5 Trips to Try This Summer!
As the world slowly starts to open up again, we’re focusing this story on North America. We’re hopeful that Canada will open to Americans by July 1st. Europe may also be safe to travel to by summer, but more than likely, that will be a last-minute decision for most of our clients. Many outfitters have expanded their North American itineraries this past year to satisfy the growing demand. These are the group trips look the most exciting to us:
DuVine Long Weekend to the Smoky Mountains
DuVine, the Massachusetts-based biking tour operator who brought Lisa and I on a fantastic trip to Puglia, Italy, introduced shorter 4-day trips around America last year, including itineraries to Santa Barbara and Tucson.

But it’s hard to top their newly revealed trip to Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains, where you can bike to your heart’s content on the rolling backcountry roads and then dine each night at one of the most decorated restaurants in the country, the Relais & Chateaux property, Blackberry Farm. You’ll squeeze in 4 day of riding, averaging 25 to 30 miles per day, before rewarding yourself with a feast of southern specialties like barbecued ribs and catfish, washed down with local microbrews and Tennessee whiskey. The lodge is something to behold and experience as well! It's a 4,200-acre estate nestled in the foothills of the Great Smokies. In your downtime, you can enjoy fly-fishing, horseback riding, hiking, and an amazing massage in their spa. DuVine's first trip out is May 24-27, 2021.
UnCruise Alaska
By now you may have read that the cruise season to Alaska is over thanks to Canada closing all ports to cruising until 2022. But what you might not realize is that you can fly directly to Alaska and take a cruise that focuses solely on the exceptional scenery and wildlife of the state, not wasting time cruising up the coastline from Vancouver or Seattle. For folks who like their cruises with a dose of activity, it’s hard to top UnCruise, who will whisk you away on Zodiac rafts to sea kayak and hike in or along protected coves. You’re guaranteed to find whales, sea lions, and otters in the water, grizzlies on land, and eagles flying overhead. Please let ActiveTravels know your dates and we’ll find the best UnCruise Alaskan itinerary for you and your traveling companions. They also offer trips for solo travelers, too! Here's their brochure on Alaskan itineraries to check out!
Backroads Bourbon Country
Having visited the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, stopping and touring historic distilleries, after rolling up and down bucolic horse country, I can easily say I can’t wait to get back. Here's my article that I wrote on my experiences in Bourbon country.
Sampling bourbon, dining on exceptional Southern food, and viewing the seemingly endless green hillsides of the Bluegrass State, it’s hard not to be hooked. We were excited to see that Backroads introduced a 5-day itinerary to this region of the country last year and it’s already immensely popular. The first trip leaves April 11-15 and if you’re a little leery of drinking high-proof liquor while biking, realize that most of the drinking is at Happy Hour and you can always grab an e-bike for those challenging hills.
Tauck's Yosemite & Sequoia
Sure, you could say we’re Ken Burns groupies, watching practically every documentary he ever created, on such far-ranging topics as The Civil War, Baseball, and The Brooklyn Bridge. But if you really want to learn about the history and beauty of America’s most spectacular scenery, Burns’ National Parks series tells the story. So when we heard that Tauck joined forces with Ken Burns to add commentary on all their itineraries through the American West, we knew it would be a big hit. Tauck has itineraries to many of the National Parks in summer, including Yellowstone and Zion, but we really like the 8-day trip to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks that begins and ends in San Francisco. Spend your days hiking through the majestic groves of sequoias or atop the stunning mountain ridges, then lap up the luxury at night at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, the classic Ahwahnee Lodge in Yosemite and the Wuksatchi Lodge in Sequoia. Trips start in mid-May and half the dates this summer are already sold out.
Natural Habitat Adventures
Churchill, Manitoba 
Visit northern Manitoba in October and November with Natural Habitat Adventures and you’re almost guaranteed to view polar bears in the day & the Northern Lights at night.
But now the renowned wildlife tour operator and partner with the World Wildlife Fund has their sights set on summer. Venture on one of Natural Habitat’s summer trips and you’re guaranteed to raft and kayak with beluga whales. We love their Belugas, Bears and Summer Wildlife Adventure! More than 3,000 of these friendly white whales congregate at the mouth of the Churchill River for summer feasting. You’ll also spot polar bears while taking a magnificent helicopter ride. Other sightings when heading out into the tundra include moose, black bear, caribou, red fox, Arctic hare, snowy owls, and ptarmigan. There’s a Women Only jaunt, ideal for mothers and daughters from July 30-August 5, and a trip for nature photographers from July 14-20.
Check Out Steve's Interview on NBC10 Boston!
Katherine Underwood of NBC10 Boston interviewed Steve for her piece on the uptick in the travel industry due to more vaccinations being administered and more optimism for clients with a pent-up demand for traveling. We are grateful for the opportunity to have been chosen amidst our local competition for this coveted spot on this past Sunday's night news! We are also extremely grateful to our member, Tess Myers Jrolf, who was also featured! Thank you, Tess! Click on either picture to see the video.
Stay Tuned!
Our Next Episode of...
The World is Your Oyster is on the way!
We are super excited to interview Don Martinson of Natural Habitat Adventures about their summer offerings. Don has invited Steve Selden to join us. Steve is one of NatHab's best guides and the architect of the Belugas, Bears and Summer Wildlife Tour mentioned above in our Five Trips to Try article. Just watch this video to learn more about the trip. And watch out for this next episode of The World is Your Oyster on Tuesday!
Quick Escape:
Off-Season Beach Properties
As the days get longer and hopefully warmer, it’s not a bad time to visit the beaches of New England before the crowds descend on the region in summer. On Cape Cod, there’s no need to stay at a splashy summer resort like Chatham Bars in the off-season when you can spend the night at Chatham Inn, the only Relais & Chateaux property on the Cape. If you want to getaway for at least one night, this is the perfect property. See the shops in Chatham, stroll the beach, bike the rail trail, and then have a fantastic dinner at the inn that evening.
We also like Inn by the Sea this time of year. On the outskirts of Portland in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, you can bring your dog and walk more than 3 miles of beach with mostly other dog walkers. They are offering some fun vacation packages as well like Foodie Fire and Ice and their Mud Season Special. Check it out!
Lastly, stay at The Chanler in Newport, Rhode Island, and you can work up an appetite for dinner at the inn by walking the glorious Cliff Walk and peering at the backyards of those famous mansions along the sea.
89 Roundwood Road,
Newton, MA 02464