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Category: ‘Out of the Suitcase’

6 Great Apps for Traveling

Posted: May 31st, 2016 by

6 great apps for traveling

Traveling in unfamiliar places can be frustrating

Where’s the cheapest gas, the best food, free WiFi?

Load these FREE apps and the answers will be at your fingertips


gasbuddy

Don’t leave home without this FREE App!

Gas prices can vary enormously by up to 20 cents a gallon or more.

The Gasbuddy App will find the cheapest gas price in the USA or Canada by city/zip or postal code.

Plus there’s a chance of winning $100 of gas every day!

Earn points for reporting gas prices and earn awards for posting gas prices

 


FoodspottingLogo_200px

This FREE App is a visual guide to good food and where to find it.

Instead of reviewing restaurants, you can recommend dishes and see what foodspotters, friends and experts recommend wherever you go.

Unlike other restaurant apps, the Foodspotting App is about dishes, not just restaurants, you can find whatever you’re craving, from Dumplings and Dosas to Cronuts and Ramen Burgers.

 


Foursquare

Never feel like a stranger when traveling once you download this FREE App.

Foursquare is your ultimate city guide, in your pocket.

Find the best places to eat, drink, shop, or visit — in any city in the world.

Access over 60 million short reviews from local experts.

You can also save places you want to go, so you never forget

 


touchnoteOnce Upon A Time, people sent postcards. This FREE App makes it so easy.

The Touchnote App allows you to use your photos to create and send REAL personalised postcards – the easiest way to share memories, and make someone’s day!

There is a small postal charge, but you can handle it all from your phone. So no more looking for a place to buy stamps.

You can even include a micro-sized Google Map of your whereabouts.

And you can also share your postcards on Facebook.


BonjournalCreating a Travel Journal with photos is simpler than you thought possible.

Bonjournal is a FREE App that is a simple way to record and share your travel adventures.

The app helps you easily collect all the beautiful moments, stories and pictures from your journey into a single narrative.

Making entries each day means no homework when your trip is over!

 


wifi finderThe FREE WIFi Finder App will help you find FREE WiFi hotspots in more than 50 countries around the world:

Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK, Ukraine, United_States, Vietnam.

And you don’t need to be connected to the Internet to find the nearest hotspot — all the hotspots are stored locally on your device.


The Greatest Adventure Lies Ahead

J.R.R. Tolkien

Using these 6 great apps for traveling, means you can focus more on your Great Adventure,

rather than spending time looking for places to eat, visit, shop or fill the car up.

And you can make Grandma’s day by sending a postcard!

Don’t forget to sign up for an Inncentive Card and get a Good Night’s Sleep for Less

All these Apps are Free and available for iphones and Androids.


90 Years of Nostalgia: The Rand McNally Road Trip

Posted: February 13th, 2014 by

The initiation of the Interstate Highway system in 1956 has resulted in scenic roadways as this - Flickr image by Rob Harrinton

The initiation of the Interstate Highway system in 1956 has resulted in scenic roadways as this – Flickr image by Rob Harrinton

I just got my new Rand McNally Road Atlas. To be more specific; the 2014 90th Anniversary edition, chock full of nostalgic ‘looking back’ over the past 90 years edition. I don’t know a lot of folks that are 90 years old, so being able to read about what happened over the past 90 years, as referenced in this memorable publication is definitely a great way to travel down memory lane.

The Florida Overseas Highway was but a dream at one time . . . Flickr Image

The Florida Overseas Highway was but a dream at one time . . . Flickr Image

I think what struck a ‘travel’ cord more than anything else [for me] was when President Eisenhower initiated building the Interstate Highway system in the US in 1956. After all, this really opened up the opportunity for people from all walks of life to truly tour America. Although I am not a fan of super highways, it does provide a quick way to get to the by-ways that take you to those out of the way scenic places.
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I Now Know What Sea Legs Mean . . .

