Top 5 Dog Sledding Places for a New and Exciting Vacation Idea
It is widely recognized that dog sledding was invented by the Inuit people in what is now Canada thousands of years ago. Early on, a single dog likely pulled a single small load of goods like firewood. Later, dog sledding became more advanced by using teams of dogs to pull larger loads and eventually humans through the Arctic regions of the world. Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada Alberta, specifically the Canmore area, offers the opportunity to glide through snow-covered trails in t
by Celine von SchweetzJan 06, 2023
Check Out This Guide for a Perfect Winter Train Voyage
Train travel may take longer compared to other transportation, but the benefits can be immense. Across North America, anyone can take a scenic ride through mountains, lakes, rivers, and forests for about the same price — or less — as an airline ticket while also traveling in cushier seats and a more relaxed atmosphere. And these scenic rides aren’t just for summer getaways — winter is just as magical a time to ride the rails, if not more. Adirondack Train: New York City, New York Departing daily from New York City and journeying through Albany to Montreal, this scenic trip takes you straight through New York State’s Adirondacks, where snow lovers can marvel at the icy peaks and white-dusted trees that blanket the landscape. California Zephyr: Chicago, Illinois If you want to truly see the extent of America’s gorgeous and diverse scenery in wintertime, you can’t do better than with the California Zephyr with Amtrak. This roughly two-day winter train excursion takes you from Chicago to San Francisco, where you can see all kinds of landscapes across the U.S., from the Great Plains to icy peaked mountains — all blanketed in snow. Coast Starlight Train: Seattle, Washington The frigid Pacific Northwest has plenty of fantastic views of forests, lakes, rivers, and the snow-capped Cascade mountains for people who want to enjoy a winter wonderland. But, you can also gently watch the snow melt away as you travel south through California to Los Angeles on this scenic ride. Colorado Ski Train: Denver, Colorado Luckily for ski bunnies, the Winter Park Express is an Amtrak train that delivers you from Denver Union Station to the doorstep of Winter Park Resort. This amazing scenic ride takes you into the Colorado Rockies for a day, weekend, or even a whole week of skiing between January and April (tickets go on sale in late November or early December of the previous year). Yellowstone in the Winter: Salt Lake City, Utah The Amtrak winter train ride, which includes hotel accommodations for four nights, is built around a tour of Yellowstone National Park. Geysers, hot springs, and steam vents take on a special magnificence in the winter, as the hot water steams amidst the icy environment. Not only is wildlife much easier to spot — especially wolves native to the area — you also won’t have to fight crowds to get a good view.
by Celine von SchweetzJan 06, 2023
Tropical Paradise, Bali - Perfect Winter Escape for Gen Z
Bali is one among thousands of islands that make up the republic of Indonesia. In the midst of the most populous Islamic country in the world, this small island has remained predominantly Hindu. In short, whatever you want to do, you will probably find it in Bali and you can easily spend a month here and still only see a fraction of the sights on offer. The hardest part of a holiday here is choosing where to go first and what you want to see. Things To Do Island Hopping Island hopping when in Bali is an absolute must – and luckily, some of our faves are just a hop, skip and a short boat ride away. Just 40 minutes from Bali’s mainland you’ll find Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and our favourite, Nusa Penida. It’s one of Bali’s most breathtaking islands, with pristine landscapes that look like they’re straight out of Jurassic Park. Hike to the Top of Mount Batur Sunrise hike up Mount Batur is something we highly recommend (and not just for the delicious breakfast you get at the top!). The hike only takes a couple of hours, and it’s not too challenging, meaning almost anyone can do it. Explore the Island With Go-Jek Go-Jek really is a godsend. We can’t remember how we ever survived before this all-in-one app fell from heaven. So, do yourself a favour and download the app as soon as you arrive – you’ll then have access to cheap transport, home-delivered food from all of your fave Bali restaurants, in-villa massages, on-call cleaners, at-home beauty services, personal shoppers, postal services and even home removal vans – all available at your fingertips! Wild Water Sports If you want to take your water sport experience to the next level, then Bali is also a great place to try kitesurfing, windsurfing and parasailing. With its warm waters and steady wind, this is the perfect place to get your adrenaline pumping. No matter what kind of water sport you're looking for, Bali has something for everyone. From relaxing stand-up paddle board trips to wild kitesurfing adventures, Bali has it all. So jump in, the waters perfect! Hit Up One of Bali’s Best Beach Clubs Bali knows how to do great cocktails, shaken and stirred at some seriously awesome and iconic bars that you simply cannot miss. The perfect place to do that is Finns Beach Club, located in Canggu. This beach club boasts some of the best views in Bali, with white sandy beaches and a stunning infinity pool overlooking the Indian Ocean. Must Eat While in Bali Babi Guling - Suckling Pig Babi guling, or suckling pig, is one of Bali’s most famous dishes. It is very unlikely to find this dish outside of Bali since a majority of the population in Indonesia are Muslim. The most popular place to eat babi guling is at Pak Malen in Seminyak. Naughty Nuri's Naughty Nuri’s is a Bali legend. They first opened in 1995 in Ubud and became known for their Indonesian barbecued pork ribs and martinis which the late great Anthony Bourdain famously declared the “best martinis outside of New York”. Chandi Bebek Betutu Bebek betutu is another Bali food classic. It’s a special Indonesian dish of steamed Balinese duck heavily seasoned with an Indonesian spice mixture called betutu.
