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Articles for June, 2008

Bon Jovi to play free concert in Central Park

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Bon Jovi is playing a free concert in Central Park on Saturday, July 12. The concert is part of the festivities leading up to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium.

Even though the concert is free, you do need tickets.

For more information about the concert and how to get tickets visit NYC.gov or mlb.com.

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Hooters Casino Hotel an affordable Las Vegas option

Friday, June 27th, 2008

Hooters
By T. Hatcher

I’ll admit it. When a former co-worker on my flight to Las Vegas asked where I was staying — within earshot of a bunch of other passengers — I was a little hesitant to tell him.

It was Hooters, after all, home of the tasty chicken wings and well-endowed waitresses, but not exactly a place that carries a lot of cachet.

But I was at a travel industry event, and Hooters — the Hooters Casino Hotel, I should say — was where we were being housed.

And as I discovered over the next few days, Hooters actually has a lot going for it.

Las Vegas hotels these days seem to be all about glitz and glamor — who’s got the hottest acts, the hippest clubs, the tallest towers and the most lavish suites.

But there’s still room for visitors who don’t want to spend hundreds a night for a hotel. And Hooters is a reliable, relatively cheap hotel option for a Las Vegas vacation. (A quick search on CheapTickets -- where Hooters earned an average 4.2 out of 5 customer rating — showed rooms going for $49 on Thursday, July 17, and $135 on July 18.)

Hooters is right off the Strip on Tropicana Avenue, just across from the MGM Grand and a 5-minute walk to the Las Vegas Monorail. It’s big but not overwhelming — with nearly 700 rooms and 30,000 square feet of casino space — so you don’t have to spend 20 minutes meandering through rows of slot machines to find an elevator.

Rooms are fairly sizable, with light orange- and green-hued, Florida-themed décor (think Panhandle, not Palm Beach) and big, super-comfy beds.

Downstairs, Hooters has nine dining and drinking options, including the namesake establishment and a Dan Marino’s 24-hour restaurant. Entertainment includes country music at Dixie’s Dam Country Bar, "The Mentalist," and comic Bobby Slayton — whose off-color act, I’m told, is really quite funny.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the joint isn’t wall-to-wall women in orange hot pants. But you’re bound to spot a few Hooters Girls during your stay near the Strip.

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T. Hatcher is a CheapTickets editor.

Save on your summer vacation with these off-season deals

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Offseasonblog
When are cheap hotels even cheaper? When you book them during a less-than-popular travel time. And now CheapTickets reveals these travel deals just in time for your summer vacation.

The CheapTickets 2008 Summer Off-season Travel Report highlights destinations in Florida, the Southwest and The Bahamas with savings of up to 56 percent (based on hotel bookings for May 30 – August 15, compared to average monthly rates).

Grand Bahama Island, with its white sand beaches and tropical vibe, is a great travel deal in the summer. One of the Grand Bahama hotels where you can save is the Sheraton at Our Lucaya Beach and Golf Resort. CheapTickets found rates of $90 a night for August 4-7.

Phoenix, Arizona, known for its golf courses, spas and stunning scenery, can be a cheap vacation destination in the summer.  The Carefree Resort and Villas is one of the Phoenix hotels with low summer rates. CheapTickets found rates of $67 a night when you travel July 14-17.

For a cheap Florida vacation this summer, Fort Lauderdale may be a good pick. This sunny city has golf, nightlife and miles of beaches, and hotel savings averaging 34 percent in the off season. One of the Fort Lauderdale hotels with low summer rates is the Fort Lauderdale Grande Hotel and Yacht Club, where CheapTickets found rates of $99 a night for July 23-26.

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Find cheap eats at NYC Restaurant Week

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

Nycrestaurantblog
New York City restaurants are known for celebrity chefs and amazing meals. And now you can enjoy their fabulous food at a big discount.

