• Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton
    Sydney Australia - credit Jackie Appleton

Dine your way round the USA from Dirt Dog to Muffaletta…

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

When it comes to dining in the United States they sure know and love their food. Each state has it own specialties and a great way to explore America is through its food.

Austin, Texas

We might like to stoke up a barbecue on the weekend, but in Texas they live and die by the practice. Mesquite smoked meats and tenderising rubs are common obsessions.  For excellent brisket, head to the Dallas Farmers Market. Also good are the pork links, pulled pork, beef ribs and collard greens. Basically everything! Also in Austin you can find Franklin’s Barbecue. This is a very popular eat house especially with the locals who arrive as early as 5am on weekends, and is well worth the wait for mouth-watering food.

Picture courtesy of Shelby Sorrel

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas is best known for its glitzy casinos and sequin-spangled shows. But past the casinos, slot machines and neon glare of the Strip you can also enjoy an amazing food scene that is full of inventive, innovative cuisine. The city is full of every kind of food with something to please everyone. If you are an indecisive eater, then visit Café Hollywood and try the High Roller Sampler. This includes tasters of the restaurant’s most popular appetizers: chicken tenders coated in Cap’n Crunch, shrimp tempura, buffalo wings, and barbecue tostadas.  Another favourite is the Housedog at Dirt Dog.  You will know Dirt Dog is open when you see the huge line of hungry people stretching around the block. Here you will find a bacon-wrapped hot dog covered in cream cheese, cheddar, roasted green chilles, thousand island dressing, grilled peppers, and onions.

 

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

Provincetown, Massachusetts

Provincetown is located at the tip of Cape Cod and is a ‘must’ when visiting the Cape. Here you will not beat the fresh seafood with plenty of seafood shacks to serve you your favorite lobster roll, or fresh oysters, clams, scallops and crab.

Picture courtesy of Angie Watson

New Orleans

One of New Orleans most famous ‘must try’ dishes is Crawfish étouffée (pronounced eh-too-fey) which comes from the French word “to smother.” This dish resembles a very thick stew, seasoned to perfection full of delicious, plump crawfish (or shrimp) served with rice. It’s a unique taste you won’t soon forget! Also a ‘must try’ is the Muffaletta, a sandwich that is never just a sandwich. This is all about the meat but with the olive salad dressing and the bread being important too. The Muffaletta is full of cured Italian meats, such as ham and salami topped with Provolone cheese. The olive dressing sports chopped green and black olives with onions and olive oil and spices, and the bread is a round sesame-seed roll like a bagel that can be big enough for sharing. Why not try it in one of the many restaurants in New Orleans, with plenty to choose from.

 

San Francisco, California

San Francisco is often hailed to be the best food town of the United States. The regional produce is grown on surrounding small farms, resulting in lots of fresh, clean flavours, with most ingredients locally reared and sustainably sourced. Most restaurants tend to be casual – even some of the Michelin-starred eateries.  San Francisco loves its’ bread and pastries, so take a visit to the old-school donut shop, Bob’s which is open 24hrs. The donuts are great, but the apple fritters are perfectly crisp-soft and laced with plenty of cinnamon. The other ‘must try’ food that comes to mind is a clam chowder (Fisherman’s Wharf) which was an East Coast invention, but in a world famous sourdough bread bowl that makes it that much better.  Chinatown is another must see place with lots of dining options, and the best way get the most out of your time here is to book a walking tour which will take you to all the tea shops, dim sum restaurants and back alleys.

Old Fisherman’s Wharf – Credit Visit California Carol Highsmith

Why Wyoming..

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

If your someone who likes space with peace and amazing scenery, then this state’s vast size and low population which could allow each person living in Wyoming to have 111 acres all to themselves could be your perfect get away. Here are 10 places to get you started…………..

 

Lander – Hiking, mountain biking, fishing and world-class climbing await in this secluded mountain town along Wyoming’s Wind River Range. Most of Lander’s outdoor fun can be found in Sinks Canyon State Park a beautiful park with a natural phenomenon known as The Sinks. Jump on one of the 500+ area climbing routes or explore the park’s stunning scenery via trail.

