Category Archives: family-friendly adventures

Western River Expeditions Offers Families Respite from Lockdown Whitewater Rafting in Utah’s Desolation Canyon

Western River Expeditions’ Desolation Canyon 5-Day rafting trip, ideal for families seeking respite from COVID lockdown, is offered June through August.

SALT LAKE CITY – For over 60 years, Western River Expeditions has specialized as Nature’s partner, offering guests the specialized expertise, matched with a pristine river environment to enable transformations in body and spirit that are so needed as families emerge from COVID isolation.

“Reservations are up 37 percent over the same period last year for our premier family rafting trip,” reports Brandon Lake, co-owner of Western River Expeditions. “Families are clamoring to reinvent themselves in one of the most remote (no roads, no towns and no cell service) destinations in the continental United States. They are counting on us to deliver their first great trip back after hibernation for so long.”
 
This is Utah’s Desolation Canyon, carved over millennia by the 730-mile Green River that is spawned by glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the wilds of northern Wyoming.
 
The company’s proven and lauded health protocols are in place for this trip that welcomes families with children ages five and up. Fully 100 percent of this vacation takes place outside together. Transportation to the put-in is by small plane on a 40-minute flight over the desert plateau from Moab, Utah. Passengers are appropriately distanced on the aircraft and are required to wear masks on the airplane and in shuttle vehicles.
 
“Being able to travel and vacation in confidence will also assist the healing process – especially for parents,” Lake said. He explained that the rafting journey through Desolation Canyon is much more than rafting. The environment offers large beaches, swimming holes, outlaw cabins to explore, Native American sites, wildlife, fishing and great hikes. “It’s absolutely one of the best family vacations in the world.”
 
The Green is less strident than the Grand Canyon’s rollicking Colorado River. Whitewater on the Green is playful, marked by over 60 warm-water Class I-III rapids, packed with more than enough splash to excite all ages.
 
Western River Expeditions’ Desolation Canyon 5-Day Trip is offered June through August. Rates are $1,845 for ages 16 and up and $1,145 for ages 5-15 including airport transfer and flight from Moab, Utah, to the river, cots, tents, sleeping bags, chairs and water-resistant bags, all meals from between departure to return, guides, staff and equipment.
 
Highlights:

  • exploring 88 river miles
  • the option to paddle two-person inflatable kayaks or, relax in a guide-powered oar boat
  • witnessing 40 million years of geologic history
  • maneuvering 60+ fun-filled Class I-III rapids. One of the greatest features of this expedition is that the rapids are spread fairly evenly throughout the length of the trip so the action keeps it exciting all journey long.
  • visiting famous Wild West outlaw hideouts. Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch found that the rugged terrain here offered a perfect hideaway.
  • wondering about the past at now-derelict homesteads built of native materials
  • getting to know an ancient culture that both foraged and planted corn from the 7th to the 13th centuries, leaving behind Fremont Native American petroglyphs
  • hiking off-river with a seasoned guide well-versed in the region’s history and geology
  • deluxe camping on broad, sandy beaches along the river bank
  • enjoying host-prepared meals for both adults and children, with ingredients sourced from local farmers and producers
  • sunbathing on and off the water shaded by ancient cottonwoods
  • watching a Trip Jester entertain the children so parents have some down time 

For more details on this trip see https://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon
 
For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the recently enhanced website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 
Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the largest licensed outfitter in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Western River Expeditions, providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

REI Focuses on Domestic Outdoor Experiences With Aim to Help 3 Million Get Outdoors Annually; Discontinues International Adventure Trips

Camping in Letchworth State Park, New York. REI Co-op is revising plans for the future of its experiences business with a goal of getting 3 million people outdoors each year through its experiences programs, which will focus exclusively on U.S. domestic adventures. © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

SEATTLE – REI Co-op is revising plans for the future of its experiences business with a goal of getting 3 million people outdoors each year through its experiences programs, which will focus exclusively on U.S. domestic adventures.

The co-op is investing in an expanded network of experiences close to iconic U.S. outdoor destinations, building on its expertise of small group active travel and local programming currently offered across the nation. REI expects to launch at least 12 new experience centers in the next two years where customers can tap into REI’s guided tours, gear rental and instruction. As part of the announcement, the co-op will discontinue its international adventure travel trips effective May 2021 in order to invest in its domestic travel growth strategy and expand offerings in hiking and camping, backpacking, cycling, women’s only, under-35, family and weekend adventures.

With more than 100 itineraries across the United States, REI adventure travel offers one of the broadest activity assortments of any U.S.-based tour operator. Sales of REI domestic adventure trips have gotten off to a fast start in 2021. As of March, domestic trips were up by 28 percent compared to 2019, making it one the strongest years in adventure travel sales.

“REI is a leader at getting people outside. We’re the only national organization with a wide range of experiences that provide life-changing outdoor moments, whatever someone’s skill level may be,” said Curtis Kopf, who was recently named REI’s chief experience officer. “The co-op’s bold investment in our U.S. experiences will help us welcome more people into the outdoors by making nature more accessible and attainable for everyone.”

A leader with REI since 2018, Kopf’s new role is an evolution of his previous oversight over REI’s experiences and digital divisions. As chief experience officer, he will oversee REI’s acceleration of efforts to design and build differentiated customer experiences that are interconnected across the company in physical locations, digital platforms and hosted experiences.

In recent years, REI annually has helped over 310,000 individuals across the country progress their outdoor interests and explore iconic outdoor destinations like national parks. Beyond multiday adventures, REI also offers fun and educational local experiences in major markets across the country through beginner-to advanced-level classes and guided day tours for hiking, cycling, paddling, climbing and more. REI is a top provider of how to ride a bike classes and wilderness training through its long partnership with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). The co-op also operates a destination adventure center based in Scottsdale, Arizona with gear rentals, day tours and education for residents and tourists visiting the region.

As REI focuses exclusively on U.S. domestic adventure travel and experiences, the co-op will provide full refunds to any guest who was booked on an international adventure. The co-op’s final international trip will depart in early May. All camping and hiking gear provided by REI to its international vendor network will remain in country for the continued use by individual operators.

REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. One of the nation’s largest consumer co-ops, REI is a growing community of more than 19 million members. REI has 168 locations in 39 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI Outlet or the REI shopping app. REI isn’t just about gear. Adventurers can take the trip of a lifetime with REI’s active adventure travel company that runs more than 100 itineraries across the country. In many communities where REI has a presence, professionally trained instructors share their expertise by hosting beginner-to advanced-level classes and workshops about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Escape Adventures Introduces Multi-Sport Tour of Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks

Zion National Park. Escape Adventures is introducing a new six-day multi-sport and camping tour that combines Zion National Park with Bryce Canyon National Park (c) Sarah Falter/goingplacesfarandnear.com

(Las Vegas, NV) – Escape Adventures, one of the first outfitters to offer guided mountain bike tours of Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park 29 years ago, is introducing a six-day multi-sport and camping tour that combines these two of Mother Nature’s greatest marvels.  In addition to riding Escape Adventures’ favorite mountain bike routes, guests will enjoy hiking, rock climbing, canyoneering and rappelling among the region’s cliffs, crags, plateaus, and pinnacles.

This multi-sport tour with first-class camping is ideal for active families and starts at $1,895 per person. E-bikes are available at an additional cost.  For more info, click here or call Escape Adventures at 800-596-2953. Watch a gorgeous video here

“From mountain biking the trails of Red Canyon and Sunset Cliffs, to hiking and climbing in Sunset Point, Cascade Falls, and Zion’s Narrows, this multi-sport tour offers an array of exciting activities,” said Escape Adventures Director Jared Fisher. “A canyoneering day in Zion takes us bouldering in deep canyons and rappelling chutes up to 150 ft.”

Not only is the mountain biking phenomenal and diverse, so is the terrain. In a sense, it is a geologic extension of The Grand Canyon, located 75-miles to the south. The landforms lend themselves to a multitude of adventures and inspiring place names, such as The Court of The Patriarchs, The Beehives, Mountain of The Sun, and The Great White Throne.

Guests will move seamlessly from one day to the next, camping, and enjoying delicious homemade meals. The majority of campgrounds feature indoor facilities and showers. In more remote backcountry camping scenarios, Escape Adventures will provide portable toilets and private solar showers.

“There is nothing better than rolling into camp to fresh made chips and salsa, homemade guacamole, and Dutch oven enchiladas,” said Fisher. “Then making your way to a sweet and inviting campfire, sharing your favorite anecdote or image from the day’s activities, and enjoying a local beer before retiring to your tent.”

Full Itinerary:

Day 1-2: Meet in St. George. Ride Red Canyon to Bryce Canyon, Hike the hoodoos of Bryce Canyon.
Day 3-4: Ride Red Canyon past Tropic Reservoir to Hatch. Descend to Zion.
Day 5-6: Canyoneering in Zion, hike the narrows. Rock climbing in Red Cliffs.

All internal land expenses and services are covered in the cost of this tour. This means from the time Escape Adventures picks you up, all transportation, food preparation, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, group supplies and community gear (portable chairs, large awnings, coolers, utensils, etc.) are included. Backcountry permits, licenses, park fees, reservations, and accommodations are also included, along with professionally trained trip leaders, a mobile first aid and mechanic station, spare bikes, and a support vehicle. Trip price does not include airfare, lodging prior to trip start or bicycle rental and/or camping gear unless otherwise noted on itinerary or website.

