cheap RSS Feed

Shares
11
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

We all know travel can be sublime, relaxing, ridiculously fun and even life changing. But can travel really be affordable? While that’s a relative question, we’ve rounded up 13 fantastically inexpensive destinations that you should try to visit this year, from an exotic locale that lets you ply its waterways on a houseboat (affordably!) to an unsung American beach town.

RELATED: 10 great hotels for when you’re young, broke and awesome

City hall and Place Jacques-Cartier in Montreal, Quebec

Montreal, Canada

The US dollar is still pretty strong against the Canadian dollar, and where else can you feel a world away so close to home? We love Montreal for its European vibe, great art and music scenes, and vast and varied dining options. Foodie to-do lists should include noshing on one of the city’s famous hot, fresh bagels from St. Viateur, indulging in poutine at La Banquise or canard en conserve at Au Pied de Cochon, and sampling cheese, chocolates and more at Jean-Talon Market. Interesting hotel options abound here, too, including the Hotel Epik Montreal, which is housed in an old stone-walled warehouse in the city’s historic Vieux Port neighborhood.

Photo courtesy of Sreekrishna Houseboats

Kerala, India

India has been a budget traveler’s mecca for decades now. And while picking just one destination in this huge, diverse, beautiful country is a tall order, we especially love the Kerala backwaters for its one-of-a-kind houseboat experiences. You can rent a boat like this one (get one with an upper deck for added privacy), and have your own chef, captain and boat boy at your service. Essentially, it’s a private yacht experience for much, much less money! Once aboard, you’ll cruise the canals, floating past fishing villages, colorful houses and paddy fields. We promise this will be one of the most relaxing and unforgettable travel experiences you’ll ever have.

Folly Beach, South Carolina.

Folly Beach, SC

This Atlantic gem makes for a great, affordable day trip from Charleston (about 20 minutes to the north) or a long weekend in its own right. Already a regional favorite for families, Folly Beach brings in summer vacationers with sun, sand and surf, plus a nice variety of restaurants and fun shops along Center Street. If you’re up for more than just lounging, though, try your hand at kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing on the pier, boating and some of the seriously best surfing on the East Coast.

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Guadalajara, Mexico

Ditch the beaches for once and instead give Mexico’s underrated second city the attention it deserves. The old city is infused with the sounds of mariachi bands and attractions like the Guadalajara Cathedral and the Mercado San Juan de Dios. Meanwhile, there’s the Providencia neighborhood, a hipster mecca and home to quirky shops and happening eateries like Cappucino’s 96. The state of Jalisco is the birthplace of tequila so be sure and spend a day among endless fields of blue agave and sampling tequila at big name producers like Cazadores, Cuervo and Herradura.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Edinburgh, Scotland

The US dollar is still strong against the British pound thanks to Brexit, so the UK is still more affordable than ever for US travelers. But instead of pricey London, why not check out a gorgeous Scottish city like Edinburgh? Edinburgh Castle is the main attraction here, but you’ll also want to take on the Royal Mile, a scenic walk from the castle to Parliament through Old Town, and make the hike up to Calton Hill to take in breathtaking views of the city. Meanwhile, the trendy Leith neighborhood is great place to duck into a pub for a whisky or beer, or feast on some haggis—we dare you!

Beautiful coastal waters around Destin Florida

The Florida Panhandle

Cheap and cheerful, the Panhandle offers a little something for everyone. Enjoy a whiff of the cosmopolitan in downtown Pensacola; powdery white sand beaches in Destin; spring break antics in Panama City; camping, hiking and canoeing in Tate’s Hell State Forest; and quirky small towns like Seaside and Apalachicola. Much of the region caters to families and the budget-minded, including bargain hotels, irresistible happy hour deals and a plethora of ebullient and wallet-friendly seafood eateries right on the water.

ALSO: See more of the world for less—sign up for CheapCash today!

Morocco

In 1942, Casablanca captured the imaginations of millions of Americans. Morocco was portrayed as an exciting, mysterious, exotic locale where anything can happen. The intrigue has yet to wane. Besides the must-see cities of Fes and Casablanca, all eyes are on Marrakesh, thanks to the interesting new YSL Museum, dedicated to the life’s work of legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent. Add to the mix a new art fair, new galleries and a spate of shiny new hotels, and this could be a banner year for the city.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City

SLC made our list for its reasonable hotel prices, easy access to some of the best skiing in the country, and a quick hop to breathtaking National Parks (think Bryce Canyon, Arches and Zion—all less than five hours away). Not so outdoorsy? No, problem. Be sure to catch a sunset over Great Salt Lake, explore Temple Square and check out the city’s robust film, art, dining and bar scenes.

Jamaica island, Montego Bay

Jamaica

Jamaica was left more or less untouched by last season’s spate of deadly hurricanes. And while that’s a great reason to make it your next tropical getaway, we also love that destinations such as Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios have plenty of affordable hotels and budget-minded all-inclusive resorts. And lest you think this is just another “could be anywhere” beach destination, makes sure you leave the resort long enough to catch a reggae show in the place where the genre was born, tour picturesque  sugar cane and coffee plantations, or hike your way around stunning natural areas like the  Blue Mountains or Dunn’s River Falls.

Sofia, capital of Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Tourism in the cheap and enchanting Balkan States has surged in recent years, but you don’t have to rush to Croatia just because all your friends are doing it. Bulgaria boasts plenty of Black Sea coastline and sun seeker-ready beaches to go with it. There’s also ancient monasteries, beguiling mountain ranges (the country is a skiier’s paradise), glacial lakes and the Instagrammable (check out the St. Alexander Nevski Cathedral) and easy to navigate capital city of Sofia. The country also boasts, ahem, fewer Americans.

Looking out of a balcony “window” into the La Placita village and downtown Tucson city skyline.

Tucson, AZ

A multi-culti blend of Mexican, European and Native American influences, sun-drenched Tucson has it all. Hemmed in on both sides by the stunning and mesmerizing Saguaro National Park (think a wide range of hiking plus attractions like Old Tucson Studios and the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum) the city’s fun, funky and approachable dining and nightlife scene is not to be missed. Hit up eateries like 5 Points Market and Restaurant, Agustín Kitchen, Penca and HUB Creamery, and spend your nights boozing it up at places like the Congress Hotel and Owl’s Club.

Philippines-GettingStamped

It doesn’t cost much to find yourself on amazing beaches like this in the Philippines | Photo by GettingStamped.com

The Philippines

Airfare to this nation of islands (well over 7,000 of them, in fact) is every penny pincher’s biggest budget conundrum, but once that hurdle is leapt, expect an extremely wallet-friendly tropical paradise. Sure, its president has authoritarian tendencies and takes pleasure in attacking the media, but the Philippines are safe and the country has much to offer the budget traveler, including surreal island scenery, unbelievable snorkeling and diving, rich treasures in the capital city of Manila and jaw-dropping prices including respectable hotels for as little as $30/nightly and hearty meals for under $5.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas has had a sad, challenging year, but don’t let that deter you from a visit. The city still thrums with activity 24/7 and can be a steal if you play your cards right (get it?). Hint: Bargains abound off-Strip so book a room at the oh, so happening Hard Rock, check out cheap gaming at the Orleans and hit the beautiful—and free—rooftop pool at the Downtown Grand. Penny pinchers would be wise to enjoy the many natural offerings just beyond city limits and do take a gander at the selfie-worthy desert art installation “7 Magic Mountains” before it disappears later this year.

app

Tagged: Caribbean, Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, Destinations, Florida, Top 10 list

Jason Heidemann and Martina Sheehan

Jason Heidemann and Martina Sheehan

Jason Heidemann and Martina Sheehan

Latest posts by Jason Heidemann and Martina Sheehan (see all)

Shares
5
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

Riding killer waves at Trestles Beach at dawn, ducking into Freemans Alley on the Lower East Side for an Insta-worthy selfie, and boozing and grooving with your squad to killer EDM jams at Basement nightclub in Mid-Beach Miami. Experiences like these ruin the ordinary while providing an unquenchable adrenaline rush to get out there and see and do more.

