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September 2008

September 25, 2008

Top 10 List Mania!

By awayblog

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RED SOX VALHALLA: Ballgame at Fenway Park, Boston (courtesy, Greater Boston CVB) has recently published the following top-ten features. Hopefully these will inspire you to get out there and explore (after all, don't we all deserve some light-hearted relief from the current tsunami of financial bad news?):

Top 10 Baseball Stadium Trips
As the season winds down, be a part of America's favorite summer pastime and catch a game at one of the country's ten best baseball stadiums, or just check out the sights in these great American cities.

Top 10 City Day Trips and the road-trip gurus at MAD MAPS team up to bring you the beta on the best scenic drives around the country for the fall season. Find detailed maps, top roadside attractions, and point-by-point driving directions for day trips from cities including NYC, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Phoenix, and Los Angeles.

Top 10 U.S. Roadside Attractions
Make getting there part of the fun by dropping in (or re-routing to) one of these ten fantastic, weird, wonderful, and surprising roadside attractions.

For more ideas about where and when to go, whatever the season, dig into's comprehensive monthly travel guides.

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Seek out the Secrets of the Algarve

SAFE HARBOR: The beach at Praia do Carvoeiro (Photodisc)

Most people associate the Portuguese Algarve with Spain's Costa del Sol, an area with far too many high-rise hotels and far too many tour groups. This is certainly true in the popular British resort town of Albufeira. Yet, there's a simpler side to the Algarve, where small fishing communities like Carvoeiro and Vilamoura hide coveted crescent beaches ideally suited for families who want to leave behind the hectic pace of modernity. There are nine beaches in this small town, all backed by cliffs, and most of them are exquisite. Just ask my parents. After following my advice and heading to this quiet town, they didn't leave for a month. Families will like the spacious suites at the Alba Resort & Spa. All rooms come with a buffet breakfast every morning.

Visit's guide to family vacations in Portugal for more sun-splashed ideas around this beguiling European country.

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Related Topics: Beach Vacation · Family Vacation

September 23, 2008

Apple Extravaganza

(courtesy, New Hampshire Tourism)

When I was little, my sister and I ate apples from every tree we could reach or climb near our home in the Pocono Mountains. When my kids were little, we visited orchards in New York and New England every fall—we even camped at one a month before my daughter Molly was born (and I didn't yet have a self-inflating camping pad).

October is National Apple Month—time to celebrate fall's super fruit. To start, apples are cool. They float. That's because they're 25 percent air. It takes just 85 minutes to digest an entire apple. They're good for your lungs and bones and they have antioxidants. Here are more apple facts:

Continue reading "Apple Extravaganza" »

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Season's Greetings: The Best of Fall

By awayblog

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BLAZE OF GLORY: Aerial view of New Hampshire forest (courtesy, New Hampshire Tourism)

Just as we were lamenting the end of summer, along comes a blast of balmy autumn weather and a comforting reminder that the splendors of fall are on our doorstep once again. Mother Nature, ya gotta love her. Step outside and enjoy everything the season has to offer, especially the reds and yellows and browns of foliage-splashed landscapes across the land. To help get you going, here's a sampling of some of's best autumnal offerings:

Fall Foliage Guide
State-by-state leaf-peeping guides, peak foliage estimates, activity recommendations, and seasonal photo galleries and screensavers.

Top 10 Ten Rail-Trails for Fall Foliage
The best rail-trails from coast to coast, brought to you in partnership with the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy.

Top 10 Autumn Escapes: Fall's Best Forests
National forests. Where else to experience the best of the season?'s Scenic Driving Guide
Discover the country's best stretches of roadway for fall driving—heck, don't stop there, this guide offers the globe's best places to drive, whatever the season.

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September 18, 2008

Anne's Fertile Isle

GREEN LAND: Prince Edward Island, Canada (Kaz Chiba/Photodisc)

Prince Edward Island will always be synonymous with that 11-year-old girl, Lucy Maud Montgomery, and her famous book, Anne of Green Gables. And since Anne turns 100 this year, the Green Gables site and Lucy Maud Montgomery's home will surely continue to be the top two sites for visitors to see as they make their pilgrimage to this banana-shaped island in northeastern Canada. However, there's a smaller group of visitors, like my family, who return to PEI as often as possible to bask in the bucolic countryside. Head to Kings County, the northeasternmost corridor of the island, to sea kayak under red cliffs, bike on the Confederation Trail through velvety green potato farms, and hike in dense forests. Stay at the Inn at Bay Fortune, the former home of actress Colleen Dewhurst and her husband George C. Scott.

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Related Topics: Family Vacation · Outdoor Adventures

September 16, 2008

Denver: 10 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Family

ART ATTACK: The Denver Art Museum's new Hamilton Building (courtesy, Denver Art Museum)

The best thing about the Democratic National Convention being in Denver this year was the chance to show off the city to visitors. And I'll tell you the same thing I told delegates and others who wondered about bringing their kids back: Denver is a blast for families of all ages. Here are ten cool things to prove it.

1. Sun and lots of it: We have more than 300 days of sun annually. Even in January we have "T-shirt days" where it's sunny and warm enough to play outside without a coat.

2. Children's Museum of Denver: Eleven interactive spaces and exhibits just for ages newborn to eight—perfect for young families.

