Plan an Astronomically Spectacular Vacation to Southeastern Canada

By Tourism Eastern Townships
March 1, 2024
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A brilliantly orange sun rises over Quebec, Canada by Vincent Corriveau - Unsplash

The Eastern Townships, a region in southeastern Quebec, Canada, is gearing up for an extraordinary astronomical phenomenon this year—the Total Solar Eclipse. This celestial display will occur on April 8, 2024, and while the experience will only last a few minutes, visitors will want to plan a whole vacation around this stellar event to enjoy the area's many activities and attractions. The moon will slowly pass between the sun and Earth, gradually obscuring the light until the sun's corona comes into view with stars in a darkened sky, following the trajectory of a full solar eclipse. This rare spectacle is best viewed from the International Dark Sky Reserve in and around Mont Megantic. Covering an area of 5,300 square kilometers it was the first of its kind in the world.

In Quebec, the last total solar eclipse was more than 50 years ago, and the next one will not take place for another 80 years. A number of local enterprises throughout the region are in the process of establishing the best viewing areas. Details and locations are listed on Whether you're the kind of person who loves good food, cultural events, adventure or just relaxing, in the Eastern Townships you're sure to find something that appeals to your passion.

Enjoy dark skies in the "astronomy capital" of Quebec

The Mont Mégantic Observatory in Lac Megantic, Canada by Patrick Boucher - Unsplash

Experience the total eclipse of the sun at the base of Mont Megantic, the astronomy “capital” of Quebec and an area designated as an International Dark Sky Reserve. Mont Megantic National Park will be presenting a 4-hour, animated show on a giant outdoor screen, tracking the eclipse in real time (as well as being rebroadcast later). Tickets go online in December and the cost includes bus transportation to the site. Visitors will not be able to drive into the park. Places are limited, so reservations must be made in advance.

Visitors can also watch the eclipse in Lac Megantic. The downtown area has plenty of parking, large public spaces, a jetty and a park – all of them offering easy viewing of this once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon! Moreover, the Haut-Saint-François MRC is organizing an overflow circuit in several of its municipalities to allow citizens and visitors to observe the eclipse.

If you're a nature lover, you can enjoy some spectacular vistas from Mont Megantic National Park, Mont Gosford or Station touristique Baie-des-Sables. Do you enjoy taking a road trip? The 193-km Summit Drive is flanked by breathtaking scenery and on April 8, drivers will be able to view the eclipse from one of 36 lookout points along the route. If you're travelling with the family, they'll love the Ferme des Petits Torrieux in Frontenac. Attractions include a sugar shack (where you can gather maple sap and taste maple products) and a visit to the farm animals.

Lac Megantic boasts several great eating establishments: Musi-Café, the Café Bistro La Brûlerie, Citron-Vert restaurant, La Garnison microbrewery and the Kaline Resto-Pub, to name a few. Book a stay in a traditional yurt or a mini-home at Hébergement aux cinq sens in Piopolis. Benoit, an amateur astronomer, will lead the Soirées aux étoiles (“Evening under the stars”) during which he will explain the eclipse to visitors as they gaze at the skies. After the event, guests will be served chaga (mushroom) tea. Finally, a new inn is opening in Frontenac, Estello Suites & Spa. Situated in the heart of the International Dark Sky Reserve, it has 11 renovated suites and thermal facilities.

Explore local culture and history in Sherbrooke and Coaticook

Sherbrooke, Canada by Mathis Mauprivez - Unsplash

In Sherbrooke, visitors can go to the Exhibition Centre, as well as a number of public spaces around the city. The student populace will be invited to attend various eclipse-related events at Bishop's University, Cégep de Sherbrooke and the Université de Sherbrooke. Only students are allowed to attend the gatherings at the educational establishments.

In the Coaticook Valley, Mont Hereford is organizing a 13-kilometre (round-trip) hike from the East Hereford parking lot to observe the eclipse from the summit of the mountain. (By reservation only. Maximum 250 people.)

Before and after the eclipse, there is plenty to do nearby. Downtown Sherbrooke is home to a number of museums: the Musée d'histoire de Sherbrooke, Musée de la nature et des sciences de Sherbrooke and the Musée des beaux-arts de Sherbrooke. Follow along the Circuit des murales – a circuit of giant murals painted by professional artists, depicts scenes from Sherbrooke's history and a novel way to explore the city's attractive downtown. In Coaticook, the Musée Beaulne (a former private home) traces the history of Arthur O. Norton who made his fortune manufacturing railroad jacks.

For a bite to eat, try Auguste and sample its unique version of poutine, the Siboire Dépôt microbrewery (local beers brewed on site and its oh-so-popular fish 'n' chips!) or the OMG Resto for a juicy burger. In the Coaticook Valley, it's well worth stopping at the La Station de Compton to taste their delicious cheeses. Wander around the Economusée (onsite), where you can learn all about how cheeses are made and matured. Hop Station, a microbrewery in Coaticook, is housed in a former railway station and it will soon be launching a new maple syrup beer to commemorate the solar eclipse.