Of course, the price to change your life through travel can be a buzzkill. Here’s the good news: Hotels have figured out there’s an emerging community of stylish young nomads criss-crossing the country in search of adventure and demanding to stay at lodgings that are clean, buzzy, design friendly and affordable. These millennial-inspired properties often feature lively communal spaces, exquisite coffee selections and stylish guest rooms tricked out with record players and high thread count linens. If you’re young broke and awesome, here’s where to stay right now.

RELATED: 8 awesome hotels for travelers over 35

Robey Chicago.jpg

Robey Hall: Chicago

Long before Brooklyn was a thing, there was Wicker Park, a scruffy cool Chicago ‘hood that in the ‘80s became synonymous with a new urban lifestyle. Its decades-long lodging drought changed when hostel-hotel hybrid Robey Hall scooted into town last year. Imagine a loft-like lobby where DJs spin vinyl and creative types jacked on espresso hover over laptops. Industrial chic rooms can be flexibly configured and go for as little as $130/nightly on weekends. Sister property the Robey is even cooler if you’ve got a few extra bucks to spend.

 mama shelter.jpg

Mama Shelter: Los Angeles

Skip check-in and instead make a beeline for the rooftop bar and lounge where everyone who is young and beautiful in LA is boozing, canoodling and watching the sun melt over the City of Angels. We love everything about this Hollywood gem, including cheerful SoCal-inspired rooms with comfy king beds, the insane décor at Mama Restaurant, a newfound neighborhood buzz and weekend rates as low as $169/nightly.

Downtown Clifton.jpg 

The Downtown Clifton: Tucson, AZ

Drenched in desert heat, the Downtown Clifton is the affordable small hotel of our dreams. Think midcentury-inspired guestrooms draped in native-American furnishings, a communal outdoor patio for swapping stories with fellow journeymen and weekend rates as low as $99/nightly. The Clifton also serves as an ideal base for scratching every itch on your Southwest bucket list, including daytrips to Tombstone and Bisbee, and hiking nearby national parks.

 Madison Hotel.jpg

The Graduate Hotel: Madison, WI

Don’t tell Milwaukee, but lively Madison is hands down the coolest city in the Dairy State. Part of a collection of cheap chic, college town lodgings with locations in Minneapolis, Berkeley, and elsewhere, the irresistibly preppy Graduate Hotel Madison boasts a location just steps from campus, Lake Mendota and the state Capitol, and is awash in earth tones spruced up with bursts of preppy plaids. Ridiculously adorable guestrooms go for as low as $99/nightly.

 Society Hotel.jpg

Society Hotel: Portland

Gather your crew on the hotel’s amazing rooftop and toast how awesome you are for finding this PDX gem. Straddling Chinatown and the Pearl District and thrumming with late-night scenesters, the Society Hotel really does have it all. Sure, bathrooms are shared, but that loss is your gain elsewhere. Rooms are as low as $119/nightly on weekends ($46 for a bunk room). Wanna join the lenghty line at overrated Voodoo Doughnut? It’s only a few blocks away.

ALSO: Outta cash? How about signing CheapCash and start earning rewards today?!

 Jane NYC.jpg

The Jane: New York City

Dang NYC, you ain’t cheap. But thank you Jane Hotel for bucking the Big Apple trend of exorbitant hotels by serving up teensy “cabin rooms” with shared bathrooms for as little as $125/nightly in the beating heart of the leafy West Village. We also love that your bellhops are dressed straight out of turn-of-the-century New York and that your rooftop bar is always abuzz. Lastly, thanks for being cheap enough so that we have cash left to spend on $17 cocktails.

Moxy Nola.jpg

Moxy Nola: New Orleans

The Big Easy is deserving of a hotel that’s as quirky and charming as the rest of the city. Enter the Moxy Nola. Part of a new collection of budget-friendly lifestyle hotels (from Marriott no less) that also includes locations in Nashville, NYC, Seattle and Denver, the charming Moxy Nola oozes millennial delights like super fast Wi-Fi, breezy cool guestrooms, and thrumming energy throughout the lobby. It’s located a literal stone’s throw from the Quarter and we’ve spotted weekend rates as low as $179/nightly.

 LINQ.jpg

Linq Hotel: Las Vegas

Don’t ask why there’s a millennial-obsessed hipster hotel smack in the middle of the Strip. Instead, book a Linq Deluxe Room with two double beds (we love the crisp, white linens) for as little as $99/nightly on weekends and set your sights on Sin City tomfoolery like Happy Hour on the High Roller, beer pong at Tilted Kilt, poolside selfies and all of Vegas outside your front door.

Freehand.jpg

Freehand: Miami Beach

This buzzy hostel-hybrid (with additional locations in Chicago and LA) practically re-invented the way free-spirited travelers party in Miami Beach so if you haven’t yet heard of the Freehand, get out of the cave you’re living in and get here stat. Cocktail bar Broken Shaker is reason enough to visit, but there’s also Afro-Caribbean eats at 27 Restaurant, a swinging pool scene and SoBe-chic guestrooms for as little as $140/nightly for a private quad ($27/nightly dorms).

 Austin Motel.jpg

Austin Motel: Austin

Buh-boom, buh-boom. Hear that sound? It’s the beating heart of Austin and when you stay at centrally located Austin Motel that sound becomes a deafening roar. Located on Congress Ave, right in the middle of everything we love about that street (Hopdoddy Burger Bar, Jo’s Coffee, the Continental Club) this classic motel with the Insta-famous neon sign boasts quirky and eclectic rooms, a spiffy remodel and swinging pools scene. We’ve seen rooms for as little as $130/nightly.

image003.jpg

Save

Tagged: Beach, California, Cheap Tips, Chicago, City, Destinations, Florida, New York City, Tips & advice, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

Shares
7
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

The fire of NFL football has been relit in Los Angeles. And the torch of the Rams stadium at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was lit (literally) in front of a massive crowd of football fans a few weeks ago. With over 91,000 tickets sold for the opening game against the Seattle Seahawks, the L.A. Rams (ooooh, nostalgia) claimed their first victory in 22 years.

So, now that the fallen angel has returned to the City of Angels, flocks of fans are heading west. Here are some tips on where to stay when you go, plus some other things to do in L.A. when you’re not wearing your melon heads and decades-old, pre-STL hats and T-shirts.

11172_104_z

The L.A. Hotel Downtown

The hotel: 

Modern. Sleek. SO L.A. This recently renovated modern oasis in the heart of downtown offers a special room package for Rams games. Oh, and an outdoor pool, so pack that swimsuit.

What’s nearby: 

It’s just 0.2 miles away from the Walt Disney Concert Hall, where you can hear world-class stylings of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The Los Angeles Central Library is also in walking distance, and is a major architectural landmark. It was even designated a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument. Free docent tours of the building and its art are given every day that the library is open for business, and on Saturday there is a tour of the Maguire Gardens, which surroundthe library. If you’re looking to experience a little culture with the fam or your footballin’ friends in the city of plastic surgery and fancy cars, these options are all touchdowns.

ecf84a82_z

Luxe City Center Hotel

The hotel: 

Get ready for the blitz of dining, shopping, nightlife and culture surrounding this 4 star “luxe” accommodation, also positioned right in the center of downtown L.A. The patiooverlooks L.A. LIVE. The rooms are chic, comfortable.