Posted: January 10th, 2014 by

Sunrise in Cozumel, Mexico, from the bow of the Breeze

Sunrise in Cozumel, Mexico, from the bow of the Breeze


You probably guessed: I just recently went on a week-long cruise which I can easily describe as a dream vacation. You know, where the skies were pretty much sunny, the air was warm and a calliope of chatter (in about a dozen languages) and laughter filled the air wherever we were… the sights were fantastic, the food was hmmmm very good, and there was plenty to see and do.

swans 2As memories go though, there were three or four standouts. First, there were the towels mimicking various sea creatures. Yes, I did say towels! You see, each evening, when we came back to our cabin after the sumptuous evening meal, we were greeted by a clean room and a towel sea creature sitting atop the bed. As I remember correctly, we had a frog, a penguin, a sea turtle, a stingray and I presume a pelican. There was also two swans kissing, representing a heart, to celebrate my daughter’s birthday.
sentinel
This simple gesture, provided by our daily housekeeper, who cleaned our room, not once, but twice a day, was actually something unexpected but eagerly anticipated after the first evening’s surprise. Although I am sure the overall cost of the cruise includes what some might think nonsensical; I on the other hand thought it to be a thoughtful and genuine state of hospitality, something often lacking in any vacation, be it on land or sea. By the way, the towel brigade was in full swing the morning of our final full day at sea when the pool deck had an array of towel-sea creatures sitting atop lounge chairs, much like I imagined soldiers would look, all bedecked in white uniforms, guarding their charges of blue.
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Holidays: The Name’s the Same!

Posted: December 20th, 2013 by

It appears there are a number of cities and towns in the US with holiday type names, so how about a little trivia where the name is the same when it comes to holidays?

The Star of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is easily visible 20 miles away

The Star of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania is easily visible 20 miles away

Probably the most recognized Christmas related town name is Bethlehem, and in the US there are (reportedly) eight to 12. I’ve discovered 9 of them: Bethlehem, CT; Bethlehem, GA; Bethlehem, IN; Bethlehem, KY, Bethlehem, MD; Bethlehem, MS; Bethlehem, NH; Bethlehem, PA; Bethlehem, WV, with Bethlehem, PA being the most prominently known.

It was on Christmas eve in 1741, when a group of Moravians founded the mission community of Bethlehem, which proved to be a town for the future when in 1762 it built the “first-water works in America to pump water for public use.”

After the Civil War Bethlehem became a city, and a center for heavy industry and trade during the industrial revolution, thus Bethlehem Steel Corporation was founded, becoming the 2nd largest steel producer in the US, and was also one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the world. Unfortunately they ceased their operations in 1995, after about 140 years of being in business.

Could it be the result of a grand ceremony on December 7, 1937, during the Great Depression, when the wife of Bethlehem Steel Corporation President, Charles F. Brown, flipped on the switch to turn on the new Christmas street lights and a large wooden star [that the city of Bethlehem still beckons visitors]? It was also at this time the Chamber of Commerce adopted the nickname ‘Christmas City, USA’. Today, that wooden star when lit up can be seen as far as Wind Gap, 20 miles away.

Bethlehem is also home to three large universities, including Lehigh University, and Money Magazine listed it at number 88 out of 100 ‘best cities to live’ . . .
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Have Dog: Will Travel!

Posted: September 10th, 2013 by

How could anyone leave Mylee behind . . .

How could anyone leave Mylee behind . . .

I confess: I’m a pet lover; and like a lot of other pet owners; in particular dog owners, I just can’t bear to shut the door with my pets’ soulful eyes staring at me, and even though the tail wagging is out of control when I return, I still feel a twinge of guilt when I depart sans Fido. I’m talking about going to work and doing errands, so I shudder to think about a little vaca . . . pet sitters and kennels alike can cost an arm and a leg, and leaving one’s (as some perceive them to be) mutt with relatives just might not be in the best interest for both species; hence my list of places to get a little R&R for both you and your faithful four-legged, tailing wagging BDF . . best dog friend

After a great deal of research it appears California seems to offer more puppy love than many other states; however, to be fair I am focusing on lots of places to travel to with your beloved dog:

Pilgrim Bark Park and the seashore of Provincetown, MA provide a perfect venue for Fido to romp in the surf and sand

Pilgrim Bark Park and the seashore of Provincetown, MA provide a perfect venue for Fido to romp in the surf and sand


Whale watching is a popular attraction for Fido and his master in Provincetown

Whale watching is a popular attraction for Fido and his master in Provincetown

In 2010, Dog Fancy Magazine revealed Provincetown, Massachusetts was selected as their #1 canine city, with businesses providing ‘doggy’ biscuits and bowls of water for those furry shoppers who bring along their human companions, but, if you’re heading west then Carmel By the Sea, Benito, Fort Bragg and Sand Diego, California, or Salem and Lincoln City, Oregon, as well as Sioux Falls, South Dakota and Madison, Wisconsin are all listed as places you’ll want to take Fido.

