Dining Our Way Around Adventures on the Gorge

Buffalo Chicken Dip at Adventures on the GorgeThere is a long list of reasons why you should visit the amazing Adventures on the Gorge.

Located in the startlingly beautiful New River Gorge in the Appalachian Mountains of southern West Virginia, which is part of the New River Gorge National Park, it’s not only in a uniquely beautiful location but also offers an astonishing array of adventure activities, including whitewater rafting, which is the iconic reason the resort began in the first place.

The New River Gorge National River is still somewhat of an undiscovered paradise and was designated part of the United States National Park Service in 1978. It spreads out for 53 miles along the New River, and includes some of the most prime white water rafting territory in the United States. The river flows north through deep, scenic canyons, is one of the oldest rivers on the continent, and the park itself offers over 70,000 acres of land available for world-class rock climbing, hiking, zip lining, a bridge walk above the river, and plenty of other water sports in addition to white water rafting. Adventures on the Gorge is the perfect place to experience this area and all it has to offer.

This is not your average vacation or even your average resort; rather, it’s a completely unique adventure resort – and we loved every minute of our recent visit, including a visit to charming, nearby Fayetteville, West Virginia with interesting little shops and restaurants. Everything from the amazing array of accommodations, to the hospitality of all the employees, to the activities from relaxing by the beautiful Canyon Falls Swimming Pool to rafting your way down the New River, white-knuckled and soaked, make this a great destination.

But one of our very favorite things on a recent visit turned out, quite surprisingly, to be the food.

The resort has three restaurants each of which offers great, friendly service, fabulous views, and really, really good food. Most of the meals in the restaurants are buffet-style or casual dining like pizzas which makes sense when you consider that most everyone at the resort is participating in incredibly active activities and is starving! However, they also can provide some pretty darn fancy meals as well, which is nice since they also do weddings. One nice thing about all the restaurants is that they are super casual so you certainly don’t have to worry about dressing up for a meal.

Read the rest of this article on Epicurean Traveler HERE.

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It’s Not Too Late to Book Your Holiday Flight

We normally stay home during the holiday season but that’s because we are fortunate that our family all live nearby. Here’s some tips for those of you that have to travel during this time.

holiday_when-to-buy

This post was posted by The Hipmunk on Hipmunk’s  Tailwind blog on October 20, 2015.

If you want to fly this holiday season but fear that airfare is already too steep, Hipmunk says travelers who book by the week of October 26 may still be able to avoid stiff price hikes.  We examined flight booking data from 2014 and 2015 to predict flight price patterns for the busiest travel period of the year. Here is what we found:

Based on 2014 data, consumers can avoid significant flight increases by booking December holiday travel before October 31. The data suggests that earlier booking is better: we predict steady price increases starting the week of October 26 through December 21.

“Early” Procrastinators won’t be punished. Booking the week October 26 will only bump prices 3-4 percent over the last week of September, which was the best time to lock in the lowest rates. But if you really, really procrastinate, that will cost you. We expect that the week of December 21 airfares will be 44 percent higher than the week of October 26.

Good news. There’s one more travel day in the 2015 holiday season, and that means one more option for departures and one more day to potentially save, even though we expect booking patterns to be similar to 2014.  Airfares are down this year. For now. Overall, people who booked flights this year between Saturday, December 20 and Sunday, December 27 saved 3 percent versus the equivalent days last year ($361 versus $372 in 2014).  Finally, if you are looking to save even more on your airfare, don’t fly December 23 when prices are 5-6 percent higher than those on December 24. Try heading home to Santa on Christmas Eve day instead.

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The Fabulous Forrest Hills Resort

ecologia1Hosted Accommodations

We had been to Dahlonega, Georgia before; in fact, that’s how we learned to actually pronounce the name of this charming town because, until right before we arrived and made complete fools of ourselves, we were pronouncing it like Talladega. Luckily, we figured out before we arrived that it’s actually pronounced duh-lon-uh-guh with an emphasis on the second syllable.

When Tom and I were there a couple of years ago, we learned a little about the gold mining history of the town, just enough to learn that gold was actually discovered here first, not in California(!), and that we needed to return with our grandson, who would love the old gold mines and panning for gold.

It’s truly a delightful place, with a lovely downtown area, lots of interesting little shops, and fabulous restaurants.

Downtown Dahlonega. Photo courtesy of Forrest Hills Resort.

Downtown Dahlonega. Photo courtesy of Forrest Hills Resort.

This past summer, I managed to return with our grandson and our grown daughter, and were thrilled that they loved this wonderful mountain town as much as we did. We had a great time in Dahlonega, but what I really want to tell you about in this article is the beautiful and amazing Forrest Hills Mountain Resort & Conference Center.

Forrest Hills Resort Sign

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A Multi-Generational Family Trip to Cincinnati

CincyThe “Queen City” of Ohio is a beautiful location on the banks of the Ohio River with a wide variety of family-friendly attractions – from a zoo to an amazing aquarium to a major league baseball park and a football stadiums – that everyone, including the grandparents, will enjoy.

Check out these great spots on your next family visit to Cincinnati.

BB Riverboats. The best way to see Cincinnati with kids is on one of the riverboats that cruise along the charming Cincinnati riverfront area as your whole family learns the history of these river towns and the impact the river had on their development. The riverboats are large and comfortable, with plenty of seating for grandparents, snacks available for purchases and no worries about seasickness! Plan for a lunch, dinner or just sightseeing cruise, or go on one of the special themes cruises available like a pirate cruise! These are perfect multi-generational experiences as they are enjoyable for all ages.