What’s nearby: 

The Arts District is just an onside kick away from the hotel, making it so easy to see tons of galleries, studios, artisanal crafts and architectural wonders. Fashionista sista? The Fashion District is also within a runway’s strut from the hotel. Shop wholesale, retail, designer style and everyday bargains at over 150 stores and vendors. Eat and drink in the Financial District, the commercial hub of the city. There really is a new, flashy experience at every turn, so even if you don’t have a gameplan set, you can just call the plays as you maneuver through the hustle and bustle.

2877393_120_z

JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE

The hotel: 

Just over 5,280 yards from the LA Rams stadium sits this 4 star, highly recommended (by 91% of CheapTickets peeps) swanky hotel. Okay, sounds like a lot of yards, but it’s really only 3.4 miles away. Anyway, the contemporary décor and indulgent amenities will let you relax and kick back like a true LALALand VIP.

What’s nearby: 

And, you’ll be right in the midst of the exciting downtown action. Just moments away from The Staples Center and L.A. LIVE, be sure to check the calendar to see if there are any must-see shows or games taking place during your west-coast adventure. Definitely worth the extra yardage to take a pass at the L.A. Opera (just 5 minutes from the hotel), the fourth largest opera company in the entire country. So much to do. So much to see. OK, next…

7477_122_z

The Mayfair Hotel

The hotel:

Built during the roaring ‘20s, this hotel is a true historic gem. Though no longer a host to flapper girls and oil barons, the charismatic charm and energy has evolved into contemporary, modern vibes with a twist of old-timey intrigue.

What’s nearby:

This hotel sits at the gates of the Financial District, and is just a short stroll to the 7th Street Restaurant and Shopping Corridor. Want to explore more than DTLA (Downtown LA)? Head to the Metro station at 7th Street for a subway ride to whatever LA hotspot you want to explore next. Legendary Bev Hills shoppin’? Picturesque Santa Monica beaches? Panoramic Hollywood Hills? It’s all here for your vacationing pleasure, when you’re all done Rams rooting (oh yea, and The Mayfair is only, like, 3.8 miles away from the Coliseum. Like, totally awesome, right?!

6441171_18_z

Hotel Normandie

The hotel:

Only 4.5 miles from the stadium, this boutique hotel was first developed in 1926 by renowned LA architects Albert R. Walker and Percy A. Eisen. The exterior boasted a Renaissance Revival motif and the interiors a Spanish Colonial Revival concept (surely you architecture buffs can appreciate all of these architecture words). Fast forward nine decades, and it’s time to expand, redo and update, whilst keeping the winning features from the old playbook.

What’s nearby:

So, wondering what lies in the backyard of this historic LA hotel? You guessed it…Koreatown! With a mix of Korean restaurants like Soowon Galbi (authentic Korean BBQ, MMM), attractions like The Wiltern (a top music venue for live entertainment with performances from big names like Alice In Chains and Glen Hansard), and kickin’ nightlife with spots like Café Brass Monkey (Korean karaoke EVERY night of the week), Koreatown is a must do, must see, must sing, must MUST. 15-yard penalty if you don’t.

image002

Tagged: Family, L.A., Sports

Shares
5
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

Fall brings a bumper crop of outdoor fun, including some of the country’s best corn mazes and pumpkin festivals—both great ways to enjoy the brisk fall weather and the season’s best activities on the cheap. Here are our top picks for doing exactly that.

Scott’s Maze AdventuresMount Dora, FL:

It’s hard to get in the fall spirit in Florida’s eternal summer. But this family farm—tucked away in a quaint town outside of Orlando—turns on the autumn charm with not one, but two, corn mazes. As you navigate the 1- and 7-acre fields, you’ll complete a game sheet to learn about this year’s theme. The property also features a hayrides, small fishing pond, playground and 60-foot super slide. It’s open Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 11; also Nov. 23 and 25.

Scott's Maze Adventures' winding corn mazes, as seen from above.

Scott’s Maze Adventures. Photo from LongAndScottFarms.com

Sever’s Fall FestivalShakopee, MN

Yes, there’s a corn maze. Yes, there’s a corn pit where you can roll around in the stuff. Yes, there’s something called the Gourd Walk. But that’s only the beginning. Admission to this Twin Cities-area festival includes live music, magic shows, an exotic petting zoo (giraffes!), pig races and so. Much. More. The event runs Fridays, Saturday and Sundays through Oct. 30. For a $1 off coupon, visit seversfallfestival.com.

A view from inside the corn maze at Sever's Fall Festival: A man and two small boys peek out from behind tall corn stalks.

Sever’s Fall Festival. Photo from seversfallfestival.com.

Happy Day FarmManalapan, NJ

Garden State pride is strong at this corn maze located about 40 miles south of Newark. Every year, the farm chooses a different theme (once, they cut homestate hero Bruce Springsteen’s mug into the field). This year’s maze honors Rutgers University, with a labyrinth full of trivia about the 250-year-old institution. Besides the corn maze, there’s a sunflower maze, hay maze and other attractions. The farm is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in October.

Cox Farms Fall FestivalCentreville, VA:

It takes only about 15 minutes to walk through the Cornundrum, the kid-friendly corn maze ‘path’ at this farm about an hour’s drive from Washington, D.C. That leaves plenty of time for other amusements, like the hay ride, apple cider tastings, a half-dozen super slides and more. If you dare, return at night for Fields of Fear, a Halloween-themed event that includes the Cornightmare, Dark Side Hayride, bonfires and other mature fun.

Cox Farm Fall Festival. Photo by Eric Taylor.

Cox Farm Fall Festival. Photo by Eric Taylor.

Great Vermont Corn MazeDanville, VT:

In addition to being the self-proclaimed largest corn maze in New England, this place also boasts a farm animal petting zoo; “Kid Village” where little ones can pretend to be a sheriff or storekeeper; underground tunnel maze; Barnyard Golf and more. The 10-acre field contains 3 miles of trails, so wear comfy shoes and be prepared to stay awhile. And if you want time to solve the maze, enjoy a picnic and let the kids burn off steam in the play area, it’s best to arrive in the morning. The corn maze is open daily through Oct. 16.

Roloff FarmsHelvetia, OR:

Little people, big fun. You may recognize Matt and Amy Roloff from their TLC show. But before they were reality TV stars, they owned this family farm in suburban Portland. After you take your pick in the pumpkin patch, you can enjoy a corn maze, see exotic animals (tigers!), miniature golf, pony ride, face painting and more. Open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 30.

Roloff Farm. Photo by jill, jellidonut... whatever/Flickr.

Roloff Farm. Photo by jill, jellidonut… whatever/Flickr.

Dewberry FarmBrookshire, TX:

Have some Texas-sized fun at this Houston-area farm that features an 8-acre corn maze plus an additional 8-acre pumpkin patch. After you play in the corn box and check out the carved pumpkin expo, turn your mind toward the holidays by riding the mile-long DewVille Express Railroad to Christmas Tree Forest, where you can scope out a Christmas tree and return during the holidays to take it home. Open weekends through Nov. 10.

Dewberry Farm. Photo by Tammy Ramirez/Flickr.

Dewberry Farm. Photo by Tammy Ramirez/Flickr.

image003

Tagged: Family, Festivals, Seasonal, Uncategorized

Shares
46
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

If you’re a frugal traveler, the most expensive thing about traveling to Bali is … getting to Bali. No matter your gateway from the U.S., a flight to this tropical island in Indonesia will typically cost you more than $1,000.

