How to Get to St. Barths

How to Get to St. Barths

Tucked among the Lesser Antilles islands 1,200 miles southeast of Miami, there’s an exclusive slice of Caribbean paradise with all the sophistication of a European-style retreat. Offering a one-of-a-kind ambiance that’s both laid-back and chic, the enchanting enclave of St. Barths beckons with its ultra-luxe boutique shopping, five-star resorts and hotels, fine French gastronomy, world-class watersports, and unparalleled natural splendor.

For those looking for a taste of this extraordinary destination, here’s how to get to St. Barths, along with an inside look at the unforgettable experiences that await.

How to Get to St. Barths

A stress-melting trip to paradise should be seamless from start to finish. Connected by virtually every major airline, book a transfer that’s both convenient and luxurious with Tradewind Aviation, which offers regularly scheduled shuttle flights to St. Barths from San Juan and Antigua. Private charters from the continental U.S. are also offered via Tradewind’s fleet of Pilatus PC-12s and Citation jets.

No matter which option they choose, travelers will enjoy a private pre-flight lounge, a VIP guided transfer option, and a comfortable flight complete with ample luggage room, air conditioning, and complimentary onboard snacks and refreshments, including beer and wine.

When flying overhead, the scintillating magic of St. Barths can first be felt as the island emerges from the sea in a spectacular heap of rolling verdant hills freckled with whimsical red-roofed cottages. Spread in the shape of a horseshoe across eight square miles, the volcanically-formed isle is roughly the same size as LAX — yet with its gently swaying palms, shimmering turquoise waters, and sun-drenched beaches, St. Barths couldn’t present more of a contrast.

The magic continues just after touching down at the iconic Rémy de Haenen Airport and opening the plane’s passenger door, when the island’s palpable energy floods in with the sea salt breeze. As visitors step onto the tarmac, they are greeted with a vibrant soirée of pastel colors declaring themselves in aqua blues, sea greens, canary yellows, and imperial reds.

The Beaches of St. Barths

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The diverse coastline of St. Barths features no less than 14 swimmable beaches, boasting pristine ribbons of soft powder-white sand and impeccable aquatic conditions. It’s little wonder, then, that guests first set their sights on the island’s tide-washed shores.

As the most proximal beach to the airport, St. Jean Beach provides an inspiring setting to bask in blissful views or wade in the water while watching planes’ dramatic arrivals and departures from the adjacent runway strip. Within walking distance of the St. Barths capital of Gustavia, Shell Beach is an aptly named belt of sand replete with kaleidoscopic seashells and other unique natural treasures washed ashore by the heaving waves.

Beachgoers can also find shorelines that are secluded and serene — namely, the unspoiled crescents of Gouverneur, Saline, and Colombier beaches. Sheltered by their respective bays, each offers an idyllic respite for sunbathing, delving into the pages of a satisfying beach read, or snorkeling amid crystal-clear waters. Nestled on the southern coast, Saline Beach in particular provides an ideal vantage for soaking in vibrant Caribbean sunsets.

While watersport enthusiasts of all skill levels can find myriad opportunities to play in the seas surrounding St. Barths, Grand Cul-de-Sac’s shallow lagoon offers an ideally placid setting to develop a new hobby, such as kiteboarding, windsurfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, or sailing.

St. Barths Shopping

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With more than 200 boutique shops scattered across Gustavia and beyond, St. Barths is a veritable mecca for extravagant shopping. As a favored retreat for celebrities and discerning guests, the island abounds with the latest fashions from some of the world’s most luxurious designer brands.

From bohemian-chic styles to jewel-studded opulence, the finest selections of shoes, jewelry, handbags, and clothing are all available for upscale perusing. Apart from the elegant designer offerings of Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari, and more, there are also plenty of posh products showcased throughout the island’s high-end boutiques.

Style aficionados would be remiss not to visit Libertine, a celebrated haven for sophisticated  lingerie, swimsuits, and beachwear, as well as Fabienne Miot, a locally owned jewelry shop creating island-inspired pieces from pearls and other precious stones.

St. Barths Restaurants

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Brimming with pleasurable dining experiences, St. Barths provides a multitude of gourmet cuisine to satisfy and delight a variety of palates. Given the island’s distinct French influence, there is an almost-ubiquitous fusion of the country’s refined gastronomy and locally sourced tropical flavors. And with over 80 restaurants to choose from, visitors have no shortage of epicurean opportunities.

