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Archive for the ‘geotourism’ Category

Kayaking the Tusket and Napier Rivers, relaxing in the outdoor cedar sauna, and tasting acclaimed cuisine have satisfied guests of Trout Point Lodge since in opened in 2000. This year, however, a bevy of new experiences and activities await those who travel to stay at this haute rustic log building on the edge of Atlantic Canada’s largest pristine wilderness area, the Tobeatic at some 103,780 hectares.

In addition to guided fishing, kayaking, and hiking, Trout Point will have two staff astronomers for star gazing tours. The Tobeatic’s near total lack of light pollution means some of the best night skies for astronomical observation in the world. The Milky Way and meteor showers become simply captivating in such environs. Special astronomical binoculars, laser pointers, and a powerful Meade 10″ telescope will help bring into focus wonders from out of this world. A star-gazing tower that will bring you above the treeline for unobstructed views of the full night sky is also in the works.

There will be new geo-excursions to explain and interpret the unique geological and glacial features of the surrounding landscape, which was sculpted by the last Ice Age. Another topic will be the unique history of the area explaining why gold, tin, rare metal, and quartz mines dot the nearby landscape. A solar telescope will provide for daytime observation of the sun and sun spots.

Registered Massage Therapist Brendon Smith will provide in-room massage and advice on wellness when not offering guided walks on edible wild plants and mushrooms. This compliments the already rejuvenating aspects of staying at Trout Point, including spring-fed mineral water from the main lodge taps, soaking in the tannin-rich antioxidant waters of the Tusket River (that’s where the river’s distinct whisky colour comes from), enjoying a wood-fired hot tub, and the natural benefits of Shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing.” Biologists have exclaimed at the Lodge’s air quality, testified to by the rate lichens that drape the trees & landscape. Lichens are some of the most sensitive beings to air pollution. The point is that just being at Trout Point, deep in the pristine Acadian Forest (part of the northern boreal forest) has real benefits, besides just getting away from the “madding crowds” of daily life. Acclaimed research from Japan has zeroed in on the numerous benefits of forest bathing. These include enhanced fitness, accelerated healing, increased mental focus, and improved biological responses to reducing stress, and fighting disease. Nearly every guided excursion or self-motivated activity at Trout Point will involve forest bathing and more.

2014 will also see the Lodge’s alpacas put in charge of carrying lunch, snacks, and water for guests on hikes in the wilderness area. Trout Point acquired three breeding age animals in 2013, and welcomed two babies last fall. The alpaca manure is combined with kitchen waste and composted to fertilize the extensive on-site gardens, while that blanket or throw in your guest room may just come from Trout Point’s own fleece. The gardens expand every year, producing an astounding variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers that see their way onto the daily menus. Those participating in a cooking experience may find themselves picking ingredients for the class as well.

The tradition of nightly live music before and after dinner will continue, with at least three lodge staff members contributing their talents at different times. Local Acadian French musician Gerard LeBlanc will play each Thursday during the summer as part of the regional Musique de la baie series. Thematic cooking classes five days a week will round out the offerings.

About Trout Point Lodge

Atlantic Canada’s sole member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Trout Point offers 5-star accommodations, dining, and outdoor experiences for up to about 34 guests. Located at the confluence of the Tusket and Napier Rivers, the Lodge touches the southwestern border of the vast Tobeatic Wilderness Area, about 3 hours from Halifax and 45 minutes from Yarmouth, NS. In 2014, Yarmouth is home to the Nova Star, a daily cruise ferry operating between Maine and Nova Scotia.

Trout Point consists of the handcrafted, log & stone main lodge with eight guest units, Beaver Hall with four guest rooms in a shingle-clad chalet, and 2 lakeside cottages. The main lodge boasts a Great Room, 8 stone fireplaces, library, and various dining venues.

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Trout Point started planting seeds for this season’s garden more than a month ago and the results have been fantastic! The Lodge now has three major garden areas: at the main lodge, at Beaver Hall, and the largest garden off the East Branch Road. The 5 Lodge alpacas plus organic waste from the kitchen provide for world-class fertilizer.

