Monthly Archives: June 2009

Family Vacation Ideas in San Diego, CA

Shipwreck RapidsWith its world-renowned family-friendly attractions, San Diego, CA serves as the perfect destination for your family’s summer vacation. Fortunately, Vacations Made Easy is prepared to make your travel plans easier by offering one of a variety of different family vacation packages to the San Diego area, any of which will make for a memorable trip to this Southern Californian city.

Whether you enjoy thrilling rides or mind-boggling animal performances, you can find them both with the San Diego Theme Park Sampler Vacation Package. The package provides the best of both worlds, with admission to both Disneyland and SeaWorld included. Enjoy a full day at Disneyland with a variety of thrilling rides and live shows one day, then head over to SeaWorld for such famous shows as “Cirque de la Mer” and “Believe” the next day. With four nights’ lodging in an area hotel of your choice, you can easily squeeze in other outdoor attractions in addition to spending entire days at the package’s two featured sites.

For free admission to dozens of major San Diego attractions and savings of 20 – 30% at local restaurants and shops, look into the San Diego Family Vacation Package. The package includes three nights’ lodging at an area hotel and the three-day Go San Diego Card, your ticket to those dozens of attractions. Visit the San Diego Zoo, LEGOland, Wild Animal Park, the Rueben H. Fleet Science Center, a variety of museums, and much more – all available for free when you present the card! With San Diego’s assortment of activities, the possibilities are unlimited when you explore the city with your Go San Diego Card in hand.

In an effort to beat the summer heat, consider the Soak City Waterpark Orange County Vacation Package. Included in the package is two nights’ lodging in a San Diego hotel, plus admission to Soak City Waterpark. The park is guaranteed to have something to satisfy everyone’s taste: thrill rides, leisure rides, lounge areas, and more. With the park’s different restaurant options, you will have no trouble spending the entire day splishing and splashing at Soak City Waterpark.

Feel free to create your own vacation package to San Diego as well. With the custom packages option, you can book your lodging and planned activities in just a few simple clicks. So don’t wait any longer! Start planning your vacation in San Diego today!

Myrtle Beach, SC: A Golfer’s Dream Destination

Golf VacationsIn addition to the great beach and family-friendly activities in the area, Myrtle Beach is known as being a golfer’s dream destination. With a variety of exceptional courses in the area, any level of golfer will find a challenge waiting. Whether you want a deluxe vacation staying at a golf resort or just want to play through a few of the courses, Myrtle Beach has the options for you.

The Ocean Dunes Resort and Villas Beachfront provides close access to The Dunes Beach and Golf Course as well as beachfront villas and hotel rooms. You will be just a short drive from The Dunes Golf Course as well as several others, making it easy to get to your early morning tee time. This resort features abundant on-site amenities including outdoor pools, restaurants, lounges, a pro shop, and a fitness center. This hotel fills up early, so book now for a spectacular golf vacation!

For a world-class golfing experience, The Tournament Players Club of Myrtle Beach Golf Course is a must-play. Designed by world-renowned golfer Tom Fazio, this course contains a variety of terrain, including wetlands and forest, and features challenges in the form of bunkers, water hazards, and trees. Golfers find this course to be both beautiful and challenging and find themselves returning time and time again to experience this course.

For a unique golf experience, visit the True Blue Golf Course on Pawleys Island. Located just a few minutes from Myrtle Beach, this course was built by designer Mike Stranz on a plot of land that used to be home to a rice and indigo plantation. The course features challenges in the form of bunkers and varying elevations, but the greens are in pristine condition. Golfers of all handicaps can be frustrated by this challenging course, so make sure you practice and are in top form before you tackle this course!

To locate many of the courses in Myrtle Beach, use our special Interactive Map of the area. You will be able to see where the area courses are and find out how far they are from your hotel, making your vacation that much easier.

Holiday Weekend Ideas in Memphis, TN

 Memphis Riverboats Dinner CruiseIt’s not too late to make reservations for a spectacular Fourth of July weekend spent exploring the unique city of Memphis. From dining on world-famous barbecue to visiting some of the area museums, you will find that Memphis offers a variety of attractions to keep you occupied. Check out the following recommendations for the weekend and start planning your holiday trip!

A dinner cruise on the evening of July 4th offers a great location from which to watch area fireworks shows. A dinner cruise is a romantic activity any time of the year, but cruising the Mississippi River on July 4th will make for an extra-special evening. The Memphis Riverboats Dinner Cruise provides an evening complete with dancing, live music, and a delicious Southern-style meal. You will also enjoy views of the Memphis skyline lit up, which is a truly beautiful sight.