Wind River Canyon Credit: Wyoming Office of Tourism

Star Valley – Wyoming’s Star Valley is a community of 12 towns that span a 45 mile stretch of valley nestled against the Salt River Mountain Range – just one hour south of Grand Teton National Park. This often-overlooked part of the state is also one of the most beautiful, with rolling hills, snow-capped mountains and rushing rivers serving as the backdrop to your outdoor adventures.

Saratoga – For the ultimate mountain rejuvenation, head to Saratoga and take a soak in the hot springs. Hobo Hot Springs features several free pools, including a few along the North Platte River. Make your way to nearby Medicine Bow National Forest to hike along the Snowy Mountain Range.

Hot Springs Credit: Wyoming Office of Tourism

Sundance – Break away from the stresses of modern technology in the place where the Sundance Kid got his name. This Western town is located in the heart of the Black Hills, offering plenty of trails for the enjoyment of hikers, horseback riders and off-road vehicle enthusiasts alike. Explore Devils Tower America’s first national monument by hiking around its mile-long base or climbing up its 900-foot face.

Alcova – Technically part of Casper, Wyoming, Alcova is an unincorporated town near Fremont Canyon that offers rest, rejuvenation and adventure on the water. Get away from the noise of everyday life by staying at a campsite along the canyon’s Alcova or Pathfinder reservoirs; or book a rustic cabin in the town of Alcova. Rent a pontoon boat, kayak, stand-up paddleboard or water toy of your choosing at Alcova Resort and spend your days gazing at the canyon’s towering walls from its refreshing blue shores. Grab your fishing pole and cast a line into Alcova Reservoir, or try your luck at fly fishing on the nearby Platte River. Rock climbing, hiking and mountain biking offer even more fun on shore.

Seminoe Alcova Wyoming Backway Cedit: Wyoming Office of Tourism

Guernsey – Step off the grid and into a time when the West was a new frontier. Just south of Guernsey you will find remnants of travel from those heading West on the Oregon Trail during the mid-1800s. See the Oregon Trial ruts – the tracks worn into sandstone from pioneer wagons – some of which are now five feet deep. Then head to Register Cliff to find names carved into rock wall by emigrants passing through. Continue your deep dive into history with a trip to Fort Laramie, a national historic site that transformed from a fur trading outpost to a military post protecting westward travellers from local American Indian tribes.

Fort Laramie NHS Buildings Credit: Wyoming Office of Tourism

Fort Laramie NHS Barracks Credit: Wyoming Office of Tourism

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lovell – This quaint town in northern Wyoming offers a doorway to both Western history and outdoor adventure. Spot wild horses at the Pryor Mountain Wild Mustang Center, discover ancient American Indian History at Medicine Wheel National Historic Landmark or stroll through downtown Lovell, known for its beautiful rose gardens. While in town, take a few days to explore the nearby Bighorn Lake and Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, an area that spans into Montana and features stunning, 1,000-foot-tall canyon walls carved by the Bighorn River.

Medicine Wheel Credit: Wyoming Office of Tourism

Green River – Discover southwest Wyoming’s beautiful buttes and other worldly rock formations in the area surrounding Green River. Toss your phones aside as you search for wildlife at the beautiful Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge, where moose, pronghorn and over 200 species of birds can be spotted year-round. Or drive the Pilot Butte Wild Horse Scenic Loop for the chance to see members of the area herd, which consists of about 1,500 wild horses. Drive the Flaming Gorge-Green River Basin Scenic Byway for breath taking views of Green River and Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area, leaving ample time to stop and explore.

 

Buffalo – Tucked just east of Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains, Buffalo offers a wide range of outdoor activities that can be enjoyed during any season. Take a hike in Cloud Peak Wilderness, cast a line in Clear Creek or saddle up for an hourly, daily or overnight horseback trip at one of several nearby ranches. When the snow starts falling, hit the slopes at Meadowlark Ski Lodge or snowmobile pristine trails in the Bighorns. For a touch of Wild West adventure, step back in time at the Historic Occidental Hotel, where infamous guests such as Butch Cassidy and Calamity Jane once stayed. Then venture down to Hole-in-the-Wall near Kaycee to get a first-hand look at one of the West’s best outlaw hideouts.

