Travel e-Scapes: April 23, 2015

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DESTINATION & DEAL OF THE DAY: Marrakesh, Morocco

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$944 Marrakesh
A 7-day advance purchase required
Depart by May 16; August 26-December 15 or January 10-March 31, 2016
Add $30 per direction for Thursday-Sunday travel days
Stay at least one Saturday night or up to one year
Purchase by April 30
Valid on British Airways(+Fees $) via London (change from Heathrow to Gatwick Airport required)
Two free London stopovers permitted
Tip: Return flights arrive in London between 4-11PM with connecting service to Atlanta departing the following day between 2-4PM.  Travelers are permitted to extend this layover to one or more days. 

Southern Morocco’s imperial city of Marrakech is close to the Atlantic coast, the High Atlas mountains and the Sahara desert. The famous Jemaa El Fna Square bustles with peddlers, jugglers, monkeys and snake charmers.  By evening, the square becomes a food bazaar and a promenade for locals.  Popular daytrips from the city include tours to the high mountain passes and visits to the oasis-like Ourika Valley with waterfalls, unspoilt landscapes and encounters with Morocco’s traditional Berber people.


TRAVEL TIPS & TIDBITS

The Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association and the WNC Cheese Trail celebrate the first ever Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest on April 26.  The festival will be held rain or shine, from noon until 4PM, at the Highland Brewery in Asheville.  The festival will utilize the indoor and outdoor areas of the brewery so you can get your hands on goats and calves outside and participate in discussions and tastings inside.  Pre-fest tickets for the 1st annual Carolina Mountain Cheese Festival are $12 for ages 13 to 103; free ages 12 and under.  The 17 member inns of the Asheville Bed & Breakfast Association offer special packages throughout the month of April.  Select packages include two passes to the Sunday festival and additional amenities.  Lodging options include family-friendly and and pet-friendly inns; inn hosts that cater to guests with gluten-free diets or other dietary preferences; homes built in the Victorian or Civil War time periods, friendly farmhouses or cottages; in-room spa services, and several destinations are within walking distance of downtown Asheville. 

For nearly 20 years she’s sat silent, but on Saturday, May 30, the Norfolk & Western Class J 611 Steam Passenger Locomotive, the most powerful steam passenger locomotive ever built, will triumphantly return to her hometown of Roanoke, Virginia under her own steam power.  It’s a dream come true for thousands of train enthusiasts around the world.  To welcome the locomotive home, the Virginia Museum of Transportation is planning a Homecoming Celebration that will be open to the public and free of charge.  Details will be published soon for the May 30 events.  The graceful, streamlined giant of a locomotive will participate in Norfolk Southern 21st Century Steam excursion program throughout June and July.
 


SPECIAL DOMESTIC & INTERNATIONAL OFFERS

Airfare offers – ones with a ticket-by date – and deals with our suggestion to ‘Hurry!’ can expire at anytime.   Heed Clark’s advice: Buy that great airfare deal – and then figure out a reason to go there! Eventually you’ll see the world at a fraction of the normal price!

HURRY! One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$119 New York-LaGuardia
A 21-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day
Complete travel on or before June 20
Valid on American(+Fees $), nonstop

HURRY! One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$153 Quebec City, Quebec
A 21-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day
Complete travel on or before March 17, 2016
Valid on Delta(+Fees $) via New York-JFK

Round-trip from Atlanta:
$405 Cabo San Lucas-Los Cabos – or – Puerto Vallata, Mexico
A 7-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day
Stay at least any two nights
No max stay limits and no blackout dates
Purchase by April 26
Valid on American(+Fees $) via Dallas

TODAY! Round-trip from Atlanta:
$443 to $460 to the following destinations:
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Liberia, Costa Rica
Managua, Nicaragua
Panama City, Panama
San Jose, Costa Rica
San Salvador, El Salvador
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
A 50-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day
Stay at least any three nights
Complete travel on or before February 28, 2016
No blackout dates
Purchase today, April 23
Valid on Delta(+Fees $), nonstop
American(+Fees $) and United(+Fees $) match with connecting service

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Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your ticket!
+Fees $$$ = Carry-on Bags: $10-$75; Checked Bags: $15-$100; Seats: $3-$199; additional fees vary by carrier
+Fees $ = Checked Bags: $24-$125; Select/Preferred Seats: $9-$99
 


SPECIAL HOTEL & RESORT OFFERS

The U.S.A. is yours – so what are you waiting for?  If you’re looking to visit a bustling city in the eastern part of the U.S, check out New York City, Washington, D.C or Philadelphia. Or, if a beach destination is more your scene, Florida, California and Hawaii are the perfect places to kick back and relax while soaking up the sun. Or, enjoy the great outdoors at one of the many national parks and memorials such as the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone or Mount Rushmore.  Book an American Airlines flight with a four-night (or longer) stay through April 30 and get $100 off when using promo code VISITUSA at American Airlines Vacations.  Book your flight and hotel together and save with American’s exclusive unpublished airfares and specially negotiated hotel rates.  This offer is valid for travel now through December 20.  Blackout dates: May 25, July 4, September 7, November 26.

Departing two hours outside of Colorado Springs in Alamosa, Colorado, the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad offers a number of new scenic train experiences available for summer.  Enjoy the natural beauty of the Southern Rockies from the comfort of vista-dome vintage rail cars, including two authentic City of New Orleans club cars, pulled by a stylish mid-century diesel engine.  Choose from a number of excursions, or a one-of-a-kind concert at the top of Fir Summit Amphitheater at 9,400 feet. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad departs from the Alamosa Train Depot.

  • Weekday and Weekend Excursion Trains (Mondays-Sundays, May 22-September 13, 930A-530P) take guests on a guided journey along the longest and highest standard gauge railroad in Colorado.  Take in the sights along the LaVeta Pass before stopping in the quaint mountain town of LeVeta for exploration; $99/adult, $89/child weekends, $79/adult, $69/child weekdays.
  • Enjoy sunset views of the San Luis Valley with cocktails, appetizers in art deco styled Illinois Central club cars with bar and lounge seating.  Then move to the dining cars for a return twilight ride with dinner, dessert, coffee and aperitifs; $79/adult, $69/child, select Saturdays from June 6-August 29, 6-9P.
  • For its seventh season, the Mountain Rails Live Summer Concert Series takes guests on a scenic two-hour ride through the Southern Rockies before arriving at the 9,400-foot-high Fir Summit Amphitheater, powered entirely by wind and solar energy. Upon arrival, guests enjoy a concert set amidst jaw-dropping scenery, featuring award-winning country and western folk musicians; from $19/adult, $9/child.  Offered select weekends from June 3-September 13, 1030A-6P.  Prices for the Dinner Train & Concert Weekend vary based on date of travel and start at $142.  
  • A featured event as part of its Mountain Rails Live Summer Concert Series, guests are treated to an unforgettable day of train travel, taking in mountain views, sampling from over 20 regional breweries and enjoying live music and barbeque.  Rails & Ales, $39 for adults 21+ only, runs June 20, 10A-5:30P.
     

Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on Twitter.


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