Los Angeles RSS Feed

Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

Sure, you could opt for a romantic, candlelit dinner when February 14 rolls around. But if you really want to wow your sweetheart this year, nothing says “I love you” like two tickets to see their favorite performer. It’ll be much more memorable than giving them flowers (again) and could be the start of a new V-Day tradition! Here are 11 awesome shows happening on the lover’s holiday, with easy-to-snag seats available on CheapTickets.

RELATED: 10 best cheap places to travel in 2019

Hand Holding Lit Lighter At Music Concert

Billy Joel at Madison Square Garden: NYC

Date night in New York City doesn’t get much more New York-y than Billy Joel. Sure, thousands of other fans will be swaying along to the Grammy winner’s hits, but when Joel performs “Just The Way You Are,” it’ll feel like he’s personally serenading just you and your date.

Blake Shelton at Chesapeake Energy Arena: Oklahoma City

Everyone’s favorite judge on The Voice (sorry Adam Levine) is the headliner here, but it’s a packed bill that also includes Lauren Alaina, The Bellamy Brothers, Trace Adkins and more. Yep, there’s a country crush for every member of the family. And since it’s Valentine’s Day, don’t be surprised if Shelton’s sweetheart Gwen Stefani makes a surprise appearance.

Jeff Dunham at BOK Center: Tulsa

Quirky couples who appreciate a good laugh will surely get a kick out of comedian and ventriloquist Jeff Dunham, who’s introducing new characters (including a puppet who works as Trump’s Twitter advisor) in his new show. And if you’re feeling lonely on this lover’s holiday and need a laugh, just remember that at least your date’s not a puppet. Talk about a funny valentine…

A Microphone In A Spotlight On A Stage

Andrea Bocelli at American Airlines Arena: Miami

Record producer David Foster has often said Bocelli’s voice is the most beautiful in the world. So if you’re gonna go big—like take your relationship to the next level big—go with the kind of voice that will not only make you appreciate opera, but also might inspire a proposal.

Anita Baker at Radio City Music Hall: NYC

Anita Baker is an iconic R&B singer. Radio City Music Hall is an iconic venue. Baker’s smooth jams like “Sweet Love” and “Giving You the Best I Got” are iconic love songs. Long story short, attending this concert means you’re going to have an iconic Valentine’s Day.

Crowd In A Music Show on valentines day

Dierks Bentley at Citizens Business Bank Arena: Los Angeles area

This country singer recently scored his 18th number one single with the song “Burning Man,” which means he’s probably in a celebratory mood. So if you and your significant other are also in a festive mood (celebrating a milestone in your relationship, perhaps?), this would be a fun concert to attend.

Crowd And Lights At A Music Concert

Panic! At The Disco at Honda Center: Orange County

Here’s a fun fact about Panic! At The Disco: Brandon Urie is the only remaining member of the band. The other guys performing are just touring musicians who allow Urie to shine in the spotlight all on his own. If you’re also feeling single and fabulous, and are craving a solid early 2000s pop-punk moment, pull a Urie and show up solo.\

Kelly Clarkson at Van Andel Arena: Grand Rapids, MI

The original American Idol winner can definitely belt out the kind of love songs that make you soon, but it’s her single gal (and guy) anthems that really get the crowd going. Turning Valentine’s into a “Galentine’s” Day? Grab your besties and rock out to “Since U Been Gone.”

2Cellos at Pepsi Center: Denver

Want to wow your date with an unexpected show that’ll blow them away? 2Cellos should do the trick. The two guys behind this duo are selling out arenas, but they’re still under the radar. If you happen to be on a first date at this show, watching them rock out on songs like “Smooth Criminal” will make a good first impression—and set the bar for future dates.

Air Supply at Emerald Queen Casino: Seattle

If you’re in the mood for a chill night out, the smooth sounds of this ‘80s soft-rock duo will set the tone for a chill February 14. Fingers crossed the set list favors more love songs like “Every Woman in the World”) over breakup tunes like “All Out of Love.”

Concert Crowd At Live Music Festival on valentines day

Cher at Bankers Life Fieldhouse: Indianapolis

Since Cher’s career spans decades, there’s a song in her catalogue for just about every type of relationship, from true love (“I Got You Babe”) to a bitter break up (“Strong Enough”). Add into the mix the ABBA covers she’s performing (to promote her latest album Dancing Queen), and there’s definitely a song here for every type of couple.

Tagged: Events, Music

Shares
10
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

Speakeasy bars during the Prohibition era were everywhere. And nowhere. Boozers were required to remain hush-hush, lest their favorite backdoor moonshine distillery be discovered by the police and promptly shut down. Today, we are free to enjoy a cocktail or seven wherever we please. But in choosing the perfect barstool, a sense of danger adds appeal to throwback speakeasy bars. Think secret entrances behind bookshelves and phone booths, and well-guarded passwords. Of course, it’s hard to keep secrets in the epoch of Instagram and “location services enabled,” but these seven bars have raised, well, the bar on maintaining mystery.

