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Most people love a good thrill, and we don’t mean gravity-defying views or insane roller-coaster drops. We’re talking about the hair-raising variety you get from a graveyard tour. Of course, not all cemeteries are all mist and gloom. In fact, it can be easy to confuse some cemeteries with botanical gardens come spring. Come and check out some of America’s most hauntingly beautiful cemeteries – and “meet” their most famous spirits. Read more
When JetBlue added regular flights to Savannah from its hubs in Boston and New York this past winter, this flight route became instantly more accessible (and affordable) for Northeasterners — and for those connecting through the Northeast – looking for a fast, warm weekend away.
And as a quick getaway, Savannah delivers in spades. With its moss-hung trees, postage-stamp-sized museums, formidable local art scene, and some of the most meticulously preserved architecture in the U.S., you’ll more than fill two days. Here’s a breakdown of how you could structure a weekend, and what it would cost.
Ice is melting, your heavy coats are finally put away, and that urge to get outside is starting to come back. After a brutal winter, spring has finally arrived. But instead of gently easing out of winter, we suggest diving in, head-first.
Shoulder season, that sweet spot between spring and summer, is an excellent excuse to travel, for two reasons: first, a wide array of beach destinations are already warm enough to enjoy in your bathing suit. Secondly, most travelers are waiting for the official start of summer to get away, which can lead to tremendous savings on lodging and meals for those who go now. Below, we offer ten outstanding, freshly thawed beach destinations – places where the crowds have yet to flock, and the prices have yet to hit their summer highs.
With this winter dragging on, our thoughts are turning south and to quick, cheap getaways. Besides its charm, rich history, great food, and intriguing blend of offbeat and classic, here are a few reasons why Savannah is topping our must-visit list.
When the temperatures drop and the chill sets in, travel dreams often involve beaches and bathing suits. However, come winter time, there’s no reason why your perfect vacation can’t be to a cold-weather destination – in fact, there’s nothing better than cozying up by a roaring fire with a hot cocktail in hand and watching the snow fall from the comfortable indoors.
At these five warm and welcoming hotels, you can catch up on your much-needed R&R while doing nothing more than watching their glowing fires. Bonus: someone else gets to sweep out the ashes afterwards.
Forty 1° North, Newport, Rhode Island
While this seaside resort town is often thought of as a summer destination, winter is a great time to experience the charm of New England minus the crowds. At its chicest (and only LEED-certified) hotel, sitting directly on the water, each of the 28 rooms and suites has its own gas fireplace. Should you desire a reclusive retreat, you never have to leave the room. Simply lounge around in the bathrobe and slippers provided by the hotel, order one of their five signature spiked hot chocolates (dark chocolate raspberry, anyone?), and let the fire work its magic.
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
The Los Angeles River’s concrete-paved waterways play pivotal roles in many unforgettable movies (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Grease, The Italian Job, Gone in 60 Seconds, to name a few). What you may not know, though, is that it’s “banks” have been closed since the 1930s due to multiple floods – the river is actually considered an Army Corps of Engineers flood control channel. But this week, Californians were eager to grab their paddles and kayak on the newly free waters. But the summer fun isn’t just for them. You, too, can head to one of these scenic rivers across the U.S. for a day trip of lazy tubing, boating, or thrilling white-water rafting. Read more
Hot-lanta is actually pretty temperate in December, making it a premiere location for conferences, events, and even a personal trip down to enjoy the best of what Georgia’s biggest peach has to offer. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of Atlanta, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.
If your second home for the week is the Georgia World Congress Center, you may need a spot to take a client for a taste of what’s local. If so, there’s a spot called Glenn’s Kitchen just a quick hop away. It’s upscale local, with items like bread pudding and North Georgia Trout. As a bonus, those that can’t get enough can return and ask for the wine menu – it’s even bigger than the the grub menu, if you can believe it. Read more
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 historic Jekyll Island Club Hotel, situated on Georgia’s nature-rich Jekyll Island, has reduced rates on all of its rooms to just $125/night for the month of January – a savings of as much as 70 percent – in celebration of the property’s 125th anniversary. Former playground and hunting retreat for the likes of the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, the property was fully restored and converted in the mid-80s to a luxury hotel. The only four-star resort on the island, the Jekyll Island Club Hotel’s 157 rooms and suites unfold in five historical structures, along with a day spa, lending library, putting green, croquet lawn, heated outdoor pool, fitness room, and more.