Read the rest of this article on Minitime.com HERE.

Categories: Accommodations, Cincinnati, Cities, Countries, Family Travel, Hotels, Minitime, Ohio, Travel with Children, United States | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Fabulous Feeders’ Cup

Feeders CupAs you know, we are huge foodie fans and often plan our trips around the next food experience of some sort. We have been known to plan lunch and dinner as we are actively consuming breakfast.

We may not remember all the details of a particular city visit but we can damn well tell you where the best bakery in town is located.

So it should come as no surprise that we are excited about the first annual Feeders’ Cup on Saturday, October 24 at the Whitaker Bank Ballpark. The Feeders Cup is part of the Lexington, Kentucky Breeders Cup Festival Week and, for foodies, it might very well be the best part. For those of you who don’t know, the Breeders’ Cup is a thoroughbred horse race which is held annually at different racetracks throughout the United States. This year, it will be held at the gorgeous Keeneland Race Track in Lexington.

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See the Sights from These Missouri Hotels

Sponsored PostArchThe Gateway Arch by Wanderlustfemale via Trover.com

One of the main reasons travelers visit the St. Louis area is to see the Gateway Arch, and it’s a great reason to go. The Arch is actually a National Park, is situated in a lovely, grassy park overlooking the river, and offers a magnificent view of the city from the top. But the Arch is not the only reason to visit this area. Check out these hotels and some equally interesting tourist sites in Missouri.

St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo, by Lizza Mendiola via Trover.com

Adam’s Mark Hotel and Conference Center, Kansas City, Missouri: If you plan to bring Fido along on your trip, the Adams Mark Hotel and Conference Center is the perfect place as it’s a pet-friendly hotel. The kids in the family will be happy as well since this hotel includes a complete, indoor water park. Since this hotel is so family friendly, it makes sense to plan a visit to the nearby, amazing Kansas City Zoo which is complete with true-to-life habitats like Kenya, the Congo, and the Australian Outback, and has over 900 animals.

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Dining on the Viking Delling Longship

Press Trip

diningI have written about our amazing stay on the beautiful Viking Delling Longship before but I didn’t go into detail about all our fabulous dining experiences as I decided they quite rightly deserved their own post.

Viking River Cruises does a lot of things exactly right and the food on our cruise of southern France was one of those things. In fact, it was a highlight of our trip. We are big fans of a culinary experience and often plan our trips around where we are going to eat next so having a great foodie experience on the ship was perfect for us.

Since we spent the day sightseeing before we actually boarded the ship for the first time, our first meal on the ship was dinner. Although you are not expected to dress formally for dinner, the dining room is always beautifully set up with white tablecloths and lovely dinnerware. If you are feeling even more casual, you can always dine on the Aquavit Terrace with a nice view and fresh air, which we did one night and for several lunches.

In the main dining room, you are handed a menu to make your choices which is so lovely! They always had several options and if you wanted to try more than one, it was no problem at all.

A sample breakfast menu.

A sample breakfast menu.

Everything we ate for dinner was delicious and, if we were not completely satisfied, we could easily ask for something else. This only happened to me once when I decided to try frog legs for the first time. Not a fan. Not at all. However, Tom loved them and ate both his and mine.

Frog Legs. Not my favorite thing. At all.

Frog Legs. Not my favorite thing. At all.

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5 Family-Friendly Places for Kids Who Love Horses

HorsesThere is something about horses that many kids just love. Their beauty and gentleness, combined with the excitement of mounting up to actually ride them on an adventure, is a combination that will make kids excited about any destination which involves horses. Several locations, resorts, and ranches offer a variety of horseback riding experiences, so here are a few to get your started planning your next trip to some of these family-friendly destinations for a horse centered getaway.

Read the rest of this article on Minitime.com HERE.

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20 Oldest Cities in the US for Young History Buffs

BostonFor over 200 years, from the time Europeans first set foot on the continent, to the present, the United States has offered an amazingly diverse history. Learning about the country’s history is vital for kids to become well-informed citizens, and a visit to one of these family-friendly cities rich in history can be a great experience for everyone in the family.

New York City, New York

In 1624, the New Amsterdam colony was the start of present-day New York City. Learn more about the history of this remarkable city with a stroll along the Brooklyn Bridge, built in 1883; then continue your walking tour in Central Park, opened in 1857; and then give your feet a rest by boarding the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building, built in 1931, for a view of the entire city.

Boston, Massachusetts

Founded in 1630, Boston is one of the most beautifully historic cities in the country, with important attractions such as the Battle of Bunker Hill Monument and the Old North Church. The kid-friendlyColonnade Hotel offers family packages that include free overnight parking and breakfast.

Read the rest of this article on Minitime.com HERE.

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Sample Local Culinary Delights Near These Maryland Hotels

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Maryland’s proximity to the ocean means there is a variety of great seafood to try, and crabs are a state favorite. Check out these interesting hotels, with restaurants nearby at which you can sample a variety of crab dishes, along with some other Maryland favorites.

Ocean City, Maryland

Photo by Tony Bendele via Trover.com

Tidelands Caribbean Hotel & Suites — Ocean City, Maryland

In a prime place on the boardwalk, Tidelands Caribbean Hotel & Suites offers spacious guest rooms complete with kitchenette, and two pools, one of which is a rooftop pool perfect for watching the sunset. Take a short drive to The Shark on the Harbor restaurant and try crab cakes made from fresh lump crab caught in Phillips Creek

Main Street Annapolis Maryland

Photo by Little Mermaid at Sea via Trover.com

O’Callaghan Annapolis Hotel — Annapolis, Maryland

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