Sherbrooke has a number of inns and B&Bs such as l'Ile de Garde or le Marquis de Montcalm. In these intimate, privately-run establishments, owners are always willing to chat to their guests and to fill them in on what there is to see and do in their region. In Coaticook, at Auberge du Changement d'Ère adventurous souls can stay in yurts or suspended “pods”, in a stunning natural setting. Similar pods are also among the unusual accommodations offered by Mont Expérience Hereford

Get active in Brome-Missisquoi and Granby

Bromont, Quebec, Canada by Pierre Jarry - Unsplash

Numerous activities will be taking place in the Brome-Missisquoi region. Visitors will have the choice of viewing the celestial event from Bromont's Place Publique (a public gathering place), the summits of Monts Horizon, Bernard, Spruce or at Bromont, montagne d'expériences. An amateur astronomer from the Fédération des astronomes du Québec will be on hand at these locations.

Parc Duhamel (Bedford Township) has the capacity for up to 100 visitors and in the Granby region, there are a couple of places to observe the eclipse - the Granby Zoo and the Centre d'interprétation de la nature du lac Boivin interpretation centre. The Yamaska National Park will project images (in real time) from the ASTROLab, on a giant screen.

If you love a good workout, you'll enjoy climbing the walls at BackBone Boulder in Bromont or the challenge of track cycling in the new indoor velodrome at the Centre national de cyclisme de Bromont (the only one in Quebec). Alternatively, you can put your body through its paces – Ninja warrior style - at the Motion parc évolutif, a training/exercise centre in Granby. The mountains of Sutton and Bromont, the Au Diable Vert mountain resort and the Yamaska National Park are also great places to exercise outdoors. At the end of an action-filled day, you can relax at the BALNEA Spa which has just added a new infinity pool to its facilities. Relax and enjoy the view over mountain-fringed Lac Gale.

Foodies have the choice of several restaurants in the area that offer fine dining: la Maison Boire, la Table à Mo and the Bistro Kapzak in Granby, not to mention Le Chardo and Le Roux in Bromont. A number of wineries along the Brome-Missiquoi Wine Route will also be open to the public. The Eastern Townships, the “cradle” of Quebec's viticulture industry, produces over 60% of the wines made in the province.

There are a number of great places to stay, including the Château-Bromont, Domaine Jolivent, le Pleasant Hôtel & Café, Huttopia, the Beatnick Hotel, and the Hotel St-Cristophe.

Explore star-spangled events beyond the eclipse

Constellations above Quebec, Canada by Arnaud Mariat - Unsplash

If you didn't get enough of this “heavenly” phenomenon, don't worry, there are plenty of other astronomical events here in the Eastern Townships. The region is known as the perfect spot for gazing at the stars, no matter what the time of year!

During the summer, Mont Megantic International Dark Sky Reserve attracts dozens of people who come to watch the Perseids (meteor showers) which, in 2024, will be at their peak on August 11 and 12. The 5,500-square-kilometre reserve was created to shield the starry sky from light pollution. This move was critical to the work of researchers and for the educational programs at the Observatory and the ASTROLab in Mont-Mégantic National Park, one of North America's leading astronomy sites.

Au Diable Vert is a mountain resort in Glen Sutton, in the heart of another Dark Sky Reserve (the second largest in the Eastern Townships). This eco-friendly, outdoor centre offers a unique attraction – Observétoiles - an open-air, augmented reality planetarium, that allows star-gazers to observe the constellations and other heavenly phenomena.

Other night sky activities take place elsewhere around in the region: hikes by moonlight in the Parc d'environnement naturel de Sutton (PENS), a sound-and-light experience at Foresta Lumina in the Parc de la Gorge in Coaticook, overnight stays at a campsite (or rustic shelter) at the summit of Mont Sutton, and photographing the night sky during Zenderfull, an event in Val-Racine.

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Obsessed with Breakfast? Celebrate National Pancake Day and Book a Stay Here

