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Seeking More From This Summer’s Travel? Add Adventure to the Itinerary

Experience extraordinary landscapes and incredible biodiversity on a new 15-day Madagascar Wildlife & Rainforest Expedition from Adventure Life

With pent-up demand unleashed for summer travel, it is important to book early.  From family cycling tours on Cape Cod to cycling across America, following the footsteps of Napoleon’s Grande Armée across Europe, river cruising in Europe, exploring the Galapagos and Amazon rainforest, here are a sampling of active travel ideas with a measure of adventure:

Cycle Across the USA: Plan an epic bike tour or bikepacking trip of your own with the assistance of the Adventure Cycling Association. To help riders find their way, the organization offers maps for 50,000 miles of bike routes through the U.S. and into Canada, the Bicycle Route Navigator app and other resources. Cross the country on the TransAmerica Trail, ride the Rockies on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route or try a shorter adventure in between. https://www. adventurecycling.org/

Bike Across Europe: Follow in the footsteps of Napoleon’s Grande Armée on Ride & Seek Adventures’ 36-day, 3,700-kilometer “Bike Across Europe” tour. The epic adventure crosses eight countries and two continents between Paris and Tallinn, Estonia, taking in the Champagne region of France, the green hills of southern Germany, the great lakes of Poland and the Baltics. https://www.rideandseek.com/  

Zimbabwe Safari: Summer is peak safari season in Zimbabwe and a tour with Adventure Life will bring breathtaking views and an abundance of wildlife. Guests will take in the thundering Victoria Falls and Batoka Gorge, then travel by train to a tented lodge near Hwange National Park, where elephants, buffalo, hippos, lions and other wildlife can be seen on game walks and drives during this six-day safari tour. https://www.adventure-life.com/zimbabwe/tours/11300/classic-hwange-safari

Madagascar Wildlife + Rainforest Adventure: Experience extraordinary landscapes and incredible biodiversity on a new 15-day Madagascar Wildlife & Rainforest Expedition from Adventure Life. Visit the hillside capital of Antananarivo, Morondava and its famous baobab trees, the white-sand beaches of Sainte Marie, the port city of Tamatave, and national parks and reserves filled with unique natural wonders and endemic wildlife while staying in upmarket hotels, beachside resorts and forest lodges. The 15-day tour, one of several new tours in Madagascar from Adventure Life, is available starting at $4,707 per person based on double occupancy. https://www.adventure-life.com/madagascar/tours/16437/madagascar-wildlife-rainforest-expedition

Galapagos, Amazon & Andes: Discover the magical Galapagos archipelago at Scalesia Galapagos Lodge, explore the Amazon Rainforest at Sacha Lodge and experience the Ecuadorian Andes at Hacienda Piman. Guests will hike active volcanoes, explore the Napo River by dugout canoe, enjoy a train ride in the Andes and visit one of the biggest craft markets in South America. http://www.scalesialodge.com/programs/

Rhine River Cruise: Sail the Dutch waterways and Rhine River from Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, to maritime Rotterdam, medieval Ghent and Belgium’s second city, Antwerp, before arriving in magnificent Cologne on Riviera River Cruises’ new Amsterdam, Cologne and the Best of Holland & Flanders itinerary. In 2022, guests will enjoy a visit to the once-in-a-decade Floriade Expo and its stunning array of flowers, plants, fruits and vegetables. https://www.rivierarivercruises.com/river-cruises/amsterdam-cologne-and-the-best-of-holland-flanders-river-cruise

Dolomites Cycling Tour: Experience dramatic mountain beauty and fairytale towns of Italy’s Dolomite Mountains with Tourissimo. Each day, guests will be surrounded by stunning Alpine scenery as they cycle through some of the most beautiful towns and villages of this breathtaking region. Ride over exhilarating passes, climb by soaring spires and coast downhill to charming hamlets on routes made famous by the world’s greatest cyclists. https://www.tourissimo.travel/dolomites-bike-tour

Sardinia Chef Tour: Tourissimo and SHS in Sardinia present a NEW project: a 7-day “Blue Zone” culinary cycling tour of Sardinia hosted by celebrated Chef Mary Sue Milliken. Guests will experience the culinary specialties of both the coast and the mountains and discover the cultural roots of the island while cycling some of its most scenic and traffic-free roads. Chef Milliken will play an important role in helping guests understand and experience the local cuisine and culinary techniques that tell the story of the territory. https://www.tourissimo.travel/chef-tours/sardinia