RELATED: 11 secret restaurants you don’t know but should

Photo courtesy of Adults Only

Adults Only (Los Angeles, CA)

Adult video stores are fairly irrelevant, thanks to the advent of the Internet. Yet this one in Los Angeles thrives off Sunset Boulevard in the ritziest, most enticing of locations: behind a Burger King. Gather your mettle (aka a Whopper), head into a storefront with “XXX” proudly displayed, and through the back sits an immaculately designed throwback to the 1920s. Woodwork and dark wallpaper conjure images of hiding from the police, and extravagantly designed, lush couches provide comfort—even if the cocktail names are unsettling: The “Money Shot,” “Rusty Trombone,” and “Dirty Sanchez” are demonstrated both in the bookstore and at the bar. And given the “Dirty Sanchez” is a sweet and spicy concoction of mezcal, sweet cucumber, and zesty serrano chili, we’ll opt for that one. For now…

Photo courtesy of @kai_____c

Angel’s Share (New York, )

So undercover it doesn’t have a website, Angel’s Share stands out amid the infinite speakeasy bar scene of New York (there are…a lot). To find it, head into a bustling Japanese restaurant in the East Village, get out of the way of servers with plates full of sushi, enter an unmarked door, and you’re in a Narnia of candlelit tranquility. Angel’s Share takes no reservations, asks patrons to keep their voices down, and the wait for even a spot to lean against the bar is typically an hour or more. Stick around. And shut up. Sipping a “Summertime,” made with jasmine-infused rum, over hushed whispers, is the epitome of calm.

Photo courtesy of @melissawv5

The Owl Bar (Baltimore, MD)

This one in Baltimore doesn’t take major sleuthing to find (or minor sleuthing, for that matter), but earns points for its history of ingenuity. A statue of the eponymous owl took up residence in the lobby of the 1902-built Hotel Belvedere (now condos) to give thirsty lawbreakers the signal. When its eyes were lit up, the hidden bar, nestled way in the back, was open for business. The Owl Bar now serves legal drinks, of course, but its classic look remains. The patterned bricks in the high walls have been preserved, as has the immaculate molding of windows and archways. The statue, too, remains.

ALSO: It’s no secret, Orbitz Rewards is the best way to earn free hotels faster!

Chapter Room (Atlanta, GA)

Congratulations! You have been accepted to Brewniversity! No SAT scores required! Atlanta‘s Taco Mac (Southern-style taco and chicken wing joint) already boasts a nice selection of craft beers, but to gain access downstairs in the Chapter Room, you must download Brewniversity’s mobile app and enroll, tuition-free. Admittance allows you access to the vaunted beer-bastion Chapter Room, located downstairs. The beer list is far more robust and international, plus the bar’s hiding an impressive list of whiskeys. Ironically, you can use technology to track how much you drink, using the app, and earn points toward nothing in particular—except to redo college drinking doppelbocks instead of Miller High Life.

Photo courtesy of @mashdpotaylor

The Drifter (Chicago, IL)

The Drifter in Chicago serves up a freshly caught red herring: It’s located in the basement of what has now become another bar called Green Door Tavern. You thought you were done drinking? Think again. Head downstairs to the bathrooms, stumble through an unassuming wooden door between the men’s and women’s rooms, and you’ll find an actual former speakeasy. The Drifter space is small but cozy; rubbing elbows with other drinkers transports you a century back in time, when liquor was at a premium and everyone wanted in. The drinks that will be served that night are pulled from a tarot card deck. So if you loved a particular cocktail, don’t expect the same next time. But always expect elaborate woodwork and—occasionally—burlesque dancers to complete the time travel back nearly a century.

Photo courtesy of @drinksanford

Hanson’s Shoe Repair (Orlando, FL)

Two decades from now, we seriously doubt anyone will remember voicemail. It’s tedious to not only leave one, but to listen. And who wants to hear voices?! Suck it up, though, and call Hanson’s Shoe Repair—a hidden Orlando bar and occasional music venue worth the inconvenience. Potential visitors call and are asked to leave a message with the time they’d like their “shoes repaired” (no promises on preventing falls while wasted) and how many pairs they’re bringing in. If all seems well, Hanson’s will provide the password for entry that night. The code changes each night, so hold onto it preciously to enjoy craft cocktails in what looks like, well, an old-timey shoe repair shop. The best part: Passwords arrive via text. The future is now.

