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Friday, August 31, 2012

Vermont Dept. of Tourism Kicks Off Sixth Annual Apples to iPods Contest at 20 Apple Orchards

In this technology-meets-agriculture contest, one specially marked wooden apple is hidden in an apple tree at 20 Vermont pick-your-own apple orchards. Find a wooden apple and win an Apple iPod, iPod Shuffle or iPad.

This good-natured promotion of Vermont’s working landscape is in partnership with Woodchuck® Hard Cider, Small Dog Electronics, Vermont Tree Fruit Growers Association and the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. The State of Vermont first launched this promotion in 2007 with hopes of growing participation at Vermont pick-your-own orchards. Since the launch, participation has been incredibly ‘fruitful’ across Vermont.

Vermont's nearly 4,000 acres of commercial apple orchards produce leading apple varieties: McIntosh, Cortland, Red Delicious and Empire. In 1999, the Vermont legislature designated the apple as the state fruit, and the apple pie as the state pie.

"Visiting Vermont's apple orchards is a family tradition and in true Vermont fashion, the 'Apples to iPods' contest makes this fall event even more fun," said Megan Smith, Vermont's Commissioner of Tourism and Marketing. "Apple picking is the perfect way to experience Vermont's gorgeous autumn landscape and participate in a festive and tasty activity."

For a second year, the Vermont Department of Tourism is also helping the Vermont Foodbank promote Pick for Your Neighbor, where visitors to participating orchards can pick and purchase extra apples to donate to the Foodbank. Last year, Pick for Your Neighbor made nearly 10,000 apples available to Vermonters in need. 

“Pick for Your neighbor is a win for all involved,” Michelle Wallace, Program Director at the Vermont Foodbank said. “Orchards see an economic benefit from increased sales, the Foodbank has access to fresh, local apples for distribution, and participants experience a great Vermont tradition while helping their neighbors in need.” 

For a list of participating orchards, please visit http://www.applestoipods.com and plan your trip at http://www.vermontvacation.com. Learn about "Pie chi" from this video with Shelburne Orchard's Nick Cowles.


Destination Labadee: Royal Caribbean's Private Island Paradise in Haiti [Video]

Video courtesy of Royal Caribbean on YouTube


Thursday, August 30, 2012

New England Fall Foliage: Travel Ideas & Packages

Experience glorious autumn colors in picturesque New England. Check out these fall foliage packages & events and start planning your next New England getaway!

Photo courtesy of New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism 


Fall Foliage Midweek Explorer's package
- The Wildflower Inn provides detailed maps and fall foliage tours (developed by their staff) to visit all the nooks and crannies in Vermont, Northern New Hampshire and Southern Quebec. (Sept. 3-Nov. 2)

Harvest Dinner Cruise - Celebrate the bounty of the harvest aboard the Spirit Of Ethan Allen III. Based on availability starting Sept. 3.

Fall Harvest Wine Pairing Dinner - This event will take place at the Chopin Restaurant at Matterhorn Inn in Vermont, and will feature an internationally acclaimed surprise guest chef. Dinner will be served set to tone with the finest classical Chopin Music.


Autumn Dinner:  This Hartsone Inn cooking class features a four-course dinner. On the menu:  Honey Seared Duck Breast with Peppered Squash and a Walnut Dressing; the inn's popular Sweet Potato, Rutabaga and Green Apple Soup with a Maple Cream. The entrée is Chef Michael’s version of “Beef Wellington” specifically designed for the Autumn table. To finish the meal, you will make a Fall Apple Tarte Tatin with locally grown apples.

White Cedar Inn's Maine Foliage & Lobster Package: Enjoy the beautiful fall trails by car or bicycle. This package features:
  • 2 nights' stay for 2 guests,
  • A full breakfast in the sunroom each morning,
  • 2 tasty chocolate candy lobsters,
  • A $50 gift card to use toward a lobster dinner at Jameson Tavern,
  • 2 adult admission tickets to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens or the Maine Maritime Museum,
  • A copy of Discovering Maine's Lighthouses & Harbors 
  • All lodging taxes. 

