Freeport food stop
After you stock up on all your canvas totes and summer gear, head for Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen and Topside Tavern in downtown Freeport, across from L.L. Bean’s flagship store. This 240-seat restaurant serves fresh Maine lobster, shrimp, and homemade pies, and other traditional Maine dishes. Try the Shrimp Wiggle, which features shrimp in a white gravy served over Saltines and biscuits. The modern-looking eatery has an outdoor patio and deck, a Lobster Theater where you can watch a 10-minute film about lobstering in Maine, and a lobster touch tank. Entrees $12-$40. 207-865-9835, www.lind
cYCling with seasonal migrations
Great Freedom Adventures has launched a new Island and Seacoast Cycle Tour that coincides with local wildlife migrations. The six-day tour lets you explore Martha’s Vineyard and Rhode Island’s Conanicut, Aquidneck, and Block islands while viewing migrating monarch butterflies, songbirds, and sea mammals. Participants can stop for wine-tasting at a vineyard, visit lighthouses and beaches, tour Newport, R.I., mansions, and go for nature and cliff walks. At night, relax at a hilltop island retreat, historic inns, or an Italianate estate with a private beach and spa. From July 8-13. Rate: $2,695 per person, based on double occupancy, includes bike rental, lodging, van support, and more. 508-545-1864, www.great
JetBlue Airways and Dubai-based Emirates just announced a new code-share agreement that makes it easier to fly between Portland, Maine, Burlington, Vt., and Boston and the Middle East. You can now book your round-trip flight from New England to any Emirates destination on one ticket, making it a more streamlined process, and easier to manage if something goes wrong en route. The new service also applies to Buffalo, Charlotte, N.C., Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa, in Florida, and Washington, D.C. Travelers from each of these cities fly JetBlue to New York and connect with their Emirates flight. Emirates flies to 123 cities in Africa, India, the Middle East, and throughout the Asia Pacific region. 800-777-3999, www.emirates.com/us
Space center tour
Peek inside the Kennedy Space Center’s 525-foot-tall Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB), where Apollo rockets and space shuttles were put together, during a special tour in honor of the center’s 50th anniversary. The Kennedy Space Center Up-Close Tour takes visitors inside the VAB, which is one of the largest buildings in the world and has been off limits to outsiders for more than 30 years. It also offers close-up views of rockets and launch pads, a chance to meet astronauts, and special access to see rocket launches. You can even see the 6 million-pound crawler-transporters, which moved the shuttles from the VAB to their launch pad. Adults $25, children ages 3-11 $19.
Embrace the great outdoors
Release your inner cowboy or cowgirl on a new overnight horse pack trip run by The Little Nell, a five-star
property in Aspen, Colo. During Cowboy Camp 101, families learn the art of backcountry living, from catching a fish to starting a fire. Spend a day horseback riding to Snowmass Lake, about 10 miles into the White River National Forest, and then learn how to fly-fish and clean and cook your catch. Come nighttime, help start the campfire and prepare a gourmet meal, or relax with a glass of wine or hot chocolate. You will bed down in a tent complete with sleeping bags and cozy cots. Ride back to civilization the next day after a hearty breakfast and enjoy a luxury stay at The Little Nell. Trips run July through September. Rates start at $800 per person, based on double
occupancy. 970-920-6315, www.thelittlenell.com
Insurance for adventurers
Keep yourself covered when you go on a safari, surfing, skiing, mountain climbing, or enjoy other risky adventures around the globe. Travel Guard North America offers a Great Outdoors plan that covers emergency medical expenses and evacuation, and trip cancellation, interruption, or delay protection for active and thrill-seeking travelers. It even covers your gear and equipment. Should something go awry, you can contact Travel Guard for flight rebookings, physician referrals, and prescription refills, among other services.
Rates: about 5 to 7 percent of your full trip cost. 800-826-1300, www.travelguard.com
Toshiba’s new Portégé Z830 Ultrabook is so wonderfully portable, I can slip it into my luggage guilt-free. It weighs less than 2.5 pounds, measures just .63 inches thick, and keeps me connected for up to 8 hours on one charge. It also has a USB Sleep and Charge feature, so I can refuel USB devices when the laptop is powered down, and high-speed startup, so I can wake it up within seconds after landing — no painfully long boot-up times. My favorite features: the backlit keyboard, which helps when a plane’s cabin lights dim; the fingerprint reader, which lets me log on with a swipe of my finger; and the vibrant 13-inch screen.
Starting price, without extra features: $899.99. 800-867-4422, www.us.toshiba.com