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By now you’ve likely heard about the controversy surrounding SeaWorld. As a result of the documentary film Blackfish, and its exposure of what animal rights advocates claim is mistreatment of the orcas used in SeaWorld shows, calls for a boycott of the marine mammal theme park chain have grown. The debate goes on: SeaWorld released an open letter stating that, among other things, their research on captive whales benefits those in the wild, but the Oceanic Preservation Society then rebutted the claims.
And there are signs that public opinion is turning against the theme parks. The company recently posted a 13 percent drop in attendance. If you the claims have gotten the better of your conscience and you’re looking for an alternative, here are seven places in North America where you see the same animals that you’ll find at SeaWorld, but in their natural habitats. Read more
Don’t get us wrong. We love a 7-night sail through the Caribbean as much as the next cruiser. But sometimes, we seafarers like our sightseeing to feel a little less… epic. No problem here: from Norfolk, VA to San Diego Bay, the U.S. is full of sparkling inlets, coves, and harbors just begging to be experienced aboard a full- or half-day cruise. Plus, these short itineraries tend to be an affordable way to see a lot with a little time. Here are some of our favorites: Read more
Last month, a new project was announced that will build a covered walkway connecting Tijuana Airport to the U.S. border. According to the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and other sources, the walkway will result in major savings for travelers headed to Mexico, where it’s often cheaper to catch domestic flights within Mexico than to fly from the U.S..
Of course, the thought of cheaper flights to Mexico made our ears perk up. But we had to wonder: who will benefit from this? And how much can the walkway actually help you save? Sure, certain flights out of Tijuana may be cheaper than flying out of San Diego or Los Angeles, for example. But once you’ve factored in the extra time it takes to cross the border, and the possible differences in route options, will the savings outweigh the extra leg work? Though we can’t predict how things will change after the walkway opens in 2015, here’s an assessment of pricing right now… Read more
Like it or not, a big part of being a tourist involves waiting in line: at the hotel check-in desk, at the museum entrance, waiting for their tour guide to show up. But when it comes to seeing jaw-dropping views, here’s a more efficient use of your time: instead of one-stop observation decks, why not head to a high-up restaurant for lunch or dinner? You might not consider these traditional tourist attractions, but for the quality of the views (not to mention the meal itself!), these places will have you whipping out your camera in no time: Read more
The 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
Every year, the hype surrounding Halloween seems to get bigger and bigger, but in many Mexican cultures, one of the season’s liveliest celebrations falls on November 1 and 2. Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, blends indigenous and Catholic influences, with the most traditional celebrations taking place in cemeteries in central Mexico. There, families gather at gravestones to honor deceased loved ones, but the tradition has become more popular in the U.S. as well, especially in places with thriving Latin American populations.
At the heart of the celebrations are ofrendas – altars or offerings of food, drink, and alcohol – which are believed to guide the spirits of the deceased back to Earth to spend time with their family and loved ones. Día de Los Muertos celebrations also include processions, musical performances, and tons of great, skeleton- and skull-inspired art – and, a refreshing break from the over-the-top commercialism of Halloween. What’s more, they’re almost always free, too. Here, five great places to get into the spirit of the Day of the Dead.
The airline industry as a whole takes its fair share of flack. It seems that every other month, some new fee is being added, services are being cut, price increases are being slid into fares, and flexibility is nothing more than a cute notion. But for all the negatives, billions are being spent on airport expansions to make flying a little bit more pleasant. Here’s a look at three of the year’s biggest airport upgrades, though if immediate results are your thing, don’t get too excited. Some of the work isn’t scheduled to be completed until 2030. Read more
Labor Day weekend signals the last hurrah of summer, one last chance to get away before recommitting to the rigors of work or school. With less than a month before the holiday, the clock is ticking, but if you think you missed the boat on planning your own close-to-home escape, think again. We’ve rounded up 12 Labor Day weekend travel ideas, all paired with great deals, to help you get out and enjoy the great outdoors while the days are still warm. With most destinations easily accessible from many major U.S. cities, these trips are tailor-made for a perfect long weekend.
