Shermanstravel Blog

New Orleans

Sonesta Bayfront Hotel Coconut GroveFor a quick summer getaway, we’re loving this new hotel sale from Sonesta. This offer, which just began yesterday, includes dozens of properties across the country and saves 30 percent on seasonal rates. Stay two nights or longer through August 31 to get this deal. Rates start at $52 per night, with deals in major cities from Orlando to Boston to New Orleans. Read more

The Best Cocktails in New OrleansWith New Orleans’ party-hearty spirit, it comes as a surprise to some that the cocktail wasn’t invented in the city where the good times roll 24/7. Even so, cocktails were perfected in the Crescent City – home to some of the most beloved beverages in the country. Read more

St. CroixTravel to dozens of U.S. cities and Caribbean destinations this summer with JetBlue’s two-day summer sale. With fares* as low as $46, you can unwind on the beach with direct flights to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, Aruba and Bermuda, Montego Bay and St. Croix. Or, visit major domestic cities like New York, New Orleans, Las Vegas, and so many more. These low fares can only be booked directly through JetBlue, and are not available on other sites. Read more

National Travel and Tourism Week 2013For some positive antidotes to that depressing and inaccurate, yet still pervasive, stat about American travelers – that a mere 20 percent of U.S. residents hold passports – consider these figures from the U.S. Travel Association:

  • U.S. residents logged 1.6 billion trips for leisure purposes in 2012
  • 1 out of every 8 jobs in the U.S. depends on travel and tourism, an industry that generated $200.9 billion in payroll for those directly employed in U.S. travel
  • Direct spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. averaged $2.3 billion a day, $97.7 million an hour, $1.6 million a minute, and $27,125 a second!

The bottom line: Traveling is a powerful force that’s good for everybody, which is the underlying message of National Travel & Tourism Week, starting May 4 and running through May 12. Currently, more than 60 locations across the country, including state and local tourism boards and travel businesses, are hosting some pretty nifty events. Here, a quick rundown of highlights sure to bring out the travel bug in you. Read more

Last-Minute Travel DealsItching to get away before the summer crowds flock to the nation’s most popular destinations? We’ve rounded up the best last-minute deals to urban centers across the U.S. and Canada, so you can explore the continent’s most popular cities while saving big bucks this spring. Read more

Spring Travel DealsIf you’re reading this post in a part of the world where winter has not yet gracefully given way to spring, you’re no doubt longing to escape to a place with the precise weather you want. But what if you haven’t planned a spring getaway and don’t exactly have a lot of money to spend on one? Don’t fret, we’re here to help! Read more

The time has finally come. For too long we’ve stood on the sidelines, lungs filled with frigid air, pushing away the icy hands of doubt in hopes of reaching this moment. After months of preparation, with blood, sweat, and tears poured into the effort, the world will be watching with bated breath as, finally, Beyonce performs in New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome for her Super Bowl half time spectacular. Oh, and there’s also some kind of game? That’s probably worth your attention, too.

The NFL season will reach its dramatic conclusion this Sunday at the biggest game of the year, and the match-up between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers (and head coaches/brothers John and Jim Harbaugh) promises to be a barnburner. The Super Bowl is one of America’s most iconic, beloved events, and there is no better city to play host than New Orleans. But even the most ardent football fans can have a tough time justifying shelling out thousands for a single night of transcendent glory (or blistering defeat, depending on which side your team winds up). Tickets to the game can be hard to come by, and net a pretty penny – the lowest-priced tickets are still going for $1,600. Not to mention, you’ll have to account for the costs of hotel and travel, both of which are expected to spike.

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Amtrak trainWinter time can prove to be an even bigger headache than usual for air travel. Blustering winds and pesky snowstorms regularly clog major air-hubs from New York City to Chicago (and everywhere in between), causing frustrating flight delays and cancellations. Spare yourself the stress of lengthy, invasive security procedures, and unreliable service by taking the train for your next getaway.

Fares for many of North America’s regional train lines are available for less this season. Here’s some of our favorite deals on rails.

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Stumped on holiday gift ideas? Here at ShermansTravel, we’re always focused on travel: taking trips, planning trips, and finding the best deals for the next trip. So our vote, of course, for those of you unsure what you get your nearest and dearest, is to treat them to a vacation this holiday season. Below are a few outstanding travel deals that are sure to make anyone excited to get away, and affordable enough that you won’t be regretting the purchase come your January credit card bill.

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Key West SunsetAs 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.

