Thursday, February 26, 2009

Get the Atlanta Early Bird Special with AirTran Airways' New Sale Fares

/PRNewswire/ -- AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI) , today launched a sale for travel from Atlanta to over 40 of the airline's destinations with fares starting as low as $39*. Travelers may purchase these sale fares at or via AirTran Airways' reservations system at 1-800-AIR-TRAN. For Spanish, call 1-877-581-9842.

"You may have to wake up early, but you'll sleep easier knowing how low these fares are," said Tad Hutcheson, vice president of marketing and sale for AirTran Airways.

These special fares are available for purchase on February 26, 2009, and are good for travel through April 1, 2009 and are valid for travel from Atlanta on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. Like all AirTran Airways fares, prices included in this sale are available for one-way travel and do not require a roundtrip purchase or an overnight stay.

Following is a sample of the one-way sale fares. All fares require a 10-day advance purchase:

Sample Fares
Atlanta - Akron/Canton $49
Atlanta - Baltimore/Washington (BWI) $49
Atlanta - Boston $59
Atlanta - Buffalo/Niagara $49
Atlanta - Charlotte $39
Atlanta - Chicago (Midway) $49
Atlanta - Dallas/Ft. Worth $59
Atlanta - Dayton $49
Atlanta - Denver $89
Atlanta - Detroit $59
Atlanta - Flint $49
Atlanta - Ft. Lauderdale $49
Atlanta - Ft. Myers $49
Atlanta - Houston (Hobby) $59
Atlanta - Indianapolis $49
Atlanta - Jacksonville $39
Atlanta - Kansas City $49
Atlanta - Los Angeles $99
Atlanta - Memphis $39
Atlanta - Miami $49
Atlanta - Milwaukee $49
Atlanta - Minneapolis/St. Paul $59
Atlanta - Newark $59
Atlanta - Newport News/Williamsburg $49
Atlanta - New Orleans $39
Atlanta - New York (LaGuardia) $59
Atlanta - Orlando $49
Atlanta - Philadelphia $49
Atlanta - Phoenix $89
Atlanta - Pittsburgh $49
Atlanta - Raleigh/Durham $39
Atlanta - Richmond $49
Atlanta - San Antonio $49
Atlanta - San Juan $89
Atlanta - Sarasota/Bradenton $49
Atlanta - St. Louis $49
Atlanta - Tampa $49
Atlanta - Washington, DC
(Dulles and Reagan National) $49
Atlanta - West Palm Beach $49

AirTran Airways, a subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:AAI) , a Fortune 1000 company, is ranked number one in the 2008 Airline Quality Rating study. The airline offers coast-to-coast flights, North America's newest all-Boeing fleet, friendly service and Business Class and complimentary XM Satellite Radio on every flight. To book a flight, visit

*All fares are one-way. All fares are non-refundable and a $75 fee per person applies to any change made after purchase, plus any applicable increase in airfare. Ten-day advance purchase required. Seats are limited, subject to availability, and may not be available on all flights. Tickets must be purchased on February 26, 2009. Sale fares are valid for travel through April 1, 2009. Fares are valid from Atlanta only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Travel is only valid for nonstop departures before 10am. A first bag may be checked for a fee of up to $15 per person and a second bag may be checked for a fee of up to $25 per person. Reservations may be obtained or changed through an AirTran Airways Telephone Reservations Center for an additional $15 per person. Fares, routes, and schedules are subject to change without notice. Fares shown do not include Airport Passenger Facility Charges of up to $18. The September 11th security fee of up to $10 is not included. Fares do not include segment taxes of $3.60 per segment. A segment is defined as a takeoff and a landing. Fares to/from Puerto Rico do not include additional government taxes of up to $32.20.

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SAA Vacations® Spectacular Sale on “Lion Sands in Style” Luxury Package

(BUSINESS WIRE)--South African Airways Vacations® announced an amazing $800 savings on its spectacular “Lion Sands in Style”, 9-day ultra-luxury air-inclusive package for travel during the month of May, and Sept. 15-Dec. 15, 2009. Normally priced at $3,199*, SAA Vacations is offering this incredible package for just $2,399* for 9 days in Cape Town and Lion Sands, a name that evokes sighs among those who are familiar with the game reserve. The boutique-accommodation experience at the stately Cape Cadogan in More Quarters, and the elegance and tranquility of the Lion Sands River Lodge at the Lion Sands Private Game Reserve, promise to leave the traveler feeling as if they’ve taken a vacation that should have cost a fortune, but instead was reasonably priced.

“At SAA Vacations, we are keenly focused on taking ‘smart luxury travel’ to the next level,” said Lucille Sive, president of South African Airways Vacations. “To have been able to secure such an amazing package at this low price for stays and safaris at these classically luxurious properties means that we’re doing our part to help travelers realize that once-in-a-lifetime vacation without any of the guilt.”

Package Highlights include:

“Lion Sands in Style” – $2,399* - 9 days of understated, boutique luxury in Cape Town and thrilling safari at a classic, yet spa-like lodge on the Sabie River

* Economy class airfare on South African Airways, Africa’s most awarded carrier, from either New York Kennedy or Washington, D.C., (Dulles) to Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa.
* Domestic flights within South Africa.
* 4 nights at the stately Cape Cadogan Hotel in More Quarters, a historic building declared a national monument. The Georgian and Victorian building offers its guests a comfortable and luxurious atmosphere that serves as the perfect launching point for seeing the breathtaking sights in Cape Town.
* 2 nights at the ultra-luxurious Lion Sands River Lodge along the banks of the Sabie River. Nestled among trees dating back 800 years, the lodge boasts thatched rooms with outdoor and inside showers, and a view of the river from its private decks. Exquisite details, such as pebble-inlaid floors in the bathrooms, will make a person feel pampered at every moment.
* 4 game drives to view Africa’s “Big Five.”
* Breakfasts while at the Cape Cadogan in Cape Town and breakfasts, lunches and dinners while at the Lion Sands River Lodge.
* Meet and greet by South African Airways Vacations representatives upon arrival in South Africa, as well as transfers.

South African Airways Vacations® offers vacation options for all budgets, with experts on hand to ensure its clients experience the vacation of their dreams. For more vacation packages to Southern Africa, please call 1-888-722-4872 or visit

*Price is based on double occupancy and excludes taxes and fuel surcharges. Low add-on rates available from 26 other cities in the U.S.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

'Spring Stimulus' Package Encourages Visitors and Locals Alike to Relish Greater Phoenix's Peak Tourist Season

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Taking a cue from the federal government, the Greater Phoenix Convention & Visitors Bureau has put together a stimulus package designed to help visitors -- and locals -- take advantage of unseasonably low prices at several of metropolitan Phoenix's hotels, resorts and restaurants.

From now through April 30, visitors who log on to the Greater Phoenix CVB's "Spring Stimulus" page at can find room rates as low as $36 and resort packages that include free night stays and golf rounds. Meanwhile, local fine-dining establishments are offering dinner-for-two specials for less than $50 and three-course meals for as little as $25.

