TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL
GOLF IN FRANCE’S LOIRE VALLEY
OLD MEETS NEW IN AUTHENTIC FRENCH STYLE
WHERE TO NEXT?
inside this issue | 14 countries & 38 must visit destinations
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When sinking in life’s unyielding
wave of technology, disconnect from
the rush and slip into island-time.
Cast off with The Moorings, let your
worries melt away, remember how
to live in the moment—one nautical
mile at a time.
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 1
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14 Les Bordes
Golfing in France
A picturesque old course with rolling
fairways and a challenging par 72
new course are just two of the special
offerings that await the avid golfer at
Les Bordes in the Loire Valley.
6 Travel Bites
28 Travel Gear
46 Hotel Spotlight
4 . DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
22 Hawaiian Dreams
BY MATTHEW SCHUELLER
Hawaii is rooted in community, and its
welcoming spirit embraces every traveler.
32 Beautiful Belgium
BY SHELLEY COAR
A scenic photographic journey through
Belgium’s cities and countryside.
48 Afternoon Tea Around The World
BY JUNE DAGNALL
A look at the ten best places to
experience afternoon tea on the planet.
54 New Zealand on Two Wheels
BY ANDREW MARSHALL
Cycling from the North Island to the
South Island’s spectacular glaciers.
60 Nevada’s Weird Wonders
BY TRACIE BARNTHOUSE
It begins with alien research and
gets weirder by the desert mile.
66 America’s Great State Parks
BY MARGARET MURRAY
A sneak peek at a few of the 10,000 state
parks that span 18 million acres across the USA.
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 5
On the cigar and
cocktail trail in
BY: ANDREW MARSHALL
A man’s voice crackles over an antiquated loud speaker system as he
reads a chapter from a García Màrquez novel, the words filling the
vast room where dozens of men and women listen. With heads bowed
over wooden workbenches and with their hands methodically rolling,
chopping and tucking, they create Cuba’s most famous product.
6 . DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
am lucky enough to be one of
the last people to take a cigar
factory tour at the original
Real Fábrica de Tabacos Partagás
(Partagás Cigar Factory) in Old
Havana (Calle Industria No.520)
behind the Capitolio Nacional
building, before it moved to its new
location on the corner of Calle San
Carlos in Central Havana. One of
Havana's oldest and most famous
cigar factories, the landmark Real
Fábrica de Tabacos Partagás had
been making cigars here since 1845.
For a cigar aficionado like myself,
this is 'the pilgrimage' for it is here
that some of the world's finest
cigars are handcrafted, from the
powerfully rich Cohiba Robusto to
the magnificent Partagás Double
Whatever your views are about
smoking, it's a fascinating cultural
insight to take a cigar factory tour.
Being Cuba, factory tours can be
ad hoc. Tours take around one
hour, and cover the various stages
of cigar production. Starting in
the selection room, where sorters
grade the various tobacco leaves
and ending in a tiny room where
the finished cigars are packed into
cedar boxes, which are pasted
with their official green and white
seals to confirm authenticity.
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 7
But it's in the rolling rooms, the
galeras, the very heart and soul
of the cigar-making process that
I am able to fully appreciate the
craftsmanship that has been handed
down through generations of cigar
rollers. The pungent aroma of rich
tobacco leaf mingles with cigar
smoke as several rollers enjoy the
fruits of their labor while they work.
Rolling is a prestigious job, and only
the skilled get to roll famous cigar
types like the Cohiba Esplendido
and Montecristo No.2. Using only
a metal knife, a wooden board, a
small guillotine and a bit of vegetable
gum, most rollers make around
100 to 150 cigars a day. But I have
to say; I’m a little disappointed
not to witness any Cuban women
rolling them on their thighs.
In the next room, Roberto Gomez's
job is to inspect the gauge size
and uniformity of the finished
product. The quality control is
thorough, and he carefully places
to one side any cigars that don't
make the grade. "I've been doing
this job for nearly forty years now,
and reckon I can tell a good cigar
from a bad one,” he says taking a
deep puff on a Bolivar Belicoso.
If a Partagás factory tour is the
pilgrimage, then the Holy Grail is
the Havana cigar itself, smoked in
any of the city’s time-honored cafés
or bars. Before leaving the factory
it’s almost mandatory to visit the
cigar shop on the ground floor to
select a cigar (or a box of cigars),
which confusingly is still housed in
the factory's old location. Naturally,
it sells some of Havana's best
smokes, including the deep, earthy
Partagás brand, and you needn’t
go any further than the adjoining
La Casa del Habano bar to smoke
it. The faces of various Hollywood
celebrities that have enjoyed the
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combination of a fine cigar with a
Cuban cocktail in this atmospheric
saloon, smile up from their
autographed photos in an album
on the bar top. This is definitely
the place where you wouldn’t be
surprised if you bumped into the
likes of Jack Nicholson or Arnold
Schwarzenegger enjoying a fat cigar
or two. A block or so away from the
rebranded 'Modern Partagás Cigar
Factory' (where factory tours are
available) is the Romeo y Julieta
Factory (which also offers tours and
produces several sizes of handcrafted
Cohiba, Montecristos, H. Upmanns
and of course, Romeo y Julietas.
It's early evening and lighting up
one of my favorite cigars, a superbly
spicy Montecristo No.2, I hit the
streets and stroll past the grand
Capitolio Nacional inspired by the
US Capitol building in Washington
D.C and hang a right into the back
streets of Old Havana. Despite
decades of economic decline, the
old magic of Havana shines through
like a scratchy, crackling scene from
a 1950s Cary Grant movie. It was
this very magic that attracted people
like authors Ernest Hemingway and
Graham Greene, most of Hollywood,
the Windsors and the Churchills.
Smoking my cigar, I'm easy prey for
the black market street peddlers who
zero in. "Hey my friend, where are
you from? You want good cigars? I
have Montecristos for a good price?"
"Sorry, I already have some," I reply,
having bought a genuine box of
cigars earlier, and escape through the
doors of El Floridita, to imbibe the
bar's infamous cocktail, the daiquiri.
