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 Vacations are precious investments of time with your loved ones.  

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there for you 
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Editor's Letter,
July/August 2019

Dear ActiveTravels Members,

Steve and I created our agency, ActiveTravels, because we both have a deep love for the places, the cultures, the history, the food and the nature we encounter when we travel. Learning the geography, the logistics, and the highlights of each destination are some of the pleasures we experience as travel advisors. Introducing our clients to the true authenticity of the place was our mission statement upon opening our doors and continues to be so to this day. As the years roll by, we have realized the most important underlying element in everything we do and that is connecting with people.

First and foremost, we hope to engage with our members to see what sparks joy in them, to steal Marie Kondo's phrase. We've created itineraries for searching for amber in the Baltics, tracking down where the Bronte sisters, CS Lewis, Virginia Woolf and Lewis Carroll, hung out in the UK, or seeking off-the-beaten-track aboriginal art colonies in the Outback of Australia. Ultimately, we are just striving to create a tapestry of experiences where our members and their loved ones can enjoy one another and reconnect.

Secondly, we are constantly connecting with hotel representatives, tour operators, guides and other travel advisors to stay on top of the game and keep current with all that is new in the world. Many mugs of coffee have been sipped while hearing about the newest safari style tents in the Galapagos, the latest boat revealed by master chef, Alain Ducasse, on Paris's Seine River, and the absolute best place to find Balsamic Vinegar (Modena, Italy). All these tidbits help us to be better advisors as we dream with you to create an amazing trip.

Thirdly and most importantly, are the people you meet while traveling. These are the experiences that bring the world in a little closer while at the same time expanding your perspective.

Read on to find out about where to go on your next multi-generational trip, checking out the Canary Islands and how Steve's blog can benefit you as you imagine the next place on your bucket list to visit.

Our next newsletter will be in early September. Have a wonderful rest of your summer.

Happy Travels!

Lisa & Steve
Multigenerational Family Resorts that Will Keep All Ages Entertained

The kids are stand-up paddle boarding near the middle of the lake. Lisa is sea kayaking with her siblings and their spouses closer to the shoreline. Steady wind blowing through my hair, I'm at the tiller of an 18-foot sailboat accompanied by my mother-in-law, Fran. I grew up sailing on the large lake to the south, Lake George, where there's far more boat traffic and large passenger steamboats like The Mohican, which I always seemed to be on a direct line to hit. But here on the southern tier of mighty Lake Champlain, there is little traffic on this July weekday and I don't feel a worry in the world.
Vermont's Basin Harbor Club is one of a handful of resorts that we like to send clients in summer who are looking for a large family get-together. One that's suitable for all ages, from toddlers to octogenarians. Yes, the Basin Harbor Club boasts a bevy of activity, including golf, tennis, boating, sailing, sea kayaking, sublime biking, and, of course, shuffleboard. The all-inclusive food option also makes dining simple. Yet, what can't be conveyed on their website or brochures is the heart and soul of this place, a wholesome retro appeal where one can truly relax and escape the often hectic world. Multi-generational families from all over the country return year after year for one blissful week with their entire clan.
These are the properties that receive rave reviews summer after summer:
Our home away from home for the week would be a rustic cottage, with beds for four, small bathroom, living room, porch, and thankfully no television. The numerous cottages are scattered around the grounds and lend to the family camp appeal. Each morning, we would wake up (kids much later than parents), and bike or walk to the main dining room where a gluttonous breakfast buffet was waiting, including meaty Vermont bacon and real Vermont maple syrup for those pancakes, French toast, and waffles.
I would grab the daily newsletter from the front desk, highlighting the numerous birthdays and anniversaries of guests along with a list of special events that particular day, like a naturalist-led hike in the Adirondacks, a watercolor painting class, and a chance to paddle a 19th-century replica rowboat. The latter was too good to pass up and there I was later that morning, along with a couple from Annapolis, learning how Matt from the nearby Maritime Museum created this boat from scratch. Then I heed his command to "row, row, row..."

The beauty of this type of resort is that everyone, including the kids, has their own independence. If Fran and our son Jake, want to play a game of tennis, off they go. If Lisa's brother, Jeff, wants to throw a Frisbee with his son, Micah, after a competitive game of shuffleboard, go for it. We see each other at breakfast, sporadically throughout the day and then meet up for dinner. Yet, most afternoons, we find each other at the small beach, swimming over to the dock, and lounging on chaise lounge chairs with a pint of Vermont's Switchback Ale in one hand, book in the other.
I can't resist the chance to bike every day. Any avid road biker will tell you that Addison Valley, Vermont, where Basin Harbor Club is located, is easily one of the top five biking destinations in North America. The backcountry roads have very little car traffic, great uphill climbs and downhill runs, and around every bend is another dairy farm, massive red barn, white church steeple, and glorious vistas of mountains and lake.
Walk out the back patio of The Sagamore and glance past the manicured lawn to the waters of Lake George. You'll quickly understand why this is the premiere address in the Adirondacks. On the opposite shores of this long rambling lake, which often resembles a river, is an uninterrupted carpet of trees that rise to the top of 2,000-foot mountains. The waves of rolling summits form a silhouette against the sky that, due to the lake's narrow width, hems you in snugly between the peaks.

