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Note: All travel is subject to frequently-changing governmental restrictions—please check federal, state, and local advisories before scheduling trips.

If there’s one thing you retained from English lit class, it’s that setting is one of the key aspects of a story. So it’s understandable that authors often invoke hotels, which open up a world of possibilities and allows for different types of characters to enter/exit. If the hotels below sound familiar, it’s probably because you read about them in a notable novel. Whether it’s a psychedelic romp at a Vegas Strip resort or a Roaring 20’s rager at New York’s. Plaza Hotel, visit for yourself to experience these hotels that appear in many of your favorite novels and short stories.

RELATED: This is the ultimate cross-country National Parks road trip

Hotel del Coronado: San Diego

Hotel Del Coronado, San Diego, California

Hard to tell if you’re in sun city or the Land of Oz at this iconic hotel, which served as the inspiration for The Wizard of Oz. In fact, author Frank L. Baum was a frequent guest at “The Del” in the early 1900s, and it inspired his vision of Emerald City. Located steps from the ocean on Coronado Island  near downtown San Diego, its opulence has to be seen to be believed. You’ll want to admire the crown-shaped chandeliers designed by the author himself, as well as the hotel’s signature red turrets, and never once want to click your heels and go home.

Book Hotel del Coronado, Curio Collection by Hilton here!

Circus Circus: Las Vegas

Circus Circus, Las Vegas

Take a trip to the wild side with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, a drug and alcohol-fueled piece of gonzo journalism. In the book, author Hunter S. Thompson and his attorney zig zag across the Mojave Desert in the early 1970s, eventually making their way to Sin City. As they trash one hotel room after another, Thompson name-checks numerous Vegas hotels (most of which are now gone), including still-standing Strip icon Circus Circus. Today the carnival-like resort is an affordable and kid-friendly North Strip option featuring circus acts, arcade games, a rollercoaster, and of course, a casino. For extra credit, see if you can spot the author in the film version of the book.

Book Circus Circus Hotel, Casino & Theme Park here!

The Plaza Hotel: New York City

Plaza Hotel, NYC, New York

Built in 1907, The Plaza Hotel was a popular haunt of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, and the author famously set the climactic confrontation scene in his literary masterpiece The Great Gatsby inside one of the hotel’s guest rooms. Today, The Plaza offers the Fitzgerald Suite, a chic space overflowing with Jazz Age energy. Bookshelves proudly showcase the complete works of both husband and wife, and chandeliers clink like champagne glasses. You may also know that The Plaza is home to fictional resident Eloise, a children’s book character whose precociousness has inspired its own suite with pink decor by designer Betsey Johnson.

Book The Plaza Hotel in New York here!


Heathman Hotel: Portland, OR

Heathman Hotel, Portland, Oregon

You may be ashamed to admit it, but any reader worth their blindfold and paddle has indulged their curiosity at least a little a bit after reading Fifty Shades of Grey by E. l. James. Portland’s Heathman Hotel is a key player in a few of the scenes from this erotic novel, including a steamy elevator sesh. Located near legendary Powell’s Books, the Heathman is also known for its epic library, which at two stories high houses more than 2,700 books, including many signed first editions. So whether you are looking to appease your inner bookworm or explore your debaucherous side, check this hotel out. Just be sure to remember your safe word.

Book The Heathman Hotel here!


The Pontchartrain Hotel: New Orleans

The historic Pontchartrain Hotel, situated in the Garden District of New Orleans, is where famed playwright Tennessee Williams often stayed. So it’s no wonder that this timeless hotel, conveniently located along the tree-lined St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, inspired A Streetcar Named Desire, which he penned while staying there. Raise a glass of champagne and toast to another of Williams’ plays at the Hot Tin-Rooftop Bar, with its stunning views of the Mississippi River and downtown. The hotel underwent a major renovation about five years ago, which updated its amenities while maintaining its flapper-era origins.

Book The Pontchartrain Hotel here!

Baron’s Cove: Sag Harbor, NY

Baron's Cove, Sag Harbor, New York

The Hamptons may be considered a playground for the rich and famous, but Sag Harbor, a small hamlet perched at the end of Long Island, was once a hotspot for literary geniuses, including John Steinbeck, Herman Melville, and Langston Hughes. With his wife Elaine and his fluffy French Poodle Charley by his side, Steinbeck was a frequent guest at the original Baron’s Cove resort, and began the journey that he documents in his road trip travelogue Travels with Charley in Sag Harbor. This luxurious harborside inn feels like home, and with their “Travels With Charley” package, you can pamper your pup with his own dog bed and treats.

Book Baron’s Cove here!

Hotel Monteleone: New Orleans

Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, Louisiana

A favorite of writers such as Truman Capote, William Faulkner, and Ernest Hemingway, Hotel Monteleone is one of only three hotels in the United States to have received the prestigious Literary Landmark designation. And for good reason: It has served as the backdrop in more than 170 novels and stories. The revolving Carousel Bar has been memorialized in short stories by Hemingway (“Night Before Battle”) and Eudora Welty (“The Purple Hat”), and with its Literary Suites pays homage to six Southern authors. Stroll through the memorabilia-filled lobby and sidle up to the bar, sipping your drink as you rotate around the room.

Book Hotel Monteleone here!


Tagged: Beach, California, Cheap Tips, City, Destinations, Las Vegas, New Orleans, New York City, Types of Travel

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Danielle Bauter

Danielle Bauter

Danielle Bauter

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Just a few months before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (aka Harry and Meghan) were set to receive their royal addition, the couple set off on a babymoon to Morocco. But for the rest of us, who may not have royal coffers, what are the options for an incredibly relaxing and fun—but affordable—babymoon? A few things to keep in mind when choosing a destination are the length of flight (shorter is better), finding a destination that’s all about relaxation (a pampering spa sounds nice) and maybe even a little romance (this could be your last trip together for a while).

