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10 Great Fireworks Displays Coming Soon to 10 Big Cities

June 27, 2014 at 10:40 AM | by | Comment (1)

The summer is officially here, and somehow it’s already time to think about Independence Day. This year the Fourth of July falls on a Friday, so be sure to get in plenty of fun and sun during the rare holiday three-day weekend. Of course Fireworks are on the menu, so here’s ten of the best options in ten of the biggest cities across the United States:

· Macy's 4th of July Fireworks – July 4 – New York City, NY

· Grand Park’s 4th of July Block Party – July 4 – Los Angeles, CA

· Navy Pier Fireworks – July 4 – Chicago, IL

· Freedom Over Texas – July 4 – Houston, TX

· Philly 4th of July Jam and Grand Finale Fireworks – July 4 – Philadelphia, PA

· Freedom Wireless Fabulous Phoenix Fourth – July 4 – Phoenix, AZ

· Stars And Stripes Over San Antonio – July 4 – San Antonio, TX

· Big Bay Boom – July 4 – San Diego, CA

· Fair Park Fourth – July 4 – Dallas, TX

· Rotary Centennial Fireworks – July 4 – San Jose, CA

[Photo: Anthony Quintano]

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What US Cities are Hoping to Host the 2024 Summer Olympics?

June 3, 2014 at 9:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you think your town, city, village, or whatever is the best around then why not go ahead and throw your hat into the ring at a chance to host the Olympics.

It seems that municipalities are finally learning that hosting the games is a bittersweet experience, and now here at home there’s already a couple cities taking their names out of consideration. Both New York City and Philadelphia are no longer interested in submitting bids to host the summer games when 2024 rolls around, but there still are a few cities hoping to be awarded the honor.

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Lesser Known Islands of the USA: San Juan Islands, WA

May 23, 2014 at 3:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

According to the calendar we’re just days away from the start of the summer season, and that means it’s time to turn our attention towards some great warm weather destinations. So get out on the water, wave goodbye to the mainland, and set you watch to island time.

What Are The San Juan Islands?

They might not be that lesser known to those in the know over in the Pacific Northwest, but if you asked some one on the other side of the country—there’s a likelihood they’d mumble something about the time they went to Puerto Rico. The San Juan Islands are off the coast of Washington, as they do the archipelago thing between there and British Columbia.

How To Get There

There’s many islands doing their thing within the chain, but only four are readily available to you thanks to little ferry fun. The Washington State Department of Transportation is all over it, and they’ll take you to spots like Lopez Island, Orcas Island, and Shaw Island—among some other spots. Head over here for the full schedule and rundown, and note that fares are going to depend on your destination and what not. The trip starts at around $13 per passenger between Anacortes and Friday Harbor, but just be aware that fares are not collected in the opposite direction.

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Lesser Known Islands of the USA: Catalina Island, CA

May 22, 2014 at 1:47 PM | by | Comments (0)

According to the calendar we’re just days away from the start of the summer season, and that means it’s time to turn our attention towards some great warm weather destinations. So get out on the water, wave goodbye to the mainland, and set you watch to island time.

What’s Catalina Island?

You’ve been to Southern California and visited its tourist attractions, must-sees, and hidden gems; however, we would have to guess that you have not made you way out to Santa Catalina Island. Known just as Catalina Island or Catalina to its friends, the spot does its thing as part of Los Angeles County roughly 22 miles off the coast from Los Angeles itself. It belongs to a larger chain of islands, and they’re all part of one big happy family—the Channel Islands. Some estimates put visitors at close to a million per year, so it’s probably one of the more well known of our lesser known islands.

How To Get There

Paddling a kayak isn’t going to be an option here, and the car is going to need to stay back on the mainland. Ferry service is available from a couple spots along the California coast, but it seems like the major route heads back and forth between Avalon—on the island—and San Pedro. Catalina Express is responsible here, and they also have options from Long Beach and Dana Point. Rates start at around $80 per adult including some mandatory wharf charges, but plan to add a few more bucks if bringing your bike or surfboard.

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Lesser Known Islands of the USA: Bald Head Island, NC

May 21, 2014 at 7:26 PM | by | Comments (0)

According to the calendar we’re just days away from the start of the summer season, and that means it’s time to turn our attention towards some great warm weather destinations. So get out on the water, wave goodbye to the mainland, and set you watch to island time.

What’s Bald Head Island?

Situated off the coast of North Carolina, Bald Head Island does its thing as a vacation wonderland. The business and industry is based on you coming to visit, so hurry up and head down for a trip. It might not have the charm of a seasonal seaside village, but what it does have is the attention to detail of what most are looking for when it comes to rest and relaxation. Thanks to past storms the island is no longer truly an island by some definitions, but you're going to need to get there by boat. So we say it counts.

How To Get There

Those coming in to North Carolina should probably make their way to Wilmington, and then from there it’s about 90 minutes to where you’re going to pick up the ferry. Travel by boat only takes 20 minutes, and it will set you back around $25 per adult for a round-trip fare. Things depart out of Deep Point Marina in Southport, and ferries leave the mainland on the hour and from the island on the half hour. No need to worry about the rates for taking your car, as that’s not an option—we’ll get to that in a minute.

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Lesser Known Islands of the USA: Cumberland Island, GA

May 20, 2014 at 12:46 PM | by | Comments (0)

According to the calendar we’re just days away from the start of the summer season, and that means it’s time to turn our attention towards some great warm weather destinations. So get out on the water, wave goodbye to the mainland, and set you watch to island time.

