ALL POSTS IN [Outdoors and Adventure]

Bert heads to Costa Mesa, CA, in an attempt to find one couple crazy enough to let him take the reigns on their vacation and flip their trip into an all-expenses-paid adventure to the Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Jennifer and Paul happen to be that lucky couple, and without knowing what’s in store, they’re in for the surprise of a lifetime. Have you ever been to an indoor/outdoor extreme sports training center? Well, if you’ve never been to Copper Mountain, CO, then your answer is no. That’s because Jen and Paul are going to Woodward at Copper, the world’s only facility of that nature, to do some indoor skiing.

From paragliding off Lookout Mountain and soaring high above Golden, CO, to working out at the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Bert has planned quite an amazing trip for our Rocky Mountain adrenaline junkies.

To find about more about Jennifer and Paul’s amazing trip to Colorado, tune in for an all-new episode, tonight at 8|7c.

Plus, check out these exclusive, sneak peek, behind-the-scenes photos from tonight’s episode.

All aboard! Next stop … the sunny shores of South Beach. By saying “yes” to Trip Flip host Bert Kreischer, Austin, TX, locals Nathan and Shannon have agreed to let him take the lead on an all-expenses-paid trip to Miami, with no idea of what’s in store for them. They certainly will not be disappointed.

How would you like to be given a tour of the city by one of the most successful music producers of all time — and husband of famed singer Gloria Estefan — 19-time Grammy award winner, Emilio Estefan? What about partaking in a drag race and drift at the Countyline Dragway, skimboarding in crystal-clear waters or getting turned into sand mermaids by sculpture artist, Victor Leong?

An amazing trip so far, right?

The third day of Shannon and Nathan’s Miami adventure starts at dawn, when Bert gets ready to reveal his biggest surprise of the season. Bert takes the couple to the Port of Miami by speedboat, where he informs them that they’ll also be going on an amazing, 6-day Carnival cruise to the Bahamas.

Bert and the lucky couple aren’t the only ones who got to enjoy the amenities of the Carnival cruise. Trip Flip’s senior producer John tells Travel Channel, “Our crew — who has traveled quite a bit and seen a few things — were so impressed with our VIP treatment, especially getting on and off the ship.  We felt like royalty.”

“Sometimes Trip Flip can be very spontaneous,” John adds. “The ship’s staff, crew and guests couldn’t have been nicer and more accommodating.”

Nate and Shannon are quick to take full advantage of all the onboard amenities, such as the top-level sky challenge course, and the on-ship water park, Waterworks. After riding the 300-foot corkscrew slide, it’s finally time to relax, so Bert arranges an appointment at the ship’s spa for an intimate couple’s massage.  And that’s just day 1 of their cruise!

Bert enjoys himself quite a bit, as well, with senior producer John telling us, “Whenever Bert shows up poolside, the party seems to arrive with him.”

To find out more about Nate and Shannon’s amazing Miami trip and personalized Carnival cruise, tune in tonight at 8|7c.

Plus, don’t forget to check out these exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos from this amazing Miami Trip Flip.

Want to take your own Carnival Breeze adventure? Go to Carnival.com to start planning your next vacation!

Jordan: Mark? What the hell are you doing here?

Mark: Buying some toys. What are you doing?

Jordan: I’m buying some toys.

Mark: Snooze, you lose, sucker! (maniacal laugh)

Jordan is in for the fight of his life as he travels to Florida and California looking for amazing, vintage toy gold to sell at Comic Con in the Emerald City of Seattle. With Jordan already falling behind his nemesis, Mark, it’s clear that he has some ground to make up — and he plans to do just that.

With a goal of selling his inventory of toys for at least $15,000, will Jordan be able to pull off this amazing feat or will he be stuck with his toys, defeated by his nemesis? Find out on an all-new episode of Toy Hunter, tonight @ 9|8c.

Plus, don’t forget to check out these exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos from Jordan’s Battle for Seattle.

Move over Men At Workthere’s a new group singing a tune about the Land Down Under, and they go by the name of Tom and Robin. Trip Flip host Bert Kreischer was dancing up and down the streets of Los Angeles when he came across the very lucky, adventurous couple. Little did they know, they would be given an amazing, all-expenses-paid trip to Sydney.

After taking to the sky in style (first class on a double-decker, Qantas A380 with 5-star cuisine, endless champagne and top-of-the-line amenities) Bert and our 2 lucky vacationers hit the road, heading west towards the Blue Mountains to go canyoning through waterfalls. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

To find out more about Tom and Robin’s amazing adventure to the Land Down Under, tune in for an all-new episode, tonight at 8|7c.

And if that’s not enough, check out these exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos from Trip Flip: Sydney.

With spring in the air, are you feeling a little romantic? Here’s an idea: Think of someone you’d like to get to know a little better and plan an outdoor spring fling – this week you’ll have plenty of options for exploring a national park near you, and at no cost for admission.

Today through Friday, April 26, admission is free to all 401 national parks from coast to coast in celebration of National Park Week. With so many parks to choose from, and with at least 1 national park in every state, chances are good you’re 100 miles or fewer from an outdoor wonderland.

