Feel free to browse the posts by tags if you're just looking for some ideas for traveling on a certain continent.
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Air New Zealand (Star Alliance) is offering cheap RT flights from SF or LA to main NZ cities for travel starting between Oct 15 to Nov 22 and Feb 15 to Mar 31. I found a RT flight leaving on 11/22 and returning 12/6 from SF to Auckland for less than $1200. The flight time is only 12 hours each way.
You know you want to go.
(flickr: Jesper Bulow)
Seriously? $9 flights from EWR to Boston? JetBlue’s Cloud Nine Sale going on today will get you to Boston for $9. Flights are restricted to Tuesday to Thursday in the month of May and June. You can always take a flight there and take the Chinatown bus back for $15 if you’d like to stay for longer.
Here’s NYTimes’ 36 Hours in Boston Itinerary for your visit. Kayaking on th Charles River sounds great!
Elephant sauntering towards sunset, Kenya (flickr: hamad darwish)
Ken-ya believe it? $818 for round trip tickets to Nairobi, Kenya? Turkish Airline is offering super low fares for a last minute trip to Kenya in April and early May. If you’re the type of traveler that can pack your bags and go, GO! Just disregard the layover in Istanbul. Maybe you can talk your way into getting a free one or two day layover and squeeze in a whirlwind tour of IST. Here’s the link for fly.com and the original post on this week’s travelzoo top 20.
Snique Away has a sale on the Vail Cascade Resort and Spa with rates starting at $69/night for a standard room to $95/night for a deluxe courtyard room. The room is found on Kayak.com for more than $300. If you need an invite, shoot us an email.
Check out the itinerary I put together for Denver.
Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado (flickr: Ishmael Orendain)
A Weekend in Denver (+1 or 2 days itinerary)
Day 1 — Mediterranean fares and martinis to follow
After you arrive and settle into your accommodation, head over to Rioja in the historic Larimer Square for a drink and dinner. The Zagat says the chef/co-owner Jasinksi is “nothing short of amazing” and Rioja rewards its “loyal following” with “mouthwatering” Med cuisine that “makes use of seasonal and local ingredients” and is paired with “some fine Spanish wines”. Yelpers seem to love the fresh bacon appetizer, artichoke tortelloni, and the goat cheese and fig beignets. It also recommends that if you are in time for the happy hour, hop on over to the bar for $2 drink specials and yummy small plates that won’t break the bank. (Perhaps skip the dessert and wait for the surprise that’s at your next stop…)
Take a leisurely after dinner stroll up to the Cruise Room in the Oxford Hotel at the corner of 17th and Wazee Street. The Cruise Room is Denver’s oldest bar and has a speakeasy feel to it with a old-fashioned cruise liner decor. So plop yourself down in a cozy booth and order some martinis. Itineraries on denver.org says the creme brulee here is an obligatory dessert order.
Day 2 — Head out to the hills and come home for a locavore meal
Wake up early and head to Snooze for a hearty breakfast before heading out to the slopes. Despite the name, the restaurant is open at 6:30AM on weekdays and 7AM on weekends. Plus what New Yorker or insert your city name + er/ian here doesn’t love a good brunch. Fine, maybe 8AM doesn’t qualify as a brunch, but that’s a technicality we’re willing to overlook. This place has yelpers raving about the pineapple upside down pancake, cinnfull pancakes, egg benedict, and the smoked cheddar hollandaise. Some gripe about the 30 minute wait, but we’re used to that by now! Right? Plus, if you arrive early enough the line won’t even be an issue.
Now head out to a nearby ski resort and spend your day on the slopes. Some close ones to consider are Echo Mountain Park, Arapahoe Basin, and Loveland. See "Heading to Colorado" for more on the skiing scene in Colorado.
Most ski resorts will also offer overnight accommodations if you’re just having too much fun. Or since you’re a short drive away, you can always come back to Denver and check out Root Down for dinner. NYTimes says ”This hyper-casual spot in the rapidly gentrifying Highlands area is the sort of neighborhood restaurant every neighborhood needs. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, it functions as an all-day clubhouse for locals, and it recently celebrated its first anniversary with a catered block party outside its front door (it’s that sort of place). Adding to the chummy vibe, the Bean, as it’s known to regulars, is a hodgepodge: a cafe, sandwich joint, cocktail bar and ambitious locavore restaurant, all packed into a space that housed a soda fountain in the 1930s.” And Yelpers can’t get enough of the artichoke and sweet potato fries and the items on the small plates menu.
