Written on March 31, 2012 at 9:06 am, by elizabeth
There’s definitely something in the air this Spring across the United States, and I’m not talking about pollen. It’s the collective groan heard ’round the country each time motorists stop to top off the tank. Rising gas prices aren’t a new phenomenon by any stretch, the memories of the 2008 gas “crisis” are still fresh for many (with the remnants still languishing on credit cards for some), but it looks like we’re in for another high priced Spring travel season.
The cost of a gallon of gas is bearing down on $4 with few signs of slowing down. Whether you blame the government, consumer spending, foreign oil or just the good old economy, unless you’re planning to hoof it to your family vacation this year, chances are you’re going to need to budget some extra money toward getting to your dream destination.
According to a new survey by the U.S. Travel Association, travelers could alter vacation plans to control summer vacation costs and business travelers will travel less thanks to the rising cost of crude oil.
“If travelers are spending more on gas, they are spending less on (lodging), attractions, shopping and restaurants, which could have a negative impact on our overall economy,” said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. “We need to find solutions that reduce the burden which rising gas prices are placing on everyday travelers.”
According to the survey’s findings, vacationers planning to travel by car this summer, more than half (54 %) said that an increase in gas prices would affect their summer leisure travel plans, and an even higher percentage (57 %) indicated altering travel plans if gas prices increased by at least $0.26 – $1.25. Roughly one-quarter (26.8 %) of business travelers said that an increase in gas prices would affect summer business plans.
Almost half (44%) of vacationers traveling by car said that an increase in gas prices would cause them to take fewer trips this summer. Almost one-fifth (19%) of business travelers using a car would take fewer trips.
Forty-three percent of leisure travelers planning to fly this summer said that an increase in airfare due to higher oil prices would affect their summer plans, with one-quarter (25%) of business travelers planning to fly saying the same.
“It’s important to remember that, along with the housing crisis, a surge in gasoline prices was one of the leading factors that pushed the economy into recession in 2008,” said David Huether, senior vice president of economics and research at U.S. Travel. “There is a very real probability that if gas prices continue to climb, Americans will change and reduce their travel plans, which would work against the positive economic momentum that had been building in recent quarters.”
Finally, almost half of all travelers (43%) said their vote for a presidential or congressional candidate this fall would be influenced by higher gas/oil prices.
So what’s a traveler to do? The logical choice it to make cost cutting measures elsewhere. By staying in a by owner vacation rental, you’ll see more value for your hard-earned dollar, and even have some green leftover for the ride home. Fully equipped kitchens will help you save money by preparing a few meals yourselves instead of dining out three times a day. Free parking at most rentals erases the need for parking fees and valet costs and the sheer size of many rentals allows travelers to accommodate larger groups for less money – fit the whole family into one fabulous beach rental this summer instead of piling into a block of tiny hotel rooms.
Good thing Scenic Rentals offers more than 2,000 by owner vacation rentals worldwide. From Downtown Disney to Midtown Manhattan, you’ll save time and money when you find your ideal vacation rental through Scenic.
Just visit our destination page at http://www.scenicrentals.com/ to start your search and Take a Vacation from Hotels!
Written on March 28, 2012 at 4:46 am, by elizabeth
Spring travel just got a little easier, thanks to the addition of US Airways service to 11 new spots. The airline launched nonstop flights to Birmingham, Ala.; Fayetteville, N.C.; Islip, N.Y.; Little Rock, Ark.; Jacksonville, N.C.; Pensacola, Fla.; Tallahassee, Fla. and Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.
US Airways will be the sole carrier to provide service to customers in these communities to Washington’s downtown airport, making it that much easier for residents of our nation’s capital to sink their toes in the sand.
New service also began to Memphis, Tenn.; Omaha, Neb. and Ottawa, Ontario. These communities are currently served by other carriers at Reagan National. In addition to the 11 new communities the airline did not previously serve, it has also added improved service on existing routes between Reagan National and Savannah, Ga.; Bangor, Maine and Hartford, Conn.
On March 21, the airline also announced that it would begin service to six additional communities from the District’s downtown airport. Once these flights commence in June and July, the airline will have a total of 22 new routes served from Reagan National. The new flights are a part of US Airways’ plan to focus on its core service areas of Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Phoenix and Charlotte, N.C.
