MOAB, UT– The red rock playground better known as Moab, UT, has scaled the heights to become one of the country’s most sought-after destinations for active vacations.
When first-time visitors to the region choose to experience all that Moab has to offer, more bang for the buck comes with advance planning and using local guides who know the territory best, suggests Jamie Pearce, Manager of the award-winning Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
Pearce and her staff highly recommend choosing one of their three time-driven, guide-assisted adventure packages to fully enjoy this small town surrounded by two national parks, Arches and Canyonlands, and the mystique of the Colorado River.
Moab Signature Multisport Package is a short escape offering the most popular Moab adventures over two days: a Colorado River rafting trip, a two-hour Hummer Safari into the adjacent backcountry plus an exploration of Arches National Park on a professionally guided hike. The rate is $212 for adults and $154 for ages 5-15. Moab lodging (on your own) is available at a variety of motels, campgrounds and lodges. See: http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/trips/packages/hummer-raft-hike.php. This package can be upgraded to include a full-day rafting trip with lunch and a special sunset Hummer safari for just $35 more per person. Offered Mar. 15 through Oct. 21.
Westwater Multi-Sport Moab Package engages guests over four days and three nights as they raft legendary Westwater Canyon on the Colorado River that National Geographic named “The West’s Best Short Whitewater Trip.” On this Utah rafting and multi-sport adventure guests experience different thrills every day with all the comforts of home each night. Included is Moab’s breathtaking backcountry on an exhilarating Hummer Safari; an optional horseback ride in Utah’s famous Castle Valley brings to life scenes from countless movies and commercials filmed in the Moab area. The overnight host is Red Cliffs Lodge on the banks of the Colorado. Offered May-September the rate is $685 for adults and $635 for youth ages 12-15. See: http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/trips/packages/westwater.php
Moab Adventure Center is a division of Western River Expeditions (www.westernriver.com) an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab and Fredonia, AZ. The company is the largest single tour provider in Moab. The Moab Adventure Center is located at 225 South Main St., Moab, UT 84532. For information and reservations call (435) 259-7019 or (866) 904-1163 or send an email from http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/contact/. The center also has a 2,000-square-foot retail space selling adventure related gear, clothing and souvenirs.
Bellevue, WA—World Spree Travel’s 10-night Amazing Vietnam trip is a good deal anytime, but early birds who plan ahead will find that September/October prices are a real steal, ranging from $1,799 to $1,899. This covers round-trip international air, including taxes ad fuel surcharges; all transportation and transfers in Vietnam; luxurious hotel accommodations; an overnight cruise on gorgeous Halong Bay; daily American buffet breakfasts; four other delicious meals; private sightseeing tours and entrance fees; professional, English-speaking tour guides; baggage handling; (and no scheduled shopping traps, the company insists).
But price and value are not the only attractions. This exotic country, lapped by the warm waters of the South China Sea, has some of the friendliest people on the planet , a beautiful landscape and a rich history dating back 5,000 years. Over the centuries it was occupied by China and France, both of which left influences in its culture, architecture and cuisine.
The tour takes in the charming capital, Hanoi, with its parks, tree-lined avenues, French-colonial buildings and mementos of Ho Chi Minh. It includes an overnight cruise on a deluxe little cruise ship on Halong Bay, famous for its spectacular seascape of limestone peaks and islands. There’s a glimpse of Danang and China Beach on the way to Hoi An, an old port town with photogenic architecture and atmospheric riverside restaurants that’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Then to Hue, the former imperial capital on the Perfume River, known for the impressive Citadel with it pavilions and palaces. And, finally, a flight to the bustling city of Saigon, officially known as Ho Chi Minh City, with its French-colonial landmarks and wartime headquarters of the South Vietnam government.
Optional excursions include a tour of Hanoi’s Old Quarter and the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” prison; a cyclo tour of Hue, with dinner at the Imperial Citadel; a dragon-boat cruise on the Perfume River; a cruise to the scenic Mekong Delta; a trip to the fascinating underground Cu Chi Tunnels; and, to take advantage of China Airlines’ stopover in Taipei, a 3-day/2-night package—4-star hotel, breakfasts, transfers—that allows time to see Taipei’s world-class museum and enjoy some fabulous Chinese cuisine.
All prices are per person, double occupancy, and are subject to availability. There is no extra charge for credit cards. For more information about the Amazing Vietnam tour, visit www.worldspree.com, click “Destinations,” then “Vietnam,” or call toll-free 1-866-652-5656.
World Spree Travel, which started ten years ago as China Spree with tours of China, is a tour operator which boasts “5-star trips at 3-star prices.” Based in Bellevue, Washington, World Spree has expanded throughout Asia and now operates tours to China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bali and, yes, Peru. Japan and Sri Lanka are coming soon. Note that 70% of World Spree’s tour participants are repeat clients who value well-planned trips at a reasonable price.
STOCKBRIDGE, MA –The Berkshires of Massachusetts invites travelers to rediscover the celebrated arts scene this winter during Art Appreciation Season. Two properties under the Main Street Hospitality umbrella, the historic Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge and Porches at MASS MoCA in North Adams, are offering value-added stays with access to the area’s most sought after museums.
While summer favorites like Tanglewood and Jacob’s Pillow take their annual winter hiatus, the months of January through April – dubbed “Art Appreciation season” – encourage visitors to explore creative ways to enjoy the wide array of arts, culture and regional cuisine available.
“The Berkshires is home to more than 30 of the country’s most renowned museums and theater companies. As the peak season crowds subside, winter is an ideal time to truly enjoy the many cultural offerings the region has to share,” says Janet Eason, vice president of marketing at Main Street Hospitality.
