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

Region: Hawaii

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

Hawaii Islands are full of beautiful beaches, lush forests, active volcanoes and wonderful scenery.   With typically small variations in temperature between the seasons of summer and winter, this is a year round destination and is sure to have something to offer everyone.

Akaka Falls (Big Island) Island of Hawaii Credit Visitors Bureau Larry Marshalln

Waikiki Credit Hawaii Tourism Authority Tor Johnson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Road Trip West

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Travel Road Trip West – from Amarillo to Las Vegas in this itinerary.

Summary

Raod Trip West

From the Big Texan Inn in Amarillo (home of the free 72oz steak) to Cadillac Ranch, this US road trips is full of surprises.

Day 1: Arrive Amarillo
Day 3: Santa Fe
Day 7: Canyon de Chelly
Day 8: Monument Valley
Day 9: Holbrook
Day 10 Sedona
Day 12: Grand Canyon South
Day 14: Las Vegas
Day 15: Depart Las Vegas

Description

Description

Perhaps not on the top of the list for US Road trips, especially for first timers, but for those hooked on the US, its sometimes grizzly past and the legacy that has been left for us to enjoy, this road trip touches on many stories from the more recent past of this relatively young nation.

Day 1: Arrive Amarillo
Your journey begins in Amarillo, in the centre of the Texas Panhandle where we would suggest a 2 night stay, giving you time to relax after your flights. Amarillo offers an interesting blend of Old and New West and is the perfect place to gently immerse and acclimatize yourself to the American way of life and culture. Stroll along Historic Route 66 (6th avenue) with its unique lovingly preserved restaurants shops and historic buildings. Drive to the wonderful Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the States. Explore trails once used by Apaches, Comanches, buffalo hunters, the US cavalry and even early Spanish explorers. Dine at the world famous Big Texan steak ranch – eat your 72oz steak and all the trimmings in an hour and the meal is free!
Amarillo 2 nights

Day 3: Santa Fe
Today begin your drive west along the I40, following the direction of the Historic Route 66. Some of the original stretches of road are still driveable and, with the aid of a good guide book or map, it is worth taking detours to visit some of the small towns along the route to see some of the iconic historic buildings. There is a palpable feeling of what it must have been like for the migrants in the 30s who headed west to escape the ravages of the Dust Bowl. The flat Texan Plains gradually give way to rolling Rocky Mountain foothills as you cross into the “Land of Enchantment”, New Mexico. Follow the Santa Fe Trail through striking mountain scenery to the lovely city of Santa Fe. Make sure you stop off at the Pecos National Monument for your first taste of the Spanish Colonial history which defined much of this wonderful State. We would suggest at least 2 full days in Santa Fe to explore this gorgeous city and its environs; drive up to Taos, a designated World Heritage Site, and explore the Enchanted Circle – this winding circular route takes you through some of the most beautiful areas of North New Mexico. Visit the extraordinary Bandelier National Monument and the scenic Jemez Mountains
Santa Fe 3 nights

Day 6: Albuquerque
Take the scenic Turquoise Trail through several historic little mining towns; towns such as quirky Madrid with its quaint historic little shops, cafes, galleries and bars. Drive up to the top of Sandia Peak for stunning and far reaching views of sprawling Albuquerque and its surroundings. Wander around Albuquerque’s historic old town – consider timing your trip to coincide with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta –for 9 days each October the crisp desert skies are painted with a kaleidoscope of colour as hundreds of balloons take to the skies for the biggest gathering of its kind in the world.
Albuquerque 1 night

Day 7: Canyon de Chelly
Continue west, dipping in and out of I40 and Route 66. Visit Acoma Pueblo, the oldest continuously inhabited city in the US. Don’t miss El Morro National Monument; here you will find Inscription Rock where Conquistadors, native Americans, pioneers and others carved their names and messages in the massive rock face. A self guided trail weaves around the base of the rock and tells the stories of the carvers. More trails lead you to the remains of ancestral pueblo dwellings and stunning views for miles around. Continue to the gorgeous Canyon de Chelly, making sure you arrive before the suns sets when the lighting is stunning.
Canyon De Chelly 1 night

Day 8: Monument Valley
Consider a guided tour into Canyon de Chelly, before taking the scenic drive to Monument Valley. A guided tour here is essential, or consider an overnight stay deep into the heart of the park, staying in a traditional Navajo Hogan.
Monument Valley 1 night

