Urbanvacations’s Weblog

November 19, 2020

Utah National Parks Road Trip JESS@FriendsTravel.com

There is no doubt that road trips and visits to National Parks across the U.S. are an emerging travel trend. With many pandemic-related travel restrictions still in place around the world, many people are left wondering, where can they travel. Set off on a road trip across four states and several National Parks, covering 3,300 miles. With breathtaking scenery and so many beautiful luxury properties near the National Parks, Utah emerged as the highlight of the trip.

Kick off the Utah portion of our road trip at the beautiful Park City. Receive a warm welcome in the luxurious lobby, where the smell of a fire burning in the fireplace and the dark wood accents, perfectly matched the mountain views we could see just beyond the lobby. At the base of Canyon Mountain, this location is a great year-round option with activities ranging from skiing, hiking and biking to horseback riding, golfing and more. Located only four miles from downtown Park City, it is close to restaurants, shops, museums and art galleries. The property has a heated pool, hot tub, spa, fitness center and restaurant, making it the perfect home base for adventures or relaxation.


Utah Natural Bridge in Bryce Canyon National Park.
From Park City, leave the mountains on a four-hour road trip south to Bryce Canyon National Park. This drive could easily be broken up with visits to several natural hot springs, including Homestead Crater, Meadow and Mystic Hot Springs. With only two days in Bryce, we drove the 38-mile scenic loop through the park, to get the lay of the land, making stops at the 13 overlooks to admire the views. Each provided a different vantage point of the colorful canyon, lined with skinny spires of rocks and sandstone towers known as hoodoos. Up early for sunrise at Inspiration Point and a hike into the canyon on the Navajo and Queens Garden Loop trail made for a perfect final day in Bryce.


From Bryce, drive the All-American Scenic Byway 12 East, for a night stopover in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. Hike the Long Slot Canyon, which we enjoyed to ourselves. A morning hike to Lower Calf Creek Falls rewarded us with a 126-foot cascading waterfall in the desert. It was a perfect start to our day on the road to Capitol Reef National Park just an hour northeast.

Utah Lower Calf Creek Falls in Escalante
Capitol Reef is often overlooked and one of Utah’s best-kept secrets. A 100-mile wrinkle in the earth’s crust, it is full of colorful exposed rocks, petroglyphs, arches and hiking trails. With limited time, drive the scenic loop through the heart of the park, stopping at the 11 viewpoints to enjoy the views. A stop in Fruita at the Gifford Homestead for homemade pies and cinnamon rolls was a must.
From Capitol Reef, continue your drive two hours northeast to Moab, checking in at the stunning 240-acre Sorrel River Ranch, where luxury meets adventure. The ranch sits on the banks of the Colorado River, surrounded by stunning views of red rocks and majestic mesas. After a day of exploring, Sorrel offers a peaceful and tranquil place to unwind and soak in the beauty that surrounds the incredible Moab area. The gorgeous ranch-style cabins were spacious with kitchenettes, a living area and a beautiful front porch to take in the view from your porch swing.

Utah, hike among the hoodoos on the Navajo Queens Garden Loop Trail in Bryce Canyon
The ranch offers five-star amenities, such as a riverfront spa, pool, fitness center, fire pits, a farm-to-table restaurant, adventure center and hiking trails. We loved that the ranch had 25 horses living on property that were available for guided trail rides, making it easy and accessible for guests to enjoy. A horseback ride through the stunning mesas and red rocks that surround the property was one of our most memorable experiences in Utah.


Sorrel was the perfect home base to explore Arches and Canyonlands, two of the most iconic National Parks in Utah. Arches is busy year-round, but with 2,000 sandstone arches, it is an essential visit while in Moab. We drove the 43-mile scenic loop, stopping to hike and explore the highlights such as Windows, Park Ave, Skyline Arch, Balanced Rock, Upper Delicate Arch and the Double Arch.



Southern Utah’s National Parks are some of the most iconic in the country. Shown here is the Canyonlands National Park.


Although close to Arches, Canyonlands National Park’s scenery is vastly different. The “Island in the Sky” district is the most accessible to explore. Sitting on top of a 1,500-foot mesa, visitors can see over 100 miles in any given direction. Weather in Canyonlands can be unpredictable; we were welcomed with snow showers and a 30-degree temperature drop from Moab. With limited visibility, we drove the 32-mile scenic loop, stopping to explore the Grand View Point, Upheaval Dome, White Rim Overlook and the famous Mesa Arch. With a break in the weather, we walked the half-mile loop to the Mesa Arch. Sitting on the edge of a cliff, we were treated to views that took our breath away.


Southern Utah’s National Parks are some of the most iconic in the country. Whether you’re visiting to hike slot canyons, see the colorful hoodoos or dramatic red rocks, or experience the otherworldly qualities that make up Utah’s Mighty 5, it will be a trip you will not forget. The geography of Utah is so diverse that no two parks are alike, each has its own distinct landscape, making it one of the most unique states I have ever visited.

We offer fly/drive packages, Amtrak packages, and Motorcoach Tour packages. 

EMAIL #JessKalinowsky
JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365
VISIT: www.FriendsTravel.com

November 16, 2020

Road Trip! JESS@FriendsTravel.com

An aerial view of Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

Private vehicles. Rental vehicles. Recreational Vehicles. Motorcoach Tours. Rail Tours.
Bucket List Road Trip Covers 12 of America’s Best National Parks in One 5600-mile Route
One route to rule them all.


Travel might be complicated right now, but use our inspirational trip ideas to plan ahead for your next bucket list adventure.


In the early 1900s, national parks were largely playgrounds for the wealthy. Visitation often numbered in the tens of thousands, with itineraries fulfilled via rail tickets, stagecoach tours, and horseback rides.


When automobiles joined the scene, the average American — fresh from their own pandemic — had a chance to hit the open road, an opportunity to see the country like never before. But in this case, the “open road” was a muddy path or dusty trail, if it existed at all. And our national parks were still wild expanses barely fit for mules.


So, in 1920, 12 Americans — representing groups like the National Park-to-Park Highway Association — set out from Denver, Colorado, for a 5,600-mile road trip, lassoing 12 national parks into one massive loop. The goal! To draw publicity and tourism to the country’s public lands and to push for driveable roads that connect them.


The great American road trip was born.


From Denver, the first stop is Rocky Mountain National Park. Today’s visitors can take Trail Ridge Road across its alpine expanse; in 1920, the gang’s only option was Old Fall River Road, the park’s original auto route at nearly 12,000 feet. One hundred years later, it’s still an 11-mile stretch of dirt, open from July to September.

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The route then heads north up Interstate 25 through Cheyenne, Wyoming, bending eastward on Highway 14 through Cody and to Yellowstone National Park. To follow in the group’s footsteps, stay at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel, and give the nation’s first national park a solid four days.


Then, it’s off on the Yellowstone-Glacier Bee Line Highway through White Sulphur Springs, Great Falls, Browning, and to Glacier National Park in Montana. In 1920, the group could count 60 glaciers and zero real roads; today, there are 25 glaciers, and the Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of the country’s most scenic drives.


Heading west on Montana’s Highway 2, from Kalispell toward Libby and the Idaho border, national forests abound in every direction into Spokane, Washington. Highway 2 runs out in Seattle, where the route turns south for Mount Rainier National Park. Be sure to visit Paradise on the south slope of the mountain — and be grateful you’re not traveling via mule team. It’s a straight shot south through Olympia, Portland, and Eugene, ultimately reaching Crater Lake National Park in Oregon. Little has changed since 1920: The group stayed at the still-picturesque Crater Lake Lodge and completed the 33-mile Rim Drive, built just a year prior to their trip.

We will furnish you with a map, and an itinerary of all of your lodging accommodations along the way.

Your #TravelConcierge #JessKalinowsky
EMAIL: JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365
Will assist with routing, hotel arrangement along the way, entrance tickets to parks and events, all the details.
VISIT: www.FriendsTravel.com since 1985

Don’t want to drive, no problem, we have a selctions of motorcoach tours and/or rail tours. Remember: https://youtu.be/boertpylK0M

Snow on peaks and clearing clouds on scenic road in Zion National Park Utah

#UrbanVacations for your consideration JESS@FriendsTravel.com

Sedona autumn colors and moon.


#Sedona, #Arizona
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
November weather is cool and crisp with temperatures in the high 60’s and chilly evenings. Fall colors in the trees and clear starry nights are just two of November’s attractions. Located two hours north of Phoenix at an elevation of 4,500 feet, Sedona is known for stunning red rock formations and natural beauty in every direction, the ideal destination for spending time outdoors. Hiking among the hills and surrounding forest, fishing in Oak Creek, rock climbing, horseback riding, and rafting are just a few ways to appreciate the Sedona wilderness. Take a Jeep tour through canyons and rugged hills, perhaps to experience the magic of a vortex, reputed to be places of energy or power. Browse the cobblestone paths of Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village, modeled after a traditional Mexican village, featuring art galleries, specialty shops for sculptures, ceramics, paintings, weavings, clothing, and gifts. L’Auberge de Sedona is the place to relax with panoramic red rock views and al fresco dining at Cress on Oak Creek. Pamper yourself at Mii amo, a destination spa with 16 private casitas set among the red rocks of Boynton Canyon. Nearby Trail House at Enchantment Resort focuses on outdoor and adventure programming, bike rentals, accessories, and expert guidance on exploring local trails.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico – woman wearing traditional Mexican clothes sell souvenirs to the passersby in the town center.

