Shermanstravel Blog

Road Trip

Alaska - Columbia Glacier - Prince Williams Sound - 620 - by Nomadic LassBelieve it or not, there are many ways to see Alaska without taking a cruise, lovely and hassle-free though they may be. Whether you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to cruising, want to see the land up-close, or simply want more control during your trip, here are three excellent, affordable ways to travel through the “Last Frontier.”

Read more

SantaCruzBest-known as a home to college kids, surfers, and hippies, the California town of Santa Cruz has a few less stereotypical, newsworthy attractions to boast of this year. Best of all, most of these are cheap (or even free) and you’ll spend less than $25 on gas to make a round-trip from San Francisco. Here’s what to do on a day trip. Read more

OjaiOften lost in the shadow of coastal spots like Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, and Los Angeles, the inland orchard town of Ojai is a remote hideaway popular with spa-happy travelers with their hearts set on real R&R. The name means “Valley of the Moon” in the Ventureno Native American language, and the land is considered by many to have powerful healing properties. Despite the small-town feel, the experience of staying there doesn’t necessarily come at a discount, partially because it’s become a favorite among Hollywood stars. Here are a few ways to experience Ojai without breaking the bank:

Read more

bronson gate 1From Superman stopping the Earth’s rotation, to locals fending off a twenty-foot great white shark, Hollywood has given us plenty of moments where we scratch our heads and wonder, “How’d they do that?” Most of the time, that on-screen magic is simply the result of hard-working studio technicians, cameramen, and a well-equipped sound stage. And for movie lovers vacationing in California’s entertainment capital, it’s possible to take a spin around the studios where the magic happens. Here are five tours that’ll take you backstage on Tinseltown’s most famous sets: Read more

AkkoWith its small land mass and relatively easy public transportation system, Israel lends itself to quick, mad-dash side-trips for those intent on seeing as much of the country as possible in a short amount of time. Of course, you could easily spend weeks leisurely making your way up and down the Mediterranean coast, stopping in at desert-surrounded kibbutz-style hotels and remote mountain towns along the way. Or book a vacation package, like the one featured in our Top 25 this week, which takes you all over the country. But for those who find themselves in Tel Aviv, here are three easy day trips reachable in 45 minutes, 1 hour, or 1.5 hours from the bustling capital:

Read more

BeerMonthWith nearly 100 breweries and brewpubs, and more craft breweries than any other Southern state, North Carolina is quickly emerging as a marquee destination for beer lovers. This month, there’s even more reason to raise a toast, as North Carolina is currently hosting its second annual Beer Month. Read more

music festival 1

It’s March and music festival season is upon us: thousands are gathering in Austin this week for SXSW, and the upcoming Bonnaroo-Lollapalooza-Coachella trifecta continue to sell-out at record speeds. Understandably, though, spending $300 to camp with a crowd of sweaty students just to catch a glimpse of Tom Petty’s wavy mane over a hot June weekend doesn’t appeal to everyone. Instead of splurging on just any old music festival this summer, consider these low-key alternatives that offer the same great entertainment at nearly a third of the cost: Read more

The great American road trip has captured travelers’ imaginations for decades. For your next jaunt, give the bland chain motels a miss and pick one of these unique hotels to rest up while you are on the road.

For West Coast Road Trippers:

The Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo CAMadonnaInnThe iconic bright pink sign of the Madonna Inn beckons roadtrippers toward a slice of Americana that befits its Highway 101 location. The bright color scheme extends into this 50-year-old hotel and through many of the 110 individually themed guestrooms. Rooms on offer include the “Caveman” room, “Swiss Chalet,” “Country Gentleman,” and “Love Nest.”  Rates start at $189.

Read more

Heraldsburg, CaliforniaIf you are looking for a fresh, laid-back take on California’s wine country, head for Healdsburg in Sonoma County. Here, you’ll find beautifully structured wines, locavore innovation, and ample ways to soak up the sunshine. A balanced blend of old-town charm and sleek modern architecture, Healdsburg has had quite a growth spurt over the past few years, and it’s had to in order to keep pace with visitor demand. The good news? It retains its sense of small-town nostalgia.

Here are some budget-friendly reasons to visit this charming wine region: Read more

Ava Gardner Museum, North CarolinaAlthough they shine bright on Hollywood Boulevard, some of the biggest movie stars had distinctly humbler beginnings. With less than a month to go until the Academy Awards, here are the small towns where some famous classic movie stars were born and raised.  Read more

Ottawa flickr Rideau Canal Parliament Hill 620x400Canada’s capital, Ottawa, is emerging from the long shadow cast by its neighbors, Montreal to the east and Toronto to the southwest. Primarily known for its arts and culture attractions (Ottawa is home to all of Canada’s national museums and galleries), the city now also prides itself on a standout food scene, affordable local attractions, and easy access to the surrounding countryside.

We spoke to Jantine van Kregten, a long-time resident of the city and Director of Communications for Ottawa Tourism, about the best ways to see the city, her favorite neighborhood spots, and some off-the-beaten-path places to visit. Here are some of her recommendations…

Read more

NiagaraFallsThe Canadian province of Ontario is home to some of North America’s most popular travel destinations, including cosmopolitan Toronto, the nation’s capital, Ottawa, and the majestic Niagara Falls. And while it may seem counter intuitive, winter is actually a great time to visit this versatile state.

Here’s why…

Read more

UgandaAs much as we love travel, no one loves the red-tape-filled process of getting a new visa. Here are a few helpful tips for securing your travel documents in a few specific places around the world — namely, in East Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe. We chose these areas because you’re more likely to cross a border while you’re traveling there, and/or because there are some new developments around visa laws in these countries. Our tips below (including a new multi-country visa program in East Africa) ought to make the process a little less cumbersome next time you embark on a multi-leg trip… Read more

Tepoztlan, MexicoWe love Mexico City. In fact, we voted it one of our top destinations for 2014. But if you need a break from this teeming, culturally rich city, here are some incredibly inexpensive day trips to try, all of which are packed full of beautiful sites, from ancient ruins, to picturesque churches, to sprawling main squares… Read more

Grand RapidsBeer City, USA. The Greatest Place You’ve (Maybe) Never Heard Of. Michigan’s Gold Coast. These don’t sound like obvious nicknames for a city once filled with furniture manufacturing plants. But today, Grand Rapids is (surprisingly) becoming a genuine cultural hot spot.

Whether you’re looking to see an acclaimed art competition, try a bevvy beers, or explore some of the country’s best beaches, Grand Rapids and Michigan’s Gold Coast supply some style and culture in the midst of the Rust Belt. Here’s what to do when you get there… Read more

Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals