Travel Tips

Feb28

This article was originally published on bestofworldtravel.com.

Virginia Beach is a terrific family-friendly destination. No matter how old your children are, they’ll find plenty of attractions to keep them busy. Virginia isn’t just all ab out beaches, nice food and welcoming people, but you can also experience other things where you, your kids and your whole family will enjoy in the whole trip. If you’re planning a trip to this region, here are a few options to consider adding to your itinerary to satisfy your kids.

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art

In case there’s a rainy day during your vacation, your first stop should be the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. While your kids may or may not appreciate the numerous rotating exhibitions, they will be intrigued by the events tailored specifically to children and teens.

One of these is the Geocache Scavenger Hunt, which lets you roam the museum grounds in search of clues and hidden treasure. Older children who are old enough to focus on the artwork can experience Teen Audio Tours produced by Hampton Roads teens.

Consider booking hotels near the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, as you’ll also be close to the Visitor Information Center and Convention Center if you have any questions about what to do during your stay.

First Landing State Park

Kids will love the natural attractions available at the 2,888-acre First Landing State Park. This park is home to the Chesapeake Bay Beach, which is a 1.25-mile stretch of sand that lets you swim in a more natural setting. Adventurous kids will love trekking or biking on the 19 miles of trails throughout the park. There is also a boat launch, making it the perfect place to have a day out on the water.

If you’re not up for camping in the park, book hotels near Atlantic University to be close to both Virginia Beach and First Landing State Park.

Motor World

Give your kids the chance to sit in the driver’s seat by taking them to Motor World, which is a Go-Kart complex that features 11 different tracks. With 16 different styles of karts, the park offers you enough options to keep you busy the whole day. Once your kids tire of burning rubber, they can move on to the Skycoaster, thrill rides, and mini golf.

Motor World conveniently sits next to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center and the Ocean Breeze Waterpark, so booking hotels in this area means family-friendly attractions surround you.

Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center

Perhaps the highlight of the Virginia Beach area is the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, which is home to over 10,000 animals swimming in 800,000 gallons of water. In particular, kids will love exploring the Adventure Park, which features a zip line and plenty of wooden platforms to climb on. When it’s raining out, catch a nature film in the six-story National Geographic 3D Theater.

When you stay at hotels near the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, you can spend all day here without fretting about a long drive back to your room.

To save the most money when booking your Virginia Beach hotels, try to look for options as early as possible. There are always far more options at considerably lower prices the earlier you book; this means you might be able to afford an ocean-view beachfront resort instead of a last-minute budget hotel room far away from all the fun.

Feb27

The following article was originally published on luxxuryportfolio.com on 1/24/18

Washington state is often eclipsed by the city of Seattle, but there’s more to explore. The low-key vibe of the Pacific Northwest encompasses the whole coast. You just have to decide whether to stay in the city, visit one of the islands, or head out into the wilderness.

Explore the Coast on a Clipper Ship

Washington state’s tourism industry revolves around the water. The ferry boats run between the mainland and the islands, and harbor cruises tempt tourists. True luxury resides on a Clipper ship, though. The Victoria Clipper docks out of Seattle and takes tourists to the San Juan Islands, up the coast to Portland, or all the way to Canada, where you can stop by Vancouver or Victoria.

Seattle is the type of city that begs you to walk its streets. The most popular activities are often within walking distance. Try to find hotels near the Frye Art Museum for a central location. The museum is worth a visit by itself, plus it’s close to the Victoria Clipper, the Seattle Aquarium, and the Space Needle.

Spend a Little Time in Seattle

If you go to Washington and don’t hang out in Seattle, then did you even visit Washington? It’s the capital of hipster culture and the birthplace of grunge and Starbucks. From Pike Place Market and Puget Sound to the Olympic Sculpture Park and the Great Wheel, the city’s full of quirky points of interest. Book accommodations near Bank of America Tower to place yourself squarely in the middle of it all.

Make Seattle your starting point. Then hop on the ferry and head to one of the islands, or make your Clipper trip a one-way ticket. Search for rooms close to the Seattle Amtrak station, and you can take off for California, Nevada, or Oregon. Train travel is beyond chic and terribly underappreciated.

Lose Yourself in Redmond

Spend some time in Redmond, the charming enclave between Bellevue and Seattle. It’s an outdoorsy town with open parks and trails designed for biking and hiking. Because Nintendo and Microsoft both have visitor centers there, the gamers and techies among you will want to search for hotels near downtown Redmond. Spare a few hours to visit the Vala Art Center or to go on a wine tour.

Get Cultured in Bellevue

Bellevue is a beautiful town nestled between Lake Sammamish and Lake Washington. It has a variety of outdoor attractions, such as the Bellevue Botanical Garden, Kelsey Creek Farm, and Mercer Slough Nature Park. The reason you need to research accommodations in Bellevue, however, is because of its thriving cultural scene.

