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Travel & Leisure - Page 2

Treading a Spiritual Path:
Hiking Shaker Mountain

Shaker Reservoir in late Summer; submitted photo.

In this place, footfalls seem softer. The air somehow seems easier
to breathe, and the rays of sunshine that stream between the birches and pines more
brilliant. The soil even smells sweeter. In this place, where water shushes through rock-strewn brooks and
the wind plays the trees like tambourines, centuries-old history comes alive
like a heartbeat.

This place is Shaker Mountain.

Robin CatalanoRobin Catalano believes in the power of storytelling to connect communities and cultures. She’s applied her creative approach to writing for magazines, books, blogs, websites, and a wide variety of marketing projects, and has published more than 75 articles and 1,000+ blog posts.…

Snapshot Travel Guide — Exeter, New Hampshire

Lest you think Exeter is all crusty historical stuff, every Labor Day Weekend, the town hosts a UFO Festival, to commemorate a mysterious incident. In 1965, a young man was hitching a ride home when he noticed flashing red lights that seemed to hover over a farm, then move toward him. The same evening, a woman was found sitting in her car along Route 108, visibly shaken from having been followed for miles by a “huge object with flashing red lights.” Two police officers later testified to having seen the same unidentified object. Virtually all shops and restaurants in the Downtown Area Commercial District get in on the alien-invasion fun.

We always think of you when we’re off adventuring — wouldn’t it be great if we could ALL go touring together?

On second thought, that might look like an invasion from Greylock Nation! But we can
share snapshot moments that let you in our fave finds in both near and
far–flung locales (is “near-flung a thing?) If you’ve been to this
destination, leave a comment below to share your favorite restaurant,
shop, attraction, or other feature.
Robin CatalanoRobin Catalano believes in the power of storytelling to connect communities and cultures.…

The Sea Is All About Us

A whale watch in Gloucester is a don’t-miss. Here, a humpback dives for a meal; still from video by Floren Garcia.

Based on outer appearances, you might be tempted to lump Gloucester in with other picturesque coastal areas of the Northeast. But this would be a mistake. Photo by Robin Catalano.

Weekend Travel Pick: Hudson Valley Hot-Air Balloon Festival

Image of Hot Air Balloon. Caption: Ever wonder what a hot air balloon ride feels like? Why not treat yourself to a tethered launch? You might get hooked on the feeling! Photo by Robin Catalano.

A few facts you might not know about hot-air balloons: it’s hot—as in, skin-prickling hot—riding directly beneath their burners. Hot-air balloons also rise off the ground a lot faster than you’d think, and can vertically travel 10 feet or more per second.

Phoenix Rising — 48 Hours in Portland, Maine


If you've never been to Portland, Maine, you'll be amazed at how this just-right sized city hums with activity in the arts, dining, entertainment, and (of course) miles and miles of gorgeous views.

The City of Portland, Maine rises above the waters of Portland Harbor, which is filled with sailing vessels and pleasure boats. The landmark Time and Temperature building can be seen, reading 5:39; photo by Benjamin Williamson.

I Am Going to Leave Her Here

The lush, stone-walled Italian Garden at The Mount provides a respite from Northeastern summer heat and humidity; early morning photo by Kevin Sprague.

The Mount as Edith Wharton’s Feminist Manifesto

The lush, stone-walled Italian Garden at The Mount provides a respite from Northeastern summer heat and humidity; early morning photo by Kevin Sprague.

The Pillar Profiles:
Lindsey Schmid

Editors Note: What does it mean when we say that someone is a “pillar of the community?” How you answer depends a lot on your experiences and intersections with the people who, in your mind, help support and strengthen the areas of local life that are most important to us. In this new series, we’ll surely tread some well worn paths in search of those personalities. We’ll blaze new trails looking for emerging leaders, as well as expand our vision of where to look for these pillars of our community.…

A View from the Tracks: Day Tripping in Chatham & Ghent, New York

A lonesome balloon glides silently above field and forest near Tice Hill in the Ghent dawn; photo by Zach Neven Creative, Columbia County New York.

The morning
sun reflects off the remnants of a hard crust of snow with a luminous quality that
makes the towns of Ghent and Chatham, New York, appear suffused by stage
lights. It’s been a long winter—about six months’ worth, by most people’s
accounts, though they use much more colorful language; like the Inuit and their
multiple words for snow, residents of upstate New York have a remarkable array
of vivid, sometimes profane, epithets for the season. On this 50-degree day in
March, the first hint that winter is finally releasing its skeletal grip on the
region, people are emerging from their woodstove-warmed saltboxes and Cape Cods,
primed and ready to enjoy the landscape and a sun no longer obscured by clouds
heavy with the promise of more white stuff.…

Best of Hudson Shopping:
17 unique furniture stores, offering gently used bargains to handcrafted treasures

Much of the great shopping in Hudson, New York can be found on Warren Street; photo by Dan Region.

Shopping is one of those activities that roughly half the
population loves, and does partly for the sheer fun of browsing or bargain hunting.
The other half won’t step foot in a store until they’re down to the last smear
of peanut butter in the jar or are desperate for socks that don’t have built-in
ventilation. Whether you love it, hate it, or have an it’s-complicated relationship
with shopping, here’s some great news: Hudson, New York, just an hour from
Pittsfield, is fast becoming a shopper’s paradise, where you can pick up just
about everything you need in a single day.…

Change of Heart: Offbeat Picks for Valentine’s Day Weekend

If love is a mysterious journey, why not celebrate with a little wanderlust together this Valentine's Day? Robin Catalano presents a collection of options that might expand the boundaries of romance just a touch; map courtesy OpenStreetMaps.

As Snoopy sage Charles M. Schultz once pointed out, “All you
need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” And if we had
to venture a guess, we’d bet your plus-one would also appreciate a night (or
day, or weekend) away for Valentine’s Day. Use this roundup of the most
promising picks within driving distance of the Berkshires, and try something new,
fun, provocative, or off the beaten path—and, we hope, more than just a little
romantic. …

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