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The end of summer isn’t necessarily a bad thing in New York City. In fact, the fun only seems to pick up as sweater weather sets in. With the arrival of cooler temps and pumpkin spice lattes comes a whole host of fun festivals, sports games, concerts and more. Here are the 16 best things to do in NYC this fall—ranked.

RELATED: 6 cheap New York City hotels you’ll actually want to stay in

#16. Keith Urban & Kelsea Ballerini (Oct 22)

See two of the hottest stars in country music right now as they light up the stage to a fun-lovin’ audience at the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn.

#15. Brooklyn Nets vs Houston Rockets (Nov 2)

If you haven’t caught a game at the beloved Barclay’s Center yet, here’s your shot. Watch a great night of basketball—and keep your eyes peeled for a possible courtside Beyonce/Jay-Z sighting—when the Houston Rockets come to Brooklyn.

Trover photo by Esther Bichachi

#14. Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Nov 9)

If you live for the holiday season (i.e. start singing Christmas carols in July), this one’s for you. Be one of the first to attend NYC’s famed Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockets at the November 9 opening show.

#13. Ed Sheeran (Sept 21)

Everyone’s favorite English singer-songwriter is coming to town in late September. Sway to the melody of “Perfect” and stomp to the beat of the “Shape of You” as uber-talented pop crooner Ed Sheeran takes the stage at MetLife Stadium.

Trover photo by ScubaMami

#12. Smorgasburg (Saturdays in October)

Accurately referred to as the “Woodstock of Eating” by the New York Times, Smorgasburg is the largest weekly outdoor food market in the world. Taste mouthwatering treats like lobster rolls and ramen burgers from more than 100 food vendors along the Williamsburg waterfront every Saturday through the end of October.

#11. “The Band’s Visit (Ongoing)

Already seen Hamilton 10 times? No problem. While tourists are filling seats at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s sensational Broadway hit, instead check out “The Band’s Visit.” This compelling story of an Egyptian police band nabbed the  2018 Tony Award for Best Musical (and also racked up nine others!)

Trover photo by Eritinass Corner

#10. New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays (Sept 15)

Enjoy an afternoon of hotdogs, cotton candy and baseball at one of the last Yankee home games of the season. Arrive early to the 4pm game to soak up the end-of-season excitement in and around the stadium!

#9. Amateur Night at the Apollo (Nov 21)

Be a part of the notoriously tough audience judging contestants (and possible future stars!) at the fabled Harlem talent competition.  There are multiple Amateur Nights in the fall, but you’ll see the best of the best grace the Apollo stage on November 21st during the 2018 season grand finale “Super Top Dog” night.

#8. New York Comic Con (Oct 4–7)

No longer just a cult favorite, New York Comic Con at the Javits Center has turned into one of the largest pop culture events on the East Coast. Catch all the latest in comic books, video games, movies, anime and more at the 4-day event, including the famous faces behind your favorite characters, like Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Danai Gurira (Michonne on “The Walking Dead”) and Dean Cain (Superman) plus scientist Bill Nye, rapper/actor Common and dozens more.

#7. Justin Timberlake (Oct 24)

The ultimate entertainer, Justin Timberlake will light up the stage of Madison Square Garden during his Man of the Woods Tour. It’s an awesome opportunity to catch one the best performers out there in concert at such an iconic Big Apple venue.

ALSO: Get a great deal on tickets to New York’s hottest concerts, games and events, only with CheapTickets!

Trover photo by Jessie Festa

#6. 14th Annual NYC Vendy Awards (Sept 22)

Bring on the food truck wars! Get your tickets, hop on the ferry to Governors Island, and taste your way through 25 of the best food trucks in New York City. Don’t leave without seeing who is crowned champion at one of NYC’s most delicious culinary events.

#5. New York Giants vs. Philadelphia Eagles (Oct 11)

Undoubtedly one of the greatest rivalries in football, the New York Giants will take on Super Bowl champs the Philadelphia Eagles under the bright lights of MetLife Stadium.

#4. New York Coffee Festival (October 12-14)

New York is known for its coffee culture and this is the city’s ultimate caffeine celebration. From Oct 12–14, visit the New York Coffee Festival at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea and spend the day sipping some of the world’s finest brews, watching barista competitions and ogling at impressive latte art.