by Celine von SchweetzJan 06, 2023
8 Things You Need to Prepare Before Seeing the Aurora
The Northern Lights, also known as the aurora borealis, is a natural phenomenon – an incredible light show in the sky that can paint the entire sky with colors of green, purple, and red. It's not something we can see often in many parts of the world, but those lucky enough to see it will remember it for many years to come. Are you planning a trip to see the Northern Lights? Or maybe you're wondering if you should take a chance and visit Iceland? Either way, here are the 8 things you need to prepare before seeing the aurora. What to Wear In case you are not aware yet, aurora can only be seen in the part of the world where it's dominantly cold. Even so, you don't need to dress like the Michelin Man. You can wear three layers and still feel comfortable. If you want to be able to change conveniently between low-temperature and room-temperature environments, consider the onion-style method. Using this method, you only need to wear mainly two types of clothing, the inner and the outer. For the outer, you would want to wear a two-layered jacket, one layer being a waterproof windbreaker while the other layer is made of warm wool. This is to prevent outside wind from entering your body and causing you to catch a cold. Most people may sometimes opt for a neck scarf as well. As for the inside, either a thermal undershirt or even a T-shirt should be enough. Gloves can make your life easier In addition to the above attires, if you want to stay longer in the cold, having gloves is a must. Ski gloves are the more popular choice, but the problem is that the material is sometimes unnecessarily heavy and you may need to take them off every time you need to use your smartphone. That's why you should spend more time looking for the right one. Consider buying a more comfortable and lighter style that enables using your camera or smartphone, so you never miss a moment. Snow chain is unnecessary As long as you are driving on a public road with asphalt, avoiding mountain roads and seasons when it snows heavily, gearing your car with the snow chain is not necessary. Additionally, there are snowplow trucks clearing the snow and spreading salt to maintain the road every day. Right now, Canada and the United States do not allow using snow chains. Snowy road: driving and parking 101 Do not powerfully stomp either your brake or your gas pedal, to prevent your vehicle from skidding. If you ever find yourself skidding a little, slightly moving your steering wheel should be enough to bring you back to balance. This is why it's important to not speed and leave some distance to stop your vehicle safely. If you are driving during November and December when the temperature is usually the lowest, make sure you park your vehicle near engine heaters and connect it to your car to prevent your car engine from freezing. Photography equipment Nowadays, with the improvement of the performance of equipment, you can take pictures of the northern light with some manual-operated micro monoculars or even high-end small cameras, as long as they have good noise control and pure high-sensitivity ISO performance, combined with a tripod and a large aperture to extend the exposure time, most of them can record the graceful dance of the aurora. But keep in mind that aurora is a large-scale natural phenomenon, so it is recommended to use a wide-angle or fisheye lens for shooting. How to take beautiful pictures Taking pictures of the aurora may be a little bit more complicated if you want to capture its elegant movement. When shooting the aurora, most people will use a high sensitivity above ISO 1600 with a large aperture. Generally speaking, the aperture of F4 is sufficient, but don’t forget to adjust the focus to manual, and then turn the focus position to infinity. When you are ready, you can carefully observe the dancing movement of the aurora, and then press the shutter for the long exposure time, usually about 5 to 15 seconds. If the brightness is high and the movement is fast, you may need to close the shutter early. Therefore, when shooting, you should keep your eyes on the situation of the aurora. Sometimes you can close the shutter for a big turning picture, because if the aurora changes too fast, although it's very beautiful to our own eyes, it may be too blurry in the image presentation, and the beauty would not be captured perfectly. Dealing with different brightness Generally speaking, the brightness of the aurora is divided into 10 levels. The camera needs more than 30 seconds to clearly identify brightness level 1 and 2, otherwise it will look like a white smoke, lightly floating in the air. Level 3 and 4 will slowly begin to turn from white to green, appearing in front of our eyes as light green light, which is commonly known as green light. Brightness level 5 and higher will be very dazzling, and the change in color is crystal clear visible, with the light lavender color sometimes emerging in the night sky. If you are extremely extremely lucky, you may have the opportunity to see the aurora with level 8-10 brightness, illuminating the earth. During this moment, quick, take out your iPhone and snap. Keep yourself informed of the weather If you are using iOS, here are the two app you can consider downloading. 