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Travel Outside the Country, Safe and Sound

There is an undeniable fact that most people have this great chance to travel
abroad for some time in their lives. For some reasons, others go abroad for
work. Whatever the purpose of that travel abroad is, see to it that you make
yourself safe from whatever hassles and be prepared for the whole trip.

These are the tips you have to bear in mind so that you would not have a hard
time for traveling is intended to be coated with fun and excitement.

What are these tips?

See to it that you have signed the right passport and visa, double check
everything for these are the most important things you have to secure before
anything else. And be sure to fill in the information intended for the
emergency page.

More readings would definitely help you out. Get to know the country you want
to visit. The Consular information sheets would surely be very essential as a
reading material. You really have to get to know the country you choose to go
As you are in the other country, of course, you have to be under the rules and
law of the country you are paying a visit at. For it would surely decide your
total stay there. Stay out of the hassles and troubles by being of knowledge.

Be aware of their custom as well. Do not get yourself that feeling of being an
outcast or do not hurt others just because you have gone against their usual
beliefs and their usual acts. When you know the culture and the custom, the
more you sow seeds of respect to the place and its people.

Make another copy of your important travel papers.

And of course, contact the nearest offices that are very helpful to you.

These are the reminders you have to carry with you whenever you go around and
see the world. Traveling is indeed fun but you could turn it into a disaster if
you do not how to handle and enjoy it with the right steps, information and
guide.

As you visit places and meet people, make this as your guide. This would
definitely lead you to the places you more than dreamed of.


Travel With Kids, Travel Prepared

It is good to have your kids with you when you travel; this would surely open
their eyes to a lot more of new knowledge and discovery. When you bring along
your kids in your trips, this is not only a way of bringing them close to your
heart but also through this, your child would definitely make him or her more
aware about the world around him or her.

Well, when kids are with you, you need to be more prepared because as we all
know they have special needs and we have to respond to such needs. With the
tips provided below, it would surely help you get yourself prepared for the
entire travel.

You have to bring with you some of the most useful things you could carry with
you as you travel and as you reach destinations:

- Band-Aids 
- antiseptic hand gel 
- small tissue packs 
- sun screen 
- Dr.'s phone numbers 
- Tylenol -- children's & adults 
- a rubber door stop can provide extra security for a hotel room door small 
  plug in nightlight, to help find the bathroom in the middle of the night

* These things are for the activities you could have together in order not get
  bored and to get their attention fully

- Crayons 
- mechanical pencils 
- highlighter (good for word search games) 
- paper 
- deck of cards 
- zip lock bags (collecting shells, storing food, wet clothes)

* These are other things for travel uses:

- sun glasses 
- hats/visors 
- light weight wind breaker 
- umbrella 
- camera with extra film

Keep a photo of your child in your wallet -- in case you loose them in a crowed
area extra copy of birth certificates, photo id, travel reservations, airline
tickets.

With these pointers in mind, you would not surely miss the thrill and the fun,
you would also be able to good at preparing for traveling like from the simple
trips to those that require loads of planning.


Travel and Sleep in the 5 Biggest Hotels in the World!

Does size really matter?

For food, it really does. The bulky it looks, the fuller you may become. Well,
not at all times, right? There are these small yet heavy-for-the-stomach foods.
For things, size is not really a big deal. Nowadays, the smaller your gadgets
are, the hippest they may be. For people, the smaller you are, the more
adorable you can be. For hotels? IT DOES.

Ever wonder if what are the best and largest hotels around the globe? We know
that you do. If you are out for traveling or a tour, where do you think is the
best place you can call home for a span of time? It is of course good to sleep
at the most comfortable bed, to eat at the finest table, to meet new faces in
the biggest hotels on earth.

The largest hotel is at the womb of Asia. It can be found in Thailand, the
Ambassador City Jomtien. It is a paradise away from home. Just try to imagine a
40-acre beach singing you waves of lullaby. The mountains also embrace you with
its green. All your anxieties are sure to vanish into thin air. You just need a
ten-minute boat ride from Pattaya. If you crave for the city-way of relaxation
and leisure, you need not worry about it. This is also a complex which has
tennis and sports center, business service for those who need one and
convention center for those who gather for assemblies, reunions, forums, and so
forth. Not to forget, this hotel has the largest swimming pool in Asia. The
biggest trivia is that it has a total of 5,100 guest rooms and suites.

If you are around Las Vegas for some casino or whatever, it will make your trip
complete if you try sleeping at MGM Grand Hotel Casino. It holds the title of
the second biggest hotel in the world and the biggest in the North American
region. You will say nothing but praises when you will see right in your very
eyes its four 30-storey towers. What more if you treat your sight with its
massive video screens? A huge gold lion is outside while live lions dwell
inside the place. Feed your appetite with nine restaurants and two food courts.
Go and get one of its 5,005 guest rooms.

Are you still in Las Vegas? If the MGM is not the hotel for you, try the second
biggest in Las Vegas and the third biggest in the whole world, Luxor Hotel
Casino. The adjoining tower house and the pyramid-like structure have 4,408
guest rooms and suites in it.

Las Vegas also owns in its midst the fourth largest hotel in the world Mandalay
Bay (including THEhotel). Ever since 1999, it has become popular due to being
one of the hippest night spots. Numerous concerts are held here. When the sun
is out, one can savor the enigma of its rich heritage for it has a unique coin
museum. A walk-through aquarium is also another delightful spot. Your stomach
and your spirit alike will enjoy the trendy restaurants. It has all in all,
4,341 rooms.

Do you love Italy? Well, if Europe is just too far, Las Vegas will be happy to
let you in. Yes, the next biggest hotel is still at its area. A replica of St.
Mark's Square does the trick. You will experience Italy on its Renaissance
period. For music-adorers, this the right place. Strolling musicians are almost
out 24/7. The Venetian has the largest standard rooms. Their size is at 700
square feet. Have a reservation from one of its 4,049 guest rooms and suites.

Size does matter in some cases. If this remains a hypothesis, why not let these
hotels tell you the truth. Travel the world and stay at the biggest hotels of
the world.


Travel and Cruises: Searching for LOVE?

Nostalgic but she is gone? No arms to hold, no eyes to stare at... loveless or
maybe broken-hearted? Do not be too hard on your self. Take a break, stay away
from the so busy city streets, free your spirit and meet new people.

Go cruising down the smooth blue waters of the earth. Explore love the way
nature tells it. Your sentiments will surely fade away... feelings of
resentments will change into the excitement of meeting a new "mate".

Through cruises for singles, there are organized cocktail parties, games, group
dynamics, one-on-one dining and an access to their singles chat site where one
can get to know other singles. This is a venue for meeting new people and a
prospect partner in the future. All you need to do is drop off your hesitation
and actively participate in the process of match-making. Romance blooms in the
most unexpected places, right.

These are three of the most popular Singles Cruise:

* 7 Night Greek Isles Cruise

You could sail from Venice Italy to Bari, Italy, same with Santorini, Mykonos
and Corfu Greece and Dubrovnik Croatia. Spend money from $1,622.

* 7 Night Hawaiian Islands Cruise

For $1,990 or more, one is able to join the singles cruise to Hawaii. It sails
from Honolulu to Kauai to Maui.

* 8 Night Exotic Western Caribbean after Thanksgiving Cruise

In just a cheap $749 or more, one can have at his hands the marvelous Western
Caribbean Cruise.

Cruises for singles were created to cater the needs of the single community of
individuals in the world. If you are just willing to spend some amount, sincere
time, pure intentions, this project must continue going to school.

Not only socializing activities is being stressed but also single cruises
prepare activities that would enhance skills like teamwork, self-confidence and
establishing of good intrapersonal relationship. The cruises for singles prepare
sports activities. Professional cruise directors are the ones who organize these
activities. Lectures and other worthwhile sharing of thoughts are also
significant parts. Indeed, not merely all-fun.