#3. Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade (Oct 20)

Forget the people-watching this Halloween; instead head to Tompkins Square Park on October 20th to howl your socks off at crazy dog costumes. According to CNN, it’s the largest dog costume parade in the world and—best of all—it’s free!

#2. New York City Marathon (Nov 4)

Marathon day in New York City is absolutely electric. On November 4, runners will tackle the famed 26.2-mile urban course. Feel the excitement from any spot along the route as it weaves through all five boroughs, or watch the inspiring last leg of the race along Central Park South to the finish line.

#1. Elton John (Nov 9)

It’s Elton John—need we say more? No…but we will. Don’t miss the icon as he comes to Madison Square Garden on his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour, capping off an incomparable career and over half a century on the road. If you haven’t seen Elton in concert yet, this your last chance.

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Tagged: Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, City, Destinations, Events, Festivals, Holidays, Music, New York City, Sports, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

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With flight and gas prices coming down for the season, travel is as accessible as its ever been. And while getting there may not be a problem, some of the most popular places will pummel your wallet upon arrival: Think pricey museum entrance fees, $20 cocktails and insane hotel rates. But “popular” doesn’t always mean “better,” and there are plenty of great destinations out there that won’t suck away all your vacation dollars for the year! Now is the time to seize your adventurous aspirations and seek out a destination a little different than the usual go-tos. To help out, we’ve rounded up a list of awesome, affordable alternatives to popular, pricier places.

RELATED: 6 amazing places you didn’t know you could do in a long weekend

 

Philadelphia not NYC

We love Gotham’s 24/7 dynamism, and there is no city like it, but the City of Brotherly Love offers charming row houses, Revolutionary history and an enviable food scene at half the price. The Liberty Bell is all it’s cracked up to be—get it?—and don’t miss the creepy Mutter Museum and the requisite arms-in-the-air photograph atop the “Rocky Steps” at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. New York may have all the bright lights, but when it comes down to a big city that won’t break the bank, Philly’s the one that shines.

EAT Philly is a foodie town just like New York, and you can feast on outstanding global cuisines without shelling out nearly as much dough as at those Brooklyn hot spots. Walk into Suraya on buzzing Frankford Avenue for some mouthwatering Lebanese dishes like garlicy baba ganoush and spicy lamb kebabs. And you can bet the cocktails won’t be more than an Andrew Jackson!

STAY Go for a chic boutique hotel experience (because you can!) and book the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Philadelphia, or opt for affordable luxury suites at the Global Luxury Suites at Rittenhouse Square.

 

San Antonio not Austin

Austin isn’t the only town oozing Texas charm. Just 90 miles southwest of the Lone Star capital, San Antonio has been undergoing quite the revival in recent years. Lined with great restaurants and live music venues, the city’s famed River Walk has never been more alive, and new sections like Mission Reach are giving tourists an incredible look into the area’s Spanish colonial UNESCO missions. Stroll the River Walk, hike historic trails, indulge in top-notch Tex-Mex and—if you’re feeling crazy—hop on a horse and join a trail ride. There’s so much character in this Texas town, and prices are famously more bearable that Austin or Dallas. And remember to, um, “Remember the Alamo”—admission is free!

EAT San Antonio has always been an incredibly diverse town, and now chefs are flocking to the city to be a part of the dynamic mix of people and cuisines. Pile on the brisket (with plenty to spare) at the new 2M Smoke House, or go old-school with traditional Tex-Mex at La Fonda on Main. Drown yourself in their beloved chile con queso appetizer and thank us later!

STAY Keep your home base in the heart of downtown San Antonio, so the River Walk is within walking distance. Check out either the Hyatt Regency San Antonio River Walk or Hotel Contessa—both have rooftop pools!

Anza-Borrego not Yosemite

Anza what? If you haven’t already heard of it, let us introduce you to the wildly underrated Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Located in eastern San Diego County, Anza-Borrego is actually California’s largest State Park with over 600,000 acres of pristine wilderness. Best known for its epic wildflower bloom in the spring, Borrego boasts loads of year-round draws, including cool limestone canyons, crazy cacti, rugged badlands, exceptional stargazing, a plethora of unique wildlife and the stellar Metal Sky Art Sculptures littered throughout. Don’t get us wrong, Yosemite’s dramatic mountain terrain is nothing short of spectacular, but lodging prices can be quite high and the experience is filled with entrance fees, permit fees, camping fees, trail fees and, of course, tons of visitors! Meanwhile, only an hour and half outside of San Diego, Borrego occasionally collects a $10 “day use fee” at popular spots, but other than that, the park offers free entrance, free open camping throughout and even some free park programs. Kids definitely need to check out the Junior Ranger Program—also free!