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 9
In addition to cigars, Havana has
long been famous for its cocktails,
and while El Floridita didn't invent
the daiquiri, it certainly reinvented
it by introducing an electric iceblender
into the equation in the
1920s. Served up by red-jacketed
barmen who make a great show with
their cocktail shakers, these frosty
dreams of rum, lemon juice, sugar,
maraschino and crushed ice are just
the thing to combat the heat outside.
Ernest Hemingway spent over 20
years living in Cuba and many
an hour sipping daiquiris and
smoking cigars in this hallowed
haunt. Another Cuban cocktail
is the mojito (rum, lemon juice,
sugar, soda, mint leaf and ice
cubes, stirred) made famous by
the Nobel prize-winning novelist
when he penned 'my daiquiri in
the Floridita and my mojito in the
Bodeguita' on one of the walls of the
La Bodeguita del Medio bar. Since
Hemingway's time, a visit to this
funky bar has become de rigueur,
and other notables such as Nat
King Cole and Fidel Castro have
left their autographs on the wall.
The streets of Communist Havana
are living testimony to tough times.
To say that time seems to have
stopped ticking somewhere back in
the 1950s is to state the obvious. An
ancient Oldsmobile rumbles down
Calle Obispo, Old Havana's main
thoroughfare, as I head for the La
Bodeguita, nearly pinning me against
the crumbling walls of a building as
its hulk practically fills the narrow
street. When I arrive, the place is
crammed with hordes of tourists all
drinking mojitos, so I decide to visit
the nearby La Lluvia de Oro instead.
Besides, the mojitos here are half
the price and go down well with the
sizzling salsa beat of a live band.
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In my boutique hotel suite tucked
away in one of the residential
streets, I'm surrounded by the
hum of Havana life. I wake every
morning to roosters crowing and
mothers getting children off to
school and fall asleep each evening
to the sound of a dozen different
television sets floating in through
my open balcony windows.
The following day I’m back exploring
the streets of Old Havana. In
addition to walking, another great
way to see the sights is to jump in
the back of one the cities’ colorful
three-wheeled taxi cycles. “How’s
your stay in Havana so far,” Gustavo
my cigar-puffing driver asks me,
as we head off past the grand steps
of the Capitolio Nacional with its
dominating dome that cost USD
$17 million to build in 1926, then
throw a left into the back streets of
Old Havana. At the speed of peddle
power, we pass by the popular
lunchtime haunt of Café de Paris
and the cool neo-deco atmosphere
of Café Del Oriente, just two other
great venues to pursue the hedonistic
delights of sampling various cocktails
while savoring on the palate the
rich coffee-laden, spicy overtones
of a hand-rolled Cuban cigar...
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 11
CUBAN CIGARS – Tasting Tips and Etiquette
Select: When choosing a cigar the
wrapper can offer the first clue.
Lighter wrappers generally indicate
a milder flavor with darker wrappers
offering a more full-bodied smoke.
When squeezed, a cigar should give
slightly and then when released,
spring back into its original shape
without the wrapper leaf cracking
As a general rule, milder cigars are
more suited to earlier in the day,
while the full- bodied choice is best
saved to finish off a good meal or to
pair with a dark rum for example.
A good cross-section of fullbodied
Havanas include the
Cohiba Esplendido or Robusto,
a Partagás Lusitania Double
Corona, the Montecristo No.2,
Romeo y Julieta Belicoso, Bolivar
Royal Corona, an H. Upmann
Monarch, a Punch Double Corona,
a Romeo y Julieta Exhibicion No.
2 or the powerful Exhibicion No.
4. Before cutting and lighting,
survey the wrapper for consistent
color, smoothness, and sheen
and savor the scent of the cigar.
Cut: Some cigar smokers swear
by using one’s teeth, but it’s best
to use a proper cigar cutter for
the job. A good rule of thumb is
to cut about 3mm from the head
of the cigar. This is sufficient to
give a good draw, without the
risk of loosening the wrapper.
Light: Using a good quality butane
lighter hold the cigar just above
the flame (do not let the flame
touch the cigar) at a 45-degree
angle so that the heat, not the
flame, causes combustion and the
outer ring of the cigar is evenly lit.
Rotate the cigar through the first
few puffs to assure an even burn.
Listen to the faint crackle as you
light your cigar, the soft exhalation
as you release the smoke...these
are the sounds of satisfaction.
Savor: Roll the smoke around your
mouth and enjoy the rich bouquet
of varied flavors. A long solid
cylinder of white ash indicates a
good soil and more taste. Don’t be
tempted to tap the ash, just let it
fall off naturally in the ashtray. As
the cigar burns down its length, the
tastes and aroma will change, most
likely becoming more pronounced.
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This tropical country seems to have
cornered the market it cocktails.
Here's a little history behind some
of the delights you can order:
This rum and coke blend was created
during the Spanish-American
War. This cocktail is quite clearly
a nod to the home team as Cuba
Libre is Spanish for free Cuba.
The origins of the mojito have been
linked back to a 16th-century drink
named after Sir Francis Drake. The
lime juice and rum mix was said to
help combat scurvy and dysentery.
Supposedly invented by a US
mining engineer who was in Cuba
during the Spanish-American
war. This rum, citrus and sugar
mix could be named after a
beach or a local iron mine.
This is the drink that the daiquiri
is believed to have derived from.
The rustic lime, honey and rum
beverage is believed to be created
by early freedom fighters.
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 13
Golf Travel to France
BY: STEVE DRAKE
Tucked away in the French woodlands of the Loire Valley, you'll find the
exceptional Les Bordes Golf Club. Originally established by Baron Marcel
Bich, a French entrepreneur and inventor who was also the founder of BIC,
the company that brought us the iconic x`pens and lighters.
Opened in 1987, the club is known for high end amenities and its prestigious
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Widely considered to be Von
Hagge’s greatest masterpiece,
the Old Course has been
consistently ranked amongst
the top three courses in
Europe over the past 30 years.
The Old Course
t has been said that when the great Texan Robert von Hagge designed
this course, his intent was to throughly mess with even the best who
comes to challenge his creation. I could not agree more.
As you begin to walk the course, you might say there is a bit of an American
feel, but a quick look around and there is no doubt that you are in France.
