According to the online site, travelnewsreport.com, online travel scams run into the BILLIONS per year. The article below is a solid reminder to have a healthy skepticism combined with one’s excitement in planning a stay at a private property.
With that being noted, a recent shooting at an Airbnb private property in California, prompted the company to review changes and set rigorous guidelines for guests partaking in a rentals:
A house party ban–No more unauthorized parties which will better track the intent of the stay and gives the owner(s) true a piece-of-mind knowing that guests’ irresponsibility will diminish. Less risk of bodily injury and residential repairs. Currently, repeat, currently Airbnb has a 1 million dollar in-the-event of a third party claim pertaining to body or property.
Absolutely all homes must be up to the company standards. Accuracy of photos are a must. Renters just can’t depart from a property without a check of the property. The first strike comes with a warning and the second comes with a suspension or termination of the Airbnb account for the renters.
Increase of support staff has increased to the levels where a 24/7 hotline for high risk renters. Updated software will make it possible to flag renters based on stay duration and listing size. Renters intent can be a disguise for alternative actions.
HI TECH SQUATTERS
Squatting world wide is estimated to around 1 billion. In America, there are no numbers, but the growing number of squatters for Airbnb numbers are more shocking than the average person is aware of.
What the squatters prey upon is the possible lack of knowledge and/or lack of courage to follow through on the owners legal rights. Here are some things the owners must know:
The squatters have 30 days to get out of property. If longer than 30 days, some or most states give them the rights to lay possible claim to the property. It is best to have them resign them before the 30 days are up to prevent the possibility of squatting and laying hold of being labeled a tenant by the state (of course Airbnb rules differ each state).
Airbnb platform or rental platform only when it comes to negotiating and the paperwork. Don’t get smooth talked by a grifter in paying by cash or IOUs. No text, no emails, social media platforms. Stick to Airbnb or your rental platform. The next thing, the two parties are on Judge Judy with he said-she said.
Squatters should sign contracts with date and times, payment arrangements, check-in-and check-out arrangements. Airbnb, for certain, doesn’t cover squatters incidences. Be thorough and go over the rules so both parties can get a clear understanding.
Be very selective in who you rent. Everyday landlords already have a perpetual lists of renters from the pit of fire that arrives on Peoples Court. And a quote form Judge Marilyn Milian, “Loose ends keep us in business.”
“I don’t need therapy. I just need to go camping.” Let’s Just Go Camping Tees brand.
*Fees and times for sites and services could adjust after the time of posting.
CAMPING IS IN THE DNA
Early humans lived in caves, forest and jungles around the world. They roamed for food, They had to stop and rest. Wars later brought on armies, who traveled toward enemy countries, where they camped out on prairies, in forests and mountains. Humans had to cook and prepare meals with fire, obviously. They had to keep warm during the Fall and Winter months–obviously. There were bonding times that surely involved fireside moments. Customs (even today) involve(s)d campfires.
Fast forward to the year 1853, when Thomas Hiram Holding (according to Britannica.com) crossed the prairies in the U.S. with his parents as a young boy along with 300 others. He also camped in Scotland in his later years. Holding wrote the first edition of the Camper’s Handbook in 1908.
The camping sector (this post isn’t financial) since the Covid-19 pandemic has surpassed the industry’s standard by leaps and bounds. The RV sector on Wall Street has made serious news due to the demand by camper enthusiasts. The sector has been mind blowing with a lot of emphasis on the millennials. According to Travel & Leisure October 28, 2019 article citing since 2014, the number of campers in the U.S. has increased 22%, adding an additional 7 million camping households. Multicultural groups comprise over 51% of the new camper numbers for the first time ever.
According to the KOA (Kampgrounds Of America) survey –2019 North American Camping Report– the amount of households, who camped three to four times annually, increased by an astounding 72%. One of the driving forces for the increase is the desire for experiences and the connections with one another, which the outdoors offers compared to hotels and short term rentals (Airbnbs). 52% surveyed are in the market for purchasing an RV with 41% of GenXers and 33% of Millenials. What drove the numbers of the survey: The concern for cleanliness at hotels and resorts.
It was important to lay the groundwork for this post with the history of camping and current state of the camping industry, the following list of camping destinations that this blog has researched to assist campers on a decision for their next camping destination.
The Land of 10,000 Lakes is where campers bump into grounds galore. According to Britannica, the state has actually close to 12,000 lakes, which all are 10 acres or larger. The scenic country has some of the oldest rocks (gneisses) on the planet dating back 3.6 million years ago (Wikipedia).
Cascades Waterfall Trails is located in the northern region and only a few miles from Lake Superior and Highway 61. 6,600 acres and underdeveloped makes it ideal for campers. 40 drive-in camp sites, 5 backpack sites, and 2 group sites. RV length is 35 feet max. Showers and toilets available through mid-May through mid-October. Vault toilets throughout the park. Reservations fee is $7.00 on-line and $10.00 with call center. Dump station is seasonal. onlyinyourstate.com/minnesota. 5 on TripAdvisor and Travelers’ Choice 2020. Daily 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. $16 – $24 per night. Yurts $65 – $70 per night. Group $50 – $250 per night. Wheelchair accessible. dnr.state.mn.us.
Fall Lake Campground is located in the Northeast corridor six miles from the town of Ely (Jessica Biel, anybody?). Two group camping sites w/cook shelters and docks. 64 campsites. Showers and flush toilets. Swimming beach, playground, picnic area. 30 and 50 amp electrical hookup. 1.5 mile hiking trail. Electric power faucets. Permits are not required hiking or dispersed camping in the forest, with the exception of Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. http://www.usda.gov.
Golden Eagle RV Village is located in Central western Minnesota in Otter Tale County which has more lakes than any other county in the U.S. The village was established in 1981 by veterans, of the resort and campground business, Mike and Connie Cummings. 4.5 on Google Reviews. Full Hook Ups $45/night. Tent site $33/night. 110, 35, and 50 amp service. Water and sewage included with every individual camper spot. Firewood can be purchased. Since the location is at the premiere Pine Lake, fishing lovers would be glad to take advantage of the abundant Northern Pike and Yellow Perch. http://www.goldeneaglervvillage.com.
The land that produces more potatoes and trout than any other state, the Gem State- which produces 72 million precious and semi-precious stones annually–brings in 20 million visitors per year, according to history.com. It is larger than six New England states combined.
For all you campers and hikers how about his amazing note: Hell’s Canyon is North America’s deepest river gorge (nearly 8 thousand feet in depth) which is greater than the Grand Canyon (not quite 6,100 thousand feet deep).
Hagerman RV Village is located in the southwest section of the state in Snake River Valley that spreads into eastern Oregon. Hagermanvillage.com boasts it has some of the best sunsets in the West. Plenty of room to walk your pets (no pets over 30 lbs). Reliable Wi-Fi. 20/30/50 amp service. Mostly shade, according tohttp://www.campgroundreview.com. 4.4 on Google Reviews. Day rate $35, Weekly $135, $325 Monthly plus electric and a $75 electric deposit. Big rigs welcome.
Buttonhook Group Camps is located in the northern Idaho at Farragut State Park, which has a World War II history as a training camp for the military. The 4,000 acre park offers plenty of space for equestrians, disc golf, shooting and archery to go along with fishing (bass, trout), hunting (white tail deer) and water sports. Open year round. Flush toilets and showers (Memorial Day – Labor Day), dump station, and electricity. No WiFi (blessing in disguise?). 4.7 on Google. http://www.parksandrecreationidaho.gov.
Heise Hot Springs, Inc. 4.5 on Google. 25 minute stretch from the Wyoming border. Hot pools that are kept 104 F. A warm, fresh water pool that is kept at 92 F which is ideal for families and kids. Zip lines (max 250 lbs, min 30), 3 and 10 line tours ($34 – $69/person). Water is slightly charged with hydrogen sulfide gas (rotten egg odor but harmless). Group shelters and grassy picnic areas. Full hook up $39. Weekly $234. No tax on monthly or seasonable rentals. Electric only (25 amp) $32. http://www.heisehotsprings.net.
One of the original 13 states, the Granite State is under four-fifths forest cover; in turns, means for the camper and hunter: (drumroll) Whitetail deer are PLENTIFUL (cymbal). Birds such as pheasant, duck, grouse, etc. Mink and foxes. Mount Washington is the third largest peak east of the Mississippi and makes up one tenth of the state’s and is almost uninhabited.
Clearwater Campgrounds has 150 sites, 40 Maximum RV length, Mid-May – Mid October, 50 amps. Opened for 60 years. Free showers, fireplaces, 36 boat slips, dog park. Prices adjust seasonally. 4.2 on Google. Labeled as a kid/family vacation. WiFi, Cable, 36 boat slips. Pets on a leash.
Deer Mountain Campground is located in the pan handle region of the state and located just five minutes from the Canadian border. 4.6 stars on Google. No Electric Hookups. $23 per night. Does have sanitary dump. Alcohol allowed. No WiFi. Adjacent to the very popular Moose Alley. http://www.nhstateparks.gov.
Lake Massasecum Park and Camping is located in the southern end. 4.6 with Google. Opens from middle of May – first week of September. Family campgrounds with horseshoe, beach, recreation hall, picnics. $49 per night including cable and sewer hookup. Tent site is $39/night with no electricity.
The Mountaineer State, all of it, is part of the wondrous Appalachian Mountains. It has two panhandles with one between Ohio and Pennsylvania; the other, between Maryland and Virginia. The land is hilly and mountainous that have campers and hikers licking their chops.
Mountain Lake Campground and Cabins 4.2 Google. Very popular with wedding couples also. $22 – $46 (Holidays). Wristbands must be warn for those paid. Fire ring, picnic table, swimming, movies, beach, jumping pillow, laundry room, pet friendly, tank services, after hours security. http://www.mountainlakecampground.com.
Sand Springs Camping Area is located in the northern region in Morgantown, where the West Virginia University is located. 50 amps, pets allowed, tents, WiFi, water, electric. Pull thru, flush restrooms, trash firewood, general store, picnic table. (304) 594-2415. *(issues with SSCA website reached at this posting). http://www.sandspringscampground.com.
The eastern region offers the fisherman’s haven Island Campground, that runs next to Long Run and the East Fork of Greenbrier River. Hikers enjoy the 8 mile East Fork Trail with its challenging terrain (just like the wilderness Joe on Saturday morning tv, you know). First come, first served. One vault toilet. Middle of April to early December. No water. Operated by Forest Service. Camping fees are $10 nightly. No waste stations. fa.usda.gov.
Thinking of Colorado immediately brings to mind the natural wonder that are the Rockies. The state has a history tied to the Gold Rush days where ghost towns remain after speculators settled to hopefully strike rich in gold. The Colorado River supply water to numerous states, including the country of Mexico.
Pine Haven Resort sits adjacent to the Rocky Mountains on 14 acres of unspoiled northern Colorado wilderness. It’s a cabin resort with full kitchens and cable tv. Some have fireplaces. Most have private decks for outdoor charcoal grilling. Average rate is $200/per night. 5 stars on TripAdvisor. 8 a.m – 10 p.m. http://www.estesparkcabins.com.
Mogote Meadow Cabins & RV Park is at the southern rim of the state and a few miles north of the New Mexico line. Open 24. 4.8 on Google. $30.50 and $32.50 per night. 30 and 50 Amps. Kids are $6 each. $99 first night for cabins. $89 for subsequent nights. Pets must be in a carrier. Mobile homes $89 first night. http://www.mogotemeadow.com.
Twenty miles west of Denver is Cold Springs Camp. A reviewer posted on http://www.campendium.com, “the sites are 75 – 100 feet apart, so you aren’t really bothered by neighbors.” 36 sites, 9,317 elevation, water, vault toilets. However, no water, no electric, no sewer. Fee is $22 nightly. fs.usda.gov. 4.4 with Google Reviews.
The southeastern corridor (camping acreage the size of Rhode Island and Connecticut combined) of the Evergreen State contains the Blue Mountains which is shared mostly inside Oregon. The eastern side of the state is dry and agricultural. The north and west are mostly overcast.