With the special holiday weekend, the time is right to remember those who have given their lives to better America. The National Civil Rights Museum is dedicated to men and women who played important roles in America’s path toward civil rights. Located at the Lorraine Motel, the site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination, the museum honors his memory as well as pays tribute to other activists including Rosa Parks and Booker T. Washington. There are also exhibits on the March on Washington, the Little Rock 9, and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. A truly eye-opening experience for all ages, this museum is one of the most powerful attractions in Memphis.

One of the best things about America is its great food, and Memphis is full of excellent restaurants and diners, including a Hard Rock Cafe. With American music memorabilia and American favorites, the Hard Rock Cafe is a great place to eat and celebrate America at the same time. Memphis’ Hard Rock Cafe is dedicated to the music history of the area and includes artifacts from Elvis Presley, Stax Studios, and many other area artists and studios. In addition to the memorabilia, you can find your favorite American fare here, with everything from classic burgers to saucy barbecue. Your whole family is sure to have a meal to remember at this iconic American restaurant.

Cultural and Culinary Tours: Vacation Activities in Savannah

Savannah Foody TourAside from the great riverboat cruises and historical sightseeing, Savannah, Georgia is home to a unique culture that is the essence of the South. The best way to experience this side of Savannah is with cultural and culinary tours.

If you want to explore the life and culinary contributions of Savannah’s most recent celebrity, Food Network’s Emmy-award winning chef Paula Deen, then the Paula Deen Culinary Tour is the perfect activity for you. This tour includes stops at Savannah restaurants as well as spots important to Deen’s life. Stops include the Byrd Cookie Company, Back in the Day Bakery, One Fish Two Fish, and Deen’s own restaurant, Uncle Bubba’s Oyster House, where the tour will eat lunch. The tour also stops in Bethesda, where Deen was married. This tour provides an encompassing look at Deen’s life and inspirations for her restaurants and also a look at Savannah’s food culture.

For a comprehensive look at Savannah’s food scene, reserve your spot on the Walking Foody Tour. Beginning in Savannah’s historic downtown area, the tour features a knowledgeable guide that will give you plenty of background information on Savannah’s history and the culture. The tour is a progressive lunch, and stops on this tour include Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons restaurant, and goodies you will sample on this trip include baked goods, gourmet chocolates, pulled pork, macaroni and cheese, French frozen hot chocolate, and other Southern and local favorites from popular eateries around town.

For a cultural overview of this historic and unique city, the Savannah Experience Tour is an excellent choice. This tour is approximately 2.5 hours long and begins in the historic district. On this tour, you will be taken by your guide to various important districts of the city, including the Victorian District, Thomas Square, the Beach Institute, and Victory Drive. Other stops on the tour include River Street and the City Market. This narrated tour will provide you information on the important role these places have played in the history of Savannah as well as their role as important cultural districts in this city.

Fourth of July in Washington, DC: Fireworks, Monuments, and Mount Vernon

Washington MonumentIndependence Day is almost upon us! What better location to celebrate America than in its beautiful capitol city? Washington, DC is the perfect place to make your July 4th celebration special. With a variety of celebrations taking place throughout the area, you have plenty of options for your holiday.

George Washington’s manor, Mount Vernon, is an ideal location at which to celebrate America’s independence, and the Red, White, and Blue Celebration is the perfect party to allow you to do so! This event celebrates the birth of America, complete with a birthday cake and party festivities. Other features of this day-long event include a reading of the Declaration of Independence by a George Washington impersonator and a concert featuring 18th century patriotic tunes performed by the National Concert Band of America. Other fun activities and games will also be going on throughout the day. While at Mount Vernon, you will have the chance to explore the estate and the famed gardens and see many artifacts from Washington’s life.

If you want to stay in the capitol and celebrate with thousands of visitors and locals, make plans to join the Fourth of July Independence Day Celebration at the Capitol. This event has everything you need for a spectacular Fourth: a parade, fireworks show, and music! The parade starts in the early afternoon and features over 100 units and organizations marching to the Capitol building. After the parade, you can enjoy the live music from a variety of performers and groups. The evening finishes with a dazzling display of fireworks over the Washington Monument. With everything you need for a great day of celebrating, this event will certainly make your holiday memorable.

