by Marcia Simon, CTA, APR
Amsterdam, the capital city in the Netherlands, is known for its canals, bicycle culture and love for the arts. After all, this is home to Van Gogh, Vermeer and Rembrandt. And Heineken.
Amsterdam’s tourist season begins in April when tulips generally reach their peak in Holland, which covers two provinces in the Netherlands. Summers are very busy, and August 2020 will be no exception with Sail Amsterdam, a once-every-five-year event that features tall ships from around the world accompanied by street food and entertainment, and also August’s annual 10-day Grachtenfestival for classical music, jazz, and music from other cultures.
Off-season, on November 2, 2020 to be exact, the annual Amsterdam Museum Night gives you access to museums city-wide that stay open until 2 am. One wristband gets you in to all 50 participating museums. November also brings the Super-Sonic Jazz Festival to the city.
For canal tours, the "best" time is April through October. Summers, of course, are warmest and also the most crowded.
No matter what time of year you go, here are 10 Ways to Feel the Groove of Amsterdam, Holland:
Getting to Amsterdam is easy with flights arriving at the city’s Schipol Airport from around the world. A taxi from downtown Amsterdam will cost about 60 euros, while the train from the airport to Centraal Station runs every 10 minutes for 6 euros a ticket. The kiosks to purchase train tickets are located just after you pass the baggage carousels both inside the baggage claim area and outside once you clear customs. Trains and buses from Amsterdam take you throughout Europe.
Marcia Simon, APR, CTA, is a PRSA-accredited public relations practitioner, and an IATA-accredited travel advisor. Connect through facebook.com/friendlygrouptravel, Instagram @friendgrouptravel or firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Marcia Simon, APR, CTA
Copenhagen is a fabulous walking city.
Do NOT walk in the bike lanes.
Unlike the United States, where cyclists are often forced to share roads with motor vehicles and pedestrians, bicycling in Denmark is a serious mode of transportation with designated lanes and traffic lights in urban areas. In Copenhagen, where more than half of all employees bike to work, wandering tourists walking into bike lanes can lead to injury, so pay attention to the bike lanes and stay clear. The train and bus systems make it very easy to get around Copenhagen without a car.
Whatever your mode of transportation, here are 7 things to do in Copenhagen:
Leading the Way for Sustainability
Denmark is a world leader in bringing sustainability to life, affirming the importance of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Currently, 30 percent of all Denmark’s energy comes from renewable sources, including bioenergy, followed by wind, solar and geothermal energy, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark. The country’s public and private sectors are both committed to achieving an energy system without fossil fuels by 2050. The enthusiastic Danish Society of Engineers, IDA, and is ahead of schedule on the project, and has a roadmap to implement the goal of a 100 percent renewable energy system by 2035.
Playing On a Heap of Trash
One of the steps towards Copenhagen’s goal of becoming the world’s first carbon neutral capital includes the opening of Amager Bakke, or CopenHill, planned as the new epicenter for urban mountain sport, offering year-round skiing and snowboarding on artificial snow. It includes the world’s tallest artificial climbing wall, running and hiking trails, and a café – all surrounded by a sprawling recreation area with water sports, soccer fields, and even a go-kart track.
The clincher? CopenHill is built on top of the city’s new waste management and energy plant. Amager Bakke is considered the most efficient waste-burning and energy-generating plant in the world, and is expected to power and heat 160,000 households across Copenhagen.
Getting Away From the City
As beautiful as Copenhagen is with its waterways and happy vibe, seeing the outlying countryside is part of the Danish experience. Whether you travel by bicycle, car, train or bus, here are 5 day-trips that take you outside Copenhagen’s city center:
Marcia Simon, APR, CTA, is a PRSA-accredited public relations practitioner, and an IATA-accredited travel advisor at FriendlyGroupTravel.com. Connect through facebook.com/friendlygrouptravel, Instagram @friendgrouptravel or email@example.com
by Marcia Simon, APR, CTA
How can a town originally settled as “Eden” be anything but beautiful, comfortable, and as welcoming as the nature that surrounds it? Such is the lure of Bar Harbor, Maine.
At the footstep of Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor attracts millions of visitors every year – from hikers, bikers and boaters to artists, musicians and people who enjoy fresh lobster, casual fine dining, local craft beers and warm hospitality.
Here are 10 Fun Things to Do in Bar Harbor:
For the remainder or 2018 and part of 2019 road construction is ongoing for a half mile near a strip of hotels and the park entrance on Route 3. The inconvenience is minor compared to the rewards of the improvement plan, which will add paved bike lanes, new sidewalks and safer crossings to the water.
For help planning your visit to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 860-399-0191.
Marcia Simon, APR, CTA, is a travel writer, IATA-accredited travel advisor and principal of MSE Public Relations - creating small group travel experiences and unique promotional opportunities for brands, products, destinations and – above all – travelers. Everyone gets added value.
by Marcia Simon, CTA, APR
Martha’s Vineyard, just four miles off the coast of Cape Cod, has become an increasingly popular destination, and therefore more crowded, over recent years. Even so, a day or two can easily trigger the magic power of island life to soothe the soul and take you away from the troubles of the world.
A New England gem, about 25 miles long and nine miles wide, Martha’s Vineyard is an easy ferry ride from either mainland Massachusetts or Rhode Island, as well as from Montauk on the east end of Long Island.
Whether by car or bicycle, wherever you go on the Vineyard you’re likely to see water along your journey. The island has a whaling history you can still feel – from the widow walk rooftops looking out over an expansive horizon, to the large metal whale blubber pots that now serve as flower planters that adorn the porches of museums and inns on the island. Fishing today via charter trips is focused on bonita, tuna, shark and marlin (in certain seasons.) It’s quite common to see men with pickup trucks and boys with bicycles packed with fishing reels heading for the water’s edge to surf cast in hopes of snagging a big striped bass.
Edgartown, known as the most affluent part of the island, seems a lot more casual today than it was 10 years ago, as millennials with yoga pants and baby strollers outnumber baby boomers in pink pants and pearls. Oak Bluffs attracts more of the drinking crowd, but no matter where you go on Martha’s Vineyard, it’s easy to chill and relax. High season starts right after Memorial Day and goes through September, which has become a big month for weddings on the island.
October’s weather is usually still warm, with sweater-weather nights, and weekend hotel rooms offering lower rates and availability.
Getting around the island is easy with the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority bus system. They have a few spaces for bicycles. So, whether you take your car, a bike or just walk aboard a ferry to Vineyard Haven or Oak Bluffs, remember to travel light in mind, spirit and luggage.
Here are 10 Great Things to Do on Martha’s Vineyard
Marcia Simon is a writer/blogger, travel agent and principal of MSE public relations. Connect at friendlygrouptravel.com, facebook.com/friendlygrouptravel, @friendsgotravel or send email to email@example.com.
MSE specializes in traveltech, health and wellness. mseusa.com.
Marcia Simon, CTA, APR, got the travel bug when she was 14 years old, made her first overseas trip traveling Europe on a EurailPass at age 17, and considers travel the best investment of time and money she's ever made for herself and her family.