Archive for the ‘summer travel’ Category

Hilton Hotels Revitalize the California Road Trip

April 20, 2017
CA-SF-SummOfLove_041217_306e2(c) Karen Rubin-DeYoungMuseum

Take advantage of Hilton’s California Road Trip program at Hilton hotels in San Francisco and join in the 50th anniversary celebration of the Summer of Love, with special tours of Haight-Ashbury and the Summer of Love Experience at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park © 2017 Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

ANAHEIM, SAN DIEGO, SAN FRANCISCO and SANTA BARBARA, CALIF. ––Summer travel is already underway In California and travelers from around the globe this summer can enjoy the ultimate Golden State adventure with Hilton’s “California Road Trip,” a destination package that inspires thrill-seekers and value-minded explorers. Discover an array of adventures and authentic experiences with rates starting at $149 per night.  The package highlights premier destination cities such as San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Anaheim and San Diego with special rates available through Labor Day Weekend 2017. To book, visit California Road Trip Package  and take a Virtual California Road Trip on Hilton’s YouTube channel.

Participating properties include: Parc 55 San Francisco—A Hilton Hotel, Hilton San Francisco Union Square, The Fess Parker—A DoubleTree Resort in Santa Barbara, Hilton Anaheim, Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines and Hilton San Diego Bayfront.

With the California Road Trip package, Hilton aims to provide guests added value inside the hotel with a variety of inclusions to make your trip memorable while highlighting California as a premier destination for family fun, exploration and adventure, and exceptional hospitality through a unique partnership with its local conventions and visitors bureaus.   

“With some of the best Hilton properties on the map, ‘California Road Trip’ is the ultimate vacation package for families and friends who want to create memorable experiences on the road with spectacular scenery, fun and adventure along the way,” said Steve Cowan, general manager of Hilton San Francisco Union Square and Parc 55 San Francisco.

The California Road Trip package, featuring exclusive rates and added value inside and outside the hotel, will be available for purchase beginning now until Labor Day at Hilton.com as well as on the Special Offers page of each of the participating hotels’ property websites.

The California Road Trip package features savings of more than $125 per night, with exclusive discount of up to 15 percent on Enterprise/Alamo and National Car Rentals, $25 food and beverage credit (available in MIX Restaurant only), complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi, unlimited access to the hotel’s Health Club & Spa and a California Road Trip Road Kit featuring exclusive discounts on local entertainment and attractions. Room rates start at $149 per night, tax not included.

California Road Trip packages at a glance:

Parc 55 San Francisco—A Hilton Hotel and Hilton San Francisco Union Square package includes (Rates starting at $265):

  • The San Francisco CityPASS®program which covers unlimited cable car rides, admission to four top attractions, priced 42 percent less than the same tickets purchased separately.  CityPASS® ticket book contains helpful information, including insider tips, an attraction location map, attraction and transportation details, directions and money-saving coupons. Books are valid for nine consecutive days, beginning with the first day of use. Includes:

o   3-Day Muni Cable Car and Bus Passport

o   California Academy of Sciences tickets

o   Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure tickets

o   Aquarium of the Bay tickets

o   Option Ticket: Exploratorium OR de Young Museum + Legion of Honor tickets

The Fess Parker—A DoubleTree by Hilton Resort package includes (Rates starting at $249):

  • Tote bag, Visitors Guide, Vintners Association and Urban Wine Trail Maps, Downtown Organization Map of Shopping and Cultural Attractions, Waterfront Map, Two for One Santa Barbara Sightseeing Trolley Passes, a Santa Barbara Organic Granola Bar and bag of Santa Barbara Pistachio Co. organic pistachios.

Hilton Anaheim package includes (Rates starting at $149):

  • Tote bag, bottled water, granola bars, $10 Starbucks gift card, Visit Anaheim drawstring bag, visitors guide and map, Visit Anaheim postcard with exclusive deals and discounts on local attractions and dining.

Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines and Hilton San Diego Bayfront packages includes (Rates starting at $249):

  • Branded bag, San Diego Magazine Spring Visitors Guide w/ coupons, Where Map, Brewers Guild map, sunglasses and mints.