Jubilee Lake is located in the Umatilla National Forest that is part of the Blue Mountains. Elevation is 4,700 feet. No motorized vehicles. July – October 15. Pets allowed. $17 per night for a single site, $24 for double site. Fishing license needed to fish in the very popular Jubilee. Five flush toilets and four vault toilets. Wildlife awareness (cougars, bobcats, moose, snakes, etc). 4.5 on Google. http://www.outsidewallawalla.com.
The east, is “dry and dusty,” says rvshare.com. North Spokane RV Campground offers tot-lot, dog park, seasonal pool, private restrooms with showers, big screen tv, laundry service, free WiFi. Rates adjust seasonally. northspokanervcamground.com. 4 Stars TripAdvisor.
Deception Pass State Park is located in Puget Sound, a gateway to the Pacific Ocean and the Far East. It is the most visited state park in Washington (7,200 Google Reviews) 4.8 Stars. Beaches, bird watching, possible viewings of whales and seals, beach front. Located on two islands: Fidalgo and Whidbey. Open year round with Winter schedule having adjustments. 38 miles of hiking trails and tons more. Gear rental. http://www.parks.state.wa.us.
Britannica cites that the city of Rugby is the geographic center of the North American continent i.e. “Pack the bags, honey.” It borders Saskatchewan and Manitoba provinces of Canada. The state is mainly agricultural, making the land rolling prairies, far as the eyes can see.
Recreation.gov writes, “Lakeside Campground had 52 RV sites with all electrical and water hook ups.” Picnic table and campfire rings at all sites, tent cabins and four cabins. Flush toilets and showers. And for all the die hard anglers looking to reel ’em, there is a fish cleaning station nearby. Pets allowed. Dump stations. Wheelchair accessible. 4.1 out of 5 on recreation.gov (where to make reservations). RV campsites with electric and water $25. Tent sites $15. Cabins $45. Located in East Central of the state.
Roughrider RV Resort is located 50 miles, from the Canadian border, in the city of Minot– which is nicknamed Magic City due to a tent city sprouted overnight during the laying of railroad tracks in 1886. 4.2 on Google. All sites are 30 and 50 amps, free WiFi, pull thru sites, big rig friendly, rv storage, restrooms and laundry room, water, sewer and trash. 118 RV sites. 10 tent sites. Motor homes, travel trailers and 5th wheels are welcome. $45 daily for RVs, $15 for tents with 3 days max stay. http://www.roughriderrvresort.com.
Downstream Camping is located in the central region along the Missouri River. Trout fishing (beautiful). Catfishing (awesome). Chinook Salmon, crappie, bass, bluegill and northern pike. Backpacking. Paddling. All sites have picnic tables and grills. Flush and vault toilets, showers, fill and dump station, paved roads, paved sites, volleyball, horseshoe pits. 4.3 on http://www.recreation.gov. $14 – $24 per night.
The land of milk and cheese and the storied sports franchise The Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin has one of the largest concentration of lakes in the world which is concentrated in the northern corridor adjacent to Minnesota. There are 15k inland lakes of more than 20 acres, according to Britannica. Yet only 20% are accessible due to private owners restrictions.
On the west side of Lake Winnebago (215 square miles), is Sleepy Hollow Campgrounds (perfect for Halloween?) which is located in Fountain City. Water, electric, sewer, pull thru, cabins, tents, private showers, washers, and dryers. The Mississippi is nearby. $36/nightly. $38/weekend nights. $38/ holiday. Premium sites have sewer hookups; standard sites do not. 20, 30, and 50 amps. http://www.campsleepy.com. 4.5 on Google.
The southeast edge of Lake Winnebago is Columbia Park. 4.6 on Google. Best known for its boating facilities. Overnight docking for 40-50 boats. Fish cleaning station. 40-unit campground, RV sanitary dumping stations, picnic facilities, basketball court. $25/per day for camping. $5 reservation fee (non refundable). Boat launch daily fee is $6, docking fee is $10 – $13/per day depending upon electricity or non-electricity. Dump station $12 (non guest). fdlo.wi.gov.
Apostle Island, visitors will need a boat, or water taxis, or kayak to get there. Ice caves (fascinating but can be dangerous), trout, trout, and more trout. Coho salmon. Amphibians such as Spotted Salamander, Gray Treefrog just to name a couple. Free entrance but cost for some services. Open 365, 24/7 but do check website for possible closures. No public WiFi. 4.5 on TripAdvisor. http://www.nps.gov.
Images of Big Sky Country conjures of cowboys at dusk directing cattle through plains and valleys. The western half is mountainous with the Rockies running through it, while the eastern half are plains. Montana is a huge landscape with only Alaska, Texas and California with larger land area.
Fishtrap Campground is in the southwest. Opened in 2002. 7,000 acres. Water is available from late May – late September. Open 24 hours. 13 campsites. 4 RV sites. No fee. Vault toilets. Fish for Westslope Cutthroat Trout. Trailer parking and narrow launch ramps. Pet friendly. fs.usda.gov. 4.4 on Google.
Ten miles south of the capital, Helena, is Alhambra RV Park. The park sits on a historic sanitarium and hot springs. Large sites, free WiFi and streaming. 30 and 50 amps. Laundry, bathrooms, showers, 24 hour staff, on site RV mechanic (woohoo), and dog park. Miles of hiking, off road vehicle trails leading to Ghost Towns and mining history relics. “There are actual gold flakes in that there Prickly Pear stream, Johnny Boy.” http://www.alhambrarvpark.com. 3.9 on Google.
In proximity to the Idaho panhandle, is the Cascade Creek Campground. 4.1 on Google. May – December. $10 nightly, $14 for groups. Drinking water and vault toilets. Picnic tables and fire rings at each site. Garbage service is available. Clark Fork River offers trout, whitefish, northern pike. Hwy 135 offers views of bighorn sheep, bald eagles, and elk. Clark Fork becomes shallow in during the summer months, but is still accessible to motorized boats.
The Equality State (the first state to give women provisions the right to vote) is home to Yellow Stone and Grand Teton national parks, where millions visit annually. It is filled with small ranches, mining towns, and not to mention outdoor recreational communities. The state has a low crime rate and practically no pollution.
Reuter Campground is located in the northeast in the Black Hills. 4.6 on Google. 24 sites. $14 daily fee. Reserved sites, drinking water, toilets, and picnic sites. Has a 30 ft spur length. Warren Peak Lookout Tower (4 miles from camp) offers views of South Dakota. http://www.recreation.gov/camping/campgrounds/231826.
Firehole Canyon Campground is found in the southwestern portion in a high desert environment scattered by Russian olive trees and sagebrush. 32 single sites and 4 double sites. Fishing, boating, and canoeing. Each site has a cabana, picnic table and campfire ring. Showers and trash collection. Flushing toilets. Dump station on site. $20 for single, $40 for a double. Sanitation fee $6. May – September. 8.6 on Campground Reviews. fs.usda.gov/ashleyforest.
Indian Campground is located between Yellowstone and Mount Rushmore. Large pull thru, free cable, and WiFi. 50 amps. 75′ pull thru. 24 hour laundromat. Propane sales. Grassy tents near a running stream (insomnia get lost). Trade-A-Book exchange. Middle of April – Middle of October. Hookups up to $50 including tax. Tent sites (non-electric) close to $35. Cabins (no bathrooms, bring own linen) hover around $58 including tax. Stay a week and receive a FREE night (at the time of this posting September 2020). 4.5 on Google. indiancampground.com.
Britannica, “…contains the geographic centre of the U.S, just north of Belle Fourche.” The 40th state has long been a hunter’s paradise due to the abundant ring-neck pheasants introduced from Asia during the early 20th Century. Bunch of catfish, bass, perch and walleye pike.
Rapid City RV Park and Campground. 4.0 on Google. Heated swimming pool, coin operated laundry, single and double rooms, convenient and gift shops. 20 minutes from Mt. Rushmore. Dump station, WiFi, Pull thru, full hookups. Full hook up, 30 or 50 amp $57.75, Full hook up with 30 amp back end up to 30′ $51.98. Tent site with water and electric $32.98. Rooms with 1 – 2 bedrooms with linen, A/C, heat, private bathroom, tv, microwave, and fridge go for $89/nightly. Cabins come with 1 queen, 1 full and 2 twins: $51.50 (bring own linen and towels or $10 supply fee). No pets in cabins or rooms. http://www.rcrvpark.com.
Wylie Park Campground is a AAA campground where club members receive 10% discount, as does Good Sam Members. 30, 50 amp and electricity. 50 amp full hook up. Water, sewer, picnic table and fire pit at each site. Setting a tent at RV site, will bring a fee. No smoking and pets in cabins. Bring own towel and linens. Rooms equipped with A/C and heat. Rent any cabin for 6 consecutive nights, the 7th night is FREE (must remain in same cabin). 4.6 on Google.
At the southeast tip nearly in arms reach of Nebraska, Elk Point City Park and Campground. May 1st- October 31st. First come, first serve. 23 campsites with 30 and 50 amp hookups. A water spicket for usage. No water dump station. $15 nightly per campsite. $75 for the week. Fire pit, bathhouse, shelters, volleyball court, ball diamonds and park equipment. 4.4 on Google. http://www.elkpoint.org.
Grabbing the tent and packing a bag and tossing it into the back of an RV has always had a feeling of its own. The USA is a really big landscape that offers vast wilderness that are kept to high standards so one can enjoy. The fees are price friendly to make it a family affair compared to amusement parks. So, get out into the green vastness around the country and partake in the re-connection, with oneself and family that’s occurring nationally during the present time.
Hope this post has been assistance in choosing your next destination,
‘Y’all is issued with the traditional warm and friendly tone. The aroma of cinnamon filling the atmosphere. Blue ribbon contests and ribbons placed on pies. Art work painted by delicate brushes onto subsequent painted kid faces. The transcending time Water Dunk gets more gatherers than anything else.
All beneath the early Fall sun and the change of the leaves to rustic.
Let’s get to the following states below, which isn’t listed by preference.
In the heart of the state is the state capital Columbia. Slap dab in the middle of football season, the festivals must stand in the shadows of way-of-life Gamecock football. But hey, the games are only on Saturday leaving Fridays and Sundays free to enjoy.
Bubble Q brings out the grills and smokers with food paired with over 30 different champagnes from around the world. Savory ribs and loins followed with Veuve will make the taste of the Q amazing. Thousands will have their taste buds illuminated accompanied by undeniable southern warmth $75.
Just shy of an hour drive south of Columbia is the tiny town of Salley. The population is 414, bringing images of the clanging bell as the door opens and closes in Fred’s corner store.
The tiny town holds the world famous Chitlin Strut annually the Saturday following Thanksgiving since 1966. Fifty thousand do attend with folks from far as Japan converging to taste the delight of boiled and fried hog intestines (thoroughly cleaned). There is live music, a beauty pageant, parade, arts and crafts and helicopter rides (not free). 8 a.m – 7 p.m. Where else are you going to fifteen thousand pounds of hog intestines simmering at one time. Admission is free.
With the Atlantic on the Palmetto State’s eastern doorsteps, the Low Country as it is designated is ripe for some top notch seafood. Crabs, lobsters, trout, specks and sharks is the various fare for the most part.
So, inevitably, there came about a festival Oyster Ghost Roast. It is accompanied by a 5K run along the Beaufort River. A live dj, karaoke, and lots of children’s activities. The run begins at 5 p.m. and the oyster cook off begins at 6:00. All-you-can-drink wristbands are $10. The festival is put on to benefit The Technical College of Low Country Student Veterans and the college’s Student Government Association. For tickets and registration go to http://www.tcl.edu/oyster.
Reba McEntire sings of little rock but that is entirely opposing warmth Arkansas offers when as festivals kicks off the Fall. Little Rock is the capitol and that’s where a lot of cultural activities are but there are festivals in the Ozark Mountains (northwest Arkansas) awaits.