"Just because the economy is in a funk doesn't mean you have to be," said Kevin Kamenzind, senior vice president of sales and marketing at the Greater Phoenix CVB. "That's our message to visitors, and especially locals. Those of us who are lucky enough to live in Arizona can save money on spring getaways and stimulate the local economy by enjoying the beauty in our own backyard."

Spring is the peak season for tourism in America's sunniest metropolis, and that typically translates into peak room rates. But as part of the Spring Stimulus program some hotels and resorts are advertising summer-like rates for springtime dates.

The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa is offering rooms for $179, a rate reminiscent of summer weekend specials at the famed resort. Other Phoenix-area resorts are advertising next-night discounts. Guests who book two nights at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort and Spa can stay the third night for free, and those who pay a regular rate for one night at The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa get the next night for half off.

Golf-loving guests can book a studio suite at the Legacy Golf Resort for $99 and get a 20 percent discount on greens fees, or enjoy a complimentary round with a $199 stay at Arizona Grand Resort.

Hotels and resorts are also tossing in summer-style dining and beverage credits. The Sheraton Wild Horse Pass' package includes a $25 food credit and complimentary breakfast for two, and the Embassy Suites Phoenix Biltmore is giving guests a $50 credit to Omaha Steakhouse plus a coupon book packed with $750 in savings at area Westcor malls.

Foodies looking for a spring break in Greater Phoenix can log onto to to find out about specials on both fine cuisine ($35 for a three-course prix fixe menu at Roy's Desert Ridge) and midweek wine (half-price bottles on "Wine Down Wednesday" at 1130 Restaurant).

"It's not enough to remind residents how important tourism is to Arizona's economy; we also want to illustrate the value of the visitor experience here and provide incentives for taking advantage of it," Kamenzind said.

"If you're thinking about coming in for spring training, or you're a local who has friends and family who are contemplating to visit, we want you to know that, even in this economy, a Phoenix getaway is incredibly accessible. The desert always provides a gorgeous spring; now our hotels, resorts and restaurants are providing the stimulus."

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Summer Camp & Youth Travel Website Helps Families Find the Perfect Summer Experience

/PRNewswire/ -- Choice Camps, a Boston-based summer camp and youth travel referral service, announced the launch of, a website designed to dramatically improve the way families find summer camps and teen travel programs online. Through an easy-to-use interface, families can now access reviews, descriptions, recommendations, photos, and videos for hundreds of summer camp and youth travel programs throughout the world. publishes each program's session dates, activities, facilities, accreditations, safety standards, and more. Each profile also features testimonials from other families, camp director biographies, dozens of camp photos, the camp's full promotional video, and a review of the camp written by a Choice Camps Expert who speaks with the director, former campers, and their parents. From, parents can send messages directly to the camp director or request more information like brochures, DVDs, and other program materials.

"Our goal is to make the lives of parents easier by only recommending the programs that will be an appropriate fit for each child," added Peter Ross, Co-Founder. "It is about finding the perfect match for your child -- while there is a perfect camp for every child, not every camp is perfect for each child."

Choice Camps represents more than 400 overnight summer camps and youth travel programs in 28 states and more than two dozen countries. The service provides families with free camp and trip advice, reviews, and recommendations online and via phone. All camps and trips endorsed by Choice Camps are pre-screened by industry experts who speak to the program director, visit the camp, and gather insight from former campers and their parents.

"Until now, there has been no comprehensive, trusted resource for families to find safe, reliable, and top-rated summer camp and teen travel programs online," said Nick Riotto, Co-Founder of Choice Camps. "Through our online and phone components, it is our goal to inspire families to send their kids to camp, help them make informed decisions, and guide them in selecting an appropriate summer experience."

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Save Up to 60% on MSC Cruises' Eastbound Transatlantic Sailings

/PRNewswire/ -- MSC Cruises is offering special savings of up to 60 percent off retail prices on eastbound transatlantic sailings of MSC Lirica and MSC Orchestra this spring.

MSC Orchestra departs Fort Lauderdale on May 2 on an 18-night sailing to Copenhagen. Its first stop, after two days at sea, will be the cruise line's first call in New York City, overnighting from May 5 to 6. The ship will then resume its itinerary, calling at Ponta Delgada, Portugal; Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo, Spain; La Coruna, Spain; and Dover, England, with seven more days in the Atlantic and a day cruising the North Sea before arriving in Denmark.

Cruise-only per person, per night rates begin at $56 for an interior stateroom, $73 for an oceanview, $84 for a balcony and $144 for a balcony suite. Rates are based on double occupancy; government fees and taxes are additional.

MSC Lirica departs Fort Lauderdale on April 23 on a 16-night voyage to Dover. The ship will call at San Juan, Puerto Rico; Fort de France, Martinique; Funchal, Portugal; Lisbon, Portugal; Vigo, Spain; and Le Havre, France. Guests will be able to enjoy MSC Cruises' European-style experience, during nine days at sea.

Cruise-only per person, per night rates for MSC Lirica's transatlantic crossing begin at $44 for an inside stateroom, $60 for an oceanview, and $125 for a balcony suite. Rates are based on double occupancy; government fees and taxes are additional.

As always, children 17 and younger sail free when traveling in same stateroom with two full-fare-paying guests.

These special rates expire on March 15.

During each sailing, guests can enjoy MSC Cruises' elegant European ambiance, acclaimed international entertainment, nightly regional Italian specialties on the menus, superb spa facilities and much more.

For more information about MSC Cruises and its special eastbound transatlantic rates, visit or a local travel professional.

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

St. George Island and Franklin County FL

St. George Island Chili Cookoff Heats Up For Spring Visitors

The 27th annual St. George Island Charity Chili Cookoff fires up the burners on March 7 to herald in what some consider the official beginning of Spring on St. George Island. If you love chili, and who doesn't? you can eat your fill on Saturday as the competition takes place.

Click here for a complete list of accommodations on the island and beyond for Chili Cookoff weekend.

Local Military Exhibits Rank High For Veteran Visitors
Franklin County honors veterans this Spring with two special exhibits.

Carrabelle Honors WWII Veterans

Carrabelle pays tribute to America's veterans this month when the Camp Gordon Johnston Association hosts its annual Camp Gordon Johnston Days March 13-15. The event is a reunion of military veterans who trained for WWII at Camp Gordon Johnston, a training base so large it included St. James Island (excluding Carrabelle), Dog Island, and St. George Island. Click here to see a video of the event-filled weekend. Events include a Friday social mixer, a parade and an evening dinner dance, military exhibits, re-enactments and tours of the former Camp Gordon Johnston Base camp. more

Wall That Heals Coming To Apalachicola

From April 30 - May 3, Apalachicola will host the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) Traveling "Wall That Heals" Memorial and Museum. The exhibit features a half-scale replica of the Memorial and a museum that travels to communities throughout America.