Day 3 — Swapping the magnificent great outdoors for some beauty indoors
Taking a break from the slopes? Want to escape the cold of the outdoors? Head over to the Golden Triangle neighborhood. You can start your day inside the Denver Art Museum, which “boasts one of the world’s greatest collection of Western American art, in addition to cutting-edge contemporary works and blockbuster traveling exhibits.” The building itself, designed by Daniel Libeskind, has rapidly become an art world icon since the museum’s opening in 2006.
When you are tired, hungry, and in need of a break, you can power up at Rooster & Moon Coffee Pub, only three blocks away on Banncock St between W 10th and W 9th Ave. Grab some breakfasts that’s served all day or opt for salad, sandwiches, or flatbread.
Then continue to explore the neighborhood since it “brims with more than 30 innovative art galleries and artists’ studios showcasing the innovative wares of nationally renowned talent and regional up-and-comers. The Golden Triangle art galleries are bordered by Speer Boulevard, Colfax Avenue and Lincoln Street.”
Day 4 — From Buffalo Bill to Buffalo Sausages
Head 20 some miles to the West to Golden, Colorado and visit the grave of Buffalo Bill, “one of the most famous cowboys to ever ride the range. Upon his request he was buried atop Lookout Mountain, a site boasting one of the best views in all of Colorado. The museum, which opened in 1921, offers a look into life in the Old West.”
Continue your exploration of the great outdoor at the Red Rocks Park or Dinosaur Ridge. The former is “a picture perfect setting with flawless all-natural acoustics 70 million years in the making, Red Rocks Amphitheatre is a true Colorado original. In addition to its blockbuster summer concert series (everyone from the Beatles to U2 have played here), Red Rocks is open year-round, featuring the Red Rocks Performers Hall of Fame and the Trading Post Loop Hiking Trail, a 1.4-mile adventure through spectacular rock formations, valleys and a natural meadow.” And the latter is “a famous natural landmark that features famous Jurassic dinosaur bones, such as Stegosaurus and Apatosaurus, discovered in 1877, and Cretaceous dinosaur footprints.”
If you are interested, on your way back to the city you can stop at the Coors Brewery, the world’s largest brewing site, for a free tour. This brewery still uses the same Rocky Mountain spring water that the founder discovered in 1873.
Once you’re back in the city, stop by Biker Jim’s Gourmet Hot Dog stand on the corner of 16th Street and Arapahoe and try some Alaska Reindeer Sausage. Or perhaps some Elk Jalapeno Cheddar Brat is what you’re interested in? Bourdain, found Biker Jim’s in his recent visit to Denver. The man thought “The elk was excellent, the wild boar was really extraordinary and the reindeer was perfect, really awesome and probably my favorite.” And the word on Yelp is definitely say yes to the “cream cheese and Coca Cola grilled onions.”
Walk around the nearby Tattered Cover Bookstore where you can grab a latte from the in-house java joint and “plop down in one of the overstuffed chairs or sofa to wrap your hands around the latest best seller” before dinner time.
Make the last dinner of your trip a memorable one and head to Fruition. The Zagat review starts with “Absolutely incredible”. Enough said. While you are there Yelpers say the Pan Roasted New Zealand Sea Bass is “cooked to perfection”; the potato wrapped oysters rockefeller were “moanfully delicious”. Other things on the menu that are drool inducing are the Salmon Creek Farm Pork Shoulder Confit and Maple Leaf Farm Duck Breast.
Snow reflections on the slopes of Vail, Co (flickr: snow sara)
Unless you are desperately waiting for the next winter storm to hit the East Coast and dump a bunch of pristinely white powder on the streets that will turn into a black slush on the side walks within a matter of hours, you are probably begging for spring to come sooner. Maybe it’s because the winter here (and by here… I mean the general NY metropolitan area) is not quite as satisfying as how mother nature intends it to be. Sure, the city closed down for two days after Christmas. New Yorkers huddled under their comforters and pretended like we were stranded in our homes. Alright alright, some of us were really stuck in our homes.
But that’s nothing compared to the gorgeous powder on the Colorado slopes.
While browsing travelzoo’s airfare deals, I found roundtrip tickets from NYC to DEN for just under $200 on fly.com! You can swap the dreary Manhattan winter for some excitement out in the Rocky Mountains for a weekend (plus a day or two).
Once you are in Denver, you can pick from a handful of resorts that are within driving distance from Denver.