Since 1992, Escape Adventures has lead adventure travel vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world. Building on over 100 destinations, Escape Adventures caters to the full spectrum of active traveler, fitness level and activity type, from road cyclist to mountain biker to electric biker, hiker, and multi-sport enthusiast and from first timer to friends and family groups of all ability levels (https://escapeadventures.com/).

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

New Yorkers Encouraged to Celebrate New Year Outdoors – Responsibly – at State Parks

Hiking in the Adirondacks. New Yorkers are encouraged to celebrate the New Year safely by spending time outdoors this holiday season at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails, and public lands across the state beginning January 1, 2021. Register for one of the many walks and hikes being held across the state as part of the 10th Annual First Day Hikes program © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

New Yorkers are encouraged to celebrate the New Year safely by spending time outdoors this holiday season at state parks, historic sites, wildlife areas, trails, and public lands across the state beginning January 1, 2021. Families across the state can register for one of the many walks and hikes being held across the state as part of the 10th Annual First Day Hikes program, a partnership between the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Department of Environmental Conservation.

“In these challenging times, getting out into nature has been a major outlet for safe and healthy recreation for New Yorkers,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”Whether you’re taking a self-guided hike at a favorite park or discovering a new local trail this holiday season, New Yorkers have unparalleled options and destinations to embrace the outdoors this winter and bring in the New Year while remaining COVID safe and COVID smart.”

With the Empire State Trail near completion, residents along the 750-mile route – the longest multi-use state trail in the nation- can enjoy the great outdoors while supporting tourism and community revitalization across the state. Information about the trail, including an interactive map detailing the route, designated parking areas, and nearby attractions is available on the project website.

Walks and hikes are family-friendly, and typically range from one to five miles and are being offered at more than 60 state parks, historic sites, DEC state lands, wildlife areas, Forest Preserve trails and environmental education centers.

A list of New York State First Day Hikes, location details, format, pre-registration requirements and additional information can be found online at parks.ny.gov and dec.ny.gov. Interested participants are encouraged to check the details of their preferred host site and pre-register where required.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and requirements for safe outdoor recreation, there will be no large group hikes this year. The event options for hikes range from self-guided treks to staff- or volunteer-led hikes with a limited number of participants. All hikes are subject to regional COVID-19 limitations. Masks or face-coverings are mandatory, and capacity restrictions may limit participation so have some alternate locations in mind. Hikes will span Friday, Saturday or Sunday of January, allowing participants the time and space to social distance while still enjoying nature’s winter wonders.

Here is a list of First Day Hikes by region, along with contact information:

Western New York

Allegany State Park- Red House; 716.354.9101 x.232

DeVeaux Woods State Park, Niagara Falls; 716.282.5154

Evangola State Park, Irving; 716.549.1050

Fort Niagara State Park, Youngstown; 716.282.5154

Genesee Valley Greenway, Hinsdale; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway, Cuba; 585.493.3614

Genesee Valley Greenway Snowmobile Ride, Avon; 585.964.3614

Hamlin Beach State Park, Hamlin; 585.964.2462

Knox Farm State Park, East Aurora; 716.549.1050

Letchworth State Park, Castile; 585.493.3680

Niagara Falls State Park, Niagara Falls; 716.282.5154

Plumbottom State Forest, Amity; 585.415.1521

Reinstein Environmental Education Center, Depew; 716.683.5959

Finger Lakes & Central New York

Bowman Lake State Park/McDonough State Forest, Oxford; 607.334.2718

Catharine Valley Trail, Watkins Glen; 607.535.4511

Chenango Valley State Park, Chenango Forks; 607.648.5251

Clark Reservation State Park, Jamesville; 315.415.8377

Delta Lake State Park, Rome; 315.337.4670

Finger Lakes Trail, Naples; 585.727.6495

Finger Lakes Trail Peaceweavers Loop, Naples; 607.227.7957

Fort Ontario State Historic Site, Oswego; 315.343.4711

Glimmerglass State Park, Cooperstown; 607.547.8662

Green Lakes State Park, Fayetteville; 315.637.6111

Herkimer Home State Historic Site, Herkimer; 315.823.0398

Montezuma Audubon Center, Savannah; 315.365.3580

Norwich Greenway North, Norwich; 607.336.4628

Rogers Environmental Education Center, Sherburne; 607.674.4733

Rome Sands Plains Unique Area, Rome; 315.866.6330 ext. 119

Taughannock Falls State Park, Trumansburg; 607.387.7041 ext. 131

North Country/Adirondacks

Goodnow Mountain, Newcomb; 518.582.4551 ext. 104

John Brown Farm State Historic Site, Lake Placid; 518.744.7112

Paul Smith’s College Visitor Interpretive Center, Paul Smith’s, 518-327-6241

Point Au Roche State Park, Plattsburgh; 518.563.6444

Robert G. Wehle State Park, Henderson; 315.938.5302

Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, Sackets Harbor; 315.646.2321

