waffles, Maverick Chocolate, Eli’s BBQ and Churchill’s Fine Teas. 1801 Race St.; 513-665-4839; findlaymarket.org

LIZ DUFOUR/THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER; KAREEM ELGAZZAR/THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER

Over-the-Rhine’s nationwide, the beer classic Italianate continued to flow. Cincinnati was the architecture has third “wettest” city in the U.S. after gotten a facelife in New York and Chicago, with more than recent years as the 3,000 speakeasies during Prohibition. neighborhood has In fact, one of the country’s richest and been revitalized. most successful bootleggers, George Remus — an attorney who knew all the Prohibition law loopholes and was said to have inspired famed fictional bootlegger Jay Gatsby — was based in Cincinnati. Today, following a period during which many of the bestknown local breweries were sold, merged, moved or went out of business, Cincinnati is again home to dozens of breweries, each offering something mouthwatering for beer lovers.

Open since fall 2016, the boutique Hotel Covington sits on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, within walking distance of the scenic and walkable Roebling Suspension Bridge. Housed in its state’s first skyscraper and high-end department store, the Covington makes nods to its history with details such as brass garbage cans shaped like shopping bags. 638 Madison Ave., Covington, Ky.; 859-905-6600; hotelcovington. com


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Taft’s Ale House

collection); many of the more than 500 threatened buildings that dot the neighborhood are being restored. In addition to the trendy shops and restaurants that have appeared in this neighborhood in the last 15 years, a wealth of craft breweries have joined the landscape. At the historic preProhibition Malt House Tap Room, Franciscan friars from nearby St. Francis Seraph parish bless every new batch of beer coming off the line. Owned by the

Christian Moerlein Brewing Company, pioneering makers

Rhinegeist Brewery

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of Cincinnati’s first craft-style beer, the tap room features signature beers like the Moerlein Over-the-Rhine pale ale. u1620 Moore St.; 513-8276025; christianmoerlein.com Taft’s Ale House, set in an old Protestant church and named for the Cincinnati-born president, has one-of-a-kind brews, including Nellie’s Key Lime Caribbean Ale, a wheat beer brewed with Key lime juice; Cherrywood, an American amber ale; and Maverick Chocolate Porter, a dark beer brewed with cacao nibs and husks. When it comes to food, don’t miss the Big Billy sandwich made with thin-sliced tri-tip steak. u1429 Race St.; 513-334-1393; taftsalehouse.com Stop in Rhinegeist, a brewery built within the skeleton of an 1890s-era Moerlein bottling plant and reopened in 2013. Choose from dozens of tasty beers, including a few brewed to commemorate local events or institutions (Glow pale ale, for example, is linked to Lumenocity, a popular summer music and light show in Over-the-Rhine).

Rhinegeist's tasting room features a giant indoor adult playground with ping pong and cornhole — the popular bean-bag toss game that got its modern start in Cincinnati. u1910 Elm St., 513-381-1367; rhinegeist.com

BREWING HERITAGE TRAIL Following in the footsteps of Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail and Boston’s Freedom Trail, the first part of Cincinnati’s own historic trail is scheduled to open in September. The

Cincinnati Brewing Heritage Trail (brewingheritagetrail.org) is the first dedicated beer history trail in America — a three-year, $5.2 million project that will wind 2.3 miles through Over-the-Rhine and parts of downtown Cincinnati. “The trail tells more than just how much beer we made and how much we drank. It is the story of American immigration, ingenuity, ethnic conflict, industrialization, the labor struggle and 19thcentury living conditions,” says Steve Hampton, executive director of the Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation. Visitors can follow the trail using the Brewing Heritage Trail app (available on the trail’s website) or take an existing guided tour, such as a walking tour sponsored by American Legacy Tours

(americanlegacytours.com) that focuses on Over-theRhine history. The tour takes participants below the city streets to explore underground lagering tunnels before ending with a visit to the Christian Moerlein bottling plant and tap room. For those who prefer wheeled transport, the Cincy

Brew Bus (cincybrewbus.com) travels to historic breweries for tastings. l

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Christian Moerlein Brewing Company tap room


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HAYLEY ORRANTIA’S

Dallas/ Fort Worth Everything’s bigger in Texas, including Hayley Orrantia’s love for her hometown. The 23-year-old actress, singer and songwriter shares some advice for those visiting the Dallas-Fort Worth area: “Rent a car! Everything is so spread out,” says the star of ABC’s ’80s-family sitcom The Goldbergs. — JENNIFER BRADLEY FRANKLIN

BEST

HONKY-TONK Billy Bob’s Texas: “It’s a two-stepping place, and they have huge country stars that come there to perform. It’s huge.”

BEST PLACE FOR

A PICK-ME-UP “Roots Coffeehouse is a fun, cool place. I have to have a vanilla latte every day of my life. It’s such a serious addiction, but that’s my go-to coffee every time.” 9101 Highway 26, Suite 101, North Richland Hills; 817-503-7344; rootscoffeehouse.com

Grapevine Lake is really beautiful, and during the summer, it’s a nice little getaway. We go tubing and wakeboarding there.” lake-grapevine.com

BEST PLACE TO

PLAY TOURIST AT&T Stadium: “Everyone should go check it out because it’s so gigantic. It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They do tours if you don’t want to go to a Dallas Cowboys game. Everybody should experience it.” 1 AT&T Way, Arlington; 817-892-4000; attstadium.com

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FRAZER HARRISON/GETTY IMAGES; PROVIDED BY BILLY BOB'S TEXAS; KARI SHEA; RONALD MARTINEZ/GETTY IMAGES

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Atomic City: Secret No Longer In Los Alamos, exhibits tell the story of the world’s most dangerous weapon STORY & PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIT BERNARDI

O

ur teenage son Will runs his hand across the 10-foot-long, canary yellow replica of an atomic bomb that weighed 10,800 pounds. The plump, round, plutonium-fueled device was given the code name “Fat Man,” for obvious reasons. The actual Fat Man destroyed Nagasaki, Japan, on Aug. 9, 1945. Little Boy, a slimmer bomb triggered by enriched uranium, had leveled Hiroshima a few days before that. The models of the two bombs that launched us into the Nuclear Age can be seen — and unlike the real, radioactive items, touched — at the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos, N.M., famously known as Atomic City. During World War II, scientists at the isolated, clandestine laboratory complex atop the volcanic Pajarito Plateau in the Jemez Mountains designed

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and built the world’s first Statues of Manhattan nuclear weapons as part of the Project leaders historic Manhattan Project. Leslie Groves Jr. (The city of Los Alamos itself and J. Robert was built after World War II, to Oppenheimer support the people who worked are on display at the lab.) at the Bradbury Will was impressed by Science the vast amount of humanMuseum. powered, scientific intelligence and coordination that went into creating the bomb, building it, transporting it and using it to end the war. My aspiring physicist found himself inspired by the amount of work done under so much pressure, accomplished by really smart people working together. Because we were in Santa Fe on a family vacation, the Rio Grande separating that artsy town from science-oriented Los Alamos like the fissure


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WEST | N EW ME X ICO

LOS ALAMOS

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Exhibits detail how the Los Alamos National Laboratory keeps track of the U.S. nuclear stockpile.

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Replica of Fat Man, the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki.

Cottages like this one on Bathtub Row were the homes of the Manhattan Project's lead scientists.

The Bradbury Science Museum is named for Norris Bradbury, who followed Oppenheimer as director of the Los Alamos lab.

MAP: MIRANDA PELLICANO

between right and left brains, we drove my son 45 minutes northwest of Santa Fe to the “town that never was” so that he could explore the New Mexico segment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (nps.gov/mapr), added to the list of national parks in 2015. (The other two sections are in Tennessee and Washington; see sidebar for more details.) Visitors are greeted by sculptures of the Manhattan Project’s co-leaders, Brig. Gen. Leslie Groves Jr. of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and J. Robert Oppenheimer, a theoretical physicist from the University of California-Berkeley. The complex today is now downtown Los Alamos, and encompasses 16 sites associated with atomic history, all within a walkable 1-mile radius. We visited the nucleus of the Atomic City community — Ashley Pond, a small body of water named after the founder (whose name really was Ashley Pond) of the exclusive Los Alamos Ranch School for boys, the original tenant of the land. Attracted by its off-the-beaten-path location and the roads already built to support the school, the government acquired Pond’s property in 1943 and transformed it into the top-secret Manhattan Project headquarters. Los Alamos rapidly became a science boomtown; its population exploded to 8,000 scientists, support staff, members of the military and their families, most living in barracks-style housing and Quonset huts. Most of these buildings have long since been demolished, but along a street still called Bathtub Row, you can see the somewhat plusher homes — the only ones in town with bathtubs at the time — built as faculty housing for Pond’s school (Oppenheimer lived in one). Most are now private homes closed to the public. One of them, however, is open: the former home of scientist Hans Bethe — a Protestant of Jewish descent who left Germany in 1933 and eventually came to work on the Manhattan Project — which displays the Nobel Prize won by Manhattan Project scientist Frederick


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Fuller Lodge

Reines for his work on neutrinos and a new exhibit on the Cold War. A few blocks away, the Los Alamos History Museum (losalamoshistory.org), located in what was once the school’s infirmary, served during the war as guest quarters, especially for Groves, who was based in Washington, D.C. Next door, rustic Fuller Lodge, made of nearly 800 wooden logs, was first the school’s dining hall, and then a social center for the atomic scientists. Amid the nuclear-history remnants sits the remains of an ancestral Pueblo dwelling built from blocks of volcanic ash, and a cabin built by homesteaders in 1913 out on the plateau; it was moved downtown in 1984. The contrast of ancient, pioneer and nuclear-age history all preserved in buildings so close to one another made me realize how much and how quickly our world has changed, yet how across centuries we’ve shared in making this land our home. “The park tells important stories about sacrifices people made to create revolutionary science and develop secret cities as part of a massive wartime effort,” says Charles Strickfaden, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park-Los Alamos site manager. More park sites on the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) property will open to the public

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1943 Los Alamos Ranch School was turned into the Manhattan Project headquarters

8,000+

Scientists, support staff and military members populated the new boomtown

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Different sites are located on the Los Alamos property, all within a walkable 1-mile area