Wake up and smell the pancakes! From the brand whose pancakes pack the same punch as their iconic waffles, comes this humble ab-ode to flapjacks. Eggo® is celebrating its other favorite breakfast staple with the ultimate Eggo experience in honor of National Pancake Day — celebrated today, on February 28th. Beginning today, you can now book the first-ever Eggo House of Pancakes, a literal "pancake house" complete with a stick-of-butter-shaped chimney and breakfast-inspired decor, available for rent exclusively on HomeToGo. It's here just in time for spring break to rescue families and fans from the chaos that comes with planning a vacation for the whole crew.Visit the "Pancake Capital" in the Smoky Mountains Enjoy the view of the mountains from the Eggo House of Pancakes - courtesy of Eggo/HomeToGo Located in the Pancake Capital of the South – Gatlinburg, Tennessee – fans will be able to book a unique stay at the Eggo House of Pancakes and enjoy this short-stack-shaped home-away-from-home in the heart of the Smoky Mountains. Flapjack-loving fans and families visiting this unique vacation destination will be transported into a pancake paradise from the moment they step inside. Breathe in the scent of sweet syrup-infused mountain air. Get cozy in the fluffy pancake beds and bean bag chairs. Toast up Eggo Mini Pancake s'mores at the fire pit overlooking the Smokies. Pour it on thick at the maple syrup fountain. Dive into game night in the basement gameroom, complete with an Eggo pancake-fied pool table and more. Enjoy the game room in the Eggo House of Pancakes - courtesy of Eggo/HomeToGo The best part? Parents can actually relax because vacationing here is easy, from start to finish. First, HomeToGo's seamless booking process ensures your pancake-filled vacation begins effortlessly. Then, Eggo's array of products ensure you don't have to worry about breakfast once you're there. That's right. We've packed the freezer full of Eggo pancakes for chaos-free mornings throughout your stay. Expertly crafted and irresistibly fluffy, Eggo pancakes are a convenient, ready-in-30-seconds breakfast classic that come in a variety of flavors and sizes: Buttermilk, Blueberry, Chocolatey Chip, Minis & Chocolatey Chip Minis. All you need is a microwave… and butter and syrup. "Eggo and waffles are an iconic combination, so much so that fans might forget about our pancakes. That's why we're flipping our focus with this unexpected experience that celebrates Eggo pancakes as a breakfast go-to that's equally good at making parents' lives easier and making breakfast delicious," said Joe Beauprez, Senior Director of Marketing for Frozen Foods at Kellanova. "Plus, we know that planning a family vacation can be chaotic, so we're helping parents check one more thing off their to-do list for spring break season with this deliciously fun house."The kids room features pancake wallpaper - courtesy of Eggo/HomeToGo The Eggo House of Pancakes will be exclusively listed on, a vacation rental marketplace specializing in making incredible homes easily accessible to everyone. According to HomeToGo data, Gatlinburg not only tops the charts as the most-searched destination in Tennessee, but also ranks as one of the top ten most searched destinations in the entire U.S., making it the perfect pancake haven for this mouthwatering collaboration. "At HomeToGo, we're on a mission to make vacation planning as delightful as the trips themselves. And, we love pancakes. That's why we are thrilled to partner with Eggo to bring their House of Pancakes to fans of unique vacation rentals," said Danielle Finch, Director of Customer Experience at HomeToGo. "We look forward to inspiring adventure-seeking families to embark on unforgettable journeys, all while showcasing the simplicity of booking their dream stays using HomeToGo. We believe booking a vacation rental should be as easy as a pancake breakfast with Eggo: without any chaos and full of fun." How to book your stacked stayThe living room of the Eggo House of Pancakes - courtesy of Eggo/HomeToGo Families and fans can request to book one of four different three-night stays at the Eggo House of Pancakes beginning on National Pancake Day, February 28th, at the chaos-solving cost of $0 a night, by visiting And yes, you can bring the whole crew, as the House accommodates up to 8 guests. Set your alarms! Bookings will be available throughout the month of March. The first weekend opens for booking on National Pancake Day (2/28 at 12 PM EST) and the rest will open on Mondays at 12 PM EST on a rolling basis through Monday, March 18th.* Guests are responsible for their own travel to and from the Eggo House of Pancakes. See below for exact booking dates and openings. *The four 3-night stays are not a contest. The stays will be available for booking as follows: Wednesday, Feb. 28: March 7-10 open for bookingMonday, March 4: March 14-17 open for bookingMonday, March 11: March 21-24 open for bookingMonday, March 18: March 28-31 open for booking