Anchorage By The Sea Midweek Fall Packages:
A variety of fall packages to choose from at Anchorage By The Sea, a four season resort in Ogunquit, Maine.

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FoliageTrain Itineraries FoliageTrains.com offers four unique train tours in New Hampshire. 

Visit Travel Media's Autumn in New England Pinterest Board for some lovely foliage pics!

You May Also Like:

Cooking classes, food and wine festivals, restaurant weeks and more culinary fare in New England. Visit New England Food Adventures


Caribbean Regattas & Sailing Festivals 2013

The ocean races, the parties, the fun on sea and land.

Photo by Ted Martin | Courtesy of Antigua Sailing Week

The Mount Gay Round Barbados Race 2013
 January 18-22, 2013

Grenada Sailing Festival
  February 1-5, 2013

St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
  February 28-March 3, 2013

St. Thomas International Rolex Regatta
March 22-24, 2013

BVI Spring Regatta Festival 
March 25-31, 2013
Event Website

Les Voiles de Saint Barth
April 8-13, 2013
Event Website

Antigua Sailing Week
April 27-May 3, 2013
Event Website

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Take a complete tour of the award-winning Crystal Symphony ship in the Crystal Cruises' all-inclusive luxury fleet [Video]

Video Courtesy of Crystal Cruises on YouTube

"A complete tour of the luxury service, stylish spaces, unwavering quality, and abundant choices aboard the 922-passenger Crystal Symphony -- including footage of its 2012 extreme makeover. With a guest-to-crew ratio of 1.64 to 1, the ship offers 461 staterooms, including several categories of penthouse and verandah accommodations; ten dining spaces, including Chef Nobu Matsuhisa's Silk Road & The Sushi Bar; nine entertainment lounges; nine recreation and fitness areas, including the world's only Feng Shui Spa & Fitness Center at sea; designer boutiques; dedicated kids and teen play areas; and so much more." Crystal Cruises


Monday, August 27, 2012

September is Vermont Archaeology Month: Learn, Explore & Dig Into 12,000 Years of History

Novices and history buffs alike can learn about archaeology, nature and the environment at more than 40 interactive and educational events. Organized walks and talks, hands-on explorations, presentations and panels are available nearly every day. 

Highlights include: 

Cultural Shifts and Climatology: Lessons from the Past for the Future, September 12
Internationally recognized Archaeologist Dr. David G. Anderson offers a global perspective on how climate change has dramatically, and sometimes subtly changed cultures over the last 15,000 years. Learn how scientists unravel clues to reach their conclusions. Following this presentation, a panel of climate experts will continue the discussion. Pavilion Auditorium, Montpelier, Vt.

The Grand Opening of the Vermont Archaeology Heritage Center, September 13
Celebrate the creative partnership that joins the state’s archaeological collections with the historic collections at the Vermont History Center in Barre, Vt. Tour the new space and the inaugural exhibit, “How Do You Know That? Unraveling the Past Through Archaeology.” 

Atlatl: Spear-Throwing IS a Family Activity, September 21-23
Learn how to make an atlatl, use one, and watch the experts’ craftsmanship and 90mph dart-throwing skills. Workshops teach modern and traditional techniques of atlatl and dart construction. Chimney Point State Historic Site, Addison, Vt. 

“Vermont Archaeology Month smartly hosts approachable ‘topic-per-day’ learning opportunities to appeal to a wide audience,” Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing Commissioner Megan Smith said. “Vermonters as well as visitors to our state have various interests and this line-up of events superbly covers a range of learning from family-friendly Pre-K to Ph.D.”

All events are open to the public and most are free. Visit http://www.VermontVacation.com/ArchaeologyMonth for further information and check out updates on Facebook. Vermont Archaeology Month is presented by the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation with generous support by the Vermont Agency of Transportation, the National Life Group, Montpelier Heritage Group, the University of Vermont Anthropology Department, Betsy's B&B in Montpelier and the Vermont Natural Resources Council.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

NHPTV Announces New Collaboration With WGBH Boston

As part of its new status as an independent, community-licensed public broadcaster, New Hampshire Public Television (NHPTV) is making changes to its broadcast schedule and administrative operations that will enable it to better serve its New Hampshire audience and communities.