EAT Bring along your own burger and s’mores ingredients for a fun cookout at your campsite or grab the best Mexican in the area at Carmelita’s Mexican Grill.

STAY Stay near the park at the rustic, southwest-style Borrengo Valley Inn or indulge leisurely activities, like golf or spa, at the Borrego Springs Resort Golf Club and Spa.

 ALSO: Join CheapCash and start earning rewards!

Chattanooga not Nashville

Nashville’s enjoyed its time in the spotlight; now it’s time for a new Tennessee town to shine! A refreshing mom-and-pop spirit and outdoor adventure await you in scenic Chattanooga. Surrounded by mountains, this East Tennessee town is a nature-lovers’ paradise. You can spend your days hiking to enchanting waterfalls, paddle-boarding on the Tennessee River or hang gliding off Lookout Mountain. Keep your dollars in your pocket and enjoy the bounties of Mother Nature in and around the city. Spend a day downtown exploring art the galleries in the Bluff View Arts District and perusing local shops in Warehouse Row. Sure, Carrie Underwood make may not shop there, but we guarantee they offer better value than those trendy Nashville ones!

EAT A new eatery within the Chattanooga Choo-Choo building, STIR offers fun craft cocktails and tasty Southern favorites with a creative twist, like their fried green tomatoes and divine pimento cheese starters. The trendy spot certainly allows for a fun night out without breaking the bank!

STAY For your hotel selection in the “Scenic City,” enjoy some historic charm at The Read House or indulge in all the modern amenities and full-service spa at The Chattanoogan Hotel.

 

The skyline of Old Quebec City

Quebec City not Toronto

Besides world-class museums, renowned culinary scene, and buzzing waterfront, Toronto is one of the most multi-cultural cities in the world. It can also claim the title of Most Expensive City in Canada, according to a recent Mercer study. Instead, consider a trip to Quebec City, where you’ll find a little more charm, and a little more weight to your wallet! The très-French city makes you feel like you’re in Europe with its narrow cobblestone streets and abundance of cafés filled with cappuccino-sipping locals. When the weather is nice, stroll La Promenade Samuel-de Champlain and explore the historic streets of Old Quebec, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Come winter, hit one of the many ski slopes in the area and sip on savory onion soup at a cozy French restaurant. You’re average dinner out for two in Quebec City costs around $40, whereas in Toronto, it can run  upwards of $60!

EAT When in Quebec, you have to try poutine—French fries topped with cheese curds and mouth-watering gravy. The no-frills Chez Gaston serves the best in the city and you can get to stay or to go.

STAY Book one of the elegant guest rooms at the castle-like Hôtel Plaza Québec or the rustic-chic Hôtellerie d’Expérience au Monastère des Augustines in the heart of Old Quebec.

Portland, ME not Portland, OR

Sorry, Oregon! But we’ve hurled plenty of well-deserved shout-outs your way. This time, we’re going to give the love to Maine. Portland, (Oregon) has been an undeniable breakout destination thanks to its quirky vibe, hipster coffee culture and “Keep Portland Weird” mantra. However, the city’s cool, rebellious character is exactly what’s attracted so many folks over the past decade, and with that has come an inevitable price hike. Meanwhile, on the opposite coast, Portland (Maine!) is just taking off. This East Coast city offers the seaside charm for which Maine is so famous, as well as all the benefits of urban life. A bustling waterfront, great museums, scenic parks (with very Instagrammable lighthouses) and a vibrant culinary scene have made Maine’s largest city a very desirable and—still affordable—getaway!

EAT Get your seafood fix with a dozen East Coast oysters and a fried fish sandwich at laid-back Eventide Oyster Company in downtown Portland. This tiny joint puts a creative touch on typical New England fare—like oysters served with their famous Tabasco ice!