Other traveling with your dog special places include Chicago with its 18 miles of paved trails that trace Lake Michigan’s edge or in New York with its NYC Dog Walking Tour visiting Greenwich Village, SOHO and Little Italy. And, if you want to memorialize your trip to NYC, check out the William Secord Gallery where (at a price and advance reservation) your pooch can have its portrait painted.

Anonymous photo title "Yo Quedo Pizza" taken at one of many pet-friendly eateries in Orlando

Anonymous photo title “Yo Quedo Pizza” taken at one of many pet-friendly eateries in Orlando

Manitou Cliff Dwellings Wikimedia Image

Manitou Cliff Dwellings
Wikimedia Image

Not to be outdone by its Eastern pet-friendly venues are the cities of Orlando (where in Florida there is a doggy dining law that allows dogs to dine with their owners in outside eating venues) and for healthy alternatives such as hiking and breathtaking scenery you’ll want to travel to Colorado Springs, Colorado where you can meander with pooch around Bear Creek Nature Center, the Manitou Cliff Dwellings or Garden of the Gods National Park; and finally there is Austin, Texas with 12-off leash parks for doggy fun and games.

Sweet Dreams -  Flickr image by Nieve44/Luz

Sweet Dreams – Flickr image by Nieve44/Luz

I could go on and on . . . but, I won’t. I would like to say however, your problem won’t be leaving your BDF behind, but in deciding which dog-friendly venue to travel to. By the way, if you and your furry friend are in need of a good night’s sleep after a full day’s activities there are many lodging places that accept pets.

DOG DAYS OF SUMMER: COOL OFF WITH A SHOWER, BUBBLES NOT INCLUDED

Posted: August 27th, 2013 by

Crown Center Fountain, Kansas City, MO (by night)

Crown Center Fountain, Kansas City, MO (by night)


crown Center Fountain, Kansas City, MO - by day

crown Center Fountain, Kansas City, MO – by day

Some of you may remember my August 2010 blog, ‘Cool Places to Visit during the Dog Days of Summer’ where I featured half a dozen or more ‘cool caves’ to explore. Well, here it is the end of August and we are smack dab in the middle of those dreary dog days, when even our four-legged furry friends are looking for a place to cool off.

Childrens Fountain, Kansas City, MO

Childrens Fountain, Kansas City, MO

If ‘spelunk in’ is not your thing, and descending deep into the earth is not on your mind, then join me and your fellow blog readers in dancing around one of many ‘cool’ water fountains. We’ll begin with Kansas City (MO), which is officially known as The City of Fountains and has more fountains than any other city (except for Rome) in the world.
Nicholas Fountain, Kansas City, MO

Nicholas Fountain, Kansas City, MO


What began as the City Beautiful movement in 1890 resulted in the creation of fountains, not just for landscape decoration, but also for practical purposes, such as one built in 1904 featuring spigots pouring water out of a number of lions’ mouths so passerby’s could get a cup of clean drinking water; while at the same time water poured into a granite basin at the proper height for horses to get a cool drink, with the overflow ending up in four small pools so dogs could lap up fresh water as well. The Humane Society of Kansas City was responsible for not only this innovative and useful fountain, but went on to mount more than 100 more fountains throughout the city.

Atlanta, GA Centennial Park

Atlanta, GA Centennial Park

Crown Fountain, Chicago, IL (by night)

Crown Fountain, Chicago, IL (by night)

Not near Kansas? Why not cool off in Chicago, Illinois Crown Fountain, or in Atlanta, Georgia’s Centennial Olympic Park Fountain?

While there is some controversy surrounding public water fountains, citing disease, dirty water, etc., it would appear (and is so noted in numerous articles) municipalities that have public water fountains have a variety of filtration systems to assist in alleviating these issues, and continue to offer a respite from summers’ heat for its citizenry.

Rockafeller Center iconic water fountain

Rockefeller Center iconic water fountain

Whether you elect to participate in romping through a fountains’ man-made droplets of rain, or to simply admire the architectural beauty found in water fountains, one can’t help but feel a little bit cooler in doing so.

Please note: All photos credited to Wikimedia Commons

Food and Travel ‘Bandwagon’ . . . .