NHPTV is collaborating with WGBH Boston to further focus its resources on producing and presenting local and PBS television programs. The collaboration will provide operational economies, which are key to NHPTV’s continued success following the loss of its state funding and its transition from an entity of the University System of New Hampshire to an independent, community-licensed public media organization. Both NHPTV and WGBH will remain independently owned and operated stations.

As part of the NHPTV–WGBH collaboration, NHPTV will contract for services in areas such as broadcast technologies, membership services and financial administration. Through digital technology, broadcast operations can be shared and combined to save money, which enables financial resources to be redirected to programming.

New program schedules for NHPTV PRIME and NHPTV EXPLORE will roll out this fall. Details are available at nhptv.org/updates.

Beginning in October, NHPTV PRIME viewers will enjoy their favorite PBS programs such as Masterpiece, Nature, Antiques Roadshow, American Masters, Great Performances, PBS NewsHour, Sesame Street and Curious George at times that align with the national public broadcasting schedule. Local NHPTV program favorites such as Windows to the Wild, Roadside Stories, and Granite State Challenge will continue to be seen on NHPTV PRIME and NHPTV EXPLORE, also at new times. The program schedule for NHPTV EXPLORE will change in September. And, more viewers in New Hampshire will have access to the public media digital channels WORLD and CREATE.

“NHPTV is pleased to be part of this ground-breaking collaboration with WGBH, and to streamline certain administrative and operational functions. The cost savings will enable us to focus our resources on local programs and services for our viewers and supporters,” noted Peter Frid, President and CEO of NHPTV. “NHPTV is a strong, valued and financially sound organization, and we’re excited about our future plans as we continue to serve our New Hampshire viewers and communities.”

“WGBH and New Hampshire Public Television share a mission of serving audiences with quality educational programs,” said WGBH President and CEO Jonathan Abbott. “We are excited to collaborate in that mission in ways that will make the best use of our resources and new technologies to benefit our communities,” he said.

Source: New Hampshire Public Television


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Dive Site at Small Hope Bay - Andros Island, Bahamas

Video courtesy of Small Hope Bay Lodge on YouTube

Andros Island, Bahamas


Monday, August 13, 2012

Photo of the Day: The Flamingo is the National Bird of The Bahamas

Photo courtesy of Nassau Paradise Island via Flickr

"The West Indian Flamingo which once roamed the entire neo-tropical region (tropical Americas) was hunted to a near extinction. Today the West Indian Flamingo is mostly found on the island of Great Inagua in the Bahamas but has also recolonized islands in the Bahamas such as Mayaguana, Crooked and Acklin islands, Exumas, Long Island and Andros.The West Indian Flamingo has also recolonized other countries such as Aruba; Brazil; Colombia; Cuba; Dominican Republic; Ecuador; French Guiana; Guyana; Haiti; Jamaica; Mexico; Netherlands Antilles; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos Islands; United States and Venezuela."--Bahamas National Trust


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Inaugural August Berkshires Arts Festival at Ski Butternut

The first August Berkshires Arts Festival held August 24, 25 and 26 at Ski Butternut on Route 23 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, will provide a stylish summer sendoff. A juried show of 125 American artists and artisans from across the USA, will feature works for sale in ceramics, painting, jewelry, glass, wood, mixed media, sculpture, fashion and photography. The festival will also include ongoing workshops, demonstrations, live music and children’s activities.

Jewelry by Patty Bolz -
Exhibits at the Berkshires Arts Festival

This inaugural event is a sequel to the well-established July Berkshires Arts Festival at Ski Butternut, offering a cool summer’s end grand finale to everyone who missed the July 4th show. This new addition to the Berkshires arts scene will introduce an entirely new group of artists to the Berkshires. 

