SADDLEBACK’S FAMILY-FRIENDLY FESTIVAL
Wax your skis and snowboards and take the family to Rangeley, Maine. for Presidents’ Day weekend — or winter break week — at Saddleback Mountain’s third annual February Festival (Feb. 23). The all-day family-friendly events include the new Gee Whiz Grom Slopestyle Jam in the morning (kid-oriented mini-jumps, boxes, and rollers), live music throughout the afternoon, ice carving demo, bonfire, dazzling fireworks display, and radiant torchlight parade at the base lodge after dark. Hungry? Saddleback’s new mid-mountain restaurant, The Nest, offers a ski-up bar, food kiosk, and immersive dining experience for ticketed skiers at a 3,620-foot elevation. (A steaming bowl of ramen and fish cakes, anyone?) In the base lodge, The Pub and The Market offer full dining and tasty grab-and-go options daily.
With more than 600 skiable acres, Saddleback’s vast terrain is known for its uncrowded slopes, meaning you’ll spend less time waiting in lift lines and more time enjoying downhill runs. Prefer cross-country skiing? You’ll find 55 kilometers of groomed trails at the Rangeley Lakes Trail Center, located on the Saddleback Mountain access road. When you book an overnight stay through one of Saddleback’s lodging partners — Rangeley Rentals, The Rangeley Inn, The Saddleback Inn, or Loon Lodge — you can save at least 30 percent on lift tickets. Single-day 2024 lift ticket window or “walk-up” rates: adult (19-64) $135; teens, juniors, and seniors $85-$95; under 5 and over 80 free. Plan ahead and save 30 to 50 percent by booking online. 207-864-5671, www.saddlebackmaine.com
GULET CRUISING ALONG THE TURKISH COAST
Food, wine, and archeology converge in A Turkish Odyssey, the newest gulet cruise along Turkey’s southwest coast offered by Peter Sommer Travels (Sept. 15-29). Two-masted wooden gulets were traditionally used for transport and fishing along the Turkish coastline. Every gulet in Peter Sommer’s portfolio is hand-crafted in Turkey with comfort in mind, and can host groups from two to 22 people. The 15-day Turkish Odyssey cruise begins in Bodrum and ends in Göcek, cruising around the Datça and Bozburun peninsulas and into the Gulf of Fethiye. Trip highlights include visiting hidden archeological sites, the walls and towers of the 2,300-year-old fortress of Loryma, a colorful market, a traditional carpet-maker, and viewing public buildings, a theater, antique church, vast tombs cut into rocks, and a castle high above a harbor between two rocky outcrops at Kaunos. Along the way, savor wine, honey, olive oil, and more produced in local villages. The tour also allows ample time for swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking in turquoise waters, or to simply relax on deck. $6,500 double occupancy includes all accommodations and meals, excursions with expert guides, entrance fees and tips on land, airport transfers on the first and last day, and more. Maximum of 14 guests. 855-443-3027, www.petersommer.com/tours/caria-turkey-food
New in 2024: Americans vacationing in Turkey no longer require a visa to visit Istanbul, Mediterranean resorts, ancient sites throughout Asia Minor, and the unique landscapes of Cappadocia and the Anatolian Black Sea coast. For more information on visiting Turkey: https://goturkiye.com/
HAND-DRAWN MAPS ENLIVEN ACCESSORIES
Commemorate your favorite travel destinations with illustrative hand-drawn story maps and accessories offered by Xplorer Maps. Order images of your favorite vacation locations on more than a dozen products, including glasses, ceramic mugs and shot glasses, fleece blankets, two styles of totes, 1,000-piece puzzles, wooden jigsaw puzzles, notecards, magnets, and more, all drawn in an Antiquarian style by Canadian illustrator Chris Robitaille. New items in their expanding portfolio include travel drinkware, natural stone coasters, and kitchen dish towels. Choose from a dozen-plus designs in multiple categories, including cities, states, national parks, as well as national and international locations you may have visited and fondly remember. Depending on the depth of detail, the art process — pen and ink drawings with multiple layers of watercolor washes — takes five to eight weeks. Their creative variety of offerings may also be the perfect hostess gifts for your well-traveled friends and relations. https://xplorermaps.com/
Necee Regis can be reached at [email protected].