Posted: July 17th, 2013 by

It is normal to select a vacation site based on popular attractions; be it an amusement venue like Disney World, or an outdoor wonder such as Old Faithful, or a pristine beach for frolicking in the sand and sea, or maybe a historic landmark. I have, however, decided to take you on a trip based on food first, then we site-see.

Instead of a road map or atlas, I am seeking out vacation sites based on the popular Food Network show “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives” . . . featuring its colorful host, Chef Guy Fieri. After all; I’ve heard that an Army travels on its stomach, so why not you and me?

mobile bayWe’re going to begin in Fairhope, Alabama, “a vibrant town on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, known for its lovely parks and sweeping panoramic view of Mobile Bay.” Civil War buffs will appreciate the significance of the 3,800 acre Historic Blakely State Park, site of the ‘last major battle of the Civil War’ or if you are a nature lover then check out the Fairhope French Quarter, home to the largest crepe myrtle in the South . . .an Alabama Champion Tree . . . and let’s not forget that ¼ mile pier jutting out in the gulf; surrounded by swimming and picnic areas, a landscaped rose garden, plenty of benches, marina, walking trails and a duck pond.

Here’s the skinny on the food angle: Panini Pete’s and the Gumbo Shack were both featured on Triple D, but after reading the menu ‘our pick’ is Panini Pete’s where the European Panini with house-roasted meats and homemade mozzarella is a favorite – located in Fairhope’s French Quarter – here’s a little trivia about how the Panini became a favorite sandwich for many . . . it can be found here: http://www.calphalon.com/Pages/Content/Articles/Panini-A-Culinary-History.aspx

We’ve visited the South; now how about a trip to the Northeast, where we discovered O’Rourke’s’ Diner, which opened its doors in 1941 in Middletown, Connecticut. A more appropriate name, however, could be the Phoenix, for it has risen from the ashes, after a fire that destroyed the original O’Rourkes back in 2006. You know it’s got to be good when the towns’ people chipped in and helped raise enough funds to have it rebuilt.

Greater Middletown Military MuseumJust where is Middletown anyhow and how did O’Rourke’s become one of its main attractions? Before it became a settlement in 1650, the Wangunks, a distinct Native American Indian occupied Middletown (beginning around 1634). Because it was the halfway point between Windsor and Saybrook, the town was named Middletown in 1653. Many settlers selected Middletown due to economic opportunity and their descendants became merchants and shipmasters, and in time its port became the busiest in the colonies between Boston and New York. The “Triangle Trade” comprised sailing to the West Indies with a cargo of livestock, lumber, farm products and other raw materials, returning with rum, salt and sugar among other commodities; unfortunately in 1807, the passage of the Embargo Act, along with the war of 1812 brought an end to Middletown’s days as an important shipping port.

O'Rourke's Diner Middletown, Connecticut

O’Rourke’s Diner
Middletown, Connecticut

The 19th Century saw the rise of manufacturing in Middletown, as well as the first wave of Irish immigrants, with perhaps Uncle John O’Rourke’s ancestors paving the way for O’Rourke’s Diner.

If you are travelling to Middletown be sure to visit Wesleyan University, founded in 1831, encompassing 316 acres overlooking the Connecticut River; and for those adventurous folks, why not take a stroll in the Connecticut aMAIZEing MAZE, with two miles of winding paths in a living, growing cornfield. A must do and see for those of you with one to eight year-olds and their ‘adult’ friends is the Kidcity Children’s Museum; with a space age road trip, a Clipper Ship and The Farm among other interactive activities. http://www.kidcitymuseum.com/

downtown Midd flickr imageflickr Pilgrin on this road - Bill RevillDowntown Middletown has been named “One of America’s Most Romantic Main Streets” and then there is Wild Bill’s Nostalgia Emporium. Check it out as well as many other Connecticut treasures at this website: http://www.ctmuseumquest.com/?page_id=5521, which by the way is a pretty thorough history of Connecticut along with a very creative blog.

Just thinking about toasty tasty Panini’s and some good ol’ Irish Stew not only makes me hungry, but I just might take a road trip to Fairhope, Alabama or Middletown, Connecticut!

. . . “Run, Forest, Run!” . . .

Posted: January 15th, 2013 by

During the holidays I watched one of my favorites, a re-run of Forest Gump; and while viewing the scene where he begins to run a long-distance marathon from here, there and everywhere, an idea formed for a blog.  Why not write about marathons? 