Family Cycling Adventure: Experience four days of family-friendly bike travel on Massachusetts’ scenic Cape Cod during Adventure Cycling Association’s new Cape Cod Family Adventure. At the core of the trip is nearly 100 miles of great biking between Provincetown at the tip of the outer cape and Brewster on the lower cape, including traffic-free paved trails such as the Cape Cod Rail Trail and the Head of the Meadow Trail. There’s even time off the bike to go hiking, swimming and stand-up paddleboarding.  https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/family-adventure-tours/cape-cod-family-adventure/

Tetons Tiny House Getaway: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com/

Yellowstone Country Adventures: Celebrate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Yellowstone this summer with a stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, on the edge of America’s first national park. Guests can explore the natural wonders and wildlife of the park on their own or with a guided tour, and find hiking, mountain biking, ziplining, fly fishing, whitewater rafting and more around Big Sky. https://thewilsonhotel.com/

MTB Hut System in Southern Utah: The new Aquarius Trail Hut System offers a backcountry mountain biking experience like no other in the region. A system of five huts furnished with beds, a bathroom, a fully stocked kitchen, and solar power has been strategically placed along a 190-mile route through some of Utah’s most scenic backcountry and best mountain biking trails. https://aquariustrail.com/

Maui Multi-Sport: Escape Adventures’ Maui multi-sport tour loops around the valley between Pu’u Kukui on the Hawaiian island’s west and Mount Haleakalā on the east. In addition to world-class road biking, surfing lessons and sea kayaking allow guests to add water sports to their experience, while several unforgettable hikes offer a chance to see the beautiful island on foot. https://escapeadventures.com/tour/hawaii-maui-multi-sport-road-bike-tour/

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Adventure Travel Rebound: 9 Trip Ideas for 2021

Sacha Lodge, an ecolodge set on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers.

Adventure travel is expected to recover about three to four years before mass travel – and grow more rapidly, according to a recent report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) at the first-ever Adventure Travel Xpo,. In fact, tourism ministers and secretaries around the world have identified adventure and nature travel as leading segments in the travel industry’s restart.

Here are nine adventure travel vacation ideas for 2021. 
 
1. Ecuadorian Amazon Adventure: Sacha Lodge, an ecolodge set on a 5,000-acre ecological reserve in the heart of Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a haven for nature lovers, birdwatchers, scientists and adventure seekers. It features luxury accommodations, first-class meals and expert native guides. Step into the heart of the animal and bird kingdom, home to eight species of monkeys, 50 species of bats, anteaters, three-toed sloths, ocelots, and birds of more colors than you could ever imagine. https://www.sachalodge.com/

2. MTB Hut System in Southern Utah: The new Aquarius Trail Hut System offers a backcountry mountain biking experience like no other in the region. A system of five huts furnished with beds, a bathroom and a fully stocked kitchen has been strategically placed along a 190-mile route through some of Utah’s most scenic backcountry.  https://aquariustrail.com/

3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. https://www.blacksford.com/

4. Ride the Mighty Mississippi: Join Cycle of Life Adventures on a 2,057-mile bike tour from the humble headwaters of the Mississippi River in Minnesota’s Lake Itasca to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico near New Orleans. Along the way, pass Minnesota’s many lakes, the metropolises of Minneapolis, St. Louis and Memphis, the rolling farmlands of Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois, and the levees of Louisiana. And while the tour is southbound, it isn’t all downhill. Take on the entire 33-day trek or any one of four shorter stages. https://cycleoflifeadventures.com/

5. City Slicker Dude Ranch Retreat: At Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, guests stay in fully stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. https://red-reflet-ranch.net/

6. Galapagos Glamping: Scalesia Galapagos Lodge is situated in the highlands of Isabela Island on the slopes of a volcano, about 20 minutes from the town of Puerto Villamil. The modern, luxurious, safari-style tent resort is in the middle of a magical forest with a spectacular view of the coast of Isabela Island, the Pacific Ocean, and other islands of the Galapagos archipelago dotting the horizon. http://www.scalesialodge.com/

7. Tiny House Basecamp: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com/

8. Cycle Across the USA: Plan an epic bike tour or bikepacking trip of your own with the assistance of the Adventure Cycling Association. To help riders find their way, the organization offers maps for 50,000 miles of bike routes through the U.S. and into Canada, the Bicycle Route Navigator app and other resources. Cross the country on the TransAmerica Trail, ride the Rockies on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route or try a shorter adventure in between. https://www.adventurecycling.org/

9. Yellowstone Adventure: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity for outdoor adventures in the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of the world’s first national park. https://thewilsonhotel.com/

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6 Post Vaccination Vacations

Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences.

President Joe Biden’s recent announcement that the United States will have enough coronavirus vaccines for all adults by the end of May – two months earlier than previously thought – is promising news for travelers. Precautions will still need to be taken, of course, but domestic travel is likely to be popular again this summer, highlighted by national parks, active trips and travel where physical distancing is possible. Here are six dream vacations to take this summer once you’ve gotten your shots.