Buffalo Occidental Hotel Credit: Buffalo, Wyoming Chamber of Commerce

Dubois – Located near both the Wind River and Absaroka mountain ranges, you can hike to the peaceful Lake Louise or challenge yourself with a hike up Whiskey Mountain, both of which aren’t far from Wyoming’s tallest mountain at 13,809 feet: Gannett Peak. During the winter months, head west to Falls Campground or Deception Creek to snowshoe or cross-country ski. These areas are protected from snowmobilers, allowing you to have a quiet experience on pristine snow.

Platinum Pebble – Top 10 Things to do in Provincetown, Cape Cod, USA

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

One of our favourite boutique inn’s Platinum Pebble based in Cape Cod USA has sent us their list of the top 10 things to do whilst visiting them which we would like to share with you:-

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN PROVINCETOWN

Provincetown is high energy, great people and people watching, and authentic Cape Cod.  While it is only an hour from the Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn it can feel worlds away at times!  Welcome to one of the best spots on Earth, Provincetown at the tip of Cape Cod.

 

Cape Cod

Photos courtesy of Mike Sankey

Photo courtesy of Mike Sankey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#1 THINGS TO DO IN PROVINCETOWN, EAT!

RESTAURANTS IN PROVINCETOWN

Photo provided by The Canteen

Provincetown is known for being a foodie town.  A number of great chefs started their careers here probably due in part to P’town always having been on the edge.  Think Anthony Bourdain and most recently Michele Ragussis.  You are unlikely to go wrong on your journey for outstanding food in Provincetown with everything from treats and sweets to fine dining.  As you enjoy big views, great boutiques, people, and energy do so with something you can only find on Cape Cod in your hand.  That could be a malasadas from the Portuguese Bakery or a Lobster Roll like only The Canteen can do.  We hope you enjoy discovering one of the best things to do in Provincetown, eating your way through a bucket list vacation!  Stay tuned for some of our favorite foodie stops and a couple do not miss eateries.

#2 THINGS TO DO IN PROVINCETOWN, RIDE!

PROVINCELANDS BIKE TRAIL

Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

Built when codes may have been a bit more lenient, the Provincelands Bike Trail is an incredible path through the dunes that surround the tip of Cape Cod.  Big hills, tunnels, shifting sand, and sharp turns make this an exhilarating way to see parts of Cape Cod most people miss.  Be careful, of course always wear a helmet, and slow down on turns to safely enjoy this amazing bike trail.  Experience at least 3 distinct ecosystems as you peddle your way around this 6 mile loop.   Take up to three different short spurs out to beaches and ponds and enjoy discovering part of what makes Cape Cod one of the best places on Earth.  Click here for more information on the Provinceland Bike Trails.

#3 THINGS TO DO IN PROVINCETOWN, SHOP!

COMMERCIAL STREET

Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

If you are looking for things to do in Provincetown, you can’t miss Commercial Street.  It is the tiny two lane Main Street that runs down Provincetown’s shoreline.  Just off the water are some of the best boutique shops, eclectic art studios, tattoo parlors, foodie stops, and pure history.  There is no doubt that you will enjoy the creative, colorful, people that make P’town home.  Click to read more about a Day Trip to Provincetown | Candy for the Senses.

#4 THINGS TO DO IN PROVINCETOWN, EMPTY YOUR BUCKET LIST!

WHALE WATCH

Photo from video footage taken by Captain Darren Saletta

This is a bucket list item for many and there is no better place to Whale Watch then right off Provincetown, on Cape Cod.  Multiple whale species make this their home for part of the year and almost every Whale Watch sees whales.  They are there and the captains know how to find them.  Experience the joy of these majestic giants, seemingly within arm’s reach.  If you are staying at the Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn, it is as easy as letting us know you are interested in a Whale Watch and we will have tickets waiting for you.  We are here to help you empty your bucket list one great experience at a time.  Click to read more about Cape Cod Whale Watching.

#5 THINGS TO DO IN PROVINCETOWN, TOUR!

ART’S DUNE TOURS

Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

Tour the dunes of the Provincelands in comfort with Art’s Dune Tours.  Family owned and operated since the 1940s, this is a rare chance to drive through the dunes that make this area so special.  Add in a beach bake at sunset and you are living like a local on Cape Cod!  Affordable and worth the time, this is an experience that will stay with you.  See some of the dune shacks that were built and inhabited by everyone from shipwrecked sailors to artists.