ONE PARK, THREE PLACES The secret Manhattan Project operated in three locations, including Los Alamos; each played an important part in developing an atomic bomb before Nazi Germany and the Russians accomplished the task. Collectively, those sites in New Mexico, Washington and Tennessee comprise the Manhattan Project National Historic Park. At the 600-square-mile Hanford site in south-central Washington, the Hanford Engineer Works complex employed 51,000 workers to create plutonium for the device used in July 1945 for the Trinity test, the first test of a nuclear weapon, and for Fat Man, the bomb dropped on Nagasaki less than a month later. You can take a free, guided bus tour of the B-Reactor National Historic Landmark, which produced the plutonium for the two bombs, between mid-April and midNovember. Register in advance. u2000 Logston Blvd., Richland, Wash.; 509-376-1647; nps.gov/ mapr/hanford.htm The military and administrative headquarters for the Manhattan Project was the Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee, home to 75,000 people. The site’s reactors engaged in experimental plutonium production and made enriched uranium for the Little Boy bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Guided three-hour bus tours run March through November. The tour fee is included in admission to the American Museum of Science and Energy: $5 adults, $3 children (must be 10). u300 S. Tulane Ave., Oak Ridge, Tenn.; 865-576-6767; nps.gov/ mapr/oakridge.htm — Kit Bernardi


Visit Miami, OK! “My-am-uh”

8 Hotels 13 Area Casinos 15 Area Attractions Rt 66 Collectibles Mickey Mantle Tour Coleman Theatre Concerts & Events Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau 918-542-4435 | VisitMiamiOK.com

Free Visitor Guide


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Bandelier National Monument

NON-NUCLEAR ACTIVITIES NEAR LOS ALAMOS Santa Fe Balloons Legendary pilot Johnny Lewis and his crew take visitors on 60-minute flights at dawn above Las Barrancas for unobstructed views of untouched, highdesert beauty from May to October. Reservations required. u505-699-7555; santafeballoons.com

in the near future. Postwar buildings also help tell the story of the bomb. The Bradbury Science Museum (lanl.gov/museum), which opened in 1953, features a history gallery that showcases the science of the Manhattan Project, the Russian espionage that endangered it and the bombs that led to the Japanese surrender and the end of World War II. A separate defense gallery focuses on new technologies and how the current lab works to maintain the safety of the nation’s aging nuclear weapons; a film on how the weapons stockpile is monitored is particularly compelling. The Tech Lab has kids’ activity stations. Scientist volunteers lead visitors in hands-on experiments explaining scientific theories and applications, such as mapping — CHARLES STRICKFADEN, the spread of disease through social media and how SITE MANAGER supercomputers work. The research gallery features the current LANL scientists’ cutting-edge, cross-disciplinary work on Arctic climate change, biofuels, sustainability, air travel safety and nanotechnology. Georgia Strickfaden, owner-operator of Atomic City Tours (atomiccitytours. com) — her father helped build the postwar lab; she and Charles don’t think they’re related — took us to the alpine Pajarito Mountain ski area to look down at the town and restricted LANL complex. “The mesas the lab sprawls across were once inhabited by ancient peoples,” Georgia says, “then by homesteaders, and now scientists shaping our future.” That’s code for the rest is history.

The park tells important stories about sacrifices people made.”

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Bandelier National Monument Encompassing 33,000 acres of rugged wilderness, includes a paved trail that takes hikers through the 11,000-year-old ancestral Pueblo people’s cliffside community in Frijoles Canyon. The Tsankawi Village Trail, an easy 1.5-mile loop with three ladders, takes visitors to the remains of the ancestral Tewa Pueblo homes, built of volcanic ash and adobe. Also visible: petroglyphs dating to the 1400s. Vehicle admission fee charged; access to the park’s most popular areas during the summer is by shuttle bus only. u15 Entrance Road; 505672-3861; nps.gov/band Valles Caldera National Preserve The nation’s newest national preserve, contains one of the world’s largest calderas, a circular depression formed by a volcanic eruption 1.25 million years ago that’s 13 miles in diameter. Elk wander inside the caldera; also inside the preserve are prehistoric sites, historic ranch cabins and mountain meadows laced with meandering streams. u575-829-4100; nps.gov/ vall


Adventure Awaits

h s e r f DELTA COUNTY

Sculpted by three rivers, Delta County offers rugged canyon floors and emerald alpine heights. Bring your game — we have the playgrounds.

www.deltacountycolorado.com


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Rough Terrain and Soft Beds Soak up Utah’s majestic scenery and off-the-grid quiet while staying comfy BY KRISTI VALENTINI

M

ost travelers visiting Utah’s remote and beautiful red-rock country consider a tent and a sleeping bag a suitable place to spend the night. Sure, camping has its time and place — but it’s not for everyone. That’s why we dig these surprisingly cushy accommodations that still provide easy access to the glories of nature.

OFFBEAT RETRO At the Shooting Star RV Resort, you can stay in a fully decked-out Airstream (think 1950’s Hollywood glam) nestled near the Escalante Mountains and along Utah State Route 12, also known as Scenic Byway 12. Cook s’mores around a community fire pit or catch a flick at the onsite drive-in theater with 1960s convertibles serving as the seats. u 2020 W. Highway 12, Escalante; 435-8264440; shootingstar-rvresort.com During the day, scramble down Spooky Gulch in the Grand StaircaseEscalante National Monument, one of the narrowest slot canyons known — only 18 inches wide in spots — and snap pics of its twisted, sandstone walls. u 745 U.S. 89, Kanab; 435-644-1300; visitutah.com

BLUFFSIDE COTTAGES There are only two rooms at Kiva Kottage, but they’re in a building perched on the slope of a high-desert hill dotted with scrub junipers. In the morning, the smell of espresso and chicken chilaquiles from the nearby Kiva Koffeehouse is incentive to leave

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your canyon digs. u Highway 12, Mile Marker 73.86, Escalante; 435-826-4550; kivakoffeehouse. com Luckily, the trailhead to Calf Creek Falls, also part of the Grand StaircaseEscalante National Monument, is only a 10-minute car ride away. The four-hour hike along the creek and across boulders has a huge payoff: a 126-foot-high waterfall. Want to know a hiker’s secret? The 6.2-mile lower trail is easier than the upper 2-mile trail. u 745 U.S. 89, Kanab; 435-644-1300; visitutah.com

DESERT OASIS The rustic luxe suites of the Desert Rose Inn are a surprise find in the twopony town of Bluff. Ask to stay in the new, chichi courtyard wing and enjoy a private patio that looks out at a soaring red-rock mesa. The indoor pool is built around the same stunning view. After a long day of outdoorsy pursuits, the Anasazi burger at Duke’s hits the spot. u 701 Main St., Bluff; 888-475-7673; desertroseinn.com


SARA WINTER

The craggy terrain of Monument Valley attracts campers and climbers, but can be enjoyed without sleeping in a tent.

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In Utah’s red-rock country, you can watch a movie from a convertible; visit Calf Creek Falls; or hang out on the porch at the Desert Rose Inn.

FANCY CABINS Red cliffs are just outside the door of your 400-square-foot cabin at Capitol Reef Resort. Minutes from Capitol Reef National Park, the cabins offer more than rustic convenience — they have vaulted ceilings, sky-high windows with spectacular views and pillow-top mattresses. Touches like faux-fur blankets and antler chandeliers make the place feel Wild-West modern. u 2600 E. Highway 24, Torrey; 435-425-3761; capitolreefresort.com During daylight hours, set out on a 2-mile hike to Hickman Natural Bridge — an impressive natural arch that’s part of the 244,000-acre Capitol Reef National Park. The bridge is closed to climbers but makes for excellent photos. Scope out roadside petroglyphs left more than 2,000 years ago by the Fremont tribe near what is now the park’s visitor center. When night falls, look up: Capitol Reef is known for its super-dark, starry skies. u 435-425-3791; nps.gov/care

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JUST LIKE HOME It’s simplest to cook your own food in remote Monument Valley, and the new suites at Goulding’s Lodge have kitchens stocked with cookery. The homey digs, where Hollywood film crews have stayed since the 1930s, are perfect for a family of four, and there’s a grocer nearby. The real payoff is sipping coffee on the front porch while soaking in the iconic rock silhouettes on the horizon. u 1000 Main St., Oljato-Monument Valley; 435-7273231; gouldings.com The best way to see Monument Valley, part of the Navajo Nation reservation, is on horseback with a local guide. Seen in countless cowboy movies (not to mention Transformers: Age of Extinction and some Doctor Who episodes), this land of gorgeous red-rock formations and deepblue sky wows everyone. Want to take that beauty home? Local shops have amazing Navajo jewelry. u 435-727-3218; monumentvalley.net

CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: SHOOTING STAR RV RESORT; MICHAEL KUNDE; KRISTI VALENTINI

A great way to see the surrounding canyon country is from the seat of a RZR — a dune buggy-like off-roading vehicle. On a guided tour from Four Corners Adventures, you'll stop and explore ancient Pueblo cliff dwellings. u 2625 S. Highway 191, Bluff; 435-672-2244; riversandruins.com


Estes Park has endless opportunities for exploration and relaxation. From outdoor adventures and awe-inspiring wildlife, to breathtaking night skies, there are thrills for absolutely everyone at the base camp for Rocky Mountain National Park. Find all the adventures that await you at VisitEstesPark.com


Hot Sulphur Springs Resort & Spa

photos by Sally DiSciullo

Experience the Outdoors in the of Grand County!

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Lose Yourself, Find Yourself In The Chiricahua National Monument Willcox, Arizona

Gateway to Adventure www.explorewillcox.com • 800-200-2272


Escape the crowds

Click: visitlaramie.org Call: 1-800-445-5303


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Big Fun in the Big Bend The Lone Star State’s revered national park is a world unto its own BY BRIAN BARTH

T

erlingua is one of Texas’ most famous ghost towns — or perhaps I should say it used to be. The southwest town perched on a hillside a few

miles west of Big Bend National Park (nps. gov/bibe) is home to crumbling adobe homes that once housed workers who mined cinnabar ore for mercury. More than

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2,500 called Terlingua home in 1918, in its heyday, but the mines petered out in the 1940s, and residents dwindled to 25 by 1970. Today, the eccentric town (population 58 at last count) boasts Saturday farmers markets, a coffee shop, rustic art galleries, craft shops and boutique lodging options. But the community’s beating heart, as I learned one balmy February afternoon, is the Starlight Theatre Restaurant and >

GETTY IMAGES

View from Big Bend National Park


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ld Town Coppell is a vibrant, walkable community where you can dine, shop, live and do business. Home to restaurants, retail shops, parklands, historical structures and a community center, it also hosts a thriving farmers market and live music venues. To learn more visit coppelltx.gov/OldTown.