Arkansas Apple Festival is held in Lincoln with the population of 2,500. There is the apple core throwing contest. Bluegrass and Sunday gospel are among the music genres played. Youth talent contest. Apple dumplings are the yearly crowd favorite.
Wareaglefair began in 1954 with the emphasis on artisans, in the Ozark region, displaying their arts and crafts. Held in October in the midst of changing leaves. Various products arranges from wearable art, country furniture, homemade soaps, potpourri, and folk art. On sight, is the War Eagle Mill which has intriguing history dating back to 1832 and the Civil War. It’s a cafeteria style restaurant is famous for its pinto beans and cornbread served with sliced sweet onion. wareaglemill.com.
The capitol Little Rock is where everything important legislatively. Millennials with the contemporary flair for cuisine has the downtown beaming with five star gastros that rival top stops in the southeast such as A-T-L and Miami.
Arkansas Cornbread Festival is where pros and rookies compete in a cook off of who makes the best cornbread that is sampled by festival lovers. Entry is free but the cost of sampling is $10.00. With all that cornmeal heading down gullets, local brewery products are available at additional costs. Held in the trendy SoMa district. arkansascornbreadfestival.com.
The diversity of North Carolina with it’s beautiful mountains in the eastern portion of the state and the fabulous beaches on the western portion.
Autumn Leaves Festival is found in “Mayberry” where the Andy Griffith Show fictitiously takes place. Began in 1969 and is located in Mt. Airy just three miles south of the Virginia state line at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The festival brags about out how visitors can’t get food by its vendors anywhere else. Ham biscuits, collard greens, and barbeque (that’s bobbyque for some southern folks). Bluegrass music. Held Fri, Sat, and Sunday in October 2021 with 2020 being closed due to the impact of Covid-19.
The coastal city of Wilmington brings diverse festivities. A lot of cultural social activities run through the River District of the city. But the beaches are very popular spots on the right edge of the state.
For all the kite lovers out there, The Cape Fear Kite Festival will bring back the days of one’s youth. It began in 2005 with the mission to “encourage kite flying for kids of all ages.” Held at Kure Beach during the first full weekend in November with no charge.
Charlotte is the financial capital of the South and is on the heels of New York City as a financial hub for the world. Such climate of stiff shirts and power meeting can lead to a less vibrant cultural aspects. However, Charlotte is in the South making it a ripe for fun good for the soul.
Less than forty minutes southeast of Charlotte is the two-day event Autumn Treasures festival. Competing in the Grilln’ & Chillin BBQ Cook Off, are professional barbequers (vying for prize money) as they fill Main Street with enticing aromas along with crafters with art work and musicians with song. Carnival rides, Kids Zone with inflatables, kids craft, petting zoo, pony rides and more.
The state with the strong footprint remaining from the French influence beginning 340 years ago, Louisiana is known to do-it-up, i.e. Marde Gras, which runs through the timeless Bourbon Street, is the first thing that practically comes to everyone’s mind. Jazz, known as the real Jazz, is immutable. College football traditional powerhouse LSU is absolutely no push over.
The town Colfax, around 1500 residents, holds the Louisiana Pecan Festival the first full weekend of November. 2020 will be it’s 52nd year of bringing pecan themed festivities to the heart of the state. Pageant, Pecanettes (dancers), tractor show, bake off, kids game, etc. http://www.lapecanfest.com/schedule-events.
The southeast corner of Larose brings out the French influence. And with it being at the coastal corridor, seafood is a calling. Fascinating combo: Ya’ll combined with a french dialect.
The French Food Festival brings out the cajun (that’s ka-yon for some folks) cooking zeal unlike anywhere. Established in 1973. Held in late October. Dancing and music. FYI: cajun is a local language. so you may need to brush up a bit. http://www.lacajunbayou.com.
The northwest section of the Bayou State, bordering Texas is the lively city Shreveport. One can step onto the nostalgic Riverboat Casinos to roll the dice and pull some levers. Welcoming botanical gardens can be a welcome sight to escape into nature.
Red River Revel is a nine day event with plenty of song and visual arts. Since 1976. Awarded one of the top ten festivals in the stat by Events USA. Handmade art, kids activities. http://www.redriverrevel.com.
One of the first thirteen original states of America, Virginia probably has more historical landmarks than any other state in the country. From Puritans leaving England. the American Revolution and to the African slave trade, Virginia has practically tons of festivals.
Fall Oyster Crawl On The Chesapeake WineTrail is located on middle coastline during the first Sat and Sun in November. Visitors will sample oysters out of the Chesapeake and be paired with wines from 7 wineries from the popular wine trail reaching up to northern Virginia. http://www.chesapeakebaywinetrail.
In the Central region of Virginia is Smith Mountain. The mountain’s lake is the largest natural lake that brings in boaters.
Bridgewater Plaza hosts Smith Mountain Lake Fall Chili & Craft Festival which is located in Moneta, 25 miles east of Roanoke. $5 Admission. 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Teams vie for first place in cook offs for the “Best Chili” trophy at the edge of Smith Mountain Lake. Arrive by vehicle or boat (rentals are at local Bridgewater Marina and Boat). http://www.visitsmithmountainlake.com.
The Appalachians run along the western region. The quaint town of Stuart (1,300 pop) has numerous festivals year round to offer residents and tourists. It is twenty minutes north of the North Carolina border.
Apple Dumpling Festival is a one day festival held in October. Delicious apple pies (served with Neapolitan ice cream?) and apple butter. Bands will be the Farmers Market. Artisans, displaying Southwest Virginia influenced art, line the streets. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. http://www.virginia.org.
The Sunshine State doesn’t have much foliage due to being at Gulf of Mexico. But, hey, it is wonderful in the fall as well when the canopies and tents unfold and the pots and seasoning comes out. Florida don’t want anyone to forget there down home hospitality like any other southern state.
Cooter Festival launched in 2010. The small town of Inverness is spotted in West Central Florida approximately 70 miles west of Orlando. Free admission and parking. 3-day event. Bands, food truck and rides. FYI: a cooter is a North American river turtle. http://www.cooterfestival.com.
Oh yes, South Florida is when tourist can’t go wrong any time of the year. There’s Miami and it’s beaches. Palm Beach and its mansions. Key West and its fishing destinations.
But since this post is about festivals, its appropriate to note that District Fit Wellness and Fitness Festival doesn’t offer apple dumplings or chili cook-offs for its visitors. Why not a fitness festival, where the talk is nutrition, indoor and outdoor classes, and more. Held in West Palm Beach for three days in October. http://www.districtfitwpb.com.
Jacksonville has become a hot attraction over the past decade with its robust cultural activities and not to mention the NFL football franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars. With the naval air station the metropolitan gained the patriotic pulse for visitors.
Oktoberfest is brought to festival goers by Anheuser-Bush at their brewery. German cuisine, stein hoisting (holding a beer mug fully extended in front of the drinker’s body), barrel racing, tug-of-war, yodeling and brat eating contest. Kids activities and games. October. Oktoberfestjacksonville.com.
The Mississippi Delta is one of the most iconic regions of the United States. The strip of region on the northwest corridor that it spreads into Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. Birth place of the Blues and it’s legends Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, and BB King (but King wasn’t born in the Delta).
Delta Hot TamaleFestivalis located in Greenville, which is a two hour drive to the Tennessee border. A three day event in mid October. HOT TAMALE CAPITAL OF THE WORLD was received in 2013 after trademark application was accepted and approved by the U.S. Patent Office. Beauty Pageant, notable chefs throughout the South, tamale makers, parade, music, arts and crafts. http://www.mainstreetgreenville.com.
The Gulf Coast brings the mild weather in the Fall offering two Springs a year. And that means keeping grills out an extended month or two; the beaches still got a fair amount of visitors and the fishing is serious pass time at the Gulf.
Diamondhead Festival & BBQ Competition is held in the first week of November. 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. 30 min drive west of Gulfport. The annual event is put on each year to celebrate the veterans of USA. KidsZone, live music, arts and crafts. Plenty of napkins. Established in 2019. http://www.diamondhead.ms.gov.
Central Mississippi holds the state capital of Jackson. The rich history of the the region can be traced back to the Civil War when Union Soldiers and Confederates fought before the Union army cut off the Confederate supply chain.
Fall Flower and Garden Festival is located in Crystal Springs just 25 miles South of Jackson. It is the largest flower and garden show in the Southeast with 5,000 attendees. There is a top prize and the selected winner receives the highly coveted All-American Selections Award. Admission and parking are free over the 3 acre span. http://www.extension.msstate.edu.
Eighty minutes north of Atlanta is the Bavarian influenced town of Helen. It is a tourist mainstay for the state each Fall with returning visitors. The leaves turn to breathtaking rustic orange during October to leave, which will want visitors returning–and they actually do. Population 550.
Oktoberfest has been going on for the past 50 years and is the longest running Oktoberfest in America. German food by some who moved into town in the 1950’s, parades, polka dancing, and tapping of the keg. With the clean mountain air, a return next year is inevitable. www.helenchamber.com.
The Atlantic brings the Fall marine layer to the coastal region, which only encourages the faithful to head to the shores and partake in the traditions that brings everyone together.
Picnic In The Park, in Savannah, attracts 20,000 fans annually during October to hear bands and choruses as in the midst of an Autumn breeze off the Atlantic. It was created to give students the opportunity to perform live on stage. The rich sounds of the U.S. Army Band performs with the presentation of the U.S. Color Guard and Salute Battalion. Picnic decoration contest. savannahphilharmonic.org.
Georgia has 159 counties–second to Texas with 254. Mid-Georgia offers a lot of rural counties with farming acreage far as the eyes can see. You name it, more than likely it is grown there.
Green Tomato Festival is held in the last weekend in October in the town of Juliette, Ga (population 3,100). Whistle Stop Cafe comes to mind? Fried Green Tomatoes starring Kathy Bates. Free Admission. Live music, kid games, food, arts and crafts and a magician. No cook-off for the BEST FRIED GREEN TOMATO(?!).http://www.gatewaymacon.org.
“Everything is bigger in Texas,” has been the heralded slogan of the Lonestar State for a mighty long time. The residents are some of the most loyal attendees to be found anywhere. The state is vast and the cultural diversity is as comparable to NYC and Los Angeles.
In East Texas, the Heritage Syrup Festival in located two hours east of Dallas in Henderson (13k pop). Second Saturday in November from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Watch how cane syrup is made by makers using antique mule equipment. Food, hay rides, arts and crafts, parade, folk singers. 15,000 attendees. Admission is $3.00.http://www.hendersontx.us.
Southwest Texas desires not to disappoint either. It’s old days terrain is countered by the presence of a vibrant art community. Not too far from the Mexican border, the influence can be seen throughout the city.
Sleeping Lady Festival of the Arts is held in Del Rio, which considers itself the “best city on the border”. The goal of the festival is to show how diversity of art connect all humans. Late September. (830)775-0888.
The Panhandle section just continues to go on ho-hum like it always do allowing the central and southeast sections get the limelight. The panhandle wants to tourists, too.
Lubbock is the largest city in the section. It offers each October the Fall Festival at Adventure Park. Voted Best Kids Park Place in Lubbock. $5 Admission. 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Gameroom, speedway, virtual room, arts and crafts, and a parade. Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pizza, anyone?
The Heart of Dixie brings doesn’t come up short in its cultural festivities. It is football country 100% with Alabama Crimson Tide (perhaps the greatest college football program) and the Auburn Tigers (numerous national football titles). But the landscape is equally heralded with mountains and coastline filled with festival lovers.
Florence is in the slap dab heart of the Heart of Dixie. In 1988, to celebrate the Swedish settlers of Thornsby (pop 2,000), Alabama who came to Central Alabama from the northern United States to grow grapes and fruits for wine. Beauty pageant, Viking 5K run, car show, parade. Held in early October. 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. http://www.thornsbyswedishfestival.com.