1. Aurora - By Roger Moffatt http://goo.gl/cC3Rl4 2. Aurora Forecast - by TINAC Inc http://goo.gl/Mc053j Through those free apps, you can observe the geomagnetic response and radius trend of the aurora, so as to know its predictability. There are 5 levels in total. Although the predictability of the aurora is based on sunspots and geomagnetic reaction, if the weather is not supportive and thick clouds covered the sky, the northern light would not be visible, no matter how exaggerated and beautiful it bursts all over the earth. That's why it's important to look for the aerial condition on satellite cloud images, analyze the route, and plan properly. You can also utilize the aurora forecast website provided by the University of Alaska below. Aurora Forecast | Geophysical InstituteForecasts of auroral activity, updated daily.Geophysical Institute In addition, you should also pay attention to the position of the moon and the change in the lunar phase, as the brightness of the moon will also affect the brightness of the aurora. Many people always visit on days during the new moon where the aurora is less affected by the moonlight. However, it is actually beneficial sometimes to have moonlight. In this way, parts of the landscape can be clearly captured without exposing for too long, but of course the magnificence of the aurora depends on the brightness level of the performance at that time.
by Danny WilliamOct 18, 2022
Experience the Most Scenic Hot Springs Destinations in the USA. The Perfect Place for an Unforgettable Getaway!
Mother Nature has blessed the United States with numerous natural wonders such as mountains, lakes, rivers, forests, waterfalls and hot springs. A hidden jewel amongst these nature’s bounty is the beautiful hot springs in USA. Besides its calming effect on people, the hot springs in USA are also frequented by many for its therapeutic uses. There are many famous hot springs in USA, as a result of which, there is a steady rise in the number of resorts and spas around them. 1. Iron Mountain Hot Springs, Colorado Overlooking the mighty Colorado River in the historic town of Glenwood Springs, Iron Mountain Hot Springs offers a more intimate and varied soaking experience than at the nearby (and better known) Glenwood Hot Springs Resort. You can choose your own adventure at the 16 geothermal mineral soaking pools here (ages 5 and up only), connected by heated walkways. 2. Homestead Crater, Utah As long as you’re okay with a hot springs soak that’s not as hot as most of them (temperatures max out around 96°F here), Utah’s Homestead Crater definitely delivers the most diverse onsite experiences of any hot springs we know. Where else can you not only float in womb-like waters but also scuba dive in them (if you’re certified), snorkel and even try some SUP yoga within the beehive-shaped dome of the hot springs’ natural limestone. 3. Castle Hot Springs, Arizona Tucked into a scenic canyon in the Bradshaw Mountains, just an hour from Phoenix, Castle Hot Springs has been luring tourists since the late 1800s–and Indigenous peoples for far longer–with its healing waters. Now a luxury all-inclusive wellness resort, it’s well worth a stay here for exceptional stargazing at night, a thrilling onsite via ferrata course and, of course, 24-hour access to mineral hot springs that cascade across three pools of varying temperatures. 4. Chena Hot Springs, Alaska If there’s any state in the US that naturally begs you to seek out a hot spring, then it’s Alaska. And one of the most famous ones in the state is found 150 miles south of the Arctic Circle near Fairbanks at Chena Hot Springs. If your luck is on point here during the darker months of the year, from late August through late April, you might even get lucky and catch the Northern Lights swirling overhead while you soak. 5. Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs, Colorado You can come as a day-tripper or stay the night in adorable cabins (including the Chuck Wagon, which sleeps only two people and sits atop actual wheels) at this inimitable hot springs resort in Colorado’s sublime Crystal River Valley. Surrounded by mountains in the White River National Forest, Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs has three hot spring pools on the property of varying sizes that cascade, waterfall-like, down the mountainside. 6. Orvis Hot Springs, Colorado Ten indoor and outdoor soaking pools beckon uninhibited lovers of lithium-infused water to this clothing-optional oasis just north of Ouray in southwestern Colorado. Water temperatures in the various pools at Orvis Hot Springs run the range from a nippy 65°F to a steamy 114°F in the lobster pot, so you can try alternating hot and cold dips if you really want to get your blood flowing. 