Flavorful Culinary Experiences to Indulge in this Spring

Foodies looking for inspiration on where to travel will find a slew of restaurant weeks, festivals, and unique culinary events across the country—and beyond—this spring. Below are some of the most exciting, flavor-forward experiences coming up during the spring months. Go beyond at "Flavors Beyond Borders" in Costa Rica The award-winning Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas - courtesy of Casa Chameleon/xhibition The award-winning Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas has announced the inaugural Flavors Beyond Borders culinary extravaganza, a four-day gourmet experience from March 6-10, 2024, featuring culinary stars trained at the world-renowned Culinary Institute of America (CIA). During the multi-day event, Chefs Dara Yu, Sophia Ruiz, Evelyn Garcia, and Sarah Thompson will offer master classes, special tastings, and thematic dinners showcasing their expertise in the culinary arts and the signature flavors of Costa Rica. Proceeds from the event will benefit CIA student scholarships. Flavors Beyond Borders offers an exclusive and intimate setting for guests looking to broaden their culinary and cultural horizons. Hosted throughout Casa Chameleon's restaurants, bars, and public spaces – including Sentido Norte, La Pampa Grill, Grotto 12°, and Green House – the event's daily itinerary opens with a wellness activity, like yoga or meditation, before the day unfolds with food-driven immersive initiatives anchored by each meal of the day: For breakfast, guests may participate in a Barista Experience, brunch with a pastry chef, or indulge in a tortilla station, followed by a hands-on cooking class with a CIA chef.Capped at 10 guests per session, Flavors Beyond Borders cooking classes showcase the best local and seasonal ingredients paired with techniques and insight provided by a CIA chef.Mid-day meals are leisurely, allowing guests to experience Casa Chameleon's signature bars and restaurants. Served a la carte, these leisurely experiences showcase the incomparable setting of Casa Chameleon, perched above Las Catalinas with views of the Pacific Ocean.From a catamaran tour to a Latin dance class and Margarita station, afternoons at Casa Chameleon offer cultural immersion on land and in the ocean.Each afternoon, guests can experience the iconic Costa Rican sunsets on one of the majestic settings in the destination, Casa Chameleon's pool deck. Accompanied by inventive sundowner drinks like Tinto de Verano, gourmet aperitivo-hour small plates serve as a warm-up for the culinary highlight; dinner.Assisted by Casa Chameleon's culinary team, Chefs Dara D Yu, Sophia Ruiz, Evelyn Garcia, and Sarah Thompson prepare a nightly feast that reflects their expertise and approach to fine dining. Using locally sourced ingredients, chefs offer guests insight into the rich traditions and cultural richness of their background with themed dinners like 'The Road Less Traveled: An Introduction to Local Foraged Food' and an 'Ancestral BBQ' at Casa Chameleon's newly unveiled restaurant, The Green House. While Casa Chameleon, a Relais & Châteaux property, maintains a firm dedication to sustainability, exceptional cuisine, and personalized service, the property's commitment to culinary excellence truly sets it apart. Holding a strong emphasis on sourcing ingredients locally and forging connections with nearby farmers and fishermen, the hotel ensures the freshest and most sustainable ingredients across each dining option. Boasting four dining options, guests can expect unforgettable gastronomic experiences at any of Casa Chameleon's culinary locations. The Sentido Norte Restaurant showcases the flavors of Costa Rica's rich culinary traditions using the finest local ingredients. It boasts a combination of bold flavors and authentic dishes, perfectly harmonious with the restaurant's incredible open-air setting, offering panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean. The Grotto 12 offers a well-curated selection of wines from around the globe in an intimate wine cave atmosphere. The Green House is an intimate dining spot that celebrates Costa Rica's rich culinary heritage with dishes crafted from freshly sourced ingredients. La Pampa Grill showcases the soul of Costa Rican flavors, featuring slow-cooked, sea, and field-to-table feasts, offering insight into the destination's culinary heritage. Seasonal produce sits on the menu alongside classics such as signature fall-of-the-bone ribs, embracing the beauty of old-school, open-fire barbecue. The Flavors Beyond Borders culinary event price starts at $10,995 per couple (subject to tax and fees). It includes four nights' accommodation in a private villa with a plunge pool, daily breakfast and lunch, four thematic evening culinary experiences, cooking demonstrations, daily activities, and social programming. Pricing is inclusive of all wine and drinks. For more information and to book Flavors Beyond Borders, please visit this website. Get a "Taste of Alpharetta" in Georgia The Taste of Alpharetta - courtesy of Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau Metro Atlanta's most anticipated culinary event, the Taste of Alpharetta, will take place in Alpharetta, Georgia, on May 9, 2024, from 5 – 10 p.m. Admission is free, and food samples are between $1 and $8. The Taste of Alpharetta isn't your average foodie festival. Named a Signature Event of the Southeast Tourism Society, this culinary event has occurred since 1991. On the streets of Downtown Alpharetta, you'll find vibrant entertainment and delectable food offerings, all in one location. Attendees can look forward to a flavorful journey across Alpharetta's favorite dishes from over 60 restaurants. Restaurants will be announced in early 2024. "This event welcomes over 40,000 locals and visitors to enjoy an evening relishing in delicious bites, great music and fun as we celebrate Alpharetta's dynamic hospitality industry,” said Janet Rodgers, President and CEO of the Alpharetta Convention and Visitors Bureau. Event highlights includes: Gourmet Tastings: Indulge in a culinary adventure with dishes crafted by Alpharetta's top chefs, showcasing the best of the city's diverse food scene.Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Bring the whole family for fun and entertainment, with activities for all ages, including a Kidz Zone, live music and the locally Grown hands-on education area.Sip and Savor: Quench your thirst with various beverages around downtown. “There's more to Taste of Alpharetta than just culinary creations. This year offers 'Locally Grown' an educational area with hands-on activities from organizations contributing to the local food system,” said Hilary Lew, City of Alpharetta Special Events Supervisor. "We want our attendees to leave with not only a satisfied appetite but also with a deeper appreciation for our local food culture." Restaurant applications will be available through the Taste of Alpharetta website on January 22. Interested sponsors may contact Steph Mold at Please visit for the most up-to-date information regarding this event, including a listing of all participating restaurants. Taste of Alpharetta is produced by the City of Alpharetta in partnership with the Alpharetta Convention & Visitors Bureau. Drink up on the Laurel Highlands' Pour Tour in Pennsylvania Pour Tour 4.0 - courtesy of Go LH Recently launched is a new version of the popular Laurel Highlands' Pour Tour in Pennsylvania, which includes partnerships with 52 craft beverage makers including breweries, distilleries, wineries, cideries and a meadery spread across Fayette, Somerset and Westmoreland counties. The new trail showcases the region's rich heritage, agricultural diversity, and entrepreneurial spirit. Craft beverage enthusiasts can pick up a Pour Tour 4.0 Passport at any participating location throughout the Laurel Highlands or download the all-new GO Laurel Highlands app. “We are excited to implement the new app,” said Jennifer Benford, GO Laurel Highlands' senior director of marketing. “The app will make it easier for participants to digitally stamp their passport, provide a leaderboard for some friendly competition, and – my favorite part – not only showcase our craft beverage makers, but also all of our partners in the Laurel Highlands, such as nearby hotels, restaurants and retail shops that are near their favorite Pour Tour stops.” Two of the newest stops on the Pour Tour have been built on a long and proud history in the region. Ponfeigh Distillery in Somerset reflects Maximilian Merrill's passion for whiskey and history. The Laurel Highlands is the birthplace of rye whiskey, and Merrill wanted to pay tribute to that. “I knew I had to do a distillery in Somerset County to bring back the history,” Ponfeigh's president told a group at the distillery, which is housed in a former 84 Lumber building on Stoystown Road. Merrill plans to add a whiskey museum to honor the region's legacy along with a tasting room with indoor and outdoor bars, a cigar lounge and an amphitheater for 2,000 fans to enjoy live music. At full production, Ponfeigh can distill 3,000 barrels per year, making it the largest distillery in Pennsylvania. In addition to talks with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to have Ponfeigh sold in state stores, Merrill has been working with an e-commerce site, which he said should have his product available in 42 states within the next few years. Ponfeigh started selling bottles of its Westylvania Rye in Somerset late last year, which is the culmination of a distilling process that started three years ago. “We drove five tractor-trailer loads of Somerset County rye to a sister distillery called Southern Distillery, where I was trained on that equipment for a couple of weeks,” Merrill said as he spoke inside the massive distillery space. “We laid down those 200 barrels that are stacked up over there, using Somerset County rye, on the same equipment we have here today. Now, we're producing that same spirit with the same barrels and the same rye on the same equipment to catch up to that 3-year-old spirit (that we have produced).” In addition to Monongahela rye, Ponfeigh plans to begin distilling a Maryland-style rye, rye-aged rum and rye-aged gin. SanaView Farms and Winery also has longstanding ties to local history. Nate McKee, who owns SanaView along with his mother, Janet, said the 52-acre historic landmark is the oldest farm in the area. The McKees purchased the property in 2012. It now hosts weddings and other events and features lodging in its farmhouse and bunkhouse. Eventually, Janet encouraged Nate to become a vintner with an eye toward the same high standards that they demand at their organic farm. “She said, 'You love drinking the stuff, why don't you figure out how to make it?' ” he recalled. He did just that, studying the winemaking process in California, by reading books and meeting with industry insiders, who told him it wouldn't be possible to make wine naturally. He disagreed and set about finding a way to make a great-tasting wine that doesn't use chemicals in any step of the process. “What we're doing is natural wine with low, low, low intervention,” Nate McKee said. “We're letting Mother Nature do the work. That's why you've got to start with really high-quality ingredients. … You've got to be exceptionally clean with every step of the process.” Mike Fahy, one of the owners of Forbes Trail Brewing in Stoystown, understands McKee's passion for crafting delicious beverages the right way. Fahy is the brewmaster at Forbes Trail and while he loves traditional beers, he isn't afraid to try new things, such as the blackberry raspberry marshmallow beer currently available at Forbes Trail. That kind of innovation has helped make Forbes Trail a popular stop on the Pour Tour, and Fahy loves how the program helps beer lovers discover his brewery. “The Pour Tour brings in so many people that I don't think ever would have found us,” he said. With a qualified purchase, participants will receive a sticker from the beverage maker for verification in the printed passport or choose to stamp their passport digitally via app. Passports can then be redeemed for prizes with a Tier I prize for 15 stamps, Tier II at 30 and Tier 30 for 45 stamps as part of Pour Tour 4.0, which runs through Dec. 23, 2024. The passport and app cannot combined, participants must choose one method to use throughout their tasting tour. Last year, more than 2,200 Pour Tour prizes were redeemed by participants from 10 states, including as far away as Florida, Colorado and Washington. Encounter Caribbean flavors at the Antigua & Barbuda Restaurant Week Food from Carlisle Bay at the 2023 restaurant week - courtesy of Antigua & Barbuda Restaurant Week The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has announced the list of celebrity chefs and culinary arts professionals participating in the second annual Antigua & Barbuda Restaurant Week (ABRW) starting May 4. During the two-week-long celebration, visitors and nationals can enjoy a variety of special and discounted dining and event experiences designed to showcase the twin-island nation's delicious and diverse food, restaurants, art, and