#SanMiguel de #Allende, #México
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
Twice voted by Travel + Leisure readers as their favorite city in the world, San Miguel de Allende is a year-round destination. Spanish colonial architecture, art, cobblestone streets, festive markets, and delicious food are a few of the reasons for the city’s popularity. Set 6,000 feet above sea level in the Mexican state of Guanajuato, the city is located a few hours north of Mexico City. November’s visitors come for the celebration of Dia de los Muertos, from October 31-November 2, when residents honor the dead, creating altars where they leave gifts and food. Costumes, parades, and visits to cemeteries are also traditions, respecting both life and death. This year, many events have been curtailed due to COVID-19 and health concerns. In recognition of the holiday, Rosewood San Miguel de Allende has created a private experience for travelers to the city. The package includes five nights in a hacienda-style Rosewood Residence for up to four guests (starting at $2050 USD per night), a private two-hour guided tour of the local cemetery on November 1, and a personalized altar for their loved ones in the Residence in traditional Dia de los Muertos style. A puppet maker will come to the Residence to lead a workshop for the guests, in keeping with the tradition of whimsical life-sized puppets (mojigangas). A private dinner and tequila tasting (for adults) in the Residence and a traditional make-up session will be part of the celebration.

“Aerial view of fall foliage, Stowe, Vermont, USA”

#Stowe, #Vermont
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
Set at the foot of Mount Mansfield in north-central Vermont, Stowe offers year-round outdoor activities. In early November, visitors might catch the tail end of the autumn leaf-peeping season, and scenic drives are a popular way to take in the beauty of the colorful foliage. Explore the classic New England village of Stowe, hike along one of the many trails, bike along a paved road or mountain trail, or explore in a kayak or canoe. Get into the ski and snowboard season with a visit to the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum, and stop for a craft beer at the von Trapp Brewery & Bierhall at the Trapp Family Lodge, founded by the family of The Sound of Music fame. Skiers and snowboarders might want to wait to visit until later in the month when the ski season officially opens on November 20. With skiing for all levels, 12 lifts, a high-speed summit gondola, and more than a hundred trails, Stowe is a winter sports paradise. Lodging from bed and breakfasts to luxurious resorts includes The Lodge at Spruce Peak for luxurious slopeside accommodations. Topnotch Resort, set on a 120-acre wooded estate is convenient to five local ski resorts and offers free shuttle service to Stowe Resort. Guidelines are in place for the health and safety of visitors, and they include requirements for face coverings and physical distancing on gondolas and lifts.

A horse drawn carriage along the street in Williamsburg in the Fall.

#Williamsburg, #Virginia
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
If you can’t make it to a northern destination in time to see autumn’s colorful foliage, head south to Virginia, where nature is still putting on a show in November. With temperatures in the 50’s, there’s a chill in the air that makes it a pleasure to be outdoors. Hiking trails take visitors through wetlands, forests, and historic sites like an 18th century cemetery and archaeological excavations. Visit Colonial Williamsburg’s new exhibitions including “Early American Faces,” and see the works of early American folk artist Edward Hicks. Enjoy Haunted Williamsburg, with ghost stories, costumed storytellers, and candlelit walking tours, or learn about the area’s Black history with a dedicated walking tour through Williamsburg. Each year at Thanksgiving, the Jamestown Settlement features Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia, exploring how the English colonists and Powhatan Indians gathered, preserved, and prepared foods. Stay in luxury at the Williamsburg Inn, Newport House Bed and Breakfast, or for family fun, the recently renovated Great Wolf Lodge with story time, kids activities, and Paw Pledge for the health and safety of guests.

USA, California, Mammoth lakes, Convict Lake

#Mammoth Lakes, #California
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES/WESTEND61
Located in California’s Eastern Sierra about 35 minutes from the eastern entrance to Yosemite National Park, the town of Mammoth Lakes welcomes visitors throughout the year. In summer, camping, boating, hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, and horseback riding provide plenty to do. In fall, throughout October and into November, fall colors of red, gold, and orange paint the hills and trails, and there’s a definite chill in the air. Then comes ski season, set to begin this year in mid-November. Mammoth’s long snow sports season usually lasts well into June. A mix of trails for experts to beginners makes Mammoth Mountain ideal for all levels, and there’s also cross country, snowshoeing, and Nordic skiing. A scenic drive with stops for photos, a trip to Mono Lake with its unusual tufa formations, or a day trip through Yosemite are all ways to enjoy the Mammoth Lakes area. Explore Mammoth Village for shopping, dining, entertainment, and lodging. Stay at the pet-friendly Westin Monache Resort with studios, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom suites, or one of the area’s many hotels, guest houses, or campgrounds. Be sure to arrange lodging before heading to Mammoth, and be familiar with local health and safety guidelines.

Utah, Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce Canyon

#Bryce #Canyon #National #Park, #Utah
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
If you’re seeking plenty of social distance, spectacular scenery, unique geology, and clear starry skies, consider a visit to Bryce Canyon. November weather is a bit unpredictable — part of the fun — with the possibility of snow or brisk, dry, late autumn days. Located in southern Utah, about four hours from Salt Lake City and about the same distance from Las Vegas, a trip to Bryce Canyon will involve some time driving on scenic roads. As an International Dark Sky Park, Bryce Canyon is ideal for stargazing. Ranger programs include hikes, geology talks, plant and animal tours, and rim walks. Schedules vary during the year, and some have changed as a result of COVID-19, so check ahead. Visitors to Bryce Canyon are fascinated by the tall spires called hoodoos, formations of limestone rock carved by erosion and weather. A series of natural amphitheaters or bowls are filled with the hoodoos, creating a memorable sight, especially at the most famous Bryce Amphitheater. The park’s 18-mile main road travels from the entrance in the north to its highest elevation in the south, which is over 9,000 feet. Camping is available in summer, and the historic Bryce Canyon Lodge is located within the park, with cabins, suites, and lodge rooms as well as a variety of food options.

#Bourbon St, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA cityscape of bars and retaurants at twilight.

#NewOrleans, #Louisiana #FrenchQuarter
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
November is a great time in New Orleans for many reasons. The weather is dry and cool, with temperatures mostly in the high 60’s, ideal for strolling through Jackson Square or joining a walking tour of the French Quarter, Garden District, or even a cemetery. The traditional Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos, remembering the dead on November 1-2, is celebrated by many in New Orleans, and a cemetery visit would be most timely. Delicious food and New Orleans go together, whether you’re looking for coffee and a beignet, po’ boy, muffaletta, or a special dinner at recently reopened Commander’s Palace or other classic NOLA restaurant. Thanksgiving in New Orleans would be a memorable experience. The National World War II Museum tells fascinating stories of the events of the time, and there are other museums for every interest including art, history, nature, Mardi Gras, and more. Hotels, restaurants, attractions, and events are reopening with COVID-19 health guidelines in place. Stay at the 1908 Beaux Arts style Ritz-Carlton New Orleans in the French Quarter or the historic Pontchartrain Hotel in the Garden District. Be one of the first to stay at The Chloe, a 14-room boutique hotel set in a renovated 19th-century home in the heart of Uptown #NOLA.

Brilliant reds and oranges burst onto fall trees along the edge of a farm

#Lexington, #Kentucky
CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
Colorful fall foliage and cool weather attract visitors who want to drive, bike, or stroll among the autumn scenery in Bluegrass Country from October through early November. Lexington Cemetery, a nationally-recognized arboretum, includes more than 200 varieties of trees, ponds, and interesting monuments, perfect for exploring both history and nature. One of Kentucky’s most beautiful areas, the Kentucky River Palisades is especially picturesque in fall, perfect for a hike or kayak along the river for another perspective. Home to 150 horse farms, Horse Country offers exclusive tours for behind-the-scenes access to championship thoroughbred farms. One of the most prestigious horse farms available to tour is Claiborne Farm, a 3,000 acre, 109-year old farm that has been visited by Queen Elizabeth. Bourbon is also an attraction, with many of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail distilleries reopening for tours under strict health guidelines for safe visits and tastings.


#TravelConcierge #JessKalinowsky
JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365


VISIT: www.FriendsTravel.com

As close to you as your computer or cell phone: EMAIL anytime.

November 12, 2020

Least visited National Parks Have All the Beauty, and None of the Crowds JESS@FriendsTravel.com

#UrbanVacations The 15 Least visited National Parks Have All the Beauty, and

None of the Crowds

Sunset from summit of Guadalupe Peak, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas.

MARK WETTERS/GETTY IMAGES
Editor’s Note: Travel might be complicated right now, but use our inspirational trip ideas to plan ahead for your next bucket list adventure.

All of America’s national parks have their own treasures to offer visitors, but some are more popular than others.

Each year, the National Park Service tracks the total number of visits made to each of the parks, revealing the most and least visited. While the country’s least-visited parks can take a bit more planning to reach, they offer incredible experiences to all those who make the trek: Watch synchronous fireflies, hike among the world’s oldest trees, take in views of the Northern Lights, or enjoy wildflower blooms at these lesser known national treasures.

These 15 national parks had the fewest visitors in 2019, despite the fact that avid travelers that make it their mission to visit all the parks have touted them as the best in the country. If you’re looking for adventure and scenery without the crowds, here are the parks to travel to next.

An image of a back country campsite in Voyageurs National Park, Northern Minnesota, USA.


15. Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota

CREDIT: STEVEN SCHREMP/GETTY IMAGES
Voyageurs National Park, in Minnesota, is over 40 percent water, with a network of lakes and interconnected waterways that give visitors the feeling that they’re exploring their own private islands. Last year, the park had 232,974 recreational visits.
When the lakes freeze over in the winter, there are scenic cross-country skiing and snowmobile options, while spring and summer bring edible blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and hazelnuts. Namakan Lake offers incredible fall colors among the maple and aspen trees that line its shores.
The park’s dark skies allow for views of shooting stars, the Milky Way, and the occasional aurora borealis. Stay for the sunset here, and you’ll be treated to a stunning reflection of pink and purple hues against the water.

Sunset from summit of Guadalupe Peak, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas.


14. Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

CREDIT: MARK WETTERS/GETTY IMAGES
Guadalupe Mountains National Park combines mountain and canyon scenery with desert terrain and impressive dunes. The national park is home to more than 80 miles of hiking trails that weave through the desert, canyons, and even to the “Top of Texas” at the Guadalupe Peak Trail, where those who make the hike can see mesmerizing views from every angle.
Four of the state’s highest peaks are located within the park, which also offers spectacular foliage viewing in the fall. Hit the McKittrick Canyon Trail in the northern portion to see just how magnificent the park’s fall colors can be.

Figures along the trail of Balconies Cliffs head off to do some rock climbing at Pinnacles National Park in Central California.


13. Pinnacles National Park, California

CREDIT: VICKI JAURON, BABYLON AND BEYOND/GETTY IMAGES
Pinnacles National Park is an excellent spring destination to see blooming wildflowers, from poppies to buck brush to shooting stars. In 2019, the park had 177,224 visitors.
You can admire the wildflowers while hiking along the park’s many trails, like the High Peaks Trail, and be sure to keep an eye out for the peregrine falcons, golden eagles, and California condors that call the park home.
Pinnacles is also home to two systems of talus caves formed by huge boulders that sit in between ravines, inviting visitors to walk through caves below “rocks the size of houses.”

Male hiker embarks on a dayhike through the Congaree National Park just outside of Columbia, South Carolina. The Boardwalk Trail is the starting point for the vast majority of hikes within the park and offers sights of the bottomland forest.


12. Congaree National Park, South Carolina

CREDIT: BRIAN W. DOWNS/GETTY IMAGES
South Carolina’s Congaree National Park is home to both the country’s largest expanse of old-growth forest, and some of eastern America’s tallest trees. Some of the trees reach as high as 170 feet, and visitors can admire them on the more than 25 miles of hiking trails — or even by canoe or kayak.
The park is also one of the few places in the world where travelers can witness two magnificent natural displays. These include synchronous fireflies, which typically appear between mid-May and mid-June, and a fascinating view that occurs when the park experiences flooding. Thanks to elevated pathways that line the park, those who happen to visit when heavy rainfalls occur can see close to 90 percent of the park completely submerged underwater.

A beautiful beach scene with people swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing at Trunk Bay on St. John Island in the United States Virgin Islands.


11. Virgin Islands National Park, Virgin Islands

CREDIT: JOEL CARILLET/GETTY IMAGES
Close to half of Virgin Islands National Park is underwater, inviting visitors to don a snorkel to explore what awaits underneath the park’s surface. Mangrove shorelines and seagrass beds are teeming with marine life, and the park’s various hiking trails also often lead to secluded locations to swim and snorkel.
Two-thirds of the island of St. John resides within the park, where magnificent beacheslike Trunk Bay can be found, while the park’s calm waters make it ideal for boating enthusiasts.

The dark skies of Great Basin National Park


10. Great Basin National Park, Nevada

CREDIT: ELIZABETH M. RUGGIERO/GETTY IMAGES
Great Basin National Park offers visitors some of the country’s best stargazing.
Thanks to drastic elevation changes (from 5,000 to 13,000 feet) at the Great Basin, the park is immensely diverse in its flora and fauna. Here you’ll find everything from deserts and playas to mountains, fossils, springs, caves, and glaciers. The park is home to 73 different mammal species, more than 200 bird species, 11 species of conifer trees, and more than 800 plant species (like alpine wildflowers that cover its grounds in the spring).
In the fall, pine nuts adorn the park for picking, while mule deer make their seasonal migration through the park during the winter. Visitors will also find the oldest trees on earth and ancient caves at Great Basin.

Gift From the Sun


9. Katmai National Park and Preserve, Alaska

CREDIT: CHASE DEKKER WILD-LIFE IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES
Designated a national park and preserve in 1980, Katmai National Park and Preserve on Alaska’s northern peninsula is home to dramatic landscapes and a rich array of wildlife. The national park is almost exclusively accessed by plane or boat, and various operators offer air taxi flights and flightseeing tours.
Flightseeing tours are one of the “more dramatic” ways to see the national park and preserve, according to park representatives, as the aerial view reveals the vast size and diversity of the park and its combination of tundra, freshwater lakes, and volcanoes. Those flying over can also take in views of the bears and moose that live in the area.
There are more than 2,000 brown bears around Katmai, and bears are so beloved here that there is an annual Fat Bear Week to determine the fattest bear in the park.

Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park near Key West, Florida


8. Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida

CREDIT: WINAND DEERENBERG/GETTY IMAGES
Dry Tortugas National Park is 100 square miles of natural and historic gems located about 70 miles out from Key West, Florida.
Most of the national park, which includes seven small islands, is part of the Florida Keys reef system — the third largest in the world — and its remote location offers visitors a rich abundance of marine life and shipwrecks to explore.
Head to Garden Key to explore Fort Jefferson, one of the nation’s largest 19th-century forts, where you can camp and take in the night sky views the park is known for.

Ice cave hike, Root Glacier, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Alaska, USA


7. Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska
CREDIT: NOPPAWAT TOM CHAROENSINPHON/GETTY IMAGES


At 13.2 million acres, Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias National Park is the nation’s biggest — but it only saw 74,518 visits last year.
The park is roughly the same size as Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, and all of Switzerland combined. It’s home to the nation’s largest glacial system (close to 35 percent of the park is covered in glaciers), which is why National Park Service representatives say visitors following any braided river or stream to its source are sure to find a receding, advancing, or a tidewater glacier to admire.
The park has 16 of the country’s tallest mountains, and visitors can even see Mount Wrangell (one of the world’s largest active volcanoes) smoking on clear days.

National Park of American Samoa, Tutuila island, American Samoa, South Pacific


6. National Park of American Samoa, American Samoa

CREDIT: MICHAEL RUNKEL/GETTY IMAGES
The National Park of American Samoa is spread across three different islands, about 2,600 miles southwest of Hawaii.
This national park is one of the most remote, with secluded villages, coral sand beaches, and open vistas of land and sea in place of tourist facilities. Those who visit can bring their own snorkel gear to explore an underwater world home to over 950 species of fish and over 250 coral species.
Attractions include hiking trails along cliffs with ocean views, islands dotted with tropical rain forests, and preservations of the Samoan culture. The park even offers a homestay program for visitors looking to stay with local Samoan families and learn about the culture.

North Cascades National Park, Mt. Shuksan and Picture Lake in the fall, with carpet of brilliant red blueberry bushes


5. North Cascades National Park, Washington

CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
Three hours from Seattle, North Cascades National Park offers visitors the most views of glaciers in the U.S. outside of Alaska.
Though the North Cascades National Park Service Complex is one of the world’s snowiest places, it still provides visitors with a range of activities year-round — from river rafting trips to horseback riding, backpacking, climbing, and hundreds of hiking trails. The alpine landscape hosts short and scenic strolls for beginner hikers, and more lengthy trails that pass alongside glaciers for the more advanced.

Chippewa Harbor and reflection in Isle Royale National Park


4. Isle Royal National Park, Michigan

CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
Isle Royal National Park is located on an isolated island that sits in the middle of Lake Superior. The national park is only accessible by boat or seaplane, and transportation services are available from nearby locations.
Once at the park, travelers will find forests, rugged shorelines, backcountry trails, and some 400 satellite islands to explore by boat. Thanks to the cold waters of Lake Superior, the national park is also a prime location for scuba diving as sunken shipwrecks have remained intact.

3. Lake Clark National Park and Preserve, Alaska

CREDIT: CARL JOHNSON/GETTY IMAGES
Lake Clark National Park and Preserve may be the nation’s third least-visited national park, but avid travelers who have seen all of America’s national parks cite it as one of the best.
The park offers an iconic Alaskan experience, where visitors can get magnificent views of turquoise lakes, brown bears, soaring mountains, and glaciers. Take all of it in while kayaking, hiking, power boating, or biking along the lakes and rivers.

2. Kobuk Valley National Park, Alaska

CREDIT: HALEY JOHNSTON/GETTY IMAGES
Half a million caribou migrate through Kobuk Valley National Park, tracking across the sculpted dunes. The park is home to the Great Kobuk Sand Dunes, the largest active sand dunes in the Arctic, which formed over thousands of years as glaciers gradually ground the rocks beneath them. The Ice Age relics are also often dotted with the tracks of bears, wolves, foxes, and moose that roam the park.
The Kobuk River weaves through the park, offering visitors a unique vantage point to view the flora and fauna by boat.

1. Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska

CREDIT: DAVID SHAW/GETTY IMAGES
With no roads or trails and a landscape carved by glaciers, Alaska’s Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is for the traveler looking to truly get away from it all. With just 10,518 visitors in 2019, it was the least-visited national park of the year.
Park representatives refer to the area as “one of the last truly wild places on Earth.” The park’s natural habitats can indeed be harsh, and only experienced wilderness travelers are advised to visit. However, there are also companies that can organize day trips and overnight camp-outs to give visitors at every level the chance to enjoy aurora-lit skies and a natural setting unlike any other.