Since I have never picked up any sort of winter sport and would probably die if I tried, lucky for you NYTimes has a Ski Guide in their Travel Section! Here are some articles on various locations throughout Colorado:
- Ski Guide — Vail Ski Resort recommends Riva Ridge as the Best Morning Run — “get it while it’s at its best. One of Vail’s signature runs, this is a a 4-mile-long, twisting descent that is frequently groomed top to bottom. It is not suited to beginners but will be an enjoyable test for intermediates to advanced intermediates. Another good choice, especially if you’re based in Lionshead, is the Simba trail, which has great views across the Vail Valley and is rarely crowded.”
- 36 Hours in Telluride says “a free gondola links the historic town of Telluride with the faux-European base area known as Mountain Village. Just before sunset, hop off at the gondola’s midstation, situated atop a ridge. For a civilized drink without cover bands, you’ll find Allred’s, a rustic-chic lodge with craft beers on tap. Grab a window seat for sunset views of the San Juan Mountains, or relax by the stone fireplace to the soothing sounds of Bob Israel on his piano. Shaun White wannabes, however, will want to continue down to a new terrain park with an 18-foot-high halfpipe. Illuminated by klieg lights until 8 p.m., it is one of Colorado’s few halfpipes where you can flip a McTwist under the stars”
- Resorts for Skiers of Every Type categorizes Crest Butte Mountain and Silverton Mountains for the Extreme Skiers. Steamboat Ski Resort for the family. And Aspen/Snowmass for the nonskiers.
- Ski Guide — Steamboat recommend that visitors head down for the gondola on Heavenly Daze, where you will have plenty of room to arc big giant slalom turns on fast corduroy instead of making a beeline for the mountain’s upper reaches as the Best Morning Run.
Be on the look out for a post on what Denver itself has to offer (besides being the perfect gateway to ski country) and a 4-day weekend trip itinerary. In the mean time, happy travels!
Cherry blossom in Tokyo, Japan (flickr: chun chi fan)
OMG! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw tickets from NYC to Tokyo nonstop on American Airline for around $700. There are flights departing in late March and returning in early April for $686. Or you can flight out early April for $70 more. This will put travelers in Japan, just in time for hanami, or cherry blossom viewing. Japan Guide offers a list of estimated dates. You know you’re tempted.
Check back in a few days for more on things to do/see/eat in Tokyo and Kyoto during your trip. In the mean time, happy travels!
Color in the streets of Cartagena, Colombia (flickr: Louis Vest)
While browsing for flights on Kayak’s Explore function, I realized that flights from NYC to Colombia is cheaper than flights to many of its South America neighbors. Flights can be found to many of the cities for around $400.
You can visit the bustling capital, Bogota, enjoy the colorful port city of northern coast, Cartagena, hike the Andes in El Cocuy National Park, or explore the country’s many other cities. Here are some travel articles from the NYTimes:
- 36 Hours in Bogota
- Above the Clouds in a Secret Colombia
- Bogota Meets the World
- For Foodies, Cartagena is Now on the Map
Be on the look out for more detailed entries on some of the destinations in Colombia! In the mean time, happy travels!
Currently Fly.com’s low fare calendar is showing February or March RT flights from NYC to HKG for just a little under $800 . However, it is a flight with China Eastern (Skyteam) with a 1.5 hour layover in Shanghai (PVG). It’s almost $200 less than a non-stop flight on Cathay Pacific (Oneworld). I haven’t flow any international flights on China Eastern, but I imagine that it won’t come close to the service you get on Cathay Pacific.
Edit (1/28/11) — A friend of mine actually feels that China Eastern is better than Cathay Pacific. He is not a fan of CP’s new seat arrangements and recline style.
To be honest, the constant hustle and bustle of Hong Kong is off-putting. But once you get settle in you see that within the cacophony of madness there is a rhythm to this place. Mongkok 旺角 (shown above) is one of the busiest neighborhoods in Hong Kong. Just like Tsim Sa Tsui and Causeway Bay, it’s a mecca of food, electronics, and shopping.
Rarely do I find something in the market at Ladies’ Street (女人街), but that doesn’t mean you won’t. It’s always fun to walk around and browse, if you’re not scared off by the mass amount of people and vendors. There’s also Temple Street (廟街), sometimes known as Men’s Street, with a market for clothing, mobile phones, shoes, etc. Electronics can be found in Sai Yeung Choi Street (西洋菜街) or in Mong Kok Computer Centre. Just be sure to bargain and visit different shops to see who has the lowest price.