Tag : usa

Christmas in Orlando: Alternative Attractions For The Family

The City of Orlando, one of Florida’s greatest tourist hubs, will play host to some of the best Christmas holiday events in America during this year’s festive season. Not only are these events top tourist attractions themselves, but people flock from all over the world to experience Orlando at Christmas and New Year. From wonderful Christmas music, colourful festive parades, sparkling trees and exciting activities for kids, Orlando really is the place to be this year, and if you’re thinking of visiting for a week or two, here are some top alternative attractions you simply must experience.

The Key West Holyday Fest

This annual event, usually held from November 27th to December 14th, provides your family with an amazing opportunity to celebrate the Christmas holidays with Santa Claus, take some memorable photos, listen to some inspirational Christmas songs and get their faces painted! The events in Key West attract families who are looking for a break from their regular schedules at Christmas and it’s still not too late to book flights, try heading to http://www.cheapflights.co.uk/flights/Orlando/ to see what’s available. One particularly good option is the Harbour of Life to see the Festival of Lights during Christmas and New Year!

The Annual Light up Festivals at UCF

Every year, the University of Central Florida plays host to thousands of families who gather here from November 16th to January 6th to celebrate the Christmas Holiday. Some of the activities here include ice skating, glittering light shows, film festivals, great Christmas music, and let’s not forget the wealth of activities for kids! Most of these events are free, however there are some charge relatively low fees for big families. The Light Up UCF festival is without doubt an excellent festive attraction in Central Florida, and the giant two-storey screen at the film festival offers free screening to visitors too!

Leu’s Holiday House

Orlando is full of unique attractions, so if you’re thinking of taking a walk around the city, be sure to visit Leu’s Holiday House! This glittering house museum, usually open from November 1st to January 2nd, is without doubt one of the best places to spend your Christmas holiday, especially if you’re travelling with the kids. The house is decorated with festive Christmas trees and beautiful ornaments, and the owners of the holiday house are really great fun too. With loads of activities for the children, and a wonderful festive spirit all around, Leu’s Holiday House shouldn’t be missed.

Universal Studios Resort

Rated as one of the best family resorts in Orlando, Universal Studios Resort is a must visit when holidaying in Orlando. If you book in advance, there’s every opportunity to get a great deal on accommodation, and with your kid’s favourite cartoon characters walking around, and theme park rides on every corner, your family really won’t want to leave. There’s plenty of tasty restaurants too, just in case you get hungry!

Categories: Uncategorized

New York for One

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world,” wrote Freya Stark.

But it can also be a daunting moment, especially if you find yourself on a holiday for singles in New York, the most populous city in the USA.

Central Park, New York City

Central Park, New York City

With some 580 skyscrapers, more than 13,000 yellow taxis and 8.2m people going about their lives, the Big Apple can seem overwhelming to those visiting for the first time.

Even if you visit the city as part of a group tour with the likes of TrekAmerica, you’ll be given plenty of free time to explore on your own. With that in mind, here’s a guide to New York for one.

Walking tour

Snap out of your initial daze by taking a guided walking tour. Having a knowledgeable local pointing out the sights will help you orientate yourself so that when you venture out by yourself afterwards you’ll feel a lot more confident.

Uncle Sam’s can take you to traditional landmarks, pubs or clubs depending on your preference, filling you in on the history and culture of the Big Apple along the way.

Go for a burn

Once you’ve got yourself set and seen a few of the main attractions, you’ll no doubt be yearning to indulge in some more diverse experiences.

Pushing the pedals of a rental bike as you whizz around one of the city’s open spaces, such as Prospect Park, is a great way of not only getting some fresh air and time away from the noise of Manhattan, but also the perfect activity for one.

Plus, doing some exercise is a great way to burn off the calories from all those super-sized US meal portions you’ve been enjoying.

Hit a video arcade

Give your total focus to barrel smashing at Barcade, where you can enjoy some self indulgent geek time with Donkey Kong and more than 30 other classic arcade games.

This enormous drinkery on Union Avenue in Brooklyn also has a host of American brews on tap to help quench your thirst after all that button-tapping action. They may or may not help improve your score.