Wellesley Island State Park, Fineview; 315.482.2479

Wildway Overlook, Essex, 518.962.2287

Greater Capital District

Five Rivers Environmental Education Area, Delmar; 518.475.0291

Grafton Lakes State Park, Grafton; 518.279.1155 x2

Mine Kill State Park, North Blenheim; 518.827.6111

Moreau Lake State Park, Gansevoort; 518.793.0511

Saratoga Spa State Park, Saratoga Springs; 518.584.2000 x16

Hudson Valley/Catskills

FDR State Park, Yorktown; 914.245.4434

Little Stony Point/Hudson Highlands State Park, Cold Spring; 845.224.7207

John Jay Homestead State Historic Site, Katonah; 914.232.5651

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Peter’s Kill, Kerhonkson; 845.255.0752

Minnewaska State Park Preserve, Sam’s Point, Cragsmoor; 845.647.7989

North-South Lake, Haines Falls; 518-935-3735

Olana State Historic Site, Hudson; 518.751.0344

Old Croton Aqueduct State Historic Park, Dobbs Ferry; 646.303.1448

Red Hill Fire Tower Trailhead, Denning; 845.256.3083

Rockefeller State Park Preserve, Pleasantville; 914.666.6503

Sterling Forest State Park, Tuxedo; 845.351.5907

Taconic State Park – Copake Falls, Copake Falls; 518.329.3993

Tivoli Bays Wildlife Management Area, Tivoli; 845.625.7198

NYC & Long Island

Bethpage State Park, Farmingdale; 516.249.0701

Clay Pit Ponds State Park Preserve, Staten Island; 718-605-3970 ext. 201

Connetquot River State Park Preserve, Oakdale; 631.581.1005

Cupsogue Beach County Park, Westhampton; 631.444.0450

Jones Beach State Park, Wantagh; 516.785.1600

Hallock Preserve, Wading River; 631-315-5475

Montauk Point State Park, Montauk; 631.668.5000

Mt. Loretto Unique Area, Staten Island; 718.313.8591

Ridge Conservation Area, Ridge; 631.444.0350

Shirley Chisholm State Park, Brooklyn; 212.866.3100

Sunken Meadow State Park, Kings Park; 631.269.4333

“First Day Hikes have grown into a popular tradition for many New Yorkers and we look forward to welcoming families and friends out on the trail at many of our parks and historic sites,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “While this year’s program may look a little different from previous events, exploring the outdoors is still the perfect way to enjoy the winter landscapes, unwind with loved ones and kick off the coming year.”

“One unexpected, yet welcome result of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increase in the number of New Yorkers heading outdoors to explore world-class recreational opportunities close to home,” State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “As we get ready to turn the page on 2020 and enter the New Year, DEC and our partners at State Parks are encouraging visitors to keep discovering New York’s abundant lands and parks and to do so safely and responsibly by observing social distancing and other guidelines to ensure an enjoyable and healthy experience for everyone.”

“This year gave New Yorkers a new opportunity to discover the wonders and adventures that await them just outside their doors,” I Love New York Executive Director Ross Levi said. “New York State is not just an amazing destination for visitors; it is a world-class getaway in our own backyard. First Day Hikes and the new year will offer New Yorkers another chance to find what they love here in our own amazing state.”

Get Outside Safely, Responsibly, and Locally

New York State’s PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL campaign encourages residents to engage in responsible recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. New York State Parks and the Department of Environmental Conservation recommendations for getting outside safely incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health for reducing the spread of infectious diseases. PLAY SMART * PLAY SAFE * PLAY LOCAL encourages New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice physical distancing, show respect for all outdoor adventurers, and use common sense to protect themselves and others. Wear a mask, even when visiting the outdoors. For more information, visit: https://parks.ny.gov/covid19/

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 77 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, visit www.parks.ny.gov, download the free NY State Parks Explorer mobile app or call 518.474.0456. Also, connect on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.

See:

Driveable Getaways: Hiking the Hudson River School Art Trail in the Great Northern Catskills

Driveable Adventures: Hiking/Camping in the ‘Grand Canyon of the East’ –NY’s Letchworth State Park

New York’s Empire State Trail Comes Together: Biking the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail in Hudson Valley

Catching the Peak Fall Foliage in New York State’s Adirondack Mountains

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Austin Adventures Adds Collection of Top Guest Ranches for 2021

In partnership with Best Ranches in the West, Austin Adventures has added 14 first- class guest ranches to its offerings for 2021.