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Saloon (thestarlighttheatre. com) when, during happy hour, everybody who’s anybody gets together to, well, party. I’m talking banjos, fiddles, singing, clapping, hootin’, hollerin’, foot stompin’ good fun. The tourists far outnumber the locals, as this is probably the only watering hole in a hundred miles where you’ll find a good selection of craft beers and gourmet fare like pork medallions in a chipotle reduction or tequila-marinated quail. The Starlight was a welcome bookend to a three-day venture my dad, brother and I took down the Rio Grande in a sparsely populated expanse of the state, 300 miles from the nearest

urban center and where coyotes and antelope vastly outnumber humans. There are a handful of popular float trips on the river, which cuts a serpentine line through the desert canyons along the Mexican border. Based on your preference and experience, choose from a couple of lazy hours of inner-tubing, a week of wilderness canoeing or Class IV whitewater rafting (advanced skill level). Numerous outfitters are clustered along Lone Star Ranch Road between Terlingua and the park entrance, where you can either book a guided trip (it’s a good idea to schedule at least two months in advance) or, for those comfortable boating

and camping in the wilderness, rent a canoe or kayak and any camping gear that you don’t want to lug from your corner of the world. Jeep tours, horseback riding, guided hikes and mountain biking excursions are also available. (For those whose idea of the great outdoors is a putting green, the upscale

Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa (lajitasgolfresort.com) is just a half hour outside Big Bend National Park.) If you just want to take a driving tour through the jagged peaks and canyonlands of the park, stop off for a few scenic vistas and a short hike to explore the ruins of early 20th century outposts and otherworldly desert flora that characterize the region. For a >

FIND AN OUTFITTER Visit Big Bend, from the Brewster County Tourism Council, has a comprehensive list of outfitters organized by activity. visitbigbend.com The Far Flung Outdoor Center offers river trips and ATV or Jeep tours. bigbendfarflung. com The National Park Service also maintains a list of approved outfitters. nps.gov/bibe/ planyourvisit/ outfitters.htm

Southwest Texas has an uncanny knack for making you feel as though you are traveling from one movie set to another.

MATTHEW YARBROUGH/NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

The rugged Ernst Tinaja campsite

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A visit to Seguin is an opportunity to take a step back in time and...

“Experience a True TEXAS WONDER”

www.visitseguin.com


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Canoeing Mariscal Canyon

Stay cool!

map and some rangerly advice, start at one of the three visitor centers within the park; this is also where you can pick up camping, fishing and boating permits, which in most cases you must do in person. The privately run Chisos Mountains Lodge (chisosmountainslodge.com), located in the park’s high-elevation interior where summer temperatures are a bit more manageable (highs in the 80s, on average), is the only lodging within Big Bend. Weather-wise, spring and fall are the best times to visit, though winter temperatures in the lowlands are quite amiable, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 30s. Our group opted to canoe the postcardperfect Santa Elena Canyon, where cliffs plunge 1,500 feet into churning blue-green water. This stretch is known for serious whitewater when water levels are high, but much of the time it’s a leisurely float, with one Class III rapid (intermediate skill level) that we chose to skirt in the calm water close to shore. The river, despite its location in extremely rugged and remote terrain, can get crowded with boaters during spring break season, though in late February we didn’t see a soul in three days — just mile

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after mile of purple lupine in full bloom and the undulating turns of the canyon, sculpted into breathtaking art by the passage of time. If you’re coming to Big Bend from El Paso, it’s a five-hour drive down some very lonely, tumbleweed-strewn highways (six hours from San Antonio), but there are a few cultural oases along the way, including a small Prada store with high heels and luxury handbags on Highway 90 in what appears to be the middle of nowhere. In reality, this is not a functioning store, but an art installation, and a sign that you are nearing the town of Marfa — a global arts outpost made famous by the late minimalist Donald Judd and now frequented by Hollywood types and throngs of tourists. As a friend said before I left for Texas, “Marfa is the only place I know of where you might see a cowboy riding the street on horseback one minute, and spot Johnny Depp seated in a café the next.” Marfa is roughly midway between Big Bend and El Paso, so it’s a natural place to break up the trek. Consider a room at the ultra-chic Hotel Saint George (marfasaintgeorge.com) if you feel like rubbing elbows with the artsy crowd; the El Paisano Hotel (hotelpaisano.com) is the spot if you’re in the mood for Old West flavor. Beyoncé opted for rustic on her trip to Marfa, holing up in one of the Airstream trailers at the El Cosmico campground (elcosmico.com) on the edge of town, where one can also rent a Mongolian yurt or Sioux-style tepee. Whether you spot any celebrities or not, southwest Texas has an uncanny knack for making you feel as though you are traveling from one movie set to another. l

JENNETTE JURADO/NATIONAL PARK SERVICE; SCOTT HALLORAN/GETTY IMAGES

Weather-wise, spring and fall are the best times to visit.


Alice, Texas

Fish at our beautiful Lake Findley with picnic areas for the whole family, golf in our popular renowned municipal golf course or stroll through our downtown area filled with quaint shops and smiling faces. Take time to visit our museumsThe South Texas Museum and Tejano ROOTS Hall of Fame.

Located just 19 miles east of Houston, we offer lots of Texas history, beautiful parks and lots of outdoor activities! Learn more at www.visitdeerpark.org/tourism, or call 832-780-0973!

@DeerParkTXGov

TEXAS

dine SHOP

stay

VisitMcKinney.com/USAT


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KRISTI YAMAGUCHI’S

San Francisco Bay Area Gold medalist Kristi Yamaguchi won the hearts of figure skating fans during the 1992 Winter Olympics, and has since stayed in the spotlight by winning Dancing with the Stars in its sixth season; writing children’s books; starting Tsu.ya (tsuyabrand.com), a line of women’s athletic clothing; and running her childhood-literacy-focused Always Dream Foundation (alwaysdream.org). She now lives just a few miles east of San Francisco. — KATIE MORELL

BEST

MUSEUM

EAT “I love going to Locanda Ravello, an adorable Italian restaurant in Danville. The pasta with clams is my favorite.” 172 E. Prospect Ave., Danville; 925-984-2101; ravello-danville.com

The city of Fremont, where I grew up, has a small area called the Niles District ... My favorite (place) is Tyme for Tea. My family (meets) there for high tea on special occasions.” 37501 Niles Blvd., Fremont; 510-790-0944; tymefortea. com

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55 Music Concourse Dr., San Francisco; 415-3798000; calacademy.org

BEST

DAY TRIP “My husband and I like to take our kids on the ferry from Oakland to San Francisco to check out the Ferry Building Marketplace. The ride is just 15 minutes and there are so many vendors to visit.” One Ferry Building, San Francisco; 415-983-8030; ferrybuildingmarketplace.com

MARK KURODA; CALIFORNIA ACADEMY OF SCIENCES; KBC PHOTOGRAPHY

BEST PLACE TO

“The California Academy of Sciences, inside Golden Gate Park, is amazing. My daughters like the aquarium with the penguin exhibits. It’s also interesting to go inside The Shake House, which is a simulator where you can feel what it was like to live through San Francisco’s famous earthquakes.


awarded

P L AY F U L CITY USA

S H OP

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Northern California’s hidden gem—adjacent to the Delta waterways and only 55 miles east of San Francisco. Brentwood offers activities for the entire family and some of the best fresh produce in the entire region. Come discover why everything is Better in Brentwood.

www.BetterInBrentwood.com

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Better in Brentwood


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Picture-Perfect Views Eat, drink and check out San Francisco from these scenic spots BY KATIE MORELL

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he San Francisco Bay Area offers unlimited charms — from beaches and bays to restaurants, museums and street murals. Among its most beautiful attributes are the many perches from which you can take in amazing views. Here, we highlight four camera-friendly locales and nearby restaurants where you can grab a bite after snapping a few frameworthy shots:


CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT; SCOTT CHERNIS PHOTOGRAPHY (3); MARIN CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU; VISIT BERKELEY

TWIN PEAKS Sandwiched in the middle of San Francisco’s Noe Valley, Castro Valley and Cole Valley neighborhoods sit Twin Peaks, two adjacent peaks 922 feet above sea level. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the East Bay. 501 Twin Peaks Blvd.; 415-831-2700; sfrecpark. org/destination/twin-peaks

Saddle up to a table less than a mile away at Zazie, a quaint French bistro with a leafy back patio. Don’t leave without trying the mussels and cheesecake. 941 Cole St.; 415-564-5332; zaziesf.com

MARIN HEADLANDS The Marin Headlands, the 2,100-acre gem of the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, offers perhaps the most breathtaking views of San Francisco. Just north of the city, you can drive, bike or hike a day away, all with vistas you’ll never forget. 948 Fort Barry, Sausalito; 415-331-1540; parksconservancy.org

Snag a table on the back patio at Bar Bocce, a casual pizza spot in Sausalito. Sit next to the outdoor fire pit and take breaks between drinks to play bocce ball while watching the sun set on the San Francisco Bay. 1250 Bridgeway, Sausalito; 415-331-0555; barbocce.com

GRIZZLY PEAK The overlooks peppered along the 5.7 miles of Grizzly Peak Boulevard in Berkeley are ideal for travelers wanting panoramic views from the comfort of their vehicles. Get there early for sunset viewing. Opt for a high-end meal at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters’ flagship restaurant, a local institution and one of the best places to taste California cuisine. 1517 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley; 510-548-5525; chezpanisse.com

MOUNT TAMALPAIS Drive north over the Golden Gate Bridge and the 2,571-foothigh Mount Tamalpais (“Mt. Tam” to locals) will be among one of the first things you see. Hike or drive to the top for wrap-around views of the region. 801 Panoramic Highway, Mill Valley; 415-388-2070; parks.ca.gov

El Paseo, a cozy restaurant owned by Van Halen’s Sammy Hagar (a local), serves rave-worthy pork chops, red snapper crudo and shortbread cookies. 17 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley; 415-388-0741; elpaseomillvalley.com

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Land of Lavender Sequim celebrates fragrant purple fields that thrive near a Mediterranean-like coast BY LISA MEYERS MCCLINTICK

