AZ Travel Guide
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While the Government Shutdown is majorly pissing off travelers by closing national monuments and restricting access to everything from National Parks to major museums, there are some tricks to see what you want to see regardless. Take for example the Grand Canyon. The official visitor access trails and viewpoints are closed, so many have been risking the "unofficial" routes in, even encroaching on private property.
We do not advocate this at all, so for right now the easiest way to view the Grand Canyon is from above, while on board a flight to or from southern California.
Last month we were able to trace much of the Colorado River's carving into the Canyon while traveling at 35,000' on American Airlines Flight 1 from JFK to LAX.
The state of Arizona is already sick and tired of this government shutdown bologna, and it's not going to sit around and watch its biggest assets lay dormant. The state isn't sending men in black suits to Washington, DC or anything like that, but it is trying to open up some of its natural attractions—and is prepared to foot the bill that comes along with it.
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has offered up some cash and funding to the feds—state money, not her own—to keep the Grand Canyon up and running during the pesky government disagreement. Sounds like a reason for permit holders to celebrate, but unfortunately the federal government couldn’t care less. Apparently the National Park Service has rejected the state’s offer to help open the Canyon for business. Some local businesses also offered to pitch in, however, once again no means no.
Two Senators from the state are now getting involved, so stay tuned if you’re headed to the Grand Canyon anytime soon. We’re kind of thinking that the outside funding requests will eventually get their way, and that big hole in the ground will once again be up and running. Until then, you'll have to find something else to do in Flagstaff.
Know what's cool? Space. Know what's even cooler? When things floating around in the vastness of space come pay a visit to earth. Ok, that's only cool when it happens thousands of years ago and doesn't hurt anyone. Luckily for us, that's exactly what happened near Winslow, Arizona 50,000+ years ago.
Formerly known as "Canyon Diablo Crater," this meteor crater, now known as the "Barringer Crater," is said to be the world's (that's right, world's) first proven and best preserved meteor crater. It's so well preserved that NASA used it in the '60s to train astronauts preparing for Apollo missions to Earth's moon. They did this because the crater very closely matches those found on the moon.
Travel Cat / Animals / Pet Travel / Road Trips / Camping / → All Tags
Kitty cats. They rule the internet and, whether we realize it or not, pretty much the world too. Ever noticed how cats sometimes stake out the coolest spots in a city? This new featureTravel Catfocuses on exactly that. Submit a photo to be featured by tweeting or Instagramming it to us (details below).
Travel Cat spotted at: the Grand Canyon (and more!)
This week's Travel Cat is a special one. To celebrate "National Love Your Pet Day." Meet C.C. Tux, a cat who happily travels alongside his owner, Cora Sprinkle, and behaves on a leash. Of travels with Tux, Cora notes:
That meteor doing its thing over—and into—Russia was kind of neat in a crazy kind of way, huh? Still, we’re pretty sure that we’d prefer that the space rocks stay out of the atmosphere for a bit. However, it's totally possible to check out some of the space stuff that’s made its way down to earth already, which is why we were intrigued to learn about one museum where you can safely check out some astronomical debris.
The best preserved meteorite impact site in the whole world is just outside Winslow, Arizona. The one mile across, 550-foot deep crater is yours for the checking out, as the site and museum are open between 8am and 5pm daily. It’s not just a huge hole in the ground—although it is that first and foremost—as they’ve got hunks of space junk on display as well. There’s a meteorite fragment that weighs a cool 1,400 pounds, and there’s plenty of space this and astronaut that. They’ve even got some training items on display from the Apollo space missions.
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We’ve got a good feeling that many of you will find yourselves at the airport at some point during the holiday season. It may be on your way to visit friends and relatives, but we’re even more hopeful that you’re at the airport flying somewhere fun to avoid friends and relatives.
No matter how you end up at the airport you’re going to need a bite to eat while you’re wandering the terminals, so thankfully HMSHost and their food-from-your-phone technology is back with a new airport and new restaurants.
Art Travel / Street Art Travel / Arizona Travel / Airplanes / Video / Museum Travel / Boneyards / → All Tags
Okay, good news and bad news. Good news first: earlier this year, a group of artists banded together to rescue some abandoned airplanes from the infamous boneyards of the Arizona desert, repaint them in dazzling schemes, and display them as artpieces within something called "The Boneyard Project" at the Pima Air & Space Museum. Yes, it looks super awesome and yes, it was open to the public, but therein lies the bad news: "was."