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s bustling Union Square, Hilton San Francisco Union Square is a high-energy, world-class hotel that features stunning views and international sophistication.  The hotel is steps from world-class shopping and under-the-radar locales rich with the history of theatre and jazz. Additionally, the hotel is convenient to the Powell Street cable car line, Moscone Convention Center, Chinatown, the Financial District, City Hall and the Civic Center. Featuring 1,919 guest rooms and 151 suites with city views, the hotel is home to a contemporary fitness center, one of the city’s only outdoor heated swimming pools and an array of food and beverage outlets with artisanal flare and modern atmospheres. Dining options include the grab-and-go marketplace, Herb N’ Kitchen, The Lobby Bar with signature hand crafted cocktails, gastropub Urban Tavern with international offerings and the 46th floor Cityscape Lounge with 360-degree panoramic views of the Bay Area and San Francisco’s most popular landmarks. As the West Coast’s largest hotel, the property boasts 134,500-square-feet of meeting and event space, including a 30,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom, for scalable meetings from startups to Fortune 500 companies. For more information, please visit www.hiltonsanfranciscohotel.com. 

Located in the heart of San Francisco’s bustling Union Square, Hilton Parc 55 San Francisco is a boutique-style business-class hotel that features stunning views and universal sophistication. The hotel is steps from world-class shopping and under-the-radar locales rich with the history of theatre and jazz. Additionally, the hotel is convenient to the Powell Street cable car line, Moscone Convention Center, Chinatown, the Financial District, City Hall and the Civic Center. Featuring 1,024 guest rooms and 54 suites, with city views, the hotel is home to a contemporary fitness center, an array of food and beverage outlets and shared campus resources with neighboring Hilton San Francisco Union Square. Dining options include Cable 55, Michelin-rated Kin Khao Thai restaurant and Barbary Coast. As the third largest hotel in San Francisco, the property boasts 30,000-square-feet of meeting and event space. For more information, please visit www.parc55hotel.com.

The Fess Parker – A Doubletree by Hilton Resort in Santa Barbara, an AAA Four Diamond property, is located at 633 East Cabrillo Boulevard, steps from the beach and within ½ mile of downtown in one of the world’s most perfect climates. The 360 room guest rooms, with their own balcony or patio, overlook the Santa Ynez mountains, 24 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens or the Pacific Ocean.  Over 44,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, including the Parker Family Wine Experience and unique outdoor Plaza del Sol make this a quintessential California destination for weddings and events. 

Hilton Anaheim is located in the heart of Anaheim’s revitalized Resort District and conveniently situated in the center of Southern California. Hilton Anaheim is just a short distance away from world-class beaches, sports stadiums and concert venues, ultra-trendy boutiques, action sports, lifestyle and tony shopping centers. Hilton Anaheim is approximately a one hour drive to downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica and South Orange County and an hour and a half drive to San Diego.

The Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines offers a unique San Diego experience with a setting unlike any other in southern California. A coastal retreat situated atop the bluffs of La Jolla and overlooking the legendary Torrey Pines Golf Course and the majestic Pacific Ocean, sits the Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines. With each of the spacious 394 guest rooms featuring a private balcony or patio with magnificent views of the golf course, ocean or beautiful hotel gardens, the resort offers a genuine San Diego experience. Minutes from the beautiful beach communities of La Jolla and Del Mar and 12 miles from the San Diego International Airport, the resort offers a feeling of seclusion, yet remains close to everything San Diego has to offer. Located at 10950 North Torrey Pines Road La Jolla, CA 92037. For additional information, please visit: www.hiltonlajollatorreypines.com.

Hilton San Diego Bayfront, a 30-story, 1,190 room hotel, is located on the edge of the bay in downtown San Diego and situated on 12.79 acres of Bayfront land. The hotel boasts 165,000 square feet of meeting and event space, four restaurants, a 7,300 square foot health club and spa, 3,000 square feet of retail space, a 2,400 square foot business center along with San Diego’s first heated saltwater hotel swimming pool and nearly $2 million of commissioned public art. Hilton San Diego Bayfront is adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center and PETCO Park, located at One Park Boulevard, San Diego, 92101. For additional information, please visit www.hiltonsandiegobayfront.com. 

For more information about Hilton’s California Road Trip package, visit HiltonAnaheimRoadTrip.com 

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Topnotch Tennis Resort Offers ‘Serve, Fetch, Love’ Getaway Package for Dogs and Humans

May 11, 2016

Stowe, VT – For four-legged guests looking to perfect their fetch this summer, Topnotch Resort opens its outdoor courts to the canine family members with the new Serve, Fetch, Love package. Beyond fulfilling doggie duties as ball boy during private tennis lessons with Topnotch’s seasoned pros, the package pampers pets and owners alike with special spa treatments and more, from May through September.

The Serve, Fetch, Love package includes a minimum two-night stay in pet-friendly luxury accommodations, a choice of an one hour private tennis lesson or 1.5 hours of court time per adult/per stay, one 25-minute in-room spa treatment for canine guest, $50 spa credit per stay to be used toward services with a value of $100 or more, as well as a take-home tote bag with dog cookies and tennis balls for Fido. Offer is subject to availability. Rates start at $285 per night, based on double occupancy. Pet fee is included in price. The package is valid for travel from May 15 through September 5, 2016, and can be booked online here. Additional tennis services can be purchased a la carte.

