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January 20, 2011

Epicurian Skiers Rejoice: The Beaver Creek Master Chef Classic Is Upon Us


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Joey Campanaro displays his talents (Courtesy, Beaver Creek Master Chef Classic)

For those of you who envision a ski vacation as more than just ski-eat-ski-eat-sleep-repeat, you now have another reason to head into the mountains this January. From the 27th to the 29th, Colorado’s Beaver Creek Resort hosts the 13th-annual Beaver Creek Master Chef Classic, a three-day epicurean event that brings Bon Appetit magazine-selected celeb chefs like Marco Canora, Joey Campanaro, Francois Payard, and John Besh to the resort’s famed restaurants. Prices—which include two nights lodging, two lift tickets, and tickets to the Master Chef Challenge and the Grand Tasting—start at an insanely reasonable $522 per person. Other activities during the event include wine and cocktail seminars, cooking classes, tickets to the Master Chef Dinner, and more. And if you need something to placate all this gluttony, know that a portion of the proceeds goes to the Bright Future Foundation, a local organization that works to prevent domestic violence.

Oh, and for those hardcore skiers and riders out there, most events happen in the evening, so consider crowning a day of deep powder turns with heady epicurean indulgence. It might even change the way you think about taking on a mountain.

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Related Topics: Culinary Travel · Food and Drink · Last Minute Trips · Outdoor Adventures · Skiing & Snowboarding

January 14, 2011

Introducing Adam Barker, Featured Photographer


 Adambarkerblogphoto
courtesy Adam Barker Photography 

The first time I ever met Adam Barker, he was a fresh-faced ski-bum just graduated from the University of Utah and working what he thought was his dream gig in the marketing department of the Ski Utah. The job afforded him more days on skis than in the office every winter, bringing journalists out to experience the five-percent powder covering the Wasatch Mountains west of his hometown Salt Lake City. Which was pretty similar to where I was in life at the time, an assistant editor at Skiing Magazine recently off a post-college stint in Breckenridge, skiing as much as I was writing. I took Adam to be one of the legions of Ski People, as I dubbed them. Someone whose primary career goal was "spend as days on snow as possible." Little did I know that Adam would turn into one of the best outdoors photographers in the game today. 

See Adam Barker's Grand Teton National Park photo gallery here. 

Continue reading "Introducing Adam Barker, Featured Photographer" »

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Related Topics: Outdoor Adventures · Skiing & Snowboarding · Travel Photography

December 13, 2010

How to Score Drugs in Mexico


Lo-De-Marcos
The beach in Lo De Marcos, Mexico (Nathan Borchelt)

1.    Go somewhere somewhat off the Gringo Trail.  An hour south of Puerto Vallarta, like the Snowbird-centric town of Lo De Marcos should do.

2.    Meet up with 21 relatives, including six people in their late 50s and early 60s, two teens, six kids in ages ranging from 18 months to ten, and a bunch of middle-age family members.

3.    Go swimming with said kids to protect them from the imaginary tidal waves and not-as-imaginary undertows.

4.    Step on a stingray…on the stinger.

Continue reading "How to Score Drugs in Mexico" »

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Related Topics: Beach Vacation · Mexico Travel · Outdoor Adventures

October 14, 2010

Via Alpina Top Ten



By Guest Blogger
10/14/2010

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Meiringen, Switzerland(Brandon Wilson)
Near Meiringen, Switzerland (Brandon Wilson)

I make it a point to get away and hike somewhere nearly every year: across Tibet, Spain, Norway, England to Rome, and France to Israel. It's my passion. Last summer my wife Cheryl and I decided to trek the new Via Alpina, a series of trails running through eight countries tracing the backbone of the Alps. It was a supreme physical and mental challenge with more than a few ups and downs. For 111 days and 1,200 miles, we climbed and descended almost 700,000 feet (that's more than 12 Mt. Everests). But hey, who's counting?

