Shermanstravel Blog

Weekend Getaways

Atlantic CityOn the first of this month, United Airlines gave Atlantic City a leg up by launching daily service out of Atlantic City Airport to Houston and Chicago. The airport, which was previously only served by Spirit Airlines, lies just six miles from the Boardwalk. This makes it even easier for people from the Midwest and the south to get a first-hand glimpse of the waterfront casino town. Here’s how to do this city on a budget this summer: Read more

Mexico Verana HotelHuge, high-rise hotels have their benefits, but sometimes you just want an escape from the crowds, and a more intimate experience. Mexico’s Pacific Coast has a number of small, secluded boutique resorts where you can limit your exposure to others without limiting your choices of things to do. For your next trip, here are a few places to check out:

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BaltimoreInnerHarborWith a tendency toward unhealthy habits, and a tough reputation earned through a certain television drama, Baltimore is perhaps not a city you would expect to be very favorable to such wholesome pursuits as outdoor exercise. A quick glance around the landmark Inner Harbor on any given morning, however, rebuts those preconceived ideas. Judging from the many joggers pounding the pathways, Baltimore is in fine shape.

Thanks to a handful of initiatives over the past couple of years, visitors can join in with the local fitness movement while taking in the sights. By signing up for one of the following programs, you can get out of your hotel and into an activity more challenging than the usual sightseeing stroll. And, all the better, you’ll feel like you’ve earned that inevitable beer and crab dinner.

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ReichstagCompared to most of Western Europe, Berlin is a bargain. Hotel rooms cost about half the price of rooms in Paris or London, and it’s easy to fill your belly for fewer than five bucks. The city’s affordable activities and creative spirit make it a budget traveler’s dream. And there are plenty of free things to do — from museums and monuments, to public parks and open-air karaoke. Here are some of the best free things to do in Berlin. Read more

SantaCruzBest-known as a home to college kids, surfers, and hippies, the California town of Santa Cruz has a few less stereotypical, newsworthy attractions to boast of this year. Best of all, most of these are cheap (or even free) and you’ll spend less than $25 on gas to make a round-trip from San Francisco. Here’s what to do on a day trip. Read more

SanJuanMarriottWhether you’re a family of four, a group of girlfriends, or a young couple on a tight budget, you know that tropical travel can come with a high price. Sure, all-inclusives offer the bang-for-the-buck factor, but what they provide in savings they often lack in culture and distinctiveness.

For all of the above travelers (and anyone in between), the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino offers the best of both worlds: comfort and culture at reasonable rates. Rooms start as low as $185 per night in low season; about $200-$220 in high season. (Note: there is an 18% resort fee per room, per night.) Read more

AmtrakAdironNow that spring has sprung, it’s become much more comfortable (and sensible) to head north on vacation. What better way to take in the blooming landscape than by traveling at ground level? You can with Amtrak’s “Weekend Getaway Fare” on its scenic Adirondack train between New York City and Montreal for $89 round-trip.

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OjaiOften lost in the shadow of coastal spots like Santa Barbara, Paso Robles, and Los Angeles, the inland orchard town of Ojai is a remote hideaway popular with spa-happy travelers with their hearts set on real R&R. The name means “Valley of the Moon” in the Ventureno Native American language, and the land is considered by many to have powerful healing properties. Despite the small-town feel, the experience of staying there doesn’t necessarily come at a discount, partially because it’s become a favorite among Hollywood stars. Here are a few ways to experience Ojai without breaking the bank:

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Wild DunesYou put in an order weeks ago to make sure mom gets flowers on Mother’s Day.  We even did a roundup of great travel deals, so you can whisk her away on vacation. But what about Dad? The latter holiday, which falls on June 15, tends to get lost in the shuffle between graduation season and the beginning of summer. This year, take advantage of off-season travel deals to take Dad on a trip he’ll never forget. From a beachside resort in the Caribbean, to a golf-themed southern getaway, here are five affordable itineraries you can book right now:

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AbruzzoDriving through endless sweeping hills in Italy, there’s nothing for miles, except for the occasional religious relic on the side of the road.  It was hard to believe that we’d just come from bustling Rome, which is about 120 miles away.

The region of Abruzzo, the least populated of Italy’s 20 regions, is also its greenest, with one third of its territory preserved in national parks. It’s also one of the few areas in the world where you can ski in the mountains in the morning and surf (on the Adriatic Sea) in the afternoon. Read more

BeverlyHillsBeverly Hills has a lot more to offer than meets the eye.  And of course, what immediately meets the eye is the Beverly Hills Hotel; the 90201 TV series; Rodeo Drive; and the entire movie industry. But few visitors realize that Beverly Hills, which celebrated its centennial in January, was originally known for its ranches and rodeos, as well as agriculture — rather humble beginnings for a city that is now synonymous with money and flash.

And if you’re looking for the glitz, it’s certainly there for the taking: In honor of the 100th anniversary, five luxury hotels (The Beverly Hills Hotel & Bungalows, Montage Beverly Hills, The Beverly Hilton, L’Ermitage Beverly Hills, and The Peninsula Beverly Hills) have created the Suite 100 initiative in which each property decorates a suite so that guests can experience luxury in a particular era. From the Film Noir suite at the Montage Beverly Hills to the Golden Age Inspired by Marilyn Monroe room at the Beverly Hills Hotel, each of the properties will serve up period-inspired decadence for a steep price (around $1,900 per night).

For those of us who want to travel here without spending like an heiress, here’s how to do it:

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AkkoWith its small land mass and relatively easy public transportation system, Israel lends itself to quick, mad-dash side-trips for those intent on seeing as much of the country as possible in a short amount of time. Of course, you could easily spend weeks leisurely making your way up and down the Mediterranean coast, stopping in at desert-surrounded kibbutz-style hotels and remote mountain towns along the way. Or book a vacation package, like the one featured in our Top 25 this week, which takes you all over the country. But for those who find themselves in Tel Aviv, here are three easy day trips reachable in 45 minutes, 1 hour, or 1.5 hours from the bustling capital:

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JamaicaJewelJamaican charm hits you the minute you land in Montego Bay and, if you’re staying at the oceanfront Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort on the island’s North Coast, the all-inclusive ambiance kicks in, too, the minute you arrive following a 45-minute ride from the airport. The best part? This 4-star resort is offering some solid deals that will let you visit for less this year.

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BeerMonthWith nearly 100 breweries and brewpubs, and more craft breweries than any other Southern state, North Carolina is quickly emerging as a marquee destination for beer lovers. This month, there’s even more reason to raise a toast, as North Carolina is currently hosting its second annual Beer Month. Read more

DCAlthough some of the biggest news from Washington, D.C. is the long-awaited reopening of the Washington Monument on May 12, there’s much more than history and politics to tempt you to visit the nation’s capital this year.

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