1. Long-Weekend Cycling: Adventure Cycling Association is offering a new collection of long-weekend tours close metropolitan areas to make it easy to give bike travel a try. Options include taking in the crisp mountain air and stunning vistas while cycling around the stunning Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border, or leaving behind the hustle and bustle of New York City to bike up the Hudson River valley and visit peaceful state parks. https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/long-weekend-tours/

2. Greater Yellowstone Adventures: A stay at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Montana, offers the opportunity to explore the surrounding mountains, rivers and Yellowstone National Park. Go hiking through shaded forests and wildflower-filled alpine meadows, float or fly fish a clear, cool river, experience the adrenaline rush of lift-served mountain biking at Big Sky Resort, or tour the natural wonders and wildlife of Yellowstone. https://thewilsonhotel.com/

3. Explore National Parks by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, free annual national park pass and 24-hour roadside assistance. Blacksford also curates road trip experiences by connecting travelers with vetted campsites, guides and other hand-picked attractions. https://www.blacksford.com  

4. Channel Your Inner Cowboy: “Yellowstone,” the wildly popular cable television series starring Kevin Costner, has sparked newfound interest in luxury dude ranch vacations. Red Reflet Ranch, a 28,000-acre guest ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, has experienced a surge of guests booking five-figure vacations because of their love for the series. Guests stay in fully-stocked private cabins and enjoy farm-to-table cuisine while participating in equestrian programs, cattle branding, hiking, mountain biking, ATVing, fly fishing, shooting, family-friendly activities and cooking classes. https://red-reflet-ranch.net/

5. Idaho Hot Springs, Camping and Cycling: Escape Adventures is excited to offer a multiday cycling tour showcasing Idaho’s magnificent Sawtooth Range and some of the state’s most scenic natural hot springs. The tour includes five days of transfixing road rides – including over the highest paved road in the American Northwest – colorful mining towns, wild rivers and remote natural hot springs. https://escapeadventures.com/tour/sawtooth-mountains-idaho-road-bike-tour

6. Retreat to a Teton Tiny House: With sustainably built, LEED-certified “tiny house” cabins, Fireside Resort is Jackson Hole, Wyoming’s most innovative take on resort town lodging. The resort embraces modern, yet rustic design and presents a fresh approach to luxury lodging. Nestled in a wooded setting at the foot of the Teton Range, the cabins allow guests to get back to nature while enjoying the intimacy of a boutique hotel and the ambiance of their own cozy residence. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com/

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Adventure Cycling Association Offers Biking Trips to the Islands

Biking the Shining Sea trail, Cape Cod © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

MISSOULA, MT- Because of limited access, biking in an island destination can be the perfect getaway. In 2021, Adventure Cycling Association is offering active tours to Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket (https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/self-contained-tours/cape-cod-the-islands/), the San Juan Islands, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.

Of the four itineraries, only Cape Cod and the Islands still has availability. Spend a week cycling along the beautiful Atlantic Ocean shoreline, viewing seaports, glacially formed kettle ponds, and lighthouses of southeastern Massachusetts, visiting historic sites from the days of colonial America, and exploring quaint shops on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard. Attractions of special interest include Cape Cod National Seashore; a full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower; the preserved village of New Bedford, once the whaling capital of the world; and the Chatham Marconi Maritime Center. Every day on this tour is spent within 15 miles of the Atlantic, and each night close to a large body of freshwater or saltwater.

This level 1 tour is suitable for all riders and is a great choice for anyone looking to learn the basics of self-contained touring, or for an experienced bicycle traveler looking for a week of relaxed cycling. The riding is relaxed, services are plentiful, and the campgrounds are outstanding. (Sept 11-18, 2021 8 days, $1349, https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/self-contained-tours/cape-cod-the-islands/)

The other tours have waiting lists:

Puerto Rico, Inn to Inn: The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is characterized by a mist-shrouded interior mountain range, long stretches of sand beaches, and numerous forest reserves, including El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System. The route we’ll follow focuses on coastal towns and the regions encircling the central highlands with side excursions to interior sites and small neighboring islands. This tropical adventure begins and ends in San Juan, the capital city of Puerto Rico, founded in 1521 by the Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León. Travel back 500 years to Spanish colonial times by strolling down cobblestone streets, admiring ancient architecture and visiting museums, fortresses, and churches. The tour circumnavigates the island on a 339-mile journey visiting beaches, snorkeling, enjoying local cuisine, and appreciating the beauty of this tropical paradise. (Dec 5-16, 12 days, $3599, https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/inn-to-inn-tours/puerto-rico-inn-to-inn/)

