Haven’t heard of Viva la Summer? Here’s the deal – as part of Viator’s celebration of summer 2009, we’re pointing a spotlight at top summer destinations around the world. This week’s featured destination is New York City (see below for some of our favorite things to do in New York). Our first order of business: we’re pleased to honor our Viva la Summer traveler of the week. This week it’s Jim F. from the USA.
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The first time I went to the newly re-opened California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco I didn’t feel like I got the most out of my experience. On the plus side, I skipped the line outside with my pre-bought ticket and I saw the aquarium and the living roof, but I didn’t go in the rain forest and I didn’t see the show at the planetarium. And the reason I didn’t do those things is that the line inside for them, while well managed, was long, like an hour long.
Haven’t heard of Viva la Summer? Here’s the deal – as part of Viator’s celebration of summer 2009, we’re pointing a spotlight at top summer destinations around the world. This week’s featured destination is Las Vegas, Nevada (see below for some of our favorite things to do in Las Vegas). We’re very pleased to honor our Las Vegas traveler of the week, Robert S from the USA
Editor’s note: The contest is now closed and we’re pleased to announce the winners! It was not an easy decision, there were a lot of great entries. But we’ve selected 2 runners-up and 1 grand prize winner for answering one simple question: “Why should Viator give YOU free tickets to a Las Vegas dinner & show?” The catch — your answer must be 10 words or less! We’ve written about the new Dinner in the Sky in Las Vegas, involving a large crane, an elevated outdoor table, and amazing views of the Las Vegas skyline…
Along the highway in Arkansas, a bright pink billboard for Graceland got my heart a-thumpin’ for Memphis, and even though Timmy was driving, I pushed the eject button right in the middle of “Truckin’” and popped in Chuck Berry’s “Memphis, Tennessee.” Such a sad and beautiful song. Timmy cursed a blue streak all the way across the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge, and seeing we still had half a tank of gas, pronounced he was good for another 200 miles. We didn’t stop until we were halfway through Mississippi. That was my first, tragically short glimpse of Memphis. I hopped off Timmy’s bus in New Orleans and that was the last I saw of him.
The US State Department has not yet updated its Mexico travel advisory (as of May 7), but we’re seeing news reports and hearing from travelers on the ground that arrivals in Mexico are up. We’re also hearing that Mexico’s tourism authorities are (belatedly) getting the news out that, as of today, there are still no confirmed swine flu cases in the beach resort areas of Cancun, Cozumel and Puerto Vallarta. Plus it’s a safe bet that airfares to Mexico are cheaper than they’ve been in a long time.
It’s been just over two years since the Grand Canyon Skywalk opened. Since then the Skywalk has become one of the top attractions on the Grand Canyon’s West Rim (click here for a map of the Las Vegas & Grand Canyon areas or tips on visiting the Grand Canyon from Las Vegas). If you’ve been following the news about the Skywalk, you’ll know that it had a rough start (minimal facilities, long lines). We’ve remained enthusiastic supporters of the Skywalk and its caretakers, the Hualapai tribe. But we did have some concerns about the inevitable crowds the Skywalk would draw, and the ability of the organizers to cope with the rush of visitors.
Disneyland is many things to many people. It’s memories past and future. It’s magic. It’s expensive. It’s a good walk spoiled. Wait, that last one is golf, but still, there’s a lot of walking. Disneyland used to be one man’s dream – the original magic kingdom, but it has since morphed into something much bigger, and though purists may disagree, perhaps better. Remember that when you’re standing in line behind crying kids and screaming parents. It’s the spoonful of sugar that helps the medicine go down, and quite frankly, it’s pretty magical.
Ghost towns, mysterious moving rocks, acrid salt flats, sweeping sand dunes, chiseled canyons, surreal landscapes, and a posh desert castle. Death Valley was just the sort of quirky place I was looking to spend a few, cherished vacation days.
Standing in the middle of Muir Woods it’s a little hard to believe that San Francisco — and I mean downtown San Francisco — is just 20 minutes away, over the Golden Gate bridge. It’s so eerily quiet in this stand of old-growth redwood trees, you may as well be a thousand miles from civilization. That’s probably why people find it attractive; like standing on a beach with raging surf, the force of nature here is overwhelming, and all your concerns and worries are quickly put into context.