Large balls of mistletoe growing high in the trees, a 600-year old abandoned
monastery, and every once and awhile a mighty stag will march across your
path, as if he is the keeper of this enchanted forest. Yes, this is France.
With gently rolling fairways, this
par 72 Old Course is lush and well
established, so be watchful of where
you place (or should I say misplace)
your tee shot. A miss here will leave
you with a difficult second shot.
Most of the greens are well protected
with water and there is sand
As you approach the 6th green
there is an old cross just beyond the
bunker that runs along the right
side. Like a beacon of hope for those
whose shots have gone astray. The
perfect spot for a quick prayer...
you’ll likely need it.
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 15
...but it’s the New Course that
everyone is talking about
The Les Bordes New Course is
an amazing par 72 that wanders
through the Loire countryside.
Designed by golf course architect
Gil Hanse, this is a course you will
love or hate, and even if you hate it...
you’ll love playing it.
Just a few short months
after the New Course
opened, it was included
in GOLF Magazine’s
Top 100 Courses in the
Standing on the first tee, you will feel
a sense of calm. The fairway ahead
looks wide and receptive and looks
like an easy opening hole. Right, not
so easy after all. From here on out,
this is what you will discover hole
after hole. Most of the fairways offer
a well defined bailout areas, hit it
here and you’ll pay the price when it
comes to your next shot. So firsttime
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The New Course is vastly different
from the Old Course. More wild and
a little more daring. The greens are
well bunkered, yet receptive to a well
placed approach shot. Peninsulas of
heather and broom are strategically
placed along the fairways, with
several holes featuring forced carries
over water or sand, all to challenge
even the most experienced golfer.
It’s almost like the course is taunting
you, like the Siren of Greek mythology
calling you to play a little closer to the
hazards. But don’t fall for it, there is
a path to your target and by design
Hanse will reward those who find it
with par and better.
The New Course is worthy of all the
praise, and like a fine French Cabernet,
will only get better with age.
Gil Hanse | Golf Course Architect
Gil Hanse has always been
interested in design and
construction. After completing an
undergraduate degree at Clemson
University, Hanse worked for
several years as a land planner and
civil engineer before returning
to school to study landscape
architecture. His unique approach
to golf course design has won him
numerous awards, and his courses
are enjoyed by astute golfers around
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 17
The Club House
The club house is a phenomenal centerpiece with rustic
architecture and the finest of details. With seating for
over 200 guests inside and out, members and visitors can
enjoy the simplicity of relaxation or world class dining
while marveling at the structure. The restaurant offers
exceptional views across the entire course.
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The facilities are built to very high
standards with lush green fairways
and immaculate bunkering. The
perfectly maintained practice area
will have you feeling ready to test
your abilities from the first tee. A
large putting green and chipping
area is complemented by an
impressive driving range allowing
golfers of all levels to warm up
in preparation for their round.
Twenty four of the thirty nine
member cottages have been
fully renovated by Londonbased
architects Michaelis Boyd
and they are spectacular.
Yet to come, a partnership with
Six Senses will transform the onsite
19th century ‘Chateau Bel
Air’ into a luxury hotel and spa.
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 19
Cour du Baron Residences
A twist on the traditional, the
classical homes feature a mixture
of local stone and timber cladding.
Exposed rafters lend a countryside
feeling to living spaces, and big
windows create an openness
that connects the interiors to the
surrounding landscape and beyond.
Morpheus & Co, the international
interior design house behind some
of the most exclusive hospitality
and residential developments of
the last 25 years, are the creatives
behind the residential interiors.
World-renowned for their turnkey
delivery and groundbreaking interior
architecture, interior design and
highly tailored furniture solutions,
from signature collections to
completely unique pieces, they
have designed bespoke “Cour du
Baron” furniture collections to blend
intimately with property design and
the local environs.
They are in active consultation with
owners from across the world –
including the UK, US, Switzerland,
France, Sweden, Germany and
The Netherlands – to deliver their
dream interiors at Les Bordes,
combining tactile, relaxing interiors
and timeless design with biophilic
features for a feeling of comfort and
inspiration, and immersion into
the surrounding environment both
inside and out.
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Some of the enriching amenities
include natural fishing lakes, walking
and cycling trails, an animal petting
farm for children, outdoor play
areas, and a natural swimming lake
with its very own white sand beach –
completely unique of anywhere else
in the Loire Valley. Others include a
renowned equestrian club, archery,
tennis courts that will soon become
a full club for training and leisure,
and for younger family members,
go-kart track and pony riding, with
a kids’ club, ice-cream shop and
zip lines coming later this year.
Governed separately from the
residential community and
rest of the estate, the worldfamous
Les Bordes Golf Club
remains exclusively private.
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 21
BY: MATTHEW SCHUELLER
Visiting Honolulu is much
more than visiting a big city.
Before I stepped off the plane onto
the island, I thought the tropical paradise
would be limited to me experiencing just
Waikiki, but I quickly learned that I had access
to much, much more—I could see the entire
island! What I didn’t know is that when people
say they are going to visit Honolulu, they can
easily get from place to place all around
Oahu. From one side of the island to
the other, it may only take only
a couple hours drive.
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We booked our trip to celebrate our 3rd year wedding anniversary, but also
to see a good friend who lived in Waikiki. Lucky for us, our friend Tanner
was able to play as tour-guide during our visit. As soon as we landed, the first
thing we did was pick up poke-bowls and walked to Waikiki beach to touch
the ocean. The color of the water blew my mind. I had never seen such radiant
turquoise in my life. It really was stunning as I remembered always imagining
that the photos I had seen of Waikiki being overly saturated by photo-editing,
but the photos truly does not do justice to seeing the water for yourself.
Between bites of fresh Ahi Tuna with spicy mayo, we waded through the warm
water absorbing all the sights and sounds of Hawaii’s most touristy beach. We
didn’t want to spend long there, as Oahu is full of much more beautiful and
secluded beaches. But we knew we had to at least experience a bit of Waikiki,
especially in just arriving. Wading into the water was like a warm hello, a
welcoming hug from the island.
