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Time to dust off the skis and snowboards: the 2013-14 ski season is already underway, with several resorts already open and plenty more set to do so in coming weeks – which is a promising sign for the season to come. This year, some enticing deals and passes, as well as more direct flights to resort destinations, are a great excuse for a winter weekend getaway. Here are some of the best (and budget-friendly) offers.
Alta and Snowbird, Utah: Known for epic powder and deliciously long runs, these Utah resorts are also offering out-of-state visitors a killer deal this year: half off lift tickets within 24 hours of arrival at Salt Lake City International Airport. The offer is good throughout the 2013-14 ski season, Monday through Friday, and saves $39.50. Read more
Winter travel tends to involve more indoor activities (unless you’re heading to a white sandy beach, in which case, we’re jealous!), and that can often mean visiting more museums. But what if you’ve been to all the big ones already? MoMA… Asian Art Museum… Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Snooze. This season, a new batch of museums is offering visitors across the country a chance to see something a little out of the ordinary. But the thing is, you probably haven’t heard of them. Places like Toledo’s new Maritime Museum, or Cancun’s Maya Museum, offer world-class exhibits, but haven’t yet made it onto tourists’ radars quite yet. This all works in your favor, since lesser-known museums are generally queue-free, and cheap (or free) to enter. Take our advice and make a point of visiting one – or all! – of these places on your next trip to… Read more
There’s no denying that Santa Barbara, one of the most beautiful towns on California’s central coast (and perhaps the entire United States), comes at a cost. But while you might not be able to stay in Montecito, or dine at San Ysidro Ranch, it’s still possible to experience the charm of this Pacific Ocean coastal town without depleting your travel budget in a single day. Of course, beaches are always a good option to while away an afternoon, but here are five other cheap activities to help you stay in motion: Read more
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts recently re-branded three lodges in Park City, Utah; Beaver Creek, Colorado; and Lake Tahoe, California as part of their new Hyatt Mountain Collection. Targeting skiers, the collection aims to drum up interest in the high-up mountain resorts, with one deal in particular leading the way.
By selecting the Stay at Three, Ski for Free offer, guests who book a 3-night stay at each of the three properties in the Hyatt Mountain Collection from November 27, 2013 through April 20th, 2014, will receive a complimentary Vail Resorts’ Epic Pass for the 2014/2015 winter season. The ski pass, which normally costs $729, provides unlimited access to Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Canyons, Heavenl, Northstar, Kirkwood, Afton Alps, Mt. Brighton, Arapahoe Basin, and Eldora – with no blackout dates. Not a bad deal, especially if you had already planned to spend some time out west this fall – just nine nights spent at Hyatt hotels, and you’ll be set for the entire 2014/2015 ski season!
The three properties in the Hyatt Mountain Collection are the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek Resort & Spa (from $229); Hyatt Escala Lodge Park City (from $153); and Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa & Casino (from $179)
To Book: Visit www.hyattmountaincollection.com and reserve each stay using the code EPIC.
While October might not scream “beach season,” many parts of the U.S. are still enjoying weather that calls for shorts and a lounge chair. Sure, you can go to Florida or Southern California pretty much year-round for sun and sand, but what about beach destinations that get cooler as fall sets in? For now, many of them are still prime for a late-season visit, with great deals, fewer crowds, and comfortable temperatures. Okay, so you might not get a sunburn (Who wants that, anyway?), but you’ll still find plenty to do in these seven locales: Read more
Palm Springs has long been on southern Californians’ radar as a quick, hassle-free getaway, with well-documented visits from Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Audrey Hepburn in the 50s and 60s lending the place a splashy, old Hollywood allure. Even now, its appeal remains intact, with a recent outcrop of new hotels catering to fun-loving crowds from LA, New York, and other party capitals.
What we most love about Palm Springs, however, isn’t its scenery or its cool-kid status, but the way it manages to appeal to such a wide range of travelers. Whether you’re showing up to play golf, go to a pool party, browse contemporary art, tour mid-century modernist houses, ride the aerial tram, or just sit by the pool and doze, Palm Springs is ready to receive you with open arms. Read more
As we begin to see the world of in-flight entertainment change, so too are we seeing an evolution in the way airlines are planning their new flight routes. A recent spate of new airline route announcements indicates a trend that many Americans (especially those who don’t live in New York or LA) will be very happy about: airlines are now focusing on establishing daily or weekly service out of secondary cities like Boston, Chicago, and Orlando. Likely due to overall growth among airlines like Emirates, United, and British Airways, passengers are now benefiting from nonstop routes based out of their home cities. Read more
Finding time to take a longer vacation during the fall is tough. There are few national holidays that warrant time off and chances are you already took a few days during the summer for some R&R. But just because fall is setting in and there’s little time to relax, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have time to get away for a weekend. These five quick two-day escapes are all within driving-distance from major cities across the U.S. Plus, we’ve priced them out for you so all you have to think about is Which weekend am I getting out of Dodge?
