Posts tagged with "tour guide"

DOOR COUNTY

By Robin Mosley × Vaughn Lowery

In Door County, Wisconsin you can expect a luxurious stay where you’ll get the best of both worlds — nature and an artisanal experience featuring exceptional food and beverage options, as well as artistic features. Door County has always been a welcoming place to visitors since the beginning of its inception. 

Historically, it’s been home to Native American tribes such as the Potawatomi, the Winnebago, the Ojibwe, the Sauk, the Menominee and the Ottawa. European settlers also were a part of the Door County community. But the peninsula has always had residents with many dating back 12,000 years ago. This is to say, Door County, Wisconsin is welcoming to people from all walks of life.

Book a stay at Glidden Lodge Beach Resort in Sturgeon Bay. The property has everything you need to enjoy your stay as a family, a group of friends and as a solo traveler. Their one, two- and three-bedroom units all offer stunning views of Lake Michigan and beachfront access. Other properties in Door County include bed and breakfasts, campgrounds, cottages and houses, hotels, log cabins, resorts and wheelchair accessible lodging to fit your needs. 

Your stay can begin at Sturgeon Bay, where you can visit an array of museums, nature sites and rustic food businesses such as Sturgeon Ship Bay canal, Potawatomi State Park and the preserves. 

If you are looking to shop and dine, then Door County’s historic shopping districts have an array of dining and beverage options. One such place is Renard’s Cheese, a family owned, and operated business ran by third generation cheesemakers. You can then follow that up with a stop at Door County Candy, which will satisfy your sweet tooth with handcrafted chocolates and treats. 

After if you’re interested in the art scene, then check out the Margaret Lockwood Gallery, featuring Lockwood’s award-winning abstract paintings, which highlights the beauty and landscapes of Door County; or go see incredible art from over 198 artists spanning drawing, printmaking, and photography mediums at Miller Art Museum. After enjoying a fully packed day, you can finish your day off with dinner at Crate Restaurant with some of the best food — a mix of fresh seafood, steaks and high-quality sushi.

Sister Bay is known for Seaquist Orchards where the cherries are tart, and apples are crisp. With over 1,000 acres of cherries and 30 acres of apples and acres of apricots and pears, you’ll be around nothing but beautiful nature and artisan treats. To keep the orchard experience going, have brunch at Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant, where the goats grazing on grass the roof in the summer will fit the bill. 

The Norwegian and Moravian roots of Ephraim are part of its modern life. At the Ephraim Historical Foundation, you can learn about the Moravian religious community, founded by the Reverend Andreas Iverson as well as see some of its historic sites such as The Moravian Church, the Pioneer Schoolhouse and the Anderson Store. The Hardy Gallery is located on Ephraim’s historic Anderson Dock and features local and regional artists. The Blue Dolphin House and BDH Studio contains a gallery located in an 1860s renovated farmhouse surrounded by pine trees and a beautiful garden. 

Ellison Bay has an artsy vibe. The Clearing Folk School founded by architect Jens Jensen is a 128-acre school surrounded by forests and meadows which overlook the Green Bay shoreline. All year round, the school provides classes and workshops following folk traditions of fine crafts and natural sciences. From painting, writing, quilting, birding, wood carving, rustic furniture making and more, you will have an incredible time. Before your departure, you should stop by Rob Williams Studio to witness unconventional landscape paintings.

If you’re looking for old Swedish traditions, you should stroll down the marina, play in the parks and beaches and dine on the finest goods in Fish Creek. Fish Creek has the largest single store retailer of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, The Oilere. Or you can visit the Swedish-American bakery, Fika Bakery & Cafe and Lautenbach’s Orchard Country Winery & Market, where during the summer you can purchase freshly picked Montmorency cherries. Around dinnertime, the Fish Boil at Rowley’s Bay Resort in Ellison Bay serves freshly caught Lake Michigan whitefish that is cooked over an open fire. Finally, end your evening under the beautiful night sky at Northern Sky Theater located in Peninsula State Park.

To end your time in Door County you can look at the waterfront in Egg Harbor. You can also visit the Cappaert Contemporary Gallery, or the Plum Bottom Gallery where you’ll see handcrafted porcelain and stoneware first-hand. Harbor Ridge Winery is a great place that makes award-winning wines in a fun atmosphere. Then head next door to Wisconsin Cheese Masters which sells only the finest Wisconsin produced cheeses. Finally, have dinner at Glacier Ledge which celebrates cheese through their small plate menu. 

There’s a lot to do in Door County and anyone who’s looking to enjoy nature, art and artisanal goods will find every part of this trip worth their time. This location would be great for anyone who prefers a more elegant and rustic stay. For more information on what Door County could provide, visit www.doorcounty.com

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Vagabond’s Irish Adventure

Hike, Horseback Ride, Pub & Fiddle Crawl Thru Castles, Celtic Ruins, Manors and More On 12-Day Vagabond Giant Irish Adventure :

COUNTY WICKLOW – Glimpsing how people lived in times gone by is part of the fun of exploring Ireland and a painless way to absorb history.

