Spotlight on Domestic Travel in North America

As the world begins to reopen and our lives begin to take on some resemblance of normalcy, one thing is certain – we’ll want to get out and explore. So, where’s the perfect place to do so? Our own backyard!

Two Countries, One Destination

Two Countries, One Destination
Destination Spotlight

Imagine standing on top of 1/5 of the world’s fresh water supply, hearing the roar of 600 gallons per second, while taking in the beauty of one of the world’s natural wonders and simultaneously looking across the way at another country.

Sound far-fetched? Luckily, it’s not! Located in northwest New York State straddling the Canadian border, Niagara Falls is the perfect domestic destination for Americans and Canadians alike. And, no matter which side you visit (it’s recommended to visit both if possible), you won’t be disappointed.


THE AMERICAN SIDE

The American side of Niagara Falls often gets overlooked and underrated. But, given that the actual Falls are on the American side, nowhere else in the world can get you closer. Consider exploring Niagara from the American side first to fully experience the sheer power of the Falls, followed by a trip to the Canadian side to appreciate its size and majestic beauty.

Getting There

For the easiest access to the American side of Niagara Falls, fly into Buffalo, New York. From there, rent a car from the airport and explore. (Pro tip: Car rentals are typically inexpensive in the area as long as your pick-up and drop off locations are the same.)

If you fly into Buffalo in the evening, it’s recommended to stay at a hotel near the airport and get started on your adventure in the morning. If you arrive mid-day, consider exploring Buffalo for the remainder of your first day as the lines at Niagara Falls will already be long.

What to Do at Niagara Falls

You’ll want to arrive at Niagara Falls as soon as it opens to try and beat the lines. And, if possible, try to purchase tickets beforehand so you don’t miss out on any of your preferred activities. On the American side, these main attractions are recommended:

  • Observation Deck
  • Maid of the Mist
  • Cave of the Winds

But, do make sure to allow for spare time as the park on the American side offers several walking trails with exceptional lookout points.

Where to Visit in the Area

Whether you explore the surrounding area before or after your trip to Niagara Falls, there’s plenty to do nearby. Consider spending a day in Buffalo and exploring Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous Darwin Martin House, and Anchor Bar on Main Street, home to the original Buffalo Chicken Wing. You could also take a 1.5-hour drive to Rochester, New York, spend a day relaxing at a public beach on Lake Ontario or Lake Erie, or explore the beautiful countryside of the Niagara Wine Trail, USA.


THE CANADIAN SIDE

If getting up close and personal with 600 gallons of rushing water per minute isn’t the adrenaline rush you’re looking for, the Canadian side of Niagara Falls will be more your speed. Tourists flock to the Canadian side of Niagara, and it’s easy to understand why once you experience its full view of the entire Falls (typically with a rainbow in sight) and beautifully landscaped Falls-side pathway.

Getting There

For the easiest access to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, fly into Toronto, Ontario. You can also rent a car from the airport there and then begin your trip. If you don’t feel like driving, consider other scenic options such as the GO train or bus, or the VIA Rail train. There are plenty of transportation modes available, including tour operators offering small-group private tours around the Niagara region.

What to Do at Niagara Falls

If you’ve already experienced the rush of the Falls from the American side, it’s recommended to spend lunch on the Canadian side (Queen Victoria Place restaurant offers Fall-side views and casual dining in a historic setting), then let your meal settle with a nice pathway stroll. But, if you’re experiencing the Falls fully from the Canadian side, these main attractions are recommended:

  • Journey Behind the Falls
  • Hornblower Niagara Cruises
  • Skylon Tower

And, if you want an outdoor bird’s eye view of the Falls and aren’t afraid of heights, you can also soar from a 220-feet high vantage point for more than 2,000 feet on the WildPlay Zipline. Take flight if you dare!

Where to Visit in the Area

If you have the time, you should consider exploring Toronto – the capital of the province of Ontario, Canada’s largest city, and the fourth largest city in North America. But the true gem of Canada’s Niagara region is Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Niagara-on-the-Lake sits just 30 minutes north of Niagara Falls on the shore of Lake Ontario. This quintessential town boasts 19th century buildings, a picturesque old town and waterfront, and a wine country that has taken a backseat to its neighbor, Niagara Falls. Although underappreciated, Niagara-on-the-Lake is a destination that should be on everyone’s radar. Home to rolling vineyards with chateaus, iconic ice wine, and more than 20 wineries in a five-mile radius (with nearly 100 wineries in the entire Niagara region), Niagara-on-the-Lake is the perfect relaxing getaway that rivals California – but without the crowds.


