HURRY! One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$58 Washington D.C.-Reagan
A 21-day advance purchase required
Travel any available day of the week
Complete travel on or before December 15
Blackout dates: September 2-5; November 18-29
Valid on American, nonstop
Travel Tips: France
Some 17,000 private châteaux, palaces, churches, town halls, banks and government buildings open their doors to the public as part of the Journées du Patrimoine event across France on September 17, 18 (some locations have extended dates). This gives visitors the chance to see behind the doors of some of France’s most closely guarded heritage sites, including the Élysée Palace – the President’s residence (expect long entry lines).
Check local tourist office websites to see which buildings will open in the area you are visiting. Most are free of charge. All of the participating monuments offer special activities for the event: guided tours, skills demonstrations, concerts, theater performances and themed circuits.
If you’re hitting the road with rental wheels in France, get off the motorway when possible and take the scenic D roads. As a general rule, D roads with a higher number, say D111 will be more leisurely and less traveled than D1.
Travel with a Michelin map (Michelin was founded on the idea of searching out France’s most enjoyable spots) and find the prettiest roads noted with green shading alongside the route. The most impressive locations, be it a gorgeous village or an impressive château, are highlighted by one, two or three stars depending on their wow factor.
The Michelin MyCar app (iPhone and Android) can assist with real-time guidance, itinerary planning, and hotel and travel recommendations.
Top 40 Hotels: 5 Cities
According to a report by Expedia titled, ‘The Traveler’s Path to Purchase,’ trip planners can visit an average of 38 websites when researching an upcoming trip.
To simplify trip planning, UltimateHotels.com has launched a first-of-its-kind website designed to provide a short list of 40 top-rated, centrally-located and unique hotels in five of the country’s leading destination cities: New York, San Francisco, Miami, Washington D.C. and Chicago.
UltimateHotels.com does the heavy lifting so travelers aren’t left to needlessly weed through hundreds of options. For example, if you type ‘New York’ into travel website search engines, you’ll get more than 800 hotels to consider.
Each of the hotels on the top 40 list are handpicked by researchers and editors and only hotels that are in close proximity to the center of the city make the list, so travelers can be near theaters, restaurants, museums and other city attractions.
The website provides full-color photo layouts and specific features that make each hotel special. The site’s blog offers city-by-city restaurant guides highlighting top local food critics and bloggers’ ‘best-of’ lists.
Each year, UltimateHotels.com will produce a new list of top 40 hotels for each city, and plans to expand to other destinations in 2017.
The top five ranking in each city for 2016 include (with a range of prices from budget-to-luxury):
San Francisco: St. Regis, Scarlet Huntington, Omni, Loews Regency and White Swan Inn
New York: Casablanca Hotel, Library Hotel, Hotel Giraffe, Knickerbocker and Bryant Park
Miami: Hotel Beaux Arts, Mandarin Oriental, Four Seasons Miami, JW Marriott Marquis and The Shepley Hotel
Chicago: Langham, Virgin Hotel, Waldorf Astoria, Peninsula Hotel and Thompson Hotel
Washington DC: Rosewood, The Jefferson, The Hay-Adams, Sofitel and Fairmont Georgetown
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!
One-way from Atlanta, each way:
$53 St. Louis
$63 San Antonio
$93 Denver, Las Vegas, or Phoenix
Valid from ATL: Tuesday-Saturday
Valid to ATL: Monday-Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday
Start travel on or after June 18
Complete travel on or before August 31
Valid on Frontier, nonstop (flights do not operate daily)
Purchase by June 15
Round-trip from Atlanta:
$566 Quito, Ecuador
Travel any available day of the week
Depart on or after September 1
A 7-night minimum stay requried
Complete travel on or before December 31
Valid on Delta, nonstop
Purchase today, June 14
Round-trip from Atlanta:
$607 Bergen, Norway
Travel any available day of the week starting on or after September 28
Complete travel on or before March 25, 2017
No year-end holiday blackout dates!
Stay at least one Saturday night.
Valid on SAS-Scandinavian/United via Newark or Washington DC (2 connections required to Bergen)
Purchase by June 15
NOTE: Airline fees can and often do exceed the cost of your flight! Additional charges now apply to budget and sale rates on most airlines for a carry-on bag, checked baggage and advance seat assignments. The least expensive fees are charged when these options are added during the flight booking process. Fees climb higher after flights are reserved and even higher when adding these options at airport check-in. Kayak offers the most up-to-date Fees Chart for all domestic and international airlines.
Hot Summer Stays
The historic La Quinta Resort & Club offers nightly rates of $99 for weekdays throughout the summer. This resort has a total of 41 pools – 27 of those are climate- controlled to a perfect 83 degrees. The Palm Springs golf resort, dating back to 1926, offers guests access to its five championship courses. Additional amenities include Spa La Quinta, 7 restaurants, and tennis courts. The resort is just over a mile from the Old Town La Quinta shopping center. Book by June 19.
The Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort in Rancho Mirage offers the ‘Stay and Splash’ summer sale with rooms starting from $107 a night, valid for stays through June. Rates on the ‘Stars & Stripes’ package, valid for stays through September 11, start from $111. Book by July 18. The resort’s signature restaurant bluEmber is offering a $32 three-course meal throughout the summer. The resort is home to Splashtopia – the only water park resort in the desert – with a 450-foot lazy river, a cliff-side hot tub, and 100-foot water slides. Set on 240 acres, this upmarket golf and spa resort features patios or balconies with garden, golf course and/or mountain views. On site are five restaurants, a 27-hole golf course, tennis courts, and a spa. A daily resort fee of $32 includes access to the fitness center and an adult-only pool. Both offers require a three-night minimum stay for maximum discounts.
The 107-room boutique Hotel Indigo Traverse City on West Grand Traverse Bay is the first new hotel built in this Lake Michigan coastal resort community since 2009. Perched beside the city’s scenic Grandview Parkway, the hotel features an elegant lobby restaurant, a fitness center, and two bars, including a rooftop bar with stunning bay views.
The hotel’s industrial/logging theme design follows an earlier, grittier time in the late 19th century when the city was a rough-and-tumble logging port. The hotel sits at the town’s edgy Warehouse District, once a noisy warren of sawmills, warehouses, workshops and commercial wharves. Walls and carpets in some spaces feature stamps and brands once used by local logging companies (which look a lot like cattle brands). Antique crosscut saws, peavies, and other tools are hung on the walls as decorations, the corridors are papered and carpeted to evoke woodland pathways, and the guestrooms feature wood-grain tiling, sliding wooden bathroom doors that look like they belong on cattle sheds, mirror frames carved to look like wooden gears, and photomural walls of forest scenes.
Rates from $114 a night.
Traverse City boasts numerous microbreweries, a diverse range of restaurants and beautiful freshwater beaches. The city produces about 75% of the tart cherries grown in the United States. Plan a visit during the National Cherry Festival, July 2-9.
The town is also grape-friendly and sits at the 45th Parallel, the latitude shared with the renowned wine regions of France and Italy. Steep water-cradled slopes produce some of the best wines in the country.
This year, People Magazine named Traverse City one of ‘America’s Foodiest Cities,’ Country Living listed it among the 20 Most Charming Beach Towns in America, and Smithsonian.com included it on its list of 20 Best Small Towns to Visit. Livability.com has named Traverse City one of the 10 Best Small Towns for 2016.
Travel e-Scapes is brought to you by Clara Bosonetto, Team Clark Travel Editor. Follow Clara on Twitter.
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