Photo courtesy of @jeremy.pistachio

Bourbon and Branch (San Francisco, CA)

“Please speak-easy” is the first rule of Bourbon and Branch (the second rule isn’t, “You do not talk about Fight Club). This raspberry-tinted San Francisco bar—with working-man decor ranging from books to barrels—is rigid about its policies, but it’s all in the interest of providing the 20 or so patrons a relaxing, reflective experience. See, within this particular speakeasy is yet another secret room in the back, behind a bookshelf. There’s a password to enter,  “books,” and inside is an impressive library for your party to enlighten themselves and sip delicious cocktails . Just don’t order a cosmo. House rules.

app

Tagged: Food & drink

Steve Heisler

Steve Heisler

Steve Heisler

Latest posts by Steve Heisler (see all)

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
30
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

When you’re in a new city and hungry for a way to explore and snack on a budget, there’s no beating the humble (or not-so-humble!) American hot dog. Grab one of these tasty sausage sandwiches, which are undoubtedly among the best hot dogs in the country, and fill yourself up without breaking the bank.

portillos-chicago

Portillo’s | Flickr CC: star5112

Portillo’sChicago, IL

No questions about it—Chicago is America’s hotdog headquarters. You’ll be spoiled for choice in the Windy City, where it seems like there’s a hot dog shop on every block. But while there are plenty of specialty options, there’s a right and a wrong way to eat a Chicago hot dog. Portillo’s simple Hot Dog ($3) gets the recipe exactly right: a steamed poppy seed bun holds a dog dressed in mustard, neon green relish, celery salt, and raw onions with a garnish of fresh tomato, a kosher pickle and a pepper. Want ketchup? You’ll get laughed out of the building.

Happy Fatz – Houston, TX

Not only is this specialty hot dog restaurant also a bakery, but it’s housed in a quaint cottage with a distinctly neighborhoody feel. Walk in and order The Clucker ($8), a dog with hash browns, bacon, grilled onions, and a fried egg topped with secret Clucker sauce. Or gnaw on a Texas Chili ($8), a frank garnished with homemade chili, melted cheddar, and Fritos. Bonus: there are giant cake slices for dessert.

Nathan's Famous, which makes some of the best hot dogs in the country

Nathan’s Famous | Flickr CC: owlpacino

Nathan’s FamousBrooklyn, New York

Look, you can eat a hot dog or you can eat The Hot Dog. Chomp into one of Nathan’s Famous World Famous Beef Hot Dogs, thatched with sauerkraut and drizzled with mustard, and you’ll be chewing on a piece of American history. That’s right—Nathan’s is 100 years old, and it’s home to the world-renowned Hot Dog Eating Contest, where contestants from around the world gather to cram these franks down their throats next to Brighton Beach.

I Dream of Weenie – Nashville, TN

Most people don’t think of Nashville as a major hot dog capital, but that’s fine with us—we want to keep I Dream of Weenie all for ourselves. This adorable vintage VW van/sausage shop is parked at Five Points and has its own tiny patio, where you can chow down on the Flamin’ Frank, an ultra-hot dog with spicy chili, cheese, jalapenos and hot salsa, or order one of their tasty daily specials (jumbo smoked sausage with BBQ-marinated onions, anyone?)

Lafayette Coney Island-detroit

Lafayette Coney Island | Flickr CC: Rex Roof

Lafayette Coney IslandDetroit, MI

You cannot have a hot dog when you’re in Detroit—you must have a coney dog (if you have any respect for yourself at all.) And if you’re looking for the best coney dogthere is, march yourself over to Lafayette Coney Island, where a Coney Island dog ($2.60) will rock your world with its meaty, chili-covered frank, chopped onions, and mustard-slathered recipe. The no-nonsense, classic diner vibes are worth a visit alone.

franktuary-bogota and bangkok hotdogs

The Bangkok (front) and Bogota hot dogs from Franktuary | Photo courtesy of Molly Lindsey

FranktuaryPittsburgh, PA

This award-winning eatery with two locations and two food trucks uses locally-sourced and ethnic condiments to create lavish, memorable hot dog experiences. Try a Bangkok Frank ($4.25), with Thai peanut sauce, carrots, red cabbage and cilantro. Or nab a Bogota Frank ($4.25), a hot dog creatively covered in pineapple sauce, slaw, potato chips, and “pink sauce.” Oh, and don’t forget to get an order of poutine while you’re there!

Dapper Dog – San Francisco, CA

Picture it: you’re in the Castro, a neighborhood in one of the most expensive cities in America, and you’re hungry. The only sensible thing to do is to head to locally beloved Dapper Dog, where you can eat a specialty frank for less money than you’ll pay for…almost anything else in San Francisco. Try a Napa Dog ($6), dressed with arugula, blue cheese, diced dried apricots and apricot sauce, or go for the Banh Mi Dog ($6), which boasts sliced cucumbers, pickled carrots, chopped peanuts and sriracha mayo. On second thought, better get more than one, in case you’re hungry later! 

