Some people are born adventurous, and others are grabbed by the need for excitement every once in a while. Whatever the reason, taking an action packed adventure vacation, can rejuvenate even the most tense, worked out body.
Among the most popular destinations on the bicycle tour enthusiasts list, is the land that “winds around to face itself,” Cape Cod. The city, lying across the Cape Cod Canal, forms part of the state of Massachusetts, and comes complete with its romantic New England charm. The real attraction for the cyclist on tour, are the vast tracts of natural land preserves that offer seclusion, and the beauty of the pine trees, marshes, and vineyards of the region. In fact, the area is so free of human intervention that during certain seasons, people can cycle for miles without meeting a single soul.
The entire landscape of Cape Cod is full cycling and walking trails that are visited mainly in the summers. One favorite among them is the Cape Cod National Seashore that was established in the 1961. Unlike the crowded beaches of the South that offer little peace and quite, usually the only company cyclists have on the Seashore, are the lighthouses and the lashing waves that they watch over. Cape Cod was one of the first sites in the United States, to witness human settlement with establishments, dating as far back as the seventeenth century. For riders in the mood for a trip down the nation?s past, there are the various Historic Districts and Route 6A, better known as the Old King?s Highway.
However, the best-loved cycling trail in the Cape is the Cape Cod Rail Trail, which was created in 1978 as a tourist feature. The rails stopped running in the Cape, soon after the two bridges that connect the region to mainland of Massachusetts were built. Their paths are now used as the most scenic cycling trails that run through salt marshes, cranberry bogs, and the Nickerson State Park. The locality is generally flat mild, and so the trail serves as a great experience for professional, as well as novice cyclists.
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Those of us who live in the States are lucky. We have one of the best National Park systems in the world. We also have fast, efficient Interstates that will take you close enough to most of them that you don’t have to worry about off-roading in your RV!
But what makes those parks so great is really the breathtaking natural beauty that is preserved there. Every place in the world has its unique sights to see, but you just can’t beat standing on the south rim of the Grand Canyon watching the sun go down.
Here is a brief introduction to 3 of America’s oldest and still best national parks, Yellowstone, Yosemite and the Great Smoky Mountains.
Yellowstone National Park – Southern Montana and Northern Wyoming
Yellowstone is the first, and many consider the greatest National Park in the United States. It’s a wonderland of spouting geysers, unique rock formations and other leftover evidence of a massive volcanic explosion over 600,000 years ago.
Don’t worry, it’s all cooled off now. At Yellowstone, you can see the world’s most famous geyser, Old Faithful. Early settlers thought it was a noxious spew from hell itself, but nowadays we know it’s just a geothermal process, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting.
Yellowstone has a reputation for being crowded, and it’s true that it’s a popular destination. If you really want to see the park, park your motor home and hike off the beaten path. Yellowstone has lots of great hiking trails, more than enough for everybody to enjoy without crowding each other. There are plenty of day hikes with spectacular views.
Yellowstone has at least 12 different campgrounds, and they’re all first come, first served. Before you go, you’ll want to call ahead and see about fire restrictions. If you’re with the family and you want to stick to some luxurious digs, there are KOA’s and other commercial campgrounds just outside the park with more modern conveniences where you can park your motor home or RV.
Yosemite National Park- Eastern California
Yosemite is another one of the oldest national parks in the United States. The wilderness of Yosemite represents all kinds of terrain, including meadows, valleys, mountains and great forests, and it’s not too far from San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Probably the most amazing thing about Yosemite is the waterfalls. It has more waterfalls than any other single place on earth. Steep cliffs of granite abound, and from certain points in the valley you can see seven or eight big ones at once. It may be tempting, but don’t try swimming in the pools, because the force of the water can knock you senseless.
Yosemite also boasts one of the biggest forests of sequoias in the world. These ancient trees stand tall, their tips pushing way up into the sky, like the California Redwoods.
There are 13 campgrounds in Yosemite National Park, and some of them accept camping cars, trailers, motor homes and RV’s. If you plan on heading to Yosemite, it’s best to call ahead and make a reservation. In the summer months, the campgrounds fill up quick.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park – The North Carolina and Tennessee Border
If you like the outdoors, Great Smoky has it all. There are more hiking trails than probably any other area in the US, as well as great fishing and camping. Compared to the parks out west, you’ll see lots more wildlife and plants. Also unlike the west, the weather is mild and there’s plenty of humidity to keep you from dehydrating.
Another reason to head for the Smokies is to experience real, authentic Appalachian mountain culture. There’s mountain music, storytellers, and all kinds of family fun.
Great Smoky is also a great place for RV drivers, because there are lots of auto tours. The park boasts roads where you can see great views, old historic buildings and vast forests as far as the eye can see.
Of course, this is just a basic introduction. You have to see these parks to believe them. These are definitely three places you want to hit at least sometime in your life.
See the States coast to coast in your home on wheels. Your family motor home lets you travel in style. Visit Bankston Motor Homes, http://www.bankstonmotorhomes.com/, to search for your next motor home or come by and visit with us at any of our five locations.
‘Where should my boyfriend and I go on vacation?’ I was recently asked by a young gay couple from New Jersey. They wanted to visit California in March – not sure where to go. They were tossing between San Francisco and San Diego, or even other fun places in California to visit.