Northern Alabama ushers in the foliage since its adjacent to the Tennessee southern border. It’s major attraction year round is the United Space and Rocket Center.
Special Populations Fall Festival is truly heartfelt event put on for those with mental and physical disabilities. Face painting, pumpkin decorating, pizza and candy. Mid October from 6 – 8 p.m. FREE. email@example.com.
The southern coastal region is known for the Gulf Coast fishing and beaches. It’s has highly rated golf courses. The festival season along the coast brings in tons of people to the southern region during the warmer months. The Fall has it’s cozy time also.
Summerdale with it’s population of 1.500 dishes out the Magnolia Corn Maze–which consists of two-eight acre mazes and where you can collect prizes. Paintball, hayrides, food, petting zoo, pig races, corn cannons, cow train, and a whole lot more fun. http://www.facebook.com/MagCornMaze.
The Volunteer State is as warm in hospitality as any state there is. Of course the country music scene in Nashville has the prestige but the down home feel of the mountain region and the Delta offers a genuineness pure as-can-be.
National Banana Pudding Festival and Cook-Off boasts “the best banana pudding in the country”. Started in 2010 to help local non-profits to earn money. The first weekend in October taking place in Centerville, TN (pop. 3,600). Hour southwest of Nashville. $5 Admission. 7,000 to attend. Walk through the famous Puddin’ Path and sample ten cooks’ puddin for $10, which goes to charities. http://www.bananapuddingfest.org.
The North Central has average Fall temps compared to the remaining southern states. To the east are the Appalachian Mountains.
Want to spit pumpkin seeds? Toss some skillets? Participate in an beginners fiddle contest? Bluegrass music. Just ten minutes north of Nashville is the town of Maynard (pop. 3500). First Saturday in October. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Free and Pet Friendly. unioncountyheritagefestival.com.
The Mississippi River basically defines the western portion of the state. Memphis, which is heavily influenced by the Delta of one of it’s lowering neighboring states (begins with M).
Just shy of the Kentucky border on the Western edge is Tiptonville. Reelfoot Arts and Crafts Festival sits at Reelfoot Lake that was created by mighty earthquakes in 1812. It is considered to be a Natural Wonder of the World.It sits a few miles off the banks of the Mississippi. 40K attends. Free Admission. Over 350 vendors. http://www.reelfoottourism.com.
Festivals in the South are put on seriously. The tents, the grills, the face painting, blue grass strumming, arts and crafts and the smiling family faces is second nature beneath coaxing Fall sun. The hospitality creates the atmosphere of ease and lightness creating an experience that time will zoom by. Vendors from different regions offer their symbols of daily life in the region dating back to the Civil War, The American Revolutionary War, and to the evolution of the Mississippi Delta culture. And throw in the charming Y’alls, Fall festivals in the South is good for the soul.
Hope this post has assisted you in choosing your next destination,
“Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” Collette, French novelist.
May 1 – May 31, 2020 National Pet Month
Humans take vacations from bosses, family and society also. It is a time for mental and soul rejuvenation to recharge for the rest of life’s journey. Humans use to rely on word of mouth, brochures, and ads. Today, those mediums remain but with the age of “microwave fulfillment” a person is halfway to the rejuvenation oasis of their choice from infinite options. And for a lot of families and individuals, the furry friends had to remain behind, hopefully with a sitter, or go to one of those kennels where Rex or Tabitha would whimper for and until, their owner’s return.
How times have changed for pets and their owners regarding less time away for extended periods of time. With around 70% of American households owning pet(s) the demand for pet grooming and health are bound to elcipse $80 billion dollars by 2030. Pet’s are “family” and the westernized world proudly proclaims so. Humans want the best for their kids and, deservedly so, the best for the furry family members.
Traveling with pets on planes can get expensive with fees running minimally $40 – $1,000 and that’s usually one-way. Hotel room charge can easy run a traveler an extra $200 for their on-the-road hip attachment–and that can be for amenities or perks.
WHAT SHOULD TRAVELERS PREPARE FOR
Research the rules for your destination. This should and perhaps save some angst or drama (exchanging bitter words with the desk clerk and holding up the already full lines). Rules vary from country to country, city to city. Some countries require a blood test, from the travelling pet, to ensure it doesn’t have rabies or is vaccinated against the infectious viral disease. The World Health Organization recognizes that 29 million people world wide get a post-bite vaccination every year.
Hotels, motels, bed and breakfast and Airbnb offers different rates. According to housefriendly.com, global searches for pet friendly Airbnb destinations is up nearly 150%. The site says there are 1.3 million pet friendly Airbnb destinations globally, so there aren’t any excuses for leaving Rex or Roxanne behind at home.
Exotic animals (pets other than dog, or cat) have special requirements such as pet birds, who may not be considered as “pets” dues some birds may carry certain diseases that could spread to the poultry industry in the USA or outside the USA. The pet’s accredited veterinarian will have to provide a certificate of health to the owner for the pet’s travel abroad.
If traveling by cruise, only certified service animals allowed. Emotional support animals aren’t–at least cruise ships based in the United States are due to laws. However, cruise ships who do allow pets, do have designated areas for the pets to roam and play. Provided food may be offered, but do provide your own if possible.
Going by train, Amtrak allows a pet up to 20lbs for some of it’s trips lasting 7 hours or less. Be absolutely sure to check Amtrak website to get the rules because each state and/or city has their individual laws and rules.
Make sure flea and worming treatments are up to date. The particular requirement is due all over the world.
PET TRAVEL FORUMS
There are forums for every conceivable topic in the world. So, why not a forum for the furry family members we want to travel with. The community participants from over the globe, who have probably traveled to the destination countries of your choice, or have been to a resort, beach, or an Airbnb. Just ask a question or questions on their experience(s) on the laws and regulations of the country or city. There is pettravelquestions.com, tripadvisor.com/showforum, bringfido.com/forum, petguide.com/petforum, ipata.org/find-ipata-dog-shippers.
Even though pet owners will appreciate the feedback, opinions and the awareness they will gain from the forums, inquirers have to be aware of possible unscrupulous characters on the platforms. Pet sitting scams are known to occur when someone on line ask for payment before performing the negotiated task of sitting pet. Use common sense, if someone offers to meet the traveler on vacation at a destination location, simply refuse. One may opt to take the pet’s normal sitter instead on vacation (if affordable). According to the site, petsits.com, forum participants should be leery of IP addresses from Nigeria and the word Yahoo, for Yahoo is used often in pet scams using the search engine name as a legitimate source. Yahoo doesn’t condone any fraud whatsoever of any kind–no search engine for that matter.
PREPARE THE PET IN WAAAAAY ADVANCE
Please, don’t just get a notion to travel then throw Brutus or Mella in the back seat with your luggage and head to the airports or loading terminals. Airlines, hotels, and cruise ships expect a well-behaved pet or exotic animal. If unsure how to train, professional training classes are available for the dog and cats for boarding. For exotic animals, there are certified exotic animal trainers professional (CEATP) who can be located in certain animal kennels, film production directory websites, search engines and the local vet office could furnish resources.
But what should a owner look for once the class in in progress?
Get credentials. referrals, and actually speak to past clients or
An important confirmation whether the trainer is using physical punishment or not. If they are, end the session. Animals behavior responds to repetition and reward. Additionally, screaming at the pet shouldn’t be tolerated.
Owners may get offended, but if the trainer ask for the pet’s vaccinations, there is a solid chance the trainer isn’t about to da a half-way job and takes pride in their career. They view the owner as someone who takes pet ownership as someone who has integrity.
After a couple of sessions, does the pet takes well to the trainer. Are Rex and Susie jovial when strolling with the trainer.
The rates for training can be for $90 – $110 per session on Thumbtack. The session can be private or group with group probably going to be higher. The sessions go to 90 mins. Multi session price has a cheaper rate than a single session rate.
WHY INSURANCE RATES
The anticipation of heading to paradise can fill the mind where something simple as overlooking or not being aware of the necessity of pet insurance can leave travelers in regret. Insurance on your furry companion(s) will give the owner(s) that final peace-of-mind before heading out the door.
Some policies include holiday salvation if the pet gets sick and the vacation ends abruptly. As stated earlier in the post, do your research on pet insurance and see what the country or city insurance restrictions are.
There are policies that only cover veterinarian fees.
There are policies that cover returning the pet home if the owner is hospitalized out side of the home country or state.
If traveling within the European Union, a pet passport is needed showing pet is vaccinated and microchipped. Not all insurance cover replacement of lost pet passports.
If your pet isn’t vaccinated and comes down with an illness, which leads to them having to be quarantined from a few days to a few months, returning the pet to you can run into thousands of dollar.
Blind pets may meet special requirements, so be sure to ask your pet insurance agent.
UBER AND LYFT
Uber in the United States allows pets to ride now for $6 (with owner of course). Uber says it’s not just for dog and cats, but turtles, fish, birds, hamsters and all domestic pets. Snakes? Deer?
Lyft offers their driver’s the option to refuse riders with pets.
Hopefully this post assist you and your pet(s) happy and safe travel to your destinations.
The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes,” Marcel Proust.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT ENTRY
Tourists valid identification papers should always be on them. Identification can be checked anywhere and at anytime, even while driving or on the street. If a tourist is going to drive in France, they must carry driver’s license, gray card “carte grise”, which is the registration, and a certificate of insurance. There are no required vaccinations before entering France. http://www.francetourism.com.
Paris, seemingly forever, has been the most romanticized destination on the planet. The Eiffel Tower and Versailles instantly come to mind–deservedly so because they are amazing wonders with incredible histories. However, France’s amazing history also encompasses its other regions that make a traveler’s engagement with its bountiful destinations wonderful.
OF COURSE: WINE REGIONS
France has been the number one tourist attraction in the world. But In recent years, Paris (3rd most visited city in the world behind Bangkok and London) has lost its luster for tourists with numerous heading to other European destinations such as Slovakia for one. Overcrowding has been the central issue according to the telegraph.com/uk post July 7, 2018. And to be seriousness, who wants to visits sites where there is overcrowding? No one does unless its a U2 concert or perhaps, just perhaps, wine tours which raked in 5.2B Euros ($6B USD) in 2016. Wine tourism as increased by 30% since 2009 according to the side http://www.condoferries.co.uk.
Central Southeast France brings the Rhone Valley has hot summers, mild autumns an springs, with very cold winters due to nearby mountains. Some of the top wines in the world are manufactured there, i.e. Cotes du Rhone AOC, Hermitage just to name a few. There are 14 wine routes that can be taken by car, bike, horseback or air (helicopter preferably).
Rhone Wine Tours (Nyons) receive 5 Stars on TripAdvisor. $1500 USD per person. The tours begin at 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. There is a stop for lunch which is not included in price (clear the throat). http://www.rhonewinetours.com.
Saint Marcel Cave gets a 4.5 and Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor is where wine tour partakers revel down a rope 90 yards (with all the necessary safety equipment: harness, jumpsuit, headlamp, etc. According to http://www.frenchwine.com the cave is mostly made of limestone, which is the ideal environment to age wine: mineral surroundings, total darkness, constant temperature of 57° F and 90% humidity. Amazingly, the cave doubles as a wine cellar.
Chauvet Cave dates back to over 30,000 years. Over 4 football fields long (437 yards) it is contains the art from the Paleolithic Era aka Stone Age. According to the metmuseum.org, claw scratches from cave bears, much larger than the American Grizzly, are etched throughout the walls. Skulls of bears, lions, mammoths and rhinoceros. Human footprints, including a child’s, are located on the cave’s floor. However, only a couple of scientists and a few journalist can visit the cave annually, due to sensitivity of the internal climate causing further erosion to the artwork. There is a replica cave built nearby one can visit that replicate the artwork (maybe on the next trip).
