Tag Archives: road trips

Marriott Partners with Quintessentially on Collection of Exclusive Luxury Road Trips

The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara is featured on a Quintessentially’s “The Classic” curated luxury road trip of California’s coast.

Marriott International, through its portfolio of luxury brands including The Ritz-Carlton, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, The Luxury Collection, EDITION and W Hotels, has unveiled a collection of “one-of-a-kind” adventures curated in partnership with Quintessentially, a leading luxury concierge company. Available to book now, global travelers have access to distinct itineraries and immersive experiences available across Marriott International’s portfolio of luxury brand properties in the United States and Europe.

“During this time we know that many of our guests are choosing to travel in different ways. They might be staying closer to home, or seeking the personal space that driving between destinations affords,” said Tina Edmundson, Global Brand and Marketing Officer and Luxury Portfolio Leader, Marriott International. “With this series of exclusive road trips, and with the expertise of Quintessentially, we are thrilled to be able to offer our guests access to unparalleled, luxury focused experiences that meet the moment.”

“Whether you are traveling to Lake Tahoe, Bal Harbour or Venice, the bespoke itineraries promise an unforgettable escape marked by luxurious accommodations, flawless service, captivating landscapes and scenery, exceptional culinary offerings and outdoor adventures.”

Curated by Quintessentially, and available starting at $15,000 for two guests, each trip will include a selection of diversified, high-end experiences that are distinctive for the destination. Guests can enjoy a champagne toast in a private seaplane overlooking the San Francisco sunset, mountain biking with a local professional biker in Santa Barbara, surfing lessons with a world surfing competitor in Half Moon Bay, a private tour of the exclusive Palazzo Corsini or Sistine Chapel in Rome. Travelers also have the option to drive in style with access to vintage cars, such as a 1960s Ford Mustang Convertible.

Quintessentially is a leading luxury lifestyle group dedicated to connecting individuals and communities through life-affirming experiences by providing access and specialist lifestyle services and fostering global brand relationships.

“At Quintessentially, we are the authority on creating one-of-a-kind, unforgettable experiences. With this collection of road trips, we are excited to bring these different destinations to life in a unique way and can further tailor the packages to guests’ personal preferences,” said Annastasia Seebohm, CEO, Quintessentially. “Marriott International’s unparalleled luxury portfolio allows for a seamless experience as guests move between properties and explore at their own pace.”

The offer will run through the end of October. Itineraries include:

BEST OF THE SUNSHINE STATE: The Miami Beach EDITION, The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, and The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota

Journey deep into the Everglades aboard an airboat

Private seaplane experience from Miami to Key West

Tour of 3 fine art galleries in downtown Naples with local art expert

Sunset sail around Naples

Take a luxury yacht to explore the coast of Sarasota

Sunset electric bike tour of historical downtown Sarasota

THE CLASSIC: The St. Regis San Francisco, The Ritz-Carlton, Santa Barbara, and The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

Private sunset sailboat cruise around the Golden Gate Bridge

Champagne toast in private seaplane overlooking the San Francisco Bay

Mountain biking in Santa Barbara with local pro biker

Private kayaking in the Channel Islands

Surf the Laguna Niguel coast with a world competitor surfer

Explore the art community of Laguna Niguel and make your own masterpiece

THE ROCKIES: The Ritz-Carlton, Denver, The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, and W Aspen

Drive a supercar down the canyons of Denver

Private hike through the Boulder Flatirons

Fly fishing in Vail Valley’s Eagle River

Hike the backcountry of Vail Valley with a llama

Mountaintop yoga in Aspen

Supper beneath the stars on Snowmass Mountain

COUNTRY TO COASTAL CALIFORNIA: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, and The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Dusk kayaking in Lake Tahoe with a private guide

Private boat trip and lunch on Lake Tahoe

Private city tour in San Francisco in your own cable car with a local guide

Champagne toast in a private seaplane overlooking San Francisco at sunset

Surfing lesson with a world competitor surfer in Half Moon Bay

Horseback riding and private photo-shoot session on the beach at Half Moon Bay

RANCHO MIRAGE TO THE SONORAN DESERT: The Ritz-Carlton, Rancho Mirage, The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale and The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain

Horseback riding along the historic Agua Caliente Indian Reservation

Mountain biking in Palm Springs

Behind the scenes of Scottsdale’s art and culinary scene

Experience a classic cattle drive in Scottsdale

Explore the Colossal Cave Park with a geologist

Graffiti tour and lesson with a local mural artist in Tucson

DEEP SOUTH TO MUSIC CITY: Perry Lane Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Savannah, The Ballantyne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Charlotte, and The Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville

Kayak tour through Savannah’s Ebenezer Creek

Tea tasting trip to Charleston

Picnic at Charlotte’s Duke’s Mansion

Learn the slow methods barbecuing meat from a pitmaster

Build your own guitar in Nashville

Learn the story of Jack Daniels and his world famous whiskey

THE DOLOMITES TO LAKE GENEVA: Cristallo, Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Cortina d’Ampezzo; Hotel Goldener Hirsch, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Salzburg; and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel de la Paix, Geneva

Enjoy a private yoga lesson in the mountains

Hike the mountains with a private guide

Bike tour of Salzburg

Walking tour of Mozart’s Salzburg

Private boat ride on Lake Geneva

Visit to the Patek Philippe Museum with a private guide

CLASSIC ITALY: The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice; The St Regis Florence; and The St Regis Rome

Guided walking tour of classic Venice

Private boat trip on the Venice lagoon and visit to Murano glassblowing factories

Afterhours tour of Florence by river cruise

Tour of the exclusive Palazzo Corsini followed by a visit to the Villa Torrigiani, Europe’s largest private garden

Early morning, private visit to the Sistine Chapel

Guided baroque passeggiata in Rome

GASTRONOMY OF THE BASQUE REGION: Hotel Maria Cristina, a Luxury Collection Hotel San Sebastian; and Hotel Marqués de Riscal, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Elciego

Exclusive meal in one of San Sebastian’s members-only cooking clubs

Learn to cook traditional Basque dishes under the guidance of a private chef

Explore the Rioja wine region via bicycle

Tour Europe’s finest Rolls-Royce collection, housed in a medieval tower

For more information visit: https://quintessentially.com/marriott-experiences

Marriott International, Inc.,  based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, encompasses a portfolio of more than 7,400 properties under 30 leading brands spanning 135 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company offers Marriott Bonvoy™, its highly-awarded travel program. For more information, visit www.marriott.com, or connect on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

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Tracks & Trails Booking 2021 RV Vacations to National Parks in Western U.S., Canada Thru Dec. 15, 2020

Roadbear RV Camper on Route US 89 Kaibab National Forest near Jacob Lake, Arizona. RV vacations are the hottest thing in travel today. Tracks & Trails is taking new bookings for 2021 packaged RV vacations to national parks in the Western US and Canada through Dec. 15, 2020.

GRAND JUNCTION, CO– It is no mystery why RV vacations are the hottest thing going in travel today. They offer the freedom and flexibility of touring the country in a fully equipped and self-contained unit that has everything needed for a perfect vacation. It’s a personal cabin on wheels that allows exploring scenic places where hotels often don’t exist.
This is the allure of RV travel, which is especially appealing during a pandemic, reports Dan Wulfman, Founder and President of Tracks & Trails, whose specialty is packaged RV vacations to national parks in the Western U.S. and Canada.
RV travel allows friends and families to be autonomous and as private as they please while enjoying the freedom of America’s open roads. Time for lunch? Just pull off at the next scenic turnout and open the fridge. Potty stop? Easy. End the day in the natural beauty of a rustic national park campsite.
Wulfman notes that the pandemic is turning millions of non-campers into aspiring RVers, and the trend is exploding. The RV Industry Association found that 20% of US residents surveyed are more interested in RV travel than in flying, tent camping, cruises, or rental stays amid coronavirus concerns.
“But getting in an RV and setting off without a plan can be daunting for a first-timer,” says Wulfman. The insider knowledge of experts can make or break the experience, and choosing your dates 6 to 12 months in advance is now essential. Due to the growing popularity of RV vacations, Tracks & Trails is already seeing shortages of campsites and RVs for 2021.
December 15, 2020 will be the cutoff date for new 2021 bookings.
For those savvy enough to lock in their dates for 2021 now with Tracks & Trails, the traveler’s work is done. The company’s team of expert planners handles all the arrangements that make it so challenging to organize a worry-free 7-14 day, multi-destination RV trip on your own. Travelers work with their T&T Trip Wizard to select one of the 20 carefully-crafted itineraries, decide on the right RV, and pick optional excursions that suit their tastes. The company takes care of the rest: reserving prime campsites, booking guided excursions with trusted outfitters, and preparing the comprehensive documentation which ensures things go smoothly on the road.
Mighty 5: Utah & the Grand Canyon is a 13-night itinerary beginning and ending in Las Vegas that visits all 5 of Utah’s national parks – Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches – as well as the Grand Canyon. Each of these parks features fascinating geological formations and extensive hiking trails. Optional excursions include canyoneering, rafting, ATV riding, horseback riding, and Jeep tours. The base trip cost which includes up to 4 people ranges from $8,000 to $10,000 and is available from May 15 to October 15. See: https://tracks-trails.com/rv-trips/mighty-5-utah-and-the-grand-canyon/
Tracks & Trails created the concept of packaged national park RV vacations in 1996, providing personalized, self-drive RV trips to active couples and families from across the U.S. They help people spend quality time together outdoors while exploring North America’s most iconic National Parks and other natural wonders.
For information on availability, pricing, and itineraries for 2021 visit www.tracks-trails.com, email: [email protected], or call 1-800-247-0970.

