By Patricia Harris and David Lyon, Globe Correspondents
Our world seems to be having a Sixties moment, what with the “Summer of Love” psychedelic posters at the Smith College Museum of Art (www.smith.edu/artmuseum) and the upcoming “Hippie Chic” fashion exhibition at the MFA (www.mfa.org). The Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History (www.pacmusee.qc.ca/en/home) is doing its bit by commemorating the one and only visit to Montreal by the Beatles on September 8, 1964. They arrived at 2:20 p.m., played two shows, and left for the airport at 11 p.m. It was brief, but Montreal has never forgotten, and the exhibitions chronicle the Fab Four and the local reaction in wonderful detail. You don't need to come from Montreal to appreciate the band's profile from playing skiffle in Liverpool to their chaotic final sessions that led to the “Let It Be” film and album. One interactive exhibit features Beatles karaoke, with the chance to sing along with old film clips.
Exhibits carry through to the dissolution of the band, but one postscript exhibit recounts the Bed-In by John Lennon and Yoko Ono from May 26 to June 2, 1969, at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal. They wanted everyone “to give peace a chance.” Not coincidentally, Montreal's new wax museum, the Grévin (www.grevin-montreal.com), recreates the famous couple and the famous bed. The show at the Archaeology and History museum, “The Beatles in Montreal,” is up through March 30, 2014.
Photos by David Lyon for the Boston Globe
MBTA service from Boston to Cape Cod begins Friday when the new CapeFlyer will depart South Station, with stops in Braintree, Middleborough, and Buzzard’s Bay, before arriving in Hyannis. The specially-outfitted coach will run weekends this summer through Labor Day.
“Working closely with our partners in the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority, we are thrilled to bring rail service back to Cape Cod to help more people experience the beauty and fun of the Cape while getting there quicker and in a more enjoyable way,” MBTA general manager Dr. Beverly Scott said.
The train service is a welcome option to avoiding notable summertime Cape Cod traffic. According to the MBTA, weekend inbound traffic over the Sagamore and Bourne bridges during July and August averaged nearly a quarter-million vehicles during a typical summer weekend in 2012. Friday’s 5:12 p.m. departure from Boston is scheduled to arrive in Hyannis at 7:50 p.m. Saturday and Sunday service will depart South Station at 8 a.m. and arrive in Hyannis at 10:18 a.m. Bus service will be available at the destination, as well as free shuttle service to the nearby Hyannis docks with ferry service to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.
The coach will include concessions and bar service (following the Middleborough stop) on the Friday night trip. Bike racks will also be available. A round-trip ticket from Boston will run $35 ($20 one way).
Newport is known for old stuff, such as the oldest continuing tavern, lending library, synagogue and Fourth of July celebration. But each year, more new comes to Newport, and this year is no exception.
The Doris Duke Monument Foundation between Thames Street and Trinity Church unveils a $3.5 million revitalization of Queen Anne Square, designed by Maya Lin. Entitled “The Meeting Room,” the installation includes three shallow foundations to illustrate the history of the property and provide community gathering spots. The project will bring more green space, seating, trees and lighting to Queen Anne Square. It is intended to honor the memory of Doris Duke, who championed Newport’s historic preservation. Check it out at www.ddmf.org
The old, elegant mansion of Newport have added thing, including the Elms with a new audio tour which includes new information about recent restoration projects in the house and servant life. In addition, Mandarin translations of the audio tours at The Breakers, The Elms, Marble House and Rosecliff will be added as Chinese-speaking visitors are the fastest growing segment of foreign visitors to the mansions. The 2013 costume exhibition at Rosecliff features 20th century highlights from the Newport Preservation Society's collection, and highlights designer pieces by Chanel, Givenchy and Halston. The exhibition runs through November 22. Visit www.newportmansions.org for information
For the adventurous, there is a new Fort Adams zip line, where you can strap in and dive off walls of the fort, North America’s largest coastal fortress, on the 430-foot-long zip line. You start at 50 feet up, sail over the fort’s complex and land on the ground. You can go solo or with a friend on a tandem zip line. Visit www.fortadams.org for info.
