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We may be in the thick of winter and holiday chaos, but it’s not too early to start planning a sunny escape. Marriott is running a “Holiday Getaway Event” promotion that offers discounted rates plus resort credit to use toward dining, the spa, on-property retail stores, golf, and more. So give yourself a well-earned holiday after the holidays and unwind in the spa or on the golf course at these warm weather destination resorts.
For reservations, visit www.marriott.com/resortholidaygetaway and enter the promotional code P91. A minimum two-night stay is required, and the offer is valid for up to $200 in resort credit. Per-night and per-person rates of resort credit can vary, so check the individual property for details. The promotion is available at 14 different properties across Florida and South Carolina. It’s available through December 26 for travel until January 31, 2014.
Here are seven of the best deals that are part of this offer… Read more
Who needs five star resorts, marble bathtubs, and caviar dinners? Sure, those perks are nice, but for travelers seeking a quick, easy getaway that won’t leave them in the financial lurch, there are better ways to go about it. Rather than overindulge, focus instead on fun, practical activities that are unique to the destination, whether that means hiking in a state park or snagging $9 seats to a symphony orchestra. To get you started, here are ten US cities perfect for budget travelers, plus tips on what to do when you get there: 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
They say there’s no such thing as too much fun, but in Miami, we wonder sometimes… Sure, it’s an impressive place (that beach! those hotels!), but after a third or fourth (or sixteenth) visit, you might suddenly find yourself under-dressed, trolling Collins Avenue in hopes of finding somewhere to “relax” that won’t charge you $20 at the door. Good thing Miami’s friendly neighbor to the north offers an easy alternative to all the velvet ropes, Mercedez-Benz dealerships, and designer labels.
Fort Lauderdale, as accessible from all U.S. airports as Miami, is a laid-back, low-key, and – most important of all – cheaper way to do southern Florida. Here are just a few things we love about this beach-y, balmy paradise… Read more
In times of crisis, the cruise industry bands together as if its members were blood relatives rather than fierce competitors. There’s a good reason for that: if they pointed a finger when things went awry, cruise lines know they’d likely sink together.
That’s why straight answers are hard to come by this week, after the drowning death of a 6-year-old boy in a pool aboard Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Victory.
On the industry’s larger ships there can be 2,000-plus ship employees onboard, but not one will be assigned to keep an eagle eye out for problems at a pool. The industry does not employ lifeguards, and it is quick to point out that neither do the vast majority of land-based resorts.
For all the negative implications of fall (cooler weather, shorter days, less sunshine), the season isn’t without its charms. After all, what other time of year can you travel with manageable weather and great bargains on flights and hotels? So instead of dwelling on how you can’t wear short shorts or sip an iced latte in October, let’s embrace fall. Whether you’re interested in watching the leaves blow around a beautiful state park, or enjoying your first-ever slice of grape pie, or taking full advantage of all the fall deals being offered right now, here’s your guide to a fun-filled, money-saving, get-in-your-car-and-go fall. Read more
Not long ago, New York’s Central Park Zoo said a sad farewell to one of its own: Gus the polar bear. He was a fixture at the zoo for more than 25 years and had some…well, problems. Sure, he was neurotic (like a true Manhattanite), but he was beloved by many. (It’s reported that nearly 20 million people visited him during his time at the zoo.) On a happier note, we can’t help but think about the new baby animals that draw visitors to zoos across the country each year. And let’s face it, no matter how young or old we are, it’s hard not to ‘ooh and ahh’ over a cute baby cheetah (or elephant, or snow leopard). If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, here are some new furry friends that have recently arrived at America’s zoos…
It doesn’t get much cuter than these adorable kittens. At the Memphis Zoo, a male leopard was born in July, and while he doesn’t have a name yet, the public will have a hand in picking it from seven choices. Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo also welcomed a male cub in June, and he’s set to make his public debut this month when he turns three months old. Poaching and other factors have lead the species to be listed as endangered and only about 3,500 to 7,000 exist in the wild.
