Schooners parade into Camden Harbor
Tour a schooner, watch a lobster-hauling demonstration, listen to live music, and take part in a slippery fish race during the 25th annual Camden Windjammer Festival, Aug. 31-Sept. 1. More than a dozen schooners will parade into Camden starting at noon, Aug. 31. The day includes a silent auction for dinner aboard a Maine Windjammer Association vessel that night, radio-controlled boat races in the harbor, a downtown treasure hunt, the Nautical Dog Show, an outdoor concert and whimsical talent show (put on by windjammer guests and crews) 7-9 p.m., and fireworks. After a pancake breakfast at the Camden Rotary Club, watch the Lobster Crate Race, when competitors try to race across a line of crates and avoid falling into the harbor, and the First Fish Relay Race, when teams toss slippery fish into a boat’s hold and then compete in a relay race. Then take a rare tour of a windjammer Sept. 1, 3-5 p.m. www.camdensnowbowl.com/camden-windjammer-festival.
Enjoy the Cape’s expanded rail trail
Grab your bike or rent one and head for the Cape Cod Rail Trail, a 22-mile car-free route that runs from Dennis to Wellfleet, connects six towns, and passes through some of the peninsula’s most stunning scenery. A new 165-foot-long bridge in Dennis will soon fill a gap in the rail trail and is part of a larger project to extend the iconic path. The bridge will connect North Main Street and the Bass River when it opens this fall. Two bridges were added last year in South Dennis and South Yarmouth, and Yarmouth is working to add another 3.7 miles of paved pathway this year. The eventual goal of these expansion projects: to connect all Cape Cod towns by rail trail so that bikers and pedestrians can access town centers without a car, and to make the trail more accessible to locals and visitors. Your best bet for up-to-date rail trail news, trail maps, and bike rentals: the fifth-generation family-run Little Capistrano Bike Shop in Eastham and Wellfleet. Rentals start at $20 for four hours. 508-255-6515, www.littlecapistranobikeshop.com.
Bucket list trips for less
Looking for an affordable way to travel the world on a twentysomething budget? Cambridge-based EF Ultimate Break offers reasonably priced trips geared to 18- to 29-year-olds that include a set itinerary, accommodations, flights, and all the nitty-gritty details so you can focus on the destination instead of the trip-planning logistics. The company offers payment plans, too, so you can chip away at the trip fee before you take off. The new 35-day European Summer adventure departs Boston and other major cities on five dates between May and July, and includes a chance to explore hilltop castles in Lisbon, enjoy tapas and flamenco dancing in Spain, explore ancient Rome, and climb up to Athens’s famous Acropolis. Rates start at $6,118 and include roundtrip flights, accommodations, multilinqual guides, daily breakfast, entrance fees, private motorcoach, and internal flights, trains, and ferries. Most add-on excursions priced below $75 each. Check out the new African Safari trip out of Boston, too. 800-766-2645, www.efultimatebreak.com.
New hotel in downtown Chicago
The new 38-story St. Jane hotel just opened in the 1929 Art Deco Carbine and Carbon building on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, offering sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the city skyline. The hotel, named after the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Chicagoan Jane Addams, includes a main building with 332 rooms and The Tower at St. Jane, which offers 33 premium rooms and suites, an indoor/outdoor lounge on the 24th floor, and a contemporary American brasserie led by Michelin-starred chef Aaron Lirette. Rooms include free Wi-Fi, pet amenities, 24-hour in-room dining, and 24-hour access to the fitness center. Rates start at $269 per night, double occupancy; special rate of $159 per night through August. 855-278-5263, www.stjane
Snuggle up with this blanket
The super-soft and cozy PediPocket blanket keeps you warm and comfortable on trips, whether you’re relaxing in your car, camp chair, or airline seat. The fleece blanket measures about 6 feet long, but tapers at one end where it has a 20-inch “pocket” that you can tuck your feet into, giving you a little extra comfort and warmth and also keeping the blanket from slipping during use. The machine-washable, wrinkle-free blanket packs down to approximately 10-by-13 inches, small enough tuck into a carry-on bag. It comes in 10 different colors. $55.99. www.pedipocketblanket.com
Keep your valuables safe
It’s hard to relax at the beach, by the pool, and even on a long-haul train or plane ride if you’re worried about losing your valuables. The ingenious SafeGo portable safe can offer peace of mind by letting you lock up smaller valuables while you travel — even in your car or hotel room. The durable plastic safe, which measures 7.1 x 4.2 x 7.5 inches, can hold cash, credit cards, jewelry, a camera, a cellphone, and other small items. After putting in your valuables, lock the safe to a beach chair, table leg, or tree, for instance, using the adjustable 18-inch-long flexible cord. Unlock the safe using one of two included keys or dialing in your personal three-digit combination. Attach a key to the included flexible wristband so you can free up your hands. Water resistant, but not waterproof. $39.95. www.safego.us