Pink's Hot Dogs

Pink’s Hot Dogs | Flickr CC: Ken Lund

Pink’sLos Angeles, CA

Dolly Parton, Tyra Banks, Kim Kardashian—these celebrities (and dozens more) have eaten hot dogs at Pink’s in Hollywood, an iconic stand that’s been around since 1939. Soon, you’ll join the ranks of the rich and famous, when you order a Lord of the Rings Dog ($5.75), a BBQ sauce and onion-ring-topped 9” frankfurter. Also noteworthy is the Martha Stewart Dog ($7.25), a relish, onions, bacon, sour cream and sauerkraut-covered work of art. It’s a good thing!

DanDan Dog

DanDan Dog | Photo courtesy of EatsPlace

Haiyo DogWashington, D.C.

Drop what you’re doing and book a plane ticket to Washington, D.C. this instant. These hot dogs are that important. You’re about to sink your teeth into an Asian/American fusion sensation: House-baked Asian milk bread cuddles local Amish beef, chicken, or organic tofu dogs crowned with condiments such as avocado and spicy mayo or kimchi and edamame. Get the Dan Dan Noodle Dog ($6), which features knife-cut noodles and Sichuan peppercorns, or upgrade to the Shot-Dog ($12), your choice of any dog on the menu with a daily liquor shot special.

Chili Cheese Mad Dog, one of the best hot dogs in America

Chili Cheese Mad Dog | Photo courtesy of Bukowski Tavern

Bukowski TavernBoston, MA

Not only does this iconic, red-painted tavern have an enormous selection of craft beers and a Boston-y surly attitude, it also has a (bargain alert!) $1 hot dog or burger special, Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m to 8 (!!) p.m. That is ONE DOLLAR, folks. One dollar to be surrounded by Boston’s finest (and we mean the best hot dogs). In addition, Bukowski’s offers a chili cheese edition and sweet potato tots! What are you waiting for?

CTIXblog CTA _ cheap of the week

Tagged: California, Cheap Tips, Family, Food & drink, L.A., New York City, Tips & advice

Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

Nothing tops a good summer concert. But sometimes jumbo shows at sports stadiums just don’t provide the ambiance you’re craving. Luckily, America has been graced with the glory of multiple breathtaking outdoor concert venues. Whether they’re built right into their surroundings or have been turned into works of art, these venues are sure to satiate that live-music-on-a-summer-night need.

 Red Rocks Amphitheater outdoor concert venue

A sunrise at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Photo: Chris Pelliccione – Flickr

Red Rocks Amphitheatre — Morrison, Colorado

Located just outside of Denver, Red Rocks consistently tops the list of coolest outdoor theaters in America. And it’s easy to see why: The open-air theater is framed by shockingly red rocks, jutting out in every direction. On the schedule for this summer are The Lumineers, The National, Bob Dylan, Odesza and more. Red Rocks hosts other events too, like yoga, fitness challenges and movie screenings. And attendees can usually expect to enjoy the show while drinking a cold one from one of Denver’s many craft breweries.

Jay Pritzker Pavilion outdoor concert venue

Chicago’s skyline provides the backdrop for Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Photo: Sergey Gabdurakhmanov – Flickr

Jay Pritzker Pavilion — Chicago, Illinois

Pritzker Pavilion has been fostering perfect views of Chicago’s skyline from its Millennium Park outpost since 2004. It has 4,000 seats, and the lawn seats roughly 7,000. Most concerts are free and BYOB—though this summer’s Flight of the Conchords and Wilco shows are worth shelling out a little money for—and Chicagoans flock here with blanket and alcohol in hand as soon as it’s warm enough to not need 8 sweaters. And a winter coat. Whether or not there’s a concert, the pavilion itself is worth visiting, if only for the photo op—a giant steel ribbon structure frames the stage, and a web of crisscrossing steel pipes stretch over the pavilion and entire 95,000-square-foot lawn. It’s more art than building. In fact, the city had to designate it as a piece of art to circumnavigate some building height restrictions. 

 

Nikon at Jones Beach Theater outdoor concert venue

Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. Photo: Rob Sinclair – Flickr

Nikon at Jones Beach Theater — Wantagh, New York

This theater is located inside a state park, and first opened in 1952 to host musicals. Back then it had a moat — performers were brought to the stage in a boat and some of the scenery floated. That all changed after the first renovation, when the moat was filled in and seats were added closer to the stage. It had to undergo another major reno to the tune of $20 million after Hurricane Sandy hit hard in 2012. It reopened in spring of 2013, and only started selling alcohol outside of VIP boxes in 2014. Meaning this summer’s headliners—Bad Company and Joe Walsh, Weezer and Panic at the Disco, and the BLI Summer Jam (with Meghan Trainor and Iggy Azalea)—will be that much more fun.