Set to breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea, Restaurant Le Toiny curates an array of indulgent dishes from both land and ocean thanks to the imagination of Executive Chef Jarad McCaroll. Overlooking Gustavia, the acclaimed Bonito specializes in exquisite seafood selections as well as French-focused fare with a South American twist, all served with a side of sunset-primed panoramas. 

Guests craving fresh-made food to take along on a day of adventure will find plenty of delicious options at Maya’s To Go in St. Jean. Highlighting the day’s catch, the rotating beach-ready menu might include anything from grilled filet of mahi-mahi to wahoo ceviche infused with Caribbean-derived coconut and lime.

Nightlife on St. Barths

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Whether visitors are seeking a sophisticated evening nightcap or the chance to fully let loose with bottle service, they’ll be pleased to discover St. Barths’ vivacious nightlife throughout its many trendy establishments.

Equal parts sushi restaurant and nightclub, Baz Bar dazzles after dark with live music and signature cocktails, including pineapple-infused French martinis and tropical Mai Tais. Nearby, the Rhum Room is tucked into the back of Quarter Kitchen. One of the island’s best-kept secrets, the stylish speakeasy purveys the best rum collection in the Caribbean.

Renowned for its Parisian atmosphere, Bagatelle has risen through the ranks to become another of the harbor’s most prized attractions with the help of boisterous resident DJ beats and French cuisine served late. Also pairing late-night eats with high-energy entertainment, Le Ti St. Barth amuses guests with burlesque dancers who remind patrons of the Moulin Rouge as they perform their routines on floor and tabletop alike.

St. Barths Events

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A cultured crossroads of art, music, entertainment, and cuisine, St. Barths is home to a perennial roster of events throughout the year, which regularly attract droves of visitors from all corners of the globe.

Each January, the island plays host to a series of live performances from prominent international musicians during the St. Barth Music Festival, and when Mardi Gras rolls around in February, the streets explode with colorful costumes, body paint, and lively music during the annual Carnival celebrations.

With its immaculate sailing conditions, springtime in St. Barths is ideally suited for several prestigious competitions, including the three-day invitational Bucket Regatta (which draws the world’s most luxurious superyachts), the beloved Les Voiles St. Barth, and the West Indies Regatta, a show of schooners and sloops paired with a spirited market on Gustavia’s harbor to commemorate the bygone days of Caribbean trade.

As the high season commences in the fall, France’s top culinary talents gather for the St. Barth Gourmet Festival, a weekend brimming with enticing multi-course menus meant to delight and capture the essence of the island.  

After visitors have experienced this Caribbean enclave and all it has to offer, they can make their way back to Rémy de Haenen Airport for an easeful Tradewind departure back home.

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Tradewind Aviation runs regularly scheduled shuttle flights to St. Barths from San Juan, St. Thomas, Antigua, and Nevis, as well as private charters from the continental U.S.

The Art of the Surgical Strike with Next Level Watersports

The Art of the Surgical Strike with Next Level Watersports

In most scenarios, telling someone to ‘go fly a kite’ may be ill-advised — but in the world of extreme kiteboarding, such a suggestion constitutes just another day at the office. Whether adventure seekers have already mastered the sport or they’re just getting their toes wet, the seasoned professionals at Nantucket-based Next Level Watersports can help deploy a memorable excursion based on where the weather is primed for kiteboarding.

When the absolute best conditions align, Next Level partners Jon Beery and Jake Hoefler can be found chasing them, finding the sweet spots to share with anyone who wants to ride.

“Basically, we love when ferries get cancelled, because that means big weather is here,” explains Beery, whose ears — along with Hoefler’s — tend to perk up whenever a storm is brewing over the Atlantic. “So when everyone is trying to get off Nantucket, we’re trying to bring people in.”

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A wind-dependent sport, extreme kiteboarding is best served with a side of intense elements, so the pair has developed a plan to bring the sport’s enthusiasts directly to the action. With Next Level Watersports’ Surgical Strike Club, discerning kiteboarding clients can get almost-guaranteed exposure to a safe, yet thrill-inducing setting to ride across the waves. Lucky for private aviation travelers in the Northeast, this singular experience is only a Tradewind Aviation flight away.