Get pampered

You’ll no doubt be left feeling a bit weary after pounding the streets of New York or the buttons of an arcade machine – especially if you’ve also been hitting it hard in the evenings.

So why not treat yourself to a bit of pampering at the Oasis Day Spa in Manhattan, where you can enjoy a 30-minute Swedish massage for $70 (£45)? Close your eyes and relax into the treatment and you’ll soon forget that you’re all on your tod.

Catch a game

Heading out to a bar in the evening on your own can be a lonely experience. A much easier way to make new friends in the Big Apple is to buy a Knicks jersey and settle in with the 20,000 passionate home fans at Madison Square Garden. Win or lose, you’re sure to share a few spontaneously emotional moments with the locals.

Plus, no trip to the USA would be complete without catching a game of basketball, football, baseball or hockey, and there’s perhaps no finer arena than MSG in which to do so.

And there’s perhaps no finer city in which to go solo than NYC.

Categories: Blog, Bucket List, Inspiration

The Best Urban Adventures in New York City

New York City is perhaps the most famous city in the world. People travel from thousands of miles away just to enjoy a piece of this city. The typical New York tourist is looking to eat some great food, possibly enjoy a Broadway show, and take in the sites that make New York famous. But there are some other, more daring adventures that reveal a whole different side to New York City.

Statue of Liberty ferry New York

Mystery in the City

New York’s local CBS reports the, “5 Best Murder Mystery Events In New York”. This is one of the best ways to enjoy the thrilling excitement of ‘murder in Manhattan’ without having to deal with any true crimes. The top 5 mystery adventures they list include:

Muder Mysery Inc.

-You get a 3 course dinner, dancing, and a show.

-“. . . longest running Murder Mystery dinner theater in New York and around the world.”

They Improv.

-“They” hosts interactive murder mysteries you get to participate in.

-Events can be altered depending on your dinner and venue options and wants.

Watson Adventures.

-Price: $29.50-44.50.

-Solve “chilling murders” while scavenger hunting through museums.

The Murder Mystery Co.

-Choose a theme or create your own.

-“Innovative” themes combine mystery with magic!

New York Dinner Theatre.

-Cost varies depending on the show you pick.

-Two different interactive themes to choose from.

If you love mystery and mayhem you will want to be sure and include one of these experiences when you plan your itinerary!

Urban Adventures

One thing that makes NY so unique is that it’s a melting pot of the world. Whether modern day-dreamers coming from abroad, or the generations of old, traveling through Ellis Island, New York has been a hub for new comers from around the world. New York City Urban Adventures describes their multicultural tour at NewYorkCityUrbanAdventures.com. They state,

“We’ll walk the narrow, tenement lined, streets of an area known by names like Kleindeutschland, Chinatwon, and Losaiada. Whether Dutch, Jewish, or Chinese we’ll learn about and taste something from every group that has called the neighborhood home and you’ll leave full and happy.”

TripAdvisor.com reveals that out of 98 reviews, 11 were very good, and 83 were excellent! This adventure will open your eyes to many worlds at one time through a sampling of their cuisine and culture.

From Bridges to Law and Order

New York City is full of beautiful architecture that displays its rich history. The city is also iconic for being a hot spot for legendary shows to film. NYC Adventure Tours offers the best of both worlds with their tour adventures. NYCAdventureTours.com shows their tours for:

Law and Order Walking Tour: Tour with a real detective and visit locations of crimes scenes from movies, television and real life.

The Twin Bridges Walking Tour: “from the Statue of Liberty and New York Harbor, to the canyons of Downtown Manhattan and the elegant edifices of the Upper East Side”.

Green-Wood Cemetery: Off the Map: See the “hidden gems and strange secrets” of the most famous Victorian cemetery in NY.

From Captain Kidd to the Titanic: Maritime Ghosts of Old New York: Travel through the West Village by way of the Hudson River hearing about sailors, gangsters, pirates, murders, poets, and more!

Being Prepared

New York is a big city and if you’re planning a trip there you want to make sure to be prepared on how to get around. GoNYC.about.com offers some tips about riding the subway.