The Wall That Heals exhibit is sponsored by the Three Servicemen Statue South (TSS) group and is coming to Apalachicola largely because of another important Veteran's memorial located there. Apalachicola is the only City in the Country to house a replica of the Three Servicemen Statue detail, commemorating the service of Veterans during the Vietnam era. more

Get Out of the House and Into The Wild This Spring

The St. Vincent Island National Wildlife Refuge will host an Open House on Saturday March 21 with wildlife exhibits, nature walks, history presentations, bird tours and even a kids' mini-bushcamp. This year's event, sponsored by the Supporters of St. Vincent NWR, Inc. is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on St. Vincent Island which is located just offshore at the western-most boundary of the Franklin-Gulf County line.

The highlight of this popular annual event is the island nature tour which is guided by local nature enthusiasts and which is limited to the first 75 people to sign-up. Visitors can sign up for the tours once they arrive on the island. This year's event will also feature a new Kids mini bushcraft activity designed for childen ages 8-12. The Bushcraft will feature activities designed to teach kids basic wilderness safety and simple survival skills. more

March Events

March 5, 2009 Dixie Theatre - Florida's "Florida's Delicious History: A Gastronomic Journey Through Modern Florida". Food scholar Andrew Huse offers a look back through modern Florida's cuisine. 850-653-3200

March 7 - St. George Island Chili Cookoff
More than 60 contestants compete in the largest regional chili cookoff in the nation. Contestants vie for a spot in the National Chili Cookoff. All proceeds benefit the St. George Island Volunteer Fire Department. 8am 5K run Auction 11am-3pm., and

March 13-15 - Camp Gordon Johnston Days A fun-for-the-whole-family parade pays tribute to the brave men and women who trained at Camp Gordon Johnston just east of Carrabelle. All sorts of family activities all weekend long. The Camp Gordon Johnston Museum contains many authentic relics from WWII and displays the area's rich history.

Click here for expanded list of events and activities.

Looking Ahead

April 4- Cape St. George Light Dedication, St. George Island. 10 a.m. dedication ceremony followed by free climbing at the lighthouse and celebration in the afternoon. Lighthouses are big in Florida - April 25 is the state's official Florida Lighthouse Day.

April 4 - Art Walk & Wine Festival, Downtown Apalachicola
April 25-26 11th Historic Apalachicola Antique & Classic Boat Show Downtown Apalachicola. Antique boats and antique cars.
April 25 - Carrabelle Riverfront Festival. Annual celebration along the riverfront with food, music and exhibits.
April 30 - May 3 - VVMF Traveling Wall That Heals Exhibit and Museum, Veterans Park, Apalachicola. Half-scale replica of the Memorial, museum and information center.
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Six Flags Over Georgia Promises More Value... More Monsters... More Flags... More Fun

T2F Note: Such wonderful memories of family fun have been made over the years at Georgia's own Six Flags. Why not make some more as Six Flags Over Georgia officially is the recipient of the Fayette Front Page Day Tripper Award.

/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Six Flags Over Georgia, the Southeast's largest regional theme park, announces the start of its longest season ever with unprecedented pricing, new shows, and a monster of a makeover. For the first time in its 42-year history, Six Flags Over Georgia is opening in the month of February. To mark the occasion, the park is hosting the Six Flags Friends Blanket Drive, allowing guests the opportunity to donate a new or gently used blanket and receive 50 percent off main gate general admission during opening weekend. All blankets will be donated to the United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta's Regional Commission on Homelessness.

As part of the extended season long celebration, Six Flags Over Georgia will offer a line-up of new shows and attractions that provide top-tier entertainment as well as guest benefits that ensure a value-packed experience for the entire family. Some of the major headlines this season include:

-- $49.99 for Season Passes - the lowest price in years and only $10 more
than a one-day ticket. Season Passes offer unlimited visits to any
Six Flags theme park in the United States, five free tickets for
friends and more than $300 in savings on in-park food and fun. In
addition, Season Pass holders will enjoy exclusive ride times as well
as a private Season Pass Holder Appreciation night on September 4.
-- Bring your little monsters! The all-new Monster Mansion is set to
open in May with a whole new storyline, new characters and interactive
elements. Formerly Monster Plantation, this iconic ride will have its
own merchandise store where guests may purchase Monster Plantation and
Monster Mansion items as well as take a trip through the ride's new
-- Pure Country - a new live show opening Memorial Day weekend in the
Crystal Pistol Music Hall. This high-energy song and dance musical
will have guests toe tappin' to some of country music's most popular
-- The Best of Dick Clark's Bloopers - this new interactive show in the
Drive-In Theatre features a live host who encourages audience members
to create their own blunders while watching some of the all-time great
missteps from Dick Clark's collection.
-- Cold Stone Express - Located in the Gotham City section of the park,
guests can enjoy pre-mixed Cold Stone favorites, waffle cone treats
and chocolate dipped cones at this express version of the ice cream
specialties store.

Additionally, Six Flags Over Georgia offers fun for the entire family with 10 thrilling roller coasters, two children's themed areas and meet and greets with Six Flags' world famous cast of characters including Mr. Six - the ageless, dancing, rater-of-fun who's back and in the park all season long beckoning guests to have More Flags. More Fun.

"Six Flags Over Georgia has always been the area's premiere destination for affordable, close to home family fun, and it will continue to hold that title this year beginning in February," said Park President Melinda Ashcraft. "With our new additions and special events, we're offering our guests a summer of escape with value like never before."

Six Flags Over Georgia is also the home of 40 Fun Things For Kids To Do, presented by SafetyTat(R). Families can enjoy the many items on this list ranging from riding Thomas the Tank Engine(TM) around the Island of Sodor to experiencing the latest games in the park's Wii(TM) Experience. Many popular live shows are back this season including the Wild West Comedy Gun Fight Show, the Looney Tunes Talent Show, the Back to the Beach Show and Bugs Bunny's Rockin' and Rollin' Parade (show times vary). Check out the entire list of 40 Fun Things To Do by visiting

The park's operating hours during opening weekend will be 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Saturday and 10:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Sunday. The park is open on weekends during March.

More information about Six Flags Over Georgia tickets, shows, rides, attractions and events can be found by visiting

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Delta to Link Eight More U.S. Communities to Salt Lake City Hub

/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Building on the benefits of its recent merger with Northwest, Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) soon will offer customers in eight additional U.S. cities the convenience of daily nonstop flights between their hometown airports and Salt Lake City, with connecting service to 102 worldwide destinations beyond. The new flights, made possible by the combination of Delta's and Northwest's geographically distinct networks, will introduce more convenient westbound service to thousands of customers.

In addition to service to eight new cities, Delta also has expanded the number of daily frequencies between Salt Lake City and nine existing domestic destinations. By June 2009, Delta will add one additional daily round-trip flight between Salt Lake City and Baltimore; Spokane, Wash.; Oakland, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Phoenix; St. Louis; Memphis, Tenn.****; and Los Angeles; and two additional daily round-trip flights between Salt Lake City and Seattle.