RELATED: 7 places to visit before you have kids


Cabo, Mexico

Grownups can play in Cabo, because it’s incredibly romantic, serene and very picturesque. Mountains meet the ocean with a desert vibe, which means less humidity or worry of mosquitoes. There’s also incredible dining (lots of farm-to-table options), and it’s super low key—exactly what an expecting mama and papa want out of a babymoon. Le Blanc Spa Resort is a beautiful, all-inclusive adults-only hotel super close to Cabo’s arts district with many on-site restaurants, pools, a standard balcony or patio and much more.

San Diego, California

With 70 miles of beautiful beaches, an amazing food scene (check out Crack Shack, Kettner Exchange and Kindred) and year-round summer weather, San Diego is a great babymoon destination. At the Paradise Point Hotel in Mission Bay, expecting parents can stay in the 44-acre California bungalow-style property amidst gardens and lagoons. The hotel’s spa even has the the “Mommy to Be” massage witch aims to eliminate any discomfort from pregnancy. There is also a couple’s massage package to stir up some romance.

Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada

Vegas makes a great babymoon destination because it offers a little bit of everything. If you want a beachy getaway, there’s Mandalay Bay Beach, with its 2,700 tons of real sand, 1.6-million-gallon wave pool and a Lazy River. If you want a relaxing retreat, there’s plenty of spas around town that won’t break the bank. Park MGM even offers a Saturday yoga class (bookable through the spa) specializing in holistic healing of body and mind—free for Nevada residents; $20 for hotel guests. If you’re a mom-to-be who wants to escape through some exciting entertainment, Las Vegas is the place for that, too.

Riviera Maya, Mexico

With beautiful weather, affordable hotel rates and easy access from major US cities, Riviera Maya, Mexico is a pretty popular spot for babymoons. With options like all-inclusive services and amenities, expectant parents can have a worry-free getaway. For example, Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya offers beach access and three pools, but also low-key active fun, like a relaxing hike across one of the resort’s four nature trails or exploring a Mayan ruin on the resort’s grounds.

Sedona, Arizona

This destination is an easy drive from both Flagstaff (40 minutes) and Phoenix (2 hours). Babymooning couples will love Sedona for its beautiful red rocks, tranquil spas and plethora of outdoor activities for nature lovers. One of the best places to stay is Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa, an affordable boutique hotel that feels like an Andalusian oasis. The hotel grounds are so relaxing you may never want to leave but if you do, the property is walking distance to some of the best restaurants and shopping in town. The hotel’s spa offers a rejuvenating prenatal massage customized to mother’s needs.


Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs boasts nearly 50 natural hot spring mineral pools located in Hot Springs National Park, just a short one-hour drive from Little Rock. Once you’ve had a chance to relax, babymooners can explore the tranquil and beautiful Garvan Woodland Gardens which unfold along more than four miles of wooded shoreline. Stay at Best Court, which has in-room balconies, perfect for a romantic sunset cuddle.

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah has something for everyone. The entire Historic District is about 2 miles wide and very walkable (i.e. flat). Most landmarks are concentrated in one area, which is nice for pregnant women who aren’t able to walk long distances but still want to sight see, though trolleys and pedicabs are also readily available. Tybee Beach is nearby (15-20 minutes by car), and quieter, more secluded beaches are also in close proximity. But of course, Savannah is known for its incredible food, so come hungry! It’s also a famously haunted city, so don’t miss a ghost tour. Fairfield Inn & Suites Savannah Downtown/Historic District is a great affordable option with a prime location, outdoor pool and daily breakfast buffet included.

Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas

For those in the mood for a city getaway without spending a ton of money, Dallas-Fort Worth combines a metropolitan atmosphere with a dose of laid-back, cowboy spirit. Fort Worth boasts activities like discovering art in the Cultural District, viewing the twice-daily cattle drive—the only one of its kind in the world—in the Stockyards, and hanging at the world’s largest honky tonk at Billy Bob’s Texas. There is an eclectic mix of cuisines to satisfy any craving along Fort Worth’s Restaurant Row at Magnolia Ave, from BBQ at Heim BBQ and Japanese at Shinjuku Station to artisan ice cream at MELT. Most hotels in the city start at under $200/night, like the Omni Fort Worth. Meanwhile, downtown Dallas touts gorgeous hotels like The Joule and The Adolphus, with world-class spas that offer a wide range of prenatal body treatments, massage, and advanced skincare. The Adolphus was specifically chosen by Buckingham Palace to host The Queen and Prince Philip back in 1991, and the hotel still serves a fantastic afternoon tea today.

pregnant, pool

Palm Springs, California

With sun-kissed weather almost year-round, Palm Springs offers the perfect rejuvenating escape for parents-to-be. Expecting couples can visit the Palm Springs Art Museum or the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in nearby Indian Wells, soak in natural hot springs at the day spas in Desert Hot Springs, or visit Joshua Tree National Park for scenic views. Holiday House is quiet, charming and walkable to downtown (perfect for expectant mothers). A solid budget option is the Caliente Tropics Resort—we love its retro vibe.

Shoreditch, London

Celebrate your babymoon in the artsy London neighborhood of Shoreditch. The Curtain Hotel & Members Club has beautiful suites with steam showers, as well as the London outpost of Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster, an underground club named LP, a members-only private screening room, and a pop-up tattoo studio to kick off parenthood with a bang. Squeeze wellness into your babymoon with a treatment at the underground spa, take a spin on the in-room Peloton bike and eat healthy at LIDO, the Moroccan-inspired rooftop restaurant and pool.

