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Phoenix

0_ASUGammage_creditNickDoan

One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous Arizona works, Arizona State University’s Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, AZ, turns 50 this year. The building has an interesting history, initially commissioned by the assassinated King Feisal II of Iraq and then eventually revived as a university building, finally opening in 1964. To celebrate its birthday and the prestigious guests it has received — from traveling Broadway productions to George W. Bush and John Kerry during the 2004 presidential debates — the performing arts center has partnered with two other iconic Wright destinations to offer the “Frank Lloyd Wright Experience,” with hotel and entertainment discounts this week.

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Museums can take years, even decades, of planning. These eight concepts have had a long and sometimes bumpy road on the way to becoming a reality, but we’re already big fans and looking forward to the ribbon-cutting dates. If you’re traveling to these cities in the next couple of years, here are the museums of the future to include on your itinerary:

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As with other major holidays like Thanksgiving, it hasn’t been easy to find great discounts for the Fourth of July. But if you’re still on the lookout for a last-minute getaway, not all hope is lost. Here are a few ideas for savings next week:

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Peak season doesn’t always mean exorbitant rates – especially with the latest series of Kimpton hotel deals. You do need to be an InTouch member and book by May 31, but the loyalty program is free to join (and includes perks like free WiFi and $10 minibar credit). Some of our favorites:

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Looking to cool off this summer? We already introduced Europe’s most beautiful public pools last year, but we thought we’d take a look at the aquatic offerings a bit closer to home. Whether you’re looking for a basic soak, a serious workout, or theme park-style entertainment, here are five fantastic (and inexpensive) public pools where you can make a splash.

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Kierland_westinkierland_dusk-620While most of the country is craving warmer weather after a particularly rough winter, triple-digit summer heat waves in Phoenix are the other extreme. Of course, that means big savings at the area’s many resorts. Considering the area boasts more than 300 days of sunshine per year and 40 luxury properties, you may never want to leave. And, with these deep discounts, you may never have to… at least until fall.

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Last-Minute Travel DealsItching to get away before the summer crowds flock to the nation’s most popular destinations? We’ve rounded up the best last-minute deals to urban centers across the U.S. and Canada, so you can explore the continent’s most popular cities while saving big bucks this spring. Read more

Beautiful GardensSpring hasn’t sprung just yet, but we’re already anxious for it’s arrival. After the slew of bad weather that’s ransacked the country, we’re ready for sunshine and the scent of blooming buds. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait for warm weather to stop and smell the roses – or any other type of flower, for that matter. We put together a list of some of the most spectacular botanical gardens in the world. Plus, many of them have greenhouses and indoor facilities – perfect to perk up a somber rainy day.

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Much like Florida, Southern California, and the islands stretched along the Caribbean Sea, Phoenix does a fine job of sidestepping winter. As snow and ice test the patience of many Americans this time of year, a lot of events and conferences are heading to the The Grand Canyon State for a climate that’s more palatable. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the comforting confines of Arizona, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings. Read more

Hotel Valley HoScottsdale’s desert summers are hot, dry, and perfect for spending a day at in one of the city’s luxurious spas – especially when treatments are on sale and come with full-day access to pools and sundecks complete with ravishing desert views and the cool relief of misting fans.

Fresh off a long flight from Atlanta, I was more than ready for my treatments at the Hotel Valley Ho’s mod VH Spa, particularly the hydrating mini-facial, which eased post-flight dryness with antioxidant-rich Chardonnay-based elixirs, and a wonderfully punishing (hello endorphins!) deep-tissue massage. Sunday night is Spa Party Night at the VH Spa, when two treatments of your choice – including specialty massages like lomi-lomi and the spa’s signature pedi – come with a cocktail in the playful Café Zuzu bar and as much decompression time as you’d like in the martini-olive shaped pool for $99 (it’s regularly $190). For a weekday fix that’s only available during the summer, try the sampler package: two 30-minute treatments for $99 ($150 if purchased separately). Monthly specials are also available at hotelvalleyho.com.

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This summer, Hilton Hotels is launching its Great Getaway promotion for stays at Hilton’s various properties across the globe, including Waldorf Astoria, DoubleTree, and many more.