RECOMMENDED ITINERARY

For the perfect four-day trip to Niagara Falls, here is a “tried and tested” itinerary:

DAY 1
  • Arrive to Buffalo, New York in the evening.
  • Rent a car from the airport and stay at a hotel nearby.

DAY 2
  • Embark on your Niagara Falls adventure early in the morning.
  • Visit the American side: Start with the Observation Deck followed by a Maid of the Mist boat ride and the Cave of the Winds (it’s recommended to book your tickets in advance). End your time on the American side with a stroll through the surrounding park.
  • Next, head to the Canadian side for lunch and a scenic stroll along the Falls-side pathway.
  • Then, drive north to Niagara-on-the-Lake. Enjoy an afternoon drive around town stopping along the lake or at a winery (most of the downtown shops will be closed by this point).
  • Finally, end your adventurous day with a quaint dinner in downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake.

Notes:

  • Recommended hotel: Woodbourne Inn
  • Recommended dinner: Treadwell Cuisine

DAY 3
  • Start your day off with breakfast at your hotel (especially if you stay at Woodbourne Inn).
  • Then, spend your day exploring Niagara-on-the-Lake’s wineries.

Notes:

  • Recommended wineries: Inniskillin (for ice wine), Ravine Vineyard, and Two Sisters Vineyards
  • Recommended lunch: Ravine Vineyard Winery Restaurant (request to eat outside if weather permits)
  • Recommended dinner: Kitchen 76 at Two Sisters Vineyards (request to eat on the patio if weather permits)
  • Pro Tip: If visiting in the summer, consider not exploring Niagara-on-the-Lake’s wineries on a Saturday, as many wineries close early for weddings.

DAY 4
  • Enjoy breakfast at your hotel in the morning.
  • Then, drive back across the border to catch your flight home from the Buffalo, New York airport.

Note: If you’re starting your trip on the Canadian side, or if you can’t visit both the American and Canadian sides, this itinerary can easily be adjusted.


Whether you’re looking for an adventure or simply needing a relaxing weekend getaway, Niagara Falls and its surrounding area is the perfect North American vacation. Get soaked, sip on wine, explore two countries, and take in the beauty of one of the world’s natural wonders – all within one iconic destination that attracts visitors from around the world.

Club Med Presents Virtual and Domestic Family Experiences

Dreaming of a summer vacation that’s a bit closer to home? We caught up with Vikki Knudsen, Director of National Accounts, eDistribution and MICE, on the virtual and domestic experiences you can have with Club Med.

Q: During this time, what kind of virtual experiences is Club Med offering?

We can’t wait to welcome you and your clients back to our resorts but, in the meantime, we wanted to bring Club Med to you! Club Med at Home is our new activity series featuring resort-inspired recipes, workouts, games, and more for you to participate in with loved ones. Have you always wanted to bring our famous Sandpiper Bay white-chocolate bread home with you? Are you still thinking about that fantastic workout you had at Club Med Punta Cana? Now, you can experience all your favorite resort activities from home!

Q: What at-home activities has Club Med created for kids?

Club Med at Home makes kids feel as if they’re at one of our resorts’ top-rated Children’s Clubs! Your little ones can get creative with arts and crafts, test their skills with games and challenges, and take family game night to the next level with Club Med charades, pictionary, and more.

Q: Are there any Club Med at Home activities for adults?

Absolutely! We know just how to help parents relax and unwind as if they’re beachside at one of our Caribbean resorts. Check out our happy hour recipes on how to make our resorts’ signature cocktails, such as La Bruja from Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, curated playlists for when you want to turn things up or wind down, and workouts that can be done anywhere.

Q: Tell us a bit about Club Med’s North American properties and what makes them unique.

Club Med’s North American resorts are designed with the family in mind! Families can enjoy time together through our new Amazing Family Program and more than 50 sports and activities. Plus, kids can have their own adventures in the resorts’ top-rated Children Clubs, while parents relax in our adult-exclusive pools and relaxation spaces.

Each resort also offers unique activities only available through Club Med, including but not limited to: an acrobatic playground at Club Med CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil in Punta Cana, Secret Chocolate Room at Michès Playa Esmeralda, Aguamarina Family Oasis at Cancún Yucatán, and private sport lessons with top-ranked coaches at Sandpiper Bay.

I invite you to take virtual tours of our North America resorts here:

Q: Which North American property do you recommend most for a family vacation right now?

