the west coast: california
It’s got miles and miles of coastline, mountains made for skiing, trails for hiking, imposing cliffs for rock climbing, and rivers for fast-paced rafting—California beckons adventure-seekers.
rafting with O.A.R.S.
For a whitewater river rafting adventure, you can’t go wrong with O.A.R.S., and a lot can happen in one day if your clients decide on taking the 1-day Middle Fork American River Rafting itinerary (from $155).
Middle Fork is a Class IV white-water rapid of the American River that rushes through a secluded canyon where guests can take in the landscapes of the Sierra Nevada foothills. While riding in a paddle raft—a maneuverable inflatable raft powered by up to six passengers with paddles—your clients will take on the whitewaters of Middle Fork. The morning begins on several Class II and Class III rapids before reaching Tunnel Chute, a long stretch of Class IV whitewater that propels through the channel and down through the underground stretch of the river. As if that wasn’t enough for adventure seekers, later in the day they’ll meet more Class II-IV rapids, including First Flip and Kanaka Falls.
For lunch, the rafts are docked for a river-side picnic, before heading out to finish the flat water section and prep for a long stretch of whitewater action and Ruck-A-Chucky Falls—a 35-ft. waterfall that’s classified as un-runnable, meaning guests must get out of the boats and portage (walk around) the rapid. The
day then comes to an end with another mile-and-a-half of whitewater and rapids.
“Despite continuing drought conditions in California, we recently learned we’ll have raftable flows on the Middle Fork Tuesdays and Fridays (in addition to Saturdays and Sundays) all summer long,” says Steve Markle, marketing & partnerships director. O.A.R.S. River Park Adventure Campground in Lotus also provides one complimentary camping night. For those interested, the campground also rents camping gear and tents if needed. If your clients aren’t the camping type, suggest a stay at the nearby Rocklin Park Hotel & Spa, where they get a discount through O.A.R.S.
For clients looking for a bit luxury with their active getaway, the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica offers guests a little swag with their adventure plans.
The SoCal Trifecta Adventure: F-scape to Santa Monica includes dinner at FIG, the hotel’s seasonal bistro, and accommodations in the 3-bedroom Presidential Suite—Bungalow One. At sunrise, guests head off to explore southern California’s landscape—think desert meets mountain meets sea—complete with private guides, while traveling on a private jet. Guests will check out the granite domes of Joshua Tree National Park before heading to Big Bear Lake for a mountain bike tour down scenic, tree-lined slopes. Guests then fly to Catalina Airport where a helicopter will take them to a private boat on the island’s harbor. They’ll spend the afternoon swimming, snorkeling, or taking on stand-up paddleboarding. The night comes to an end with dinner and cocktails on deck at sunset. Rates start at $55,000 for a 2-night stay for up to six guests.
the east coast: florida
When choosing a Florida vacation, many guests automatically think of South Beach, however, there is much more to do than be seen in the South Beach scene. These two options will have your clients wanting to do more than sunbathe under the South Florida sun.
it’s not just for the birds, or is it?
Nature lovers are in for an adventure at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Florida’s northeast coast. Guests armed with binoculars, cameras, and walking shoes join field guides for a fully immersive trip to explore the property’s 1,350 acres for a variety of birds. During this birdwatching experience, part of the hotel’s Amelia Audubon package, guests have the opportunity to spot shore birds, raptors, song birds, owls, and more. They’ll also hop on a kayak to go birdwatching for ospreys, wood storks, egrets, and herons; and while strolling along the beach maybe they’ll spot gulls and killdeer birds. Seasonal rare birds such as bald eagles, painted buntings, and the northern harrier can also be found on Amelia Island. For guests who want to take a more personalized one-on-one experience the resort also offers a private tour with the resort’s “Master Naturalists.” The Amelia Audubon package includes luxurious accommodations, daily breakfast, a $200 resort credit to use towards a kayak tour, on-site birding tour with a Master Naturalist, offsite birding tour, bikes and birding tour, or an island hopper rental. This offer is available through Aug. 31, 2015. For guests who want to do more than just sit beachside, the property also offers fishing excursions, bike rentals, miniature golf, watersports, tennis, and family fun including bonfires.
strap in and hold on tight
“Active travelers will find nearly every land and watersport possible at Hawks Cay, making it an ideal base camp for an active trip. Even better, our location, halfway between Key Largo and Key West, provides many advantages for guests; for example, divers who come diving with us will often be the only ones at the reef as most go further north or south,” says general manager Amaury Piedra.
At Hawks Cay Resort, part of the Preferred Hotels and Resorts collection, one of the most exciting watersports activities is kiteboarding or kitesurfing for everyone from beginners to advanced. Beginners are taken out on a boat from the resort’s marina to the flats around Duck Key, which is an ideal platform for starters. Beginner and advanced lessons are priced at $300.
If active travelers are still up for more during their stay, the resort can also arrange spear fishing and lobster diving activities, paddleboarding, snorkeling, scuba diving and snuba diving. Room rates start at $249 per night.