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But a new generation of Richmond residents is giving their historic city new life. From a pristine performing arts center in an emerging downtown district, to an incredibly exciting restaurant scene, and a recent $100 million investment in capital architecture, the energy is palpable. Here’s where to get a piece of the action. Read more
Winemakers rely on the soil, weather, and other natural elements to produce their wines, so it’s no surprise that many have turned to eco-friendly and sustainable practices to protect their vineyards and reduce their environmental impact. Although California leads the way, the rest of the nation’s wine-making regions are following suit. Here are five wineries that have embraced the movement. Read more
Oh, the difference a month makes. Even at the tail-end of March, most of the contiguous United States were still far too frosty for anyone to utter “spring” without sarcasm in their voice. But now, temperatures are rapidly rising, mountainous towns are finally thawing out, and roadways that have been closed for the winter are opening back up. Here are three of my favorite springtime road trips – they’re certainly worth a spin before summer swoops in, and if you’re looking to avoid the crowds. Read more
From the beautiful Chesapeake Bay to the rolling hills of the Shenandoah Valley to laid back Virginia Beach, the state of Virginia offers a varied landscape, romantic hotel options, and plenty of ways to save on autumn travel. We’ve chosen our favorite offers from this excellent fall destination, from beach getaways to golf packages. Enjoy!
The Tides Inn, Chesapeake Bay
This relaxing bayside resort is offering a third night free through September 30.
Parents can unwind in the spa or on the golf course while the kids enjoy the on-site water park at this Shenandoah Valley hotel. Rooms start at $120 per night.
The Hilton Virginia Beach
This four-star property is offering rooms for $239 throughout August for a last-minute summer getaway, and for $199 in the fall months.
Or, check out other fall events across the Chesapeake Bay area, from wine festivals to corn mazes.
See our Virginia Beach destination guide for more trip-planning information.
Express your patriotism in luxury this Independence Day with Kimpton Hotels’ “Red, White, and BOOM!” sale, featuring discounts of up to 20 percent on the group’s establishments in Washington, D.C., Virginia, and Maryland for stays from June 21 to July 8. The sale begins at 12am on June 21 and ends just before midnight on June 24.
With rates starting as low as $109 per night, guests are spoilt for choice among Kimpton’s twelve hotels in the D.C. area. In our nation’s capital, choose from the regal Hotel Monaco, which offers vaulted 20-foot ceilings, luxury bath products and terrycloth bathrobes, and a pet goldfish that is yours for the duration of your stay, or the contemporary Hotel Palomar, with its flat flat-screen televisions, 24-hour room service from Urbana Restaurant, and in-room spa services like a hot stone massage.
Both hotels offer easy access to attractions like the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, the National Mall, and the White House. If this still doesn’t suit your needs, Kimpton’s deal also extends to other locations, like the boutique Donovan House in D.C., the Lorien Hotel and Spa in Virginia, and the Hotel Monaco in Baltimore, Maryland.
Regardless of where you stay, all guests have access to Kimpton’s complimentary perks, like morning coffee service, hosted wine hour receptions every evening, and free Wi-Fi. And for the summer, children under 12 are entitled to a free breakfast for the duration of their stay, with no additional charges for the family pet either.
To book, visit www.kimptonhotels.com/redwhiteboom and enter the code “BOOM” in the rate code box. The site only goes live when the sale starts on June 21, so get your trigger fingers ready.
For more trip-planning information, visit our Washington, D.C. and Maryland destination guides, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more travel deals.
Making sure the kids (and adults) are entertained while on a summer road trip can really make or break your vacation. The new book What’s Great About . . . I-95 by road trip expert Barbara Barnes offers a fun and educational way to pass the time while cruising down one of the U.S.’s most-traveled stretches of highway.
“It really does make [the ride] go faster,” says Barnes of the book. “It keeps the driver alert, and it makes the drive more fun.”