But that’s where the big spending ends. The cost of things once you’re physically in Bali, assuming you aren’t traveling like a goddess with demanding diva-like tendencies, are considerably cheaper than what you’d find in, say, New York City.

In fact, a stay in Bali could very well be cheaper than one in New York City. Don’t believe me? Here’s a breakdown of what I paid during a recent stay in Bali, versus what it would normally cost me in the Big Apple. It just might inspire you to click “Purchase” on a flight to Denpasar, Bali.

img_0888

Accommodations

Bali: I paid $40 per night for a massive private room with en-suite bathroom in a gorgeous, centrally located villa in Ubud, Bali. It’s easy to score three- and four-star hotel accommodations here for less than $100 per night.

NYC: Good luck finding anything in the Big Apple for less than $100 per night. Three- and four-star hotels regularly fetch $250 or more.

Taxi ride to/from the airport

Bali: My first hotel arranged a taxi pickup after midnight for me for $16 (IDR 215,000) to my hotel in Kuta. (Although I’m sure I could have gotten a cheaper rate had I negotiated with a taxi driver on the spot at the airport – just didn’t want to deal with that after 30 hours of travel.)

NYC: It regularly costs $45-$50 to get to a Manhattan hotel from any of the New York airports.

img_4400

Vehicle rental

Bali: Motorbikes are the way to get around in Bali because the roads are so narrow and congested in the bigger towns. You can rent them for $2 to $4 per day – the cheapest I’ve seen anywhere in the world.

NYC: Renting a car in the Big Apple – kind of crazy, in my opinion – will set you back at least $55 per day.

Private driver

Bali: I paid $50 (IDR 650,000) for a private driver to spend a day driving me to temples across Bali, which included a few hours of driving in between destinations.

NYC: It would cost more than $300 to do something comparable for the day in New York City, whether through a private service or a shared-ride service.

img_4563

Biking tour

Bali: A full-day biking group tour, including breakfast and lunch, which took us through villages and rice fields, cost $40.

NYC: A guided group bike tour in NYC costs anywhere from $55 to $100.

img_4681

Top attractions

Bali: Admission to most temples across Bali cost anywhere from $1.50 (20,000 IDR) to $2.30 (30,000 IDR).

NYC: Tickets to attractions such as the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock cost $32 and $26, respectively. Popular museums admissions run $25.

img_1278

Yoga class

Bali: I paid $68 (900,000 IDR) for a 10-class pack at the world-famous Yoga Barn, which broke down to $7 per class.

NYC: Classes are regularly $20 to $30 in NYC.

Shows

Bali: Cultural performances at local temples, which involve dancing and fire-blowing, cost anywhere from $3.80 (50,000 IDR) to $6 (80,000 IDR) per person.

NYC: Popular Broadwayshows regularly fetch $100 or more per ticket, unless you go to the TKTS Booth and score a same day discount ticket at up to 50 percent off.)

fullsizerender-36

Private surf lesson

Bali: I paid $26 (IDR 350,000) for a private, two-hour surfing lesson in Kuta, Bali.

NYC: The same private lesson would cost $175. (And yes, you can take surfing lessons in Rockaway Beach, just outside of NYC.)

Pizza

Bali: I got an entire personal pizza for $3.40 (45,000 IDR) at Mamma Mia in Ubud, Bali.

NYC: While you could get a slice of pizza for that much in New York, an entire pizza will run you anywhere from $10 to $25.

fullsizerender-18

Cup of coffee

Bali: Bali serves up some of the best, freshest coffee anywhere in the world. I regularly paid $1.50 (20,000 IDR), sometimes less. (The island does have a few Starbucks cafes, but I avoided those.)

NYC: A cup of coffee at Starbucks will cost about $2.

Bottled water

Bali: It’s typically $0.75 (10,000 IDR).

NYC: In the Big Apple, the same runs $2-$4, depending on where it’s purchased.

img_4611

Sushi dinner

Bali: I paid $14 for a rainbow roll, chicken katsu, edamame and two sodas at an ocean-view Japanese restaurant called Sushi Tei Beachwalk in Kuta, Bali.

NYC: That entire meal would cost me more than $50 at my favorite sushi restaurant in New York, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill. (The rainbow roll alone costs about $14.)

Parking

Bali: It’s often free, if you can squeeze into a spot on the crowded streets.

NYC: Ranges $20-$30 per day in a parking garage.

fullsizerender-33

Shopping

Bali: I found amazing designer shops, such as Marta Valbuena and Pygmees, that sell one-of-a-kind dresses for $35 to $50.

NYC: Similar dresses in New York City boutiques would easily fetch $200 or more. (Which is why I stocked up in Bali!)

image003

Tagged: Beach, Cheap Tips, International, Tips & advice

Shares
9
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

The changing of seasons can sometimes inspire change within ourselves, especially when moving from summer to autumn. Leaves change color, from their uniform shade of green to various vibrant varieties of reds, oranges and yellows. The air has a certain crisp feel to it, no longer humid and heavy like in the summer. Maybe these drastic changes are what inspire the urge to take brisk morning hikes. If you are looking for a change, of scenery or self, here are six fall hikes you need to try on the East Coast.

McAfee’s Knob in Roanoke, Virginia

The McAfee’s Knob overlook, in Roanoke, Virginia, is one of themost photographed spots on the Appalachian Trail. Just one look and it’s easy to see why. It offers a wide panoramic view of the Catawba Valley, North Mountain to the West, Tinker Cliffs to the North and the Roanoke Valley to the East.

The stunning view from McAfee Knob is part of why it's one of the most photographed spots along the Appalachian Trail. Photo credit: Bruce Henderson and Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge.

The stunning view from McAfee Knob is part of why it’s one of the most photographed spots along the Appalachian Trail. Photo credit: Bruce Henderson and Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge.

The hike to the knob, from the most popular starting place—the VA311 parking area—is a little more than four miles and is of an intermediate difficulty. Easy enough for the family but steep enough for a workout… It all depends on the pace of your group.

The trails winds through the densely wooded Virginia landscape and gives you a look into what this part of the country might have looked like before civilization. The colors of fall are unavoidable during this hike, and when you reach the top you’ll be greeted by a landscape so colorful you’ll swear it’s a painting.

Annapolis Rock near Boonsboro, Maryland

Another popular spot on the Appalachian Trail, Annapolis Rock offers a crazy-good view of the state of Maryland, which makes this hike one of the most popular in the state.

Annapolis Rock overlook. By Patorjk (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Annapolis Rock overlook | Patorjk, via Wikimedia Commons

The hike to Annapolis Rock is around five miles long and is said to be of a moderate difficulty, yet kid friendly. The trail is accessible year-round, which means it is also a popular fall hike for all types of visitors.

If you are looking for an even more panoramic view with less traffic, you can hike one more mile to Black Rock Cliff. This rock is also a popular attraction for rock climbers.

If this extra mile is not for you and you’d like to stay by Annapolis Rock for the night, the campground nearby is a non-fee first come-first-serve campground.

The Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island

A different type of hike, the famous Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island, combines natural beauty with architectural history. The walk features Rhode Island’s coastline and beautiful Newport mansions. The walk was made an official National Recreation Trail in 1975 and is open year-round.

View from Cliff Walk, Newport. Photo credit: Ken Gallager at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: View from Cliff Walk, Newport | Ken Gallager, via Wikimedia Commons

Hiking can take many forms—some hikers like their trails to be rough and natural, while other prefer a well-kept and preserved trail. But if you are looking for an experience that has a little taste of both, the Cliff Walk is for you.

Much of the walk is paved and easy to take, however, parts of it are quite rugged. The 3.5-mile walk/hike begins at First Beach on Memorial Boulevard, and you can exit the trail at various locations.

Although Newport was once known as a ‘summer playground’ of America’s wealthiest families, as seen by their huge mansions while on the Cliff Walk, fall offers an entirely new background for the incredible architecture. Mansions like ‘The Breakers,’ ‘Rosecliff’ and ‘Rough Point’ are complimented by fall colors and the scent of brisk sea air.

The mansions are available to tour, and one-house tickets are $16 for adults and $7. And if you’d like to see more than one of them, packages of two-house tickets and five-house tickets are also available.

Maryland Heights in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

The Maryland Heights hike in the Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, West Virginia is a very popular hike that attracts countless visitors during its peak season. So if you’re hoping to avoid the overcrowding, it’s a great autumn hike.

With a view of Harpers Ferry, tons of Civil War History and a moderately difficult trail, this hike is not short on entertainment value.

View of Harpers Ferry taken from the Maryland Heights trail overlook. Photo credit: Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.

View of Harpers Ferry taken from the Maryland Heights trail overlook. Photo credit: Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.

Maryland Heights Loop is almost five miles in total and features access to ruins of Union Civil War forts and infantry encampments, as well as views of the natural West Virginia landscape.

The first part of the hike is where you will see that overlook of Harpers Ferry, as well as the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers. Although the hike is said to be of moderate difficulty, it is quite steep and certainly calls for some patience and good pacing.You can always turn back once seeing the overlook, but the second leg of the hike is where you will find the Civil War history experience.

Bonus: Harpers Ferry National Historical Park also offers several other hikes and museums to further indulge your inner history buff.

Camel’s Hump State Park, Vermont

The Monroe Trail at Camel’s Hump State Park in Vermont is one of the longer, and more difficult hikes on this list. The nearly 7-mile, round-trip hike to the Camel’s Hump summit is not for the faint of heart, but the views are well worth the climb.

Of all the fall hikes on this list, this one's view is among the most gorgeous - pictured here are rolling green mountains as far as the eye can see.

Camel’s Hump. Photo credit: Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.

The majority of the Monroe Trail is within a hardwood forest of birch and maple, which you will see from above once reaching the summit.

It’ll be hard to believe that there is still so much wilderness in the USA’s East Coast. And although the trail is popular, you are sure to experience the solitude of the Appalachian trail while on this hike.

The hike begins in a parking lot at the end of Camel’s Hump Road, in North Duxbury. Because of its difficulty level, this trail requires more gear than other trails on this list. Be sure to bring shoes with ankle support and lots of water. You’ll have to sign in at the trail register once you have begun your hike.

Gorham Mountain Trail in Acadia National Park, Maine

Going along with the theme of ‘most popular fall hikes’, Gorham Mountain trail in Maine, is one of Acadia National Park’s most popular hikes. Although it is not the tallest peak in the park, the Gorham Mountain trail is popular for its views of the surrounding mountains and Maine’s coast.

This fall hike yields stunning views of Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park.

Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park. Photo Credit: Maine Office of Tourism.

Only two miles round trip, starting at the Gorham Trail parking lot on Park Loop Road, this hike is highly accessible. The ascent to the top is gradual and only 500 feet. The trail offers incredible views of Maine’s natural landscape from spring to fall.

Not long after beginning your hike, you will come across the mountain’s ‘faux summit,’ where you can see Otter Cliff, Baker Island and the Cranberry Islands.

Further up ahead is the actual summit of the hike, where you will see Sand Beach, the Beehive and Otter Point. While there, take is the sights, sounds and smells of Acadia National Park. In the fall, this means bright warm colors, the wind blowing across the ocean, and the fresh ocean spray in the air.

image003

Tagged: Seasonal, Tips & advice

Shares
Share with your friends










Submit
Hotel Deals for New York
The Ridge Hotel
NY, USA
May 22 - May 22, 2019
per night from
$ 949.05
$ 79.78

If you’re making plans to head to the Big Apple, but you’re worried about spending too much in a notoriously expensive city, don’t stress! We’ve got some tips to help you stretch your dollar the farthest while still having a blast in the city that never sleeps.

Don’t take a cab from JFK to Manhattan.

Don't taxi from JFK to Manhattan - always opt for the subway instead!

Let’s start this trip out on the right foot. While cabs are the most convenient option, the flat rate from JFK to Manhattan is $52—that’s a lot of money just to get to your hotel! Instead of a cab, take the Airtrain directly from JFK to the subway—the Airtrain is $5, and the entrance to the subway system is $2.75. Oh look, you just saved $44. Nice!

Actually, take the subway everywhere.

m01229, http://bit.ly/2catHMh, Attribution CC BY 2.0

Forget taxis and ride-sharing apps like Uber. The subway is hard to beat in NYC—it’s one of the best public transportation systems in the country, and tourists and locals alike use it daily. Even if you’re only going tobe in New York for a few days, the $31, 7-day Metrocard is worth it. You get unlimited rides, which will be very handy for zipping all over the city to see the sights. Bonus: the Roosevelt Island Tramway, which is an aerial tram that connects Roosevelt Island to the Upper East Side, is a cheap (and fun!) skyline tour on the MTA that costs as much as one subway ride. Score!

Revel in ambiance.

Paul Hudson, http://bit.ly/2c6iXQF, Attribution CC BY 2.0

Photo: Central Park | Paul Hudson, Flickr CC

Some of the best things to see and do in New York Cityare 100% free. Take a long walk through Central Park (duh), gawk at the neon displays in Times Square, and take in high culture at the Museum of Modern Art on Friday nights (free entrance from 4-8 p.m.) You can take a free ferry to Governor’s Island, kayak for free at the Downtown Boathouse, and take the Staten Island Ferry for free, if you’re looking for some water views. Oh, and guess what else? All public parks are equipped with free wi-fi! Is NYC…a secret free paradise?

Street food is your friend.

Britt Reints, http://bit.ly/2cEaHFb, Attribution CC BY 2.0

Photo: New York City 214 | Britt Reints, Flickr CC

It may seem obvious, but this one of the best cheap NY tips: Those ubiquitous hot dog stands? There’s a reason those are everywhere—the hot dogs are delicious and cheap. The pizza places advertising $1 slices? They’re great—fold up a slice like the locals do and chomp as you walk. Macbar has outrageously tasty, generous portions of specialty mac n’ cheese for under $9 a plate, Vanessa’s Dumplings will give you eight basil-and-chicken dumplings for $4.99, and GaiaItalian Cafe has big $5 paninis with mozzarella and tomatoes dripping out the sides. In short: you’ve got cheap eating options.

Skip the Ritz.

006b3e3d_z

There’s no need to stay at a high-end hotel in Manhattan—there are actually plenty of hostels where you can stay for way under $50 a night! If hostel living isn’t quite your style, check out the options for under-$100 rooms on Cheaptickets—the Bowery Grand Hotel has rooms for $72 per night, and New World Hotel in the East Village is $79 per night. Step away from the $350-a-night hotels!

image003

Tagged: City, Food & drink, FREE!, New York City, Tips & advice

Shares
3
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

“Baseball, it is said, is only a game. True. And the Grand Canyon is only a hole in Arizona.”

So said George Frederick Will, a true American, a Pulitzer Prize winner and author of two best-selling books about baseball. But enough about Mr. Will. Onto baseball. Specifically, the National League and the best baseball cities. Okay, brief history…go!

