Archive for the ‘summer family travel’ Category

Historic Hotels of America Announces its Top Six Vacation Packages

May 28, 2013

Selected from more than 3,000 packages and unique experiences on


Admission to novelist Edith Wharton's The Mount is included in Cranwell Resort's Culture in the Country Package , in the magnificent Berkshires of Massachusetts, a mecca for culture and nature enthusiasts © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Admission to novelist Edith Wharton’s The Mount is included in Cranwell Resort’s Culture in the Country Package , in the magnificent Berkshires of Massachusetts, a mecca for culture and nature enthusiasts © 2013 Karen Rubin/

This summer, Historic Hotels of America offers travelers more than 3,000 packages many including special rates, overnight accommodations, historical tours, Civil War Sesquicentennial packages, and so much more. Six of the travel packages below were handpicked from more than 3,000 offers featured on Here travelers can discover and explore hotel offers, specials, historical fun facts and much more.

In addition to these special featured packages, Historic Hotels of America is offering travelers summer specials and packages from more than 240 hotels across 46 states on

Featured packages and promotions from Historic Hotels of America:

Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club (1894) Lenox, Massachusetts

Culture in the Country Package

Celebrate the Berkshires this summer at the Cranwell Resort, Spa & Golf Club. The Cranwell boasts a world-class spa, historic golf course, indoor pool, and three restaurants. The Culture in the Country package includes:

  • · Classic resort accommodations
  • · $20 dining credit for any of the Cranwell’s restaurants (including the Music Room, The Wyndhurst and Sloane’s Tavern)
  • · Full use of the Spa at Cranwell with heated indoor pool, whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, and fitness center
  • · Two tickets per package to your choice of cultural venues, including Herman Melville’s Arrowhead, the Berkshire Botanical Garden, Chesterwood (a National Trust site), Hancock Shaker Village, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, Edith Wharton’s The Mount, and the Norman Rockwell Museum
  • · Additionally, reserve a Culture in the Country Package midweek in July and August and receive two complimentary lawn tickets per package and a Maplewood parking pass for the Tanglewood performance on that date.*

Rates start from $240 per night midweek with double occupancy, exclusive of room tax. *Tanglewood tickets and parking pass only available with midweek hotel reservations on the following dates: July 7, 11, 14, 17, 18, 21, 24, 25, 28, and 31; August 4, 7, 11, 14, 15, 18, 20, 22, and 25.

1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa (1886) Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs Four-Day Three-Night Historic Vacation
Treat your family or friends to a mini-vacation in the Ozark Mountains this summer. Enjoy overnight accommodations, historic attractions (including a ghost tour of America’s Most Haunted Hotel), massages, and more. This escape includes:

  • Four days / three nights in Premium Double / Double Room (based on availability)
  • Four tickets to the Eureka Springs Historical Museum per stay
  • Four tickets to a ghost tour of “America’s Most Haunted Hotel” per stay
  • Two one-hour massages in the hotel’s New Moon Spa & Salon per stay
  • Four tickets to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge per stay
  • Self-guided history tour of the hotel, including a souvenir guidebook

Rates start from $654 for a 3-night stay (Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance of stay. Offer expires December 28, 2013 and is subject to availability.)

Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa (1847) Point Clear, Alabama

Bellingrath Gardens & Home Package

Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, and Successful Meetings named the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa among their best hotels for 2013. Come experience exceptional Southern Hospitality with a modern twist. Book the Bellingrath Gardens & Home package, which includes:

  • · Deluxe guestroom accommodations
  • · Two one-day tickets to historic Bellingrath Gardens & Home per stay
  • · Daily Breakfast buffet for two

Rates start from $278 per night

Mimslyn Inn (1931) Luray, Virginia

Civil War Sesquicentennial Package

Enjoy a self-driving tour, Discover and explore 24 historic sites and battlefields within two hours of the Inn. The Civil War Package includes:

  • · A packaged lunch prepared for two (per stay) by the culinary staff at the Mimslyn Inn
  • · A bottle of wine made from grapes grown in vineyards near The New Market Battlefield
  • · Dinner for two per stay at Circa ‘31 with the menus and recipes created from the same foods that were available during the 1860’s
  • · Historic Guestroom for two nights

Rates start from $450 per night

Hacienda del Sol (1929) Tucson, Arizona

Breakfast with a Side of History Package

Explore the Southwest and book the “Breakfast with a side of History” Package at Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort, which includes:

  • Nightly accommodations
  • Daily breakfast for two (inclusive of tax and gratuity)
  • Guided historic walking tour of Hacienda del Sol

Rates start from $204 per night (Valid April 1 – Dec 31, 2013 Two night minimum stay on weekends. Based on availability.)