#6 THINGS TO DO IN PROVINCETOWN, LIGHT IT UP!

LIGHTHOUSES

Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

There are three lighthouses that surround the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown.  They are Long Point Light, Wood End Light, and Race Point Light.  Each one is a decent hike to get to but, not too difficult.  The shortest hike will take you to Wood End Light just across the Breakers.  The same architecture carries across Long Point and Wood End, with subtle differences.  Race Point Light is a pretty decent hike and is amazing in its isolation and the spectacular beauty of its surroundings.  Click for more information on Cape Cod Lighthouses.

#7 THINGS TO DO IN PROVINCETOWN, BIRD’S EYE VIEW!

PILGRIM MONUMENT

Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

For one of the best views on Cape Cod, make the easy climb to the top of the Pilgrim Monument.  The whole Cape seems to stretch out underneath you and gives a much different perspective to this amazing spot.  See if you can spot Commercial Street, the Whale Watch boats, Art’s Dune tours, the three lighthouses that surround P’town, your new favorite beach, and the bike trail that winds through the dunes.

#8 THINGS TO DO IN PROVINCETOWN, RELAX!

PROVINCETOWN BEACHES

Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

Enjoy relaxing on some of the most beautiful beaches on Earth, in Provincetown.  Whether you choose to play on some of the more popular beaches like Herring Cove or Race Point or discover some of the more isolated and private beaches, you will be blown away by the natural beauty that surrounds you.   The further out you go past Race Point’s parking area, either East or West will take you to some pretty isolated areas.  Experience authentic Cape Cod on some of these amazing beaches in Provincetown.

#9 THINGS TO DO IN PROVINCETOWN

HIKE

Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble

Discover the Dune Shacks Trail and see more of real Cape Cod that will keep you coming back.  Easy access off Route 6 at the Old Snail Road junction will take you through a short stretch of woods and to a mighty sand hill that leads you up and out of the surrounding forest.  The sand stretches off into the distance, up and down rolling dunes, to the ocean about a mile or two away.  As you get closer to the coast you spot what look like little houses, you’ve discovered the dune shacks of the Provincelands.  These are the same dune shacks that were built from the wreckage of shipwrecks and have housed everyone from wrecked sailors to artists over the years.  Click to read more about the Dune Shacks of Provincetown.

STAY TUNED FOR #10 THINGS TO DO IN PROVINCETOWN, PARTY!

 

If you would like more information on any of the above or to include Platinum Pebble part of you own bespoke tailor made holiday then please give us a call on 01323 446550 or email info@experienceholidays.co.uk

New Flights to the USA

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Norwegian, the low cost carrier, has announced the following new destinations:

A service to Denver, which starts on September 16, will run year-round, operating twice-weekly (on Tuesdays and Saturdays) during the summer season but increasing to a three-times-weekly service in the winter, with an additional Thursday departure.

From September 17, the low-cost carrier will commence a year-round service to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Four weekly flights will operate on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Fares for both routes start from £199.

Both routes will be serviced by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which has up to 344 seats in two cabins – Economy and Premium.

Norwegian, which also flies from Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester Airports, flies to Boston, Miami/Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Los Angeles, New York (JFK) and Oakland.

The airline has one of the youngest aircraft fleets of any airline, with an average age of 3.6 years, including Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Boeing 737-800s

This makes the USA more accessable and at very competative prices.

Denver Skyline

Picture courtesy of Visit Denver

Space Needle - Seattle

Picture courtesy of Port of Seattle

Don’t be a Fool to miss the Fall – Your 5 must do’s

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Fall is a fabulous time to visit the Capital Region USA. Throughout the already scenic Blue Ridge Mountains and the valleys below, the landscape morphs into a kaleidoscope of colour. The fall harvest begins at farms and vineyards across Maryland and Virginia and is celebrated at festivals and events throughout the region. And the cooler weather brings a variety of outdoor festivals where visitors can experience authentic American culture. Here are five top experiences you should seek out on your autumn holiday to America’s Capital Region.

Take a Scenic Drive

Rent a car and follow one of the region’s National Scenic Byways to view the spectacular fall foliage. Skyline Drive, part of Shenandoah National Park, runs 105 miles along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains and features numerous overlooks where you can pull over, take in the view and capture some stunning vacation photos. Once outside the park, the drive meets the Blue   Ridge Parkway which continues another 217 miles through the mountains of Virginia. Known as the “road that built a nation”, Maryland’s Historic National Road passes through the mountains of western Maryland, travelling through small towns and historic sites along the way. Discover more scenic fall drives in Virginia and Maryland.