It was established in 1876 with eight charter members, but by 1880, six of the eight original teams had folded. The two remaining NL (National League) franchises were Boston and Chicago—still going strong today as the Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs. The Cubs are the only charter member to continuously play in the same city. And to continuously have the worst “luck” (but maybe that’ll change this year…and maybe not.)

In 1903, the stubborn National League officially accepted the American League as an equal partner in Major League Baseball—difficult as it was for them to recognize another league in the same “league” as their own (A League of Their Own? Best. Movie. Ever. Btw.) The National League clearly was not a fan of change—it remained the same 8-team league for 60 years. In 1969, after some long-overdue expansion, the National League was reorganized into two divisions of 6 teams (East and West). And, in 1994, after expanding to 14 teams, the NL was re-orged again into three divisions: East, West and Central—all currently represented by five teams.

OK, done with the history lesson! On to the best baseball cities in America.

Which teams are the best? We’ve got the answer—but not in standings or history so much as their placement in the most fantastic, fanatic baseball cities. These are the teams that have the most entertaining stadiums to visit with the yummiest hotdogs…the important stuff. Plus, fun and affordable hotels to stay at when you go cheer ‘em on.

Photo: St Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium | Francisco Diez, Flickr CC

Photo: St Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium | Francisco Diez, Flickr CC

St. Louis Cardinals @ Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri

This NL (National League) Central Division gang is one of the most successful franchises in baseball history, winning 11 World Series Championships, 19 National League pennants and 13 division titles. So, they pretty much make everyone else look bad. Or, they have as big a budget as the Yankees (yeah, right)…

One thing everyone knows: Ballpark Village, the new dining and entertainment attraction right next to Busch Stadium, is hoppin’. All the time. The beers are hoppin’, the beats are bumpin’, the live shows are jumpin’, the food is yummin’. It’s the perfect pre- or post-game hang time. They hit it out of the park with this one (had to do it), making it without doubt one of the best baseball cities in the country.

459083_18_z

Where to stay: Casino Queen

It’s called a Cardinals Preferred Hotel for a reason. Stay at the Casino Queen and you’ll be right on the river, close to the arch, a dice throw away from the onsite table games, and, most importantly, less than 2 miles from BS (Busch Stadium—pretty sure no one actually calls it BS). If you buy a St. Louis Cardinals Package, you get a deluxe room, up to 4 tix to the game, transport to and from the stadium and a couple other treats—starting at $109. Crazy, right?

Photo: ATT Park | Lisa Suender, Flickr CC

Photo: ATT Park | Lisa Suender, Flickr CC

San Francisco Giants @ AT&T Park in San Francisco, California

Originally known as the New York Gothams, then the New York Giants, the San Francisco Giants are one of the longest-established and most successful pro baseball teams, having won the most games of any team in the history of American baseball. They’ve won 23 NL pennants and have played in 20 World Series competitions, both of which are NL records. Since arriving in San Fran in 1958, the Giants have won six pennants and three World Series. Plus, the charm, character and breathtaking views at AT&T Park put it at the top of the must-see-stadiums list. And forget best baseball cities—San Francisco’s culture and beauty make it one of America’s best cities, period.

5440f978_z

Where to stay: The Inn at Union Square

97% of CheapTickets guests (that’s 835.17 people) recommend you stay at this stylish three-and-a-half-star boutique hotel, located a mere 1.3 miles from AT&T Park. Its gorgeous rooms feature hints of Victorian charm, plus the hotel offers complimentary breakfast and daily evening wine-and-cheese plates beside a wood-burning fireplace. Oh, and it’s within walking distance of Lombard Street and the famous Fisherman’s Wharf.

Photo: Wrigley Field | PandemicPhoto.com, Flickr CC

Photo: Wrigley Field | PandamicPhoto.com, Flickr CC

Chicago Cubs @ Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois

The Chicago Cubs were a founding member of the NL in 1876, and won back-to-back World Series in 1907 and 1908, becoming the very first Major League team to play in three consecutive World Series, and the first to win it twice. Totally impressive, right? But, that’s a distant memory now. The Cubs have not won the World Series in 107 years—a record drought in Major League Baseball. That’s a long time for increasingly anxious fans to wait for something winning to happen. But every year, Chicagoans root and hope and pray and get disappointed by this team. Different year, same story. For 107 years, and counting (but this could be the year, they say)…

Wrigley Field is baseball’s second-oldest ballpark, where fans can see ivy-covered outfield walls, the classic hand-operated scoreboard and the brick wall behind home plate. Stepping inside Wrigley Field is like stepping back in time; you have to be there to appreciate all of the ancient wonder and old-fashioned goodness of baseball’s storied and beloved past.

e0453240_z

Where to stay: The Majestic Hotel

Boutique flair. Classic charm. Upscale decor. Okay, but what do all these yummy words mean? The Majestic is reminiscent of an English manor country estate. With a fire-lit lobby.And 24-hour coffee and tea service in the lobby. And freshly baked cookies, complimentary breakfast and a vigilant, caring crew of staff. Most importantly, this boutique Chicago hotel is a mere seven-tenths of a mile away from iconic Wrigley Field. Bloody fabulous!

 

Photo: Coors Field | Heath Alseike, Flickr CC

Photo: Coors Field | Heath Alseike, Flickr CC

Colorado Rockies @ Coors Field in Denver, Colorado

April 26th, 1995 marks the first game ever played at Coors Field. When the stadium opened, it became the first baseball-only stadium built since Dodger Stadium in 1962. Visitors can see dramatic views of the Rockies, hand-laid brick and the clock tower, all delivering the nostalgic feel of a 1920’s urban ballpark. Fun fact: So as not to impose on its neighboring neighborhood buildings, the field is actually located 21 feet below street level. And here’s another fact: Coors Field’s is ranked as one of the most picturesque ballparks.

Although the Rockies won one National League championship in 2007, they are one of only two franchises that have never won a division title. So, if you’re a glass-half-full kind of guy or gal, you see that fans still have some excitingfirsts to celebrate in the future of this Rockies franchise!

hotel

Where to stay: Queen Anne Bed And Breakfast

The Queen Ann is a three-and-a-half-star, adults-only B&B in Denver’s historic district, just three-quarters of a mile from Coors Field. Here, you’ll find an added bonus: This locally minded hotel is striving to become a no-waste property, and offers amenities and eats from local businesses. In short,it’s stylish comfort meets eco-sensitivity.

And the rooms themselves? Art lovers can stay in a room decorated by a talented local artist. Romantics can turn up the passion with a room that features a private hot tub and expansive downtown views for two. Every room is different, so finding one that fits your needs and finds your vibe is a slam dunk…uhh, we mean home run!

image003

Tagged: Seasonal, Sports

Shares
2
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

70% of football fans would travel to a game. Which may seem like a lot, until you consider the heated, bitter and incredibly fun rivalries between teams. So forget the fall foliage and pumpkin spice, fall is really all about the football—at least according to our Football Fandex Survey.

Photo: UT Football | Nolan Williamson, Flickr CC

Photo: UT Football | Nolan Williamson, Flickr CC

What’s more, those crazies you see on TV dressed head-to-toe in their team’s colors are not at all the minority. All y’all fans seem to love showing off your fandom in clear, unmistakable ways, since more than 60% said they’d wear team colors or memorabilia to a game, and a whopping more-than-a-quarter would paint their faces or bodies, or wear a costume to the game.

SO…pack that face paint, those foam fingers and your spare mascot costume and start planning that footballgetaway—and get 10% off game tickets with promo code FOOTBALL10—because here are October’s most anticipated games, ranked, according to our devoted fans.

