Upon arriving at my vacation rental cottage at Tropical Breeze, I began flipping through brochures of the island’s activities and adventures. Most of the activities I discovered are not far from my cottage. One of the most popular things both visitors and residents do here is leave the car in the driveway and grab a different mode of transportation to explore the island. That is one of the reasons I came to Anna Maria — five days of no traffic jams, crazy drivers, or stressful commutes.
This 2,799-acre mountaintop region indulges a broad range of interests. Bunker Tower, previously a fire lookout, attracts visitors of all ages to ascend into the clouds for 360-degree views of the forests, towns, and countryside. Near the tower, Bald Rock Trail is the easiest trail in the park. The wooden boardwalk parallels the original trail, ending with expansive views at the exposed gray-toned Bald Rock. Nearby, Pulpit Rock Trail overlooks the expansive Talladega National Forest. A popular repelling destination, this red-blazed trail demands careful footing and steady balance on boulders and tree roots, but is worth the effort for impressive scenery at the trail’s end.
This is The Berry Barn, a unique combination of working U-pick farm, plant nursery, garden and gift shops, restaurant, and wedding event venue — a mini-getaway in a unique country setting, a family-friendly destination where you can pick berries, shop, eat, or simply relax.
As soon as you step inside the door, it is very easy to see that this truly was the home of colonial Spanish nobility. The reception lobby must originally have been the home’s greeting parlor, from where you step down into a lofty covered atrium. Today, the atrium functions as the hotel’s first-rate restaurant, called Rincon de Cantuna. A terrific breakfast buffet of the quito_buffetfreshest local fruits is displayed every morning on locally woven and beautifully colored Ecuadorian cloths. The buffet is a complete breakfast with eggs, meats, and breads, or you can order from the menu. Melody and I also had a delicious and tender Filet Mignon for dinner in the Rincon de Cantuna one evening.
The evolution of Cable Beach has all eyes on it as what was once called The Bahamian Riviera transforms itself and regains its former allure. The multi-billion-dollar BahaMar project is being built to outshine neighboring mega-resort Atlantis on nearby Paradise Island. The new five-star project will feature several luxury hotels, ownership opportunities, Rodeo Drive shopping, a professional golf course, and the largest casino in the Caribbean.
Throughout the day, the Hotel de Glace, located 10 minutes from downtown Quebec City, hosts throngs of tourists who come to tour the icy rooms and admire the beauty of this amazing place. Sculpted completely from snow and ice, this unique hotel is created each winter and demolished again each spring. This year’s theme of Myths and Legends from Around the World includes a 600-pound ice chandelier, an ice chapel where weddings are held, and an indoor ice slide. Many will enjoy cocktails in the “ice bar” where colorful drinks are served in glasses made from translucent blocks of ice.
Punta Sur. Rent a golf cart and enjoy a breathtaking drive along the Caribbean side of the island. At land’s end you’ll arrive at Acantilado at Punta Sur. Take a very short walk onto the outdoor patio, where you’ll find a half-dozen tables adorned with beach umbrellas. Take your camera out and have a seat. From here you can see the entire coastline of Cancun, which makes for an outrageous backdrop for some incredible photographs. You’ll be greeted by a waiter who will gladly provide you with cold, sparkling adult beverages and a menu.
The proud proprietor of a most unique shop in an equally unique neighborhood of greater Lisbon, Sr. Manuel C.B. Leitão launched a fantastic journey through time in his shop of tiles where each one has its own story to tell. Come along to the tree-lined boulevard of Avenida da Liberdade, where Rua Dom Pedro V, 68-70, Solar Portuguese Antique Tiles is located.
Did you know that Homer’s enchanting sorceress Circe from The Odyssey continues to cast her intoxicating spell far and wide? She does so through award-winning wines and spirits harvested from reclaimed marshlands in Italy’s Lazio region by the venerable Cantina Sant’Andrea — a family of vintners that weathered a real-life odyssey to rival that of Ulysses.
Every year the rains in the highlands of Angola do not reach the sea, but flood the plains of the inland Okavango Delta in Botswana, one of the seven natural wonders of Africa and one of the most beautiful wetlands on the planet. The shallow channels and prolific reeds provide an ideal breeding place for 70 different species of little fish. The flood is at its highest in July, but by October, the waters start to recede, forcing the little fish into the deeper channels, where the barbel wait in ambush.