When George C. Yount planted the first grapevines in California’s Napa Valley in 1838, he never guessed the area would one day be a world-class wine region. Nor did he imagine that Yountville, the town he laid out in the 1850s, would become the valley’s “Culinary Capital,” home to legendary restaurants like The French Laundry. How surprised he would be to discover that some of the Napa Valley’s most luxurious resorts and spas, plus more than a dozen wineries, including the West Coast outpost of French Champagne-maker Moét & Chandon, now call Yountville home. How proud he would be of his town, the setting each spring for Yountville Live, a star-studded music, food and wine festival. How could anyone have known that tiny Yountville would become a premier Wine Country destination for families and couples alike?
It takes only about 10 minutes to spot 20, hairy bison on Custer State Park’s Buffalo Jeep Safari. They just stand alongside the road, grazing, rolling in the dirt or vacantly staring at the vehicle. It is exciting to see these one-ton creatures up close. Custer State Park and the area around Rapid City, South Dakota is a place where you can truly experience the outdoors. Hike a lunar landscape, whiz down a mountain on an alpine slide in the shadow of Mount Rushmore, horseback ride alongside granite cliffs and learn about Native American and cowboy history. You’ll want to start singing “America the Beautiful” or “Home on the Range” when you see the amber waves of grain or the deer and the antelope play.
Riding a train to a national park is an experience worth having at least once in your life. Whether it’s a tour or package that includes a train ride or an individually planned trip, riding the rails to a national park is not to be missed.
Savvy travel agents know their customers’ favorite destinations well. They make periodic visits to evaluate hotels, dine at the newest eateries, and test drive the latest amusements and attractions.
Las Vegas tops the list for some travelers and agents. Recently US Airways Vacations invited 39 agents to participate in the 8th Annual Las Vegas Scavenger Hunt with a 3-night, 4-day stay at the Aria Resort & Casino.
Québec City really knows how to give a party - and how to make the most of their cold, snowy winters. Every February they throw a 17-day extravaganza that engulfs the entire city in a joyous, often boisterous, celebration of all things snow and ice. Even clients who aren’t great fans of winter will find plenty to love here.
I never cease to be amazed at the ever-changing adult playground that is Las Vegas. I am there at least five times every year, and yet, there is always a new resort being constructed or renovated, a new restaurant or show opening, and new sites to be seen. It truly is the city that never sleeps. Trying to give a comprehensive list of these changes would take a book, so instead I will focus on the highlights of my past few trips.