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Like to cruise without the crowds? Vacationing with a smaller cruise company may be right up your alley. And Blount Small Ship Adventures — now offering up to 40 percent off on three itineraries booked by February 27 — is giving travelers the chance to get a taste for less.
Picture a summer evening on the beach with a bonfire. Add to that steaming clams, fresh lobster, live music, and maybe even s’mores, and you have a traditional New England-style clambake. These are typically in full swing across the U.S. during August and into September. Here are five ways to enjoy one:
“Cheap” and “private island.” There’s no way those two words go together, right? Only billionaire investors and Brad Pitt vacation on their own exotic paradise.
To be the bearer of great news, we’re happy to share that, actually, you can possibly afford a wee vacation on your very own island — no crowded resorts or overpriced mojitos.
We may have missed National Ice Cream Day (it was on July 20), but National Ice Cream Month continues. Why not celebrate with a couple of scoops of something more adventurous than vanilla? Read more
Not just for summer, food festivals provide a year-round way for hungry travelers to sample a mouthwatering variety of dishes — without shelling out for a ton of meals out on the town. We’ve rounded up a few tasty celebrations and events across the U.S., from classic to quirky. The next time you want a taste of the local dining scene on a trip, here’s where to tempt your taste buds:
No summer is complete without a trip to the beach. But instead of the typical best-of roundup, we decided to do something a little different: We had the ShermansTravel staff share their favorite off-beat alternatives to the hotspots that everyone flocks to in drove. We won’t go as far as to call these spots “secret,” but we will promise that you’ll find a relatively intimate excursion with lots of character at any one of them. Ready to feel like a beach insider and stretch out?
Before defined ports and shipyards, mariners guided their ships to, well, any visible land. Eventually, to help these men see at night, cities built fires on hilltops to guide the ships and to alert sailors to dangers at sea. Centuries passed, and we slowly perfected the lighthouse.
Though lighthouses now are no longer lit by candlelight, and lighthouse-keeping has become an antiquated profession, there’s still something about these marvelous towers that bring a sense of adventure and nostalgia. So in the spirit of exploration, we’ve rounded up 13 still-standing structures that once guided sailors home, and remain amazingly scenic today. See them here.
A month ago, we were lamenting the onset of winter, with its shortened days and frigid temperatures. But there are some good things about the season: for example, a steaming bowl of chowder, prepared with fresh local clams, served by the fire as you watch the tide gently rise outside. If every day winter day could be spent like that, we might just stop our seasonal whining altogether. Here’s a look at New England’s most delicious waterfront restaurants that offer some of the best views around, no matter the season. Read more
Finding time to take a longer vacation during the fall is tough. There are few national holidays that warrant time off and chances are you already took a few days during the summer for some R&R. But just because fall is setting in and there’s little time to relax, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have time to get away for a weekend. These five quick two-day escapes are all within driving-distance from major cities across the U.S. Plus, we’ve priced them out for you so all you have to think about is Which weekend am I getting out of Dodge?
From San Francisco…
To Half Moon Bay: Round-trip gas will put you out only about $8, so this trip is definitely economical – plus unlike many parts of California, the 29-mile-long one-way trip will just take you 50 minutes in traffic. When you’re in Half Moon Bay, get out and enjoy the breathtaking scenery and the cute little town. Hotels such as the three-star Half Moon Bay Lodge won’t break the bank and offer easy access to nearby coastal walks, kayaking, and surfing at the legendary Maverick’s (October weekend rates start at $207). Two miles up the coast, the Mill Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast ($230) is set within lush gardens and holds a four AAA Diamond rating.
The total: Two nights at the Half Moon Bay Lodge plus round-trip gas = $421
Fact: Food tastes better during the summer. (Okay, maybe that’s just our opinion.) Whether it’s a hot dog piled high with chili, a cold scoop of your favorite flavor of ice cream, or a juicy lobster roll, there’s something so delicious about summer food. The key, though, is knowing where to get the best of the best. That’s where we come in. For Our Ultimate Summer Food Series, we’re showing you exactly where to go AND what to get there. We know you’re already hungry, so let’s get started.
Update: January 7, 2015: This flight deal has now expired, but it’s worth noting that you can still fly nonstop on JetBlue to Portland, Maine from New York’s JFK airport, and can connect through to Portland via JFK from many JetBlue cities throughout the U.S.. Airport tip: While you’re in Portland, make yourself comfortable in one of the many rocking chairs that are scattered throughout the waiting areas — a classic Maine touch.
Maybe you haven’t had a chance to plan your summer getaway yet, or perhaps you’re just holding out for the best deals. Either way, you’re in luck. JetBlue’s two-day summer and early fall sale has amazing one-way flight deals from New York to Bermuda and beyond. Check out some of the amazing rates (starting at just $46) on these popular routes below! Read more
The big city 4th of July celebrations – like the fireworks on the Hudson River in New York City – often get all the attention, but small town America also has a special way of throwing a great birthday party. Around the country there are plenty of smaller communities that have built a stellar reputation around this big day of festivities. From Colorado to Florida, these celebrations have become a gathering place for the community, but they also draw visitors from near and far, who often visit every year to kick off the summer with a bang. So, instead of fighting for a cherished spot to catch the light display in a big city, check out some of our favorite small town 4th of July celebrations that have big character. Read more
One of the best ways to get to know a place is through its public green spaces. Next time you’re traveling, pack a picnic and enjoy. Here are our picks for the best places to picnic in the U.S. this summer. Read more
According to the thermometer, it’s pretty cold out there in most the country right now. As in single digit cold. Which wouldn’t be such a big deal except for the fact that you’re the kind of person who likes to burn calories outdoors. Hiking boots, bike shorts, a life vest, climbing shoes—these are your preferred gym clothes. So what are you supposed to do when winter temperatures dip low enough to make a snowman shiver?
The answer is simple, and fortunately for the fair-weather adventurer, heated: find an indoor climbing wall. As the sport of climbing has grown in popularity, rock gyms have sprung up everywhere, especially in eastern cities where busy professionals don’t necessarily have easy access to cliffs, crags, towers, and other large rock formations. And just about every spot offers day passes, equipment rental, lessons, and the occasional discount, so you can show up for a test climb without committing to membership. Plus, they’re good places to meet other outdoor enthusiasts and a fun alternative to yet another predictable workout on the elliptical. Read more
In life, being in the right place at the right time can come down to serendipity. But in travel, it is almost always the result of good planning. To avoid crowds and inflated prices, we recommend the period between high and low seasons when the weather is fine, places are still open and happy to welcome travelers, and you can explore a destination at your own pace. We call this magical time and space continuum the Sweet Spot and make it a point to round up the best of them for you each season. We’ve covered the 20 best places to travel for value this winter and grouped them by region – follow the links to right to discover this season’s Sweet Spots.
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