Your spring fling will have (almost) limitless possibilities: America’s national parks comprise 84 million acres of land; along with 43,000 miles of shoreline, 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures, 12,000 campsites, 100 million museum items and countless natural wonders such as Utah’s Delicate Arch (pictured). The tough part will be deciding which national park to see first.

Start by checking out this directory to Find a Park.

Also be sure to check out the National Park Service’s Download Center – yes, you will be prompted to enter your name and email address … but it will be worth it. In return, you’ll get ideas for crafting a national park adventure uniquely your own, courtesy of downloadable guides to 25 unforgettable national hikes; 35 national park adventures for kids of all ages and more.

Plus, check out this Event Calendar – it will keep you informed of national park events taking place throughout the week, from Junior Ranger days to bicycle tours of national battlefields. Just imagine, you and someone special taking a bike tour along a wide open green field — the setting for a memorable spring fling, right?

And with Earth Day today, combine your love of the outdoors with protecting America’s natural and historical legacy. Consider a donation to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks — donations go to support projects such as park ranger-led nature walks and preservation of history-rich acreage and monuments at places like national Civil War battlefields.

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Get active – discover these Top 10 National Park Activities.

Test your knowledge — take our US National Parks Quiz.

Enjoy a family outing at one of these Top 5 National Park Family Programs.

When most couples begin to have children, the adventures go from cliff diving and bungee jumping to cleaning up messes and driving the kids to their soccer games. Austin locals Sara and Jake are 2 athletic parents who have had to give up a jet-setting lifestyle for a quiet home life. Lucky for them, though, Trip Flip host Bert Kreischer arrives to offer them a reprieve in the form of an all-expenses-paid trip to Bob Marley’s homeland, Jamaica.

Speaking of Bob Marley, how would you like to record a song in the legendary reggae artist’s very own Tuff Gong Recording Studio in Kingston? Or if you’re more of the adventurous type, how about plunging into the Irie Blue Hole or discovering a flaming fountain of youth at the Windsor Mineral Spring Spa?

Want to see more of how Jake and Sara’s Caribbean adventure played out? Tune in for an all-new episode of Trip Flip, tonight at 8|7c.

Plus, check out exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos from tonight’s episode.

Photo by Reuters/Mike Segar

Finally! In a victory that previous Aussie golfers Jim Ferrier, Bruce Crampton, Jack Newton and 3-time runner-up Greg Norman could only dream of, Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters Tournament this past Sunday and cast a renewed spotlight on golf Down Under.

For travelers looking to combine their love of faraway places with their love of the sport, Australia offers enticing options: golf courses spread across inland settings, some at really affordable prices. Among them is the recently opened Barnbougle Dunes resort. Located on Tasmania’s shores, the 200-acre resort offers all-day unlimited to its 36-hole course for around $130.

For a world-class golf experience, head to Royal Melbourne Golf Club, a 36-hole course near Melbourne that routinely makes US Golf Digest’s list of the world’s top golf courses. Since its founding in 1891, Royal Melbourne has gone on to become the oldest continually operating golf club in Australia — and if the media buzz is correct, Adam Scott will play at the club from Nov. 14-17 to defend the title he won last November at Kingston Heath.

This other premier golf club, located in Melbourne’s southeast suburbs, is the No. 2 course in Australia, and has hosted the Australian Golf Open 7 times. Several years ago, Kingston Heath also hosted the Australian Masters tournament. Looking to hit the green? Visiting golfers must be members of interstate or overseas golf clubs in order to arrange a booking.

For more memorable golf moments Down Under, head to Australia’s Dent Island. There you’ll find Hamilton Island Golf Club, home to the country’s only 18-hole championship course on an island. Designed by British Open championship golfer Peter Thompson, the par-71 course of broad fairways and steep valleys offers 360-degree views of the Coral Sea off Australia’s northeast coast.

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Can’t afford the private clubs? Head to the Best Public Golf Courses in the US.

For the golf-loving family, discover the Best Family Golf Courses.

Take a swing at these Luxury Golf Resorts.

Tonight at 8|7c, Bert scours Denver on a search for the perfect couple to take on an all-expenses-paid trip to Austin, TX. Bert comes across Maxim and Rebecca, an adventurous, fun–loving couple in desperate need of a getaway. They quickly (and excitedly) agree to a Trip Flip … and boy, are they in for a surprise.

Have you ever been to a restaurant where the patrons wait for a chicken to poop in order to win a prize? Probably not.  Unless you live in Texas!

After finishing their game of chicken bingo, Maxim and Rebecca are in for a treat: Bert introduces them to country music stars Martie and Emily of the Court Yard Hounds and Dixie Chicks. Not only do our vacationers get to sit in on a special studio session, they also get to kick back and relax with the stars while enjoying a tequila tasting. Not bad for a free trip, right? And that’s just the half of it.

Want to know more about Maxim and Rebecca’s amazing, Texas-sized adventure? Tune in for an all-new episode of Trip Flip, tonight at 8|7c.

And don’t miss these exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos from tonight’s Trip Flip.

