5 islands worth visiting during the off-season - United Hub
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5 islands worth visiting during the off-season

By The Hub team, November 28, 2017

These summer-season islands are delightfully laid back in fall, winter and spring.

Summer-season islands are typically overrun with tourists for three or four months a year — as anyone who's strolled around Nantucket in July can attest — but they can be delightfully laid back in fall, winter and spring. Here are five islands that welcome visitors in the off-season, so there's no need to wait until Memorial Day to enjoy them.

Vancouver Island, Canada

Vancouver Island – Canada

There's so much natural beauty — soaring pine forests, rocky coastlines, picturesque bays — on this rugged island located to the west of Vancouver, British Columbia, that it's season-less. While summer draws active travelers looking to hike, surf, fly fish and whale watch, winter also lures romantics seeking to snuggle, sip wine by a roaring fireplace and gaze out at dramatic waves rolling in from the Pacific (some 15-20 feet in height). Yes, storm watching is a thing, and it peaks from December to February. And it's hard to beat the view from the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino. Vancouver Island is also home to the charming capital city of Victoria, and a world-class dining scene (fresh oysters, local salmon and BC wine) that makes it perfect for a Canadian version of hygge, the popular Danish notion of cozy camaraderie.

Nantucket's Brant Point Lighthouse decorated for the holidaysNantucket's Brant Point Lighthouse decorated for the holidays \Courtesty Nantucket Island Resorts

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Looking to step back in time on a pre-Christmas getaway that's fun, festive and full of charm? This Massachusetts island may be more famous for its sand dunes and July 4th clambakes, but come December the streets of its historic downtown are lined with hundreds of decorated fir trees, setting the scene for the Nantucket Christmas Stroll, a four-decade-long tradition that resembles a jolly block party of holiday cheer. Shop, sip hot chocolate and mulled cider, join local carolers and welcome Santa and Mrs. Claus who arrive via Coast Guard cutter. Even after the Stroll weekend is over, you can peruse local shops and galleries (most stay open through Christmas), take a beach walk and visit Cisco Brewers to sip a Winter Shredder. Two top properties remain open for most of the winter: The Nantucket Hotel and The Jared Coffin House.

A harbor in Hamilton, BermudaA harbor in Hamilton, Bermuda \Shutterstock

Bermuda

This 21-square-mile island is located 570 miles off the coast of North Carolina in the Atlantic, so it's high season is generally during the summer months. But if golf's your game, six world-famous courses and mild winter temperatures (60 to 70 degrees) make Bermuda perfect for an off-season getaway. Even non-golfers can enjoy the island's scenic beauty — pink-sand beaches, picturesque coves and charming cottage-style architecture — and relax during a spa treatment, traditional afternoon tea or a tasting of Gosling's famous dark rum. History buffs can explore the island's maritime legends, shoppers can buy Bermuda-style decor or beachwear and foodies can enjoy the island's seafood specialties (it's spiny lobster season from September to March). Plus, there's a resort to suit any style — including the Hamilton Princess for traditionalists, Rosewood Tucker's Point for luxury-seekers and The Reefs for cliffside romance — all are open year-round.

A mansion along the Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode IslandA mansion along the Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode IslandShutterstock

Aquidneck Island, Rhode Island

Never heard of it? This 44-square-mile island in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay is home to the state's most famous city: Newport. And the off-season here has plenty to offer, beginning with the annual Christmas at the Newport Mansions extravaganza. From Nov. 18, 2017, to Jan. 1, 2018, three of the destination's most famous historic mansions — The Breakers, The Elms and Marble House — will be decorated to the hilt with Christmas gilt. Newport also has a Holiday Stroll (the first two weekends of December) featuring shopping, live entertainment, hot cider and warm-you-up New England clam chowder. Newport puts on the glitz into the New Year with the annual Winter Festival (Feb. 16-25, 2018) featuring daily events that include ice sculpting, warm drink contests and the Illuminated Garden in Ballard Park. The perfect spot to warm up: a lavish suite at The Chanler at Cliff Walk, where the cozy bar beckons you to sip a hot toddy beside the antique fireplace.

A winery on Long Island's North ForkA winery on Long Island's North Fork \Shutterstock

Long Island, New York

Planning a winter escape to New York City? Add to your enjoyment by pairing one of the world's most famous islands, Manhattan, with the charming, farmhouse-lined landscapes of the North Fork on this fish-shaped island to the east. While Long Island's South Fork is synonymous with summer (it's home to the Hamptons), its North Fork has a wine trail featuring more than 35 vineyards, many with tasting rooms that are open year-round. Check out Raphael in Peconic, Lieb Cellars in Cutchogue and Sherwood House Vineyards in Jamesport. Check in at the Jedediah Hawkins Inn in Jamesport, offering easy access to several tasting rooms.