Continue reading "Denver: 10 Reasons Why You Should Take Your Family" »

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Related Topics: Family Vacation · Top 10 Lists

September 11, 2008

West Virginia's Gauley River Opens for Business

PILLOW OF TEARS: Pillow Rock rapid on the Gauley River, West Virginia (Bob Byrd)

One of the East Coast's most eagerly awaited annual deluges has arrived, with the opening of the floodgates of West Virginia's Summersville Dam and the start of the Gauley River whitewater-rafting season. The "Beast of the East", this river is widely considered to be one of North America's finest river runs. Those interested in hitting the rapids over the next six weekends should check out the following links on Be quick, though; the hard-charging action wraps up on Sunday, October 19, also the weekend of the New River Gorge's fun Bridge Day Festival.

Related Resources on
Gauley River National Recreation Area Adventure Guide
Gauley River National Recreation Area Rafting Guide
GORPtravel's Gauley River Rafting Guide
Putting the Wild in Whitewater

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September 04, 2008

Top 10 Places to Take the Kids Fishing

By Guest Blogger

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HAPPY DAYS: Family fishing outing (Sam Roberts/Digital Vision)

With Grandparents Day coming this Sunday, September 7,'s "Are We There Yet?" blog hit up BP Pro Angler Guido Hibdon for his family-friendly recommendations for Americans planning a fishing excursion with their grandchildren (or vice versa) this year.  There's no better way to get close to nature, not to mention getting precious time to connect with each other. Take it from Hibdon, a Gravois Hills, Missouri, resident and 30-year veteran of the sport, who says he now enjoys fishing even more because of the time it allows him to spend with his family, especially his son Dion, who travels with him during the tournament season.


Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri
Conveniently located in the heart of Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks is referred to as the "Midwest's premier lake-resort destination" and it's an ideal setting for fun and fishing. Kids can catch bass and catfish almost year-round.  And there is loads to do when you're not on the water, with the Ozarks boasting plentiful family-friendly lodging, lakefront dining, and attractions like miniature golf and horseback riding.

Continue reading "Top 10 Places to Take the Kids Fishing" »

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September 01, 2008

Meet Our Travel Experts

By awayblog

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Nathan Borchelt | Kate Chandler | Guest Blogger | Lacy Morris | Jennifer Maltba Seabolt | Alistair Wearmouth

NathanborcheltNathan Borchelt
Nathan Borchelt has been working as a travel writer and photographer for over ten years, pursuing his passion of both travel and outdoor activities like skiing, scuba diving, cycling, hiking, camping, and intriguing cultural pursuits. In addition to his work as an editor at, his stories and photos have appeared in The Washington Post, Outside magazine, Backpacker, and several online publications. In spring of 2008 he co-authored the guidebook Great Destinations: Washington, DC, Alexandria, and Arlington for Countryman Press.

Kate-chandler-expertsKate Chandler
Escaping her native Mississippi's summer heat, Kate spent ten summers in the relatively cool mountains of North Carolina. It was there, in the Blue Ridge Mountains, she cultivated her love of the outdoors, learning backpacking, rock climbing, and whitewater skills. In addition to backpacking, canoeing, and kayaking along much of the Appalachian mountain chain, Kate spent two summers exploring several ranges in Alaska and Canada on foot and on water. She also has extensive backpacking and rafting experience in the Rocky Mountains. She is also a PADI-certified diver and a decent skier (for a gal from Mississippi). Kate earned her master's degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, and worked for Backpacker magazine before joining as an editor in 2006.

Guestblogger Guest Blogger
We love to hear from wanderlusting folk from around the world who have a story to tell. If you want to contribute, drop us a line at via the "Email Us" graphic above with your ideas and a little about who you are and what you do. Previous guest bloggers have included the founder of Chickable?, Debbie Dubrow of, and Sheila Scarborough of

Lacy-morris Lacy Morris
Perhaps the vast emptiness of the wheat fields in Kansas, where Lacy grew up, cultivated her deep longing to see the world and experience how others live their life. Lacy followed up her childhood by somehow staying put long enough to craft a degree in journalism, focusing on both travel and photography. Her curiosity about the world has taken her everywhere from playing soccer with orphans in Romania, clinging onto the back of a motorbike taxi driver during an uncompromising Thai rainstorm, tracking the black rhino in Namibia, to surfing in Costa Rica. Lacy is an editor at

Jennifer_maltba_experts Jennifer Maltba
Growing up in the mountains of North Carolina, Jennifer Maltba Seabolt loved adventure—whether it was hiking the Blue Ridge Mountains with her dog Koko, flying through the trails of Tennessee on an ATV, or sailing the waters of the Neuse River at Camp Seafarer. She has been to more than 45 states, seeing most of America through the windshield of a 42-foot motorhome. Her latest adventures include running in the 200-mile Hood-to-Coast relay in Oregon and exploring every inch of her current hometown of D.C. Jennifer's goal in life is to grow old with some good stories to tell and to eat a lot of great food along the way. Jennifer works at as a marketing communications specialist.

Alistairwearmouth Alistair Wearmouth
With two young children now in tow, Alistair Wearmouth's travel perspective has shifted from digging out the best backpacker hostel in Kathmandu to coping strategies for toddlers on a transatlantic flight. An editor at for over five years, his world travels have taken him through Europe, India, Nepal, Japan, Southeast Asia, the Canadian Rockies, Australia, and beyond. He has written for publications including Backpacker, The Washington Post, and

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