French Lick Springs Hotel (1901)French Lick, Indiana

Historic Experience Package

Book the three night Historic Experience package, which includes:

  • · Historic guestroom for 3 nights
  • · One souvenir DVD highlighting French Lick Resort
  • · One Guided Historic Landmarks Walking Tour per person
  • · $30 Breakfast Credit per day

Rates start from $183 per night (Rate code is HHA3)

Travelers can select from over 3,000 dynamic hotel packages, extraordinary historic experiences, and hot deals found exclusively on For more information about Historic Hotels of America’s specials and deals, including summer specials and packages, please visit

Historic Hotels of America is committed to providing guests with the lowest published rates online, as a part of the Price Match Guarantee. If a lower rate is found on another website within 24 hours of booking a reservation, simply submit a claim form and the lower rate will be honored. For terms and conditions, please refer to When booking on, you’ll never pay a booking fee and rates are clearly marked with cancellation policies and few pre-booking or deposits. If you prefer to book your reservation by phone or if you have questions about hotels or an existing reservation, call 800-678-8946.

Special Offer

If you book before August 31, 2013 on, you’ll also receive a complimentary one-year family membership (a $30 value) to the National Trust for Historic Preservation*. In addition to the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping to protect places that matter, your family will enjoy a savings of up to 50% at participating Historic Hotels of America, a subscription to Preservation magazine, and discounted admission to over 600 historic places worldwide.

Historic Hotels of America  is the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation for recognizing and celebrating the finest Historic Hotels. Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation® with 32 charter members. In 2007, Preferred Hotel Group partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to grow and enhance Historic Hotels of America. Historic Hotels of America has more than 240 historic hotels. These historic hotels have all faithfully maintained their authenticity, sense of place, and architectural integrity in the United States of America, including the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, Historic Hotels of America is comprised of mostly independently owned and operated properties. More than 30 of the world’s finest hospitality brands, chains, and collections are represented in Historic Hotels of America. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old, listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places or recognized as having historic significance. For more information, visit, call 800-678-8946.

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Travelodge Offers Free Children’s Zoo Admission with Two-Night Stay this Summer

May 24, 2013
Stay two consecutive nights at a Travelodge hotel and receive two complimentary children’s tickets good at more than 135 participating zoos across the country. Here, children are enthralled at the jaguars on view at Palm Beach Zoo, Florida © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Stay two consecutive nights at a Travelodge hotel and receive two complimentary children’s tickets good at more than 135 participating zoos across the country. Here, children are enthralled at the jaguars on view at Palm Beach Zoo, Florida © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Looking to get a little something extra out of this year’s summer vacation? Take a ZOOcation! Stay two consecutive nights at your favorite Travelodge® hotel and in addition to great rates and a comfy room, you’ll receive two complimentary children’s tickets good at more than 135 participating zoos across the country.

Created through an association between Travelodge, National Geographic and The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), the Travelodge ZOOcation promotion runs through September 30, 2013 and is only available at Free children’s tickets are awarded in the form of a voucher and are redeemable when combined with the purchase of an equal number of adult admissions at a participating AZA-accredited zoo.

“Travelodge wants to keep guests close to adventure and what better way to do that than to help them get out and visit their favorite zoo,” said Kevin McCabe, senior director of marketing for Travelodge. “Plus, with 350 hotels throughout the U.S., average rates starting at less than $70 a night and free extras like breakfast and Wi-Fi, having a great adventure isn’t dependent on traveling far or spending a lot of money.”

Among the zoos where families may redeem their vouchers are the San Diego Zoo in San Diego, Calif.; the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Columbus, Ohio and the Bronx Zoo in New York. A full list of participating zoos is available at

As an added bonus, guests who are members of Wyndham Rewards®, the free-to-join guest loyalty program of Travelodge hotels and parent company Wyndham Hotel Group, will earn valuable points during their stay. Points may be redeemed for a wide variety of reward options including free hotel stays, air travel, gift cards for leading retailers and restaurants and more. Information is available at

To take advantage of this offer, visit or call 1-800-525-4055 and request special promotional rate code SFA. Vouchers will be mailed approximately two weeks after reservations are made and blackout dates for redemption may apply. The promotion is available for booking through September 30, 2013 or while supplies last. Vouchers are good through November 30, 2013. Full terms and conditions are available at

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GaylordHotels’ Four Resorts Offer SummerFest Events, Activities Including DreamWorks Experience

May 15, 2013
Dancing Fountains, a nightly event, in the spectacular atrium of the Gaylord National, a premier resort just outside Washington DC. GaylordHotels are offering SummerFest, with special activities and events all summer © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Dancing Fountains, a nightly event, in the spectacular atrium of the Gaylord National, a premier resort just outside Washington DC. Gaylord Hotels are offering SummerFest, with special activities and events all summer © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Gaylord Hotels’ SummerFest, is offering family vacationers an exciting line-up of special events and activities available all summer long – from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend at all four Gaylord Hotels.

Located in or near Washington, D.C., Nashville, Orlando and Dallas, the four Gaylord Hotels are destinations unto themselves. Each property’s design provides a stunning backdrop for relaxing fun, whether it’s a family vacation or a couple’s getaway, with entertainment, art and architecture celebrating each area’s local history. Best of all – and new for SummerFest – guests can now earn Marriott Rewards points when they stay at Gaylord Hotels.

