Give the gift of travel
Looking for a last-minute gift idea? Stay in your jammies, tuck into that cozy chair, and order gift cards from New England Inns and Resorts. The gift cards work at 300 properties across New England from grandiose luxury resorts to intimate bed and breakfasts. They never expire, so your recipients can use them when they feel ready to hit the road, even if that’s not for another year or two — or longer. Gift cards will be shipped first-class for free or choose expedited shipping for a fee. www.newenglandinnsandresorts.com/new-england-gift-cards.
Plan a cycling adventure
Adventure Cycling Association has created three new guided weekend getaways for this summer in northern New England. The four-day Acadia and Mount Desert Island bike trip — with departures June 5 and June 10 — takes you by Otter Cliffs, past Thunder Hole, and to the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. You’ll also explore Southwest Harbor and Bar Harbor as you circumnavigate Mount Desert Island. Or follow paved, gravel, and bike trails on a four-day tour around Vermont’s Green Mountains. These trips, which depart July 31 and Aug. 5, begin in Burlington and travel through farmland, over Jay Peak, past Ben & Jerry’s in Waterbury, and alongside picturesque rivers. Or opt for a four-day tour around Lake Champlain as you ride from Burlington north to Hero Islands and loop back through New York, with departures Sept. 11 and Sept. 16. The first two inn-to-inn trips include motel/hotel stays and daily meals, while the Lake Champlain trip includes camping accommodations and meals, with shared cooking. Starting rates: $599 Champlain, $1,299 Acadia and Green Mountains. www.adventurecycling.org.
A perfect place for social distancing
Consider the remoteness of this destination: It’s surrounded by 3.4 million acres, in the middle of the largest national park in the Lower 48, and 61 miles away from the closest town. The Oasis at Death Valley property has two hotels: the AAA Four-Diamond Inn at Death Valley, which just reopened in October and has 66 renovated rooms and 22 new private casitas (with a personal golf cart), and the family-friendly Ranch at Death Valley, where all guest rooms provide easy access to the expansive lawns and sprawling pool. Bask in the sun, take a dip in a pool with 85-degree water, play a round of golf at the lowest elevated golf course on the planet (214 feet below sea level), and explore the many miles of trails by bike, foot, horse, or Jeep. Also, don’t miss the spectacular stargazing here. Rates start at $375 per night for the inn, $225 per night at the ranch; save 10 percent for one night, 20 percent two nights, and 30 percent for three nights. www.oasisatdeathvalley.com.
A cozy stay, close to home
When travel restrictions ease, visit a new waterfront property in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, about a five-hour drive from Boston. The Saranac Waterfront Lodge offers easy access to family-friendly activities, from downhill and cross-country skiing to snowshoeing, ice fishing, and “kicksledding” (when you stand on one of the metal runners of an upright wooden sled and push-kick the ground to propel yourself forward). Or enjoy the snowball-throwing range, winter skeeball, or wandering around the 1980 Olympic village at nearby Lake Placid. A 10-day winter carnival takes place Feb. 5-14 (with “mask-erade” as the 2021 theme) and features an ice palace, performances, and fireworks. After adventuring, cozy up at the lodge, which offers lake and mountain views, all-day dining in the Boathouse restaurant, and (coming soon) an intimate fireside meal in the Harvest dining room. The Winter Getaway Package, starting at $209 per night, includes a gourmet hot chocolate upon arrival, a daily $40 food and beverage credit for breakfast in the Boathouse, and a free lakeview room upgrade. www.saranacwaterfrontlodge.com.
Enjoy this stylish skateboard
Here’s a fun last-minute gift idea for yourself or someone else. Lander’s new 27-inch skateboard works great for cruising around town, commuting, and keeping active and sane (as the weather allows). This sleek skateboard, which looks cool hanging on a wall or breezing down the street, has a grippy and durable deck made from reinforced and recycled nylon. Measuring 9 inches wide, it has plenty of deck space, contours that help you control and maneuver the board, and holes that let water drain. The Los Angeles-made skateboard also comes with sturdy aluminum trucks and smooth 38mm-wide wheels that roll like a dream. $99 deck only; $149 full board. Comes in olive, sand, blue, rose, or gray. lander.la.
Top drives for your data
Take advantage of this time at home to organize your travel photos and videos and prepare for future adventures. OWC’s new Mercury Elite Pro Dual with 3-Port Hub is a two-drive storage system for organizing and archiving your files in a way that protects them from getting lost. The RAID system provides redundancy, storing your data in multiple places in case a hard drive fails. The sleek plug-and-play desktop device has one USB-C and two USB-A ports that let you plug in card readers or other storage devices and transfer data at a blazing 10 gigabytes per second. Choose from 2TB to 36TB systems (1TB holds about 200,000 photos). When it’s time to travel, take along OWC’s Envoy Pro EX portable solid-state drive. This durable and slim drive — about the size of a classic old iPod and weighing just 5.2 ounces — slips in your pocket or bag and can fend off dust and water. It comes in 240GB to 4TB versions. Prices start at $228 (Mercury) and $99 (Envoy). eshop.macsales.com.
Kari Bodnarchuk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.