“Today US Airways will begin connecting customers in communities, both large and small, to our nation’s capital,” said Andrew Nocella, senior vice president, marketing and planning. “We are enthusiastic about providing our business, government and leisure travelers in these 14 communities with direct and convenient access to Reagan National, and look forward to connecting additional communities in June and July.”
Beginning July 11, 99 percent of the airline’s available seat miles (ASMs) will operate to or from its core service areas and US Airways Shuttle that operates hourly between Washington, Boston and New York’s LaGuardia Airport.
Customers may book flights through US Airways’ website at www.usairways.com, by calling US Airways Reservations at 1-800-428-4322 or through their travel agent. Complete vacation packages to Washington, D.C. are also available at www.usairwaysvacations.com.
Written on March 26, 2012 at 9:52 pm, by elizabeth
Spring breaks are in full swing and the beaches are getting packed, at least temporarily. But what to stow in that spring fling suitcase? Sure in theory all you need is a bathing suit and a sundress, but as the saying goes, the clothes make the (wo)man, and never is that more true than when you’re on vacation. Resortwear to the rescue!
With more designers than ever before launching their own beach-focused ranges this year, resort-wear is establishing itself as a serious high-fashion season in its own right. On the Beach, which specializes in late deal holidays, report that almost 200 designers’ showcased 2012 resort collections. If there was ever a time to browse the web or window shop for this summer’s suitcase ensembles, it’s now!
Resort-wear began as a subset of the Spring/Summer fashion line, designed specifically for affluent fashionistas jetting off to warm foreign climes for a post-winter sunshine break. As both holidays and high-fashion have become more accessible over the years, to a far broader clientele, a growing number of design houses are now augmenting their collections with dedicated Resort ranges.
Typically featuring lighter fabrics, nautical themes, Mediterranean color palettes and plenty of cruise wear, this year’s Resort collections introduced some hot new beachwear trends.
As one of the most colourful Resortwear seasons yet, red dresses, vibrant color blocking, shimmering silver and pale yellow emerged as the leading beachwear color trends. Prints were bolder than ever before too, with Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Phillip Lim presenting striking head-to-toe print ensembles, and Stella McCartney, Givenchy and Preen opting for psychedelic mirrored floral prints.
Resortwear is typically more lightweight, breathable, and easier to pack, and this year saw lace emerge as the lightweight fabric of choice. Alexander McQueen, Lanvin and Valentino all presented lace Resortwear dresses and skirts, perhaps inspired by the popularity of Kate Middleton’s renowned royal wedding gown of last summer.
As for accessories, color-pop pink purses featured on several major Resort runways, and while wide brim hats remain de rigueur, the visor emerged as the new essential beachwear accessory.
“With so many new collections to choose from, and so many new trends emerging from this rapidly growing fashion sector, Resortwear is attracting more attention than ever before,” explained a spokesperson for On the Beach. ”There’s never been a more holiday-oriented year for fashion and it’s great news for travellers looking for some holiday fashion inspiration.
“High-fashion holiday wear is becoming more accessible than ever, and anyone can take inspiration from the emerging trends, whether they’re enjoying a luxurious holiday or jetting off on a late deal bargain.”
With plenty of closet space in most by owner vacation rentals, you won’t have to labor over “what to leave behind” decisions when packing for your next vacation. Big adieu to sharing a tiny hotel room closet with your travel partners and treat yourself to all the comforts of home – including plenty of storage space for your vacation wardrobe. Even better, most rental homes are equipped with washers and dryers, meaning you can repeat your favorite looks without fear of wearing yesterday’s lunch.
Find your perfect by owner vacation rental at Scenic Rentals. Whether you’re headed to Florida, South Carolina or the Caribbean, with more than 2,000 vacation rentals worldwide, you’re sure to find a spacious spot to accommodate you, your entourage and even your suitcase!
Written on March 18, 2012 at 5:07 am, by elizabeth
A visit to America’s largest home near Asheville, North Carolina, often spurs this question among guests: “What was it like to be a Vanderbilt and live such an extraordinary life?” After years of research, Biltmore answers the question with a new exhibition beginning April 7, “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad.”
The exhibition provides a fascinating look at the lives of George, Edith and Cornelia Vanderbilt. Rare objects from Biltmore’s collection and new stories pulled from estate archives provide an exciting look into a bygone era. Entry to the exhibition is included in estate admission.