The Meydenbauer Center hosts an array of performances and shows. The Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra performs there, as does the Lyric Opera Northwest and the Bellevue Chamber Chorus. Plays and dramatic performances are often staged there as well. You can also visit the Arts Museum and check the community calendar to see which festival takes place next.

How would you enjoy a high-class Washington vacation? What’s one touristy thing you want to do?

 

Feb15

The following article was originally published on visitmonaco.tv on 1/17/18.

Jackson Hole is a magnificent destination for travelers. However, if you only have a limited time to spend in the area, you’ll need to limit your activities to the best that the region has to offer. Here’s your ideal itinerary for a two-day stay in Jackson Hole.

Day One, Morning

Chances are you’ll be coming from the Jackson Hole Airport. Luckily, the city of Jackson is just an 11-minute drive to the south. To the north is Grand Teton National Park and to the east is the National Elk Refuge. If you plan on hitting up all of these destinations, consider booking a hotel near the Jackson Hole Airport, as it’s kind of in the middle of everything.

You’ll probably be starving after you check in, so head into town for a bite to eat. If you’re in the mood for a delicious meal, go to Persephone’s Bakery, which offers a number of healthy breakfast entrees. While you’re in town, you might as well peruse the shops and check out Jackson Town Square, which is a cute little park that features a unique archway crafted entirely of elk antlers.

Staying at hotels near Jackson Town Square is also a good idea, as you’ll be close to everything the city has to offer without needing to go for a drive.

Day One, Afternoon

By this time, you’ll probably be itching to get out in the wild, so make a trip over to the Granite Hot Springs. Here you can ease out the tension of your journey by relaxing in a naturally heated pool tucked away in the Gros Ventre Mountains.

Once you’ve refreshed yourself, you might as well stay outdoors by heading over to the National Elk Refuge. This large piece of land gives the Jackson Elk Herd a safe place to live. In the winter, you can take sleigh rides through the park for an even more relaxing journey.

If you’re ending your day here, consider booking hotels near the National Elk Refuge, as you’ll probably be tuckered out and won’t feel like driving back to town.

Day Two, Morning

For breakfast, get up early and check out Lotus in downtown Jackson, which is an eatery that prides itself on offering organic and healthy options for all diets. With your belly full, head on up to the Grand Teton National Park. Here you can partake in any number of activities, including fishing, hiking, biking, climbing, and more.

Day Two, Afternoon

Don’t tire yourself out too much, as your next stop will be the Grand Targhee Resort. Because it’s tuckered away from the main part of town, it’s a lot less crowded than the famous Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Spend the rest of your day skiing or snowboarding down the monstrous slopes, and then relax all night in your hotel room near the Grand Targhee Resort.

No matter what you decide to do in your short layover, make sure to choose Jackson Hole hotels near what you want to do. This will save on travel time and maximize the amount of fun you can have.

Oct01

This article was originally published on September 27, 2017 on Boston NAVEA

Minneapolis, Minnesota, offers a wealth of exciting experiences for travelers of all tastes. As Minnesota’s largest city, you’ll find plenty to see, and everything is available to you for less than the costs of many other large urban areas. Keep in mind the following tips to make the most of your Minneapolis vacation.

Use the Light Rail to Get Around

Forget about taxis when you’re in Minneapolis; taking the light rail is easier. The METRO Blue Line starts its journey at Target Field and travels to the Mall of America, making stops downtown, midtown, and at Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport terminals along the way. If you want to explore further afield, take the Green Line to St. Paul or the Red Line to Apple Valley.

Light rail tickets cost only a few dollars, which is roughly what you’ll pay on the city’s buses, but the light rail system is a little easier to understand. You don’t need to worry about missing your stop either. Once the METRO gets to the end of the line, it will go back the opposite way, so sit back and enjoy the ride. Hop off at your destination, explore, and board again to see something new.

Consider Your Accommodations Needs Carefully

Your Minneapolis hotel will become your home away from home, so choosing the right one is important. Think carefully about what you want from your accommodations and make your choice based on that criteria.

If you’re not taking your car, a convenient place to stay may be important. Look for hotels near Guthrie Theater if you love culture or places near Minneapolis City Hall if want to be in the middle of the action. Moms and dads want to keep their little ones entertained so they may choose Minneapolis accommodations with pools and on-site restaurants with children’s menus. If you have a four-legged family member, pet-friendly places to stay in Minneapolis may suit you best.