The spirit of the island is that of community. Everyone we met made us feel
like we belonged there from the moment we arrived. After finishing our Poké
bowls, we found a new friend at Kaimana’s Beach, just down the way from
Waikiki. After enjoying a couple beers at Kaimana’s Beach and taking in the
view, he took it upon himself to offer showing us some of his favorite spots
around the island. I can’t think of anywhere else on earth that has people like
this, who will drop everything at a simple hello and befriend you in an instant.
We came to Hawaii with nothing planned and nothing pertinently scheduled
so as to truly encompass the meaning of Aloha, the Hawaiian laid-back spirit
towards life. So, at the offer of seeing the island through a new friend’s eyes, we
took it to heart and accepted to meet up the next day.
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 23
After a cheap but delicious
breakfast of spam musubi from
the neighborhood 7-11, with our
new friend from Kaimana’s Beach,
Michael and I piled into Tanner’s
car to embark across the island to a
place we had just heard about, Polo
Beach. Known to locals as not only
an LGBTQ+ friendly location, but
also a popular clothing-optional
stretch of pristine golden sand on
Oahu’s Northern coast. Umbrella
and snacks-in-hand, we found an
open space and set-up our camp
for the day. Often when we travel,
we try to fit in as much as possible
and see absolutely everything there
is to see. Reflecting on trips like
that, I’m reminded of how tired I’ve
returned home and feel sometimes
like, “I need a vacation from my
vacation.” On our second day on
Oahu, I started to understand the
appeal and draw of the island. It’s
a place I can finally unwind and
relax. I didn’t feel the same rush
of needing to go and experience
absolutely everything that the island
had to offer. I felt perfectly content,
sitting on a beach surrounded by
crystal blue water, feeling the sun
on my face and in the company of
good friends. In a word, paradise.
In an experience, more than I could
ever express on paper. Friends of
our friends arrived at Polo Beach
to join us, one of them gifting us a
home-grown mango from his tree.
Since we were already in the area, we
decided to hike to Ka’ena Point, the
westernmost edge of Oahu. Known
for its remote coastal lava-crusted
shoreline, Ka’ena Point’s rugged
hiking trails lead to incredibly
beautiful vistas providing Oahu’s
largest Laysan albatross sanctuary.
The hike in total is 3 miles to
the edge, and 3 miles back from
the starting point on the North
Shore. We watched the sunset as
albatross flew overhead, and it
truly was a sight I’ll never forget.
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Following our adventurous hike to the Western Point, we made plans to
explore more of Oahu’s North Shore the following day, including seeing the
famed Lanikai Beach. The destination certainly did not disappoint, as the color
and clarity of the water exceeded even what we had seen at Waikiki or Polo
Beach. The small islands Moku Nui and Moku Iki provided further magic to
the backdrop as we sat perched on the sand. After a long day in the sun, the
drive back provided even more beautiful surprises. Along the North Shore, the
cliffs that were used for scenes from the movie, Jurassic Park stunned us as we
drove around the bends. We stopped at Haolna Beach Cove to find a craterlike
beach surrounded by steep and rocky cliffs. Many were taking advantage
of the last hours of sunlight snorkeling in the turquoise waters.
Though lounging and experiencing some of Oahu’s best beaches was a definite
highlight of the trip, there was so much more to experience. On our last full
day on the island, our friend Tanner surprised us with a catamaran sailing
cruise along with friends we had met during our trip. The day-cruise departed
from Waikiki Beach and sailed around the bay, providing plenty of drinks to
enjoy as we enjoyed the view of the city from a different perspective. To cap off
the trip, we went out to experience the nightlife with our newfound Hawaiian
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 25
Even though we stayed just a week on the island, it felt like we had been there
for years. We connected closely with those we met incredibly fast, and that
wasn’t just because we like to meet new people when we travel. It’s because
of the laid-back and friendly Hawaiian way of life, and the idea that all who
walk on this earth are connected in some way or another. As a relatively small
island, Oahu is a tight-knit community—and though it’s one of the most
popular tourist destinations in the USA, the community is still incredibly
welcoming. So if you find yourself on the island, let go of any sense of strict
planning, allow yourself to make a new friend, and go with the flow with that
incredible Hawaiian sense of Aloha.
26 . DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
TRAVEL OFTEN . LIVE WELL . 27
BRUTREK beverage bottles
Features an innovative dual lid system that makes carrying, sipping and
pouring easy. The leak-proof top lid, which screws into either the second lid
or the bottle, has a handle with rounded edges and a large opening for holding
onto or fastening to a backpack. The second lid, which screws into the bottle,
has a spout that’s large enough for smooth sipping and pouring, but will still
keep ice contained. Use both lids or only the top lid as needed.
HUNTER canvas desert commando boot
Designed to be worn in the warmer months, the women’s canvas desert boot is designed
in breathable natural cotton canvas. It keeps feet cool on a hot summer day while still
providing natural insulation in cooler weather. The cotton-based fabric is highlighted with
rubberized foxing, a high-grip outsole and kickspur to aid removal.
28 . DRIFTTRAVEL.COM
MODERN PICNIC the backpack
The chic, functional, and sustainable backpack is a great travel
companion. The interior is insulated, includes a sleeve to protect
your laptop, and even has compartments for your silverware. The
backpack is also perfect for travel whether you are planning a picnic
in the park or packing for a weekend getaway!
WHITNEY LINEN resort wear
Linen is one of the strongest fibers, making it an inherently sustainable
choice. The Resort 2022 Collection features pieces designed for
getaways and city stays. The collection showcases Whitney Linen’s
take on safari style with a tropical twist!
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SKYDIO skydio 2+ drone
A drone which builds on the industry-leading
autonomy of the Skydio 2 drone with important
hardware and software improvements. Plus
enhanced wireless range and battery life to get
the most out of every adventure. Also, Skydio
announced new groundbreaking autonomous
flight capability, Skydio KeyFrame. Skydio
Keyframe is an AI skill that allows a user to
design and capture smooth, complex camera
moves with just a few taps.