The new Salt Lake City routes, effective June 4, include: Bismarck, N.D. (once daily); Des Moines, Iowa (once daily); El Paso, Texas (once daily); Fargo, N.D. (once daily); Indianapolis, Ind. (once daily); Milwaukee, Wis. (twice daily); Nashville, Tenn. (once daily); and Sioux Falls, S.D. (once daily)

"The addition of new nonstop flights and added frequencies from Delta's Salt Lake City hub means thousands of airline customers will have faster options for connecting across the Mountain West to points around the world, all powered by the benefits of the Delta-Northwest merger," said Bob Cortelyou, Delta's senior vice president - Network Planning.

Beyond offering convenient connections to destinations across the Mountain West, Delta's new Salt Lake City flights are strategically timed to allow seamless nonstop international connections, including connecting to Delta's new five-times weekly service between Salt Lake City and Tokyo (beginning June 3)* and the airline's existing daily nonstop service between Salt Lake City and Paris-Charles de Gaulle. Additionally, passengers making connections to Tokyo will have the option of connecting beyond Tokyo's Narita Airport to 12 points throughout Asia.

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Seattle's 'Economic Stimulus' for Travelers: 2-for-1 Travel Coupons

/PRNewswire/ -- Grab Seattle's own "economic stimulus" package for travelers: the 2009 Seattle TourSaver -- an easy-to-use, pocket-sized travel discount book. Everything is 2-for-1, including tours, activities, accommodations and attractions. The Seattle TourSaver contains more than 100 offers in Seattle, Victoria B.C. and the San Juan Islands, with a total value of $6,000 in buy-one-get-one offers, including:

a. 2-for-1 Victoria Clipper hi-speed ferry to Victoria and San Juan Islands.

b. 2-for-1 Kenmore Air Seaplane flightseeing.

c. 2-for-1 SeaPort Air flight -- Portland to Seattle's Boeing Field.

d. 2-for-1 Tillicum Village cruise/salmon bake.

e. 2-for-1 accommodations at Homewood Suites-Convention Center.

f. 2-for-1 Argosy Cruises -- Harbor, Dinner, Lake and Locks Cruise.

g. 2-for-1 Taste Pike Place Market food tour.

h. 2-for-1 admission to Seattle Aquarium.

i. 2-for-1 admission to Seattle Art Museum.

j. 2-for-1 admission to Museum of Flight.

k. 2-for-1 admission to Experience Music Project|Science Fiction Museum.

... and many more -- over 100 Seattle TourSaver travel discount coupons.

Flightseeing, adventure travel, whale watching, harbor and lake cruises, kayak tours, whitewater rafting, wine tastings, food tours, historic sites, museums, attractions and hotels -- every offer in the TourSaver is 2-for-1.

At a cost of just $79.95, travelers can recoup their investment by using just one coupon. It's the perfect "economic stimulus" for Seattle travelers.

Seattle TourSaver has 100 2-for-1 coupons for Seattle's top attractions -- a smart, hassle-free way to see more and spend less! TourSaver coupons are valid all year -- and the coupon book is completely transferable. Purchase the book online at for $79.95. Or, purchase the book at Pier 56 on the waterfront in Seattle at Argosy Cruises Visitor Center or downtown at the Visitor Assistance/Concierge Desk in the Washington State Convention Center.

On the website (, see all the offers at a glance, including whale-watching in the San Juan Islands and Victoria, bicycle rentals in Victoria, kayak tours in Seattle, the San Juan Islands and Victoria, rafting trips, remote lodges, motorcycle rentals and more.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

AeroMexico to Introduce Non-Stop Flights March 12 between Atlanta and Cancun, Mexico’s Leading Tourist Destination

(BUSINESS WIRE)--AeroMexico, the global airline of Latin America, is introducing non-stop flights March 12 between Atlanta and Cancun, the most popular tourist destination in Mexico, just in time for the busy spring travel season. Flights will depart Atlanta on Monday, Thursday and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. EST and arrive in Cancun at 10:00 a.m. CST. Return flights will depart Cancun on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 3:25 p.m. with arrivals in Atlanta at 8:00 p.m.

Frank Galan, Vice President, U.S. Division, AeroMexico, said, “Customers have asked us to add Atlanta-Cancun flights to our schedule and AeroMexico is excited about meeting this need with conveniently timed, affordably priced flights on the most preferred travel days.

“We’re introducing these flights just in time for the spring holiday season so more of our customers can experience all that Cancun offers as Mexico’s most popular tourist destination,” he added. “Travelers will begin enjoying their vacations as soon as they’re on board with AeroMexico’s special style of service on every flight.”

The airline will provide the best value available in the marketplace on this route with its combination of competitive fares and a distinctive, premier style of service that reflects the rich cultural heritage of Mexico. Through AeroMexico Vacations, travelers can book their entire vacation with attractively priced travel packages that include airfare, accommodations at major resort hotels, and rental car and entertainment options to meet a wide range of travel preferences.

The airline’s distinctive style of service has been recognized with major industry awards, including “Best Airline in Mexico” in 2008 by readers of both Global Traveler and Business Traveler, two of the world’s leading travel magazines. While on board the airline’s Boeing 737-700 jets, which comfortably seat 124, passengers will receive complimentary beverages, cocktails and meals at meal times along with attentive, personalized service.

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New Exhibit Features World's First Set of Full-Size, Feather-Covered Dinosaurs

/PRNewswire/ -- Dinosaurs Unearthed, now making its U.S. debut at Cincinnati Museum Center, is an exhibit highlighting some of the most thought-provoking paleontological discoveries of the past decade.

Dinosaurs Unearthed features a thrilling display of roaring, moving dinosaurs reaching up to 55 feet long and 22 feet high. And while many visitors will be shocked by the sheer size and exactness of the exhibit's Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops, the content sure to have people talking long after will most certainly be the never-before-seen set of full-size, feather-covered dinosaurs.

In recent years, paleontologists across the globe have discovered and studied fossilized evidence that many famous dinosaur species, including Tyrannosaurus rex and Velociraptor, may have been covered in feathers to help camouflage, travel or even keep themselves warm.

To compile the exhibit's contents, Dinosaurs Unearthed producers worked closely with Dr. Xu Xing of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing. Dr. Xu is widely considered to be the world's foremost expert on feathered dinosaurs.

"A selection of feathered dinosaur models illustrates the diversity of new forms discovered in recent years," says Glenn Storrs, PhD, Cincinnati Museum Center's Withrow Farny curator of vertebrate paleontology. "The feathered dinosaurs of China confirm the long-suspected evolution of modern birds from extinct dinosaurian ancestors. With each discovery, another evolutionary "missing link" is added to our understanding of the fossil record."

Accompanying the exhibit is the OMNIMAX film, Dinosaurs Alive. The film takes visitors on an immersive journey back to the early Triassic period all the way through the late Cretaceous, following the tiniest of dinosaurs to the largest creatures that walked the earth.

