Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

Lynn O'Rourke Hayes

A & K

Some go to check off their seventh continent.

Others, to see penguins waddle or whales breach amid blue-tinged icebergs. More recently, an increasing number of travelers choose an Antarctic expedition to better understand climate change and to learn from onboard scientists, naturalists and history experts who have spent decades observing the changing landscape.

No matter your reason for booking,  a journey to this wild southernmost destination is an awe-inspiring adventure. On an Abercrombie & Kent voyage, you’ll cross the storied Drake Passage before reaching a land where there are no permanent residents, no hotels or shopping opportunities. However, you’ll trade traffic noise for the sounds of glaciers calving, zip to remote islands via Zodiac boats where Crabeater and Weddell seals loll on the ice. You’ll be mesmerized by the towering snow-covered mountains, the ever-changing ice formations, smile-inducing Adelie, Gentoo and Chinstrap penguin colonies and the opportunity to step where few have ventured before

Your family will also learn nautical knot-tying with a former British Royal Marine commando, join kids-only scavenger hunts, and learn from deep-sea presentations by a marine biologist as well as a photo-coaching workshop for teens and kids-only Zodiac lessons with a naturalist guide. And, you’ll return home having joined the ranks of great explorers like Shackelton and Scott who forged the way.

Plan ahead for a winter holiday voyage to introduce the budding scientists in your clan to a one-of-a-kind wilderness. 

Ask about other offers for family and multigenerational groups.

For more: www.AbercrombieKent.com

Camping has been a go-to strategy for families eager to get outside during the global pandemic.

Whether you pop into a van or toss up the tents, the fresh air can provide some genuine stress relief. 

If you need to stay connected or get some work done while off the grid, we've got a possible portable power solution for you here

 

Ready to go? You'll find more camping ideas here!

In an era when we can live and work in remote places, the ability to power up our tools of the trade -  laptops, phones, i-pads and the like – makes more adventure possible. 

When we begin to think about extending the weekend camping trip, embarking on a weeklong river trip, or taking our professional and school work into the backcountry, we wonder just how we’ll keep the power pulsing. 

A solar-powered generator may be your green solution. It’s a portable power station, equipped with an AC outlet, USB charging ports and a DC carport. It’s clean (no smelly fuel needed), quiet (thanks to the battery charged with solar power) and, of course, portable. 

Jackery, a pioneer in the portable power industry, has created products to help those interested in a more mobile lifestyle to make their dreams a reality. Multiple sizes are available, making it easy to match your needs with the product that best suits your usage plan and budget. (The Jackery Explorer 1000 is their  biggest power station, with 1002Wh capacity, 1000W rated power (2000W surge power) and multiple output charge/recharge ports, it meets the power supply needs of most power electrical appliances.)

Jackery portable power

And when not exploring new mountains, rivers, lakes or canyons, it can be nice to know you have a back-up power source at home. When the winds blow, the rains come and the snow falls, you know you’ll be able to keep your gear and gadgets working. 

(During these ultra challenging times, who knows when a little extra power might make the difference. Stay healthy. Stay safe!) 

 

 

Are you ready for a family fly-fishing adventure?

If so, know you’ll soon wake up in some of the country’s most pristine places. You may catch and release the fish, but will savor the memories for a lifetime.

Here are five destinations to consider: 

Visit Casper

Casper, Wyo. 

With plenty of wide-open space at the ready, this central Wyoming town is a vibrant hub for outdoor adventure.  Home to the North Platte River, which provides year-round fly-fishing opportunities, Casper has become a bucket-list destination for avid and aspiring anglers.  The river sits below five reservoirs, enabling consistent water flows and temperature, thus manifesting a stable fishing habitat.  You’ll hear enthusiastic talk and big fish stories that originate on specific stretches of the river, including the Miracle Mile and Grey Reef. But for family travelers it’s good to know there is also Blue Ribbon water flowing right through the heart of town, with plenty of public access points available.  

Appreciate the legendary waterway in a different way via the Platte River Trail system which threads through the community for eleven miles. The paved paths provide a good way to social distance as well as access to wildlife watching, mountain views and public art.

