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There’s nothing wrong with tradition, but everyone’s got one. This holiday season, feel free to sample the very best food traditions the holidays have to offer by checking out some of our favorite winter food festivals.

RELATED: These are America’s most underrated food cities

Downtown Holiday Market | Flickr CC: Elvert Barnes

Downtown Holiday Market | Flickr CC: Elvert Barnes

9. Downtown Holiday Market – Washington, DC

November 25–December 23, daily

Feast on hand-made Peruvian empanadas, warm churros dusted in powdered sugar and fresh-made doughnuts while walking the sidewalks of this street-style holiday market. Then shop for unique gifts from over 150 vendors while working up an appetite for traditional German holiday fare.

8. Winter Feast Holiday Bazaar –Seattle, WA

Sunday, December 11

This one-day food fair features 20 food trucks and over 100 local businesses coming together for a cavalcade of holiday street food. Munch on gourmet doughnuts and German-style pretzels, as well as Middle Eastern, Indian and Mexican favorites, all served up from the city’s best mobile restaurants.

7. Grand Holiday Bazaar – New York, NY

December 11–18

Sample some of New York’s best sugary treats at this annual indoor and outdoor holiday market. Savor chocolaty creations from the state’s finest confectioners, or lose yourself in brownies, waffles and hand-made macaroons. With over 100 artisan vendors and craftsmen, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to walk it off.

Latke Festival | Photo courtesy of Great Performances

Latke Festival | Photo courtesy of Great Performances

6.  8th Annual Latke Festival – Brooklyn, NY

December 19

Each year this one-day competition crowns New York’s best latke–but its really a chance to drown happily in a sea of the state’s finest potato pancakes. You can even help crown this year’s champion!

ALSO: Check out these flight deals for under $199

Palm Beach Wine and Food Festival | Photo courtesy of @licksnlove

Palm Beach Wine and Food Festival | Photo courtesy of @licksnlove

5. Palm Beach Food And Wine FestivalPalm Beach, FL

December 8–11

If you want to get away from the cold this holiday season, consider making this Florida food festival your destination. This year, 46 of the state’s best chefs and restaurateurs will be presenting unique food and wine pairings.

Indulge LA | Photo courtesy of @indulgelosangeles

Indulge LA | Photo courtesy of @indulgelosangeles

4. Indulge LALos Angeles, CA

January 8

In case you’re still craving the holiday spirit–and more sweets–after the New Year begins, be sure to check out this annual chocolate and pastry festival. Featuring mouth-watering desserts from celebrity pastry chefs and confectioners like Francois Payard, Kriss Harvey and Stephanie Treand.

Flickr CC: HarshLight

Flickr CC: HarshLight

3. Great Dickens Christmas FairDaly City , CA

November 19–December 18, on weekends

This Victorian-themed Christmas festival takes tradition to the next level. Groups of carolers in period dress will serenade you while you feast on British favorites like bangers, meat pies and of course fish ‘n’ chips–as well as fine European fare.

2. Christmas Luminaria Tour at the Enchanted ForestRed River, NM

A New Mexico Christmas tradition! Trek through famous Enchanted Forest ski country along a trail lined with hand-made paper lanterns. Then chow down on green chile stew, posole and seasonal desserts.

Chriskindlmarket | Flickr CC: Ben Miller

Chriskindlmarket | Flickr CC: Ben Miller

1. ChristkindlmarketChicago, IL

November 18–December 24, daily

Designed like authentic European Christmas market with vendors housed in small wooden huts, this German-style street fair is not only picturesque, but also the ultimate experience for foodies. Traditional German vendors offer sausages heaped with sauerkraut, fresh-baked Bavarian pretzels, over-flowing steins of beer, hot spicedd wine and mountains of piping hot strudel.

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Tagged: California, City, Florida, Food & drink, Holidays, L.A.

Jesse Betend

Jesse Betend

Jesse is a writer and radio producer in Chicago. He is the Executive Producer for the embarrassing storytelling podcast "We Still Like You" and writes for the Chicago Sun-Times.
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Hotel Deals for Monterey Park
Baymont by Wyndham Monterey Park
CA, USA
May 20 - May 20, 2019
per night from
$ 849.15
$ 81.6

Sometimes you get what you pay for. And sometimes you get more. Much more. To help travelers save a ho-ho-whole lot of money on holiday travel, CheapTickets.com® encourages anyone with travel plans to look beyond the stars and not rule out two- or three-star accommodations as they make lodging plans for the most wonderful time of the year.

CheapTickets.com found that while the majority of Americans tend to gravitate towards four- and five-star hotels, choosing a three-star property at this holiday season’s top destinations can save you up to 33% compared to a destination’s average daily hotel price.

“While two- and three-star properties may not have extensive onsite services or dining options, many offer a really great experience, some with charming settings and overall excellent service,” said Justine McDonald, a CheapTickets.com travel expert. “The key to finding these exceptional two- and three-star options is looking for hidden gems that are vetted and highly recommended by fellow travelers, ensuring high value and alleviating fear of the unknown.”