The Tennis Center at Topnotch, an official partner of Adidas, is open year-round featuring four indoor hard courts and six outdoor courts, each with stunning views of the surrounding Green Mountains.  The resort’s top rated Tennis Academy offers more than 30 programs for all ages and levels of play, including a full lineup of lessons, clinics, private instruction, and more, led by experienced staff including Tennis Director, Milan Kubala, now entering his 13th summer at Topnotch Resort. Designed to leave guests feeling a sense of achievement and advancement in their game, Topnotch Tennis’ distinctive “Play to Win” teaching philosophy provides students an edge in all three critical areas of tennis – strategy, technique, and footwork.

For more information on Topnotch Resort and to book the “Serve, Fetch, Love” pet-friendly tennis package, visit www.topnotchresort.com or call 1-800-451-8686.

Set within 120 acres of woodland at the foot of Mount Mansfield in the village of Stowe, Vermont, Topnotch Resort blends the gracious charm of a ski lodge with the luxurious amenities of world-class resort. In 2013, a $15M renovation encompassed all 68 guest rooms, 9,000 square feet of meeting space and added a new concept restaurant, The Roost, to complement the locally sourced, full-service restaurant Flannel.   Additional accommodations can be found in a variety of Resort Homes. Amenities at the luxury boutique resort include the 35,000 square foot Topnotch Spa; the Tennis Center with four indoor and six outdoor courts; a state-of-the-art Fitness Center; and water features such as an indoor pool, a whirlpool/Jacuzzi, and two outdoor pools with mountain-views – one of which is heated year-round. Among the outdoor pursuits is cross-country and downhill skiing, mountain biking, hiking and horseback riding. One of members of the MetWest Terra Hospitality collection of boutique hotels, Topnotch Resort is a AAA Four-Diamond property.

 

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Historic Lord Baltimore Hotel Introduces Inclusive Packages to Experience City’s Rich Culture

June 30, 2014
Baltimore, Maryland's Inner Harbor is walking distance from the historic Lord Baltimore Hotel © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Baltimore, Maryland’s Inner Harbor is walking distance from the historic Lord Baltimore Hotel © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Lord Baltimore Hotel, one of the crowning architectural jewels of Baltimore, Md. when it was built in 1928, has new inclusive guest packages to enrich guest experiences during their visits to Charm City. The historic hotel has partnered with the most popular cultural venues in the area, including the National Aquarium, the Walters Art Museum and the Baltimore Museum of Art, to provide affordable outings to engage visitors in the rich culture that is present throughout the city.

Seasonal offers and inclusive packages are the latest expansion to the recently restored and renovated hotel. The grand French Renaissance landmark, included on the National Register of Historic Places and regarded as a member of Historic Hotels of America, underwent a complete aesthetic transformation to bring the hotel back to life and officially re-opened in March of this year.

Packages currently being offered include:

Lord Baltimore Hotel guests are guaranteed a holistic cultural experience with the “See It All” package containing two Water Taxi passes that will cruise them across the iconic Baltimore Harbor. The experience continues with Harbor Passes, which include admission to plunge under the sea at the National Aquarium, discover the scientific phenomena that empower our planet at the Maryland Science Center and receive a panoramic view of the city from the 405-foot Top of the World Observation Level. Baseball fans will have the option to check out one of Baltimore’s favorite pastimes at Sports Legends at Camden Yards, while guests with children can find amusement at the hands-on Port Discovery Children’s Museum.

Visitors with a curiosity to uncover the city’s rich past can select the “History, Past & Present” package that celebrates the War of 1812*. This package includes two tickets on the Water Taxi for an excursion to Ft. McHenry, where Maryland-native Francis Scott Key authored the Star-Spangled Banner – celebrating its 200th anniversary this year. The historical experience continues with two tickets to the Babe Ruth Museum featuring their “O” Say Can You See: The Star Spangled Banner in Sports exhibit, and two 1812 Bicentennial Passport/Discount books.

Baltimore celebrates the 200th anniversary of the Star Spangled Banner with Star Spangled Summer from June 13-September 1, 2014 and Star Spangled Celebration from September 10-16, 2014. For more information on the many events and activities taking place as part of the celebration, visit http://www.starspangled200.com.

Hotel guests seeking to swim through every facet of the National Aquarium can purchase the “Lord & Lady Puffin Aquarium” package, which comes with a two 2-day passes to the Aquarium. In addition to trekking through the rainforest exhibit or exploring the Aquarium’s newest exhibit, Blacktip Reef, visitors receive tickets to enjoy a 4-D Immersion Film experience and a plush Lord and Lady Puffin.

