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Author: Debbie Stone

Colorado Springs Offers Endless Adventure

I’m a sucker for a room with a view. It doesn’t matter if it’s water, mountains or a cityscape. I’m not picky. But, some views deserve extra special recognition, like the one at The Garden of the Gods Resort and Club in Colorado Springs. All the guest rooms and suites offer breathtaking vistas of snow-capped Pikes Peak and the Garden of the Gods landmark, with its dramatic red rock formations. The panorama is drool-worthy and you may not want to leave your spacious, well-appointed abode – ever! Rest assured, though, it’s not only the rooms that have a view...

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Immerse Yourself in O’Keeffe Country

Georgia O’Keeffe is synonymous with New Mexico. The famed artist spent the last forty years of her life living in the Land of Enchantment. She painted its dramatic landscapes and iconic formations in her own unique style. O’Keeffe is regarded as one of the most significant artists of the 20th century, and her work is treasured worldwide. People from all across the globe travel to New Mexico to see the place that offered her so much inspiration. For many, the trip is a pilgrimage, made in homage to the great American modernist. A major destination for visitors is the...

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Futuristic Gardens by the Bay is a Feast for the Senses

You might think you’ve stepped onto another planet at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay. The park, a well-known attraction in the city, takes the traditional conservatory concept up more than just a notch or two. With its Supertrees, suspended walkway and ginormous domed glass greenhouses, the place is a horticulture wonderland with a futuristic vibe. The Gardens is a must-see destination for travelers to Singapore. It’s a showpiece of innovation and artistry that presents the plant kingdom in a fresh, new way. This “green jewel” simultaneously entertains while educates visitors about plants from around the world, ranging from species...

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Nambia’s Epic Deserts and Dunes Offer Adventure and Wildlife

Everyone touts the Big Five in Africa –the lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo. They’re the photogenic celebrities of the savannah that travelers yearn to see on safari. And as each is sighted, you can almost hear the sound of a check mark being made on the proverbial bucket list. But, there’s another group of creatures who fly way below the radar, yet deserve attention for their own star-studded qualities. The Little Five of the Namib Desert consists of the lizard, snake, gecko, chameleon and spider. These creatures live in the world’s oldest desert, covering an area of around...

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Magical, Mystical Bagan is a Feast for the Senses

As the sun rises and paints the landscape fiery orange, I finally grasp the sheer magnitude of Bagan’s ancient monuments from my bird’s-eye perch in a hot air balloon. It’s an otherworldly skyline, dotted with pagodas, temples, shrines, stupas and monasteries as far as the eye can see. I marvel at the unrivaled perspective I have of this archaeological paradise and its unbeatable scenery. It’s one of the many memorable experiences embodied in a custom tour of Myanmar (formerly Burma) with top-rated Journeys Within, A Wild Frontiers Company. Bagan is the sacred mecca of Myanmar. In this “Golden Country,”...

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Soak Up the Ryokan Vibes at Ten Thousand Waves

It’s a bit embarrassing to wake up and find yourself drooling like a baby, especially when there’s someone else to witness this cringe-worthy moment. I laughed self-consciously, hoping to deflect the situation humorously. Thankfully, my massage therapist kindly helped me save face by explaining that this was a clear sign I had reached total relaxation during my deep stone treatment. I told her she was a wizard with hot rocks.   It was the prospect of a deep stone massage that drew me to Ten Thousand Waves. That and soaking in one of the tubs at this unique spa-centric...

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Nature Takes Center Stage at These Southern Africa Wonders

I am both repelled and fascinated by crocodiles. Their fearsome reputation precedes them and the fact that they outlived the dinosaurs has given their species legendary respect. No one wants to mess with a croc, but many people will seize the opportunity to view one up close, particularly within its natural habitat. Prior to my trip to Botswana, I had only seen these primordial creatures in enclosed nature centers, where I felt removed from them. So, when the boat I was riding in started inching closer to the banks of the Chobe River, where a croc was sun bathing,...

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Fall in love with Cape Town

There’s nowhere quite like Cape Town, the jewel of South Africa. This fascinating city is a meld of cultures, history and landscape, crowned by the magnificent Table Mountain. Often regarded as synonymous with the “Mother City,” (Cape Town’s affectionate moniker), this landmark is the single most welcoming icon to its people, as well as to travelers from around the globe. Named a New Seven Wonders of Nature, the mountain is one of the oldest on earth, six times older than the Himalayas and five times older than the Rockies. It forms part of the Table Mountain National Park, which...

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Island Time, Ohio style

Most people, even residents of the Midwest, are incredulous when they hear there are islands in Ohio, I was born and raised in Chicago and I’m embarrassed to admit I knew nothing of their existence. I had to look at a map for proof, but it wasn’t until I actually visited the area that my doubts were dispelled. Known as the Lake Erie Islands, these bodies of land are clustered together in the lake’s western basin, north of Ohio’s mainland. Easily accessible from the metropolitan centers of Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, they’re regarded as the Jersey Shores of the...

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Seriously, Go To Cleveland!

Music has always evoked strong memories in me. When I hear a familiar song from my past, I am suddenly transported back to a distinct time in my life, and the experience is vivid and visceral. This is especially true when it comes to the rock music of my youth and early adulthood. So, you can imagine all the emotions that began flooding over me as I stepped through the doors of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. A visit to the “Rock Hall,” as it’s commonly called by locals, is a pilgrimage for many...

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Prepare to be Dazzled by Detroit

When I told friends I was going to Detroit, I received a lot of puzzled looks and raised eyebrows, followed by the question, “Why?” They were skeptical when I explained that my reason for visiting the town was curiosity-based, as rumor had it that “The D” was a reinvigorated destination and worthy of a look-see. Most people that I spoke to all had the same negative impressions of the city, as a gritty, seedy place with boarded up buildings, major unemployment and a high crime rate. Their views were likely shaped several years ago, based on photos and stories...

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Taos: The Soul of the Southwest

Nestled at the edge where the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico spread westward toward the sage brushed mesas and plains is a land of wide expanse and open skies. Here you’ll find the enchanting high desert town of Taos, a historic art colony and world-class outdoor recreation mecca. Visitors to Taos often remark on the magnetic-like pull the town seems to possess, drawing them back time and time again. They fall under the spell of the jagged peaks and sun-drenched landscape, and the almost spiritual vibes that this magical destination with its age-old traditions emits. History...

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