Here’s a partial list of what has been planted so far:

Sea Kale
Asparagus
Sweetie Cherry Tomatoes
Heirloom Black Cherry tomatoes
Heirloom Giant Valentine
Heirloom Italian Bruschetta tomato
Heirloom Violetta di Firenze eggplant
Heirloom Vittoria long eggplant
Cape goose berries
Cardoon
Artichoke Imperial Star
Artichoke Green Globe
Kale Russian White
Atlantis Borkali
Sage
Rosemary
Basil, Lime
Basil, Opal
Basil, Thai
Basil, Sweet Aroma
Basil, Nufar
Basil, Lettuce Leaf
Italian Parsley
Dill
Fennel
Lovage
French Thyme
Leek, Large Musselburg
Leek, American Flag
Leek, Varna
Leek, Swiss Zermatt
Leek, Lyon Prize
Celery
Sweet Pepper gypsy
Sweet Pepper Red Bull Horns
Hot Pepper Thai red
Hot Pepper Jalapeño
Hot Pepper Early Jalapeño
Hot Pepper M Jalapeño
Marjoram

Heirloom Red Oblong Onion

Mmmmmmmmmm.

All this bounty will be appearing in the Lodge’s dining rooms soon enough! No wonder Trout Point has a 3 Star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

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Trout Point Lodge is pleased to announce that it has placed number 5 on a list of the world’s top 10 hotel culinary schools just published by Fox News in the United States and curated by Gayot.com.

“Both globetrotting gourmets and rookie cooks should check out the world’s top 10 hotel culinary schools where everyone can take lessons while on holiday,” stated the article.

This Yarmouth County, Nova Scotia, wilderness lodge was singled out as embodying cutting edge offerings for tourists: “Rugged wilderness, sustainable food practices and cozy quarters that include freestanding cottages make this Atlantic Canada lodge one of our favorites.” The commentary authored by the food-oriented guide Gayot also praised Trout Point’s “innovative French Acadian cuisine.” The Lodge was the only hotel on the list representing Canada.

The online version of the article can be found at http://www.foxnews.com/travel/2013/11/08/top-10-hotel-culinary-schools/.
Other hotels among the top 10 include Villa Giona of Verona, Italy, and the Sazon Cooking School at Casa de Sierra Nevada, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Trout Point Lodge has earned 5 stars in the Inn category from Canada Select and is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World. Gayot was founded by André & Alain Gayot. André Gayot, who with his friends

Henri Gault and Christian Millau coined and promoted the term “Nouvelle Cuisine” in the early 1970s, has been directing sophisticated travelers to the world’s best restaurants, hotels, shops, sightseeing and cultural attractions for more than 45 years. His expertise provided a foundation for Gayot guides in the United States, beginning in 1981.

Alain Gayot, André’s son, participated in the launch of the American guide book series and began researching ways to distribute the content electronically, initially with Minitel technology in the early ’90s, later with partners of the Prodigy network, and finally on the web with AOL and other media companies.

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Trout Point Lodge has always been dedicated to growing its own vegetables, herbs, and flowers without chemical pesticides or herbicides. Each year since 2000, gardens have grown in size & diversity, first in ever-expanding beds next to the main lodge itself, next at River Bend, and last year at a new vineyard/market garden site off the East Branch Road.

This year the edible delicacies sustainably produced at Trout Point are greater than ever!

The sustainability of operations has bounded forward with the addition of Alpacas and a new barn this Spring. While the Alpacas will help pack on day trips to Billy’s Hill in the core of the UNESCO Southwest Nova Scotia Biosphere Reserve, their composted manure will fertilize the extensive plantings. This will compliment the composted organic waste from the kitchen and the local seaweeds we have always used to make our soils more fertile. Plantings are now so large, a new Kubota tractor will help with tilling and hauling. Tests plots of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes continue.

The new Farm at Trout Point encompasses all these great advancements. This is true frontier agriculture, with the Lodge having to clear, fertilize, and sustain virgin soils with every advancement. Guests will see these items on the Trout Point tabel d’hôte menus throughout the summer and fall season. The menu at Trout Point also incorporates wild edibles, wildcrafted seasonally from the local environment.