T

LISA MEYERS MCCLINTICK

he exclamations are dubbed the Lavender Capital of North audible as visitors America. arrive at Washington More than 30,000 visitors from Lavender Farm, across the country and beyond gather Visit Sequim 360-683-6197; scrambling out of their here the third weekend in July for the visitsunny cars to photograph the region’s Lavender Festival and the sequim.com lipstick-pink poppies and scalloped chance to photograph or paint the rows of lavender that march along colorful fields, stock up on sachets its white-fenced driveway. Here and across and soaps, collect new culinary recipes, feast the acreage anchored by the coastal George on crab cakes with lavender mayonnaise, Washington Inn, lavender explodes into savor lavender lemon sorbet and lavender bloom like deep purple fireworks. white chocolate ice cream and sip lavender Thousands of bees stir the heady fragrance margaritas and lavender-infused wines. in Washington’s Sequim-Dungeness Valley, “You just get intoxicated with lavender

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Purple Haze Lavender Farm

MAKE A TRIP OF IT Blondie’s Plate: Share elegant small plates of local salmon, oysters and clams. 134 S. Second Ave.; 360-683-2233; blondiesplate.com Alder Wood Bistro: Dine in the courtyard or indoors on wood-fired pizzas, fish and chips and local produce. 139 W. Alder St.; 360-683-4321; alderwoodbistro.com

LISA MEYERS MCCLINTICK; GETTY IMAGES

in all its various forms in one visit,” says Paul Jendrucko, who calls himself “Dr. Lavender,” and whose wife, Mary, leads the Sequim Lavender Growers Association. The valley nestles between the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which moderates the temperature, and the Olympic Mountains, which shelter it from heavy rains that keep the peninsula’s moss-draped Hoh Rain Forest and towns like Forks (where the Twilight books and movies are set) famously cloudy and damp.

Lavender fields across Sequim’s dry, sunny farms bloom for about three weeks in July, grabbing the attention of passing travelers such as Talie Lamolinara of Jacksonville, Fla. She happily snipped stems of lavender into a pick-your-own basket at Purple Haze Lavender Farm. “I like lavender-flavored anything,” she says, with a smile on her face and an armful of fragrance that will follow her home.

LAVENDER WEEKEND The Sequim Lavender Festival, scheduled this year from July 21-23, includes a downtown street fair full of art and lavender vendors, concerts by area musicians and regional foods including crab cakes, chowder and salmon, fresh berries, lavender-glazed walnuts and lavender lemon curd crepes. A handful of farms, such as Purple Haze and Washington Lavender, charge fees and host their own Lavender Weekend festivities with music, demonstrations and vendors. More than a dozen farms are free to visit. lavenderfestival.com

Dungeness Bay Cottages: Six units with full kitchens include views of Dungeness Bay in one direction and mountains in the other. 140 Marine Dr.; 360-683-3013; dungenessbay cottages.com Sunset Marine Resort: Eight cabins with kick-back balconies overlook Sequim Bay. 40 Buzzard Ridge Rd.; 360-5914303; sunset marineresort.com George Washington Inn: This B&B, a replica of Mount Vernon, features views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 939 Finn Hall Rd.; 360-452-5207; georgewashing toninn.com

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The Hotel Lautner in Desert Hot Springs, Calif.

Midcentury Mecca Modernism is always in style in Palm Springs

T

he sun rises over California’s Little San Bernardino Mountains, casting its dazzling light across the city of Palm Springs. This desert gem is awash in color: vibrant reds and pinks of bougainvillea and oleander, deep green palm fronds, the brilliant blue of a cloudless sky. But the regional landscape

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isn’t the only thing prompting visitors to reach for their oversized Jackie O-style Francois Pinton sunglasses. The city’s showy homes and buildings — with incandescent white or desert sand facades, sparkling plate glass windows and pops of silver, metal, teal and orange on trim and doorways — are just as blindingly beautiful. In fact, it is the architecture of this place — the largest

concentration of midcentury modern buildings in the U.S. — that is behind Palm Springs’ revival as a Hollywood hideaway and top tourist destination. “It’s an extraordinary and surprising paradise,” says Robert Imber, a 25-year resident and owner of Palm Springs Modern Tours. “It’s a desert … that is surrounded by these mountains. We have oases; we have a 60-foot waterfall, and then we have all

RICHARD LUI/THE (PALM SPRINGS, CALIF.) DESERT SUN

BY PATRICIA KIME


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this historic architecture. It is beautiful, and it’s unique.” A community of roughly 45,000 people, Palm Springs basks in 350 days of sunshine a year, winter highs in the low 70s and a yearround outdoor lifestyle that has beckoned celebrities since the 1920s, when silent-screen legend Gloria Swanson owned a home here. Many celebrities followed — Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Cary Grant, Bob Hope, Marilyn Monroe, Elvis and the entire Rat Pack, including Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. The confluence of these moneyed vacationers wanting getaways that reflected their discriminating taste and the postwar building boom created a setting for some of the era’s top architects — Albert Frey, John Lautner, Richard Neutra and Donald Wexler, to name a few — to build remarkable works. “The architects were responding to the environment. With air conditioning, there was a lot more they could do. They were experimenting with this new indoor-outdoor lifestyle, with homes opening to the swimming pools and glass walls to showcase the mountains,” says Chris Menrad, president of the Palm Springs Modern Committee, also known as

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ModCom. When midcentury modern fell out of favor in the late 1970s and 1980s, newcomers built larger, newer homes elsewhere in the Coachella Valley, leaving many of the city’s iconic homes and buildings untouched by time, but also neglected. The late 1990s brought renewed interest, according to Menrad. Fashion photographers began scouting unusual — ROBERT IMBER, spaces for photo shoots, and hipsters with PALM SPRINGS an eye for architecture snatched up vintage MODERN TOURS 1940s, ’50s and ’60s homes at reasonable prices. A Vanity Fair article on Palm Springs in 1999 simply fanned the flames, Menrad adds. “That huge spread followed by a renewed zeitgeist for the style, with Mad Men and all, lit a fuse. Summer used to be a dead time, but now, weekends are always full.” Today, visitors can enjoy the retro vibe in boutique hotels,

It's an extraordinary and surprising paradise.”

VISITPALMSPRINGS.COM; RICHARD LUI/THE (PALM SPRINGS, CALIF.) DESERT SUN

New construction, such as the home at right, carries the same midcentury feel as older buildings like Bob Hope's classic house.


Roseburg is the heart of a scenic recreational paradise known as the Land of Umpqua. A place of authentic outdoor adventures and experiences bordered by wild rivers, lush valleys and one of Oregon’s premier wine regions. Memorable moments you simply won’t find anywhere else. Create your own wine tour from more than two dozen boutique wineries. Stroll through historic downtown to find unique shops, galleries, outstanding restaurants and brew pubs. Animal lovers of all ages will love Wildlife Safari, where you can get up close and personal with wild animals from around the world roaming free on more than 600 acres. Get back to nature exploring the wonder of the North Umpqua Trail, a onestop recreation spot ideal for fishing, kayaking, hiking and biking.

410 SE Spruce St. | PO Box 1262 | Roseburg, OR 97470

Follow the splendor of the North Umpqua River along the RogueUmpqua National Scenic Byway and stop at dozens of pristine waterfalls on the way to Crater Lake National Park, one of the most breathtaking sights in America. It’s all here in the Land of Umpqua and Roseburg is in the center of it all; the perfect destination to combine your favorite activities and adventures while discovering new ones. Plan your escape to the Land of Umpqua and get detailed information on attractions and events at the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center. Call 800 4409584 for more information and free visitor guide. www.Visit Roseburg.com/USA


PACIFIC | C A L IFOR N I A

MAKE A TRIP OF IT Reservoir Diners at Reservoir in the Arrive Hotel sit in Scandinavian-style chairs underneath a butterfly roof, dipping into ceviche or shared tacos while overlooking the hotel pool, bar and toasty fire pits. 1551 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760-507-1640; reservoir palmsprings.com

Springs Visitors Center (visitpalmsprings. com), a brilliant Albert Frey-designed

Celebrity residents still make their mark in Palm Springs. The home of singer/TV personality Dinah Shore, above, is now owned by Leonardo DiCaprio.

gas station saved from the wrecking ball in the 1990s. Or they can download the self-guided ModCom Mid-Century Modern Tour app (psmodcom.org) and design their experience around it. Narrated by architectural historians, the app highlights more than the exteriors of the midcentury buildings and includes videos of site interiors — an advantage over a map, since many buildings are privately owned and not tourable. Private tours also can be arranged through Palm Springs Modern Tours (palmspringsmoderntours.com), three-hour immersions into form and design from the comfort of a minivan. Imber, one of the city’s best-known architecture aficianados, serves as driver and guide, sharing his extensive knowledge of the area’s buildings and quirky insider tidbits on topics ranging from Hollywood-heyday gossip to California architects, designers and builders. For those wanting more, ModCom hosts Modernism Week (modernismweek.com), which took place over 11 days in February this year and included more than 250 events, from specialty tours and lectures to panel discussions, education courses and, because this is Palm Springs, parties. A fall preview is set for Oct. 20-22. American pop-culture comedian and connoisseur Charles Phoenix served as a bus tour guide during Modernism Week. When he drives from Los Angeles to Palm Springs and sees the visitor center’s distinctive sweeping canopy, any stress melts away. “I feel like the world, the rest of the world somehow, doesn’t even exist anymore,” he says. Imber agrees: “Even those of us, we who live here, are really awed by this place every day.”

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L’Horizon This William Cody-designed Hollywood retreat built in 1952 has been reimagined as a 25-room luxury celebration of modernism, from the George Mulhauser chairs and copper fireplaces in some rooms to a center court infinity-edge pool where guests enjoy complimentary foot and back massages. 1050 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760-323-1858; lhorizonpalmsprings.com Orbit In and Hideaway These authentic midcentury modern properties have the same ownership. The Orbit In’s nine rooms boast themes from top designers, including Eero Saarinen; the Hideaway’s 10 rooms have stunning mountain views. 877-996-7248; orbitin.com

VISITPALMSPRINGS.COM

resorts and restaurants, as well as public buildings and thousands of homes. For a small taste, they can pick up a map of iconic buildings at the Palm

Mr. Lyons Sink into the deep green velvet banquettes of this clubby steakhouse, order a classic dry martini, Manhattan or sidecar, and you’ll feel Rat-Pack cool in a restaurant that’s been around since the late 1940s when Frank Sinatra built his weekend getaway in Palm Springs. 233 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760-327-1551; mrlyonsps.com


More to Sea™

There’s Always in Redondo Beach...