Deposit commonly ranges from $250-$300 and all are charged according to double
occupancy. Actually, couples do not stay on the entire ship, but they have one
common spot where they mingle and try love searching.

Most people who have experienced joining the cruise are working professionals
from mid 20s to mid 60s.

There is this sparkling hope that somebody meant for them is on board, they try
cruising the Singles. This is a way of traveling and finding love, both at the
same time.


Traveling Light on a Cruise

On a cruise, you would meet new people and new people means, new impressions.
How could be impression be formed? There are factors and though it is shallow
to think of, the way a person dresses up affects how people around look at him
or her. A well-dressed person is often regarded of as a confident person. But,
others are so timid to look at.

How could one still be fashionable without having to carry the whole closet?
You are on your way away from home; packing is the next thing to consider. As
you travel, you must bear in mind that you have to travel light, bring what is
only important and what are your must-haves. It will be a big hassle on your
part if you carry with you an extremely heavy bag, Instead of giving you the
break of your life, it will surely break your shoulders apart.

Packing the things you need is so important. How to do it?

Casual, formal and informal are things or clothes one must consider bringing as
present from them In daylight, shorts tees, Capri pants, sneakers, slippers and
simple tees are fine for me. These are sources of comfort and they are much
suited for the ordinary days. Your bikinis, sunscreen lotion, flip flops,
sunglasses, and your necessities for the beach.

For the night time something a little formal will do the trick, try on
something strap for women and for men, trousers and blazer may do. Dressing up
does not mean that you have to be very fancy, all you need to have is
presentable clothes, easy to carry and the most important thing is it is being
worn with confidence.

Being on a cruise does not mean you have to forget how you look especially if
you are out for the singles cruise. There you have to be attractive in some
ways because you are there in search for someone. Traveling light while not
having to look messy will surely make your cruise unforgettable.

Always take care of your belongings when you set out for a cruise, traveling
light will help you do this much easier. Moreover, having so many loads to
carry along your trip will not help you achieved your purpose of relaxation. It
would even resort to stress or anxiety- so beware!

It will be hassle- free, stress-free and it may be a wonderful start of
something you have been wishing for, with someone you have been waiting for.

How to get rid of cruise misconceptions as you travel

For the rest of the world, cruising is a great experience no amount of money
could afford to alter. On the other hand, there are still people who think that
it sucks to go on a cruise and it is not fun travel at all. What are the reasons
why some people manage not to like cruising when in fact it is stereotyped as
"adventurous way to travel"?

One of the most common reasons is that he thinks that a cruise could be very
boring travel; this is not at all true. The cruise ship offers everything that
is just right for one's enjoyment.

There are a lot of things and activities waiting for you so do not get stuck in
a corner, go out and meet people- at daylight, you could enjoy the games.
Moreover, it is also a reliever from stress and anxiety. The traditional way of
relaxing near the pool with eyes set on the star-studded sky or flash one's
eyeballs on the beautiful people.

Some offer spa and other beauty as well as teenagers. But there are others too.
As the night curtains are dropped, there are numerous bars and parties could
help you socialize and mingle with others.

Others are afraid to try experiencing a cruise for he or she might be seasick.
Seasickness is normal back in the past. Nowadays ships are so smooth-sailing,
so they do not have large tendency to let you have seasickness. The chance to
travel is worth the adventure, you do not have to be very cautious about it.

The biggest mistake a person could think is that he or she will not feel
comfortable. The reason she tries to evade from cruising is that there are many
people who could not drink and those who could. There are people who are like
that, but I am like this...is the usual drama. You need not worry about that we
could fix it anytime soon.

For younger people, they do not consider joining the older population. They
think that it is not good to be in a cruise and travel because people there are
all old. This is half of the truth- but let us appreciate the fact that you are
there and you are unique. Meeting people along the way is not something to be
afraid of bridging the differences.

The reason of others is that they have a bit of knowledge in ships and they
think it is disadvantageous means to travel. You are there to unwind not to
look at you an engineer who knows all the parts of their function and enumerate
them to people you meet.

These are just some of the many misconceptions. These are not that strong for
someone who has in his heart what he does. And, sometimes we need to look for
other things... When the fact is they are just near our reach. Travel, it is a
chance to be savored and not wasted.


Travel the world, travel to the best ski sites

The snow, the slope, the scene, the chill...these factors are important in
considering the Ski site. Some ski-enthusiasts are really making sure that they
do not only go skiing because of their hobby but they also check out the Ski
sites. They are indeed worth your visit. These sites are also having this race
to popularity against each other.

As of the present, there are a lot of well-known Ski sites around the globe.
You could check for your self the seven most sought-after sites where you could
enjoy the thrill, the challenge and the splash of snow. According to Askmen.com
these are the seven Ski sites you would not dare miss going to and a travel
would be very cherished for you:

Vermont, Eastern US is the mother of the Ski resort named Stowe. There are two
Ski areas here: Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield. It has the most picturesque
ski resort in the area. It possesses the traditional New England lure and the
largest vertical drop.

In France, the host of the 1st World Olympic Games: Chamonix Mont-Blanc is one
of the world's finest Ski site. It is proud to have a lift-served vertical drop
and the longest run.

Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village, and Lake Louise are three Ski sites that could
be found in Banff National Park in Western Canada.

Be captivated with Vail, also called as the "America's favorite Ski resort.
What makes this resort from Colorado, in Western United States so unique is
that it does not only hold skiing activities but as well as it give s clients
the best art galleries, ice skating, snow mobilingand the like.

Switzerland, one of the cleanest in the world, who would have known that in its
womb, is the beautiful, it is said to be the cleanest Ski resort. The peace of
mind it complementing t6he beautiful country of Switzerland is really a sight.

Go to Austria and visit Ktzhubel, the "Peal of the Alps". As the former host of
the Olympics, it also has the breath-taking scene that would steal any skier's
heart out. It is also the most famous during holidays.

The most famous Ski site is the Whistler/Blackcomb which could be found in
British Columbia. It has the biggest vertical drop. What makes it so big for
those thrill-enthusiasts? Cafes, restaurants that cater foods of the world,
stores that are internationally known, make it as the coolest spot for both
skiers and non-skiers.

The delicious food is the topmost reason why people crave for this Ski site.

Discover the snow, the thrill, the fun, the excitement. Unravel the Skier in
you- visit the seven of the best Ski sites in the planet. Travel the world,
travel around these sites for skiing.


Alaska -- Experience the Great Outdoors

There are few places in the United States that can boast as much natural beauty
and Alaska, and when it comes to untamed natural beauty, this state wins hands
down. From magnificent snow capped mountains to serene lakes full of salmon,
Alaska offers an outdoor vacation that's hard to beat.

If you're flying into Alaska, your main choices are Anchorage in the south of
the state or Fairbanks in the north. One way of getting the best from your time
in Alaska is to fly into one of the airports and out of the other. Then you have
a choice of you'll get from one to other, and part of your vacation will be
traveling in the direction of your return airport -- this can be by car or
train. For added adventure, you can take the train from Anchorage to Fairbanks
(or vice versa) -- this journey of just under 350 miles will give you not only
breathtaking views of Mt. McKinley, crosses the 700ft Mears Memorial bridge and
clings to the side of Nenana River Canyon, but it also takes you across
Hurricane Gulch -- 918ft wide! This is a train journey you won't ever forget!

