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Much like Salt Lake City, which we covered last week, Denver can be downright chilly this time of year. But, for those looking to get a little more wear out of that winter coat, it can be an excellent time to see some of Colorado’s beauty before (or after) a day of meetings. In an effort to get you outside the boardroom and into the wilds of The Mile High City, we’re offering up three restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings. 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
The Republican National Convention is under way in Tampa, Florida (with a watchful eye on Hurricane Isaac). Next week, Democrats will descend on Charlotte, North Carolina for their quadrennial festivities. When it’s all over, the two host cities will join a fairly short list of places that have welcomed the two major political parties. We decided to take a look at that list and see which cities have hosted the most national conventions, what presidential history has been left behind, and what kinds of attractions continue to make those destinations such fantastic vacation spots.
There are some surprises in our Top 10 National Conventional Host Cities. Denver hosted its only two conventions 100 years apart. Cincinnati had its number called to host the parties three different times (granted, all between 1856 and 1880). The Democrats didn’t hold a convention in the South after the Civil War until 1928′s affair in Houston.
Which city has hosted the most conventions? Which president was the “second-most hated man in Miami” (according to those in Little Havana)? And what can you do now in all of those cities to enjoy a great vacation? All of the answers are waiting for you here.
Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer – and with it, the beckoning of warmer weather and the great outdoors – and in the upcoming months, there’s a slew of ways to do just that at national parks across the country. Since there are parks in four U.S. territories and every state except Delaware, chances are there’s one within easy distance for you, and entry fees are usually no more than $20 per car.
Here, some of the best offerings guaranteed to inspire you to lace up the hiking boots and get outside. Some highlights: a full moon hike this weekend and the fourth annual National Get Outdoors Day on June 9, which comes with free entry into many popular parks, including Grand Canyon National Park and state parks across the country.
If thinking of Denver doesn’t bring to mind exclusive museum exhibits and collections, along with architecturally stunning buildings to house them, we don’t blame you – it wouldn’t have been our first thought, either. But when we took a look at the stunning exhibits coming to the Denver Art Museum and the newly opened Clyfford Still Museum we had to reconsider. This year, Denver should be on any art (or fashion) fan’s radar. From exclusive-to-Denver exhibits at the Denver Art Museum to 94 percent of Clyfford Still’s body of work, Denver is transforming itself into a must-visit cultural hub.
For more than 700 years, Christmas markets have been an annual event in German city squares. The tradition started with 15th-century farmers selling goods in the weeks leading up to December 25. More vendors joined as the markets gained popularity, and now a typical German Christmas market also includes booths selling traditional European food and drink and a variety of ornaments, crafts, and toys. Markets have become an annual event in German cities both big and small, and larger cities like Berlin, Hamburg, and Cologne even have several markets each. Christkindlemarkets across Germany welcome millions of visitors each year, and many of those visitors come from neighboring areas and countries. For example, only about 50 percent of the visitors to the Munich Christkindlemarket actually live in Munich.
The popularity of these markets has expanded to other countries. Several British cities host German markets, and there are even markets in Osaka and Sapporo, Japan. The markets in North America offer different varieties of traditional European food and gifts. But no matter what market you visit, expect to see plenty of steaming mugs of glühwein (mulled spiced wine).
See the holiday windows in New York City, the National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., shop on Newbury Street in Boston, or ski down snow-capped mountains in Denver. Looking to escape the cold instead? Soak up the sun on beaches in Fort Lauderdale, Tampa or Long Beach, or enjoy family fun at the Disney World parks in Orlando.
Sample One-Way Fares this December:
• Las Vegas–Long Beach: $34
• Boston–New York City: $41
• Boston–Washington, D.C.: $46
• San Francisco–Long Beach: $59
• New York City–Washington, D.C.: $64
• Washington, D.C.–Orlando: $72
• Washington, D.C.–Fort Lauderdale: $75
• New York City–Orlando: $92
• Portland–Long Beach: $99
• New York City–Fort Lauderdale: $99
• Boston–Denver: $104
• Orlando–Austin: $112
• Boston–Orlando: $114
• Tampa–New York City: $114
• Austin–Boston: $134
* Travel is valid on select dates in December. All prices listed above were valid at the time of publication. Restrictions, taxes and fees apply.
THE VALUE: Pay as little as $34 on this holiday season airfare from Jet Blue!
THE CATCH: These rates apply to one-way travel only, before taxes and other fees.
THE DETAILS: Visit www.jetblue.com to book these flights.
Last week the family vacation blog was clued in about seven cities with favorable fall hotel rates, a gift to parents with the luxury of traveling at will with non-school age kids. I don’t have that luxury, but if I did, my first choice hands down would be Denver.
Not only is Denver’s average daily hotel rate 10 percent lower than it was last fall, but prices tend to drop anyway immediately after the city’s summer high season. If you’re looking for a little luxe for less, check out our top-rated Denver hotel, Brown Palace, running such deals as the Kids in the City package (promo code MKTCKC) from $229 per night, including breakfast for two daily as well as a $15 per night room credit.
When Labor Day passes, those of us with school-age kids observe a moment of silence to mourn the end of family vacationing until the winter holidays roll around. For those of us who don’t yet have or no longer have children in school, the passing of Labor Day means the time for a family vacation is now.
“Fall’s most reliable and notable trend is the drop in prices post Labor Day,” says Genevieve Shaw Brown, editorial director at Travelocity. “It’s a more affordable time for a family to take a vacation than the summer months.” For families and other bargain-hunting travelers, it’s a shoulder season “when prices are lower, crowds are fewer, and the weather is still agreeable,” she says.
Already at the helm of several of the Mile High City’s top restaurants (Mizuna, www.mizunadenver.com; Luca, www.lucadenver.com), chef Frank Bonanno recently added a trio of new spots to his repertoire: Lou’s Food Bar (www.lousfoodbar.com), an eatery serving French-American comfort food, Green Russell, a speakeasy, and Wednesday’s Pie (www.wednesdayspie.com), a pie shop open just one day a week. Juggling seven varied venues doesn’t leave Bonanno with time for much else, but he shares some tips on how a visitor can experience his city like a local.
Must-sees: First time visitors to Denver should definitely check out Larimer Square (www.larimersquare.com). It offers a bevy of great, unusual shops (such as Posh and Violet, www.violetstores.com) and a collection of restaurants with solid, interesting menus. It’s near all the theaters and events downtown and it’s just a really cool, beautiful historic block.
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