THE ROLLING STONES luggage collection
A tribute to the pioneers of hard rock. The suitcase
collection feature a branded telescopic trolley
handle that locks in 2 different positions, and
single 360° spinner wheels, for precise control
and smooth, quiet rolling. The inside includes
a signature Rolling Stones lining, dividing
panel, tightening straps and various pockets for
optimized packing that remains in place during
SPINN CP.02 camera carrying system
A new carrying system for almost every DSLR and mirrorless
camera. Let your camera rest bombproof in any position
without swinging or slipping, and enjoy unrestricted access
and perfect view of all controls.
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A nighttime wedding party lights sky lanterns to remember loved ones who
have passed on. One is for the bride’s father, a beloved friend.
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A Photographic Journey
Featured Artist: Shelley Coar
Gear: Canon 5D Mark IV, Canon EF
16-35 f/2.8L, RRS Ultralight Tripod
& BH-40 Ball Head
Shelley is a travel photographer and
write who lives in Denver, Colorado,
with her husband and son. She enjoys
photographing low light landscapes and is
most inspired in her second home country
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The lively daytime canals of Bruges are normally packed with boats of
tourists, but not at night. The up-lights of the iconic Belfort tower caught
my eye as evening blanketed the city.
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The secluded Abbaye Notre-Dame de Saint Remy is home to the
Cistercian monks who brew the world-renowned Rochefort beer.
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Symmetrical white cabanas await the daytime throng
of beach-goers at the Knokke-Heist on the North Sea.
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Walk down a dusty lane, and you will inevitably find a hidden countryside
chapel like this one secluded near Hoegaarden.
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Windmills make for a serene bike stop along the canal from Bruges to Damme.
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Belgium is best explored on bike and has a myriad of mapped cycling
routes covering the countryside and cities alike.
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Tree lined esplanades run parallel the canals flowing from Bruges to the
North Sea and make for a perfect escape by bike or foot.
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The glassy pre-dawn River Lys reflects the facades of Ghent, a tranquil view of the
medieval city before the crowded and energetic day begins.
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xenodocheio Milos is located in downtown Athens
opposite Old Parliament, an area bursting with history
and celebrates the best of Greek heritage, art and
cuisine. Elegant and refined, this authentic culinary
hotel experience is the very first luxury boutique hotel of
the world-renowned Greek restaurant estiatorio Milos,
carrying the inspiring story of Milos to its next chapter.
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A World Renowned Gastronomic Experience
Offering some of the world’s finest Mediterranean
dishes from acclaimed founder and chef
executive Costas Spiliadis, the hotel brings a
symbol of iconic simplicity to life through divine
gastronomy. Simple and refined Mediterranean
food packed full of rich flavors awaits, serving
the finest fresh seafood from mouth-watering
Oysters, fresh Greek Ceviche and wild red
Madagascar shrimp to celebrated Greek desserts
including the delicious Karidopita and Baklava.
Unwind in the heart of the city, and enjoy a
selection of blissful and rejuvenating wellness
experiences from rooftop yoga to pilates in the
boutique gym. Those looking to host exclusive
private events can pick from a number of
stunning meeting rooms or take matters to
new heights in the open-air entertainment
terrace. Offering perfectly crafted suites with
soft velvet furnishings and wooden floors
for whatever the occasion, xenodocheio
Milos goes above and beyond to ensure
guests needs and desires are exceeded.
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Top Hotels for
BY: JUNE DAGNALL
There is no question that afternoon tea is always in style, and it has certainly evolved significantly over the last
two hundred years. Culinary chefs these days express their own creative flair and are continually adding new
twists to this indulgent British tradition.
Afternoon tea was introduced in England in 1840 by Anne, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. It is said that the Duchess
would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably
late at eight o’clock, thus leaving a long period of time between lunch and dinner. The Duchess asked that a tray of tea,
bread, and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This became a habit, and she soon began inviting
friends to join her for this ritual.
Tea quickly became a stylish social event, and during the 1880’s upper class and society woman would change into long
gowns, gloves, and hats for their afternoon tea which was served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock
complete with silver teapots, fine linens, elegant teacups and world renowned teas.
Traditional afternoon tea typically consists of a selection of dainty sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and
preserves, as well as an assortment of cakes and pastries.
There are a few tea etiquette rules that still exist today. Eat sandwiches first and with fingers please, not the cutlery.
Warm scones should be enjoyed next and proper etiquette advises that these should be broken in two by hand, not with
a knife. Please also remember that extending your pinky finger is a “don’t” when enjoying afternoon tea, and please
never cradle the cup in your hands!
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The Plaza - New York City, USA
The historic Plaza in New York City has been an iconic
destination for afternoon tea for more than 100 years.
Magnificently situated in the hotel’s Palm Court, tea
guests allude to the fact that they feel as though Central
Park has been brought indoors while they enjoy a
delightful tea experience under a stained glass dome.
Tea choices include selections such as Chinese green tea,
English breakfast, and lavender oolong. Patrons dine on
delicate sandwiches, pastries and scones all served on
Bernardaud china and custom tableware. There are a
variety of tea menus, such as the classic Manhattan Tea,
or for special occasions guests can order the indulgent
Grand Imperial Tea for two, complete with caviar service.
There is a signature tea for children featuring peanut
butter and jelly finger sandwiches, cake pops, cotton
candy and caffeine-free tea. After Eloise, the children’s
book character, lives at the Plaza and in her books often
enjoys afternoon tea here.
Claridge’s - London, England
Claridge’s has been serving afternoon tea for 150 years.
For a century or more, their Executive Chefs have
remained faithful to the classic combination of finger
sandwiches, scones served warm, and sweet pastries.
Prepared and served fresh each day, the menu faithfully
follows the traditional combination of sweet and savory.
The ingredients include British specialties such as
poached Scottish salmon, and their pastries change to
reflect the fruits of the season. Of course, at the heart of
the experience is the tea itself. From a rich Oolong to the
refreshingly complex Claridge’s Blend, there is a tea that
will complement your tea experience perfectly.
Afternoon tea is served from a specially designed stand
and on the very finest bone china and silverware, both
made to a unique Claridge’s design. Guests enjoy their
experience while being immersed in the 1930s art deco
design of the Foyer and Reading Room.
