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Best Vacation Spots to Unplug

Device-free policies, gorgeous scenery and invigorating activities will leave you feeling recharged.

Pocahontas County, WV

The Place: West Virginia is one of our most beautiful states, full of rolling mountains, deep green valleys, picturesque farms, and endless options for outdoor recreation. Pocahontas County, on the state’s eastern end near the Virginia border, is no exception.

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Puerto Rico's Bioluminescent Lagoon Goes Oddly Dark

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Aside from Disney World, I wouldn't normally call a destination magical—but Puerto Rico’s bioluminescent Grand Lagoon comes pretty close. Unfortunately, the popular Fajardo tourist destination has gone strangely dark. Visitors come to swim or kayak through the waters to witness a trail of sparkling green light appear. The glow is caused when dinoflagettlates (microscopic plankton) are disturbed, giving off light they’ve collected during the day. But since November 11, tour operators have been forced to cancel excursions and reimburse disappointed guests.

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T+L Trips with Sponsor Cox & Kings: Morocco; South Africa

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Welcome to the latest installment of T+L's promotional partnership with luxury adventure operator Cox & Kings, where booking a trip to a destination featured in T+L is easier than ever. Here's how it works:

• Every month, T+L editors work with Cox & Kings to develop two trips inspired by destinations we love.
• Each itinerary is designed to offer insider access and unique experiences—whether it's a stay at an exclusive hotel, a behind-the-scenes tour, or dinner in a private residence.
• For a limited time, T+L readers can take advantage of exclusive savings on this month's featured trips.

December Specials

Morocco
The Highlights: Tour the historic sites of Fez's Old Town, from the 14th-century Al-Attarine Madrasa to the mosaics of Nejjarine Square; browse the stalls in Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakesh's main square, full of fire-eaters and snake-charmers, before exploring the late Yves Saint Laurent's Majorelle Garden by horse-drawn calèche; sunbathe by the pool or take a dip in the blue lagoon at La Sultana Oualidia, a seaside resort on Morocco's Atlantic Coast.
The Details: 9 days and 8 nights, from $6,195 per person.**

Optional Extensions: Agafay Desert or the Atlas Mountains
The Highlights: Bask beneath the sun at an Agafay desert camp or Richard Branson's Kasbah Tamadot resort in the Atlas Mountains. Available activities may include 4 x 4 excursions, village visits, camel rides, and more.
The Details: Agafay Desert, 3 days and 2 nights, from $850 per person.** Atlas Mountains, 3 days and 2 nights, from $1,095 per person.**

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Last Chance: Maine Leaf-Peeping At Its Best

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Fiery red, amber orange, golden yellow—these autumn colors are trademarks of the season, and the perfect excuse to plan a weekend getaway along New England's coast.

Maine’s striking foliage is still in its prime, and just an easy drive from Boston. Pack up the car and course along one of America’s best fall color drives to get there, or opt for a train ride to take in the hues. (Amtrak's Downeaster service departs five times daily from Boston to Portland.) Once you arrive, the fall viewing opportunities take to the sky, literally. Step onto a private plane with The Inn at Brunswick Station, whose “Fall Foliage Flyover” package offers for an hour-long aerial tour of Maine’s coastline. Or, take the Maine Eastern Railroad further north. Passengers will get an eyeful of colorful views on the 57-mile trip along state's scenic Mid-Coast, from Brunswick to Rockland.

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Adventure Travel as Only Our Twitter Experts Know It

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Our most recent T+L Twitter Chat covered the best new destinations, gadgets, tour guides, and more for adventure travel. 

We started out by asking our expert panelists where the up-and-coming adventure travel destinations were. Answers ranged from andBeyond visiting “Uganda for gorilla trekking or Sri Lanka for snorkeling with blue whales,” to Absolute Travel sharing how their “travelers want new takes on tried-and-true destinations, like a vintage sidecar ride through Shanghai.”

Dunton Hot Springs keeps it local by having unique adventures in the deserts or mountains, while Butterfield & Robinson is excited about new overseas trips ranging from Chile to Newfoundland. ROW Adventures suggested Manila or Bangkok “for urban adventures. [There’s] nothing like risking your life on a moto-taxi weaving through 10 million people.” 