BILLINGS, MT – Challenging times call for creative solutions. Looking to expand its award-winning portfolio of naturally self-distancing, nature-based, small group vacations for adults and families, Austin Adventures only needed to look to its own backyard for the perfect solution – the Western guest ranch vacation.
 
In partnership with Best Ranches in the West, Austin Adventures has added 14 first- class guest ranches to its offerings. Founder and President Dan Austin and his Montana-based team drew from their personal knowledge and regional experience having hosted and operated adventures throughout the West for the past 40 years. With careful vetting and personal experience, they have bestowed their highest mark of approval on each property in this exclusive group of all-inclusive guest ranches situated in some of the most spectacular settings in the West.
 
In 2020, many North American guest ranches saw a surge of bookings from families needing to come up with safe alternatives to their cancelled cruise and international vacation plans. Austin recognized this trend early and in January began the steps to include ranch vacations in its 2021 line-up. It was, “a long overdue addition” in Austin’s words.
 
Knowing safety will be top priority to today’s traveler, Austin emphasizes the natural and healthy style of this type of vacation alternative that also embraces carefully planned and recently enacted COVID-19 mitigation protocols:

  • All are in wilderness-adjacent locations that are isolated and remote
  • Chef-prepared, fresh and locally sourced foods and wines of the region
  • Opportunities to indulge in a variety of outdoor recreational activities
  • The natural social-distancing that horseback riding provides
  • Adhering to the highest standards of housekeeping, service and maintenance
  • A rare feeling of exclusivity with VIP pampering, service and experiences
  • The ability to combine a ranch stay with a road-trip to avoid flying 

Austin Adventures’ Guest Ranch Collection for 2021 will include these highly coveted ranch properties across the West: 

  1. Tanque Verde Ranch – Tucson, AZ
  2. White Stallion Ranch – Tucson, AZ
  3. Tombstone Monument Ranch – Tombstone, AZ 
  4. Rancho de la Osa – Sasabe, AZ
  5. Kay El Bar Ranch – Wickenburg, AZ
  6. Latigo Guest Ranch – Kremmling, CO
  7. Sylvan Dale Guest Ranch – Loveland CO
  8. Western Pleasure Guest Ranch – Sandpoint, ID
  9. Running Y Ranch Resort – Klamath Falls, OR
  10. Zion Mountain Ranch – Zion National Park, UT
  11. Spring Creek Ranch – Jackson, WY
  12. Brush Creek Luxury Ranch Collection – Saratoga, WY
  13. The Hideout Lodge & Guest Ranch – Shell, WY
  14. Paradise Guest Ranch – Buffalo, WY 

“We look forward in the months ahead to welcoming to our portfolio other outstanding properties that meet our criteria,” Austin adds. The Guest Ranch Collection is expected to grow with the addition of one or two new offerings a year.
 
Guest ranch vacation packages will be available for booking through the adventure specialists at Austin Adventures. See: https://www.austinadventures.com/guest-ranch-collection/. To research and reserve any of Austin Adventures offerings, call 800-575-1540 or email info@austinadventures.com. For a full roster of Austin Adventures’ 2021 trips, covering seven continents, visit http://www.austinadventures.com
 
Based in Billings, Montana, Austin Adventures has spent 40 years building an international reputation as a top provider of luxury, small group, multisport tours for adults and families to the world’s most captivating destinations. With cruises and accommodations on seven continents, they have been acknowledged twice by Travel + Leisure Magazine with the prestigious World’s Best Awards along with other national media accolades and distinctions. Austin Adventures has perfected the art of creating itineraries featuring exceptional regional dining, distinctive accommodations, incredible guides and exhilarating activities, all while keeping all-inclusive rates and services the norm. In addition to scheduled group departures on all seven continents, Austin Adventures has developed a reputation as the leader in customized trip planning and execution, all backed by the industry’s best money-back satisfaction guarantee. Austin Adventures is a Virtuoso Preferred Tour Operator.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Western River Expeditions Draws on 60 Years Experience to Devise Protocols to Keep Families Adventuring this Summer

Western River Expeditions is applying decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. Here are some of many steps this company is taking to counter COVID-19 fears so families can continue to experience outdoor adventures this summer. 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Where in the world – and how – will families vacation this summer?
 
Given months of pandemic-driven lock-down orders, stay-at-home summer vacation won’t be high on many lists. What will be attractive will be vacations that embrace fresh air and the healing powers of nature that can work wonders on family spirits and recovery.
 
Western River Expeditions (https://www.westernriver.com/ for nearly 60 years has operated top-quality river rafting vacations for individuals, families and friends. This year they are also applying their decades of professionalism to pandemic-related challenges. Here are some of many steps this company is taking to counter COVID-19 fears. 