“For years, guests at Biltmore have wanted to know more about the Vanderbilts,” said Ellen Rickman, director of Museum and Guest Services. “With this exhibition, we’ve tried to craft a vivid story that showcases their extraordinary lives. There is so much to see and discover. When you enter the exhibition space, it’s like stepping back into history.”
The exhibition begins with George Vanderbilt’s background and the Vanderbilt family tree. Excerpts from Vanderbilt’s diary, stories of his world travels as a young man and family photos reveal what it was like to grow up in one of the world’s wealthiest families.
His transition from America’s most eligible bachelor to a married family man is detailed with intriguing facts about his courtship with Edith Stuyvesant Dresser, highlights from their European honeymoon and photos of their homecoming to Biltmore House. The birth of their daughter Cornelia is captured with family letters and intimate photos from Edith Vanderbilt’s personal Kodak camera.
Throughout the exhibition, private family photos and priceless objects provide a tangible bridge to the past. The silver tea service from George Vanderbilt’s private rail car, Edith Vanderbilt’s elegant Louis Vuitton trunk and authentic samurai swords from a trip to Japan reveal a family that valued intellectual curiosity, new cultures and history.
While researching the Vanderbilts’ extensive world travels, the Museum Services staff discovered the Vanderbilts were scheduled to sail on Titanic. “While going through the estate’s archives, we were able to piece together a fascinating story about why the Vanderbilts did not board Titanic,” said Darren Poupore, chief curator. “For the first time, we share the fateful decision that more than likely saved their lives.” A model of Titanic, original menus from the ill-fated ship, and archival images on loan from Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., will be on display to help tell the story.
Detailed stories and rare artifacts paint the picture of a home filled with joy and hospitality. Cornelia Vanderbilt’s elaborate costume from her 21st birthday masquerade party, luxurious china, crystal and silver used during formal dinners on the estate are part of the exhibition’s collection.
Other rare objects on display include an early Harley-Davidson motorcycle, on loan from the vintage American motorcycle museum Wheels Through Time in Maggie Valley, N.C. It captures George Vanderbilt’s passion for new technology. The bike is nearly identical to one once owned by the Vanderbilts, and was used by estate employees for transportation across the estate.
The opening of “The Vanderbilts at Home and Abroad” on April 7 coincides with the beginning of Festival of Flowers, Biltmore’s grand spring celebration. For more information about events at Biltmore, visit www.biltmore.com. Biltmore is located in Asheville, North Carolina, an idyllic location in the North Carolina Mountains.
Feel like American royalty yourself when you stay in a North Carolina Mountains by owner vacation rental from Scenic Rentals and Take a Vacation from Hotels!
Written on March 11, 2012 at 9:53 pm, by elizabeth
The green beer is about to start flowing – St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, making it the perfect time for a party. Though the first places that pop to mind may be Savannah, Chicago or Boston, St. Pat’s weekend is the perfect excuse for a little Irish revelry in the Mile High City. Parades, traditional (and not-so-traditional) music and dance, day-long parties, family-friendly events and more bring the luck of the Irish to Denver.
1.St. Patrick’s Day Parade
When: March 17, 10 a.m.
Where: Downtown Denver (Map of parade route)
The St. Patrick’s Day Parade is a festive and fun event for all ages that celebrates Irish culture and heralds the start of spring. It’s the largest St. Paddy’s day parade west of the Mississippi, and the largest annual parade in Denver, with more than 200,000 people lining the route to enjoy horses and stagecoaches, marching bands, dancers, floats and Irish-themed fun with a Western flair. All in all, more than 200 businesses and organizations and 10,000 marchers will take part in the festivities. The parade begins at 27th and Blake Streets in LoDo (just down the street from the Coors Field parking lot) at 10 a.m. and generally lasts until 2 p.m.