This season guests can tour acclaimed collections including the first full exhibition on America’s most successful animation partnership, “Hanna-Barbera: The Architects of Saturday Morning,” at the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, and American fabric sculptor Nick Cave’s “Until” at MASS MoCA, one of the country’s largest centers of contemporary art located in North Adams. For visitors interested in theatre, the annual 10×10 Upstreet Festival in Pittsfield entertains crowds every February with 10-minute plays by 10 playwrights at the Barrington Stage Company and “10 Days of Play” at the Berkshire Museum.
Main Street Hospitality welcomes guests to Art Appreciation Season with two value-added packages:
“The Norman Rockwell Experience” at Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA
The historic Red Lion Inn invites visitors to explore the hometown of one of America’s most beloved artists with the “Norman Rockwell Experience” package, available through May 25, 2017. The package includes overnight accommodations, a $50 dining voucher and two passes to the Norman Rockwell Museum where guest can get an up-close look at the work of Rockwell and others who defined American illustration. Rates start at $220 per room, mid-week and $295 per room on Friday’s ¾ taxes and meal gratuity not included.
“Museum Madness” at Porches Inn at MASS MoCA in North Adams, MA
Located just steps away from MASS MoCA, the Porches Inn at MASS MoCA places visitors in the heart of the Berkshires celebrated contemporary arts scene. The Porches Inn “Museum Madness” package includes overnight accommodations for two, complimentary continental breakfast and two tickets to both MASS MoCA and the Clark Art Institute. Available through April 30, 2017, rates start at $200 per night mid-week, taxes not included.
For more information on Art Appreciation Season, visit here.
Formed in 2013, Main Street Hospitality is a hotel management company founded originally at The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, with a long tradition of excellence in preservation, innovation, sustainability and operations. As owners and operators of some of the most distinctive hotels in the Berkshires, the company’s mission is to deliver unparalleled experiences for guests, employees and owners through an authentic approach to hospitality, service, and management. Main Street’s management hotel portfolio includes The Red Lion Inn, The Porches Inn at MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA, The Williams Inn, Williamstown, MA, and Hotel on North, Pittsfield, MA. For more information, visit www.mainstreethospitalitygroup.com or call 413-298-1610.
In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, today, President Obama is designating three new national monuments honoring our country’s civil rights history and taking new steps to promote diversity in our national parks and other public lands. Building on the Administration’s commitment to protecting places that are culturally and historically significant and that reflect the story of all Americans, today’s designations will protect historic sites in Alabama and South Carolina that played an important role in American history stretching from the Civil War to the civil rights movement.
In addition, President Obama is taking new steps to promote diversity and inclusivity in our nation’s system of national parks, national forests, monuments and other public lands and waters, directing agencies including the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to work to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to experience our great outdoors and engage in decisions about how our public lands and waters are managed, and to prioritize building a more inclusive Federal workforce that is reflective of the diversity of our Nation.
Also, President Obama took action to expand two national monuments: expanding the existing California Coastal National Monument by 6,230 acres; and expanding the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in California and Oregon.
New Civil Rights Monuments
The new monuments are the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument, Freedom Riders National Monument and Reconstruction Era National Monument.
Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument: The Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument will protect the historic A.G. Gaston Motel in Birmingham, Alabama, which served at one point as the headquarters for the civil rights campaign led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that helped lead to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The monument will also tell the stories associated with other nearby Birmingham historic sites, including the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church– which was the site of a bombing in 1963; and Kelly Ingram Park, where Birmingham Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor turned hoses and dogs on young civil rights protesters.
Freedom Riders National Monument: The Freedom Riders National Monument is located in Anniston, Alabama and contains two sites that help underscore the Freedom Riders’ importance to the civil rights movement. The monument includes the Greyhound Bus Station where a racially integrated bus of Freedom Riders attempting to test desegregation was attacked in the spring of 1961, and the site where the same bus was firebombed and burned some minutes later.
Reconstruction Era National Monument: Located in coastal South Carolina, the newReconstruction Era National Monument encompasses four sites throughout Beaufort County that tell the vibrant story of the robust community developed by freed former African American slaves in the Reconstruction Era South. This designation includes the Brick Baptist Church and Darrah Hall at the existing Penn Center on St. Helena Island as well as the Old Firehouse in downtown Beaufort and parts of Camp Saxton in Port Royal where the Emancipation Proclamation was read on New Year’s Day in 1863. These sites establish the first unit of the National Park System focused on telling the story of Reconstruction.
Protection for these sites is strongly supported by the local communities, elected officials, and a wide variety of stakeholders including civil rights organizations, environmental justice groups and historic preservation groups. Each designation was also supported by legislation introduced by members of the Alabama and South Carolina delegations.
“These monuments preserve the vibrant history of the Reconstruction Era and its role in redefining freedom,” President Obama stated. “They tell the important stories of the citizens who helped launch the civil rights movement in Birmingham and the Freedom Riders whose bravery raised national awareness of segregation and violence. These stories are part of our shared history. From designating Stonewall National Monument, our country’s first national monument honoring the LGBT movement, to recognizing the movement for women’s equality through the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, I have sought to build a more inclusive National Park System and ensure that our national parks, monuments and public lands are fully reflective of our nation’s diverse history and culture.”