While in the nation’s capital, you should take the time to explore the monuments honoring the founding fathers and important presidents. These men played vital roles in gaining and keeping America’s freedom, and you can learn more about them and honor their memory by visiting their monuments with the Monuments by Moonlight Trolley Tour. This tour features a knowledgeable guide that takes you to all of the major monuments in DC, including the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, Korean War Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. These monuments are lit up beautifully at night, making this experience one you are sure to remember.

Hotels for the July 4th weekend are sure to be filling up fast, so make sure that you get your desired lodging by booking early! We offer hotels right in downtown and throughout the city and surrounding areas.

Add Some Humor to Your Gatlinburg Vacation

Hoot n Holler Dinner ShowEscape the cares of the world and indulge in a few laughs with a vacation to Gatlinburg. The Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area offers a variety of comedy shows that will let you forget about the world for a couple hours. Luckily, Gatlinburg is a great family-friendly vacation town, so you can be sure that these comedy shows are appropriate for everyone in your group.

The Comedy Barn has been hailed as “America’s Funniest Family Variety Show,” and it continues to be one of Gatlinburg’s most popular attractions. This show is designed to entertain everyone with juggling, comedians, puppets, and barnyard animal acts, one featuring Arnold, the Mind-Reading Pig. With the country theme, this show is a guaranteed hit among visitors from all backgrounds, and your kids are going to love the animals. This show offers two performance times in the summer and offers performances year round.

For a classic comedy show, check out the Sweet Fanny Adams Theatre. Done in the style of 1890s Vaudeville acts, this theater features three original live shows. The Knickerbocker Glories is a raucous, fast-paced Vaudeville show that features comedy, dancing, singing, and slap-stick comedy. The Mystical Magic Medicine Show presents the story of the creators of Flim Flam juice, a magical potion to cure all ailments. During the Christmas season, you can catch the Yuletide Madness show, a performance that celebrates Christmas in traditional Sweet Fanny Adams style. Whichever show you choose, you will be amazed at these talented performers.

For a dinner and a great show, check out the Hoot ‘n Holler Dinner Show. You will enjoy a classic Italian meal while being entertained by the hilarious cast. The show features a Vaudeville-style act complete with dancing, music, and slap-stick comedy. When you go, get ready to be a part of the act because the cast loves to interact with the audience and make them part of the show! Sure to be a memorable experience, this dinner show is a great way to spend an evening. 

Your Grand Canyon Sightseeing Adventure Awaits!

Grand Canyon Everyone knows about the basics when it comes to the deep valleys and jagged edges that make up the Grand Canyon, but few ever stop to consider the best lookout spots before they get there. Within this vast 277 mile canyon, several trails, points, and observatories stand out in providing the best views of plant life, animal species, and desert scenery you will find. Highlighted below are just a few of these lookout spots to consider when planning your trip to the Grand Canyon.

A perfect option for first-time Grand Canyon visitors, Bright Angel Point features sparkling waters and a view of the canyon from an interesting vantage point. Take an easy 30-minute hike along north rim of the canyon along the Bright Angel Peninsula before reaching Bright Angel Point, where you’ll be able to enjoy an extensive, unobstructed view of sights that are miles away. Bright Angel’s creek in combination with its spectacular views make it an all-inclusive activity on your trip.

Along the west rim of the Grand Canyon is Maricopa Point, a spot over 7,000 feet above sea level that offers views encompassing over 180 degrees of the Grand Canyon and a great shot of the Colorado River flowing below. If you would like to camp out among the scenery of the area, however, Mather Point is the ideal choice. With well-maintained campgrounds, the point is the perfect place to enjoy expansive scenery, including Pipe Creek Canyon and the Colorado River, as well as the wildlife in the area.

For a more challenging endeavor during your Grand Canyon vacation, consider hiking along Hermit Trail. The trail is not maintained; in fact, it is rocky, rugged, and in some cases very steep. If you can withstand the strenuous path along the south rim, it will surely pay off in the end. You will come upon a spectacular view of the Colorado River while enjoying the serenity of the canyon walls around you.

Your Grand Canyon sightseeing adventure awaits! Stopping by any one of these points will offer you memorable sights and sounds you will reminisce about for years to come.

Fireworks and Food: July 4th Celebrations in Chicago

Chicago Skyline at NightGet ready to spend an awesome July 4th weekend in Chicago! If you have not already made plans, it is not too late to get in on the action in America’s third largest city. With special July 4th celebrations, you will be sure to have a great time celebrating America in one of its greatest cities.
 