Fall scenics along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org

Fall scenics along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Virginia Tourism Corporation, www.Virginia.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skyline Drive - Credited to Virginia Tourism Corporation

Skyline Drive – Credited to Virginia Tourism Corporation

 

 

Taste the Harvest

Celebrate the harvest at farms and wineries throughout the region. Virginia Wine Month is celebrated in October and features wine festivals and special events at wineries, restaurants and retailers throughout the state. Taste one of the region’s specialties in its peak season during the Urbanna Oyster Festival in Virginia or the St. Mary’s Oyster Festival in Maryland. Harvest celebrations include the Suffolk Peanut Festival. Washington DC hosts several food festivals in the fall including Capital Food Fight and Taste of DC.

Have Fun on the Farm

Enjoy the crisp autumn air while having some old fashion fun as farms throughout the region host fall festivals featuring corn mazes, pumpkin patches, apple picking, hayrides and more. Check out all of the corn mazes and pumpkin patches in Virginia and in Maryland, look to Bowles Farm, Butler’s Orchard, Cove Run, Forrest Hall and Warrington Farm for fall fun.

Charlottesville-Vineyards-Credit Charlottesville-Albemarle-Convention-Visitors-Bureau.jpg

Charlottesville-Vineyards-Credit Charlottesville-Albemarle-Convention-Visitors-Bureau.jpg

Cheer on Favourite Teams

Fall kicks off the season for many of America’s favourite sports – particularly football. Fans pack the stadiums and sports bars, cheering on their favourite teams. See the regional hometown teams in action at Fed Ex Field, home to the Washington Redskins or M&T Bank Stadium, home to the Baltimore Ravens. Head to the VerizonCenter in DC to catch a hockey game with the Washington Capitals or a basketball game with the Washington Wizards. Steeplechase races are also prevalent throughout the fall. Checkout the Montpelier Hunt Races or the International Gold Cup in Virginia and the Shawan Downs Legacy Chase and the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day in Maryland.  

Get Cultured

Enjoy the fall weather while experiencing the culture of the region at one of many outdoor festivals and events.  Explore DC’s diverse neighbourhoods during the H Street Festival or Walking Town DC, an event featuring more than 50 free, guided walking tours throughout the city. Hosted in the scenic waterfront town of Easton, Maryland, the Waterfowl Festival celebrates the wide variety of waterfowl species in the Chesapeake Bay region with retriever, birds of prey, and fly fishing demonstrations, miniature decoy paintings, calling contests and more. The Virginia State Fair features animals and agriculture exhibits along with live music, shows, arts and crafts, a midway filled with games and rides, and lots of traditional fair foods. 

Picture courtesy of CapitalRegionUSA.Org

Picture courtesy of CapitalRegionUSA.Org

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jefferson Memorial - Credit CapitalRegionUSA.Org

Jefferson Memorial – Credit CapitalRegionUSA.Org

 

 

 

 

To start planning you bespoke holiday to the USA to see the fall next year then please contact us so we can put your plans into actions and help make the most out of your holiday with our expert advice – Please call us on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Visa Advice

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

With entry into many a country requiring the application of a visa or visa waiver prior to travel please do contact us for advice on the best way to do this if you are in any way unsure.  We suggest that you go directly to the embassy or government website concerned where you will be directed to complete the relevant information, and only charged the fee required for the actual visa or visa waiver.  There are many companies set up online who will be eager to action this for you, and in the process will charge you a service fee for doing so – this could amount to you paying well over the odds for your visa/visa waiver. 

We are always happy to provide the website links to the official sites so please do get in touch for assistance.  An ESTA for the USA, an eTA for Canada, an electronic visa for India and also for Sri Lanka are just some (but not all) of the locations where this is necessary.

Please contact us on 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Little Gem’s in New England

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Little Gem's in New England

Picture courtesy of Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn

As the stunning fall colour season of New England comes to an end for another year, now is a great time to start planning your visit next year. Combine the beautiful Maine Coast and the mountain backdrops of New Hampshire and Vermont – of course not forgetting a city stay in Boston and/or New York, a visit to Connecticut, the beautiful mansions of Rhode Island and a stay at Cape Cod.