1. Entrances are typically located on street corners.

2. MetroCard allows 1 free transfer within 2 hours of first swipe.

3. Get a map!

4. Double check signs!

If you choose to drive in the city, find parking near Penn station or other populated places for safety.

Make sure the next time you’re in NYC to check out one of these lesser known amazing adventures!

 

Categories: Blog, Inspiration

Leafy Atlanta, Georgia – Visiting the City of Trees

 

As anyone who has ever visited Atlanta can tell you, if there’s one thing the city has an abundance of, it’s trees. Why else would there be more than two dozen thoroughfares called “Peachtree Street?”

Georgia

Georgia

All kidding aside, Atlanta is well-known for its trees. Called “a city in a forest” and “City of Trees,” the city is unique among metropolitan areas for its abundance of trees. Magnolias, dogwoods, Southern pines and oaks line many of the streets throughout the city, and the bustling downtown area gives way to heavily canopied suburbs. In a city where summer temperatures can be scorching hot, the trees add welcome shade while also helping keep pollution levels low.

It’s not hard to find trees as you explore Atlanta — there are abundant parks and green spaces throughout the city and even a festival dedicated to the beloved dogwood.

Piedmont Park

Atlanta’s answer to New York’s Central Park, Piedmont Park is a 211-acre oasis just north of downtown. A center of Atlanta’s outdoor scene, the park features jogging trails, tennis courts, basketball courts playgrounds and the city’s botanical gardens. While many residents come to enjoy the park for a jog or a picnic in the shade of leafy trees on a sunny afternoon, larger crowds arrive for events like the Green Market. Every Saturday morning from March through the fall, the park becomes a bustling farmer’s market, offering fresh local produce and prepared foods as well as lectures and demonstrations on gardening and cooking and free entertainment.

While Piedmont Park offers plenty of scheduled and formal events and camps, it’s also ideal for exploring on your own. The Piedmont Park Conservancy has even prepared scavenger hunt ideas to help visitors get the most out of the park. From animal tracks to butterflies to facts about the monuments, the scavenger hunts help visitors learn more about the features of the park while enjoying the green space. When looking at vacation ideas in Atlanta, include time in your itinerary for exploring the diverse offerings of this exceptional city park.

Canopy Walk

Within Piedmont Park at the botanical gardens is one of the most unique natural areas anywhere in the U.S. Amidst the many themed gardens that make up the larger park you’ll find the Kendeda Canopy Walk. This 600-foot-long skyway begins at a bluff within the garden and allows visitors to walk among the treetops, 40 feet above the ground. The Canopy Walk not only offers a view of poplars, hickories and oaks in one of Atlanta’s last remaining urban forests not normally seen from the ground, but it also provides an aerial view of the woodland gardens below.

Atlanta Dogwood Festival

Atlantans celebrate the blooming of the famous dogwoods each spring with the Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Held each April in Piedmont Park, the festival draws more than 200,000 people and features art, music and food amongst the flowering dogwood trees. The festival is one of the largest juried art shows in the country and draws hundreds of artists from around the country to show their works, which include paintings, sculptures and more. In addition, the Artist’s Market features craftsmen from around the world offering handmade and one-of-a-kind items for sale. Younger artists also have a chance to strut their stuff at the festival, with a high school art show and a kids’ village where the youngest attendees have the opportunity to try out different arts and crafts.

Peaches?

While Georgia might be associated with peaches, and Atlanta has multiple Peachtree Streets, you’ll be hard pressed to find many peach trees within the city that aren’t located on private property. If you absolutely must pick fresh peaches from the tree during the summer, your best bet is to head about an hour east to South Carolina, which offers an abundance of peach orchards. Or simply pick up some fresh local fruits at one of the city farmer’s markets.

Despite being the ninth largest metro area in the U.S., Atlanta is also one of the leafiest cities. From tree-lined streets to expansive parks to exciting festivals, trees play a major role in the everyday life of Atlantans and offer something different in an already vibrant and exciting city.

 

About the Author: Blogger and New England native Liz Goldman claims that she was born a few thousand miles too far north, as she loves Southern culture. Based just outside of Atlanta, she tries to spend as much time as possible in Piedmont Park.