“For a lot of our clients, their scarcest resource is their time — so they want to ride the best conditions in the best spots,” Beery says. “They want to know that the wind and the weather is going to line up so they don’t fly somewhere and end up sitting on a beach doing nothing. That’s when we came up with the concept of Surgical Strike Club.” 

When a weather window opens, the early stages of a Surgical Strike trip spur into motion as Beery and Hoefler keep a close eye on the forecast and contact their portfolio of kiteboard-loving clientele. If a developing storm looks like it will deliver prime conditions, the pair kicks into full throttle with securing reservations, booking flights, and preparing gear for the impending expedition. And if clients can commit to a last-minute kiteboarding adventure, they should expect to leave their jobs behind for a few days in favor of an action-packed playground of sweeping gusts and roiling waves.

“We like to say that kiteboarding is the new golf,” says the 29-year-old Hoefler, who’s been dabbling in the sport since he was 12. “Our clients are highly motivated, successful individuals who like pushing themselves, and it’s another way to do that outside of the office, an activity that clears their head for getting back to work.”

While Nantucket is especially conducive to Surgical Strike trips in September when the region abounds with kite-friendly winds, Next Level Watersports also runs excursions in the wintertime months to chase the trade wind breezes throughout the Caribbean, particularly around Turks and Caicos, the Grenadines, and Antigua.

The kiteboarding company generally has two types of clients: those from the Northeast seeking an executive weekend with a quick turn-around in order to make it back home for family dinner on Sunday night, and then those who are able to take more time off in order to explore the world’s premiere kiteboarding spots.

“They can go to a place like Fiji,” says Beery. “The possibilities are endless when you have a little more time.”

No matter which type of outing they choose, kiteboarders of all abilities are in good hands with the experts at Next Level, who specialize in curating the kinds of trips that are not soon forgotten.

“Kiteboarding is this amazing sport with incredible freedom where the wind is powering you and you can fly around, jump, ride extremely shallow water, and get out and see all these new areas,” Beery says. “It feels a lot like you’re riding powder. Anyone can do it, but you have to work through the whole learning curve and once you have learned, you can basically go anywhere in the world and explore.”

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As a partner of Tradewind Aviation, Next Level Watersports offers premiere kiteboarding opportunities from Nantucket with an emphasis on convenience and luxury. Tradewind also offers regularly scheduled shuttle flights to Nantucket from late April through early December, as well as private charters year-round.

All photos courtesy of Next Level Watersports.

Celebrating a Tradition of Cranberries on Nantucket

Celebrating a Tradition of Cranberries on Nantucket

Think Nantucket, and, most likely, images of windswept seascapes, gray shingled cottages, historic lighthouses, and quintessential New England sailboats come to mind. But the very Cape Cod island people tend to associate with all things maritime also has some interesting agricultural history. It’s home to the once-largest contiguous cranberry bog in the world, and now the largest certified organic cranberry farm in the United States. 

Here, we delve into Nantucket’s cranberry-harvesting past and present, plus an inside look at the ultimate way to immerse yourself in the Ocean Spray world: the Nantucket Cranberry Festival on Saturday, October 12th.

Once Upon a Nantucket Cranberry Bog

Native to the northern latitudes of North America, cranberry shrubs were first cultivated in the early 1800s in none other than Cape Cod, in the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town of Denis. Centuries prior, the tart red berries had been used for food and dye by Native Americans and the Pilgrims. By the 19th century, cranberries had become quite the delicacy for use in sauces and desserts, and a fledgling Massachusetts housed idyllic wetlands for growing this now-trendy superfood.

Nantucket jumped on the cranberry farming bandwagon in 1857 with the formation of the Milestone Bog in the center of the island. Many more bogs followed, but it was Milestone that soon made history as the largest contiguous cranberry bog on the planet, measuring at a whopping 234 acres.  

As cultivation and irrigation techniques improved, Nantucket farmers figured out that bigger isn’t always better. Once ripe, the berries are harvested by flooding the sunken agricultural lands and allowing the berries to float to the water’s surface. Dividing larger bogs into smaller parcels proved far more efficient for collecting the so-called “red rubies.” With this in mind, Nantucket developed dozens of smaller bogs, and soon cranberry production proved a strong contributor to the island’s growing economy.  

