5 islands worth visiting during the off-season
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
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 holidays \Courtesty Nantucket Island Resorts
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, Bermuda \Shutterstock
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 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 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.
Right now, around the world, brave members of America's armed forces are on duty, defending our freedom and upholding our values.
When not laser-focused on the mission at hand, they're looking forward to the day when their service to our nation is fulfilled and they can reunite with their families.
They are also imagining how they can use their hard-earned skills to build an exciting, rewarding and important career when they return home.
I want them to look no further than United Airlines.
That's why we are focused on recruiting, developing and championing veterans across our company, demonstrating to our returning women and men in uniform that United is the best possible place for them to put their training, knowledge, discipline and character to the noblest use.
They've developed their knowledge and skills in some of the worst of times. We hope they will use those skills to keep United performing at our best, all of the time.
That's why we are accelerating our efforts to onboard the best and the brightest, and substantially increasing our overall recruitment numbers each year.
We recently launched a new sponsorship program to support onboarding veterans into United and a new care package program to support deployed employees. It's one more reason why United continues to rank high - and rise higher - as a top workplace for veterans. In fact, we jumped 21 spots this year on Indeed.com's list of the top U.S workplaces for veterans. This is a testament to our increased recruiting efforts, as well as our efforts to create a culture where veterans feel valued and supported.
We use the special reach and resources of our global operations to partner with outstanding organizations. This is our way of stepping up and going the extra mile for all those who've stepped forward to answer our nation's call.
We do this year-round, and the month of November is no exception; however, it is exceptional, especially as we mark Veterans Day.
As we pay tribute to all Americans who have served in uniform and carried our flag into battle throughout our history, let's also keep our thoughts with the women and men who are serving around the world, now. They belong to a generation of post-9/11 veterans who've taken part in the longest sustained period of conflict in our history.
Never has so much been asked by so many of so few.... for so long. These heroes represent every color and creed. They are drawn from across the country and many immigrated to our shores.
They then freely choose to serve in the most distant and dangerous regions of the world, to protect democracy in its moments of maximum danger.
Wherever they serve - however they serve - whether they put on a uniform each day, or serve in ways which may never be fully known, these Americans wake up each morning willing to offer the "last full measure of devotion" on our behalf.
Every time they do so, they provide a stunning rebuke to the kinds of voices around the world who doubt freedom and democracy's ability to defend itself.
Unfortunately, we know there are those who seem to not understand – or say they do not - what it is that inspires a free people to step forward, willing to lay down their lives so that their country and fellow citizens might live.
But, we – who are both the wards and stewards of the democracy which has been preserved and handed down to us by veterans throughout our history – do understand.
We know that inciting fear and hatred of others is a source of weakness, not strength. And such divisive rhetoric can never inspire solidarity or sacrifice like love for others and love of country can.
It is this quality of devotion that we most honor in our veterans - those who have served, do serve and will serve.
On behalf of a grateful family of 96,000, thank you for your service.
Each year around Veterans Day, Indeed, one of the world's largest job search engines, rates companies based on actual employee reviews to identify which ones offer the best opportunities and benefits for current and former U.S. military members. Our dramatic improvement in the rankings this year reflects a stronger commitment than ever before to actively recruiting, developing and nurturing veteran talent.
"We've spent a lot of time over the past 12 months looking for ways to better connect with our employees who served and attract new employees from the military ranks," said Global Catering Operations and Logistics Managing Director Ryan Melby, a U.S. Army veteran and the president of our United for Veterans business resource group.
"Our group is launching a mentorship program, for instance, where we'll assign existing employee-veterans to work with new hires who come to us from the armed forces. Having a friend and an ally like that, someone who can help you translate the skills you picked up in the military to what we do as a civilian company, is invaluable. That initiative is still in its infancy, but I'm really optimistic about what it can do for United and for our veteran population here."
Impressively, we were the only one of our industry peers to move up on the list, further evidence that we're on a good track as a company.
The question of where David Ferrari was had haunted retired U.S. Army Sergeant Major Vincent Salceto for the better part of 66 years.
Rarely did a week go by that Salceto didn't think about his old friend. Often, he relived their last moments together in a recurring nightmare. In it, it's once again 1953 and Salceto and Ferrari are patrolling a valley in what is now North Korea. Suddenly, explosions shatter the silence and flares light up the night sky.
Crouching under a barrage of bullets, Salceto, the squad's leader, drags two of his men to safety, then he sees Ferrari lying face down on the ground. He runs out to help him, but he's too late. And that's when he always wakes up.
Italian Americans from opposite coasts – Salceto from Philadelphia, Ferrari from San Francisco – the two became close, almost like brothers, after being assigned to the same unit during the Korean War. When Ferrari died, it hit Salceto hard.
"After that, I never let anyone get close to me like I did with Dave," he says. "I couldn't; I didn't want to go through that again."
When the war ended, Salceto wanted to tell Ferrari's family how brave their son and brother had been in battle. Most of all, he wanted to salute his friend at his gravesite and give him a proper farewell.
For decades, though, Salceto had no luck finding his final resting place or locating any of his relatives. Then, in June of this year, he uncovered a clue that led him to the Italian Cemetary in Colma, California, where Ferrari is buried.
Within days, Salceto, who lives in Franklinville, New Jersey, was packed and sitting aboard United Flight 731 from Philadelphia to San Francisco with his wife, Amy, and daughter, Donna Decker, on his way to Colma. For such a meaningful trip, he even wore his Army dress uniform.
That's how San Francisco-based flight attendant Noreen Baldwin spotted him as he walked down the jet bridge to get on the plane.
"I saw him and said to the other crew members, 'Oh my goodness, look at this guy,'" she says. "I knew there had to be a story."
The two struck up a conversation and Salceto told Baldwin why he was traveling. She got emotional listening to him talk and made a point of fussing over him, making sure he and his family had everything they needed.
About halfway through the flight, Baldwin had an idea. She and her fellow crew members would write messages of encouragement to Salceto and invite his fellow passengers to do the same.
"We did it discreetly," says Baldwin. "I asked the customers if they saw the man in uniform, which most had, and asked them if they wanted to write a few words for him on a cocktail napkin. A lot of people did; families did it together, parents got their kids to write something. After the first few rows, I was so choked up that I could barely talk."
When Baldwin surprised Salceto with dozens of hand-written notes, he, too, was speechless. He laid the stack on his lap and read each one. At the same time, the pilots made an announcement about the veteran over the loud speaker, after which the customers on board burst into applause.
"It seems contrived, and I hate using the word organic, but that's what it was; it just happened," Baldwin says. "Mr. Salceto was so loveable and humble, and what he was doing was so incredible, it felt like the right thing to do. And you could tell he was touched."
On June 27, Salceto finally stood before Ferrari's grave and said that long-awaited goodbye. As a trumpeter played "Taps," he unpinned a medal from his jacket and laid it reverently on the headstone.
"I had gotten a Bronze Star for my actions [the night Ferrari died] with a 'V' for valor, and that was the medal I put on Dave's grave," says Salceto, pausing to fight back tears. "I thought he was more deserving of it than I was."
For the first time in years, Salceto felt at peace. His mission was accomplished.