Here’s a sampling of what we’re planting and/or harvesting this year:

HERBS

Tarragon
Rosemary
parsley, Italian and curly
cilantro
Thai basil (3 varieties)
purple basil
ruffled purple basil
nufar basil
Genovese basil
sage
chervil
lovage
borage
oregano
marjoram
Vietnamese cilantro
dill several varieties
chives
lavender
bergamot
mints, spearmint, mint, pineapple mint
Thyme, French, English and orange

VEGETABLES

Shiitake mushrooms grown on local hardwood logs
Jerusalem artichoke (Fuseau, stampede)
Asparagus
Artichoke Tavares
Squash (golden scallop, buttercup, butternut, crook neck)
Okra, purple and green
Parsley root
Mache
Arugula, wild and cultivated
nasturtium leaves
Purple fleshed potatoes
White and red fingerling potatoes
Sugar snaps
Broad beans
Scarlet runner beans
French snap beans
sprouts (broccoli, alfalfa, clover, fenugreek, mung)
Tomatoes (striped, andean, black plums, amish paste)
Hot peppers (jalepeños and sweet hots)
Mesclun mix, red mix, butterhead mix
eggplant
leeks
kale, white and black
purple brussel sprouts
New Zealand spinach
cantaloupe
Swiss chard
beets
onions
shallots
Heirloom garlic varieties
Brocoli Raab
Chinese brocoli
Chinese cabbages
spinach
cress
chicory
cucumbers (traditional, English, Turkish heirloom)
Cape gooseberries
tomatillos
carrots
French sorrel
spinach
horseradish root
purple Japanese mustard
celery (green & red)

EDIBLE FLOWERS

scarlet runner bean blossoms
nasturtium
pinks
calendula
viloas
marigolds
Monera
squash blossoms
borage flowers
chive blossoms
mustard blossoms
arugula blossoms

WILD FOODS

burdock root
evening of primrose root
dock
sweet fern
violets
pin cherries
sea beans
sea lettuce
kelp
Black trumpet mushrooms
Golden chanterelles
Hen of the woods mushroom
Chicken of the woods mushroom
Lobster mushrooms
various russulas
velvet foot mushrooms
indian cucumber root
wild sorrel

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La Région Bon Temps has lots to delight the independent traveller, from the unique Village Historique Acadienne to Canada’s Bon Temps tourism region, Argyle Municipality, NSoldest courthouse (and jail) in Tusket and a Tuna Sport Fishing Museum in Wedgeport. The new web site bontempsnovascotia.ca has it all!

At Trout Point, too, there’s lots of new offerings. A brand-new exercise room, new astronomy gear for guided after-dinner outings, and this year 2 staff musicians to help guests “tune up” for dinner in the Great Room. Trout Point is also running some greats specials, including 20% off online booking for select rooms, as well as 4 nights for the price of 3 when you also take Half Board each day. Reservations can be made here.

Staff astronomer Michael Hiland will continue his instructive star gazing sessions and Sky Safaris with the help of a brand-new Meade 10″ telescope, to bring distant celestial objects into brighter and greater focus. The LX90-SC Telescope with Schmidt-Cassegrain (SC) optics give you high performance. Meade uses water-white glass with superior light transmission across the entire visible spectrum combined with Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC) – with 15% better light transmission than standard coatings – and oversized, thermally-stable Pyrex primary mirrors for optimum light collection. This telescope gives a spectacular viewing experience to Lodge guests!

meade-lx90-telescope-10-acf

The 10″ LX90-SC Telescope by Meade has an f/10 Schmidt-Cassegrain optical system (focal length 2000mm) and Ultra-High Transmission Coatings (UHTC) for maximum image brightness and contrast.Trout Point is working with the Bon Temps tourism society to spearhead having the local region declared the first StarLight Destination in North America, as recent press reports have stated. The are surrounding the Lodge, with the Tobeatic Wilderness Area at its core, has among the darkest and clearest nigh time skies on earth, unparalleled for amateur astronomy.

