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Spring in the Real America

January 23, 2018 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

The Rockies is the longest Mountain range in North America and stretches from New Mexico to the north of British Columbia. Travellers can expect an abundance of adventure in some of the most diverse and beautiful regions of the U.S.A and Canada with numerous national parks, forests, hot springs, wildlife, authentic western history and cultural experiences on offer. The Canadian Rockies and American Rockies Two Nation Vacation Loop Tourincorporates historic and iconic sights on a 7-day itinerary through northwest Montana, British Columbia and Alberta, Canada. Read up on the top 10 reasons to visit The Rockies.

Ghost Towns in Southwest MT: Virginia City and Nevada City
Turn back time and relive the Montana frontier gold rush of the mid-to-late 1800s in Virginia City and nearby Nevada City. You can experience for yourself panning for gold, stagecoach rides, ghost tours, train rides, firetruck tours and old-time plays. Recognised in 1961 as a National Historic Landmark, Virginia City has seen every kind of boom-and-bust cycle imaginable and was frantically founded during a western gold rush in 1863 when several thousand feverish fortune hunters called it home. The town became the territorial capital and ‘social city’ of the Montana frontier. Nevada City was a mining ghost town until the Bovey family restored it in 1945-1978 and it is now a living historical museum. Many original log buildings remain with an outstanding collection of old fashioned music boxes, pianos and calliopes. Live interpretations of historic events are also held on weekends.

Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch, McLeod 
Situated in a million acres of pristine wilderness just north of Yellowstone National Park it is easy to see why Hawley Mountain Guest Ranch was named in the top 10 Best American Dude Ranches in the USA in USA Today’s 2017 readers’ poll. The ranch offers a stress- free getaway with wellness retreat and boundless opportunities for adventure such as horseback riding, Blue Ribbon fly fishing, Jeep adventures, campfires with cookouts, hiking, river floats and much more. This combined with its cozy lodging, home cooked cuisine and warm western hospitality makes it a hit with couples and families alike.

Enjoy a Spring Skiing Adventure Montana-style

Enjoy skiing and a range of winter activities right through the American spring months of March – April in Montana. For a one of a kind skiing adventure Freeheel & Wheel Nordic ski shop in West Yellowstone offers all the necessary equipment, information and even lessons for cross-country skiing through the snow-covered mountain trails of Big Sky Country. As the most popular gateway to Yellowstone National Park, West Yellowstone offers various ways to access the park whether it be through cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobile trails, snow coach tours as well as backcountry ski guides into the park. Check out more activities here.

EVENTS:
February 8-11: Big Sky Big Grass Festival, Big Sky Resort
July 27-August 4: Montana State Fair, Great Falls
August 2-5: Magic City Blues Festival, Billings
August 15-20: 2018 Crow Fair Celebration Powwow and Rodeo, Crow Agency

To see more events click here

American Airlines to offer daily flights from Dallas to Jackson

Slated to start in the USA’s Spring 2018, a new daily year-round direct flight from Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW), Texas to Jackson, Wyoming will make it more convenient than ever before for Australian and Kiwis – one of Wyoming’s major international markets – to travel to the Cowboy State. James Scoon, Director of Global Sales and Services for Wyoming Office of Tourism says “Australia has long been one of the top inbound international markets for Wyoming. With this new year-round direct flight offering from Dallas to Jackson, it makes Wyoming more accessible for Australian tour operators to visit”. Australia is also the biggest international market for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. In other news for Jackson Hole watch the first ever mountain bike descent down Corbet’s Couloir.

Buffalo Wyoming: Much more than a stopover spot for visitors travelling between Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore.
Buffalo is situated at the bottom of the Big Horn Mountains. Here you can walk in the footsteps of pioneers, outlaws, gold miners, soldiers and cowboys. It was founded in 1879 and since then the town has seen its share of historic personalities such as “Buffalo Bill” Cody, Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Tom Horn, Calamity Jane, Teddy Roosevelt and Owen Wister. Experience living history at attractions such as Fort Phil Kearney, Hole-In-The-Wall and the TA Ranch, home to the climactic end of the Johnson County Cattle Wars, all within a short drive of each other. The history, combined with its quaint shops, superb dining and friendly folk, make Buffalo a fantastic place to base yourself spend some quality time. Our tip: Stay in town at the wonderfully authentic and historic Oriental Hotel (and hope you’re there for the open mic night for some of the best local country music you’ll ever hear). Or try a ranch stay at Paradise Ranch or TA Ranch for an unforgettable western experience.

