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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hiking at 1,000 Steps and Jack's Mountain in Huntingdon

1,000 Steps is a Hiking Trail located in Huntingdon Pennsylvania, off of U.S. route 22. This hiking park offers free admission and free off-road parking (it's a pull-off area alongside the road) to visitors. One Thousand Steps is part of the National Heritage Trail.

This hiking trail was built into the side of Jack's Mountain and was used by local miners to go back and forth from their mining job. This mountain was mined heavily from 1900 to the early 1950's. These days as you walk & hike along the trails, you'll find beautiful fossils and petrified wood for decades and centuries past.

Elevation can reach as high as 2,321 feet. The Juniata River runs through this mountain, so it offers visitors some spectacular views of the surrounding area. If you have breathing issues, I don't recommend this trail, at least going the entire way up to the top.

When visiting, you'll want to wear appropriate clothing, including hiking shoes or walking shoes. In addition, take some non-refrigerated food with you and plenty of water to drink. You'll want to pack some sunscreen and insect repellent too.

The best time to go hiking on these trails is during the spring, early summer and fall seasons. Dogs are permitted as long as they stay on a leash and under the owner's control. In addition, please have your dog do his/her business somewhere OFF the trail! No one wants to accidentally step into that!

The trail is approximately 3 1/2 miles and length and is considered to be an intermediate to expert hiking trail. In other words, if you're not in good health and physical shape, this trail is not for you. It's rocky in places, steep inclines going up and narrow at times.

On the day that we visited, we had gorgeous weather with temps near 80 degrees and low humidity. The sky was a gorgeous blue, a few clouds, but nothing major on the weather horizon. We spent several hours here walking the trails and enjoying the beautiful scenery. We highly recommend taking this outdoor adventure if your relatively in good health and are used to a lot of physical exercise. You'll definitely get a workout and be treated to some of the prettiest scenic views that Pennsylvania has to offer.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Fall Getaways to Keswick Hall and Golf Club

Keswick Hall and Golf Club – the Forbes Five-Star, 600-acre luxury resort set in Virginia’s scenic Hunt Country – announces two exceptional packages ideal for late summer and fall getaways in the area Thomas Jefferson once described as the “Eden of the U.S.”

The Full Cry Golf Package starts at $399 (per room). It includes a one-night stay in Keswick Hall’s elegant boutique hotel, one round on Full Cry (with cart and complimentary same day replay), and unlimited access to the resort’s premier practice facility and driving range. Perfect for a couple’s getaway, a second golfer may be added for $80.

Since opening in late fall of 2014, the thrilling-to-play layout has garnered accolade after accolade including being ranked No. 3 in Golfweek’s 2016 list of “Best Courses You Can Play” in Virginia as well as debuting at No. 47 in Golfweek’s “Best Resort Courses” in the U.S. Full Cry was also honored in Golf Digest’s prestigious “2015 Best New Courses.”

The Winery Tour Package starts at $604 per night for two people. The offer is ideal for wine connoisseurs and newcomers alike to explore the bourgeoning popularity of Virginia’s bucolic vineyards. Included are luxurious nightly accommodations at Keswick Hall, round trip transportation to the vineyards, guided tour with a wine expert, all tasting fees, and exclusive tasting of special vintages in at least one winery. The tour lasts approximately four hours and visits a choice of three area wineries: King Family Vineyards, Pollack Vineyards and Veritas Vineyards or Pippin Hill Vineyards, Jefferson Vineyards and Keswick Vineyards.

“Our Full Cry Golf Package and Winery Tour Package are both ideal to enjoy the many comforts of our world-class resort and have a true luxury getaway,” says Will Jones, General Manager. “We pride ourselves on our lavish customer care as we provide our guests with a ‘best of the best’ experience they will long savor.”

The region is also home to Jefferson’s Monticello, the University of Virginia and numerous outdoor pursuits, drawing history buffs, sports enthusiasts and nature seekers year-round. Keswick Hall and Golf Club additionally features an array of relaxing spa services, fine dining at Fossett’s, and myriad amenities. Highly decorated, it has attained Condé Nast Traveler “gold” status, and is one of Travel + Leisure’s 500 “World’s Best Hotels.”

Tee-times and accommodations are based on availability. The above package may not be combined with any other specials / offers. Taxes / additional fees are not included.

For more information on Keswick Hall visit www.keswick.com or call 434.979.3440.

About Keswick Hall and Golf Club

Set in the historic hunt and wine country of central Virginia, Keswick Hall is a 600-acre boutique resort featuring 48 private guest rooms. The northern wing of the luxury resort hotel contains historic Villa Crawford, once the Italianesque private estate of the Robert Crawford family built in 1912. In Feb. 2015, the resort received the Forbes Five-Star Award for its exceptional level of luxury and service.

A full complement of amenities and activities are available to guests, including: golf, tennis, three swimming pools, croquet, nature trails, on-site vineyard, garden / historic tours, spa and fine dining. Off-site excursions include wine tasting, Presidential home visits, University of Virginia tours, clay shooting and more.

The property is home to the historic Keswick Club, a members club introduced in 1948 when renowned architect Fred Findlay added its first nine holes of golf. The course expanded to18 holes in the mid-‘50s and was renovated in 1992 by Arnold Palmer. World Golf Hall of Fame architect Pete Dye was commissioned to create its new Full Cry layout which debuted at No. 47 in Golfweek’s “Best Resort Courses” list for 2016.

