Top New England Fall Foliage Spots – 2009

New England is poised to put on quite a Fall Foliage display this year – Fall 2009. Hurricane Bill has passed with minor damage – the leaves are still on the trees waiting for the autumn weather to arrive. Its just around the corner – by mid-September, the show starts at the higher elevations.  As in the past, we have to stay flexible – we suggest visiting our friends at Foliage Network for the latest Fall Foliage Reports.  The best fall foliage viewing in the US is in New England (fans of the golden Colorado fall colors may disagree), so we will pick from these destinations for a few weekend “Fall Foliage Staycations” this year:

  • Around Columbus Day more people show up in Vermont than have ever lived there.  Vermont Fall Foliage is truly world-class.  Combined with some harvest festivals and visits to quaint towns and you can’t go wrong.  If the kids are not impressed by the views, take them to Ben and Jerry’s factory of overload them on maple sugar.
  • Maine Fall Foliage is best along the coast.  You get the colorful leaves as well as a rocky coast. Something you will not get in Vermont.
  • If Vermont is too quaint and Maine too far, go for some historic and urban Boston Massachusetts fall foliage, which is also a good idea once the Vermont colors have peaked. Another choice urban spot, on the border of New England is New York City – think Central Park, the Cloisters, the Ice Age ponds of Alley Pond Park and more for some subway-accessible NY foliage.
  • Also bordering New England – Hudson Valley and Catskills Fall Foliage is a great day trip from New York. Try a biplane ride in Rhinebeck or enjoy the views from the Hudson River mansions.

Have a fun fallstaycation!  Save some vacation time for ski season.
Continue reading

Top 12 places to play Golf

I need to thank Jon for reminding me to do this. A few months ago I reported to you about public golf courses ranked 13-24 according to Golfer’s World magazine and since they’ve finally posted their top 12, I’m ready to pass them over to you. I find it strange that there are no New England golf courses represented on this list. In fact, the only one from the East Coast at all is number six, Kiawah Island Ocean Course in South Carolina, which I’ve been to, and which truly is worthy of it’s placement there. I’m just surprised there aren’t more East Coast chart toppers.

Anyways, enjoy the list, and hopefully I’ll make it to all of these, one day so I can give more first hand experience…

  1. Pacific Dunes – Bandon, Oregon
  2. Links at Spanish Bay – Pebble Beach, California
  3. Pebble Beach Golf Links – Pebble Beach, California
  4. Bandon Dunes Golf Resort & Course – Bandon, Oregon
  5. Whistling Straits Golf Club – Kohler, Wisconsin
  6. Kiawah Island – Ocean Course – South Carolina
  7. Shadow Creek – North Las Vegas, Nevada
  8. Kauai Lagoon Golf Club – Kiele Course – Lihue, Hawaii
  9. Reflection Bay Golf Club & Course – Lake Las Vegas, Nevada
  10. Spyglass Hill Golf Club – Pebble Beach, California
  11. Troon North Monument – Scottsdale, Arizona
  12. Red Sky Ranch – Wolcott, Colorado

Looks like I need to start planning some vacations to Vegas Pebble Beach, and Bandon, Oregon
Continue reading

Buckhead, Atlanta

I just read an article in the New York Times travel section (albeit a year old) about Buckhead, which is just north of Atlanta’s central downtown area—or we say “uptown” since it tends to be classier, more upscale, and a lot more expensive. According to the NYTimes article, it’s “one the of the nation’s wealthiest communities…the Beverly Hills of the South.” Now I don’t know if I’d go THAT far, but it certainly is a very nice area, with beautiful malls, great restaurants and bars (yes, I’ve created for myself a bit of a social life), museums, and stunning houses and hotels.

Here are some places in the Buckhead area that are worth checking out:

Continue reading

Thanksgiving in Virginia

The other great colonial communities (other than the one in Plymouth, that is), was in Virginia. Jamestown and Yorktown were two of the first settlements in the New Country, established as early as 1607. For an authentic Thanksgiving experience, head out to these famous landmarks in Virginia. (Quiz your kids—they should definitely be able to talk about these!)

Continue reading

Wine spas in the U.S. (mainly California)

Now there’s a concept. I only recently became introduced to the concept of the “wine spa” recently when I treated my girlfriend (who is now an ex-girlfriend, but I promise it was not spa related) to a weekend up in Wine Country that included some spa going. We discovered that it’s quite a trend to include wine and grapes in spa treatments. Apparently it’s a tradition from Bordeaux, France that made its way over to the U.S., and particularly to Northern California. Most of these spas (following) are located in vineyards or are at least nearby. I’ll list the spa and then one or two treatments offered on their spa menu that includes grapes or wine.

Continue reading

Ski season already? Early season ski resorts get ready!

I was watching the news the other day and heard “lizard watch” which I thought was odd. My friend said that they had said “blizzard watch” but I dismissed that because I thought it was an impossibility for blizzards to start so early in the year. But he was right—a blizzard watch started in the mid-northwest. I don’t think there was a blizzard in the end, but there was definitely snow. And the first snowfall means…ski season is here! I would check with each of these for specific dates, but some of these places open as early as now, others not until late November or December.

See you on the slopes!

Read More

Real Men go to Spas

There is nothing unmanly about relaxation. Some guys play video games, some guys work out, and some guys go to spas. When I leave a spa, either after a simple shiatsu massage or after a full day go at skin care and specific body work, I feel so relaxed and distressed that I feel the effects of it for weeks afterwards. According to Men’s Health magazine, “Any vacation is a good vacation. But the best ones can calm your mind, refresh your body, revive your relationships, and maybe even extend your life.” I couldn’t agree more. And it’s a great way to meet chicks…or make one very happy if you’ve already got one. It’s a romantic valentine’s gift or anniversary idea. Or, more likely (for me at least) a way I can get out of the city (or feel like I’ve left the city) and completely relax and take care of my body. A lot of spas have fitness centers on their premises, so you really get to feel like you’re working towards a healthier existence.

Here are some great spas that offer spa treatments for men—sports massages, facials, back skin care, and male manicures and pedicures, among others.

Continue reading