Tagged: Family, Tips & advice

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

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It’s officially March and that only means one thing: It’s college basketball season! For fans who want a courtside view as their teams march through the tournament this month, we gathered CheapTickets booking data on when and where to score the best deals. The top money-saving tip? If you want to watch your team win the whole thing, book… right now.

If you’re wondering how we came up with this list, we started by comparing CheapTickets flight and hotel booking data for host cities throughout the tournament to determine the cheapest time to book travel. Fans heading to Minneapolis, host of the final rounds this year including the championship game, will want to buy as early as March 7-16. Overall, our data for tourney travel shows the cheapest booking window is 21-30 days out.

Rooms are already starting to fill up, too. CheapTickets data shows  that searches for hotels in the Twin Cities during the final rounds, April 6-8, are up 118%. Fans are also looking for lodging during game time in Des Moines (up 45%), Kansas City (up 35%), Louisville (up 125%) and Columbus (up 27%).

RELATED: The best neighborhoods to explore in the Twin Cities

Best time to buy March tournament tickets

Last-minute deals

According to the data, fans holding out for a last-minute deal, especially in the later rounds, should look at Anaheim, California or Kansas City, Missouri for the biggest savings. Anyone rooting for a wild card team can rest easy and book hotels just one week out for deals during those third and fourth rounds towards the end of March.

CheapTickets reports that the cheapest place to watch any of the rounds is a city that’s not hosting this year but is the most popular place during tournament time: Las Vegas, Nevada. Average roundtrip ticket prices in March are around $330 or less and room nights average $125 and under. Hotel searches during tournament time are also up 132 percent compared with the same period last year.

Fans can also score big with savings to early round destinations that double as spring break spots. San Jose, California and Jacksonville, Florida are showing some of the most affordable fares for the first rounds, averaging around $400 or less. Columbia, South Carolina has some of the cheapest average room nights of any place during the tournament at just $113.

“Jacksonville is one of the cheapest overall tournament destinations for both flights and hotels this year. It also doesn’t hurt that it’s a great spring break spot where travelers can catch some sun and fun outside the arena,” said McDonald.

March basketball tournament tickets

Tickets to the Tournament

College basketball fans can save on travel and tickets to the NCAA tournament at Ticket prices for the first two rounds on the site are averaging $134, that’s down 45% compared with last year. Tickets to the third round—when the field is narrowed down to just sixteen teams—are also 21% cheaper than last year’s prices at an average of $266 per ticket.

Fans can expect to pay the most for seats to the semifinals in Minneapolis on April 6. Tickets are averaging $383 on the site, up 17% from last year’s tournament, and tickets to the championship game also climbed 45% at an average of $365 per seat.

For a limited time, CheapTickets offers several ways for fans to save on travel throughout the tournament, including promo codes for 10% off tickets, $75 to $150 off flight and hotel packages, and 16% off hotels. Visit the CheapTickets Tourney page for full details.

Tagged: California, Destinations, Events, Florida, Las Vegas, Sports

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

CheapTickets Blog Editors

CheapTickets Blog Editors

CheapTickets editors are a diverse group of writers and bloggers who live and work all over the world and who have a passion for student-friendly budget travel coursing through their veins. Whether it's finding the most Instagrammable yurt in the Coachella Valley or uncovering dirt cheap eats in expensive cities like Tokyo and Paris, our writers take the road less traveled to uncover the world's best deals and destinations.
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You’ve bought your festival tickets months in advance, planned your transportation to get there, picked out the perfect outfits, and invited all your coolest friends to tag along. Now, where are you all going to stay? We’ve found some unique accommodations near the country’s most coveted fests that will make your trip more than memorable. Book now to score one of these incredible rooms before they’re gone.

RELATED: Get your festival tickets right here—even for events that are sold out!

Image courtesy of Ullr Fest

Ullr Fest, Breckenridge, CO: January 9-12, 2019

Horned Vikings take to the slopes in this annual festival held in Breckenridge that celebrates Ullr, God of Snow. Take a cold plunge and then warm yourself by a huge bonfire, participate in the parade as a float builder or spectator, join the ice skating party or watch the film festival. Rally your closest Viking buddies to stay at Ski Bridge Lodge, an upscale rustic home that sleeps up to 18 guest and offers ski in/ski out access, beautiful mountain views, large stone fireplaces and an outdoor hot tub. Get it now before its gone.

pod room in san francisco

Photo courtesy of Pod Room

Chinese New Year Parade, San Francisco: February 23, 2019

Celebrate the Year of the Pig with firecrackers, dancing dragons and extravagant floats in San Francisco’s Chinatown. While in town for the parade and festivities, book a Pod Room near Union Square for an experience like no other. If you’re going to be partying and dancing in the streets all night, all you’ll need is a bed to crash in. The Pod Room offers minimal accommodation (basically a 4×8-foot sleeping space) at a low price, but rooms will book quickly. Not recommended for those with claustrophobia!

Image courtesy of

Mardi Gras, New Orleans: March 5, 2019

Take part in “Fat Tuesday” festivities during New Orleans’ wildest carnival celebration. Watch colorful floats pass by while sipping a foot-long frozen daiquiri and catching colorful bead necklaces thrown by scantily-dressed, masked performers. After a wild night, crawl into a comfortable bed in a Victorian cottage at the Audubon Cottages in the French Quarter. You’ll find seven quaint rooms to choose from including access to the backyard swimming pool and free continental breakfast. Book your room now before this walking-distance accommodation fills up.