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T+L Trips with Sponsor Cox & Kings: Finland; India

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Welcome to the latest installment of T+L's promotional partnership with luxury adventure operator Cox & Kings, where booking a trip to a destination featured in T+L is easier than ever. Here's how it works:

• Every month, T+L editors work with Cox & Kings to develop two trips inspired by destinations we love.
• Each itinerary is designed to offer insider access and unique experiences—whether it's a stay at an exclusive hotel, a behind-the-scenes tour, or dinner in a private residence.
• For a limited time, T+L readers can take advantage of exclusive savings on this month's featured trips.

November Specials

Finland
The Highlights: Tour Helsinki's historic sites, from the Senate Square and Parliament House to Uspenski Cathedral and the Finnish National Opera House; browse the city's retro-inspired boutiques and design stores; take a full-day excursion to Fiskars, a late-1600's village on the banks of the Fiskars River; base yourself at the opulent Hotel Kämp.
The Details: 7 days and 6 nights, from $4,650 per person**

Optional Extension: Tallinn, Estonia
The Highlights: Walk along the winding, cobbled streets of Tallinn's Old Town; visit Saint Catherine's Passageway and its collection of artisan workshops; view works of socialist realism and pop art at the Kumu Art Museum.
The Details: 3 days and 2 nights, from $1,150 per person**

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Adventure Travel Twitter Chat on Wednesday, October 16th

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Whether you’re jumping out of a plane, hiking Machu Picchu, or searching for the big five on a Zambian safari, the best part about adventure travel is the journey and endeavor itself. 

Join our live Twitter chat on Adventure Travel sponsored by Victorinox this Wednesday, October 16th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Our panel of experts will share up-and-coming adventure travel destinations, the best adventure tour operators and guides, the most useful gadgets for travelers, and more.

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Take Your Dream Trip for Free

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Dream of visiting far-flung destinations like Croatia (pictured), the Galapagos, Zion National Park, Botswana, Australia, the Everest region of Nepal, or Antarctica?

To celebrate their newly released 2014 trips, leading adventure travel company, REI Adventures, is giving away seven trips to their most popular destinations around the world.

If you can’t decide on a continent to visit, don’t worry—you can enter to win once every 24 hours until October 31.

Find out more information and entry requirements here

Gabrielle Blitz is the Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of REI Adventures

T+L Trips with Sponsor Cox & Kings: China; Russia

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Welcome to the fifth installment of T+L's promotional partnership with luxury adventure operator Cox & Kings, where booking a trip to a destination featured in T+L is easier than ever. Here's how it works:

• Every month, T+L editors work with Cox & Kings to develop two trips inspired by destinations we love.
• Each itinerary is designed to offer insider access and unique experiences—whether it's a stay at an exclusive hotel, a behind-the-scenes tour, or dinner in a private residence.
• For a limited time, T+L readers can take advantage of exclusive savings on this month's featured trips.

October Specials

China
The Highlights: Sail in a traditional sampan boat along the fishing harbor of Aberdeen, in Hong Kong; visit punti dwellings along Hong Kong’s Ping Shan Heritage Trail; browse fresh produce at Tai Po’s local market; base yourself at the venerable Mandarin Oriental Hotel Hong Kong.
The Details: 4 days and 3 nights, from $3,490 per person**

Optional Extension: Hangzhou
The Highlights: Feast on lotus-wrapped chicken at Louwailou restaurant; shop at the city’s silk market; visit the Lingyin Temple, where Buddhist monks still live and pray.
The Details: 4 days and 3 nights, from $3,295 per person**

Optional Extension: Vietnam
The Highlights: A one-night cruise through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay; whip up regional dishes at the Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An.
The Details: 7 days and 6 nights, from $3,285 per person**

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Cruise the Amazon with Your Family on an Aqua Expeditions

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Ever since my kids watched a TV show about Piranhas, they've been obsessed with the Amazon. “It's the biggest river in the world, full of scary fishes!” Sebastian told me one day. For any parent who's dreamed of traveling down this exotic waterway with family in tow, now is the perfect time to do it: Luxury cruise line Aqua Expeditions is offering free sailings on its ultra-luxe Aqua Amazon or Aria Amazon for kids under 12, through November 2014. Along the way, you'll spot sloths, caimans, pink dolphins (maybe a piranha), and more. It's the ultimate adventure for a family of wildlife lovers.

Clara Sedlak


Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at
Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @csedlak1.

Photo courtesy of Aqua Expeditions

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