By Carl Weiss
Spring has sprung here in Florida, although you wouldn’t know it if you live in the Northeast. Soon another school year will be ending and families will be looking forward to summer vacation. Most people have already begun the hunt for things to do and places to go. While some will opt for more traditional destinations such as theme parks, national parks, beaches and campgrounds, others are interested in finding those out of the way, off the beaten trail kind of trips that extol "The Road Less Traveled" mantra. While travel magazines and Sunday supplements are renowned for publishing articles that give you a peek at exotic locales, when it comes to getting away from it all, nothing can put you in touch with unusual vacation destinations quite like the Web.
Where Getting Away From It All Began
Pitcairn Island – Yes, this is the south Pacific island nation started by the mutinous crew of the HMS Bounty. Today Pitcairn Island is inhabited by the 56 descendants of that ill-fated voyage. It also has the distinction of being the least populous nation in the world.
Pitcairn Island was originally put on the map on July 3,1767 by the crew of the British sloop HMS Swallow, and was named after Midshipman Robert Pitcairn, the fifteen-year-old crew member who was the first to sight it. Fast forward twenty three years and the isolated island was chosen to be the last refuge of the six men and eleven women who purposely marooned themselves there when they chose to set fire to the Bounty. While an act of desperation, the ploy worked, since it wasn’t until September 14, 1814 when a British flag ship landed a boarding party on the island.
Today tourists can venture to Pitcairn for stays of up to 11 days aboard the Claymore II, which also serves as the islands supply vessel. Private yachts are also invited to anchor in Bounty Bay. Not exactly a tourist mecca, the island only averages visits by 25 yachts per year. Of course, this is precisely what makes it such a terrific destination for some. If you do arrive by yacht, a $35 landing fee per person is charged, plus a "Taxi Service” of US $50.00 is charged for the trip in and out.
Once there, the island offers 14 choices of accommodation, including private 2 or 3 bedroom chalets or stays in the home of local islanders. Rates range from $70-$120 per person/per day. Additional services such as telephone, Internet access, and guided walking or bike tours can be arranged. Fortunately for American tourists, the coin of the realm on the island is the US dollar. For more info, visit http://www.visitpitcairn.pn/
Wet & Wild
While an excursion to a tropical island is just the ticket for some, others are looking for something a little more wet and wild. If you are a bit more adventurous and are not afraid of the water, check out the option of checking into an underwater hotel.
Jules Undersea Lodge, Key Largo Florida – Located 30 feet below the Emerald Lagoon, JulesUndersea Lodge named after "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" author Jules Verne, was originally designed to be an underwater research facility. Since 1986 when it was converted into a sub-sea lodge, accommodations for up to six paying guests at a time has been available. While patrons do not need scuba gear to move around inside the lodge, it is a requirement for arriving and departing from the facility.
Jules' Undersea Luxury For Two
Our JUL for TWO package is $800 and includes our world famous Papa John's pizza delivery dinner. Breakfast includes coffee or tea, orange juice, and your choice of cereal. There's plenty of water, soda, and snacks as well. Dive gear is included in your package.
Check in: 2:00 PM Check out: 8:30 AM
Group Economy Packages
Group of 3-4: $350 per person
Group of 5-6: $300 per person
Group of 3-4: $350 per person
Group of 5-6: $300 per person
For more information see http://www.jul.com/Jules.html
How Low Can You Go?
If staying underwater doesn’t float your boat, there are a number of other subterranean destinations that can be had including ...touring Paris' Sewers! There is a dark underbelly to the City of Lights and you can book a tour that is like none other. What I am talking about is a tour of Paris’ sewers. (I am not making this up.) If you think that visiting such places as the Louvre, the Eifel Tower and Notre Dame is so outré, for less than 5 Euros per person you too can experience the sordid history and architecture of the underbelly of Paris. The tour spends an hour winding through the tunnels beneath the French capital as well as taking you to the heart of the system, part of which has been converted into a museum. (You won’t find this thrill ride at the European Disney World.) For more info go tohttp://europeforvisitors.com/paris/articles/paris-sewers-museum-exhibits.htm
Looking for a Cool Vacation Destination?
If you are looking for the ultimate in “cool”, allow me to recommend an ice hotel. Located in such locales as Norway, Finland, Sweden, Romania and Quebec, these places are actually built from ice. With global warming now a hot topic, this is one vacation destination that could literally have a limited shelf life. For more information, go tohttp://www.theworldroamer.com/best-ice-hotels-in-the-world/
Icehotel, Jukkasjarvi, Sweden
The Icehotel in the Jukkasjarvi village in Sweden is THE ice hotel, being the first one in the world, opened in 1990 by Yngve Bergqvist. The hotel is opened to public every year, from December to April and more than 1,000 tons of ice and snow are used for the construction that, in the end, features rooms for around 100 guests, a bar and a church among others. And at 64,000 square feet (6,000 square meters), it is widely recognized as the largest ice hotel in the world. http://www.icehotel.com/
Looking for a Trip That’s Out of This World?
|White Knight 2 - showing us the 'eye' (Photo credit: rob-the-org)|
"Space Tourism" is a term that was coined to describe those lucky few who have had the financial means to pony up between $20-$40 million to spend a few fun filled months aboard the International
Space Station. While these seats are hard to come by, the allure of outer space has also spawned something of a cottage industry that promises to take people to the its inky edge. This includes a venture by Sir Richard Branson, who has offered those with $250,000 to spend a sear aboardVirgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two. However, while deposits are being taken, at the time of publication, there still has yet to be a launch date announced. http://www.virgingalactic.com/
For those who don’t want to wait, apprentice astronauts can currently experience what it’s like to be weightless aboard G-Force One for around $5,000. While this thrill ride won’t take you to the edge of outer space, it will provide you with the sensation of what it’s like to experience zero gravity aboard a specially modified Boeing 727. While it ain’t exactly Buck Rogers, it can save all you wanna-be space farers more than a few bucks.
While there are those of us for whom a trip to Las Vegas provides adrenalin enough to get us through another year, for those who are looking to get away from it all, the best place to start checking out exotic locales near and far is the World Wide Web.
When he isn't surfing the web, Carl is Working the Web to Win, which is both a digital marketing agency in Jacksonville, Florida and a weekly online radio show on BlogTalkRadio.