Shermanstravel Blog

New Orleans

jazz fest new orleans - Billy Metcalf Photography - 620It’s not quite Mardi Gras, but Jazz Fest is just as much a part of New Orleans’ cultural fabric. Now in its 45th year, the two-weekend celebration encompasses 12 stages that will be welcoming more than 500 acts and 5,000 performers. This year’s edition opened last weekend and will continue on May 1 through May 4, featuring beloved local musicians along big names like Bruce Springsteen, Christina Aguilera, Foster the People, Eric Clapton, and more over the seven days. As with all NOLA events, food also takes center stage – so much so that there actually is a dedicated Food Heritage stage with demonstrations all weekend long.

If this kind of cultural fiesta sounds like your kind of vacation, it’s not too late to make plans. While some hotels run upwards of $400-$500 during the festival – if they don’t sell out – there are still a few with vacancies under $300 for the festival’s second weekend:

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baseball - flickr - tulanesally - 620America’s pastime is in full swing this spring as baseball fans head south to Florida’s Grapefruit League and west to greater Phoenix’s Cactus League to catch Major League Baseball in preseason action. Training stadiums offer closer access to your favorite players, often with designated areas to snag an autograph. You’ll also find yourself merely a fly ball away from the action. Compare the new Cubs Park in Mesa, Arizona, which has 15,000 seats, to Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, which has a whopping 54,000.

If you’re traveling this spring, here are a host of baseball-related activities that are tailor-made for travelers, and you don’t even have to go all the way to Florida or Arizona to experience them… Read more

carnival celebrations around the worldIn cities around the world, Carnival revelers party from mid-February through Ash Wednesday. As this year’s festivities wind down, here are ten excellent Carnival parties you can live through vicariously – or plan a trip for next year. Read more

Mardi Gras

Is it possible to do Mardi Gras on a budget? Adding up the cost of hotel rooms, frequent beer stops, bead attire, and indulgent, post-boozing meals, a simple trip to New Orleans can easily exceed several thousand dollars. Yet, that same festive spirit can be found in small-town carnival celebrations like the ones we’ve listed below – twice the fun, for half the price. Read more

Windsor Court HotelMardi Gras ends in a few days, which means that revelers will be celebrating well through the weekend. While we’re typically fans of the “go big or go home” party mentality, especially when we travel, sometimes you need a little break. Whether you’re hankering after something refined, something casual, or something that’s just plain New Orleans, here’s where you can get some peace and quiet in NOLA…

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Caribbean Beach getaway for aprilWe’ve got something to lift your spirits today: As we move into spring break season, resorts throughout the Caribbean and eastern Mexico are likely to be either booked solid, or selling at a premium. Come April and early May, however, we’ll start to see those prices go down. For an early spring getaway, plan on kicking back on a remote island in South Carolina, St. Croix, or enjoying a stay at one of New Orleans’ most historic hotels. Read more

Last-MinuteThe twelve days of Christmas have come and gone, but that doesn’t mean there’s no more excitement to be had in December. In fact, for travelers, end-of-year sales and promotions can yield some of the best finds of the whole season. The tricky part? Finding them. But luckily for you, we’ve gone and done all the hard work to bring you the best last-minute travel deals available this week. Consider it our Christmas present to you… Read more

Facebook/Omni Hotels and ResortsOmni Hotels & Resorts‘ 72-hour “Holiday Dash” sale is already underway, but you still have until midnight of December 13th to take advantage of nightly room rates starting at $79 at some beautiful high-end properties.  Read more

Affordable New Orleans RestaurantsNew Orleans might be known for its oysters, haute cocktail spots, and incredible parties, but there’s far more to its culinary culture. It’s at places like these seven down-home restaurants where you’ll feel more like a local than a visitor, especially when the waiter looks at your group and says, “Hey babies, what you havin’?” If you don’t want to break your food budget on a trip to Nola (but still want some classic comfort food), on your next trip to the city, get a seat in some of these beloved neighborhood spots: Read more

New Orleans Oyster SpotsNew Orleans is a city of many passions: music, the arts, fine food, cocktails, and parties galore. But it’s also a city of oysters (they even have an Oyster Festival). The love for bivalves runs deep in these parts, and this city is teeming with options.The gulf varieties are big but mild – perfect for slurping in the raw, deeply fried, or dressed in butter to be chargrilled. Here are my favorites from a recent trip to New Orleans: Read more

FukushimaEarlier this week, Japan announced that the Fukushima nuclear plant, which was hit by a tsunami in 2011 – and subsequently spewed radioactive chemicals into the environment – is opening up as a tourist attraction, complete with restaurants, souvenir shops, a tsunami-focused museum, and hotels. The idea is to educate future generations on the impact of the disaster, as well as support the local economy with new jobs. In reality, who, I wonder, will actually be going here?

Even without the context of the tsunami, it seems like a strange idea no matter how you slice it. I consider myself an open-minded traveler, but not in a million years would ‘nuclear plant’ ever cross my mind as a place I would want to spend my vacation. Four Seasons hotel, yes. White sandy beach, absolutely. But a themed resort on the edge of a steel-and-concrete labyrinth that still tests high for radiation levels? Er, no thanks. Read more

NYC Blog TravelArriving to a new city can be disorienting. With most of our energy exerted on deciphering the public transportation system and finding a decent place to eat, we end up forfeiting the other, more rewarding aspects of urban travel: exploring lesser-known neighborhoods, learning local history, and zeroing in on key cultural happenings.

Local blogs can be of immense help when it comes to quickly finding out what’s happening in a new city – and what’s worth your time. Unlike travel guides, which limit themselves to hotel and restaurant reviews, maps, and at-a-glance neighborhood descriptions, blogs offer curated, useful information on a particular aspect of the city, updated on a regular basis by locals in the know.

Here are a few top-notch online sources that will turn you into an expert the next-time you find yourself in… Read more

La Quinta Resort & ClubThe dog days of summer are upon us, meaning now is the perfect time to plan a quick getaway. From Las Vegas to Orlando, take advantage of low rates on hotel deals for $99 and under, and enjoy summertime travel without digging too deep into your wallet. Read more

New Orleans Flight DealsEscape to the Big Easy this fall with round-trip, nonstop flights from New York City for as little as $155 – taxes included. These are the lowest rates between New York and New Orleans that we’ve seen in years. Plus, with these direct flights on US Airways, you won’t need to lengthen your journey with annoying, time-consuming stopovers – another rarity on this route. Travel is valid on select dates September 4–18. Use our TravelSearch price comparison tool to enter your dates and book your flights. Hurry though, because these low rates won’t last!

4th of July Hotel DealsLooking to take a last minute trip this Fourth of July holiday? You’re in luck: We’ve rounded up the best hotel deals across the country for stays from July 3–7. Enjoy fireworks over the Hudson in New York City, take part in the festivities in Chicago, or spend Independence Day in our nation’s capital or a historic city like Philadelphia or Boston. Take advantage of these offers across America from $89 per night, including the following: Read more

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