The International Tennis Hall of Fame exhibit, “Tennis and Hollywood,” showcases the popularity of the sport of tennis with Hollywood’s elite. A social sport that initially catered to an upscale crowd, tennis became a natural pastime for many big screen stars in the early 1900s. Legends including Alice Marble and Frank Parker were known to share their expertise by giving lessons to stars including Dinah Shore, Charlton Heston, Dustin Hoffman, Clark Gable and Charlie Chaplin. The exhibit will be displayed for one year.
Also, the hall will host the first and only viewing of “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, which proved to be an event that created heightened awareness for gender equality, in honor of its 40th anniversary. King will be present at the special screening on July 14 to introduce the broadcast footage and then discuss her memories of key moments in the match, what the match meant to her personally, and reflect on its lasting impact. Check both hall events out at www.tennisfame.com
The International Yacht Restoration School and Museum of Yachting 2013 exhibition features a diverse collection of Newport yachting and coastal scenes including artwork in various mediums from the 19th century to today. Exhibition opens June 1. Check out www.iyrs.edu for information.
The Newport Dinner Train introduces The Ice Cream Train, a family-friendly experience aboard Rhode Island’s only moving ice cream parlor. During this scenic ride, families get entertainment aboard air-conditioned rail cars as the they travel along the coast while having soft-serve ice cream or sundaes. The train departs Thursdays through Saturdays from the Newport Train Depot, 19 America's Cup Avenue. For information, visit www.newportdinnertrain.com/docs/schedule.htm
Samuel Whitehorne House, a museum of 18th- and early 19th-century Newport and Rhode Island furniture, will feature a new exhibit this year of high chests including one on loan from the Ott family of Providence. For information, visit www.newportrestoration.org/visit/whitehorne
The inaugural Newport Sharkfest Swim will take place Sept. 28 along the waterfront beginning at the harbormaster’s dock at Perotti Park, proceeding past anchored sailboats on the right side of the swimming channel, and continuing for a total 1500 meters to finish on the beach at King Park. This event is for experienced open-water swimmers only. For info, visit www.sharkfestswim.com
As to new lodging, check out the Crow’s Nest Newport, with new lodging at Seamen’s Church Institute, a non-profit with a mission to service those connected to the sea, in its National Register historic building. The space is remodeled and includes 10 guest rooms in the heart of the waterfront. For information, visit www.crowsnestnewport.com
There’s also a new transportation option this year as the Block Island Ferry introduces seasonal high-speed ferry service from Newport to Block Island starting the end of June. Travel time between the two ports will take about one hour on a hi-speed aluminum catamaran ferry, to run several times a day. Visit www.blockislandferry.com for information.
For information on all Newport offerings, visit www.discovernewport.org
From one man -- Leon Leonwood Bean -- came an eventual $1.4-billion empire. And now a party to celebrate it all.
In honor of its centennial, L.L. Bean is hosting a 100th Anniversary Hometown Celebration on Main Street in Freeport, Maine, from July 4-7, a four-day event that includes free daily concerts in L.L. Bean's Discovery Park, the 35th Annual L.L. Bean 10K Road Race, family friendly outdoor activities and more. The event ends with a fireworks display.
Fun stuff along the way: Freeport Fourth of July parade, featuring the L.L. Bean Bootmobile; free Outdoor Discovery School demos, including kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding; appearances by Red Sox legendary shortstop Rico Petrocelli, Wally the Green Monster and the Sox World Series trophies; a Muddy Bean Boots ice cream sampling, a flavor created by Gifford's for the anniversary; outdoor games with Olympic gold medalist snowboarder Seth Westcott; music from Chris Isaak and Jo Dee Messina; farmer's market; free concerts by regional artists; and all-day street festivals with local crafts, food and live entertainment.
Bean started his company in 1912, a one-man operation catering to those lovers of the great outdoors, starting with the waterproof "Bean Boot," which remains an iconic symbol of the company. L.L. Bean still makes the boot -- and a lot of other things, outdoorsy and fashionable.
For a complete schedule and more information, visit www.llbean.com
Moose callers replicate the barks, bellows and grunts of the giant denizens of the north woods, and this year is the first that combines the contest with the lottery. Last year, more than 3,000 people attended the lottery drawing. This year, there are 3,725 hunting permits up for grabs to the tens of thousands of hunters who have entered the drawing. The whole thing is part of a three-day festival, which is good for tourism, said Judy Morton, executive director of the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce.