Vacationers looking to get in of shape during their stay in Baltimore can participate in the “Fit To Be Royal” package, which comes with access to all of Elite Fitness’ group outings, passes to Brick Bodies, and discount coupons to City Sports and Under Armour in Harbor East. And a work out wouldn’t be complete without a bottle of water and a Power Bar.

“Our packages offer those traveling to Baltimore the opportunity to really get out and explore our wonderful city – full of history and culture,” said Gene-Michael Addid, general manager for the Lord Baltimore Hotel.

Guests staying in one of the hotel’s 440 rooms and suites can also enjoy dining, lounging and one of the city’s only rooftop event spaces offering panoramic views of Downtown Baltimore. The hotel features exceptional dining options including its signature restaurant, French Kitchen, and the contemporary take on a small-town American coffee house, LB Bakery, as well as LB Tavern, serving handcrafted cocktails and light fare.Art exhibitions are planned throughout the hotel’s public spaces and will highlight local, national and global artwork.

Rubell Hotels, a family-owned business well known for transforming architecturally significant historic hotels into affordable cultural hubs, acquired the property in March 2013 and immediately began applying the vision of owners Mera, Don, Jason and Jennifer Rubell – combining their love of art and architecture with a bright, modern feel. Interior designer Scott Sanders, formerly the lead interior designer at Ralph Lauren, who specializes in distinctive residential and commercial interiors for notable clients and properties, spearheaded the design, which typifies his “New American Style.” Inspired equally by classic men’s haberdashery and the six historical Lords Baltimore, Sanders has used traditional menswear fabrics in unconventional ways, resulting in an interior that seamlessly combines a fresh, clean modern look with all the warmth and grandeur of a historical property.

The Lord Baltimore Hotel is located in the heart of downtown Baltimore and within walking distance to many local attractions. Towering over the Baltimore skyline at 23 stories, the hotel offers 440 new guest rooms and suites, more than 20,000 sq. ft. of meeting and event space and dining options including the French Kitchen, LB Tavern and LB Bakery. Art plays a major role in the hotel design with more than 2,500 pieces of artwork displayed throughout the building. Originally built in 1928, the hotel was purchased in 2013 and completely renovated by Rubell Hotels. The Lord Baltimore Hotel is a member of Historic Hotels of America, the official program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation (www.historichotels.org), and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lord Baltimore Hotel, 20 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD, 21201, http://www.lordbaltimorehotel.com.

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New Hampshire Grand Has Grand Deals for Summer Travel in Granite State’s Coos County

June 30, 2014

New Hampshire Grand, the official visitor information source for Coos County, has launched Grand Deals to invite summer travelers to stay and play at some of NH Grand’s premiere lodging and attractions at a discounted price. Current Grand Deals include adventures and lodging packages at Bear Rock Adventures in Colebrook, and the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour and the Omni Mount Washington Hotel – both in Bretton Woods.

“We are excited to launch the Grand Deals program and hope to bring first-time visitors to northern New Hampshire, along with visitors who return year after year who want to take advantage of some great savings,” said Cathy Conway of NH Grand. “The Grand Deals make family travel more affordable and attracts visitors who are seeking wild outdoor adventures or more relaxing, peaceful lodging accommodations.”

Bear Rock Adventures, the premiere ATV and OHRV rental agent in the North Country, is offering the Grand Deal of 10% off rental reservations. ATV novices and enthusiasts are encouraged to rent an ATV or OHRV for the day or weekend and Ride the Wilds, the 1000+ miles of interconnected ATV trails throughout northern New Hampshire. This Grand Deal must be redeemed through the Grand Deal website.

Using the promo code NHGRAND14, the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour is offering the Grand Deal of 10% off reservations for the Bretton Woods Canopy Tour. Situated high on the slopes of Bretton Woods and descending over 1000 feet of elevation, the three-hour tour takes nature-lovers and thrill-seekers across a series of nine tree-top zip lines through a network of platforms and sky bridges high in the ancient hemlocks.

The Omni Mount Washington Resort in the majestic White Mountains offers a four-diamond White Mountain getaway just 2 ½ hours from Boston, with guest access to all resort activities and amenities including two golf courses, a full service spa and year-round Canopy Tour. Take advantage of the Grand Deal and enjoy 10% off lodging with promo code “GRAND”.

To learn more about NH Grand’s Grand Deals, visit www.nhgrand.com/deals. Grand Deals are subject to availability, and restrictions and black-out dates may apply.

 

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Belmond Charleston Place, an Orient-Express Hotel, Offers Special Summer Package for Single Parents

June 30, 2014

One of Charleston’s top hotels, Belmond Charleston Place, channels the heart and soul of this South Carolina city and its watery surroundings with a new By Land and By Sea package.  Geared especially well for single parents traveling with their kids, it ensures that every generation is happy both inside and out (and both indoors and outdoors!).

Charleston is most definitely a seaside town. The historic harbor is just blocks from the hotel, and was the scene of the opening shots in the Civil War. For centuries, it has welcomed ships from all over the world and today sports recreational boaters, pods of dolphins and more.

This stay starts with luxury accommodations in a plush guest room, and children eat free with accompanying adult purchase (even in the Four-Diamond Charleston Grill). Families receive a choice of activities for two per night, such as a downtown walking adventure with Bulldog Tours, admission to the South Carolina Aquarium, Palmetto Carriage Ride or Charleston Harbor Tour. (Additional tickets can be purchased for each.)

Tours are booked at time reservation, additional guests pay the standard tour fees. One complimentary meal is provided from the Children’s Menu, per paid adult meal, at the hotel’s Palmetto Café, Thoroughbred Club and Charleston Grill. (In-room dining is not included).

Charleston Place hotel’s family friendly amenities also include an infinity edge pool, a full-service spa with a menu of kid-friendly services, and a special “kids concierge” listing that highlights some of the city’s best offerings for the under-21 set.

Rates start at $314 per night, and the package is available through September 7, 2014.

Consistently ranked among the best hotels in the world by the readers of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel + Leisure magazines, Belmond Charleston Place evokes the feeling of a grand, 17th century residence, from its lush personal suites to the Italian marble lobby with its signature Georgian Open Arm staircase and 12-foot crystal chandelier. The staff of the hotel is dedicated to indulging its guests with the finest in Southern hospitality, and has become the choice of celebrities, princes and politicians.  Guests can enjoy the hotel’s full service European-style spa and horizon-edge swimming pool with retractable glass roof. The hotel is centrally located, surrounded by historic homes and buildings, and within strolling distance of the city’s delightful shops, galleries and restaurants. To book, please call 800-383-2335, or for more information, visit www.charlestonplace.com.

Owned and operated by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., Belmond is a global collection of exceptional hotel and luxury travel adventures in some of the world’s most inspiring and enriching destinations.  Established over 30 years ago with the acquisition of Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice, its unique and distinctive portfolio now embraces 45 hotel, rail and river cruise experiences in many of the world’s most celebrated destinations.  From city landmarks to intimate resorts, the collection includes Belmond Grand Hotel Europe, St. Petersburg; Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa, Riviera Maya; and Belmond El Encanto, Santa Barbara.  Belmond also encompasses safaris, six luxury tourist trains including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and three river cruises. Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. also operates ‘21’, one of New York’s most storied restaurants.Visit belmond.com.

 

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2014 Lake Tahoe Summerfest Showcases World-Renowned Classical Musicians

June 30, 2014

Metropolitan Opera Star Matthew Polenzani and U.S. Billboard Classical Chart best-selling pianist Simone Dinnerstein will be thrilling audiences this August as soloists for the 2014 Lake Tahoe SummerFest. Held the first three weekends in August, the classical concert series will offer two evening concerts, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and a new chamber music series called “Meet the Music,” on Sundays at 4 p.m. The festival runs weekends Aug. 1-17. Polenzani will headline the classical music festival, Aug. 1-3 and Dinnerstein will be featured Aug. 7-9. (www.tahoesummerfest.org)

Now in its third season, the 40 member orchestra performs in a 500-seat, intimate acoustical tent pavilion on the campus of Sierra Nevada College, in Incline Village, Nev. Audience members are reminded of their unique setting as they enter the tent nestled under hundred year old towering trees and within a half mile of the Lake Tahoe shore.

For the individual musicians who travel to Tahoe, the festival is the ultimate summer camp. Their home symphonies include some of the most prestigious orchestras in the world — the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the symphonies of San Francisco, Seattle, and Vancouver, among others.

Lake Tahoe SummerFest Artistic Director and Conductor Joel Revzen has conducted and recorded symphonies and operas throughout the world, including with the London Symphony, the Mariinsky Orchestra, (formerly the Kirov), Scottish Chamber Orchestra And the Moscow Symphony. He is currently in his ninth season on the conducting staff of the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

“It is a great privilege to help bring masterpieces of music to life with these extraordinary artists in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the world,” Revzen said. “Our audience can experience musical intimacy rarely found in most large concert halls. With only 500 seats and vibrant acoustics, the music virtually reaches out and touches you.”

Repertoire highlights this season include Beethoven’s 4th Symphony; the rarely-heard gem Britten’s Serenade for tenor, horn and strings; Mozart Symphony No. 40; Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 2; Strauss Concertino for clarinet, bassoon, strings and harp; a newly-orchestrated Concerto for timpani and orchestra; and Mendelssohn’s ‘Scottish’ Symphony.

Connection between the audience and musicians has always been central to the SummerFest performances, and that will be served by two new additions to the season. “Meet the Music/Meet the Musicians” Sunday concerts will bring intimacy and electricity between the artists and audiences as the musicians explore weekly themes based on the great classical music centers of Europe – Vienna, Paris and London.

“We began with a vision to make Tahoe a summer destination for arts and culture and we are continuing to deliver on that promise,” said Madylon Meiling, Lake Tahoe SummerFest founder and chair. “Ticket sales have grown every year and our patrons come from all over California, Nevada, and from as far away as Texas and Arizona. The event’s success speaks to the quality of the experience.”

The Lake Tahoe SummerFest season begins Friday, Aug. 1, 2014 with the opening concert in the acoustically designed concert tent on the grounds of the Sierra Nevada College: 999 Tahoe Boulevard, Incline Village, Nev. For tickets and season subscriptions information go to www.tahoesummerfest.org.

 

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WeNeedaVacation Expert Reports Cape Cod, Nantucket & Martha’s Vineyard Rental Price Hike, Offers Tips

May 23, 2014

Vacationers booking their vacation homes on the Cape and Islands may or may not have noticed a small price increase for the weekly costs from last summer to this one. On average, listing prices have gone up 3-4%, according to Jeff Talmadge of WeNeedaVacation.com. Talmadge and his site specialize in advertising vacation rentals on Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard.

“There’s no science dictating how homeowners price their rentals,” Talmadge says, “and it’s important for vacationers to do plenty of research before putting down a deposit.”

Although renters begin booking their Cape and Islands vacation rentals as early as Christmastime or before, Talmadge says there are still plenty of properties available and deals to be had. “Even this late in the bookings season, I predict we’ll be getting about 150 new homes on WeNeedaVacation.com from listers who have just bought or renovated a home or whose current advertisements aren’t getting the job done,” Talmadge says. “They are able to list with us just 2 or 3 months to fill any remaining vacancies.” To get a great deal, he says, it’s important to use vacation search engines like WeNeedaVacation to sort by price and even such amenities as “Walk to beach” or “Waterviews” – and check back frequently. He discusses the matter in further detail in his appearance on FOX 25 Boston.

Here are more tips from Talmadge:

  • A week’s rental on Cape Cod, on average, costs $2,737, Martha’s Vineyard is at $3,636, and a rental on Nantucket, the most expensive, will run about $4,800.
  • If you want to get a good deal, the closer you get to summer when booking a rental, the fewer amenities you should insist on.
  • Cost-conscious vacationers should be sure to check for any Last-minute Availability Alerts or Owner Specials.
  • Though renters may not want to hear it, the price increase is a good thing for the local economy – it means it’s finally recovering from the recession.
  • Before putting down a deposit, it’s important to speak with the homeowner by phone if at all possible. And always use a lease for protection.

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Wintergreen Resort Offers Mountains of Adventure Pass for Summer

May 15, 2014
Wintergreen Resort is a marvelous place for summer family vacation.

Wintergreen Resort is a marvelous place for summer family vacation.

Wintergreen Resort’s popular Mountains of Adventure Pass is back for the spring, summer and fall seasons, pairing action-packed adventures with 20 percent savings on resort accommodations.  Each Mountains of Adventure Pass features a combination of complimentary and attractively discounted activities.

Wintergreen’s Mountains of Adventure rooms package includes a choice of accommodations and one Mountains of Adventure Pass per person (valid during a stay from June 13 to August 17; July 3-6 excluded) in each package, which also provides unlimited use of the Wintergreen Aquatics & Fitness Center, hiking on 30 miles of well-marked trails, miniature golf at the resort’s popular Discovery Ridge Adventure Center, and summer admission to scenic Lake Monocan.  Rates vary based on accommodation and number of individuals on the package, and availability may be limited based on dates.  Package items may be used any time during a stay based on hours of operation and availability.  There are no refunds on unused package components.

The Mountains of Adventure Pass affords guests the choice of five adventures during their visit. Choose one adventure five times, one of each adventure or a mixture of options.  Two-hour admission to Discovery Ridge Adventure Center, four minutes on the bungee trampoline, three attempts at the climbing wall, two rides on The Zip, or one hour of tubing the summer slopes are among the available activities.

Pass holders receive the choice of two 30-minutes adventures at Lake Monocan during their summer stay to paddle a canoe or kayak, or take a ride on an aqua cycle or cruiser bike.  A 50 percent discount on the children’s program at The Treehouse, tennis court time, fitness classes, and Geocaching are available in the Mountains of Adventure Pass.  A 25 percent discount is offered on summer archery.

Registered resort guests may purchase Spring Mountains of Adventure Passes for just $29 per pass valid though June 12.  Summer passes are $34, offering many more activities, and are valid through August 17.  Fall passes are $29 and available August 17 through October 16.  The Mountains of Adventure pass is  only available to guests renting accommodations with Wintergreen Resort.

Accommodations at Wintergreen Resort include nearly 230 villa-style condominiums and rental homes, from studio suites to seven-bedroom homes, each offering a fully equipped kitchen and a comfortable living area, most with fireplaces and a balcony or deck.

Wintergreen Resort is an 11,000-acre, four-season resort located in the Blue Ridge Mountains southwest of Charlottesville, Va. This beautiful hideaway is the ultimate vacation and conference spot, nearly 230 condominium-style accommodations; 45 holes of championship golf; snow skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing; an award-winning tennis program; a full-service, destination spa; 40,000 square feet of meeting and event space; and savory dining options. The resort is located adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway in beautiful central Virginia near Charlottesville, just 90 minutes from Richmond, Va., three hours from Washington, D.C. and Raleigh, N.C., five and a half hours from Philadelphia, and eight hours from Atlanta.

For more information, guests can call 434-325-2200 or visit the resort’s web site at www.wintergreenresort.com.

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Washington DC Unveils ‘DC Cool Kids’ Activity Guide for Family-Friendly Adventures in Nation’s Capital

May 10, 2014
Kids can get engaged in a tug of war with an Orangutan at Washington DC's National Zoological Park, where you can visit its unique primate cognitive research center. A new DC Cool Kids guide lets you know the best times to visit  © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Kids can get engaged in a tug of war with an Orangutan at Washington DC’s National Zoological Park, where you can visit its unique primate cognitive research center. A new DC Cool Kids guide lets you know the best times to visit © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Destination DC, the official tourism and marketing office for the District of Columbia, kicks off their summer 2014 with a new 8-page DC Cool Kids Activity Guide that highlights the many budget-friendly, only-in-DC experiences on and off the National Mall.

A printable PDF version of the guide and expanded editorial content can be found on Washington.org/DCcoolkids.

“Travel + Leisure Magazine ranks our city as the #1 destination in America for culture, and with more than 30-plus free museums, dozens of theaters and festivals including the Fourth of July, there are many compelling reasons for families to visit throughout the summer,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, president

and CEO of Destination DC. “Our DC Cool Kids Activity Guide, online content and booking engine connects families with expected and lesser known experiences from the moment they decide to enjoy a summer getaway in Washington DC.”

Packed with class DC-themed puzzles including connect-the-dots and word search challenges, the colorful DC Cool Kids Activity Guide also spotlights family activities at five popular DC-area attractions:

George Washington’s Mount Vernon: Explore the estate with an adventure map (for ages 8 and under) or a spy map (ages 9 and over) to fill in clues and solve puzzles.

National Air and Space Museum: Experiment with the four forces of flight, fold and fly a paper airplane and discover the problems that the Wright brothers faced in the How Things Fly Gallery.

National Museum of American History: Take an American personality quiz and then use the results to discover more about your inner naturalist, innovator, storyteller, discoverer, ambassador or activist as you encounter objects.

National Zoological Park: Coordinate your visit with the daily schedule to meet a giant panda keeper, watch Asian elephants in training, witness a lemur feeding and look out for orangutans overhead.

Newseum: Kids are invited to be an anchor in front of a green screen in the NBC News Interactive Newsroom and review clips of their broadcast.

To further inspire visitors, guide-holders are encouraged to visit all five venues, collecting a DC Cool Kids stamp at each attraction. Participants who collect five stamps will be eligible to enter a sweepstakes to win a summertime trip for four to Washington DC in 2015. DC Cool Kids Activity Guides will be distributed around the city at member hotel concierges and street-side boxes along with Washington, DC’s Official Visitor Guide. The guide is supported online with family-friendly content from DC Cool Kid insider picks to free things to do on Washington.org/DCcoolkids.

“Our goal for DC Cool Kids is to engage more families with Washington, DC,” said Elliott Ferguson. “This summer we’re celebrating the new developments such as the Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, the Cambria Suites at CityMarket at O and the reopening of the Washington Monument that help us to attract visitors, drive the local economy and create jobs. We’re looking forward to a busy summer travel

season filled with exciting events and milestones such as the 10th anniversary of the DC Jazz Festival, the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner and of course, July 4th in our nation’s capital. Summer 2014 should be DC Cool.”