Chardonnay. Pinot. Well, eastern France with it’s summer temps averaging 67.8º F keeping the climate cool for outstanding grape production quality. A wine tasting tour in the premiere region for wine producing is highly suggested after catching a rail line from Paris (bit over three hour commute) or small aircraft into one of Burgundy’s several regional airports at approximately 75 minutes.
http://www.authentica-tours.com will conduct tours in English and French. #1 on TripAdvisor for the region and Certificate of Excellence. The tours are for 8 hours and run from. Book online to be be picked up by driver at airport up to $600 USD per day. Tour costs range from $77 USD – $675 USD/person (with no lunch included).
Constructed in 1863, Chateau Saint Michel is a 19th Century castle turned into a hotel. 4.7 on Google. The 15-room, 7 suite luxury landmark is surrounded by some of the most distinguished vineyards on the planet. Price ranges start at $221 USD – $244 USD. Free WiFi and Free Parking. http://www.theoriginalshotels.com. Ask for Mark or Metha.
Ruins of the Roman Empire are found in the city of Autun. 4 out of 5 on Trip. 2 on Michelin. The largest Roman theatre–that seated 20,000 spectators–during the Summer charts Roman history (Russell Crowe spotting, anyone?). Price of entering is FREE. Parking is available, but visiting this site on a bike or scooter just seems ideal, ya know.
Mid-Central to Central West Coast produces Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet. The climate is dry during summers, and the autumns similar to the Southeastern U.S. with crisp Novembers. The late winters can bring fog in the mornings according to http://www.experiencetheloir.com.
A la Francaise receives 5 Stars and a Certificate of Excellence on TripAdvisor. The wine tasting tour company price range from $89 USD/per person – $195 per person with the latter (Chambord & Chenonceau Group Tour) being the most booked and…and…and offers LUNCH at a private chateau. Maybe operated by a multi-lingual guide since France is the most popular destination the world over. Maximum of 8 travelers. Infant seats available–YES.
Located at Loire-Anjou-Touraine National Park (4.3 on Google), is The Grand Elephant of Nantes is a 40 feet tall mechanical elephant one can ride around town. Additional highlight of the bronze Dumbo is it squirts water at bystanders. Kids and the adults, who are kids-at-heart, shouldn’t be left out the visit.
A fortress was built in 1230 during the Roman Period. It contain large halls, steam rooms and an outdoor garden for starters. One of the vast rooms contains the Apocalypse Tapestry of Angers (an wonder of 328 feet long) contain the largest remaining set of medieval tapestries in the world. The set consists of 100 tapestries illustrating the text of the book of St. John in the Bible. It was conditioned by Louis I, the Duke of Anjou. $9 USD is the ticket price for adults. 18-25 years of age is free for EU citizens; under 18 is free. http://www.loirevalley.net.
Considered the most underrated wine region in France, Provence is noted for for its Chateau d’Esclans Garrus Rose. It is located in Southeastern France and borders Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. Blooming season for lavender is Mid-June – early July for the southern region while July and early August . Lavender fields far as the eye can behold is densely grown in the region as ingredients in cosmetics and essential oils.
Lavender festivals which includes local arts, crafts and music offers festivities in the region in July and August.
Saint Tropez is a famous beach one see on game shows offering destinations as part of prizes. Two hours from Provence, according tohttp://www.ciabambino.com, offers the family friendly village of Sainte-Maxime.
Mercantour National Park (5 stars on Trip) is one of the top national parks in all of France. Insights from the National Geographic writer Mary Winston Nicklin, “20,000 inhabitants living in a protected zone near the heart of the park. The montagnards’ traditions live on: Shepherds guide flocks, beekeepers tend hives, and cheesemakers camp out with their cows in high-altitudes pastures in the summer.” Furthermore, there are perched villages hanging on clifftops (YIKES).
On the edge of Germany and Switzerland in northeastern France, ALSACE is mostly sunny, hot and dry. The semi-continental climate is known for it’s white wines such as Riesling, Pinot Gris. The region has changed hands between France and Germany several times with the final time being at the end for WWII.
Cathedrale Notre Dame (4.7 and Certificate of Excellence on TripAd) has breathtaking Gothic architecture from the 13th Century. The tower is not quite 500 feet in height, which can be seen from miles away.
Vacation Photographer in Colmar is way cool of a concept. With the rich beauty of a French wine country landing a professional to capture the cherished moments of a lifetime of flower-line canals, vineyards and castles. Price is $250 USD/person with discounts for multiple persons. $8.33 per picture and a English speaking photographer. Receive pics in 4 working days.
Cite de l’Automobile (4.6 on Google and 4.5 on TripAd and Certificate of Excellence) $16 USD ticket price. The car museum–containing 520 vehicles including some pre-war Maserati 250Fs and Grand Prixes, Mercedes-Benz W125 and W154, Type 41 Royales–has the largest collection of automobiles and contains the largest collections of Bugatti motor vehicles in the world. Brothers Hanz and Fritz Schlumpf were industrialists, who collected cars after WWII. In 1962, Fritz bought 50 Bugattis. A year later, Fritz purchased 18 cars from Ettore Bugatti’s personal cars. http://www.citedelautomobile.com.
More than half of the fine wine produced world-wide comes from the French wine-making regions. Bordeaux is the region where most of the French fine wine making is produced. Rosés, dry and sweet white wines are produced in the region in abundance. The climate during Winter is mild but does get windy. November is very rainy. Rainfall average 3 feet per year with little precipitation in the summer.
The Water Mirror (4.5 and Certificate of Excellence on TripA) is the world’s largest reflecting pool measuring over 4,100 square feet. The landmark opened in 2006 and is popular with kids. It is open from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and is closed in the winter for maintenance. http://www.bordeaux.com/fr.
Palais Gallien is 4.5 on TripA. The Romans seated 15,000 here for their Roman games i.e. Man vs Beasts, and so on. The reason for a no Certificate of Excellence on TripA may be that it could be not “totally safe”. The marker, if faced with an earthquake of a substantial magnitude, could very see the gray stones falling. Keep in mind a 4.5 hit southeast France in November, 2019.
Dune du Pilat Beach (4.5 on TripA) is a natural wonder dating back 4000 years that is 320 feet to the top, not quite the length as a football field. Each year, it moves a few yards closer to the forest. For the paragliders, the beach is known for the sport and has classes for the beginners or anyone needing to freshen up on their skills.
Dom Perignon, anyone? Bollinger? Moet & Chandon? Veuve Cliquot? Taittinger? All the top wine houses of the world are nestled in northeastern France between Paris and Belgium.
Dom Perignon private tours ($610 USD/per person) will have one visiting the cellars where the world most famous champagne is made and aged. Additionally, one will visit the city where Mr. Perignon, himself, lived and created his masterpiece. 4 stars on TripA. Pick you up at the hotel or Airbnb. The headscratcher: no Certificate of Excellence on TripA with Dom being one the most recognizable brands worldwide.
Couleurs Aventure a family theme outdoor park in the Argonne Forrest and since kids are always in the need for the next thrill, how about they get on a zip line and glide between the trees. There is paintballing and pedal boat rides.
REIMS CATHEDRAL 5 with TripA and 3 on the travel guide Frommers. It damaged during WWI but evidently survived. The official setting of royal coronations for a thousand years, Joan of Arc had her famous failed attempt to get Charles VI back on the throne before she was later burned at the stake.
Where else would one go to experience the birthplace of fine dining. Providing a above and beyond experience, is in the DNA of the country. It’s a cultural pride that permeates through their eating establishments. Below, are some of the highly rated establishments throughout the wine regions.
Flair is a French, European, and International restaurant. The pics presentation, of the menu items, will urge you to order them tonight. Price ranges are from $19 – $52 USD. 4.5 and Certificate of Excellence for 2016 – 2019 on TripA. 5 on http://www.thefork.com. Gluten Free Options. Opens 12 p.m. – 9 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday.
Marius Bistro (4.5 on TripA, Booking.com and Google) is located in Fac & Spera Hotel and Spa which at the base of the valley vineyards. One thousand wines fill their cellars. French, European, and International. Price range is $20 USD – $75 USD. It is a relief to know the bistro offers breakfast (croissants, please), lunch and dinner.
L’Archange gets the Certificate of Excellence 2016 – 2019 and a 4.5 on TripA. French and European. Short hours since Covid-19: Sunday – Saturday 7 p.m. – 11 p.m. Reviews do compliment the decor of setting and reasonable prices.
Mayfair Garden is an Indian, Pakistani and contemporary restaurant receiving a 5 and a COA for 2019 on Trip. 4.5 on Yelp. Rated the #1 Indian restaurant out of 297 Indian in Paris. Price ranges from $34 – $68 USD. Halal, Gluten Free, Veg Friendly. Hours are 12:00 – 2:00; 6:30 – 10:30.
Troisgros. 3 Michelin Stars 2020. 4.5 and COE on TripAd. 5 stars on Yelp.http://www.troisgros.com states that in 2018, the four generation restaurant celebrated it’s 50th year of three-Michelin stars. The menu is French, European. Price ranges $113 – $463 (Perfection).
Via Emilia. 5 Stars (many are enthusiastic) and COE on TripAd. 4 Stars on Yelp. Italian, Mediterranean, Emilian (variety of dishes consisting of parmesan cheese, Prosciutto, balsamic vinegar), and European. Vegetarian and Vegan options. Price ranges from $31 – $60 USD.
La Parenthese is a COE and a 4.5 on TripA. 4.5 on Booking.com. It is on the Michelin France Guide 2020. French, European. Gluten Free Options. Lunch, Dinner, and Late Night. Part of their philosophy is that “a good meal doesn’t go without a good home.” http://www.restaurant-la-parenthese.com.
GAMBETTA. Opened in 2006. Michelin Star since 2010. French Cuisine. 4.5 and COE. $32 – $111 USD. Lunch and Dinner. http://www.restaurantlegambetta.fr. Offers a cooking class (awesome for the culinary challenged tourist) with lunch afterwards at a 10% off menu prices.
Yakitori Sushi Bar et Cuisine du Monde. 4.7 on Google. The entire menu centers around fresh produce. The menu encompasses a fusion of Japanese and Sri Lankan. Yakitori means small pieces of meat on a skewer. http://www.yakitori-angers.fr. Closed Sat, Sun. Items start at $10.50.
Mirazur. Michelin 3 Stars. 4.5 on Google. Opened in 2006 by Chef Mauro Colagreco at the age of 29 overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. http://www.mirazur.fr states the 1930s rotunda style restaurant sits at the foothills with a stone’s throw away from Italian border post (wow–just imagine the food influences since forever). French, Mediterranean and European. Veggie Friendly, Vegan Options, and Gluten Free Options. $53 – $158 USD. Lunch, Dinner, and Late Night.
Chez Madie. 3.5 with TripAd and Yelp. 8.3 out of 10 on http://www.fork.com. French, Mediterranean, European and Soups. Lunch Dinner and Late Night. $15 – $54 USD. Good amount of sub par reviews on TripAd centers around lack of quality of service, i.e. over stretched or poor staffing. Nonetheless, located in Marseille with a stroll afterwards at the edge of the Mediterranean, the glass is half full. *Website, at the time of posting, isn’t detailed.
SEVIN. 4.4 on Google. 1 Star on Michelin. $43 – $152. “Excellent wine list,” according to Michelin. http://www.restaurantsevin.com/fr. Dinner only: 7:30 – 10:30. Located in a 12th Century residence. Closed every Wednesday and Thursday. Pets welcomed. $43 – $151 USD.
JY’s. What a cool-as-heck name. Closed Sunday and Monday. 4.3 on Google. Michelin Two Stars 2020. Highchairs (parents prayers answered) and wheelchairs available. 4.5 and Certificate of Excellence 2016 – 2019 on TripAd. French, European, Fusion and Gluten Free Options. http://www.jean-yves-schillinger.com.
Le Jasmin. Moroccan, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Halal, Vegan Options, and Vegetarian Options. 5 on TripAd and COE 2016 – 2019. Lunch and Dinner. Great service is regularly mentioned on reviews. http://www.restaurant-lejasmin.com.