2. 14th Annual Outdoor St. Patrick’s Day Festival
When: March 17
Where: Fado Irish Pub
It’s the biggest day of the year at Fado, the classic Irish pub in Downtown Denver’s ballpark district. The beer starts flowing at7:30 a.m., and the outdoor festival starts at 10 a.m. with live music on two stages from the Clancy’s, Big Paddy, The Indulgers, Celtic Steps, Colorado Youth and Nevermind the 90s. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., kids’ events include a bouncy castle, games and face painting. 21 and older only after 5 p.m. If that isn’t enough, Fado is celebrating all week long with various events, including:
- St. Paddy’s Day Irish Session (March 12, 7 p.m.) – a night full of traditional Irish music
- Irish Idol Karaoke (every Wednesday in March, 8 p.m.) – sing your heart out
- Annual St. Baldrick’s Head Shaving Charity Event (March 16, starting at 11 a.m.) – fearless volunteers go bald to fight cancer
3. Bennett School of Irish Dance Taps Its Way Into Denver
When: March 17, 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Where: Children’s Museum of Denver
Youngsters can celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with interactive performances by young dancers from the family-friendly Bennett School of Irish Dance. Complete with traditional Irish music, these centuries-old dances combine the captivating rhythms of Celtic music with the elegance and energy of dance. Free with museum admission.
4. Tilted Kilt Celebration
When: March 17
Where: Tilted Kilt Denver
Party all day long with the lasses at Tilted Kilt for a festive St. Paddy’s Day weekend. Doors open at 7 a.m. with green beer, Bloody Mary’s, breakfast and a day full of fun. For those who just can’t wait to celebrate, doors open at 9:30 a.m. at the Kilt onMarch 15 and 16.
5. 4th Annual St. Patrick’s Gay Cabaret
When: March 17, 7 p.m.
Where: Messiah Community Church
Harmony Chorale presents a campy take on St. Patrick’s Day with music, appetizers, cocktails and fun; all for $10 at the door. Proceeds benefit Harmony’s mission of inclusiveness in Denver.
6. St. Paddy’s Celebration at the Tavern Downtown
When: March 16-17
The rooftop patio at the Tavern Downtown is one of the best spots for parade watching and for partying the rest of the day. DJs spin the latest jams all day beginning at 10 a.m. Pre-load the Irish celebration on March 16 with radio station 95.7 The Party as hosts Deuce and DJ Bedz broadcast live from 3 to 7 p.m. with giveaways, drink specials and more.
7. Runnin’ of the Green 7K
When: March 11, 10 a.m.
Where: Race starts at 17 Street and Wazee in Lower Downtown Denver (course map)
Break out your green running shoes. Voted the 2011 Race of the Year by Colorado Runner Magazine, this family oriented foot race/walk celebrates St. Patrick’s Day and spring. Stick around after the race for a fun after-party.
8. Denver Nuggets take on the Boston Celtics
When: March 17, 7 p.m.
Where: Pepsi Center
Watch the ultimate St. Paddy’s Day sporting event. See which city truly has the “luck o’ the Irish” as the Nuggets battle the Celtics.
9. Gobs O’Phun
When: March 16, 8 p.m.
Where: Daniels Hall at Swallow Hill Music
The Gobs perform traditional Celtic folksongs, telling stories that run the gamut from silly to sad and everything in between. Accompanied by guitar, bodhran, sticks, banjo and an awe-inspiring instrument not found in any other band (the “Bagmonica”), you just have to see it to believe.
10. Brass, Bagpipes & Co: Celtic Fusion
When: March 10 & 16 (2:30 p.m.), March 11 & 18 (7:30 p.m.)
Where: Newman Center for the Performing Arts
The Denver Brass fuses the best of the past with all new sights and sounds to create a dazzling experience for new and returning fans. Be transported to the Emerald Isle and beyond in a show featuring timeless Celtic favorites and inspiring new sounds.
It’ll feel like your lucky day when you book a by owner vacation rental through Scenic Rentals and save a little green! Visit the Denver and Colorado mountains destination pages and find your pot o’ gold!
Written on March 7, 2012 at 8:55 am, by elizabeth
The Happiest Place on Earth will get even happier June 15, 2012, with the grand opening of Cars Land, Buena Vista Street and the Carthay Circle Theatre at Disney California Adventure park. The exciting, new additions will complete the five-year expansion of Disneyland Resort, a premier, multi-day vacation destination in Southern California with two theme parks, three hotels and the Downtown Disney shopping and dining district.
