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December 2012

December 28, 2012

Five Must-Try Activities in the Sea of Galilee

By Guest Blogger

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Sea of Galilee, Israel (Zoonar) 126838891
Sea of Galilee, Israel (Zoonar)

Constantly mentioned in the world's bestseller, the Bible, the Sea of Galilee is more than just a beauty of nature but also an oasis overflowing with history and culture. Fed by the Jordan River, it is the largest fresh water lake in Israel and is visited by more than one million local and foreign tourists annually.

If you're planning a trip to see the lake and its surrounding towns, here are five things you must see and do upon your visit to the historic Sea of Galilee.

Continue reading "Five Must-Try Activities in the Sea of Galilee" »

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Related Topics: Top 10 Lists · Trip Ideas

December 26, 2012

Five Tips for Keeping the Family Sane on a Winter Ski Vacation

By Guest Blogger

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Mother and daughter skiing (iStockphoto) 119037284

I've been skiing with kids for more than a decade, and while it's sometimes difficult, the rewards have been well worth it. Our family now enjoys a life-long sport that we are all capable of experiencing together. Skiing with kids can be daunting and expensive, but if you plan it right, it can be the savior of your kids' winter blues. Here are five ways to save money, time, and hassle.

Have the right gear.
Quality outerwear and equipment is expensive, but families can reduce the cost by attending ski swaps and participating in "grow with kids" gear programs at local ski shops. Renting gear on the mountain is less hassle if families reserve skis or boards ahead of time and have them delivered directly to their lodge room or condo. (If your ski resort doesn't offer this service, check to see if a local ski shop does.) Warm gloves, jackets, and socks make the difference between a fun day skiing and a miserable one. Consider it an investment. After paying for lift tickets and lodging, do you really want to hear whining all day? Of course not.

Continue reading "Five Tips for Keeping the Family Sane on a Winter Ski Vacation" »

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Related Topics: Family Vacation

December 17, 2012

Balance out a Vacation with a Calorie-Burning Race

Hood To Coast Race
Author Jennifer Maltba Seabolt runs the Hood to Coast race in August 2012

Race series that feature courses in some truly amazing destinations have been popping up all over America (and even the world). One of the fastest growing and most recognizable is the Rock n' Roll Marathon Series. In 2013 the series will have 28 "tour stops" in North America and five stops in Europe. With destinations ranging from Washington, D.C., and Pasadena, California, to Edinburgh, Scotland, and Oslo, Norway, it's easy to mix your need to calorie-burn with your next vacation.

Continue reading "Balance out a Vacation with a Calorie-Burning Race" »

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Related Topics: Trip Ideas

December 13, 2012

Travel Deal Alert: New York City Hotel Week

By Kate Chandler

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The Maritime Hotel is participating in New York City's 2013 Hotel Week.

Cash-strapped gourmands around the country have New York City to thank for introducing the “restaurant week” concept back in 1992. What started as a lunch-only promotion during the Democratic National Convention, has spawned a huge 50-city (and counting) phenomenon of prix fixe lunches and dinners at some of the country’s best restaurants.

Continue reading "Travel Deal Alert: New York City Hotel Week" »

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December 10, 2012

Shan Lin, November's Exotic Destinations Photo Contest Winner

By awayblog

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33516_rimg0082-srgb_China_ID 3bf2dba8fe00f8967e058950a26934ab
For 13 days in November, travelers submitted their most inspirational photos of exotic destinations from around the world. Seven finalists were selected, and readers rated all seven photos, ultimately selecting the winner at the end of the month. With a final average rating of 3.9, the winning photo was of China's Wulingyuan National Geopark. The photo was submitted by reader Shan Lin from Minnesota. Shan won a $100 VISA gift card and an official T-shirt. Wulingyuan is located in the Hunan Province of China near Zhangjiajie City and Changsha. This scenic area, which contains a few national parks, is most known for its towering pillars and breathtaking formations.


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Related Topics: Travel Photography

December 07, 2012

Make It a Bowl Game Vacation

Aerial view of Downtown Miami, Florida (Ingram Publishing) 122564103
Aerial view of Downtown Miami, Florida (Ingram Publishing)

Whether you're a fanatic who shaves your college team's logo into your back hair or just someone who likes a little football incorporated into your vacation, here's a look into the top bowl games this season and some other things to do while you visit the host cities.

Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO
January 1, Pasadena, California, 5:00 p.m. EST
Wisconsin vs Stanford
2012 Winner: Oregon Ducks
The Rose Bowl has been a New Year's Day tradition since the early 1900s, which is why it's nicknamed "The Granddaddy of them All." Many Heisman trophy winners and national champions have showcased their talent at these games. This year, fans should expect an exciting game as the Big 10 Wisconsin Badgers take on the Pac-12 Stanford Cardinals in Pasadena, California, for the 99th playing of the Rose Bowl. Be sure to arrive in Pasadena a few days early, as there are many other events such as Bandfest on December 29 and 30, which features performances from all the bands in the 2013 Rose Parade; the Equesfest on December 29, which showcases many of the equestrians seen in the parade New Year's Day; and, of course, The Rose Parade held before the game-day kickoff. Also, while in the City of Roses, take note of the historic buildings filled with local shops and eateries along Colorado Boulevard and the prominent architecture throughout the area. And if you like culture, check out the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens... but most of all, if you do just one thing, stop and smell the roses.

Continue reading "Make It a Bowl Game Vacation" »

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Related Topics: Holidays, Events, & Festivals · US Travel

December 06, 2012

Plan a Warm-Weather Holiday Getaway to Arizona

By Guest Blogger

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Phoenix, Arizona at dusk (iStockphoto) 118267678
Phoenix, Arizona at dusk (iStockphoto)

December is here, and like many people I'm already dreaming of warm weather. Luckily for me, my family lives in Phoenix, Arizona, so I get to escape the cold for a week and visit a warm weather destination during my holiday vacation. With average winter temperatures in the 60s, the Phoenix metro area has so much to offer. I'm already planning my week of activities, so I thought I would share some of my favorite things to do while in Arizona.'s Phoenix Travel Guide

Shop 'til You Drop
If you enjoy shopping, Phoenix and Scottsdale are some of the best vacation spots in Arizona. Be prepared to drop some coin because Scottsdale and Phoenix are home to a number of great indoor and outdoor shopping promenades. In Phoenix, your best bet is Biltmore Fashion Park, a luxury outdoor retail and dining plaza located in the upscale Biltmore area of Phoenix. In Scottsdale you have a number of options. Kierland Commons is an upscale sidewalk shopping center located on the border of North Scottsdale that offers fabulous restaurants and a bustling bar scene. If you head south to downtown Scottsdale you'll find one of the Southwest's premier shopping destinations, Scottsdale Fashion Square, which houses many luxury retailers. If high-end designers aren't your thing, there is a little something for everyone along the 5th Avenue shopping district. You'll find a mix of trendy boutiques, art galleries, jewelry stores, and Native American gifts. With all the options, you might need to bring an extra suitcase to bring home all of your loot from your Arizona vacation.

Continue reading "Plan a Warm-Weather Holiday Getaway to Arizona" »

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Related Topics: Holidays, Events, & Festivals · Trip Ideas · US Travel

December 05, 2012

Skiing Alberta: An Avalanche of Winter Wonders

BIG IT UP: Skiing Banff's Mount Norquay (Ski Banff)

One of my favorite places to ski, the Rocky Mountain slopes of Alberta, Canada, are open for the 2012-2013 ski season and packed with some great new developments. Here's a sampling.

Banff's Mt. Norquay has been open since October 25, so it has had plenty of time to work out any pre-season kinks. Current snowfall is reported at more that 30 inches, with 30 runs open. This is a really fun little resort with an edgy vibe, though note trails can be quite steep and icy in the upper areas of the mountain. They have night skiing here, as well as lift tickets by the hour, so a good one if you want to get in a half-day on the slopes along with some additional Banff National Park sightseeing.

Continue reading "Skiing Alberta: An Avalanche of Winter Wonders" »

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Related Topics: Skiing & Snowboarding

December 03, 2012

Hotel Spotlight: Craddock Terry Hotel

By awayblog

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View of the Deluxe King Suite (Craddock Terry)

Housed in a former shoe factory—which you'll see nods to almost everywhere—Lynchburg, Virginia's Craddock Terry hotel is as good of a homecoming you can get without having ever gone home. Each guest is greeted at the door by Buster Brown, the hotel's resident wirehaired fox terrier—he's also available for guests to take on walks/runs on trails through the surrounding historic district. Mixing turn-of-the-century architecture with stylish, and a bit eclectic, décor, Craddock Terry is a tranquil escape at the front door of the Blue Ridge Parkway and some of the most idyllic countryside a city-weary heart can think up.

Continue reading "Hotel Spotlight: Craddock Terry Hotel " »

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Related Topics: Places to Stay · US Travel

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