Every now and then, a particularly outstanding property appears, Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn is one such property. Located in the village of Harwich, Cape Cod, Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn have recently been recognised by BedandBreakfast.com in their 2014 international award for “Top 10 Modern B&Bs”.

“Celebrating ten sleek and sophisticated bed and breakfasts known for their clean, minimalist aesthetic and modern design. These properties offer discerning travellers a unique boutique inn experience and state-of-the-art amenities in luxurious one-of-a-kind settings.”
The Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn is an 8 room upscale Bed & Breakfast located close to the beach in the picturesque harbour village of Harwich, Cape Cod. Luxuriously renovated, it boasts a unique contemporary interior design that stands it apart from other traditional Cape Cod inns. It offers style, elegance and luxury within an historic 1870’s sea captain’s house. All 8 rooms have large custom designed en-suite bathrooms, air-conditioning, free Wi-Fi, TV/DVD players and iPod docking stations. Larger rooms have soaking tubs, fireplaces and separate outdoor space. The inn is set on a quiet wooded lot and has a large 20’ x 40’ swimming pool. Harwich is a mid-Cape town located on Nantucket Sound next to the town of Chatham. It has three harbours from one of which runs the high-speed ferry to Nantucket Island. Harwich was the original home of cranberry production in the US and prior to that was a leading shipping location and home to many of Cape Cod’s sea captains.
This is the perfect end to a busy New England itinerary and we offer our congratulations to Simon and Annabelle Hutton on this and their many other achievements
To plan your holiday now, contact us on 01323 446550 or emailinfo@experienceholidays.co.uk and we can give you expert advice on making the most of your bespoke tailor made holiday.

American Queen Steamboat Company

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

American Queen Steamboat Company

Pictures courtesy of The American Steamboat Company

In March last year, on a self drive holiday to the deep south, I was lucky enough to step aboard the gorgeous and elegant American Queen Steamboat. An authentic paddlewheeler, American Queen plies the waters of the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers throughout the year.

Lower Mississippi River
The lower stretch of the Mississippi from carefree New Orleans, Louisiana to vibrant Memphis, Tennessee is the river of legends. Inhale the sweet fragrance of magnolia blossoms and watch the essence of the South unfold around you…

Upper Mississippi River
The upper reaches of the Mississippi River from dynamic St. Louis to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul reveals hidden gems around each bend and fuels your sense of discovery as you journey through the very best of America’s Heartland…

Ohio & Tennessee Rivers
Discover America’s cultural quilt in the cities and towns of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers. From Civil War battlefields, forts and homesteads to quaint main streets and friendly smiles, this region will welcome you with open arms and enrich you with its storied past…

American Queen Steamboat Company 

 American Queen Steamboat Company

American Queen Steamboat Company 

 American Queen Steamboat Company

 

Last year, a second vessel – American Empress – joined the fleet, cruising the waters of the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the US North West.

Columbia & Snake Rivers
Nowhere is the timelessness of rivers more apparent than aboard the exquisite American Empress in the pristine Pacific Northwest. From Portland’s lovely International Rose Test Garden to the hallowed artifacts on the Nez Perce Reservation, the Pacific Northwest region comes to life…

 

American Queen Steamboat Company

 

What better way to explore the shores of ‘Ol’ Man River’ in the Deep South and other great American river systems.

If you would like to make this wonderful cruise part of your USA bespoke, tailor made holiday then please contact us on 01323 446550 or email  info@experienceholidays.co.uk

The Northern Lights in Yukon

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Vicki Tester

 

From Autumn to Spring, when darkness comes to Yukon skies, the Northern Lights come out. First you might see a hint of neon colour in the starry sky, then a jagged burst of green, and soon you’re transfixed by an ethereal display of shimmering aurora borealis. Depending on auroral activity and cloud conditions, you could spend hours watching with rapt attention as the magical show unfolds overhead. Whether you’re fascinated by the science or thrilled by the opportunity to photograph the aurora, the sight of dancing lights in the night sky nourishes all souls.

