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Ferry Cross the Cut

By Linda Tancs

In Vermont, the scenic Colchester Causeway is a four-mile long, 10-foot-wide gravel path popular with cyclists.  It extends across Lake Champlain and connects to the original Rutland Railroad bed, courtesy of a 200-foot ferry ride to “the Cut,” site of the railroad swing bridge removed in the 1960s.  That’s not much of a ferry ride (five minutes from start to finish), but it is, after all, the state’s only bike ferry service and arguably one of the world’s most scenic. What better way to take in those incredible waterfront views from Colchester to Burlington than by bike.  After the dramatic 2011 flooding of the lake, the trail re-opened last spring.  Daily ferry service runs until 1 September.

Little Las Vegas

By Linda Tancs

The glitzy past of New Jersey’s shore town, Wildwood, once earned it the nickname Little Las Vegas.  In fact, in its heyday in the 1950s, all the major acts would ply their trade among the nightclubs and supper clubs, including talent like Tony Bennett and Jerry Lewis.  The old clubs are long gone, but the doo wop era is in full swing thanks to the Doo Wop Experience Museum & Back to the ’50s Neon Night Tour.  Enjoy the history lesson along with the beautiful beaches and legendary boardwalk.

Rare Access in Florence

By Linda Tancs

Florence, Italy is often referred to as the cradle of the Renaissance, a cultural jewel of 15th century art and architecture.  A mecca for museum lovers, that rich history is housed in over 70 museums across this city bisected by the Arno River.   You can beat the madding crowds by heading to a less-visited site like the Vasari Corridor.  Open only via special access through a tour or travel agency, this secret passageway through an unmarked door at the Uffizi Gallery connects the gallery to the Pitti Palace.  It was built in 1564 by Giorgio Vasari at the behest of Grand Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici, who desired a safe path between his home at the Pitti Palace and the Palazzo degli Uffizi where he worked.  The scenic covered walkway traces the Arno with panoramic views at Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge), then dips into the interior of the church of Santa Felicita, ending at the famous Grotto of Buontalenti inside the Boboli Gardens.



London’s Oldest Riverside Pub

By Linda Tancs

The Prospect of Whitby, London’s oldest riverside pub in Wapping, was once known as the Devil’s Tavern, a nod to its once-upon-a-time popularity with thieves, smugglers and pirates.  More polished clientele included Charles Dickens, Samuel Pepys and artists Whistler and Turner.  Originating in 1520, this traditional British pub boasts an original flagstone floor, a rare pewter-topped bar and old barrels and ship masts.  And what good would a storied pub be without a haunting or two?  Reputedly a favored watering hole of “hanging judge” Jeffreys, his spirit allegedly still presides over the hangings and drownings at high tide visible from his bar stool.

The Secret Garden at 377

By Linda Tancs

Atop the Harrison Park Towers parking garage in East Orange, New Jersey, the concrete is green.  There’s a secret garden there, an unexpected oasis in the form of a one-acre Italianate garden planted some 60 years ago by the late William T. Gotelli, allegedly a builder of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.  This stunning private garden, dubbed The Secret Garden at 377, is open to the public by appointment and during designated Open Days.

The Tunnel of Shells

By Linda Tancs

Call it Shellhenge, a mysterious shell-lined tunnel network in Margate, England.  Discovered in 1835, The Shell Grotto is a pathway and chamber beneath a residential garden, comprising 4.6 million shells forming exquisite mosaics.  Its origins are a mystery to this day.  Unique work of art, pagan temple or secret meeting house?  You decide.

The Big Zipper

By Linda Tancs

What is one mile long, 500 feet high and flies at speeds up to 100 miles per hour?  Answer:  The Big Zipper, Europe’s longest and fastest zipline.  Located at an abandoned quarry in Snowdonia, North Wales, this adrenaline-boosting tourist attraction offers spectacular mountain views–if you keep your eyes open long enough to enjoy it!  Are you ready to fly like an eagle?  If not, no worries.  The Little Zipper might be just the ticket for you.


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