Visit Maine’s sugarhouses
Traditions loom large in Maine: On March 25, locals celebrate the 35th anniversary of Maine Maple Sunday, the unofficial start of spring, when Maine’s maple producers welcome visitors for demonstrations, sugarbush tours, and samplings. More than 90 farms participate statewide. Some offer tractor or horse-drawn wagon rides and a chance to visit barn animals, while others have food, live music, and family-friendly activities. Virtually all offer tours of their syrup-making process. This year, check out Hilltop Boilers in Newfield, which just opened its new sugarhouse and will host the Axe Women Loggers of Maine, who will demonstrate axe throwing, log chipping, and sawing. www.mainemaple
See spring flowers in
Winter may be lingering, but you can get a glimpse of spring in Marlborough next weekend. The 21st Annual Paradise City Arts Festival features a special “Flower Power!” exhibit that showcases colorful flower-themed works, including paintings, photographs, jewelry, glass, ceramics, metal, wood, fiber arts, and furniture. The three-day festival, March 23-25, takes place at the Royal Plaza Trade Center and showcases work by 175 artists. It also features live music every afternoon in the Sculpture Café — from swing and Motown renditions to sizzling New Orleans-style jazz — and ongoing demonstrations by master potter Tim Scull from Connecticut, who’s known for his enormous pots and platters. Admission: adults $14, 65 and older $12, 12 and under free, three-day pass $16. Plenty of free parking. 800-511-9725, www.festivals.paradise
Where to ‘camp’ in comfort
Find out where you can connect with nature — overnight — without roughing it. A new travel site, called Glamping Hub, lists 25,000 accommodations around the world that include yurts, teepees, cabins, caves, safari tents, igloos, pods, tiny houses, and Airstream trailers, among others. Regardless of style, each one offers hotel-quality comfort, a unique experience, and closeness to nature, according to Glamping Hub. Stay in anything from a caravan-style cabin on an organic farm in Tuscany ($43 per night) to a pet-friendly yurt in a Canadian park ($108 per night) or a rain forest treehouse with a swimming pool in Australia ($413 per night). The website offers a description of each property and lists amenities (number of beds, pet policy, and WiFi, for instance), onsite facilities (bikes for use, swimming pool, and barbecue grill), nearby activities, cancellation policy, and reviews. 415-800-3004, www.glampinghub.com.
NEW TOURS FOR SOLO PARENTS
Intrepid Travel has launched six new tours geared to solo parents and their children that take travelers to adventurous spots around the world. The small-group tours cater to single parents (or parents traveling without a spouse) and their kids, with a maximum of 16 people per trip. Go white-water rafting, horseback riding, and hiking through jungles in Costa Rica, visit India’s iconic Taj Mahal, ride a camel and then cruise down the Nile in Egypt, and explore beaches and deserts in Morocco. Or explore ancient ruins and an elephant nature park in Thailand, or enjoy a cycling tour of Hanoi and a boat tour around Vietnam’s Halong Bay. Prices: $555 (8 days Morocco) to $3,185 (15 days Costa Rica), includes land tour, led by local leaders, but no flights. No single supplement fees, and children 17 and younger receive a 10 percent discount. www.intrepidtravel.com.
A WALLET-SIZE LUGGAGE TRACKER
Attach a ReboundTAG to your checked luggage and increase the odds that you’ll see your bag again, if it gets lost en route to your destination. This clever credit card-size tag contains multiple built-in tracking technologies, including a radio frequency identification (RFID) microchip, a near field communication (NFC) microchip, a quick-response (QR) code, and a good old-fashioned ID number printed on the back. That means, it works in any airport worldwide. Register your tag on ReboundTAG.com, add a description of your checked luggage (you can change this at any time), and hit the road. If your bag goes missing, report it on the website and you will get SMS and e-mail updates when it’s found. Since the tags use radio frequency microchips, they don’t need to be recharged — a big bonus. $29.95 per tag, includes a one-year membership that covers you for unlimited flights and usage; pay $4.99 per year thereafter. www.reboundtag.com.
KEEP YOUR DEVICES REFUELED
Take a long road trip and your coveted plugs will soon be taken to recharge devices. Bring the RapidX 5 car charger and you get five USB ports for charging devices. Thanks to the clever design, you can charge three devices in the back seat — perfect if you’re traveling with kids. The fast-charging device has a 5-foot-long cable with a 12V plug on one end for plugging into your car, and a three-port USB hub on the other end that reaches into the back seat (it comes with a removable clip, so you can secure it in place). The RapidX’s five USB ports charge up to 2.4 amps per port, or 10.8 amps overall. Keep an eye out for a 7-port model coming out this summer. $24.49. www.rapidx.io.