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10 Attractions to Safely Visit in Historic Seaside Gloucester, MA

Eastern Point, one of the outdoor attractions in Gloucester, Massachusetts, an ideal driving-distance destination this summer (photo courtesy of Discover Gloucester).

Looking for destinations that you can drive to, but bring you to some level of paradise, escape, revitalization? Gloucester, Ma., fits the bill, especially in these times: It is a charming beach destination where you can spend the days outdoors, rejuvenating in the fresh sea air.

With Massachusetts under a phase II reopening (coordinated with New York and the Northeast region), visitors will find hotels and motels adhering to rigid state and American Hotel & Motel Association standards (motels are particularly popular because you can just drive up to your own door); restaurants serving outdoors; and retail shops (eight people per 1,000 square feet, or 40 percent capacity, which in many cases means just one or two shoppers at a time.  Customers will be handed gloves and there is no try-on).

And though you can’t go whale watching, cruising, or visit museums or theme parks yet, there are still wonderful attractions to discover.

Elizabeth Carey, executive director of Discover Gloucester, offers these suggestions:

10 Gloucester Destinations You Can Safely Visit This Summer

Known as “America’s oldest seaport,” Gloucester was the largest fishing port in America in the second half of the 19th century and one of the top five ports in the world at that time. In addition to its contributions to the fishing industry, Gloucester also produced granite in nearby quarries as well as a thriving art community. Founded in 1623, the city is less than one hour north of Boston, directly on the Atlantic Ocean. Gloucester is one of four communities (Essex, Rockport, and Manchester-by-the-Sea are the other three communities) that make up the Cape Ann region.

Stage Fort Park: Site of the landing of the first settlers in 1623, Gloucester became the second permanent settlement of the early Puritans in the New World, preceded by Plymouth in 1620. Enjoy the park with over 25 acres of natural beauty, including our beaches and spectacular views of the harbor and beyond. The Welcoming Center will be open to visitors to assist with brochures, maps and guides. Stage Fort Park is part of the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway.

Ravenswood Park, Gloucester: Explore a shrouded landscape of hemlock groves, a magnolia swamp, and other trees species where you’ll find remnants of Colonial habitation. Ravenswood Park offers 600 acres for solitude and quiet contemplation of nature. With 10 miles of carriage paths and trails that meander through the park, you can find plenty of room to picnic, bird watch, walk and simply appreciate the outdoors. You don’t want to miss trekking to the overlook to Gloucester Harbor or traversing the boardwalk through the Great Magnolia Swamp, home to native Sweetbay Magnolias. The reservation is located along the Essex Coastal Scenic Byway, part of the congressionally designated Essex National Heritage Area. The area’s extensive historic, cultural and natural resources tell the story of the region’s role in the nation’s early settlement, maritime trade and industrialization. Trails: 10 miles of trails and former carriage roads. Moderate hiking. Carriage roads are covered with dense crushed stone and are generally wheelchair accessible. When to visit: Year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. Allow a minimum of two hours.

Wicked Tuna Captains and Vessels: In March 2020, Wicked Tuna premiered its 9th season on National Geographic TV. This “monstah” of a show landed in 2012 and brought viewers around the world to America’s oldest seaport. The show features five local bluefin tuna fishing captains who share their real-world tales and trails of the fishing industry here. Fans travel here hoping to meet the captains, see their boats, buy Wicked Tuna gear and see all that the city has to offer. You might even catch a glimpse of one of the captains in town. Their vessels are docked throughout our inner harbor.