Promoting Diversity and Inclusivity in Managing Our Public Lands and Water
In addition, President Obama is taking new steps to promote diversity and inclusivity in our nation’s system of national parks, national forests, monuments and other public lands and waters. Today, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum directing the agencies charged with managing the vast majority of America’s public lands and waters – the Department of the Interior, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – to work to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to experience our great outdoors and engage in decisions about how our public lands and waters are managed. The Memorandum also directs agencies to prioritize building a more inclusive Federal workforce that is reflective of the diversity of our Nation.
Expansion of National Monuments Protecting Natural Resources in California and Oregon
In addition to the new designations honoring African American history, today, President Obama is expanding two existing national monuments to protect critical biodiversity, important historic and natural resources and vital wildlife habitat in California and Oregon.
Expansion of California Coastal National Monument: Today, President Obama is expanding the existing California Coastal National Monument by 6,230 acres to include six additional coastal sites proposed for protection in legislation introduced by members of the California Congressional delegation in 2015. The monument was originally designated in 2000 by President Bill Clinton and expanded by President Obama in 2014 to include Point-Arena-Stornetta in Mendocino County. Today’s expansion will protect incredible coastal natural resources, scenic views, and areas of cultural and historical significance, including sites that provide insight into the Native peoples who first lived along California’s coast and places still important to local tribes today.
Expansion of Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument: Located in southwest Oregon and northern California, the current Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument protects the significant biodiversity at the intersection of three distinct bioregions, including wildlife habitat for nearly 200 species of birds. Drawing from two different reports compiled by the scientific community as well as a legislation introduced in the Senate in 2015, today’s expansion will protect more than 42,000 additional acres of public land in Oregon and approximately 5,000 acres in California to increase vital habitat connectivity, watershed protection, and landscape-scale resilience for the area’s unique biological values, particularly in the face of growing impacts from climate change.
“Over the last 8 years, I have sought to work with local communities, Tribal governments, businesses, sportsmen, members of Congress and others to protect the most important public lands for the benefit of future generations,” President Obama stated. “Today’s actions will help ensure that more of our country’s history will be preserved and celebrated, and that more of our outdoors will be protected for all to experience and enjoy.”
WASHINGTON – As the National Park Service enters its second century of service and strives to tell a more inclusive and diverse story of America’s history, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell has announced the designation of 24 new National Historic Landmarks.
The National Historic Landmarks Program recognizes historic properties of exceptional value to the nation and promotes the preservation efforts of federal, state, and local agencies and Native American tribes, as well as those of private organizations and individuals. The program is one of more than a dozen administered by the National Park Service that provide states and local communities technical assistance, recognition and funding to help preserve our nation’s shared history, and create close-to-home recreation opportunities.
“These 24 new designations depict different threads of the American story that have been told through activism, architecture, music, and religious observance,” said Secretary Jewell. “Their designation ensures future generations have the ability to learn from the past as we preserve and protect the historic value of these properties and the more than 2,500 other landmarks nationwide.”
If not already so recognized, properties designated as National Historic Landmarks are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
“As the National Park Service kicks off its second century of stewardship of America’s natural and historic treasures, we look forward to connecting new generations of Americans to the places and stories recognized as National Historic Landmarks today,” said National Park Service Acting Director Michael T. Reynolds.
The 24 national historic landmarks announced today are:
The assassination of Medgar Evers on June 12, 1963, in the carport of the Medgar and Myrlie Evers House in Jackson, Mississippi, became one of the catalysts for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. His assassination also forced Myrlie Evers into a more prominent role for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Both Medgar and Myrlie were major contributors to advancing the goals of the civil rights movement on a national level. Medgar Evers was the first nationally significant civil rights leader to be murdered.
The Wyandotte National Burying Ground (Eliza Burton Conley Burial Site) in Kansas City, Kansas, serves as tangible evidence of the consequences of federal American Indian removal policy to a tribal population and its identity during the nineteenth century. The property is also associated with Eliza (Lyda) Burton Conley who was the first attorney to raise the legal argument that American Indian burying grounds are entitled to protection by the Federal Government and to claim that the descendants of treaty signatories have the right to sue to enforce treaty provisions.
The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City represents the idea of the African Diaspora, a revolutionizing model for studying the history and culture of people of African descent that used a global, transnational perspective. The idea and the person who promoted it, Arthur (Arturo) Alfonso Schomburg (1874-1938), an Afro-Latino immigrant and self-taught bibliophile, reflect the multicultural experience of America and the ideals that all Americans should have intellectual freedom and social equality.
As one of the three New Deal greenbelt towns built by the Federal Government, the Greenhills Historic District in Greenhills, Ohio, shaped the federal response to the Great Depression and represents highly important aspects of New Deal policy, an important period in the evolution of the American suburb. The village is an outstanding representation of the American Garden City movement and a nationally significant historic residential suburb.
On April 20, 1970, community residents occupied Chicano Park in San Diego, California, in an ultimately successful effort to prevent the construction of a California Highway Patrol substation on land where the City of San Diego had promised the neighborhood a community park. Representative of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement, Chicano Park has become a cultural and recreational gathering place for the Chicano community and is the location of the Chicano Park Monumental Murals, an exceptional assemblage of master mural artwork painted on the freeway bridge supports.
Casa José Antonio Navarro in San Antonio, Texas, was the home of Tejano statesman and historian José Antonio Navarro (1795-1871), a political leader whose prolific career as statesman and defender of Tejano rights shaped the destiny of Texas as an independent Republic and as part of the United States of America. His commitments to both American ideals and to the rights of Texan Mexican Americans make him one of the leading figures of the American Southwest under three sovereignties.