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Fairmont Empress Hotel - Victoria, Canada
Tea at the Empress has been as they say, “hot and
steamy since 1908” when the hotel first opened. A
grand tradition for over a century, the world renowned
Fairmont Empress has served England’s most beloved
ritual of afternoon tea to famed royalty, celebrities and
dignitaries alike. Afternoon tea is elegantly served in the
timeless Lobby Lounge overlooking the beautiful inner
harbor, and provides live classical piano accompaniment.
The Empress offers twenty one rare, ethically produced
teas showcasing varieties from all major growing areas
around the world.
Indulge in delicate sandwiches, freshly baked Empress
raisin scone with homemade clotted cream and jam,
as well as a decadent dessert tier. Tea at the Empress
can also be enjoyed by their tiny Prince and Princesses
between the ages of 5 and 12 years old to feel like royalty
while partaking in this coveted tradition.
Hotel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel – Paris, France
Located just off the famed Champs-Élysées, one will find
the Hôtel de Crillon. This stunning hotel opened in 1909
and is a must do Parisian destination at tea time for both
travelers and locals alike.
Afternoon tea at Jardin d’Hiver, which translates to
winter garden in French, is a glamorous affair served
in a gorgeous room filled with plump couches, plush
armchairs and dripping with chandeliers. There is also an
outside terrace that is very popular.
Tea service brings out the sweet desserts supplied by head
pastry chef Matthieu Carlin. The surprising menu also
has some original inclusions, such as a lobster roll and
puffed brioches as an alternative choice to scones. Sip
on a hot drink and munch on savory finger sandwiches,
three pastries, homemade scones or homemade brioche,
and jam and clotted cream.
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The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia
The elegant Tea Lounge in the Majestic Wing of the
hotel is open to the breezes off the lawn fronting the
hotel. The old-fashioned grid ceilings feature classic cutglass
lighting with antique brass fittings. Cozy arrays of
comfortable arm chairs with subdued lighting from table
lamps provide the perfect setting for English Afternoon
Tea with a Malaysian twist.
Indulge in a high tea set that’s fit for royalty with the
Colonial Cafe’s Majestic Afternoon Tea, featuring a classic
spread of scones with clotted cream and jams, finger
sandwiches, cakes and delicious savories served piping
hot. Your own individual tea pot is put on a warmer so
servers don’t have to constantly add hot water.
Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe – South Africa
Elegant and refined can best describe the High Tea at
the Victoria Falls Hotel. Traditional afternoon silver tea
service can be enjoyed every day on an outdoor terrace
with stunning views of the Victoria Falls Bridge. You
can hear the thundering of the falls while you sip on
your tea and nibble on decadent pastries, scones and
sandwiches. One of the oldest hotels in Africa, enjoying
tea on Stanley's Terrace comes with all of the traditional
accoutrement, as guests are transported back in time
thanks to the elegant, historic location. Built by the
British in 1904, this expansive Edwardian hotel features
dazzling manicured lawns and gardens, and stands right
next to the Falls.
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Gunners Barracks Tea Room – Sydney, Australia
Built in 1873 from locally quarried sandstone, the
Gunners Barracks which has now been beautifully
restored, was formerly an officers’ mess, forming part of
the fortifications at Georges Heights built for the defense
Tables are covered with damask table cloths and set
with pretty “Country Roses” Royal Albert bone china,
and high tea was presented on an elegant plated tiered
stand. Relish freshly baked scones with clotted cream
and preserves followed by finely cut sandwiches, savory
pastries and delectable petit cakes all create daily by our
highly skilled team of chef ’s. To compliment is Asia’s
largest selection of Ronnefeldt teas, a total of 41 specialty
teas for you to choose from.
Grand Hyatt – Hong Kong - China
The popular afternoon tea served in Tiffin Restaurant,
features three tiers filled with savory and sweet delicacies
with a distinctly French flavor. This is complemented by
the live dessert stations and ice-cream counter.
Echoing Tiffin’s namesake and heritage, the takeaway
version of the afternoon tea set consists of three
compartments meticulously stacked together to resemble
the famous “tiffin” boxes from the British Raj era. The box
is adorned with Tiffin’s signature tableware pattern for
you to recreate an elegant tea time at home.
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The Biltmore Mayfair, LXR Hotels & Resorts –
Stepping inside the Tea Lounge at The Biltmore
Mayfair, guests will find a classic London afternoon tea
experience beckoning to them. Located in London's
luxurious Grosvenor Square, surrounded by parks
and gardens, tea at The Biltmore Mayfair is a definitely
The afternoon tea menu highlights fresh classic UK
produce featuring English cucumber, black truffle, and
heritage tomato sandwiches, scones with Cornish clotted
cream, fresh Kent strawberries, and chocolate mousse
with Scottish raspberry jelly.
Whether you keep things simple with just a cup of
tea from the trolley and a scone, or add a glass of
Champagne to the full afternoon tea service, this English
tradition is a must-do for anyone hoping for a classic
Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai - India
With an established tradition of afternoon tea dating back
to the early 20th century, the landmark Taj Mahal Palace
Hotel is a historic city institution. Tea is served in the Sea
Lounge, with art deco furnishings and old colonial charm
from 1903 when the hotel was first built. This iconic room
is aptly named, as guests can catch great views of the ships
on the harbor before they set sail on the Arabian Sea. In
the evenings, guests can enjoy live music. The tea service
is offered buffet style, with local Indian favorites along
with a nod to the classic British favorites.
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Freewheeling to the glaciers in
BY: ANDREW MARSHALL
“It’s magnificent cycling country,” declared 65-year-old Andy Bremner when I met
him inside the Adventure Cycles shop in Auckland. Tanned, fit and sporting a milewide
grin, Andy was completing his third season pedaling New Zealand and had so
far clocked up 3000 km. "There’s nothing I like better than to pack up each morning,
load the panniers on the racks, look over the handlebars and head off down that open
road,” he said.
With its magnificent volcanic landscapes, gushing geysers and rugged coastlines
backed by prehistoric rainforest, there can be no better way to experience this cool
green land, and certainly no better speed, than by bicycle.