"Our region is enthused about hosting the moose lottery and the moose calling contest and our shops, restaurants and bars will be joining in the festivities with moose-themed specials, like chocolate mousse, moose whoopie pies, moose jewelry and moose shots.
The moose calling semifinals will be held June 22 at Moose Alley in Rangeley and the finals the following day in front of the Rangeley Outdoor Sporting Heritage Museum. Participants will have previously qualified at one of several preliminary competitions across the state.
Winners are judged in cow call, bull call, other attraction techniques (props allowed) and presentation/sportsmanship. First-place winner gets $1,000 (and bragging rights), and top finalists earn packages from Cabela's and Extreme Dimension.
It's three days of all manner of outdoor activities and events, information on which can be seen at www.rangeleyoutdoors.com/2012-moose-lottery-festival/ And for a video clip of moose calling in action, check out www.maineprmaven.com/tag/video/ It shows Maine guide Roger Lambert demonstrating various calls, that you can presumably try on your own. If a befuddled squirrel taps at your window looking for Bullwinkle, you may want to turn down the volume.
Photo from Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife website
The hotel's Call of the Wild Package, with rates kicking off at $339, partners with the Franklin Park Zoo, and includes two tickets to the zoo, accommodations in a newly renovated guest room and one Zookeeper Level Zoodoption, which awards a certificate of "adoption" of an animal in the zoo. And speaking of animals, but not in the literal sense, the Just Ducky Package revolves around Boston's famous Duck Tour, a package that starts at $319 and includes overnight stay at the hotel and four Duck Tour tickets. The Children's Museum package, starting at $219, includes accommodations and passes to the Boston Children's Museum for two adults and one child.
For information and specific pricing on all Fairmont Copley deals, visit www.fairmont.com/copleyplaza or call 800-441-1414.
This Friday wraps up this summer's Free Fun Fridays, sponsored by the nonprofit Highland Street Foundation. This Friday the foundation will treat visitors to free admission to Old Sturbridge Village, Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Ecotarium in Worcester, and the New Repratory Theatre's 6 pm performance of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn'' at the Charles Mosesian Theater in the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown. Highland Street began Free Fun Fridays a couple of years ago to celebrate the foundation’s 20th anniversary. The organization has donated more than $125 million to nonprofits to support projects benefiting children and families, primarily in Massachusetts and California, in education, housing, health care, environment, and the arts.
The Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel offers a special Tour de Boston package through Aug. 31 for guests who would like to explore the city on a bike. The package includes a ‘‘biker-to-go pack’’ with a bottle of water and a homemade granola bar, a map of local bike routes, accommodations, and access to the hotel’s health club and lap pool. After a day of biking guests can retreat to the hotel’s Capiz Lounge. Rates start at $199 per night, based on double occupancy, not including tax, parking, or gratuity; some blackout dates apply. Ask for the Tour de Boston package if reserving by phone, or enter promotional code ARN if booking online. 617-338-4111, www.renaissanceboston.com
As part of a public rededication of its Civil War monuments, the town of Brookfield, Mass., hosts "Honor & Remembrance" with the Mass 15th Volunteers Re-enactors on July 29 and 30. Outfitted with Civil Era uniforms and equipment, the soldiers set up their encampment on the Common Friday afternoon followed by a 6 p.m. concert with the Heritage String Band performing period ballads and patriotic songs. As a finale, area fiddlers and other musicians can join an open jam. The next morning it's rise and shine with 6 a.m. Reveille and preparations for the 10 a.m. "Solemn Procession of Honor & Remembrance" to the Grand Army of the Republic Soldier's Monument in the Brookfield Cemetery on Route 9. After the rededication with elements of the 1890 ceremony, the procession returns to the Common for a salute at the monument honoring 260 Brookfield residents who fought in the war. The encampment open house continues with period games, musket firing, and stories for kids. The town library features an exhibit of war artifacts, among them a book of 83 soldiers' first-hand accounts of their war experiences. The weekend is sponsored by the Brookfield Historical Commission -- email firstname.lastname@example.org)
Photo of members of the Mass 15th Volunteers Re-enactors
I've had great experiences getting hotels rooms at significantly reduced prices on both Priceline and Hotwire -- my best deal was more than 55 percent off a room in New York. While both services allow you to know or designate a geographic area, star-rating, and price (Priceline actually allows you to bid), neither site lets you know exactly which hotel you're getting until your offer is accepted.