Sports and leisure opportunities abound in Alaska, whether you prefer to go
backpacking in Denali National Park, or dog mushing near Fairbanks, you'll find
something new to experience -- note however that if you intend to spend the
night camping in Denali National Park you will need to make a reservation to do
so as the park has strict monitoring processes in place. Fishing, canoeing on
the lakes, photographing the natural wildlife, and panning for gold offer more
sedate past-times. You'll even find you can have a round of golf or two if
you're missing your usual tee-time! On the other side of the scale, extreme
sports -- such as rock climbing, heli-skiing, rafting etc are also available
for those who enjoy the thrill and adventure involved.

Alaska has a lot more to offer than snow and ice. A vacation here will leave
you wishing you had longer to spend in the state, and planning your return
visit.


Visit Alcatraz, San Francisco's Notorious Ex Federal Prison

Converted from a military installation to a federal prison in 1934, Alcatraz is
one of America's foremost notorious prisons. Despite the fact it was only used
as a prison for 29 years, it's probably the most famous. There are two main
reasons for its being so well known; firstly the notability of prisoner which
were housed there, and secondly, its image recorded by Hollywood's moviemakers.

By current standards, the prison wasn't large, housing only 250 inmates, but
because of its island location, there were never any escapes recorded from it
-- thus adding fuel for entertainment industry to create movies such as "Escape
from Alcatraz" where real life escape attempts were transposed into movies for
the big screen. TV's "Mythbusters" have since proved that escape was in fact a
possibility, despite Alcatraz's reputation to the contrary.

Today Alcatraz, known also as the Rock, is overseen by the National Parks
Service who have representatives on the island. Visitors will be able to ask
NPS staff any questions they have, but there are no formal tours around the
prison. There are self-guided tours -- including the cellhouse audio tour --
however, which together with videos and exhibits make for an interesting trip
around this famous building. The evening ferry ride out to Alcatraz offers a
greater insight into the island than the daytime ones as it circles the island,
and has a narration about the island's history -- this should be balanced
against the fact that there are some areas of the island that not open at night
because of safety issues. There's no fee for actually visiting Alcatraz, but the
ferry companies that transport visitors across the Bay do charge for their
services.

Whether you are interested in the Alcatraz myth, the celebrity inmates such as
Al Capone, and Alvin Karpis, movie locations, or the historical past of San
Francisco, you'll find Alcatraz an interesting way to spend a few hours.


Animal Kingdom -- Disney's Newest Addition

Disneyworld's newest addition, Animal Kingdom is a wonderful place for kids of
all ages to learn about animals and the environments in which they live, as
well as taking a closer look at the world of dinosaurs -- all in the
traditional Disney package of feel good exhibits and varying thrill-level
rides. Upon arrival, check out the visitors center for news on any special
events happening daily in the park.

In the Boneyard play in a maze filled with fun fossils. Any would-be
palaeontologist in your family will love this one! Then there's DINOSAUR which
will be more entertaining for those who desire more thrills and spills from
their visit. Other areas of interest in this Dinoland section of the Animal
Kingdom are the TriceraTop Spin, the Cretacaeous Trail and of course, a Disney
musical exhibit based around the Finding Nemo movie. Amidst these various
attractions are wildlife such as storks and Asian brown tortoises.

In the Flights of Wonder section, you can learn how to (and how not to!) handle
birds and see such beautiful bird as an American Bald Eagle, and magnificent
macaws up close -- but don't get too close!

If you're ready for some more excitement, take a trip down the Kali River
Rapids -- watch out for the rushing geysers however as you raft down the
Chakrandadi River escaping a jungle fire by traveling down a waterfall! If
you're up for another thrill, the Expedition Everest ride is a roller coaster
ride which has your on a refurbished steam train en route to your Mount Everest
base camp taking a yeti guarded short cut!

The animals of the Animal Kingdom shouldn't be forgotten, and a trip through
the Maharajah Jungle will take you in the Anandapur Royal Forest of Southeast
Asia where you can wander around the ruins of an ancient palace, home to many
different animals.

The Animal Kingdom has its share of Disney rides, but with an overall theme of
protecting wildlife, it's a good place to teach kids about wildlife and how to
preserve it.


The Badlands

If you're a geologist, a naturalist, or just someone that's interested in a
place a bit off the beaten track, then The Badlands, South Dakota is the place
for you.

A mixture of spires, valleys, buttes and sharply eroded sandstone, this mixed
prairie grass preserve is a great place to go whether you're a fossil hunter,
or just interested in natural beauty.

Badlands National park is a gorgeous place -- with unique and unusual sandstone
rock that layers in ways that has to be seen to be believed. The spires, and
erosions formed over several thousand millenia make for a unique skyline.
Vegetation and fauna sprinkle crevices and valleys, making for interesting
walks, and of course, the badlands are home to all kinds of wild animals, from
Bison that graze by the side of the road as you're driving through, to Prairie
dogs, Elk, Coyotes, and wild Horses.

Many interesting fossils have been found there, since the interest in
paleontology kicked up in 1840 or so. Several species of fossils have since
been discovered in the White River area of the Badlands -- more than 3/4s of
the total found by 1854 had come from that one area.

Theodore Roosevelt national park is the most interesting of the Badlands parks,
made up of three packages of land that are separate from one another -- and are
all connected by The Maah Daah Hey trail. It is said that Theodore Roosevelt
associated strongly with the 'dying' way of life of the Western cowboy, and
rancher and had his own ranch there to recover from the loss of his mother and
later, his wife. His Ranch is set deep within the heart of one of the packets
of land and though there's nothing left of it now, he wrote about the peace he
found there, before returning to politics later in his life.


Bents Old Fort, Colorado

Bents Old Fort is a reconstruction of a 1840s trading post. Now under the
watchful eye of the National Parks Service, the original adobe fort was one of
the few white settlements on the Sante Fe trail west of Missouri.

Although the Fort may not be worth a detour to many people, if you are in the
area, and have any interest in 19th century US frontier history, Bents Old Fort
not only shows the physical layout of how such an establishment was run, but
also gives a good indication of the kind of natural elements the people who
managed and traded at the fort lived with. With summer temperatures that can go
above 100 F, and winter ones that can drop to 0 F during the day, the very brief
quarter of a mile walk down the path from the arrivals area, to the fort gates,
is a good indicator of how tough people had to be to cope with weather extremes.

At the fort today there's a 20 minute video presentation that tells the fort's
story, and there are demonstrations and exhibits. You can take either a
self-guided tour, or alternatively join a guided tour which in the summer are
lead by living history interpreters. There are a number of special events that
happen throughout the summer, some of which are specifically aimed at kids, and
a visit to the national park website will identify when these take place.

Whether you have an interest in military life of the time, the wagon trains,
the explorers who opened up the west, or just want to give your kids some kind
of "live" history experience to help their school studies -- look around the
store to see what kind of diet those who lived in, or travelled through the
area lived on -- a trip to Bents Old Fort will have something to interest you.


Visit Bryce Canyon -- One of America's Secret Natural Highlights

Bryce Canyon, named after Ebenezer Bryce who settled in the area in the 1850s,
is situated in the south of Utah. Receiving National Park status in 1928, the
park is around 55 square miles of breathtaking natural rugged beauty. Although
smaller and quieter (most tourists make their way to the Grand Canyon, or
nearby Zion National Park), Bryce Canyon is a park that has much to offer in
terms of original natural features. In particular, viewing the hoodoos -- which
can reach heights of 200 meters -- and the vibrant color of the natural
landscape are worth the visit and admission price. If geology interests you,
this is a must do on your travel itinerary if you are traveling through this
part of Utah.

At the visitor center, you can watch a short film which is a great introduction
to the park. Afterwards check out if there are any ranger programs that you can
take part in that day, or just hike/drive around and enjoy the spectacular
views from the many observation points throughout the park. For those who enjoy
winter sports, there are opportunities for show shoeing or cross country
ski-ing, or during the warmer months, there are horseback riding tours that
last between 2-4 hours -- check with the park in advance to check if you are
able to reserve a place on any specific activities you'd like to do.