As part of SummerFest, guests can enjoy the Summer DreamWorks experience and vacation with the beloved characters from DreamWorks Animation films such as Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, Puss In Boots and Madagascar. Interactive DreamWorks-themed activities created exclusively for kids and families will make their stays unforgettable. At each resort, guests will also discover dining options overseen by award-winning chefs who showcase regional delicacies, full-service spas and salons, indoor and outdoor pools, access to golf, shopping and much more. Or, with convenient transportation options available at each resort to local attractions, guests can set off on excursions to explore the exciting offerings found in each region.

SummerFest at Gaylord National Resort (National Harbor, Md.)
Gaylord National, the premiere waterfront resort on the Potomac River and a gateway to Washington, D.C., will embody all-American fun this summer. Guests will enjoy spectacular fireworks shows over the river, food and drink specials, nightly sunset toasts, a weekly Artisanal Cheese Class hosted by the hotel’s Maitre d’Fromage, splashin’ fun at the pool and adjacent sundeck overlooking the waterfront, and exclusive summer spa treatments. Kids and families are in for a treat with the Summer DreamWorks Experience, an exciting array of activities featuring favorite characters from DreamWorks Animation films such as Shrek, Madagascar, Puss In Boots and Kung Fu Panda. Exclusive events include DreamWorks Dance Parties and the Madagascar Crack-A-Lackin’ Cook-In (character dining). Just steps from the resort, guests can explore the exciting destination of National Harbor, Maryland, which offers dozens of restaurants, shops, art galleries, nightlife venues and weekly outdoor events such as movies along the waterfront, live musical performances, an open-air street market, and popular summer festivals such as the Chesapeake Crab & Beer Festival. For packages and more information, go to

SummerFest at Gaylord Opryland Resort (Nashville, Tenn.)
Gaylord Opryland brings the toe-tapping magic of Music City to life with live entertainment and easy access to Nashville’s most popular attractions, including the Grand Ole Opry, General Jackson Showboat, Wildhorse Saloon, and the historic Ryman Auditorium. This summer, guests will enjoy live music, culinary tours and demonstrations, carriage and Delta flatboat rides, and many other engaging events all season long. Families are especially in for a treat with the Summer DreamWorks Experience, an exciting array of activities featuring favorite characters from DreamWorks Animation films such as Shrek, Madagascar, Puss In Boots and Kung Fu Panda. Exclusive events include DreamWorks Experience Meet & Greets, Saturday Family Fun Nights, the Madagascar Crack-A-Lackin’ Cook-In (character dining), and DreamWorks-themed pool parties. For packages and more information, go to

SummerFest at Gaylord Palms Resort (Kissimmee, Fla.)
SummerFest at Gaylord Palms is a great way to celebrate what the sunshine state is famous for: sun, music and fun! Guests will enjoy family entertainment, live music, and drink and dining specials all summer long, from our Key West Sunset Celebrations to specialty craft beers in our Wreckers Beer Garden. Kids and families are in for a treat with the Summer DreamWorks Experience, an exciting array of activities featuring favorite characters from DreamWorks Animation films such as Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda. Exclusive events include DreamWorks Experience Meet & Greets, ShrekFeast (character dining), afternoon poolside games and the Crack-A-Lackin’ Pool Party at the fabulous Cypress Springs Family Fun Water Park with four water slides, Tree House water play structure and “Toddler Bay.” For packages and more information, go to

SummerFest at Gaylord Texan Resort (Grapevine, Texas)
Located on the shores of beautiful Lake Grapevine (close to Dallas/Ft. Worth), Gaylord Texan celebrates the spirit and unique beauty of the Lone Star State with four-and-a-half acres of gardens and regionally inspired architecture under glass. This summer, guests will enjoy live entertainment such as strolling characters, magicians, stilt walkers and face painters, firework shows every Friday night, culinary events and classes such as junior chef camps, adult cooking classes, poolside music and mimosas, pool parties at Paradise Springs – the resort’s 10-acre pool and lazy river complex, acrylic painting classes for adults and kids, a Texas atrium art tour, sunrise yoga, spa specials and live music all season long. Families are especially in for a treat with the Summer DreamWorks Experience, an exciting array of activities featuring favorite characters from DreamWorks Animation films such as Shrek, Madagascar, Puss In Boots and Kung Fu Panda. Exclusive events include DreamWorks Experience Meet & Greets and the Madagascar Crack-A-Lackin’ Cook-In (character dining). For packages and more information, go to

As part of the Marriott family of brands, Gaylord Hotels® is a collection of hotels and upscale resorts that afford endless opportunities for leisure travelers and conventioneers. The brand’s hallmark—“everything in one place”—provides guests with diverse dining options, quality spa and fitness center services, top-notch entertainment, on-site shopping and endless activities. Gaylord Hotels is a pioneer in the hotel and convention industry with properties in the nation’s most desirable destinations. Gaylord Hotels properties include Gaylord Opryland® in Nashville, Tenn.; Gaylord Palms® in Kissimmee, Fla. (near Orlando); Gaylord Texan® in Grapevine, Texas (near Dallas); Gaylord National® in National Harbor, Md. (near Washington, D.C.); and The Inn at Opryland® in Nashville, Tenn. For more information, visit

Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) is a leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 3,800 properties in 74 countries and territories and reported revenues of nearly $12 billion in fiscal year 2012. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 18 brands. For more information or reservations, visit our web site at

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Kennedy Space Center Summer Day Camps this year features Space Shuttle Atlantis and Angry Birds Space Interactive Attractions

May 11, 2013
In celebration of the June 29 opening of Space Shuttle AtlantisSM, the new $100-million educational attraction at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the summer camp is themed “Atlantis: Celebrate the Journey.” Campers will learn firsthand about the engineering marvel of the space shuttle.

In celebration of the June 29 opening of Space Shuttle AtlantisSM, the new $100-million educational attraction at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the summer camp is themed “Atlantis: Celebrate the Journey.” Campers will learn firsthand about the engineering marvel of the space shuttle.

Kennedy Space Center offers a week-long summer day camp experience that educates, entertains and engages children ages 8 to 14, from mid-June to the beginning of August.

This year, Camp KSC features two new, interactive attractions that will help launch kids into a galaxy of fun as they pursue science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through exciting educational activities.

In celebration of the June 29 opening of Space Shuttle AtlantisSM, the new $100-million educational attraction at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, the camp is themed “Atlantis: Celebrate the Journey.” Campers will learn firsthand about the engineering marvel of the space shuttle through a look inside the new attraction, which will tell the incredible story of NASA’s 30-year Space Shuttle Program through a host of multimedia presentations and more than 60 interactive exhibits and high-tech simulators. Campers visiting June 10 through June 28 will receive an exclusive sneak peek inside of the attraction before it opens to the public.

Camp KSC’s curriculum includes an opportunity to:

  • · Engage in interactive, hands on STEM activities that surround the science performed during Atlantis’ historic missions.
  • · Participate in a simulated space shuttle mission that demonstrates the teamwork and ingenuity of NASA engineers, scientists and astronauts. During the mission, campers may deploy a satellite, dock and transfer supplies to the International Space Station or perform scientific experiments while in simulated orbit.
  • · Learn astronaut training, including simulators and virtual skills. Students will hear real-life experiences from a space shuttle astronaut and learn about the risks and rewards of space flight.
  • · Work as team to build, test and compete against other teams in the Angry Birds™ Challenge.
    • · Visit Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, see a space shuttle launch pad and more.

In addition, campers will experience the new Angry Birds™ Space Encounter, which opened at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in March. As the first comprehensive, interactive Angry Birds attraction in the United States designed for people of all ages, it incorporates concepts of human space exploration and physics. The attraction was developed in partnership with Rovio Entertainment, which had worked with NASA on the popular Angry Birds Space game.

The Camp KSC program is designed for children entering 2nd through 9th grades and runs Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with early drop-off offered at 7:30 a.m. for an extra fee. Camp instructors are specially trained educators. All campers receive a Camp KSC certificate, an Annual Pass for free admission to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex and a specially designed Atlantis-themed Camp KSC shirt. Lunch and snacks are provided.

The camp runs during the weeks of June 10-14, June 17-21, June 24-28, July 1-5, July 8-12, July 15-19, July 22-26, July 29-Aug. 2 and Aug. 5-9.

Camp Kennedy Space Center is located at the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame’s® educational facility, just off US 1 near the west entrance to Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Tuition is $295 per week plus tax, paid in advance. For more information or to book a reservation, call 877-313-2610.

About Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex brings to life the epic story of the U.S. space program, offering a full day or more of fun and educational activities, including the Kennedy Space Center Tour featuring the Saturn V Center with an actual Saturn V moon rocket, the new Angry Birds Space Encounter, Shuttle Launch Experience, 3D IMAX® space films, Astronaut Encounter, Exploration Space: Explorers Wanted and many other interactive exhibits. The new $100 million home for Space Shuttle AtlantisSM opens June 29, 2013. Admission also includes the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame®, featuring historic spacecraft and the world’s largest collection of personal astronaut memorabilia, which opens daily at noon and closing times vary by season. Only 45 minutes from Orlando, Fla., Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex opens daily at 9 a.m. with closing times varying by season. Admission is $50 + tax for adults and $40 + tax for children ages 3-11. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Commander’s Club Annual Pass is $63 + tax for adults and $53 + tax for children ages 3-11. For more information, call 877-313-2610 or visit

Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is operated by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts at KSC, Inc., a division of Delaware North Companies, one of the world’s leading hospitality and food service providers. Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex is not funded through tax dollars or appropriated funds. The revenue generated by ticket, food and merchandise sales support the operation, maintenance and development of the Visitor Complex, including the new Space Shuttle Atlantis.