Richard and Joanna Rothbard of American Art Marketing, directors of the event, have directed art fairs and craft shows for 30+ years. They also produce the two annual art events in NYC and in Sarasota and founded the spring Rockefeller Arts Festival in Manhattan [2002-2005]. The Rothbards own The American Craftsman Galleries, http://www.anamericancraftsman.com, that showcase American art, sculpture and crafts in two Manhattan locations as well as in Massachusetts and Georgia.

The show will be held, rain or shine, under tents, outdoors, and in the air-conditioned lodge at Ski Butternut. Free parking is available. Food will be prepared by The Inn at Yellow Springs in Chester, PA.

Tickets: Adult: $9 Seniors: $8: Students: $5 Weekend Pass :$11 Children under 10: Free

For more information, about the festival, including a full list of exhibitors and works for sale, go to: august.berkshiresartsfestival.com or call 845.355.2400. 


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

In the Garden Events: Summer's End Tea, Watercolor Painting in the Summer Garden...

Summer's End Tea - Sept. 16, 2012
(Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens)
"Celebrate the end of another fabulous summer at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens with a traditional tea, including Mollie Moore’s delectable homemade scones with Devonshire cream and jam..."
En Plein Air - Watercolor Painting in the Summer Garden - Aug. 7-28, 2012
(Berkshire Botanical Garden)"Seeing and painting the garden en plein air is the subject of this class, and students of all levels are welcome. This session will explore mixing and layering color, brush work and light and shadow in the landscape..."

Massachusetts Botanic Gardens Reciprocal Membership Week - Aug. 11-19
(The Arnold Arboretum)

The Arnold Arboretum along with other Massachusetts public gardens will be participating in the upcoming Massachusetts Botanic Gardens Reciprocal Membership Week.



New and Exciting Changes for the Boston Area’s Hyatt Regency Cambridge Hotel

Hyatt Regency Cambridge has a new attitude! This landmark, Charles River hotel is boasting swanky new meeting space, summer dog socials, a weekly ocean-fresh raw bar and a conveniently delicious grab-and-go market. All of this recent activity has Hyatt Regency Cambridge guests and associates buzzing with excitement.

On the heels the Boston area hotel’s floor-to-ceiling guest room renovation, the metamorphosis continues as vibrant carpeting, elegant lighting, contemporary artwork and a naturally lit boardroom, enhance the second floor space. State-of-the-art, touch screen reader board technology allows guests to get an interactive look at the hotel, as well as surrounding sites and activities.

On the playful side of things, Hyatt Regency Cambridge is inviting their local, 4-legged neighbors in for local treats and plenty of playtime! Every Thursday from 6-8PM, the hotel is hosting community socials, called the Dog Days of Summer. This pet-friendly event encourages local pet owners, guests of the hotel and any animal lovers to get out and enjoy the summer, in their beautiful shaded courtyard. The hotel provides a cash bar, local pup treats from Polka Dog Bakery and even frozen dogcicles made by their very own Chef, Robert Daugherty, perfect for cooling off.

As far as treats for the adults, they may be interested in the weekly New England Seafood Market, featured in Zephyr on the Charles, every Friday evening from 5:30PM-10PM. Showcasing an all-you-can-eat seafood display, that varies based on the fish mongers freshest catch; on any given evening guests can delight in iced little neck clams, old bay seasoned shrimp, a flight of oysters fresh from New England waters, accompanied by a choice of entrée and a delectable dessert. Top it all off with the mellifluous sounds of a live, local jazz band and guests have the makings of a perfect evening.

If guests have picked up a little of the fast-paced, east coast swagger and are on the move, then they will love Hyatt Regency Cambridge’s new Market on the Charles. This grab-and-go market can fulfill almost any desire. Picture Starbucks®, meets awesome hotel gift shop. Need a macchiato and a pair of socks? They’ve got it! Offering Starbucks® beverages, seasonal fruit cups, New England inspired fresh food items, toiletries, souvenirs and much more, Market on the Charles is truly a one stop shop.

Overall, these innovative and exciting changes have given Hyatt Regency Cambridge a fresh new look and feel, providing a lively welcome experience for arriving guests and state-of-the-art meeting space for events of all sizes.