Cars Land expands Disney California Adventure by 12 acres and immerses guests in the thrilling world of the Disney•Pixar blockbuster “Cars.” Guests will feel as if they have stepped into the town of Radiator Springs as they enjoy three family attractions showcasing characters and settings from the movie, plus “Cars”-themed dining and shopping locations such as Flo’s V8 Cafe, Ramone’s House of Body Art and Radiator Springs Curios.
One of the largest and most elaborate attractions ever created for a Disney park, Radiator Springs Racers is a twisting, turning, high-speed adventure through Ornament Valley and the town of Radiator Springs. Luigi’s Flying Tires invites guests to glide on air aboard special tires, whirling around with their pals. At Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree, guests will whip around behind a baby tractor and enjoy tunes from a giant jukebox built from Mater’s most prized possessions.
Starting June 15, guests will enter Disney California Adventure along Buena Vista Street, a place that transports them to an era when Walt Disney arrived in California with new dreams: 1920s Los Angeles. Buena Vista Street features Red Car Trolleys, inspired by the transportation system that once served Southern California, and the Carthay Circle Theatre, modeled after the site of the 1937 world premiere of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Carthay Circle Theatre will include a lounge and the elegant Carthay Circle Restaurant, designed to be the premier dining location in Disney California Adventure.
Adding to the fun at Disney California Adventure this summer will be the new Mad T Party in Hollywood Land, the return of Pixar Play Parade, and the new Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop at Pacific Wharf. Mad T Party will feature nighttime, family fun inspired by the wild and whimsical world of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
The summer debuts of Cars Land, Buena Vista Street and Carthay Circle Theatre complement previous additions to the park, including the 4D fun of Toy Story Mania; the spectacular after-dark “World of Color” show; The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure; Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta and Paradise Garden Grill restaurants, plus the re-themed attractions Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Silly Symphony Swings and Goofy’s Sky School.
To accommodate a media preview and make final preparations for the exciting debuts, Disney California Adventure will be closed June 14. The fun, new attractions, locations and entertainment will open to the public June 15.
Experience all that the newly expanded Disneyland has to offer without breaking the bank when you stay at a by owner vacation rental advertised on Scenic Rentals. Scenic offers beautiful Disney vacation homes in Anaheim, Orange County and Los Angeles. When you stay in a by owner vacation rental, you can enjoy the Disney experience and still have room for the whole Clubhouse to enjoy the fun. For more tips on taking a Disney vacation, visit this post from The Scene in September 2011.
Choose a by owner vacation rental for your next Disney vacation and Take a Vacation from Hotels!
Written on March 1, 2012 at 8:46 am, by elizabeth
March Madness is on the horizon – those few weeks each year when every TV in town is tuned to basketball and brackets are the common thread between every interested party. The madness begins in Dayton, Ohio, on March 13 and ends at the Superdome in New Orleans on April 2, 2012 with stops between all across the U.S.
If you’re planning to head to a game or two, plan ahead and get your lodging ready. When you stay in a by owner vacation rental, you’ll have enough room for the whole team to celebrate or a quiet place to get away from the revelry if your colors aren’t on the winning bench. Not to mention the ease of kicking back with a cold beer after the game and owning the remote. Now doesn’t that sound better than fighting the crowds at the hotel bar?
Depending on the game, tickets can be a quick sell or an easy find. If you’re planning ahead, visit http://www.ncaa.com/news/basketball-men/div-one-bball-tickets-pre/2010-12-19/ticket-information for legit links. Or, try your luck outside games – as teams win and lose even hard to score seats can suddenly become easily accessible.
Here’s the 2012 March Madness NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament schedule:
First Four: Tuesday & Wednesday, March 13-14,
University of Dayton Arena, Dayton, Ohio (Hosted by University of Dayton)
Rounds 2 & 3: Thursday & Saturday, March 15 & 17,
The Pit, Albuquerque, New Mexico (Hosted by University of New Mexico)
KFC Yum! Center, Louisville, Kentucky (Hosted by University of Louisville)
Consol Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Hosted by Duquesne University)
Rose Garden, Portland, Oregon (Hosted by University of Oregon)
Rounds 2 & 3, Friday & Saturday, March 16 & 18,
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio (Hosted by Ohio State)
Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, North Carolina (Hosted by ACC)
Bridgestone Center, Nashville, Tennessee (Hosted by Ohio Valley Conference)
Qwest Center, Omaha, Nebraska (Hosted by Creighton University)
Regionals: Friday & Sunday, March 23 & 25
Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia (Hosted by Georgia Tech)
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, Missouri (Hosted by Saint Louis University)
Final Four: Saturday & Monday, March 31 & April 2
Louisiana Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana (Hosted by Tulane University)
Looking for a vacation rental in one of the host cities? Click the city name above to visit the Scenic Rentals destination page for that town or state. Then book your vacation rental and get ready to enjoy the madness!!