The Neutra Studio and Residences (VDL Research House) in Los Angeles, California, is associated with Richard Neutra, a nationally and internationally seminal figure of the twentieth century Modern movement in architecture. During the 1940s, as Neutra’s work evolved, he also became the well-recognized founder of mid-century “California Modern” architecture. The VDL Research House is the only property where one can see the progression of his style over a period of years and is among the key properties to understanding the national significance of Richard Neutra.
The Keim Homestead in Oley, Pennsylvania, is an exceptionally intact example of early German American domestic vernacular architecture. Constructed ca. 1753, the main house and the ancillary building (which served in effect as an extension of the main dwelling under a separate roof), together represent methods of construction, elements of architectural decoration, and patterns of dwelling and domestic outbuilding layout and design that were characteristic of the German American tradition of the mid-eighteenth century.
Constructed in 1758, Schifferstadt is an outstanding example of a Georgian-period house influenced by German American cultural and construction traditions, located in Frederick, Maryland. With its exterior Georgian architectural style and many ethnically Germanic features on the interior, the house embodies how German immigrants chose to retain much of their cultural heritage within their houses while exhibiting their social and economic status on the exterior.
This massive early-twentieth century enlargement of New York’s canal system was an embodiment of a Progressive Era emphasis on public works. The New York State Barge Canal was built explicitly to counter the growing monopoly of railroad corporations over the American economy. The spine of the canal is a direct descendant of the Erie Canal, which opened the interior of North America to settlement and commercial agriculture, transforming the Atlantic economy.
The Kimball Village Site (13PM4) in Plymouth county, Iowa, is an exceptionally well-preserved, circa CE 1100-1250, Plains Village site. This site embodies all of the distinctive characteristics of early indigenous farmers, settlements, and material culture that typify early Plains Village sites. This was a transformative chapter in North American mid-continental history when people switched from hunting and gathering and small-scale crop production to a nucleated sedentary lifestyle based on intensive maize horticulture and compact villages of substantive timber lodges.
Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission Chapel (McDonnell Hall) in San Jose, California, connected the Mexican American civil rights movement, Catholic ministry to ethnic Mexicans, and ongoing efforts to organize ethnic Mexican migrant farmworkers. The chapel was the home for the Community Service Organization (CSO) whose work helped to spur the emergence of César Chávez as a community organizer, civil rights leader, and labor rights leader between 1952 and 1962. The work carried out at the chapel ultimately helped shape modern American Latino identity.
As headquarters for Petrified Forest National Park in Apache County, Arizona, the Painted Desert Community Complex is the largest and the most fully articulated expression of the decade-long Mission 66 program which addressed postwar national park needs for up-to-date facilities and improved visitor experiences, while limiting impacts to natural resources. Designed by renowned architects Richard J. Neutra and Robert E. Alexander in the International Style, the complex contains the many park headquarter functions including a new property type—the visitor center.
W. A. Young & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop in Rices Landing, Pennsylvania, is an outstanding example of a small, family-owned, twentieth-century foundry and machine shop. “Job shops” like W. A. Young & Sons, which did custom jobs for a variety of clients, were an important component of the American industrial economy facilitated by the development of machine tools and line-shaft power systems in the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. The property includes perhaps the finest collection of machine tools found in a small job shop.
The Davis-Ferris Organ, built for a New York City Episcopal church in 1846-1847, is an example of the technical and mechanical achievements in the pre-Civil War American organ-building industry. Forty years later, the organ was sold to the Round Lake Camp Meeting in Upstate New York to accompany the popular Methodist summer gatherings. It eventually anchored a transition to a Chautauqua-style institution of culture, education, and enlightenment. This organ is a record of American music-making covering both sacred and secular genres.
The Pauli Murray Family Home in Durham, North Carolina, is associated with ground-breaking civil rights activist, lawyer, educator, writer, and Episcopal priest Pauli Murray. She served as a bridge figure between social movements through her advocacy for both women’s and civil rights. Her efforts were critical to retaining “sex” in Title VII, a fundamental legal protection for women against employment discrimination. After decades of work for black civil rights, her vision for a civil rights association for women became the National Organization for Women (NOW).
Constructed in 1860 as the Allen’s Mill Bridge, Eldean Bridge in Miami County, Ohio, is an excellent example of nineteenth-century covered bridge construction and its span is a rare surviving Long truss, a highly significant nineteenth-century timber truss type. Eldean Bridge is the most structurally intact of less than a dozen surviving Long truss covered bridges in the United States.
Constructed in 1876 by J. J. Daniels, one of the nation’s most prolific covered bridge builders, West Union Bridge in Parke County, Indiana, is an outstanding, intact example of the Burr truss, a highly-significant American timber bridge type that was widely used for a century. West Union Bridge is one of the most visually impressive and structurally intact of approximately 180 surviving Burr truss covered bridges in the United States.
Built in the late 1920s, Omaha Union Station in Omaha Nebraska, is one of the most distinctive and complete examples of Art Deco architecture in the nation. The station outstandingly expresses the style’s innovative and diverse surface ornamentation inspired by the machine age. As one of the earliest Art Deco train stations designed by the Union Pacific (UP) Railroad, its ultra-modern appearance was a major departure from previous railroad station designs.
The George Read II House, built by a prominent Philadelphia family in New Castle, Delaware, is an exceptional example of Federal style architecture in the mid-Atlantic region. The house is especially valuable in understanding the evolution of American architecture during the early years of the nation. It is a rare survivor that exemplifies the city of Philadelphia where the Federal style was first manifested.