 

Hollywood Bowl outdoor concert venue

A shot of Los Angeles, with Hollywood Bowl in the foreground. Photo: InSapphoWeTrust – Flickr

The Hollywood Bowl — Hollywood, California 

Nestled in the Hollywood hills, the Bowl opened in 1922 and rode the wave of Hollywood fame. Frank Sinatra played there in 1943, the Beatles in 1964, and a showcase of the world’s best musicians followed. It’s been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since it opened, and has drawn famous visitors, from President FDR to Mickey Rooney. This summer’s highlights include Janet Jackson, Paul Simon, The Cure with Twilight Sad and Steely Dan

Gorge Amphitheatre outdoor concert venue

Gorge Amphitheatre. Photo: Hejl – Flickr

Gorge Amphitheatre — George, Washington

This amphitheater is often considered one of the most scenic in the world, with sweeping views of the Columbia River and the foothills of the Cascade Range as its backdrop. The land on which it sits was originally set to be a vineyard. Instead, the Gorge opened in 1986, with a mind-blowing capacity of 27,500. Since then, it’s held dozens of music festivals, one of the most notable being Sasquatch! Music Festival. Fans can actually camp at the Gorge for 24 hours on the day of the single show, or until noon the day after a festival ends. This summer, the amphitheater will also host the Paradiso Festival, the Watershed Festival and Phish.

CTIXblog CTA _ cheap of the week

Tagged: California, Festivals, FREE!, New York City

Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

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.

CheapTickets-St-Augustine-Florida-Christmas-lights

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.

CheapTickets-Austin-Christmas-lights

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.

CTIXblog CTA _ cheap of the week

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

Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

As if we needed an excuse to indulge, Aug. 10 is National S’mores Day. Indulge your inner child with one of these remixes of the classic summertime treat.

Sandpearl S'mores Martini

Photo courtesy of Diamond Public Relations

Campfire Martini

Sandpearl Resort in Clearwater Beach, Florida, is known for its nightly s’mores on the beach. And exclusively for National S’mores Day, the hotel has dreamed up a cozy cocktail of Godiva, Nutella, Frangelico, Svedka Vodka and Crème de Cocoa, garnished with a skewer of mini marshmallows. Let’s toast to summer.

S’mores Bacon on a Stick

If anybody can pull this off, it’s someone nicknamed “the Pig Guy.” New York barbecue guru Thomas Perone serves up thick-cut bacon that’s covered with semi-sweet chocolate, crushed graham crackers and marshmallows. To the delight of your taste buds and protest of your arteries, this treat is available at the Pig Guy NYC stand inside the Mets’ home stadium, Citi Field, in Queens.

S’muffins

Cupcakes are soooo 2011. The latest feel-like-a-kid-again confection is the S’muffin—a tart with a graham cracker base that’s topped with a roasted marshmallow and embedded with goodies like caramel or Crème de Menthe, all dipped in chocolate. Order yours online from Gotta Have S’more, or stop by one of the Los Angeles-area locations.

S’mores Doughnut

It’s a s’more. It’s a doughnut. It’s everything. Beaver’s Coffee and Donuts in Chicago gets the party started with made-to-order, miniature buttermilk doughnuts. Then come the drizzled chocolate and marshmallow sauces, followed by a dusting of graham cracker crumbs. Breakfast never sounded so sweet.

Tagged: Florida, Food & drink, L.A., New York City

Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

Long layovers can be a real drag, but they certainly don’t need to ruin the trip. Venturing out of the airport can add leaps and bounds of enjoyment to your travels, and it’s pretty easy to keep the cost down on your hiatus from the terminal. Just make sure you plan ahead and pack whatever you may need for the adventure in your carry-on, and you should be all set for an enjoyable day away from the airport monotony.

Here are five ideas for cheap getaways outside of some major airports:

Courtesy of Ally Marotti

A scene from Hollywood Beach near Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Courtesy of Ally Marotti

Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL)Ft. Lauderdale, FL

This one is easy — spend the day on the beach. Have the cab driver take you to Hollywood Beach. It’s not the closest one to the airport, but it’s the most happenin’. In about 15 minutes, you go from drab airport life to the tropics. Watch the sunrise over the ocean and grab breakfast beachside at Broadwalk Restaurant and Grill. There are plenty of dining options, ice cream shops and convenience stores along the boardwalk if you need anything like sunscreen. Listen to the Cuban music and bask in the sun during your layover, and make sure to grab a piña colada at Greek restaurant Sahara International.