  • Screening Employees: Every day before work, each employee must pass both a temperature and pulse oximeter screen, and then answer a detailed questionnaire.
  • Screening Guests at Check-in: Guests exhibiting temperatures of 100.4 or higher will not be allowed to travel with Western River Expeditions at the time they planned; instead, they will receive an “Adventure Credit” which allows the guest and any members of the group who were currently living at the same physical address during any of the 7 days prior to the trip to use the full paid value of their trip as a credit for a future trip at a later date.
  • Screening while on Multi-Day Trips: All trip participants and guides will have a daily temperature and pulse oximeter checks and fill out a daily review of symptoms questionnaire. 

In addition, there are new protocols in place should someone experience COVID-19 symptoms during a trip. In such case, steps will be taken to protect other guests from exposure during the remainder of that trip. There also will be protocols for toilet facilities, hand washing stations and social distancing (when feasible) as well as reduced number of guests per raft.
 
The company will also implement specific guidelines that address everything from life-jacket use and sanitation, to meal prep and service, use of shuttle vans, number of people per shuttle vehicle, sanitation of rafts, dry bags, cots, sleeping bags and all associated equipment. For more details on Western River Expeditions’ specific protocols please see https://www.westernriver.com/covid-19
 
Western River Expeditions hopes to still operate late spring and summer 2020 trips, subject to the easing of government-mandated closures. Three suggested trips ideal for families are: 

  • Desolation Canyona five-day trip through breathtaking Desolation Canyon and Gray Canyon on the Green River in central Utah. Trips are scheduled to depart June 7 through Aug. 12 with a minimum age of five years old. For details see https://www.westernriver.com/desolation-canyon
  • Southwest Samplera four-day adventure that includes an off-road Hummer Safari, Arches National Park tour and overnight rafting trip as well as a stay at Moab’s Marriott SpringHill Suites. Departures are scheduled May 26 through Aug. 26. If National Park closures affect the operation of the Arches National Park tour, guests will explore another stunning location in Moab. For details see  https://www.westernriver.com/moab-utah-vacation-sampler
  • Grand Canyon, the three-day option still has some limited space on certain dates from June 21st through September. Conveniently departing and returning to Las Vegas, NV, this 100-mile journey is suitable for families with kids as young as nine. For details see: https://www.westernriver.com/grand-canyon-river-trip 

Other adventures from Western River Expeditions include:

Utah’s Cataract Canyon Classic 4 Day: Unless otherwise advised, we are currently planning to operate all scheduled departures for our 4-Day Cataract Canyon Expeditions June 2 through August 25. We are accepting reservations now for any of these dates. This spectacular 4-Day Colorado River trip runs 100 miles from Moab to Lake Powell through Canyonlands National Park. A flight returns guests to Moab over Canyonlands.

Cataract Canyon Express 2 Day: Unless otherwise advised, we are currently planning to operate all scheduled departures for our 2-Day Cataract Canyon Expeditions June 1 through August 25. We are accepting reservations now for any of these dates. This faster-paced 2-Day Colorado River trip runs 100 miles from Moab to Lake Powell through Canyonlands National Park. Large whitewater rapids are a big part of this adventure!

Upper Grand Canyon 6 or 7 Day: Trips starting June 14 and later are currently scheduled to operate. Select trips June through September have limited availability. If you are unable to find your desired date, please add your name to our 2020 Waitlist for Grand Canyon 6 & 7 Day Expeditions. The upper 188 miles of the Grand Canyon offer some of the largest whitewater rapids in North America and a plethora of side canyon attractions. 

Lower Grand Canyon 4 Day with Bar Ten Ranch: We plan to operate all 4 day departures from June 21st through September. Limited space is available on select departures in 2020. If you are unable to find your desired date, please add your name to our 2020 Waitlist for Grand Canyon 3-4 Day Expeditions. Adding one day and a night at the Bar Ten Ranch before dropping into the 3-day river expedition is a popular way to extend your Grand Canyon experience.

Western River Expeditions is an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City, with operations and offices in Moab, Utah and Fredonia, Arizona. Annually from March through October it escorts more people down rivers on professionally guided rafting trips in Utah, Idaho and Arizona than any other company. It is the one of largest licensed outfitters in the Grand Canyon and the largest single tour provider in Moab, UT, through its division Moab Adventure Center (http://www.moabadventurecenter.com/).
 
Providing Grand Canyon rafting, Utah and Idaho rafting, and international multi-sport trips, Western River Expedition was founded in 1961 by Colorado River rafting pioneer Jack Currey. It has been named one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth” by the editors of National Geographic Adventure magazine. The company is the proud recipient of the “Best of State” award through Utah’s Premier Recognition and Awards Program for the past sixteen consecutive years (2004-2019).

For a copy of Western River Expeditions’ 2020/2021 catalog, questions, availability and reservations call toll-free: 866.904.1160 (Local: 801.942.6669) or visit the website at: http://www.westernriver.com/.
 

Follow Western River Expeditions:
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WesternRiverExpeditions
On Twitter: https://twitter.com/WesternRiver
On You Tube:  http://www.youtube.com/user/bestraftingvacations?
On Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/westernriver/

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Spend Spring Break with CroisiEurope; Book by Nov 30 for 5% Discount

In 2020, take the kids on an alternative spring break that will bring classroom learning to life. Discover art and history or wildlife and nature on board a CroisiEurope cruise.

In 2020, take the kids on an alternative spring break that will bring classroom learning to life. Discover art and history or wildlife and nature on board a CroisiEurope cruise. From the historical seaside cities of Rochefort and La Rochelle in France’s Aquitaine Region to Africa’s diverse flora and fauna, there’s a new adventure for every type of traveler waiting to be discovered.

Travelers who book a 2020 cruise before November 30, 2019 can receive a discount of up to 5% off per person, per trip with the special code: EARBOOUS.

Cruises include all excursions, activities, meals and drinks served on board.

Information and bookings at www.croisieuroperivercruises.com, 800-768-7232.

Backyard Travel Offers Cambodia With Kids Tour – Adventures In Siem Reap

Backyard Travel, a boutique private tour operator specializing in tours around Asia, introduced a new family-friendly adventure through magical Siem Reap.

Bangkok, Thailand – Backyard Travel, a boutique private tour operator specializing in tours around Asia, introduced a new family-friendly adventure through magical Siem Reap.

The seven-day Cambodia with Kids tour introduces young explorers and their families to the wonders of ancient Khmer civilization, and the bucolic landscapes that surround Siem Reap.

The journey begins at Angkor Wat, where a private tour gives kids a close-up view of its elaborate Hindu carvings and lets them explore its hidden chambers and halls. Angkor expeditions continue with a walking temple trek that loops around Angkor Thom and the iconic Bayon Temple, with stops at the Terrace of the Elephants and the Pool of Ablutions.

Adventures continue outside of Angkor, with a cycling tour through rice-paddy countryside and a trip to the Tonle Sap lake for lunch in a local stilt house. In Banteay Chhmar, families get to experience village life with a homestay, and learn traditional rice farming, fishing and beekeeping.

On return to Siem Reap, families can enjoy some free time to rest or explore, or choose an optional activity such as zip lining, horse riding, or quad-bike riding. The tour ends on an acrobatic note with a performance by Phare, The Cambodia Circus. 

“Siem Reap is a perfect destination for families,” says Backyard Travel General Manager Trystan Trestchenkoff, “It’s got exciting ancient history, hands-on cultural activities and a whole host of experiences that specifically cater to younger travelers. Pair this with Backyard Travel’s years of experience creating dedicated family tours and you’ve got an unforgettable trip for guests of all ages.

For more information about Backyard Travel, www.backyardtravel.com

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Introduce New Alaska Family Offer: Kids Save up to 50%, Free Air for Adults

Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced a new Alaska Family Offer that makes traveling next summer a lot more economical for families.

Named Top Small Ship Cruise Line in Alaska in Cruise Critic’s 2019 Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards, Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic has announced a new Alaska Family Offer that makes traveling next summer a lot more economical for families.

The special offers include: 

  • Kids Save Up to 50%:  Save on up to two children 22 and under when they travel with two full paying adults on select 2020 Alaska departures: save 50% departing in May and August and save 25% departing in June and July.

Families can choose from a selection of Alaska adventure cruises—ranging from 6 days to epic— that sail among the wildlife-rich islands and channels of Alaska deep into the wildest reaches.  The itineraries go beyond the predictable ports on the new 100-guest National Geographic Quest and Venture, and the 62-guest sister ships National Geographic Sea Lion or Sea Bird.  Hike, kayak, paddleboard, bike, and actively explore. Venture where iconic wildlife gathers—bears, eagles, bubble-netting whales, and more. Witness moving First Nations performances. And sail with a renowned expedition team of naturalists, a Lindblad-National Geographic certified photo instructor, an undersea specialist, and wellness instructor.

Kids and teens can also participate in National Geographic Global Explorers, Lindblad’s exclusive program for families, and the only one of its kind in Alaska.  Developed in conjunction with National Geographic Education, its designed to help kids and their families develop the attitudes, skills and knowledge of an explorer. 

These offers are valid for new bookings only, are subject to availability, not applicable on extensions, and may not be combined with other offers.   Complimentary air is based on economy group flights and must be ticketed by Lindblad Expeditions. In the case that Lindblad’s group flight is not available at time of booking, we reserve the right to issue a credit.  Free Air offer will be combinable with the new Family Offer, but it is limited to the adults.