The Biesterfeldt Site in Ransom County, North Dakota, is an earth lodge village site culturally identifiable as having been occupied by the Cheyenne Indians ca. 1724-1780. As the only known representative of that relatively brief period in their history during which they pursued a horticultural way of life, the archeological site has the potential to yield critical information on the history of that tribe and various neighboring tribes. Biesterfeldt also has the potential to inform us about the development of Plains Indian culture during a period of intense and dramatic change.
Walrus Islands Archeological District near Togiak, Alaska, is one of the few remaining places with evidence of human occupation of the Bering Sea continental shelf when sea levels were substantially lower than at present. At least 6,000 years ago, the earliest inhabitants of Round Island, one of seven islands in the district, were marine-adapted and practiced more generalized settlement and subsistence patterns, including hunting walrus on the beaches, than previously recognized by Alaska researchers.
48GO305, commonly referenced in archeological literature as “Hell Gap Paleoindian Site,” located in Goshen County, Wyoming, contains evidence of repeated occupations by nine Paleoindian cultural complexes in well-stratified deposits. To date, no other excavated Paleoindian site in North America contains a record that includes all of the cultural complexes known on the Plains spanning from between 13,000 and 8,500 years ago. Since its discovery and initial investigation, 48GO305 has been associated with cutting edge research in the field of Paleoindian archeology.
The May 4, 1970, Kent State Shootings Site in Kent, Ohio, is where the Ohio National Guard shot and killed four Kent State University students and wounded nine during a protest on the campus. This event affected public opinion of the Vietnam War, increased the movement against the war, and engendered prompt changes in military policy for civil disturbances, especially for the National Guard. Later court trials resulted in a ruling by the Supreme Court that the executive branch of government does not enjoy absolute immunity for its actions, establishing a legal precedent.
Along with these new designations, Secretary Jewell announced updates to several previously recognized National Historic Landmarks. These updates include boundary changes, updated documentation, and/or name changes for: the Indiana War Memorials Historic District, Indianapolis, Indiana; the Old Salem Historic District in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond, Virginia; the Hamilton Grange in New York City; Maison Olivier in St. Martinsville, Louisiana; and Ball’s Bluff Battlefield Historic District in Leesburg, Loudoun County, Virginia, and Montgomery County, Maryland.
New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, in his 2017 State of the State policy pronouncements, has proposed completing the Hudson River Valley Greenway and Erie Canalway trails by 2020 to create the Empire State Trail, the largest state multi-use trail in the nation. To achieve this, the state will develop 350 miles of new trail in three phases to create a 750-mile pathway for hiking and biking along scenic vistas and through charming, historic communities. The Empire State Trail will span much of the state, from the New York Harbor up through the Adirondack Mountains to the Canadian border – and from the shores of Lake Erie along the historic Erie Canal to the heart of the Capital Region.
“The scenic natural beauty that spans every corner of this state is key to our prosperity, vital to our future and part of who we are as New Yorkers,” Governor Cuomo said. “The Empire State Trail, once completed, will be the nation’s largest state multi-use trail network, providing residents and visitors alike unprecedented access to New York’s outdoor treasures, driving tourism and economic activity to communities across the state and helping to protect our environmental resources for generations to come.”
New York’s existing Hudson River Valley Greenway and the Erie Canalway are two of the most renowned multi-use trailways in the United States, but both trails remain unfinished with a number of gaps across the state. Currently, the Hudson River Valley Greenway is nearly 50 percent complete and crosses the Appalachian Trail, spanning over 260 miles between the Manhattan Battery and Lake George. The trail closely, and in many places parallels State Bike Route 9, which extends the Greenway an additional 130 miles along Lake Champlain to the Canadian border. The Hudson River Valley Greenway generates more than $21 million in economic impact annually from visitors stopping in communities along the trails.
The Erie Canalway is nearly 80 percent complete and runs approximately 360 miles along the storied Erie Canal, connecting Buffalo to Albany. The Governor’s commitment to complete this trail coincides with the bicentennial of the Erie Canal, as construction of the engineering marvel begin in 1817. Each year, approximately 1.5 million people use the Erie Canalway Trail along the historic Erie Canal, resulting in an estimated $253 million in economic activity from visitor spending. The Buffalo-Pendleton segment is the most heavily used part of the Canalway Trail with approximately 350,000 annual users. With this proposal, remaining gaps will be completed, connecting the two trails to establish the New York’s Empire State Trail.
Once the Empire State Trail is complete, the trails will attract more hikers, bikers, and cross country skiers than ever before and provide access to destinations, heritage areas, and historic sites and districts including:
Hudson River Valley Greenway
Battery Park, NYC
· Walkway Over the Hudson, Poughkeepsie
· Olana State Historic Site, Hudson
· Martin Van Buren National Historic Site, Kinderhook
· Schodack Island State Park, Schodack Landing
· Saratoga National Battlefield, Stillwater
· Fort Ticonderoga, Ticonderoga
Erie Canalway Trail
Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Historic Site, Buffalo
· Buffalo State Park, Buffalo
· The Salt Museum on Onondaga Lake, Liverpool
· The Montezuma National Wild Refuge, Seneca Falls
· The Great New York State Fair, Syracuse
· Oriskany Battlefield State Historic Site, Oriskany
· Fort Stanwix National Monument, Rome
This extensive trail network will enhance community connectivity and support healthy lifestyles by providing both urban and rural communities access to endless outdoor recreational opportunities. These long distance destination trails are economic drivers that can generate $1.5 – 5 million in annual economic impact for surrounding communities. Additionally, this trail network is expected to support an estimated 9.6 jobs for every $1 million invested, and every dollar will yield $3 in direct medical benefits for surrounding communities. The trails will also draw tourists from around the world to explore New York’s striking landscapes and rich history, while enjoying local bed and breakfasts, hotels, restaurants, wineries, breweries, farmsteads, and cultural attractions along the way.