culture. This year also makes the return of Chef Andi Oliver who will headline events at the “The Pepperpot Rum Shop,” a100-day food and cultural pop-up. “The Restaurant Week annual celebration highlights the best culinary experiences we have to offer–from favorite casual spots to multi-course menus at the finest restaurants,” said Shermain Jeremy, Special Projects and Events Manager at the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority. “Given the fantastic lineup of Caribbean celebrity chefs and guests confirmed for this year, we expect to draw record-breaking participation from food loving locals and tourists. We're excited, too, to showcase the diversity of food from our twin-island nation, especially with an elevated twist.” As ABRW grows in its second year, the event will feature a lineup of celebrity chef and beverage professionals exclusively of Caribbean heritage. Highlights include: Chef Kareem Roberts. Born in Leicester and raised in Antigua, Kareem first set foot in a professional kitchen at 26. He began composing salads at a small café in St. John's, Antigua, and quickly moved to the high-volume kitchens at Sandals Grande Antigua. Over the next decade, he would hone his skills in a variety of kitchens in the United Kingdom, ranging from fine dining establishments to hotels to gastropubs. He worked his way up to his most recent position as Head Chef of Trinity, a contemporary British restaurant in Cambridge. Roberts attributes his development as a chef to the foods and cultures he's experienced, along with the fresh seafood he was exposed to as the son of an Antiguan fisherman. His creativity and passion were showcased recently on the BBC's cookery competition “The Great British Menu.”Cookbook Author Althea Brown. Althea Brown is the creator and voice behind, a blog about Guyanese and Caribbean recipes and traditions. She offers simplified recipes, made accessible with diet specific tweaks. She is the author of the bestselling cookbook Caribbean Paleo. You can often find her on social media sharing stories about traditional Guyanese food and culture, and how she remixes dishes to fit her dietary needs. Born and raised in Georgetown, Guyana, Althea now lives in Aurora, Colorado, with her husband and three children.Chef Angel Barreto. Chef Barreto is a three-time James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist and finalist, StarChefs Game Changer (2022), and a Food & Wine “Best New Chef” (2021). His highly-awarded culinary career spans more than a decade, with exceptional experience in both French and Korean cuisines. He's best known for his contemporary Korean cuisine at Anju in Washington, DC. Barreto is of Puerto Rican heritage and will be honoring Boricua cuisine at ABRW.Chef Shorne Benjamin. Lucian born and New York-based, Chef Benjamin is known for his ability to infuse Caribbean food with a modern flair. Classically trained in French cuisine, he gained international acclaim as a guest chef at Mimo's in London. Career highlights include an annual presentation at the James Beard House, competing on the Food Network's “Beat Bobby Flay,” becoming a finalist on Chopped and winning the 2017 Jamaican Jerk Festival Celebrity Chef Throw Down. Most recently, he opened Fat Fowl in Brooklyn, where he crafts new age inspired dishes to showcase the richness and depth of Caribbean flavors through a healthy and imaginative lens. Chef Digby Stridiron. A native of St. Croix, Chef Digby is inspired by ingredients indigenous to the Caribbean and the history of regional recipes. He is best known for his work as chef of award-winning restaurants Balter and Braata in St. Croix, where he earned recognition as one of USA Today's 10 Best restaurants in the Caribbean and Food & Wine named his food “the new heart of Caribbean cooking”. A community leader, Stridiron served as a culinary ambassador for the U.S. Virgin Islands, having showcased West Indian cuisine at the James Beard House, and also received the 2014 Chef of the Year award from the Caribbean Tourism Association. Currently he is chef/partner at Latha Restaurant & Bar in Phoenix, Az. Chef Digby is also the founder of the West Indian Chefs Alliance.Sommelier Nadine Brown. Born and raised in Jamaica and Puerto Rico, Brown fell in love with the hospitality industry after moving to the United States and started her career as a restaurant host in Washington, DC. Twenty years later, she's an acclaimed industry veteran and award-winning Sommelier. Nadine worked as Wine Director at Charlie Palmer Steak for more than a decade. Owner of At Your Service, a wine consultancy, she is a wine writer, judge and educator. Nadine sits on the board of the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington and the Verasion Project, a non-profit that works to help more people of color enter the wine industry. Nadine curates a popular dinner series called, "Re-"Imaging Wines', where she collaborates with chefs, exploring wine pairings with cuisines from the Caribbean to the Philippines “We are seeing more and more travelers around the world choose Antigua and Barbuda as a vacation destination,” said The Honourable Charles Fernandez, Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Transportation and Investment. “Building on the success of 2023, Antigua & Barbuda Restaurant Week will continue to raise the visibility of our culinary excellence in the region and around the world, and we are certain our guests will delight in immersing themselves into our food and our culture.” The schedule of events for Restaurant Week will include Prix Fixe menus and discounted dining packages ($25USD - $75USD) inclusive of lunch, dinner, wine, and cocktails from more than 20 restaurants. Dishes to suit all tastes and dietary requirements will be available, and guests will also enjoy live music, entertainment, and children's' activities throughout the festivities. ABRW will coincide with the run of The Pepperpot Rum Shop, a 100-day pop-up destination created by The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Treehouse Beach Club, and British chef, television and radio broadcaster Andi Oliver, who has ancestral roots in Antigua. Pepperpot is the national dish of Antigua & Barbuda, and the concept was born after the successful 2023 release of Oliver's recipe book, The Pepperpot Diaries: Stories From My Caribbean Table. For 100 days from the end of April, the pop-up will host curated cultural content and events spanning food and drink, music, art, and film in its stay-all-day sustainable and eco-conscious setting. For the latest information on Restaurant Week menus and packages, visit


