I was still sore from a grueling fat tire bike ride up to a mountaintop backcountry cabin with Discover Banff Tours as I strapped on my crampons and prepared for my next wintry adventure. I had come to Banff while the roads were still powdered with freshly fallen snow, determined to transform myself from a summertime beach bum into a full-fledged winter lover. Timely encouragement from experienced guides helped warm my hesitations during activities like winter hiking and ice climbing, and it wasn’t long before I found myself smiling ear to ear, ice axes in hand, as I made my way up a frozen canyon wall to discover my newfound love of chilly elements.
“We consistently hear that our ice climbing lessons are a highlight of a trip to the Canadian Rockies,” said Jesse de Montigny, IFMGA/ACMG mountain guide, Yamnuska Mountain Adventures. “Using ice axes and crampons for waterfall ice climbing may sound daunting, but people of all ages and physical capabilities can try this fun sport without feeling like they need brute upper body strength. If done properly, beginner pitches should feel very similar to climbing a ladder.”
Yamnuska Mountain Adventures offers intro- and expert-level ice climbing courses. The beginner programs generally run December through mid-March; guests are outfitted with everything they need for an enjoyable climb with experienced guides.
Ice climbing, like many of the winter activities around Banff, puts visitors in the heart of some of the most spectacular scenery in the Alberta region, where active adventures lead to moments in which visitors find themselves both catching their breath and losing it at the sight of something beautiful. The company also offers backcountry skiing tours and intro lessons to ski mountaineering, where guests are armed with the latest equipment before carving through deep powdered runs.
Winter activities in Banff range from leisurely strolls atop frozen lakes to heli-skiing, and there’s truly a tour for every activity level. The Banff Gondola offers some of the most stunning views in the region without much physical effort involved, and the tour culminates in a mountain- top experience where panoramic views extend over Banff town center, Mount Rundle and the mountains of the Bow Valley. Even during the warmer months, animal afficionados can mush their own sleds (or carts in summer) with Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours, while aviation enthusiasts go to great heights aboard the Alpine Heli Tours scenic flights through the mountains. Although Banff is a true all-season destination, its wintry adventures are capable of converting warm- weather devotees into winter warriors.
West Palm Beach, Florida, recently welcomed AKA West Palm, a hotel residence offering long-stay accommodations. As AKA’s second South Florida property, AKA West Palm features 215 hotel residences comprised of studios, one- and two-bedroom spaces, and Penthouse suites. The five-story hotel blends modern luxuries with comfort and simplicity, with sleek kitchens, washers and dryers, and private terraces. Room furnishings contrast with a backdrop of stone, metal and wood to create simple, clean lines with minimal contrast.
Birmingham, Alabama, was named for the city in the English Midlands that kept the fires burning, warmed the homes and made much of the steel for the United Kingdom’s industrial revolution. Decades later, the American city also made steel, so much of it, in fact, it became known as the “Magic City” for steel production, and the moniker stuck. But today’s Magic City makes more than steel, taking the raw product a few more steps to become a major center for automobile parts manufacturing and more, including Honda, Mercedes-Benz and U.S. Steel. Thanks to local leadership and long-term planning, the magic still works for Birmingham, as evidenced by its role hosting The World Games 2022 last summer.
As New York City’s leading Latino cultural institution, El Museo del Barrio welcomes visitors of all backgrounds to discover the artistic landscape of Latino, Caribbean and Latin American cultures. El Museo’s wide-ranging collections and exhibitions represent these cultures’ richness, complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations and educational programs. Ranging from pre-Columbian to modern and contemporary art, the permanent collection totals more than 8,000 objects.
From 24-Hour Butler Service to a Sky Pool: Boutique Luxury Awaits at Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences in Los Cabos
Set on a seaside bluff overlooking Land’s End in Cabo San Lucas, Vista Encantada Spa Resort & Residences is a Baja paradise specializing in serene vistas and impeccable hospitality, offering a Pacific coast lifestyle with authentic Mexican touches. Guests can now earn a fourth night free at the stunning resort, plus a $100 resort credit, when booking through March 20, for travel through June 15.
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown recently reopened its Fairmont Gold, introducing amenities, a contemporary new style in the Fairmont Gold Lounge and dedicated concierges. The 48-room, three-suite Fairmont Gold, positioned as an urban oasis, takes over the entire ninth floor of the hotel and delivers exceptional service to meet guests’ needs.
The results are in! For the 19th consecutive year, Global Traveler conducted its GT Tested Reader Survey, asking frequent luxury travelers to name the best in a variety of travel-related categories. More than 22,000 people responded. Global Traveler’s inaugural awards were celebrated in 2004.
Experience the beauty of Alaska and save 60 percent off cruise fares on your second and fourth guests. Plus, drinks, WiFi and tips are all included.
Originally a thriving Colonial seaport, Newport became the summer playground for the Gilded Age’s elite in the late 1880s. Today their mansions dot the coast of Aquidneck Island, and their favorite pastimes — sailing and tennis — still dominate the city’s recreational offerings. In fact, Newport hosted the first U.S. Open tennis championship in 1881 and golf tourna- ment in 1895 and hosted the America’s Cup from 1930 to 1983. You can experience most of Newport on your own, including the mansions, but don’t rule out a guided tour or two when you visit.