Tag: Nature Travel

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From the Plains to New England: Where to Find the Latest Fall Foliage Forecasts

September 29, 2014 at 9:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sure we love the summer, the spring, and even bits and pieces of the winter—ha—but the fall just might be the best of them all. Cooler temperatures, plenty of pumpkins, and of course all those leaves doing their thing. Hop in the car, take a walk, or just open your eyes and you’ll be able to take in the changes and colors of the season.

We took a look to see if we could find some states providing some kind of fall forecast—or just a guess—and this is what we found. Below are some of the best states for autumnal enjoyment, and when things are expected to turn to shades of red, yellow, and orange. Just save a sip of that apple cider, and click each state for its official foliage forecasts.

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Easy Day Trips from Seattle: A First-Time Tour to Mount Rainier

September 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

Seattleites love spending time outside. This week, contributor Lilit Marcus shows how even the most indoorsy city kid can enjoy Seattle's outdoor gems without having to go on the advanced hike.

Mt. Rainier is probably the most popular outdoorsy day-trip attraction for visitors to Seattle, and with good reason. For one, it’s relatively close to Seattle; about an hour’s drive, depending on traffic, will get you from downtown to the national park. For another, it offers a broad range of stuff to do for people of every ability level, from easy hikes to three-day peak climbs with ice axes and crampons.

The most popular and accessible entrance is the Nisqually Entrance. There, you can stop in at the Longmire Museum, which has exhibits on the flora and fauna in the area and gives some historical background on the Native Americans who lived there.

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Easy Day Trips from Seattle: The Tropical Butterfly Garden

September 25, 2014 at 12:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Seattleites love spending time outside. This week, contributor Lilit Marcus shows how even the most indoorsy city kid can enjoy Seattle's outdoor gems without having to go on the advanced hike.

In Seattle, it’s always a good idea to have a rainy-day backup plan. If you want to see some nature but the weather’s not cooperating, stop by the Pacific Science Center and head straight for the Tropical Butterfly Garden. This name is no joke; even if it’s 20 degrees outside, it’ll be nice and balmy in the butterfly garden, since many of the species come from warm climates.

The Science Center is more expensive than some other Seattle museums—$19.50 for an adult ticket—so if you have a moldy student ID around somewhere now’s the time to grab it. For obvious reasons, there will also be lots of kids around, so try to survey the scene when you arrive and check out other exhibits if the butterfly garden is filled up with a school group. Our favorite way to kill time is to check out some of the undersea creatures in the fake tidal pool, even though the cold water starts to get to you after a while.

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Photos: Checking Out the Third and Final Section of NYC's High Line Park

September 24, 2014 at 11:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

Officially called the High Line at the Rail Yards, this third and final section of the monumentally popular elevated park on Manhattan's west side opened to the public last Sunday, September 21st. Picking up from where Phase Two (opened in 2011) ended at 30th St., this newest portion snakes around the rail yard towards the Hudson River, before descending to a wheelchair-friendly entrance at street level on 34th St.

Visible from certain parts is the West 30th Street Heliport, which makes it a wonderful spot to camp out and watch the tourist and corporate helicopters take off and land.

A notable addition to this section would be the children’s play area called Pershing Square Beams, constructed around existing beams then covered in soft rubber. Kids can climb through openings and even pop their heads up in the garden via a short tunnel.

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Easy Day Trips from Seattle: The Woodland Park Rose Garden

September 23, 2014 at 12:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

Seattleites love spending time outside. This week, contributor Lilit Marcus shows how even the most indoorsy city kid can enjoy Seattle's outdoor gems without having to go on the advanced hike.

One of the best things about visiting Seattle is how much nature you can enjoy without ever leaving the city limits. There is, for example, the Woodland Park Rose Garden, located across the street from the entrance to the Woodland Hill Zoo. This lush location in the Green Lake or Wallingford neighborhoods (it depends who you ask) is completely free to the public and open from 7 AM until dusk every day, year round, rain or shine.

For an hour or half the day, the Rose Garden is an ideal spot for quiet time, reading, meeting up with friends, or just enjoying a nice day outside. There's also the added bonus of being among the first to spot new rose hybrids before they become publicly available, as the Woodland Park Rose Garden is one of the few certified Rose Test Gardens in the USA.

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Expedia's New Heartwarming Ad Highlights Rewards Points for Family Travel

September 19, 2014 at 10:33 AM | by | Comments (0)

Expedia's been on a bit of a roll with sentimental travel advertising lately. Over the summer there was this one about how you can find your true love by vacationing abroad. The problem with that ad was the twist at the end. The first 90% of the video had the woman talking about how she went to Paris, found her true love, and lived a life filled with joy - and then she revealed none of that ever happened, because she never took that one big trip. Presumably her lack of travel caused her to wallow in loneliness until she died, unloved and unremembered. So while it undeniably emphasized the importance of traveling, it was also a bit of a downer.