Produced by the Maryland Science Center and in association with the American Museum of Natural History, the film explores the early roots of paleontology in the Gobi desert, and sweeps the audience through the beautiful landscapes of Mongolia, New Mexico, and into the famous halls of the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

Dates, hours and admission
-- Feb. 13 through Sept. 7
-- Dinosaurs Unearthed
-- Non-members: $15 adult, $10 child
-- Members: $10 adult, $7 child
-- Exhibit hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.,
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; final entry into the exhibit occurs at
5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and at 6 p.m. on Sunday
-- Dinosaurs Alive
-- Non-members: $7.50 adult, $6.50 seniors, $5.50 children (ages
-- Members: $5.50 adult, $4.50 child
-- Standard show times are Monday: 1, 2, 3 and 5 p.m.; Tuesday
through Thursday: 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 p.m.; Friday: 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and
9 p.m.; Saturday: hourly, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., 9 p.m.; and Sunday:
hourly, 11 a.m. through 6 p.m.

For more information or to book tickets, visit or call 1-800-733-2077.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Cost of Space Travel Drops 50%

/PRNewswire/ -- Before the first suborbital space ship has even flown its first flight, the cost of commercial "space" travel available to the general public has already dropped by more than fifty percent.

RocketShip Tours and XCOR Aerospace recently announced that the cost of their suborbital space flight, which will begin operation in 2010 will be just $95,000. This includes a five-night stay at a luxury resort, complete training, medical evaluation and screening, cancellation insurance and, of course, the flight itself.

Virgin Galactic, founded by the well-known entrepreneur, Richard Branson, is currently offering a similar experience for $200,000.

RocketShip Tours is the result of a partnership between travel pioneer, Jules Klar, and XCOR Aerospace. Klar got his start in the travel business in 1961 when he, along with the legendary Arthur Frommer, created $5-A-Day Tours.

According to Klar, "Our goal is to make space travel accessible and affordable to those who aspire to experience the ultimate adventure. By reducing the cost of it by more than 50 percent, we think we have taken a major step toward accomplishing this goal."

As General Sales Agent for XCOR Aerospace, Klar is now using his expansive knowledge as a true innovator in the travel industry to pioneer the advent of space travel to the public. "This is sure to be a life-altering experience, and I am honored to have the opportunity to present it to the public," Klar added.

Participants in the program will travel to the edge of space in a suborbital space vehicle known as the Lynx that is powered by environmentally friendly rocket engines. Unlike the plans for Virgin Galactic that call for travelers to fly to space with several other travelers, the RocketShip Tours experience calls for just a single passenger on each flight who will actually sit in the co-pilot's seat beside the astronaut-pilot flying the ship.

XCOR Aerospace was founded in 1999 and is located at the Mojave Spaceport and civilian Aerospace Test Center in Mojave, California. It engages in research, development and production of reusable rocket-powered launch vehicles.

RocketShip Tours is located in Phoenix, Arizona, and can be reached at 888-778-6877 or at

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Retire on a Cruise Ship? New Concept Creates Boutique Housing Idea for Florida's Seniors

/PRNewswire/ -- Waterfront Lifestyles International, a boutique maritime lodging company, is currently taking reservations for retirement condos on a mid-size cruise ship that will make monthly cruises to the Bahamas.

For less money than many senior independent-living facilities charge, retirees may now live on a cruise ship. Prices for individual condo cabins on the 300-foot Alegria range from $159,000 for a single room to a larger suite for $399,000 plus a nominal "Resident's Care" monthly fee which covers all the operating expenses of the ship including crew, staff, fuel, maintenance, insurance, three meals daily, port fees, the medical center, and housekeeping. A huge difference between a senior care facility and living on Alegria is that the residents actually own the ship.

With the depressed economy the company realizes some seniors may have to put off retiring for a few more years. The company has a program where purchasers may buy their unit right now and rent it until they retire, thus eliminating both the purchase payment and the monthly Resident's Care fee until they actually move aboard.

Alegria will make weekend cruises each month to regional attractions such as shuttle launches, shopping excursions to Palm Beach, and trips to the Bahamas, and once a year it will take a weeklong trip to Central America. All cruise expenses are included in the Resident's Care fee. Residents will only pay for cocktails, casino charges, spa fees, and purchases in the gift shop.

The vessel has most of the same amenities of the larger ships including a spa, workout room, gift shop, cigar bar, night club, dining room, beauty shop, library, and a residents' storage area. The ship has twelve inside cabins that will be used as guest rooms. Owners' friends and relatives can use them at no charge, including meals. Condo ownership includes permanent free membership at a nearby country club for golf and tennis. All staterooms are outside units with picture windows.

The ship will be home-ported in Port Canaveral and operated, managed, and maintained by Marine Growth Ventures, a highly respected ship management company. The port, which is also home to Carnival, Disney, and Royal Caribbean cruise ships, is conveniently located within less than an hour's drive of Orlando and right next to the Kennedy Space Center where residents can go up on deck and watch Space Shuttle launches.

The concept of cruise ship condominium ownership is not new; however, in most cases the existing condo ships offered units for well over a million dollars and remained unaffordable for most people. Alegria will be the first ship to actually allow purchasers to own a roomy stateroom on a mid-size ship for under a half-million dollars.

The developers see mass appeal for the idea from retirees looking for a viable retirement residence as opposed to living in a beachfront condo or retirement community where the scenery never changes. The thought of living aboard a cruise ship has a certain glamour that appeals to a growing number of seniors who want to be on or near water but won't pay the exorbitant prices now demanded for a view. Since each condo owner has an equity share in Alegria they each have a voice in the day-to-day operation and management of the ship.

Waterfront Lifestyles International is a Florida limited liability company formed specifically for the creation of retirement condo cruise ships. While the ship in Port Canaveral is the company's first vessel, it expects to locate additional retirement ships in Tampa, Jacksonville, Palm Beach, and Sarasota.

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Trout-filled Mountain Streams a Winter Fishing Destination

The crisp, swift-flowing waters of north Georgia’s rivers and creeks offer an abundance of trout angling opportunities this winter.

Home to some of the southeast’s finest trout streams and three species of trout - rainbow, brown and brook trout - Georgia claims nearly 4,000 miles of streams, and more than half lie in the northern part of the state in the Chattahoochee National Forest.

Winter is a particularly attractive time of year for anglers to bravely wade the calm, cooler rapids thanks to delayed-harvest regulations. Delayed-harvest streams are regularly stocked and operate under a catch-and-release system, which lends to high catch rates for new and seasoned anglers alike.

“Trout fishing on a delayed harvest stream is a great way to introduce new anglers to the sport,” says John Biagi, chief of Fisheries Management for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. “Five streams within easy driving distance of many Georgians including Metro Atlanta are available right now.”