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My plan was to cycle from the
North Island to the glaciers
on the South Island, but
when I got down to the actual route
planning, the line on my map zigzagged
all over the place in an attempt to take
in just some of the abundant points of
It was a gray drizzly Auckland
morning when I caught the ferry to
the Coromandel Peninsula – a densely
forested coastal strip across the Firth
of Thames. The boat had barely pulled
alongside the dock before I was off,
legs pumping, and the salt air fresh in
my lungs, the bitumen rolling steadily
beneath my wheels.
Cycling along the coast I passed through
the characterful towns of Manaia,
Waikawau and Tapu. By late afternoon
I'd covered my first 50 km with just
enough time to set up camp in Thames,
and cook quick pasta on my stove before
Day two is always the hardest on a cycle
tour. The reality of stiff muscles and a
tender behind hit home as I loaded up
the bike and hit the road. But a couple
of hours later the stunning scenery was
enough to distract my mind from aching
body parts. And besides, the first of
many highlights was within reach.
In the coming days I turned inland to
the Rotorua region, well-known for it's
geysers, hot springs, mud pools and
shimmering lakes. I spent endless days
in the saddle skirting the very heart of
the North Island, along the shores of
beautiful Lake Taupo, New Zealand's
largest lake and onto the Tongariro
National Park where I camped for a
couple of nights to take a break from
cycling and experience one of the
world's best day walks - the Tongariro
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With its fine collection of active volcanoes, Tongariro National Park is one of New
Zealand's most spectacular parks, and the 19.4 km Tongariro Alpine Crossing (which
takes about 7-9 hours) traverses this surreal landscape dominated by three volcanoes:
Mt Ruapehu (2797m) the highest and most active, Mt Tongariro (1968m), the oldest but
still considered active, and the much younger Mt Ngauruhoe (2291m). Volcanic craters,
brilliantly colored volcanic lakes, hot springs, glacial valleys, cones and lava flows are some
of the many highlights of this stunning World Heritage Site.
The crossing from the North Island to the South Island is always a psychological milestone
for any cyclist. Leaving the cultural and artistic hub of Wellington, I rode the ferry to the
pretty little town of Picton, situated at the head of the Queen Charlotte Sound on the
The lack of traffic was immediately apparent as I pedaled off towards Nelson, reveling
in magnificent coastal views over the Marlborough Sound. For the weary cyclist like
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myself, the laid back town of Nelson
represented a cosmopolitan oasis;
waterholes at local pubs, great
restaurants and the best chance to stock
up on provisions for my 2-3 day journey
inland and across to Westport on the
Cycling New Zealand is certainly a
challenge but despite its hilly nature, it
attracts cyclists from all over the globe
and stopping to chat is a common
occurrence. “You’ve got about 5km of
climbing ahead of you, but it’s a great
downhill after that," is typical of the
comments from fellow cyclists you meet
on the road.
From Dutch couples, members of the
Cross Canada Cycle Tour Society,
single Kiwis, to super fit German
couples towing trailers of gear behind
the latest in bicycle technology, there
seemed no limit to age or nationality, all
sharing a great sense of adventure and
From Westport to Greymouth, South
Highway 6 hugs the west coast as tightly
as a pair of Lycra bike shorts. In a series
of dramatic switchbacks the road snakes
between the white-capped breakers
out to sea, and the foothills of the
rainforest-clad Paparoa Ranges, cloaked
in tree ferns and stands of ancient
beech, rata and rimu.
After days in the saddle sampling some
of the world’s most glorious scenery,
I was finally within reach of my goal,
the Franz Josef Glacier situated in the
World Heritage Westland National
Park. The glacier along with nearby Fox
glacier is unique, for nowhere else on
earth at this latitude have they advanced
so close to the sea.
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But cycling is not the way to go in this land of ice; it’s much better to take the helicopter.
The whir of the chopper’s blades sounded like a gigantic insect when it came in to land,
sending a blast of wind towards the small group of waiting travelers. The athletic figure
of outdoor guide Murray Naylor crouched low beside the helicopter as he beckoned each
person over one by one.
This was the start of my heli-hike – and within a few minutes the helicopter was flying
over an immense river of ice that tumbled down a densely forested valley towards the sea.
After superb panoramic views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains, we landed
high up on top of the glacier between the icefalls for the start of our two-hour guided trip.
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“This is one of the most dynamic glaciers in the world,” Murray told us as we donned
warm hats and jackets to combat the sudden blast of cold air. “At times the glacier can
move at up to five meters a day, over ten times as fast as glaciers in the Swiss Alps.”I
quickly found myself immersed in a surreal landscape, surrounded by the sculptural
beauty of ice. Fluted towers, eroded pinnacles, tunnels, pools, crevasses and frozen waves.
The surface looked thin and brittle in places, but can in fact be up to 150 meters thick. It
was an awesome opportunity to experience the type of scenery that is usually the domain
Leaning on my ice axe I took a breather and savored the view. Back down the glacier’s
flank a group of hikers created a snaking ribbon of color that contrasted vividly against the
white of the ice, putting into perspective the immensity of this frozen world. It seemed the
perfect moment to reflect on my bicycle journey.
Within a month I’d accomplished what I had set out to do, ride from north to south and
reach the glaciers by pedal power-a journey of nearly 2,000 km. Now all that was left was
the bus, ferry and train back to Auckland. The thought left me feeling flat. Already I was
yearning to be back in the saddle again, with the wind in my face and the beguiling beauty
of this green and mountainous land filling my view.
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Travelers looking for a super strange or off-thebeaten-path
trip idea, look no further. Travel
Nevada released its inaugural list of the state’s
Seven Weirdest Wonders. Just like the Seven Wonders
of the Ancient World are proof of humanity’s
ingenuity, Nevada’s Seven Weirdest Wonders are
definitive proof that the Silver State is filled with
abundant unique places. These locations aren’t just
fun to see and talk about – experiences like these can
transform vacationers by opening their eyes to things
they never imagined.