A view from the Chicago Riverwalk. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

A view from the Chicago Riverwalk. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

O’Hare International Airport (ORD)Chicago, IL

If you don’t have a layover at O’Hare, it’s highly likely your flight out of Chicago will end up getting delayed. O’Hare is an airport known for its delays, partly because it doesn’t have enough gates, and partly because Chicago weather is entirely unpredictable. Lucky for budget-conscious travelers, there’s a train that goes right downtown for only $2.50. The Chicago Transit Authority Blue Line train runs between downtown and the airport constantly throughout the day, and it’s only a 40-minute ride either way. Check out the sights, sounds and food Chicago has to offer for the day rather than sitting in the airport bitter about the delay. For free activities, head to one of the city’s beaches or walk along the recently renovated Riverwalk along the Chicago River. If you’re there on a summer evening, there are free concerts at Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Mondays and Thursdays, and free movies there on Tuesdays. For cheap eats, head to the French Market in the West Loop–it’s got everything from meatballs to lobster rolls.

A view from the Jackson Street Bridge. Courtesy of Nikki Wolfe.

A view from theJackson Street Bridge. Courtesy of Nikki Wolfe.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)Atlanta, GA

The Atlanta airport is one of the busiest in the world, and so big it has its own zip code. If you have a layover or delay here, make sure it’s actually long enough for you to safely get out, back and to your terminal on time, as there’s usually some shuttling involved. If you are so bold to step into the unknown, take the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) train, which costs $2.50 for a one-way ticket and will get you downtown in about 20 minutes. Once you’re there, head over to the Jackson Street bridge between Cain Street and Highland Avenue for a photo opp (pics or it didn’t happen). Stroll along the recently completed Atlanta Beltline, a 22-mile loop around the city of railroad tracks-turned-walking paths lined with restaurants and shops. Sample some of that southern cooking while you’re at it.

A T-Rex at New York City's Museum of Natural History. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

A T-Rex at New York City’s Museum of Natural History. Courtesy of Ally Marotti.

LaGuardia Airport (LGA)New York City, NY

New York City buses transport travelers from the airport to Manhattan for $2.75 each way. The M60 bus goes express to all LaGuardia terminals and drops passengers off near West 106th Street and Broadway. The Q70 Limited or Q47 will drop you off in Queens or Midtown. If you’re willing to pay a little more, the NYC Airporter bus departs every 30 minutes and runs between the Port Authority Bus Terminal, Grand Central Station and Penn Station for $13. For a close to free day in Manhattan, stroll through Central Park and end up at the Museum of Natural History. They ask for an optional donation at the entrance. If you still have time and are craving some panoramic views of the city, swing by Salvation Taco. It shares a lobby with Pod Hotel 39 on East 39th Street between Lexington and 3rd avenues, has a great and reasonably priced rooftop bar full of Mexican beers and Spanish wines. You can get a beer and a great view for $8.

 

A plane flies over Dockweiler State Beach. Courtesy of Andrew Hart.

A plane flies over Dockweiler State Beach. Courtesy of Andrew Hart.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)Los Angeles, CA

 Los Angeles International Airport often acts as the gateway to Asia and Hawaii, and many a layover is whiled away among its terminals. But if you’ve got the time and you remembered to stick your swimsuit in your carry on, why not soak up some Vitamin D? Dockweiler State Beach is less than a five-mile drive from the Los Angeles airport. It extends south of Marina del Rey harbor, and is operated by Los Angeles County, so there are no entrance fees. You can take public transit there, but it’ll probably be quicker to just grab a cab. Dockweiler beach is known for its hang gliding and plane watching (since it’s so close to LAX), and offers a beautiful view of the sunset. There are fire pits on the beach that anyone can use, so if you have the time and money, swing by the store on the way and grab some hot dogs and all the fixins for s’mores for a true taste of summer.

CTIXblog CTA _ cheapcash

 

Tagged: California, Cheap Tips, Flights, Florida, L.A., New York City, Tips & advice

Shares
3
Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

You’ll find tepid tacos, edible hot dogs and passable pizza pretty much anywhere, but you want to feel like you’re getting something special for your meal ticket. So we scoured North America for bargain-priced, refreshingly creative plates, and found 11, all 10 bucks or under.

1. Killer Combo at Komodo, Venice, Calif.: $10

For your 10-note you get four tacos that are so above run-of-the-mill, you’ll be licking your fingers and wondering what just happened. L.A.’s rising star chef Erwin Tjahyadi has all the right notches on his belt: Le Cordon Bleu training, apprenticeship with Wolfgang Puck, lead cook at Hotel Bel-Air, Zagat’s “30 Under 30.” He took his love of Asian fusion cuisine and created a sought-after food truck, which got so popular, it morphed into two standalone cafes. One of your four tacos should definitely be the Asian marinated chicken, jalapeño stir-fried rice, green onions, mandarin oranges, sesame seeds and sweet soy sauce glaze.