Everglades

Photo By Valerie Conners

While the hordes of Spring Breakers flock — understandably — to South Florida’s golden shores, consider a trip down the not-so-beaten path, to Everglades National Park, the heart of which lies just an hour’s drive west of Miami, along the Tamiami Trail. A drive into the heart of the Everglades grants visitors glimpses of the diverse wildlife roaming the region, including loads of alligator sightings (stand back, and keep you hands to yourself!), great blue herons, colorful roseate spoonbills and ever-present white herons and ibises. If you weren’t a bird watcher, much less bird lover, before entering the Everglades, you will be when you depart.

“Everglades” literally translates to “river of grass,” and that’s exactly what you’ll find here: a subtropical wetland that begins in Central Florida at Lake Okeechobee as water leaves the lake and flows south, forming a slow moving river. The so-called river of grass is an astonishing 50 miles wide and 100 miles long, running all the way to the tip of South Florida and into the sea. Of that vast expanse, 1.5 million acres have been designated a National Park, protecting 20 percent of the Everglades and the extraordinary wildlife contained within.

Everglades National Park is split into 2 main entrances, Shark Valley in the north central section of the park and the Gulf Coast Visitor Center in the West. Start your foray into the Everglades in Shark Valley. This entrance has the most amenities for visitors, including a museum, bike rentals and tram tours, as well as an observation tower in the thick of the glades that affords striking views of the grassland. A 15-mile loop road winds through Shark Valley, and is popular for bikers and a few apparently cold-blooded walkers undaunted by the region’s high temperatures. If you’re not prone to exert yourself for the duration of a 15-mile bike ride, hop aboard a tram tour, where knowledgeable guides point out and explain in detail the Everglades’ flora and fauna — with frequent stops for photos.

From Shark Valley, make your way toward the Gulf Coast Visitor Center. This entrance lies tucked into the far western reaches of the park, where you’ll see a much different topography, chiefly mangrove islands and winding waterways. As you make drive west, you’ll have the choice to continue along the well-trodden Tamiami Trail, or pop off onto a Scenic Loop Road, and as I highly recommend, and great poets will agree, always — always — take the road less traveled.

The loop road is partially unpaved, though easily driveable, and winds through what may well be the region’s most spectacular and wildest scenery: a cypress forest, part of the Big Cypress National Preserve. These monstrous trees drip with Spanish Moss, and you’ll pass by alligators lounging at their bases, as well as countless birds — herons, ibises, purple gallinules and pelicans galore. The best part? In what turned into an hour and a half foray along the road (I stopped for lots of pictures), I passed a mere 4 other cars. This is as remote a space as you’ll find anywhere in Florida.

Everglades

Photo By Valerie Conners

You’ll leave the Preserve and arrive in Everglades City late-afternoon or early evening. To get the most out of an Everglades National Park road trip from South Florida’s east coast, spend an overnight in Everglades City, just south of Naples, on the western edge of the park. The town is incredibly small, just a few hundred residents, and lies amidst winding waterways. Book a room at the Everglades City Motel, where the old-fashioned exterior belies the beautifully remodeled rooms inside. Grab a sunset cocktail and a platter of smoked fish dip at the iconic Rod and Gun Club, which sits along a scenic curve of the river. For dinner, meander a mile or so down the road to Camellia Street Grill, a true local’s hangout along the river. You’ll find kitschy decor, a welcoming outdoor deck, twinkling lights strung from trees, and if you’re lucky — live music and dancing.

The following day, head into the park’s western entrance, and book yourself on a boat tour of either the mangrove isles or Ten Thousand Islands. You can choose from a larger boat that winds through the islands or a smaller, 6-person tour that heads into the depths of the mangroves. After your boat tour, pay a visit to Chokoloskee Island, just a few minutes down the road. Here you’ll find the Smallwood Store and Ole Indian Trading Post, a former general store established in 1906 that’s now on the National Register of Historic Places, and has been turned into a museum featuring artifacts from the era, including newspaper clippings, medicine bottles, and furnishings.

Before you head back toward the 2-hour drive to Miami, refuel with lunch at the Havana Cafe, a Chokoloskee restaurant dishing up tasty Cuban food. Try the pork plate, traditional-style Cuban pork shoulder, serve with black beans, rice and a small salad. Ask to try the homemade hot sauce — you’ll thank me later.

Key Largo, Montego, baby why don’t we go?

Off the Florida Keys, there’s a place called Kokomo.

That’s where you wanna go … to get away from it all!

Two lucky vacationers will experience what the Beach Boys proclaimed as they throw caution to the wind and let Bert take charge on an all-expense-paid trip to the Florida Keys.

Aside from nursing sick sea turtles back to health, reeling in exotic fish from the waters of the sport fishing capital of the world, and dining at Ernest Hemingway’s favorite watering hole, our vacationers will also enjoy getting their feet wet with a deep-sea snorkeling trip off their own private, chartered catamaran. And that’s just the half of it.

Join Bert tonight at 8|7c for all-new adventure to the Florida Keys with Denver residents Tom and Crystle, as they spend 3 days drenched in the sun and seeing the Keys as few have before.

Plus, check out these exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos from Tom and Crystal’s journey through sunny Florida.

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