STAY Housed in one of Portland’s signature redbrick, warehouse-style buildings, the new Courtyard by Marriot Portland Downtown/Waterfront sits steps from all the lively restaurants and entertainment venues in the historic Old Port district.

 

La Paz not Cabo

Cabo San Lucas probably first comes to mind when envisioning a dreamy beach escape to Mexico’s beloved Baja Peninsula. Development in the popular Pacific beach town never ceases to end, and new resort after new resort continues to crowd the beachfront, each one snazzier than the last. Meanwhile, 115 miles north of Los Cabos International Airport lies a little gem of a Mexican beach town called La Paz. Spanish for “peace,” La Paz offers exactly what the name promises: A peaceful getaway with a genuinely Mexican feel and lack of major commercialization. Overlooking the Sea of Cortez, the town’s Malecon promenade attracts tourists searching for a glimpse of sea life during the day and local lovers strolling hand-in-hand at night. Famous for its wealth of marine life, the waters off La Paz host impressive migrations of whales, whale sharks and sea lions. The protected Sea of Cortez, meanwhile, offers calm waters, ideal for watersports like paddle boarding and snorkeling.

EAT In downtown La Paz, two blocks form the sea, MC-Fisher has long been famous for its fresh fish and low prices. Scooch into one of their no-frills picnic tables for a late lunch feast of Baja specialties like smoked marlin, fish tacos, and enchiladas.

STAY Almost all of the hotels you’ll find in La Paz fall in the budget-friendly category; however, you need not look any further than Hotel Catedral La Paz. With room rates that will make you look twice (in a good way!), Hotel Catedral has the coolest rooftop bar and pool in town, along with chic, modern guestrooms.

Tagged: Beach, Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, City, Destinations, Family, International, Mexico, Seasonal, Texas, Texas, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

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It’s that time of year again. In fact, for many, it’s the most wonderful time of year! No, we’re not talking about Christmas. Football season is well upon us and that means NFL fans across the country are sporting their lucky jerseys every Sunday for the next 16-20 weeks. It’s time for superstitions, tailgating, wings, beer and family rivalries.

RELATED: Your college football tailgating playbook (infographic)

Many teams in the NFL have long standing rivalries themselves. The competition between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburg Steelers or the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers mean their respective cities will face off at least once this year. We don’t have a crystal ball so only time will tell who’ll win on the field…but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a winner already. In this NFL Edition of City Smackdown, we dissect the teams with the biggest rivalries to see who comes out on top based solely on all their hometowns have to offer. And if you’re already geared up for game day, don’t forget that you can get tickets for NFL games right here at CheapTickets.com!

 

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings

MINNESOTA VIKINGS v GREEN BAY PACKERS

The rivalry between these two teams goes far beyond the football field. Sharing a border, Minnesota calls itself “The Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but Wisconsin actually boasts over 15,000, including Lake Michigan. However, that’s the only place Wisconsin wins in this face-off. Green Bay has some good restaurants and fun things to do, but Minneapolis is a booming metropolitan city, the 16th largest in the country, with a food scene that is en fuego. It’s home to 18 Fortune 500 companies and was home to the late, great music legend Prince. While Lambeau Field has lots of history, it doesn’t hold a candle to the fancy-schmancy new Vikings stadium. October 15 will decide the winner on the field, but for us Minneapolis wins off the field, hands down.  
WINNER Minneapolis

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE RAVENS v PITTSBURGH STEELERS

This may be the most bitter rivalry in NFL football but how do the cities compare? Baltimore certainly wins on the history front. Did you know Fort McHenry is the birthplace of “The Star Spangled Banner”? Also, this Maryland harbor town offers delicious seafood served at charming crab shacks, plenty of boutique shopping and lots of historical tours, if you’re into that. Two hundred forty-some-odd miles away, Pittsburgh sits at the meeting place of three rivers in western Pennsylvania. Known as the “City of Bridges,” artist Andy Warhol grew up here. The Klondike Bar, Heinz Ketchup and the Big Mac were all invented in or very close to Pittsburgh, as well. We love crab just as much as the next guy…but this one’s got to go to Pittsburgh. Who wants to imagine a world without ketchup (or have to explain your decision to Mean Joe Green)?!
WINNER Pittsburgh

NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers

 SEATTLE SEAHAWKS v SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Between the Space Needle and the Golden Gate Bridge, both of these West Coast cities have iconic landmarks. Seattle, situated on Puget Sound, is Washington’s largest city. It has forests, mountains and the Sound to explore. With plenty to do outdoors, it’s no wonder the people there are known for their high-energy lifestyles. While Seattle may be up and coming, San Francisco is well established; the hilly city in Northern California just has SO much to offer. From amazing restaurants and charming neighborhoods, to a gorgeous waterfront and near perfect weather (don’t forget Alcatraz!), this city has it all. Plus, San Fran is only a short drive from Napa and wine is the way to our heart. SF for the win! 
WINNER San Francisco

ALSO: CheapCash is a great way to score hotel discounts. Join today!

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys

PHILADEPHIA EAGLES v DALLAS COWBOYS 

Bitter rivalries are common in the NFC east, but none are as sour as the Eagles/Cowboys tiff. For the past three decades, at least, the bitterness between the fans of these two teams has been palpable. Dallas‘ history is a bit macabre: President Kennedy was assassinated there and infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde are buried there, but it’s not all sad. Dallas is also the birthplace of TexMex, as well as the frozen margarita machine (thanks for that!). Philly, on the other hand, has the Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia Museum of Art (the steps that Sylvester Stalone ran up in “Rocky”) and one of the most famous sandwiches in the world, the eponymous Philly Cheese Steak. We get it, everything is bigger in Texas, including the number of times the Cowboys have beaten the Eagles (65 compared to 51) but just the thought of a cheese steak sandwich makes us weak in the knees. Philly, you may have lost more games, but you win this one.
WINNER Philadelphia

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Jets

 NEW YORK JETS v NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Could there be a tougher pair to compare? New York City and Boston could almost be considered sister cities. Both are located on the water and have an amazing restaurant culture. Both are rich in history, as well as culturally diverse and have a bustling city scene. Their respective teams both play in the AFC East and they’ve had the same coaches (Bill Belichick) and players (Pepper Johnson). Historically, Boston pulls out in front in terms of wins. They’ve beaten New York 61 times, while the Jets trail with 54 wins. We love a lobster roll and some oysters, but at the end of the day New York has falafel, pizza, hot dogs, and the best restaurant in the world (Eleven Madison Park.) What can we say? New York City is…well New York City. And there simply is no better city in the world (plus, not everyone’s a Tom Brady fan!).
WINNER New York City

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Tagged: Events, Sports

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Cheap Right Now gives a snapshot of a cheap weekend getaway each month.

People around the country will tell you that there’s no better place in the world to be than downtown Chicago in the summertime. It’s true, Chicago summers are enticing and overflowing with festivals, free activities and restaurant patios. But Chicago in November (and all of fall) is just as captivating. The leaves are losing their grip on the trees and the city is beginning to illuminate with that magical holiday glow. The lights glisten longer amid an early nightfall, and the warmth of city’s impeccable food and drink scene warms that November chill.

Find our promo code of the week and Chicago hotel deals

Courtesy of Steven Vance.

Courtesy of Steven Vance.

Plane, train or automobile — Take your pick. Chicago is a major transportation hub with main veins leading to it from all over the country. It has two international airports, O’Hare and Midway, with trains providing easy access downtown, and marks a crossroads for several interstates, making travel by car easy as well. It’s also accessible by bus, Amtrak and even boat, if you are feeling really adventurous.

 

Courtesy of Ron Cogswell.

Courtesy of Ron Cogswell.

Cheap local transit — Most Chicagoans don’t own cars, so getting around town is a piece of cake. Take the Chicago Transit Authority buses or trains, also known as the L, anywhere in the city for $2.25 a ride. If you want to go to the suburbs, Metra trains can take you there. Chicago is walkable though, so for the cheapest form of transit, use your feet and see the sights. Divvy, Chicago’s bikeshare program, is another good option if the weather holds up, but prices just went up to $9.95 for a 24-hour pass, and it will charge you a fee if you don’t dock the bike every 30 minutes. 