235 Main St., Venice; 8809 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, www.komodofood.com

Killer combo; Photo credit: Desi Mendoza ©

2. Ramen at Urban Belly, Chicago: $8

The late chef Charlie Trotter nurtured many an award-winning chef, including Bill Kim whose Urban Belly sits just beyond the hubbub of Chicago’s West Loop cluster of trendy dining. It’s the place locals bring friends from out of town to show how in-the-know they are. With the $8 ramen bowl, a perfect lunchtime size, they also get bargain bragging rights.

2UrbanBelly_JrRamenCreditConnor Rudny

Ramen; Photo credit: Connor Rudny ©

3. Arnabeet Mekle Sandwich at Souk & Sandwich, New York: $7.50

Chicken, beef, veal tongue, Lebanese sausage. It’s hard to choose just one of the 16 (nearly all under $10) lovingly filled and grilled Lebanese wraps at this take-out sammie spot in New York’s Hudson Square neighborhood. But we direct you to the Arnabeet Mekle because you might otherwise overlook it and because it makes marinated fried cauliflower crave-worthy.

Cauliflower sandwich; Photo credit: Michael Tulipan©

Cauliflower sandwich; Photo credit: Michael Tulipan©

4. American Buffalo Chicken Crepe at Simply Crepes, Canandaigua, New York: $9.29

In the Finger Lakes of New York, this crepe place turns the froo froo French staple into an accessible dish for any taste level. The Buffalo chicken, in particular, takes what’s usually reserved for football-game wings—the sauce, the lettuce, the blue cheese, the celery with dressing on the side—and rolls it up into a lightly sweetened crepe, a recipe that has been in the restaurateur’s family for generations.

Buffalo chicken crepe; Photo credit: Finger Lakes  ©

Buffalo chicken crepe; Photo credit: Finger Lakes ©

5. Poke Bowl at Pa’ina Café, Honolulu: $9

Apologies to the fans of this friendly, off-the-tourist-path gem who asked us not to divulge their secret. We couldn’t resist, especially when amassive poke bowl here is under $10. Poke (pronounced po-keh) can be found all over Hawaii and usually refers to a raw fish salad. It was popularized by iconic Hawaiian chef Sam Choy who even created a festival celebrating the dish. Pa’ina’s signature version hits all the right flavor notes: white or brown rice, spicy tuna, shredded nori and their special glaze.

Signature bowl

Signature bowl

6. Secret Poutine at Marker 92 Waterfront Bar & Bistro, Westin Cape Coral Resort, Florida: $9

One peek at the steak- and seafood-heavy menu at this intimate waterfront hotel restaurant and you’ll beeline-it back to the hot dog stand, but never mind the printed menu. Take a seat and tell the server you’d like the secret poutine menu. Hailing from poutine-reigning Canada, the general manager has taught the chef to keep a poutine recipe in his back pocket. The “loaded” version gets you a plate piled with crispy French fries topped with bacon, shredded mozzarella cheese, hot brown gravy and drizzled with sour cream. Dining amid the ocean breeze, pub fare never tasted so good.

Poutine; Photo credit: Westin Cape Coral Resort ©

Poutine; Photo credit: Westin Cape Coral Resort ©

7. Pozole at Barrio Queen, Scottsdale: $8

Mexican in Arizona is as original as barbecue in Kansas City, but, seriously, this place was given a place on Esquire magazine’s best new restaurant list in 2012, and for good reason. Specifically for its spicy Pozole Verde, a slow-cooked green pork chili and hominy soup, flavored up with onions, radishes and cilantro, served with three warm tortillas. It’s a centuries-old, hearty meal, made even better by its low, low price.

Pozole; Photo credit: Barrio Queen ©

Pozole; Photo credit: Barrio Queen ©

8. Frito Pie Bowl at The Beestro, Santa Fe: $8.95

We realize this may seem pedestrian to some foodies out there, but this match-up is a legendary throwback to the Woolworth’s original and now served with flair and a fun-loving attitude at this super-cute farm-to-table bistro (the owners are sweet on honey bee productsand preservation) in downtown Santa Fe. The Fritos add the crunchy-salty finishing touch to chef-made buffalo red chili that’s garnished with sour cream, lettuce, locally made Tucumcari cheddar cheese, diced red onion, fresh cilantro and spicy pickled jalapeños.

Frito pie; Photo credit: The Beestro

Frito pie; Photo credit: The Beestro

9. Fried Shrimp Po-Boy at Shrimp‘N Stuff, Galveston, Texas: $6.99

They’re doing something right at this no-frills Galveston Island mainstay; it’s been serving up delicately fried fish to the neighborhood since 1976. In this chosen po-boy, are deep-fried jumbo Gulf shrimp, with lettuce, tomato and house-made tartar layered into toasted French bread. It’s so darn cheap, you could splurge for the $2.99 side-and-drink deal or just a side—we suggest the sweet potato fries—for $2.29. Take it all to the outside patio.