General Manager, Stacey Nichols states, “I am extremely excited to unveil the new Market on the Charles and our updated meeting space. Market adds a welcomed new dynamic to our property, providing a quick and convenient option for our guests on the go. We are always looking for ways to enhance our guests’ experience and provide additional comforts for travelers, and this new addition to our hotel accomplishes just that when they stay at Hyatt Regency Cambridge.”


Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Former Bull & Finch Pub in Beacon Hill - The Inspiration for the Popular TV Show "Cheers" [Photo]

The exterior of Cheers Beacon Hill, formerly the Bull & Finch Pub in Boston (The inspiration for the popular TV show “Cheers” ~ 1982-1993)

Photo by Wallyg via Flickr

An authentic replica of the Cheers setting is located in historic Faneuil Hall Marketplace.


Friday, August 3, 2012

SPOTLIGHT: The Recipe for Modern Luxury: How Celebrity Cruises Develops a New Menu

Video Courtesy of Celebrity Cruises on YouTube

"Celebrity Cruises' James Beard-nominated chef and team celebrate simplicity with a re-designed main dining room menu featuring many new delectable creations. An exciting, delicious culinary journey for all!" --Celebrity Cruises


Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Maine Appalachian Trail Club and Friends Celebrate the Appalachian Trail 75th Anniversary – Hikers Add Their Names to A.T. History

About the Completion of the Appalachian Trail
The original A.T. took more than 15 years to build and the last two-mile stretch was completed by a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) crew on August 14, 1937. The last section of trail was completed in Maine and within the town of Carrabassett Valley on the backside of Sugarloaf Mountain. A historic plaque is located on a section of trail that is difficult to access. With the arrangement of a shuttle bus and the Sugarloaf Superquad chairlift, hikers can reach this remote section with a moderate 8 or 4-mile hike to sign the special 75th Anniversary register.

About the Appalachian Trail
An estimated 2 to 3 million people visit the A.T. every year. Hikers from across the globe are drawn to the Trail for a variety of reasons: to reconnect with nature, to escape the stress of city life, to meet new people, strengthen old friendships or to experience a simpler life. About 2,000 people attempt to “thru-hike” the estimated 2,180 miles of the Trail each year, with only one out of four completing the entire journey. Many of these thru-hikers will be passing through Maine in August.

About the 75th Appalachian Trail Anniversary Celebration in Maine
Multiple hikes will be offered, at varying levels of difficulty on Saturday, August 18th:
  • An 8-mile, all-day hike from Lone Mountain to the top of Sugarloaf will transit the entire last two miles of completed A.T. and pass by the plaque. Hikers will depart at 7:45am on a bus.
  • A moderate, 4-mile afternoon hike to the plaque where hikers are assisted by a chairlift at Sugarloaf Mountain Resort ski area.
  • Short walks or observation from the mountaintop chairlift.
The day will conclude with a ceremony featuring guest speakers including Mark Wegner, Appalachian Trail Conservancy Executive Director. A social gathering at the Rack BBQ, a local restaurant features music, food, trail displays and raffles to benefit the Crocker Mountain Conservation Project.

The Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Town of Carrabassett Valley and the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust organized the 75th Anniversary events in Maine. Event information and registration is available at http://www.matc.org or by email, mainetrails(at)comcast(dot)net.

About the Organizers
The Maine Appalachian Trail Club manages and maintains the 267 miles of the Appalachian Trail in Maine. Founded in 1935, MATC is an all-volunteer, donor-supported nonprofit that welcomes new members and inspires respect for this natural treasure.

The Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust is committed to protecting the traditional, ecological and recreational values of wilderness, wildlife and undisturbed scenic beauty that is most often associated with the Appalachian Trail in Maine. The protection of 11,798 acres of Crocker Mountain is MATLT’s newest conservation project. 

The Town of Carrabassett Valley is a Four Season recreation-based community located in the heart of the western mountains of Maine. The town, located two hours northwest of Portland and two hours west of Bangor, Maine, is home to the Sugarloaf Maine Ski Resort. 


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