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As the weather cools down in much of North America, a soothing soak in the hot springs is the perfect thing to usher in the new season. The U.S. offers a number of hot spring experiences, from hiking out to a secluded, forested spot, to booking a room at a high-end resort. Hot springs are often touted for their healing properties, attracting those seeking stress relief, healthier skin, and immune system stimulation – just in case you needed an excuse. Here are four of our favorite hot spring experiences in the U.S.
Riverbend Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences, New Mexico
At Riverbend Hot Spring in the city of Truth or Consequences guests are housed in private, fully renovated mobile homes. The resort is also known for their attentive staff, who will hand-deliver morning coffee to the hot springs as you watch the sun rise over the Turtleback Mountains and the Rio Grande. Unlimited access to public springs are available for all overnight guests, and walk-in guest-passes are also available and include access to the pool area, deck, patio, and sauna. Rooms cost between $70–$150 per night and a guest pass is $10. Read more
Portland, Oregon is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. Whether you’re looking to just take a quick ride around or are looking to truly experience the city like the locals, you’ll find this Pacific Northwest destination incredibly easy to navigate around on two wheels. To give you an example of how popular riding bicycles is around here: Not only are there designated bike lanes, but there are also bike stop lights! For a perfect biking day in Portland, follow our advice: Read more
Forget mediocre fireworks displays and blasé barbecues. In these five unusually patriotic cities, Fourth of July festivities provide non-stop entertainment. From ax-throwing competitions in an Oregon timber town, to an annual “Pasties for Patriots” burlesque show in Austin, these places celebrate American independence like none other.
1. St. Pete Beach, FL: In this Tampa-area town, the local TradeWinds Resort dyes nearly 1,000 towels red, white, and blue to create a giant mosaic of the Betsy Ross flag on its beach. A small handful of the resort’s younger guests get in on the action, standing in place as the 13 stars on the original flag. Read more
Summer is the perfect time to pop the top on an ice cold beer. But, not just any beer will do. Warm weather lends itself to lighter, crisper brews, and these nine offerings fit the bill as some of the best summer beers. Enjoy at home, or better yet, include a brewery tour on your summer vacation itinerary. Read more
One of the best ways to get to know a place is through its public green spaces. Next time you’re traveling, pack a picnic and enjoy. Here are our picks for the best places to picnic in the U.S. this summer. Read more
There’s something so romantically American about a riverboat cruise. Perhaps it’s because they remind us of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Show Boat, Riverboat, and other great stories. But riverboats aren’t just for the Mississippi. The American Queen Steamboat Company, which runs a successful franchise on the Mississippi, recently announced they’ll be expanding their service to Oregon and Washington! Read more
May is National Bike Month, when hardcore cycling enthusiasts and newbies alike can enjoy a bevy of bike-related activities, deals, and discounts across the country (and why not make a mini-vacation out of it, with a visit to one of these top bike-friendly cities?). Here, some of our favorite offerings – saddle up and strap on your helmet for a month of fun on two wheels. Read more
After a long, bitterly cold winter, we’re beginning to see the first signs of spring. Flowers of all types are in bloom, and in many places throughout the country, that blossoming is celebrated with festivals featuring music, food, fun and games, and naturally, flowers. We’ve picked five of our favorite floral festivals in April and May to help you get a spring in your step. Read more
There’s hardly ever a bad time to visit Portland, Oreg. and as spring weather does its best to creep in, one of America’s most revered convention halls is opening up. The Pacific Northwest as a whole has long since been a gem of the U.S., and Portland in particular has a wealth of beauty just a few short hours (or less!) away. In an effort to get you outside the boardroom and into the wilds of the Rose City, 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
When you were a kid, how great was that game “King of the Mountain?” If you missed out (or had parents who cared for your safety), the objective was simple: climb to the top of a large landmass – usually a hill or a pile of dirt – and remain at the peak as its “king,” all while combating shoving usurpers gunning for your title. Unless you wound up as the bruised and battered kid at the foot of the hill, it was a fun game. But standing atop a mound and christening it your kingdom is a childish lark. It’s not like you can claim an entire mountain for yourself nowadays, right? Well, with enough cash, becoming master of your very tall domain is actually a lot easier than you think.
A handful of ski resorts throughout the country are offering Own the Mountain packages – deals that, for a fee, allow you full, private access to the powder. Typically, exclusive mountain access can be acquired on a non-holiday, and can run a price tag of a few thousand dollars. That may seem like a hefty sum, but when divided equally among participants, the cost per skier on some mountains equates to a little more than the price of a daily lift ticket.
Hemmed in by the Pacific Ocean, Tualatin Mountains, and a network of converging rivers, outdoorsy Portland takes food and drinks very seriously. After all, with millions of acres of nature to explore, its residents are a hungry and thirsty bunch who won’t settle for anything but fresh – especially when it comes to cocktails. It’s this natural penchant for farm-to-table everything coupled with Oregon’s pioneering spirit that’s produced a tall order for lofty libations. Outpacing the country’s larger spirited settings, the City of Roses has emerged as the hotspot for craft cocktails.
