WHAT DO BREATHING in the delicate perfume of alpine rock jasmine on an early-morning hike in the Swiss Alps, discovering a Parisian patisserie in the back streets of Hanoi and weaving through secret shortcuts to uncover Chicago’s underground pedway system have in common? They can all be done only on foot.
Exploring a destination by foot is a great way to gain a new perspective of a town, soaking in the sights, sounds, smells and scenery at your own pace. Guided walking tours amplify those sensations by providing an intimate look into the intricacies that make a destination so distinct, often providing a focus on art, architecture, history, food or nature.
Walking tour operators range from local guides booked through sites like Tours by Locals and Viator to expert guides booked through Context Travel. All the guides with Context Travel have a Ph.D. or equivalent certification in their respective fields for the tours they lead. Context leads private and semi-private tours in 50-plus destinations around the world covering a variety of interests. Explore the Louvre with an expert art historian on the three-hour Louvre Museum Tour: Crash Course, and walk the streets with a food writer or chef in search of Saint-Germain-des-Prés’ most beloved chocolates and macrons on the 2.5-hour Paris Pastries and Chocolates Tour. The company also offers more exclusive tours, like the After Hours Vatican Museum Visit and the Exclusive Early Morning Tower of London tour.
Many hotels provide private walking tour access for guests, like the complimentary neighborhood tours offered at all Triumph Hotels within New York City, including the Evelyn Hotel, The Frederick Hotel, The Iroquois Hotel New York, Hotel Edison, Hotel Belleclaire and the Washington Jefferson Hotel. The Cambrian Hotel, a member of Design Hotels, in Adelboden, Switzerland, gives guests direct access to the region’s top hiking guides, who create customized trips for guests with either simple hikes or more demanding routes with climbing sections.
Hyatt Hotels recently launched a program aimed at promoting well-being for its guests with a range of local experiences, many of which involve some truly unique walking tours. The experiences can either earn World of Hyatt loyalty points or members can use already accumulated World of Hyatt loyalty points to book adventures. These might include foraging alongside a naturalist in the mountains of Southern California, heading underground to navigate and explore the Chicago Pedway or taking a meditative hike through the Redwood Forest with a certified yoga instructor.
Unlike zipping through a city on a train or in a car, walking tours allow guests the chance to slow down and view the details, people and stories that bring a destination to life; just make sure to wear comfy shoes!
Considering an autumnal adventure or Thanksgiving trip this year? Well, with walkable cities, cozy pubs and lots of seasonal festivals, the island of Ireland is calling. And if you need more reasons to Press the Green Button and go, take a look and see what awaits you on the Emerald Isle …
This past May, the location of Dunfermline in Fife, Scotland, was granted status as a city of its own during Her Majesty The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Not too shabby for a town that’s actually been around for a while, boasting structures dating to the 11th century.
Marriott Bonvoy and American Express recently debuted changes to the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express Card. The card, aimed at helping small business owners turn business expenses into travel rewards, now provides new and existing card members with a 7 percent Room Rate Discount on eligible bookings at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels; four times Marriott Bonvoy points at restaurants worldwide; and complimentary Gold Elite status. These changes are in addition to the card’s other existing benefits.
United Airlines remains firmly committed toward sustainability in aviation. The latest development in its eco-conscious goals includes working with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures to commercialize the production of sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) with biotech firm Cemvita Factory. Cemvita looks to develop a revolutionary new way to produce SAF by using carbon dioxide and synthetic microbes. Additionally, United Airlines Ventures (UAV) recently announced an equity investment in Fulcrum, and United has invested more in SAF production than any other airline in the world.
PHOTO: © BOGDAN LAZAR | DREAMSTIME.COM,
National Rum Day is right around the corner on Aug.16, meaning it’s time to start planning your celebration. Sandals Resorts, the all-inclusive Caribbean resort company, shares recipes from mixologists, allowing rum fans to celebrate as if they are staying on property.
Whether you prefer a villa on the beach or an ultra-luxe suite downtown, you’ll find everything you’re looking for in Los Cabos.
Until Aug. 21, catch the museum premier of Bonnie Lautenberg: Art Meets Hollywood at Boca Raton Museum of Art. After learning one of the large-scale red paintings created by artist Lucio Fontana was the result of his viewing of the 1964 film Red Desert (directed by Michelangelo Antonioni), Lautenberg set out to discover other instances where filmmakers and artists knowingly — or perhaps unknowingly — had an effect on one another’s work.