The Wildlife Resources Division recommends casting a line at any of the following five delayed harvest trout streams now through May 14: the Toccoa River located on U.S. Forest Service land upstream of Lake Blue Ridge in Fannin County (from 0.4 miles above Shallowford Bridge to 450 feet above the Sandy Bottom Canoe Access); Amicalola Creek on the Dawson Forest Wildlife Management Area (from Steele Bridge Road downstream to Georgia Highway 53); Smith Creek at Unicoi State Park; the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta (Sope Creek, downstream of Johnson Ferry Road, downstream to the Hwy 41 bridge); and a portion of the Chattooga River (from Ga. Highway 28 upstream to the mouth of Reed Creek) on U.S. Forest Service land bordering South Carolina.

On the other hand, anglers anxious to tackle harvestable seasonal streams can prepare for opening day, March 28. Some popular seasonal streams include Cooper Creek in Union County, Wildcat Creek in Rabun County, Dicks Creek in Lumpkin County and Johns Creek in Floyd County.

But, with Georgia’s abundant trout fishing opportunities, including the many year-round streams open to fishing throughout the year, there is no need to wait and no catch-and-release restrictions.

For year-round opportunities, here’s where to go, what to bring and what to expect:

·Blue Ridge Tailwater: This tailwater actually is a stretch of the Toccoa River located downstream of Blue Ridge Lake in Fannin County, and in many trout fishing circles is considered both blue-ribbon trout fishing and Georgia’s best kept secret. Anglers will find good numbers of both rainbow and brown trout, with an occasional trophy-sized fish. Most anglers prefer to float from shoal to shoal and then get out and wade to fish. Ultralight spinning gear and small spinners, such as rooster tails and panther martins, are best bets. Anglers should keep safety in mind - high water and strong currents can occur when the dam’s turbines are on. Keep a close eye on the water level and return to boats immediately if levels begin to rise.

·Noontootla Creek Watershed: This watershed offers some high quality year-round fishing for wild brown and rainbow trout, with many of its tributaries offering a chance at a wild brook trout (a real advantage since most other brook trout waters are closed to fishing after Oct. 31). Both Noontootla and its tributaries are managed under an artificial lure only regulation, and have a 16-inch minimum size limit in order to ‘recycle’ the 8 to 12-inch trout that make up most of the population.

·Dukes Creek: This stream, located on the Smithgall Woods-Dukes Creek Conservation Area offers year-round trout fishing by reservation (706-878-3087). All fish caught here must be released immediately and anglers must only use artificial lures with barbless hooks. The stream offers a chance at a trout greater than 20 inches, so bring a camera for a quick shot before release. The best time to fish is after a rain discolors the water.

·Chattahoochee River: For good trout fishing close to the metro Atlanta area, the Chattahoochee downstream of Buford Dam offers family-friendly and close-to-home, year-round fishing for stocked rainbow trout, brown trout and wild brown trout. Part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, this location offers good bank, wading and boating access. Year-round harvest is legal from Buford Dam to Sope Creek. Best fishing is at low flow when the river is clear or slightly stained.

Some additional notable year-round trout streams include Holly Creek in Murray County, Tallulah River in Rabun County and Rock Creek in Fannin County.

Download a free Georgia trout stream map and other trout fishing tips from the Wildlife Resources Division Web site at or call (770) 535-5498 for trout fishing information.

Take Me Fishing! ™ According to a recent national survey, 87 percent of Americans believe fishing and boating have a positive effect on family relationships.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Quality Winter Crappie in Deep, Cool Waters

T2F Note: Don't you have some great memories of fishing with your dad or grandpa? Spending time together is always a favorite sport and what better way is there than fishing? This week's coveted "Fayette Front Page Day Tripper Award" proudly is presented to all streams in Georgia and the wonderful memories you'll make while fishing with your kids. Spend some time with your family fishing in Georgia.

Springtime is not the only ideal time for crappie fishing in Georgia. The brief winter season also produces excellent results, and several reservoirs across the state offer rewards for anglers willing to brave the bitter cold temperatures.

“Fishing for crappie in the winter can be very rewarding if anglers concentrate on cold weather hot spots,” says John Biagi, chief of Fisheries Management for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division. “Also, because there is a lot of action involved when crappie fishing, it is an excellent time to engage the entire family and/or to introduce someone new to the fun aspect of the sport.”

Now through mid-February crappie tend to congregate in deeper water, generally 15-30 feet deep, near the mouths of major tributaries and in the main lake. Large schools are easily located with sonar electronics.

As the water warms in late February, crappie will move to more shallow water toward the middle and back of major tributaries, preferring to congregate around woody cover such as stumps, logs, downed trees, fish attractors and creek ledges. Minnows and small jigs are favored bait, and light spinning tackle spooled with 6 or 8-pound test line is recommended.

Cool weather hot spots

In northwest Georgia, visit Lake Allatoona and look for the marked manmade fish attractors, especially near the Kellogg Creek area. Maps of fish attractor locations are available at . Also look to the Rocky Mountain Public Fishing Area, located 16 miles north of Rome, where good slabs are predicted this year and hot spots include fishing off of riprap dams. The Coosa River, which begins in the city of Rome and flows roughly 30 miles west-southwest before entering Lake Weiss, is another area to target; concentrate below the lock and dam area, especially near Brush Branch.

Northeast Georgia offers three different reservoirs for targeting crappie. Metro area anglers should look to Lake Lanier, located just 50 miles northeast of Atlanta. The upper part of the reservoir, especially the Chattahoochee River arm, Wahoo Creek and Little River are considered hot spots. Anglers should also consider the upper part of Lake Hartwell, located on the Georgia-South Carolina border near Franklin and Hart counties. The Eastanollee Creek area is considered a crappie haven. The manmade fish attractors around the upper half of Lake Nottely rank as another active location.

Several east-central area lakes offer prime crappie habitat, including Clarks Hill Lake where excellent fishing is predicted for the year, especially at Soap, Fishing, Grays and Newford creeks, and the Little River arm. On Lake Oconee, Beaverdam, Sandy, Rocky, Richland and Sugar creeks and Appalachee River arm are good target areas. At Lake Russell anglers should concentrate at Rocky River, Beaverdam, Coldwater and Allen creeks. Lakes Blalock and J.W. Smith in Clayton County offer good bank fishing opportunities near boat ramps. Areas of standing timber are key targets at Lake Blalock while J.W. Smith offers good boat fishing around the Panhandle Road Bridge, the overflow structure near the dam and the submerged pond and dam on the south side of the lake. Anglers can count on Lake Varner for good numbers of crappie and Randy Poynter Lake for larger crappie.

