17/06/2024

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Dream Destinations travel show helps visitors plan fall, winter vacations

3 min read
Dream Destinations travel show helps visitors plan fall, winter vacations

With fall foliage peaking, Sunday offered a chance for people to plan a vacation at the Dream Destinations Fall & Winter Travel Show at the MGM Springfield casino, held Sunday.

Hosted by The Republican and MassLive.com, the show offered travel planning with 37 booths all under one roof.

There were the usual winter vacation destinations, like the Cayman Islands, where Sal Deluca said visitors find 200 restaurants on an island just 22 miles long. Or Barbados, with its history and heritage. Jason Yearwood says there are nonstop flights out of Logan Airport that will take you from Boston Harbor to white beaches and blue waves in just hours.

Twelve of the 37 booths at Sunday’s show featured New York destinations. Sullivan County, Gore Mountain, Warren County, the Catskills, the Great Northern Catskills, Ulster County, Columbia County, Old Forge, the Emerson Resort on Mount Trempor and the Finger Lakes all vied for attention.

Valerie Knoblauch said New York is close and easy to get to. She works for the Finger Lakes Tourist Bureau.

“It’s an easy drive,” she said. “In just four hours, you can be in the middle of the Lakes district. We have a lot of farm-to-table dining and one of the largest apple-producing areas.”

The Finger Lakes Region boasts wineries and distilleries. Knoblauch said the mists off the Finger Lakes help to protect the grapes as they grow. A total solar eclipse will track across the lake region next April. State officials estimate 500,000 people will travel to the area to see that.

Greene County in New York has its own appeal, its tourist bureau people say. It has more of the Catskill Mountains in it than any other New York county. Kieran Coleman says it has two ski resorts and attracts four-season nature lovers.

Not far away, in a different tourist bureau jurisdiction, lies Gore Mountain. Andrew Short said the ski area has lighted Nordic ski facilities, as well as downhill skiing and snowshoeing.

Julia Johnson, marketing manager for Gore Mountain, said if that isn’t enough, there is always downtown North Creek, New York, with its factory outlets and lots of restaurants. The Gore Mountain Ski Bowl will open in the 2024 or 2025 season, she said.

Ulster County is home to restaurants and art museums, John Menne said. Menne manages the Hotel Kinsley in Kingston. There is Woodstock, he said, but not where the concert was held. That is in Bethel, which is in Sullivan County. Ulster County is home to the historic FDR, Vanderbilt and Rockefeller mansions.

If history is your thing, Columbia County, home of Martin Van Buren’s Kinderhook home, is a must see.

If that doesn’t scratch your travel itch, how about a mountain resort near New England’s tallest mountain?

The Pollard Brook Resort in Lincoln, New Hampshire, might fit the bill. It’s not far from the Cog Railroad to the summit of Mount Washington or the Flume, both of which are New Hampshire tourist destinations on the west side of the White Mountains.

The Southeastern Massachusetts Visitors Bureau came to the travel show to highlight that region’s offerings, including Fall River. Who could miss Lizzie Borden’s house on Second Street? Then there is New Bedford’s Battleship Row.

In north central Massachusetts, home to Leominster and Lunenburg, one attraction is the home of Johnny Appleseed, one of America’s first environmentalists and a renowned vegetarian, Diane Burnette said.

She runs the North Central Massachusetts Visitors Center on Route 2. She said the Rambo Tree grows at the Visitors Center and it is an offshoot of a tree Johnny Appleseed planted before he went out west.

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