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Summer in Tahoe South, ‘America’s Best Lake,’ is Packed with Entertainment, Celebrities, Recreation-Adventure Events

May 3, 2013

Remember summer camp? Intense and fleeting, full of traditions, camp was the bright beacon in the depths of winter. Tahoe South offers its own rituals of the season: sun-drenched beaches, Grammy winning artists on outdoor stages, family events and outdoor recreation, the country’s biggest celebrity golf tournament, fireworks, and enough nightlife to put the wild side into summer. (

Voted by USA Today readers as “America’s Best Lake,” Tahoe South visitors can expect the best this summer with warm summer days, countless adventures and entertainment venues that brim with high endurance.


A powerhouse lineup of sports legends including Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, Oscar de la Hoya, and Bodie Miller will join entertainers Ray Romano and Jack Wagner for the 24th annual American Century Championship, July 16-21, 2013. (

More than 80 of the brightest sports and entertainment stars and celebrities will tee it up at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course, vying for the $125,000 winner’s share of the $600,000 purse. First-timers this year include NFL Hall of Famer John Randle; former NFL Pro-Bowl wide receiver Andre Reed; former NBA All-Star Detlef Schrempf and former MLB All-Star Tim Wakefield.

Harrah’s Outdoor Concert Series, an annual South Shore favorite, features a star-studded lineup: Steve Miller Band, June 22; Tim McGraw, July 16; Rascal Flatts and The Band Perry, July 19; Phish, July 30-31; FUN with Tegan and Sara, Aug. 27; Brad Paisley, Aug. 30 and Dave Matthews Band, Sept. 4. Shows are anticipated to sell out. In the meantime, showroom entertainment includes: Roy Rogers & The Delta Rhythm Kings, April 27; Sammy Hagar, May 3-4; Super Diamond, May 11; Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, June 1 and Eric Burdon & The Animals, June 8.

MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa’s Summer Concert Series second annual Lake Tahoe Reggae Festival returns on Saturday, June 29. Tahoe’s taste of island irie at the 4,000-seat outdoor amphitheater will feature breezy Jamaica rhythms and reggae ska beats from headliners SOJA and Alpha Blondy, along with special guests Passafire, Stickfigure, Tomorrow’s Bad Seed and Island of Black & White. Also added to the outdoor concert lineup are Slightly Stoopid and Atmosphere with Tribal Seeds, The Grouch and Eligh, July 18. Additional acts will be finalized soon but expect a variety of rock, reggae, hip-hop, punk, etc. In the meantime, showroom entertainment inside includes: The Shins, May 11; Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros, May 23; Gretchen Wilson, May 31; The Virgins, June 8.

The Valhalla Arts & Music Festival ( celebrates music and visual arts from June through fall. In its 33rd year, this event series is set against a backdrop of Lake Tahoe and the Tallac Historic Site. It features performances and comedy at the Boathouse Theater, outdoor concerts, festivals, and cultural events.


Recognized by NBC’s Today Show as one of the country’s top Fourth of July weekend celebrations, Lights on the Lake fireworks show is a Tahoe South ritual that packs the shoreline with spectators. The best viewing spots are South Shore’s sandy beaches or aboard the M.S. Dixie II or Tahoe Queen paddlewheelers. An end-of-summer fireworks display will grip the skies over Tahoe South again Labor Day weekend. Both displays feature simultaneous music set to sky rockets on local radio stations KRLT-FM 93.9 and KOWL-AM 1490.

Hot August Nights South Lake Tahoe Experience returns for its fourth year, Aug. 2-3, at MontBleu. Car lovers can slide behind the wheel and cruise through four straight days and nights of show-n-shines, car exhibits, exclusive car auctions, and an outdoor pavilion with food, beverages and great oldies music.

The 24th annual ( Lake in the Sky Air Show takes flight, Aug. 23-25, and features some of the world’s top aircraft performers, radio-controlled demonstrations and military aircraft.

Labor Day weekend also features the 4th annual ( Sample the Sierra, a farm-to-fork festival, Sept. 1. This event offers regional products such as honey, jams, olive oil and soaps along with pottery, painting, photography and handmade crafts by regional artists. The festival brings live entertainment, storytellers and acoustic music as well as tastings of local produce paired with beverages from Sierra Nevada wineries and breweries.


The 21st ( Valhalla Renaissance Faire, June 1-2 and 8-9, will exhibit the pleasures and pageantry of the Elizabethan era. Costumed players perform at Camp Richardson Resort in the shady lanes and byways, and sell their wares from market stalls filled with fine handmade crafts.

During the 22nd annual ( America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride, participants pedal the 72-mile circumference of Lake Tahoe, June 2. This ride promotes Lake Tahoe Bikeway, a plan to build and interconnect bike lanes/trails around Lake Tahoe. Rounding out summer will be the Tour de Tahoe — Bike Big Blue Ride to Cure Diabetes, Sept. 8.