Shrimp sandwich; Photo credit: Galveston CVB

Shrimp sandwich; Photo credit: Galveston CVB

10. Full Bellied Pig Sandwich at Café Patachou, Indianapolis: $8.95

What might look like a same-ol’ PB and J from the outside is actually a pumped-up twist that we think only Martha Hoover’s famous Café Patachou could pull off so smoothly: peanut butter, strawberry jelly, Smoking Goose bacon and fresh jalapeños on toasted wheat bread, served with a side. It’ll hit your heart with a whollup, but what really makes this concoction heartwarming is that all the proceeds benefit underserved children in Indianapolis.

Full bellied pig sandwich

Full bellied pig sandwich

11. Gai Yang at Sticky Rice, Los Angeles: $10

L.A.’s historic, always jammed Grand Central Market is fittingly very NYC, with hip vendor booths selling culinary treats from cheese to ice cream to fresh-baked breads and fresh-pressed juices. So you could feasibly nibble your way through, but you should save your money for a meal at Sticky Rice, lauded as tinseltown’s first “Thai comfort food” restaurant that cooks with organic, free-range and locally sourced ingredients. The Gai Yang is our winner on price: tender Thai barbecue chicken with papaya salad, sticky rice and sweet-tangy dipping sauce.

Sticky rice; Photo credit: Amparo Rios

Gai Yang; Photo credit: Amparo Rios

CTIXblog CTA _ email sign up

 

Tagged: California, Cheap Tips, City, Florida, Food & drink, Hawaii, L.A., New York City

Elisa Drake

Elisa Drake

Elisa Drake

Latest posts by Elisa Drake (see all)

Shares
Share with your friends










Submit

Baseball games are always an enjoyable, cheap way to spend an evening, especially when it’s Dime-a-Dog night and you score tickets in the cheap seat section. But sometimes those cheap “seats” are actually just chunks of grass on the lawn, and sitting on the ground can get a little messy, especially after an April shower blows through. Here are some MLB stadiums that put the cheap seats in style.

Coors Field

Home of the Colorado Rockies

Denver, Colorado

A view from the Rockpile seats at Coors Field in Denver. Courtesy of Mr. Lujan.

A view from the Rockpile seats at Coors Field in Denver. Courtesy of Mr. Lujan.

Tickets are as cheap as $4 in the Rockpile section of Coors Field in Denver. Rockies fans can watch the game with the skyline as the backdrop. They also serve plenty of great beer.

AT&T Park

Home of the San Francisco Giants

San Francisco, California

AT&T Park. Courtesy ofWikipedia.

AT&T Park. Courtesy of Wikipedia.

It’s probably a little distracting trying to watch a game in AT&T Park when boats are going by just outside the park. The stadium sits right on San Francisco Bay, and the cheap seats in the View Reserved section get the best view of the water.

Great American Ballpark

Home of the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati, Ohio

The Great American Ballpark and Ohio River. Courtesy of Mike Phillips.

The Great American Ballpark and Ohio River. Courtesy ofMike Phillips.

Seats in the top section of Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati go for less than $10, but it’s those seats that get the best views of the Ohio River. They’re also closest to the fireworks the Cincinnati Reds shoots off at the end of every Friday game.

Dodger Stadium

Home of the Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles, California

View from the top deck of Dodger Stadium. Courtesy of Mr. Littlehand.

View from the top deck of Dodger Stadium. Courtesy of Mr. Littlehand.

For the first time this year, the cheapest seats at Dodger Stadiumin Los Angeles are $11 and are on the reserved level near each foul pool. The cheapest seats used to be on the top deck, and are $12 this year, but the whole stadium gets a great view of Elysian Park and the San Gabriel Mountains.

Nationals Park

Home of the Washington Nationals

Washington, D.C.

A view of Washington D.C. from the third level of Nationals Park. Courtesy of John M.

A view of Washington D.C. from the third level of Nationals Park. Courtesy of John M.

The cheap seats at Nationals Park are in the upper terrace and give Nationals fans a view of historic Washington D.C. landmarks, such as the Washington Memorial and the Capital Building.

Busch Stadium

Home of the St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis, Missouri

Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. Courtesy of Ron Cogswell.

Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. Courtesy of Ron Cogswell.

The cheap seats at Busch Stadium are said to be the best seats in the house. The infield pavillion seats tend to be the cheapest, and they’re center stage to not only the game, but the St. Louis arch in the background.

CTIXblog CTA _ cheap of the week

Tagged: Cheap Tips