Four Kinds of Vacationers Who Will Love Galveston


When you think about visiting Texas, what destination comes to mind? Dallas, Houston, or Austin? What about great American beach getaways? Do your thoughts run to Hawaii, Miami, or California? If so, you’re missing out on Galveston, Texas, where laid-back beach culture meets good old-fashioned southern hospitality. No matter what kind of traveler you are, Galveston has what you’re looking for and deserves a place on your vacation wish list.

The Bargain Hunter

Because it’s not the first place that pops up when people think about Texas or beach vacations, the island is a great find for budget-conscious travelers. Affordable Galveston hotels are plentiful: most of the restaurants have a casual vibe and prices to match, and there are lots of low-cost or free activities to keep you busy.

For example, get a great deal on a stay in the East End Historic District and spend an afternoon searching for tree sculptures. After Hurricane Ike in 2008, residents paired up with local artists to transform damaged trees into beautiful wooden sculptures, more than 30 of which can be found throughout the neighborhood.

The Foodie

Galveston’s Gulf Coast location means visitors can get an authentic taste of other cultures without leaving their home country.

El Mercadito Y Taqueria on Broadway and 38th Street serves up delicious tacos on homemade tortillas and enchiladas with green chile sauce, and it’s a great place to pick up Mexican and South American ingredients for your kitchen back home. Try a whole fried fish with plantains amid the decor of soccer jerseys at Honduras Food, situated on 23rd Street a few blocks south of Broadway. Or go local and indulge in Tex Mex at little-known Los Molcas, where you’ll find huge portions and a BYOB policy.

The Fun Seeker

Galveston packs in both a water park and a pleasure pier for kids and adults who are kids at heart. Schlitterbahn Water Park is a wet and wild playground featuring slides, rides, boogie boarding, a zip line, a swim-up bar, and tons more for a day of splash-happy fun. Unlike most theme parks, you can bring your own food and drinks to save money.

If you want to experience a classic beachside amusement pier, head to Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, where you’ll find games, rides, carnival treats, and a whole lot of nostalgia.

The Cruise Lover

Galveston isn’t just a killer southern beach destination: it’s home to a busy cruise port that’s a perfect gateway to the Caribbean. One thing the highly walkable Port of Galveston has over other popular cruise ports like Miami and Fort Lauderdale is that the Historic Downtown District is right across the street. That means you’re just steps away from shops, restaurants, and examples of the Victorian iron-front architecture that this barrier island is famous for.

Rain or shine, you’ll never run out of things to do in Galveston, and you won’t have to fight crowds of tourists to do it. Have you traveled to Galveston?  What was your favorite part of the experience?

 Author Bio: Rebecca Metz is an avid road tripper, hotel hopper, and sufferer of wanderlust. She has a soft spot for national parks and wine regions, and writes about her adventures either online or in a well-worn journal, preferably while relaxing in a beach chair.

 

 

 

 

 

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Why You Want to Stay in Jamaica, New York



Image via Flckr by Kevin Dooley

Image via Flckr by Kevin Dooley

The Big Apple draws a large amount of tourists each year; Broadway, the Empire States Building, and the Statue of Liberty are just a few of the attractions they come to see. What they don’t realize is that because of the high demand for hotel rooms, the nightly cost is very high. However, there is a solution; in the New York City suburb of Queens there is the small neighborhood of Jamaica where hotel rates are much more affordable. So, find an affordable hotel in Jamaica, such as the Lexington Inn JFK Airport on Hipmunk.com, and enjoy your vacation.

Jamaica is Close to the JFK Airport

You might not have thought that staying close to the airport while on vacation was a good idea but in New York City, it is a plus. Maybe in your home town you live minutes from the airport and getting through the TSA check-point takes minimal time; however, at JFK Airport, this is not the case. You need to arrive at least two hours before your flight, and it can take a long time to get to the airport from downtown New York City. Who wants to spend this kind of time on getting to the airport and checked in when you could be doings something fun?

When you are vacation you don’t want to spend hours getting to the airport and through security, you want to enjoy yourself. Jamaica New York is in the suburbs of New York City, yet it is very close to JFK Airport. By staying in a Jamaica hotel such as Sheraton JFK Airport Hotel, you can spend your time seeing the sites instead of trying to get to the airport, making the most of your time during your vacation. 

Jamaica Offers a Great Escape from City Noise

There is something exciting about visiting New York and seeing a city that never sleeps; there is also something frustrating about it. For visitors who are looking to experience that excitement and who also need to escape it, they should look at staying in Jamaica New York. Jamaica is close to all the major attractions of New York City but far enough away to escape. Additionally in Jamaica, you will find Flushing Meadows Corona Park and the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge; both of these attractions are perfect for relaxing. 

If you are looking for a hotel close to the park and refuge try the Garden Inn and Suites; it is a great place to stay at an affordable rate. 