World class paddlers strike out from El Dorado Beach, June 29-30, for the nation’s premier flat-water standup paddleboard competition, Race the Lake of the Sky ( Multiple races are offered including short course, long distance, team relay, grom races plus a new SUP Cross Sprint course. Vendors, food booths and music are available throughout the weekend.

Runners will take to the woods around Sierra-at-Tahoe Ski Resort this summer for the Ragnar Trail Relays, July 26-27. ( This overnight running and camping race pits eight- and four-person teams as contestants charge around three loops that range from four to eight miles long.

One of the largest gatherings of unique boats in Northern California is the South Tahoe Wooden Boat Classic, July 26-27, at Tahoe Keys Marina & Yacht Club ( Enthusiasts can get an up close look at the vessels, talk with their owners and hear the powerful roar behind straight V6, V8 and V12 engines. From the early 1900s to the fiberglass vessels of the 1960s, enthusiasts can see more than 65 wooden antique and classic boats in the water and eight race boats on their trailers.

The Valhalla Grand Lawn is also the site of the annual Wa She Shu It Deh Native American Arts Festival, July 27-28, a cultural gathering that features traditional American Indian dancers and drummers, basket weaving displays, art and great food.

The third Tahoe Show ( body building and sculpting competition at MontBleu Resort Casino & Spa is set for Aug. 24, and will bring hundreds of the area’s fittest to compete for cash prizes in a judged competition featuring bodybuilding, figure and physique, fitness and bikini.

Return to the 1920s and enjoy the ( 28th annual Great Gatsby Festival on the Pope Estate at the Tallac Historic Site, Aug. 10-11. Visitors will find antiques, Roaring ’20s era costumes, live music, interactive historic house tours, vintage auto rides, ice cream, cotton candy and vintage kid’s games.

Run, walk, swim, paddle, peddle or golf, Sept. 27-29, during one of the many ( Lake Tahoe Marathon events. Both the half and full marathons are along the west shore of Lake Tahoe and feature challenging hills around Emerald Bay.

For real time updates on events, promotions, packages, conditions and events in Tahoe South, The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority is on Facebook:, Twitter:, YouTube: For Tahoe South information: 1-800-288-2463 or

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Palm Beach Zoo Offers Two Chances for ‘Family Night Owls’ Overnights

June 13, 2012

A Eurasian Eagle Owl. The Palm Beach Zoo is offering two opportunities this summer for families to be night owls, too, overnighting in the zoo (photo by Keith Lovett).

The Palm Beach Zoo is offering two special “Family Night Owls” overnight programs to be held on Saturday, June 30th and Saturday, July 21st.

Family groups are invited to explore the Zoo after hours and participate in unique encounters with nocturnal animals such as bats, owls, fennec foxes, and many others. The evening will include a guided flashlight tour of the Zoo, a pizza party, and Zoo-themed games and activities, as well as a Continental breakfast the following morning.

The “Family Night Owls” program is designed for children ages six and over, accompanied by at least one parent. Activities begin at 6:30 p.m. on each Saturday evening and end at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. The cost is $35 per person for Zoo members and $45 per person for non-members.

For more information about this program visit or send an e-mail to The Zoo’s Education Coordinator can be reached at (561) 533-0887 Ext. 229.

Top 10 Things to Do at Lake Tahoe this Summer

May 29, 2012

With its mesmerizing blue waters, tall mountains and endless activities, Lake Tahoe is immenselypopular summer vacation destination © 2012 Karen Rubin/

With its mesmerizing blue waters, tall mountains and endless activities, Lake Tahoe is an immensely popular summer vacation destination. With so much to do, it can be hard to pinpoint exactly how to spend your time at Tahoe, but the experts at Zephyr Cove Resort, Lake Tahoe Cruises and Heavenly Mountain Resort have teamed up to develop this list of the top ten things to do at South Lake Tahoe.

