Shermanstravel Blog

Weekend Getaways

Los AngelesAnyone who’s familiar with Los Angeles knows there are a few major restrictions when it comes to exploring the U.S.’s second most populous city: traffic, for starters. But also, LA’s disorienting urban sprawl can leave some travelers scratching their heads as to where to find – in the midst of so many desolate strip malls, sketchy bus stations, and disconnected, pseudo-suburban residential areas – a sense of the “real” LA. When it comes to exploring by foot, dining, and finding decent accommodation without getting sucked into the black hole of Hollywood, we suggest starting in Downtown LA. Here are a few reasons why: Read more

BristolCiting its “great shopping, great scenery and great social scene,” the Sunday Times last week declared the Southwest English city of Bristol the “best place to live in Britain.” Bristol’s creativity (it’s the birthplace of Massive Attack and Banksy) and independent spirit (the city has its own currency, the Bristol Pound) is fairly well documented, but its affordability is another good reason to make the trip from London.

Trains from London’s Paddington Station take around one hour and 45 minutes and start at £30 ($50) round-trip. If you decide to spend the night, April rates at the boutique Berkeley Square Hotel start at £30 ($89) a night and includes access to the Square Private Members Club cocktail bar and restaurant. The upscale Radisson Blu is a little pricier at  £99 ($163) but presents good value when compared to the brand’s London properties, which are mostly priced in the £140 to £280 ($199 to $464).

To tempt you further, Bristol has a selection of truly unique (and free or affordable) events scheduled for this year: Read more

BahamasThose seeking a quick, affordable tropical getaway often look straight to the Bahamas — and with good reason. With some good planning, you can bounce to the Bahamas without breaking the bank. Here’s how… Read more

music festival 1

It’s March and music festival season is upon us: thousands are gathering in Austin this week for SXSW, and the upcoming Bonnaroo-Lollapalooza-Coachella trifecta continue to sell-out at record speeds. Understandably, though, spending $300 to camp with a crowd of sweaty students just to catch a glimpse of Tom Petty’s wavy mane over a hot June weekend doesn’t appeal to everyone. Instead of splurging on just any old music festival this summer, consider these low-key alternatives that offer the same great entertainment at nearly a third of the cost: Read more

Chesapeake Bay

Depending on the size (or existence) of the check coming your way post taxes, you could be looking at extra vacation money. And if you’re anything like us, money like that burns a deep, deep hole in your pocket. We thought you’d appreciate a few tips on ways to blow your tax refund on a trip in late April/May. Consider it a reward for getting them done in the first place. Read more

santignacioBritish Airways has just launched its discounted “daytripper fares” for travelers flying from London to a handful of European cities. The catch? (Or, perhaps the benefit?) You have to return to London in the same day. Round-trip tickets, including all taxes and fees, will cost £79 (about $130) to Dublin and Geneva, £89 (about $149) for Edinburgh and Rome and £99 (about $165) for Vienna and Munich. You can only travel with carry-on luggage from London’s Heathrow airport, and only on Saturdays or Sundays.

These fares are tailor-made for travelers who want to cram in a second destination with their London trip — a fairly common strategy, especially considering how easy it is to get to Paris, Scotland, or other parts of England by rail. Flying expands your options even more.

Of course, taking into account check-in, transfers, and flight time, this doesn’t leave you much time to enjoy that second destination. But if you really have the urge to pop across the Channel (or Irish Sea) for a few hours, here are some suggestions for quick, interesting itineraries you can accomplish in a day.

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With freezing temperatures across the country and what seems like an endless amount of snow this winter, it’s high time you treated yourself to a warm-weather escape at a reasonable price.  Swap the white snow for the white-sand beaches of the Bahamas, unwind under palm trees on a week-long sail to the Caribbean or Mexico, traverse the famous Panama Canal while visiting tropical Aruba and Curacao, or island hop through Hawaii, all for under $1000. If slow cruising in luxury is more your speed, travel through the translucent waters surrounding the Seychelles on a yacht, visit ancient Mayan ruins on a cruise to Central America and the Caribbean, or drop anchor in exotic marvels of the South Pacific.  So dig out of that snowbank and try one of these 10 warming cruises this season:

 

Cincinnati

If you still think of Cincinnati as just another Ohio city that starts with the letter C, we’ve got news. The state’s third largest metropolis is now home to a flourishing arts neighborhood, trendy new restaurants, and a sparkling new public park – not to mention venerable cultural institutions like Cincinnati Opera, which is the second oldest opera company in the country.  Here’s how to get the absolute best of the city without breaking your budget…

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CloistersImagine a New York City speckled with greenery, forests, and maybe even some 15th century medieval architecture. That New York City exists, sort of. For those of you planning an extended stay in the Big Apple, the urge might arise to escape the hustle and bustle for a day. Here are five NYC day-cations to tack on to your vacation… Read more

Heraldsburg, CaliforniaIf you are looking for a fresh, laid-back take on California’s wine country, head for Healdsburg in Sonoma County. Here, you’ll find beautifully structured wines, locavore innovation, and ample ways to soak up the sunshine. A balanced blend of old-town charm and sleek modern architecture, Healdsburg has had quite a growth spurt over the past few years, and it’s had to in order to keep pace with visitor demand. The good news? It retains its sense of small-town nostalgia.

Here are some budget-friendly reasons to visit this charming wine region: Read more

savannahWith this winter dragging on, our thoughts are turning south and to quick, cheap getaways. Besides its charm, rich history, great food, and intriguing blend of offbeat and classic, here are a few reasons why Savannah is topping our must-visit list.

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Quebec Winter CarnivalThere are cities where winter is something to be endured, where the cold months from November to March reduce citizens to shut-ins. Québec City is not one of those places. In Quèbec, the winter is celebrated. In fact, it may be one of the best times of the year to visit. Here’s how to enjoy it … Read more

Hotel Healsburg SpaWhile the rest of us are busy planning our sun-filled spring break, a few travelers – perhaps wisely – are weighing their options and thinking of ways to save on a quick, rejuvenating getaway that won’t involve too much hassle. For west coasters, this is as easy as getting into your car. San Francisco in particular has a wealth of easy-to-get-to, ideal-for-a-quick-weekend wellness hotspots. Here are three places to consider if you happen to find yourself in the Bay, in need of some quality hot tub soaking, massaging, and yoga-induced bliss. Read more

Ava Gardner Museum, North CarolinaAlthough they shine bright on Hollywood Boulevard, some of the biggest movie stars had distinctly humbler beginnings. With less than a month to go until the Academy Awards, here are the small towns where some famous classic movie stars were born and raised.  Read more

Boston Hotel WeekIf you made travel plans to the northeast last month, you may have come across something called Hotel Week, a neat little promotion that happens each January in New York offering rooms at desirable hotels for as low as $100. Now, its success means that a variation of the program has migrated north, as Boston is set to launch its first-ever Hotel Week this month, from February 16-23. Appealing to families traveling during mid-winter school break, Hotel Week Boston is also throwing in add-ons like two-for-one tickets to the zoo, or discounted seats at Disney On Ice. Read more

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