One July 4th option is spending the day at Navy Pier, one of Chicago’s most popular attractions. Year round the pier is a great destination with lots of restaurants, carnival-style games, an IMAX theater, and a Ferris Wheel, but July 4th turns this attraction into an exciting party. The July 4th Celebration at Navy Pier features a spectacular fireworks show and enough entertainment to keep you interested all night. Entertainment includes performances from a variety of local musicians. Located close to Michigan Avenue, you will be close to a variety of Chicago attractions as well.

The John Hancock Observatory offers the best views in the city, making it a perfect spot to watch the city’s fireworks displays on July 4th. The Observatory will be open on the 4th, and visitors will be able to watch the fireworks as well as see breathtaking views of Chicago. Located on Navy Pier, you will also be close to the action of the July 4th Celebration.

One of Chicago’s most popular events will also be occurring during July 4th weekend. The Taste of Chicago begins June 26 and lasts until July 5. Chicago is home to a lot of great food, from gourmet upscale establishments to authentic Chicago pizzerias, and you can sample the best of what the city has to offer at this great festival. Taking place in Grant Park, which is located in the heart of Chicago’s downtown, over 60 restaurants, cafes, and bars are participating in this event. Aside from the great food, the event includes a fireworks show on the evening of July 3rd, an appearance by renowned-chef Emeril Lagasse, book signings, and live musical performances. This event is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day, and food tickets can be purchased at the gate.

Because of the holiday weekend, hotels are sure to fill up fast! Act quickly to reserve your room downtown to be close to all of the action!

Get in Touch with Nature in Nashville

Loretta Lynn’s Dude RanchSummer is the perfect time to explore the natural beauty of the Nashville area. In between catching a show at the Grand Ole Opry and exploring the city, take some time to get in touch with nature at these area attractions.

Experience a wildlife oasis in the heart of the city with a visit to the Nashville Zoo. Named one of the top zoos in the country, this zoo is the perfect destination for a day of family fun. This zoo contains traditional animal exhibits like giraffes, elephants, lions, tigers and more as well as exciting rare animals including macaws from South America, a meerkat colony from Africa, and white-cheeked and siamang gibbons. The exhibits house the animals in environments similar to their native homes, making the animals comfortable. The zoo is open year round and has special summer hours lasting until October. A gift shop and restaurant are also available on site.

If you are feeling like roughing it for a day or two, check out Loretta Lynn’s Dude Ranch. This attraction contains an RV park, paddle boats, a plantation home, and a theater. Visitors can tour the home, and Loretta Lynn fans will love spending time in the Coal Miner’s Daughter museum that contains artifacts, photographs, and more from Lynn’s life and career. After exploring the property, you can stop in at the Rock-a-billy Cafe or snack shop for lunch or dinner, and you can visit the gift and T-shirt shop on site to grab some souvenirs to commemorate your time here. If you time your trip right, Loretta Lynn may even be performing a concert!

If you are ready to experience some thrills in the Tennessee forest, check out the Eco Adventure Canopy Zipline Tour. This excursion provides you a guide who will take you deep into the forest. You will be securely strapped into a harness, and then you are ready to sail across the canopy for a thrilling adventure! You will have the chance to spot a variety of native wildlife, and your tour guide will describe the eco-system around you and the challenges it faces. This activity is fun for both the young and old and is sure to be a memorable part of your vacation!

Travel to Tropical Mexico

Mexico’s Colonial Jewels vacation packageThis summer, experience the wide range of natural beauty and cultural diversity of Mexico with the escorted Mexico’s Colonial Jewels vacation package! This unique journey will only be departing one time this summer, on July 18, and offers twelve days of cultural exploration as you travel through Morelia, Mexico City, Queretaro, Guanajuato, Zacatecas and Guadalajara. Included in this package, you will find 11 nights’ hotel accommodations and 17 meals, and experience sites including Our Lady of Guadalupe, El Eden Silver Mine, tequila agave fields, eight different UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and even experience a performance at the National Folkloric Ballet. Best of all, throughout your travels you will be accompanied by a knowledgeable guide to help your vacation be both a smooth and informative experience.

Those interested in the Mexico’s Colonial Jewels vacation package can find more information on the experience and book reservations online.

Additionally, you can find numerous other vacation options throughout Mexico online.