Empire State Trail Website and Mobile App Launch
A new trail website and mobile app will launch to further connect New Yorkers and visitors to the state’s great outdoors. Both the website and app will feature a list of greenways, trails with hiking descriptions, and their level of difficulty. The app will allow users to find services and attractions nearby using location services with the option to share the user’s exact location with friends, or first responders, in the case of an emergency. Social sharing options will also be available, to share photos on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. A live tour map, walking and driving directions, are available as well as an elevation reader that lets users know when trails cross hills and mountains.
The trail system will provide travelers access to a number of signature attractions, all of which can be found on the website and mobile app, including Battery Park, Walkway Over the Hudson, Corning Preserve, Lake George, Schenectady Rivers Casino, the Erie Canal Museum, the Buffalo Naval Military Park, local breweries, and other lodging accommodations and family-friendly destinations found along the Empire State Trail.
“Parks, historic sites, and heritage areas are the very fabric of our local communities and the Empire State Trail will further connect these treasured resources with all New Yorkers, neighbors and friends,” said New York State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey.“Governor Cuomo is rejuvenating the state park system and now with the creation of the Empire State Trail we are deepening the connection and sharing many of these wonderful treasures and all it takes is a bike ride or casual stroll.”
“New York’s natural resources are truly world class destinations and through Governor Cuomo’s leadership, the new Empire State Trail will establish important connections to offer residents and visitors even more opportunities to experience all the state has to offer,” said New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos. “I look forward to working with our partners in State Parks, to expand and enhance marketing of all the outdoor adventures one can have throughout the state, and continuing to help communities across the state capitalize on the economic potential of outdoor recreation.”
New York State Canal Corporation Director Brian Stratton said, “Tens of thousands of people already use the Canal trail year-round for hiking, biking, jogging and cross-country skiing. I’m beyond thrilled that Governor Cuomo has proposed completing the trail along the entire length of the Erie Canal. Now, more people will be able to enjoy all this iconic waterway has to offer as we celebrate the canal system’s bicentennial in 2017.”
Meanwhile, the US Department of Interior has just designated New York State Barge Canal as a national historic landmark. “This massive early-twentieth century enlargement of New York’s canal system was an embodiment of a Progressive Era emphasis on public works. The New York State Barge Canal was built explicitly to counter the growing monopoly of railroad corporations over the American economy. The spine of the canal is a direct descendant of the Erie Canal, which opened the interior of North America to settlement and commercial agriculture, transforming the Atlantic economy.”
19th Annual Cycle the Erie 400-Mile Ride Returns July 9-16
Each year, Parks & Trails New York, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating and raising funds for the maintenance of New York’s trails and greenways, organizes an eight-day, 400-mile trip from one end of the Erie Canal in Buffalo, to the end, in Albany. The 19th annual Cycle the Erie Canal , is scheduled July 9-16, 2017, just in time to celebrate the beginning of the bicentennial celebration of the Canal.
Join more than 650 cyclists from across the country and the world cycling and visiting iconic port towns such as Lockport and Brockport, and places rich in history such as Seneca Falls and Rome, and visit charming small towns, museums, and historic sites which collectively tell the story of America. Marvel at the natural beauty of the rolling farmland of America’s original frontier and experience 19th century engineering innovation.
The trip is supported, which means your luggage and camping gear is transported from each campsite (typically schools and recreation centers) to the next, so all you have to do is cycle from one attraction to the next. A team of SAG vehicles provides peace of mind knowing that you’ll be taken care of if you need mechanical support.
There are some updates for 2017:
Return shuttle: for the third consecutive year, we’ll be offering riders from Buffalo and points west our shuttle from Albany back to Buffalo at the end of the ride.
Erie Canal Trailblazers: Interested in cycling the whole tour for $100? Become a Cycle the Erie Canal Trailblazer and fundraise to help PTNY Close the Gaps in the Erie Canalway Trail. Registration is only $100 and includes a free Cycle the Erie Canal jersey, guidebook, and special recognition on the tour. Trailblazer registration also opens on January 3.
Cycle the Erie Canal Jersey: A must-have souvenir from the ride. Other merchandise options for this year’s ride include a commemorative Cycle the Erie Canal pint glass, an ECT sticker, our best-selling guidebook, and new for 2017, a Cycle the Erie Canal cap. Visit the PTNY shop for more information about these items.
Four-day and Weekend Options: If you don’t have the time for the entire eight-day tour, consider a shorter getaway on the Erie Canalway Trail. PTNY’s four-day and weekend options allowing you to fit the tour to your schedule. They are also great for families with kids and inexperienced riders.
MORRO BAY, Calif. –Lovebirds and bird lovers flock to Morro Bay, a quaint Californian coastal town with a romantic vibe, located along the Pacific Flyway. Winter is birding season, and theMorro Bay National Estuary Preserve and its 800-acre wetland are home more than 250 species of land, sea, and shore birds, both migratory and resident and dozens of endangered species including Peregrine Falcons.
Lovebirds flock to Morro Bay in the winter, too, to enjoy the romantic sunsets, restaurants and cozy hotel rooms. Find a plethora of bird watching and love bird lodging specials throughout January and February here, including offers to stay two nights and get third night half-off. Plus, every hotel guest in January/February receives a Food & Wine Passport with over $90 in food offers.
Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival
Every Martin Luther King weekend, more than 500 bird lovers from around the world attend the annual Winter Bird Festival. Morro Bay is a globally important bird area, making it the perfect place to see, photograph, and learn about birds. Morro Bay is on the Pacific Flyway. More than 200 species can be sighted during the Festival weekend. While you’re in town, kayak through the National Estuary Channels, sail the bay and watch a variety of birds take flight, or hike near Morro Rock, a key haven for the once endangered bird, the peregrine falcon. Online registration for the 2017 Festival is open.
SEATTLE, WA –Celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017. Wildland Adventures is introducing 16 new or extensively revised itineraries geared for active women, epicureans, families, emerging writers and adventurous trekkers
“All our Wildland Adventures promise to cultivate connections and possibly transform yourself and your view of the world,” said Kurt Kutay, founder and owner of Wildland Adventures.
In Africa: Botswana Family Safari – 8 days, from $5,195 for family of four. Families are whisked to a private safari camp in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. Wildland’s Young Explorers program led by professional safari guides teaches the whole family the art of bush craft: spotting wildlife, learning animal behavior tracking game on foot. Guests visit local communities to experience daily life, and, among other activities, make jewelry, weave baskets, shoot with slingshots, fish and cook over an open fire. Every day kids “read the morning newspaper” which means looking over tracks in the sand for nighttime visitors.
In Europe: Croatia Active Family Adventure – 9 days, from $4,095 adult/$3,295 under 18. Croatia is accessible and offers great value for the travel dollar. This active itinerary traverses the Julian Alps through forests, following waterfalls and rivers flowing to ancient ports along the Adriatic coast. Families hike, cycle, raft and kayak in national parks, through rural villages and among Roman ruins and ancient fortifications. In local homes and restaurants guests experience traditionally prepared pastas, stews and Adriatic seafood. This adventure begins in the capital city of Zagreb and concludes in Dubrovnik.
In Latin America: Guatemala Family Adventure – 9 days, from $3,695 adults, $2,895 teens, $2,695 child. Wildland families discover everyday subsistence life of indigenous Mayans on small farms and marketplaces around Lake Atitlan. They hike in the Pacaya Volcano, explore the UNESCO World Heritage colonial city of Antigua, and the ancient Mayan city of Tikal in the remote jungles and wildlife reserve of Tikal National Park. An expert bilingual guide leads guests who bike, hike, kayak, explore ruins and connect with Mayans in their homes, villages and fields.
In Cuba: Havana and Heartland of Cuba – 7-day women’s departure March 10-16, 2017, from $3,995. A Cuban professional female guide introduces travelers to the lives of Cuban women from their role in the Revolution to the formation of modern-day Cuba. Guests visit with extraordinary women as part of a people-to-people program. “Get ready to laugh, dance, learn and be deeply touched by the women of Cuba a la Wild Style!” Cuba is also among the safest countries in the world for female travelers.
In Latin America: Women’s Active Wine Adventure in Chile & Argentina – April 1-10, 2017, from $4,995. Adventurous women will explore vineyards and valleys of Chile and Argentina on horseback and bicycle, and walk through culturally vibrant back streets of Santiago, Valparaiso and Buenos Aires. Lively female guides introduce South America’s epicurean highlights while the group sips perfectly blended Malbecs, experiments with unique ingredients at a regional cooking class and meets vendors at local markets.
In Europe: Women’s Southern Italy Epicurean Adventure – May 22-31, 2017, from $6,695. This active exploration of Puglia blends sunshine, charming landscapes, delectable cuisine and wines with active women’s zest for the good life. Puglia’s rustic charm is reflected in the locals’ welcoming personalities and communal dining, simple and flavorful local fare that has stood the test of time and a rich cultural history reflecting, among others, Byzantium and the Normans. Menhirs (pre-history stones), cave churches and medieval castles keep it wild along with hiking, shopping, wine tasting, cycling and preparing classic dishes with master chefs. Antonello Losito, since 2007 one of Pugli’s premier guides, shares his passion for the food, landscape, and culture of Southern Italy with guests.
2017 New Trip for Writers
In Asia: Vietnam: Travel Writing with Dave Fox – Mar.6-17, 2017, from $3,775. Guests who want to delve deep into Vietnamese culture and advance their travel writing prowess are invited to explore Vietnam with best-selling author and award-winning travel writer Dave Fox. In a collaborative small group, budding travel writers practice mindfulness and how to see anew employing a heightened sense of awareness using all their senses traveling south to north by boat, bike and foot among the clamor of cities and the peaceful rice paddies and villages. The trip culminates with a two-night cruise through Halong Bay as participants develop new sources of self-expression and personal story-telling that chronicles a sense of place and people, grabbing the imaginations and capturing the hearts of their readers. Dave has been a Public Radio news anchor, a tour guide and an international cruise ship lecturer.
New for 2017 – Transformational Adventures
In Latin America: Patagonia: A Journey of Discovery – 7 days, from $3,100 is one of Wildland’s first in a series of new Transformational Travel experiences. Embark on a guided journey of personal exploration and discovery through one of the most spectacular and inspirational places in the world. Head deep into Torres del Paine National Park for three days of extensive hiking into the Paine Massif. Along the way, Michael Bennett, Ed.D. of Muddy Shoe Adventures, facilitates small group sharing using the power of nature and adventure to foster a deeper sense of discovery of the on this journey of personal exploration. Michael will use the trip’s many adventures as catalysts for casual yet inspirational discussions for participants to reflect, share and learn from what they are experiencing with the goal of integrating it into one’s day-to-day life.