We understand domestic travel is currently at the top of many travelers’ minds, so Club Med is thrilled to welcome you to Sandpiper Bay, Florida’s best all-inclusive family resort, reopening June 12, 2020. Conveniently located between Miami and Orlando, Sandpiper Bay is designed to keep the entire family entertained with activities while reconnecting with each other. The resort offers endless activities and sports to choose from including tennis, golf, pickleball, soccer and beach volleyball, as well as an onsite 18-hole golf course. This close-to-home getaway is perfect for clients ready to go on their next family vacation.

Q: Describe a Club Med stay in one word.

Happiness.


Pictured above: Club Med Sandpiper Bay, FL (reopening June 12, 2020)

6 North American Small Towns for a Perfect Summer Road Trip

Even if travel restrictions are loosened and destinations start opening up again, there’s no doubt our summer vacation plans will need to be reshaped in one way or another.

Road Trip through Baja California Sur

Road Trip through Baja California Sur
Travel Style

Stretching about 1,150 miles south of Los Angeles, Baja California Sur offers unique and worthwhile experiences. One of the most popular ways to explore the region is on a road trip down the trans peninsular highway. From cactus-covered mountainsides to lush oases, historic missions to the oldest bakery on the peninsula, here are our recommendations of places to drive by.

Enjoy the ride down to Los Cabos

If you can’t fly to Cabo San Lucas, consider a round-trip road trip. For the first leg of your trip, drive from Southern California down to Los Cabos on Mexico’s Highway 1, and simply enjoy the beautiful scenery and surroundings. This stretch of highway is one of the most breathtaking destinations in Mexico with its deep blue sea coupled with majestic mountains and desert land dotted with cacti. It’s a 22-hour drive from Los Angeles though, so you may want to plan a few extra days along the way to stop, relax, and enjoy the beach. If you need places to stay, AMResorts has a range of all-inclusive properties to meet everyone’s needs from adults only and a sophisticated ambiance to families and spirited travelers.

Live it up at the Hotel California

You’ve now turned around, and Cabo San Lucas is in your rearview mirror. First stop is Todos Santos, about an hour north. Founded by the Jesuits in the 1700s, the town today is known for its great surfing, local art scene and a hotel that has come to be associated with one of the most popular songs in rock ’n’ roll history. Begin at the cultural center with its old photos and faded murals, and end at the bar inside Hotel California with a cold margarita.

See the sea lions in La Paz

Veer away from the Pacific Ocean and continue down the four-lane highway for Baja’s other coastline, the one that runs along the Gulf of California, better known as the Sea of Cortez. The state capital of La Paz is just an hour away. Upon arrival, park your car and, as the sun goes down, stroll the city’s famous three-mile seaside boardwalk, The Malecón. La Paz is home to a variety of offshore adventures from kayaking along the colorful cliffs of Espiritu Santo Island, to snorkeling with a large colony of playful sea lions at Los Islotes, and hiking up pristine sand dunes at Magdalena Bay. Most of these are multi-day expeditions, but if you have only a few hours, you can swim with whale sharks just off La Paz.

Visit the agricultural center

Continuing north on Highway 1, desert scrubland yields to farm fields near Ciudad Constitución. This is a good place to fill your tank before continuing the remaining 75 miles to the sleepy town of Loreto. Jesuit missionaries established their first mission in Loreto in 1697. Today, the reconstructed church with its beautiful bell tower and the museum next door, are open to visitors. Take an excursion offshore to look for blue whales, snorkel, or sink your toes into a white sand beach on one of the many islands.

See iconic sights

Leaving Loreto, your goal is San Ignacio, 170 miles to the northwest. You could drive there in about three and a half hours, but it’s better to take an entire day because there’s a lot to see en route. The hilly landscape north of Loreto brings notable changes in vegetation. Cardon cacti, the largest species of cactus in the world, jut skyward from the pinkish-red volcanic soil. Early in the morning, when the air is still moist with dew, you’ll witness Baja’s iconic sight – turkey vultures sitting atop cardon cacti with their wings spread wide to dry in the sun. At Concepción Bay the road overlooks the most spectacular vista yet: an aquamarine sea fringed with white shell beaches and studded with arid islands. When the road dips down to the shore, stop for a refreshing swim, or feast on sea scallops at a fisherman’s restaurant on Playa Santispac.

