LAKE TAHOE IN CALIFORNIA – WHERE WINTER BRINGS OODLES OF SNOW

Escape the endless Indian summer and set out on a quest for adrenaline-pumping adventure and surreal vistas. A quick guide to ski resorts in Lake Tahoe – where California and Nevada meet

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Living in a country that doesn’t see a lot of snow, an all-white landscape is bound to give you a singular feeling. And when at Lake Tahoe, it’s difficult to even find words that do justice to its jaw-dropping vistas and scenery. The best way to soak in the beauty is to put on a pair of skis or strap a board to your feet and hurtle down a snow-covered mountain, shredding powder along the slopes. But wait — there’s more to this ski heaven.

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GO FISH OR GO HOME

A pleasant 45-minute drive from Boston, Gloucester in Cape Ann, Essex County is America’s oldest working seaport that beautifully blends incredible food, art, adventure, shopping and culture. The heart of this fishing town beats in the vibrant Downtown and the waterfront. There is so much you can do here to experience its real flavor and quirkiness!

All things ‘fishy’

IMG_20160404_230851_HDR (2)Start your day by meeting the mammoth local residents – the great whales who live just off Gloucester’s shores. The cold, rich waters of the North Atlantic draw whales from thousands of miles away each summer – from April to October – to slurp up tons of tiny fish and krill. Go whale watching just 24 km off Gloucester’s rocky shore or catch cod, haddock and tuna on a deep sea fishing trip. For most people in Gloucester, fishing isn’t just a way of life; it’s an addiction. They live by a simple philosophy: Go fish or go home. There’s nothing in between. Don’t forget to halt at the Gloucester’s Fishermen Memorial – a famous statue of a man steering a ship’s wheel, his eyes searching the horizon – at the scenic seaside promenade.

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GET HIGH ON HIGHLANDER LIFE

To describe Zakopane in three simple words, you can easily call it ‘heaven on earth’. Here’s more about the little country town – situated in the shadows of the Tatra mountains – in Southern Poland.

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Even before you reach this modest peasant resort town, you want time to slow down and gradually come to a standstill. The scenic road route from Krakow to Zakopane is enough to keep you up throughout the two-hour journey. What you see on both sides are little picturesque hills bespeckled with pine trees and country-like mustard-brown wooden chalets – topography that’s bright and yellow-green in summer and buried in purple-white snow during winter months. In front of you, the view of the towering Tatra mountains – that seem to come closer as you progress towards your destination – is spectacular. And once you’re there, all you wish to do is stand and stare at what lies in front of you and take deeper breaths to feel the unadulterated air.

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PLAN AN ALL-GIRLS GETAWAY TO KRABI

My escape to Krabi with my girlfreinds had everything needed to make an “all girls” vacation awesome – exotic white-sand beaches, charming locals, interesting markets, intoxicating nightlife, adventure galore and not to forget ‘safety’

Who says family vacations aren’t great? But a time away with your best friends is an emotional necessity. You got to go for it to know it. If you haven’t yet, add it to your bucket list now! This way, you not only get to know them better but also get a chance to create loads of memories – these shared stories will be things that you and your friends will reminisce and laugh about forever. In June last year, I decided to take off to Krabi (in Thailand) with my gal pals and it was one of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had. Since we were a trio – each with competely different and craziest travel sensibilities – we did have disagreements on things like where to eat and what mode of travel to opt for. Being an undisputed nomad, I would want to explore most places on foot, sample the wierdest of street foods and dive into all kinds of adventure while my best friend, a complusive shopaholic by passion and a desi (jain) vegeterian out of choice, wouldn’t refrain (in spite of all my attempts to demotivate her) from hunting for an Indian restaurant that serves her the tastiest paratha and biryani in town! And trust me, she succeeded every single time! You’re definitely heaving a sigh of relief if you’re another ghaas phus person (as we non-vegeterians call them), but if you’re not one, you can imagine my plight! Thankfully, the third one among us was pretty much okay with anything, as long as we let her put on her ‘selfie-clicking’ mode. Yes, she has this uncanny ability of clicking some amazing mirror selfies even in the loo, pouting with the pot in the background! Nonethless, it was a joy ride as Krabi somehow manages to seduce every kind of globetrotter.

EXPLORING AAO NANG ON FOOT

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We started the trip on a lighter note by relaxing a little post the five-hour flight and then exploring the area around our hotel at Aao Nang (40 minutes from Krabi airport) – one of the most happening and attractive spots in Krabi. Compact, easy to navigate and comparatively cleaner than Krabi town, Aao Nang has plenty to offer. Apart from offering midrange and luxurious stay options and tons of restaurants, massage parlours (if you know the art of bargaining here, you know it all!) and local stores for a fun shopping experience, it’s the central spot from where all the adventure tours like snorkelling and island tours are organised. For a dose of relaxation, we straightway hit a decent-looking, no-frills massage joint that had more than 20 beds in a row and a host of over-friendly masseurs; it pretty much did the trick for us! Whether it’s a foot massage with shea butter cream, just a plain head massage or a full body coffee scrub, the menu will make it tough for you to zero in on one treatment. We spent the remaining evening strolling around, picking up some souviners and sampling some local dishes. If shopping or therapy isn’t what you are looking for, think spending a laid-back evening on the beach under the stars. The area is known for its fairytale limestone crags and beautiful beaches with turquoise blue sea, tied together by narrow strips of golden sand. Read more