Day 9: Holbrook
Back south onto Route 66, exploring the Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks before arriving into the Navajo town of Holbrook for an overnight stay. For a unique experience stay in the famous Wigwam Motel, replete with vintage cars in the parking lot.
Holbrook 1 night

Day 10 Sedona
Continue west through Winslow (where you really can stand on the corner…) and on to the gorgeous town of Sedona for a 2 night stay. Surrounded by stunning scenery, a jeep tour up into the red rocks is a must and will take you to places where a hire car could not venture.
Sedona 2 nights

Day 12: Grand Canyon South
Drive to the Seventh Natural Wonder of the World, the Grand Canyon for a 2 night stay. Make sure you catch the rim at dusk and again as the sun rises – or take an unforgettable early morning helicopter or fixed wing flight over the rim
Grand Canyon South Rim 2 nights

Day 14: Las Vegas
Drive to Las Vegas where you will round off your fabulous road trip.
Las Vegas 1 night

Day 15: Depart Las Vegas
Enjoy most of the day in Las Vegas before checking in for your evening overnight flight back to the UK.

Photograph Courtesy: New Mexico Toursim & Sedona Chamber of Commerce

Raod trip west - Bell Rock & Courthouse Web      Raod trip west - Big Texan web      Road trip west - BosquedelApache2[1] web

 

Road Trip west - CanyonDeChelly comp      Road trip west      Road trip west - UniqueNM8 web

 

Road trip west - Valles Sunrise Web      Road trip west - Winslow

Little Gems

Little Gems

Mention Winslow Arizona and most people will start to hum the tune made famous by The Eagles.  You just have to get your picture ‘standing on the corner’ and of course, buy the T-shirt.

What our clients say

Client Feedback

‘Tucking into our moderate 18ozers we watched as one brave soul took up the challenge [of the 72 oz steak]… we left with 10 minutes to go and he was failing miserably – barely half his steak touched he was suffering the additional humiliation of an attentive audience taking photos of every mouthful of his ordeal. The current record is 8 minutes and 52 seconds’

Hawaii – Island Hopping

Posted on:
Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

This independent itinerary covers three of Hawaii’s Islands, full of beautiful beaches, Lush forests, active volcanoes and wonderful scenery.   With typically small variations in temperature between the seasons of summer and winter, this is a year round destination and is sure to have something to offer everyone.

Summary

Hawaii Island Hopping

 

Day 1: Oahu

Day 4: Big Island

Day 8: Maui

Description

Description

 

Hop between three islands by plane on this independent trip.  Relax on stunning beaches, explore the history of Pearl Harbor, drive the stunning sights along the Hana Highway and learn about the active volcano, Kilauea at Volcanoe’s National Park.

 

Day 1: Oahu                                                               

Your holiday starts with the chance of some rest and relaxation on the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Oahu.  Home to the famous Waikiki Beach and historic Honolulu, the island has verdant forests, breathtaking valleys and beautiful beaches.  The events at Pearl Harbour on December 7, 1941 brought the USA into World War II and the Pacific conflict and now memorials remain.  The North Shore offers crashing waves and beaches perfect for surfing, Waimea Valley and Kualoa, Hawaii’s Private Nature Reserve.

Three nights Oahu

 

Day 4: Big Island

Today fly on to Hawaii Island, and pick up your hire car.  The island of Hawaii is often called the Big Island so as not to confuse the name with the whole state, and at almost twice the size of all of the other islands combined the name does seem appropriate.  The island has much to see, from sandy beaches to snow capped mountains, and waterfalls to the active volcano, Kilauea.

 

On the western sunny side of the island are the areas of Kona and Kohala with their excellent beaches. On the east coast lies the island capital Hilo, with quaint downtown wooden storefronts, thriving art scene and local history.  ‘Akaka Falls state park is home to two of the most gorgeous waterfalls on all of the islands, ʻAkaka is the state’s tallest “sheer drop” waterfall, more than 2.5 times taller than Niagara Falls and sits just north of Hilo.  To the south east you will find Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – the islands premier attraction, Kīlauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world.