Set on a 70-acre island near Bolton Landing, this large wedding cake of a hotel has been keeping families happy for well over a century. The white clapboard resort overlooks the aptly named Dome Island and takes advantage of this beauty strip to offer swimming, boating, parasailing, banana boat rides, fishing, a fitness center with aerobics classes and yoga, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, summer camps for the kids, and an outdoor pool and hot tub.

Take a cruise on the Sagamore's private launch, the Morgan, to visit the more pristine inlets and islands in the northern half of the lake. Or better yet, go for a sail with the resort's sailing school. You can also rent kayaks to paddle around the island. Kids will like the outdoor movies in summer and the cafe downstairs. Even if you decide not to stay here, do yourself a favor and walk the exquisite grounds.
A mere 90 minutes north of Manhattan is New Paltz, New York, and the Catskill Mountains. Avid adventurers know the area for the Gunks, one of the most popular rock climbing destinations in the East. Families venture here in the summer and fall for the serene beauty. Start with a walk around Lake Mohonk and then book a room overlooking that same body of water at one of the finest family resorts in the country, the Mohonk Mountain House. Opened in 1869, this sprawling resort has the perfect vantage point to take in the mountains and lake. Not to mention, you get to slow down and appreciate the natural splendor on a hike, horseback ride, or paddle. All meals are included in the full American plan.

If you and the family really want that Rocky Mountain High, it's hard to top The Broadmoor, set at the base of Cheyenne Mountain on the outskirts of Colorado Springs in the Rockies. Opened in 1918, this classic manor has kept up with the times, opening one- to eight-bedroom cottages that are perfect for an extended family reunion. Most of the action centers on Cheyenne Lake with its infinity swimming pool, children's pool, waterslides and whirlpools. There are also three 18-hole golf courses, tennis courts, paddle boating on the lake, bike rentals, horseback riding through the wilderness, and off-property tours to fly-fish, whitewater raft, zipline, or ride a cog train up Pike's Peak. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, Bee Bunch offers children ages 3 to 12 full-day, half-day and evening sessions to join counselors on hikes and scavenger hunts, as well as an option to enjoy the Junior Ice Cream Manicure and Pedicure at the spa, geared toward children ages 11 and under.
If any of these resorts sound enticing for the summer of 2019, 2020, even 2021, please let ActiveTravels know and we'll check availability.
Tried and True Travel Tips:
Use the ActiveTravels Blog as a Resource for Your Travels

It's been a decade since I began blogging at ActiveTravels. In 2008, I lost more than half my editors as magazines closed down and newspapers cut back severely on their travel pages.  Nevertheless, a writer needs to write. So I started my blog, ActiveTravels, the next year and haven't stopped writing daily posts since. 

A decade of content is a lot of material to play with and we always try to steer our ActiveTravels members toward the blog when researching an upcoming trip. Simply type in "Vermont" in the advanced search column to the right of the blog and then type in "Vermont" a second time in Search by Keyword, and you'll have 155 blog entries on Vermont to choose from. That should keep you busy. Interested in going on a safari? I've written 68 blogs that relate to safaris. How about heading to my beloved Nova Scotia on a last-minute summer driving trip? You'll find 40 entries on Nova Scotia. 

If you have trouble accessing the content, please contact me and I'll help you find it.
Quick Escape:
Canary Islands, Spain

At a recent Spain travel event hosted at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, I sat next to a man whose company, Quest Travel Adventures, runs tours to Portugal's Azores and Spain's Canary Islands. Not surprisingly, he told me that the number of travelers visiting the Azores in the past 2 years has gone up exponentially, thanks to quick and easy direct airlines routes from Boston and other northeastern cities, affordability, and the stunning mountainous scenery, ideal for hiking as our own Amy can attest. He believes the Canary Islands are the next big destination for Americans, especially in winter, when the temperatures average 65 degrees Fahrenheit, perfect weather to hike and bike. 

Located 200 miles off the northwestern coast of Africa, the Canary's are comprised of seven islands, including the largest and most populous, Tenerife. 60 miles long, Tenerife is home to the mighty Mount Teide volcano, standing 12,198-feet high, the tallest peak in the Spanish territories. The mountainous northeast and northwest corner of the island offer excellent hiking, including the popular Masca trail which brings you to the cliffs of Los Gigantes. The southern shores of the island are sunny and dry, home to many beaches like Costa Adeje. But 
there's so much more, including a world-class zoo, waterpark for families, and golfing. The Canary Islands makes for a perfect add-on to your next trip to Spain or Portugal or even on its own as your next Quick Escape.

Contact ActiveTravels to get started planning your Canary Islands getaway!
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