For fellow travelers who enjoy journeys off the beaten track, I'd like to share my Via Alpina Top Ten List:

10. Schlafen in Stroh
In English that means, "sleeping in straw." Some industrious Swiss (is there any other kind?) have turned dairy barns into hostels, replacing the straw and allowing travelers to roll out sleeping bags for a uniquely traditional overnight stay. Milk not included. Lingering scents are.

9. Weather
Alpine weather's as fickle as love; you can have sun, rain, hail, and snow—all on the same summer day. We faced biblical proportions of rain. Yea, forty days, but by August the days were sweltering. The challenge is to go with the flow... while keeping your feet firmly planted on the path.

Continue reading "Via Alpina Top Ten" »

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Related Topics: European Travel · Outdoor Adventures

October 07, 2010

Lost: Black Jacket in Scotland’s Last Great Wilderness


Knoydart-remote-scotland-new

Being a New Englander, I’m not shocked by the occasional “you can’t get there from here” coming from a local. On a trip last weekend to Knoydart Peninsula on the western coast of the Scottish Highlands, I was shocked to find that in some places, it’s actually true.

Our trip, guided by Stevie Christie of Wilderness Scotland, an outfitter named to Outside Magazine’s top adventure trips of 2010, started on a gray morning in Glasgow where we quickly exited the city and drove past Loch Lomond to the base of Ben Nevis, the highest peak in the British Isles at 4,049 feet. We hiked through the driving rain on a side trail to Glen Nevis, once described as the most beautiful half-kilometer on Earth by mid-century Scottish writer W.H. Murray. I was happy for my durable, sturdy, impermeable-yet-breathable shell that’s one of my must-pack travel items, double that for a trip to Scotland. But no sooner had we gotten to the glen, the clouds broke and the sun came out revealing leprechaun-quality rainbows beaming across Steal Falls.

Continue reading "Lost: Black Jacket in Scotland’s Last Great Wilderness" »

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Related Topics: European Travel · New Zealand Travel · Outdoor Adventures · Places to Stay

September 17, 2010

Go Green With Our Guide to the World's Top 20 Eco-Lodges



By awayblog
09/17/2010

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Aurum-lodge-alberta
SITTING PRETTY: Aurum Lodge, on the shore of Lake Abraham in Alberta (Aurum Lodge)

We've just made the choice of traveling green simpler! Check out our new guide to the world's top 20 eco-lodges, where we cut through the greenwashing and highlight those places that practice what they preach: think lodges built from locally harvested materials, solar- and wind-powered electrical setups, and a focus on sustainable, community-driven tourism and development. Absolutely, we've got the life-list jungle lodge in Ecuador plus that drop-off-the-radar wilderness lodge in Alaska, but let's not forget the humble two-room Midwestern inn that's 100 percent off the grid or that community of yurts that melds with its rugged Big Sur environs. Rest assured that whatever dream destination to which you decide to travel, these 20 picks will let you sleep easy with a clear eco-conscience. No greenwashing required.

For more expert recommendations to over 300 of the best spots to bed down around the globe, check out Away.com's comprehensive guide to the world's Best Resorts & Lodges, from the top family resorts to best all-inclusives to dream safari lodges.

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Related Topics: Eco-Tourism · Outdoor Adventures · Places to Stay

August 16, 2010

Climb Kilimanjaro—For Free!


Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest peak in Africa, is widely considered the easiest climb of the seven summits—which isn't to say that the climb is a cake walk. But now you have a chance of at least getting to the base of the famed mountain—for free—thanks to a new sweepstakes brought to you from Polarmax and Backpacker Magazine.

The winner (and one guest) will receive round-trip airfare, ground transportation, four nights at a Tanzania hotel (meals included), and a six-day guided round-trip trek to the summit with author Macon Dunnagan. You also get a cache of technical base layers from Polarmax, featuring their new TransDRY wicking cotton fabric, a revolutionary move on the gear front that aims to bring all the tech-savvy features buttery soft cotton apparel.  (Editor's Note: We've tried the stuff—and this kind of cotton doesn't kill; it wicks and dries like the best of the synthetic varieties out there.)

