Clambakes, concerts, and culinary treats
Visit Newport’s Castle Hill Inn this summer and enjoy the new healing garden, a New England clambake, and the return of a renowned music festival. The Relais & Châteaux property now offers afternoon tea service for guests using herbs from its healing garden (enjoy teas made with thyme, lemongrass, sage, and more) and treatments in its newly reopened spa, The Retreat at Castle Hill Inn by Farmaesthetics, which uses products made with locally harvested herbs and flowers. Visit July 20 or 27 and enjoy a traditional New England clambake — complete with littleneck clams, potatoes, corn, and lobster — overlooking Narragansett Bay ($125 per person). The inn also hosts the 53rd Newport Music Festival on July 12, featuring new commissioned works by the Boston Trio and by Chicago-based composer Stacy Garrop whose piece “Beacon of the Bay” was inspired by the property’s 130-year-old lighthouse. 401-849-3800, www.castlehillinn.com
Guided tours of the Outer Cape
Stay at one of three Provincetown-area hotels and get a free customized Outer Cape Eco-Tour led by a local scientist, actor, or writer. Guests of Breakwater Hotel, Cape Colony Inn, and Truro Beach Cottages — or visitors interested in paying for tickets — get a family-friendly tour to lesser-known spots on the Outer Cape. Discover the area’s hidden pirate lairs with actor-writer-historian Sam Wood; join a geologist or journalist and explore a sand dune landscape that resembles Luke Skywalker’s home; or check out local creatures up close with a biologist during an interactive experience. Room rates start at $79 for the Cape Colony Inn and $119 for the Breakwater Hotel and Truro Beach Cottages. 508-413-3433, www.OuterCapeTours.com
Holistic hiking anyone?
The Sun Valley Wellness Festival and Conference couldn’t come at a better time: When we need to understand the importance of breathing, the power of sleep, the value of plant medicine, how movement promotes health and longevity, and how to transform race and cultural relationships. This year’s conference, June 25-28, runs in person and in a virtual format. It offers more than 30 presentations and workshops from wellness experts at outdoor venues and cooking classes and workshops at the Sun Valley Culinary Institute (following COVID safety protocols). The new outdoor Experience Park offers music, healthy food, and free movement classes (try outdoor yoga), and guided adventures such as mindful mountain biking, holistic hiking, forest foraging, mountaintop yoga, and fireside chats. Online festivalgoers and passholders have access to all content through July 31. Passes start at $95. www.sunvalleywellness.org
A travel app for nursing moms
New moms already have enough to juggle but add the fun — and uncertainty — of travel to the mix and it ups stress levels, especially when you’re trying to find clean, safe places to nurse your baby along the way. Mamava’s free app offers tips and information for traveling mothers and shows the location of thousands of private lactation spaces across the country (including breastfeeding pods in 60 US airports), with photos and reviews from other parents. The app can check a Mamava pod’s occupancy status and even unlock the pod with the click of a button. It also offers critical tips on traveling with pumps, breast milk (which is exempt from the 3.4-ounce “limited quantity” rule), and ice packs. It’s available for Apple and Android users. www.mamava.com/mobile-app
Have fun learning a language
It’s a great time to learn a language as travel starts to ramp up. The Memrise app makes it fun and easy to learn, offering plenty of encouragement and repetition so you feel like you’re progressing. Choose from 22 languages, download the course on your mobile device, and start learning basic words and phrases. The interactive program uses audio, video, and written approaches to learning, and incorporates thousands of video translations by native speakers — filmed in their own hometowns — so you feel like you’re connecting with real people as you learn (it makes a big difference). The app keeps track of your daily goals and how many words you’ve learned, and lets you go back to previously learned lessons for refreshers. The best part: Use your phone to take pictures and the app provides a translation for the object in the photo. Subscriptions start at $8.99 per month. www.memrise.com
Take this jacket everywhere
Outdoor Research’s lightweight Helium Rain Jacket packs down to a fist-size bundle that takes up precious little space in your travel bag — just toss it in and grab when needed. The waterproof, seam-taped jacket can stand up to dumping rain and blustery weather, yet it breathes well whether you’re on a neighborhood walk or scrambling up a mountain. The Diamond Fuse 30-denier ripstop material makes the jacket extremely tear-resistant and great for off-trail adventures. The Helium comes with a chest pocket that doubles as a stuff sack, an adjustable hood, and elastic cuffs and a drawcord hem. For reference, a men’s medium weighs 6.3 ounces. $159 for men and women’s versions. www.outdoorresearch.com
Kari Bodnarchuk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.