Laze amid the lavender

The lavender at Fort Hill Farms in Connecticut. The lavender at Fort Hill Farms in Connecticut. (Anders Vercelli)
July 11, 2010

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Go for a relaxing stroll among the lavender beds at Fort Hill Farms & Gardens in Thompson, Conn., where this aromatic plant blossoms through July. Bring a pair of scissors and you can gather lavender from the Quintessential Gardens’ 1,500 plants. Or buy pre-dried bouquets and cuttings at The Creamery, the farm’s new ice cream and lavender shop, which opened this month. Here, you can sample organic lavender jelly or try the new Quintessential Dessert: vanilla ice cream that’s covered with lavender topping and served with a lavender cookie on the side. The gardens are open daily from 9 to 9, weather permitting. 860-923-3439,

On top of the world in Singapore
Bring walking shoes for your stay at Singapore’s new $5 billion Marina Bay Sands resort, which has 2,560 rooms and a 2.5-acre park that spans the top of three hotel towers and includes jogging paths, a public observatory, gardens, restaurants, lounges, and an infinity swimming pool. Bring some spare cash, too: The resort, designed by Boston architect Moshe Safdie, has a four-story casino with more than 600 gaming tables and 1,500 slot machines. You’ll find large-scale works along the resort’s Art Path, including 83 ceramic vessels in the hotel atrium. Room rates start at $359 per night, including buffet breakfast for two people. 011-65-6688-8868,

Do it for the green sea turtles
Roll up your sleeves and spend three days helping local fishermen and researchers monitor endangered green sea turtles in Magdalena Bay on the west coast of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula. Then slip into your bathing suit and spend three days paddling with sea lions and dolphins, snorkeling with tropical fish, and exploring uninhabited desert islands in Loreto Bay National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Sea of Cortez on the peninsula’s east coast. The naturalist-guided tour, run by Sea Kayak Adventures, is suitable for beginner to intermediate paddlers, and includes beach camping and hotel stays. It runs Oct. 24-31, and 40 percent of the trip cost goes to a local sea turtle conservation organization. Adults $1,650, children ages 12-17 $1,485. 800-616-1943,