Enter now through October 11, 2010, by visiting Polarmax.

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Related Topics: Africa Travel · All Inclusive Vacation · Free Stuff · From Around the Web · Outdoor Adventures

July 26, 2010

Great City Parks & Playgrounds for Kids


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Kids enjoying the fun at the Crown Fountain in Chicago's Millennium Park (ashleighb77/Flickr)

If there's one thing that parents learn quickly, it's the cardboard-box rule. As in, the packaging for a new toy can be as entertaining as the toy itself. I find that traveling with young kids follows a similar logic. You can do all the museums, monuments, churches, and castles in the world, but what kids really want is a place in which to run around like they do at home. So to aid in that quest, here are my recommendations for small-people spaces in big-city places—namely, adventuresome playgrounds that will stand in for that well-worn play area at your neighborhood school or park.

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Meeting the ducks on Boston Common (rawheadrex/Flickr)

Boston
The Obvious Outdoor Icon: One of America's cherished outdoor spaces, 50-acre Boston Common has been used for everything from cattle grazing to public hangings. Beyond its Freedom Trail history, the Common includes a wading and ice-skating area at Frog Pond and the ever-popular Tadpole Playground nearby.

The Insider Pick: More than just a patch of trees and grass, Southwest Corridor Park stretches almost five miles from Back Bay to Forest Hills, connecting the neighborhoods of South End, Back Bay, Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain. Within its 52-acre bounds you'll find a string of seven playgrounds geared toward different ages and abilities. As a Boston friend notes, "You can do a playground crawl instead of a pub crawl."

Continue reading "Great City Parks & Playgrounds for Kids" »

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Related Topics: Budget Travel · Family Vacation · Outdoor Adventures

July 09, 2010

Hit the Road With the Smithsonian's American Art Road Trip


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Click on the image to see the full collage; image credits below the jump.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum just put out a cool summer road-trip package on Flickr, in which it’s encouraging travelers to contribute vacation snaps that map to 22 iconic canvasses from the museum’s collection. Landmarks include Niagara Falls, as painted by George Inness in 1885, and San Francisco Bay, depicted in a 1934 oil by Ray Strong. Just goes to show, the classics are timeless for a reason. Enjoy our tribute to the program above, with images from the Away.com library of travel photography. Enjoy, and happy travels this summer!

Continue reading "Hit the Road With the Smithsonian's American Art Road Trip " »

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Related Topics: Outdoor Adventures · Road Trips · Travel Photography · Travel Websites

June 22, 2010

Get Outdoors for Less With Maine Huts & Trails


Fagstaff-lake-maine
Family canoeing adventure on Flagstaff Lake, Maine (Maine Huts & Trails)

Now's a great time to be outdoors in western Maine's Carrabassett Valley, with forested trails, freshwater lakes, and mountain vistas beckoning adventurous families. And while the Carrabassett area is well stocked with your standard range of family-friendly amenities and lodging, the best deal beckons for those willing to put in a few extra paces to access an excellent network of rustic huts operated by Maine Huts & Trails (MHT). Located in the quiet backwoods a few miles north of four-season Sugarloaf resort, MHT is currently offering a "Kids Stay Free" deal for stays through the end of its fall season in early November if you book by August 6 (children ages 3-12 are normally $35-$50 per night for weekend stays during the summer/fall season). What do you get? Well, quite apart from an unmatched wilderness experience on waterways like Flagstaff Lake and at natural stunners like Poplar Stream Falls, you get to bed down with the fam in rustic comfort at any one of MHT's three backcountry huts. Enjoy hearty breakfasts and dinners, plus bagged lunches (extra fee) for your day on the water or the trails. In fact, you might love it here so much that you'll be back in winter when the valley and the huts morph into a snow-clad mecca for cross-country skiing enthusiasts. Weekend rates for adults are $75-$93 for non-members, $65-$80 for MHT members.

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Related Topics: Family Vacation · Outdoor Adventures · Travel Deals
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