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Director Baz Luhrmann’s “The Great Gatsby” – starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Tobey Maguire – brings to life the lavish, decadent Jazz Age. Although those days are long gone, you can still step into Jay Gatsby’s world with these seven destinations and experiences. Read more
Itching to get away before the summer crowds flock to the nation’s most popular destinations? We’ve rounded up the best last-minute deals to urban centers across the U.S. and Canada, so you can explore the continent’s most popular cities while saving big bucks this spring. Read more
Daydreaming about taking a vacation but think you can’t afford it? Stop right there. Being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice travel, whether you want to go somewhere warm or take a long weekend in the mountains. Here are some of today’s best travel deals, and all for under $160, proving that you really can take that trip you’ve been dreaming about. Read more
Spend a long weekend at a 4-star boutique hotel in the Emerald City this autumn for less. Vintage Park — a Kimpton Hotel is offering three-night stays for $525, which saves you $130 (or 20 percent) on current rates.
Travel on select dates through March 31, 2013, including weekends.
This rate provides Queen Room accommodation that includes a queen bed, a flat-screen TV, a mini-bar, a work desk, and sweeping views of the Seattle skyline. The hotel honors Washington State’s Wine Country by dedicating each room to a local winery and vineyard. This warm decor creates a sense of country charm, a calming contrast from the busy city outside.
Vintage Park was recently included in Travel + Leisure’s “Best 500 Hotels in the World” list. Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, the hotel is within walking distance of the 5th Avenue Theater, the Washington State Trade and Convention Center, and many other popular attractions. When you’re not busy exploring the city take some time to enjoy the hotel’s amenities, including an onsite Italian restaurant, a fitness center, laundry and dry-cleaning services, complimentary nightly wine reception, and in-room WiFi.
To book this special rate at Vintage Park, click here to visit the hotel’s website. When booking make sure to type in “SP2” in the rate code box. Book by September 20.
This is one glass house you won’t want to throw stones in. Chihuly Garden and Glass, an exhibition showcasing the prolific works of world renowned glass sculptor and Washington native Dale Chihuly, opened May 21 at the Seattle Center.
Spread over 1.5 acres of exhibition space, the collection is the most comprehensive display of Chihuly’s artwork ever assembled. The centerpiece of the show is the Glasshouse, a soaring glass and steel structure which houses a 1,400 piece, 100-foot long glass sculpture that hangs in midair. Surrounding the Glasshouse are the gardens, an outdoor exhibit of Chihuly’s installations. This includes his Sun, a swirling mass of yellow and orange glass that rests on a bed of black grass.
Giggles are muffled and eyebrows are raised when anyone mentions traveling to Amsterdam. After some perfunctory chit chat about the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House, a pregnant pause typically lingers until someone asks the question: “Did you smoke marijuana?” Since the 1970s, tourists have flocked to Amsterdam to legally get high. Now, however, the laws have changed and, come May 1, coffee shops in the southern half of the country will cater only to Dutch residents who are registered members and possess a “weed pass.”
Of course, lawyers for the coffee shops are fighting the ban on tourists and hope to prevent the law from going national come January 1, 2013. However, I think it’s high time that other cities followed the Dutch and made local customs available only to residents. Here are just a few treasured traditions that locals deserve to enjoy without having to share with tourists.
Seattle’s native son (well, technically he hails from Tacoma, 35 minutes to the south of the city), Dale Chihuly will be properly honored in Seattle this spring, when the comprehensive permanent exhibit, Chihuly Garden and Glass, is slated to open its doors. The highly anticipated exhibition center will highlight some of the artist’s – revered as one of the world’s greatest glass artists, with his works showcased in 200-plus museum collections around the globe – most popular works and architectural installations, spanning his older collections to more contemporary pieces. Expect to see Chihuly’s Neon and Glass Forest, a Northwest Room, a Sealife Tower, and more on display in the main gallery spaces of a 12,208 square-foot indoor pavilion. Read more
Valentine’s Day is a popular time for hotels to offer packages with champagne and romance concierges (you know, to help your hopeless partner plan a romantic evening out), but it’s not as easy to find packages that include spa treatments and massages. Luckily, we’ve done the searching for you, and we’ve found some great budget options as well as some luxurious extravagances. For both a romantic and relaxing February 14 (or thereabouts), try out these hotels and spas, from East Coast to West.
The Budget Picks:
The Westin Beach Resort & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Sunsets on the beach are already dreamy, but the Westin Beach Resort & Spa is taking the swoon factor a few steps further with its “Rekindle Romance” package. It starts at only $319/night and is available for stays from February 10-15. What do you get? The package includes breakfast in bed, a visit to Shula’s on the Beach (for dinner, the Chef’s Tasting Menu, and wine!), champagne and strawberry turndown, and the Heavenly Healing couple’s spa treatment at the Heavenly Spa.
Seattle’s Starbucks single-handedly kicked off the Americana coffee craze and has since birthed a very competitive barista culture where a perfect cuppa is comparable to reaching caffeinated Nirvana, another Seattle signature.
Whether it’s the grunge bands or the notorious Microsoft country, a cafe or a string of rainy days, Seattle has several city signatures, many of which have made their way into the city’s top spas. Don’t expect a Bill Gates blowout or a Nirvana neck massage, but rest assured that coffee and rain are prevalent on Seattle’s spa menus.
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.
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