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It’s fair time! As we mourn the end of summer, the nation’s great state fairs give us something to look forward to in the fall. And we suggest getting out your calendars, because some of the best fairs are either under way right now or coming up soon. Here are the eight we feel deserve blue ribbons.
The Omni Hotels and Resorts brand launched a 72-hour sale this morning, which means the clock is ticking if you want to take advantage it. Until midnight on Thursday, August 21, the brand’s Labor Day Special is offering rooms for $99, $119, $139, $169, $199, and $229 in select cities for stays from August 24 through September 7. Just in time for a last-minute Labor Day weekend getaway.
Sample rates include $199 at Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, which, with its paddle boarding, golfing, island hoppers, and Segways, makes for a great family getaway; $119 at Omni Rancho Palmas in Palm Springs, and $159 at Omni New Haven at Yale – handy for parents dropping their children off for the start of the school year. To get that attractive $99 rate, you can head south to steamy Texas where, at Omni Fort Worth Hotel, you can cool off in their rooftop pool.
It’s not uncommon for upscale hotels and resorts to offer guests extraordinary excursions and activities, but Four Seasons takes it to a whole new level. From dining center stage at a historic opera house to designing a custom pair of Lucchese boots, here are a few exclusive Four Seasons that we love dreaming about.
We all know cities share common names — there’s a Paris in Texas and a Rome in Georgia, just to name two. But who would have thought that some cities would go as far as to share landmarks? Las Vegas is an obvious example, but other lesser known ones include the miniature Eiffel Tower in the Lone Star State, complete with a ten-gallon hat, and a 15-year-old Statue of liberty in Tokyo. Indeed, literally hundreds of cities worldwide replicate popular tourist attractions, both satisfying their own citizens wanderlust and increasing visitors’ chances of crossing various famed sights off their lists. Here are just some of our favorite replicas.
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
It’s no surprise that vacation rentals have stolen the hearts of savvy travelers everywhere. Great savings, extra amenities, even the chance to get some local advice…what’s not to love? The fact that HomeAway has hit one million listings — making its inventory almost twice the size of other similar companies — just comes to show how this once-alternative means of accommodation is going mainstream. To celebrate, we’ve rounded up five affordable rentals that you can book this summer and beyond, for a taste of something different:
1. Santa Teresa, Costa Rica: $80/night
For the design enthusiast, this Costa Rican rental delivers on one-of-a-kind digs with a futuristic, geodesic design. Sleeping four to five with two bedrooms spread over two floors, this villa is less than a five-minute walk to Santa Teresa Beah and the area’s shops and cafes. We recommend getting out early to beat the heat, then settling in for an afternoon siesta if the rain hits. And, don’t worry, the AC units are well-equipped to keep you cool. 4-night minimum.
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
A big part of the travel experience is bringing a piece of it home, so you can remember where you’ve been long after you’ve returned. We recommend skipping the chintzy souvenir shops and loading up on genuine local goods instead. Here, four ways to find items that really represent the destination, wherever you are.
What is it about state fairs that fill us with glee? Is it the chance to see our favorite local bands? Mental images of deep fried butter? The smells of food, cattle, and sweat simultaneously wafting through the air?
Whatever it is, hundreds of thousands of people travel to state fairs every year in the hopes of indulging in a few highly calorific snacks and celebrating Americana. While these fairs typically happen in the late summer through the fall, we thought we’d get a head start with 10 quirky attractions that help make this country a little weird, and a lot of fun.
Looking to cool off this summer? We already introduced Europe’s most beautiful public pools last year, but we thought we’d take a look at the aquatic offerings a bit closer to home. Whether you’re looking for a basic soak, a serious workout, or theme park-style entertainment, here are five fantastic (and inexpensive) public pools where you can make a splash.
This year marks William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday. If you can’t make it to England to honor the Bard with a pilgrimage to his hometown of Straford Upon Avon, or to the Globe Theatre in London, you can catch a free summer performance in these cities across the U.S.:
Spring breakers have been invading South Padre, a small island along the Texas gulf coast, with their beer-guzzling antics for years. But families, too, make good use of the island’s beaches and the Schlitterbahn Water Park. Really, though, most vacationers in the laid-back resort town are just looking for some R&R and an icy margarita. In our mini-guide below, we’ll help you avoid the spring break din (think 50,000-watt sound systems) in favor of a quieter, crowd-free slice of island life. Read more
Chances are, you’ve heard of that little landmark called the Alamo in San Antonio, the city that’s also home to the beautiful five-mile Riverwalk. Here are some affordable ways to enjoy the city’s history, nature, and cuisine, right in time for the April Fiesta – a celebration that feels a lot like a slightly less debauched Mardi Gras.
The great American road trip has captured travelers’ imaginations for decades. For your next jaunt, give the bland chain motels a miss and pick one of these unique hotels to rest up while you are on the road.
For West Coast Road Trippers:
The Madonna Inn, San Luis Obispo CAThe iconic bright pink sign of the Madonna Inn beckons roadtrippers toward a slice of Americana that befits its Highway 101 location. The bright color scheme extends into this 50-year-old hotel and through many of the 110 individually themed guestrooms. Rooms on offer include the “Caveman” room, “Swiss Chalet,” “Country Gentleman,” and “Love Nest.” Rates start at $189.
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