For those who enjoy wandering around and learning from exhibits, current
displays in the museum include geology, wildlife and star gazing. For anyone
interested in the geology of Bryce Canyon, there are frequent geology talks in
the park.

Bryce Canyon may not be as expansive as Grand Canyon, but it has a rugged charm
of its own and is well worth a visit if you're in the area.


Busch Gardens, Florida -- Where America Welcomes Africa

Situated about 75 miles west of Orlando is the home of the Busch Gardens.
Located in Tampa, Florida, this theme part is inspired by the sights and sounds
of Africa, and provides an aesthetic contrast to the sugar/sweet images of
Orland's Disney parks.

The Busch Gardens are set around 10 different themed areas that include
savannahs, jungle and even pyramid features, so there's something for the whole
family to enjoy here. Although animals are a great focal point in the park, it
is home to one of America's top zoos, there are rollercoasters for those who
want a little more excitement in their day, or areas for those who prefer a bit
of calm to take a gentle stroll in the afternoon. For those who aren't quite up
to the daring rollercoaster rides, there's the Seregenti Express railroad that
will take you through some areas of the park, and an 8 minute land rover
experience that will leave you exhilarated but not shaking! If you aren't
afraid of heights, the Sky Ride Cable Car will give you a wonderful overview of
the park below you.

Younger members of the family will love the Animal Nursery located in the
Nairobi sector of the Busch Gardens. Here they'll find baby birds, and other
animals plus a petting zoo -- there are primates in this area also with apes
and chimps vying for visitor attention. For anyone who wants a closer
experience with the animals, check out the daily schedule for visitor
participation feeding and training encounters. Another must do for those who
like to get off the main beaten track is a behind the scenes tour -- these take
approximately 4-5 hours and you'll find information about times and locations in
the park, or ring the park in advance for more details.

As with all theme parks, entrance isn't cheap, nor is refreshment once you get
inside, but it's a great day out with a very authentic feel and if you intend
going to other parks such as SeaWorld and/or Universal in Orlando, then you
could considering buying a pass that will allow you multi-park entry at a
reduced cost then paying for all entrance fees separately.


Discover Solitude in Ancient Surroundings at the Colorado National Monument

If your travels take you anywhere near Grand Junction or Fruita, Colorado, then
make sure you take the time to visit the Colorado National Monument. Compared
with the larger canyon type national parks, the Colorado National Monument is
small, but this makes the experience less impersonal. It also means that it's
less likely to be overflowing with other tourists -- making it a great "get
away from it all" retreat for anyone needing a little solitude.

What the semi-desert Colorado National monument lacks in overall size, it makes
up for in content. Packed within its boundaries are some of America's most
impressive hoodoos, whose vibrant colors are hard to match anywhere. Alongside
the geological wonders and juniper trees, is a spectrum of wildlife that
includes golden eagles and desert bighorns. The Monument Canyon is the
monument's largest feature as it covers the entire length of the park and holds
incredible rock formations. Return to various observation points throughout the
day, particular sunset and sunrise, to see how the light reflects across the
canyon's natural structures.

For any couple with a passion for the great outdoors, or an interest in
geology, or even just a desire to organize a wedding with a difference, the
Colorado National Monument allows couples to be married at certain locations
within its boundaries -- remember to allow 14 days for the processing of your
special use permit application. Choose your location well to have wedding
photos that will be second to none as regards the spectacular backdrop provided
by nature.

Close the world's largest flat topped mountain, Grand Mesa, the Colorado
National Monument allows activities such as horse riding, biking, and of course
hiking. It's also possible to camp in the area at the Saddlehorn Campground if
you wish to spend longer in the park.


Discover the Dinosaur National Monument, Colorado

Divided between two states, with Colorado having the majority holding, Dinosaur
National Monument is a "must see" park for anyone interested in Dinosaurs, and
especially any family with a budding paleontologist in their midst.

Before entering Dinosaur National Monument, remember that you are in a desert
area and stock up accordingly! Although you may be able to purchase
refreshments within the park, this isn't a theme park and so there may be quite
a drive between the visitor centers. Also ensure that everyone in your party has
a hat and that you leave an itinerary of where you intend to be exploring in the
park with someone who will raise an alert if you don't return by nightfall. Also
observe all safety recommendations that are posted by the park personnel. This
is especially important if you intend to be hiking in the park.

Having observed the safety requirements, visit the visitor center and find out
what activities are happening in the park that day, and pick up a map so that
you know what there is to see and the best way to get there. If you are just
passing through the area, you could leave your proposed itinerary with the
center staff so that they know where you are heading.

One of the most interesting sections of the park for visitors is the Dinosaur
Quarry. This is actually located in Utah, close to the town of Jenson. Here, in
the Dinosaur Quarry building, you'll see hundreds of dinosaur fossil bones
exposed from the rock. The quarry itself was proclaimed to be the largest
single collection of dinosaur bones found. Although it's possible that visitors
could be lucky enough to find a previously undiscovered fossil, it's illegal to
remove any such item from the park and if you are fortunate enough to be the
first person to discover a fossil, you must have it in to the appropriate
authorities in the park. Other points of interest in the park are the
petroglyphs along Park Drive, and cabins that are reported to have belonged to
homesteaders. For those looking for a more physical thrill amongst the ancient
history, there are river trips of various lengths and skill levels on the Green
and Yampa Rivers.

Dinosaur National Monument is a "in the field" museum which shows ancient
history in the shape of the Dinosaur remains that have been uncovered there,
the Indian art that was discovered and also the more modern history of
settlers. It's a unique experience to record for your vacation photo album.




Discovery Cove, Orlando, Florida -- Swim with Dolphins

Family vacations are times for bonding and memory building. They're also a time
when dreams of exotic locations, or one in a lifetime opportunities/challenges
are realized. All of these are possible at Discovery Cove, Florida. Situated
beside the more typical theme park of SeaWorld, in Orlando, this isn't a cheap
excursion, nor is it a park full of rides, shows and tours. Instead, here you
will experience something that you won't find in many other places. You'll get
to swim with dolphins.

Another contrast to the larger parks is that at Discovery Coves visitors are
put into small groups, each with its own staff member to lead it around the
park. There's an age limit to the dolphin swim so if you've got under 6's
you'll need to consider that before deciding on a visit to this park. Another
"housekeeping" tip is that trips to Discovery Cove must be pre-booked, and
lunch is included -- as is all of the equipment hire such as wet suit, snorkel
and even a towel if required.

Apart from being taught how to communicate with the dolphins and being allowed
to swim with them in your small group, you will be able to spend the rest of
the day enjoying the birds that fly over beautiful beaches on the property,
together with snorkeling off the various reefs packed with marine life, and
exploring hidden grottos. It's an unforgettable experience!

For anyone who is interested in working in this kind of environment, Discovery
Cove offers a Trainer for a Day program where the limited number of visitors
who are on the program are allowed a closer connection with the animals and get
to work alongside the regular staff members for that day.

Discovery Cove may be missing the wilder exhibits that its neighboring theme
parks are noted for, but it more than makes up for this in terms of sheer
magic, beauty and wildlife.


The Disney MGM Studios -- Where Disney Stars are Made

If you're visiting Orlando, Florida, you probably have a trip to Universal
Studios on your list, and therefore may decide to skip MGM Studios, however you
may find that -- especially if you have younger children -- MGM is a better
alternative as there are less attractions with height restrictions than
Universal. Although there are a few more thrill-seeking rides, most of the MGM
Studio park is at a more gentle pace making it a good destination for families,
or those who are a little mobility impaired.