  1. Take a Cruise: “You can’t go to Lake Tahoe without getting out on the lake,” says Tony Lyle, director of sales and marketing for Lake Tahoe Cruises. The lake is home to two authentic Mississippi paddlewheel boats, the M.S. Dixie II and Tahoe Queen. Both boats offer charm, entertainment and the best views of the lake with cruises to Emerald Bay, dinner cruises, and a brunch cruise on the M.S. Dixie II every Sunday morning.
  2. Go to the top of Heavenly: The best summer views of Lake Tahoe are a 12-minute, 2.4-mile ride on the Heavenly Gondola. Stepping out onto the Mid-station Observation Deck at 9,123 feet of elevation, guests will be amazed by the fabulous views of the Carson Valley, Desolation Wilderness and a rare shore-to-shore view of Lake Tahoe. From the Deck, continue the ride up the Gondola to Adventure Peak, where you can dine at Tamarack Lodge, enjoy tubing, a rock climbing wall and more than eight miles of hiking trails.
  3. Spend a day at the beach: What is a lake vacation without a day on the beach? Zephyr Cove Beach is a regular of “Best Lakes of Lake Tahoe” lists and for good reason. The long, sandy cove is ideal for sunbathing, swimming and other beach activities. Steps from the shore, you can grab a drink and bite to eat at the Sunset Bar & Grille with its fabulous views of the lake and laid-back summer ambiance.
  4. Tour Vikingsholm: This world-famous replica of a Scandinavian castle is open daily for tours throughout summer. In July and August, you can park at Eagle Point State Park and enjoy a 1.7-mile hike along Emerald Bay to Vikingsholm for added enjoyment.
  5. Rent a powerboat: Want to accelerate the fun at Lake Tahoe? Tubing, skiing and boarding behind a powerboat is a high-octane way to see Tahoe. Explore coves, inlets and far off portions of the lake quickly and efficiently with a powerboat rental from Zephyr Cove Marina.
  6. Horseback ride through the Sierras: Enjoy the area’s serenity and beauty as you amble over forested scenic trails with amazing views of the lake and surrounding mountains. One, 1.5 and two hour guided trips are available, as are breakfast, lunch and dinner rides. Call 775-588-5664 to reserve.
  7. Explore Heavenly Village: Right in the heart of South Lake Tahoe, Heavenly Village offers shopping, dining, mini-golf, a movie theatre and access to the Gondola for a splendid afternoon or evening on the town.
  8. Kayak/paddle board on the lake: While the paddlewheel boats are a great way to see much of the lake from a high vantage point, kayaking or paddle boarding is a relaxing and intimate way to see the lake up close, observing its wildlife and gentle currents from just above the surface. Rentals are available at the Zephyr Cove Marina.
  9. Go parasailing: Get airborne for a truly unique way to see Tahoe. Parasailing will lift you 1,000 feet into the air as the lake shrinks under your feet to open up stunning views and high-flying fun. Call 775-589-4901 for information and reservations.
  10. Play a game of beach volleyball: Standing upon sun-warmed sand with the lake in the background makes for an inspiring atmosphere for a game of volleyball. Zephyr Cove Resort is host to professional volleyball tournaments due to its regulation courts and breathtaking location. Court use is free and volleyballs are available from the Sunset Bar & Grille.

For lodging and cruise packages available throughout summer, visit

Visitors can find information about Zephyr Cove’s lodging and activities at or by calling 800-23-TAHOE. For Heavenly Resort, visit or call 800-HEAVENLY. General information about all of South Lake Tahoe can be found at

See also:

Your Inner Angel & Devil Both Get Time to Play At Resort that Straddles Nevada & California

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Palm Beach Zoo special summer programs include Zoo Camp, Friday night ‘Summer Safari’ with entertainment

May 29, 2012

The Palm Beach Zoo is one of the premier zoos in the country and a rich education program including Zoo Camp and Summer Safari nights makes it a destination attraction © 2012 Karen Rubin/

The Palm Beach Zoo has a host of special programs for summer.

Zoo Camp: Come for one week or the entire summer! Each week offers a unique wildlife theme as participants experience zoo keeping activities, behind-the-scenes tours, scavenger hunts, enriching conservation education activities, and interactive fountain time. Participants will enjoy up-close animal encounters, animal exhibit visits, crafts, games, and much more! Programs are offered for ages 5 – 17 years of age. (Reservations required. Weekdays – June 11 – August 17. Spaces are limited. Register Now! Click Education Programs.)

Other family education events this summer include:

Zoo Babies: Discover the different ways animals raise their young. Participants will hop out of pouches, fly from nests, and hatch out of eggs, then travel around the zoo to meet some of the zoo’s very own zoo babies.

2 year olds: 10:00—11:00 a.m. April 26 or May 5

3 & 4 year olds: 10:00—11:30 a.m. April 28 or May 19

Backyard Buddies: Come discover the zoo that’s in your own backyard! From owls to opossums, turtles to snakes, we’ll take a look at the amazing animals that call our backyards home!

2 year olds: 10:00—11:00 a.m. June 14

3 & 4 year olds: 10:00—11:30 a.m. June 23

Color Safari: How many colors can a chameleon be? Learn why color is so important in the world of wildlife, and meet some colorful animals up close.

2 year olds: 10:00—11:00 a.m. July 5

3 & 4 year olds: 10:00—11:30 a.m. July 7

Wings and Things: Flap like a bat, flutter like a butterfly, and fly like an eagle. Come discover the world of animals with wings!

2 year olds: 10:00—11:00 a.m. August 11

3 & 4 year olds: 10:00—11:30 a.m. August 18

Summer Safari Friday Nights

The Palm Beach Zoo stays open late every Friday evening beginning June 1 through October. In addition to daily operating hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Friday evening “Summer Safari” will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. These special summer hours are designed to offer families an opportunity to visit during the cool summer evenings.

Summer Safari evenings feature children’s entertainment, roving animal encounters and shows, complimentary rides on the Wildlife Carousel, live music in the Fountain Plaza, and dinner specials in the Tropics Café. Zoo Admission is free for Zoo Members. Non-members receive discounted admission of $14.95 for adults and $8.95 for children ages 3-12 during Safari Nights. The child’s admission will include a coupon for one free kid’s meal with purchase of an adult meal in the Tropics Café dining room.