Lotel. 5s and COE 2016 – 2019 with TripAd. French. Lunch, Dinner. Wednesday – Sunday. Part of a hotel that has a sculpture garden (trails) with 32 works of art. The establishment isn’t just about satisfying palettes but also wants the diners to experience the trails containing waterfalls and ruins of the Nideck two containing castles from the 13th and the 14th centuries. http://www.lotel.valleedelabruche.fr.
Cedre Et Vous. Lebanese, American, European, British, French, Mediterranean. 5 on TripAd. Breakfast 8 – 10 a.m. Lunch 11:30 – 2:00 p.m. Closed Saturday and Sunday. $11 – $21 USD. Compliments on TripA is that the staff is friendly and talkative (well staffed). http://www.cedre-et-vous.business.site.
Restaurant Dan. Closed Saturday and Sunday. 7:30 p.m. – 10:30. 4.5 on TripAd and COE 2016 – 2019. French, Asian, Contemporary and Fusion. $36 – $84 USD. Vegetarian Friendly, Gluten Free Options. *No website at time of posting.
La Tupina means pot in Basque which is a language of an ethnic culture along the southwest region of France and parts of north central Spain. A large fireplace, with a pot inside to heat soups in the fall and winter, is at the focal point of meals being prepared. French cuisine. 4.1 on Google. Lunch, Dinner. http://www.latupina.com. Established in 1968, the focus has always boiled down to fresh produce and a warm atmosphere.
Tra Di Noi, 5 on TripAd. Sicilian, Southern-Italian, Mediterranean, Italian. $27 – $47 USD. Lunch, Dinner and Drinks.
Racine is located a “few steps from the Notre-Dame Cathedrale,” the restaurant’s site cherishes. Michelin 2020. COE and 5 on TripAd. French, Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options. $68 – $208 USD. Lunch, Dinner. http://www.racine.re.
La Charette Creole. Prices from $11 – 34 USD. 4.5 and COE 2018 – 2019 on TripAd. Lunch and Dinner. Cajun and Creole. Good reviews on service.
AIRBNB BEFORE COVID-19
Data from Airdna.co.
For the Rhone Valley, the vibrant city of Lyon–France’s third largest city–is the hub for the short term rental market in the wine region. Its population is over 500,000 residents. 3.7 guests average per rental. Rentals peaked during the 4th quarter of 2017. Overall rating is 4.61 (solid) and a 79% at least 4.5 overall (solid). 28% booked full time (low). $85 USD daily rate; occupancy rate was 55% going into April 2020. 81% are entire home rentals. 28% available full time.
Vienne is a thirty minute drive south of Lyon. It was a major colony for the Roman Empire 47 years BC with numerous Roman Empire landmarks. $70 is the daily rate; occupancy rate is 65%; the rate peaked in the Fall of 2019. Overall rating is 4.59 (mediocre). 4.59 is an Overall 83%. 42% available full time. 67% are entire home rentals. At the time of posting, the active rentals are 99 (June 2020).
Dijon is located in east central region of France. With a population of 155,000, the city has fabulous Gothic cathedrals and palaces. $63 ADR. 68% occupancy rate. 1100 active rentals. First quarter almost tied record highs from 2Q of 2019. 4.65 if the Overall rating. 83% offers a 4.5 Overall. 86% entire home rentals. 42% available full time.
Nevers, near Dijon, has the population of 35,000. Its an industrial town (rubber, plastics, ceramics among a few others). $53 ADR. 80% Occupancy rate. 1860 active rentals. Rental Growth peaked at the end of 2019. 4.69 Overall rating. 84% of 4.5 Overall. 70% entire home rentals. 45% available full time.
Anjou was invaded by the Vikings in the 9th Century, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. Towering castles and museums of medieval and Roman artifacts and statues possibly makes the Airbnb market pristine with a 97% receiving a 4.5 Overall rating. Overall rating 4.88 (simply remarkable). Rental growth peaked in Q1 of 2019 and Q2 of 2020. $118 USD is ADR. 52% Occupancy rate. 37 active rentals. 48% entire home rentals. 42% available full time.
Nantes is a cultural center of just over 300,000 inhabitants. Art museums, cathedrals, and castles abound. 1860 active rentals, which contains 76% are entire home rentals. 68 USD ADR. Rental growth peaked at end of 2Q 2019 and has dropped steadily since. 4.69 Overall. 4.5 rating come in at 83%. 29% available full time.
You guessed it: Marseille, which is rich in history, diversity and architecture, according to http://www.lelongweekend.com. It sits on the Mediterranean shores and is where the French national anthem hails from. With the population at 1.6 million, the trendy city has 6637 active rentals (plenty of choices). $73 USD daily rate. 84% are entire home rentals. Occupancy rate is 68%. Growth has slipped from its peak in latter Q2 (where the annual numbers peaked each year since 2017) topped in 2019. 4.6 Overall and a 79% of a 4.5 or greater. 32% available full time.
Avignon encompasses many of France historical attractions: cave paintings, island monasteries, to cavernous wine cellars. It’s population has the fortune of having such landmarks and natural wonders, which would make an Airbnb stay a worthwhile few days. Population at 92,000. $82 ADR. 55% rental rate (kinda low for such a historical city–especially a key historical city). Rental demand is 57, which is sub par for being near the Mediterranean. 1906 active rentals. 83% are entire home rentals. Growth rate has continued to drop from its high during late 2Q of 2019. Overall rating is 83% and the at least 4.5 comes in at 80%. 26% available full time.
Strousbourg sits near the western border of Germany and is contains the European Parliament building. It is a very industrious city involved in pharmaceuticals and auto manufacturing among quite a few other economic sectors. $88 ADR. 67% Occupancy rate. 2454 active rentals. 79% entire home rentals. Peaked at Q4 in 2018 and has snaked downward ever since. 4.64 Overall and a 81% 4.5 Overall. 38% available full time.
Mulhouse rests near the Swiss and German border in northeastern France (German influenced). Population is over 110, 000. It is industrious with many investors from Europe placing money in the manufacturing of electronics, and pharmaceuticals. $61 ADR. 85% rental demand approaches spectacular. 67% occupancy rate. 361 active rentals. 80% entire home rentals. Peaked growth hit 1Q 2020. 4.6 Overall and 79% on 4.5 or greater. 37% available full time.
Begles. Located in southwest France in a region that is popular for cruise line stop-overs. Population of 22,000. According to http://www.latlong.net, Begles is rural (quaint and cozy, hunh) and maintains traditional cultural and social life. 76% rental demand. $82 ADR. Occupancy rate is a very good 81%. 66% entire home rentals. Rental growth peaked during Q2 of 2018 and has waved since. Over all rating is 4.72 and the 4.5 least is a solid 85%. 22% available full time.
Talence. $64 ADR. 206 active rentals. Occupancy rate is 81%. 77% rental demand. 73% entire home rentals. Growth peaked in both Q2s in 2018 and 2019. Overall rating if 4.64 and at least a 4.5 comes in with 80%. 20% available full time. Population 42,000. http://www.britannica.com cites, Talence, as a “center for jet production, light industry, and wine making.”
Troyes. Northeastern France. Population 61,000. Narrow old cobblestone streets in old town. Loaded with rich history from the Gauls, Julius Caesar conquest, Augustus, Christianity, the Normans, Louis XIV, Joan of Arc, and Charles VII. Rental demand is 67% (mediocre). $65 ADR. Occupancy rate is 59%. 310 active rentals. 85% entire home rentals (with the history, 100% should be the normal). Since the end of the peak growth during Q2 of 2019, growth rate has maintained evenly to this posting. 4.65 Overall and a 81% of at least 4.5. 42% full time availability.
Epernay. Been around since the 5th Century and has been destroyed 20 separate times during its history, cites http://www.beerandcroissants.com. 208 active rentals. 52% are in demand. $90 ADR.
Occupancy rate is 50%. Rental growth has steady incline since the onset of 2017. 4.71 Overall rating. 92% (outstanding) of 4.5 or above. 62% full time availability.
Motherhood is the necessity of invention, the old saying goes. The spurring of global force Uber and Lyft has brought backlash from traditional taxis drivers and their unions. Governments around the world has brought the restrictions on carpooling and ridesharing apps, but the demand is so overwhelming that the invention supersedes the powers-that-be. Of course, there is Uber and probably Lyft. However, they face competition from other apps vying for market share.
Bla Bla Car is the most popular ridesharing app in France, according to the http://www.bestofniceblog.com. Riders can pick a front or back seat and don’t even have to drive. 1/3 the cost of the bus and 1/4 the cost of a train. The cherry on top: No pay tolls (at least not the time of this writing). Choice of cars. Driver’s ratings and reviews. Passengers profiles you are riding with. Yeah. The only bent, in the other wise straight line, is the rider has to catch the ride at a train station.
Blacklane deals with larger vehicles up to 6 passengers. The driver will be in suit.
Supershuttle will send a driver in a dark suit and can have a vehicle accommodating up to 10 riders waiting.
Talixo will have various vehicle sizes, including luxury, for fill your request.
Traditional taxis are available which one can even get by app now. No longer are the dialing and reaching a run-of-the-mill Angela.
Bolt has a service where the driver is a member of the local community.
Uber, you can guess and be correct.
Note: Only Uber, Bolt and traditional taxis are at the airports and train stations.
Wine and world history intertwined, unlike any other, can only be found in France. Every region in the country has it’s own type of wine, it brings to the world, and has done so for approximately ninety years. The various climates of the wine gods bring tourists to experience wine tours that leads them through prehistoric caves to the castles erected to protect from foreign invaders. Just about every inch of a wine tour one chooses, some very important moments in Europe’s history. The average price is a bit higher than Napa Valley, USA, i.e. USA isn’t near the Alps nor the Mediterranean.
Hope this post benefits you in the research of your next destination,
“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow isn’t here yet and there no mistake in it,” L.M. Montgomery.
The effects, of Covid-19 on the world, need no explanation. Travelers of the world has been awash in anticipation of returning to their favorite destinations, with a peace of mind, since early March 2020. Travel is down nearly one hundred percent and has bottomed out for the meantime. With Covid data is daily available to world leaders and their roundtables, the obvious concern is the safety and well-being of their citizens and travelers to the countries are government concern #1.
Greece begins opening travel to those in the European Union only beginning the date July 1, 2020. And of course, without hesitation, there are some policies tin place for the limited reopening of tourism.
WHAT TO EXPECT
According to http://www.schengenvisainfo.com, travelers from abroad won’t have to go into quarantine or test for Covid-19. However, they must follow the social distancing guide lines at airports and public places. Travelers must have masks at airports and on airplanes. Additionally, travelers must complete a questionnaire before the trip.
CONTINUED SUSPENDED FLIGHTS
Flights to and from Albania will resume (6/14) ; Italy (5/31), the Netherlands (5/31), North Macedonia (6/14), Spain (5/31), Turkey (6/14), and the United Kingdom (5/31). All international flights coming into Greece must fly into the main airport: (AIA) Athens International Airport.
CHANGES FOR ATTRACTIONS
According to the Associated Press, on 05/25/2020, cites 34 million visitors stepped on Greece’s ground leading to almost under $20B (10% of GDP) in revenue for the country. Small businesses, in the Mediterranean region, is heavily depended on tourism for a roof over their heads. Workers in the industry will have protective measures (masks, hand sanitizer, disinfectants and sanitizing) in place to ensure the safety from Covid-19. Hours of operation may be reduced to give staff a few hours to clean and sanitize the place of business. So be sure to check websites pertaining to the places you want to visit for hours of operation.
The past couple of months have seen air travel grind practically to a halt. With the scenario, Airbnb has been definitely less than stellar (basically coming to a halt). Fast forward a couple of months later, travelers now has the itch to travel abroad. USA Today, on May 20, 2020, brought up the stats that Greece is one of the top three cities around the world–Brazil and Indonesia are the other two–where escape travelers want to use short term rentals.
WHAT KIND OF RATES FOR THE REST OF 2020?
Even though the country is re-opening July 1, 2020, the rates for at least Greece should soon increase because ranks very high on top destination for escape travelers (honeymooners definitely). Couples demand are going to drive rates higher because two-income households can readily afford two hundred dollars per night for three nights per week, giving Greece a solid bounce for their GDP. Book ASAP.
Coming to mind are the famed golden sunsets posing softly behind iconic palm trees, which travelers will experience wonderfully in the month of July continuing the festive tone after July 4th. The beaches and boardwalk of Venice will beckon your soul searching self to drop by and get that Venice vibe. Beverly Hills refuses to become second fiddle. Hollywood sign will scream. The list of attractions seemingly goes on forever.
The megalopolis on the southeast portion of California, really has everything wants for travelers a destination (ski slopes not part of the equation) lending to memories. Keep in mind, Los Angeles is in Los Angeles County, which totals 4751 square miles. The attractions, one will visit, are in the metropolitan Los Angeles area.
So, you arrive at LAX and check into a hotel and you want to head out and see the city.
The world famous Venice Beach calls and it can’t wait. Made famous in the 1970s for being the body building mecca of the world, which included creating bulging biceps beneath the golden sun and sand. However, the art scene the past ten years has stepped in and claimed away some of the fame. A January 2019 news article on KCRW.com describes the scene as “robust” and buyers are purchasing. The late, great Ed Moses is the most popular painter to known out of Venice with an abstract style with a series of red paintings.
The towering Hollywood sign in the Hollywood Hills, a couple of miles north of Beverly Hills, is an eternal landmark that is flocked to by tourists daily. Why visit L.A. and not get your Instagram or Tik Tok on beneath the 45 feet high and 450 feet long. The way to get to it drive and park on the side of the road and step to the sign. No charge but be careful not to accidentally scale down the knoll. Have fun.
Universal Studios is a theme park and a film studio opened in 1912 and remains a top attraction in Los Angeles from tourist and SoCal residents alike. A One Day Pass can get visitors to experience hair-raising rides (Revenge of the Mummy, Jurassic World, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey) from $109 – $129; VIP tickets are $349 which include an array benefits such as refreshments and snacks, Valet parking ($25 – $45 per hour or day pass rates so check website for detailed info); free live shows also. After the gut gets to swirling and the growl gets to talking, there is the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co on the lot; Ben and Jerry’s, Duff Brewery Beer Garden, Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, Jurassic Café (no T-Rex actually served) just to name a few so please check out universalstudioshollywood.com eye easy website for the complete list. After a few rides, hop on the world famous studio tour where you go behind the scenes of how famous movies that were brought to you by Universal Studios (Jaws, ET, Fast and Furious 1-9, Earthquake, the classic Psycho, etc, etc, etc, etc). The tour takes one hour. TripAdvisor comes in at 4.5 stars and Yelp goes for 4 stars.
Hollywood Walk of Fame provides the surreal nostalgia for anyone who walks the sidewalk is 1.3 miles long (not a straight line but around corners, the famed golden star on the steel gray concrete has past and present celebrities, who your great, great grandparents, grandparents, parents, kids, were and currently fans of. No ticket prices. TripAdvisor has a rating of 3.5 stars and Yelp comes in at 3 stars.
On it’s website, The Griffith Observatory lays hold to the claim that it’s SoCal gateway to the stars. $7 for adults; $5 for student and seniors with I.D.; $3 for children 5-12; kids under 5 are admitted free to the first show of the day but must sit in parents lap. Telescopes, exhibits, planetarium and awesome views overlooking L.A. On Saturday’s (July 25, 2020) the observatory throws watch parties from 2 p.m. – 9:45 p.m, and is closed Mondays. Amateur astronomers discuss and mingle with the observatory visitors to create a relaxed setting. After the appetite has been worked up and brain fog possibly setting in from staring through telescopes at the Milky Way, Café At The End of the Universe awaits to help getting you back to normal. For those on the go, the eatery has a to-go menu that accommodate vegan and vegetarian items as well as the standard menu of chicken, beef, pork and ham. Additionally, the cafe has a casual dining atmosphere serving hot options such ask Meatloaf and gravy, Mac-n-Cheese, Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Chicken, Moroccan Chicken. It’s Vegan section has Vegan Beeg Tagine, Yellow Rice, Fried Rice, Grilled Cauliflower and Tofu Curry. Check out the website wolfgangpuck/dining/griffith-cafe for prices and detailed menu. TripAdvisor rating are 3 stars and Yelp has it 2.5 stars.
Hey, everyone. while the MLB Allstar Game is going to be the hottest ticket in town for that week, when you get the chance how about getting spooked before and after on the apparition laden Queen Mary (one day pass runs around ($100 for a tour pass, excluding drinks and meals) where its been reported in some suites for many, many decades the lights suddenly turn on in the middle of the night; running water suddenly turns on; and knock on doors in the middle of the night. Story has it during the Great Depression, a pair of super ocean liners to be nine stories tall with hi-technology, that would be ground breaking, went to the drawing tables. It made it’s maiden voyage in 1936 and became popular with the celebs and dignitaries. Over three football fields long. On May 8, 1971, it opened its doors for tourists. Not only is it a historical landmark but a 343 room, full service hotel art deco hotel with full suites; mini suites, deluxe staterooms, family staterooms, standard stateroom, and stateroom B340 (the ship’s most haunted room). There are different bed quantities, sizes, and add-ons, which will bring a sliding cost sale. Checkout travelandleisure.com for their solid article on the Queen Mary haunted suites and other areas. And finally, go to http://www.queenmary.com for more in suite and package rates. depth details. TripAdvisor ratings if 4 stars our of 5. For Yelp, its 2.5 stars out of 5.
Cofounded in 1988 by Gene (the only person to have five stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame) and Jackie Autry along with Joanne and Monty Hale, the Museum of the West exhibits has six hundred thousand artifacts and art pieces from the beginning of the West. It contains Native American art that includes one of the largest and most significant Native American arts in the USA. Furthermore, there are interactive games, historic firearms, films, etc. Gene Autry’s vison was to show how the proper interpretation of the Old West and how it influenced America and the world. On Saturday and Sundays, visitors can learn how to pan for gold just like back in the day. The hours are from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. For the admission to the museum the price is free for under 3; 13 – 18 (with ID) is $10; seniors are $10; and adults are $14. https://theautry.org/visit.
The city of big dreams and glitz if the first thing to come into people’s mind but L.A has some nice hiking destinations that a visitor would appreciate. In Malibu, which is along the Pacific Coast Highway. There, at the edge of the Santa Monica Mountains, is Solstice Canyon–a little known gem that gets people away from the big city. A crystal clear, soothing water fall is the center of attraction. The hike of the canyon is 5 miles in length. TripAdvisor puts 4.5 stars on it while Yelpcomes in with a 4.5 also.
Hollywood Wax Museum Entertainment Center is located on Hollywood Blvd in the general area of the Walk of Fame. It is world famous for having replicas of famous Hollywood celebs (you name Hollywood star, they are probably there). It began in 1965 by Spoony Singh and is the longest running wax museum in the USA. The Entertainment Center also has a Guinness Book of World Records attraction where visitors take pics with replicas of famous world record holders. Additionally, there is a third attraction and it is Ripley’s Believe It Or Not (love that show, you know). Ripley’s has two stories filled with 300 outstanding exhibits and artifacts from around the world. The Odditorium is self-touring where one can take pics alongside the relics. The price for all three attractions are on one ticket price of free for children under 3, children 4 – 11 are $20; 12+ is 36. Since it is usually crowded, it is a sound idea to purchase the tickets online at http://www.hollywoodwaxentertainment.com for in-depth details. Parking will be at nearby parking garages with price ranges from $20 – $50 per 2hrs. So, Uber or Lyft just my be a better option depending where the visitor is leaving.
UBER AND LYFT IN LOS ANGELES
Uber, from Yelp, receives a 2 star ratings. The Skytrax rating is 1.5 stars–at least from LAX.
AIRBNB IN LOS ANGELES
According to a Los Angeles county newspaper, The San Gabriel Valley Tribune in their February 21, 2019 article by Kevin Smith, Los Angeles County led the state in the number of Airbnb renters with 2.7 million. Twenty seven thousand residents of the county share there resident through Airbnb. The average homeowner makes an addition $11,000 per year through Airbnb.
Since Dodger stadium is at the north of downtown L.A. getting a rental loft in the swanky downtown area will be really, really cool. The nightlife in the county is downtown.
The upscale South Pasadena and Pasadena isn’t too far northeast of the stadium.
Beverly Hills will require leaving three hours before game time to beat the traffic, but celeb homes will be a momentous piece of personal history. A person can say I stayed in an Airbnb home rented by ($).
Santa Monica will require a two plus hour departure to beat the monster traffic, but homes and lofts by the beach would be totally kickbutt.
Los Angeles is the home to 10.4 million residents and countless visitors every day. The amazing attractions always play second fiddle to the glitz and glam. The Airbnb should fit any taste a visitor for the game has. Ridesharing giants may not guarantee a bragging experience, but since the big game is in town, the drivers will be on their Ps and Qs. Regardless, the landmarks and the wonder of canyons and trails could use their own star on the Walk of Fame for the counter balance they offer heart souls and minds in the need of replenishment and knowledge.
Hope this posting will benefit the fans planning your MLB Allstar destination: Los Angeles.
“Golf is a good walk spoiled,” Mark Twain, writer.
Dates: June 18 – June 21, 2020
Those famous words by one of America’s most famous authors surely sends a twinge through the eager souls of those who tee up on mornings and afternoons in home of driving and putting their way to the closest thing to golf perfection. But the aspiring perfection is less feasible as the poles with white flags prove to be more of the sentinel at the gate of golf’s utopia.
Nonetheless, the carefully plan and constructed pristine greens and fairways, on hundreds of acres of prime land, are the support if such aspirations and provide such aesthetic encouragement.
Now, you know just randomly choosing a site to hold a golf tournament, especially ones where legends and their iron will are made famous, can be and will be taken with the upmost earnestness.
Quite naturally, the spectators for the tournament will begin to arrive most likely into the NYC airports that Sunday or Monday. If you are one of those travelers, you probably want to check-in at the hotel or get to your rental Airbnb and soak in some Mamaroneck, hours drive north of The Big Apple, before opening round Thursday’s early morning tee offs.
Getting off flights and off airport grounds, the average traveler wants to either grab something to eat first or sight sightsee. The again, depending upon flight time and the hustle and bustle of hectic flights, decompression is written all over faces. Sheldrake River Trails is a 54 acre tract that contains mini-ecosystems. It has numerous mini ecosystems that lends to a relaxing nature setting not too far away from NYC, you know.
Harbor Island has boating and swimming to soak up the rays before the start of Thursday’s swing times. It has a park if traveling with kids to give them a spot to burn up some of the pent up eagerness from the flights, and some times the forever-receiving luggage terminal.
UBER AND LYFT QUALITY FROM NYC AIRPORTS
More than likely, the fans headed to the U.S. Open Golf Championship will be arriving at one of the NYC airports. The hotels are few in Mamoroneck but obviously are over flowing in the Big Apple. Fans must know what is the quality of the ridesharing experience. According to which review site one visits, the average rating will display 1 star to 4 stars but the average is not quite three (at this posting date). Nonethless, Uber has the busiest stats for all Uber drivers so with the additonal visitors for the week and weekend totaling around 40,000. So the best things arrivers an do is schedule their ridesharing weeks in advance. The draw back, is there will be no guarantee of price range at pick up on the future date. Lyft charges up to a $10 cancellation fee depending on the location. A valid point to realize is that more people use ride-sharing during inclement weather and since the tournament is in July thunderstorms could very well be present sometimes.
AIRBNB IN NYC
According Investopedia website, there are over 50,000 AirBnb listings in NYC; it is cheaper to rent an entire apartment than stay in a NYC hotel. But beware, some Airbnbs are illegal in NYC. Investopedia compared a nightly $555 (before the proverbial 14% hotel tax stamp) with the “sexy view of Times Square” against an AirBnb in Midtown, which came in at $290. However, keep in mind Airbnb renters share space with other members, who may be renting the same space at the same time, i.e. renters may be sharing space with total strangers for who knows how long of a period of time. Suggestion: Ask is it possible for you to be the sole renter for that duration, even though it’s going to cast you extra money.