Upon entering the park, you'll be on Hollywood Boulevard. This is a place to
shop merchandise of both a traditional souvenir nature, and also more limited
edition collectors pieces, as well as find restaurants and other kinds of
retail outlets. Walk to the bottom of the Boulevard however and you'll find the
Great Movie Ride. Although the queue for this may be long, it does move quickly
and the journey through well known movie scenes is well worth the wait.

Around the rest of the park there are shows such as the Indiana Jones Epic
Stunt Spectacular which shows how stunts are performed and re-enacts scenes
from Raiders of the Lost Ark, a car and motorcycle stunt show called Lights,
Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, and Fastasmic! A night-time show in the
Holywood Hills Amphitheatre.

For the young, and young at heart, there's such things as the Jim Henson's
Muppet Vision 3D show, the Little Mermaid show, the Honey I Shrunk the Kids
playground, Beauty and the Beast show, and Playhouse Disney live on stage.
Thrill seekers aren't forgotten completely however with the Twilight Zone Tower
of Terror and Aerosmith's indoor Rock 'n' Roller Coaster.

With the Journey in Narnia, and the Disney-MGM Studios Backlot Tour, there's a
great day of entertainment to be had at Disney's MGM Studios. If you love
Disney, it's well worth a visit!


The Empire State Building -- One of New York's Most Famous Buildings

Situated at 350 Fifth Avenue is one of the most famous of New York's impressive
buildings. Instantly recognizable from such movies as King Kong, An Affair to
Remember and Sleepless in Seattle, the Empire State Building stands as one of
the most well known skyscrapers in the world.

With its art deco architecture, the Empire State Building's observation deck on
the 80th Floor is where most visitors head. There's a charge to enter the
observation deck but it's not too expensive, especially considering the unique
view of New York and the surrounding area you'll get from the top. There are 73
elevators in the building -- these can take you from ground level to the 80th
floor in a matter of seconds -- but those who are more active, or like a
challenge, the alternative is a 1,575 step climb -- of course you could just
take the elevator up and walk down if you prefer!

The Empire State Building is open daily from 9.30am until midnight -- make sure
you arrive in time to be allowed access as the building may shut at midnight,
but they like the observation deck cleared prior to then. Despite its closing
time, it's just as good an experience to see New York from the Observation Deck
at night as it as by day. Although you can't see as far as you can in daylight,
the lights of New York make the night visit special in its own right.

Although the Empire State Building is mainly for those who like to look rather
than do, there is a hidden gem on the second floor for those who enjoy a thrill
ride. The New York Skyride is a flight stimulator which will have you hanging to
your seat as the images take you on a fast paced virtual reality aerial tour of
the "Big Apple".

For its celebrity, architectural beauty, spectacular views and not forgetting
the incredible Skyride tour, a visit to the Empire State Building should be on
every visitor's itinerary.


Epcot -- Entertaining and Educational

Orlando, Florida's Epcot is a tourist attraction that will take a full day to
explore, but if you want to sample all of the rides and exhibits, you have a
multi-park ticket and find a spare half-day on your hands, then you may find
you need to come back to Epcot to "finish off" what you don't manage to see the
first time -- this is especially true in summer where queues for some exhibits
can be quite long.

Split into two main sections Epcot consists of "Future World" and "World
Showcase". These two sections are then fragmented into different individual
exhibits on all a theme which fits the overall theme of the section.

Future World is divided up into sections such as Spaceship Earth which is about
the history of communication and technologies, Innovations with its interactive
technological exhibits, Test Track a high speed ride on an automotive factory
testing grounds, Universe of Energy which shows how to generate energy and the
Land and Seas Exhibitions where the attractions give fun ways of learning about
our natural environment both on land and in the sea. Space enthusiasts will love
with Mission: SPACE ride which simulates space program training!

In the World Showcase you can travel around the world in as little time as you
have available. Each of the countries in the showcase has a interactive
exhibit, a gift store selling produce and goods from the country, and
food/drink traditional to that part of the world. Some of the exhibits are more
fact (such as the 360 Circle Vision movies for Canada and China) than fun (such
as Norway's Maelstrom boat ride, and America's audio-animatronics American
Adventure), but there's something for everyone -- and none of the rides in the
exhibits are wild, making them good for all age groups.

Refreshments in Epcot are expensive, but apart from that, Epcot is a tourist
attraction that's primarily entertaining, but which also educates in a fun way
at the same time, making it a great place to bring the kids to learn about the
world in which they live.


Experience Nature in the Everglades National Park, Florida

As the 3rd largest national park in America, the 1.6 million square miles of
the Everglades National Park is teeming with natural beauty. Its swamplands are
as familiar a sight as the alligators and airboats used to promote the area. The
ecosystem of the park is what draws many of the visitors here. Although there's
plenty of waterways, swimming isn't an option because of the unfriendly
wildlife who live there, but canoeing is one way of enjoying the water from the
relative safety of a vessel.

There are guided tours around the park by staff who will talk about the
wildlife of the park, and the various sites to see within it. These tours can
be on foot, or by a regular tram, or even by boat -- obviously one of the best
ways to see the Everglades which are noted for their grasses which grow up
through the shallow waters in much of the park.

As with most nature reserve/national parks personal safety must be your
priority in the Everglades. This isn't a superficial theme park. The wildlife
here is real, the teeth are real, and they do bite! If you take children,
especially younger children, make sure that they are aware of the dangers and
that they must listen to what people tell them. This is even more important if
you take them out on a boat tour where they must sit still and not trail their
hands in the water.

The Everglades is one of the most astounding national parks in the US, one
which is unrivalled as far as it's particular brand of natural wildlife and
scenery is concerned, but it's also a place where safety is vital -- so read
the warnings carefully, keep to the rules of the park as told to you by the
park staff, and you'll have an unforgettable time for all the right reasons --
oh and don't forget the mosquito spray!


Gettysburg, Pennsylvania -- for American Civil War Enthusiasts

Anyone familiar with the American Civil War will be aware of the part that
Gettysburg played, and the amount of lives that were lost during the historic 3
day battle that took place there in July 1863. The area was the later that year
to be the scene of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. Although the final
outcome of the battle at Gettysburg was a Union victory, the amount of fallen
soldiers who lie in the Union burial site at Gettysburg National Cemetary
(actually located on Cemetery Hill) is evidence that victory came at a high
human cost to both sides.

Today the Gettysburg National Military Park is a silent witness to the military
strategies, human heroism, and the loss of life sustained during its history.
You should start your visit with a walk around the visitors center, even if you
are familiar with the events of the battle, as it will help you to orientate
yourself "on the ground". You can take advantage of joining a guided tour
around the park, or pick up a map for a self-guided auto tour. A film in the
Cycloarma Center will also help with your orientation to the area before you
set off exploring. The Cyclorarma Center also shows other educational films as
well as displaying civil war exhibits so you may like to spend time back here
once you've taken your drive around the park, if not before.

If you are visiting Gettysburg to give your children a living history lesson
about the Civil War, check out the programs of special interest to younger
visitors -- in particular, the summer months usually sees a program where 7-12
year olds enlist in the army for an hour, to learn what life as a solider was
like during the period. Another favorite is the Civil War storytelling which
shows the roles children played during the time.

Whether your family was involved in the American Civil War or not, Gettysburg
is an interesting place to visit. Many of the names such as Cemetery Hill, and
Devil's Den are familiar from Hollywood's adaptation of history, but here at
Gettysburg you can separate the fiction from the fact, and see how life really
was for the men who fought and died here.


Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee -- The Legend Lives On

Home of the late King, and his final resting place, his beautiful home of
Graceland gives an insight into how the man lived when not on stage. From the
beautiful entrance to the famous Jungle Room, Graceland is everything you
imagine it to be.