Categories: Blog, Inspiration

A Guide to Hawaii Day Trips

When you think of Hawaii, what do you think of? Our first guess would be the beach – the first thing that comes to mind is an image of those beautiful golden sands, that gorgeous azure sea and a radiant sun, shining down on you from the heavens.

And to be honest, you wouldn’t be far wrong. Hawaii is exactly that, and it is more than possible to spend two weeks in the Aloha State and barely move away from the beach. However, you would be doing yourself and the fiftieth state a pretty major disservice by doing this – Hawaii has so much to offer!

If you’re willing to put down the cocktail and get up off the beach, there are plenty of great activities to keep you entertained.

Oahu Exploration

Get yourself down to a car rental store and go for a cruise around the island of Oahu. Make sure you start at the crack of dawn – there’s a lot to see and do!

First thing in the morning, drive on over to Hanauama Bay; you can go for a snorkel in the nature preserve, and there won’t be anyone else around to get in your way.

Then you should follow the road around the eastern edge of the island until you come to the North Shore – here you’ll be able to watch seasoned surfers take on the mightiest of waves all year round.

Grab lunch in Haleiwa then take the scenic route to Mililani, where you’ll find loads of things to do until the sun goes down.

Volcanic Vibes

If you find yourself on the Big Island (also known simply as Hawai’i), make sure you experience the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, down on the south-east tip. It’s only about 30 miles away from Hilo, but if you’re staying on the Kona Coast you have a bit of a trek ahead of you.

The volcanoes in the park are still active, which means that you might get to see the lava slowly flowing into the ocean with your own eyes – in fact, make sure you check for any activity at the visitor centre on the way in!

The forest surrounding the massive Halemaumau Crater contains plants that have gone unchanged for 70 million years – as far back as the dinosaurs!

On your journey back, take a hike through the lava fields in the Kau Forest Preserve.

Lanai Bliss

On Maui, wander down to Lahaina and catch the ferry to Lanai. You’ll dock in Manele Bay, the main port of the former Pineapple Island. Rent a 4×4 for the ultimate experience: ripping it up down the dirt tracks!

Get close to nature in the Garden of the Gods, a collection of precipitous rock towers which will fill you with awe. Next, take a walk down the beautiful Polihua Beach, as it tends to be deserted (apart from the green sea turtles).

Finally, pull on your scuba gear and go underwater at Hulopoe Bay for the perfect way to end a long and rewarding day – the marine preserve is home to many a beautiful sea creature.

 

Tom Rokins is a travel blogger who yearns for the Islands of Aloha. If you feel the same way, head to Cheapflights for flights to Hawaii.

Categories: Natural Wonders, Technology

american desert

Why Live in the American Deserts?

Many people choose to live in the desert, some were born there and wish to remain where they were brought up, and some people will move there to get away from the sprawling metropolis and pollution that are dominant in other regions, and trade it in for the beautiful views and atmospheric scenery of living in the desert.

american desert

The climate will always help settlers who wish to move into the desert regions of America, with warmer winter, fall and spring time weather conditions, as well as the increased dryness in the air, which is healthier for our bodies, this can be an increasingly beneficial alternative to living in the city.

Due to lower populations, residents of the desert regions of America often have little competition in finding a suitable job for themselves, if you can find a nearby employer. The land is mostly undeveloped as well, which allows you more freedom when it comes to space and possible extensions of property once you have settled in. Houses prices in the desert are usually much cheaper than in a cosmopolitan area, and as such, you should be able to get more for your money. Day to day shopping and living is also cheaper, which is just yet another incentive for living in the desert.

However, these have just been the reasons for moving to or staying in the desert, and, unfortunately, as with most things, everything has a flip side. Living in the desert can be a pain, it is more than likely that you will be out in the sticks and miles from the nearest decently sized town (including emergency services, such as the EMT or Fire Dept.).

As well as the good weather, you will also have to prepare for seasonal monsoons, of which the humidity levels will reach up to around about 35%, causing you to plan your day events either very early in the morning, or late at night. There are also sandstorms, dangerously hot weather during the monsoon period and sometimes even a shortage of water.

