ARANJUEZ

ARANJUEZ

At the meeting point of the Tagus and Jarama rivers, this low-lying meadow was a cherished spring escape for Spanish kings and queens for many centuries. The stunning gardens of this UNESCO World Heritage Site blend architecture and nature.  Have lunch at the star-studded Casa Jose restaurant (casajose. es), where sophisticated renderings of traditional Spanish dishes include grilled hake with almond and saffron and roast pork with orange and parsley.


Appomattox, Virginia

Discover the Historic Appomattox Courthouse National Historical Park, forever written on the pages of Civil War history. Walk the dusty roads of Clover Hill Village, and witness life in the 1800’s. Experience Cub Creek Pottery, a residential apprenticeship pottery studio. Awe at the thousands of antique German steins on display at Steins Unlimited. Enjoy the unique African artifact collection on display at the Hazel Moon Resource Center. Delight in the unique architecture of our Turn of the Century Walking Tour. Visit the birth­place and gravesite of Joel Walker Sweeney, or immerse yourself in history at the Appomattox County Historical Museum.

For those who simply want to relax and unwind, the pristine waters and outdoor recreation of the James River and Holliday Lake State Park await you, along with disc golf, hiking, fishing, golfing and more. Finally, enjoy shopping in this picturesque community offering great antiquing, charming restaurants, romantic Bed and Breakfasts, and true southern hospitality.


The Land of Shenendoah

The land of Shenendoah is showcased in Page County, home to both Luray Caverns and the Shenandoah National Park. Winding along the top of the Blue ridge Mountains, Skyline Drive offers unrivaled panoramic vistas and access to ancient granite summits. 

A canoe or tube trip along the meandering  Shenandoah River provides a more timeless and fun filled sense of man’s oldest travels.

Enjoy these natural wonders as well as the history, heritage and talents of our people …visit our quaint towns, shops, historic sites, concerts, festivals, and fairs to see, hear, taste and savor the richness of our bounty. Leave the stress of city life; visit our communities of Luray, Stanley and Shenandoah where you are welcomed with small town charm.

Our accommodations are as varied as the landscape: whether you prefer elegant bed and breakfasts, fine hotels, rustic cabins or scenic campgrounds, you’ll find the perfect spot to stay, relax and enjoy!

For more:  http://www.blueridgeparkway.org/BRPA2010/section%201.pdf


South Carolina Vacation Ideas

HIKING: From South Carolina’s nook of the Blue Ridge Mountains to its scenic Atlantic Coast, the state offers hundreds of miles of trails in its parks, historic towns, and seaside villages. In autumn, South Carolina’s fall foliage peaks upstate in October, when hickories, maples, and oaks paint the hillsides in vivid hues of amber, gold, and red. Table Rock State Park in Pickens County has some of the state’s loveliest trails. (SouthCarolinaParks.com)

KIAWAH ISLAND & PAWLEYS ISLAND

With plentiful lush courses stretching from the mountains to the sea, South Carolina has earned its reputation as “The Golf Capital of the South:” Under crisp fall skies, tee off on greens that Golf for Women has deemed some of the country’s best. The luxurious Kiawah Island Golf Resort (KiawahResort.com; 800-576-1570) and meander­ing Willbrook Plantation Golf Club (mbn.com; 843-237-4900) keep jumping up on their list of favorites.

GREENVILLE & BEAUFORT

BIKING: Whether you’re a mountain biker or a beach cruiser, South Carolina has excellent cycling destinations. For thrilling mountain biking, check out the Old Firetower Bicycle Trail in Paris Mountain State Park near Greenville (SouthCarolinaParks.com; 864-244-5565), which passes through wildberry-dotted woodlands populated by deer, squirrels, and colorful birds. If a retro cruiser is more your speed, quiet seaside communities, like Beaufort, provide gorgeous backdrops for relaxing rides on sunny fall days.

MOUNTAIN & BLACKWATER RIVER AREAS

RAFTING, BOATING, AND KAYAKING: In early fall, the warm weather holds out for a few more waterside adventures. For thrill-seek­ers, rafting on the renowned Chattooga River is an absolute must-do in the Upcountry’s Waterfalls and Whitewater region. In the central Lakes and Blackwater Rivers region, scenic rivers provide well-mapped water trails for avid kayakers and cancers. (PaddleSC.com; SCTrails.net)

MYRTLE BEACH

STYLISH SHORES: The Market Common, located on the former Myrtle Beach Air Force Base, (MarketCommonMB.com) is a sleek, modern complex where urban meets ocean. Among the great shops, you’ll find Anthropologie, Banana Republic, and Copper Penny Shooz, which carry the hottest brands in footwear and handbags, including Kate Spade, Michael Kors, and Sigerson Morrison.