Thanksgiving Day Parade. Courtesy of Randy Escalada

Thanksgiving Day Parade. Courtesy of Randy Escalada

Stare on State Street — Chicago’s annual Thanksgiving Day parade is not to be missed if you are in town for the holiday. It starts at 8 a.m. and takes over State Street from Congress Parkway to Randolph Street. Watch floats, giant balloons, marching bands and local celebrities traverse downtown. If your neck starts to hurt from looking up, there will be plenty of people watching to do as well. And all that entertainment won’t cost youa dime.

 

Courtesy of Ryan Dickey.

Courtesy of Ryan Dickey.

Taste fall in the alcohol — Revolution Brewing, one of Chicago’s premier breweries, makes a mean Oktoberfest. And fortunate for fellow beer lovers, Revolution offers free tours of its production facility at 3340 N. Kedzie on a first-come, first-serve basis. The tours fill up fast, especially on the weekends, so get there early. It comes with a tasting and is connected to its tap room, which serves many brews that never get bottled and distributed to the public. Revolution brews very seasonally, so you should be able to appreciate fall with every sip.

Find discounted tickets for Chicago Bulls games

Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Dine on doughnuts — The fierce doughnut competition in the city has raised the bar quite high for the delicious treats, far above and beyond what you could get at any run-of-the-mill doughnut joint. Specialty doughnut shops pepper the city and are worth waiting in line for. Try Firecakes Donuts, Stan’s Donuts, Do-Rite Donuts, the Doughnut Vault or Glazed and Infused. Although prices at these shops are higher than most, getting one doughnut as breakfast is a cheaper option than an elaborate brunch elsewhere, and these things are undoubtedly gourmet. If you want to cut costs even further, stop at any of the dozens of Dunkin’ Donuts.

 

View of Chicago from the water taxi. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

View of Chicago from the water taxi. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Take in the views by sea — Chicago’s geography lends itself quite nicely to boat rides, and the options for those longing to set sail are many. There are architecture tours, sunset cruises and other passenger barges. But those options can cost upwards of $40 a person. Take a water taxi from Navy Pier to the museum campus through Chicago Harbor for a mere $8 (which would likely be cheaper than if a normal taxi drove you that distance), and take in sweeping views of the skyline. Go on a warmer day since passengers are exposed to the elements during the trip. Rides are short, though, so you won’t be bitten too hard by that November chill. Pro tip: If you aren’t into the boat thing, walk out to the Adler Planetarium for more great views of the city.

 

Courtesy of Daniel X. O'Neil.

Courtesy of Daniel X. O’Neil.

Take your kinder to Christkindlmarket — The city sets up a traditional German Christmas market in Daley Plaza in the heart of the city, opening on Nov. 20. Try some German mulled wine or shop around and get a head start on some of your Christmas shopping. Visiting the Christkindlmarket is a sacred holiday tradition to most Chicagoans, so make yourself at home and stop by.

 

Courtesy of Thomas Hawk.

Courtesy of Thomas Hawk.

BYOB — A spectacular way to save money but still experience Chicago’s world-renowned culinary scene are restaurants that allow patrons to bring their own alcohol. You’ll savebig on avoiding paying the premiums restaurants charge for a glass of wine, and these places usually have the best vibes. Dozens of sushi places across the city are BYOB. Other favorites include 90 Miles Cuban Cafe, which has a couple locations throughout the city, and Chilam Balam, a Mexican restaurant in Lakeview that is constantly changing its menu.

 

Views from the Signature Lounge. Courtesy of Salil Wadhavkar.

Views from the Signature Lounge. Courtesy of Salil Wadhavkar.

On top of the world — If seeing the city from above is a privilege reserved for those in planes and penthouses, the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock building is a loop hole. This place sells drinks and appetizers that are slightly overpriced, but the views are stunning, allegedly allowing vistas of three states. Other observation decks in skyscrapers offer similar views, but most charge an entry fee of at least $20 per person. The Signature Lounge is free, besides, of course, the drink you’ll likely have there.

CTIXblog CTA _ cheap of the week

Tagged: Cheap of the Month, Food & drink, Holidays, Off-season, Seasonal, Uncategorized

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It’s fall in the Rockies. The aspen groves have turned yellow and are beginning to lose their leaves, the air is growing even brisker and the mountain peaks are becoming snow-capped again. But the days remain just as bright and full of sunshine as ever, and the mountains are beckoning. So head to Colorado Springs for your fall getaway and immerse yourself in autumn’s beauty.