Whilst most animals in the desert are harmless, there are still several that should be mentioned to be careful of, here are a couple of the more dangerous types, however, be sure to check with the local government for any warnings and tips for the local wildlife.

Snakes – These reptiles require warmth to help them digest, in particular, they enjoy warm concrete. Always be sure to shut your doors at night, especially your garage’s door and to check your steps in the morning before going down.
Coyotes – Members of the dog family, these animals are likely to carry rabies, and will chase after your pets. They can scale walls, so be sure to keep your pets inside when unattended.

Luckily, many of these difficult situations can be combated with modern day technology, equipping an efficient cooling system to your house will help block out some of the heat, as well as having professional irrigation for keeping crops well watered. Busier areas in and around Phoenix, Arizona can rely on Uncle Bob’s storage to keep their valuable items out of harms way during periods of drought, monsoon or sandstorms.

 

Categories: Blog

brooklyn-bridge

4 Reasons to Stay in Brooklyn, New York

Brooklyn has been movin’ on up in everyone’s eyes and hearts over the past few years. It used to be a pretty undesirable place to stay. All the good hotels, bars, attractions and shows were all in Manhattan, and that’s just where everyone thought to stay. Lately though, Brooklyn is becoming a destination for both tourists and townies to visit, stay in or live in. But why? Quite a few reasons, actually…

brooklyn-bridge

You can actually see the sky. While some people don’t mind not seeing a twinkle in the sky, it doesn’t hurt, does it? While people love seeing the stars in Manhattan, and many people go just for this reason, in Brooklyn, you can see the stars in the sky, and those are often better than seeing Kim Kardashian at the club.

It’s way less crowded. Experiencing the crowds in NYC is half the fun. Bumping into people, constantly being on the move and always feeling a little rushed is all part of the journey here. That’s pretty fun to do by day, or for a few days, but after a while, it can be nice to have enough room on the street to walk by yourself. Brooklyn provides more places to run, more places to walk your dog and even some places to enjoy a quiet stroll. Head to the Coney Island Boardwalk, DUMBO or Prospect Park and at many times in the day, you’ll definitely enjoy the quiet, and the views.

The Nets live there. Okay, if you don’t like basketball, that might not even count as a reason, but this is a new team to this area, and Brooklyn is very proud to welcome the Nets and Barclay’s Center into the neighborhood.

Life is cheaper here. Even if you’re just here for a week, staying in New York City can really add up and although you can find cheap tickets to New York quite easily, city life is pricey. Typically in Brooklyn the restaurants, stores, hotels, and bars all provide much cheaper options than the Manhattan clubs and 5 star restaurants. But you’re not hanging out in the pits here either. There are still plenty of glamorous spots to hang out and toast martinis with beautiful people in Brooklyn, but there is also more of the local, New York scene in these parts. Some great hotels in New York are located in Brooklyn, so even if you’re not in Manhattan, you’re definitely not slumming it. Well, not unless you really want to, but you can do that in Manhattan too.

Just because things don’t cost as much, doesn’t mean this borough has less to offer. You still have access to tons of NYC culture, top attractions, amusement parks and a great nightlife scene. Check out the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Coney Island and of course that famous Brooklyn Bridge while you’re here. And even if you stay in Brooklyn, it’s still really easy to head over for the day to check out all the touristy things to do in Manhattan. This part of New York provides a cheaper alternative to Manhattan, without skimping on access to all the best things to do and places to see while you’re here.

This article was written by Lizz Riggs, editor of NYCTourist.com.

Categories: Blog, Inspiration, Travel Tips

5 Fun Ways to Tour Chicago

Chicago is a beautiful city with lots to see! Whether you’re here for the breathtaking architecture and abundance of history or you came to feast on all of the famous dishes, you’re in for a real treat. While you can see all and do all of this stuff on your own with a couple of days time and a google search, the best way to get the true Chicago experience is by taking a tour. Many people frown at the idea of paying for an experience you can do yourself for free, but the guided tours in Chicago are something you won’t be able to experience in any other city. These tours are far more entertaining, while being just as informational, and there’s no better way to see all of the top Chicago attractions in just one afternoon! All of the best of things to do in Chicago can and should be experienced on a tour, and there’s a different type of tour for every traveler, on every trip!