Leave Your Cigarettes at Home

Minneapolis has banned smoking in all public indoor areas and Hennepin County property. That ban extends to cigarettes, cigars, and e-cigarettes. Residents can smoke in their homes, but as a visitor, you’re unlikely to find a place to light up or vape. Leave your cigarettes at home and enjoy breathing in the clean Minnesota air.

Eat Exotically

Minneapolis has all the chain restaurants you’d expect of any big city, but you’ll get a better taste of its culture if you broaden your horizons and try some of the ethnic restaurants downtown.

Vietnamese and Thai restaurants such as Sawatdee and The Lotus Restaurant complement the usual Chinese and Japanese establishments. If you’re not a fan of Asian cuisine, perhaps a Middle Eastern or Greek eatery such as Naf Naf Grill or Gardens of Salonica may be what you fancy. If you’re not sure what to order, trust your waiter to steer your taste buds in the right direction.

Armed with the right knowledge, all that’s left is to book your accommodations, sort out your travel plans, and go. Minneapolis is waiting for you.

Oct01

This article was originally published by Jason Reynolds on September 27, 2017 on West Port BB

After a big day sightseeing in Baltimore, Maryland, a cheeky cocktail, a glass of wine, or a thirst-quenching ale is what the doctor ordered. For superb beverages served in a vibrant atmosphere, the following four Baltimore bars can’t be beat.

Bookmakers: Elegant Cocktail Bar

Cocktail lovers will be in heaven at Bookmakers. Most of the names will be foreign to you, but put your trust in the bar’s beverage director Ryan Sparks. His signature concoctions such as Lush Livin’, Death Eater, and Hunka Hunka Love are like nothing you’ve tasted before.

Sipping on a cocktail while watching a live band is a wonderful way to spend an evening, but for a real night out, arrive early enough for dinner. Choose from among several small plates to share. Bookmakers is in historic Federal Hill, so if you don’t want to worry about driving, you’re best staying at one of the hotels in South Baltimore.

Alewife: Beer Galore at Gastropub

If you love beer, you’ll love Alewife. This charming gastropub proudly serves 40 tap craft beers and plenty more bottled varieties. The ales are the perfect partner for Alewife’s hearty dishes which include bitterballen and duck fat wings. Alewife is a few blocks from Lexington Market, so any of the hotels near the popular Baltimore marketplace will put you within walking distance of this lively bar.

Gameday Firehouse: Friendly Sports Bar for a Good Cause

As you may expect by its name, Gameday Firehouse is a short walk from the Baltimore Ravens home stadium. Stay at comfortable accommodations near M&T Bank Stadium for easy access to the venue and a few drinks after the big game. You can find places to stay near the B&O Railroad Museum that are a little farther away, but the distance is still easily walkable.

As a sports bar, Gameday Firehouse has a rowdy atmosphere the locals love. The bar opens four hours before every Ravens home game for a massive tailgating party. Enjoy Orange Crush stands, the Bloody Mary Bar, and Bud for only $2. The bar also opens at 5 p.m. every Friday when the Orioles are in town. Proceeds from drinks here benefit the Baltimore Firefighters Widows & Orphans Fund.

Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen + Bar: Celeb Chef’s Casino Bar

After a big win at the tables, there’s no better choice than Guy Fieri’s Baltimore Kitchen + Bar, conveniently located inside the Horseshoe Casino. The brainchild of celebrity chef Guy Fieri, this restaurant and bar marries classic American cuisine with diverse beverage options.

The wine list celebrates the best of California. You’ll also find satisfying craft beers, signature cocktails, and nitrogen frozen shots. Enjoy half-off drinks during happy hours between 5 and 7 p.m. every weekday and on Thursday nights from 10 p.m. until midnight. Guest accommodations near Horseshoe Casino are the perfect choice for travelers keen on visiting this lively bar.

When you’re on vacation, while away the hours with a cold alcoholic beverage and some new friends. You’ll find these experiences and more at the above Baltimore bars.

Aug07

The fun part of travel is that it can get even better through some extra measures. There are always new ways to enhance your travel in any aspect, may it be budget, fun, or exploration.

Take interest in the locals

No matter where you visit, just like you and your home, the people there will also have a history that makes that place their home. Take interest into why is that, learn about them, see what is the meaning of enjoyment to them, and try those things.

Take interest in the culture

Very few places are there in the world that have no culture. While there will be many cities that you visit which will be a blend of half a dozen cultural origins. People love sharing their culture with other, and it’s not the history and manners either. A culture consists of festivities, manners, sacred places, historic personalities, all the ingredients that you need to make your experience better.

Eat at local places instead of touristy ones

The best experience of relocating to a new and strange place comes when you try to fit in with the locals for a change. This includes where you stay, what you visit, where you eat. Hang around in coffee shops and cafés where the locals frequent, they will be the one filled with genuine experiences.