Trout Point is working with the Bon Temps tourism society to spearhead having the local region declared the first StarLight Destination in North America, as recent press reports have stated. The are surrounding the Lodge, with the Tobeatic Wilderness Area at its core, has among the darkest and clearest nigh time skies on earth, unparalleled for amateur astronomy.

Starlight Destinations are visitable places characterised by excellent quality for the contemplation of starry skies and the practice of tourist activities based on this resource.

The Starlight Tourism Certification System was created with the aim of encouraging, at world-wide level, the improvement of the quality of tourist experiences and the protection of the night skies in Starlight Destinations.The Starlight Certification seeks to guarantee the capacity to enjoy the view of the stars and to discover the associated scientific, cultural, natural and scenic values.

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Trout Point Lodge of Nova Scotia received notification today from Men’s Journal editorial offices in New York that it was chosen among the magazine’s pick of the 19 world’s best wilderness hotels. Each lodge on the list is also now “MJ Approved,” a new series of endorsements by the sister publication of Rolling Stone magazine.Men's Journal Approved

“Our readers seek out the best experiences to lead the interesting life,” wrote assistant editor Blaine McEvoy in the notification. “To meet the standards of this highly influential readership, we’ve introduced our MJ Approved series on MensJournal.com. Whether it’s a hotel, a blazer, a recipe, a slope or a saw, our editors put them to the test and feature what they deem best as MJ Approved.”

Trout Point joins renowned properties such as Amangiri in Utah, The Point on Saranac Lake, New York, and Bay of Fires Lodge in Tasmania, Australia. The only other Canadian property is King Pacific Lodge, a seasonal floating hotel in northern British Columbia owned by the scion to the Sony electronics fortune.

“We’re very pleased to be in such amazingly good company,” said chef/proprietor Vaughan Perret.

“Situated at the confluence of the Tusket and Napier Rivers, it’s surrounded by the 400-square-mile Tobeatic Wilderness Area – one of the largest protected areas in Eastern Canada – and the night sky here is so dark that an astronomer is on staff at Trout Point to guide guests through the stars,” noted the accompanying article. The Lodge opened its doors in 2000. Soon after, UNESCO declared the surrounding lands a World Biosphere Reserve. Men’s Journal also highlights Trout Point’s offerings of cooking classes, live music, and guided hiking & kayaking.

In other news, the Lodge was also just approved by the board of directors of Select Registry, an association of North American inns, after a rigorous anonymous inspection process.

The magazine and accompanying web site, published by Jann S. Wenner, claim an audience of over 1 million. It is distributed in both the United States and Canada.

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Lobster Fishing Area 34 in Southwest Nova Scotia covers 8,500 square miles (21,000 km2), an area the size of New Jersey. It has the largest catches of Canada’s 41 lobster fishing areas, accounting for 40 percent of the country’s catch and 23 percent of North American landings. Local fishermen pride themselves on harvesting cold-water lobsters with a hard shell. As luck has it, Trout Point Lodge lies in the centre of it all, just inland from Yarmouth, Shelburne, and Digby.

The winter lobster season is upon us, and there is simply nowhere else in the world to enjoy better lobster! The chefs at Trout Point will make the most of this local delicacy during the season which runs from November through late May. While many people boil lobster, local fishermen in Southwest Nova Scotia steam their lobster (often in sea water) to maintain its delicate texture and delectable flavours! Trout Point will go beyond this simple and effective cooking technique to showcase local lobster throughout the menu!

Stay tuned . . .

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Trout Point Lodge proudly announces that it appears on the top 10 list of eco lodges published today by USAToday Travel. The worldwide list of accommodations that “adhere to green values, offering nature adventures in a sustainable setting” was compiled by veteran travel journalist Larry Bleiberg and green vacation expert Irene Lane of greenloons.com. The article forms part of the popular national newspaper’s “10 great places” series.