From San Francisco…
To Half Moon Bay: Round-trip gas will put you out only about $8, so this trip is definitely economical – plus unlike many parts of California, the 29-mile-long one-way trip will just take you 50 minutes in traffic. When you’re in Half Moon Bay, get out and enjoy the breathtaking scenery and the cute little town. Hotels such as the three-star Half Moon Bay Lodge won’t break the bank and offer easy access to nearby coastal walks, kayaking, and surfing at the legendary Maverick’s (October weekend rates start at $207). Two miles up the coast, the Mill Rose Inn Bed and Breakfast ($230) is set within lush gardens and holds a four AAA Diamond rating.
The total: Two nights at the Half Moon Bay Lodge plus round-trip gas = $421
Of the six reasons we recently gave for Melbourne being voted the “most livable city in the world,” public transportation ranked number four. Meanwhile, eight thousand miles across the Pacific Ocean, sprawling Los Angeles isn’t about to win any awards for its still-in-progress Metro system and tangled network of unreliable bus routes.
No surprise, then, that LA has become known as a “car city” — almost every destination on your itinerary is usually best reached by car.
But there is a movement, albeit a small one, to change all that: Car Free LA is a day-long event taking place this Sunday, as part of a worldwide initiative celebrating alternative transportation modes. And for anyone who happens to be visiting the city this weekend, the centerpiece of LA’s campaign will be a public walking (and Metro) tour from Beverly Hills to Santa Monica, and back (for those not in town, you can follow all the fun on Instagram and Twitter by using the hashtag “carfreeLA”). Read more
Like televisions out of a window, rock stars and hotels just fit together. From the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok where Billy Idol caused so much mayhem he had to be shot with tranquilizer darts by the Thai army; to what is now called the Andaz West Hollywood where Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham rode a motorcycle through the hallways, and the Holiday Inn, Flint where Keith Moon started a food fight, destroyed a piano, set off fire extinguishers, and drove a car into the swimming pool, many a hotel’s walls, if they could talk, would tell stories of rock star excess.
While the trend of high hotel debauchery has faded over time, in spite of Joel Madden and DMX’s seeming attempts to revive it, there are a few hotels where you can get a taste of a rock n’ roll lifestyle without incurring the cost of “incidentals”.
BackStage Hotel, Amsterdam
Located in the central Leidseplein square, in the heart of Amsterdam’s nightlife district, BackStage Hotel is Rock n’ Roll all the way to its interior design, which features ceiling lights made from snare drums. The hotel is a few steps from both the Melkweg and Paradiso music venues, and is often the hotel of choice for musicians passing through Amsterdam on tour. If you find yourself inspired, you can borrow the hotel’s guitars and jam some Guitar Hero in the bar.
September weeknight rates start at €175 ($233) Read more
Summer, as we know, is prime national parks season – which gives us even more pause for concern around the wildfires currently weaving a path of destruction through Yosemite National Park. This weekend, a massive rim fire continued to blaze there, forcing evacuations and even a State of Emergency in California as more than 3,400 firefighters battled the fire.
Bad news all around, but for those already on the road, how are conditions affecting travel plans? Read more
The good news is that if you have a layover in Los Angeles, you are probably on your way to (or from) some place fantastic like Hawaii, Australia, or Asia. The bad news? Due to its size and the horror show that is LA traffic, Los Angeles International Airport does not lend itself to easy jaunts in and out of the city.
If four hours is all you’ve got, we recommend you don’t stray too far from LAX. Luckily, the airport is close to a few beaches and an entertaining restaurant, so you won’t be totally stuck. Read more
While winter lures skiers to the surrounding slopes and summer brings vacationers out for beach time, Lake Tahoe offers far more opportunities to mingle with locals, especially in the shoulder season. The clarity of the lake was first made famous by Mark Twain in the 1880s, and it’s easy to spend hours mesmerized by the brilliant blue color. But when you’re ready to discover some great mealtime and leisure options away from the typical touristy hoards, here’s where you should go: Read more
It’s that time of year again: the time when fresh-faced, idealistic college freshman descend upon the campuses of America. For the rest of us, whose college years are far behind us, there’s nothing like a trip to a college town to rekindle old memories. Whether you’re headed to a university town on vacation, or visiting a studious young friend or relative, these hotels let you enjoy the college atmosphere in a way that doesn’t involve dorms and frat parties. Read more
Silicon Valley techies – along with pretty much all Californians – are abuzz with news of the latest venture from entrepreneur Elon Musk: a super-high-speed train called the Hyperloop that is capable of jetting passengers between Los Angeles and San Francisco in a mere 30 minutes.
Musk, the dynamo who co-founded PayPal and how heads up Tesla Motors, this week unveiled plans for the proposed transit system, which will whisk passengers through a tubular system at speeds up to 700 miles per hour – faster than most commercial airliners and slightly less than the speed of sound.
At a conference earlier this year, Musk described the Hyperloop as “a cross between a Concorde, a railgun and an air hockey table.” But it will be a while (if ever) before travelers can hop aboard the Hyperloop. Musk estimated he could build a prototype in about three to four years, but some transportation experts doubt the project will ever be realized.
In the meantime, here’s a quick look at the current available routes between the City by the Bay and the City of Angels. Of course, none of them can hold a candle next to the Hyperloop’s supposed 30 minute commute, but until Musk’s vision becomes a reality, it’s nice to know we’ve got options: Read more
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