Washington’s San Juan Islands, Inn to Inn: This weeklong inn-to-inn tour weaves along the glorious northwestern coastline of Washington’s Puget Sound and through its famous San Juan Islands, offering an irresistible combination of manageable daily mileages and world-class scenery. The tour spends days leisurely pedaling the waterfront, spinning inland through fertile farmlands and scenic villages full of interesting shops and top-notch seafood restaurants. On several days, cycling is broken up by ferry rides, with a chance to spot orca whales, seals, and bald eagles.  (Level 3, 8 days, Sept 4-11, $2699, https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/inn-to-inn-tours/wa-san-juan-islands-inn-to-inn/

Hawaii-3 Island Inn to Inn features Maui, Molokai, and Lanai, three of Hawaii’s most beautiful islands. On Maui, ride along stunning coastal roads and make an epic climb from sea level to the top of the Haleakala volcano at 10,000 feet — one of the world’s longest paved climbs! A small plane takes cyclists and bikes on the short 15-minute flight to Molokai for three days of cycling on quiet roads with views of gorgeous valleys and the world’s tallest sea cliffs. A ferry takes the group out on the ocean, past migrating humpback whales to Lanai for a day of exploration by bike or shuttle van, or with snorkel and fins, before returning to Maui. The inn-to-inn format means restaurant meals, overnight accommodations at hotels and inns and riding lightly loaded bikes while experiencing a tropical paradise. (Level 4, 11 days, $4,999, Dec 3-13, https://www.adventurecycling.org/guided-tours/inn-to-inn-tours/hawaii-3-island-inn-to-inn/)

Adventure Cycling Association, with 52,000 members and 50,000 miles of mapped routes, has great articles on trip planning at its site (www.adventurecycling.org, 800-755-2453).

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6 Fall Vacations to Escape the Crowds

Take a fall foliage road trip by RV: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business offering fully stocked Mercedes-Benz Sprinter overland adventure vehicles from Winnebago with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, a free annual pass to national parks and 24-hour roadside assistance.

Crisp cool air, colorful foliage, and fewer travelers clogging up the highways makes fall the perfect time to take a vacation. Whether you are driving an RV across the country, exploring a national park, playing cowboy at a dude ranch, or leaf peeping by bicycle, we have rounded up six of the best autumn vacations for every type of traveler.

  1. Fall Under the Big Sky: Fall in Big Sky, Montana, brings golden aspen and cottonwood trees, fly fishing for feisty trout and bugling elk. Hike a local trail, wade a world-class river or go on a wildlife safari in nearby Yellowstone National Park, then enjoy the hospitality and comfort of suite accommodations at The Wilson Hotel in Big Sky’s Town Center. https://thewilsonhotel.com/
  2. Leaf Peeping by Bike: Take a two-wheeled tour beneath canopies of gold, orange and red leaves in the Green Mountains with Adventure Cycling Association. Plan your own trip on the Green Mountains Loop, riding from Burlington, Vermont, into New Hampshire and along the Connecticut River, then back across to New York and the shores of Lake Champlain. An organized tour is also available in 2021. https://www.adventurecycling.org/
  3. RV Fall Foliage Road Trip: Blacksford is a new recreational vehicle rental business offering fully stocked Mercedes-Benz Sprinter overland adventure vehicles from Winnebago with an all-inclusive pricing model that includes unlimited miles, no generator fees, bedding, bath and kitchen supplies, free Wi-Fi, a free annual pass to national parks and 24-hour roadside assistance. https://www.blacksford.com/
  4. Glamp Near a National Park: Just minutes from Jackson Hole, Fireside Resort offers 25 pint-sized, luxuriously outfitted tiny house rental units designed by Wheelhaus. The resort is located a stone’s throw from Grand Teton National Park and the Jackson Hole ski slopes. It is a great place to post up for a fall getaway. https://www.firesidejacksonhole.com
  5. Play Cowboy at a Dude Ranch: Red Reflet Ranch is a 28,000-acre luxury resort and working ranch on the west slope of the Bighorn Mountains, just three hours from Yellowstone National Park. Guests stay in private chalets and enjoy family-friendly activities like horseback riding, ATVing, ziplining, swimming, hiking, fishing, shooting and feasting on farm-to-table cuisine. http://redrefletranch.com/
  6. National Park Bicycle Tour:  Escape Adventures has been leading cycling vacations through some of the most awe-inspiring natural destinations in the world since 1992. From road cyclists and mountain bikers to electric bikers, Escape Adventures offers an array of bicycle tours in iconic destinations like Yellowstone National Park, Zion National Park, the Oregon Coast, and the Grand Canyon. https://escapeadventures.com

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