Shermanstravel Blog

New York City

1431 Ludlow HotelWhile New York City is well known for its astronomical hotel rates, new properties are opening at an incredible speed. Whether this will lead to lower rates is anybody’s guess, but we’re hopeful. Here is a selection of four of the most recent openings in the city (with rates that begin at an affordable $165 a night) and four more to look forward to later in the year: Read more

stgeorgeopenairSummer means open-air movies in many of the world’s cities, but not all open-air cinemas are created equal. Here’s a roundup of eight of the very best al fresco movie theaters where the surroundings rival the drama on-screen. Read more

620x400_FlickrEric Kilby_GoldenGateBridgeSFOIf you’ve ever taken a Disney vacation, you’re probably familiar with the company’s focus on customer service, and its commitment to helping you make lasting memories. Clearly, there’s a reason why families head to Walt Disney World and Disneyland over and over again. But everyone could occasionally use a change of pace. (After all, you can only ride Dumbo so many times.)

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With Memorial Weekend approaching, we decided to tackle a classic debate holiday travel debate: For your next getaway, should you drive or fly?

The convenience of flying outweighs the stress of driving for some travelers, especially if they have to spend more than an hour or two on the road. Then again, we all know how pricey flying can be, and that’s before you even consider the hassle of security lines and getting to the airport. Beyond this, it’s also important to consider whether you’ll need (or want) to use a car when you reach your destination.

Here, we take a few of the most popular vacation routes and weigh the pros and cons of driving or flying.

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RockCreekAs much as we love traveling to big cities, sometimes it can get overwhelming. Here are a few places in or near the biggest metropolises in the U.S., where, for a few hours at least, you can leave the noise and bustle behind. Read more

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Queens is having its moment. It might not be New York’s hippest borough, but that’s precisely what makes it accessible. And it’s becoming more and more enriching as a destination, thanks to a new crop of street fairs, artsy attractions, and beautiful public parks. Coupled with a refreshingly low-key vibe, it’s a haven for anyone seeking reprieve from Manhattan’s high prices and thick crowds.

What’s more, Queens is as convenient as it’s affordable. Just a 10-minute hop on the subway gets you from Manhattan to the heart of Astoria and Long Island City, two neighborhoods that have been leading the way on visitor-friendly amenities. This guide focuses on the cultural offerings in these areas, but rest assured: We’ll be back with a foodie report soon.

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Looking to cool off this summer? We already introduced Europe’s most beautiful public pools last year, but we thought we’d take a look at the aquatic offerings a bit closer to home. Whether you’re looking for a basic soak, a serious workout, or theme park-style entertainment, here are five fantastic (and inexpensive) public pools where you can make a splash.

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ShakespeareThis year marks William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. If you can’t make it to England to honor the Bard with a pilgrimage to his hometown of Straford Upon Avon, or to the Globe Theatre in London, you can catch a free summer performance in these cities across the U.S.:

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AmtrakAdironNow that spring has sprung, it’s become much more comfortable (and sensible) to head north on vacation. What better way to take in the blooming landscape than by traveling at ground level? You can with Amtrak’s “Weekend Getaway Fare” on its scenic Adirondack train between New York City and Montreal for $89 round-trip.

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BaseballGoing to the ballpark isn’t what it used to be: ticket, concession, and parking costs all combine to put a major strain on your wallet, hindering the enjoyment of the game itself. Going with a family of four? You’re looking at a $200 night, at least, just to watch two teams hit a ball around. Savvy travelers can still find ways to do it on a budget, though. Here are a few tips to help you beat the system:

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paperfactoryhotelNew York City: home to astronomically priced hotel rooms that are the size of shoeboxes. While that’s bearable for a short stay, what’s a longer-term visitor to do? How about considering one of these hotels that are especially suited for longer stays? Read more

KabukichoGreat cities are always changing, and as property developers and big businesses move in, often the first neighborhoods to lose their character are those that operate on the margins – places where economies are decidedly underground. Even though a lot of that gritty neighborhood character is lost to history, there are audioguides out there that capture the essence of times gone by.  Next time you’re headed to New York, London, Tokyo, or Paris, plug in to one of these guides to experience a different, seamier side of city life.

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Park SlopeAs we showed in an earlier post this week, New York is pulling out all the stops for National Walking Day, which is today, April 2. And that’s as it should be: with a relatively compact land area, Manhattan remains one of the densest, most pedestrian-friendly cities in the world. Plus, Central Park and the well-maintained green spaces along the East River and Hudson River make the city ideal for travelers who like a little nature with their urban trekking.

And speaking of the East River, we can’t recommend highly enough the pleasures of exploring – on foot, of course – the quieter, more neighborly environs of Manhattan’s little sister across the river, Brooklyn.

Below, we offer a ready-to-go walking guide to one of the borough’s most iconic (and culturally rich) neighborhoods, Park Slope. Read more

620x400_ViceroyNYCSure, the locals may roll their eyes at the mention of Midtown Manhattan. The concrete jungle in and around Times Square doesn’t have Greenwich Village’s cozy charm, or the sleek nightclubs of the downtown Meatpacking District. But some new developments in this area, especially north of Times Square near Central Park, have given Midtown a new-found sense of cool. For visitors who are willing to seek it out – and painstakingly avoid the area’s inevitable tourist traps – it can provide the ultimate glimpse at New York’s beautiful public spaces, exemplary accommodation, and endless nightlife. Here’s a sample itinerary to try on your next visit to the Big Apple…

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New York PalaceLarge families certainly have their work cut out for them when planning a trip to, well… anywhere. But that’s especially true in the Big Apple, where locals are known to pay $1,000 per month to live in apartments that could easily be mistaken for walk-in closets. Add to that, the cost of getting around, finding affordable restaurants, and visiting all the family-friendly sights on your to-do list, and you might soon ditch your NYC plans altogether in favor of a less complicated destination (Maui, anyone?)

Enter the New York Palace, the acclaimed four-star property built inside a 19th century mansion on Madison Avenue. This spring and summer, the hotel is giving families a break with its “Family Values Promotion,” the latest offer to benefit group travelers. Starting now, families who book a room on any weekend between Easter and Labor Day can book a second room at the New York Palace for 50 percent off. That’s half off for an elegant, freshly-renovated hotel right in the heart of midtown.

Let’s take a look at how this offer stacks up with other hotel rates in the area. Read more

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