The Palm Beach Zoo is located at 1301 Summit Boulevard, just east of I-95 between Southern and Forest Hill Boulevard. There is ample free parking. The zoo is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving Day. Open Fridays from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. June through October. For more information visit

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Wintergreen Resort offers Summer Passport Sizzling with Savings

May 29, 2012

Play at Wintergreen Resort in the mountains of Virginia  this summer takes on a whole new perspective with the return of the popular Wintergreen Passport. Jump in an inner tube or Plunge down a slope, Zip line above tree tops, kayak or canoe Lake Monocan, tune up the tennis swing, and taste wines at the Mountain Inn, all for FREE with Wintergreen’s sizzling summer Mountain Resort Passport! Guests who take advantage of all the activities recognize a $400 value.

Wintergreen Resort lodging guests receive one FREE Passport (per reservation) packed with multiple activities and adventures. Each offer on the Passport is valid for one use. Additional passports may be purchased for $40 apiece.

Other complimentary activities include miniature golf at Discovery Ridge, a Sunday morning energizer hike from Discovery Ridge and Yoga class at the Aquatic Center.

For those with wanderlust, get back to nature with a FREE GPS Adventure Rental. This modern-day treasure hunt helps navigate along Wintergreen Resort’s hiking trails via the Garmin E-Trex Global Positioning System, all the while pinpointing hidden “treasures.”

Guests may enjoy 20% savings off a 60-minute private golf lesson for two at Devils Knob or Stoney Creek Golf Course. The culturally minded may consider buying one ticket for the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival (July 6-August 5) and receive 50% off the second ticket to the same performance.

Wintergreen Passport activities are weather dependent, limited to availability and subject to change at any time. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult. The Passport must be presented to participate in the activity and is valid from June 15-September 3, 2012.

For more information about the Wintergreen Passport, call (434) 325-8211, or visit the property’s web site at

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Breakers Palm Beach Oceanfront Luxury Destination Resort Introduces Special Offer for Summer

May 29, 2012

The iconic Breakers Palm Beach resort is offering special summer rates and amenities provided either free or at significant savings © 2012 Karen Rubin/

Here’s your chance to stay at one of the most elegant oceanfront destination resorts that America has ever produced: the legendary Breakers Palm Beach is offering summer weekday rates starting at $289 per room per night (based on standard accommodations) with a score of amenities either included or at significant savings. The rates are in effect from June 1-September 30.

Complimentary benefits for summer include:

  • Continental breakfast buffet
  • Kids’ Day Camp – Ages 3-12
  • Kids’ meals – Ages 3-12
  • Spa & Oceanview Fitness Center admission
  • Unlimited tennis
  • Unlimited fitness classes
  • WiFi & local calls

Special summer savings:

  • Reduced golf fees – inclusive cart on the Ocean Course and The Breakers Rees Jones® Course, at specially priced greens fees
    • $135 per person, per day (18 holes); $80 per person, per day (9 holes) – June 1-30
    • $60 per person, per day (18/9 holes) – July 1 – September 30
  • Overnight Valet Parking – reduced parking fees of $10 per night
  • Nine restaurants and bars
  • Spa Services
  • Bungalow Rentals
  • Shopping

For reservations or more information, visit, call toll-free at 1-888-BREAKERS (273-2537), or contact your travel professional.

See also:

The Breakers Palm Beach: iconic American resort has relaxed, contemporary feel and slideshow

One of America’s legendary resort destinations, this 540-room, Italian Renaissance-style hotel resides on 140 acres of oceanfront property in the heart of Palm Beach. The Breakers was founded in 1896 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and continues to thrive independent of chain affiliation. Renowned for its gracious service, the resort indulges its clientele, whether couples on a romantic getaway, multi-generational travelers on a family vacation or large gatherings in celebration. With the commitment of its long-standing ownership, descendants of founder Henry Flagler, The Breakers invests $20 million each year in the property’s ongoing enhancement to ensure it remains appealing to future guests. Following a comprehensive ten-year $250 million revitalization, its timeless atmosphere — from its magnificent interiors to its artfully designed landscape — has been renewed in a style of relaxed elegance.


A multi-faceted destination, The Breakers features 36 holes of championship golf, including the Ocean Course and The Breakers Rees Jones® Course; 10 Har-Tru tennis courts; luxury spa; a breathtaking oceanfront with a half-mile of private beach, Mediterranean-style beach club, as well as luxury beach bungalows for daytime-rental, five pools, four whirlpool spas and a variety of water sports; a Family Entertainment Center and an extensive program of family and children’s activities. Nine distinctive restaurants, as well as an array of on-site boutiques, are all owned and managed by the resort. The Breakers is recognized as a AAA Five Diamond property and has earned numerous accolades for its commitment to the environment, community service and the quality of life it provides to its employees.