“You’re not sleeping on a straw mat on a dirt floor. There are opportunities to stay in very comfortable accommodations” says Lane in the article. While emphasizing Trout Point’s outdoor activities such as star gazing, fishing, kayaking and mountain-bike safaris, the article also pointed to the Lodge’s emphasis on local foods. “You have local delicacies, which, from an eco standpoint, is great,” states Lane.

Other hotels on the top 10 list were as far flung as Ecuador, Kenya, the Czech Republic, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Trout Point was the only Canadian property. Earlier this year, Where magazine placed the Lodge on its list of “15 Deluxe Wilderness Retreats for All Seasons.”

USA Today remains number one in total daily print circulation in the United States. It also has one of the largest average-issue print audience of any national newspaper, with 3.2 million readers daily.

Trout Point Lodge opened in 2000 next to the Tobeatic Wilderness Area, part of a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Secluded at the junction of 2 river, Trout Point offers the “darkest night skies in eastern North America,” as noted by USAToday. The 2012 season starts May 1.

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Last September, the Lodge was pleased to announce that 90% of its 14 employees were from the local area.

In its 12th season of operation, Trout Point is proud to say that has a truly home-grown (and fantastic) staff, truly representative of the local area. The only employee out of a current 14 from the outside area is the new staff astronomer, who graduated from Halifax’s St. Mary’s University and is native to New Brunswick. All 13 live in Yarmouth County, most in Kemptville itself.

Why is local so important? For one, it greatly increases the beneficial impact that Trout Point can have on the local economy. For another, it enhances the Lodge’s geotourism values; employees who live and play in the local region provide a more worthwhile, experiential experience for our guests. They become our concierges. Finally, it restores a Kemptville, NS tradition of guides, lodges, and nature tourism that deserves reinvigoration.

Trout Point has concluded its planning for the 2012 season, extended now from May 1 to November 30, and it looks as though 100% of the fabulous core team of 14 will be returning employees!

This includes locals hired as early as 1998 & 2003 to those who just joined the Lodge staff last year. As noted in this presentation, local hiring is an integral component in developing and sustaining a tourism destination:

What does Geotourism add?

  • Builds on “sense of place” ‐ a destination’s geographical character & distinctiveness
  • It’s synergistic ‐ All the elements of geographical character work together to create an experience that is richer than the sum of its parts
  • Involves the community ‐ Provides a distinctive, authentic experience
  • Informs both visitors & hosts – As residents become more informed & develop pride & skill in showing off their locale, tourists get more out of their visit  (both take responsibility for destination stewardship)
  • Benefits residents economically ‐ Travel businesses hire local workers & use local services, products & supplies
  • Supports integrity of place ‐ Destination‐savvy travelers seek out businesses that emphasize the character of the locale; In return, local stakeholders who receive economic benefits appreciate & protect the value of those assets
  • Means great trips ‐ Enthusiastic visitors bring home new knowledge; They encourage friends & relatives to experience the same thing, which brings continuing business for the destination

When Trout Point was honoured as worldwide top 10 finalist in the Geotourism Challenge, Power of Place: Sustaining the Future of Destinations, it reinforced the Lodge’s commitment to geotourism and sustainable tourism practices. Efforts were redoubled to hire locally, which in turns gives guests an enhanced experience of place and benefits the local economy. As the Wikipedia entry on geotourism explains:

Like ecotourism, geotourism promotes a virtuous circle whereby tourism revenues provide a local incentive to protect what tourists are coming to see, but extends the principle beyond nature and ecology to incorporate all characteristics that contribute to sense of place, such as historic structures, living and traditional culture, landscapes, cuisine, arts and artisanry, as well as local flora and fauna. Geotourism incorporates sustainability principles, but in addition to the do-no-harm ethic, geotourism focuses on the place as a whole. The idea of enhancement allows for development based on character of place, rather than standardized international branding, and generic architecture, food, and so on.

