My suitcase is ready for action, but where will my wanderings take me? There’s lots to evaluate. If the planets are in alignment, here are my top choices for 2021.
On the Beach
The Hotel Riu Palace Baja California, located in Cabo San Lucas on famed El Médano Beach, is only three years old. The all-inclusive, adults-only resort features seven restaurants, 24-hour room service, four pools, a patisserie/ice cream parlor, discotheque, gift shop, spa with salon, free wi-fi, in-room minibar plus spirit dispenser, daily fitness led activities, plus a gym, sauna and whirlpool. I’ve visited several of their properties in Mexico and Panama. I’m a big fan of the chain. Sun, sand, surf, and a 5-star resort is definitely on my radar.
On the Water
American Queen Steamboat Company has four paddlewheel boats traversing waterways in the northwest, midwest and south. In late 2019, my wife and I enjoyed a superior journey plying the Columbia and Snake Rivers on the American Empress. I was impressed by the spacious accommodations, attentive service, first rate food, complimentary wine at dinner, free port tours, and a “Riverlorian” who discussed the Lewis & Clark Corps of Discovery adventure (a highlight). Additionally, with only 112 cabins, it’s a pleasure not dealing with huge crowds. I’m ready for another stress free, picturesque, and educational trip.
Victory Cruise Lines, owned by American Queen Steamboat Company, sails interesting coastal destinations, including Alaska, the Pacific Coast, Mexico and the Yucatan peninsula, the Great Lakes (all five!), Canada, New England, the Eastern Seaboard, and the Southern Coast. Carrying only 200 passengers in each of their three vessels means uncommon ports are accessible to visit. There are daily enrichment programs, nightly entertainment, unlimited beverages, and, of course, meals are included. A Victory Cruise Lines vacation is definitely on my to-do list.
On the Range
Located in Northern California’s Lost Sierra Region, the Greenhorn Ranch offers a family friendly experience for its guests. Its 600 pristine acres are perfect for horseback riding, hiking, fishing, skeet shooting, mountain biking, and archery. Other amenities include a pool, yoga, complimentary wi-fi, and, of course, whiskey tastings in the bar. Chow time at the Ranch? It’s all-inclusive in season; three meals daily. They love to feed their guests at cookouts and barbecues, with evenings featuring live music and dancing. There are a total of 26 rooms in the lodge and cabins and even a deluxe Airstream Camper. Outdoor activities, clean air, rustic setting, and western hospitality seems like a perfect way to relax and forget about 2020.
On the Web
Riu Hotels – Their new app allows guests to manage their stay from reservation to checkout; specials and locations can be found at www.Riu.com.
American Queen Steamship Company – Logon to www.AQSC.com or call 1-888-966-0938 for information and/or reservations. Discounts galore are available.
Victory Cruise Lines – The inaugural Alaska season kicks off with a new ship, Ocean Victory. For that itinerary and all others, go to their website or phone 833-431-1445 to talk to a customer service expert. Look for specials at wwwVictoryCruiseLines.com.
Greenhorn Ranch – Located in Quincy, CA, less than 1 1/2 hours from Reno, NV and 3 hours from Sacramento, CA. Visit www.GreenhornRanch.com for reservations. Questions? Answers: 530-283-0930.
Thanks to various websites for information and photo credits to Riu, ASQC/Victory Cruise Lines, and Greenhorn Ranch.