Wildlife Resources Division biologists recommend five areas in the west-central area of the state for crappie fishing - West Point Lake in Troup County, Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield, Big Lazer Public Fishing Area in Talbot County, Ocmulgee Public Fishing Area in Bleckley County and Lake Sinclair just north of Milledgeville. At West Point, concentrate around fish attractors and deep water areas. Visit Fox, Shepherd or Margery Lake at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center and look for deep water and flooded timber or fish attractors. At Lake Sinclair, Beaverdam Creek provides good opportunities for early spawning due to the warm water discharge from the steam plant. When temperatures warm, anglers should target larger islands such as Optimist, Budweister and Goat. Sinclair bank anglers should concentrate on the riprap along Highway 441 at Little River, Beaverdam and Rooty Creek. Additionally, the riprap at Twin Bridges and Potato Creek along Highway 212 also provide good bank access. Big Lazer and Ocmulgee Public Fishing Area anglers should seek flooded timber near the creek channels and deep water.

Southwest Georgia also offers key areas for crappie. Lake Walter F. George, located on the Georgia-Alabama state line between Columbus and Ft. Gaines, provides good fishing at the mouths of Pataula Creek, Sandy Branch Creek and Sandy Creek. On Lake Seminole, in the southwest corner of the state, anglers should fish the main river channels around Ford Scott Island, the Chattahoochee River mouth between river miles three and four, the mouth of Spring Creek and the old river channels and submersed structures.

For more information on crappie fishing in Georgia, visit or call a Wildlife Resources Division Fisheries Management office.

Take Me Fishing! ™ According to a recent national survey, 87 percent of Americans believe fishing and boating have a positive effect on family relationships.

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Put Some Spring In Your Step and Take Advantage of Colorado's Spring Break Deals and Events

/PRNewswire/ -- Colorado's sunny days, legendary spring skiing, festivals and special events make it an ideal spring break vacation destination. This year, Colorado's resorts are offering deals like never before. Below are just a few ways to enjoy spring in Colorado. For a complete list of packages, visit

Dynamite Deals

-- Head to Telluride and save big with the Spring Ski & Stay Package.
This includes a four-nights stay at select hotel and condominium
properties and a three-day lift ticket starting at just $119 per
person, per night.
-- Durango Mountain Resort and Frontier Airlines have teamed up to
provide air-inclusive spring ski packages. Three-day/three-night
air-inclusive packages, including round-trip flights, lift tickets and
lodging start at just $425 per person. 800-525-0892,
-- Crested Butte is offering an outstanding "Friends and Family Fly Free"
program. When visitors book a Crested Butte vacation for three or more
people, every third airline ticket is free. Air fare, lodging and lift
ticket packages start as low as $584 per person. Valid through April
5, 2009 with restrictions.
-- Thanks to Colorado Springs' mild-climate, golf enthusiasts can hit the
greens nearly any day of the year. The Broadmoor's Winter Spa & Golf
Getaway includes accommodations, a 70-minute deep tissue massage, a
round of golf, range balls and more. Package start at $405 per person,
per night. Available through April, 2009.
-- Skiing Stimulus Package: Hayden Lodge and Capital Peak Lodge at
Snowmass' new Base Village. Snowmass Base Village, Hayden Lodge and
Capitol Peak Lodge are extending discounts of up to 75-percent off
during the 2008/2009 ski season. The new lodges - the first new
accommodations built in Snowmass in more than 20 years - boast nearly
100 residences with ski-in/ski-out access to the Elk Camp Gondola and
the Village Express chairlift, and are steps from the Treehouse Kids'
Adventure Center, as well as new restaurants and shops.
-- Winter Park's "4th Night Free" package. Guests will receive the fourth
night of lodging free when they book a three-night stay at Fraser
Crossing and Founders Pointe. This lodging deal is available all
season long and as a bonus guests will receive a free children's lift
ticket with the purchase of any adult lift ticket.
-- Keystone's Daylight Savings. Book Keystone's ski free, stay free
package from $283 for three nights of lodging slope-side at the River
Run Village and three days of sunset skiing or riding, and get free
activities like yoga classes and a GPS treasure hunt, plus coupons
worth more than $100.
-- Half-Off Vail for Spring. Save 50 percent on lodging at Sun Vail -
prices start at $235 per night from March 28-April 19 for a
two-bedroom condominium with a two-night minimum stay.

Hot Happenings

-- Skijoring & The Crystal Carnival - March 7-8, 2009. Watch skiers,
pulled by riders on horseback, compete over a series of snow-packed
jumps through downtown Leadville.
-- Head to Aspen/Snowmass for the 9th Annual Bud Light Spring Jam. The
Bud Light Spring Jam is two weekends of new-school competitions and
downtown concerts held March 20-22 and 27-29, 2009. For a complete
listing of activities, visit
-- River Run's Blues & Barbecue Festival in Keystone, March 28, 2009.
Enjoy dynamic live music and lip-smacking brews.
-- Spring Massive in Breckenridge, April 1-19, 2009. An interactive event
including music, family fun and on-hill competitions. Events include
the Bite of Breckenridge, Massive Comedy Nights, Massive Brewfest,
Massive Competition Weekend and the ever-popular season finale -
Massive Music Weekend.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

10 Favorite Foreign National Parks Highlighted by U.S. National Park Service Retirees

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ever wonder where people who work in national parks go when they take a vacation? Today, the 700-member Coalition of National Park Service Retirees (CNPSR) released a list of 10 of the best foreign national parks, spanning the globe from Australia, Africa, South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

The list of personal favorites of NPS retirees is in the same of vein as the "Beyond Yellowstone: 7 Winter Travel Favorites" ( d-yellowstone), which was released by the Coalition in October 2006.

CNPSR member Don Goldman, former park planner in the old Southwest Region of the National Park Service, said: "Several years ago, in anticipation of family winter vacation time, the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees rounded up its members' recollections of the most memorable U.S. national park areas they had worked in or visited. When the nominations came in, the selection process was like picking from among the loveliest flowers in the field. As we had to acknowledge, it was a highly subjective selection process. But our intention was to encourage Americans to visit their national parks; not just our favorites, but whichever ones they could get to. This year, the Coalition's 700 members have suggestions for your vacation trips abroad. We who have spent our lives working in and with national parks not only visit our own, but make an effort to see other countries' national parks, too."

CNPSR member Rick Smith, former superintendent of Carlsbad Caverns said, "Most Americans know that Yellowstone was our first national park, but it was also the world's first national park. The idea of a national park was new with Yellowstone, but it was soon adopted by many countries, one of the best ideas our country gave the world. Just as we did, those countries have expanded the original concept to a great variety of parks and reserves. Today, marvelous parks are to be found all over the world."

Coalition members usually can't stay away from such places on foreign vacations. Smith explained: "We plan many of our overseas trips around the national parks or protected areas we can visit in other countries." Some NPS retirees even had the opportunity, when on temporary training or work assignments with foreign countries or as Peace Corps Volunteers, to work in and contribute to those countries' national parks.

The following 10 foreign national parks are among the outstanding places CNPSR members recommended. Where it was necessary to break ties, the park chosen in the end was included to provide for maximum geographic diversity:

1. TONGARIRO N. P., New Zealand. This is one of the North Island's three World Heritage Sites. It features volcanic peaks (one of which is active) and is still home to many Maoris, who donated the park to New Zealand in 1887, when it became the world's fourth national park. The Maoris are very outgoing in displaying their culture to visitors.