Nantucket’s Present Day Cran-Culture

In the second half of the 20th century, little Nantucket’s cranberry industry became no match for the commercial production that had emerged in Wisconsin, Quebec, and mainland Massachusetts. In August 2019, it was announced that one of the island’s two remaining cranberry operations, the 37-acre Windswept Cranberry Bog, would cease production and transition back into a natural inland wetland — leaving Milestone as Nantucket’s last bog standing. 

Thankfully, under the watchful eye (and ownership) of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation, Milestone’s current 195-acre, 24-bog cranberry excess (and the two million pounds of berries produced there) is here to stay. To ensure this, Milestone has set itself apart from its commercial competitors by becoming exclusively organic, branding Nantucket Conservation Foundation the largest certified organic cranberry grower in the United States. Additionally, in 2004, the Foundation began an annual, one-day Cranberry Festival to raise awareness about Nantucket’s agricultural heritage. Fast-forward to present day, and this adorable festival, which takes place each year over Columbus Day weekend, is one of the most anticipated events of the fall season.

The 16th Annual Cranberry Festival

The 16th annual Cranberry Festival will be held at Milestone Bog on Saturday, October 12th, 2019, from 11am to 4pm. This dynamic affair takes place at the height of harvest season, meaning the land will be glowing with abundant picture-perfect red rubies. It also means that you can strap on a pair of rubber waders, grab a rake and wade through a bog—just like the guys in the Ocean Spray ads. Visitors can either partake in the harvest by raking the berries on the surface, or simply go in a for a few fun pictures.

But, of course, there’s so much more to this festival than a great Instagram post. Guests can feast on amazing cranberry dishes from local vendors, such as the cranberry pecan bread from Wicked Island Bakery, cranberry pies from Bartlett’s Farm, cranberry fudge from Aunt Leah’s Fudge, and fresh-pressed juice from ACK Fresh. There are also opportunities to learn about traditional versus organic techniques from professional farmers through one-on-one discussions and guided tours. Plus, you can check out the operational, antique berry bouncing machine (as it sifts berries) and browse a very cool collection of antique tractors.  

Children are sure to love the hayrides along the bog as well as other kid-friendly happenings, including a petting zoo, face-painting, sack races, and meet-and-greets with some of the fluffy sheep living at Milestone (who are supervised by the resident Border Collie, Rem). Meanwhile, adults will appreciate the live music, you-pick areas (for taking a few pounds of the good stuff home), harvesting demos, and self-guided walking trails through the bog and surrounding autumn scenery. This off-the-wall themed festival is a great way to immerse yourself in all things cranberries — with the exception of a vodka cranberry cocktail in hand.

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Tradewind offers regularly scheduled shuttle flights to Nantucket from late April through early December, as well as private charters year-round.

Featured Photo: J. Greg Hinson

The Culinary Outposts of Northern Vermont

The Culinary Outposts of Northern Vermont

A featured story by David Gould, a renowned travel writer and former Executive Editor of Travel + Leisure Golf.

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You can stroll into most gourmet shops these days and purchase Himalayan pink salt blocks, mined in Pakistan from deposits more than 100 million years old. But in the late 1990s, when I was introduced to these epicurean wonders, they weren’t so well-known.  

The setting was a chef’s-kitchen dinner for a small group of food critics and travel writers in northern Vermont. Our host hand-grated some of his ultra-pure salt crystal for us, as the food critics smiled discreetly. From that night forward, I was aware that traveling due north in the Green Mountain State didn’t mean you were leaving civilization behind — not hardly.

Northern Vermont is something of an epicurean hotspot, with three main towns holding court as its culinary centers: Stowe, Burlington, and Middlebury (and their surrounding areas). Explore the best of each on a three-stop itinerary via Tradewind Aviation.

Fly into Stowe on a private charter or shuttle flight (resuming in December), and you’ll soon find yourself on a descent into Morrisville–Stowe State Airport, staring at the giant’s-face-in-profile view of Mt. Mansfield’s 4,300-foot peak, complete with its forehead, nose, lips and chin. May sound corny, but if you hike up there it’s likely you will use those features to navigate. 

Also out the aircraft window should be glimpses of Montreal, just 100 miles to the north and a steady source of prosperous, urbane tourists who know fine dining when they come upon it. Their influence, combined with the luxury vacation-home culture generated by Stowe and other ski resorts, generates considerable demand for cool things to see, do, and dine upon.

Photo: Plate

Photo: Plate

In the village of Stowe and down Route 100 at the eponymous resort, there’s no shortage of options for where to dine. Inside six-year-old Plate, on the village’s Main Street, you’ll find locals and visitors alike in comfortable booths of slate gray with polished wood trim under sparkly pendant lighting. The menu, atmosphere, and execution all adhere to lofty standards at Plate — presentation of the dishes is artistic, though never precious. There are small plates for the foodie who wants to sample and savor, but also generous portions of Curry Pork Loin or Jamaican Jerk Half Chicken, if you’re up for it. Reservations are suggested. 

The decor and branding of highly popular Doc Ponds may seem reminiscent of legendary local jam band Phish and the creative-slacker element found in any prominent ski town. But then you’ll consider how much discipline and devotion it takes to make an ambitious restaurant concept succeed the way this one has. A scan of the Doc Ponds menu shows comfort recipes wherever you look, but visually and gastronomically it’s a refined experience (don’t be surprised if post-graduate discussions of beer and how it’s produced arise).

Even during a tour of northern Vermont is by plane, the gondola ride up to the Cliff House Restaurant at Stowe Mountain Resort should still be a kick, and the wall of windows inside this chalet-style eatery offer breathtaking views of inspiring panoramas. Logically enough, the restaurant serves lunch only, except for the dinner opportunities afforded via a special Summit Series schedule of themed evenings.

Photo: Stowe Mountain Resort

Photo: Stowe Mountain Resort

A quick Tradewind flight over to Burlington International Airport is next, transferring you from an alpine backdrop to an urban one. As you approach the Champlain waterway, you’ll get a chance to discover, as I have, that the prairie-like parts of the state are as visually poignant as the mountainous regions.

It was here in greater Burlington, by the way, that I received my introduction to the dazzling pink salt block. That evening’s intimate dinner was hosted by a first-class hostelry now known as The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa. Conditions are right to make Burlington an outpost of the so-called “culinary vacation business,” and the location of The Essex next door to the prestigious New England Culinary Institute is emblematic of the collaborative energy that keeps the local foodie scene humming.

Hotel Vermont, with its plain-country name contradicting its chic sophistication, is an obvious choice for lodgings. The hotel’s bar and restaurant, Juniper, is visually appealing with its copper, hardwood, and gleaming glassware. There’s even an outdoor space with a fire pit and Adirondack chairs. Order the Lake Champlain Perch with frisée, malt vinegar, shallots and hazelnut oil. In the same neighborhood are two other top-rated Burlington restaurants, Hen of the Wood and Bleu Northeast Seafood. These three award-winners are mainstays of what’s considered the Cherry Street dining scene, and empty tables are rarely spotted up and down the boulevard.

Photo: Marshall Webb

Photo: Marshall Webb

The Inn at Shelburne Farms, the centerpiece of a 1,400-acre preserve along Lake Champlain, is a destination all its own. You get here from Burlington via Route 7 on a ride that is quite short, especially given that it takes you back in time a century or two. To enjoy dinner here you have to make reservations a month in advance. The rooms are exquisite, but the place has no central heating or air conditioning. Cuisine doesn’t get any more farm-to-table than the ISF, but if you simply want the vibe of the place, wander by to watch the artisan cheesemaking operation. It’s housed in a cathedral-like barn and produces cheddar that’s almost too good to share with your house guests, every block of it made from raw milk produced by the Brown Swiss cows that roam the acreage in country contentment. 

The third stop on your tour brings you into Middlebury State Airport, a few miles southeast of the the town’s central business district. Part college town, part county seat, Middlebury is an easy place to feel comfortable in as soon as you arrive — all the more so if you drop by the spirited Two Brothers Tavern on Main Street. You can try their cheddar ale soup, grilled Spanish octopus or the popular comeback burger, made with comeback sauce and offering a taste of Southern-style cooking in the north country. Sabai Sabai Thai Cuisine is a can’t-miss stop for high-quality Asian food — it’s known for a squid specialty called khan soi

Drive 15 minutes up Route 7 and you'll come upon the little city of Vergennes, named for a French nobleman who helped swing the American Revolution our way. On Green Street you’ll find Bar Antidote and its pub-crawl pairing, Hired Hand Brewing. The location is hard to miss, given the retro, better-living-through-chemistry logos of these two establishments.

We’ve known for quite a while that this part of Vermont attracts chefs and innkeepers who could be working in the big cities, but come here instead for the lifestyle. But interestingly, a Vermont farm kid, Ian Huizenga, is currently outdoing most (if not all) of those who parachuted in. Huizenga is the chef and brewer behind Antidote and Hired Hand. He was named Vermont Chef of the Year in 2017, but his talents extend beyond cooking and beer-crafting to interior design and the artistry that goes into his branding and graphics.

Hired Hand would be part of the farm-to-glass movement, if there were enough microbreweries using local ingredients to actually call it a movement. The sourcing effort Huizenga makes to hyper-localize his product is tireless, but worth it. Downstairs from the brewpub, Bar Antidote is where locals and visitors gather to dine on grilled Vermont flat iron steak served on roasted mushroom toast and crispy-crust pizzas — also made with locally sourced fixings.  

If you find that you keep extending your visit, be advised that people have become residents of this region very gradually — without ever consciously deciding they would move here. 

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Tradewind will offer shuttle flights to Stowe beginning in December 2019, and also offers charter flights to Stowe, Burlington, and Middlebury year-round. To reserve a charter, call us at 1-800-376-7922 or click here.

Featured photo: Mark Vandenberg

Five Must-See Lighthouses of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard

Five Must-See Lighthouses of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard

Throughout the 18th and 19th century, a heady mix of unforgiving seas, craggy ocean shallows, and shifting sand banks branded the waters off Cape Cod a shipwreck hotspot. In response, lighthouses were strategically built across the Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard to protect both sailors and the isles’ burgeoning seafaring-related industries.  

Today, the well-preserved, high-rising structures collectively shine a light—pun intended—on the history and development of these two islands. While these lighthouses are no longer critical thanks to technological advancements in maritime navigation, many remain automated workhorses.

More importantly for travelers, each makes for incredible photographic opportunities and excites the imagination with stories of yore. Here, we present five iconic, must-see lighthouses blending the past with the present on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard.

Brant Point Light, Nantucket

Photo   : Dou Kerr via Flickr / CC BY

Photo: Dou Kerr via Flickr / CC BY

This 26-foot-tall, circa-1901 lighthouse is officially the shortest lighthouse in all New England. But there’s no Napoleon complex here: Given its proximity to Nantucket Harbor, this all-white wooden beauty is arguably the most photographed site on the island. And thanks to its near three-century past, it’s a big-deal entry on the National Register of Historic Places.

The current structure is the tenth—yes, tenth—rebuild of the second-oldest lighthouse in the country (originally built in 1746, prior to the formation of the United States of America itself). It was automated in 1965, and today, it still beams its bright red light up to ten nautical miles.

Edgartown Harbor Light, Martha’s Vineyard

Photo   : Rfgagel via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY

Photo: Rfgagel via Wikimedia Commons / CC BY

Believe it or not, this Edgartown icon, which today marks the entrance to Edgartown Harbor, was slated for demolition as recently as the mid-1980s. Under operation by the United States Coast Guard, the circa-1939 cast-iron landmark had fallen into disrepair. But now, under the stewardship of Martha's Vineyard Museum and Martha's Vineyard Historical Society, the lighthouse shines in full glory.

Tours allow visitors to enter inside and climb up to the lantern room. Be sure to ask the lighthouse keeper of the building’s odd and dramatic history, which traces back to an original incarnation (built in 1828) over in Ipswich.

Gay Head Light, Martha’s Vineyard

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Given its prime location in Aquinnah (aka Gay Head) in the southwest reaches of Martha's Vineyard, this lighthouse is best appreciated at sunset. But at any time of day, Gay Head Light offers a glimpse of the old Martha's Vineyard. It was erected as the island’s first lighthouse at the turn of the 18th century, though its current red-brick aesthetic reflects a rebuild in 1844, and its current location is thanks to a meticulously-executed, piece-by-piece move in 2015.

With white and red lights that reach 24 and 20 nautical miles, respectively, the lighthouse still keeps sailors aware of the perilous underwater rocky ledge known as Devil's Bridge, much like it did centuries ago. The lighthouse is open for tours seasonally through the Town of Aquinnah.

Great Point Light, Nantucket

Photo   : Tim Sackton via Flickr / CC BY

Photo: Tim Sackton via Flickr / CC BY

Reaching the so-called “Nantucket Light” is a New Englander’s rite of passage. This fully operational, all-white stone lighthouse, rebuilt in 1986 to reflect its original 1784 appearance, stands at Nantucket’s northernmost point on a small spit of land where the Atlantic Ocean and Nantucket Sound meet.