NYC Restaurant Week runs July 21-25 and July 28-August 1. For ten glorious days participating restaurants offer three-course lunches for $24.07 and three-course dinners for $35. You can choose from more than 200 restaurants, including del Posto, Aquavit, Gramercy Tavern, Le Cirque, Tavern on the Green, Union Square Cafe and Delmonico’s Steakhouse (which bills itself as the birthplace of Eggs Benedict and Baked Alaska). And if you’re more of a pastrami sandwich type, Carnegie Deli is also participating.

American Express cardholders can make their reservations early through June 25 at www.nycvisit.com. General reservations start June 26.

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Day of Deals: This Tampa hotel is right on the beach

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

By Heather Leisman

Our latest deal of the day is in Tampa, a great Florida vacation spot known for its white sand beaches.

One of the Tampa hotels we’re spotlighting is the Bilmar Beach Resort. Right now this three-star hotel, located right on the beach, is offering 20% off its regular rates, and I found discounted rooms for $97 a night June 29-30. And with the CheapTickets Summer Sale, you can save $50 on flight + hotel vacation packages of three nights or more. Just use promotion code SUNSALE50, book by July 6 and travel through August 31.

Watch my video for more details on what makes the Bilmar Beach Resort our pick among Tampa hotels.

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Heather Leisman is senior director of merchandising for CheapTickets.

Summer in the City: Free fun in Baltimore

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Baltimoreblog
By Polly Fitz

On a Baltimore vacation, you can enjoy sports and theater, learn about U.S. history, take in the sights and sounds of Inner Harbor and much more. And this summer, Baltimore has many free events that make enjoying the city even easier.

CONCERTS

Harborplace & The Gallery Free Concert Series: With music ranging from Irish rock to steel drums and jazz, Harborplace Amphitheater is the setting for free concerts every weekend throughout the summer. Concerts are Saturdays 8 to 11 p.m. and Sundays 5 to 8 p.m. See the full schedule.

First Thursdays Lunchtime Concerts: July 3, August 7 and September 4 at Hopkins Plaza (Hopkins Place and Baltimore Street).

First Fridays Concerts at the Can Company: Enjoy free music on the first Friday of the month from August to September: August 1: Kelly Bell Band; September 5: Junkyard Saints; October 3: Donegal Xpress.

MOVIES

Flicks on the Hill: Sit on the side of Federal Hill and watch movies projected on the wall of the American Visionary Arts Museum. Movies are Thursday nights at 9 p.m. from June 19 through August 7. Highlights include "O Brother, Where Art Thou" July 3 and "Casablanca" August 7. The museum also offers free admission on Thursdays from 5-9 p.m. during the film series.

Little Italy Open Air Film Festival: Live music starts at 7 p.m. and movies begin at 9 p.m. every Friday from July 11 through August 29 in Baltimore’s Little Italy neighborhood (at the corner of High and Stiles streets). You can see "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" July 25 or "The Blues Brothers" August 15.

ART & CULTURE

Artscape: More than 150 artists are participating in this year’s festival July 18, 19 and 20. The free event features live music on four stages, fashion shows, an Artists Market with ceramics, painting and other art for sale, plus theater and dance performances and more. See a full schedule of events.

Guided walking tours: Discover the history of Baltimore and the United States with these guided walks.  The Heritage Walk starts at 10 a.m. and the Mount Vernon Walk starts a noon daily. Both tours originate at the Inner Harbor Visitors Center and run approximately three miles. Highlights include the house where the Star-Spangled Banner was sewn and the world’s first monument to George Washington.

So pick one of your favorite Baltimore hotels and enjoy your summer vacation in the city.

CheapTickets resources:

Polly Fitz is an editor for CheapTickets.

Discounts, free onboard spending on this Alaska cruise

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Cruiseblog
A cheap cruise can be a beautiful way to enjoy the scenery of Alaska. And now Celebrity Cruises is offering extra savings on Alaska sailings in August.