Written on February 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm, by elizabeth
With winter vacation officially over and Spring Break already on the minds of so many, it’s the perfect time to start planning an exciting trip to one of America’s nearly 400 national parks. This week, the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, revealed some of the not-to-be-missed national park adventures to check out this season.
This Spring, the National Park Foundation’s list of some of the best ways to enjoy your national parks include:
1. Glide along the shoreline at Biscayne National Park (Florida).
Explore tidal creeks and canals, and skim over vast seagrass meadows while watching for manatees, birds, fish and other critters. Weather permitting, this FREE 2-3 hour paddle begins at the Dante Fascell Visitor Center at 9 a.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until April. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=9627.
2. Enjoy the snow before it’s gone with a snowshoe hike in Crater Lake National Park (Oregon).
Explore one of the snowiest inhabited places in America, receiving an average of 44 feet of snow per year. Snowshoes are provided for free. Be sure to make reservations in advance as the ranger-guided snowshoe walks fill up fast! More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=9559.
3. Capture beautiful moments with Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia).
Do you love taking photos? Join fellow photo enthusiasts for an evening of photography demonstrations including helpful techniques and tips designed to get that perfect shot! Photographers of all levels are invited and encouraged to attend. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=10628.
4. Compete in a scavenger hunt in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Tennessee, North Carolina).
Round up your friends and family for the 4th Annual Great Smoky Mountains Scavenger Hunt on March 3, 2012! The hunt uses roads and official trails all across the park. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=766.
5. Learn how your life compares to life in the Arctic at Kobuk Valley National Park (Alaska).
Ever wanted to learn about life in the Arctic? Here’s your chance! Come check out the Arctic Circle Film Series every Tuesday evening from 7-9 p.m.! More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=2.
6. Celebrate Women’s History Month at Lowell National Historical Park (Massachusetts).
March is Women’s History Month! Since 1996, Lowell National Historical Park has been celebrating Lowell Women’s Week. Join in on the fun and celebrate the important role women have played in history and present-day with Lowell Women’s Week,March 4 – March 12, 2012. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=10730.
7. Make a lei necklace at Puukohola Heiau National Historic Site (Hawaii).
Join “Aunty Martha” from the Hawaii Pacific Parks Association for lei making demonstrations! More information athttp://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=10824.
8. Enjoy a river walk at Tumacacori National Historical Park (Arizona).
Hike to the Santa Cruz River and explore the natural and cultural history found in this national park, one of the National Park Foundation’s American Latino Heritage Fund sites. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=9677.
9. Indulge your artistic side at Weir Farm National Historic Site (Connecticut).
Be creative, be inspired and Take Part in Art at Weir Farm National Historic Site, home to three generations of American artists! The park will provide graphite pencils, colored pencils and chalk pastels for all ages and experience levels. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=7921.
10. Sit back, relax and chat on the patio at White Sands National Monument (New Mexico).
Enjoy a weekend afternoon chat on the patio with the rangers! The rangers will lead discussions on a variety of topics. More information at http://www.nps.gov/findapark/event-listing.htm?eventID=8171.
In addition to these events, the National Park Foundation and the National Park Service are inviting people everywhere to experience the beauty and wonder of America’s nearly 400 national parks for FREE during National Park Week 2012, which will be celebrated Saturday, April 21 through Sunday, April 29.
For more information on these and other events happening in America’s national parks, please visit the National Park Service’s events calendar.
Visit http://www.scenicrentals.com/ to find a by owner vacation rental near a U.S. National Park and make the most of your spring vacation budget! With more than 2,000 vacation rentals worldwide, there’s sure to be a vacation rental home in your destination.
Written on February 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm, by elizabeth
The revelry may have died down in New Orleans, but the spring travel season is about to heat up. March is just a few days away and whether it rolls in like a lion or not, one thing is for sure – college spring breaks are about to get started.