Where to See the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse

This spring, North America will be in the path of a total solar eclipse. Solar eclipses have proven to be a great excuse for a vacation, in order to experience being in the “path of totality”—and an experience like this won't come again to the continental US until 2044. During the afternoon of April 8, 2024, the moon will pass between the sun and Earth, blocking the face of the sun and creating a shadow over locations within its path. This “path of totality” will be directly underneath the most significant part of the moon’s umbra, or shadow, plunging these locations into darkness during the normally bright afternoon hours. Plan your vacation to catch this historic date at one of the destinations below. Enjoy the beauty of the mountains in Lake Placid, New York Sunset in the Adirondack Mountains in New York by Eva Darron - Unsplash The Adirondack Mountains, in upstate New York, offers some of the best opportunities for outdoor recreation in a beautiful, natural setting; it is within a day’s drive for 25% of the entire North American population, making it an easy vacation destination. It is anticipated that, due to ease of travel to the region, its open spaces, expansive vistas and unobstructed views of the sky, many people will choose to travel to the region ahead of the eclipse. In anticipation of increased travel, local businesses, attractions and communities are beginning to plan events, determining optimal places for viewing, and establishing various activities throughout the region. will serve as a central location for sharing information about these activities and events, as businesses, attractions and communities prepare. Visitors, potential visitors and those interested in learning more about the solar eclipse are encouraged to refer to the site ahead of their visit. High Peaks Resort is offering their Total Solar Eclipse package bookable online here. In addition to the eclipse viewing on April 8, High Peaks Resort is throwing a lawn party from 12:30 PM to 4:30 PM with food, drink, and entertainment at Lake House. In addition, Lake Placid will host a variety of events and activities for all ages. From educational workshops to outdoor activities and celebrations, there's something for everyone to enjoy. The resort is the perfect place to make a homebase while exploring the Adirondacks, with easy access to Whiteface Mountain (35-minute drive), the Olympic sites, and many other top attractions in the area. The resort offers three unique lodging experiences, from a traditional hotel experience in the High Peaks Resort, to a modern retro-vibe in the Lake House, to privacy and serenity in the Waterfront Collection (including suites with fireplaces!). Guests enjoy sweeping views of the Adirondack mountains, arts and crafts, family movie nights, s’mores building and marshmallow toasting, birds of prey demonstrations and dining specials in Dancing Bears Restaurant. Plan a family-friendly celebration in Columbus, Ohio Skyline of Columbus, Ohio - courtesy of Experience Columbus Columbus invites visitors to experience the near totality (99.6%) in Ohio's capital city. For the first time since 1806, Ohio will be in the direct path of a total solar eclipse. From unique viewing parties at rooftops downtown to an Eclipse-inspired craft beer from Land-Grant Brewing Company, here's what's happening in the 14th largest city in the U.S.: Eclipse viewing party at the #1 science museum in the country: Celebrate the eclipse at COSI, named the #1 science museum in the country for four consecutive years by USA Today 10Best. Located downtown in the path of near totality, the museum is hosting a day of fun, hands-on activities. They are also giving away thousands of free eclipse glasses. For those who cannot attend in person, COSI will live-stream the eclipse, supported by expert commentary and explanations during the event. Say cheers to the historic event with an eclipse-themed craft beer: One of Columbus' favorite craft breweries, Land-Grant Brewing Company, is celebrating the occasion with a special beer in honor of the eclipse. Totality is a Black IPA and an exclusive COSI collaboration. Visitors can try the beer on tap during their viewing party starting at 11 a.m. The watch party includes free eclipse glasses, interactive experiments with the COSI team, cosmic-themed music and food from local food trucks. Step into the path of totality at the zoo: Located in nearby Delaware County, the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium is in the path of totality where experts anticipate the totality will last around 2 minutes and 35 seconds. Join them for a special Solar Eclipse Solar-Bration from noon to 4 p.m. and take in the historic sight amidst the wonders of wildlife. Visitors will get viewing glasses and enjoy character greetings and hands-on activities. Attend other watch parties at top attractions: In addition to COSI and Land-Grant's watch parties in Downtown Columbus, the National Veterans Memorial and Museum will host a viewing party on their expansive rooftop. Grab glasses at Columbus' visitor centers: Experience Columbus is selling glasses so you can safely enjoy the solar eclipse for just $1. Stop by and grab a pair at the Visitor Centers located at Easton Town Center or in the Arena District. Stay in Columbus' celestial-themed hotel: Whether you're planning to enjoy the near totality in downtown Columbus or drive the short distance northwest from Columbus into the path of totality, consider making Columbus your home base and staying at the celestial-themed Hotel LeVeque. Located in the historic 47-story LeVeque Tower, once Amelia Earhart's aerial lighthouse, the hotel boasts celestial details from lobby to guestrooms. Each of the 149 rooms features a telescope, ensuring a unique stargazing experience, and visitors can enjoy nightly turn-down service with a star machine projecting the night sky onto the ceilings. Or choose from one of dozens of other hotels in Columbus. Book a two-night stay through Experience Columbus and you'll get the choice of a $100 Delta voucher (stay must be a minimum of $250+), two tickets to the Columbus Zoo & Aquarium, two tickets to the Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens or a $25-$50 Lyft credit. Special solar science kits: No matter where you live you can learn more about the solar system with COSI Connects Solar Kit. Recommended for grades 2-5, the kit offers a fun way for kids to learn about our solar system's star—the sun. Explore the science of light and magnetism and make your own artwork showing the corona during a solar eclipse. Every kit includes solar glasses. Escape city lights at campgrounds in the eastern states Moonlight falls on a campsite by Tim Foster - Unsplash The rare event will be viewable at nine Spacious Skies Campgrounds in the eastern US as the eclipse travels along a diagonal trajectory from Mexico to Maine. Campsites and glamping accommodations such as cabins, yurts and retro trailers – which are sure to be popular on that very special day – are now available for travelers to book. “At Spacious Skies Campgrounds, the stars are more than just a backdrop—they're part of our story,” said Ali Rasmussen, co-founder of Spacious Skies Campgrounds. “Imagine watching a solar eclipse here. It's not just a spectacle, it's a shared celestial experience. Our approach to camping is star-studded, literally. We've woven the cosmic theme into everything: our dedicated Cosmic Crew, the playful Cosmic Canine Commons, engaging activities for Cosmic Kiddos and perks for our Cosmic Camper loyalty members. Experiencing a solar eclipse at our campgrounds? It’s not just fitting, it’s an unforgettable cosmic celebration.” Located in the states of New Jersey, New Hampshire, North Carolina (three campgrounds), Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Tennessee, the campgrounds are situated near national and state parks as well as charming towns. All offer a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities like hiking and fishing as well as amenities such as sport courts and playgrounds. The maximum view of the eclipse varies from campground to campground. For specific details on the view from each location, visit this site. Campgrounds near the path of the Total Solar Eclipse include: Belle Ridge, Monterey, Tennessee, 2:05 p.m.Savannah Oaks, Savannah, Georgia, 3:08 p.m.Hidden Creek, Marion, North Carolina, 3:10 p.m.Bear Den, Spruce Pine North Carolina, 3:10 p.m.Peach Haven, Gaffney, South Carolina., 3:10 p.m.Sandy Run, Fayetteville, North Carolina., 3:14 p.m.Shenandoah Views, Luray, Virginia, 3:18 p.m.Country Oaks, Dorothy, New Jersey, 3:23 p.m.French Pond, Henniker, New Hampshire, 3:29 p.m. Spacious Skies Campgrounds offer a variety of accommodations choices in addition to RV sites. Most locations feature cabin options, and many also offer glamping accommodations such as yurts and retro trailers. Members of the Spacious Skies Loyalty Program, called “Cosmic Campers” can save up to 12 percent on all RV sites, cabins and other accommodations. The annual fee to join the program is $31.90. While the Loyalty Program discount cannot be combined with other discounts, the discount with the greatest savings is rewarded, providing campers with the best possible deal on their stay. Spacious Skies Campgrounds also offers seasonal camping deals and other specials.