For more: www.VisitCasper.comhttps://greyreefanglers.com

fly fish the Keys

The Florida Keys

Chase big bonefish, tarpon and permit in the Florida Keys, one of the world’s top spots for saltwater fly-fishing.  Practice your side casting and work on that double haul. Then prepare to be mesmerized by the reefs, flats and blue waters of these southern waters. Islamorada, comprised of six islands and billed as the “sportfishing capital of the world” , is a popular spot for eager anglers.  It’s said backcountry and saltwater fly-fishing were launched in this Florida community. Key Largo, the longest island in the archipelago, is said to host more than 600 species of fish. 

For more: www.fla-keys.com

Steamboat Springs, Colo.

An outdoor-lover’s paradise, Steamboat offers family fly-fishing opportunities on the Yampa River. Spend the morning testing a few trout-rich holes before taking the remainder of the day to bike or explore the historic Western enclave.

Ask a local guide to lead the way for a multisport adventure, combining a short hike with the opportunity to cast a line into the pristine streams, lakes and reservoirs that dot the region.

For more:  steamboatchamber.org  www.colorado.com

Wellston, Mich.

Introduce your family to the joys of fly-fishing in the north woods of Michigan. The scenic and diverse Au Sable River originates north of Grayling and winds for more than 100 miles before meeting Lake Huron.

A fly-fishing only section of the river flows past Burton’s Landing and is known as the “Holy Water” for its productive riffles and trout-filled pools. Team up with a local outfitter for instruction designed for young anglers.

For more: puremichigan.com

Jackson County, N.C.

With more than 3,000 miles of trout streams and 1,100 miles of hatchery-supported trout waters in the mountains alone, North Carolina is a fly-fishing haven. Home to the nation’s only designated fly-fishing trail, the Western North Carolina Fly-Fishing Trail takes anglers to 15 prime spots in the Great Smoky Mountains to cast a line. Expect a variety of options from wide-open rivers to small, secluded streams. The heart of the trail, the Tuckasegee River, or the “Tuck” as it’s known by locals, is the county’s largest body of water. Designed by two outdoorsmen and fly-fishing guides, the trail is an ideal way for fly-fishers of all skill levels and ages to learn the art of fly-fishing.

For more:  www.flyfishingtrail.com; www.discoverjacksonnc.com

Deciding how, where and when can be complicated for busy families. 

If you are among those eager to tap into your wanderlust, get inspired with these ideas!

Pronghorn

Ready for a break from our current stresses?

Set amid ancient juniper groves in Central Oregon’s high desert, this resort, near Bend, a mecca for outdoor lovers, offers multiple ways to pursue your wellness goals. Spend a day at the full-service spa, sampling restorative services. Take a meditative approach to a round of golf on the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, or ponder the meaning of darkness during a tour of the on-property cave. Visit the wellness Teepee for yoga classes, music-enhanced, guided meditations, crystal guidance workshops and herbal tastings.

Stay in vacation rentals or the recently opened, 104-room Huntington Lodge where panoramic views of the Cascade mountains will take your breath away.

Contact: PronghornResort.com

Are you ready to unleash your wanderlust? Is it time to hit the open road, wander the trails or set sail once again? Whether the time is right to travel now or later, it's always fun to consider the options.

So get inspired here! 

Four Seasons Bali

Cultural Celebrations as a Travel Centerpiece

Historic festivals and cultural celebrations provide expansive experiences of a lifetime for travelers of every age.

You'll gain insight into what matters to local communities paired with a bit of history. Here are several to consider: 

 Windstar Alaska

Five Epic Trips to Consider

There are vacations. And, then there are epic adventures that may qualify as the experience of a lifetime. 

Here are five to consider now. 

 spa time

Ready for Some Spa Time?

Subdue the stresses of our modern world by including spa and wellness options in your vacation planning.

Here are five ideas to consider.   

Gather the clan 

Why Gathering the Clan Matters

Are you among the nearly 21 million people who took a multigenerational trip in the last year?

