Tag: Adventure Travel

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Where to Go with Your Tax Refund: Tasmania, for More Than a Few Days

April 21, 2014 at 3:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

Above: Par Avion's remote airstrip in the Southwest National Park

Tax day is here, and you're probably excited...but not because you love sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip—a Tax Refund Vacation.

Learn from our mistakes. Two days in Tasmania did nothing to dampen our desire to visit this southernmost bit of Australia; on the contrary, as it only whet our appetite and now Tasmania is all we can think about.

The "Island of Inspiration" is also one of picturesque bays, wilderness walking tracks, incredible contemporary art (MONA!), and what happens to be the the world's best whiskies.

Tasmania is only 35,000 square miles, 45% of which is completely given over to national park and nature reserves. Arriving to Hobart from Sydney means overflying areas that tempt thoughts of "what if I just never leave?" To sum up the style of its capital, Hobart, we'd peg it as a mix of Vancouver and Nantucket. So, in other words, it's nearly perfection for fans of good air, good eats, good views, and good value for money.

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Where to Go with Your Tax Refund: 'Off the Grid' at Brazil's Juma Amazon Lodge

Where: Manaus, Brazil
April 14, 2014 at 6:18 PM | by | Comments (0)

Tax day is here, and you're probably excited...but not because you love sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip—a Tax Refund Vacation.

The best recommendation we can make for you in 2014 is to go "off the grid." Venture to a place without 3G/4G data, without a WiFi network, and perhaps even without TVs for what some would call "digital detox," but what we now simply call "necessary."

To be specific, we've been off the grid three times already in 2014: in Borneo's rainforest, in Tasmania's Southwest National Park, and at Juma Amazon Lodge in Brazil's verdant stretch of the Amazon.

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Small Town Travel: Four of America's Most Iconic Trails Converge in Damascus, Virginia

April 8, 2014 at 11:03 AM | by | Comments (2)

When this writer went to the small town of Damascus in western Virginia to research a few stories, I basically ran myself into the ground, hiking parts of the Appalachian Trail in the morning and biking the Virginia Creeper Trail in the afternoon. Before my visit, when I was explaining to friends where I was going, I told them that Damascus sat alongside the App Trail. I was wrong about that. Turns out, the trail goes right through it.

Like, really through it, as in the sidewalk down the center of town is part of the trail. This in itself is what makes Damascus such an interesting place. Every person that hikes the Appalachian Trail - which is 2,184 miles from Georgia to Maine and takes the average person 6 months - must walk through the town of Damascus. You meet some interesting characters to say the least, from the hikers to the people in the town who help them out. It's not unusual to see tents set up in front yards, locals taking in the weary walkers for a night or two.

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From Caves to Waves: What to Do on Christmas Island

April 7, 2014 at 1:59 PM | by | Comments (0)

A tiny stamp of land in the Indian Ocean, Christmas Island is a haven for crabs, birds, and, as a territory of Australia, even for asylum-seekers. Why would anyone pay the expensive airfare and trek so far to visit Christmas Island? This is the question we'll be answering all week.

Now that you've reached the island and braved the native crabs, what else should be on your itinerary while spending some time surrounded by ocean? Naturally you'll want some beach time, but there's also snorkeling or scuba diving, nature walks and animal-spotting.

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Three Scenic, Beginner-Friendly Mountain Bike Adventures to Try this Spring

March 27, 2014 at 1:46 PM | by | Comments (0)

The Flume Trail at Lake Tahoe

Getting out into the wilderness is a must for many adventure travelers, but long, grueling mountain bike rides are not everyone's idea of a vacation. Luckily, some of the country's most beautiful and historic routes have been tastefully commercialized, offering shuttle services that allow you to tackle only part of the trail, mainly the downhill and beginner-friendly sections. Below, we list a few that we've personally experienced, and we encourage you to look for similar opportunities on your next trip to the mountains, wherever it may be.

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One of the Biggest Living Things on Earth Calls Yosemite Home

March 20, 2014 at 1:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

Our Assistant Editor Will McGough hiked amongst the giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park. Below, he describes his experience.

As I was walking through Mariposa Grove and seeing the sequoia trees for the first time up close and personal, I was having trouble envisioning any amount of words that would do them justice and describe them appropriately. It split me down the middle. For a traveler, it's a hell of a feeling. For a writer, it's just hell.