With sections broken down by state and points of interest designated by mile marker, Barnes maps out all 1,925 miles of I-95 from Houlton, Maine to Miami. The book highlights sights to look out for from the highway (like the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania and the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia) while providing little-known facts about notable people and places (The first woman to run for president? Victoria Woodhull, in 1872).
Now that you’ve got the car ride entertainment covered, we asked Barnes for her advice on planning the rest of your vacation. Here are five tips for the perfect I-95 road trip:
The new year may have just begun, but it’s definitely time to start thinking about your next vacation. For a fully loaded family getaway with year-round activities, consider The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia. The town lives up to its name with the aforementioned hot springs one of the big draws at the resort, not to mention a slew of other active pursuits from skiing and snowboarding to horseback riding to golf. In honor of the leap year, you can get a second night at The Homestead for only $29. The special rate is available for travel January 4 through December 20.
THE VALUE: Standard rates start at $175/night, so you’ll save over 40 percent on a two-night stay.
THE CATCH: Though the discount is available on most dates in 2012, these rates are only bookable through January 6.
THE DETAILS: To book, call 540-839-1766 and mention the Leap Year Sale.Visit The Homestead’s website for more information on the resort.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more travel deals.
The Luxury Set in Virginia’s Potomac River Valley, just 30 miles from Washington, D.C., Lansdowne Resort lets guests unwind – or not. They’ll find a duo of Troon Golf courses, a spa, an aquatic complex, and five star restaurants. With over 30 wineries within an hour’s drive of the resort, guests are well positioned to discover the area’s viticultural offerings. The 296 guest rooms feature country manor decor; suites have balconies (or bay windows) overlooking the countryside or the links.
The Value Through September 15, readers can snag nearly 40 percent off the Pamper and Putt package. The deal includes a suite upgrade, a round of golf for two, two 50-minute massages, and dinner for two in Lansdowne’s restaurant, On the Potomac. Two-night packages start at $420/night, including the daily resort fee.
The Catch Popular harvest season festivities at area wineries commence in the fall – just after the promotion expires.
The Details 877-509-8400 (mention code LUXEPNP); www.lansdowneresort.com/smartluxury
From the Spring/Summer 2011 issue of Smart Luxury Travel magazine by ShermansTravel.com.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on hotels, flights, vacation packages, and more.
Nationwide heat waves have made it feel like summer is in full swing, but the year’s steamiest season officially kicks off June 21. To celebrate, the National Park Service is waiving entrance fees at its 394 parks for that day only.
That means you won’t have to spend a penny to witness the Grand Canyon’s vertigo-inducing cliffs or be dwarfed by Yosemite’s massive sequoias.
The only drawback here is that the solstice falls on a Tuesday. If you’re bound by vacation days instead of a school calendar, we still suggest playing hooky and checking out one of our Top 10 National Park Hikes. Favorite picks include spelunking in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave, exploring Bryce Canyon’s otherworldly hoodoos, and retreating to Shenandoah National Park’s leafy section of the Appalachian Trail.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, packages, and more travel deals.
The clock is quickly ticking, but all you lovebird procrastinators (or maybe you’re just spontaneous) still have 19 days to book a last-minute Valentine’s Day getaway. The big day falls on a Monday this year, making it perfect for a long weekend. My inbox has been flooded with possibilities – from great deals to extravagant splurges. Here are 14 packages worth perusing:
1. Cities Across North America: The “Magnifique Romance” package at Sofitel (www.sofitel.com) – which includes accommodations, chocolates, flowers, champagne, and room-service breakfast – is available throughout North America (Montreal, New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago-Water Tower, San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Los Angeles) with rates starting at $140/night if booked by February 13.
2. Riviera Maya: Ceiba Del Mar Beach Spa and Resort, located on Mexico’s Caribbean coast just south of Cancun (shown above at left; courtesy of Ceiba Del Mar Beach Spa and Resort), has a four-night “Romance Experience” package that includes accommodation in an oceanview suite, a champagne cocktail welcome, a private candlelight dinner for two with a bottle of wine, and a 50-minute couples massage, from $1,440 for four nights.
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