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Whether you crave a slice of key lime pie, a tour of Ernest Hemingway’s former home, or simply a chaise on the beach, Key West offers all that — in a super-hip, laid-back kind of way. And that’s precisely the vibe captured at NYAH, which stands for “Not Your Average Hotel.” This less than year-old property boasts artisan appeal and budget prices, even in winter. For best savings, bring a bunch of your friends. Here’s a breakdown of the room rates and offerings.
For savings-savvy cruisers in search of great value, welcome to “wave season” 2015. Like clockwork, when the new year rolls around, the cruise industry’s incentive-packed annual sales blitz known as wave season kicks in, as cruise lines compete to curry customers’ favor and kickstart the year’s sales. Look for a bevy of great cruise deals running from January through March — offering reduced rates, onboard credits, free upgrades, and plenty of other perks. Here are our top five picks.
Last month we introduced you to some of the Florida Keys’ local characters and their tips for visiting the area. If you follow their suggestions for ghost tours, paddleboarding, making new friends in local bars, and more, you’ll likely work up an appetite. Here are some of the best place across the Keys to fill up on brunch, seafood, and, of course, Key lime pie. Read more
Chat with a local in the Florida Keys and you’ll likely hear a similar story often repeated. The storyteller talks of traveling here for a vacation and never going home, of calling time on their corporate life back home in New York (or Chicago, or Cincinnati…) and moving down to the Keys for a simpler, slower, and sunnier life.
Even if you’re not quite ready to make the move yourself, let the locals (both born-and-bred, and transplanted) guide your trip. Here, we introduce you to a few of them, and how to experience their Keys: Read more
When you think shipwrecks, images of the ghostly, wooden pirate ships, the Titanic, and James Cameron exploring in a tiny bubble may come to mind. It’s often assumed that to explore a wreckage you’ll require scuba gear and extensive training. While scuba diving will always lure adventurous travelers, snorkeling can be as equally enthralling and much easier on the budget. In fact, scuba dives can cost more than $300 for an hour-long experience. Snorkeling? An entire day may cost a mere $10 for a mask rental. For those of you looking to explore hauntingly beautiful shipwrecks, but aren’t willing to spend the time or money on scuba diving, here are some options where snorkeling the wreck provides an equally intimate view.
There are plenty of truths to travel, but today I’ll focus on just two. First, traveling to a warm, sand-fringed island can help a bad day, week, month, or even year seem inconsequential. Second, traveling anywhere that requires a passport undoubtedly causes headaches – just how big the headache varies widely on your destination. The good news for U.S. citizens, however, is that there are plenty of islands within reach that boast an international vibe, yet don’t require a passport. Below, I’ll share a few of my favorites for those itching to burn a few vacation days without dealing with immigration lines.
As temperatures drop and skies darken earlier each night, it’s easy to fantasize of warm nights on a secluded beach with a Technicolor sunset on the horizon, a fruity drink beading condensation close by. But an aspect that doesn’t typically make it into the reverie is the joy of flying to your destination in one shot, without layovers or transfers. For fliers of Southwest Airlines, the trip from fantasy to reality has become a bit more streamlined.
The airline has begun offering nonstop flights to Key West, Fla., the southernmost stop on the continental U.S. route. The news is welcome for passengers who prefer spending the entirety of their expedition in one seat. Fliers to the Keys typically touch down in South Florida to switch to a smaller plane for the journey’s final push. These “puddle jumper” flights are provided by most major airlines, with only a handful giving direct flights.
By: Becca Bergman and Jennifer Bernstein
We’ve picked 10 choice beach spots that are serviced by short, direct flights from the east or west coasts, so you can be on the sand by lunchtime. Hurricanes threaten some of these locations this time of year, but some hotels offer drastic discounts to those willing to take the risk. Regardless of the destination, these are the perfect spots for one last quick beach getaway before the fall routine sets in.
Brrrr. When Old Man Winter comes to town, it’s easy to get down. But a visit to any of our favorite places to beat the winter blues will have you forgetting about the slush, snow boots, and dreary days of the long, dark season in no time. This year, why not pack your bags and head to top winter destinations like the slopes of Banff, the aquatic playgrounds of Belize and the Red Sea, the sands of Búzios, the quirky town of Key West, or even your own private villa on St. Barts? If it takes more than surf or snow to stimulate your senses, head out on a sophisticated city trip to Los Angeles or Melbourne, where sunny climes and attractive lifestyles beckon, or go even farther afield, on a trip of a lifetime to Rajasthan or Antarctica. Indeed, the icy waters at the bottom of the globe become passable only when the temperatures drop in the Northern Hemisphere, allowing adventuresome travelers seeking a rare annual opportunity to spot the season’s coolest sights – penguins, icebergs, and glaciers. Get a sneak peak of these rejuvenating destinations with our Places to Beat the Winter Blues slideshow.
No matter what your mother told you, chances are you’re never going to be President of the United States – after all, only 43 men to date can make the claim. So where on earth does the leader of the free world go for a little R & R? Anywhere he wants. It may come as a surprise, however, that the favorite places of the first families are often decidedly low-key destinations – places ordinary civilians vacation every day. So even if your job isn’t quite as stressful as the commander in chief’s, take a trip to one of the destinations on our top 10 presidential vacations list, and you can get away like it is.
Sail away on a 6-night getaway to top destinations in Southern Florida and the Western Caribbean, including quirky Key West, gorgeous Grand Cayman, and fun-in-the-sun Jamaica. The spacious, 2,974-passenger Carnival Freedom embarks on February 19 from Fort Lauderdale, with discounted rates – reflecting savings of up to 73 percent – starting at just $409 for inside cabins, and $519 for ocean-view upgrades, when booking through CruisesOnly.com. Expect onboard diversions like a kids’ club, spa, fitness center, casino, mini-golf, and much more to easily fill up the two days spent at sea.
THE VALUE: This high-season sailing during a peak holiday break represents a rare 73 percent savings off of the brochure rates of $1,519/person, working out to as little as $409 per passenger, or $68/night. What’s more, book through CruisesOnly.com and get a complimentary upgrade, too.
THE CATCH: We’ve seen airfare to Florida during this peak holiday break spike considerably, so be sure to factor in the cost of your flight before booking the sailing to ensure overall value.
THE DETAILS: Visit www.cruisesonly.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more travel deals. For general trip-planning information, see our Caribbean Cruises 101.
Take to the warm, tranquil waters of the Caribbean this winter aboard the Carnival Freedom as it sails for six nights from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Choose the January 22, 2012 departure and book a balcony cabin for just $529 per person! The Freedom calls to port in some of the Caribbean’s most popular destinations, including a stop in Florida’s own back yard, Key West. The ship then heads south to Georgetown, Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, Jamaica before returning home. While at sea, guests will enjoy four restaurants, four pools, a casino and 22 lounges for adults at night, and a teen club with an arcade and dance club for the kids. Other sailing dates are available at an additional cost.
THE VALUE: The balcony cabin comes out to just $88 per person, per night!
THE CATCH: Gratuities and taxes not included.
THE DETAILS: To book your balcony cabin on the Carnival Freedom, visit www.cruisesonly.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Take a look at our Caribbean Travel Guide to plan your time in port!
Don’t live in Florida? Find low rates on flights to Fort Lauderdale using our Travel Search price comparison tool.
If lobster is one of the your favorite foods (and you enjoy sharing it with someone special) mark your summer travel calendars for these four very different opportunities – from romantic to rowdy – to indulge in all the tender, buttery crustaceans you can eat.
Lobster Lovers Itinerary from Absolute Belize: Belize, a friendly, sunny Central American country, marks the beginning of its annual lobster season each June (Belize lobsters are shown above at left) with the weeklong San Pedro Lobsterfest (www.sanpedrolobsterfest.com) on Ambergris Caye.
The holidays don’t always fulfill the role of a relaxing break, and if that’s the predicament you find yourself in, Norwegian Cruise Lines has the perfect escape waiting in the new year. On January 8, the Norwegian Sun departs from Port Canaveral, Florida for a five-night, round-trip cruise in the Western Caribbean, with cabins starting at just $269! With this 47 percent discount off rack-rates you’ll breathe-easy, enjoying amenities like nine restaurants, a spa, casino, cigar bar, and a 24/7 fitness center, while calling to port in the outstretched, white-sand beaches of Cozumel, Mexico and later, the palm lined streets of historic Key West, Florida.
THE VALUE: Inside cabins on this sailing are at an 47 percent discount and balcony cabins start at $419, a 73 percent discount!
THE CATCH: Those of us outside of Florida will have to plan accordingly.
THE DETAILS: To book your cabin, visit www.cruisesonly.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find low rates on flights to Orlando, Florida (an hour from Port Canaveral).
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