What’s Cumberland Island?

There’s all kinds of great places to visit in Georgia, and many of the good ones line and dot the coast of the Peach State; however, Cumberland Island might just be one of the best. It’s the state’s largest barrier island, and as a result it has all the coastal goodies and treasures one would expect. Best of all it’s protected for years and years to come, as plenty of it is under the jurisdiction of Uncle Sam and the National Park Service.

How To Get There

Ferry travel is your best option, and thankfully the National Park Service operates its boat service to and from nearby St. Mary’s. Things stop at both the Dungeness dock and the Sea Camp Dock, so be sure to check out both areas. Ferry travel will set you back $20 plus another $4 for access to the island and national park facilities. Things leave towards the island at 9am and 11:45am, and then the ride back departs Cumberland Island at 10:15am and 4:45pm—these are the summer hours. Just note that you can get there from Florida too, as The Greyfield Inn runs a boat out of Fernandina Beach.

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Lesser Known Islands of the USA: Fishers Island, NY

May 19, 2014 at 2:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

According to the calendar we’re just days away from the start of the summer season, and that means it’s time to turn our attention towards some great warm weather destinations. So get out on the water, wave goodbye to the mainland, and set you watch to island time.

What’s Fishers Island?

Looking at the map you might guess that it’s part of Connecticut, but Fishers Island belongs to New York as it does its thing on the eastern end of Long Island Sound. The island is about nine miles long and just a mile across, and is a great escape for those in and around the region.

How To Get There

The Fishers Island Ferry will be more than happy to take you a few miles offshore, as the operation does its thing to and from New London, Connecticut. Peak rates just started, so you can expect to shell out $25 per person, round-trip. If you need to bring your car it’s a good idea to get reservation well in advance, and it will set you back at least $51. Things run a few times each and every day, but just be sure to catch the last ferry of the weekend—it heads back at 7pm on Sunday.

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The Dates and Details for Every State Fair in 2014

April 28, 2014 at 10:09 AM | by | Comments (0)

The prolonged winter of 2013-14 did more than just make those stuck in the snow stir-crazy. Now that temperatures are finally warming up, there's a serious urgency to start summer fun before Mother Nature has a chance to change her mind. Forget spring; we've already moved onto planning sultry beach days, multi-state road trips, and eating all the deep-fried Kool-Aid and Krispy Kreme burgers we can stomach.

That last one belongs, of course, to the state fairs that dominate the summer with their crazy food concoctions, crass carnies, livestock shows and evening jamborees. Luckily only one fair has already passed this year, but who goes to Florida for their festivals? Exactly.

Start filling in that iCal now with summer's many state fairs, thanks to our alphabetical listing:

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Greetings from Boston Library's Collection of 25,000 Vintage Postcards

April 25, 2014 at 5:11 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last winter, the Museum of Fine Art in Boston mounted one of our favorite travel art exhibitions ever, "The Postcard Age."

While that has sadly ended, Boston continues the postcard fascination this year with the release of the Boston Public Library's extensive collection of US state tourist cards from the 1940s-50s, all onto Flickr. The collection includes 894 from Texas, a staggering 3,000 from Florida, and a hometown variety of 808 from Boston itself. Almost all states are represented, each with their own Flickr gallery and Creative Commons permissions to allow for greater sharing.

[Images: Boston Public Library]

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A Few US Cities Essentially Celebrate Valentine's Day Every Day

February 14, 2014 at 10:43 AM | by | Comments (0)

Sure flowers and chocolates are a safe pick to show that special someone how you feel on Valentine’s Day, but of course we would suggest something more—like the gift of travel. The beach or the mountains would be a good pick, but even better would be a trip to a town with love right in the name.

Here’s a couple places to point your GPS today, and maybe there’s even a spot in town where you can pick up a shirt of souvenir.

Valentine, Nebraska

Lovely, Kentucky

Loveland, Ohio (there’s one in Colorado too!)

Bliss, New York

Hartsville, Tennessee

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Immigration Kiosks Declare Success, Expand to DFW

October 18, 2013 at 10:23 AM | by | Comments (0)

At the beginning of summer, the US Government launched a new way to speed through immigration at Chicago O'Hare. Self-service kiosks eliminating the need to wait in long lines for a passport stamp. Even in the midst of an embarrassing government shutdown, someone was at work long enough to declare they were a huge success, expediting their expansion.

The trial in Chicago went so well, the next airport to see the technology is Dallas-Fort Worth. Since 60% of arriving passengers cleared customs in 15 minutes or less, and 85% of the rest of travelers making their way through in no more than 30 minutes. The Texas hub will now be the next to see improved waiting times.

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NYC's 'Tribute in Light' Returns for Twelfth Anniversary of September 11

September 10, 2013 at 5:10 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's that time of the year again, when two powerful lights take up their brief residence in lower Manhattan to remember the thousands of lives lost during the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. This year marks the twelfth anniversary of the attacks, but the tenth for the lights themselves. Officially the installation is called "Tribute in Light," and it takes 88 searchlights to form the seemingly never-ending beams. Nearly every year they've appeared was said to be the last, but here they are still.

Tomorrow and through this upcoming weekend, expect lower Manhattan to be heavily policed, and hordes of visitors to descend upon the area around the 9/11 Memorial.

If you just want to see the lights, however, they're perfectly visible from popular tourist sites such as the Staten Island Ferry and Empire State Building visitor deck. Also, search the #TributeinLight hashtag on Instagram for hundreds of images.

[Photo: Jaunted]