Anvil Hotel, Jackson
The Anvil Hotel, as featured in Vogue Living Australia is a newly renovated 1950s motel, transformed with a regional design focus into a funky and artful boutique hotel ideally located in the heart of the historic town of Jackson Wyoming. Conveniently close to Aussie favorite ski and boarding destination Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge, the property comes complete with a general store featuring gear and retail from Westerlind and an Italian trattoria, Glorietta, making it the perfect rustic getaway in winter – or any season. Secret tip: Look out for their new winter Explorers Club packages on the website which launched in December, featuring activities like dog sledding to the Granite Hot Springs (Exploration package), to exhilarating snowmobile tours through wildlife (Awe package) in Yellowstone or Togwotee High Mountain.

Spring in Wyoming means skiing, snowboarding and other snow fun for Aussies and Kiwis

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and Grand Targhee Resort enjoy excellent ski and snowboarding conditions during Spring.  Grand Targhee also offers cat skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, cross-country skiing, avalanche dog demos, complimentary daily mountain tours, a range of delicious dining options, live music and kids’ nights out to ensure the whole family has fun. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort boasts snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, heli and cat skiing, sleigh rides, winter bike tours, paragliding, aerial adventures, wildlife and park tours, museums and galleries, health and spa experiences, vibrant nightlife, shopping and restaurants for everyone.

EVENTS:
March 15-18Rendezvous Festival, Jackson Hole
May 19-20: ElkFest, Jackson Hole
May 25-28: Jackson Hole Old West Days, Jackson Hole
Summer from July 2: Grand Teton Music Festival, Jackson Hole

To see more events click here

Legendary lodging

For a unique lodging experience this season which allows you to truly appreciate the outdoors and North Dakota’s legendary trails and waterways, stay in a Yurt, Cabin or Tipi. A yurt is it is a portable, round tent covered with skins or felt which were once used by dwelling nomads in Central Asia and a tipi is a cone-shaped tent used by Native American tribes. Yurts, cabins and tipis can be found in Cross Ranch State Park, Lake Metigoshe State Park and Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park. Each offer varying facilities for heat, water and electricity and range from primitive lodging with only a wood stove to full service with heat or electricity as well as kitchen and bathroom. Some are very close to the visitor centers while others are miles away and can only reached by skiing, hiking or snowshoeing, giving varying levels of privacy and allowing you to choose your accommodation based on your preference for lodging style.

Fascinating Fargo
Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota and the cultural centerpiece of the state, with a lively nightlife, a diverse arts scene and distinct theatre offering. The annual Fargo Film Festival is held on March 20-24 and is set in the beautifully restored, state of the art, art deco Fargo Theatre with movies and awards across a variety of categories. If you are a music lover the Fargo Blues Festival is a must and for art aficionados the Plains Arts Museum boasts a range of Native American, folk and contemporary art. Kids can visit Yunker Farm or the Red River Valley Zoo where they can spot a Grey Wolf or some cheeky North American River Otters. Football fanatics can watch NDSU Bison Football at the Fargodome and for a slice of the outdoors head to Lindenwood Park.

Rough Riders Hotel, Medora
History buffs will love the Rough Riders Hotel where you can choose to stay in historic rooms (where President Theodore Roosevelt himself is rumoured to have made a speech), use showers marked by the brands of Roosevelt or read books about and by Roosevelt in the massive wall-to-wall library. Enjoy the hotel’s authentic western charm paired with luxury amenities and its convenient location right in the heart of downtown Medora, close to historic attractions such as Billings County Courthouse Museum, the ND Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Medora Musical. For the best dining in the west, Theodore’s Dining Room offers a scrumptious bacon-wrapped steak, fresh garden salad, tantalizing buffalo osso bucco as well as signature cocktails, exquisite wines and much more.