Where skies are crystal blue and palm trees sway from cool ocean breezes is a picturesque beach community that is classic Southern California. Redondo Beach is the perfect blend of ideal coastal beauty and fun in the sun. Just seven miles south of LAX, but removed from the hustle and bustle of the big city. This is the place where you can either get away from it all or do it all.

For more information, visit or call:

www.visitredondo.com | 800.282.0333

#VisitRedondo


Sip. Dine. Stay.

Get away to the scenic coast - visit the island you can drive to! 360.293.3832 | anacortes.org/today

VisitArroyoGrande.org

Make

ELLENSBURG YOURS THIS SUMMER

VISITOR INFO: 888.925.2204


U S

O U R

CO N

d To Sewar

R YOU

T AC CONT

Sterling

R O

US TODA Y CT A F T

TOD OR AY F

Y

HOME TO THE WORLD FAMOUS KENAI RIVER! Join us in Soldotna for world class fishing and fabulous accommodations. With Soldotna as your home base while visiting Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, you’ll enjoy the best Alaska has to offer right at your doorstep. The list of activities you will enjoy during your trip are endless! Wildlife viewing, flightseeing, flyout fishing and bear viewing, bird watching, horseback riding, canoe and hiking trips, winter recreation, shopping, gourmet dining and more await you in

a Soldotn Kasilof

Homer

Soldotna, Alaska!

Heart 907.262.9814

WWW. VISITSOLDOTNA.C O M

Tualatin Valley In Portland’s Backyard

Located in the northern Willamette Valley—named “Wine Region of the Year”—between Portland and the Oregon Coast, the Tualatin Valley is a destination worth exploring. Home to more than 30 award-winning wineries and a dozen breweries. Learn more at tualatinvalley.org.

tualatinvalley.org 1.800.537.3149


MEXICO

FONDA MAYORA

Fonda Mayora and its hearty breakfasts are part of the vibrant culinary scene exploding in Mexico City.

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MEXICO MEXICO CITY

Mmm ... Mexico City The capital beckons with a booming restaurant scene

¿

BY ALEXIS KORMAN

Tienes hambre? Then make sure to pack your appetite (and some stretchy pants) for a trip to Mexico City. The vivacious metropolis combines Old World charm with a red-hot culinary scene that’s currently taking the food world by storm. “Mexico City is a hot spot because of its diversity and quality. You can get any kind of food you’re looking for, from excellent tacos to amazing fine dining experiences,” says Elizabeth Chichino, who handles public relations for the restaurant Lorea. “And many Mexican chefs have traveled the world and learned from great restaurants that no matter the concept, quality is the cornerstone for growth.” Whether your taste in dining runs haute cuisine or hole-in-the-wall, there’s a multitude of mouthwatering meals to discover. Here’s where to dig in: Begin your day with a hearty breakfast at Fonda Mayora (facebook.com/fondamayora). The latest venture from renowned chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo is a go-to for a great morning. Land a table outdoors, order >

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At Lorea, diners choose from one of two tasting menus with gorgeously plated meals.

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the fresh bread basket with local honey and soak up the scene. Don’t leave without trying the huevos encamisados, eggs baked inside fresh tortillas. If this seems slightly excessive, just remember you’ll need the energy to explore the city’s top food haunts on foot. Start burning off those calories by wandering La Merced, one of Mexico’s largest food markets, located about a mile southeast of the city’s famed central plaza, the zocalo. Vendors of all stripes — spice merchants, torta slingers, even insect sellers — cram the narrow passageways with intriguing snacks and edible souvenirs you can take home. Take a breather from the bustling market with a wine-fueled lunch at Amaya (amayamexico.

com). Owned by restaurateur Jair Téllez, the eatery pours natural, organic and biodynamic wines from Mexican and Latin American producers alongside delicious wood-fired dishes such as roasted cauliflower with tahini guacamole. For dinner, try to score a seat at the buzzed-about Fonda Fina (fondafina.com.mx); the restaurant doesn’t take reservations. Opt for the rotisserie chicken with mole or the tender grilled octopus, but don’t leave without requesting the teporocho (slang for someone so drunk that he can’t get off the sidewalk). The potent, Long Island iced-tealike concoction is playfully served in a paper bag. If you’d rather sample the city’s molecular gastronomy scene, try Lorea (lorea.mx), which presents guests with just two tasting menus for an exquisite, haute cuisine experience. No matter which one you choose, all meals here look like plated works of art. Launch day two with Mexican coffee and a cinnamon-sugar-laced churro as you stroll Mercado Roma (mercadoroma.com), a two-story, modern-day food hall packed with gourmet eats and drinks. Upstairs at Seneri (seneri.net), the creative culinary >

AMAYA; PEPE ESCARPITA

Amaya


WHERE TO STAY + PLAY

W MEXICO CITY; JAIME NAVARRO; FONDA FINA

Even if you’re stuffed, save room for a nightcap (say, a gin and tonic sorbet) at J by José Andrés in the fashion-forward W Hotel, above, before hitting the sheets. Located in the stylish Polanco neighborhood, it’s an ideal place to call home base during your south-of-theborder binge fest. wmexicocity. com For a fun and flamboyant taste of Mexican pop culture convenient to the neighborhoods of La Condesa and Juarez near Mexico City’s Chapultepec Park, buy a ticket to a macho and colorful lucha libre wrestling match on a Friday night at Arena México. cmll.com

Mercado Roma

Mercado Roma, a two-story, modern-day food hall, is packed with gourmet eats and drinks. Upstairs, at Seneri chef Fernando Martínez gets creative with ingredients from his home state of Michoacán.

Fonda Fina

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Merkavá

Pujol

Sagardi

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abilities of chef Fernando Martínez — known for spotlighting the top ingredients from his home state of Michoacán — are on full display in thoughtful dishes like marinated trout from the city of Zitácuaro with smoky chile mayo and caviar. To prove Mexico City is a global hub for gourmands, make stops at Merkavá (merkava.mx) for Jerusaleminspired hummus with pillowy pita bread, and then try the pintxos bar at Sagardi (sagardi.com.mx) for tiny snack bites straight out of Spain’s Basque Country. Feeling full yet? Don’t leave without a mouthwatering six- or seven-course meal at worldrenowned Pujol (pujol.com.mx). Reimagined in 2017, Enrique Olvera’s much-celebrated restaurant moved to a new location complete with a backyard garden and an updated menu. Luckily, crowd favorites like the baby corn and famous mole madre, which mellows for an unbelievable 700 days, still made the menu. It’s a tasty bookend to a toothsome tour of Mexico City. l

SAGARDI COCINEROS VASCOS; TANGERINE SOUL; ARACELI PAZ; SAGARDI COCINEROS VASCOS

Sagardi chef Joan Baur


Irresistibly adventurous. Download our free app, now with virtual reality. Be transported to unusual destinations, must-see landmarks, and the hidden gems for your inner world-traveler.


MEXICO

I

A Calming Coast Mexico’s Isla Mujeres beckons to those who want to escape stress BY DIANE BAIR AND PAMELA WRIGHT

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n this year of massive rallies and protests, daily calls to your congressional representatives and feeling tethered to your Twitter feed or cable news, there’s got to be a way to recharge. For women who want to reconnect to an ancient, calmer energy, let us throw this name in the ring: Isla Mujeres, aka the “Island of Women.” Located in the Caribbean Sea about 8 miles off the coast of Cancun, this wisp of an island (just 5 miles long and 0.3 miles wide) offers an easy-going ambience. With its powdery beaches and undulating palms, Isla Mujeres feels far away from the tequila-fueled party scene on the Mexican mainland — and very

distant from the non-stop news cycle at home. A girlfriends’ getaway on the beach is something that deserves a bipartisan endorsement, right? On Punta Sur, at the southernmost tip of the island, there’s a temple ruin devoted to the Mayan goddess Ixchel. “Ixchel was the goddess of the moon, and she was associated with healing and fertility,” says Gustavo Rodriguez Orozco, director of tourism for Isla Mujeres. “For centuries, Mayan women came to this island to seek her help.” Local people still tend to believe that Ixchel will help them resolve fertility issues, he adds. Of course, men are welcome. Isla Mujeres promotes itself as a romantic destination, the perfect locale for idyllic weddings on a beach lit by Tiki torches. But >

ISLA-MUJERES.NET/ZOËTRY VILLA ROLANDI RESORT

The lighthouse at Punta Sur


Our National Parks The National Mall welcomes millions every year, but what they see is hardly welcoming.

It welcomes the world to our most significant monuments and memorials. But like many national parks, the National Mall in Washington, D.C., desperately needs our help, including $350 million in federal funding for maintenance, repairs, and preservation. You can help with a simple letter. Visit NPCA.org/mall. Or call 1-800-NAT PARK.


MEXICO

WHERE TO EAT MANGO CAFE Colorful, lively Mango Cafe draws a mix of locals and tourists for dishes like coconut French toast, fish tacos and stuffed poblano peppers. If it’s not totally authentic Mexican, it sure is playful and fun. And it wouldn’t be vacation if someone in your party didn’t order a mango mimosa. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Colonia Meteorologico; 011-52998-274-0118; facebook. com/mangocafeisla

and they use Mayan herbs you won’t feel like the odd and mineral salts in a body woman out if you don’t come treatment called Villa Rolandi’s with a guy on your arm. And Secret. some say there’s a definite Isla Mujeres tourism Whether it’s mystical Mayan feminine vibe in the saltinformation: power or simply the power tinged air. cancun.travel/ of suggestion, few would “You can sense a different en/caribbeanenergy here (among women),” deny that this sleepy island treasures/ says Marcia Collado, a yoga has restorative qualities, isla-mujeres instructor at the Zoëtry Villa especially if you slow down to Rolandi Isla Mujeres Cancun its leisurely rhythms. resort (zoetryresorts.com). “Since the Let the unwinding begin as you island is sacred to the Mayan moon ride the ferry from Cancun across the goddess, I think (its) history empowers stunningly aqua waters of the Bahia us, allowing us to keep in touch with de Mujeres. There’s no real rush to our femininity.” get anywhere once you arrive; in fact, To help guests get in touch with most guests get around via golf cart at their inner goddesses, the resort’s slow-motion pace. spa offers a Mayan massage that You’ll likely be tempted by Playa incorporates Mayan healing practices, Norte, considered to be one of the >

