Spring and Summer Ideas

If you’re still thinking about where to go for your spring and summer holidays, here are some suggestions that might help you decide.

If You Want to Make the Most of the Midnight Sun…

Head north to Alaska, where the long days give you ample time to spot bears and moose, go glacier cruising and fly fishing, and enjoy the glorious scenery. Or see St. Petersburg at its most festive and romantic during the White Lights Festival — two months of opera, ballet and symphony performances.

If You Love Nature…

Go to Africa, and be enthralled by the big cats, thundering herds, and vibrant ecosystems. Go Down Under, and check out kangas in Australia’s Outback, koalas in Northern Queensland, and amazing bird life in Kakadu National Park. Or go hiking with mountain goats and kayaking with orcas on the pristine British Columbia coast.

If You Want a Little Beach Time…

The Great Barrier Reef has a tropical paradise just for you, with white, sandy beaches and the best diving and snorkeling in the world (especially Jun-Aug, when visibility is at its best). The Seychelles and Maldives, surrounded by the crystal-clear Indian Ocean, are as unspoiled as they come. And no one does beach culture better than Brazil — Rio and the Costa Verde have their nicest weather May-Aug.

If You Want Quality Family Time…

Rent a private home or estate, where you can relax, play games, make enormous feasts, explore the area at leisure, and truly bond. Our partners can find you an exclusive property just about anywhere. Or charter a yacht and sail the Greek Islands, Caribbean Sea or Turkish coast — it’s a new experience each day, full of simple pleasures and miles from the usual distractions.

If You’re Angling for a Fishing Holiday…

Take a Heli-Fishing adventure to the remote rivers and lakes of British Columbia. If the salmon and trout aren’t biting, just head to the next spot. Or cast your fly in a stunningly beautiful, straight-out-of-the-movies Montana river.

If You Love Exotic Cultures…

Head to China, and have your Western worldview forever altered. The landscapes, history and architecture of Beijing, Guilin, Xi’an and Shanghai will fascinate everyone in your family. In Northern Vietnam, Mar-May brings mild weather for exploring shrines and temples and sailing on Halong Bay. This is also the time to visit Morocco, where you can browse the souks, marvel at lavish palaces, and go sand boarding on the dunes.

New Destinations and Partners

Our latest destination is Brazil, that richly varied land of beaches and rainforests, music and festivals, sprawling cities and colonial towns. We’ve chosen a few key areas to highlight, based on my recent art trip to Rio and São Paulo, and our partner’s expert knowledge of the country. We’ve also added a second itinerary to our Los Angeles section — a “Movie Lovers” weekend that includes VIP access to Universal Studios and a private guided tour of all the top sights in Hollywood. It’s perfect for a parent-child one-on-one holiday, especially if you have a movie aficionado like my son Ali in your family.

Logo for Dulcedo Class We’ve added two new partners to our elite network. The first is Dulcedo Class, an offshoot of Wolf Worster Associates, our villa specialist partner. Dulcedo Class offers short-term staffing solutions in locations around the globe. If you’ve rented a villa, chartered a yacht, or are on an extended stay away from home, they will fulfill your staffing requirements with experienced, professional and thoroughly screened local personnel — from chefs, concierges and nannies to housekeepers, chauffeurs and tour guides.

Logo for Nimmo Bay Our second new partner is Nimmo Bay, a luxurious, family-owned-and-operated wilderness lodge on the spectacular British Columbia coast. They specialize in custom-tailored helicopter and fly-fishing adventures that make the most of the pristine mountains, rivers and beaches. Nimmo Bay is just 1.5 hours from Vancouver —the lodge sleeps no more than 18 guests and is perfect for families.

Events Focus: International Art Circuit

The contemporary art circuit gets more exciting every year, with events like Art Basel Miami Beach growing by leaps and bounds, and new Biennials such as Singapore and Moscow joining more established ones like Venice and São Paolo. The 2011 circuit has already kicked off with Art Stage Singapore (Jan 12-16) and the Miami International Art Fair (Jan 13-17). The next big event to watch for is the Armory Show in New York, happening this weekend (March 3-6). Anyone can go to these art fairs (and they are very eye-opening as well as fun), but accommodations do fill up, so make your plans now.

Photo Contest

Our last photo contest yielded so many great images, we’ve decided to hold another one! Send in your submissions up until May 31, 2011 — we’ll be holding our next drawing in early June. Once again, the prize is an iPad, and the prize winner’s name will be drawn from the monthly winners. If you have an amazing image to share, please send it in. To see the winning photos from 2010 and January 2011, please visit the Photo Contest page on My Little Swans.

Warm Regards,
Katrina Garnett

Portrait of Katrina Garnett

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