Here are five reasons why gathering the clan matters.  (And here's hoping you can make it happen sooner rather than later:)

Belmond Island getaways

Many of us have put our island vacation plans  on hold. When the time is right, these island destinations, not too far from home, will be eager to welcome you. 

Yellowstone in winter

Yellowstone in Winter: This is how Old Man Winter warmed my heart.

Your Dude Ranch vacation

WIde Open Spaces

Choose a ranch vacation to learn horsemanship in an authentic  setting, explore pristine wilderness areas, fish wild and scenic rivers and relax in Western style. Round up your crew and head for these hills.

Visit the Grandparent Travel Collection to gather great ideas for traveling with the grandkids!

SIgn up for our newsletter to stay in the know about new places to go and how to get there!

In recent years we put our plans to cruise, or fly to far flung destinations on hold. 

Some experts are calling this the “decade of the car”, a time frame during which we will forego international travel and  See America First. With gas prices in the affordable range, consider exploring a National Scenic Byway or an historic route. 

Why not hop in the car and roll past beaches and harbors, cruise through valleys and canyons or amid jagged peaks and tall trees. Whether you take a day trip or plan a longer journey, plan ahead to make sure your chosen route is accessible, your vehicle is properly tuned and you have plenty of snacks, water and other safety items on board.

For designation as a National Scenic Byway a road must have one of six intrinsic qualities. To be designated an All-American Road, a road must have at least two of the six qualities.

  • Scenic quality is the heightened visual experience derived from the view of natural and manmade elements of the visual environment of the scenic byway corridor. The characteristics of the landscape are strikingly distinct and offer a pleasing and most memorable visual experience.
  • Natural quality applies to those features in the visual environment that are in a relatively undisturbed state. These features predate the arrival of human populations and may include geological formations, fossils, landform, water bodies, vegetation, and wildlife. There may be evidence of human activity, but the natural features reveal minimal disturbances.
  • Historic quality encompasses legacies of the past that are distinctly associated with physical elements of the landscape, whether natural or manmade, that are of such historic significance that they educate the viewer and stir an appreciation for the past. The historic elements reflect the actions of people and may include buildings, settlement patterns, and other examples of human activity.
  • Cultural quality is evidence and expressions of the customs or traditions of a distinct group of people. Cultural features include, but are not limited to, crafts, music, dance, rituals, festivals, speech, food, special events, or vernacular architecture.
  • Archeological quality involves those characteristics of the scenic byways corridor that are physical evidence of historic or prehistoric human life or activity. The scenic byway corridor's archeological interest, as identified through ruins, artifacts, structural remains, and other physical evidence have scientific significance that educate the viewer and stir an appreciation for the past.
  • Recreational quality involves outdoor recreational activities directly associated with and dependent upon the natural and cultural elements of the corridor's landscape. The recreational activities provide opportunities for active and passive recreational experiences. They include, but are not limited to, downhill skiing, rafting, boating, fishing, and hiking. Driving the road itself may qualify as a pleasurable recreational experience. The recreational activities may be seasonal, but the quality and importance of the recreational activities as seasonal operations must be well recognized.

Have you always wanted to catch the Salmonfly hatch?

The Salmonfly hatch on the Madison River in Montana is an absolute bonanza for trout, birds, bugs, and..... fishing. The pros from the Madison River Fishing Company and Troutstalkers went out on a rainy June day last summer and fished these big bugs.

Take a look at this video and you'll see how they make it happen. 

 Shop here to be prepared with Salmonfly Hatch Essentials

 

Are you ready for an island vacation? These seaside destinations are calling your name. 

Belmond La Samanna

St. Martin & Anguilla . 

You deserve double the fun.

And Belmond’s two island treat delivers. A unique package makes is possible to experience the dazzling beachside luxury at Belmond La Samanna on the Caribbean island of St Martin, paired with the pristine paradise you’ll discover at Belmond Cap Juluca on neighboring Anguilla.

At La Samanna, you’ll enjoy hiking adventures, island discovery tours, art programs and guest lecturers as well as al fresco massages, evening cruises and plenty of beach time.