In North and South America, save up to 20 percent; in Europe, discounts reach 40 percent and include weekend stays; in Africa and the Middle East, save up to 25 percent; and in Asian and the Pacific, save up to 33 percent.

At the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, rates start at an incredible $95 per night. Guests of the Waldorf Astoria Chicago can save 20 percent on stays through September 30, 2012 (rates start at $348 per night). The Waldorf-Astoria in New York City, rates start at $239 per night.

Across the Atlantic, The Trianon Palace Versailles (pictured) has rates starting at $164 per night. If you’re headed to London for the Olympics, the London Syon Park has rates starting at $214 per night.

For a list of all Hilton’s Great Getaways participating hotels, visit their website.

Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights.

Flickr/istolethetvPet-owners often opt to leave their beloved furry friends at home while traveling – most hotels and restaurants just aren’t interested in the potential for extra mess and noise complaints, and it can make traveling with pets more difficult and at times much more expensive. Some hotels, though, are making an effort to be not only pet-friendly, but to make your pet’s stay as comfortable as yours, with amenities ranging from doggie yoga to pet room service menus. Most recently, we’ve found great new pet amenities at the Pierre in New York City, the W Hotel Los Angeles-Westwood, and the W Scottsdale.

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The SaguaroWinter may be on its way, but things are starting to heat up in Arizona: The state is celebrating its centennial in 2012, and Joie de Vivre Hotels just opened its first property outside California, The Saguaro, in Scottsdale. In honor of the former, the latter will offer 100 rooms per week at the super low rate of $100/night for the next 100 days. At the 194-room Saguaro, set in vibrant Old Town Scottsdale, guests can indulge in a lively Mexican restaurant and whiskey bar, a spa specializing in indigenous treatments, and two outdoor pools. The sale starts at midnight tonight and runs through March 1.

THE VALUE: Standard rates start at $159-$189 during this time period, so you can save 37 to 47 percent!

THE CATCH: Blackout dates include December 31 and January 12-14.

THE DETAILS: Head to thesaguaro.com and use code PROPEN to book.

WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals to Phoenix.

For general trip-planning information, see our Phoenix-Scottsdale Travel Guide.

W ScottsdaleThe Luxury A desert oasis for young, hip travelers, the W Scottsdale offers enviable amenities in a spectacular setting. Get a taste of everything with the three-night Destination Sensation package: Start off with a welcome dinner at the hotel’s Sushi Roku. Take advantage of free transportation to nearby Camelback Mountain for a day of hiking. On your return, enjoy a free body scrub at the Bliss Spa. Finally, round out the trip with a foodie tour of Scottsdale – including a $50 gift card for one of five area restaurants.

The Value Package rates start at $232/night – a 40 percent savings. Travel by September 11.

The Catch Taxes (not included) tack on at least an extra $100 to the package price.

The Details 877-782-0104 (code WDESTIN); www.wscottsdalehotel.com/destination

For general trip-planning information, see our Phoenix Travel Guide.

Los AngelesCalifornia’s year-round mild climate reaches glorious levels of perfection in springtime. Unfortunately, high demand on travel during spring break and Easter makes a perfect case for airlines to charge markedly more for flights to the West Coast. Luckily, American Airlines’ American Eagle network is celebrating the launch of 10 new routes to and from Los Angeles by slashing fares on a number of West Coast destinations. Fares start at just $54 each way (Los Angeles to Phoenix). Fares are valid for travel April 5 through May 25.

Sample fares (before taxes):

  • Los Angeles-Phoenix: $54
  • San Jose-San Diego: $57
  • Las Vegas-Sacramento: $60
  • Monterey-Phoenix: $66
  • El Paso-Las Vegas: $72
  • Los Angeles-Tucson: $84
  • Albuquerque-Reno: $92
  • Boise-Los Angeles: $114
  • Salt Lake City-Los Angeles: $114

THE VALUE: Not only do you save on springtime fares, but American Eagle (owned by American Airlines) is offering double AAdvantage miles for travel on the new domestic routes.

THE CATCH: Taxes and fees are not included, so expect to pay up to an extra $30 each way.

THE DETAILS: To book your flight, visit American Airlines’ website.

WE’VE GOT MORE: Decide what to see when you get there with our California Travel Guide.

Use our Travel Search price comparison tool for more great deals on airfare, cruises, hotels, and packages worldwide.

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