Base Camp Pop Up RV and Tent Camping Resort.

Photo courtesy of Base Camp Pop Up RV and Tent

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, Indio, CA: April 12-21, 2019

Swoon over your favorite vocalists, wear your coolest boho-chic outfit, dance your ass off and keep at eye out for celebs at Coachella. Social media influencers flock to this event for perfect Instagram pics and Snapchat videos. Embrace the desert atmosphere by booking a stylish tent at Base Camp Pop Up RV & Tent Camping Resort. The adults-only resort includes a pool, restaurant, and grocery store.The popularity of the event means that accommodation will fill up quickly, so book early to ensure a place to lay your head after an exhausting day of entertainment. Still need tickets? Get them here.

Electric Daisy Carnival, Las Vegas: May 17-19, 2019

EDM fans won’t want to miss this vibrant fest and feast for the senses (get tickets here). Located on the sprawling grounds of the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the venue is transformed into a huge circus-like dance party with an amazing lineup of artists, over-the-top stages that have unbelievable pyrotechnics and artistic lighting, thrilling carnival rides, and thought-provoking, larger-than-life interactive art experiences. The city will draw large crowds to this event, so consider snatching up accommodations at the mansion-like Promontory Ridge Villas. Each luxury villa features seven bedrooms, three pools, a massage room, a movie theater, a pool table room, multiple fireplaces, indoor/outdoor space for entertaining, elegant décor and top-notch amenities.

Image courtesy Summerfest

Summerfest, Milwaukee, WI: June 26–July 7, 2019

Kick off summer at this festival featuring all the things you love…live music, carnival rides, paddleboats, pizza and beer. What else do you need? Oh, yeah, first some tickets (right here) and then a place to crash! Snag a room now at Brumder Mansion Bed and Breakfast. Choose from three elegantly decorated suites with fireplaces and Jacuzzi tubs. Listen to a vintage record in the library while sipping some tea underneath a sparkling chandelier. The refined accommodation will be a welcomed respite from the lively festival atmosphere.

Image courtesy of Crave Online

Comic-Con, San Diego, CA: July 18-21, 2019

Comic book and science fiction fans unite at this event where fictional characters leap to life. (Still need tickets? We got ’em.) What can be better than rubbing shoulders with your favorite super heroes? Well, how about spending the night on a 46-foot yacht? Zoina Yachts sleeps four and is docked in Point Loma. Each of the two bedrooms features a kitchenette and the facilities include three swimming pools. Your friends will think you’re Superman if you score this luxury accommodation before it gets swiped up.

Image courtesy of Lalapalooza

Lollapalooza, Chicago, IL: August 1-4, 2019

All your favorite music artists in one place and a lineup including around 170 of the best bands around. Your throat will be sore from screaming and singing, your feet will be sore from dancing and your face will be sore from grinning ear-to-ear. Book your tickets to the festival right here, and then immediately book your lodging at because they will go fast, too. Looking for a place to dorm with your best buddies? Check out the flashy new hotel-hostel FieldHouse Jones. If the cool rooms and common areas don’t win you over, surely the dining and drinking options—and River North location— will.

toronto - private house

Toronto Film Festival, Toronto, CAN: September 5-15, 2019

Movie buffs will not want to miss out on the Toronto Film Festival featuring film screenings, live music, conversations with industry leaders, and more. Why not host a movie premiere party at a stunning home in suburban Vaughan? This beautiful, four-bedroom private house has elegant decor, a beautiful kitchen, marble showers and outdoor entertaining space. Don’t miss the chance to score this premium place before another film fan gets his hands on it.

Albuquerque International Balloon Festival. Courtesy of a4gpa.

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, NM: October 6-12

There is nothing more picturesque than a brilliant blue sky filled with hot air balloons of every color taking flight. Whether from the ground or from the balloon basket, attending the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta is an event not to be missed. Sip champagne while soaring over the beautiful landscape and watching the sunset, photograph the graceful swarm of balloons as they drift across sky, or admire them at night while they light up like lanterns. For accommodations, stay at family-friendly Mother Road Hostel featuring 11 cozy rooms. More like a bed-and-breakfast than a hostel, the spot offers guests porch seating, a sitting library, outdoor barbecue, in-room desks, free WiFi and continental breakfast.

RELATED: Top 10 summer music festivals

Collective Governor's Island

Photo courtesy of Collective Governor’s Island

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, New York, NY: November 28

Pick your spot along the parade route and watch in wonder as marching bands, balloon characters, lively floats and celebrity guests pass by. While in New York, take advantage of the urban tentalow accommodation offered at Collective Governor’s Island. With rustic chic decor, an indoor-outdoor setting, views of the city, on-property dining and complimentary breakfast, these luxe glamping tents make for a wonderful getaway for a family or group of friends. Book now because this gem with only 10 guest rooms will go fast.

Image courtesy of Art Basel

Art Basel, Miami, FL: December

For those who enjoy modern and contemporary art, plus the vivaciousness of the Miami scene, Art Basel is something you won’t want to miss. While in Miami, stay at Blanc Kara for chic adult-only accommodations. The 25 guest rooms feature a clean, white palate that is brought to life with splashes of bright color. Grab a drink at the public lounge, whip up a meal in the in-room kitchen, or enjoy the daily breakfast buffet. You won’t want to miss out on these stylish accommodations, so book now before someone else beats you to it.