Bus Tour Chicago

Bus Tour of Chicago

Boat Tours
One of the most popular ways to tour Chicago is aboard a boat on the Chicago River or Lake Michigan. All the different boat tours in Chicago give tourists the most incredible view of the city skyline that you won’t be able to get any other way, unless you were to rent a boat and take it out yourself. Learn all about the second city and enjoy all of its famous architecture from your entertaining and knowledgeable tour guide. Many of the boat tours include a brunch, lunch or dinner with more live entertainment playing in the background, while some are more fast-paced and adventurous, and some are even pet friendly!

Food Tours
The best and most affordable way to eat your way through Chicago is definitely on a food tour. While some food tours cater specifically to the travelers who came for all the different pizzas, some take guests to a wide variety of restaurants, sampling all of Chicago’s best cuisines. These tours don’t just focus on the food though. As you travel from restaurant to restaurant over the afternoon, your guide will take you past many of the biggest attractions in Chicago! Walk right by the Willis Tower, famous museums and Millennium Park and pick the places you’ll want to come back to later. After all the food is gone of course.

Segway Tours
Segway tours are becoming increasingly popular in many cities, and Chicago is a great city for these fun modes of transportation. Take a segway tour by day or night and ride past some of Chicago’s most beautiful sights. These tours are fairly family friendly, but many only allow children 12 and up to ride. That being said, these tours emphasize safety first, so nobody ruins their trip with a nasty fall, and the segway rides are always enjoyable!

Walking/Architecture Tours
Chicago is famous for its architecture, and many people enjoy getting up close and personal with the buildings and structures throughout the city. Walking tours take place all over Chicago, so whether you’re exploring the city through the underground Pedway that lets out at many popular destinations, or your tour takes you down the Chicago River, you’re sure to see some of the most amazing sights and learn tons of interesting facts about Chicago’s history, architecture and even the locations many famous movie scenes have been filmed!

Bus Tours
Bus and trolley tours are another great way to see the city. For those who don’t want to walk, ride a segway, eat too much or maybe are prone to seasickness, a bus or trolley may be the way to go! Hop aboard an air-conditioned (or heated, depending on the season) motorcoach and your friendly bus driver will take you exploring all over the city as they point out all the top attractions and recommend places for you to visit later. This is a great thing to do upon your arrival so that you can start scouting out the rest of your trip, and everything you want to do in each neighborhood.

These are not the only ways to see the city, (you can also bike, get behind a horse in a carriage ride, or hop in a helicopter) but they are certainly the most popular. On top of all the different ways to explore the Windy City, there are also countless variations on each tour! While many tours offer a traditional experience and take you to some of the top attractions, you can also find tours that specialize in movies, music, haunted places and more! All these tours allow everyone to see the parts of Chicago that interest them most, in the best way they can think of!

This article was written by Lizz Riggs, editor of ChicagoTraveler.com.

Categories: Blog, Travel Tips

ogunquit marginal way

Romantic, Tranquil Vacation Spots of America

Some say romance is dead. But others who have been together long enough will tell you it’s not dead, but you do have to keep it alive. Whenever you are celebrating an anniversary or something special take the time to get away and really enjoy your partner and the celebration. It will not only make that moment in life a lot better with great memories forever, but you will strengthen your relationship and have a great time doing it.

ogunquit marginal way

A fantastic place to head to is a warm and sunny beach spot like San Diego, California. For those who like a little bit of adventure than doing some snorkeling at La Jolla Underwater Park can be fun. The park spans over 6,000 acres and has a plethora of marine and aquatic life, including the occasional whale that passes by. San Diego offers many beach activities to choose from not just snorkeling.  If you are looking for something a little more traditional and romantic to do together than take an old fashioned carriage ride, complete with horse through Balboa Park. Splurge a little and stay someplace amazing like the Kona Kai on Shelter Island or even The Lodge at Torrey Pines La Jolla.

