From a dream to a plan in just 7 days. Start planning your trip now! 


Photo of the Day – Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Virginia

Posted by on Sep 2, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, Virginia

While he is best known as the third president of the United States and the author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson was also a talented student of classical architecture. He began designing Monticello, his neoclassical plantation home, at the age of 26 after inheriting a large amount of land in Charlottesville, Virginia from his father. Situated on an 850-foot peak in the Southwest Mountains and completed in 1809, the plantation’s name comes from the Italian “little mount.” Today, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello is a museum, a National Historic Landmark and the only private home in the United States to be designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Monticello is a terrific glimpse into US history and a must-see attraction if you find yourself near the University of Virginia as I did this past week for the opening weekend of college football. 

Read More

Photo of the Day – Whale Watching in Juneau, Alaska

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Whale Watching in Juneau, Alaska

On my quick trip to Juneau last week I had some time to take in one of my favorite outdoor activities, whale watching! I’ve been lucky enough to see whales in MauiCabo and even Antarctica on my travels but this was my first opportunity to see them in action in Alaskan waters. The prime months for whale watching in Juneau are May through September so the whale sightings on my 2-hour trip were plentiful. In fact, at times there were so many we hardly knew where to look! The stars of the show in the waters surrounding Juneau are definitely the humpback whales (like the one in this photo known as “Spot” by our Captain). Though playful orcas do occasionally make an appearance in the area, humpback whales are found in abundance through the summer months. While out on any whale watching trip in Juneau, you’re also likely to spot a myriad of Alaskan wildlife like bald eagles, sea lions, seals and even black bears on the shores nearby – not to mention a glacier or two. Juneau is a great town to visit on an Alaskan cruise but if you can spend a few days there’s so much more to see!

Read More

Photo of the Day – Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

Posted by on Aug 26, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska

At 12 miles long and just 12 miles from the charming town of Juneau, the Mendenhall Glacier is part of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. Originally called Sitaantaago, “the Glacier Behind the Town” by the local Tlingits, the glacier was renamed in 1891 in honor of Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, a physicist and meteorologist. Mendenhall was responsible for defining the national boundary between Alaska and Canada in his role as superintendent of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. As part of the Juneau Icefield, the Mendenhall Glacier is monitored by the Juneau Icefield Research Program and has receded 1.75 miles since 1958, when Mendenhall Lake was created. While this calving glacier is expected to continue its retreat in the foreseeable future, one benefit of the recession runoff has been the creation of a unique ecosystem within Mendenhall Lake, including the uncovering of tree stumps and logs preserved from a pre-glacier time. Visitors to Juneau can enjoy incredible vistas of the Mendenhall Glacier and surrounding area from the excellent Visitor Center open year-round.

Read More

Photo of the Day – Juneau Alaska

Posted by on Aug 22, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Juneau Alaska

Originally serving as the territory’s seat of government, the scenic town of Juneau Alaska officially became a state capitol on January 3, 1959, when Alaska was granted statehood. It was the gold rush of the 1870’s that lead to Juneau’s founding when a mining engineer from Sitka offered a reward to anyone who could lead him to gold-bearing ore. Chief Kowee of the native Auk Tlingit tribe produced ore samples from the Gastineau Channel, attracting prospectors Joseph Juneau and Richard T. Harris to the area. Their early success resulted in the development of a 160-acre town site along the shore and Juneau’s gold rush soon exploded eventually making the small town a hub for the large-scale hard-rock mining industry. Today, tourism has overtaken the mining industry as the primary employer for Juneau’s 32,000 residents and a variety of cruise ships dock daily during the summer season giving thousands of visitors an opportunity to explore this charming Alaskan frontier town.

Read More

Photo of the Day – Toronto Canada

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Toronto Canada

Home to more than 2.6 million people, Toronto is Canada’s largest city and the 6th largest in North America. In addition to being one of the world’s major financial centers, Toronto is also an engaging international tourist destination. The CN Tower dominates the skyline as both the city’s most prominent architectural feature and most-visited tourist sight. At just over 1,800 ft it was the tallest free-standing land structure in the world for more than 30 years (until the completion of Dubai’s Burj Khalifa). For a real adrenaline rush, try a walk on the wild side with the CN Tower’s new EdgeWalk. Other top tourist sights include the Royal Ontario Museum, the Toronto Zoo and the scenic Harbourfront area. While Toronto is definitely well-known as a hockey town, it is also considered one of the world’s best sports cities with team representation in seven major league sports from the NBA to Major League Soccer.

Read More

Photo of the Day – Bascarsija Sarajevo

Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Bascarsija Sarajevo

My visit to Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina was a real eye-opener for me. Rarely has a city had so many highs and lows in just a 30-year time period. From the high of the 1984 Winter Olympics to the low of the Balkans conflict in the early 90′s, Sarajevo has had a difficult road. Today, though expansive cemeteries surrounding the city are a constant reminder of its troubled past, Sarajevo is experiencing a rebirth. The bustling old Turkish quarter of Bascarsija Sarajevo is the heart of city’s old town. With its marble-flagged streets, expansive courtyards full of cafes and an open space nicknamed “Pigeon Square” for its proliferation of the birds, it was the perfect place to get a glimpse into the city’s Ottoman history. Wandering the narrow alleys of Sarajevo’s Bascarsija neighborhood was a highlight of my visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina and why Sarajevo comes in at #3 on my Top 5 list from my summer trip around the Balkans.

Read More

Photo of the Day – Koh Samui Thailand

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 | 0 comments

Photo of the Day – Koh Samui Thailand

Located just off the east coast of Thailand’s Kra Isthmus, the island of Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest after Phuket. But with 1.5 million annual visitors and the recent openings of several international luxury resorts, it seems Koh Samui Thailand is well-positioned to compete with perennial tourism powerhouse Phuket. Before tourism dollars began to trickle into Koh Samui in the late 70’s, the economy of this island in the middle of the Gulf of Thailand mostly revolved around coconuts. Samui, as the locals call it, is home to more coconut-palm varieties than any other place in the world thanks to ideal weather and good soil. Today, though the island’s interior is still largely devoted to agriculture, the coast is lined with luxury resorts and beachfront bungalows with more on the way. For the ultimate in Koh Samui luxury, try the spectacular W Retreat Koh Samui, a highlight of my visit to the island on Round the World #7.

Read More