Finding these surprisingly beautiful, cheap and comfortable hidden gems is easier than ever on CheapTickets.com as customers can filter search results by properties’ star ratings and then sort by guest rating, resulting in a list of options that both fit their budget and come highly rated. In addition to reviews and comments, CheapTickets.com also lists a “recommended by” percentage, where travelers can see whether or not customers would recommend the property to a friend.

CHEAPTICKETS.COM POPULAR HOLIDAY DESTINATIONS AND AVERAGE HOTEL PRICES

Great two and three star hotels

CHEAPTICKETS.COM TOP PICKS FOR HIDDEN GEM TWO- AND THREE-STAR HOTELS

To make planning travel even easier (and cheaper!), here are CheapTickets.com editors’ top picks for awesome two- and three-star hotels in some of the holiday season’s top destinations.

Las Vegas: Excalibur
Sample average daily hotel price: $53
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 77%
This castle-like resort on the Las Vegas Strip has something for every member of the family to enjoy, including a casino, an arcade room, a full-service spa, an outdoor pool and poolside bar, seven restaurants, three bars/lounges and two cafes. Don’t miss the medieval joust dinner show!

Photo courtesy of The Redondo Beach Hotel

Photo courtesy of The Redondo Beach Hotel

Los Angeles: The Redondo Beach Hotel
Sample average daily hotel price: $182
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 95%
From complimentary Wi-Fi to free continental breakfast daily, The Redondo Beach Hotel is all about the little extras. Monday through Thursday evenings, visitors can even mingle at a hosted wine reception. The hotel boasts many rooms with marina views, and even has a bike rental station on-site for those who want to explore the nearby beaches like a true Southern Californian.

Photo courtesy of the Bay Club Hotel and Marina

Photo courtesy of the Bay Club Hotel and Marina

San Diego: Bay Club Hotel and Marina
Sample average daily hotel price: $117
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 90%
Located on Shelter Island, The Bay Club Hotel & Marina is a waterfront property just 4 miles from Old Town and 7 miles from the Gaslamp Quarter. This property offers stunning views of the San Diego Bay, downtown skyline, Point Loma, and of course, its private marina.

Photo courtesyof the Vagabond Hotel

Photo courtesy of the Vagabond Hotel

Miami: The Vagabond Hotel
Sample average daily hotel price: $176
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 95%
The chicly retro Vagabond Hotel is within the vicinity of Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Port of Miami and the Bal Harbour Shops. Hearkening back to a bygone era, the Art Deco-style property offers an outdoor pool (plus a poolside bar) and a top notch fitness center.

Photo courtesy of the Acme Hotel

Photo courtesy of the Acme Hotel

Chicago: Acme Hotel Company Chicago
Sample average daily hotel price: $88
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 100%
This hip boutique hotel close to the Magnificent Mile offers a gym, free morning coffee, funky modern rooms (think giant zipper murals on the walls and lip decals on the bathroom mirrors) and an on-site lounge serving craft cocktails.

Photo courtesy of the Point Orlando

Photo courtesy of the Point Orlando

Orlando: The Point Orlando
Sample average daily hotel price: $184
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 94%
Not only is The Point Orlando close to Universal Studios Florida, Wet ‘n Wild, and iFLY Orlando, it also has plenty of recreational opportunities on-site, including a spa tub, a tropical outdoor pool and bar, and a well-equipped fitness center. Relax over cocktails and freshly prepared pizzas and paninis at the chic new Evo Lounge & Tapas Bar on the property.

Photo courtesy of Cambria Hotel and Suites

Photo courtesy of Cambria Hotel and Suites

New York City: Cambria Hotel and Suites
Sample average daily hotel price: $229
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 99%
Cambria Hotel and Suites is a brand new, upscale boutique-style hotel located in the trendy Chelsea neighborhood within walking distance of the Empire State Building, Times Square, Madison Square Garden, and Madison Square Park. Guests can take in the view from the rooftop terrace, enjoy a satisfying meal at its socialCircle Restaurant, and enjoy a signature cocktail at one of the two hotel bars before hitting the town.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Abri

Photo courtesy of Hotel Abri

San Francisco: Hotel Abri – Union Square
Sample average daily hotel price: $141
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 100%
This romantic and sleek hotel is centrally-located and is modern, yet charming. Its lobby lounge offers cozy seating around a gas fireplace, while an adjacent Italian restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Amenities include a 24-hour business center and a “tech menu” that allows guests to borrow or buy electronic accessories.

Photo courtesy of La Casa Hotel

Photo courtesy of La Casa Hotel

Fort Lauderdale, FL: La Casa Hotel
Sample average daily hotel price: $154
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 91%
A part of North Beach Village, this tranquil and serene space offers guests easy access to Fort Lauderdale Beach and the Galleria at Fort Lauderdale Mall. Guest rooms featurefour poster beds and classic design, and the beautiful pool and spa are surrounded with tropical greenery and Italian-style fountains, creating the ultimate oasis for guests looking to just get away.

