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Tag Results: California

Skellig MichaelBarcelona has its Sagrada Familia. Sydney has its white-hooded Opera House. And other places? Well, they’ve got steps – lots and lots of them. As the examples illustrate below, epic staircases aren’t just a way to reach higher ground. They can be major attractions unto themselves. From the fabled Ha’iku Ladder in Hawaii, to Norway’s never-ending Flørli Steps, these jaw-dropping ascents aren’t for the faint of heart. But once you get to the top, we think you’ll agree the views more than make up for the effort. 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:

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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

BeverlyHillsBeverly Hills has a lot more to offer than meets the eye.  And of course, what immediately meets the eye is the Beverly Hills Hotel; the 90201 TV series; Rodeo Drive; and the entire movie industry. But few visitors realize that Beverly Hills, which celebrated its centennial in January, was originally known for its ranches and rodeos, as well as agriculture — rather humble beginnings for a city that is now synonymous with money and flash.

And if you’re looking for the glitz, it’s certainly there for the taking: In honor of the 100th anniversary, five luxury hotels (The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows, Montage Beverly Hills, The Beverly Hilton, L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, and The Peninsula Beverly Hills) have created the Suite 100 initiative in which each property decorates a suite so that guests can experience luxury in a particular era. From the Film Noir suite at the Montage Beverly Hills to the Golden Age Inspired by Marilyn Monroe room at the Beverly Hills Hotel, each of the properties will serve up period-inspired decadence for a steep price (around $1,900 per night).

For those of us who want to travel here without spending like an heiress, here’s how to do it:

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Musee MechaniqueTuck your wallet back into your pocket, because these San Francisco experiences are either completely free, or are nearly so. If you’ve already seen the city’s tourist icons on your San Francisco vacation, check out these six offbeat budget attractions for a different take on the city: Read more

OmniBostonLooking for a last-minute getaway? Omni Hotels & Resorts invites you to “Spring into Action” with its 72-hour flash sale. From April 1-4, rooms at the brand’s Washington D.C., Los Angeles, and Boston properties will be available for less than $200 per night. Read more

Los AngelesAnyone who’s familiar with Los Angeles knows there are a few major restrictions when it comes to exploring the U.S.’s second most populous city: traffic, for starters. But also, LA’s disorienting urban sprawl can leave some travelers scratching their heads as to where to find – in the midst of so many desolate strip malls, sketchy bus stations, and disconnected, pseudo-suburban residential areas – a sense of the “real” LA. When it comes to exploring by foot, dining, and finding decent accommodation without getting sucked into the black hole of Hollywood, we suggest starting in Downtown LA. Here are a few reasons why: Read more

Hog Island oysters

Nearly everyone heads to Napa for some wine tasting on a Northern California vacation. While that’s certainly a worthwhile pursuit, there are a handful of other great coastal spots where you can get some of the best local food and drink on a budget. Check out these five places to fill your belly in coastal Northern California: Read more

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

Norfolk VirginiaDon’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

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.

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620x400_Flickrchuckwaters83_DisneyToysPrice of a Walt Disney World sweatshirt: $59.95.

Price of a Sorcerer Mickey mug: $14.95.

Price of a Disney iPhone case: $34.95.

We’ll give you a second to get over the sticker shock, but yes, those are the real prices of some Walt Disney World souvenirs.

You should know, though, that it is possible to score some freebies in this famous Orlando theme park. You just have to know where to look. Here are some to seek out on your next visit to the House of Mouse…

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Helsinki AirportAh, airport layovers. Few of us will ever actually look forward to them, but there are some airports where top-notch facilities make waiting for a connection much easier. Here’s a list… Read more

Roccos TacosLike a beautiful beach, margaritas come in all shapes and sizes. Some are poured like a martini, some are rimmed with a spicy-salt mixture. And some forsake the traditional ingredient, tequila, altogether in favor of more experimental spirits. This National Margarita Day (yes, that’s a holiday that exists, and where would we be without it?), which happens on February 21, we’re not looking to get tipsy on just any old cookie-cutter cocktail. We want to be wowed by some of the most inventive margaritas out there. Without further ado, here are 9 infusions guaranteed to wow your taste buds and satisfy your sense of adventure at the same time… Read more

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