The Big Island by bike
Ironman triathletes come to Kona to tackle the steep “grind” of Queen Ka’ahumanu Highway, said Meg Lukens Noonan in National Geographic Traveler. But there are “more than 350 miles of smooth paved roads” on Hawaii’s Big Island that don’t require triathlon training. Orchid Isle’s eight-day Tour de Paradise lets the average cyclist “spin—mostly grimace-free—along 300 of them.” Pushing off at Kona on the “dry west coast,” the ride heads north through the Kohala Mountains and across the “rolling grasslands of the 150,000-acre Parker Ranch before reaching the Hamakua Coast on the island’s wet, green side.” There’s easy riding into Hilo, the island’s biggest town, past “waterfalls and rocky coves”—until it’s time to crank 30 miles uphill to Kilauea crater in Volcano National Park. Cyclists can roll out and relax on the final leg of the tour, which entails “cruising 4,500 feet down to Punaluu on the south shore.” And for those still entertaining Ironman dreams, “faster-paced,” four-day tours are also available.
Spring training at Camelback Ranch
At Camelback Ranch, baseball fans can watch nine innings in “first class, not coach,” said Sherry Stern and Christopher Smith in the Chicago Tribune. A “must-see on many levels,” the $100 million spring home of the Chicago White Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers lets up to 13,000 fans pack in to enjoy “the sweet, unhurried joy that is baseball in the spring.” Situated in the heart of Arizona’s baseball community, the 141-acre complex is set up like a park, “rooted in the natural landscape with rock, metal, and stone in desert browns, tans, and reds.” Its 13 fields are divided by a “meandering waterway” with two ponds; one is stocked with carp, bass, and bluegill for those fans who also enjoy fishing. “Winding walkways”—which will eventually become a walk of fame—encourage visitors to wander around and check out the games and training taking place on nearby grounds. The complex, located in Glendale, is also just a few miles away from the spring homes of the San Diego Padres and Cleveland Indians.