Winter Wildlife Watching

Not into snow sports? Did you know North Dakota is home to 63 wildlife refuges – more than any other state in the USA? Grab those binoculars and adjust the camera lens for an unforgettable wildlife watching experience. Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, numerous prairies and wetlands produce more ducks than any other region in the lower 48 states while Arrowwood National Wildlife Refuge is an excellent habitat for ducks and other water fowl as well as deer. Chase National Park was established as one of the country’s first wildlife refuges in 1908 by executive order of President Theodore Roosevelt himself and Audubon National Wildlife Refuge is home to 243 birds, mammals, 5 reptiles, 4 amphibians and 37 fish species. Tewaukon National Wildlife refuge is perfect for fishing, bird watching, and wildlife photography while Theodore Roosevelt National Park is excellent for spotting bison, wild horses, prairie dogs, badgers, deer, coyotes, a range of birds including the golden eagle and reptiles.

EVENTS:
February 17: Ice Fishing Derby, Jamestown
February 25: Bikecycle Fatbike Race, Grand Forks
March 20-24: Annual Fargo Film Festival, Fargo
June 1-September 8: Medora Musical, Medora

To see more events click here

Crazy Horse Memorial’s 70th Anniversary

2018 marks the 70th anniversary of the first blast on Crazy Horse Memorial by sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski. This year’s spring Volksmarch coincides with the anniversary and will be held on June 2-3. Crazy Horse Memorial is a mountain monument currently under construction in the Black Hills which will depict Olgala Lakota Warrior, Crazy Horse who was one of the most powerful and most recognised figures of the Lakota Indian Tribe and a fearless defender of Native American culture, territory and life. The Crazy Horse Volksmarch is the most popular organised hike in the United States with 15,000 walkers a year walking up the world’s largest mountain carving in progress.


Rapid City

Black Hills vacation sorted. Rapid City is the perfect base to explore amazing parks and monuments such as Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Devils Tower National Monument, Jewel Cave National Monument, Wind Cave National Park and Badlands National Park or to discover the free-roaming Buffalo in Custer State Park. The city itself is contemporary while offering rich cultural heritage. Children can learn about animals past and present at the Reptile Gardens, Journey Museum and Learning Center, The Museum of Geology, the Mammoth Site of Hot Springs, the Dinosaur Park and The Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary. The Dahl Arts Centre, Art Alley and Prairie Edge Trading Company and Galleries is great for art lovers and there is dining options for all appetites whether it’s fine dining or an all-American hamburger and chips. Keep an eye out for the reason Rapid City is called the City of Presidents, and visit the various life-size bronze statues of US presidents along the streets and sidewalks – one of the largest publicly owned art displays.


The Historic Bullock Hotel, Deadwood

Step back in time at Deadwood’s first and finest hotel, The Historic Bullock Hotel opened in 1895. Enjoy 19th century history, ambience and elegance paired with 21st century amenities as you walk through the very same corridors, rooms and hallways that Deadwood’s first sheriff, Seth Bullock, still proudly “haunts”. The hotel is right on the main street of Deadwood within walking distance of downtown activities such as the famous Saloon #10 and Adam’s Museum. The hotel itself has a “Bully’s” restaurant, special events, ghost tours every Friday and Saturday night at 5pm, an historic Seth’s cellar, and gaming facilities, a must-try when in Deadwood.

Spring fun in the Black Hills

Spring time still means snow in South Dakota. The Black Hills offers a 350-mile network of marked, mapped and groomed snowmobile trails. Most of these can be found in the western third of the region where the trails weave through spectacular deep canyons, pine forests, summit lookouts and untracked meadows. Or if snowmobiling is not your thing, snowshoes are available free of charge for a day or weekend from South Dakota State Parks. Snowshoe within a 10-mile radius of Spearfish and you will find the stunning Spearfish Canyon, Big Hill and Crow Peak recreational areas. The most powder accumulation in the Black Hills can be found in Deer Mountain – 5 minutes from the historic cities of Lead and Deadwood, offering the best conditions for downhill skiing and snowboarding while Eagle Cliff trails are just perfect for cross-country skiing. Read more here.

EVENTS:
March 17-18Black Hills Motorcycle Show, Rapid City
July 6-8: Astronomy Festival and Night Sky Program (weekends in Summer), Badlands National Park
June 2-3: 70th Anniversary of Crazy Horse Memorial and Volksmarch, Crazy Horse
July 4: Black Hills Round Up Fireworks Celebration 04 July, Belle Fourche

To see more events click here

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