Spring Travel: Get Active in Austin

At Travaasa, guests can try their hand at horseback riding. Photo via istockphoto

At Travaasa, guests can try their hand at horseback riding. Photo courtesy of Travaasa Experiential Resorts

Most vacations are punctuated by a staid lineup of activities, like regrettable sunbathing and reservations at lackluster seafood joints. While some sojourners favor the familiar, more intrepid types face a dilemma: Should they bite their tongues and hit the beach, or plan a more outside-the-box getaway? For the latter, there’s Travaasa, a 72-room “experiential resort” in Austin that marries action-packed instructional programming (daily dude-ranch-inspired classes) with leisure (tranquil spa treatments and farm-to-table dining). Read more »

Spring Travel: Get Spiritual in Upstate New York

Mohonk Mountain House. Photograph by Jim Smith

Mohonk Mountain House. Photograph by Jim Smith

At this point in American history, we could all use a little more peace and relaxation, a bit of Zen, and there’s arguably no better place to find this than up in the Catskill Mountains, a quick three-hour hop due north.

Once a schmaltzy resort area popular with the Don Rickles set, the region has lately become a destination for those seeking inner peace, thanks to its easily navigable cluster of spiritual getaways like ashrams and temples. The experiences here are as varied as people’s reasons for visiting. At Ananda Ashram in Monroe, you can stop by for a yoga intensive, or lessons in Sanskrit. Over at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch in Woodbourne, an hour northwest, 70-plus acres offer seriously serene nature walks and a detoxifying Russian wood-burning sauna. Closer to Woodstock, Zen Mountain Monastery has a popular Sunday morning meditation-for-beginners series as well as Zen for kids. Read more »

Spring Travel: Get Outdoorsy in West Virginia


The Greenbrier combines lush nature with modern grandeur. Photo via istockphoto

The six-hour drive from Philly to the Greenbrier resort sets the tone for what’s to come: Busy four-lane highways morph into quiet two-lane country roads that cut through mountains so densely covered in trees, you begin to wonder if West Virginia is one big state park. The property’s meandering driveway leads you to the gleaming white hotel, which rises like a mirage. This, you will think to yourself, is the definition of old-school class. But there’s no need for posturing — the Greenbrier was built in the 1700s and has hosted royalty, celebrities, 26 presidents, and Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, who recently held their training camp on-site. Read more »

Spring Travel: Get Healthy in Miami

Workouts with a view. Photo via Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Workouts with a view. Photo via Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

Sure, Miami — a city arguably best known for its late-night partying and accompanying please-don’t-raise-the-blinds mornings — might not seem like the ideal place to kick-start a healthy lifestyle. But the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, a towering 150-suite beachfront property nestled on the tamer north end of Miami Beach, doesn’t dish out typical South Florida debauchery. Instead, it offers an impressive 70,000-square-foot wellness facility — a veritable playground (complete with rock wall, spin room and juice bar) for guests seeking a Goop-like health and fitness overhaul. Read more »

Spring Travel: Get Hungry in the Poconos


Photo via istockphoto

If we’re being technical, the Lodge at Woodloch bills itself as a luxury spa destination — and with its indoor pool, salon, trio of hot tubs, and a treatment menu that stretches from body wraps, facials and massages to hydrotherapy and reiki, that’s certainly an apt descriptor. But this resort, tucked three hours away from Philly in the far northeast corner of our state, is also (surprise!) a food lovers’ paradise. Read more »

You Can Now Book Flights From Philly to Cuba

You could soon be here. (Photo via iStock.)

You could soon be here. (Photo via iStock.)

For decades, travelers who wanted to have a look at Cuba had to jump through all kinds of hoops to travel there. But now that President Obama has removed many of the longstanding travel restrictions associated with the still-Communist island nation, passenger jet service has begun. Read more »

PennDOT Launches Website for DNC Travel

DNC Travel

A screenshot of PennDOT’s travel map.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has launched a website that will help residents and visitors navigate the city when the Democratic National Convention and its projected crowd of 50,000 flood the town this month.

“The convention will bring thousands of delegates, media and visitors to Philadelphia and this site will help everyone keep on top of changing traffic conditions and information about street closures and restrictions,” Governor Tom Wolf said in a statement. “As we did with last year’s Papal visit, my administration has worked very hard to assist travelers during this important national event.”

The website will offer DNC travel information regarding traffic conditions on highways and streets as issues unfold. It includes a list of closures planned for the convention, specifically in South Philadelphia near the Wells Fargo Center, where many DNC events will occur.

Read more »

Lonely Planet Names Philly Top U.S. Travel Destination for 2016

Philadelphia Skyline | R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Skyline | R. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.

One day, we’ll get used to this. But not yet.

Last year, the city got giddy when The New York Times recommended its readers spend the third of the 52 weekends they will presumably go globetrotting in Philadelphia.

Now, everyone’s agog that the highly respected Lonely Planet travel guide has put the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection at the top of its annual “Best in the U.S.” list of the 10 places one must visit in the United States this year. Read more »

Philly Named Top Family Vacation Destination in U.S.

ABC Travel Guides for Kids puts out this guide for Philadelphia. The company ranks the city its top family vacation destination.

ABC Travel Guides for Kids puts out this guide for Philadelphia. The company ranks the city its top family vacation destination.

A company that makes travel guides for kids has ranked Philly its top destination for family vacations.

Philly took the top spot in the rankings determined by ABC Travel Guides for Kids. Among the company’s products: A scavenger hunt game to find some of Philly’s best-known sculptures.

But there are plenty of other things for parents and their kids to do in the city, the company said.

Here’s the rundown: Read more »

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