EMAIL #TravelConcierge #JessKalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365
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November 5, 2020

Ode To New York NY JESS@FriendsTravel.com

The city that never sleeps is in rebound mode and tourism officials are working to bring the millions of people who live in the Metro area back to their “home town” with deals and offers.

Images of a torn New York City, whose buzzing boulevards suddenly became silent and empty earlier this year are being replaced with those of a metropolis on the rebound. European-style sidewalk seating adorns restaurants from uptown to downtown, from Staten Island to the Bronx and from Brooklyn to Queens. Museums are reopening and resilient New Yorkers are making the most of their hometown, enjoying many newfound open spaces.

We are excited about how New York will recreate itself on its journey to recovery and, so, we spoke with Christopher Heywood, which handles tourism for all five boroughs to get the scoop on the comeback.

“People who are thinking about a trip to New York should feel confident that there’s been a lot of work done putting visitor safety first; whether you see that in the museums or transportation, or the whole outdoor dining focus,” A full menu of things to do across the entire city which should be prearranged by JESS@FriendsTravel.com

The New York City tourism industry is taking a hyper-local approach to get residents and those 20 million folks in the metro area to enjoy what’s in their own backyard through an “All in NYC” campaign. This is a great time to see New York without the crowds, but make no mistake, the goal is to get people back in the city to redevelop the vibrancy it’s known.

The “Neighborhood Getaways” program encourages New Yorkers to take advantage of deals and offers that are rarely available in the city that never sleeps. MasterCard is a corporate sponsor and is offering a $100 credit, depending on the amount spent.

The “New York Staycation” program has the messaging that “you may think you know New York, but you really don’t.”

Grand Central Station is a New York icon that draws tourists and locals in awe of its architecture.

“There’s so much to see and do, even for the most jaded New Yorker,” says Heywood. He says that even without Broadway, which will not reopen until next year, there are plenty of public arts available, the museums are open and as always, there are dozens of cultural offerings on a smaller scale to enjoy.

The bottom line, especially for those travelers who are so anxious to take a vacation during these challenging times? Know that the city has flattened the curve of COVID19 infections and continues to do this. And while it’s beaten back the pandemic, officials are still very cautious and remain hyper-vigilant about keeping the infection rate way down.

“I would say the biggest selling point for New York City right now is that we are the safest place to be in the country,”.

The Inside Scoop

We asked New Yorkers to paint a picture of what it’s like to be in the city right now.

“I’m a New Yorker and seeing my city get punched, then slowly recover and adapt during the crisis has been a testament to its resilience. When the doors are closed, we sing in the streets,”

“In addition to all the outdoor restaurant set ups, there’s a lot of music and creativity in the streets now, which I love. [On a recent] Sunday afternoon, while running errands in the East Village, I stopped in my tracks to hear a beautiful voice belting out ‘Somewhere’ from ‘West Side Story.’ I turned around to see a crowd had gathered at Astor Place — young and old, all walks of life. The New York Philharmonic was doing a pop-up concert. It was so moving, it literally brought tears to my eyes. The other night, I saw a random play in Fort Greene about 20-somethings dealing with life during COVID. Everyone sat on blankets six feet apart — including the actors. It’s an interesting time in history to see New York. I say, put on those walking shoes and start exploring,”

Laurie Palumbo, who is a local, says, “I love New York City and one of my favorite spots is The Bar at the Baccarat Hotel. I feel like I’m stepping back in time, the setting is so glamorous and decadent; watching the bartenders carefully mixing craft cocktails served in gorgeous Baccarat crystal glasses under gleaming chandeliers always puts a smile on my face! It’s on my post-COVID to-do list!”

“Living in New York City through COVID has been a wonderful experience to see young neighbors pitching in to check on older residents to say they can go shopping for needed supplies from the pharmacies or supermarkets,” says Kitt Garrett.

Winter in Central Park, New York.

Central Park never loses its romance, even as the colder months approach.

She says other efforts by locals include “pulling the community together to support the local mom-and-pop stores, joining the clean-up with our neighborhood committee, and appreciating the support from our building’s amazing staff to make sure we are all safe, and everything we need is provided. It’s the best of what it means to be a New Yorker, with people helping people.”

Lucille Ebbe Pucciarelli, lives in New Jersey and took a daytrip into the city recently. “Normally, I would be going to a museum or a play. When we got there we walked and walked…to the Flatiron District and we ate at Il Patio di Eataly, which was phenomenal. We walked through Madison Square Park and then up to Bryant Park, where we sat and enjoyed the view of my favorite park in New York. There were lots of people all about, enjoying the city. It was wonderful.”

New York eases its way into one’s soul and remains, year after year.

“I live in the Upper East Side,” says Ivan Igor Matta. “I moved to New York City 16 years ago after spending two weeks there as a tourist. I love the city for its vibe, because even if it is very expensive, the city keeps giving. You can be whoever you like and start fresh any day of your life.”

Limor Dector, recalls her first memory of New York City in 1971: “I was only six years old and we had just moved from Israel. We were immigrants, strangers in a new land and I remember going on the Staten Island ferry around Manhattan and seeing the Twin Towers being built, looming over the city skyline. I was speechless. I was astounded to see the world’s tallest buildings [at the time] in progress. That memory is etched in my heart and mind forever. The Twin Towers were the embodiment of the American dreams we came to pursue in the land of opportunity.”

Alison Kraft moved to New York from California in 1986. “I was a young girl looking to take on the universe in the hospitality world. I had never been there but wanted a change. The world opened up to me on those streets. It changed me forever,”.

Adventures in Dining

Amy Grigos, reports that, “Contrary to popular belief, New York is not dead. It’s beaten-up a bit, definitely, but it is doing everything it can to come back.”

She recently dined at three New York establishments to sample their outside dining venues. “First stop was Bellini at Mr. C Seaport. If you know anything about Cipriani’s, this is a great outdoor option. It’s slightly off-the-beaten path and you can still experience the same wonderful Bellini from Harry’s Bar in Venice. The hotel is doing a wonderful job as well, with social distancing and protocols. The view from some of the rooms of the Brooklyn Bridge can take the breath away of the most jaded New Yorker. The last time we dined there, we were informed they have heaters on order to extend the outdoor dining option into the colder weather. Bravo, Mr. C Seaport and Bellini!

“Next stop, Pastis on Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District. This place was an institution — you might remember from ‘Sex in the City’ — and when it closed, everyone was so deeply saddened. When Stephen Starr and Keith McNally reopened it in 2019, the celebrities were back in droves. To expand seating for outside dining, Gansevoort Street on this portion of the block is closed to traffic. It was a very cold night the evening we were there. People without reservations were being turned away, and to-go orders were flying out of the kitchen. They won’t bring you a cocktail until you order an appetizer at the very least. Some of the tables are under hanging heat lamps, but not all. We tried to return the other evening, last minute, but were unable to get a reservation, as they were fully committed. Tres bien, Pastis!

Looking north along 10th Avenue from the High Line elevated park, Chelsea, New York City, USA.

Gansevoort Street is noted for its in-demand dining and boutique shops. It’s busy even during these challenging times.

“Americans are still unable to go to Italy and enjoy the famous Tagliolini Al Limone at Hotel Santa Caterina and that’s something we have been craving since last summer when we were there. We decided one night to head to Morandi in the West Village to get our Italian fix. Morandi is known for their Fritto Misto di Pesce, which consists of salty, fried calamari; shrimp with the heads on and little whole fish, similar to sardines. This fried, salty combo is definitely a ploy to make your drink more and more wine than you would usually. We take no issue with more vino, especially on a cold Saturday night, eating outside without a heat lamp in sight. Morandi is always crowded, and you can usually dine pretty late, but during the pandemic they have stopped serving much earlier. We arrived just in time to grab a table outside, although they did have a few tables for inside seating (which were six feet apart). We ordered the Pici al Limone (hand-rolled spaghetti with lemon and parmesan) and a bottle of Barolo, closed our eyes and imagined we were on the Amalfi Coast. It was nice to be out and about, supporting New York City restaurants, but we can not wait to get back to Italy. Salute!

“So far on our nightly restaurant rounds in New York City, we are three for three. All three restaurants are doing the best they can under the circumstances, and we are happy to support them and pray things turn around, as New York is known for some of the greatest restaurants in the world.

“We are all in this together, so wear your mask, carry sanitizer, and support these great establishments, as we want to enjoy them and want them to be around for years to come.”

EMAIL: #JESS #Kalinowsky JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365
VISIT: www.FriendsTravel.com

NYC NY PACKAGES: inclusive of airfare, hotel, entertainment venues, restaurant suggestions, and whatever YOU want, we can get it for you. 

October 31, 2020

Utah Retreat Is the Most Luxurious Glamping Experience in the U.S JESS@FriendsTravel.com

Filed under: Glamping,USA,UTAH — urbanvacations @ 5:43 am

#Utah #Retreat Is the #Most #Luxurious #Glamping #Experience in the U.S
The Camp is redefining the entire luxury camping experience.
Swimming pool at tent in The Camp

When getting away from it all for a while sounds like a dream, then The Camp is here to serve you.