Rocky Neck Art Colony:: America’s oldest continually operating art colony since 1850, Gloucester has played a vital role in America’s art history. Artists such as Fitz Henry Lane, Winslow Homer, John Sloan, Stuart Davis and Edward Hopper have all captured the light of Gloucester, as our many artists do to this day. This quaint neighborhood is a lovely area to stroll, shop and get up close and personal with many artisans who showcase their work with pride. You can catch some beautiful water views and enjoy an ice cream cone, fresh seafood or a nice iced cold beverage along the way.

Man at the Wheel Statue: The statue, also known as the Gloucester Fisherman Memorial, presides over Stacy Boulevard at the edge of Gloucester Harbor. Sculpted by artist Leonard Craske and modeled after a local fisherman, the monument was completed in 1925 in honor of Gloucester’s 300th anniversary. It has become the symbol of the city and a place to remember the 10,000-plus men lost at sea during the city’s long history. Their names are recorded on memorial plaques surrounding the structure.

Visit Eastern Point, the southern tip of the peninsula between the Atlantic Ocean and the eastern portion of Gloucester Harbor. Poet T.S. Eliot summered here for 20 years (“The sea is all about us,” he wrote in “The Dry Salvages”), and painter Winslow Homer lived at the lighthouse for a time. Come sunset, it’s easy to see why. Get a better look by walking or fishing on Dog Bar Breakwater, a quarter-mile stretch of granite blocks built in 1904 to keep ships from running aground and to shelter Gloucester Harbor from storms, which offers panoramic views of the water and shorelines.

Maritime History:  Nearly 400 years of history and innovation are written in the streets and buildings of this town. Wander the downtown Harbor Walk or visit Maritime Gloucester (Phase 3) to learn more about Gloucester’s past and present as one of America’s important fishing towns. Walk along the harbor to view working vessels and pleasure craft. Or get on the water, with your own vessel or a chartered fishing excursion or water shuttle. Being a mariner in Gloucester allows you to view the city and coastline from a new perspective.

Harborwalk for the best views from every angle in town. The 1.2 mile path traverses through town between The Gloucester House and Stage Fort Park. Make sure to stop at the Fisherman’s Memorial (famous for the statue and sobering list of fishermen who died at sea) and the Fishermen’s Wives’ Memorial. The walk is defined by 42 granite pillars which tell the stories of important people and events of Gloucester’s history.

OutDoor Dining: Here are a few restaurants that are providing out-door dining that coincides with the Massachusetts regulations as we enter Phase 2, but for a more comprehensive list, visit the site.

Minglewood Harborside for large portions, several gluten-free choices, tons of open space for families, and attentive service.

Mile Marker One is a beautiful setting right along the Annisquam River. You can sip a cocktail and enjoy their menu selections while watching the activity on the river.

Castle Manor Inn Restaurant on Essex Avenue offers outdoor dining under a tent surrounded by the perfectly groomed landscaping at the inn. Laura and Don are gracious hosts.

Check out Blue Collar Lobster for downtown water views and great seafood. Amazing array of choices on the menu to bring to your outdoor table. The restaurant is walking distance to many shops, museums, boat tours, and the Harborwalk path. And if you see Lenny, whose family has owned the restaurant since it opened in 1957, ask him to pull up a seat – he’ll be glad to share local folklore and history.

1606 Restaurant at the Beauport Hotel for outdoor seating on the waterfront and distinctive takes on traditional favorites. The stunning views are the perfect ambience for date night and special celebrations. Children are welcome. The outdoor patio has a large deck with comfortable seating. An outdoor fireplace and blankets are available should your evening get cooler.

Shopping: Gloucester’s charming Main Street features some favorite recognized brands, along with many unique locally made items handcrafted by resident artists and craftsmen -antiques, art, pottery, books, jewelry, toys, clothing, shoes, home goods and souvenirs for that one of a kind item to take home. Food lovers will also delight in the offerings in Downtown from charming coffee shops, to unique olive oils, fresh pasta, chocolate and cheese, homemade Italian bread and pastries to Wicked Tuna tee shirts.

DiscoverGloucester.com is a great resource for “charting” a trip to the area. There are comprehensive lists of lodging options (from motels and hotels, to inns and bed and breakfasts, to campgrounds and vacation rentals) to lists of activities for every hobby and interest (both indoor and outdoor!)

Discover Gloucester, discovergloucester.com, 978-675-1818.

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