There aren’t many vacations that can compare to a trip to New York City. However, you can make or break that trip by where you decide to stay. Jamaica, New York gives you the best of both worlds; you are close to all the sites, far enough to relax, and all for an affordable price. For the best prices checkout hipmunk.com, Forbes claims it is the “world’s best travel site.”

Have you stayed in Jamaica, New York? If so, please share below why you chose to stay in Jamaica instead of in the city.

Author Bio: Carrie Dahle is a multi-talented writer living no place in particular. Why, because she is too busy traveling. Her travels have included bike riding down volcanoes, maneuvering the waves of Hawaii, sailing the seas of the Caribbean, and so much more. While Carrie has spent countless hours in copywriting, and producing website content, she has transformed herself into a fantastic travel writer and is currently working on Hipmunk projects. 

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Explore Amsterdam With A Mini Cruise



 

photo credit: mau_ry via photopin cc

photo credit: mau_ry via photopin cc

The city of Amsterdam is arty and watery. There are many faces to the city: the cultural aspect with its famous museums and extraordinary artistic history; the somewhat seamy side with the well-known red light district featuring nightclubs, bars, jazz clubs and coffee shops; and the souvenir circuit of cheese and flower markets. Amsterdam has many canals and waterways so the best way to get around is by boat and many tourists take advantage of this water network to visit the city.
 
City Cruises

The Venice of the north does not have gondolas but it offers many tours and trips along its canals. Mini cruises are perfect for those who want to make the most of their Amsterdam holiday and visit the wonderful attractions that it boasts of because the said cruises are specifically to help customers make the most of their trip on board a grandiose vessel. Mini cruises last one hour or longer and evening cruises include dinner and drinks.
 
Cultural Icons

Amsterdam is a city overflowing with cultural attractions. This goes to show that Amsterdam has a lot to offer; tourists and visitors in search of cultural fulfillment will not be disappointed.
 
Cultural Sites

Your mini cruise will take you to cultural sites such as the Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt Square and the Anne Frank House. From the boat you can admire the beautiful old Dutch canal houses that date from Amsterdam’s golden age of prosperous trade and artistic creation. The canals that encircle the older area of the city are part of a Unesco Heritage site.
 
Many boats travel the canals, from mini cruisers to canoes; they share the canals with families of ducks, swans and other aquatic animals, many of whom make nests under the bridges. This is the surprising nature side of this watery city so rich in history, art and cultural icons, all of which can be appreciated during an edifying mini cruise on Amsterdam’s canals.

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Cancun Culture: Old and New



photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) via photopin cc

photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) via photopin cc

Cancun Culture: Old and New

Cancun holidays have a reputation worldwide for being party-party-party for students, but spring break is only two weeks a year, and Cancun has a huge amount of culture to offer the more discerning holidaymakers too!

Old meets new

Although the area has been settled for thousands of years, the Mexican government only began to develop Cancun as a holiday resort from the late 1960s. It’s therefore full of modern amenities and is

built for tourism, but the history of the area provides a unique mixture of modern and ancient, all in one place.

 

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photo credit: archer10 (Dennis) via photopin cc

Mayan Cancun

The Mayan civilisation spanned more than 3000 years, and at its peak had one of the most culturally advanced societies in the world. Archaeological evidence of their existence can be found throughout Mexico, including Cancun.

There are Mayan Ruin tours leaving from Cancun all the time,  however if you’d like to explore the area yourself, head to El Rey, Chichen Itza, Tulum and Coba. There’s also a Maya Museum recently opened in the city.

Old Town Cancun

Cancun’s Old Town, also known as El Centro or ‘downtown’, is separate from the more developed Hotel Zone, and contains the heart of the city. Visit the local flea markets like Mercado 28,  where you can buy just about anything, have your keys cut or your computer repaired, or get a tattoo, all under one roof!

Other great old town destinations are Tulum Avenue, El Parque de Las Palapas, and Avenida Yaxchilan, for a true experience of the area, with bars, restaurants and shops buzzing with life.

Ecological theme parks

Cancun is an eco-friendly city, with many ecological theme parks for the environmentally concerned traveller. Visit Xplor, an underground world of natural caves. Or if you’re more into flora and fauna, visit Xcaret. It’s 2.5 miles out of Cancun and provides activities based around Mexico’s natural history.

 

photo credit: dMap Travel Guide via photopin cc

photo credit: dMap Travel Guide via photopin cc

Underwater exploration

No trip to Cancun would be complete without taking part in a water-based activity. If you’re enticed by scuba diving or snorkelling, consider Cancun’s Underwater Museum, an installation of over 460 breath taking life size sculptures submerged under water alongside corals and marine life.