On July 1, 2020 The Camp opened its doors to a camping experience like no other. Nestled in the midst of 1,483 acres of #wilderness in the middle of the #UtahDesert, The Camp holds a maximum of 30 guests in 10 tented pavilions, meaning you will get to have all that space nearly to yourself. [Buyout is possible for your private group! #Friends or #Family]

The encampment itself sits on 136 #stunning #acres of land just a short 30-minute hike from its sister resort. Those staying at The Camp will not only get to #experience the #great #outdoors but will also have full access to the resort’s facilities.

So, what will you get with a stay at The Camp! How about views for days of the nearby flat-topped mesas, along with an individual tent designed by San Francisco based international design and development services firm, Luxury Frontiers, which comes with both an outdoor deck and private plunge pool. Each tent is covered by soft canvas made from recycled plastic bottles and house custom-designed leather furniture and more. Guests can choose from one or two-bedroom tented options that each come with a living area, dining area, bar, and fire pit.

The campsite also comes with a main pavilion for gathering as well as two #spa #suites, a full #restaurant, #sun #deck, #swimming #pool, and #jacuzzi.

At The Camp, come #experience #solitude, take a hike at the five nearby #national #parks including #Zion, #GrandCanyon, and #Bryce, or try your hand at #canyoneering or #horsebackriding. Guests at The Camp can even arrange #private #tours by #plane, #helicopter, or #hotairballoon to get a view of all of #MotherNature’s beautiful work from above. All this feels rather fitting when you learn the word is derived from the word for “open space” and “sky.”


Reservations: #Jess #Kalinowsky EMAIL JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365
VISIT: www.FriendsTravel.com

October 29, 2020

Coolest Museum in Each State JESS@FriendsTravel.com

Filed under: Museums,Urban Vacations,USA — urbanvacations @ 4:41 pm

Looking to find the pulse of a community! Need another activity for your itinerary! Want to #expand your #knowledge! Visit a museum! Good museums are able to #evoke #emotions and #shift #perspectives. They transport you to a different time and place, be it through interactive galleries or 3D movie theaters. #Gain a #deeper #understanding of a community’s #history and #culture, and have fun while learning something new. From art to space, historical and archeological sites, read on to discover the coolest museum in each state.


Alabama – U.S. Space and Rocket Center

One of the most impressive space museums in the country, the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville is also home to the famed Space Camp. Visitors to the center can learn all about the history of NASA before viewing the museum’s incredible collection of rockets. You can also get hands on and climb a rock wall that mimics the landscape of Mars.
Don’t miss: Rocket Park has a G-Force Accelerator, where visitors can experience a simulation of gravitational acceleration.


Alaska – Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center

Alaska’s largest museum, the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, is a remarkable space that tells the complete story of Alaska’s history and culture. With exhibits from the Smithsonian, an impressive collection of indigenous art and an interactive gallery on state history, one could easily spend a full day learning about Alaska’s unique cultural landscape.

Don’t miss: The Thomas Planetarium uses 3D technology to take viewers on a journey throughout the solar system.


Arizona – Musical Instrument Museum

Located in Phoenix, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) is the largest of its kind in the world, showcasing over 6,800 musical instruments and objects in its exhibit halls. Learn about the history of musical instruments, from the early Stone Age to modern era, and discover musical development in different cultures from around the world. The museum also displays instruments played by famous performers like Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.

Don’t miss: The Experience Gallery, where you can play all kinds of unique instruments with your own two hands.


Arkansas – Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Designed by world-famous architect Moshe Safdie, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is an impressive modern building surrounded by beautiful grounds, spring-fed pools and pavilions. Inside the building, the museum’s art collection is equally extraordinary. Its permanent collection is free to the public and has pieces from Norman Rockwell, Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keefe.

Don’t miss: Pay the $12 admission fee to see the rotating collections, which vary from art exhibitions about Superman to an upcoming crystal exhibit.


California – The Getty

California is a massive state, so picking just one museum is a daunting task. But L.A.’s J. Paul Getty Museum is renowned throughout the art world and will charm all visitors. From its spectacular gardens and outdoor sculptures to its art collection that features Monet, Cézanne and Van Gogh, the Getty is one museum that everyone needs to experience. Even better? Entrance to the Getty Center is free and the view from the second floor is breathtaking.

Don’t miss: Architecture and garden tours are offered Tuesdays through Sundays, free of charge.


Colorado – Denver Art Museum

One of the largest museums in the West, the Denver Art Museum is a stunning marvel to behold. And that’s just its exterior. Inside, visitors will find Western art, contemporary pieces and impressive traveling collections. From fashion exhibits to Spanish colonial art to interactive pieces, this museum is a true encyclopedia of artistic expression.

Don’t miss: Tour the Textile Art and Fashion collection for hand-dyed Native American blankets, hand-pieced quilts and early European fashion.


Connecticut – Mystic Seaport Museum

The Mystic Seaport Museum explores Mystic, Connecticut’s extensive history as a whaling village and is home to the last wooden whaleship to be built in the world. The museum also recreates a 19th-century village, with actors playing the parts of shipbuilders, tradesmen and craftspeople in coastal New England.
Don’t miss: To witness shipbuilding in real-life, the museum offers a bird’s eye view of a modern working shipyard, the Henry B. Dupont Preservation Shipyard.


Delaware – Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library

Pronounced “winter-tour,” the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library is the previous home of Henry Francis du Pont, an art collector and horticulturist born in 1889. The estate sits on 1,000 acres of land in the rolling hills of Delaware. Guests to the museum can tour both the grounds and the 175-room home, which houses permanent and rotating art collections.
Don’t miss: Yuletide at Winterthur is a special holiday event showcasing period and artistic Christmas displays, one of which is a Christmas tree constructed entirely of flowers.



Florida – The Dalí Museum

Fans of Salvador Dalí need not travel all the way to Spain for a glimpse of the surrealist painter’s work. The Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida contains an impressive collection of paintings, illustrations and sculptures created by the eccentric painter over the course of his life.
Don’t miss: Available until December 31, 2022, Dreams of Dalí in Virtual Reality allows visitors to explore a Dalí painting through the lens of VR.


Georgia – The World of Coca-Cola

Whether you call it soda or pop, you’ll definitely want to visit Atlanta’s World of Coca-Cola. This interactive museum contains a pop culture gallery, a 4D theatre and a vault holding Coke’s secret formula. Regardless of which exhibits you visit, the colorful and exciting space is a fun way to spend an afternoon.
Don’t miss: The tasting room allows you to taste over 100 samples of Coca-Cola from around the world. Just beware of the accompanying sugar rush.


Hawaii – ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center

Between the research at the University of Hawaii and the amazing observatory complex atop Mauna Kea, Hawaii is world-renowned for its astronomy facilities. And if you can’t make it to Mauna Kea’s 13,000-foot summit for stargazing, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center is the next best thing. From the history of Polynesian star navigation to astronomy’s current scientific developments, spending a day learning about the stars is the perfect break from your tropical vacation.

Don’t miss: Catch a show at the planetarium to learn more about the solar system. Film titles include Skies Above Hawaii, Awesome Light: Chasing Celestial Mysteries and We are Aliens!


Idaho – Museum of Clean

Don’t like getting your hands dirty? Then you’ll love the Museum of Clean. Located in Pocatello, Idaho, this museum traces the interesting history of cleaning products and tools, from brooms to vacuums and beyond. Whether you’re viewing the collection over 1,000 vacuums or learning about the history of the washing machine, you’re guaranteed some good clean fun.


Don’t miss: The museum’s collection of toilets, from the Victorian era to modern porcelain marvels.


Illinois – Museum of Science and Industry

Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry is a must-see. As the largest science museum in the U.S., MSI’s exhibits are vast and impressive. From a life-sized, interactive hamster wheel to a subterranean coal mine, the museum is sure to capture your attention. The only problem? With so many incredible exhibits, you may want to visit more than once.

Don’t miss: MSI’s claim to fame is a German submarine from WWII, available to tour, and well worth the visit.


Indiana – Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum in Auburn, Indiana is just the place for anyone who has an obsession with cars. The museum showcases 120 cars from all eras, from muscles cars to race cars and everything in between. The museum is located in the 1930s headquarters of the legendary Auburn Automobile Company, and you can visit the original offices and showrooms during your visit.


Don’t miss: Stroll the Gallery of Racers and Record-Setters for a look at the evolution of Indianapolis racing cars.



Iowa – Figge Art Museum

With impressive collections that span the globe, the Figge Art Museum is the crowning achievement of Iowa’s Quad Cities. In addition to collections that feature American, European and Mexican artists, the Haitian Collection displays an impressive amount of island art from the 1940s to the present.

Don’t miss: The Figge also hosts special events, including artist talks, paint-and-sips and yoga classes.


Kansas – Museum of World Treasures

With over 30,000 artifacts spaced out over three floors, the Museum of World Treasures in Wichita is weirdly fascinating. From shrunken heads to dinosaur bones, war paraphernalia and giant geodes, this museum’s collection is far from ordinary. You won’t find any trash here — just treasure and getting lost in the collection makes for an interesting afternoon.

Don’t miss: Visit the Sea Creatures of the Plains exhibit to see a fossilized Xiphactinus fish, a giant and terrifying prehistoric sea creature.


Kentucky – American Saddlebred Museum

The American Saddlebred Museum pays homage to Kentucky’s only native horse breed, the Saddlebred. Located in the rolling hills of Lexington, the museum has the most comprehensive collection of Saddlebred artifacts in the world. Permanent collections include interactive exhibitions, such as a virtual riding area, giant rocking horses and informational puzzles.


Don’t miss: Entrance to the museum also allows access to the Kentucky Horse Park, a horse farm, competition facility and equine theme park.


Louisiana – The National WWII Museum

The scope of this museum is simply breathtaking. Located in New Orleans, the National WWII Museum features a massive collection of artifacts and interactive exhibits from the turbulent conflict. Wander through nearly 250,000 artifacts and listen to more than 9,000 personal accounts. You’ll walk away with a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the war that changed the world.


Don’t miss: You can’t miss the B-17 Bomber suspended in air, but you can get even closer by walking the catwalks near the ceiling.


Maine – Maine Maritime Museum


The Maine Maritime Museum in Bath is the quintessential seaside museum. Visitors to the space can expect to learn about Maine’s lobster industry and how wooden sailing ships are built. Other permanent exhibits include a historic boat collection and a full-scale replica of the lantern in the famed Two Lights Lighthouse.


Don’t miss: From May to October, visitors to the museum can take a boat cruise on the Kennebec River to explore coastal Maine at its best.


Maryland – American Visionary Art Museum

Fans of contemporary art will love Baltimore’s American Visionary Art Museum. A museum dedicated entirely to self-taught artists, don’t expect to see traditional paintings and sculptures here. The unusual art pieces and installations are accompanied by the artist’s story, which adds a sense of depth and meaning to the work at hand.

Don’t miss: At 55 feet high, the Giant Whirligig by Vollis Simpson is an amazing wind-powered sculpture outside the museum’s walls.


Massachusetts – Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is aa beautiful oasis in the heart of Boston. The building, which is a stunning space in and of itself, was once home to the eccentric woman for which it is named, and displays the incredible art collection amassed throughout her lifetime. In addition to housing priceless collections of art, the museum is renowned for an intriguing, unsolved mystery. In 1990, several masterpieces were stolen from inside the museum, a theft which remains unsolved to this day.

Don’t miss: The Venetian courtyard of the home is a breathtaking work of art in itself, and a wonderful place to stop and smell the roses, or in this case, the palm trees.


Michigan – Detroit Institute of Arts

Did you know Detroit has one of the top-rated art museums in the country? The Detroit Institute of Arts contains over 100 galleries displaying more than 65,000 works of art from ancient to modern times. The massive building hosts an auditorium that seats over 1,000 people, and an art reference library.
Don’t miss: Want to get artsy yourself? Sign up for workshops and special Drawing in the Galleries classes to get hands on with your own creative masterpiece.


Minnesota – Walker Art Center

One of the most visited contemporary art museums in the country, the Walker Art Center is a leading exhibition of modern art. The Minneapolis museum is famed for its architectural design and collection of fascinating modern art exhibits. Arguably the best part of the museum, however, is outside the structure in the Minneapolis sculpture garden.

Don’t miss: The iconic “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture reflecting in the water of the sculpture garden.


Mississippi – Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art

Another impressive building designed by architect Frank Gehry, Biloxi’s Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art is a unique exhibition in Mississippi. Much of the museum is dedicated to the work of sculptor George E. Ohr, also known as the Mad Potter, whose pottery mirrors the same mind-bending shapes as the building itself. In addition to permanent and rotating collections inside the museum, the grounds also contain a local art gallery and a ceramic studio.

Don’t miss: The Pleasant Reed House is a tribute to the Civil Rights movement in Mississippi, exposing stories of segregation and discrimination in the Deep South.


Missouri – City Museum

This quirky attraction in downtown St. Louis defies definition. The City Museum is more like a playground of steel and recycled art and sculptures offering a completely hands-on experience. Housed in a former warehouse for the International Shoe Company, the museum was assembled from collected items like firetrucks and church pipe organs to create an architectural marvel for children and adults to love.

Don’t miss: Anything! From a 3-story treehouse to a 10-story slide, a reconstructed castle and a room of mosaics, you won’t want to miss a thing.


Montana – Museum of the Rockies

A Smithsonian affiliate, the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman is impressive, and not just by small-town standards. From its Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton, affectionately named “Big Mike,” to its exhibitions on the geysers, land formations and history of Yellowstone, this is the definitive museum of the Montana landscape.

Don’t miss: The Siebel Dinosaur Complex houses the most T. Rex fossils in the world and is the museum’s biggest draw.


Nebraska – The Durham Museum

Located inside Omaha’s historic Union Station, the Durham Museum combines science, industry and culture to showcase the regional history of Nebraska. From its restored train cars to its 1940s storefronts, the Durham gives visitors a glimpse into Nebraska’s storied past.

Don’t miss: Witnessing the stunning art-deco design of Union Station is worth the trip alone — don’t forget to grab a malt at the train station’s authentic soda fountain.


Nevada – The Mob Museum

Las Vegas’ Mob Museum offers a fascinating view into the world of organized crime. With four floors to explore, this unusual museum leaves no stone unturned. With exhibits on the mafia’s most famous faces to its deadliest massacres, from the workings of a crime lab to the lingering effects of the Prohibition Era, The Mob Museum paints an authentic picture of crime in the U.S.

Don’t miss: The basement floor has a speakeasy and a distillery for thirsty visitors. Learn how moonshine is made and try some for yourself.


New Hampshire – Strawbery Banke Museum

A 10-acre indoor/outdoor living history museum, Strawbery Banke is perfect for kids and adults alike. Located within Portsmouth city limits, the museum’s 37 historic buildings give visitors an accurate depiction of the neighborhood’s evolution from 1695 – 1954. Plus, the costumed role-players are a wealth of information and add a dose of personal charm to the experience.

Don’t miss: From the colonial kitchen garden to the 1940s Victory garden, the historic gardens demonstrate the progression of home-grown agriculture over hundreds of years.


New Jersey – Old Barracks Museum

Take a step back in time at the Old Barracks Museum outside of Trenton. A showcase of Revolutionary-era history, the museum is comprised of restored military barracks built in 1758, during the French and Indian War. Exhibits now focus on providing a glimpse of colonial life and information on the conflicts that shaped the creation of the historic structure.

Don’t miss: A performance by the Fifes and Drums of The Old Barracks, a group of musicians who perform late 18th-century music dressed in military garb.


New Mexico – Meow Wolf

Part museum, part art gallery and hallucination, Meow Wolf is a one-of-a-kind experience. Categorized as an “art collective,” Meow Wolf was created by a group of Santa Fe artists who wanted to carve their own place in the city’s competitive art scene. The end result is an immersive experience that takes visitors to fantastical realms through art installations, video and sound.

Don’t miss: The central part of the space is a reconstructed house filled with interactive elements that lead to other dimensions. Make sure to crawl through the fireplace, walk through the refrigerator and slide down the washing machine.


New York – The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Of all the first-rate museums in Manhattan, The Met is on the top of the list. If you have the opportunity to spend a couple of days wandering the labyrinth of art exhibits, you should. From masterpieces by European painters to contemporary works of art, the museum’s range of talent and breadth of work is astonishing.

Don’t miss: The Egyptian Art wing on the first floor contains sculptures, burial crypts and a mini-pyramid.


North Carolina – North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences

One of North Carolina’s top attractions, the Natural Sciences Museum in Raleigh definitely lives up to the hype. The largest of its kind in the Southeastern U.S., this museum is a center of research and exploration. Its seven floors of interactive exhibit spaces span two city blocks and feature everything from dinosaurs to meteorites and beyond.

Don’t miss: The Nature Research Center, which dives into North Carolina’s unique ecosystem and natural history.



North Dakota – Cowboy Hall of Fame

Combining the history of rodeos, ranching and Native American culture, the Cowboy Hall of Fame strives to educate visitors about these intersecting communities. By highlighting the stories of the people of North Dakota —from rodeo heroes to famous cowboys, Teddy Roosevelt to Native tribes — the Cowboy Hall of Fame paints a captivating picture of the Wild West.

Don’t miss: Take the time to watch the museum’s movie before entering the galleries — it provides context and brings more meaning to the museum’s displays and artifacts.


Ohio – Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

A must-see for any music lover, Cleveland’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame covers every aspect of the world’s most popular genre of music. From exhibits showcasing rock legends, including The Beatles, Elvis, David Bowie, and the Supremes, to its gallery of musicians inducted into their Hall of Fame, the hallways echo with the world’s most celebrated talent.

Don’t miss: The museum has artifacts and costumes galore, from John Lennon’s passport to a sparkly gold and black jacket worn by Michael Jackson.


Oklahoma – Chickasaw Cultural Center

The Chickasaw Cultural Center is an enormous state-of-the-art facility located on 109 acres in Sulphur, Oklahoma. From the flowing water running through the main building to the recurring spiral found throughout the campus, the museum effortlessly blends modern architecture with important Chickasaw symbols. The Spirit Forest portrays the tribe’s connection to the land and animals of the plains, while the Exhibit Gallery is a hands-on experience with tribal artifacts.

Don’t miss: The Stomp Dance gallery features holographic dancers around a burning fire — an important ritual that connects humans to the heartbeat of the earth. Live demonstrations of this dance also occur daily at the center.


Oregon – Portland Art Museum

Portland prides itself on its unique and artistic culture, so is it any wonder that its biggest museum is a must-see? With diverse rotating and permanent exhibits, the Portland Art Museum showcases just about everything, from Native American to contemporary art. Oh, and it just so happens to be the oldest art museum on the West Coast.

Don’t miss: You can’t go wrong with any of the museum’s traveling exhibits, so check out their website before you go to see what’s on display.


Pennsylvania – Philadelphia Museum of Art

The iconic steps climbed by Rocky also lead to Philadelphia’s premier museum — The Philadelphia Museum of Art. An expertly-curated space, the museum is home to European and American art and features the likes of Monet, Cézanne, Picasso and Wyeth. Plus, the outdoor sculpture garden is perfect to explore when the weather is just right.

Don’t miss: Only recently opened and available until 2021, New Chinese Galleries is an impressive collection showcasing the evolution of Chinese art over the course of a thousand years.


Rhode Island – RISD Museum of Art

The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) is ranked as one of the finest art schools in the country and its museum upholds this high standard. The museum’s galleries feature pieces from ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt, as well as period rooms from the 18th and 19th centuries. Its modern and contemporary art spans the 20th century with work from Marsden Hartley and sculptures from John McCracken and David Hammons.

Don’t miss: Entrance to the museum is completely free of charge on Sundays, so if you don’t mind the crowds, it’s the best day to go.


South Carolina – The Charleston Museum

The gem of Charleston’s Museum Mile, the Charleston Museum asserts itself as the “oldest museum in the United States.” Founded in 1773, it makes a good case for this title. The museum features hundreds of artifacts from Charleston’s colonial past, and examines the city’s role in the Revolutionary and Civil wars.

Don’t miss: The museum also owns two historic homes that you can tour. The Heyward-Washington House displays a collection of local antique furniture, and the Joseph Manigault House offers a look at the lives of a wealthy Charleston family.


South Dakota – Mammoth Site and Museum

The prehistoric treasure found within the Mammoth Site and Museum was discovered completely by accident. In 1974, while leveling grounds for a housing development, an equipment operator stumbled upon a 7-foot long tusk. Construction stopped, excavation began and the museum was born a year later. Thus far, paleontologists have uncovered 58 Columbian and 3 wooly mammoths from the site.

Don’t miss: Visitors to the mammoth site can watch real-life excavation in action — the museum estimates there are still 1,200 fragments and bones remaining in the sinkhole.


Tennessee – National Civil Rights Museum

Memphis featured prominently in the fight for Civil Rights, and its National Civil Rights Museum offer one of the most poignant reflections on this dark part of American history. Housed in the Lorraine Motel in downtown Memphis, where Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot, the museum contains exhibits on Jim Crow laws, resistance strikes and marches, and personal accounts.

Don’t miss: Tour a vintage bus and listen to the altercation between a public transit worker and Rosa Parks.


Texas – Bullock Texas State Museum

The Bullock Texas State Museum in Austin is dedicated to the story of Texas, from the early arrival of European settlers to its subsequent development into the “Lone Star State.” From a preserved shipwreck found off the Texas coast — a failed attempt at colonization by the French — to an interactive view of Texas from the sky, the exhibitions provide a compelling look into the past and present of this unique state.

Don’t miss: It may cost an extra $6, but the Bullock IMAX theatre brings Texas history to life.


Utah – Natural History Museum

Devoted to Utah’s natural landscape and paleontological discoveries, the Natural History Museum of Utah is packed with exhibits, activities and artifacts. With exhibitions on astronomy, the prehistoric people of Utah, the Great Salt Lake, local gems and minerals and the lost world of dinosaurs, this museum is sure to impress people of all ages and interests.

Don’t miss: In an exhibition called Utah Futures, the museum offers up an interactive game that explores the effects of climate change, while also promoting a sustainable future for Utah.


Vermont – Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home

The only child of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to live into adulthood, Robert Lincoln eventually settled in Manchester, Vermont. His grand estate, named Hildene, is a Georgia revival mansion sitting upon 412 acres. Visitors may wander through the beautiful home, formal gardens and observatory to see how the Lincoln family lived.

Don’t miss: The estate provides a 12-mile network of trails, available for walking in the warmer months and cross-country skiing in the winter.


Virginia – Jamestown Settlement

This living history museum is set in America’s first permanent English colony. The Jamestown Settlement is reenactment at its finest, featuring restored buildings, ships and traditions from the early days of America. From gallery exhibits to storytelling, and live displays of traditional life from historical interpreters, this museum proves that history can be a ton of fun.

Don’t miss: Visit three recreations of the ships that brought colonists to the New World. Visitors can tour the Susan Constant.


Washington – Museum of Pop Culture

Nicknamed MoPop, Seattle’s Museum of Pop Culture is home to all things mainstream — music, television, film and literature. From exhibitions dedicated to Pearl Jam and Nirvana to exploring the world of horror films and science fiction, you’re sure to find something that sparks your interest at MoPop.

Don’t miss: The Sound Lab is a hands-on experience, allowing visitors to experiment with turntables, drums and audio technology. Soundproof rooms are also available for jamming, singing and mixing sounds.


West Virginia – Huntington Museum of Art

Covering a campus of 50 acres, the Huntington Museum of Art is the largest of its kind in West Virginia, with an impressive permanent collection that spans 16,000 objects. But the museum doesn’t stop at art. With the only tropical plant conservatory in West Virginia, a coral reef aquarium and two outdoor sculpture courts, there’s so much more to see.

Don’t miss: Two miles of hiking trails allow you to wander through the surrounding landscape and breathe the fresh air.


Wisconsin – Taliesin

Taliesin is the home and 800-acre estate of acclaimed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Located in Spring Green, Wisconsin, Taliesin is a remarkable 37,000 square foot home and one of the crowning achievements of Wright’s life and career. It is also shrouded in tragedy. Much of the original building was burned to the ground by a deranged house worker, who also killed Wright’s mistress and her children. The resurrected Taliesin has been named a National Historic Landmark and serves as a true example of Wright’s genius and talent.

Don’t miss: To see all that Taliesin has to offer, book the Estate Tour ahead of time. The four-hour tour covers the home, gardens, theatre and grounds.


Wyoming – Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Boasting five museums for the price of one, Cody’s Buffalo Bill Center is sure to satisfy your thirst for the Old West. From learning about Western legends like Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley in the Buffalo Bill Museum to the extraordinary pieces of art in the Whitney Western Art Museum, the museum’s depth and attention to detail demonstrate the true essence of Yellowstone country.

Don’t miss: The Draper Museum Raptor Experience is a live educational program featuring birds of prey.


About the author: Jersey Griggs | Writer
Jersey is a writer and editor based in Portland, Maine. An outdoor enthusiast and travel junkie, Jersey is always planning her next big adventure.

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#ArtTours #USA #Canada #Europe #Africa #MiddleEast #Mexico #CentralAmerica #SouthCarolina #Caribbean #SouthPacific #Asia #Orient

October 25, 2020

#PerfectHotel #NOLA JESS@FriendsTravel.com

Filed under: Airfare + Hotel Packages,Foodie,Louisiana,Mardi Gras,NOLA,Urban Vacations — urbanvacations @ 7:32 pm

Situated in #NewOrleans’ #CentralBusinessDistrict is the historic hotel. Built in 1906, the hotel once served as home to the world’s first international trade center. The classic, timeless #Beaux-Arts-style building has enjoyed three distinct incarnations, serving each time as both a leading local institution and an international destination. In keeping with its preserved architecture, the building’s classically proportioned façade greets guests with monumental doors, white columns, elegant pediments and handcrafted gas lanterns.

Why You’ll Love It Here…

The Sleep: Each of the 117 rooms, suites and penthouses features spacious bathrooms, architectural artifacts, complimentary WiFi, Modern Fan Company’s Flute fan, iHome micro-stereos and Aveda bath amenities. Furnishings, linens and color palettes are hand selected by designer LM Pagano to create sexy, sophisticated, soothing spaces for your sleep. The #Penthouses offer terraces overlooking the #FrenchQuarter and #Mississippi River. Many of the rooms also feature views of the city.

The Taste: Set to a mesmerizing backdrop of flickering candlelight, named for the divine spirits in #Voodoo and serving imaginative spirits from small batch distilleries and vineyards, Loa is a destination bar that has quickly become a gathering place for creative local #artisans and entrepreneurs. “Spirit Handler”, Alan Walter, can be found behind the bar among a variety of fresh herbs, floral and other vegetation that lend to his apothecary-like operation. His nearly twenty propriety aromatic syrups contribute to his “Potations” and “Preparations” – inventive concoctions that are served in delicate #vintage #glassware, linking you to New Orleans’ colorful past with each sip.

The Snap: Banksy, a famous anonymous England-based street artist, created 11 pieces of vandalism art around the city. Even though many of the pieces have been vandalized or ruined, only a few pieces remain intact in New Orleans. One of the famous murals, The Looters, can be found in the hotel lobby. Make sure to get creative and do something fun with your picture.