CHARLESTON

This past March, King Street cinched its reputation as Charleston’s fashion center when top designers and celebrity fashionistas converged in Marion Square Park for the city’s second annual fashion week. Boutiques and big-name shops line this popular promenade, where established brands, such as Brooks Brothers, Nicole Miller, and Ann Taylor, sit next to showcases for emerging designers, such as Hampden Clothing. And the various book shops and music stores will also catch your eye.


Bangkok Dining

At first glance, Bangkok seems to be one of the world’s most tumultuous cities, with mad­dening traffic and crowded sidewalks. But the Thais have mastered the art of creating tran­quility in their homes, hotels and restaurants. From a dazzling array of street food to the flower market, royal sites and sophisticated hotels, Bangkok is a dream destination.

Drink With a View

Bangkok is a sprawling city whose main artery is the always-churning Chao Phraya River. The very best way to get a handle on the city is from on high-like 63 stories up, at the world’s highest al fresco restaurant, Sirocco, atop the State Tower downtown. Watch Bangkok’s lights come on at sunset over a signature drink at the adjacent bar. If you suffer from vertigo and find the perch too scary, opt for Breeze, u stories down, where the outdoor seating is more enclosed.

Bangkok by Boat

Inexpensive taxi boats ply the Chao Phraya, but it’s more fun to take a private tour of the klongs, or canals, that branch off from the river by hiring a long-tailed boat at the Oriental Pier, next to the famed Mandarin Oriental Hotel. These slim, long boats are driven by entirely-too ­powerful automotive engines mounted above the water line and wielded by expert drivers who can turn on a dime. You’ll cruise down se­rene waterways, past homes built on stilts with lush gardens-and get a close-up look at how many of the locals live. Negotiate a price of $15 an hour and refuse a detour to a common rip­off stop, a pathetic snake farm.

Street Food

Ask any tuk-tuk or motorcycle taxi driver to take you to Yaowarat Road in the heart of Chinatown around 8 p.m. and have dinner the Thai way at any of the hundreds of street-food stalls 0. Cleanliness standards are excellent, and the eating is among the best in town. Figure on $6 per person for an enormous fried fresh fish seasoned generously with sublime Thai spices, rice and drinks. Or visit the Suan Lum Night Bazaar, a popular night market where you can walk off your dinner visiting small stores selling stylish household items and clothing.


San Antonio’s River Walk

Now there’s even more River Walk to enjoy. Earlier this year, an additional stretch of garden-bordered pathways was added along the San Antonio River almost doubling this famed site in length and connecting more of the city’s unparalleled charm. From passages that lead to the San Antonio Museum of Art to restaurants by top chefs, the river is more alluring than ever!

A Day by the River

Wake to the slow-paced life of San Antonio and wander from your riverside hotel room to bustling plazas and walkways brimming with restaurants. From contemporary French eateries to Tex-Mex cocinas, where to dine may be the most option-filled decision of your day.

After you’ve nourished your body, feed your spirit with a leisurely stroll or river boat ride along the River Walk where awe-inspiring art installations have been incorporated throughout the new stretch. The grotto, an artificial cave designed by San Antonio faux bois artist Carlos Cortes acts as a pocket park and natural gallery while allowing you to stroll behind a waterfall.

Many sights will draw you in, including the San Antonio Museum of Art , with its castle-like exterior. Housed in the former Lone Star Brewery, the museum is a stunning example of urban repurposing. Ramble through Wester antiques, examine contemporary American paintings and explore the Nelson t Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art-the largest repository of its kind.

Upriver, the 126-year-old Pearl Brewery awaits. Yet another historic remnant from San Antonio’s days as a major brewing town, the Pearl has been transformed into an urban village along the River Walk. Grab a bite to eat at acclaimed restaurants or peruse the Saturday farmers market. Take a class at the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio campus and make time to shop for Mexican tiles, antique fixtures and artisan-made home accents. It’s a cultured haven that’s simply San Antonio.

Downstream, the original River Walk is alive with galleries, authentic shops and a beautiful blend of people. Evenings can be spent watching klkloric performances at an outdoor river theater, sipping Texas beer at a pub or dancing to the sounds of Latin rhythms. The River Walk is also home to a flurry of festivities this fall including New World Wine & Food Festival events, the International Accordion Festival, various Dia de los Muertos celebrations and nearby is the Jazz’s Alive outdoor music fest. It’s this unique culture that brings people back to the river time and time again. You’ll see it in the kind smiles of passers by, hear it in the sounds of mariachis and feel it-deep in the heart.