Four nights Hawaii Island – We suggest two nights to the west and two nights to the east

 

Day 8: Maui

Take a flight between islands today, once again a hire car will give you the freedom to explore independently.  The second largest of the Hawaiian Islands, Maui, offers well planned tourist facilities with raw natural beauty.  Once a thriving whaling port in the mid 1800’s, the town of Lahaina is today a colourful town and hub for dining entertainment and water sports.  December to April is ideal for whale watching – the waters around Hawaii are the winter breeding and calving grounds of humpback whales. Drive the hairpin turns of the Hana highway. Starting in Kahului and snaking along 54 miles of coastline past lush vegetation and waterfalls – with 600 curves and 54 bridges, this is one of the world’s most scenic drives.  Surrounding the volcanic crater of Haleakala, Haleakala National Park dominates the south eastern side of Maui.

Four nights Maui – We suggest two nights to the west and two nights to the south east of the island.

                                                                                   

Day 12: Depart Maui

Leave Maui today for the onward or homeward journey.

Consider adding to your trip, perhaps another island, plus stays in Los Angeles or San Francisco depending on your international flights.

Hawaii

Picture courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority Tor Johnson

Hawaii

Picture courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority

Hawaii

Picture courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority

Hawaii

Picture courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) Tor Johnson

Little Gems

Little Gems

Travel the Hana Highway.  The Road to Hana is more than just a great drive through a beautiful area of Maui. You travel through tropical rainforests, see beautiful water falls and get to experience breathtaking scenery on your 52 mile journey.  Its quite an experience.

What our client says

Client Feedback

Coming Soon!

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

Region: Rocky Mountain States

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Posted by:

Yvonne Dann

 

The area encompassing the beautiful US Rocky Mountain States of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, South Dakota and into Colorado has its own unique cultural history, combining both the heroic and tragic aspects of the opening up of the American West – from the epic movement of pioneers from east to west to the displacement of a native population. From the Black Hills of South Dakota to Hell’s Canyon in Idaho, from Montana’s breathtaking Glacier National Park to the awesome expanses of Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park, the area is blessed with an unspoiled and natural scenic beauty.

The Real America

The Wild West

Wild West Story

Yellowstone in Winter

Favourite Road Trips

Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks

Country: USA

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From the crystal glaciers in Alaska, to the mighty Colorado River as it carves its way through the Grand Canyon, Lake Powell and Bryce Canyon. From untouched Oregon to New England in the Fall. From the rugged coastline of Maine to the beautiful Carolinas and Virginia. Combine these with a city break to Boston, New York, San Francisco, or Las Vegas.

The biggest, the deepest, and the most colourful — Holidays in America and Alaska will capture your imagination, your sense of adventure, the cowboy in you, the retail therapist, the photographer. We can create that special holiday in America you’ve only dreamed possible.

 

USA & Alaska holidays stars and stripes flag

Credit Peter Ellis

 

USA & Alaska Holidays Mount Rushmore

Credit Peter Ellis

 

Destinations Show, Olympia

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 


Photograph by kind permission of UnCruise Adventures

Don’t forget we will be at Destinations Show at Olympia, London, on February 02, 03, 04 and 05. Find us on Stand AC32 which we are sharing with the American company Uncruise Adventures. Most of the team will be there over the 4 days and would love to see a friendly face or two. This is one of the biggest travel shows in the U.K and a great place to find new destinations and experiences that would suit you. If you have a particular place in mind for your holiday next year (or the year after) give us a call to book an appointment with our team expert for that part of the world. However we will be very pleased to see you as and when you are free.

For your free tickets to Destinations Show, please go to: http://www.destinationsshow.com/london/form/registration  and then type in MSC97 in the appropriate place.

We look forward to seeing you at either event.

Yvonne’s USA Trip

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Posted by:

Vicki Tester

 

I have just been sent these fantastic pictures from Yvonne that I wanted to share!  I cant wait to hear all about here travels and experiences.

‘Having just returned from my trip to the USA here are just a few pictures from my travels through Wyoming and Montana – this area is stunning with incredibal scenery, wildlife and plenty of adventure.  Heres a few pictures’ – more information to follow.

Grand Teton Mountains - Credit Yvonne Dann

Grand Teton Mountains – Credit Yvonne Dann

 

Jackson, Wyoming - Cr Yvonne Dann

Jackson, Wyoming – Credit Yvonne Dann

 

Old Faithful - Credit Yvonne Dann

Old Faithful – Credit Yvonne Dann

 

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.

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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