Visit the oldest bakery in Baja

Another hour and you’ll arrive in the historically French town of Santa Rosalía. In the late 19th century, Mexico’s president invited a French company to mine the rich copper deposit here in exchange for building the town. Instead of constructing houses in the local fashion with cement, the French used wood and attached porches and verandas. Just as fascinating is the metal church designed by none other than Gustave Eiffel in 1887 for the World Fair. The El Boleo bakery – the oldest in all Baja – still uses two of its four original mesquite wood-fired ovens from 1901 to bake its baguettes and sweets.

Tour 5,000-year-old rock paintings

Leaving Santa Rosalía, the road climbs and twists around volcanic cinder cones and across old lava fields. Watch out for cows on the road; they’re free ranging throughout the state. When you pull into San Ignacio an hour later, you will hardly believe your eyes – it’s so lush and fertile. Jesuit missionaries planted date palms and citrus orchards when they settled here in the early 1700s. Visit the intact mission, built from thick blocks of volcanic rock and decorated with ornate carvings and statues of saints. On the leafy town square opposite, you’ll find tourism operators offering tours to the 5,000-year-old rock paintings in the nearby mountains. (The road there is off-limits to rental vehicles, so you will need a guide.) With a choice of hotels and restaurants, San Ignacio is a good place to spend the night. If you’re tired of fish tacos, try the seafood lasagna at the Desert Inn’s restaurant.

Finish with whale watching before heading home

From San Ignacio, it’s a two-hour drive southwest to the lagoon of the same name, your final destination. Every winter, gray whales migrate here from Alaska to mate and give birth in the shallow, warm waters. Some of these gentle giants are known as ‘friendlies’ and surface right beside whale watching boats. Reach out and touch them – it’s not just allowed, it’s encouraged!

Give yourself at least a week for this rewarding more than 2,000-mile round-trip road trip – the longer, the better. And, until you can physically visit, explore Baja California Sur from home.

International culinary delights

Tempting dishes from our featured destinations give you a taste of local culture. From succulent roasts to exotic spicy fare and some divine desserts, you’re sure to find plenty of delicious recipes to try at home.

Jacques' Rotisserie Chicken

Inspired by legendary Master Chef Jacques Pépin, the cuisine of Oceania Cruises is renowned as the finest at sea and rivals Michelin-starred restaurants ashore. The commitment to cuisine shines in the artisanal ingredients and an array of gourmet restaurants, but truly comes to life with the passionate chef who craft each recipe from the heart. Oceania Cruises shares Master Chef Jacques Pépin's signature rotisserie chicken recipe.



Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken, 4½ to 5 pounds, trimmed of excess fat
  • Canola oil
  • Fleur de sel

Seasoning Blend

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1½ teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¾ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¾ teaspoon ground mace
  • ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

For the Seasoning Blend

In a spice grinder, combine the bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, sage, basil, and oregano and grind to a coarse powder. Transfer the ground mixture to a small bowl and stir in the salt, paprika, ginger, coriander, mace, white pepper, cloves, and cardamom.

For the Chicken

Rotisserie and grill set-up will vary depending on the manufacturer, so follow the instructions provided with your equipment. For a grill that has a separate burner or infrared heating element for the rotisserie, preheat that area to medium-high and preheat the grill under the rotisserie to medium.

Place the chicken on a work surface and place a long piece of kitchen twine under the wings. Bring the twine up around the chicken and tie, securing the wings against the bird. Tie the drumsticks together with a separate piece of twine. Trussing the chicken will help it cook more evenly.

To Season and Cook the Chicken

Rub the chicken with an even coating of the seasoning blend. You won’t need all of it. Store the remainder in an airtight container at room temperature for future use. Lightly dab the surface of the seasoned chicken with canola oil to help the spice blend adhere.

Secure the chicken to the rotisserie rod using the prongs provided. Cook, adjusting the heat as needed to keep the chicken skin from becoming too dark as the meat cooks. The chicken is done when a kitchen thermometer inserted into the meatiest part of the thigh without touching the bone registers 165°F, about 1½ hours.

To Serve

Remove the chicken from the rotisserie and let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into serving pieces and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with fleur de sel. 

Aperol Spritz

Gianlucca and the bar team aboard Seven Seas Explorer® have prepared a lovely summer cocktail, an Aperol Spritz, especially for you. Watch as they work together to craft the perfect version of this cocktail, followed by a surprise appearance by one of Regent’s favorite crew members!




Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Aperol
  • 3 ounces of prosecco, freshly opened
  • 1 ounce soda or sparkling water
  • 1 orange slice

Preparation

Pour the Aperol and fresh prosecco into a wine glass filled with ice.

Top with sparkling or soda water and garnish with an orange slice.