I can honestly say I have never run in a marathon, but I have participated in a number of volksmarches, have hiked in the forest and up a mountain or two, and have done my fair share of jogging around the neighborhood, yet I am always eager to hear who came in first at a number of marathons taking place throughout the year. 

The Brandenburger Gate in Berlin, Germany provides a historical site for runners in the Berlin Marathon - flickr image by Klearchos Kapoutsis

The Brandenburger Gate in Berlin, Germany provides a historical site for runners in the Berlin Marathon – flickr image by Klearchos Kapoutsis

I think of a marathon as site-seeing on foot.   Factor in location, popular tourist areas; and take into account a variety of segments including sports and a marathon’s appeal  for men, women and children as well as many cultures.  Age also seems to be a minor factor.  There are also special causes for motivation and inspiration. Marathons run the gamut from Charity runs like the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure and the Jingle Bell Run in support of the Arthritis Foundation.  There are major marathons such as the Boston Marathon and the Peachtree Atlanta Road Race.  There are also special interest runs such as the Skinny Pig Run to Eat Group in Oregon or corporate sponsored events like the Waco Professional Firefighters Association Miracle Match Marathon and the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch Marathon. 

Site of Boston's Freedom Trail, flickr image by r h

Site of Boston’s Freedom Trail, flickr image by r h

I did a little fact finding, and according to Wiki Answers there are 245 Marathons in the United States; however, further research on numerous marathon-related sites would say there are many more.  Some are categorized as marathons, others as half or mini-marathons and there are even a few ultra marathons.  Note below is one websites’ list of the top ten (although I’ve only listed the first five). The ranking can vary depending on what marathon website you are looking at.  I’ve also noted some touristy information related to the location of the marathon . . .

Top Marathons in the World – Top Popular Attraction – Great Lesser Known Attraction
London Marathon in April -Trafalgar Square – Pollocks Toy Museum

Berlin Marathon in September – Brandenburger Gate – Dammsmuhle Palace

New York City Marathon in November – Ellis Island & Statue of Liberty – The Brick Theatre

Chicago Marathon in October – Buckingham Fountain – Garfield Park Conservatory

Boston Marathon in April – Freedom Trail – Emerald Necklace

London's Trafalgar Square - flickr image by kevgibbo

London’s Trafalgar Square – flickr image by kevgibbo

One last note:  Don’t forget the food, so when in London – its all about the tea, so check out Brown’s Hotel.  Whenyou have finished the race in Berliln, head over to Zwolf Apostle, where you can find “over the top religious décor and tasty thin crust pizzas named after the 12 Apostles,” plus a cool location under the railway arches – or for classic German fare try Schleusenkrug, a class beer garden. 

 

Vito & Nicks Pizzeria, Chicago, Illinois - image courtesy of V&N photo gallery

Vito & Nicks Pizzeria, Chicago, Illinois – image courtesy of V&N photo gallery

Noting Food Network’s Guy Fieri’s finds on his show, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, you might want to try out “Mo Gridders” BBQ Restaurant and Auto Repair Shop where the truckers go in New York City.  If you’re running in Boston you won’t want to miss “The World’s #1 Sandwiches” at Sam LaGrassa’s . . . or after your run in the windy city of Chicago, you’ll want to try the pizza at Vito & Nick’s Pizzeria, who have been serving up a delicious thin crust pizza for 84 years!   

 There you have it: Recreation, plenty of site-seeing, and good food! 

Symbol of IVV (International Federation of Volkssports)

Symbol of IVV (International Federation of Volkssports)

Note: “The (Volkssports International Federation) IVV sanctions non-competitive events in walking, biking, swimming, skiing, skating, and shoeshowing. Walking is the most popular of the Popular Sports – known by the German term Volkssports, thus the walking events in the USA are often called volksmarches or volkswalks. Volks translates as “people” or “popular.”  These are typically a 10K (6.2 mile) trek . . .

In the end, whether you are a serious runner, you have a special cause, or you just want to meander through the countryside, get out in 2013 and do it!

And, although we didn’t mention it, there’s nothing like a good night’s sleep after a good walk or run!

