COZY N.H. INN OFFERS WINTER ACTIVITIES
Stay in style at Pickering House, a former historic homestead nestled on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee. Opened since July, this boutique luxury property in Wolfeboro is offering a series of winter activities — onsite and off — designed to lure guests on the two-hour journey north of Boston. Stay in one of the 10 guest rooms and suites, some adorned with gas fireplaces and stoves, and partake of activities that include cross-country skiing on groomed trails, ice skating (indoors and out), winter hiking, and downhill skiing. Or stay inside, curled up with your favorite book, a hot toddy, and freshly baked snacks near two marble fireplaces housed in the library and living room. Winter also ushers in belly-warming culinary activities, including Saturday evening demonstration cooking dinners helmed by in-house and visiting local chefs. Rates from $285. 603-569-6948. www.pickeringhousewolfeboro.com.
GET ARTSY IN ALLSTON
As part of ongoing renovations and restorations, the art-themed Studio Allston Hotel has debuted five new suites. The fanciful suites are the latest addition to dramatic artwork found throughout the property, including in the lobby, bar, meeting rooms, and in every guest room. Directed by Boston-based Isenberg Projects, the snazzy suites were designed by local contemporary artists who played a leading role in the design process. For example, artist Jim Drain created a cosmonaut’s wonderland in the Drink in the Cosmos Suite; in the Unplug & Play Suite, by Maria Molteni, the vibrantly patterned and colored room is complimented by a foosball table and numerous board games. Hungry? The hotel is home to the recently opened Casa Caña, a Latin kitchen and rum bar featuring innovative New Latin cuisine. Rates from $199. 617-206-1848, www.hotelstudioallston.com.
LOBSTER-PALOOZA IN NOVA SCOTIA
If you think lobsters are a summertime-only treat, think again. For three weeks in February, lovers of these tasty crustaceans flock to Canada for Nova Scotia’s South Shore Lobster Crawl, a celebration of lobster-themed experiences and tastings (Feb. 1-18). Visitors are encouraged to “crawl” along the Atlantic coast from Barrington, said to be Canada’s lobster capital, to picturesque Peggy’s Cove to taste a variety of dishes from lobster thermidor to lobster mac ’n’ cheese; sample dozens of variations of the traditional lobster roll; tour a lobster pound; sample lobster-infused ale beer; attend and participate in sporting events; discover the art, music, stories, and traditions shaped by the lobster industry; and more. Adventure seekers can ride the waves of the frosty Atlantic waters, where more than 40 percent of Canada’s lobster are fished, with a winter surfing lesson at White Point Beach Resort. The two-hour lesson includes winter wetsuit, surfboard and professional instructors (Feb. 9, 14). 1-800-565-0000, https://lobstercrawl.ca/
GRAND CANYON CENTENNIAL TRIPS
In celebration of the official Grand Canyon National Park Centennial (Feb. 26), Austin Adventures is expanding its itineraries and adding special perks to its Grand Canyon excursions in 2019. Two additional departures have been added to the six-day Arizona: Grand Canyon National Park Vacation; of these, seven trip dates are family-focused and two are for adults only. (Departure dates in March, June, July, and September.) To mark the centennial, each trip will feature an educational element introduced by guides knowledgeable in the geology of the Grand Canyon, including a history of the 21 traditional tribes calling the canyon home; logo day packs for kids 12 and under that include memorabilia, keepsakes, field guide, map, and activity book; a $100 donation made per adult to the Grand Canyon Conservancy, the official, nonprofit partner of the park; and more. A new excursion this year: Arizona/Utah: Grand Canyon to Bryce & Zion is an eight-day journey that weaves together visits to three national parks. (Departure dates in May.) 800-575-1540, www.austinadventures.com
HANDS-FREE TRAVEL ACCESSORY
Ready to say buh-bye to your overstuffed pockets, bulky purse, or — gasp! — visually offensive fanny pack? Savvy travelers are now using the new iBand Sling Adjustable, a lightweight carryall that keeps your belongings safe and your hands free for important tasks, from photo ops to biking to grabbing some food-truck tacos. Think of the ergonomically designed sling as a messenger bag — without the bag. Worn across the body, from shoulder to hip, the new adjustable-size iBand has pockets to hold your cash, credit cards, ID, pens, headphones, sunglasses, and more. Fits any smartphone with 5-inch screen or smaller. A hidden pocket can accommodate your passport and larger phones. Includes elastic bottle holder, carabineer for keys, and rear reflector for when worn at night. Made of 1000D high-density poly with foam core for comfort. Available in four colors. $49. ibandsling.com