I thought to share my answer with you here:
“Young and Gay? San Francisco wins hands down over San Diego! So let me tell you about San Francisco …
The city choice: From a gay point of view, actually, a better time to go is June 28 & 29, when the gay pride parade is going on this year! (http://www.sfpride.org/) However, from a weather point of view, I’d prefer April or October, as it’s foggy in San Francisco in summer in particular.
What to do in ‘San Fran’ as it is lovingly called by locals
Target destination: Your top attraction is the Castro. It is the gay district, a really fun neighborhood downtown San Francisco. There are fabulous clubs there. I had the best parties ever in this neighborhood.
For a bit of culture: My favorite is the SF Museum of Modern Art, but there are other must-do and world-famous museums to visit, eg. the Asian Art Museum.
For food & more culture: North Beach (San Fran’s equivalent of NYC’s little Italy), Golden Gate Bridge with the quaint village of Sausalito at the other end, Golden Gate Park (be sure to visit the Japanese Tea Garden and enjoy the views), The Mission District (lots of artists live here; fun at daytime, might not be safe at night).
For luxury shopping: Union Square and neighboring streets On a clear day, go have lunch or tea in one of the revolving restaurants in this neighborhood. Fabulous views and a real pampering experience.
Regarding tourist attractions:
Chinatown (Great food),
Ferry Building Marketplace (I rate it an ‘oh well’),
Fisherman’s Wharf (tourist trap that can be fun on a sunny Sunday when street performers trick tourists),
Coit Tower (‘nah’),
Alcatraz, the prison island (fun to look at from Sausalito; fun to be on the water, even on a ferry),
Angel Island (the hiking island; would go only if you have more time).
There is so much more to see and do, and to advise you depends really upon your tastes and lifestyle.
For things to do, beyond downtown:
If you’re the sporty types, in the wider surrounding of San Francisco, you can find excellent hiking & biking trails.
Personally, I would hire a car for a few days. On one day, I’d take highway 1 all the way down to Pescadero, have the Sunday fish soup at Duartes, see the lighthouse (there’s a youth hostel there with a romantic ocean look out point in the rocks), and return to town.
On another day, I would drive up/bus up to the Napa valley wine country, which is only 1-2 hrs drive away. There are treats for everyone there: Give your boy some wine and you dip in a spa mud bath. Both will enjoy the rolling hills.
OK. that’s enough of a town teaser. You simply have to go see for yourself and report back! Enjoy! ”
In her article ‘Active Holiday’ Italian Alessia Braia shares how Riccione, Rimini and other sites on the Adriatic Riviera in Italy are just perfect for a sporty vacation:
Dynamism and physical activity are the fundamental requirements of a true sporting holiday. Sport lovers are often demanding of an active holiday with plenty of physical activity and well-being for the body and the mind.
Doing physical activity also on holiday is the special mission of the Hotels for sport enthusiasts. From triathlon to bicycle racing, these hotels propose the active holiday and make sure that every sports need is satisfied.
The hotels on the Adriatic Riviera offer four ways of practicing sport while on holiday:
– Cycling holiday – Mountain Bike holiday – Triathlon holiday (Cycling + Swimming + Racing) – Holiday in the swimming-pool (swimming)
The Hotels for sport enthusiasts offer targeted services for each type of holiday. Hotels for riders and bike services for road racing holidays and mountain bike holidays: technical equipment, specialized guides, cycling-tourism tracks, and participation in the various cycling races organized locally.
These are the bike facilities:
– bicycle storeroom – before and post-training buffet – A minibus – Cycling itineraries (maps of the itineraries in the inland area) selected and divided according to level of difficulty. – Technical assistance
– Tailor-made bicycle hire – Fitness and massages – Laundry service.
For the triathlon enthusiasts, there are special cycling/swimming/racing tracks to train every body part and experience the adrenalin of sport at 360°.
The hills over Riccione, for example, are particularly suitable for cycling and the Province of Rimini can provide cycling-tourism maps that will guide bike lovers.
For those who feel like “fishes”, Riccione offers the opportunity of swimming in the heated swimming-pool with swimming instructors.
The swimming services are:
– Large pool: – Olympic-sized pool – Packed lunch – Assistance (for example advanced swimming lessons) – Towels and bathrobes – Special agreements
In addition to all this, relax treatments, from massage to sauna, are the best way to relax the muscles after the tiring but enjoyable sports activities.
The Adriatic Riviera and the Hotels in Riccione are the ideal dimension for sports people who, while on holiday, want not only to enjoy the inland, the food, the beaches and the entertainment offered by the local area, but also and, first of all, want to keep in shape through the many chances of doing sport.
To live a special sportive holiday the Sport Hotel in Italy and especially in Riccione propose a lot of event during the evening to relax an to be ready for the next sport activity. This kind of holiday is very diffused in Italy and every year a lot of cycling lovers choose a bike holiday to live between sport and nature.
Italian Regions offer a lot of bike itineraries, from the mountain to the sea and during their journey the guest could participate to important cycling races in Italy. The Nove Colli for example is one of the most famous race that gives fame to Marco Pantani.
Italy and Italian bike hotel could offer an complete sport holiday full of activity, history and emotion.
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