Fort MyersLee County CVB

A little reading, some research and you’ll be well on your way to making suggestions that are good for your clients and for the planet

Travellers are thinking about the environment: the impact of their travel choices, where to go and what to do to leave the smallest footprint. This is where travel professionals come in – a little reading, some research and you’ll be well on your way to making suggestions that are good for your clients and for the planet.

Maine is blessed with natural beauty and an eco-friendly mindset. At the oceanside Inn by the Sea they show their commitment to preservation with four eco-friendly initiatives: a butterfly habitat, local and sustainable cuisine offered at the in-house Sea Glass restaurant, green design elements – from recycled sheet rock walls to solar panels and the restoration of a bunny habitat for the endangered New England Cottontail Rabbit. www.innbythesea.com/about/green/

The network of Maine Huts & Trails uses green energy systems to reduce impact on the surrounding environment. Each of the huts uses solar power, radiant floor heating and a composting toilet system. Overnight guests are invited to join staff on a green energy tour to learn more about the network’s green initiatives and all visitors are asked to adopt “Leave No Trace” principles. www.mainehuts.org/

The New England Outdoor Center in Millinocket, Maine provides guests everything from white water rafting, moose and wildlife tours, eagle and birdwatching, to green cabins built with radiant floor heating and exceptional standards for clean air, meeting the Gold level certification for LEED building standards. www.neoc.com/twin-pine-coveside-lodgings.php

Travel to Boston, Massachusetts and you’ll find well-planned transportation options that make for a green getaway. Go car-free in Boston – bike trails and dedicated bike lanes make it easy to pedal around the compact city core. The city’s transportation network – known as the T, operates trolleys, trains, buses, and ferries in the Greater Boston area. Bicycles are allowed on selected buses and trains and all ferries. Get free bike route maps at www.cityofboston.gov/bikes/


And thanks to Massachusetts’ land and wildlife conservation efforts, there are lots of opportunities to enjoy great landscapes, view wildlife and hike, bike and paddle.

Experience the wonders of nature up close. MassWildlife, the state agency responsible for protecting wildlife, has mapped out 67 prime viewing sites marked by brown binocular road signs. See snowy owls and shore birds at Joppa Flats Education Center; spot rare wildflowers at High Ledges inn Shelburne; keep an eye out for moose, bobcats and hawks, while hiking 20 kilometres of trails at Wachusett Meadow in Princeton. www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/recreaton/viewing/wildlife_viewing_index.htm

The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel are known worldwide for shell-strewn beaches, wildlife refuges and sparkling waterways. On Sanibel Island, there are 37 kilometres of multi-use paths that function as sidewalks, bike paths and recreational trails. More than half of Sanibel’s acreage has been protected. Any development balances resorts with nature, making Sanibel a model for ecotourism.

And the southwest Florida hospitality industry is working to do its part. Thirty-five area accommodations have been named to the Florida Green Lodging Program. The newest addition to Fort Myers conservation efforts, JetBlue Park, the spring training facility for the Boston Red Sox, is LEED certified. The ballpark has an irrigated water system that collects rainwater in on-site ponds to preserve the eight hectares of contiguous natural habitat. www.fortmyers-sanibel.com

Colorado boasts dozens of outdoor, green and eco-adventure experiences: authentic dude ranch experiences, hiking and climbing the state’s towering peaks, ziplining and white water rafting. Colorado is home to four national parks. And even Denver takes “green” seriously with a large fleet of hybrid taxis and more than 200 city parks.

Travellers passionate about the environment can log onto the Virginia state tourism website, VirginiaGreenTravel.org, dedicated to environmentally friendly travel. The site serves as a gateway to certified green tourism businesses including more than 150 lodging facilities, restaurants, attractions, Virginia state parks, outdoor adventure programs, the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, eco-friendly events and travel tips. Virginia Green gives visitors the opportunity to make decisions based on a concern for the environment.

On St John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the hilly Virgin Islands National Park is known for picture-perfect vistas and a diverse topography of subtropical forests, salt ponds, mangroves, sea grass beds, coral reefs and white sand beaches. Within the park, visitors can hike over 22 trails. The park extends beyond St. John’s terrain to five kilometres of submerged lands including the underwater trail at world-famous Trunk Bay.

Visitors to St. Croix can take a day-sail to Buck Island Reef National Monument, one of only two underwater national monuments in America. Buck Island boasts more than 280 hectares of reefs and crystal-blue water, making it a spectacular destination for snorkellers.

The U.S. Virgin Islands boasts a variety of affordably unique, environmentally friendly lodging options: St. John’s Concordia Eco-Resort offers minimalist tent cottages to state-of-the-art eco-studios; Cinnamon Bay Campground is a quick stroll to St. John’s longest beach; Eco Serendib is a luxury villa outfitted with eight ecologically friendly suites. www.visitusvi.com

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