University spring breaks have earned a reputation as a week of wild partying fueled by an anything goes attitude before students return to their respective campuses to finish out the semester. And while that may or may not be true (who are we to judge?), the last thing you want is to find yourself in the Spring Break capital of the world (we’re looking at you Cancun) when your goal is a romantic weekend or a family-friendly vacation. So to make sure your travel plans take you exactly where you want to go, here are the top 12 Spring Break destinations as ranked by U.S. News & World Report:
11 – Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
10 – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
8 – Jamaica
6 – The Bahamas
4 – Puerto Rico
3 – South Padre Island, Texas
2 - Miami, Florida
And the number one Spring Break destination for 2012: Cancun, Mexico!
Whether you’re a spring break reveler or trying to get as far from the crowds as you can, you’re sure to find a by owner vacation rental in the destination of your choice when you browse the thousands of listings on Scenic Rentals. Just click on a city to view property listings, virtual tours and city information for more than 2,000 properties worldwide.
Scenic Rentals: Take a Vacation from Hotels!
Written on February 21, 2012 at 4:02 pm, by elizabeth
Hello travelers! I just returned from a weekend savoring the best the South has to offer in Charleston, South Carolina. This is becoming an annual winter getaway for my husband and I – you may remember entries from our trip last February. (Check them out HERE, HERE and HERE.) It’s with good reason the Holy City beckoned us back – fabulous food, amazing architecture and that certain Southern something that is often emulated but never replicated have visitors returning time and again in search of that lovely lagniappe only found in the lowcountry.
We began our weekend in the South Carolina sunshine, wandering through the shops on King Street and watching Charlestonians and fellow travelers welcome the end of the workweek and the start of another lovely weekend. The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE) was in town, making this a particularly busy winter weekend all around town. The SEWE is basically a three day extravaganza celebrating wildlife, conservation and the sporting life and includes art exhibits, dog agility exhibitions, dock diving, cooking demonstrations, parties and more. But don’t expect a campfire roasting rustic weenies – this is Charleston after all. Even the most hardcore conservationist will enjoy breakfast served with a side of silver and a mimosa. Though we didn’t take part in the SEWE events, the scuttle around town was that there were plenty of things to see and do and we seemed to run into SEWE participants at nearly every turn.
Of everything Charleston is known for, fine dining tops the list. On Friday night we treated ourselves to a taste of the new South with a visit to Slightly North of Broad on East Bay Street, or SNOB as it’s more commonly known. The name may be a tongue-in-cheek reference to the desirable “South of Broad” address that Charlestonians aspire to, but the food is decidedly uppercrust. The menu is vast, encompassing everything from appetizers and “medium plates” for the lighter appetites to full dinners with all the trimmings. Fresh, locally farmed ingredients are used whenever possible and the inventive creations have earned this bistro a reputation that keeps the staff bustling from open to close, whenever that may be (the place was still buzzing when we departed at nearly 11pm).
The remainder of our Charleston weekend was spent wandering the old slave market for local treasures, browsing the shops on King Street and meandering through the beautiful campus of the College of Charleston. The city’s historic streets and cobblestone alleys are inspiring, turning a simple walk around the block into a history lesson.
Late Saturday afternoon we took a chance on the clouds and set out to explore the nearby beaches. Compared to the powdery white sand of the Florida Panhandle, the darker Carolina coast offers a more rugged kind of beauty, but the abundance of shells was a pleasant surprise and no matter the weather an ocean view always quiets the soul. We explored Folly Beach and the more tony Sullivan’s Island before heading over to Mt. Pleasant for another local delicacy, she crab soup.
Our weekend ended with a leisurely breakfast at Kudu Coffee & Craft Beer on Vanderhorst Street. This locally owned coffee shop/beer bar offered a quiet respite from the drizzly morning and was the perfect place to sip a coffee, nibble a pastry and watch the locals stroll in. The baristas are trained in more than just lattes and top every cup with a delicate floral design – my cafe mocha was almost too pretty to drink!
Whether you’re a history buff, a serious shopper or an insatiable foodie, Charleston, South Carolina offers plenty to see, do and experience every time you visit. Check out the Charleston and surrounding South Carolina by owner vacation rentals offered through Scenic Rentals and see for yourself.