For reservations or additional information on Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic voyages to some of the most beautiful and fascinating places on Earth, visit www.expeditions.com, call 1-800-EXPEDITION (1-800-397-3348) or contact your travel advisor. Visit FacebookTwitter, InstagramYouTube and Pinterest.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

London Tour Operator Evan Evans’ Family Friendly Offerings Include Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Royal Windsor Steam Express & Castle Tour

On Evan Evans’ Royal Windsor Steam Express with Castle Tour, travel from Waterloo to Windsor in style onboard the Mayflower, a beautifully restored traditional British steam train from the golden age of rail travel.

LONDON – Evan Evans, one of London’s oldest and largest tour operators, takes the pressure out of where to go and what to do when vacationing with family in London with such magical offerings as a walking tour of Harry Potter film locations, and a trip on the Royal Windsor Steam Express with Castle Tour, traveling  from Waterloo to Windsor in style onboard the Mayflower, a beautifully restored traditional British steam train from the golden age of rail travel. 

A bit of magical realism can be fun for the whole family when you follow in the footsteps of the world’s most famous wizard on the enchanting 3-hour Harry Potter Film Locations Walking Tour of London. The magic starts at Westminster tube station and then it’s on to the real-life locations that provided the inspiration for some of the most iconic locations in the wizarding world of the Harry Potter film series.  Visit exciting locations from the film series, including Diagon Alley, Platform 9 3/4s, and discover the inspiration behind the sites, as our expert guide brings the magic to life.  The tour includes Evans Evans’ personal headsets which guarantee a more immersive and intimate experience. Tours start at $25 for children/seniors and $33.75 for adults. 

The Royal Windsor Steam Express with Castle Tour rolls out the red carpet to royalty.  Travel from Waterloo to Windsor in style onboard the Mayflower, a beautifully restored traditional British steam train from the golden age of rail travel. Relax on this fantastic steam train to Windsor and let the romance of steam travel whisk you away to a town steeped in royal heritage.  Windsor Castle is set within 13 acres and boasts more than 1,000 impressive rooms.  Founded in the 11th Century by William the Conqueror, you’ll learn about how Windsor Castle has withstood siege, been used for official entertaining as a royal court by King Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, and as a home to 39 monarchs, including the UK’s reigning Queen Elizabeth II who enjoys many of her private weekends at the Castle. Unravel the spectacular history of Windsor Castle, the largest inhabited castle in the world. Enjoy visits to the magnificent State Apartments, Semi-State Rooms, Grand Reception Room, Queen Mary’s Doll House, and beautiful St George’s Chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were married in May 2018. Depending on the day and time of your visit, you might be lucky to witness the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle. The ceremony sees the guards marching through Windsor town and into the castle for the guard change.  Tours start at $80 for children and $92.50 for adults. In April 2020, families can take the steam train to Windsor and visit the famous LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort on the new Royal Windsor Steam Express with LEGOLAND’ tour. With over 55 rides, live shows and attractions set over 150 acres of parkland plus a fully LEGO themed hotel on site, the LEGOLAND Windsor Resort is a family destination that is not to be missed! 

You can discover over a thousand years of history at England’s most beautiful medieval castles and also visit the birthplace of William Shakespeare and the historic city of Oxford on our Warwick Castle, Shakespeare’s England, Oxford & The Cotswolds tour. Set against the River Avon within 64 acres of landscaped parkland, Warwick Castle once belonged to the most powerful man in England, The Earl of Warwick. This action-packed family attraction has a full program of entertainment throughout the year, such as meeting with figures of Warwick’s historic inhabitants inside the state rooms, including Countess Daisy, young Winston Churchill and many more. Go for a walk on the ramparts and up to the top of the mound where you’ll get a breath-taking view of the castle and grounds. You can also relax in the peacock garden by the Conservatory with the gentle sound of a water fountain and live peacocks walking around you. For a unique history lesson, you can view a trebuchet (a medieval catapult) that fires a rock across the grounds of the Castle. In Stratford-upon-Avon, you’ll visit the 16th-century half-timbered house where Shakespeare was born in 1564 and grew up. Families will enjoy a fascinating insight into tales of his family life and admire rare artefacts on displays from the Shakespeare Trust’s world-class collections. On the tour’s final stop, explore ‘The City of Dreaming Spires,’ and the oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford. You’ll enjoy a walking tour with our expert guide, and maybe spot filming locations shot for countless movies and TV series over the years, including the Harry Potter film seriesTour options start at $77.50 per person.

Evan Evans is one of the longest-established and largest sightseeing companies in London, operating since 1933. The company offers a range of tours of Britain, from majestic palaces and castles and quaint country villages to the historic cities of Bath, Oxford and Canterbury.

For more information and reservations, visit www.evanevanstours.com
or call Evan Evans at (0)20-795-0177.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures