Archive for the ‘summer travel’ Category

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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Setting Sail on Victory Chimes for Maine Windjammers Association’s 37th Annual Great Schooner Race, July 5

June 28, 2013
A memorable "Schooner Gam" - meeting of nearly a dozen tall ships of the Maine Windjammer Fleet - and "raft up" where passengers get to visit the other ships (© 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com)

A memorable “Schooner Gam” – meeting of nearly a dozen tall ships of the Maine Windjammer Fleet – and “raft up” where passengers get to visit the other ships (© 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com)

So excited. I’m heading out to sail aboard the Victory Chimes for the Maine Windjammers Association’s 37th Annual Great Schooner Race, July 5, in Penobscot Bay.

Our Maine windjammer cruise leaves from Rockland harbor this Sunday, June 29, and we participate in all the things that make this experience so unique – lobster bake on a secluded beach, visiting small fishing villages, scanning the sea for seal and dolphin. It’s a folksy, Americana sort of trip that is basically unique and makes for a very special experience, whether for a family, a couple, a gal-getaway, multi-generational getaway, reunion or groups of friends who want an atmosphere that promotes camaraderie.

You can help sail the ship or just enjoy the cruise.

The Schooner Race is just one of the special events the windjammers  – most of which are historic sailing vessels – host during the summer.  There always seem to be a reason to party:

July 6 & 7   Open Schooner Tours

Stop by and tour Maine’s legendary windjammers at their docks each afternoon from 2:00-4:00 pm. The participating windjammers can be found at North End Shipyard and Windjammer Wharf (off Tillson Ave) in Rockland; the Public Landing in Rockport; and at the head of the inner harbor in Camden. Hope you can join us!

July 12      Maine Windjammer Parade

The entire fleet participates in an afternoon Parade of Sail past the mile-long Rockland Breakwater, providing spectators with stunning, close-up views of Maine’s fleet of tall ships.

August 5   Sweet Chariot Music Festival

More than a dozen groups perform traditional music of the sea on Swans Island, with live shipboard performances as well.

Aug 30-Sept 1     Camden Windjammer Festival

Festivities include a parade of sail, maritime heritage fair, contra dance, fireworks, lobster crate race, chowder challenge, free concerts, schooner crew talent show, family scavenger hunt, outdoor movies and more.

September 10    WoodenBoat Sail-in

The fall gathering of the fleet takes place in Brooklin, Maine, headquarters of WoodenBoat Magazine and WoodenBoat School. Live music, local refreshments, boatschool tours.

The different ships also hold theme cruises – reflecting the interest and personality of the captain – from photography to bird-watching. Victory Chimes has scheduled its inaugural four-day “Maine Story & Humor Cruise” for July 14-18. and a four-day Maine Geology Cruise Aug. 16-20.

The fleet of 10 ships includes numerous historic rigged vessels, many which have been named National Historic Landmarks, fully restored and beautifully maintained with the many comforts of home for today’s savvy traveler. A trip aboard one of these schooners is a great way to experience Maine and its coastal towns, with true working waterfronts satisfying those with a taste for life on the sea.

Each ship has a distinct personality and character – largely because of the captain but the architecture and the “story” of each of the vessels, as well. And each cruise is always different based on the serendipitous confluence of who the other passengers are – an esprit de corps forms during the sail – the weather, and myriad other factors that can never be anticipated or planned.

Aside from the Great Schooner Race, while aboard one of the schooners, guests spend about six hours each day under sail, meandering through the waters of mid-coast Maine, and every afternoon drop anchor in the safe, snug harbor off a quiet fishing village, or at an uninhabited island where they can go ashore and explore.

The Maine Windjammer Association is comprised of the largest fleet of traditional sailing schooners in North America. Built in the USA, all 10 Windjammers are individually owned by U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains who work together to ensure the highest standards of safety, comfort and professionalism. The windjammer fleet hails from ports of Rockland, Rockport and Camden, located in the mid-coast region of Maine. Each windjammer carried between 20 and 40 guests and 3-10 crew members. Windjammer cruises are for people of all ages.

For brochures and DVD, or for information, contact the Maine Windjammer Association at 800-807-WIND; or visit www.sailmainecoast.com.

See: Maine Windjammer American Eagle Sails to a Schooner Gam

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Spice Island Beach Resort, Granada, Has “Child Stay Free” Deal Through Dec 15

June 7, 2013
Spice Island Beach Resort has a "child stay free" deal valid through Dec. 15.

Spice Island Beach Resort has a “child stay free” deal valid through Dec. 15.