New York City can never be beat for a classic city adventure, and Barbetta’s restaurant has been touted as one of the most romantic places to eat in New York City. The authentic Italian eatery has been around since 1906 and is decorated with real antiques from the 18th century. Once you have had an unbeatable pasta dinner, then take in a show on the famed Broadway or enjoy some elegant music at Lincoln Hall. If live entertainment isn’t top on your list then grab a cappuccino down at the Central Park Boat House Café and sit by the lake with your loved one taking in the amazing atmosphere. Top it all off with a stay at the Plaza Hotel and it will be a romantic weekend that will make any celebration sing!

Sometimes taking a trip a little off the normal beaten path can add a sense of romance and adventure. If you are up for exploring new and wonderful discoveries then shoot up to Ogunquit, Maine for a romantic New England getaway. Walk with your partner down The Marginal Way, a 1 ¼ miles paved foot path that starts off near the harbor at Oarweed Cove and brings you to the amazing expanse of the Ogunquit Beach. Once you have enjoyed some beach time head out onto the water with Silverlining Sailing or a Finestkind Scenic Cruise. And there are no shortages of wonderful places to stay, you can look online and find Ogunquit lodging specials to help make your trip absolutely perfect.

No matter where you decide to go, take the time to search and find out what is around the local area to explore. And in the spirit of romance, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone to try something new together. There is nothing like surprise and mystery to spice up the romance.

Categories: Blog, Travel Tips

Judy Istock Butterfly Haven

Chicago: Not Just Pizza and Sports

Chicago offers many attractions to tourists and residents. It’s one of the most eclectic and vibrant cities in America, but doesn’t get the over-saturation of a New York or Los Angeles. That’s precisely why locals say they’ll never leave and why tourists fall in love. Here are just a few of the attractions that make Chicago such a great destination:

Judy Istock Butterfly Haven
1. Reggie’s Rock Club and Record Breaks

Over here, you’ll find one of the biggest record collections (new and old). Old issues of magazines, which you thought didn’t exist anymore, are also available in the reading room. It serves as a concert venue and a nightclub as well. It’s also an ideal place to witness live acts.

After visiting Reggie’s you’ll be so inspired to create music you might consider taking up the guitar yourself. If you do, you’re in luck because the Windy City is the hometown of many famous musicians, including Billy Corgan, and Chicago guitar lessons are available for all skill levels and ages.

2. Lincoln Park zoo 

Many claim that the Lincoln zoo is among the city’s beloved treasures. A wide range of animals are found here, and they reside in their natural habitats. If you’re accompanying your children, you can check out the demonstrations of the zoo animals and their ecosystems at the Conversation station. There’s no entry fee for admission.

3. Second City

After the day has ended, you may consider visiting the original Second City located at the west of History Museum of Chicago. It’s a comedy club that’s larger than life and the home-base where many popular comedians started their careers. Some of the names include Steve Carell, Bill Murray and Tina Fey. This is the perfect place to visit if you’re planning to spend the rest of the day laughing, or just soaking up an iconic pop culture venue.

4. Judy Istock Butterfly Heaven

Judy Istock Butterfly Heaven is located inside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. There’s a $9 admission fee, but it’s worth it, especially if you have kids along. There’s a big beautiful room of natural galleries, with waterfall, benches and windows. The butterflies are large in number, and have the ability to camouflage themselves. There are 80 different species of butterflies at a single time.

5. The Magnificent Mile

Are you a shop-aholic? Head over to the Magnificent Mile. Here you’re going to find all big stores such as Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue. Apart from an amazing shopping experience, there’s a collection of buildings down the street. Several food shops and hotels are located as well.

6. Robert J. Quinn Fire Academy

In this academy live fires are created by instructors as a part of cadet’s training. There are photos of historical fires, which provide a brief historical overview. The hallway you’re going to visit is only seen once by the actual academy candidates, and they are not allowed there until graduation. It’s an honor for you. You also have the option to take the guided tour for a bit more historical information.

Apart from all these attractions, the city is also the home to the Chicago Academy of Arts, the Art Institute of Chicago and several other amazing museums. Take advantage of all these attractions, and have a great time in Chicago.

Categories: Blog, Travel Tips