Before Winter Ends, Sneak in One More Ski Trip this Year

New Hampshire ski areas are ready to welcome visitors during looking for a late-season ski trip. Over 875 alpine and Nordic trails are currently open and covered side to side and top to bottom with snow, offering thousands of acres of varied terrain suitable for everyone from beginners to experts. Additionally, resorts are offering a multitude of other family-friendly activities like tubing, snowshoeing, and ziplining, along with special events and après-ski festivities for both kids and adults. Ski New Hampshire provides a listing of both alpine and cross-country ski areas on its website at Here, visitors will find information on ski areas of all sizes, each with its own vibe, level of difficulty, and off-slope offerings. Those looking for hidden gems with short lift lines and lower ticket prices can often find both at smaller ski areas. Currently, Ski NH has $25 tickets available at Dartmouth Skiway and McIntyre Ski Area that are good any day for the rest of the 2023-24 ski season, including February vacation weeks. Ski NH's Conditions page provides information that guests typically want to know in advance, including snow conditions, the number of open trails and lifts, links to resort web cameras, and click-through links to area websites for more detailed snow reports. Regarding tickets, ski lessons, and more, people should be aware that some ski areas will sell out of certain products or services during holiday and vacation periods. Ski NH suggests calling in advance to ensure availability, and in some cases, advanced purchases or reservations may be recommended or required. Night ski and save Skiing in New Hampshire - coutesy of Ski NH Another way vacationers can save on the slopes is to consider skiing under the lights at night. Many areas like Gunstock Mountain Resort, King Pine, McIntyre Ski Area, Pats Peak, and Crotched Mountain offer night skiing and riding from mid-afternoon until 8 p.m. or later. Crotched Mountain is normally open Tuesday-Saturday until 9 p.m., but is also open for night skiing until midnight on March 2. Find the latest information on night skiing at Go Nordic Nordic (or cross-country) skiing is a great choice to beat the crowds and get a great workout. At many Nordic centers, visitors can also snowshoe. The state has many choices for cross-country skiing that offer diverse terrain options, from beginner to expert, and some with sweeping views across open fields and others through wooded trails. Cross-country skiing is a lower-cost alternative to downhill, has a shorter learning curve, and is another great way for the entire family to enjoy time on snow this February. For those who have never tried cross-country skiing before, most areas offer lessons; one lesson can build confidence and get new skiers on their way to enjoying many miles (or kilometers, as measured by Nordic areas) of trails. Try a non-skiing mountain adventure Snow tubing has become increasingly popular, especially for kids, for those who don't ski, or as an activity to complement skiing and riding while on vacation. Snow tubing facilities vary; some are lift-serviced while others require a short hike up the hill. NH resorts offering snow tubing include Bretton Woods, Cranmore Mountain Resort, Franconia Inn XC, Great Glen Trails, Gunstock Mountain Resort, King Pine, Loon Mountain Resort, McIntyre Ski Area, and Pats Peak. Many NH ski resorts offer additional activities on and off snow, including fat biking, canopy tours, skijoring, mountain coasters, and taking a snow coach up the famed Mount Washington (the highest peak in the Northeast) where you can either ride the coach or snowshoe back down. Find more information on these unique non-skiing activities at Don't forget the après A child eats a s'more - courtesy of Ski NH For those who enjoy live music and hanging out with friends and family after skiing and riding, most NH alpine ski resorts offer live music on weekends or certain afternoons along with hearty appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, drinks, and more. During the February 17-24 vacation week, several ski areas will be serving up live music daily, while others will be hosting live acts Friday and Saturday at either end of the vacation week. A variety of events will take place at NH ski areas during the vacation weeks. For the kids, Cranmore Mountain Resort will be hosting its Cranapalooza family-friendly events daily from February 17-23. On February 24th and 25th, it's Good vs. Evil at Mount Sunapee's Superheroes and Supervillains Weekend! Come dressed as your favorite superhero or supervillain or make up your own and enter to win a pair of Oakley goggles at either Guest Services location. For those who enjoy competition, on February 25th there is “North America’s Toughest 10K." The Ski, Shoe & Fatbike to the Clouds 10k course uses 4k of the Great Glen Trails system, and then 6k on the snow covered Mt. Washington Auto Road with an average grade of 12% and an elevation gain of 2,200 feet (pre-registration required). Other events include live music, s'mores, guided snowshoe tours, and more; details on these and many more events can be found at