Tours of Graceland start across the road from the grounds themselves. Here you
will find everything Elvis from the tacky to the collectible. From record
stores to museums housing Elvis memorabilia such as his collection of cars, and
the Lisa Marie, his private jet, there's bound to be something that will tempt
you into parting with your dollars. One of the simplest mementos is to send a
postcard home from the Graceland post office, this will have a Graceland
postmark on it and so becomes an instant souvenir. Your ticket into Graceland
doesn't usually include admittance to the other Elvis museums so if you want to
see "everything" be prepared to pay for it.

One Graceland attraction that's free to tourists is the sight of those famous
musically decorated gates. Which Elvis fan can forget the fans that lined up
hoping to get a glimpse of what was happening on the days immediately following
his death? As the bus that takes you across to the house approaches, the gates
open and you are admitted into this once very private estate.

Apart from the main house, there's also an exhibition of Elvis's stage clothes
and other personal items, including his wall of "Records", and the grounds
behind the house where Elvis is laid to rest. Even today, many years after his
death, there are fresh floral tributes regularly sent to the estate by various
Elvis fan clubs and associations and which are put on display.

Graceland is a home where a King once ruled, but even though his body may have
long since past, his presence amidst the contrasting beauty and garishness is
still felt today. If you're an Elvis fan, this is one place you must see if
you're in the Memphis area!


Grand Canyon, Arizona -- A Sight Not to be Missed!

The Grand Canyon National Park was one of America's first National Parks, and
it's one of the country's most popular tourist destinations with visitors from
across the world being inspired by its breathtaking beauty every day. The
Canyon, which the Colorado River has cut through the gorge, is approximately
275 miles long and between a quarter of a mile to 15 miles wide (average is
approximately 10 miles), depending on where you are standing. It's also about a
mile deep which means that it's a challenge that many people enjoy to hike (or
ride) down into the gorge.

There are two different sides of the Grand Canyon, the more tourist orientated
South Rim which is open year around, and the more secluded North Rim which is
closed during the winter season. On the South Rim, there are many opportunities
for learning about the Canyon, and ways of experiencing it first hand -- whether
a bus tour around the rim stopping at observation points to for photo
opportunities, hiking down the trails, rafting along the river, or even taking
a flight through the gorge. On the North Rim however, you will find the Grand
Canyon more fiercely guarded against the trapping of commercialism, with most
of the thrills coming from the light patterns on the Canyon walls as day turns
into night.

The South Rim has wheelchairs available for visitors, and many of the
areas/facilities -- although not the shuttle buses (anyone requiring a shuttle
bus with wheelchair access should call the day before they visit the Grand
Canyon to ensure one will be running the next day as these are operated on an
"on demand" basis) -- are wheelchair/mobility impaired accessible although
assistance may be required.

Accommodation is limited in the Grand Canyon, especially on the North Rim so if
you intend to stay overnight in the park to experience both a sunset and a
sunrise be sure to make a reservation far in advance of your vacation period.

Whether you prefer the South Rim with its array of opportunities and challenges
for experiencing the Canyon, or the more solitary and intimate "back to nature"
atmosphere of the North Rim, the magnitude of the Grand Canyon is an
forgettable experience.


Hollywood Boulevard -- The Street of Stars

Anyone visiting California who is even remotely interested in movies and
celebrities can't fail include a visit to Hollywood Boulevard on their
itinerary of holiday activities. But the reality of what Hollywood Boulevard
falls quite a long way short of most people's expectations. The main problem is
that when people think about this famous location, they immediately associate it
with the glamour of the celebrities whose stars adorn the footpath. They don't
associate the area with the movie industry work place where make up, costumes
and scenery take shape. That's not to say that you won't bump into a celebrity
on the Boulevard, it's just that if they are in their "street" clothes as
opposed to their celebrity uniform that adorns magazine covers, you might not
recognize them!

Over the years Hollywood Boulevard has been allowed to fall into a state of
disrepair, but more recently the area has started to be transformed once again
so that there are now a number of things for tourists to do. One of the more
fun things is a look around Fredericks of Hollywood's Lingerie Museum. Here
you'll find an exhibition of undergarments that have been worn throughout the
ages, as well as some more modern examples that have been worn by some of
Hollywood's familiar faces. For those who are interested in television sets, a
tour around the Hollywood Entertainment Museum will reveal familiar sets from
shows such as the X-files, and Cheers. If you go to Hollywood Boulevard for the
purpose of having your photo taken next to your favorite actor's "star", then
you will probably find it saves you quite a bit of time if you buy a map which
tells you where each celebrity "star" is located.

There is still a touch of old style glamour on Hollywood Boulevard however. No
trip to this area would be complete without a visit to the Kodak Theatre, home
of the Academy Awards. You'll need to get there early to make sure you get a
ticket to go inside, but once you're in, it won't matter what you thought of
the Boulevard itself -- the charm of the theatre is everything a movie lover
could hope to find, and more!


Visit the Kennedy Space Center, Florida

For anyone who is enthusiastic or curious about space travel, past and present,
a trip to the Kennedy Space Center a little west of Orlando will be a day out
not to be forgotten. This isn't going to be a cheap day out, so make sure you
check out in advance the current entrance fees plus any additional budget
requirements for additional rides, etc just before you make your trip. Another
thing to check in advance is the space shuttle launching schedule -- what
greater day could there be to go the space center then on a day you will see a
shuttle actually take off? Of course, all shuttle schedules are subject to
change so even if you arrange your trip to coincide with a scheduled take-off,
it's not necessarily going to happen.

There's more to see at Kennedy Space Center than just the space shuttle
launching however. There are exhibitions of rockets and spacecraft from the
years when space travel was in its infancy. There are rides to simulate space
travel for those with the nerve to try. There's the launching pad area where
Apollo 11 was once launched placing men on the moon for the first time. There
are tours of the site which are narrated and have photo stops. Two must see
parts of the Kennedy Space Center experience however are the Imax theatre
presentations (capture the thrill of a close-up launch in the "The Dream is
Alive" feature), and then the Astronaut Encounter where an astronaut takes to
the stage to talk about traveling in space, and also answer questions from the
audience -- a great experience for any families who have a budding astronaut in
their party!

Kennedy Space Center isn't a theme park but rather a working site that allows
visitors a glimpse into the romance, and work, of space flight, as well as an
up close and personal insight into the many things that come together in that
moment when a space shuttle launches. In an area known for thrills and spills
of a manufactured kind, Kennedy is a real life thrill that you can experience
without your feet leaving the ground!


Las Vegas, Where Luck Shines on the Fortunate Few

At one time Las Vegas was little more than a tiny town in the desert, then came
the boom time of the big casinos and the reputation of being a fun place to
visit began to grow. Today, many of those original big casinos that once
boasted performers such as Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis
Jr, have been torn down and in their place stand entertainment complexes that
are part hotel, and part theme park.

Today the Las Vegas strip is a strange place by day; an imposing array of
awkward looking high storey hotels on either side of the road. But as the ugly
ducking transformed into a swan, these buildings transform into a magical land
of colored lights and fancy special effects once darkness falls. Each of the
main hotels has it's own signature and often these are programmed to run at set
times every night, so check with your hotel concierge if they have a list of the
times -- or visit the websites for each hotel prior to starting your vacation.

As the best time to see the strip is after dark, keep the daylight for taking
part in the various other activities such as shopping, museums (such as
Liberace's), and even taking a peek in one of the famous wedding chapels, but
make sure you save most of your energy for once the sun goes down and Vegas
really comes to life.