7. Hot Springs State Park, Wyoming What’s better than a hot spring surrounded by nature in a state park? How about free-entry hot springs surrounded by nature in a state park. That’s right, there’s no one taking tickets or sliding your credit card to access the Wyoming State Bath House in Thermopolis, Wyoming, at Hot Springs State Park. Indoor and outdoor mineral hot springs flow up from the earth at 128°F and are cooled to 104°F for your therapeutic bathing benefit. 8. Benton Hot Springs, California Camping alongside your own private hot spring-fed soaking tub with spectacular views? We’re into it. The 11 private hot spring-fed soaking pools at Benton Hot Springs in California’s Mono County are available for overnight rentals and sit astride your own picnic table and fire pit for roasting s’mores post soaking session. Feel free to pitch a tent (or show up in an RV or camper) for the night to linger longer and enjoy the dark skies overhead (there’s an inn here with a few rustic rooms, too, but camping is where it’s at). 9. Tolovana Hot Springs, Alaska Where Chena Hot Springs tends to draw the aurora-seeking masses to its sprawling outdoor hot pool, this more remote Alaskan hot spring destination 45 miles as the crow (or helicopter) flies north of Fairbanks makes you earn it—which means hiking or flying in during the summer months, or arriving by dogsled or on skis when it’s snowy. As you might imagine, arriving by dog sled to Tolovana Hot Springs pretty much takes the cake, and you can head out with Arctic Dog Aventure Co. to reach the springs on multi-night dog sledding expeditions that promise one awesome adventure (and often the Northern Lights, too). 10. Burgdorf Hot Springs, Idaho Topping the list of Idaho’s most epic and historic hot springs, Burgdorf Hot Springs is on the National Register of Historic Places and delivers a true western experience. Open to guests who overnight in the rustic collection of onsite cabins as well as day visitors who register their visits in advance, the springs are surrounded by the lodgepole-pine covered slopes of the Salmon River Mountains and original wooden structures built by miners in the 1800s.
by Celine von SchweetzOct 14, 2022
Things You Need to Know Before Visiting the Santa Claus Village
You can meet Santa Claus and cross the magical Arctic Circle every day at the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi. There are many souvenir shops as well as Santa’s Main Post Office, programme service companies and cafes and restaurants in the Santa Claus Village. And of course, Santa is there too, in his chamber every day of the year. What is the Santa Claus Village? Santa Claus Village is known as Father Christmas’ official residence in the Arctic Circle. It’s the place to visit to meet him, Mrs Claus, the elves and the reindeer. Expect plenty of fun activities and Christmas spirit! Where is the Santa Claus Village? You only have to travel to the north of Finland, to a region called Lapland. The village is located just inside the Arctic Circle, around 8 kilometres (5 miles) from Rovaniemi. Rovaniemi is the capital of Finnish Lapland and considered to be the official hometown of Santa. When is the best time to visit Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi? The village is open all year round, so you could visit whenever suits you best. For the ultimate winter getaway, we recommend a Lapland trip in December, January, February or March. At this time, you can expect a blanket of snow over the stunning landscape. What to do in Santa Claus Village? First, meet the "big man in red" himself either at the Santa Claus Office or the Christmas House. Make sure to check the opening hours before your visit so you don’t miss him. Outdoor Activities As well as these Christmassy activities, there’s plenty of other things to dig your teeth into at the Santa Claus Holiday Village. Not just literally at the many restaurants, cafés and bars, but with fun Arctic rides. Other fun things to do in Lapland If you’re staying in Rovaniemi or the nearby town of Kemi, there is a range of other exciting activities to experience. Add one or more of the following to your itinerary to make the most of your Arctic adventure: * Explore the Ranua Wildlife Park * Go hunting for the northern lights * Visit the Arktikum Museum * Take a tour or stay at the Arctic SnowHotel * Warm up in a Finnish sauna
by Celine von SchweetzOct 14, 2022
Don’t Miss Out on These Top 10 Winter Resorts That Are Perfect for Non-skiers