The best time to visit the Yukon for the dancing northern lights is between September and April. While tour operators can’t guarantee you’ll see the aurora borealis, they will do everything they can to make your visit here memorable. They can direct you to the best viewing spots, share aurora lore and culture, and make sure you stay warm.

Aurora forecasting technology also helps increase the odds and Tourism Yukon have developed a tool at: http://travelyukon.com/Plan/Travel-Info/Aurora-Forecast to help predict when you can see this amazing phenomenon. With scientific data collected from the Space Weather Predicition Center, we’re able to forecast the aurora every 15 minutes.
Just have a few days?
Spend your days visiting museums, sightseeing and sampling local cuisine in Whitehorse, and spend your nights watching for the Northern Lights.

Day 1 – Bright Lights, Northern City
Settle in to your hotel, cabin or B&B, then soak in Whitehorse’s bustling Main Street atmosphere. Enjoy dinner at one of our fine downtown restaurants. You might want to squeeze in a nap because this will be your first night watching for the northern lights. Join a scheduled aurora tour or explore our dark skies on your own.

Day 2 – Parade of Colour
Southern Yukon is awash in fall colour, so take a scenic day trip south to Carcross or west to Haines Junction. Try some gentle hiking, watch for wildlife and explore local visitor centres and museums. Get ready for another night of northern lights viewing

Day 3 – Discover Yukon Arts and Culture
Late nights are part of the aurora experience, so enjoy a slow start in a café. Wander through Whitehorse galleries, visit the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre, and keep an eye out for a special piece of Yukon art to take home. Tonight you might even catch another glimpse of the aurora.

Did you know?
The Northern Lights, or Aurora Borealis, are caused by huge explosions on the surface of the sun that send out streams of charged particles that interact with the Earth’s upper atmosphere. These reactions occur 60 to 80 miles above the Earth’s surface, so it doesn’t make any sense that they can be heard. Still, many people report hearing a crackling or rustling noise when they see the lights. It could be that the sound is created near the ground by electrical phenomena associated with the aurora. It could also be that watchers are being affected by psychological or physical processes that we don’t yet understand. Of course, seeing the aurora on a dark, silent night is so exciting it might just be the sound of blood rushing through veins that’s being mistaken for the sound of light!

Background on Yukon
Situated in the upper Northwest corner of Canada, next to Alaska, the Yukon is Canada’s most accessible northern destination. Home to Canada’s highest mountain (Mount Logan) and one of the largest non-polar icefields located in Kluane National Park – a UNESCO World Heritage site – breathtaking doesn’t describe the vastness, or the beauty!
The Yukon is one of North America’s major wilderness attractions; close to 80 percent remains pristine wilderness with 5,000-metre peaks, forested valleys, unspoiled waters and untamed wildlife. Roughly the size of France at 483,000 square kilometers, The Yukon is home to more than 160,000 caribou, 70,000 moose, 22,000 mountain sheep, 7,000 grizzly bears, 10,000 black bears and 250 species of birds… and only 34,000 humans!
Experience Holidays offer a ‘Yukon in Winter’ package to view the Northern Lights. For more information contact 01323 446550 – info@experienceholidays.co.uk or visit www.experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Travmedia

YG_Robert-Postma1-440x660

Daiquiri Season launches in September!

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

If you have booked to travel through New Orleans this September you will not be able to miss the fantastic and fun Daiquiri Festival.  cocktail-clip-art-9czMyRbcE

The New Orleans Daiquiri Festival was founded in 2011 as a two-day summer festival celebrating the daiquiri while also honouring the unique drinking culture and history of the city.  September was the month chosen as it was thought with the warm temperatures this would give cool relief and encourage people to visit the local bars and restaurants. 

For the month of September bartenders throughout New Orleans will be offering their own version of the unique Frozen Daiquiri at bars and restaurants with special tasting events.  We love a good cocktail here in Britain and what a great way to discover the history of the city and get to taste some of their local signature ingredients.  Here you can enjoy the 24hr licensing laws and join The New Orleans original cocktail tour which is a themed walking tour that visits the French Quarter’s best bars.  This tour lasts approx 2.5 hours and is fun and informative learning all about the history and drinking culture, whilst sampling some of the city’s original cocktails.

For more information please contact us on Tel: 01323 446550 or email: info@experienceholidays.co.uk

Picture courtesy of Jackie Appleton

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