Editor’s Update: While this particular sale from July 2013 has expired, take heart — JetBlue launches $49 flight deals nearly every season. A great way to stay up to date is to also follow JetBlue on their social media platforms, particularly Twitter and Facebook. You can also find current JetBlue deals at the airlines’ Deals page. Another tip to take advantage of the next sale? Keep your schedule flexible, since some of the more popular routes will only offer special prices on select days of the week. If you’re leaving from NYC, for example, you’ll likely have to travel Tuesday through Thursday or the occasional Saturday.
Get a jump on your fall travel plans with JetBlue’s Jet-This-Party-Started Sale. With one-way flights to Boston, Bermuda, St. Croix, San Diego, New York City, and beyond, you’re bound to find your ideal autumn getaway. Keep in mind, you’ve got to think fast: These fares only last until July 31, 11:59pm EST; travel is valid from September 3 through December 18, 2013. There are also day-of-week restrictions and blackout dates from November 22–December 2. Check out some of our favorite fares below!
Whether you borrow a free bike for a cycle through a new neighborhood or kick off your shoes for yoga on the beach, fitness can become an enjoyable part of your vacation. And hotels are getting creative to help guests stay healthy on the road. On your next trip, skip the treadmill in exchange for one of the following fun fitness options; here are five of our free favorites!
1. Free Salsa Classes: Mezzanine, Tulum, Mexico
While clocking in 45 minutes of cardio might not sound too appealing on a beach vacation to Mexico’s Riviera Maya, how about a salsa lesson on a beachfront patio? At Mezzanine boutique hotel a local salsa school offers free classes on Sundays at 6pm, followed by a live salsa band that will provide the soundtrack to work on your new skills. Read more
With spring in full swing and summer fast-approaching, travel season in the U.S. is at its prime. Even places like Chicago and the Finger Lakes – known as cold locales for most of the year – are coming out of the woodwork as desirable summer destinations, and have the prices to match. Take a look at some of our favorite sun-soaked travel deals below. Read more
Whether you’re carrying precious cargo with Fido inside, or you’re worried about Hemingway your hamster, traveling with pets is a delicate task. Much like traveling with a baby or small children, you’ve got to plan and prepare well in advance. Want to know about air travel? Or, maybe just what you should bring on your road trip with your kids and the cat? Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered on planes, trains, and automobiles, with everything you need to know about bringing along your animals.
From the east coast to the west coast and the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. boasts miles of diverse shorelines that provide picturesque backdrops to many of our favorite destinations. Head to one of our great coastal cities and spend less of your tax return on hotel stays. This week, we’ve rounded up a batch of hotel deals, all with nightly rates under $180 for stays April through June. Read more
Summer vacation will be here before you know it! Stymie the lazy-day choruses of “I’m bored…” before they start with a visit to one (or more) of these 10 spots that every kid should see. Ticking off this treasure-trove checklist of close-to-home U.S. sights – each within the scope of a weekend getaway – is sure to mount childlike wonder in kids of all ages, with each destination offering enriching experiences that are both educating and entertaining. From iconic emblems to engineering marvels, and natural wonders to theme park fantasy lands, these attractions for kids promise to spark the imaginations of young dreamers. Perhaps the only better alternative to seeing these sights as a child? Seeing them through the eyes of one. Catch a sneak peek at our 10 picks with the Spots Every Kid Should See Slideshow.
San Diego? For a convention? Must be Comic-Con International, right? Unfortunately, not all of us are able to head to Southern California to goof off with costumed characters, but there are certainly worse places for business travels to take you during this part of the year. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of “America’s Finest City,” 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 up for branching out a bit, and you need an upscale place that’s far from stuffy, Rama has you covered. Just a few short blocks away from the sprawling San Diego Convention Center, this place serves up “exotic” Asian fare, but there’s plenty of curries to choose from if you don’t want to risk it. The atmosphere is really unique, and while you’re certainly pay for it when the check arrives, it’s a fantastic place to lighten spirits and generally blow off steam after a long day amongst concourses. Read more
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