So, you're not a two-planker or a snowboard shredder. You'd rather not rip down triple black diamonds or gear up for a day in the park. And god forbid you have to ride up a chairlift. And you know what? That's OK. Winter wonderland vacations don’t always have to be about skiing. If you’d like to enjoy a wintertime adventure, make sure to check out these list! 1. Sun Valley, Idaho Sun Valley Resort has been voted the #1 ski resort in North America by SKI Magazine readers two years running. However, this resort offers so much more than the freshly groomed, uncrowded ski slopes for which it is so well known. From luxury accommodations and delectable cuisine offerings to abundant outdoor activities and a world-class spa, everyone in your group can enjoy a perfect vacation at Sun Valley. 2. Keystone, Colorado Keystone is one of the most popular ski resorts for families. Not only does it offer plenty of great skiing, but there is also practically an endless number of other things to do. The resort’s Lakeside Village is home to the largest outdoor ice skating rink in America and the largest Zamboni-maintained outdoor rink anywhere in the world. You can enjoy gliding across the ice while gazing at the soaring snowcapped mountains as well as taking part in a host of other winter activities like horse-drawn sleigh rides, tubing, and even snow biking. Yoga, group exercise classes, and outdoor tennis courts are available year-round, not to mention the numerous options for shopping as well as great spa services too. 3. Whistler Blackcomb - Whistler, British Columbia, Canada Whistler Blackcomb is often ranked among the best ski resorts in the world, but that doesn’t mean non-skiers will be left twiddling their thumbs either. The resort’s village has so much to do, it almost feels like a big city that’s been dropped right into the mountains. There are practically endless shopping opportunities as well as outstanding restaurants and plenty of fun activities too. 4. Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico From delicious New Mexican food to unique art and even a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Taos, New Mexico, has plenty to offer travelers. Taos is a haven for artists, and there are endless galleries and museums to delight any art lover. Stroll through the historic Taos Plaza and you’ll find shops filled with handmade art, pottery, jewelry, and more. After all of the shopping, you can refuel on authentic New Mexican fare featuring traditional green chiles and mole — and grab a drink and enjoy live music at Taos Mesa Brewery. 5. Stowe Mountain, Vermont Known for some of the country’s most beautiful fall foliage and as the “Alpine Ski Capital of the East,” Stowe Mountain Resort attracts the majority of its visitors during fall and winter. The resort and surrounding areas offer plenty of excitement and activities for skiers and non-skiers alike. One of the most popular outdoor activities in Stowe besides skiing is fatbiking. The wide tires on this bike enable you to easily glide through the snowy, groomed trails. Many area shops offer fatbike rentals and can direct you to one of the many free-to-explore trails. 6. St. Moritz, Switzerland Skiers know St. Moritz as one of the best ski destinations in Switzerland and as a two-time host of the Winter Olympics, but the possibilities for non-skiers are pretty amazing too. The active can take advantage of all of the usual off-piste options like snowshoeing, and adrenaline seekers won’t want to miss the heart-pounding ride on the Olympic bob run that comes complete with a professional pilot and brakeman – it reaches speeds of 80 miles per hour. 7. Avoriaz, France Ideal for families who want to split their time between the slopes and non-skiing activities, Avoriaz was previously awarded the “Best Family Resort” at the World Ski Awards. This car-free resort, the only one of its kind in France, offers a relaxed, safe village with lots of restaurants, cafes, and shops that are all accessed by foot or horse-drawn sleigh. 8. Breuil-Cervinia, Italy If you want an ideal destination that’s great for families with non-skiing and skiing members, Cervinia is a great choice. Plus, it’s a lot more affordable than Zermatt, which sits just across the Swiss border. Ski passes, ski rentals, and even coffee are much less expensive here. It also offers kids’ playgrounds and snowparks as well as a natural ice rink that features a bar and sun terrace. 9. Cranmore Mountain, New Hampshire Nestled in the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire, Cranmore Resort is known for its family friendly atmosphere and easy to manage size with about 50 runs for all levels. However, the biggest draw may be North Conway, an idyllic New England town perfect in all seasons, but extra charming with a fresh layer of snow. It’s an amazing weekend getaway even if you have no plans to enjoy the slopes. 10. Mohonk Mountain House - New Paltz, New York Located in the Catskills Mountains, this resort offers a variety of non-skiing activities like ice skating, snow tubing, and snowshoeing. You’ll also have the chance to take part in movie nights, watch blacksmith demonstrations, swim in the indoor pool, or join in on daily group exercise sessions. During many winter weekends, a host of other entertainment options are often available too, including tastings, demonstrations, and music.
by Celine von SchweetzOct 14, 2022