fb-pixel Skip to main content
HERE, THERE, AND EVERYWHERE

Pet-friendly vacations, hot air balloons, and a luxury bike trip

Travel news you can use

Imagine pedaling off-road through an area known as “Color Country” in southern Utah.
Imagine pedaling off-road through an area known as “Color Country” in southern Utah.Handout

HERE

Enjoy a local paddle

After a winter — and year — cooped up at home, get out and explore the local waterways. North Shore-based Coast to Coast Paddle, which offers kayak and standup paddleboard rentals in Beverly and Salem, opens its new Woburn location starting this Memorial Day weekend. Rent a single or tandem sit-on-top Ocean Kayak at its Horn Pond kiosk — located by the 500-acre Horn Pond Conservation Area — and explore little coves, a submerged island grove, and the scenic shoreline. The calm waters make this an ideal location for paddlers of all ages and skill levels. Or head to Coast to Coast Paddle’s locations at Independence Park in Beverly or Salem Willows Park in Salem for kayak and SUP rentals, lessons, and tours. Rentals offered daily through Labor Day weekend; book tours and rentals in advance. Rates: $20 (one hour) to $70 (eight hours) for single kayaks and SUPs; $30 (one hour) to $105 (eight hours) for tandem kayaks. 978-969-0151, www.coasttocoastpaddle.com

North Shore-based Coast to Coast Paddle opens its new Woburn location starting this Memorial Day weekend.
North Shore-based Coast to Coast Paddle opens its new Woburn location starting this Memorial Day weekend. Handout

A full-family getaway

Advertisement



Separation anxiety is real — especially for Fido. You can’t possibly leave your pooch behind on your next vacation, which is why Newport’s Hotel Viking now offers a special package for dog owners. The Press Paws experience lets dogs play at nearby Lucky Dog Resort while their owners get pampered at the hotel’s Spa Fjor. Then dogs and owners reunite for a cozy stay at the pet-friendly Hotel Viking. The package includes chauffeured dog service to and from the Lucky Dog Resort, three hours of supervised play in fenced-in yards, light training (reinforcing manners behavior), chill time on the many luxurious couches and chairs, lots of treats, a brush, and photos of your pup’s fun. The hotel also provides a Puppy Amenity Pack. Meanwhile, you and a guest can each enjoy a 50-minute massage and a 50-minute facial at the Spa Fjör. The downtown Newport hotel has 208 suites. Package rates start at $899 (excluding taxes). 401-847-3300, www.hotelviking.com

Advertisement



Sleep in huts with showers, lighting, solar power for charging devices, fire pits, and a fully stocked kitchen.
Sleep in huts with showers, lighting, solar power for charging devices, fire pits, and a fully stocked kitchen. Handout

THERE

A luxury bikepacking trip

Imagine pedaling off-road through an area known as “Color Country” in southern Utah, where dazzling sunsets meet red terrain and natural wonders abound. The new 190-mile Aquarius Hut System lets riders experience some of the area’s most stunning terrain while sleeping in five luxury huts along the way. Hop on a mountain bike (ebikes are welcome, too) and see Powell Point, Bryce Canyon National Park, Red Canyon, and Escalante National Monument, among other top sights. Then sleep in huts with showers, lighting, solar power for charging devices, fire pits, and a fully stocked kitchen. Huts (made from repurposed shipping containers) are spaced about 30 to 40 miles apart and accommodate up to 14 people. Want someone else to handle the details? Escape Adventures offers guided and self-guided tours July through October. Self-guided trip starts at $889 per person (5 nights), which includes accommodations, all permits and fees, food/provisions (not including beer), and a pillowcase with the route map printed on it — a nice touch; $1,800 for guided tour with all of the above plus vehicle support and guide. aquariustrail.com

Arizona’s hot air balloon race and festival returns to Phoenix this year with races, shows, and entertainment taking place at Goodyear Ballpark April 30 through May 2.
Arizona’s hot air balloon race and festival returns to Phoenix this year with races, shows, and entertainment taking place at Goodyear Ballpark April 30 through May 2.Handout

A hot air balloon festival

Arizona’s hot air balloon race and festival returns to Phoenix this year with races, shows, and entertainment taking place at Goodyear Ballpark April 30 through May 2. The 10th Anniversary Arizona Balloon Classic launches Friday, April 30, with a “desert glow” event, when a field of tethered and illuminated hot air balloons glow in time to music. Get a closeup look at balloons as they inflate and lift off on Saturday, and then watch them participate in thrilling “hare and hound” races, when balloons chase each other and drop markers on a ground target for points. The Family Fun Zone features hot air balloon rides, stunt bike shows, fireworks, and live entertainment, but little can top the new Desert Wind Kite Festival where you’ll see kites larger than semi-trucks, windsocks larger than motorhomes, and a 50-foot Mega Fish Kite (weather depending, of course). Visitors of all ages can also enjoy paper rocket making and launching, and parachute racing. Fuel up at the foodfest, where more than 20 local food vendors serve everything from kabobs to falafels. Tickets: $20 adults, $10 ages 55 and older, and free for 12 and under, active-duty military, veterans; everyone gets in free on May 2; $5 parking. www.abcfest.com

Advertisement



VSSL’s new ultra-portable JAVA coffee grinder.
VSSL’s new ultra-portable JAVA coffee grinder.Handout

EVERYWHERE

Fresh coffee grounds to go

Leaving home or civilization behind doesn’t mean ditching your top morning routine: enjoying freshly ground coffee. VSSL’s new ultra-portable JAVA coffee grinder lets you ground coffee beans on the go, whether you’re on a bikepacking adventure or staying at your favorite hotel. This ingenious grinder has 50 settings, so you can choose your desired coarseness. Pour beans into the top compartment, secure the lid, unscrew the flip-top handle, and slip the turning knob in place — then start grinding. It takes less than a minute for the smooth-turning grinder to produce a perfect single serving of grounds — longer for finer espresso grounds. The JAVA is made of aircraft-grade aluminum, meaning it can handle whatever caffeine-fueled adventure you take it on. $145. www.vsslgear.com

Advertisement



Tiny earbuds offer big sound

Earin’s new wireless earbuds combine sleek design, robust sound, and portability. In fact, the tiny A-3 True Wireless Earbuds come in a recharging case that’s about the size of a Tic Tac box — just slip it in your pocket and go. The Swedish-made earbuds sit comfortably in your outer ear, meaning you can wear them for hours without discomfort. Easily connect the earbuds to your phone, smartwatch, or other portable device using Bluetooth — just push a button on the outside of the charging case and sync — then enjoy the deep, rich bass and crisp voices. Your biggest challenge will be making sure you don’t lose these tiny earbuds. They don’t come with a wing or stabilizer arm to secure them in your ears for aerobic activities but they stay put for regular use. The A-3s are sweat-, water-, and dust-resistant. Available in black or silver. $199. www.earin.com

KARI BODNARCHUK