Gambling at Vegas is almost mandatory -- not by the establishments, but by
human nature! To make sure you get home in one piece, set a limit to how much
you can afford to lose in any one night, and don't go over that amount. Pace
your budget by taking in a dinner show at one of the hotels -- check the local
listings to see who's appearing where during your vacation, then ask your hotel
reception if they can get you tickets.

Las Vegas is more than just casinos, but if you enjoy bright lights, cabaret
and the sound of poker chips being restacked, then there's no better place to
spend your vacation.


Mount Rushmore National Memorial -- Where Past Presidents Rule the Landscape

Located near Keystone, South Dakota, is the Mount Rushmore National Memorial.
Originally commissioned as a way of encouraging more visitors to an area where
the local economy needs tourists, the 18m sculpture was started in 1927 and
completed in 1947. The memorial depicts facial likenesses of past Presidents
George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln,
and is responsible for bringing around 2 million visitors to the Dakota area
each year.

Although there doesn't outwardly appear to be much to keep visitors at the area
for a day, be prepared to spend a while there as Mount Rushmore is more than
just a historical carving in the face of a mountain. During the day, take
advantage of the beautiful area to do some hiking or biking. There's plenty of
wildlife in the Black Hills area to provide photograph opportunities and excite
younger members of the family. If it's a hot day, cool off a little in the
Lincoln Borglum Museum which shows a 13 minute movie about Mount Rushmore.
Afterwards take a stroll along the Presidential Trail which begins at the
Grandview Terrace (above the theatre), which is one of the best viewing areas
of the memorial, and ends at the Sculptor's Studio. Here you can learn more
about the process involved with creating a memorial on such a huge scale. If
you have children in your party, there's also a children's program led by a
ranger which lasts about a half an hour, but they must be accompanied by
parents.

Once dusk falls the rangers lead a evening lighting ceremony. This is held in
the amphitheatre and is more information about how the sculpture was created.
Immediately following the presentation, Mount Rushmore is illuminated and
remains lit for two hours.

If you only have a few hours to spend, then try to organize your visit so that
you not only enjoy the memorial in sunlight, but also can experience the magic
of seeing the huge sculpture illuminated against the dark evening sky.


Must See Places for your Visit to Denver, Colorado

Denver, Colorado, is one of America's most beautiful cities. It's also a city
where within minutes you aren't just out in the suburbs, you are out in the
mountains in the middle of nowhere! This city of strong contrasts is a great
place to spend a vacation as it has something to offer everyone from the very
young to the not so young.

The fact that gold is the foundation on which Denver was built is very much in
evidence around the city with various landmarks being the product of the gold
boom era -- from the house in which Molly Brown lived (now a museum that
recounts her rags to riches story through narration and artifacts), to the
cathedral that she helped finance with the money made from the gold her husband
discovered in his mine.

The capitol building is a beautiful piece of architecture but if you have
enough energy to walk up to the top of it's dome, you'll be rewarded by being
able to stand on the spot where Denver's "mile high" city nickname originates
-- you'll be standing one mile above sea level. The view from the top is well
worth the climb!

Most cities have malls; Denver takes it that one step further. The 16th Street
Mall is a mile long, and even has its own shuttle bus to transport you up and
down as you shop. The mall isn't closed in as most malls are, and with cafes
and fountains it's a great place to sit outside and people watch in the
afternoon.

Home to the Denver mint (no samples given), Denver museum has a dinosaur
skeleton as one of it's major exhibits and if the weather isn't playing nice,
the Children's Museum of Denver is a fun place to take the kids until the sun
comes out again. When the weather changes, the Denver zoo and Six Flags
Amusement Park will help keep boredom at bay!

Whether you're interested in architecture, history, thrills or the natural
environment, you'll be sure to find it in Denver.


Myrtle Beach -- the Vacation Capital of South Carolina

Nestled, on the eastern edge of South Carolina, lie the beautiful sand of
Myrtle Beach. Here you'll be sure to have a vacation that will suit the entire
family. Whether you prefer to camp or stay in a resort type hotel, there's
accommodation to suit everyone and activities that will ensure that everyone
has something to do that they love.

For the kids, the beach is the place to be. Here they'll enjoy clean beaches
that reach down into the Atlantic Ocean, some of the beaches have entertainment
so it's just a matter of finding the one that fits your kids the best, then you
can settle down to relax whilst they play. Once they've had enough sand and sea
for the day, you can take them into the shopping areas. Myrtle Beach is home to
a number of retail outlet malls offering bargains to take home as your vacation
souvenirs.

Apart from the sand, Myrtle Beach has something else in abundance -- golf
courses! It's difficult to go anywhere in the Myrtle Beach area without driving
past a golfing green. There are golf courses to suit every kind of player from
beginner to tournament standard, so whatever your handicap, you're sure to find
a game somewhere.

Once the sun goes down, tourists in Myrtle Beach can turn their attention to
the nightlife of the area. As with many tourist dominated locations, there are
a number of dinner shows that are sure to leave a lasting memory with the whole
family -- whether it's a musical extravaganze at the Carolina Opry, or the
Alabama Theatre, or a four course feast and floor show at the Dixie Stampede,
you're bound to return to your accommodation with some familiar tunes in your
head.

Myrtle Beach is a great old fashioned holiday for the entire family, so if you
haven't decided where to go on your next family vacation, this could be the
perfect choice.


The National Air and Space Museum, Washington DC

In a city where there's so much to see, you need to plan your visit carefully
to make the most of the time you have available. If you have any interest in
flight and/or space travel, then one of the must do items on your Washington DC
itinerary is a visit to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. Even
those with little more than a passing interest will find themselves caught up
in the magic of space travel when they come face to face with aircraft that
have actually been into space or are able to touch a rock that once belonged on
the moon.

Many of the exhibits at this museum, which has no obligatory entry fee, are
either the real artefacts that went into the air or space, or are the back-up
ones which would have went on the missions had the first equipment failed.
There are two main areas to the museum, the National Mall Building, and the
newer Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

In the National Mall Building you can find exhibits as historically diverse as
"The Spirit of St Louis" in which Charles Lindbergh made the first
transatlantic solo flight, and the Apollo 11 Command module. The Steven F.
Udvar-Hazy Center is home to items such as the Enola Gay, and the space shuttle
"Enterprise" (you can find the original filming model of the starship USS
Enterprise in the lower level of the museum gift store!).

With hands on teaching exhibits on such subjects as planetary science, as well
as the artefacts, the National Air and Museum is not only interesting to adults
who have lived through many of the flight achievement firsts noted at the
museum, but it's also educational and fun for kids, making it a perfect family
destination.


Visit Charming Historical Springfield, Illinois

When you first arrive in this city, you could be forgiven for not realizing
that this is actually the state capital of Illinois -- it lacks the hustle and
bustle usually associated with most state capitals, and certainly lacks the
energy of Illinois's most famous city, Chicago. However, the gentle sereneness
of Springfield are in keeping with its history, for this is Lincoln's town. He
was part of the group of people responsible for making Springfield the state
capital, and this is his final resting place.

Apart from the limestone built capitol building from where Abraham Lincoln gave
his "House Divided" speech, there's also a Lincoln Home Visitors Center which
shows a short movie on the Springfield that Lincoln loved, and where you can
obtain free tickets to take a walk around the restored Lincoln home on 8th and
Jackson Street. As a visual lesson in how people lived "back then" the home is
an interesting place to visit.

For those who don't think that it's morbid, a visit to Lincoln's tomb isn't to
be missed. Situated in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Lincoln's tomb contains not only his
remains, but also those of Mary Todd, his wife, and their three sons.

If the Lincoln memorial gets a bit too much, have a change of pace by visiting
the preserved home of another famous Springfield resident, Frank Lloyd Wright.
Named the Dana-Thomas House, this is only a few blocks from the Capitol
building, and still contains some original fixtures from his time there.

