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Located in south central Arizona, less than 20 miles east of Phoenix, Mesa has all the diversions a traveler would want from the Southwest. You’ll find everything from outdoor playgrounds to fine dining to an “agrihood.” Standing guard nearby, Superstition Mountains provide plenty of natural adventures, too, with jagged peaks separated by rock-filled canyons and covered with saguaro cacti that reach tree-like heights. But perhaps the most compelling reason to make this destination your base is that a visit to Mesa costs just a fraction of a visit to its big-city neighbors. Lodging rates here, for starters, are 60 percent lower here than in Scottsdale.
Here’s what else you need to know about a great Mesa escape:
Wedged between the expensive seashore city of Santa Barbara and the beach cities of Los Angeles County, Ojai is in the perfect spot for a budget-friendly getaway. This laid-back town of 7,500 people boasts charming bed-and-breakfasts, spas, eclectic boutiques, farm-to-fork eateries, and outdoor adventures. It’s not uncommon to pass a shop touting palm or tarot-card readings, and a yoga class is always an easy find. Fly into LAX, and even with LA’s worst traffic, you can be there in less than two hours. Here’s the perfect plan for your Ojai getaway.
First stop London. Second stop Edinburgh. Is there even a third stop on a typical UK vacation?
Of course there is, even if London and Edinburgh tend to get the most attention. London alone attracts about 15 million more visitors than the second closest English city. But the next time you’re there, we suggest getting out of the city and spending the weekend in Newcastle, northern England’s capital. Much discovery awaits there, considering its struggle for visitor numbers to approach anything near the one-million mark — somewhat surprising, considering that the readers of The Guardian consider it the UK’s best city. Here’s how to join the cool kids club and experience this Geordie center for yourself.
The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina could be America’s closest example of a real-life castle. The 250-room French Renaissance chateau is still the largest private home in the country. Built by George Vanderbilt in 1895, the current 8,000-acre estate and grounds are just a small fraction of what the Vanderbilts originally had to call their home. Thankfully, you don’t need a trust fund to be able to indulge in the high life at Biltmore Estate today, especially when you use these tips and tricks to make a visit more feasible and affordable.
La Jolla is often referred to as the “Jewel of California.” With its perpetual sunshine, white sand beaches, and aquamarine waters, it’s not hard to see why. The popular tourist destination isn’t just for beach bums, either. La Jolla boasts an eclectic mix of world-class cuisine ranging from street tacos to fine dining, as well as a thriving art and music scene. Here’s how to get the most out of this beach town — all for less than $75 a day.
This post is sponsored by NewYork.com.
Planning a visit to the Big Apple? You’ve picked the perfect time to visit. After a long winter, things are kicking back into high gear all over the city. And for those who are looking for a single, easy way to organize the trip, NewYork.com is a one-stop shop where travelers can book a number of tours, shows, hotels, cruises, and more. If you’re already in the city or in the know? Score high on NewYork.com’s series of four New York IQ quizzes, running now through April 3, and be entered to win up to $2,000 worth of gift certificates good for any tickets and services on their site.
From the hottest restaurants to the best in Broadway, here are 10 great reasons for you to book a ticket to NYC right now.
As winter maintains an icy grip on the East Coast for a few more weeks, we like the idea of following the birds south to sunny Sanibel. Just off the coast of Fort Myers in Florida, Sanibel has seen a resurgence in national and international tourism in recent years, thanks to its year-round sun and white, sandy Gulf beaches. It’s a quieter, more relaxing, and very affordable scene here compared to the hubbub along the state’s eastern coast — ideal for those seeking to stay active but low-key, all the while enjoying fine dining and great shopping. Here’s how to make the most of the area’s expansive nature and golden warmth.
Pi Day, which falls on March 14, is not just for math nerds anymore. (As you might remember from math class, the mathematical constant π approximately equals 3.14, hence the date of the holiday.) It’s now being embraced by the hotel industry — specifically by The Charles in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the form of a Pi Day flash sale.
Toss the snow shovel and grab the sunscreen! While most of the nation faces bitter cold and mounds of fluffy white stuff, these small town destinations offer moderate temperatures, plenty of sunshine, and a whole lot of fun.
Las Cruces, New Mexico: From wide open spaces to space exploration, Las Cruces has something for just about anyone. Sled down a hill of warm sand at White Sands National Monument, sample wines along the Rio Grande River, or get schooled Scovilles at the Chile Pepper Institute. Or, tour nearby Spaceport America, where the nation’s first space tourists will soon blast off. On your way, stop at Hatch –the birthplace of New Mexico’s infamous green chiles.
Perhaps you’re just passing through en route from Albuquerque to one of southern New Mexico’s must-hit natural wonders (like the superlative Carlsbad Caverns). Or maybe you’re caught up in the company of one of the many UFO hunters who descend upon this legendary little city in droves. But if little green men aren’t tops on your own personal agenda for visiting Roswell, New Mexico, there’s happily more to this city than just alien kitsch (though, thanks to the purported 1947 UFO crash here, there’s plenty of that, too). Art and nature lovers will find diversions worthy enough to deem Roswell a destination in its own right, while some memorable local dining and night spots will get you up-close-and-personal with some down-home New Mexican hospitality and chile-infused cooking. Here’s the scoop on what to see and do — and where best to eat, drink, and sleep — in Roswell.
The next time you have a day off, head to the airport. These seven airport museums dedicated to aviation are destinations in their own right — and also make for great entertainment if you’re ever stranded with delays.
The 1940 Air Terminal Museum (William P. Hobby Airport, Houston)
Housed in the Art Deco building that served as Houston’s original airport, the 1940 Air Terminal Museum ($5) explores Houston and Southeast Texas’ role in aviation. The focus is mainly on civil aviation, including commercial flight. Expect to see uniforms for pilots and stewardesses, dinnerware, playing cards, and other airline memorabilia. The museum’s hangar has a small collection of business and commercial planes. Tip: After you’ve visited the museum, find a seat on the benches out back and watch aircraft take off from Hobby Airport. Or, pick a spot in the museum parking lot and watch for free. (Just let museum staff know what you are doing and how long you plan to be there.)
A cultural hub of the Finger Lakes region, Ithaca, NY, has always marched to the beat of its own drum. Independent businesses flourish alongside the two nationally renowned colleges (Cornell University and Ithaca College) that populate the town with over 20,000 students September through May, providing a young, hip vibe. Paired with the region’s beautiful gorges and acclaimed vineyards, a weekend relaxing in the cool Ithaca vibe is the perfect tonic to anyone’s big city blues. Read more
Big Cedar Lodge is situated in the Ozark Mountains — Ridgedale, Missouri, to be precise. The area is a nature lover’s paradise, replete with swaths of dense forest, overlooking 43,000-acres of Table Rock Lake’s blue-green waters. It’s is billed as “a wilderness resort,” founded by Johnny Morris, the owner of Bass Pro Shops. It makes perfect sense that this would be a haven for the outdoor aficionados. We checked in at Big Cedar Lodge, and here’s what we loved most. Read more
Charleston, South Carolina, is known for its rich culinary history and dozens of award-winning restaurants. But if you don’t want to spend all of your time with other tourists and can’t score a reservation at Husk, there are plenty of under-the-radar and local restaurants to enjoy. You don’t need to call ahead to these casual spots or worry about breaking the bank for a good meal. Read more
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