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April 2011

April 27, 2011

Top Ten Destination Wedding Locales



By awayblog
04/27/2011

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Wedding(geishaboy500)
(geishaboy500/Flickr)

Now is the time of year when your bills start to get edged out of the mailbox by wedding invites. If you're the one doing the lick and seal, we suggest you skip the hoopla and consider a destination wedding—just you, your betrothed, and the sand and surf. Don't let the logistics get the best of you. Here we straighten it all out and guide you through our top ten favorite destination wedding locations.

10. Palau
Logistics in planning a Palau shindig aren't as difficult as you may think. Continental Airlines flies to Palau out of Houston and Los Angeles, connecting in Honolulu and Guam. And your guests can book a stay at the five-star Palau Pacific Resort, where a wedding package will cost you a mere $2,500 and include nearly everything you need to get married in style, such as floral arrangements, champagne, the marriage certificate, and a wedding coordinator.

Palau Travel Guide

9. Coastal Maine
Comprising a fleet of a dozen turn-of-the-century sailing ships, Maine's Windjammer cruises offers the perfect alternative venue for the couple who wants something different by way of a destination wedding. Get married by a licensed captain atop the Atlantic Ocean while your closest friends and family cluster around you.

Maine Travel Guide

Continue reading "Top Ten Destination Wedding Locales" »


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Related Topics: Top 10 Lists

April 25, 2011

Spring Travel: Going Out to The Old Ballgame


Fenway-gbcvb 
Fenway Park at night (Great Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau)

This time of year, I forget everything about sports except what's happening on the diamond. LeBron and D-Wade tearing through the NBA Playoffs? Yawn. Bone-crunching games en route to hockey's Stanley Cup Playoffs? Meh. But the first of the 162-game baseball season... now there's something to see, even if you have to see it buried under the tarp in a cold, rainy East Coast city that has barely realized it's spring. 

For me, baseball is a travel event. The stadiums, the fans, the ballpark food, it's different everywhere you go. I've watched the sun set on the Rocky Mountains at Coors Field, clapped noise-maker sticks in Chavez Ravine at Dodger Stadium, and bravely donned a Red Sox cap to the new Yankee stadium. I've been to domes too, but prefer being outside in the elements, under the lights, in the nosebleed seats trying to start the wave with a bunch of strangers. Last weekend, I signed up for the MLB package so I could watch Red Sox games at home. Famed NESN announcer Jerry Remy was describing his first visit to Fenway, about how seeing the game in color instead of on a black-and-white TV nearly knocked him down. For all our broadband and HDTV, that feeling still hasn't changed for me.

 Away.com's Top Ten Baseball Stadiums. What's yours?


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Related Topics: Top 10 Lists

April 22, 2011

Canada Zip Lining: A Different Kind of Flying


Zip line
(Lisa Costantini)

Any time you can call something "the only one," you know it's special. Like the Taj Mahal in India or Buckingham Palace in London. Well, Canada is no different.

Located in the Horseshoe Resort in Ontario is North America's only zip flyer. Zip flying is different from zip lining in that it's the lazy man's option: All you have to do is sit your butt in the harnessed seat and hold on. How great is that? The rider plummets, in the safest way possible, from the top of the hill all the way to the bottom with only the help of gravity (and of course the pulley system above).

Horseshoe Valley's adrenaline-filled zip flyer opened in July of last year and is in operation year-round. It's an hours drive north of Toronto in a town called Barrie. With speeds reaching upwards of 25 mph, the line knifes a path 2,075 feet through the trees, down the valley, and finishes with a jolting stop next to a tubing hill (open only in the wintertime).

If you do go in the winter, not only is this a great place to learn how to ski/snowboard, but the zip flyer is an ideal place to get some pointers from the riders as you zoom by above them. Have a safe flight.

Lisa Costantini is a writer/editor currently traveling the world with her husband working on a project about sport and culture. More information can be found on their website at www.whysportmatters.com. Lisa will be blogging from the road for us as she and her husband travel through Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe over the next several months.


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Related Topics: Outdoor Adventures · Trip Ideas

April 15, 2011

National Park Week 2011—April16-24



By awayblog
04/15/2011

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Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming(Drew Rush,Nat Geo,Getty)
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming (Drew Rush)

Beginning this Saturday, people everywhere are invited to experience America’s nearly 400 national parks which will be fee FREE all week. Celebrating the theme “Healthy Parks, Healthy People,” national parks across the country are encouraging people to come visit, get outdoors, and embrace a healthy lifestyle, while also embracing the importance of keeping our parks protected and preserved. 

For more information on National Park Week, and a full listing of events, including details on park-specific Earth Day events (April 22), Junior Ranger Day activities (April 23), and ways to lend a hand in local parks on Volunteer Day (April 16), visit www.nationalparkweek.org

On top of that, now is the time to get the app you've been eyeing. All national park apps will be free during National Park Week—April 16-24.


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Related Topics: Travel Deals

April 14, 2011

The Best of Late-Season Skiing


Boarder glades (Paul Morrison)
(Paul Morrison\Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort)

If April skiing had a theme it would be “you can get anything you want,” including some of the best skiing and riding of the season. The crowds are absent, and lodging prices are rock bottom. High-end upgrades can be had for a song. Here are some resort considerations for awesome late-season skiing.

The greatest-snow-on-earth state’s real spring bloomer is Snowbird. They expect to be open until Memorial Day, but only Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays after May 1.

Away.com's Snowbird Resort Ski Guide

Oregon’s Mount Bachelor, the highest elevation resort in the Cascades and one of the top spring destinations in the country, is full on until May 29. They’re even selling a $149 spring pass good from now until then. Perhaps the best spring pass deal in ski country.