This new Expedia ad runs exactly the opposite way. The first 90% of the video is about how awful travel can be and how it separates you from your family. You see the dad leaving over again, you see him video conferencing with his daughter from various hotel rooms, and then you see him coming back home with a stuffed animal. Every time, over and over again, a stuffed animal. Then the last very bit - when he uses his rewards points to do stuff - reverses everything in a good way.

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Fraser Island Field Trip: Offroading Inland to Secret Creeks and Special Lakes

July 24, 2014 at 10:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

We may have stayed close to the shore yesterday, but now it's time to brave the sand dune tracks and head inland on Australia's Fraser Island. While it's rated as the largest sand island in the world, Fraser is shockingly easy to traverse if you've got the right gear, and we're not just talking low gear. A 4x4 is all you need to reach those corners of the island both so untouched and pristine, you'll think you're the first to ever view them.

It's important to note that there are a handful of lakes on the island worth the trek away from the beaches. Lake McKenize is the most famous, with its crystal blue waters ringed with white sand. McKenzie, Lake Birrabeen and Basin Lake are all perched lakes that depend on rainfall to fill their shores, so the waters are cool and fresh, and begging you to swim. Let's talk about a few of the other inland sites, however:

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Fraser Island Field Trip: Where Life is a Beach AND a Highway

July 23, 2014 at 4:27 PM | by | Comments (0)

No silly sayings or Tom Cochrane references here! Just the fact that Australia's Fraser Island has some pretty cool things to see and do.

While most activities revolve around nature, fresh air, and enjoyment of the outdoors, we couldn't pass up the chance to rent a 4x4 and head onto the Eastern Beaches for the island's most popular activity: speeding up the coast, on the coast. Yep, you've heard correctly; not only is driving on the beach legal, but it's actually encouraged and one of the best ways to see a huge portion of this island off Queensland.

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Wish You Were Here: Fraser Island, Australia

July 21, 2014 at 1:42 PM | by | Comments (0)

We come to you from a small dollop of land off the Eastern coast of Australia by the name of Fraser Island. This World Heritage Site sits about 120 miles north of Brisbane in the Hervey Bay region, and is a haven for some unique flora and fauna, including native dingoes, goanna lizards, and more.

Fraser's biggest claim to fame however, is the fact that it's the world's largest sand island, boasting awesome 4x4ing, meandering nature walks, and an easy tropical escape from the city. At this particular time of year, the island is home to some foreign travelers without the need of passports; we're talking about the massive whale migration from the Southern Pacific to these slightly warmer waters near the equator.

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How Your Next United Flight May Help to Track Endangered Animals

July 9, 2014 at 11:30 AM | by | Comments (0)

Chances are we've all seen a David Attenborough documentary or two, and listened as he discussed how specific animals move, live and act in their natural habitat. The reason this information is known is mostly due to animal tagging and tracking. Basically, putting small GPS sensors onto animals to track their migration and possibly help prevent the endangerment of the species plays an important part in conservation and research.

Now, United will play a new role in this animal tracking with their installation of radio receiver antennas on their aircraft. They'll be able to pick up signals for animal tags while they fly around, which seems like a perfect idea since the airline criss-crosses any part of the planet 5,300 times per day.

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When to Go Whale Watching: The Best Cities and Seasons

May 28, 2014 at 11:35 AM | by | Comments (4)

Even whales prefer to travel in the summer months, and their mass migrations attract larger crowds of human spectators across the globe. From humpbacks to minkes and grays to sperm whales, there's plenty of variety to these giant mammals and plenty more places to spot them in their natural habitat.

In general, right now is the season most whales are on the move, heading to cooler waters to grab a good feed until the temps start to drop again, at which time they head back to warmer water. In the Northern Hemisphere, we're lucky that whale watching season also corresponds with the start of summer travels, but the Southern Hemisphere's winter season might make for a chilly boat ride out to the say "hi" to the gentle giants.

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Travel Snapshot: This Bridge Only Serves an Island's Eight-Legged Residents

May 19, 2014 at 11:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

Traveling around the globe to experience new and exciting places is one tried and true reason to hop on a plane. The resulting numb butt and bloodshot eyes are only a small price to pay to see something you couldn't see in your own backyard, and that's why this travel snapshot is so neat.

We came across the above bridge with little understanding of what it could be, but once we figured it out, the cleverness of its design and function were a "duh" shocker. Before we reveal the full details on where and what this is, here are a few clues:

· The country in which this photo was taken has more crustacean residents (43.7 million-ish) than people (2,100).
· The above overpass has a heavy traffic season right around November-December.
· With about 3 flights per week, this destination is not easy to reach but completely worth the trouble.
· Although very tropical, this location is a far departure from cocktails and infinity pools.

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