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New Orleans is a city of legend, filled with a culture all its own, universally hailed food, and conventions galore. If you end up in the Big Easy for business, however, it’s easy to miss out on some of the city’s charm. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the real New Orleans, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

If you’re given the chance to pick an eatery for dinner, or you’re able to sneak out on your own for a meal, you shouldn’t leave New Orleans without visiting the Acme Oyster House. It’s planted squarely in the French Quarter, so the walk to its front door is just as enjoyable as the meal you’ll have inside. It’s a moderately priced seafood joint, serving up precisely the kind of grub you’d expect to find in the heart of Bayou Country. Seasoned shrimp and gigantic oysters flow like wine, and, while you could arguably find superior food for more money elsewhere, the communal atmosphere plays a huge part in the recommendation. For a few hours, you’ll be a local. Read more

Low hotel rates over a holiday weekend? Now that’s something to scream about. Late October is still shoulder season for a lot of U.S. cities, meaning low prices during Halloween weekend at some major destinations. Many of the below cities are purportedly haunted themselves, meaning you’ll have plenty of scary sights to seek out this Halloween without spending too much on your hotel.

Philadelphia is said to be haunted by scores of Revolutionary-era ghosts, and you can stay at a brand-new, 4-star hotel in the center of all the history. The 4-star Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, a Kimpton Hotel is steps from Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the Ben Franklin National Memorial. Rates start from only $169 per night throughout the fall, and $199 per night over Halloween weekend.  Enjoy the stylish modern décor and upscale onsite dining, then venture out for a good scare at some of America’s scariest haunted houses, like the Fright Factory in a century-old South Philadelphia Warehouse, and Terror Behind the Walls, a haunted house set up in the Eastern State Penitentiary, a 19th-century prison that was transformed into one of Philly’s coolest performance spaces. Read more

Marriott LGBT Campaign PridePride is upon us. Wherever you hope to travel this summer, chances are you’ll be crossing paths with (or joining) a rowdy parade of L, G, B, and Ts flaunting what they got. So why not save some money while you’re at it? Or make Pride the reason for a trip in the first place?

With that reasoning, Marriott International (long a leader in equality for its LGBT employees) gets in on the action with a new campaign targeted to gays and their allies entitled “Be You, With Us.” Spanning its brands, from the super-luxe JW Marriott to the wallet-friendly SpringHill Suites, the crux rests on a global Pride calendar that denotes celebrations from now – Los Angeles and Boston Pride this weekend, Portland next, NYC and Paris later in the month – and into September when Las Vegas Pride and Key West PrideFest both take a bow. Properties in each city are handily noted, and 22 related LGBT packages both Pride-specific and year-long are called out with amenities such as free Red Bull in the room and glasses of wine or spa credits. For example: Read more

Explore the “Big Easy” without the crowds this summer and take advantage of low rates, starting at just $119 a night, at the New Orleans Marriott. Book a summer escape by June 18 and you can save as much as 50 percent off rates later in the season. Travel is valid now through September 28. If you book a premium room, you’ll also get 20 percent off food and drinks during your stay.

Besides the must-see sights, such as Royal Street and Jackson Square (which are within walking distance of the hotel), New Orleans is also playing host to a range of festivals and events this summer. From culinary to music events, there’s plenty to do in this vibrant city.

Located on Canal Street in the famed French Quarter, the New Orleans Marriott is just steps from Bourbon Street and the riverfront. The hotel’s recently updated guestrooms reflect the distinct flavor of the Big Easy with bold and stylish décor and spectacular views of the Mississippi River. Want to cool down after a day of sightseeing? Jump into one of the two outdoor pools or have a drink at the hotel’s popular restaurant, 5 Fifty 5, which features local sustainable food inspired by New Orleans, Cajun, French, American, and Creole cuisine.

To book this offer, visit the Marriott New Orleans website and use promo code WBZ.

See our New Orleans destination guide for more trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights.

Hotel gas cardWe’ve all read the doom and gloom surveys: Americans are less likely to travel this summer because of the high price of gas, the state of the economy, or maybe because Venus is in retrograde (can’t be too careful with your horoscope). It seems hotels have read these surveys, too, and have devised ways to entice you to stay by footing part of your gas bill or even doling out cold hard cash.

Perhaps the most generous offer comes from InterContinental Hotel Group (IHG), which will give you a $75 prepaid MasterCard for every stay of two consecutive weekend nights (Friday-Sunday) through September 3. You will have to wait 6-8 weeks to receive the gift card, but the deal applies to all IHG brands, from InterContinental to Holiday Inn.

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