Lodge proprietors and staff look forward to welcoming new and returning guests starting May 1! In so doing they will be continuing a century old lodge, camp, and guide traditionin Kemptville and Yarmouth County. As renowned local travel writer Bruce Bishop notes in his article “What might have been is not (yet) what is,” 

In another life, I’ve reviewed hotels and resorts for guidebook companies in places as far away as Bintan, Indonesia and Cape Town, South Africa…and I still contend that what we have here is a natural goldmine waiting for proper and sustainable tourism use. The state of New Hampshire has taken a keen interest in its old grand hotels and inns, many of which have been refurbished by private enterprise. And similar to the volume of visitors to that state over 100 years ago, Canadians alonemade more than 359,400 visits to New Hampshire in 2006, spending $78 million.

Let those fellow Canadians come here instead – and Americans, too – and make Loran Ellis Baker proud of what he began in 1892: a strong, self-reliant tourism industry in western Nova Scotia.

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Trout Point Lodge is pleased to announce that it has been independently selected for a 5/5 rating from Greenty.com, the leading online eco-travel guide, and has been accepted as a member of the Diamond Collection from travel web site bedandbreakfast.com as well as a “Fodor’s Choice” selection for the prestigious 2012 Fodor’s travel guide to Atlantic Canada. The guide was published on March 6, 2012.

Fodor’s, the leading name in travel information, today announced that Trout Point Lodge has been recognized as a Fodor’s Choice selection for the 2012-13 guide. According to publisher Random House, Fodor’s Choice selections recognize the top sights, properties, and experiences that the guide’s professional travel writers have found while traveling the world. These places are the “best of the best,” providing remarkable experiences in their price range, destination, or category.

Every year, Fodor’s writers experience, examine and evaluate thousands of hotels, restaurants and attractions in their travels across the globe. While every business included in a Fodor’s guide is deemed worth a traveler’s time, only those offering a truly remarkable experience are given the Fodor’s Choice designation.

As a 2012 Fodor’s Choice property Trout Point Lodge will receive special recognition in the next Fodor’s guidebook to this area and on http://www.Fodors.com.

The Lodge also learned today that Greenty, a website for eco-consumers to find a destination and search eco accommodations, has just finished its focus towards the green hotels in Canada, analyzing and understanding the policy those hotels have implemented to respect their environment. Greenty informed the Lodge that it had finalized the listing on Greenty.com where it had a rating of 5/5.

Finally, Trout Point Lodge was just approved for membership in the Diamond Collection by bedandbreakfast.com. The leading Austin, Texas-based specialty travel web site started the Diamond Collection about 2 years ago as an exclusive group of professionally inspected and guest-reviewed luxury inns. Each Diamond Collection property participates in a comprehensive annual inspection program, maintains top consumer reviews on BedandBreakfast.com, and offers the amenities and services required for a top-quality guest experience.

Trout Point Lodge is the collection’s first Canadian member.

The goal of launching the BedandBreakfast.com Diamond Collection was to distinguish a select group of properties that tend to highlight that smaller, independent properties can cater to all types of travellers. The company states: “Travellers will seek out properties that have both great consumer reviews and professional inspections, plus all modern amenities/luxuries, from online reservations to Wi-Fi to whirlpool tubs to first-rate hospitality. Diamond Collection properties are an exclusive group of professionally inspected and guest-reviewed luxury inns with extensive modern amenities. Once guests have experienced one Diamond Collection inn, they’ll be looking for a similar experience on their next getaway.”

About Trout Point Lodge
Founded in 2000, Trout Point Lodge counts among Canada’s best independent hotels. Nova Scotia’s only member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux Association, Trout Point offers an authentic Canadian wilderness experience with spacious accommodations and gourmet cuisine. The Lodge was the only accommodation finalist in the National Geographic Society’s Geotourism Challenge, Power of Place: Sustaining the Future of Destinations. Geotourism is defined as tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well-being of its residents.

About Fodor’s
Fodor’s Travel, a division of Random House, Inc. is one of the world’s leading providers of travel information. Covering over 300 destinations worldwide, Fodor’s guidebooks and website, Fodors.com, have provided the most up-to-date, accurate information for travelers for seventy-six years. Written by a team of over 700 writers located around the globe, Fodor’s provides travelers with engagingly written, intelligently and accurately reported, and absolutely indispensable travel guidance. Visit http://www.Fodors.com.

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