Frankly, I think a good part of the reason I've never had much of a problem is because when I've used these services I tended to stick to 3-star and above properties --- my own personal experience is that when you go below that rating the range of cleanliness and quality can vary greatly so I want specifics before I go 2-star.
But for those of you made squeamish by the potential risk, Sean O'Neill at the Budget Travel blog offers some tips on how to game Hotwire's system. Hotwire offers prospective buyers more information in hotel amenities than rival Priceline. O'Neill says that he's had great success plugging that information in on sites like Bid Goggles, Hotwire Revealed, Bidding for Travel, and Better Bidding, which are designed for just this purpose, to suss out the likeliest suspects. He notes that the system is not completely foolproof, but seems to work pretty well and could go a long way toward allaying anxieties over the mystery element of scoring a cheaper room using one of these sites.
If you’re in the area of northeast Pennsylvania this summer, you may want to check out the Kutztown Folk Festival July 2-10, now in its 62nd year. The celebration, one of the nation's oldest folk life festivals, draws about 150,000 visitors annually. It features folk art and crafts by 200 craftsman (including Eastern Pennsylvania’s finest traditional hex-sign painters, said to be among the last in the nation), the largest sale of authentic Pennsylvania Dutch quilts in the country (nearly 2,000 of them, hand-made Pennsylvania German motif, all made in the United States), folklore and folk life programs (stomp along with the popular Pennsylvania Dutch hoedown), five stages of continuous entertainment, kids’ activities and, organizers said, the best Pennsylvania Dutch food found anywhere, which includes all-you-can-eat dinners.
Tickets are $14 for adults, kids 12 and under free.
The new site allows users to navigate state activities based on what they are looking for in terms of relaxation or adventure, and family fun or romance. It also allows users to filter activities by region. Users are able to share events with others through Facebook and Twitter.
"The summer navigator site helps visitors find exactly what they are looking for in Massachusetts, MOTT executive director Betsy Wall said in a statement." "It simplifies the process of finding something fun to do."
It's pretty creative stuff. Find it at www.massvacation.com/fun.
Like a Miami-Nairobi cross, Jamaica’s capital throbs with the energy of a third of the country’s population hustling a living. Culturally curious travelers can easily fill a day or two here.
Kingston spreads like a ganglion around the world’s seventh largest natural harbor, framed by the Blue Mountains in rainforest green. An international crowd does business on New Kingston’s uptown streets, while Old Kingston teems with market stalls, record stores and tattoo parlors among colonial buildings left to decay. The neighborhoods transition from mansions to malls to slums in quick contrast. If the city has a glue, it’s music, pouring everywhere from boom boxes and open doors.
Each week in Kingston, a dancehall CD is born. The beats are laid down in high tech studios and improvised on by the artists, a process you can see first hand. Dancehall cranks the night clubs and street parties, making Kingston nights cathartic. It’s a place to dress up, take a friend and a cab, and dance.
Still every year, we think of it. If, like us, you missed Lil Wayne, Eminem, Arcade Fire, Black Keys, and Mumford & Sons, the folks at bonnaroo.com feel your pain so have just posted some great galleries. Dig in.
Lindblad Expeditions is offering a two-for-one special for teachers
to the Galápagos Islands off Ecuador this summer aboard the 48-person
National Geographic Islander and the 96-passenger National Geographic
Endeavor. On the 10-day trips, teachers will explore a region that contains
some of the world’s most intriguing creatures, including wildlife that have
never developed a fear of people. Teachers can snorkel with sea lions,
observe marine iguanas and Galápagos penguins, and visit the Charles Darwin
Research Station (Darwin’s observations of the local wildlife led to his
theory of evolution by natural selection). Rates: $2,615 per person, based
on double occupancy; airfare not included and some restrictions apply.