Spice Island Beach Resort (www.SpiceIslandBeachResort.com), the luxury Grenada property just recognized as the #1 rated hotel in the Caribbean according to TripAdvisor reviewers, is offering a “child stay free” offer. One child 5 – 11 years of age can stay free in one of the resort’s charming Oleanander or luxury beachfront Sea Grape Suites (Sea Grape Suites pictured right) – a savings of $230 each per night. This promotion is valid now through Dec. 15, 2013 and can be combined with other offers.

Spice Island Beach Resort appeals to discerning affluent travelers with its reputation for service, luxury beachfront and private pool suites, inventive spa treatments incorporating local spices and ingredients, and an unmatched culinary program featuring seven-course dinners which range from diet-friendly to decadent.

When parents need some alone time, kids are well taken care of at the Nutmeg Pod, a supervised children’s program with complimentary enrollment for children ages three – 12 (children must be toilet-trained). A weekly schedule of organized activities is available to keep children entertained daily from 9 am – 5 pm, and includes arts and crafts, board games and more.

The Nutmeg Pod features a Nintendo Wii, a movie viewing area, the Nutmeg library and Sleepy Hollow, a place for resting and recharging between activities. A colourful mural created by local Grenadian artist Nadine Baksh tells the story of an Enchanted Spice Forest with local indigenous characters such as Manny the Manicou and the Nutmeg Princess.

When it is time to reluctantly depart, as a last rite, children are encouraged to dip their hand in a colorful paint and leave their handprint on the wall with their name and age. When they return on their next family vacation, they are eager to revisit the place they literally left their mark.

Guests staying at the resort from now through Dec. 15, 2013 can enjoy all-inclusive nightly rates as low as $946 per room, based on two people sharing an Oleander Garden Suite.

For the ultimate in casual elegance, vacationers can choose one of Spice Island Beach Resort’s signature Sea Grape Suites (pictured right) which open up directly onto magnificent Grand Anse Beach just steps away from the sparkling Caribbean Sea from $1,146 per room, double occupancy.

All suites are air-conditioned and outfitted with spectacular five-star amenities including a large whirlpool, LCD flat panel televisions with cable, dvd player and iPod docking station, the softest and smoothest Italian Frette bathrobes and linens, Molton Brown bath and body amenities, mini-bar, CD player/clock radio, iron, ironing board, hairdryer, direct dial telephone with Internet access, safe, coffee/tea facility, toaster, chaise lounges and patio or balcony. Several suites feature a private pool.

The award-winning Spice Island Beach Resort features 64 elegantly-appointed suites, the full-service Janissa’s Spa, a Cybex® fitness center, Oliver’s beachside gourmet restaurant, the Sea & Surf Terrace for light lunches, the Sea & Surf Bar for refreshing cocktails throughout the day, a central swimming pool with swim-up whirlpool, an Omnicourt® tennis court, the Nutmeg Pod children’s activity center, the Gatsby Boutique and more.

Spice Island Beach Resort is a proud member of the esteemed Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) collection and the first and only resort in Grenada to be featured in the exclusive Virtuoso network’s Hotels & Resorts Program and Signature Hotels & Resorts Collection.

To book directly, contact Spice Island Beach Resort toll-free at 1-800-501-8603, tel: 473-444-4258, fax: 473-444-4807, e-mail: reservations@spicebeachresort.com, or visit www.SpiceIslandBeachResort.com.

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Historic Hotels of America Announces its Top Six Vacation Packages

May 28, 2013

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

 

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/news-photos-features.com

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/news-photos-features.com

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 HistoricHotels.org. 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 HistoricHotels.org.

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 HistoricHotels.org. For more information about Historic Hotels of America’s specials and deals, including summer specials and packages, please visit www.historichotels.org/hotel-deals/.

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 http://www.historichotels.org/price-match-guarantee.php. When booking on HistoricHotels.org, 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 HistoricHotels.org, 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 www.HistoricHotels.org, 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/news-photos-features.com

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/news-photos-features.com

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 Travelodge.com. 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 www.aza.org/zoocation.

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 www.wyndhamrewards.com.

To take advantage of this offer, visit www.travelodge.com 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 www.travelodge.com.

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For Summer, Conrad Miami ‘Stay Cool’ Package Links Room Rate to Temperature

May 16, 2013

This summer, Conrad Miami is offering one of the most original travel deals of 2013, the “Stay Cool” package. Conrad Miami is embracing summer’s high temperatures by setting deluxe room rates according to the highest Fahrenheit temperatures for the day of booking, which allows guests to reserve a luxury hotel stay for a very “cool” rate.

Conrad Miami will offer the “Stay Cool” package for the months of July and August. Guests must book between June 30, 2013 and August 31, 2013 and will be able to lock-in room rates based on the highest Fahrenheit temperature of the day of booking, as shown on the Conrad Miami website under the weather section of the hotel’s homepage. For example, a high temperature of 94 degrees means that guests can book a deluxe room for only $94 per night.