This distinctive architecture has one awards for Denver International Airport. Courtesy of Timothy Vollmer.

This distinctive architecture has one awards for Denver International Airport. Courtesy of Timothy Vollmer.

Plane, train or automobile — Although Colorado Springs does have its own airport through which you may be able to find some dirt cheap fares, your best bet is probably coming in through Denver International Airport. It’s a major hub and has won awards for its design, so make sure to check that out as you pass through. The Springs (as the locals call it) is about an hour drive south on Interstate 25.

Downtown Colorado Springs. Courtesy of Phillip Stewart.

Downtown Colorado Springs. Courtesy of Phillip Stewart.

Cheap local transit — Colorado Springs does have a bus system, and a daily pass on the Mountain Metropolitan Transit is $4 a day. The frequency, however, is a little sporadic, and you’ll want a car to get you up into the mountains at some point during your stay, so you may have to splurge a little on a rental. You can justify the spending by all the free activities you’ll be doing (like hiking). Biking is certainly an option, but be realistic about adjusting to the altitude. You’ll want to save energy for the hikes.

Courtesy of Tucker Hammerstrom.

Courtesy of Tucker Hammerstrom.

Admire the aspens — Aspens becomedownright beautiful in the fall. The leaves extending from their white branches turn golden and illuminate the entire area with their glow. Aspens grow in groups, and many trees can spring up from the same roots. It contributes to that overwhelming quality of Aspen forests. Catamount Trail, which is about a 25-minute drive from the Springs off of Highway 24 near a tiny town called Green Mountain Falls, is a great hike for taking them in.

Manitou Springs. Courtesy of John Lloyd.

Manitou Springs. Courtesy of John Lloyd.

Meander in Manitou — Nestled right up against the mountains is Manitou Springs, a little hippy town that draws travelers in with its one-of-a-kind souvenir shops and adorable cafes. Oh, and it’s breathtaking scenery. Wander through the streets and enjoy a beer in the shadow of Pikes Peak. Drink from the fountains along the sidewalks flowing with water from mountain springs. If you are feeling adventurous, you can board the Cog Railway and it’ll take you right up to the top of Pikes Peak. (If you do decide to do this, note that Pikes Peak is more than 14,000 feet tall, so make sure you’re dressed for it. The Cog Rail cost $37 for adults.)

 

Beer. Courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski

Beer. Courtesy of Quinn Dombrowski

Release your inner school girl — As the birthplace of craft beer, Colorado doesn’t disappoint in its libations. Bristol Brewing Company is a prime example. They’ve turned the old Ivywild School into a brewpub. The beer is good and reasonably priced and the food options aren’t too shabby either. Try a flight for only $7 and sit out on the patio if weather allows.

 

Courtesy of Thomas's Pics.

Courtesy of Thomas’s Pics.

Be scared silly — Is that the chill of fall in the air, or was it an apparition passing by? Blue Moon Haunted History Tours offer haunted walking and cemetery tours of Manitou Springs for $15. They will incite fear with tales of the the spirits of tuberculosis patients that flocked to Manitou for a cure and died outside the gates of the sanitorium. They’ll wile you with legends of the curses Native Americans put on the town after Victorians arrived and began bottling the sacred waters.

Go off roadin’ — But not really, since you don’t want to damage that rental. Old Stagecoach Road is made of dirt and is totally dusty, but that is all part of the allure. You’ll drive into the mountains on the one-lane road and feel that thrill of excitement when you go around a bend and can’t tell if someone else is coming from the other direction. Dozens of hikes branch off of Old Stagecoach, and you’ll likely find some that are pretty secluded.

 

Apples. Courtesy of Vijay Chennupati.

Apples. Courtesy of Vijay Chennupati.

Play among the pumpkins — Pumpkins and apples are the quintessence of fall, and you can pick your own at Third Street Apples. The farm is in Penrose, which is about a 40-minute drive from Colorado Springs, but it’s a beautiful drive with a mountain backdrop. Apples are $1.39 per pound and pumpkins are 55 cents per pound.

The Garden of Eden on the Catamount Trail. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

The Garden of Eden on the Catamount Trail. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

Hit the trails — The best part about Colorado is all the room there is to play. And it’s all free. Explore and hike and enjoy nature. There’s nowhere else like Colorado in the world, and there’s nothing as liberating as hiking through its trails. Just avoid the state parks, because they charge entry fees.