In Asia: Thailand: Discovering the Land of Smiles– 9 Days from $2,450. Thailand is one of the most diverse, exotic, and exhilarating countries on earth. A trip there among chaotic cities, vibrant markets, temples steeped in spiritual richness, and verdant tropical nature full of wildlife, guarantee that you’ll be enlivened and enriched and an opportunity to see yourself anew. Along the way, Michael Bennett, Ed.D., of Muddy Shoe Adventures, facilitates sharing among travelers of each day’s adventures as inspiration in a collaborative and supportive small group recognizing each traveler’s present rite of passage, and for some to develop a personal action plan for kick-starting the next chapter of their lives.
Travel media company Lonely Planet’s travel experts scoured the states this year to create its annual list of the top 10 most exciting places to go in the United States in the year ahead. Best in the US 2017 (lonelyplanet.com/best-in-us), lists the 10 destinations poised to shine next year, whether they’re up-and-coming, overlooked or offer new, inviting reasons to visit in 2017.
This year, Lonely Planet named the charming enclave of Asheville, North Carolina as the #1 destination in the US to visit in 2017. The vibrant small city is known for its welcoming, creative spirit and eclectic architecture. Its thriving artistic community and booming food and drink scene – all surrounded by spectacular natural beauty – is putting it firmly on the map.
Following in second place is Western Washington, where iconic landscapes made their way into popular consciousness in Twin Peaks, the television drama making a comeback in 2017. In third place is heartland hub Lincoln, Nebraska, hosting festivals throughout the year to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Other notable places that made the list include the southern desert area of California (#4), Texas’ relatively unknown wine country (#8) and a picture-perfect strip of Florida coast (#10).
“Lonely Planet’s Best in the US 2017 are the places we recommend travelers go next year,” said Lonely Planet magazine managing editor Rebecca Warren. “This year’s list is incredibly diverse, spanning from coast to coast, giving a panoramic tour of America. Whether travelers want to escape to the mountains, get transported back in time or relax by the beach, these are the destinations to be excited about. Some of them are on the public’s radar, while others are recently emerging, and they all offer compelling reasons to visit in 2017.”
Now in its 7th edition, Lonely Planet’s Best in the US is a highly anticipated list of cities, regions and states worth traveling to in the year ahead, selected and ranked by Lonely Planet’s US destination editors, writers and travel community. The list is available online at lonelyplanet.com/best-in-us, featuring a video and a chance to win a weekend away for two in #1 Asheville, plus accompanying articles on each destination.
100-mile stretch of sugar-fine sand and beachfront towns
Frequented by the rich and famous, and still affordable
The Truman Showtown of Seaside is an eco-friendly, 80-acre dream
Lonely Planet’s Best in the US 2017 goes beyond the locations featured in its annual Best in Travel 2017, which names the best places to visit all over the globe, featuring Canada (#1 country), Coastal Georgia, Los Angeles and Portland.
Competition: Enter for a chance to win a weekend trip to #1 Best in the US 2017 destination. Thanks to Explore Asheville and Biltmore. Runs Dec 6, 2016 – Feb 6, 2017.
With the arrival of the New Year, many will make resolutions to get fit or take a trip. From biking to hiking to paddling and yoga, here are eight active adventures around the world that will help you accomplish both.
Ride an Ironman bike course:With tour operators Ride & Seek and Big Island Bike Tours, ride the roads of Hawaii’s grueling and windy Ironman bike course, through coffee plantations and up the world’s largest active volcano, 13,677-foot Mauna Loa. You’ll also get to soak away any soreness in the heated tide pools of Kapoho.
Snorkel and kayak Thailand: On an Adventure Life trip, snorkel the clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand, home to abundant coral and marine life, and spend a day exploring the uninhabited islands of Angthong Marine Park by kayak. There’s also plenty of time to relax on the idyllic beaches of Koh Samui.
Trek with gorillas in Rwanda:Encounter some of the last remaining mountain gorillas in the world on a Gondwana EcoTours trek into the lush forests of Rwanda, home to hundreds of species of birds and numerous waterfalls. You’ll also track chimpanzees and the golden monkey, and watch for elephants and buffalo.
Ski steep and deep in Montana:Rent a cabin in the Moonlight Basin community and ski the steep, open terrain of Montana’s Big Sky resort. You’ll have access to 5,800 acres and 4,350 feet of vertical, and with a private guide from Moonlight can ski the famed North Summit Snowfield and areas normally closed to the public. Other activities include guided Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking on winter trails.
Hike and photograph Northwest Argentina:With Travel Vision Journeys, hike and photograph a variety of landscapes in Northwest Argentina, including the Gorge of Arrows, Seven Colors Mountain, the Enchanted Valley in Los Cardones National Park and the Salinas Grandes salt flat. Along the way, you’ll also sample some of the country’s finest wines from high-altitude vineyards.
Fly fish Bolivia:Where the Amazon jungle meets the Andes, wade a freestone stream and walk its banks on a Frontiers tour of Bolivia. You’ll be casting for golden dorado, as well as pirapitinga, yatorana and surubi in remote national park and indigenous territory.
Yoga at a Wyoming ranch retreat:At Red Reflet Ranch near Ten Sleep, Wyoming, take a yoga class with serene views of green pastures, ponds and red rock formations. There’s also a climbing wall, hiking, mountain biking and, of course, horseback and cattle activities.
Cycle an alpine road in Romania:On Ciclismo Classico’s Grand Tour of Transylvania, climb 15 miles up the winding Transfagarasan alpine road – the second-highest paved road in Romania – to Balea Lake at 6,562 feet in elevation. You’ll also pass through medieval cities, stay in a restored castle and visit a fortified church.