 

On an active 12 Day Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland “Giant Irish Adventure” that circumnavigates the island nation out of Dublin, guests poke around impregnable fortresses, ring forts, beehive huts, manor houses and everyone’s favorites – castles. The theme common to these sites is stone – indestructible and a metaphor for the Irish spirit.

 

Nature’s stone edifices also play a role in the Giant Irish Adventure that includes Ireland’s highest mountain range called the Macgillycuddy Reeks or black stacks of glacial-carved sandstone; the Cliffs of Moher of shale and limestone overlooking the Atlantic; and the Giant’s Causeway, a natural sculpture playground of basalt columns created by volcanic activities in the Atlantic Ocean a millennia ago.

 

Per person double rate of €2,769 includes the services of a highly trained professional Vagabond tour guide for 12 full days; 11 nights accommodation (4 nights B&B, 6 nights hotel, 1 night in a castle); 11 full Irish breakfasts; guided walks; entrance to most of the historical and archaeological sites and to some natural sites; demonstrations of local craftsmen at work; and all relevant fees and taxes.

 

This tour answers the needs of active travelers who want time aplenty to explore where they are by foot. Hikes of up to two hours are daily highlights. Some activities such as horseback riding, sea kayaking and surfing are optional, as is biking in Killarney National Park. The tour is flexible and guests can arrange to opt out of one activity and into another.

 

Following are a sampling of the historic stone structures that guests have the option to visit on this tour. Each tells its own story about how people have lived and worked here for the past 2,000 years and longer.

  • Dunluce Castle is a cliff-edge ruin from the 13th century, with views over the Irish Sea to Scotland.
  • Stone Ring Fort (1700 BC) comes with 360˚ views the Celts would have enjoyed.  Bronze Age farmers constructed defenses against cattle thieves, using easily accessible materials, building earthen mounds with timber that fenced in the flat, lush green pastures of the Midlands or by the coast hauling granite to strategic heights to create circular stone forts. These were stone structures of such precision that no mortar was required.
  • Uragh (Neolithic) Stone Circle
  • Dry stone walls coursing across Dingle Peninsula are a fraction of its 6,000-year-old history reverberating with Stone Age standing stones.
  • Glenveigh Castle and Gardens is a Victorian (1867) edifice in now-Glenveagh National Park. The original owner drove poor tenants from the land so he could transform it into an aristocrats’ hunting playground; today an Irish-American philanthropist has gifted it back to the Irish nation.
  • Donegal Castle was built in the 15th century on the site of a one-time Viking fortress.
  • Abbeyglen Castle Hotel where the mountains of Connemara meet the sea was constructed in 1832. Vagabond guests overnight here.
  • Aughnanure Castle is an Irish tower house from 1500 and the lore of the O’Flaherty clan whose motto “Fortune favours the strong” sets the tone for its setting on a rocky island.
  • Dunguaire Castle is 16th century fortress.
  • Listowel Castle is a 15th century fortress.
  • Beehive huts (Clochán) date to 5th century monastic settlements (think Luke Skywalker’s retreat in Star Wars).
  • Blarney Castle dates to medieval times; kissing the Blarney Stone is said to bestow the gift of eloquence.
  • Rock of Cashel or St. Patrick’s Rock from the 12th century boasts a Romanesque chapel harboring ancient frescoes.
  • The tomb on Knocknaree Mountain is thought to be that of Celtic warrior Queen Maeve who in her 60-year rule had five (known) husbands.
  • Kylemore Abbey and its Victorian walled garden date to the 20th century, thanks to the Benedictines.
  • Ancient monastery on Skellig Michael, an island.

 

On the daily walks and hikes intrinsic to this tour, guests will access…

  • Slieve Gullion Mountain, the highest point in Ireland which harbors Neolithic passage tombs
  • Cliffside Trail including 132 steps to Giants Causeway
  • Glenveagh National Park’s low mountain trail leading to Glenveigh Castle
  • Slieve League, the highest sea cliffs in Europe
  • Croagh Patrick, the famous holy mountain where every step taken means a sin forgiven
  • Cliffs of Moher, 700-foot sea cliffs
  • Kilkee Cliff Walk overlooking the Atlantic
  • Glacial valley of Lough Annascaul

 

Throughout the journey, the Vagabond staff will arrange stops at locally owned accommodations, pubs and restaurants that help serve their goal of authenticity. In the end the company’s mission is to have their guests “love Ireland as much as we do.” Transport is in a 4×4 Land Rover or Mercedes ‘Vagatron’ that allows intimate access beyond where regular tour buses go.

 

About Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland 
Since 2002, Vagabond Adventure Tours has been creating opportunities for visitors to embrace Ireland by walking, biking, horseback riding and kayaking its lands and waters, imbibing history and culture along the way. In 2013 the company was honored by National Geographic Traveler with a Top 50 Tour of a Lifetime distinction. In 2015 and 2017 Vagabond Small Group Tours of Ireland was named a “Best Adventure Experience” at the Irish Tourism Awards. In 2016, Vagabond became Ireland’s first tour operator to achieve Ecotourism Gold Level Certification and was the recipient of the Irish 2017 Green Awards in the Tourism and Travel category.

For details on all of Vagabond Small-Group Tours of Ireland itineraries, availability and for 2018 reservations, please visit http://vagabondtoursofireland.com/.

 

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