References used:

www.marathon-training-program.com,

www.marathonguide.com/races/races.cfm

www.marathonguide.com

www.runtheplanet.com

www.americasbestonline.net/marathon.html

http://www.ava.org/walk/cal.htm

http://www.tvfoodmaps.com/show/Diners-Drive-Ins-Dives

www.wikianswers.com

California Dreamin’

Posted: May 2nd, 2012 by

A bucket list is a great way to get the most out of life.  One popular trip on a lot of people’s bucket list is a drive up Highway 1, on the California coast (preferably in a convertible). Don’t forget your sunglasses!

Downtown LA, Venice Beach, Griffith Observatory and Hollywood Sign.- Wikimedia Commons.Attribution Share Alike 3.0 Unported

A great starting point is Los Angeles.  Allow a few days taking in the sights before hitting the road.  Here are a few  “must see” attractions in L.A. area:

  • The Getty Center in Pacific Palisades – located on a hilltop in the Santa Monica Mountains, visitors can view art from Pre-Renaissance to Impressionist periods in Europe.
  • The Getty Villa in Malibu- J. Paul Getty’s ornate Spanish Ranch house is now a world-class art museum. Admission is free but parking must be reserved.
  • Hollywood  & Highland- This busy intersection includes the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and 3 stories of boutiques, cafes and shops. Don’t miss the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Kodak Theatre.
  • Santa Monica Pier- The 1600 ft. pier opened in 1909 has a 1922 Carousel with 44 hand carved horses, a working roller coaster and a Ferris Wheel.
  • Beverly Hills- A trolley runs around the area allowing you the opportunity to hop off for a walking tour through the mansions along palm lined boulevards. Get more information at Beverly Hills Visitors Bureau.
  • The Grove/Farmer’s Market- The Grove is a new open pedestrian shopping area with green spaces, fountains, boutiques, and entertainment complex attached to the Historic Farmer’s Market, which has been in existence since the 1930’s.
  • Universal Studios Hollywood- Just a few minutes drive from Downtown LA or Hollywood, this theme park offers a behind-the scenes view into movie making and some really fun movie themed rides.
  • The Hollywood Bowl- Is the summer home of LA Philharmonic and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. Bring a picnic and enjoy outstanding music under the stars. If you are in the box seats you can even order dinner in advance to be served at your box!
  • The Griffith Observatory- Built in 1935 in the Art Deco style, the observatory sits on a Mountain peak overlooking Hollywood and old L.A.  It is open Wednesday-Sunday until 10:00pm and admission is free, although there is a small charge for the planetarium sky show.
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art- Located in the “Miracle Mile” district of Midtown.  The museum receives rare collections on tour. It shares the boulevard, known as Museum Row, with L.A. Craft and Folk Art Museum, Page Museum of Natural History and La Brea Tar Pits.

If you are looking for convenient and affordable lodging  in the Los Angeles area visit our website

No Matter Where Your Travels Take You . . . .

Posted: February 8th, 2012 by

Who would have thought that February, which many do not consider the ideal month to travel in to also be one of the most popular months of the year for tourism.

Certainly you have to list the sunny shores of Florida and the Daytona 500, which happens to be February 26th this year, as one of the key reasons to travel south, especially if you live in the frigid northern climes.  Just being able to shed all those extra layers of clothing and drink in the sea air is enough reason to trek down I-75 or I-95.

If Florida is not on your mind, then head to New York?  Sure, the weather may not be ideal, but if a little romance is on your agenda, then Niagara Falls, the honeymoon capital of the world (or at least in the U.S. of A) or New York City with its bright lights, Broadway shows and mega shopping opportunities would be a perfect alternative.

Why not Pennsylvania, you ask?  Well, why not?  Even where the grass has been greener can be serene, when heading to the Amish countryside as you travel along the back roads and by-ways.  

A little further south, there is always Virginia, the state which touts “Virginia is for Lovers”  . . . where you can watch the sun rise over the ocean near the seaside and heading further east see the shadows fall over the lush (verdant green in the spring, summer and fall months) rolling hills of the Shenandoah Valley as the sun goes down.  Now if that isn’t romantic, I’m just not sure what is.

Romance it seems has no season, just a reason for traveling to that special place.  And if you’re unsure where to stop for a good night’s sleep, click here for some suggestions.

By the way, we haven’t forgotten New Orleans; after all, one of the most popular tourism events of the year happens in the big easy . . . Mardi Gras will kick off before Lent, which occurs on the 22nd of February this year, so if watching colorful parades and being involved in all the gala is something you enjoy, then head to Louisiana!