Archive for November, 2011

If you’re into wacky, obstacle-driven fun on your Florida vacation, the Warrior Dash – a three-mile race along an extreme course – is for you. Slotted for Dec. 3 in Deerfield Beach in South Florida, and Jan. 21 and 22 in Lake Wales in Central Florida, the beer-soaked extravaganza features costumed participants in warrior helmets, and challenges from fire-leaping to hay bale-climbing at every turn.

For the most part, we’re programmed to think snowflakes and the holidays are synonymous. For many people, though, nothing could be further from reality. That’s why those in the know consider spending the season on a Caribbean beach vacation, amid light-strung palms.

Sure, your next trip to so-called Sin City might be for business, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it feel a bit like a Las Vegas vacation — especially at this time of year, when this desert hotspot heats up even more for the holidays.

The New Year’s holiday is a festive affair for Bajans, who usher in the season with Junkanoo, a celebration filled with parades, traditional dancing, live music and intricate, eye-popping costumes. Festivities spring up islands-wide during the wee hours on Boxing Day (December 26) and on New Year’s Day, offering the perfect excuse to book a Bahamas vacation.

Some interpret that the ancient Mayan calendar has predicted the world will end in 2012. I say if you can’t beat ʼem — join ʼem. And go properly anesthetized. In that same spirit, many Riviera Maya hotels are well poised to usher pampered guests into divine oblivion via the prized nectar of the majestic agave: tequila.

Nestled inconspicuously on the first floor of the Wai’anae tower of Disney’s Aulani Resort & Spa, you’ll find one of Oahu’s newest hidden treasures – the Laniwai Spa. “Laniwai” is a Hawaiian word that translates to “freshwater heaven” for English speakers. “Heavenly” is an apt description for an afternoon spent at Laniwai. As you amble about the grounds of Aulani, you won’t find this enchanting 18,000 square foot tropical retreat by accident. You must look for it, but the search is well worth the rewards that await you there.

There’s the Miss American Pageant and then there’s the Miss’d America Pageant. Amazing what a difference one letter makes — and in this context, one chromosome. The Miss’d pageant, at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall Ballroom on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2012 at 8 p.m., is a spoof on original, with drag queens in all their glittery glory competing for the crown, cash and prizes.

With new restaurants, cultural venues and hotels in the works, the city of Austin, Texas has more to offer visitors. Here’s what’s hot right now.

Tourist or not, there’s something special about New York come the holidays, and the excitement starts with the Rockefeller Center tree lighting on Nov. 30. The 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. event is not an affair for the agoraphobic, as it’s attended by tens of thousand other like-minded souls, but the heart-swell when the Norway spruce lights up—illuminated by 30,000 LED bulbs—is well worth the frozen toes and shoulder-to-shoulder crowd.

Guests at Honolulu hotels who want to eat native will want to press their palates past pineapple to some of the more adventurous favored fare of the Aloha State. Try one, try all – everything is delicious. Or as the locals say, “Ono!”

Guests at Tampa hotels who aren’t around for the new monthly “Food Truck Fiesta” need not worry, as the most mouthwatering mobile diners are out every day serving up seriously fashionable foodie fare.

Whether you’re on team Edward or team Jacob, you can curb vampire cravings during one out-there version of Orlando vacations, when the Twilight Convention takes a bite out of Hilton Orlando Resort Lake Buena Vista, December 9-11.

Don’t fret about the hassles of holiday travel. Check out these 5 tips to make the trip go by more smoothly.

Get to know Bangkok’s markets and you’ll get to know Bangkok, too. The people, the sights, the smells, the twists and turns — all are an integral part of the Bangkok markets. Of all the markets, Pak Khlong Talat should be considered the most breathtaking. The wholesale flower market, near Chinatown, showcases nearly a mile of flowers: roses, orchids, lilies (you name it, they have it).

Long layovers and delayed flights don’t have to mean hours of boredom. Increasingly, airports large and small are using public space to exhibit original artwork and historical displays. So rather than stopping at yet another Cinnabon, consider checking out some of the latest exhibits.

With Thanksgiving weekend fast approaching, travelers are no doubt thinking about what they need to do to prepare for the holiday crush at airports. But have they considered how to pass the time between flights or dealing with delays? Here are some ideas for making the most of your time at some of the country’s busiest airports:

Boston — with its cobblestone streets, historic buildings and biting winter air — seems made for classic holiday traditions. And it’s not just those on a Boston vacation who flock to Beantown’s holiday events. Attend the Boston Common Tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 1 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and you’ll stand shoulder to shoulder with many a native. Distinctions melt away as the Mayor Thomas M. Menino flips the lights and the hot cocoa flows.

With so many activities and attractions available on cruises, it’s easy to lose sight of the other half: the destinations. Cruises travel all over the world and give passengers the opportunity to experience several unique places on one trip. From mountainous rainforest islands in the Caribbean to villages hidden in the Fjords of the North Atlantic, head to these five incredible port destinations.

Adonis Tulum has a spa, five restaurants and lounges and a sumptuous swim-up bar. It sits five minutes from one of the most celebrated ancient sites of the Yucatan. Like many all-inclusive resorts, it comes with a treasure trove of treats. Also, it’s gay.

What makes an all-inclusive – or any resort, for that matter – gay? More than anything else, says the resort’s E-Commerce sales executive Fernando García Castro, it’s a palpable sense of comfort and an atmosphere where guests feel free to be themselves.

What makes an all-inclusive – or any resort, for that matter – gay? More than anything else, says the resort’s E-Commerce sales executive Fernando García Castro, it’s a palpable sense of comfort and an atmosphere where guests feel free to be themselves.

With December just around the corner, it’s time to start planning the company holiday party. To keep this annual tradition from resembling some ridiculous scene from “The Office,” consider these ideas from hotels around the nation, where everything from decoration to catering and even transportation is taken care of. After all, party time is more enjoyable when someone else worries about the details.