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Alien Research Center
BY: TRACIE BARNTHOUSE
Almost everyone has heard of Area 51. While you
definitely can’t storm it (seriously, you’ll be arrested
before you can say “ET”), you can go inside the Alien
Research Center and get a feel for what those little green
creatures might have found after crash-landing in the
area. As the gateway to the world-famous Extraterrestrial
Highway, the Alien Research Center is the perfect way to
start your own alien hunt. Extraterrestrial enthusiasts and
skeptics alike won’t want to miss stopping at the gift shop
to stock up on various alien-related knick-knacks at this
one-of-a-kind Nevada experience.
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International Car Forest of the Last Church
Rethink any preconceived notions of a typical forest with
trees and greens. This open air gallery comprises more
than 40 graffiti cars, each a unique masterpiece. The
“forest” has no artist statement or bulletin, so visitors are
free to interpret the surrounding art in limitless ways.
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If you haven’t stayed in a hotel since… well, who can
even remember? Make the first overnight one you’ll
never forget. The Clown Motel in Tonopah is the perfect
place to get over your fear of clowns — or maybe make
it worse? We’ll let you decide. No matter your goal, this
motel has arguably the largest private collection of clownthemed
memorabilia, and is a landmark that makes
Nevada unique. Oh, and did we mention it’s situated
right next to a historic (allegedly haunted) cemetery? Of
COURSE it is!
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Goldwell Open Air Museum
Among some of the world’s most distinctive pieces of
experiential art is the Goldwell Open Air Museum. More
an “experience” than a “museum,” Goldwell boasts seven
colossal structures, including a ghostly, life-size version
of Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting of the Last Supper; a
25-foot pink woman constructed of cinder blocks; and
a gleaming tangle of chrome car accessories. Forget
the velvet ropes of a traditional museum – visitors are
encouraged to step right into these pieces of art.
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Imagine digging a hole in the middle of the desert and
suddenly getting sprayed by hot water as if you hit a pipe.
You walk away, only to learn that years later, that hole is
still spewing, but is now a 12-foot geyser with a rainbow
of colored rocks surrounding it. That’s essentially how Fly
Geyser came to be, and, after more than 100 years since
the first “pipe” was hit, people can still come see this everspewing
natural fountain in all its beauty.
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to visit this summer
BY: MARGARET MURRAY
State parks across the United States are typically established by a state to
preserve a location on account of its natural beauty, historic interest, or
recreational potential. These parks are managed at the State level as opposed
to the federal level as in the National Park System.
The United States has over 10,000 state parks that span more than 18 million acres
across the country. These spaces have become invaluable these last two years when
borders were closed and people scrambled to follow their wanderlust. These parks
have become extensions of our own back yards providing both exciting adventures as
well as peaceful reflection experiences. State parks have some of the most beautiful
landscapes and very often are much less busy than the National parks. With
thousands to choose from the list is endless so here is a tiny sampling of some of the
most popular. Get out the hiking boots and hit the trails!
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Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park - California
Jedidiah Smith Redwoods State Park contains the most old-growth redwoods per
acre in California, and in fact seven percent of all old growth redwood trees in the
world. The park is located just inland from Northern California’s rugged coastline
and near the banks of the Smith River. The almost spiritual track of dense ancient
redwood forest is best for hiking, forest bathing and swimming, with 20 miles of
hiking and nature trails offered in this lush rainforest. The park was named for
Jedediah Strong Smith, who in the 1820s became the first white man to explore the
interior of northern California. Marvel in the incredibly humbling experience of
standing at the base of an old growth redwood tree as you walk through misty ferns
and ancient greens.
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Harris Beach State Park – Oregon
Harris Beach State Park is a Pacific Northwest coastal paradise located on Oregon’s
rugged south coast. This beautiful park is known for birdwatching, whale watching
and beach combing. Sandy beaches are divided by rocky cliffs. Tide pools are
home to an abundance of marine life for tide pool exploring. You will spot seals
swimming off-shore as impressive wave’s crash around you. This is also home to
Bird Island, a National Wildlife Refuge where you will find puffins, Aleutian Canada
Geese and terns. In the spring and fall seasons be watching for the migrating gray
whales. Bird Island, also referred to as Goat Island, is Oregon’s largest off-shore
island. There are campgrounds and yurts available for visitors and the park is
suitable for year round camping.
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Custer State Park – South Dakota
Custer State Park, one of the country’s top wildlife parks is comprised almost 100,000
acres located in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The park draws comparison to
Yellowstone National Park when it comes to spectacular scenery and abundant
wildlife. The park is home to a large variety of wildlife including Antelope, elk,
and nearly 1300 bison offering visitors the chance to have close encounters with
these permanent residents. Trail rides, scenic drives, bike rides and safari tours
are perfect ways to explore this impressive South Dakota attraction. Enjoy water
recreation in Custer State Park’s lakes, and appreciate panoramic views of the Black
Hills with incredible vantage points of Mount Rushmore.
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Cheaha State Park – Alabama
Cheaha State Park is a publicly owned recreation area located in northern clay and
southwestern Cleburne counties in Alabama. It is the oldest state park in Alabama
dating back to 1933. It is located on the southernmost tip of the Appalachian
mountain chain. Almost three thousand acres of granite bounders and ancient
trees sitting high above sea level. This woodsy retreat and lush waterfalls offer miles
of hiking paths to sink your hiking boots into. The park is surrounded by the
Talladega National Forest and has all the comforts you need including a restaurant
serving burgers and stone baked pizzas. You can rent stone cabins or opt for the
campground. There are also two fascinating museums within the park. The Native
American history museum and the Civilian Conservation Corps.
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Devil’s Den State Park – Arkansas
Devil’s Den State Park nestled in the Lee Creek Valley was selected as a state park
site in the 1930s. The Civilian Conservation Corps used native materials to build
the park’s rustic-style wood and stone structures that mirror the surrounding
natural beauty. It now stands as one of the most intact CCC sites in the U.S., with
a legacy you can see in its trails and buildings. The park is built for year round
recreation with trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding leading
to the surrounding Ozark National Forest. There are also cabins and campsites
ranging from modern to primitive to suit your individual wants. Fossils of coral
and crinoids can be found along the banks and within Lee Creek at Devil’s Den
State Park. The renowned Ozark Mountain Biking Festival is held here each spring.
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Join us as we journey in high style through the magnificent
Canadian Rockies aboard the iconic Rocky Mountaineer.
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