Bryce Canyon is a beautiful destination to visit by day, but by night the clear skies of south central Utah come alive with astronomical delights, and experts estimate that 7,500 stars are visible on a moonless night. June 13 to 16, 2007 marks the seventh annual Bryce Canyon Astronomy Festival. Join Bryce Canyon National Park's "Dark Rangers" and amateur astronomers from the Salt Lake Astronomical Society for a celebration of the night. Afternoon workshops will be conducted on such topics as learning the night sky, making your home dark-sky friendly and walks along a scale model of the solar system. In the evening join rangers and guest speakers for presentations on subjects related to the astronomy and nocturnal animals before venturing out to stargaze under Bryce Canyon's famous dark skies with over 40 telescopes available.
The Bryce Canyon County website (www.brycecanyoncountry.com) provides links to several accommodation options in the Bryce Canyon area from lodges to campgrounds. Although there are a few hotels located near the park entrance, the Bryce Canyon Lodge (www.brycecanyonlodge.com) is the only property located within the park itself -- unfortunately it is booked out during the Astronomy Festival weekend but Bryce View Lodge (www.bryceviewlodge.com), which overlooks the park, has standard queen rooms available for $93 per weekend night in June, or slightly cheaper for AAA or AARP members. Bryce Canyon Resort (tel. 866/834-0043; www.brycecanyonresort.com) located three miles from the entrance to the National Park has standard rooms available for $89 to $129 per night, cabins that sleep up to six people for $129 to $169 per night and more luxurious cabin suites with whirlpools and fireplaces for $149 to $189 per night.
If the north Pacific coastline and Olympic National Park is more to your taste, then Kalaloch Lodge (tel. 800/562-6672; www.visitkalaloch.com) is currently offering a Trio of Treasures for stays at all three of its sister properties by June 15, 2007. Enjoy historic Lake Quinault Lodge in a lakeside unit or main lodge view room, then, spend the night ocean-side at Kalaloch Lodge in a log cabin or seacrest room and last but not least, soak in the springs and stay in your own non-kitchen cabin at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Also receive mementos to take home including two logo hats, two logo pool towels and two logo walking sticks. Three nights' accommodations for two plus three gifts per person is priced at $349. The resorts can be visited it any order but black out dates apply over the holiday period.
Redwood Adventures Vacation Village (tel. 866/733-9637; www.redwoodadventures.com) is located just north of Orick, California in the heart of Redwood National and State Parks. It is currently offering rates of $199 plus taxes per night on its newly renovated three-bedroom vacation cabins that can accommodate cabins six-people. A cleaning fee of $50 is additional. Book a cabin at this rate by June 1 or the price will go up to the regular $299 per night. Redwood Adventures is hosting a festival in honor of the American Hiking Society's 15th annual National Trails Day on June 2, 2007. Visitors are invited to participate in free bike rides, horseback riding, kayak trips and interpretive hikes. Schedule highlights for Saturday June 2 include hiking tour on Lost Man's creek Trail and Trillium Falls, a Kayak tour at Stone Lagoon, a horseback tour from Orick Rodeo into Redwood National Park, lumberjack demonstration by Humboldt State University Forestry Conclave, bike rides to Prairie Creek Campground, wood carving demonstrations, campfire safety demonstration and knot-tying exhibition, musical entertainment, horse husbandry demonstrations, a bird habitat presentation and campfire storytelling. To reserve places at these various free events please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Really get away from it all at Rock Harbor Lodge (tel. 906/337-4993; www.isleroyaleresort.com), the only lodging on Isle Royale, an island archipelago located in northwestern Lake Superior, Michigan. Certainly one of the most remote of the U.S. National Parks, Isle Royale is accessible only by water taxi, boat (There is ferry service from Grand Portage, MN, Houghton, MI, and Copper Harbor, MI.) or seaplane and is home to an abundance of wildlife including moose, fox, wolves, loons, beaver and other small mammals and birdlife. Lake Superior and the island's inland lakes offer excellent fishing and scuba diving to discover Lake SuperiorÂ?s many shipwrecks. The Lodge operates from Memorial Day to Labor Day annually -- peak season in 2007 is from July 5 to September 7 and non-peak season is from May 25 to July 4. There are two accommodation options -- European plan (accommodation plus half-day canoe rental) and American plan (accommodation, plus half-day canoe rental and all meals). The European plan including a room with a spectacular Lake Superior view is priced at $239 per night for two people during peak season or $215 in non-peak periods. An additional adult is $60 ($54 non-peak) and children under 12 are $17 ($16 in non-peak). On the American plan rates during peak season are $360 per night ($336 in non-peak), an additional adult is $120 ($114) and children are $56. There are also 20 cottages with kitchen and sleeping for up to six people available located between the Rock Harbor Marina and Tobin Harbor. A stay in one of the cottages includes one half-day use of a canoe and is priced at $232 in peak season ($209) and an additional adult is $49 ($44). Cottage guests can dine in the Rock Harbor Lodge dining room, purchase food in the marina store or bring their own food but maid service is not provided. Taxes are already included.
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