*All prices were quoted at the time of writing, and are subject to change.

10. Wisconsin Badgers vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Where and when: Oct. 15 in Madison, Wisconsin

Photos: Badger by John Nelson, Flickr CC | Ohio Buckeyes by Travis Wise,Flickr CC

Photos: Badger by John Nelson, Flickr CC | Ohio Buckeyes by Travis Wise, Flickr CC

The game: The Badgers will play the Buckeyes at the Camp Randall Stadium in the city’s center. This former Civil War army training camp (hence the name) serves up all the brats, pizza, nachos and beer you could ask for. More importantly, you can get the Badger Stacker, a grilled bratwurst omelet topped with cheese. If none of this is your speed, head to very-nearby eateries like New Orleans takeout (for Creole) and the classic American Mickie’s Dairy Bar (cash only).

Where to stay: Most hotels are already sold out, but you can still find a place to rest your head at the Grand View Motel Beaver Dam ($65 a night) or the Lodi Valley Suites ($85 a night) in nearby Lodi.

9. Texas A&M Aggies vs. New Mexico State Aggies

Where and when: Oct. 29 in College Station, Texas

Photo: New Kyle Field Panorama | Ed Schaul, Flickr CC

Photo: New Kyle Field Panorama | Ed Schipul, Flickr CC

The game: With Kyle Field as the dramatic backdrop, the New Mexico State Aggies will go head-to-head with the Texas A&M Aggies on their home turf. Oh, and restrain yourself from picking up the potential piles of cash and coins at the feet of Lawrence Sullivan “Sul” Ross’s statue (former college president and governor)—it’s left there by students hoping for a little extra luck on their exams, and it’s collected every semester and donated to a local charity.

Where to stay: Head to the Madison Inn for a budget stay of $70 per night. Or, experience the cool luxury of the Aloft College Station hotel for roughly $299 a night.

8. Florida Gators vs. LSU Tigers

Where and when: Oct. 8 in Gainesville, Florida

Photo: Gator by Scott McCallum, Flickr CC | Tiger by GRVO TV, Flickr CC

Photo: Gator by Scott McCallum, Flickr CC | Tiger by GRVO TV, Flickr CC

The game: This rivalry stretches back decades before Tebow stepped into the limelight. See it in action as the Gators face the LSU Tigers at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, lovingly referred to as The Swamp. Because that’s where gators live. And, to quote former head coach Steve Spurrier, “Only gators get out alive.” And hopefully, you know, the fans too.

Where to stay: Stay for next to nothing at the Legacy Inn, which still has rooms available for the game weekend for just $55 a night.

7. Florida State Seminoles vs. Clemson Tigers

Where and when: Oct. 29 in Tallahassee, Florida

Photo: Doak Campbell Stadium | arctic_whirlwind, FlickrCC

Photo: Doak Campbell Stadium | arctic_whirlwind, FlickrCC

The game: This is better than any old Halloween party: Just before that gloriously spooky holiday, the Tigers will travel from Atlanta to the Seminoles‘ home turf for what promises to be one heck of a game. While you’re at Doak CampbellStadium, take in the 7,800 square-foot scoreboard, the new bars at the Champions Club and more—all products of a 2016 renovation.

Where to stay: It may be roughly 30 miles from the city center, but you can’t beat the $45 you’ll pay for a single night at the Serena Inn.

6. Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners

Where and when: Oct. 8 in Dallas, Texas

Photo: Longhorn by allisonallison, Flickr CC | Oklahoma Sooners by SD Dirk, FlickrCC

Photo: Longhorn by allisonallison, Flickr CC | Oklahoma Sooners by SD Dirk, FlickrCC

The game: The beloved Dallas Cowboys played their first-ever game at the Cotton Bowl stadium, a legacy that’s likely not lost on the Longhorns. In a couple of weeks, they’ll enter into heated battle with the Sooners while you and other audience members (most likely) chow down on hot dogs and burgers.

Whereto stay: Live the good life at the glamorous Hyatt Regency North Dallas in Richardson for $103 a night.

5. Penn State Nittany Lions vs. Ohio State Buckeyes

Where and when: Oct. 22 in University Park, Pennsylvania

Photo: Birthplace of Champions | Always Shooting, Flickr CC

Photo: Birthplace of Champions | Always Shooting, Flickr CC

The game: If it sells out, you’ll be just one of 106K fans at Beaver Stadium hoping so hard to see their team win. And although both teams have existed since the 1800s, the rivalry between the Buckeyes and their Penn State rivals only stretches as far back as 1980.

Where to stay: Rest those tired eyes at the Laurel Ridge Bed and Breakfast, or the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center.

4. Miami Hurricanes vs. Florida State Seminoles

Where and when: Oct. 8 in Miami Gardens, Florida

9702036811_8094ff583a_k

Photo: 2013 Miami Hurricanes | arctic_whirlwind, Flickr CC

The game: Fresh off a multi-million-dollar renovation, the Hard Rock Stadium now offers some glorious respite from the hot, hot, hot Miami sun—meaning that instead of spending the game obsessively reapplying sunscreen (or, conversely, getting burnt to a crisp), you can lounge beneath the giant canopy and stay cool. Almost as important is how you can now get to the game. Before and after seeing the Hurricanes fight the Seminoles, head to the official Uber Zone if you’re savvy, or just want to drink a lot during the game.

Where to stay: Enjoy the big, clean rooms—and the glorious weather—at Shula’s Hotel and Golf Club ($105 a night).

3. TexasA&M Aggies vs. Tennessee Volunteers

Where and when: Oct. 8 in College Station, Texas

Photo: Aggie Barn Panorama | Stuart Seeger, Flickr CC

Photo: Aggie Barn Panorama | Stuart Seeger, Flickr CC

The game: We’ve already told you about Kyle Field (in our no. 9 pick), so we’ll leave you with this: If anyone accuses you of having ‘good bull’, take it as a compliment.

Where to stay: Franklin Lodging may be about 45 minutes away from the stadium, but that’s about as close as you’re gonna get when booking this close to the game day. Plus, this clean little place will only run you $95 a night, which includes continental breakfast, wireless internet, parking, and access to their indoor pool.

2. Tennessee Volunteers vs. Alabama Crimson Tide

Where and when: Oct. 15 in Knoxville, Tennessee

Photo: Field goal posts | Tate Nations, Flickr CC

Photo: Field goal posts | Tate Nations, Flickr CC

The game: Sure, the Volunteers and Crimson Tide will be going head-to-head on the field at Neyland Stadium. But really, the food’s where it’s at: This newly renovated megaplex now offers eats like pulled pork nachos and fried chicken sandwiches, as well as some truly massive LED displays, so you can catch all the action as you chow down—even from the cheapest of the cheapseats.

Where to stay: We’re not ones to pooh-pooh the Motel 6‘s of the world. And at $86 a night for a spacious, clean room we bet you won’t either.

1. Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Syracuse Orange

Where and when: Oct. 1 in East Rutherford, New Jersey

Photo: Notre Dame vs Syracuse | Christopher Aloi, Flickr CC

Photo: Notre Dame vs Syracuse | Christopher Aloi, Flickr CC

The game: It’s probably not a shock to anyone that Notre Dame tops the list. Which means that MetLife Stadium‘s Irish Whiskey Bar, Craft Beer Zone, Kosher eats and, oddly enough, salads also get top billing. Plus, there’s a NJ Transit rail station right out front, so you can get to the game for seriously cheap.