Photo courtesy of Hotel Lombardy

Photo courtesy of Hotel Lombardy

Washington, DC: Hotel Lombardy
Sample average daily hotel price: $112
Percentage of customers who would recommend: 84%
Walking distance from the White House and the Foggy Bottom metro station, the HotelLombardy is a 1920s building with refined, classic rooms. Featured amenities include fitness facilities, free newspapers in the lobby, and in-room spa services available for a fee. Another fun fact: This property is a member of the Historic Hotels of America.

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Tagged: Beach, California, City, Las Vegas, New York City

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Sure, St. Patrick’s Day is meant to honor Ireland’s patron saint but in reality, the holiday also delivers tons of parades, green beer and unbridled revelry of every stripe in cities across the country. Scroll down and you’ll find this year’s top St. Patrick’s Day celebration destinations, including ways to save if you decide to make the trip.

But first, take this quiz that finally answers the age-old question, What’s your pub name?

Best cities for St Patrick's Day celebrations

CHEAPTICKETS.COM EDITORS’ TOP PICKS FOR ST. PATRICK’S DAY CELEBRATIONS

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 3.06.30 PM

Chicago, Ill.
Spectators from around the world gather in Chicago on March 12 to watch the Chicago River dyed green, followed by the Chicago St. Patrick’s Day Parade (featuring bagpipers, dancers and marchers galore) that steps off at Grant Park – rain or shine. Parties citywide are not to be missed.

San Francisco, Calif.
One of the largest celebrations of its kind on the West Coast, the 165th San Francisco St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 12 features over 100 floats, Irish dance troupes and marching bands as well as an all-day festival in Civic Center Plaza.

Atlanta, Ga.
Proudly claiming the spot as Atlanta’s longest running event, the 134th Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade on March 12 will consist of nearly 750 musicians and dancers – only one part of the expected 2,300 total participants – and a special appearance by the world-famousBudweiser Clydesdales.

Top St Patrick's Day destinations

Las Vegas, Nev.
While Las Vegas is “Party Central” 24/7, 365 days a year, St. Patrick’s Day-themed events and parties abound up and down the strip. While most take place on March 17 itself, several events continue through the weekend.

New York, N.Y.
The first New York City St. Patrick’s Day Parade was held in 1762, 14 years before the Declaration of Independence was signed! This year, the largest St. Patrick’s Day parade in the United States will be broadcast live to Ireland and the U.K. for the first time ever on March 17. Over two million spectators are expected.

Boston, Mass.
Touted as the “most Irish” city in the United States, Boston is home to some of the best Irish pubs in the world outside of Ireland. Aside from parties and celebrations across the city, the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day Parade takes place on March 20.

HOW TO SAVE
According to CheapTickets.com data, about one-third of Americans have traveled for St. Patrick’s Day or would consider making the trek for a celebration worthy of shaking their shamrocks. Nearly 60% of consumers would consider booking a last-minute room after a night of partying and drinking, so this year, CheapTickets.com is offering revelers the chance to save some green with 20% off last-minute hotel mobile bookings using promo code CLOVER20.
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Tagged: California, Cheap Tips, City, Holidays, Las Vegas, Last minute travel, New York City, Seasonal

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Sfblog
By Polly Fitz

So you want to travel this summer, but you’re on a budget … No problem! Book one of your favorite San Francisco hotels  and head to the City by the Bay because we’ve got a roundup of free activities you can enjoy on a cheap San Francisco vacation.

Yerba Buena Gardens Festival: Enjoy nearly 100 free arts programs, including concerts, theater and dance. There’s a Latin Jazz Series and children’s programs including a puppet show, a sing-along and more. Events typically run Thursdays through Saturdays — and some Sundays — through October. On Mission Street between Third and Fourth streets. San Francisco hotels close to Yerba Buena Gardens include the San Francisco Marriott and the W San Francisco.

Fillmore Jazz Festival: It bills itself as the largest free jazz festival on the West Coast, with music on three stages for two full days: July 5-6. Plus, there’s food and art. On Fillmore Street between Jackson and Eddy streets.

Film Night in the Park: This eight-movie series alternates between three locations: Washington Square Park, Dolores Park and Union Square. The July 26 showing of "The Breakfast Club" may be the highlight for the 30s set, but other titles include "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" and "O Brother Where art Thou?" The free shows are Saturday nights at dusk. Viewers can bring picnics but no chairs.

Stern Grove Festival: What could be better than Sunday afternoons in the park? Sunday afternoons with free concerts. The Sigmund Stern Grove outdoor amphitheater at 19th Avenue and Sloat Boulevard is the setting for free concerts June 15 – August 17. There is no public parking, so visitors are encouraged to take public transportation or ride their bikes.

Golden Gate Park Band Concerts: Big band swing, Broadway show tunes, classical band songs and more are on tap for this free concert series. Sundays at 1 p.m. at the Spreckles Temple of Music at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park.

So much to do! So choose one of the cheap San Francisco hotels and enjoy your summer travel to the city.

CheapTickets resources:

Polly Fitz is an editor for CheapTickets.

Tagged: City, Events, FREE!