Cancun is the ideal destination for travellers looking for a mixture of ancient and modern, and with huge amounts of history in the area, you’ll certainly find what you’re looking for.

 

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The Ultimate Road Trip to Explore the US



photo credit: Kay Gaensler via photopin cc

photo credit: Kay Gaensler via photopin cc

The road trip is a great American tradition. The United States is a large country with different kinds of landscapes – from beautiful coastlines in California to city skyscrapers in New York and rolling grass plains such as those in the Great Plains region. Desert regions may appear dry and arid, and they are literally, but they make for scenic road trips. A drive between the Grand Canyon in Arizona and Las Vegas in Nevada is highly recommended. While a six hour long drive may seem daunting at first, you will get a chance to drive through amazing American outback and visit the Grand Canyon which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Things to consider when planning your road trip

While this trip is guaranteed to be gratifying, it is a long haul, just under six hours. For this reason you must carefully plan your route, itinerary and who will be joining you. It is important not to set a full or over-ambitious agenda. Rather be realistic about how many places you are able to see. It is a good idea to research which tourist attractions you will stop to see. Choose a route that contains popular attractions and budget time for long stops.

There are hundreds of road trip routes in the United States. For example, the drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, others drive along the Pacific Coast (a road trip filled with amazing scenery). The drive from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon is filled with natural scenery, the grueling desert, and you get to experience natural beauty at its best when you take in the view at the Grand Canyon.

What to do

Now that you have decided to take your trip from The Grand Canyon to Las Vegas, you are wondering what you can see and do along the way. You will be driving along the Colorado River which navigates some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country. The drive from Arizona to Las Vegas is around 5 hours long. It is a good idea to take a break from driving by stopping at the Grand Canyon National Park to spend some time gazing at the beautiful Grand Canyon. Most visitors at the Park view the Canyon’s South Rim, which has a beautiful panoramic view of the Grand Canyon.

River & Ridges

photo credit: Phil Wells SD via photopin cc

After a long hot day exploring the Grand Canyon you should make your way back to Las Vegas. Because Las Vegas is such as popular destination, you should make your hotel reservation at least a month before you leave home. There are many fancy hotels in Vegas: from the Bellagio to the new Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas. These are world-renowned five star hotels and the perfect accommodation if you want the full Vegas experience. The Aria has an amazing restaurant and a dazzling casino. Remember to reserve your suite well in advance. But if Vegas is out of your budget, you can head home after seeing the Grand Canyon and gamble online at Euro Palace online casino.

A road trip across the USA will prove to be an unforgettable experience. It is important to plan well and enjoy the natural beauty of the country.

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Tunisia

Travel in Tunisia: What to see and where to go



Tunisia is a small country but packed with things to see and do. The northernmost country in Africa, it’s a place with a rich Arabic culture and European influences. There are many types of spectacular scenery in Tunisia, from beautiful coasts to rugged mountains and wide-open deserts. The wide range of natural and man-made attractions includes several must-sees and must-dos for visiting tourists.

Tackle the Desert

The deserts of Tunisia may seem dry and barren, but they offer some of the most spectacular scenery on Earth. There is a range of activities and tours that will help you to tackle the desert safely and enjoy the views it has to offer. You can ride out into the Sahara on a camel, as countless travellers and traders have throughout the centuries. Alternatively, you could ride by horse and cart to see one of the lush oases that thrive in the midst of dry sand. Or stay in the now and travel by 4×4, which is a spectacular experience when tackling sand dunes.

Tunisia

See Sidi Bou Said

Sidi Bou Said is a truly picturesque coastal village and a popular attraction for those taking Tunisia holidays. Trips to the North African coast are always worthwhile for the hilly shoreline, and the buildings here follow a beautiful blue and white colour scheme which is renowned as one of the country’s top photo opportunities. Cobbled streets, delightful cafes, and friendly shops make it a relaxing place to spend time, all overlooking the beautiful sea.

Most people who visit Sidi Bou Said want to take away a souvenir. Make sure you haggle in the souvenir shops – it’s expected and negotiations are always friendly. A number of artists have also been associated with the area, no doubt drawn by its unique beauty, making the village a good place to purchase art.

Go Back in Time

Tunisia is home to some spectacular historical sites which will take you as close to the past as you are ever likely to get. The El Djem Coliseum is only slightly smaller than the famous Coliseum of Rome, and is truly a breathtaking sight. Its incredible size, architectural beauty and almost unimaginable age make it an unmissable destination for history lovers.

Another option for history lovers is to visit the once-great city of Carthage. A modern suburb now stands on the site, but it is still well worth a visit. The area was once home to a mighty fleet and was the base for Hannibal’s forces. This glorious past hasn’t vanished without trace, and the museum is home to ancient artworks that have been called the equal of the exhibits in the Louvre.

Image by Jerzystrzelecki, used under Creative Comms license.

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