This article was written by Donna Heiderstadt from Islands and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Adjusting to Customer Demand, United Adds New Nonstop Service to Florida

By United Newsroom, August 12, 2020

CHICAGO, Aug. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- United Airlines today announced plans to add up to 28 daily nonstop flights this winter connecting customers in Boston, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, New York/LaGuardia, Pittsburgh and Columbus, Ohio to four popular Florida destinations. The new, nonstop flights reflect United's continuing strategy to aggressively, and opportunistically manage the impact of COVID-19 by increasing service to destinations where customers most want to fly.

Entertainment for all

By The Hub team, August 04, 2020

Our Marketing Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity team and Bridge, our Business Resource Group (BRG) for people with all abilities, partnered together to test and provide feedback on our award-winning seatback inflight entertainment (IFE) system.

Aptly named "Entertainment for all," our new seatback IFE system offers the an extensive suite of accessibility features, allowing for unassisted use by people of all visual, hearing, mobility and language abilities.

"It's nice to know that I can get on a plane and pick my favorite entertainment to enjoy, just like every customer," said Accessibility Senior Analyst and Developer and Bridge Chief of Staff Ray C., who is blind.

"As a deaf employee, the closed captioning availability on board our aircraft is something I value greatly," added Information Technology Analyst Greg O. "The new IFE further cements United's visibility within the deaf community and elsewhere. It makes me proud to be an employee."

Accessibility features of the new IFE include a text-to-speech option, explore by touch, customizable text size, screen magnification, color correction and inversion modes, and alternative navigation options for those unable to swipe or use a handset. For hearing-impaired and non-English-speaking passengers, customization options provide the ability for customers to be served content and receive inflight notifications based on their preferences and settings —with closed captions, with subtitles or in the language of their choice from the 15 languages supported. Our "Entertainment for all" system won the Crystal Cabin Award in 2019, and recently, the Dr. Margaret Pfanstiehl Research and Development Award for Audio Description by the American Council of the Blind.

"This really showed the benefits of partnering with BRGs in helping us improve products and services for our customers and employees," said Inflight Entertainment and Connectivity Senior Manager Corinne S. "Even though we have been recognized with awards for our IFE accessibility features, we are not resting on our laurels but continuing to work towards improving the inflight entertainment experience for all of our customers to ensure entertainment is available for all."

Shaping an inclusive future with Special Olympics

By The Hub team, July 24, 2020

If your travels have taken you through Chicago O'Hare International Airport anytime since October 2019, you may have had a friendly, caring and jovial exchange with Daniel Smrokowski. Daniel is one of four Service Ambassadors thanks to our ongoing partnership with Special Olympics. This inaugural ambassador program aims to provide Special Olympic athletes employment opportunities within our operation, affording them a unique and meaningful career.

Since 2018, our partnership with Special Olympics has become one of United's most cherished relationships, going beyond the events we take part in and volunteer with. While the plane pull competitions, polar plunges, duck derbies and Special Olympics World Games and other events around the world are a big part of our involvement, the heart of this partnership lies with the athletes and individuals supported by Special Olympics. To advocate for their inclusion in every setting is one of our biggest honors, and we take great pride in the role we play in the organization's inclusion revolution.

Aiding in the success of Special Olympics' mission to create continuing opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, throughout the two-year partnership, United has volunteered over 10,500 hours and donated over $1.2 million in travel to the organization. The impact of this partnership is felt at every level, both at Special Olympics and within our own ranks.

"The Inclusion Revolution campaign, led by our athletes, aims to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. United Airlines has joined in our fight for inclusion, empowering our athletes with the skills needed to succeed and opportunities to contribute their abilities as leaders," said Special Olympics International Chairman Tim Shriver. "United Airlines believes that people with intellectual disabilities should be perceived as they really are: independent, world-class athletes, students, employees, neighbors, travelers, and leaders who contribute to make this world a better place."

Our Service Ambassador program is just one of the many ways Special Olympics has impacted not only our employees, but also our customers. "I see every day how our Service Ambassadors connect with our customers the moment they walk into the airport lobby," said Senior Customer Service Supervisor Steve Suchorabski. "They provide a warm, welcoming smile ad assist in any way they can. To see these young adults hold positions that a society once told them they couldn't is truly the most heartwarming part of my job," Steve continued.

"The opportunity to be a part of the United family means everything to me," Daniel said. "I feel so much pride showing up to work in a Special Olympics/United co-branded uniform, working among such a loving and supportive community. The relationship between these two organizations is truly helping to shape my future while letting me use my gifts of communicating and helping others. Hopefully, I can spend my entire career at United," Daniel added.

In honor of Special Olympics' Global Week of Inclusion in July, we're asking our employees, customers and partners to sign a pledge to #ChooseToInclude at jointherevolution.org/pledge.

And be sure to check out Daniel's podcast The Special Chronicles.

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