THE VALUE: Book any room for any night during the entirety of January for just $125/night – this is the first time the resort has ever offered such a low property-wide rate. Nightly room rates in January would normally run from $169 to $419, translating to a savings of anywhere from 26 to 70 percent with this promotion. Choose from one of the opulent cottages or even the Presidential Suite, tucked into the hotel’s signature turret, for the most spectacular savings. Lock in even more value, courtesy of the hotel’s historic weekday hotel tours, intra-island transportation, and WiFi, all offered on a complimentary basis.
THE CATCH: An additional resort fee of $10.60 per day applies.
THE DETAILS: Visit www.jekyllclub.com for more information, then call 800-535-9547 or email email@example.com and mention the 125th anniversary promotion to book.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights to nearby nearby airports like Brunswick’s Golden Isles Airport (BQK), Savannah (SAV), or Jacksonville (JAX).
Why should Cinderella get to hog up all of the fairy-doled out fun? Upscale Barnsley Gardens Resort in Adairsville, Georgia (set about 60 miles north of Atlanta), strives to share the fairy wealth with its guests, courtesy of the services of their very own on-site Fairy Godmother. Don’t believe it? Just check out her special wand that’s on display in the reception area. Need more proof? Well just let her work her magic – the Fairy Godmother (we’ll call her “FG”) is equipped with a bag of tricks designed to make guests’ wishes come true. Read more
Even though we’re no longer kids, Halloween makes us feel nostalgic for that spooky feeling that ghost stories inspire. If you want your romantic getaway to give you goose bumps, consider a visit to Savannah (shown at left) or Charleston – or even both as they are just a 2.5-hour drive apart. In these charming, but undeniably haunted, historic Southern cities (Charleston dates to 1670, Savannah to 1733), the weather in November is still mild and once all the kitschy Halloween décor is taken down, their authentic ghostly pedigree shows. I have visited both cities twice and would return to either in a heartbeat – knowing it will certainly beat faster when the sun goes down and the spirits come out to play!
Every spring, hundreds of hikers tackle the Appalachian Trail, which stretches 2,175 miles from Georgia to Maine. Those who make it the entire length are called thru-hikers, and they usually complete their expedition in five to seven months.
Not Asheville-based hiker, ultra-marathoner, and author Jennifer Pharr Davis, who, starting in Maine next week, will attempt to break her own women’s record for an assisted thru-hike on the AT, which currently stands at 57 days, 8 hours and 35 minutes. (Just five men have finished faster.)
Supported by her husband, Brew, and several friends, Pharr Davis expects to set off from Maine next week, depending on the weather forecast, and average 46 miles a day before wrapping up in Springer Mountain, GA, sometime in early August.
In honor of Great Outdoors Month and National Camping Month in June, I spoke to 28-year-old Pharr Davis – who, after logging close to 9,000 miles hiking and backpacking on six continents, could be the poster girl for both – about her upcoming adventure. (You can follow her journey at www.blueridgehikingco.com.)
The Luxury The modern boutique AVIA Savannah burst onto the scene in January 2009 with a brand-new building in the city’s historic district. The 151 sleek rooms and suites have 9-foot ceilings, minibars stocked by upscale provisioner Dean & Deluca, and free Wi-Fi. Though late fall is a bit chilly for swimming outdoors, a spacious second-floor terrace offers an excellent lounging space around an outdoor pool and a fire pit. AVIA Kitchen serves a hip take on Southern cuisine, while the AVIA Lounge wine bar is an ideal place to while away an evening.
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