The country estate is a property of Richmond, Va.-based Riverstone Group under its Historic Hotels of Albemarle division. The company also owns and manages The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Resort (S.C.), The Sea Pines Resort (S.C.), The Jefferson Hotel (Va.) and The Hermitage Hotel (Tenn.).

Keswick Hall – centrally located -- is an easy two-hour drive from the Washington D.C. metro area and just over three hours from Baltimore. Charlottesville Albemarle Airport (CHO) is 30 minutes away. Richmond International Airport (RIC) is a 60-minute drive.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Having Fun at Mount Airy Casino Resort

Mount Airy Casino Resort is the perfect place to go for a weekend getaway if you live anywhere in the northeast. We live in south central Pennsylvania and we were able to drive up there in 2 1/2 hours and let me tell you, it was a beautiful drive as we climbed the mountains and drove through the valleys. I highly suggest taking the scenic back roads if you can.

* Before Reading Further, please see our disclosure at the bottom of this travel feature.
You'll find Mount Airy Casino Resort at 312 Woodland Road in Mount Pocono Pennsylvania. The resort has won the AAA Four Diamond Award for the past 6 years and is centrally located in Mount Pocono and close to all of the nearby attractions, like the Pocono Raceway, The Crossings Outlet Mall and more!
The resort offers luxury overnight accommodations, a modern casino with slots & table games, spa and hair salon, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, 24 hour fitness center, gift shops, several restaurants and on-site 18-hole championship golf course. The resort often host's music concerts, comedy shows, fireworks during the summer holidays, and other forms of entertainment all throughout the year. If you're planning a wedding or looking for a venue for a party or business function in the Pocono Mountains region, they offer elegant venue settings and banquet rooms too!
When you walk through the main entrance you'll immediately experience some of the beauty and luxury of the resort. The main lobby is beautifully decorated with a large waterfall that runs through the center. To the right, you'll find the front desk, to the left you'll find the News Stand gift shop and running on each side of that gorgeous waterfall are stairs & escalators that lead up to the main casino floor.
The guest rooms are modern, super clean, spacious and beautifully decorated. Our suite had 2 large king-sized beds, a sitting area, desk area, closet and a very large bathroom that was fully stocked with all of the bath linens that we would need. The suite had a mini bar that was stocked with snacks, beverages & alcohol (you do pay for them) and we had a Keurig coffee brewer in our room, so that we could enjoy complimentary coffee every morning.
Cameras are NOT permitted on the Casino floor or in any of the high-roller or club areas where there is casino & gambling action going on. Hence, I won't be showing you an pictures from those particular areas. With that said, I can show you a few photos that I was able to take while on our press & media tour of some of the "bar areas" that are located within those areas.
They have various entertainment venues throughout the resort where you can catch a show, watch a comedy skit, take in a music concert, dance the night away in their club, etc. Trust me, you won't get bored with all of the things you can see and do at Mount Airy. Matter of fact, Michael Bolton had put on a show 2 weeks before our visit. Shucks, I missed him and I adore Michael Bolton!
If you're looking for something to eat or drink, they have 8 delicious places for you to choose from: Starbucks, Guy Fieri's Kitchen, Bistecca by Il Mulino (for fine dining), Lucky 8, The Buffet, Get Wet, Red Mango (fruit smoothies & other beverages), Nostalgia (candy gift shop) and Starbucks are all on-site and several are open 24 hours a day.
Let's talk about their indoor and outdoor swimming pools! The indoor pool is open year-round and the outdoor pool is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Each pool has their own unique feel (if you ask me) and you can order up beverages and food while enjoying your pool time. There are cabanas that you can enjoy if you want a more intimate setting. On the weekend that we visited, they had a DJ rocking out some great tunes!
Right in front of Mount Airy you'll find a gorgeous pond (I call it a small lake) and across from that is their on-site 18-hole Championship Golf Course. It's within a short walk from the resort or you can take their shuttle over to the site to enjoy a round of golf. Although I didn't play golf while we were there, I did talk to 2 gentlemen who did. They told me that it's one of their favorite places to play golf in the entire state of Pennsylvania.
If you don't want to dine out, you can certainly order room service if you're staying overnight. Since we were celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary, we decided to spend one evening in and ordered room service. I enjoyed bbq ribs while my husband enjoyed gourmet chicken. Our food was delivered to our room within 35 minutes of placing our order and arrived piping hot! YUMMY GOOD! My only suggestion about how to improve room service would be to offer additional food selections, including expanding their vegetable menu. Other than that, I have no complaints.
We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend getaway to Mount Airy Casino Resort in Mt. Pocono Pennsylvania and we already plan on visiting the resort again next spring. It's a great place to stay, eat and play! You can learn more by visiting their website online and by connecting with them on Facebook.

Disclosure: We were given a complimentary stay at Mount Airy Casino Resort for review and feature here on our travel blog. No monetary compensation was received. Regardless of receiving a complimentary stay, my thoughts and words are 100% my own, unbiased opinion. All photos in this travel feature are clickable. Click on each one & it will automatically open up in a new browsing window & in an enlarged size. This will allow you to view the smaller details, up close. Thanks!