You see, The Boneyard Project happened over a weekend in January of this year. It's over. We've only just come to find out about it as some design blogs circulated resulting photographs of the exhibition. Apparently the event was publicized mostly through the street art community as pieces included DC-3s painted by How & Nosm, Nunca, and Retna; a Boeing C-97 by Saner; a C45 plane by Faile; a Lockheed VC-140 Jetstar by Andrew Schoultz; and an assortment of nose cones, cockpits, and other pieces painted by Bast, Dan Colen, Trustocorp, Ron English, Shepard Fairey, Futura, Richard Prince and Eric White.
But wait! There's a little more good news...
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It's May 1, you guys. That means you've got twenty days to plan where you'll be to enjoy the annual big eclipse. It doesn't mark the start of summerthat's the solstice on June 20. This is the Vernal Equinox, and it's still pretty important to astronomers, astrologers and people whose dream is to dance naked at Stonehenge. Here's the details you'll need to get going on trip planning:
The date: May 20.
The approximate time: 5.28pm MST (Mountain Standard Time)
Type of eclipse: Solar annular eclipse.
The best places from which to view it: The Grand Canyon, hands down. Not only will Arizona be perfectly positioned to see the entire moon align right over the sun, giving viewers the desired effect of the annula, but it's where the NASA scientists and avid amateur astronomers will be be staked out with their telescopes. If you can't make it to the Grand Canyon, you'll still have a chance to see the eclipse if you're located on the Pacific coast, since sunset won't have happened yet when the eclipse goes down.
Our neck of the woods seems to be warming up, the time change has set in, and the date on the calendar says that spring is right around the corner. Pitchers, catchers, and everyone else have already reported to the Grand Canyon State, and that’s enough confirmation for us that winter is pretty much over. Cactus League games are already underway as everyone has been busy burning those extra off-season pounds, and now it’s your turn to skip out of work, get out of the snow, and celebrate the national pastime.
Here’s the scoop on a few teams, where they play, and what they offer:
· Oakland Athletics
The Oakland A’s are probably most famous for their recent debut on the big screen, so if you want to see where Moneyball is truly played make your way out to Phoenix. Billy Beane still serves as the team’s general manager, and we’re thinking that there’s probably going to be more of a demand for his autograph this year. However, most of the attention will be focused on Manny Ramirez, as he’s probably the team’s biggest offseason acquisition. After flying into town you don’t need to travel far after landing to check out the spring home of the A’s, as they do their thing right in Phoenix.
Phoenix Municipal Stadium holds a whole bunch of baseball fans—like 7,885 of them—and the place was redone and revamped back in 2003 to bring things up to date. Despite the newness of the facility it still promises to retain some old baseball charm, and there are even some decent views of Papago Park in the distance. You quickly realize that you’re definitely in Arizona attending some spring training games and certainly not Florida. This weekend the Mariners and Cubs will be heading into town, and it looks like there are still plenty of seats available. Admission here is pretty darn affordable with most of the tickets running between $12 and $25, so there’s definitely of cash left over for a couple rounds of hot dogs and beers.
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There’s already a few rental car deals kicking around the Sunshine State—we’re still waiting to hear from Hertz—but it looks like it’s also the season to depart Arizona as well. The rental car companies are slowly but surely releasing deals here and there. So if you’ve always wanted to go on a road trip across the Southwest now is the time to do it. There’s probably a one-way rental car deal to meet you budget and needs, and this is especially true if you’re able to swing $5 per day.
Hertz is leading the pack when it comes to these rental car drive out deals. The rental car company is offering rental cars for as low as $5 per day as long as you’re willing to pick up your car in Arizona and then return it somewhere else. There’s unlimited mileage, no drop off fees, and plenty of places to pick up and return your car. Return options include states like California, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Texas. The deals are available now thanks to rate code DRV5—for economy and compact cars—but you have to travel between April 4 and June 30. The deal is good for like 14 days, so just make sure your road trip doesn’t take too long.
Getting drunk in Cancun might be the preferred Spring Break for most college students, but it isn't for everyone. If you're hoping to have a more meaningful Spring Break experience, United Way's Alternative Spring Break program still has some options available.
The United Way's National Alternative Spring Break in Biloxi, MS registration has already closed, but there are still several local chapters accepting volunteers, like these:
You better revise your list and ask Santa for one of those stainless steel water bottles, as there’s one place your plastic bottle is no longer welcome.
Initially the head honcho over at the National Park Service wasn’t totally cool with banning plastic bottles at the parks across the land, but now it sounds like things might move forward at places including the Grand Canyon. Parks considering getting ready of plastic need to do a few things first, however, including making a checklist to report how much waste they’ll eliminate, as well as the effect on businesses and other groups that benefit from selling stuff at the park.