Before we imbibed the city’s most sought-after sips, we caught up with Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Portland’s unofficial master of mixology and barman at local tavern Clyde Common, to see why’s he’s shaking up the country’s cocktail scene. Morgenthaler approaches the art of the cocktail with an academic detail derived from dual degrees in physics and interior architecture, proving there’s art and science in every pour. Not satisfied with run of the mill rum, apple juice, or egg nog, he makes or ages his own, perfecting the flavor over months of tinkering. Part of an elite team of cocktail stars – the equivalent of celebrities in these parts – it’s these local bounty-to-beverage fanatics who are making your mixed drinks. No basic beverages here, only time-tested, barrel-aged, and passionate pours await your palate in PDX.
Check out one of the nation’s coolest cities this fall or winter and stay at a 4-star hotel in Portland, Oregon, for just $126 a night. The charming Hotel Vintage Plaza, a Kimpton hotel, turns 21 this September and is offering a 21 percent discount on current rates on select dates through December 31. You’ll also receive valet parking for just $21 a day (regularly $37) and a $21 mini bar credit if you’re a Kimpton InTouch member (the program is free to join and also provide complimentary Internet access).
The $126 price point can currently be found on December 10, 16, 23, and 30. For just $8 more a night, stay on November 4, 11, 18, 15, or December 2, and 12-13. A $141 rate is available on November 5, 19-21, 26, 28, and December 3, 11, 14, and 17-19. Other dates from September 14 through the end of the year are also available at a 21 percent discount. Read more
In recent years, Portland has made a name for itself through its growing beer and coffee industry and alternative music scene. Its reputation as a hipster mecca has attracted people from all walks of life, creating a diverse culture that cannot be found anywhere else in the United States. Come visit the “City of Roses” and stay at the Vintage Plaza Hotel, where their fall special saves you up to 20 percent on bookings through March. Rooms start at $152 per night for bookings of three nights or more.
The Vintage Plaza Hotel, located in Portland’s Cultural District, is a newly renovated historic hotel with a luxurious touch. Stay in a Queen Deluxe Room, which features impressive city views, a queen bed, a 37” flat screen TV, and luxury amenities such as top-line bath products, organic selections in the minibar, and even pet-friendly services. From the Pazzo Ristorante—an award-winning Italian restaurant adjacent to the hotel—to the in-room spa services, guests will feel right at home. And don’t forget about the evening wine receptions, a Kimpton specialty, featuring Northwest wines in the hotel’s fireside living room.
This special is valid for stays from August 26-September 9, 2012, and October 7, 2012-March 31, 2013. To book, visit the Vintage Plaza website and use rate code SP3. For more information, call 503-228-1212 and mention ShermansTravel.
Many people often write off the Northwestern U.S. for having never-ending gloomy weather. Au contraire. Visit the region’s gleaming metropolises, like Portland, Oregon, during spring and summer to experience plentiful sunshine, and pleasantly mild temperatures. Travel to Portland to enjoy the great weather on select dates now through April and stay at the brand-new RiverPlace Hotel - a Kimpton hotel for 30% off seasonal rates. Discounted pricing starts at just $179 per night for a King Deluxe Room in March, compared to $229 in July.
The RiverPlace Hotel, located on the banks of the Willamette River, has Kimpton’s signature touch of modernity, with a twist of homey comfort. The hotel’s laid-back luxury garnered an AAA Four Diamond Award, and the number eleven slot on the Travelers’ Choice 2012 Best Hotels in the United States list. The RiverPlace Hotel’s plush rooms provide picturesque views of the city, Wi-Fi access, flat panel TVs, superior bath amenities, and nightstand MP3 music players. The Three Degrees Waterfront Bar and Grill, adjacent to the RiverPlace Hotel lobby, offers cool outdoor seating, and a menu full of fresh, seasonal dishes. Best of all, the excitement of downtown Portland, with it’s stunning mountain backdrop, is just minutes away from the RiverPlace Hotel.
Visit Kimpton’s RiverPlace Hotel website and enter the promo-code “RIVERP” when selecting travel dates. This deal also provides a choice of one of the following perks: free daily parking; $25 dining credit; a bottle of Oregon Pinot Noir; or a local beer flight. Book by March 20.
According to wellness magazine Healing Lifestyles & Spas, vinotherapy is quickly becoming one of the most popular spa categories in the United States. That’s because wine grapes are rich in antioxidants, stimulate circulation and also help heal damaged skin when applied topically.
While the concept originated in France and is especially popular in European spas, there are several great spas in the U.S. that specialize in wine-based treatments. You can take a bath in wine, exfoliate with wine, and even moisturize with wine! Some are located on properties with vineyards, while others are not. Some are day spas and some are destination spas (meaning you can sleep on the property, too). We always like a reason to travel, so here are four destination spas for oenophiles worth checking out:
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