Don your sun hat for the semi-private boat transfer to Anguilla and prepare to immerse yourselves in the dreamlike beauty of Cap Juluca,  where every room is a beachfront haven. Pristine white walls and Greco-Moorish columns frame a stunning turquoise sea that will surely tempt your loved ones in for kayaking, paddle boarding and splashing about. Pamper yourselves in the luxurious Arawak spa where ancient healing treatments and locally sourced ingredients will nourish your spirit.

Contact: www.Belmond.com.

 

Rhode Island.  

While most of “The Ocean State” is located on the mainland, it is home to 30 islands, some of which are popular and possible vacation spots. 

Block Island, a 45-minute ferry ride from the mainland, and perhaps the most popular of the small state’s island options, boasts 17 miles of public beaches, rugged ocean bluffs and historic 18th-century lighthouses. You won’t find any chain motels but you can check into small family-run inns and B& Bs. Block Island is also home to the first offshore wind farm in the country, which  produces renewable energy for the island.

On Aquidneck Island, with rocky cliffs and dramatic ocean views, 

you’ll find Newport, the historic summer destination and sailing capital of the world. Lovely beaches, colonial homes, and gilded age mansions draw visitors. 

Just off of the coast of Aquidneck lies Goat Island,  so-named because early settlers used the island for goat herding. Today the island plays host to the Tall Ships Festival and world-class sailing regattas. It’s also home to Gurney’s Newport Resort & Marina. 

Contact: www.VisitRhodeIsland.com

Coronado Island, California. 

Located just across the bay from downtown San Diego, this family-friendly  getaway is famous for its gentle surf and wide, welcoming beaches. It’s home to the Hotel del Coronado, an iconic Victorian gem considered the island’s crown jewel.  The long, wide stretch of sand provides easy access to the water and thus the perfect home base for your family’s seaside activities. Get out the boogie boards, issue a beach volleyball challenge, take surfing lessons, learn the secrets of mermaid fitness or join a clambake. Top-notch children’s and teen programs and spa options are also available.

Nearby, is the Loews Coronado Bay Resort where family members can choose from beach activities, pool time and ideas spurred by the pros at the kids' activity desk. Guests can call ahead to reserve child-friendly resources ranging from cribs and baby swings to pool toys and strollers. 

Contact: www.Hoteldel.com  ; www.LoewsHotels.com

 Amelia Island, FL.  

With 13 miles of beaches, abundant native wildlife and a pristine environment,  this barrier island, located off the coast of northeast Florida, has been luring families for decades. Stay at the 446-rooom Ritz Carlton on the Atlantic shore and the kids may want to join the hunt for fossilized shark teeth on the beach or learn to balance on a stand-up paddleboard. Add other water sports to the mix by trying jet skiing, boogie boarding, kayaking and surfing. Children five through 12 can look forward to the Ritz Kids program that offers immersive adventures designed to introduce young people to the natural wonders of the island. They’ll learn about sand dunes and ancient forests and how recycling can make a difference through storytelling, art and even food.   Hopefully, the kids won’t be too tired to appreciate story time, snacks and a tuck-in offered by a friendly pirate and his friend the princess.  

Contact:   https://www.ritzcarlton.com/en/hotels/florida/amelia-island

Mackinac Island, Michigan. 

You’ll find Michigan’s iconic island in Lake Huron, between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas.  You won’t find chain hotels or even cars. So hop on a bike or in a horse drawn carriage to explore the picturesque island along with locals and other visitors. In just under four square miles, you’ll find a spacious lake front, outdoor dining, casual picnic spots, putt-putt golf,  interesting shops and farm-to-ferry culinary offerings. Consider a stay at The Grand Hotel for it’s historic grandeur or check in to the iconic Mission Point Resort and enjoy the sprawling Great Lawn dotted with colorful Adirondack chairs. 

 It goes without saying that you shouldn’t leave the island without sampling the world-famous Mackinac Island fudge. 

Contact: www.MackinacIsland.org

Page 1 of 42