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October 22, 2020

#Winter #Adventures #Ski JESS@FriendsTravel.com

GET INSPIRED

#ALASKA
Alaska, a Natural for Winter Adventure
Winter in Alaska defines legendary snow adventures in a natural environment. Get ready for deep powder, pristine runs, and…
ALASKA OPTIONS


#CALIFORNIA
Winter Adventures in #NorthernCalifornia
Northern California, specifically #LakeTahoe in the #SierraNevada’s, is one of the largest ski areas in the United States with 400″ of snow…
CALIFORNIA OPTIONS


#ARIZONA – #UTAH
Wintertime in the #American #Southwest
Whether you want to get into the snow and revel in winter, or escape the cold and bask in wellness, the southwest is an ideal vacation…
SOUTHWEST OPTIONS


INSPIRATIONAL ITINERARY
The #Rockies, a True Winter Paradise
What to do when the days grow short and winter begins in earnest? Consider #sleigh rides, #skiing, #snowmobiling, #snowboarding…
#ROCKY #MOUNTAINS OPTIONS


#OREGON – #WASHINGTON
A Winter of Wonder in the #PacificNorthwest
A winter vacation in the Pacific Northwest offers a world of extraordinary choices. Snow-covered and mythic, mountains rise up from…
PACIFIC NORTHWEST OPTIONS


#VERMONT – #MAINE – #MASSACHUSETTS
Winter Wonder in #NewEngland and the #Northeast
New England and the Northeast sparkle in the winter. Blanketed in snow, white church steeples stand out against a bottle-blue sky…
NEW ENGLAND OPTIONS


#KENTUCKY – #GEORGIA – #NORTHCAROLINA
Winter is Soft in #America’s #Southeast
Winter is the perfect time for a Southeast vacation. The temperatures are mild on the coast. They’re inland-perfect in #Louisville…
SOUTHEAST OPTIONS

Tell us: Who! When! Where! and we will curate and amazing trip for you.  

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Best Hotel Bars around the world. JESS@FriendsTravel.com

Filed under: Airfare + Hotel Packages,Best Bars Worldwide — urbanvacations @ 1:41 am

Hotel bars are the fast track to opulence.
When your wallet says no to spending hundreds of dollars on a bed for the night, the price of an Old-Fashioned will let you sail past the uniformed doorman, glide through a marble-clad lobby and sink into a leather armchair beside an open fire.

Budapest-based and New York-raised travel writer A. Akkam’s new book, “Behind the Bar: 50 Cocktail Recipes from the World’s Most Iconic Hotels,” celebrates hotel bars and their signature drinks.
While Covid-related restrictions mean that we can’t jet-set like we once did, but the hospitality industry is opening back up and is in need of our support.
Most major cities have at least one grande dame hotel keen to have you come back through its doors, so let this selection of edited excerpts from Akkam’s book inspire you to pay a socially distanced trip to a local hotel or to make plans for future travel adventures.


#Europe
#Connaught Bar, #London #England UK
What to drink: Mulata Daisy (rum, lime, creme de cacao liqueur, Galliano, fennel seeds)
World’s 50 Best Bars
The Connaught Bar, at the namesake hotel, has rum-based drink you must try.
Courtesy World’s 50 Best Bars
This Mayfair institution, at which Charles de Gaulle often lodged, telegraphs a hushed country estate; its carpeted staircase with glossy wood bannisters is a highlight. Scope out the massive art collection — peppered with pieces by greats such as Louise Bourgeois and Julian Opie.
From $600 per night
Rates provided by #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa
Check availability: JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365


Lobby Bar at Grand Hotel Europe, St Petersburg, Russia
What to drink: Million Red Roses (vodka, grapefruit juice, honey syrup, sparkling wine)
Grand Hotel Europe St Petersburg bar
Grand Hotel Europe: This five-star hotel offers 19th-century opulence.

Past the Ludwig Fontana-designed, neoclassical façade of Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, the barrage of marble and gilt carries one back to tsarist 1875, when the property opened as Grand Hotel d’Europe. Dostoevsky came around often, #Tchaikovsky honeymooned here and the enigmatic monk Rasputin, from behind drawn curtains, dined with politicians and paramours alike.
From $170 per night
Rates provided by #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa
Check availability: JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365


#KOLLÁZS, Four Seasons Hotel #Gresham #Palace #Budapest, #Hungary
What to drink: Smoky Forest (mezcal, blood orange, pine)
KOLLÁZS — Brasserie & Bar, Four Seasons Budapest
KOLLÁZS is on the ground floor of the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace Budapest.
Courtesy Kempinski Hotel Corvinus Budapest
A 1906 Art Nouveau masterpiece, originally built for the Gresham Life Assurance Company by Zsigmond Quittner and József Vágó, it retains gobs of Secessionist-style features, including Zsolnay ceramic tiles, Miksa Róth-made stained glass, wrought-iron railings and peacock gates.
From $496 per night
Rates provided by #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa
Check availability: JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365


#Americas
#Sazerac Bar, #Roosevelt #NewOrleans, #Louisiana
What to drink: Ramos Gin Fizz (gin, simple syrup, egg white, cream, soda water, lemon and lime juice)

Famous Paul Ninas murals flank the curvaceous walnut-paneled room, furnished with elegant bar stools and plush banquettes.
The Roosevelt New Orleans
Seymour Weiss, owner of the Roosevelt New Orleans hotel, was buddies with Huey P. Long, the Louisiana governor and US senator who maintained a suite on the 12th floor of the hotel. The politician’s favorite drink was the frothy, labor-intensive Ramos Gin Fizz.
From $161 per night
Rates provided by #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa
Check availability JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365


The #Drake Hotel, #Toronto, #Canada
What to drink: 92nd Street (Scotch whisky, green Chartreuse, apple sencha tea, green curry leaf and vanilla seltzer)
The Drake Sky Yard, Toronto
The Drake: Rooftop views in Toronto.
Courtesy The Drake
In Toronto’s West Queen West neighborhood, this property is an incubator of local, national and international art, with a proper performance venue in place, and that creativity extends to the lounge and mural-covered rooftop Sky Yard, where an artistic crew convene over drinks.
From $200 per night
Rates provided by #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa
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#Asia and #Australia
#Blu Bar on 36, #Shangri-La Hotel in The #Rocks, #Sydney #Australia
What to drink: (vodka, peach and nectarine vermouth infusion, orange bitters)

Blu Bar is way up on the 36th floor of the Shangri-La.
Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
It would be foolish to come all the way to Sydney and not spend ample time basking within a sight line to the Sydney Opera House. That’s why many travelers plot an evening, or an afternoon tea, at Blu Bar on 36. From the 36th floor of the Shangri-La, it feels as if you are floating over the concrete, shell-shaped architectural wonder.
From $190 per night
Rates provided by #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa
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#RockBar, #AYANA Resort and Spa, #Bali, #Indonesia
What to drink: Lychee Martini (lychee, vodka, vermouth)
Guests must ride a cable car down a cliff face to arrive at this bar perched 46 feet above the Indian Ocean.
Guests must ride a cable car down a cliff face to arrive at this bar perched 46 feet above the Indian Ocean.
Ayana Resort & Spa Bali
On a clifftop above Jimbaran Bay, AYANA has a dozen swimming pools and butler-serviced villas tucked into the gardens. Rock Bar is maybe the most striking aspect of the property, where you can see the sun slink into the horizon, 14 meters (46 feet) above the Indian Ocean.
AYANA Resort and Spa, Sejahtera, Jl. Karang Mas, Jimbaran, Kec. Kuta Sel., Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80364, Indonesia;

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#ChillBar, #SixSenses #Laamu, #Maldives
What to drink: Abandon Ship (tequila, mango-cilantro cordial, pineapple, citrus and spicy fire-water tincture)
Chill Bar, Six Senses Laamu
Six Senses Laamu
Guests trek to remote Laamu Atoll to stay in one of the beachfront or overwater thatched villas at Six Senses Laamu. When they are done with their slate of open-air yoga classes and Ayurvedic treatments, they scatter off to the overwater Chill Bar and wait for the DJ or plop down onto one of the low-slung wooden stools at Sip Sip, the sunken bar that looks onto the Indian Ocean.
Six Senses Laamu, Laamu Atoll 15090, Maldives; 

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#Africa
#RiverLodge, #RoyalChundu Island Lodge, #Kambora, #Zambia
What to drink: Gin and tonic
River Lodge: Where guests retire after a day of activities.
Courtesy Royal Chundu
African sunsets are a sight to behold every evening, tinting the sky in a collision of deep red and orange hues. The ritual of the sundowner can be traced back to 19th-century Africa, when British officers would revive with a cooling, dusk-time nip of gin. Since those colonial days, the quenching pastime has evolved. The drink is largely a gin and tonic now, and it’s an essential component of any African holiday, particularly contemplative safaris.
From $1875 per night
Rates provided by #FriendsTravelWestHollywoodCa
Check availability JESS@FriendsTravel.com 24|7|365


The #WillastonBar at the #SiloHotel, #CapeTown, #SouthAfrica
What to drink: Rose Ginvino (South African Musgrave rose gin, chenin blanc, lime juice, grapefruit juice, rose syrup, egg white)
The Silo Hotel will reopen November 23, 2020. The Willaston Bar will be open for resident hotel guests and outside guests by prior reservation only.
The Silo Hotel will reopen November 23, 2020. The Willaston Bar will be open for resident hotel guests and outside guests by prior reservation only.
Courtesy The Silo Bar
Powerfully intertwining the past and present on Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront is Zeitz MOCAA. Directly above the museum is The Silo Hotel. Opened in 2017, featuring a private art gallery and panoramic rooftop pool, it is a commanding presence, with “pillow” windows that soften the well-preserved concrete exterior. Through those bubbles of bloated glass, you’ll be nothing short of transfixed by the appearance of Table Mountain and the harbor.
The Silo Hotel, Silo Square, Victoria & Alfred Waterfront, Cape Town, 8801, South Africa;
A. Akkam’s “Behind the Bar: 50 Cocktail Recipes from the World’s Most Iconic Hotels” is published by Hardie Grant, with hardcover copies retailing at $19.99 and Kindle at $8.11.


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