Tagged: California, Chicago, City, Destinations, Events, Festivals, Texas, Types of Travel

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Sharael Kolberg
Sharael, founder of Family Travel Channel (, has been writing about travel since 1995. Her work has appeared in Sunset magazine, Outside magazine,,, and many others. Follow her on Twitter @FamTravChannel, FB and Instagram @FamilyTravelChannel. See more of her work at
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While Las Vegas is still a great destination for budget travelers, you can no longer count on free hotel parking on the Strip and you can expect “resort fees” to increasingly bump up your lodging costs. However, those inconveniences aside, many hotels do offer a complimentary enticement or two, and there are lots of other free goodies to be found around town. Here are 20 of the best freebies to check out on your next Sin City visit.

RELATED: 11 best casinos where the locals hang out

The Strip

Aria Fine Art Collection
A free brochure from the concierge desk provides a description of the impressive collection displayed throughout Aria, including works by Maya Lin, Claes Oldenburg and Frank Stella, among others.

Bellagio Fountains
In addition to the free Conservatory & Botanical Garden with its seasonal floral displays and the casual art show that is the lobby ceiling made of Chihuly glass flowers, the crown jewel of the Bellagio is surely its collection of more than 1,000 fountains that spray water up to 460 feet high while dancing to music and light.

Fall of Atlantis
The story about the famous lost undersea city features an epic battle with fire and smoke in which Roman statues come to life. It all happens at the Forum Shops at Casears Palace.

Circus acts
The exciting circus acts performed at the “World’s Largest Permanent Circus” on the Carnival Midway stage at Strip legend Circus Circus include trapeze artists, acrobats and clowns.

Court Jester’s Stage in Medieval Village
Step back in time as magicians, jugglers and clowns entertain at (where else) Excalibur.

Photo courtesy of the Flamingo

Wildlife Habitat
Exotic birds are exhibited on islands just next to the pool area at the legendary Flamingo, including a flock of Chilean flamingos, swans and ducks, but also koi fish and turtles.

Akhobat the Louis Vuitton Las Vegas CityCenter
Brilliant light fields blend into one another at this fully immersive art installation by James Turrell that’s hidden away on the luxury shop’s secret fourth floor and includes a tour of the store’s other noteworthy pieces. Advance booking required.

The Mirage Volcano
Located in a landscaped lagoon and surrounded by waterfalls and palm trees, this 54-foot-high volcano has been erupting in a satisfying fiery display since Mirage first opened in 1989.

Photo courtesy of the Venetian

In the style of a Venice carnival, strolling performers, stilt walkers and living statues in costume entertain shoppers in St. Mark’s Square located between the Venetian and the Palazzo.

A complimentary tram runs between the Bellagio, CityCenter and the Monte Carlo. Another runs between Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay, and yet another shuttle runs between Treasure Island and the Mirage.

ALSO: Get lucky by signing up for CheapCash and instantly earning hotel rewards!

Fremont Street and Downtown Las Vegas

Sigma Derby
Watching the vintage Sigma Derby horse-race gaming machine in action is free at D Las Vegas Casino Hotel, but participating will cost you a quarter.

Flickr CC: Ken Lund

Downtown Container Park
Built with re-purposed shipping containers plus locally manufactured modular metal cubes, this open-air shopping center has a children’s play area in the center with a giant treehouse and over-sized foam building blocks.

Citrus Grand Pool Deck
The heated rooftop infinity pool at the Downtown Grand features a fire pit, table tennis and a grassy seating area complete with umbrellas and outdoor day beds, and it is always free (lounge chairs are first come, first served) for both hotel guests and visitors.

Fremont Street Experience
The five blocks between Main and 4th Streets are closed to cars and covered by an immense mesh canopy lit nightly with more than 2 million lights. A free light-and-laser show and live music provide entertainment while shops, cafes, casinos and street performers line the way.

Main Street Station Casino antique and art collection
Pick up a brochure for the self-guided tour of antiques and art displayed throughout this hotel, casino and brewery, including bronze doors from the Royal Bank of Kuwait, a portion of the Berlin wall and a collection of vintage slot machines.


18b, The Las Vegas Arts District
Located north of the Strip and south of Downtown, this dynamic arts district features street art and a regular First Friday event, as well as plenty of antiques shops.

Ethel M Chocolates
A working chocolate factory in nearby Henderson, you can view the chocolate-making through glass windows here, and stroll the 4-acre botanical cactus garden—the largest in the southwest—and home to 300 plant species.

Zappos Campus Tour
This 90-minute tour of the nation’s largest online retailer (Zappos is owned by Amazon) visits the ball pit, interactive history wall and virtual reality customer service experience.

Tagged: Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, City, Destinations, FREE!, Las Vegas, Top 10 list, Types of Travel

Note: CheapTickets compensates authors for their writings appearing on this site.

Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Carole is a Berkeley-based travel writer who most especially enjoys cultural and culinary travel. She contributes to an assortment of publications and is the author of 18 books. Carole oversees two websites, and, and she blogs at
Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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Las Vegas is many things to different people. To some, it’s the clickity-clack stampede of drunken bachelorettes donning impossibly precarious stilleto heels; for others it’s crouching over the craps table for hours with a set of fingers perpetually crossed. And we probably don’t need to explain that it’s a great city for loosening one’s belt and binge eating, right? But for theater and concert goers it’s the legit entertainment capital of the world, boasting hundreds of shows within a few square miles, including everything from current chart toppers to hole-in-the-wall cabaret.

As it happens, CheapTIckets has tickets to just about all of ’em and at a range of prices to fit every budget. Next time you’re in town, check out these shows that are sure to be as hot in 2017 as the desert sun.