Pray for a heat wave, cool in the pool, and save some cash.
The Colonnade Hotel in Boston, with the city’s only roof-top pool, is again running its weekend two-night minimum “Summer Meltdown Package,” saving you money when it’s hot. Every Friday through Labor Day, the package lets guest pay the standard rate of $269 per room – minus the temperature on the first night, based on the 5 p.m. reading by the National Weather Service. If the temp is 89, for example, you pay $180 for that night. The second night, you pay the $269 rate.
The roof-top pool is also open for business again this year, whether you stay there or not; guests use it free, while visitors can pony up $40 a day to use it Monday through Friday. The pool is open through Labor Day, and was upgraded last year when the Colonnade finished up a $22-million overall renovation. The pool quickly found itself making high rankings, such as in the “Top 10 U.S. Hotel Pool Bars” by msnbc.com. But even prior to renovation, the pool was ranked highly, making Playboy’s “Top 10 Sexiest Pools” in 2007, among other lists.
This sale is good till midnight for travel from June 7 -Oct. 5. Blackout dates are June 28-July 6, and travel must be on Tuesdays or Wednesdays. Sale fares may not be available on all days or flights. And there are other restrictions. Here is the rest of the fine print.
Prices are fairly good for this time of year. One-way sample fares from Boston: $39* to Baltimore; $49 to Buffalo, Newark, N.J., New York City (JFK), Washington, DC (Dulles), and Pittsburgh; $54 to Washington, DC (Reagan); $59 Raleigh-Durham, N.C. and Richmond, Va.; $89 to Tampa, and Jacksonville; $99* to Chicago (O'Hare), Bermuda, New Orleans; $119 to Cancun, Mexico; $149* to San Jose, Calif., and Phoenix; and $159 to Denver.
Summer might not seem a great time to visit hot climates, but it is the time to get the best deals. Here are a couple.
At the Coral Lodge by Cuna de Vida, said to be Panama’s only aqua lodge and dive habitat, they’re offering low-season rates (rooms start at $105 per person) through Oct. 31. The lodge, the newest member of the Desires Hotels International collection of independently created boutique hotels, also has something new this year, starting in July: Thatched-roof, over-the-water bungalows, each with 650 square feet of living space featuring local art, a separate bedroom, two bathrooms, Jacuzzi, a glass-floor sitting room to see the water below and 180-degree views from a private balcony, with double hammock. Snorkeling is available at the resort or you can arrange a trip two miles away to the San Blas Archipelago, designated as one of the 10 best preserved reef areas in the world.
Up the Central American coast in Mexico is the ultra-posh Casa Colina, a six-bedroom private villa offering a 40-percent discount off high-season rates – which are up there to begin with, at $4,900 per night. But through Sept. 20, the rate is $2,900. The resort, located on the Pacific between Puerto Vallarta and Acapulco, is also offering a five-percent discount per unused bedroom. If, for example, a guest has eight in their party and needed four rooms, they’d get 10-percent off the bill for not using the other two. Rates include airport pickup/drop off, chef, staff and laundry, but not food, beverages and phone charges.
Casa Colina’s rooms include junior and master suites with balconies, private gardens, Jacuzzi tubs and panoramic views of the ocean and mountains. Nearby is the Colima volcano, the most active in Mexico, and for movie buffs, Bo Derek’s film “10” was filmed at the nearby Playa La Audiencia on Santiago Peninsula.
Sure it’s hot in Boston in the summer, but if you’re going to sweat, you may as well do it in an exotic location.
Dr. Beach, aka Dr. Stephen P. Leatherman, released his annual list of the top 10 U.S. beaches today, and Siesta Beach in Sarasota, Fla. has come out on top.
"Siesta Beach in Sarasota boasts that it has the finest and whitest sand in the world, and I cannot argue with this claim; the powdery sand is nearly pure quartz crystal," Leatherman said. "The beautiful blue-colored water is clean and clear, making it so inviting to bathers and swimmers. The beach is hundreds of yards wide, attracting volleyball players and beachcombers as well as those who just want to find their place in the sun."