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Tagged: Cheap Tips, Off-season, Seasonal, Tips & advice

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Forget pumpkin carving and apple picking, your wish list of things to do this fall is a bit more ambitious. You are hoping to catch that once-in-a-blue-moon soccer game, or hit up an Oktoberfest at a legit brewery. You want to attend a huge charity concert in Central Park, and see a world religious leader speak. Sure, sure, you’ll check out the beautiful foliage along the way. You just need a little help getting there—financially that is. Cheap Tickets has your back. Check out the event ticket part of Cheaptickets.com, and use the promo code TICKETS10 for 10% off.

Global Citizen Festival

Great Lawn in Central Park

New York, New York

Sept. 26, 12 p.m.

Tickets start at $152

Bird's-eye-view of the 2014 Global Citizens Festival. Courtesy of Anthony Quintano.

Bird’s-eye-view of the 2014 Global Citizens Festival. Courtesy of Anthony Quintano.

Headliners of this annual festival include Beyoncé, Coldplay (sold!), Pearl Jam and Ed Sheeran. If that’s not star-studded enough, tack on a list of hosts that includes Stephen Colbert, Salma Hayek, Hugh Jackman, Kerry Washington and Olivia Wilde. Proceeds go toward the eradication of extreme poverty.

 

Austin City Limits  

Zilker Park

Austin, Texas

Oct. 2-4, 9-11

Three-day pass starts at $415

Iggy Azalea performs at Austin City Limits. Courtesy of Ralph Arvesen.

Iggy Azalea performs at Austin City Limits. Courtesy of Ralph Arvesen.

Leave it to Austin City Limits to pack in the most musical goodness into two weekends as humanly possible. Acts such as Drake, Foo Fighters, Alt-J, Hozier, Modest Mouse, The Decemberists, A$AP Rocky, and Walk the Moon will be gracing the stage, just to name a few. It’s important to save money on the ticket purchase since hotel rates will likely go up during these two weekends as well.

 

Oktoberfest

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Chico, California

Oct. 4-7

Tickets start at $104

Courtesy of Steven Guzzardi.

Courtesy of Steven Guzzardi.

Don your lederhosen and raise your glass for Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.’s Oktoberfest celebration. This is the first year the festival will span three days, and a fabulous alternative to forking out the cash to travel across the pond to Germany. Prost!

 

CONCACAF Cup: United States vs. Mexico

Rose Bowl

Pasadena, California

Oct. 10, 6 p.m.

Tickets start at $156

U.S. Men's National Team in 2013. Courtesy of Erik Drost.

U.S. Men’s National Team in 2013. Courtesy of Erik Drost.

 More than 90,000 fans are expected to turn out for this high-stakes clash against the U.S. Men’s’ National Team and Mexico. A win here will be the USMNT’s ticket to the Confederations Cup in Russia, which will let the team scope out the stage they’ll be entering in World Cup 2018. Teams that make it to the Confederations Cup always have an advantage in the subsequent World Cup, and the USMNT is gunning for it.

 

An American in Paris

The Palace Theater

New York, New York

Oct. 16, 8 p.m.

Tickets start at $71 (check out a matinee for a cheaper show)

An American in Paris. Courtesy of James Joel.

An American in Paris. Courtesy of James Joel.

The story of an American World War II veteran in Paris trying to make a name for himself as a painter, who falls in love with a French girl. Gene Kelly made the musical famous with the 1951 movie, and Broadway will bring it to life again this fall. Critics are saying it’s not to be missed.

 

Ohio State University vs. Michigan

Michigan Stadium

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Nov. 28, time TBA

Tickets start at $137 

Courtesy of Scott Stuart.

Courtesy ofScott Stuart.

If you can score tickets to this game, you’re the envy of tens of thousands of Ohio State and Michigan fans. In fact, if you’ve spent too much money on other fall events, you’ll do yourself a favor and resell these tickets. But if you care at all about college football, this game is not to be missed. The OSU/Michigan rivalry is heralded as one of the thickest competitions in the sport, transcending generations.

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Tagged: Cheap Tips, Limited-time Offers, Music, New York City, Sports