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LOLO LORENA Born in Belgium, chef Lolo Lorena serves a multi-course gourmet meal at communal tables in a courtyard setting. It’s a bit like being a dinner guest at a private party with a wonderful hostess. Her somewhat pricey 5- to 10-course meals are a fusion of flavors, based on what’s available and what Lolo is inspired to cook, but count on a memorable evening. Dinner only. Avenida Rueda Medina 690; 011-52-998-7044392; facebook.com/ lololorena62

PROVIDED BY ISLA MUJERES TOURISM

SUNSET GRILL Every island should have at least one place where you can eat lovely food and watch a sherbet-hued sunset over the water. On Isla Mujeres, this place fills the bill. Think lobster quesadillas, ceviche, grilled shrimp and paella — tasty, sure, but you’ll remember the setting much longer. Avenida Rueda Medina South 276; 011-52-998-274-5588; sunsetgrill.com.mx


MEXICO

Benid icione s

Visit MUSA Underwater Sculpture Museum: musamexico. org

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best beaches in Mexico. It’s also easy to spend hours (and days) swimming and snorkeling in the calm waters of the western side of the island, where the coral reef sits offshore. Add some art to your undersea journey with a visit to the MUSA Underwater Sculpture Museum, a dreamlike installation of 500-plus permanent life-size sculptures, such as Benidiciones, designed to provide habitat for marine life. If you like your indolence spiked with adventure, swim with whale sharks! Few things are as empowering — and humbling — as sharing the sea with a creature that can measure up to 65 feet long and weigh more than 12 tons. The sharks arrive in these waters in July and August to feed and mate. To swim with whale sharks, you need to go out with an outfitter (try Solo Buceo, which offers two-hour, early-morning trips from midMay to mid-September; solobuceo.com). It’s OK to be a beginner, but it’s not OK to touch the whale sharks. Snorkeling alongside these polka-dotted giants is truly exhilarating. The largest congregation of whale sharks in the world happens off the coast of Cancun, scientists say. And we can all appreciate how powerful a large gathering can be. l

SANTIAGO@SEASPACE.COM.MX/MUSA UNDERWATER SCULPTURE MUSEUM; ISLA-MUJERES.NET

Coral reef


Irresistibly teed-up.

Download our free app, now with virtual reality. Get all the fairway action from this season’s greatest tournaments and athletes to watch, only in the Sports section.


CANADA

A Great Escape Riding through the Rockies on Canadian rail lines

C

anada’s magnificent Rockies unfold in a blur of grays, whites and deep greens through the panoramic windows of the train car on a 19-hour rail ride from Vancouver, British Columbia, on the Pacific Coast to picturesque Jasper, near the Alberta/ British Columbia border. The gentle sway and rumble of train travel is inspiring, especially onboard VIA Rail Canada or Rocky Mountaineer, the two non-charter lines operating in the region. VIA Rail’s comfortable Sleeper Plus cabins — which range from single berths with Murphy beds to cabins for four — create the romance of being lulled to sleep by the clickety-clack of the train at night. If you choose this option, you’ll also get access to a special viewing car, white-linen dining with meals made

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DARYL BRUVELAITIS

BY TALIA WOOLDRIDGE


BIANCA COURTEMANCHE

A train trip through the Canadian Rockies includes spectacular views, visible through panoramic windows in certain cars.

with fresh, local ingredients by top-star chefs and the ability to roam the train. In the morning, breathtaking vistas of forests and powerful river canyons surround you. On my trip, I stood in the glass-topped Panorama Dome car and watched with fellow travelers as the awesome peaks of the Coast and Cascade mountain ranges rushed by; we marveled at the way the dramatic scenery shifted from Fraser Valley’s verdant fields to British Columbia’s rocky, desertlike interior. The train slows for passing freight trains, letting its passengers get a better look at the scenery, which, in warmer months, may include the occasional brown bear lumbering off the tracks. (The bears feast on grain dropped by passing freight trains.)

We traveled in winter (VIA Rail operates year-round) and were lucky enough to see the majestic snowy peak of Mount Robson — at nearly 13,000 feet, the highest point of the Canadian Rockies — which is often invisible and veiled in fog. Other highlights included a view of the cascading, 300-foot-high Pyramid Creek Falls (you can only see the falls from the highway or a train; they are not accessible otherwise) and Yellowhead Pass, a natural route across the Continental Divide used by fur traders and gold prospectors in the 19th century. I was amazed — and saddened! — by how quickly we arrived in Jasper National Park (at roughly 4,200 square miles, the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies). A trip through the Rockies can be a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so you might as well make the most of it. From Jasper, a separate train can take you northwest to Prince George in central British Columbia and on to coastal Prince Rupert, just south of Alaska’s panhandle; both are >

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small logging towns whose charm will win you over. Choose a Journey through the Clouds tour For an even more luxurious trip through these beautiful landscapes, you can package, and you can opt for a scenic look opt for VIA Rail’s Prestige Class service, available on The Canadian, a four-night, at Jasper National Park, with time to explore three-day route across Canada between Vancouver and Toronto, with stops in the town of Jasper on your own, followed Edmonton and Winnipeg; you can make any of these cities your final destinaby a motorcoach trip through awe-inspiring tion. It is by far the best way to see this vast country. Highlights scenery to Banff National Park. onboard include dedicated service by a Prestige concierge and a You’ll travel along the Icefields cabin with a large lounge area that transforms into a comfortable Parkway to the Athabasca Falls double bed, private bathroom with a shower, flat-screen monitor and the Columbia Icefield, where VIA Rail Canada with video selection and minibar stocked with your choice of you will ride on an off-road bus viarail.ca/en beverages and snacks. into the middle of the Athabasca Unlike the Vancouver-Jasper trip, The Canadian’s passage through Glacier. A stop at stunning Bow Rocky the Rockies includes only a brief, 45- to 60- minute stop at Jasper, Lake precedes a visit to the Mountaineer enough time to stretch your legs but not to see the town or the park. mesmerizing, turquoise Lake rockymountaineer. VIA Rail provides short stops at select train stations where you can Louise. Here, an overnight or com disembark briefly while the train refuels. dinner at Fairmont Chateau Lake Royal Canadian If disembarking, sightseeing and staying overnight in a hotel is Louise is highly recommended. Pacific your preference, book a trip on the popular Rocky Mountaineer Lastly, if taking a trip back royalcanadianpacific. instead. This Canadian rail company offers several routes through in time is more your speed and com/ the Canadian Rockies with several trips departing from Seattle. For you’re traveling with 30 of your an additional charge, you also can add a seven-day Alaskan cruise to closest friends, the Royal Canaany route that starts in Vancouver. dian Pacific, which once carried Sir Winston Onboard the Rocky Mountaineer — which travels from April to October — Churchill, is available for private bookings. you will enjoy white-linen meals and unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic It’s not cheap, but the wood-paneled sleeping beverages in your dining or lounge cars. The GoldLeaf upgrade provides cars with private lounges and patios may be exclusive access to breathtaking glass-domed cars and an open-air vestibule. worth the $29,000 to $59,000 price tag. l

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BIANCA COURTEMANCHE

In the morning, breathtaking vistas of forests and powerful river canyons surround you.


For your guide to the adventure of a lifetime: 1-855-NUNAVIK | NUNAVIK-TOURISM.COM


CANADA

Rouge National Urban Park

The natural wonders of Canada’s most bustling metropolis BY BRIAN BARTH

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V

SCOTT MUNN/PARCS CANADA

Toronto’s Tranquil Spots

isitors to Toronto, a city of 2.7 million, tend to head for its iconic attractions — the CN Tower, say, or the Royal Ontario Museum. But Canada’s largest city is also becoming known for its forests, beaches and bike paths. “The City in a Park” has become its unofficial slogan as Torontonians embrace the surprising swaths of nature in the urban landscape — 20,000 acres, says Richard Ubbens, Toronto’s director of parks. “Sometimes you forget you’re in the city,” he says. And that’s just the land designated as parks. Toronto’s popular ravine system, a natural greenspace network that runs along nearly every river and stream in the city, is another 27,000 acres of quiet forests and waterways — nearly 17 percent of the city’s total area — where you’re as likely to encounter a great blue heron as you are another human. Whether your thing is bird-watching, outdoor yoga or swimming at any of the city’s 11 pristine beaches, Toronto has something for nature-lovers of every stripe.


GETTING DOWN … INTO TORONTO’S RAVINES

Spadina WaveDeck

▲ TORONTO WATERFRONT Toronto is more than halfway through a 25-year plan to transform a 2,000-acre strip of its downtown waterfront from a postindustrial wasteland to an outdoor playscape. The areas completed to date are centered along Queens Quay, a hopping promenade lined with world-class parks, bike paths and boardwalks such as the whimsical Spadina WaveDeck, lit from below at the end of the day. Rent a boat to explore the small bay — with paddleboats, kayaks and even sailboats (lessons included) available, there are options for everyone — or take a nap in one of the complimentary recliners at Sugar Beach at the east end of Queens Quay, a great place to watch the boats go by. This is also the jumping-off point for many Lake Ontario boat tours and the park on the Toronto Islands, an 820-acre playscape just offshore. waterfrontoronto.ca

WATERFRONT TORONTO; PARCS CANADA

▶ ROUGE NATIONAL URBAN PARK Toronto is surrounded by a greenbelt, a wide swath of protected forests and working farmland, which includes this newly formed conservation area, Canada’s first urban national park, located on the scenic Rouge River. While it may not display the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies, the Rouge River corridor is home to more than 1,700 species of plants, animals, birds and other critters, including coyotes, deer and spawning salmon. The 20,000-acre natural wonderland holds extensive hiking trails, canoeing opportunities, Toronto’s only campground and a pristine beach, all less than 20 miles east of downtown. Admission is free. pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/on/rouge

Toronto’s transit system, known as the TTC, will deliver you to many of the city’s parks and natural areas via subway, streetcar or bus. Even parts of the greenbelt are accessible via GO Train, the regional rail system. But finding your way into the city’s labyrinthine network of ravines and the steep stream and river valleys can be daunting. In most cases, roads and transit lines cross over the ravines — they’re hiding down below. Hopping on a bike is your ticket to explore them. About $11 gets you a three-day pass to Bike Share Toronto (bikesharetoronto. com); its Transit App (transitapp.com) shows the locations of Toronto’s 200 bikeshare stations. Many are found along the Martin Goodman Trail, a multipleuse path along the waterfront that stretches for miles in both directions from downtown. Head east for a mile and you’ll find the Don River, one of the city’s largest ravines, where numerous well-marked trails take you up various side ravines. About 4 miles west of downtown along the Goodman trail, you’ll come to the Humber River, the access point to Toronto’s other major ravine network. From midtown, the Kay Gardner Beltline trail, a shaded bike path along an abandoned rail line, connects you to the trail along Moore Park Ravine, a fun downhill route to the Evergreen Brick Works. — Brian Barth

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Scenic walking path in High Park

Urban nature!