Along with its cousin, the more slender and usually taller Coast Redwood, the giant sequoia tree is one of the largest living things on earth with a height up to 250 feet and a 25-foot diameter. About 500 of them call Mariposa Grove home, one of only 75 groves in which they are found today (all of them are in California). The oldest trees are approaching 3,000 years old, meaning they were saplings well before the fall of the Roman empire in the late fifth century and seedlings at a time when the world's population was only 50 million in 1000 BC. That's incredible.

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Yosemite's 'Firefall' Waterfall is Incredibly Cool, But Extremely Rare

March 19, 2014 at 10:42 AM | by | Comments (0)

Travelers wishing to see the waterfalls of Yosemite National Park at their best should schedule their trip during the spring months, when the winter snow melts and plunges down towards the valley floor in full force. The summer months, by contrast, are extremely dry and the waterfalls tend to turn off.

Those visiting Yosemite during the colder months should be warned of the chance of snow closures and reduced accessibility, but those within weekend or day-trip distance of the park might be interested to know that winter does offer visitors the chance to see a pretty cool phenomenon that happens only during a certain window of time in February, when the setting sun shines in a unique way on Horsetail Fall and creates a "Firefall."

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What's the Difference Between the North and South Sides of Tahoe?

March 19, 2014 at 8:42 AM | by | Comments (0)

Have questions you want answered? Write us, or hit us up on Twitter or Facebook.

If you're driving south along the western side of the lake, Emerald Bay, shown in the photo above, is the gateway to the town of South Lake Tahoe. That's a big thing to remember right there, the fact that we refer to South Lake as an actual town, compact and comprised of hotels, restaurants, casinos, and Heavenly Mountain. You can see its size on the map below, marked off in yellow - the only of its kind in the region.

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Why Yosemite National Park's 150th Birthday is Both Important and Inspiring

March 18, 2014 at 4:50 PM | by | Comments (0)

This year, Yosemite in California celebrates its 150th birthday, dedicating the entire year to its past, present, and future as a leader amongst national parks in the States.

It was the first time the Federal Government ever set aside a piece of land for preservation when Abraham Lincoln created the Yosemite Grant in 1864. Specifically, the grant protected Yosemite Valley, seen above from the classic "tunnel view" lookout, and Mariposa Grove, which harbors the huge sequoia trees found in southern part of the park (we'll take a closer look later this week).

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'Glacier Under Canvas' is Popping Tents in the Trees for the First Time in Montana

March 5, 2014 at 3:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

Glamping is coming to another National Park this summer.

After the success of "Yellowstone Under Canvas," the Under Canvas Group is bringing their luxury camping to the Glacier National Park in Glacier, MT.

The camp, located 7 miles outside Glacier Park, will offer fully furnished safari tents, tipis, and deluxe suites with king-sized beds and full bathrooms. For the first time, the accommodations will also include tree house tents with amazing views and cabins. As part of their partnership with Leave No Trace, Under Canvas is also taking steps to ensure the camp has minimal impact on the surrounding environment.

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Five More Awesome Things about the Caribbean Island of Saba

March 5, 2014 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

We told you about the lack of beaches, the memorable airport, and the pristine, world-class diving, but there’s much more to love about Saba once you scratch the surface and go beyond the headlines. Here are five more awesome things we discovered that helps to define life on this tiny Caribbean island:

You Can Hitchhike Without Worry

If you walk down the road outside the main drags of town, you probably won’t even need to stick out your thumb – locals will most likely pull over and ask if you need a ride. During our trip, we met a Canadian who told us a great story about arriving to Saba and hitchhiking to his first day of work. He found himself in the back of a truck, sitting on the metal floor next to a goat, the animal sliding against him in the moving vehicle. When the driver asked where he was going and what he did on the island, the man said he laughed out loud before responding, his hand on the goat to keep it at bay, “I’m a doctor. I’m going to the med school.”

A doctor might be a respected and prestigious position in North America, but no one is above riding in the back of a pickup with the local wildlife on Saba.

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Five Really Remote Islands for Running Away from Reality

February 28, 2014 at 11:29 AM | by | Comments (0)

Flying Fish Cove on Christmas Island

One really great thing about travel is that sweet sense of escapism, intensified when you truly head to a place far, far away from home. Sometimes these destinations only become part of your journey through roundabout means, but whatever the reason, they're worth the trouble.

Here's our list of five very remote islands and how to get to each:

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