Where to stay: If you can make it out in such short notice, you can snooze amid the sleek stylings of the Renaissance Meadowlands Hotel—just 1.7 miles from the stadium—which is still accepting reservations to the tune of $169 a night. If you want to be even closer to the stadium, check out Hilton Meadowlands, a mere half-mile from the stadium, for $219.

image003

Tagged: City, Family, Florida, Sports, Uncategorized

Shares
5
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

The state of Virginia is indeed for lovers—specifically, lovers of beach towns. Just about as far east as you can travel within the state, the islands of Chincoteague and Assateague showcase their own traditional yet unique take on beach-town culture. Here are five reasons why Chincoteague Island and neighboring Assateague should be on your bucket list, in no particular order.

The Wildlife

The wild horses
On Chincoteague Island, you’ll find a charming beach town, filled with mom n’ pop motels and ocean-themed restaurants. Assateague Island, on the other hand, is an impeccably kept nature preserve and its most famous wild residents can be seen galloping through its natural marshes. It’s one of the few places left in America where you can still see herds of wild horses roaming in their natural habitat.

Year round, the herds can be seen grazing from the road that leads to Assateague’s beach, or while on boat or kayaking tours that take off from Chincoteague—and these boat tours offer the chance to see even more native wildlife, like dolphins and bald eagles. The island also features hiking trails and a beach. If you plan on driving to the island, parking passes are $8 per day.

Protip: If you decide to take a boat tour, ask a local about their favorite and go for a smaller boat. Smaller boats can get closer to the ponies in the marsh.

By Bonnie U. Gruenberg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Bonnie U. Gruenberg (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Pony Penning Carnival
Now, if you are looking for an even closer look at the ponies, and for a way to be a part of local tradition, try attending the yearly Pony Penning carnival. This annual “holiday” takes place in July, as this is when the wild ponies are wrangled and swum from Assateague to Chincoteague. Then, they are then paraded down Main Street and into corrals where vets check each pony’s health. The youngest of the ponies are auctioned off to raise money for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, a fundraiser that began in 1925 and has been going strong ever since.

Protip: The historic carnival is free and open to the public, which means a crowd is inevitable. To avoid getting stuck at the back, where you can’t even see the ponies make their swim, arrive early in the morning and come prepared to wait.

Picture side of 1941-postmarked postcard depicting the Chincoteague ponies. Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Picture side of 1941-postmarked postcard depicting the Chincoteague ponies. Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Hiking and Camping

The camping
Chincoteague Island is covered in campgrounds, and Assateague Island is full of hiking trails that are perfect for those looking to explore the natural landscape more intimately. Campgrounds on Chincoteague each offer their own benefits and features. Be sure to check out Inlet View campground and Tom’s Cove campground for the best views of the water, as they both offer waterfront campsites.

Campsite rates at Inlet view range from $27 to $35 per day. Campsite rates at Tom’s Cove $35 to $51 per day.

A view of the marshes. Photo credit: Alexandra Olsen

A view of the marshes. Photo credit: Alexandra Olsen

The hiking
There is plenty of hiking to be done at Assateague Island, and, as mentioned before, if you plan on driving there you’ll need to pay for parking. Once on the island, you can find hiking trails of all lengths and difficulty levels.

One of the shortest trails leads you to the historic and iconic Assateague lighthouse. The hike is totally worthwhile, since not only can you see the candy-cane-painted lighthouse from the outside, but also from the inside. Once you do finally reach the top, you’ll catch a breathtaking view of both Assateague and Chincoteague. Admission to the lighthouse is free. However, donations are accepted.

Protip: Although the hike itself is not difficult, climbing the many steps up to the top can be. Pace yourself to avoid getting lightheaded at the lighthouse.

At the base of the Assateague lighthouse. Photo credit: Alexandra Olsen

At the base of the Assateague lighthouse. Photo credit: Alexandra Olsen

The Beach

Assateague’s beach can be considered a ‘typical’ beach, meaning it’s clean and fun for the whole family. And yet, it’s unique in its location. Once again, you’ll have to cross the bridge from Chincoteague to access the waterfront.

Protip: Since there is only one road leading to the beach, the traffic can get pretty gnarly during “beach rush hour.” Locals will tell you to start making your way back to Chincoteague before four o’clock.

Photo credit: Alexandra Olsen

Locals and tourists intermingle on the beach. Photo credit: Alexandra Olsen

Local Food

Chincoteague has been thriving in the oyster harvesting market for many years, and the delicacies can be found at countless eateries on the island… Are oysters not your thing? Well, you can also find ice cream, BBQ and homemade doughnuts without looking very far.

The Island Creamery is a local favorite and has been perfecting its small-batch ice cream, made with milk from local dairies, since 1975. They have a lot of different ice cream flavors but the most popular are of course named after the islands’ most well-remembered aspects, “Marsh Mud” and “Pony Tracks.”

Protip: The line is never too long… Even if the lineto be served at the creamery is out the door, locals swear that it’ll never take longer than 20 minutes to be served.

The Island Creamery, taking inspiration from the Assateague lighthouse. Photo credit: Alexandra Olsen

The Island Creamery, taking inspiration from the Assateague lighthouse. Photo credit: Alexandra Olsen

Right before hitting the bridge to Assateague you’ll notice an oasis of quirky, quick-service restaurants. This oasis comes complete with hammocks and yard games. It is there that you will find Woody’s Beach BBQ serving a large variety of smoked meats. The sandwich creations at Woody’s are sure to keep your hunger at bay throughout a full day of pony watching, beach going and lighthouse climbing. Prices for sandwiches are between $8 and $9.

Looking for breakfast? Or maybe a lil’ bit of a sweet treat? Then look for the Sandy Pony Donuts truck on Maddox Boulevard. These cleverly-named delights are small yet mighty, with monikers such as “Strawberry Stallion,” “Surfer Dude” and “Jingle Shells.” Made hot and fresh to order, they’re only $1.65 each, $8.80 for a half dozen and $14.80 for a full.

The Culture and History

Both Assateague and Chincoteague are steeped in history, tradition and a unique culture. People who live on Chincoteague, and who’s ancestors lived on Assateague, have a deep connection to both islands, taking pride in knowing the history of their beloved home. Vacationers, too, often feel themselves drawn back—it is not hard to find someone who has been coming since they were young, and who now bring their own family to the same spot, keeping that tradition alive.

Even if you’re visiting the islands for the first time, the community has a way of making you feel at home. It’s as if a connection is formed as soon as you set foot on the island. Just by interacting with locals, you are sure to learn much about Chincoteague and Assateague’s history. But if you’d like to learn even more about why this is such a closely-knit community, you can visit the Museum of Chincoteague Island, which is located mere steps from the bridge to Assateague. It’s a small museum, but it includes exhibits highlighting the oyster market, the hurricanes and the fires of Chincoteague, as well as the well-known equine celebrity, Misty of Chincoteague.

Her story goes something like this: In 1947, author Marguerite Henry met a pony on the island by the named Misty, and her owners the Beebes. Misty went on to inspire her popular children’s novel, and later a movie, which was filmed on the island. The story, although fictional, introduced Chincoteague and its pony culture to the world. This story is a great source of pride for the community of Chincoteague. In fact, Misty herself can be found at the museum… stuffing and all.

Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

The famous Misty of Chincoteague (left) with one of her foals. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

According to those who know the island, the final thing that you must do before leaving is visit the grave of Captain Chandler, as this will ensure your return to the island. There is no address for the site, but ask any local and they will know how to get there. And if you want to know any more about this local legend, you’ll just have to visit Chincoteague Island.

image002

Tagged: Beach, Family, Seasonal