The Alaska Hubbard Glacier cruises sail northbound and southbound between Seward, Alaska, and Vancouver, British Columbia, with stops in Juneau, Ketchikan and more. And when you book an oceanview category or higher room, you’ll receive a coupon book for up to $230 in discounts on cocktails and special services. Plus, you’ll receive $100 in free onboard spending.

You won’t feel like you’re on a cheap cruise on the Celebrity Millennium. There are four restaurants to choose from, plus an evening sushi bar, passed hors d’ oeuvres at midnight and a weekly formal tea service. And you can relax with a variety of spa treatments, including acupuncture, at the ship’s AquaSpa.

Book your cruise now and enjoy Alaska in August.

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Day of Deals: Relax at this Niagara Falls hotel and spa

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

By Heather Leisman

This week’s Deal of the Day is in Niagara Falls, home to the largest waterfalls in North America.

One of the Niagara Falls hotels we’re focusing on is the four-star Sterling Inn and Spa. Now you can save 20% off regular rates when you book a stay of three or more nights. I found rates of $109 for June 24-27.

And with the CheapTickets Summer Sale, you can save an additional $50 on flight + hotel vacation packages of three nights or more when you book by July 6 and travel by August 31.

Check out my video to find out what makes the Sterling Inn and Spa our pick among Niagara Falls hotels.

CheapTickets resources:

Heather Leisman is senior director of merchandising for CheapTickets.

Enjoy free concerts at Taste of Chicago

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Tasteblog1
By Polly Fitz

Taste of Chicago is known as a food fest — and for good reason: pizza, cheesecake, ribs and lots of "food on a stick" make for an almost overwhelming smorgasbord. But you may not know that Taste is also a music festival — with free concerts every day. Here are some details for this year’s festival.

Taste of Chicago runs June 27 through July 6 in Grant Park. Admission is FREE, but food tickets are $8 for 12 tickets (plus a $2 surcharge). Specialties from more than 65 restaurants are on the menu. Not surprisingly, there’s pizza (from at least 7 restaurants), and some of the other highlights include:

  • Gyros and baklava from Costa’s restaurant
  • Polish sausage sandwich with sauerkraut from Polka Sausage & Deli
  • Fried dough, toasted cheese ravioli from Harry Caray’s
  • Rainbow ice cream from the Original Rainbow Cone
  • Guacamole and chips, pork tacos from Adobo Grill

Tasteblog3
Every night, Taste of Chicago offers free concerts in the Petrillo Music Shell. Here’s a partial lineup:

  • Friday, June 27 — Chaka Khan
  • Saturday June 28 — Stevie Wonder
  • Sunday, June 29 — Josh Kelley
  • Tuesday, July 1 — Joss Stone
  • Friday, July 4 — Gomez

Here’s a tip: Chicago celebrates the Fourth of July early — with a concert and fireworks show on July 3. (There are more fireworks on the 4th.)

Many Chicago hotels are within walking distance of the Taste of Chicago, so you can be close to all the action. Hotel Burnham, Club Quarters Wacker at Michigan and Hotel Blake  are just a few of the hotels close to Grant Park.

CheapTickets resources:

Polly Fitz is an editor for CheapTickets.

Cheap tickets for July travel

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

Cheap flights make it easy to plan a weekend getaway. So pack your bags, because CheapTickets has round-trip airfares starting at $153 for weekend travel in July.

Here are some sample airfares:

  • Washington D.C. to New York — $153
  • Boston to Orlando — $213
  • Denver to Los Angeles — $184
  • San Francisco to Chicago — $301
  • Seattle to Las Vegas — $261

These cheap tickets are good for travel outbound Thursdays through Saturdays; returning Sundays through Tuesdays throughout July. The airfares include taxes and fees.

Plus, with the CheapTickets Summer Sale, you can save an extra $50 when you book a flight + hotel vacation package of three nights or more. Just book your airfare by July 6 for travel by August 31.

It’s called summer vacation for a reason. Schedule your getaway today with these cheap flights.

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