For more information about what’s cool in DC this summer and to take advantage of hotel deals, and to access tips from local experts, itineraries and destination round-ups like top hands-on museums, free summer festivals, and family-friendly dining, visit Washington.org.

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Adventures Cross-Country Makes Scholarships Available to Teens For Summer Travel

April 28, 2014
On the Adventures Cross-Country teen adventure to Thailand, students work alongside the mahout, a traditional elephant caretaker, bathing, feeding and riding elephants deep into the jungle while embarking on a journey to protect and care for these animals in their native land.

On the Adventures Cross-Country teen adventure to Thailand, students work alongside the mahout, a traditional elephant caretaker, bathing, feeding and riding elephants deep into the jungle while embarking on a journey to protect and care for these animals in their native land.

Adventures Cross-Country of Mill Valley, California, is making scholarship assistance available to teens who have a yen to travel and be a force for positive change this summer.

Founder’s Scholarships in the amount of $1,000 per student will be applied to program tuitions for students who meet criteria outlined by Adventures Cross-Country (ARCC) and who enroll by May 9 in ARCC programs ranging from Costa Rica to Thailand.

“Meaningful travel as the best way to inspire teens to become responsible global citizens. I am extremely proud of the lasting impact that ARCC students have had on people, on communities and on the environment around the world,” reflects Scott von Eschen, parent of two teens and President of Adventures Cross-Country. “Often their travel experiences are life-changing as students learn to be contributing members of our global community.”

Scholarships are available to boys currently in grades 9-12 for two programs:  Thailand Elephant Service that runs July 1-31 and Costa Rica Service Ultimate that runs June 28-July 18.  A third scholarship program open to boys in grades 7-9 is Hawaii Service with two departures, July 1-14 and July 18 -31.

Scholarships are available to girls currently in grades 8-9 for Costa Rica Service Ultimate that runs July 16-Aug. 5 and for girls currently in grades 7-9 for Costa Rica Service Classic that runs July 21-Aug. 3.

Thailand Elephant Service – In Thailand students work alongside the mahout, a traditional elephant caretaker, bathing, feeding and riding elephants deep into the jungle while embarking on a journey to protect and care for these animals in their native land. Students volunteer in a hill-tribe village, learn how to cook tasty Thai delights, spend the night among monks at a Buddhist monastery, explore the temple wonderland of Chiang Mai, scuba dive spectacular multi-colored coral reefs, whitewater raft the Pai gorges, teach English and make friendships with children in a local primary school in this country named The Land of Smiles.

Costa Rica Service Ultimate – Student travelers dive into the heart of Costa Rican culture by working with school children and rural farmers on community service projects. Enroute they whitewater raft through the jungle on the Pacuare River, surf an unspoiled coastline, patrol turtle nesting beaches,  help a community build a shelter, do daily chores with a family and help educate village youth.

Costa Rica Service Classic – Students teach English in a local school, whitewater raft through the jungle on the Pacuare River, engage in conservation and ecological preservation, come together with a rural community to build a shelter, plant a vegetable garden, explore lush rainforests, untouched beaches, and a rainbow of exotic wildlife, and surf the friendly waves of the Pacific Coast.

Hawaii Service – Students traveling here engage in a celebration of a landscape of perfection, where the beauty of turquoise waters melt into captivating sunsets. Enroute they engage with communities in helping preserve natural and cultural environments while sharing a laugh with local children at a Boys and Girls Club, surfing, swimming and hiking the magnificent Na Pali coast.

Founded in 1983, ARCC has become a leading provider of Community Service, Service Learning and Adventure Travel programs for youth ages 13 to 19. For over 30 years ARCC has been offering life-changing experiences to students who participate in two- to four-week small group programs that visit 21 countries on six continents. From teaching primary school English and building water purification projects in Africa to running whitewater rapids in Costa Rica to enhancing fluency in Spanish or Mandarin in Spain or China, ARCC brings youth face to face with the challenges, realities and beauties of nature and our global community. For post-high school students ARCC operates Gap Programs in Africa, Asia and Latin America. These offer an educational and cultural bridge between high school and college combining a rich academic curriculum with the experiential benefits of international travel.

Adventures Cross-Country’s 50-page catalog details Community Service, Language Immersion and Multi-Sport programs in 21 countries on six continents for youth seeking a summer service learning experience, all while exploring cultures and communities off the beaten path. The full catalog in a digital version can also be viewed online (415-332-5075, www.adventurescrosscountry.com).
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