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We may have missed National Ice Cream Day (it was on July 20), but National Ice Cream Month continues. Why not celebrate with a couple of scoops of something more adventurous than vanilla? Read more

Dr Pepper Museum - Waco - Matt Howry - 620

The movies we watch, the toys we play with, the fun foods we eat — these elements of every day life and entertainment define every society’s culture. To celebrate the American way of life this summer, take a day trip to one of these seven pop culture museums worth the drive.

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Texas - Dallas - Aerial View - 620x400 - flickr nffcnnrPop quiz: flying to which of the following cities from New York costs the most, round-trip? San Juan, Puerto Rico? Dallas, Texas? Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas? Or, Phoenix, Arizona?

The answer is… Dallas. Of the four choices, air from New York to Dallas is the most expensive — and the $467 price tag, courtesy of Spirit Airlines, does not include baggage fees. Add $70 for a carry-on and $60 for a checked bag for a $587 grand total. (In case you were wondering, air to Phoenix is the next most expensive at $430 on Delta; followed by St. Thomas at $369 on JetBlue; then San Juan at $331 on JetBlue.)

If this is enough to make you scrap your Dallas travel plans (or stay home, if you’re based in Dallas), consider postponing them instead. Come fall, the price of flights to and from D-Town to major U.S. gateways will be much more competitive, thanks to the end of the Wright Amendment. This pesky federal law limited air traffic in and out of Dallas Love Field airport to interstate and neighboring state flights. 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

Joule DallasA century ago, hotels were simply places to sleep during your travels.  Maybe there was a fancy bar in the lobby, or a nice pool. These days, an increased focus on younger travelers seeking unique cultural experiences means hotel public spaces are doubling as live music venues, social media nerve centers, and, in some cases, contemporary art galleries. The following properties give you extra bang for your buck by including some free visual stimulus built into the cost of your stay: Read more

AMEX Centurion Lounge at LASFrom small mechanical issues to ill-timed blizzards, few of us have traveled in the past few years without running into some sort of mishap at the airport. Granted, running an airline is no easy chore, but the frustration felt when flights don’t take off as planned can seem all too real. During such moments, a sleek airport lounge can provide an oasis of luxury and calm in which to bide your time. But what about when things don’t go awry? How often do you need to visit an airport lounge to justify the cost of membership? And what tricks are there – if any – to gaining access without paying? 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…

1. Snow leopards in Memphis and Chicago
Baby Zoo Animals to See Right Now

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

West Coast FlightsEscape on an end-of-summer getaway, or start planning your fall and winter travel early, with this sale from Virgin America. Fly one-way, nonstop to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and more. While travel for these low rates is valid for a while (August 24–December 3, 2013), booking ends on August 8, at 11:59 CT. Certain day-of-week restrictions and blackout dates from November 21–December 3, 2013 also apply. Check out some of these great fares below! Read more

Airport ImmigrationA couple of weeks ago, Delta’s CEO Richard Anderson issued a rare public lashing on immigration wait times for passengers coming into the United States. Obviously, the leader of a U.S.-based airline has financial motives for wanting to get passengers off the plane and through passport control in a more efficient manner – but his rant still held a lot of truth. Immigration wait times in countries like Japan or the Netherlands are far shorter than what we face here in the United States.

For those looking to make informed decisions around their future travel plans, here’s a quick look at which airports boast the shortest wait times – and perhaps more importantly, which airports have the worst. Though we can’t guarantee you’ll miraculously breeze through immigration on your trip, at the very least, you’ll know which entry points to avoid or plan for longer layovers if you have a connection. Read more

With spring break right around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan your next adventure. Even upscale hotels are offering great rates for March and April travel, so you can stay at those luxe hotels you used to think you couldn’t afford, even during this prime travel period. From a boutique hotel in Denver to a brand-new 5-star resort in Goa, you can treat yourself to a spring break without breaking the bank. Read more

perot-museum-dallasLast week I got a sneak peek at the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, which opens to the public on December 1st.

Keeping to the “everything is bigger in Texas” mandate, the museum sits on nearly five acres and offers 180,000 square feet of exhibit space and places to play, and the result is something of a nerd’s paradise. On the prehistoric side, they’ve got several dinosaurs nonchalantly looming overhead, including an Alamosaurus (who sounds like he ought to be a Texan, but is in actuality New Mexican) that measures 85 feet tall, or in class trip parlance, is two school buses high by two school buses long.

Many more exhibits dutifully document natural history as well as earth and space, but the biggest thrills for me were on the high-tech side – which makes sense, given that the museum is named for tech company magnate (and former U.S. presidential candidate) Ross Perot, whose children helped fund the museum in his honor.

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Dallas is one of America’s largest, most sprawling metropolises, and touching down there for the first time can be somewhat intimidating. If you’re sent to the heart of Texas for business, however, there’s nothing to be afraid of. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of Big D, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

Unlike some cities, which shove their meeting venues to the outskirts of town, Dallas’ primary convention center is located right in the middle of the action. Nestled between Union Station and City Hall, you won’t have to walk far to find good grub. Just a few blocks away sits Sonny Bryan’s Smokehouse. While in Texas, you’ll be doing yourself a disservice if you don’t have a taste of Texas-style BBQ. For the vegetarians that may be in the group, a hearty helping of green beans, sweet potatoes, and onion rings ought to fill a similar void. Dallas is chock full of chain-style BBQ eateries, but this one is a cut above. And yes, you’ll need to temporarily ignore whatever diet you’re on. Read more

Megabus Double DeckerPlanning a trip in the South? Skip the frisky screeners at TSA and take a bus instead, as Megabus expands its operations into Texas and other Southern states with fares as low as $1.

Beginning June 19, customers who book early can secure dollar seats from Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio to locations like Austin and other states like Oklahoma, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Louisiana. While prices go up as the traveling date gets closer, Megabus is giving away 10,000 free seats and capping the price of its tickets at $1 during the first week of sales to promote its new service. Read more

Ritz-Carlton DallasGuests at the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas may be in for a super-luxe surprise on the pillow at turndown this year: the hotel plans to give away one Bulgari Carbon Gold watch a month to random guests who book a special package. The Suite Treasures package will always include an overnight stay in a Deluxe Suite, in-room breakfast for two, and free valet parking, as well as transportation to the Bulgari store at NorthPark Center and a personal shopping concierge experience with a Bulgari gift to take home. Book the package from June 1 through December 31 for one of seven chances to win the watch between now and the end of the year. Rates start at a cool $469/night, but the Bulgari bling is worth $2,000 so it might be worth the gamble! If you need further incentive, a portion of all proceeds will go to the North Texas Food Bank, so you can feel good about your splurge.

For general trip-planning information see our Dallas destination guide, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more.

Royal Plaza Lake Buena VistaWith summer — and school break — just around the corner, it’s time to start planning a great getaway for the whole family. These money-saving deals are suitable for a group, whether you’re taking the kids to Orlando for some theme park hopping, planning your next family reunion on a cruise, or hiding out at a Caribbean resort where little ones stay free. We found those deals and more, good for travel throughout summer and fall, starting from just $87. Book soon to lock in the best savings.

$87+ Orlando: Disney-Area Hotel w/Breakfast, Save 50%

$389+ Weeklong Mexico Cruise to Cabo, Save 45%

$599+ 5 Nights at Jamaica All-Inclusive Resort w/Air; Kids Stay Free

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