When to go: While you can’t see the Memphis cub just yet (the zoo is reconfiguring the cage so there are no spaces in the caging where he could slip out), stay tuned for updates on their Facebook page. In Chicago, you’ll be able to see the newborn by the end of next week. Read more
Well, it’s officially September. While some cities are still seeing warm temperatures, we’re already skipping ahead in our minds to fall…and worse, winter. But, rather than let the changing seasons get us down, we’ve decided to just plan our next vacation. From Boston to Washington, D.C., and West Palm Beach, JetBlue’s Book Smart Sale (one-way fares; book by tomorrow at midnight; travel dates September 17 to December 18) is offering some great fares on key destinations: Read more
Down in Southern Florida amidst the spendiest, most budget-busting hotels in the state, a new, affordable boutique hotel brand is emerging in the form of the letter B. B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, and b2 Miami Downtown, to be exact. This budding hotel brand recently invited us down to “The Sunshine State” to experience their own brand of stylish, affordable hospitality firsthand.
At either property, beyond the sleek decor, you’ll immediately notice another unique feature – affordable nightly rates. According to Expedia, a king room at the 3.5-star b2 Miami Downtown starts at $113, while a king or double room at the 4-star B Ocean Fort Lauderdale costs $122 (we searched over select dates in September). Similar properties in Downtown Miami tend to run around $169, while beachfront accommodation in Fort Lauderdale starts at about $179. Read more
Summer is winding down and kids are heading back to school, which means that prime beach destinations like Florida are quickly clearing out and entering their low season. Normally, a destination’s slow-down time signals less-than-prime weather conditions, but Florida in the fall is ideal. While it’s technically still hurricane season, in many spots, you’ll still find warm waters and beautiful days with weather that can soar up into the 90s. Add to that the fact that many hotels offer discounts of 40 to 50 percent off their peak season rates, and you’ve got a recipe for a perfect fall getaway. Here are some of the reasons you should visit during Florida’s bargain season. Read more
Thinking of throwing together one last Great American Road Trip before the summer draws to an end? Though it’s always an option to depart from your own driveway, an affordable rental car allows you to cruise around highways and byways that are far from home. Toss in the fact that you won’t be adding miles and wear to your own vehicle, and the burden of responsibility is further lifted.
Of course, scoring a deal is what makes it all worthwhile, and not all cities price rentals similarly. Here’s a look at the best airports to fly into for a cheap ride – and some of the gorgeous roads that lead to them. Read more
Fall is a great time to take a trip: In many destinations, you’ll find lower rates and smaller crowds than in summer, making for a relaxing and easy-on-the-wallet travel experience. Our deals expert, Lisa Hubner, rounded up some of the best deals for fall travel to Europe, the U.S., and the Caribbean: Read more
Move over, Mickey. There’s a new star in central Florida: her name is Atlantis, and she’s been to outer space an impressive 33 times, capping off the final chapter of the United States’ storied space shuttle program.
As of about a month ago, the awe-inspiring orbiter has found a new home within the $100 million Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, FL, sparking a new wave of tourism to the Space Coast, Florida’s central-eastern stretch where cheering crowds once flocked to see live shuttle launches. Atlantis made its final mission in July 2011, and the sophisticated exhibit recreates for guests the excitement of her inter-stellar voyages.
Here, some insider tips on navigating the new exhibit, as well as the rest of the sprawling, 1,400-acre center, plus where to eat and what else not to miss. Read more
Don’t let the nearing end-of-summer get you down. Head to the 4.5-star Brazilian Court Hotel in upscale Palm Beach and unwind as you take advantage of the Indulge the Senses package for $374 per person. We love this offer, which saves you more than $100 per person on booking the components separately. Here’s what you’ll get: Read more
Forget mediocre fireworks displays and blasé barbecues. In these five unusually patriotic cities, Fourth of July festivities provide non-stop entertainment. From ax-throwing competitions in an Oregon timber town, to an annual “Pasties for Patriots” burlesque show in Austin, these places celebrate American independence like none other.
1. St. Pete Beach, FL: In this Tampa-area town, the local TradeWinds Resort dyes nearly 1,000 towels red, white, and blue to create a giant mosaic of the Betsy Ross flag on its beach. A small handful of the resort’s younger guests get in on the action, standing in place as the 13 stars on the original flag. Read more
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