Dog parks, glorious gardens and the Toronto Zoo are among the features in High Park.

▲ HIGH PARK Situated amid several chic neighborhoods in the city’s West End, this is Toronto’s answer to Central Park. The 400-acre space is framed by a pair of glacially carved valleys. One is home to a large off-leash area for dogs; the other is a complex of ponds and wetlands renowned among bird-watchers. In between are athletic fields, a swimming pool, zoo, an environmental center for kids, extensive forests and hiking trails and a formal Japanese garden along a cascading stream. Parking is free and abundant, and you can access the lakefront bike path — which stretches for 30 miles from one side of the city to the other — at the southern end of the park. highparktoronto.com

Located on the site of the Don Valley Brick Factory, which supplied much of the material with which Toronto’s early 1900s skyline was built, the repurposed Brick Works has quickly grown into a world-renowned environmental center famous for its urban ecology programs. Abuzz seven days a week with farmers markets, outdoor education programs for kids and nature-themed events and festivals, the site boasts a farm-to-table restaurant, gift shop and extensive boardwalks and trails through the former quarry, now a wetland preserve. Evergreen Brick Works is also one of the gateways to Toronto’s beloved ravine system. evergreen.ca/ get-involved/evergreen-brick-works

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CITY OF TORONTO (4); LUIS ALBUQUERQUE

◀ EVERGREEN BRICK WORKS


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EUROPE

CROATIA

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA SPLIT

DUBROVNIK

Split Decision Tour the ancient city, Croatia’s true coastal gem BY CARMEN GENTILE

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ajestic stone architecture dating back more than a millennium, set by the sea: When it comes to Croatia’s tourist destinations, one might assume I’m gushing

about Dubrovnik. Sure Dubrovnik is beautiful and intriguing — not to mention a major filming location for Game of Thrones and Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, the next installment in the saga, making the city visually familiar to millions. But for me, Dubrovnik pales in comparison to its larger sibling northwest on the Adriatic, the ancient port city of Split. Split may not be the backdrop for a medieval drama replete with dragons, or doubling as a galaxy, far, far away, but it’s a gem in its own right, and it’s gaining global popularity. The scenery alone has attracted tourists to this stretch of the Croatian coast for centuries. The Roman Emperor Diocletian, born in a region that eventually became part of Croatia, made Split his retirement residence back in the

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MAP ILLUSTRATION BY MIRANDA PELLICANO; GETTY IMAGES

Marjan Hill and the Split waterfront

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Diocletian’s Palace and the Riva promenade

fourth century A.D. The remains of his palace (diocletianspalace.org) are the centerpiece of Split’s urban scene. Today, it is the largest Roman palatial ruin in the world; inside its ancient walls, there’s an entire town with about 3,000 residents. After the Roman era, the palace became home to numerous churches, museums, private small stone houses and local shops, creating a historic and eclectic mix of sights and sounds. While exploring, you’ll hear the church bells echo off the stone edifice of the

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Cathedral of Saint Domnius (visitsplit. com/en/527/cathedral-of-saint-domnius), the highest point and oldest building in the city, once the mausoleum of Diocletian. Climb to the top of the 187-foot-high bell tower for fabulous views. From the cathedral, you can wander over to the daily farmers market, where locals and visitors buy fresh produce, cured meats and aged cheeses. When it’s time to relax, head over to the Riva promenade outside the palace walls for a coffee or cocktail and watch the ferries shuttle travelers to and from the islands (croatiaferries.com). From Split, it’s easy to catch a boat for popular island destinations like Hvar (hvarinfo.com) and other lesser-known, though worth visiting, islands such as Susak and Silba. Once on the islands, there’s exquisite dining on freshly caught seafood, ample opportunities to sail and scuba dive or just relax by the seaside before retiring for the night in traditional stone cottages updated to accommodate luxury-minded travelers. I’ve spent hours wandering the

MAKE SURE TO VISIT

Climb the 187-foot-high tower in the oldest building in the city, the Cathedral of Saint Domnius

PHOTO: CARMEN GENTILE; ILLUSTRATION: MIRANDA PELICANO

Diocletian's palace became home to numerous churches, museums, private small stone houses and local shops, creating a historic and eclectic mix of sights and sounds.


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narrow stone corridors in Split that have enraptured visitors for centuries. Today’s visitors will find the locals offering advice in English because of its growing popularity the world over. Recently, I met two San Francisco natives who are making Split their home for a month while they explore the rest of the country, its culture and cuisine. “It’s a good jumping-off point because of its location (in Croatia). The people are friendly and it’s safe,” says Mariya Snow. Her travel partner and friend, Ligia Ishida, nods in agreement, adding, “Plus you have the mountains, the beach and their culture. And of

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course the English-speaking helps, too.” As a resident of Split for the last year, raising a half-Croatian daughter with my native-born wife, I share their newfound affinity for my adopted hometown. The sun-drenched mountains and deep, blue sea are what first attracted me to this stretch of the Dalmatian Coast. While many are drawn to Split for its beautiful and numerous beaches within the city limits, kiking and rock climbing opportunities abound. There are numerous rock climbing routes and places to hike in the forest park within the city known as Marjan, where visitors and residents alike tackle climbs of varying difficulty. Less than an hour away, near the seaside city of Omis, more difficult routes will challenge even experienced climbers. As for my favorite haunts in the old city, I learned from locals about the cool, new seafood bistro Zinfandel (zinfandelfoodandwinebar.com) and the more traditional dining experience at Maslina (konobapizzeriamaslina.hr/en), both of which are now regulars in my dining rotation. The area offers loads more modern sites to see and experience, such as the western extension of the Riva all the way to the marina and an ever-growing list of new restaurants and nightspots, making Split the ideal locale for your Croatian coastal adventure.

CARMEN GENTILE: GETTY IMAGES (2)

Ligia Ishida, left, and Mariya Snow enjoy wine in Split, home to historic sites and stunning waterfronts.


Moving is the best medicine. Keeping active and losing weight are just two of the ways that you can fight osteoarthritis pain. In fact, for every pound you lose, that’s four pounds less pressure on each knee. For information on managing pain, go to fightarthritispain.org.


CARIBBEAN

Champagne Reef

Champagne Bubbles, Muddy Boots Here’s where to get your outdoors on in Dominica

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om always said, “If you don’t end up dirty and sleepy, you’re not having enough fun.” Mom would’ve loved Dominica. After a few days of snorkeling in “champagne bubbles,” soaking in tea-colored hot springs and hiking through a rain forest with sucking mud, friendly goats and a boiling lake, you’ll realize personal grooming has taken a holiday. And you won’t care one bit, because you’re having the Best. Time. Ever.

GETTY IMAGES

BY DIANE BAIR AND PAMELA WRIGHT


ILLUSTRATIONS: GETTY IMAGES; PHOTO: DIANE BAIR

The Caribbean island of Dominica, not to be confused with the Dominican Republic to its west, made headlines in 2015 after being hard hit by Tropical Storm Erika. But the Nature Island is back and lovelier than ever. Located in the Windward Islands of the West Indies between Guadeloupe and Martinique, 290-square-mile Dominica is larger than the better-known Barbados. Velvety green mountains rise nearly 5,000 feet from sea level on this volcanic landmass, surrounded by aqua sea. Sixty percent of the island is covered by rain forest, and there’s a river for each day of the year, plus 12 waterfalls, 19 major dive sites and 22 species of cetaceans, making

Dominica a favored dive spot and yearround whale-watching destination. These natural glories are alluring to visitors, and truly prized by islanders, says Beverly Deikel, owner of Rosalie Bay Resort (rosaliebay.com), an eco-retreat comprised of 28 suites situated on 22 acres, primarily powered by wind and solar energy: “Guests know that what we have on Dominica is authentic.” And local culture runs deep. Dominica is still home to some 3,000 Caribs (also known as Kalinago Indians), descendants of the civilization that once dominated the Caribbean islands. Fizzy fun awaits visitors at the effervescent Champagne Reef, located at

60% of Dominica is covered by rain forest

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CARIBBEAN

Diving over sponges

The path to Boiling Lake

History! The Kalinago Indians’ ancestors left behind spectacular art.

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life? (Dominica is one of those so-called “blue zones” where many people live to age 100 and beyond. Just saying.) Try

Screw’s Sulfur Spa (screwsspa. com) and Tia’s (tiasbamboocottages.com/spa), where you can soak in three sulfur pools surrounded by lush foliage. Then swap out your flip-flops for hiking boots. The island has 300-plus miles of trails, from easy to OMG. It’s a quick hike to Emerald Pool, a lavish waterfall with a popular swimming hole at its base, located within the Morne

GETTY IMAGES (2); DIANE BAIR

the southern tip of the island. You’ll meet at a beach bar to get your snorkeling gear, and after a quick stroll to a rocky beach, you’re underwater — and being tickled by the strings of warm bubbles that rise from the hot springs below. Post-swim, “just lime” (local parlance for "chill out") with a cold Kubuli beer or coconut punch at the beach bar on site. And speaking of watery treats, who could resist the lure of an ochre-hued hot springs that’ll leave your skin baby soft — and maybe add years to your


Trois Pitons National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (whc.unesco.org/en/list/814). This is your introduction to the 115-mile Waitukubuli

National Trail (waitukubulitrail. com). Split into 14 segments, this marked footpath runs from Scotts Head Village in the south to the Cabrits National Park in the north. The scenery ranges from foliage to farmlands (hello, goats!), plus villages, coastal areas, ancient pathways — and, most likely, mud. Hiking through thick mud and over slippery rocks can make even flat sections of trail rather tricky, and many of the segments are rated “moderate” (a couple are “very difficult”). But the payoff comes when the landscape opens to reveal

views of the mountains. Feeling super-fit? Consider taking on the island’s fiercest hike, featuring the Boiling Lake (the world’s second-largest hot lake) and the Valley of Desolation. And we do mean fierce; the trail is sometimes closed because of strong fumes and excess boiling (check news. gov.dm for the latest). Head out with a guide and plenty of water and snacks; you’ll need the energy to ascend to 2,264 feet in the rain forest and descend 98 feet toward the Trois Pitons River. The Valley of Desolation screams “selfie spot!” but tread lightly — it’s a geothermal wonderland of sulfur streams, (literally) boiling mud, minigeysers and fumaroles. Then

there’s the lake, a cauldron of boiling water about 200 feet wide. Eerie and fascinating, this wonder is well worth the six hours of round-trip hiking. If you’re an outdoorsy soul, you'll leave with what the locals call “a banana on your face” (a smile) and the urge to discover more of Dominica — well, maybe after a massage.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: dominica.dm

DIANE BAIR

Tia’s sulfur soaking pools

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Silversea Cruises’ Silver Muse

Tour the hottest new cruise ships of 2017 BY GENE SLOAN

E

ager to try out a new crop of megaships in 2017? It’s going to be a thin year. But the lack of new vessels from the world’s two biggest cruise lines — Royal Caribbean and Carnival — plus Holland American and Celebrity is just a temporary lull: All four have new ships on the way for 2018. Of the six big North America-based brands, Princess and Norwegian Cruise Line do have new ships coming in 2017, and in both cases they’re devoting the vessels to the Chinese market. The most notable newcomer is the 167,600-ton MSC Meraviglia — the biggest ship ever from MSC Cruises. MSC Cruises also will roll out the 160,000-ton MSC Seaside, its first vessel custom-built for the Caribbean. With both of the new ships, the Europe-based line is hoping to draw more North American customers. Also debuting this year are two new vessels for the ocean cruising arm of river cruise giant Viking. Luxury line Silversea also has a new ship, the 596-passenger Silver Muse, and adventure line Lindblad is rolling out its first new vessel in years, the 100-passenger National Geographic Quest. We offer this guide to the most notable new ships for North Americans:

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Line: Silversea Cruises Maiden voyage: April 8 Home ports: Various Passengers: 596 THE BUZZ: This is the most luxurious new ship of 2017. Silversea’s first newly built vessel in seven years — the company’s largest vessel and its new flagship — is full of the biggest and most elegant accommodations at sea, including four apartmentlike, two-bedroom Owner’s Suites that measure 1,389 square feet. Other accommodations include four Grand Suites and two Royal Suites that measure 1,475 square feet and 1,130 square feet, respectively. The ship will also have 34 of the line’s signature Silver Suites across three top decks, including a new twobedroom Silver Suite configuration that measures 1,119 square feet. Muse also offers upscale eateries, including La Dame, a French restaurant created in partnership with Relais & Châteaux. Hot Rocks, a ship favorite where passengers cook their own meals on piping hot lava stones, is also among the dining options. ITINERARIES: A diverse range of seven- to 19-day sailings in Europe, the Caribbean, South America, the Middle East and Asia u888-978-4070; silversea.com

SILVERSEA CRUISES

We Like Big Boats

SILVER MUSE


MSC MERAVIGLIA

MSC CRUISES; GETTY IMAGES; GENE SLOAN/USA TODAY

Line: MSC Cruises Maiden voyage: June 11 Home ports: Marseille, France; Genoa, Italy; Barcelona Passengers: 4,500 THE BUZZ: At 167,600 tons, MSC Meraviglia is the biggest ship ever from Europe-based MSC Cruises and the seventh largest from any line. Nineteen decks high and full of eateries, bars and deck-top amusements, Meraviglia will have all the trappings of a megaresort, including an Aqua Park with three water slides, a splash pool and an adventurous Himalayan Bridge that allows passengers to cross the ship nearly 200 feet above the water. Meraviglia also will boast a Miami Beach-inspired, 82-foot-long main pool that will be part of what MSC says is the most generous poolside space at sea. Other notable features planned for Meraviglia are an amusement park area with race car simulators, a flight simulator, a 4-D cinema and a full-size bowling alley as well as the largest LED dome at sea. There also will be an aft pool that transforms into a dance area at night, a dedicated lounge for family activities and exclusive Cirque du Soleil shows. Twelve distinct dining venues are in the works. ITINERARIES: Seven-night voyages in the Western Mediterranean u844-243-9414; msccruises.com

MSC Meraviglia

Viking Sky’s Wintergarden lounge

VIKING SKY/VIKING SUN Line: Viking Ocean Cruises Maiden voyages: Feb. 25, Nov. 17 Home ports: Various Passengers: 930 THE BUZZ: River cruise giant Viking continues its push into ocean cruising with its third and fourth new ocean vessels since 2015. Like Viking’s first two ships, Viking Star and Viking Sea, the newcomers are being designed to mix onboard elegance with a focus on destinations that executives say has been lost across much of the cruise industry in recent years. The new vessels will operate itineraries that feature more time in ports than is common with many other lines. In a relatively rare twist, they’ll also feature shore excursions that are included in the price. Also included will be

beer and wine with lunch and dinner; and even Wi-Fi access — something that can cost up to 75 cents a minute on other lines. Cabins on the vessels will be large for cruise ships, with the smallest of five cabin categories having 270 square feet of space. In addition, every cabin will have a balcony. Fourteen two-room suites on each ship will range from 757 to 1,448 square feet and offer sweeping views from wrap-around private balconies. ITINERARIES: Viking Sky operates sailings of seven to 28 nights around the Baltic, Mediterranean and Caribbean seas. Viking Sun will sail seven-night voyages to Cuba and the Caribbean out of Miami, and will also feature a 141-day world cruise that spans five continents. u855-338-4546; vikingcruises.com

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Decktop sports area

National Geographic Quest room with balcony

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC QUEST Line: Lindblad Expeditions Maiden voyage: June 26 Home ports: Various Passengers: 100 THE BUZZ: One of the world’s top expedition cruise operators finally is getting a shiny new ship. One of two sister vessels coming by 2018, National Geographic Quest will be outfitted with all the cool toys that have made expedition cruising with Lindblad so alluring, including a remotely operated vehicle, a video microscope designed to display microorganisms from polar waters and a hydrophone and bow-cam designed for immediate bow deployment to hear and film marine mammals. The ship also will carry kayaks, paddle boards and Zodiac-style landing craft for outdoorsy adventures during voyages and for exploring. Quest will be a third larger than the line’s long-serving, 62-passenger National Geographic Sea Bird and Sea Lion. It’ll feature an extra deck

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and more sophisticated design, including its own mudroom with rows of lockers for passengers to store boots, snorkeling equipment and other gear, making excursion preparation more efficient. The ship’s 50 cabins will include 22 with balconies — a relative rarity on expedition-style ships. In another unusual-for-expeditionships twist, 12 cabins will be able to be configured into six adjoining cabins for families. ITINERARIES: Seven-night sailings in Alaska, and voyages along the coast of British Columbia and Central America u800-397-3348; expeditions.com

Adventure! No need to bring your kayak; Lindblad will provide one.

Line: MSC Cruises Maiden voyage: Nov. 30 Home port: Miami Passengers: 4,140 THE BUZZ: Europe-based MSC Cruises is going after the North American market in a big way with the debut of MSC Seaside, which will be christened in Miami and deployed year-round in the Caribbean. Designed with the warm Caribbean in mind, the 160,000-ton ship will feature innovative sea-level promenades with outdoor spaces, shops and restaurants. Additionally, there are two glass-floored catwalks that extend beyond the edge of the ship. Other planned outdoor features are an Aqua Park with four water slides, including an interactive “slideboarding tube” that incorporates video game elements, lights and music, and one inner tube slide. The ship’s top deck also will offer a ropes course called Adventure Trail and two of the longest zip lines at sea (394 feet). In all, Seaside will have 11 eateries, including a pan-Asian restaurant from celebrity chef Roy Yamaguchi, an upscale seafood outlet and a steakhouse. While the vessel’s 2,070 cabins will be able to hold 4,140 passengers at double occupancy, extra bed spots from pullout sofas and bunks will boost total capacity to 5,179 passengers. ITINERARIES: Seven-night voyages in the Caribbean and Bahamas u844-243-9414; msccruises.com

LINDBLAD EXPEDITIONS; GETTY IMAGES; MSC CRUISES

MSC SEASIDE


Authentic Cuban all inclusive seven night cruise experience visiting three Cuban ports including an overnight in Havana and a stop in Montego Bay.

2017

Intimate vessel carrying 960 guests featuring year round sailings June, 2017 to December, 2018. Reserve TODAY contact your Travel Consultant, for more information call Celestyal Cruises 1-855-364-4999 or visit cuba.celestyalcruises.com

LIMITED TIME OFFER! Book June 1-30, 2017 for sailings June to August, 2017 and receive the following at no extra cost!*

• Solo travellers – no supplement when booking interior or oceanview stateroom

• $50 USD onboard credit per person • 180 minutes of Complimentary onboard WIFI • 3rd & 4th FREE, ages 18 and younger

Solo Traveler’s offer is for interior or ocean view stateroom up to cabin category XD. The $50 USD/WIFI onboard credit is per person for 1st and 2nd full fare paying guests in stateroom and not eligible to 3rd or 4th adult or child in same stateroom. It cannot be used in the cruise ship casino and any unused portion of the onboard credit will be forfeited. Offer is for new individual bookings made from June 1st -30th for travel on the following cruise dates in 2017. Havana-Havana: June 5, 12, 19, 26, July 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, Aug 7, 14, 21, 28. Montego Bay-Montego Bay: June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21, 28, Aug 4, 11, 18, 25. Special offer is subject to availability, it cannot be combined with any other offers and has no cash value. Certain restrictions may apply, contact your travel agent for full details.


ONE FOR THE ROAD

Wow Moment BY ELIZABETH NEUS

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MATTHEW SORUM

E

very so often, you take that one photo that sums up your entire trip — and sometimes your friends actually want to see it. Matthew Sorum shot this picture of an owl with a steely stare at Yellowstone National Park, and, he says, “when I shared the photo with friends on social media, it had a tremendous amount of positive responses from everyone.” He entered it in the Department of the Interior’s Share the Experience 2016 photo contest (sharetheexperience.org) and won first place in the wildlife division. The contest for amateur photographers focuses on pictures captured at U.S. national parks and other public lands; the overall winner gets his or her photo featured on the annual National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. More than 16,500 people entered the 2016 competition. The department is taking entries for the 2017 contest now, hoping the photos continue to spread the message that Sorum gleaned from his experience. “I appreciate that these lands are carefully managed to allow all visitors to view them and their inhabitants as Mother Nature created them,” he says.


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