As a destination, unless you're a history buff, or enjoy wandering around some
of America's more charming towns, Springfield's probably not the best place to
choose, but as an overnight stop, or a day trip, there's plenty to look at and
it's definitely worth the visit.


The Napa Valley, California

California is usually synonymous with beautiful beaches, beautiful people and
the glitter and glitz surrounding the movie world, but there's another side to
this beautiful state, a gentler more natural side. The Napa Valley is within
easy driving distance of San Francisco and offers a tranquil alternative to the
bustle of the city.

One of the fun things to do in the Napa Valley is to take a ride on the Napa
Valley Wine Train. As one of the top train rides in the world, you'll enjoy a
relaxing journey in lovingly restored carriages all dated pre-1950. Whether you
enjoy a romantic evening meal in the dining car as you travel through the
valley's beautiful countryside, or you take the daily tour that allows a stop
at two of the local vineyards, this is a local "attraction" that shouldn't be
missed.

Another idea to make your Napa Valley break memorable is to take a hot air
balloon ride. This breathtaking view of the vineyards in the early morning
light will be an experience you won't forget and will soon make you forget how
early you had to get up!

There are many vineyards that you can visit during your stay in the Napa Valley
area. Some of them will give you a tour, others allow you to taste, and yet
others have demonstrations, so check with a local guidebook about what is
available at each the vineyards open to the public so you know what to expect
when you get there.

If you are taking a trip to California, and are a little concerned that the
constant barrage of high energy attractions, and crowded stores will be too
much, consider a trip to the Napa Valley, even if you don't drink wine, you're
sure to enjoy the slower pace and relax in the beauty of the area.


The Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island -- Not to be missed on Visit to New York!

One of the most recognizable statues in the world, the Statue of Liberty stands
on Liberty Island in New York. It's one of the most popular tourist attractions
in the US, as well as one of America's most prized reminders of the ideals it
represents. Many of present day Americans can trace their roots back through
the generations and find a relative who first sailed past Lady Liberty's
welcome before disembarking in New York harbor.

As part of stricter security measures, tourists are no longer allowed access to
the statue's crown and torch, but there are two ranger guided tours around the
island. The first of them lasts between 30 and 60 minutes and is a gentler
informational tour that doesn't require much exertion. The second tour however
is a little more strenuous but if you've got the energy, the view from the 10
story high pedestal observatory will be a memory you will carry with you for
the rest of your life.

It's only possible to travel to the Statue of Liberty by ferry. The return
visit allows visitors the opportunity to disembark at Ellis Island before
returning to the mainland. The Ellis Island Immigration Museum is an
interesting array of artifacts, and photographs, which have been displayed
amidst personal oral history stories, and which together create a great
overview of what awaited most of the immigrants who arrived at America's shore.
For most of them, they would eventually be allowed admittance to the mainland,
but not all. The archives allow those who are interested in researching their
family history access to records which may help them discover more about their
origins.

A trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is a must see if you visit New
York. Not only will you get to stand near one of the most treasured American
landmarks, but you'll have a greater understanding of those who came seeking a
new life in America.


When Evening Falls on New York, it's Time to Visit Times Square and Broadway

Although you can just as easily visit both Times Square and Broadway during the
day, you won't experience the magic of those world famous neon signs until
darkness falls and they light up the night sky.

Times Square has been upgraded in recent years. The seedy reputation it had in
the 1990s has gone, and new legislation has meant the adult industry has had to
make way for more family familiar franchises. That doesn't mean the adult
industry has gone altogether, but it isn't as prominent as it once was in this
area. Today big name stores and restaurants vie for space beneath the giant
billboards and tourists flock here to stand in the famous square and have their
photos taken to show everyone back home that they've been to New York!

Broadway isn't a place where you can take a photo of and have people instantly
recognize where you are, but it's an experience not to be missed nevertheless.
Whether you're a regular theater goer back home, or someone who's never seen a
live show, catching a show on Broadway is part of the New York experience. One
of the main problems is getting tickets for the theaters. Tickets are often in
short supply for popular shows, and none of the shows are cheap. However, if
you aren't too fussy about what you want to see, there are discount ticket
booths in Time Square (your hotel should be able to help you locate one) where
unsold tickets for that days' performances are sold at discount prices. If you
want to see a live taping of a television show, the best place to try and get
tickets is usually through the show's official website.

If this is your first visit to the "Big Apple", Times Square and nearby
Broadway are two parts of New York's past and present that are definite "Must
Sees" on your New York itinerary.


Visit Yosemite National Park in your California Vacation

Yosemite National Park is one of the most beautiful natural parks in the United
States. With its abundance of diverse sights, from the impressive granite
cliffs, to the spectacular waterfalls, there's nature at her best everywhere
you look.

One of the best known must see features of Yosemite National Park is Glacier
Point. This isn't open year round, but usually between June and November you
can guarantee access up to enjoy the magnificent views from the top. There are
many waterfalls in the park, with Yosemite Falls being the highest at just
under 2,500 feet. The best time to see the waterfalls is early summer. Whilst
some of the falls are easily accessible; others take more time and effort in
order to be able to appreciate their beauty.

Another popular area of Yosemite is the Yosemite Valley. This is an area full
of breathtaking views -- including the El Capitan Meadow, Bridalveil Meadow
(with its views of Bridalveil Fall), and the Sentinal Brudge. If you're
inspired to take a hike amidst all this natural wonder, there's a gentle 1 mile
walk in the Tuolumne Meadows which will take you about 30 minutes. History
lovers will be enchanted with the Pioneer Yosemite History Center where they
can walk across a covered bridge, and see exhibits such as horse drawn
carriages. In the Yosemite Valley there are a number of museum/buildings that
provide an interesting diversion from the beauty of the outdoors scenery!
Although you aren't likely to find many bears around Yosemite, it's not unheard
of, but you are more likely to see deer -- especially in the early morning.

There's so much to take in on a visit to Yosemite you'll need to make sure you
have plenty film for your camera, or space on your digital camera card, to
record it all. One thing's for sure, it's a place you'll always remember, and
most likely want to return to at a future date!


Zion National Park

Zion National Park in Utah, is a naturalist's dream. Containing some 290 or so
species of distinct animals it is an amazing place of sandstone red and deer
tan contrasts sharply against the coniferous trees, cottonwood, Cacti, and
willow. Its a diverse, and unique area of the world with an abundance of plant
and animal diversity.

The plant and animal life in the park is partially due to the diverse merging
distinctly different areas -- the Great Basin, the Mojave desert, and the
Colorado Plateau, its filled with close to 300 bird species, 20 types of bat,
more than 30 reptiles and seventy five different mammals, including the
Mountain Lion, The Golden Eagle and the recently reintroduced California
Condors.

The most prominent feature, cut by the Virgin River, is the 15 mile long
canyon, the Zion Canyon. Inhabited for over 8000 years by Indian tribes of
various kinds, it was settled by Mormons in the 1860's it became a national
park in the early 20th Century. The Zion Canyon and the Kobold arch (so named
after the nearest star to God, according to Mormon religion) are two of the
most stunning sites of the park, and are breathtaking and amazing and well
worth the visit.

There are various hikes that you can take through the grounds ranging from
gentle hikes that you can take in a morning, to all day walks that challenge
your stamina and fitness and takes you through the best parts of the park. Its
name means 'protection' in Hebrew, and its peace and tranquility is evident
whether you're hiking, driving through on the shuttle bus or exploring within
the bounds of the lower steppes.

Tourism is encouraged throughout the year, but from April to October, the roads
are closed within the park to all but shuttle buses. In part, this is to protect
the roads running through the park, but its also to keep an close reign on where
the visitors go.





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