Cape Cod's Coast Guard Beach once again made the list, falling a spot to No. 8.
"Coast Guard Beach, accessible by bicycle or via shuttle bus from the Salt Pond Visitor?s Center, was formed where a sand spit attached to the eroding glacial cliffs," Leatherman said. "The sand is fairly coarse, so the beach slopes steeply into the water. The picturesque old Coast Guard station still sits atop the glacial bluffs, allowing for a spectacular view down upon the Nauset Spit barrier system and bay. During the summer, beach-goers take quick, refreshing dips in the ocean, as water temperatures only reach 60-70 degrees."
When the sun finally made an appearance on Wednesday, I was strolling down the street in Newport, R.I., when a couple went whizzing past in what looked like a grown-up Soapbox Derby racer. Their silver hair stuck out from under their helmets and fluttered in the breeze. Then another racer came by, this time with a 25-ish couple smiling big enough to get bugs in their teeth if the vehicle could go fast enough. I followed the curious vehicles to their lair, which turned out to be Scooter World (9 Christie's Landing, 401-619-1349, scooterworldri.com).
Officially, the vehicles are called Scoot Coupes, and they're sold by Panther Motors in Florida. Unofficially, Scooter World calls the 50cc-powered, three-wheel two-seaters "Trikes" and rents them out for $50 for the first hour, $35 for each additional hour. Rhode Island law requires the driver to hold a valid driver's license (but not a motorcycle license), for passengers to wear helmets, and both passenger and driver to wear protective eyewear. Scooter World includes helmets and goggles or sunglasses in the cost of rental. Not to put down Newport's shuttle bus service, but a Scoot Coupe takes you places on your own schedule and makes quick work of the schlep from the waterfront to Bellevue Avenue or out to Fort Adams. The little pods will attain a top speed of 30mph. Downhill. With a tail wind.
Photos by David Lyon for the Boston Globe
Iceland Express, which bills itself as a discount airline, says it will begin year-round service to Logan International Airport on June 2 with as many as four flights per week for most of the summer to Reykjavík. As an added bonus the carrier announced in a press release that the pilot on some of the flights to Logan would be Bruce Dickinson, front man for the heavy metal band Iron Maiden. Dickinson has logged more than 7,000 hours as a commercial pilot for Astraeus Airlines, which is leasing a special Boeing 757 to Iceland Express that was used by the band on its Final Frontier Tour. The plane was dubbed ''Ed Force One'' in honor of the group's mascot Edward, the Head. Dickinson periodically will serve as captain on Ed Force One throughout the summer, according to Jessica Zahar, an airline spokeswoman. The carrier, which flies to a number of destinations throughout Europe, says that besides Boston it will also offer service to Chicago, Newark, and Winnipeg starting next month.
Captain Bruce Dickinson with Ed Force One
Southwest just announced a sale for travel through June 29. You have until May 2 to buy tickets and a 14-day advance purchase is required. Discounted fares are available every day except Fridays and Sundays and May 26, 30 and 31 are blacked out.
Here are some sample one ways fares from Boston: to Baltimore and Pittsburgh as low as $49; Raleigh/Durham for $64; Jackson, Miss., for $139; Chicago for $151; Orlando for $155; Kansas City $163; and Minneapolis/St. Paul $165.
This may or may not be the sale for you, but if you're planning to travel this summer you would do well to keep your eyes open and jump when you see something that looks good. Carriers have raised prices about a half dozen times this year amid surging fuel prices, and we can expect more of the same.
Delta, which is the second-largest carrier in the work, just posted a smaller than expected first-quarter loss, saying that higher fares helped offset rocketing fuel costs. Richard Anderson, the airline's chief executive, said in a statement that "Delta is actively reducing capacity, implementing fare actions, hedging our fuel needs and attacking our cost structure.” In English that means Delta will be cutting costs, partly by trimming flights, and looking hard for opportunities to raise prices.
As quarterly earnings reports roll in it's clear that all of Delta's competitors are basically in the same boat. In the last week, United, Continental, American, and today US Airways, all have said they finished in the red, due to fuel expenses. The only carrier in the black was Southwest, and they just squeaked by.
Suffice it to say, this isn't shaping up to be a great year for air travel.