Hope you find this info for your next destination helpful.
NCAA FINAL FOUR Saturday, April 4 – Monday, April 6
When the selection committee of the NCAA had options to decide on a destination for college basketball’s most coveted prize, Atlanta, Ga had to be surely on the tip of every committee members’ mind and tongue. How can it not be? This city, who General Sherman plowed through during the Civil War, has become a very respected international city since the 1980’s. When the Final Four ticket buyers (most will) arrive at Hartsfield International, probably on the Wednesday before Saturday’s semifinal matchups, they will want to experience the totally fabulous city. Below are some of the top attractions that can’t wait.
With their website laying claim to be the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, Georgia Aquarium is home to over more than enough of the world’s mammals of 120,000. Not only educational and entertaining, but the aquarium rescues and rehabs species to release them back to their natural settings to help maintain biodiversity. Tickets are $27 – $40 US with a ten percent (10%) discount if purchased online. Monday through Friday, the metallic doors open from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m; with Saturday – Sunday 9 – 9. For a nice handsome fee between $190 – $333 to dive and swim wearing scuba gear, a surreal swim with gentle (yet be cautious) giants will top off the experience. Minimum weight is 45 lbs and max weight is 320 lbs. For more details, visit the website http://www.georgiaaquarium.org.
The day after scuba and swimming with the mammals of the deep, head fifteen miles east on the outskirts and visit Stone Mountain Theme Park–perhaps one of the best theme parks in the USA. The grounds are always well kept, there is never the feel that you aren’t one with nature here. You can hike, fish, camp, lodge and take the cable car lift to the top of the carved 825 feet mountain with a sculpted Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson all riding on horseback. And the nighttime lighting of the carving is simply amazing. The carving is the largest high relief sculpture in the world. Kids have fun with playful goats, scenic railroad tour on a locomotive from the 1940s. The Stone Mountain Museum contains artifacts, from ancient civilizations who lived in the mountain area dating back to 12 thousand years. The park is open from 5 a.m. – 12 a.m. Some attractions close early so please check stonemountainpark.com for more detailed information. $75 per day is the cost for an all day visit (anytime less is just a plain waste of time, money and memories). Daily parking is $20 US per vehicle. Check this out for all active, former, or retired military personnel: 30% discount on all daily attractions. The website states their are southern bbq eateries, pizza, ribs, dessert stops, soda shops and a graceful lakes side restaurant.
The day before the first game is Friday. It’s the day fans are going to partake in a festive day before the game because game day is going to be filled with traffic and overcrowding, which in turn will make checking out rest of Atlanta is going to be less than simple–not if daily metro traffic in the city isn’t a rat race already. So, a fans best bet if not attending the NCAA Exhibition for families at the Mecedes Center, visitors to the will have to take advantage of the Friday. So: #1 Get going to Margaret Mitchell’s House in Mid-Town. There, in the basement room of the house, Mitchell penned that little famous book Gone With The Wind. Guides will tell the tale of Mitchell writing the epic through some her challenging times. The hours are 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Entrance prices: 3 and under are free; 4 – 12 are $5.50; 13-21 is $10; Adult goes for $13; and Seniors are $10.
Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum brings the life and experience of Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, to the eyes of it’s visitors. There’s a replica of the Oval Office inside. Amazingly, there are the Presidential Papers, from the Carter administration, on display. A replica of The Holy Crown of Hungary rests in the library with an amazing must-hear history lesson dating back to the Medieval Period. The hours are 9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m. $12 for ages 17 and up. Seniors are $10. Active military members are $10. Students with a valid college ID is $10. $16 and under are free to get in.
By the time afternoon arrives, the sun should be nice and soothing. How about Skyview Atlanta. Standing 20 stories high and possessing seating where riders can get the breathtaking view of metropolitan Atlanta. The rotating wheel seating are gondolas, which can seat up to a family of 6. Each ride last up to 7 – 12 minutes. No rider restrictions to weight of the riders). The prices: kids under 2 are free; Students, 65+ and active military (all three demographics need valid ID) are $12.50 plus tax. Adults (12+) are $13.89+ tax. Check the website for details on parking prices.
An international city should have every taste for every kind of taste bud. Atlanta has it all. There’s nothing you can’t get there by the way of restaurant cuisine influenced by a particular region of the world. According to Southern Living, ATL comes in at #5 on the list of best food cities; It came in at number 29 out 50 top foodie cities in the world based on cities with a population of 1 million or more serving diverse cuisine. The survey was done by the UK-based Bott and Co’s news analysis.
SEAR at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis has over 140 different wines in their five story cellar and celebrates fire-grilled delights prepared with local ingredients prepared by their award winning team. The breakfast portion of their menu has corn flake crusted French toast. Lunch time brings out their Thompson Pull Pork Sandwich. Dinner is serious business with fire inspired oysters and steaks. Desserts will be a slam dunk with the mouth watering Pecan Cheesecake.
CHOPS LOBSTER BAR. With a name like that, how can anyone resist. Consistently coming in as one of the top ten steakhouses in the country, with the seafood flown in daily, this CLB sets a bar that fine dining lovers taste buds is at the establishments beck-and-call. Grab a genuine 1855 Genuine Black Angus for $59 that is custom age and broiled at 1700 temperature. A 16 oz Black Diamond New York Strip for $59, if the games kept you on the edge of your seat and went into overtime. If the traffic adds to your primal senses there is the 40 oz Dry Aged Porterhouse at $125. Strauss “Free Range” Veal Chop for $48. Triple Cut Colorado Lamb Porterhouse Chops (2) for $54. Seafood section brings you Black Grouper Horseradish Crusted at a $32 bite; The Hong Kong Combo is Peruvian Sea Bass and Faroe Island salmon with wok spinach, sesame soy broth, ginger and a bowl of jasmine rice. Yeah this is thee joint.
Nan Thai Fine Dining is a 13 X AAA Four Diamond Award Winning Restaurant. This ding juggernaut in Midtown Atlanta has won that coveted award consecutively which is totally rare in the restaurant space. For all the fans of the games, who enjoy duck from time-to-time, the Gang Klua Sapparod–$26–should keep your fondness going with Maple Leaf duck breast simmered in pineapple red curry with basil, green beans, bell pepper, grape and cherry tomatoes. Server. The Vegetarian section offers the Gang Pak for $18, which is curry mixed vegetables with soft bean curd.
Gunshow is just might be a perfect accommodation to your atmospheric experience during the Final Four event. The scene is lively with the diners excitement when rolling carts of menu items are presented at their tables for them to order. The concept was designed to let the diners have nominal amount of distance between them and the kitchen. Their items are all a la carte, which gives the diners the know what sides work with well with their palate. The Beef Chuck Wagyu served with kimchi pancake, Vidalia onion, and pickles is just plain unfair to diner’s taste buds. (No acquired taste needed). The menu changes sometimes nightly, so be sure to check their site through out the day for last minute changes. And since this the South, their are a few signature desserts southerners pin their reputation on and one of those are definitely Banana Pudding. Gunshow offers it with nothing less than that warm southern charm.
UBER AND LYFT IN ATLANTA
Arriving in Atlanta, the terminals are going to be packed primarily during the Thursday through Sunday. Monday will be super busy (statistically, the busiest travel day of the week nationwide). Tuesday will be not as busy, but since the Finals will be over vast majority of fans will head out that day. However, getting back to the purpose of this section, the rules set by the local ordinance in 2016, charges nearly a $4 fee for each transaction. The Yelp reviews for February 2020 gives the average rating for both 3 stars at best, with the primary issue is cleanliness of vehicle. Don’t forget riders, Uber allows riders the right to record audio with the driver if you’d like to leave a trail. Also, Uber has GPS tracking if the ride trail goes off course to the destination and will work with the rider to get out of trouble. riders can text 911 from the app if in danger. With Lyft, friends and family can go along with the rider in real time so additional eyes are on the route also. Drivers don’t see rider’s phone number or data–ever. Just like Uber, riders can get 911 from the app. If rides takes an unusual amount of time or is rerouted, rider will get contacted for safety assessment.
Enclosing, Atlanta is an absolutely amazing place to have the NCAA Final Four. It is a major city that has kept the hospitality of the long held southern tradition absence of the hustle and bustle of some major U.S. cities.
“Beauty shouldn’t be superficial and should come from within, and your eyes will tell the story,” Michelle Yeoh
At least in the Western Hemisphere, the most heralded Asian destination is Malaysia. There is a long list of attractions from the beaches and rainforest for the typical tourist. For the business person, it could be the involved in the business climate that places in the top 20 economies of the world with its vast young, trainable and knowledgeable work force–not to mention a well developed banking sector. Ching Ching.
During 2018, Bali, a mostly mountainous island off the coast of Indonesia had just over 8.2 million worldwide visitors. Unbeknownst to unaware travelers, Bali sits in the Indian Ocean 1,600 miles north of Perth, Australia. It is a haven for travelers who has to scratch their holistic itch, which will be soothe by ancient healers (who diagnose the emotional and mental states of patients before treatment i.e. the western side of medicine without the white clinical coats, maybe).
PRIMATES ONLY FOUND IN MALAYSIA
Located in the mangrove forest along the coastal line, is The Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary. It has the timeless story of developer in the 1990s who had a change of heart when he spotted the primates there and decided to preserve the rare monkeys. The heartfelt mission offers lodging accommodations in the form of lodges or family housing; Nipah Resorts rent chalets and dormitories that can house up to 100 visitors–not to mention budget friendly. Nice.
Countries have a common theme: The top restaurants are in the capitols. Kuala Lumpur is the capitol and primarily the business hub for the country and a mover and shaker of Asia. So, quite naturally, that’s where the power brokers have their break-the-ice Johnnie Walkers Blue label to the serious caviar as-the-ink dry meetings.
Grella’s is a budgeted price Western flare combined with Malaysian. Meat and sausages they have in their signature dishes and is halal-friendly.
Cilantro is fancy and contemporary upscale with a modern French cuisine mixed with Japanese cuisine.
Li Yen at the Ritz Carlton has traditional Cantonese cuisine served in the world class environment the Ritz Carlton luxury brand offers. It’s signature dish is baked spare ribs with Chinese tea leaves and avocado cream.
According to hhq.com (a Malaysian legal newsletter) cites that in 2017, 1.5 million visitors were brought to Malaysia in 2017. It is the fastest growing Airbnb country in Southeast Asia. There are more than 53, 000 Airbnb listings in the country. In 2020, $20 USD per night can bring travelers upscale high rise nightly rentals. The drawback is
Its not Uber but Grab (who joined forces with Uber for Malaysia in March 2018) is the top app at the airports. It is the number one ridesharing app in all of Southeast Asia. It is receives 4.6 stars (at this posting) on Google Play. Be sure to ask how much luggage one an bring on the rideshare. In the TripAdvisor Grab forum for Malaysia, there are experiences of travelers having to buy a local SIM card in Malaysia to download the Grab app. The negative experiences have been reported on the forum, one year ago, have been up one hour late arrival for pickups, and drivers not showing up entirely.
There are the usual taxis and other ridesharing companies that offer service, but for the average tourist customer service, integrity of service and of course safety, is the primary question mark.
There are a host of taxi services to be found and there are a few without a website. How safer are you with the ones with a website or ones without a website? Use your best judgement since you are travelling outside of the country.
Malaysian has your back. It is a juggernaut for tourism in Southeast Asia with all it’s splendid nature and upscale contemporary cities. Fine dining in the larger cities and the coastal region has the potential to make the trip a definite worthiness. The Airbnb climate could bring illegals living in the country renting or doing illegal things on or to the properties. The big ridesharing app, Grab who merged with Uber, has a good chance of being a reliable segment for travelers stay while they partake in Malaysia.
Hope we have helped planning your next destination