Tucked deep within the Coskata-Coatue Wildlife Reserve and known for its unspoiled dunes and prolific birdlife, the lighthouse is accessible only by sandy roads. Meaning, you’ll need to walk seven miles on foot, rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle (with the proper beach permit), or pre-plan for a guided-tour with The Trustees of Reservations of Massachusetts. Whichever you choose, expect to reap worthwhile rewards by taking this (unpaved) road less traveled.

Sankaty Head Light, Nantucket

Photo   : Matt P. via Flickr / CC BY

Photo: Matt P. via Flickr / CC BY

Near the easternmost tip of Nantucket in the village of Siasconset, this 70-foot-tall, brick-and-granite lighthouse dates back to 1850, when it was built on a bluff straddling one of Nantucket’s most raw and wild coastlines. Though it was moved 400 feet inland in 1987 as a protection against bluff erosion, the historic lighthouse still operates as a navigational tool today, beaming a white light out 24 nautical miles every 7.5 seconds.

The lighthouse itself is closed to visitors, but the grounds are not. Given its remote location and few visitors, anticipate having this man-made marvel mostly to yourself—and your deep thoughts.

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Tradewind offers regularly scheduled shuttle flights to Martha’s Vineyard (May through November) and Nantucket (late April through early December). Tradewind also offers private charters to both Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket year-round.

Featured Photo: Doug Butchy via Flickr / CC BY

Goodspeed Card Charter Program: A New Way to Fly Private

Goodspeed Card Charter Program: A New Way to Fly Private

Whether frequent fliers use private aviation for business meetings, leisure trips, or the occasional adventure, booking a private charter shouldn’t be complicated. That’s the idea behind Tradewind Aviation’s recently unveiled Goodspeed card charter program — which stands out from conventional private charter services with a simplified pricing solution and significant cost savings.

Free of initiation fees, membership fees, peak day surcharges, and blackout dates, Tradewind’s new pre-purchase flight card offers discounts between 20 and 30 percent over comparable programs, in large part due to the company’s ability to leverage its internal fleet of Pilatus PC-12s. As a direct operator of its flights, Tradewind Aviation has operational efficiencies that it passes along to its customers in the form of cost savings.

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“The Pilatus PC-12 is a very efficient aircraft, offering similar performance to a King Air 350 at significantly less operational cost,” says David Zipkin, Vice President of Tradewind Aviation. He adds, “Our mission is to provide the safety and quality of service that is normally found only on larger jets for a fraction of the cost. The Pilatus PC-12 is a proven performer on short and medium range flights and we’re thrilled to offer the largest fleet of on-demand PC-12s in North America.”

While charter pricing is usually calculated based on the total flight time required to accomplish a trip (including plane repositioning and empty legs), Tradewind’s occupied rate program bases the cost solely on the flight time of a client’s trip. According to Zipkin, the response since the flight card’s launch has been exceedingly positive.

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“We have always offered a very attractive charter product, but traditional pricing can be difficult to understand and the effective hourly rate can vary from route to route,” he explains. “With the new program, empty legs are included, which offers predictability of pricing and flexibility to fly anywhere in the region for a flat hourly rate.”

As with Tradewind’s other programs, the Goodspeed card conveniently services sought-after regions in the Northeast and the Caribbean, including smaller airports that are only accessible by the versatility of the Pilatus PC-12s, such as the landing strips on Fishers Island, Montauk, and Provincetown.

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Available in three tiers to accommodate different flyer needs, the program’s savings begin at only 10 hours of private charter flight time. And with airport and landing fees also included, clients will never be surprised with hidden costs.

The benefits of the Goodspeed card don’t end with Pilatus PC-12 charter flights. Members can also take advantage of 30 percent discounts on day trips, 10 percent discounts on shuttle routes throughout the Northeast and the Caribbean, and 5 percent discounts on charter transfer throughout North America via the company’s fleet of Citation CJ3 jets. Add to that the luxury perks that all Tradewind clients enjoy — such as streamlined security, private gate entrance, exclusive FBO lounges, and complimentary on-board snacks and drinks — and Goodspeed card holders can expect a smooth transfer each and every time they fly.

To learn more about the Goodspeed Card Charter Program, please visit the Tradewind Aviation jet card program page.