RELATED: Best concerts to look forward to in 2017

Pitbull | Flickr CC: Eva Rinaldi

1. Pitbull at the AXIS Planet Hollywood
(Jul 21, 22, 26–28, 29; Aug 2, 4–5)
Musical superstar and business entrepreneur and fashion icon and actor Pitbull gave Sin City’s most ardent gamblers a reason to ditch the poker table in 2015 and 2016 when he created “Time of Our Lives” exclusively for Las Vegas. He’s back this summer for an eight-night engagement that will find the rapper reprising the songs that have made him famous.

Ricky Martin | Flickr CC: Eva Rinaldi

2. Ricky Martin at the Park Theater at Monte Carlo
(Beginning April 5)
Take a break from your hectic vida loca to hear megawatt star and multi-Grammy winner Martin sing about his. The Puerto Rican heartthrob and Menudo graduate who dropped into our lives in the mid-90s to make us all swoon will do so once again with this new Vegas residency that will include classics like “Livin’ la Vida Loca” and “She Bangs.”

Cher | Flickr CC: Jonnessa

3. Cher at Park Theater at Monte Carlo
(Feb 14, 18-19, 22, 24-25; May 3, 5-6, 10, 12-13, 17, 19-20)
They should call this the Farewell, Farewell, Farewell Tour. But if the goddess of pop, whose career has spanned seven decades, wants to slip into a skimpy outfit one more time and belts out classics like “Gypsy Tramps and Thieves,” “Believe” and “If I could Turn Back Time,” we’ll gladly grab a pair of tickets. (We may be so overcome we’ll have to visit our Cher-apist afterward.)

Backstreet Boys | Flickr CC: Karina3094

4. Backstreet Boys at the AXIS Planet Hollywood
(Beginning Mar 1)
Backstreet’s back, alright! The boys in the band are back in town and they’re looking and sounding mighty fine as each one crosses the 40-year mark (can you believe its been almost 25 years?!). Nevertheless, they’re storming the AXIS with Backstreet Boys: Larger than Life so prepare to have your teenage heart set aflutter all over again.

George Strait–Las Vegas 2013 | Flickr CC: Shelly Flanagan

5. George Strait at T-Mobile Arena
(Apr 7-8; Jul 28-29; Sept 1-2; Dec 8-9)
Strait, who is the world’s biggest Billboard chart topper (he and Madonna continue to go neck and neck), has announced an extension of his show Strait to Vegas which has the country hit maker performing every single one of his 60 chart toppers, including “All My Ex Wives Live in Texas” and “Give it Away” among many others. All we can say is, holy cow!

Mariah Carey | Flickr CC: Scott Kinmartin

6. Mariah Carey at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace
(Apr 26­–May 13)
The bestselling female artist of all time (200 million records and counting) has some atoning to do (her New Year’s Eve mic flub was an #epicfail), but dang this girl has got some pipes and if you weren’t able to catch her belt out classics like “Vision of Love,” “Touch My Body” and “We Belong Together” in Vegas in 2016, you’ve got a three-week window this spring.

Ongoing favorites

7. Absinthe at Caesars Palace
In a nutshell, take the death-defying, high-wire spectacle of a Cirque show, but shrink the arena down to an intimate, circle-in-the-round cabaret and throw in a potty-mouthed emcee and that’s Absinthe. A filthy, funny, jaw dropper happening inside the tiny Spiegeltent at Caesars, Absinthe is a fearless and raunchy spellbinder where the action unfolds just feet from your face.

Celine Dion | Flickr CC: “Yeti Urbain

8. Celine Dion at Ceasars Palace
In the future, the image of a fat Elvis will no longer be a Vegas mainstay, but rather it will be whatever Celine Dion has become in 30 years. That’s because her long-running show is now the stuff of Vegas legend and it’s going nowhere. Dion deserves credit for making it cool for artists in their prime to play Sin City and after taking a year off, Dion returned in 2015 with new showstoppers that bring her fans to tears. Yes, actual tears.

9. O at the Bellagio
In discussing Cirque du Soleil, the Canadian-based modern circus and entertainment company that has practically become synonymous with Las Vegas, it’s almost impossible to discuss just one of their productions. Devotees still love Mystère, the first ever Vegas Cirque show while music aficionados clamor for The Beatles Love or Michael Jackson ONE, but if the water-infused theatrics of O don’t stick in your memory forever, perhaps no Cirque show will.

10. David Copperfield at MGM Grand
Whether you love magic tricks or think they’re corny, there is no doubt that master illusionist Copperfield will have you scratching your head and scraping your jaw off the floor. How he makes a UFO appear out of thin air or opens up a sealed box containing the random responses of various audience members we’ll never know (and don’t want to know). The show is family-friendly, while also containing enough sly jokes and one-liners to keep adults engaged throughout.


Tagged: Events, Las Vegas, Music

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Booking a hotel room in Las Vegas can feel like a game of roulette. But you don’t need to be a high roller to find someplace cool, comfortable and within your budget. Here are some seriously cool but cheap Vegas hotels for a Sin City trip that won’t break the bank.

*The fine print: These prices were taken from a single-night stay on a random weekday in August.


Downtown Grand

This updated hotel will have you wanting to stay off-Strip every time you visit Sin City. Chillax in your spacious designer room or on the pool deck, which features an infinity pool, fire pit and grassy lounge area. Then, stroll over to the Mob Museum, tons of shopping, restaurants and even a farmer’s market. All are within walking distance. Oh, and you won’t have to leave the hotel to eat or gamble—there’s an onsite casino and four restaurants. (Starting at $33 a night; resort fee not included.)


Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall

This place is like a city within a city. The 645 guest rooms and suites are part of a complex that also includes five restaurants, four bars, live entertainment, a movie theater, a pool and even a bowling alley. The hotel is located about 6 miles from the Vegas Strip, so take advantage of the lower room rates and free shuttle to the Strip and to downtown. (Starting at $35 a night; resort fee not included.)

The sprawling, palm-lined Desert Rose Resort looks far too serene to be on our list of cheap Vegas hotels. But it is cheap, and it sure is serene!

Desert Rose Resort

Casino resorts are everywhere in Vegas. But if you’re not about that life, consider this alternative that has all the bells and whistles, minus the on-site gambling. The 284 one- and two-bedroom suites come with full kitchens and private balconies, so you’ll have as good a time staying in as you will going out to the Vegas Strip, which is just 1 1/2 blocks away. (Starting at $153 a night.)

Did you expect your cheap Vegas hotel to have an indoor amusement park? Well, you're welcome.

Circus Circus Hotel and Casino

This town don’t exactly scream “kid friendly.” But with water parks, museums and cheap food, Vegas actually makes for a fun family getaway. A perfect base camp for frugal families is Circus Circus, which includes a theme park (!), free circus performances on the midway, nine restaurants, six bars and the only RV park on the Vegas Strip. (Starting at $22 anight; resort fee not included.)


South Point Hotel and Casino

Seemingly everything’s bigger when you stay off-Strip. Exhibit A: This surprisingly cheap Vegas hotel, with spacious guest suites and bathrooms, a huge bingo hall and even an arena for horse shows. And because this is Vegas, there’s a pool bar and more than 10 restaurants onsite. (Starting at $59 a night; resort fee not included.)


The Orleans Hotel and Casino

No need to ante up the big bucks when you opt for this Big Easy-themed resort about three miles from the Strip. The suites are spacious, and amenities range from a bowling alley to a movie theater to affordable childcare. And a spa. And 14 restaurants. If by some miracle you get bored, take the free shuttle to the Vegas Strip or one of the hotel’s six sister casinos. (Starting at $48 a night; resort fee not included.)

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Tagged: Las Vegas

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Primary season is in full swing, and the batch of remaining presidential hopefuls is hitting the campaign trail hard. If your political blood is boiling and you’ve caught the campaign fever, why not turn your trip to all those heated debates and rallies into an enjoyable getaway. Gerrymander through some of the best destinations along the campaign trail, caucusing with locals about the best place to grab a post-rally brew or nominating your favorite continental breakfast to fuel your discussion-filled day. Here are our elections for some of the best destinations on the road to the White House, in chronological order:

Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: ADTeasdale – Flickr.

Las Vegas, Nevada: Although the majority of folks you are likely to run into on the Vegas strip probably aren’t even registered to vote in Nevada, the city is drawing attention leading up to the Democratic and Republican caucuses on Feb. 20 and 23, respectively. The Nevada State Democrats are hosting a town hall event in Las Vegas on Feb. 18 to discuss issues affecting the Latino community. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have both said they will attend the event, which will be hosted by MSNBC and Telemundo. A prime opportunity to mingle your daily dose of politics with a little Vegas fun.


Donald Trump

Presidential hopeful Donald Trump is scheduled to appear at Myrtle Beach later this month. Photo: , Gage Skidmore – Flickr

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina: Donald Trump is set to make an appearance at the Myrtle Beach Sports Center at noon on Feb. 19, the day before the Republican Primary. In this cold, desolate month, why not route yourself to a beach destination during your political travels? Republican nominees are blitzing the state the week before, as well, if you arrive early. And if you aren’t quite ready to leave the South, stick around — the Democratic Primary isn’t until Feb. 27.

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton has been hitting the campaign trail in Tennessee on behalf of his wife, Hillary. Photo: Susan Ruggles – Flickr

 Nashville, Tennessee: SUPER TUESDAY. Continue your tour south of the Mason-Dixon Line and head on over to Tennessee. Early voting in the state began Feb. 10 and runs through Feb. 23, ahead of the March 1 primary, so Republicans and Democrats alike are focusing hard on the state. Bill Clinton campaigned ahead of his wife in Memphis earlier this month. Hillary is set to open campaign offices in Nashville and Memphis, two of the state’s largest Democratic hotbeds. Planting yourself in a Democratic area inside a state that usually votes red would provide a certain lively nature to your trip. Both parties vote on Super Tuesday, which falls on March 1 this year.


Detroit, Michigan

Presidential candidates have their eyes on Michigan. Photo: Bryan Debus – Flickr.

Detroit, Michigan: Before the dust cleared from the Iowa Caucus, campaign staff members were heading for Michigan. Pick a major city in the state,and you’ll likely find a campaign office has popped up there. The whole Clinton family has already peppered the state, the Republicans have all hired firms to help them plan different events, Sanders offices are springing up in Flint, Lansing, Detroit, Ann Arbor and Traverse City, and CNN is holding a Democratic debate in Flint on March 6. The Democratic and Republican primaries take place on March 8.


Columbus, OHio

Columbus, Ohio. Photo: ChevySXSWCbus – Flickr

Columbus, Ohio: Ohio is a swing state and draws the eyes of the world during election season, and this year, its Gov. John Kasich is making a showing in the Republican race. Plus, with a university in Columbus boasting more than 50,000 students, most of whom are eligible voters, Ohio State University often gets blasted with impromptu campaign events. Plenty of appearances are already planned ahead of the March 15 primary: Sanders and Clinton are both scheduled to speak at the Ohio Democratic Party Legacy Dinner at the Greater Columbus Convention Center on March 13 (bleacher seats will run you $50).