Away.com's Mount Bachelor Resort Ski Guide

California’s Mammoth Mountain, which is buried under a winter of never-ending snowfall, is reporting on its website that “Mammoth looks like it is going to be open until the 4th of July.” In Lake Tahoe, Heavenly is touting 2010-2011 as “the snowiest season on record” and just extended its season to May 4. Northstar-at-Tahoe closes April 24, Squaw Valley stops the lifts on May 8, and Alpine Meadows will run until May 15.

Away.com's Guide to California Ski Resorts

Continue reading "The Best of Late-Season Skiing" »


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Related Topics: Skiing & Snowboarding

April 07, 2011

Top Summer Beach Vacations: Family, Affordable, and Active



By Kate Chandler
04/07/2011

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Sayulita beach
Sayulita Beach, Mexico (apasciuto\Flickr) 

Beaches are a little bit like pizza. Even when they're "bad," they're still pretty good. And now that spring is officially here, it's time for some sun and sand...wherever you can get it. If you have the time and the funds, we suggest the following beach vacations.

Best Family Beach: Sayulita, Mexico 
This safe, laid-back beach town is full of hip North American and European families, with friendly locals, too. Here, you and the kids can get back to basics. Every evening both local and gringo kids congregate in the town square to eat ice cream and play games.

Away.com's Sayulita Beach Travel Guide
More Family-Friendly Beaches

Best Active Beach Vacation Spot: Kiawah Island, South Carolina
Known for its Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course that once hosted the Ryder Cup, Kiawah Island, a half-hour drive from Charleston, features a ten-mile stretch of Atlantic coastline and a flat interior shaded by live oaks and magnolia trees draped in Spanish moss. Beyond the five golf courses, other activities include deep-sea fishing, kayaking through the marsh in search of mink and osprey, and biking the trails to spot gators. Stay at the swanky Kiawah Island Resort and you can add tennis to the list of activities.

Away.com's Kiawah Island Beach Travel Guide
More Active Beach Vacations

Continue reading "Top Summer Beach Vacations: Family, Affordable, and Active" »


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Related Topics: Beach Vacation

April 05, 2011

Top Five Attractions Along the Royal Wedding Procession Route


Crown of westminster abbey(adKinn,flickr)
The ornate crown of the Westminster Abbey, London, England (adKinn\Flickr)

If you have been watching the news, and even if it is not celebrity news, you know that there is a really big wedding coming up. It is most certainly the wedding of the year, if not the wedding of the decade. There are doom-day countdowns, guest-list speculation, bets on the dress designer, and newly minted commemorative coins. Of course, I am talking about the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton that is to take place April 29, 2011.

Planning a visit to London in hopes of spotting Miss Middleton? Many residents and property owners are renting out their windows, decks, roofs, porches, and balconies to people willing to pay the price for a prime viewing spot. But a glimpse at the happy couple will not come cheap. We suggest skipping the Abbey and moving on down the road a bit, throwing some elbows along the route of the royal procession where the motorcade will pass post-ceremony. After the crowds clear, here are the top five attractions the Royal Procession will pass.

Buckingham Palace
The procession will begin and ultimately end at Buckingham Palace, which has been the home of Britain's royal family since 1837. It is one of the last working royal palaces in the world. Containing 775 rooms and covering 828,818 square feet (including the central quadrangle), the palace is open to visitors only a few weeks each year.
Buckingham Palace Travel Guide

Clarence House
The Clarence House is the official residence of the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Harry, and currently Prince William. From 1953 to 2002 it was also the home of Queen Elizabeth. The Clarence House is open to the public between August and October each year.

Continue reading "Top Five Attractions Along the Royal Wedding Procession Route" »


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Related Topics: European Travel · Holidays, Events, & Festivals

April 04, 2011

Spring Back to Vail Contest Winner is Announced!



By awayblog
04/04/2011

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Winter park
(Winter Park Resort)

The Away.com Spring Back to Vail contest winner has accepted her prize. Away.com users were eligible to win by writing a review of their favorite ski/snowboard resort in Away.com's Ski & Snowboard Resort Guide. Our winner, Laura Parrington, wrote the best resort review and will attend Colorado's premier end-of-season event, Spring Back To Vail, April 15 through 24th. In addition, she will receive two round-trip flights to Vail (provided by Away.com and Orbitz), two nights at RockResort's The Lodge at Vail, and two days of lift tickets provided by Vail Resorts. She'll also have the opportunity to write a review of her trip of a lifetime, so be sure to check back to read about her adventures at one of the biggest parties in the Rockies. Here is Laura's winning review:

Winter Park has everything you want in a ski resort. It's a favorite of Coloradans as well as out-of-towners and has a good vibe that caters to both types of people. It doesn't feel touristy, but if it's your first time to the area people are very welcoming and it's easy to get around. Prices are decent—though it was a steal ten years ago! It will only take you about 1.5 hours to get there from most areas on the front range (Denver). The slopes are always great, and there are plenty of trails to choose from for every level of skier or snowboarder. Great warming houses too. There is one on the mountain where you can opt to serve yourself or eat in their sit-down restaurant, ski boots and all, which is surprisingly well-priced. The base has a great little coffee shop as well. You can stay at the resort base, or venture into the town of Winter Park just down the road, where you will find a good variety of restaurants, bars, and B&Bs. It's definitely for those that want to experience a real home-grown Colorado ski town. BOTTOM LINE: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend.


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Related Topics: Free Stuff · Skiing & Snowboarding
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