To book, call 305-503-6557 and request the “Stay Cool” package.

The applicable deluxe room rate will be determined solely by the hotel and will be the highest Fahrenheit temperature the day of booking. The same applicable deluxe room rate will apply throughout the entirety of the stay. The temperature taken into consideration will be the one posted on Conrad Miami’s website under the “At a Glance” menu under the “Hotel Information” tab or click. To book, call 305-503-6557 and request the “Stay Cool” package.

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5 Things to Do at North Lake Tahoe, ‘America’s Most Beautiful Lake’

May 15, 2013
Lake Tahoe, "America's Most Beautiful Lake," has specials over Memorial Day and through the summer © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Lake Tahoe, “America’s Most Beautiful Lake,” has specials over Memorial Day and through the summer © 2013 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

North Lake Tahoe has several Memorial Day packages and activities to launch the summer travel season:

  • Cal Neva Resort Casino Hotel is offering a $49 room special for those in our Armed Forces.
  • Tahoma Meadows Bed & Breakfast Cottages is giving guests a $50 voucher to use at Swiss Lakewood when they book three nights in a B&B cottage.

There are scores more of these special deals at www.gotahoenorth.com

Meanwhile, the scenic destination is recommending five things to do at “America’s Most Beautiful Lake” over Memorial Day Weekend and throughout the summer:

Road Cycle Around Lake Tahoe

“America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride,” the immensely popular summer road bike ride around Lake Tahoe, is already sold out. But cyclists can circumnavigate the lake on their own, and for free, this spring, taking advantage of the spring shoulder season that means less traffic at Lake Tahoe and perfect weather for a long road ride. Hop on the road bike and pedal one of the world’s most scenic bike rides — a ride that gives you an open-air, front-row seat to some of the nation’s most stunning scenery, like the aquamarine waters North Tahoe’s east shore. The 72-mile ride is perfect for strong, recreational cyclists. Cyclists can take it slow by stopping at a lakefront restaurant for lunch or lounging on one of North Tahoe’s beaches as a rest stop.

Paddleboard Through Crystal Clear Waters

North Lake Tahoe’s clear waters are internationally famous, but most visitors experience Big Blue during the height of summer, when the lake’s clarity is not at its apex. In spring and early summer, North Tahoe still retains much of the winter’s stunning, gin-clear clarity, while the warming weather makes it comfortable for a lengthy paddle. Remember North Tahoe’s waters are still very cold, and only confident paddlers should venture well out into the lake. But even novice paddle boarders can hug the shoreline, and enjoy a paddle backdropped by snowcapped peaks, over shimmering, translucent waters.

Mountain Bike Dust-Free

Spring and early summer is the secret mountain bike season in North Tahoe. The trails are dust-free and grippy, and the meadows are lit up in iridescent green. While much of the Tahoe Rim Trail might still be under snow, low-elevation trails and south and west facing trails are primed for mountain biking. The world-class Flume Trail on North Tahoe’s east shore is melted out, and trails around Truckee, like the Emigrant Trail, are primed for early season riding.

Golf Under Snowcapped Peaks

Most of North Tahoe and Truckee’s many golf courses are open for business, and in immaculate shape after a very forgiving winter. Sunny skies and snowcapped peaks make a perfect backdrop for an early summer round of golf at North Lake Tahoe courses. Enjoy the thinner crowds and greener fairways before summer’s high season ramps up.

Fly Fish the Truckee or Troll for Monster Macks in North Tahoe, Donner or Stampede

River, stream or lake — the North Tahoe area has enough fishing options to last a lifetime. Stream fishing season is now in full effect, and a day spent reeling in rainbows and browns on a tranquil section of the Truckee River is an unforgettable mountain experience. The Truckee River offers it all — slow water between Tahoe City and Alpine Meadows, and a wild trout fishery below Truckee that harbors large, wild Rainbows and Browns. Or fish for the big boys, by trolling the waters of North Tahoe, Donner Lake or Stampede Reservoir for hungry Mackinaw that can grow up to 30 pounds.

To plan your trip to North Lake Tahoe, view lodging packages, or learn about more activities in North Lake Tahoe, go to www.gotahoenorth.com

 

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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/news-photos-features.com

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/news-photos-features.com

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 www.gaylordhotels.com/summerfest.

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 www.gaylordhotels.com/summerfest.

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 www.gaylordhotels.com/summerfest.

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 www.gaylordhotels.com/summerfest.

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 http://www.GaylordHotels.com.

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 www.marriott.com.

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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 www.KennedySpaceCenter.com.

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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