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Tagged: Las Vegas, Tips & advice

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All is calm, all is bright. In some cases, really bright.

Here are seven of some of America’s most over-the-top holiday light displays.


St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights. Photo courtesy of St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, & The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau.

St. Augustine, Florida: During Nights of Lights, the 450-year-old city illuminates its landmarks with white lights in a display that’s been called one of the world’s 10 best. The festivities include a bunch of special events, such as carriage and boat tours, outdoor concerts and more.

Blossoms of Light in Denver, Colorado

Blossoms of Light in Denver, Colorado | Flickr Creative Commons: Amy Aletheia Cahill

Denver, Colorado: Denver Botanic Gardens sets the scene for a classy holiday with Blossoms of Light. The flora becomes even more inviting when it’s illuminated with thousands of lights, including a spot named the Romantic Gardensfull of aromatic plants and plum trees. (Can you say marriage proposal spot?) There’s also live entertainment on select nights, and visitors can purchase 3-D HoloSpex glasses to enhance their view of the lights.

Tacky Lights Tour in Richmond, Virginia

Tacky Lights Tour in Richmond, Virginia | Flickr Creative Commons: Taber Andrew Bain

Richmond, Virginia: On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Richmond Times-Dispatch‘s annual list lovingly named the Tacky Lights Tour. Houses must have at least 40,000 lights to make the list; some are tasteful, some downright tacky. The newspaper alerts homeowners that they’ll be included, so when you embark on a self-guided tour of the eyesores, you’ll be laughing with them—not at them.

Glittering Lights | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Glittering Lights | Photo courtesy of Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Las Vegas, Nevada: There are drive-through light shows… and then there’s Glittering Lights at Sin City’s Motor Speedway. Roll down your windows, turn up your windows and cruise around the 2.5-mile track that proves the Vegas Strip isn’t the only part of town that glistens.

Christmas in Los Angeles

Christmas in Los Angeles, California | Flickr Creative Commons: Loren Javier

Los Angeles, California: Come to see the stars, but stay to see the lights. Downtown L.A. Walking Tours offers a nightly Holiday Lights Tour showcasing how the City of Angeles celebrates the season. Stops include the Broad Museum, Grant Park with its illuminated fountain, Nutcracker Village at California Plaza and more.

CheapTickets-Clifton Mill-Ohio-Christmas-lights

The lights of Ohio’s Clifton Mill combine old-school technology with new-school glitz. Photo by Tina Lawson/Flickr Creative Commons.

Clifton Mill, Ohio: Millions of lights brighten up this 19th-century the mill, gorge, riverbanks, trees and bridges. The decor includes a Santa Claus Museum, light show synchronized to music on the old covered bridge, 100-foot “waterfall” of twinkling lights and more. Legendary Lights is located about 40 miles southwest of Columbus.


Everything’s bigger in Texas, even the holiday lights. Photo of Austin’s Trail of Lights by Mark Scott/Flickr Creative Commons.

Austin, Texas: The city’s Trail of Lights gets more elaborate every year. Zilker Park’s display now includes a 155-foot-tall artificial Christmas tree, ferris wheel and carousel. It’s one of the largest holiday events in Austin, with live performances, a lighted tunnel and more.

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Tagged: City, Family, Festivals, Florida, Holidays, L.A., Las Vegas, Seasonal

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Whether you object to the treatment of animals or you’re just bored with the usual dog and pony show, check out one of these animal-free alternatives to the traditional three-ring circus. For more amusements, visit Use promo code TICKETS10 to get 10 percent off event tickets.

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil is big on artistry. Credit Walt Disney World and Cirque du Soleil.

La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil is big on artistry. Credit Walt Disney World and Cirque du Soleil.

Cirque du SoleilThe Quebec-based company started in 1984 and now showcases its stunts in 17 countries. Stateside, there are Cirque shows from California to Rhode Island. O at the Bellagio in Las Vegas adds water to the mix for a show that’s anything but washed up. Sin City is also how to Cirque shows celebrating the music of both Michael Jackson and the Beatles. On the kid-friendly end, La Noube in Orlando’s Downtown Disney lets families experience top-notch artistry without the top-tier theme park ticket price.

Circus Smirkus:
In this Vermont-based performance troupe, kids don’t just watch the circus; they are the circus. The cast features children ages 10 to 18 who spend summers touring New England in their one-ring, big-top circus tent. If young audience members are inspired by what they see, they can enroll in Circus Smirkus Camp to learn acrobatics, juggling and other circus skills.

Circus Center: This San Francisco training center offers adult and child classes in everything from flying trapeze to aerial (remember Pink at the 2014 Grammys?) to clowning around. If you’d rather just watch, then check out the venue’s monthly cabaret series. These professional, 21-and-up shows offer an intimate, speakeasy-style setting; a drink ticket is included with each entry for a circus experience that’s truly intoxicating.

Acrobats of China: This show is a lotcloser than it sounds. The New Shanghai Circus in Branson, Missouri displays feats of strength, flexibility and balance, including diving through hoops, juggling people and an entire family riding a single bicycle. Arrive early to see the “show before the show,” a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.

Circus Arts Conservatory: You could say Sarasota, Florida, is the circus capital of the world, being home to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art to daredevil high wire walker Nik Wallenda. The conservatory brings performances yearround, from the kids’ Sailor Circus to Cirque des Voix, which combines circus acts with choir and full orchestra.

For more things to do, check out Use promo code TICKETS10 to get 10 percent off event tickets.

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Tagged: California, City, Events, Family, Florida, Las Vegas, Tips & advice

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