2. KAKADU N. P., Northern Territory, Australia. This World Heritage Site is jointly managed by the Aborigines and the Australian government. It has magnificent vistas, great waterfalls, stunning displays of Aboriginal rock art, and is habitat to an awesome predator, the estuarine (saltwater) crocodile.

3. SNOWDONIA N. P., Wales, Great Britain. Snowdonia is a lovely mountain park, with Mount Snowdon, which is comprised of slate, rising to 3560 feet. While this park is not geologically or scenically spectacular compared with many mountain parks, it is spectacular in its own right, due in part to its peaceful nature.

4. KRUGER N. P., South Africa. This is perhaps the most impressive wildlife viewing area in the world. Millions of acres of habitat and little development give visitors an opportunity to see many large African mammals and magnificent birds. It is one of the few places where wildlife is in charge - they wander free and the visitors are controlled.

5. TIKAL N. P., Guatemala. This World Heritage Site contains the spectacular ruins of a Maya settlement from around 250-900 AD. The towering ruins of temples, one 70 meters tall, rising from the jungle that surrounds them, are mute testimony to the architectural genius of the Maya. As many as 90,000 people lived in Tikal at its zenith, but strife with neighboring towns and environmental stress caused its abandonment beginning in the 10th century. Of course, the Maya never left; they are there today, and a thrill of a visit is to see it with a Maya guide.

6. IGUAZU N. P., Argentina. This park protects one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in Argentina and Brazil, Iguazu Falls and the surrounding subtropical forest. The falls are 70 meters high, but even more impressive is their width: the river at the falls is 1500 meters wide. A thrilling experience is the short boat ride and walk along the catwalks to the most striking of the hundreds of falls, Garganta del Diablo, the Devil's Throat. The roar itself is an unforgettable experience.

7. SAGARMANTHA N. P., Nepal. The park includes Mount Everest, among other prominent mountains. It has distinctive wildlife and small picturesque Sherpa villages with their gumpas (monasteries).

8. MADAIN SALEY NATIONAL HISTORIC PARK, Saudi Arabia. This region, the Biblical Midian, is mostly undulating desert, interspersed with huge rocky outcrops and lush oases. Here, between 500 B.C. and 100 A.D., the Nabatean people created 125 monumental cut-rock tombs and facades, edifices up to 130 feet tall, that are standing today in a remarkable state of preservation.

9. PLITVICE LAKES N. P., Croatia. Plitvice Lakes National Park is located in inland Croatia, about halfway between Zagreb and Split. In moderately mountainous terrain, the park features water - small lakes and streams and beautiful waterfalls everywhere. Because of the geology of the area, travertine is evident in most of the water features, giving them distinctive blue-green colors and exceptionally clear water. There are a number of excellent short and moderate hiking trails with quiet, non-polluting electric ferries connecting some of the trails by way of the lakes. Because of the vegetation, fall "color season" is especially spectacular.

10. HORTOBAGY N. P., Hungary. This park is located on the "puszta," or great Hungarian plains. It was the country's first national park. It also is a biosphere reserve and a World Heritage Site. The plains and wetlands reflect two millennia of human occupation and have supported agrarian life for centuries. It has several endangered bird species and is a refuge for the Przewalski horse and migratory waterfowl. Culturally, it preserves and interprets traditional Hungarian folkways, such as the nomadic herding culture of the puszta.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Empire Tickets Rolls Out Corporate Masters Golf Tournament and Custom Hospitality Packages for 2009

/PRNewswire/ -- Empire Tickets, Inc. (, the leader in providing premium tickets to companies and individuals worldwide, today announced that it is rolling out its corporate packages for the spring golf season 2009, including the Masters Golf tournament at Augusta National.

Empire Tickets will offer worldwide corporate groups hospitality, accommodations, transportation and especially premium tickets for all days. Each company will have their own hospitality manager, preferred pricing and 24-hour Web access through for the best tickets to all events.

Empire Tickets will offer hospitality all seven days of the event through Club Magnolia, the newest hospitality facility in Augusta. The club is just steps away from Augusta National and will offer a five star menu, three bars, a business center, a full time concierge, on-site masseuse, and a cigar patio.

"We pride ourselves on offering the most comprehensive corporate sports entertainment packages in the industry. We have earned the trust of many Fortune 100 and 500 companies, with personalized customer service, preferred pricing, and more than sixteen years as a leader in the ticket industry," says Robbi Raitt, President and Founder. "This year promises to be unmatched with the potential return of Tiger Woods and the Japanese phenomenon, Ryo Ishikawa and as always Empire Tickets is ready to deliver."

Masters 2009 will be one for the ages, with the potential return of Tiger Woods and the special invitation from Augusta National this year of Japanese teenager Ryo Ishikawa. The 17-year old from Japan will be the second youngest player to compete in Masters history. Known as the "Shy Prince" in Japan because of his unpretentious personality, Ishikawa made history two years ago when he won the Munsingwers Open KSB Cup on the Japanese golf tour, becoming the youngest player to win on one of the six major tours around the world.

Masters club chairman Billy Payne told Reuters, "At a young age, Mr. Ishikawa has shown the skill and competitiveness to make him a deserving recipient of this invitation. We see this as an opportunity to expose an emerging talent on a world stage and fulfill our objective to grow the game."

The stage is set for one of the most memorable Masters ever in 2009. Don't miss a minute of it. For more information or to order tickets call 404.467.4132 or log on to and for more information on Club Magnolia log on to

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Monday, February 09, 2009

HGTV’s Names the Top 10 Romantic Places to Live

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Whether single or in love, the city where you live should nurture your sense of romance. has named its pick of the top 10 romantic cities guaranteed to spice up your love life – on Valentine's Day or any day of the year. (

1. Have an urban adventure in New York, N.Y. The Big Apple presents endless opportunities for romance, from a carriage ride through Central Park to a stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge. The adventures to be found are almost as numerous as the millions who live there.

2. Soak up the sun in Honolulu, Hawaii. With always-perfect weather and world-renowned beaches, Honolulu is a perfect spot for beach lovers and lovers in general. Walk hand-in-hand down Waikiki Beach, admire views of Hawaii's famous volcano, and explore one of the city's botanical gardens.

3. Savor a quiet retreat on Cape Cod, Mass. For an ocean trip more tranquil than thrilling, try a visit to historic Cape Cod. The area's bed-and-breakfasts will provide you with roses, champagne, and the sound of the ocean from the comfort of your room. Be sure to try some of the area's famous seafood or take a ferry to Martha's Vineyard.

4. Conquer the great outdoors in Aspen, Colo. For an action-packed romantic getaway, head to this charming ski town with acres of snowy terrain for every level of skier. Get a rush down one of the many slopes or climb to the top of Smuggler Mountain for spectacular views. After a day outdoors, warm up in one of Aspen's cafes or galleries.

5. Dance the night away in Miami, Fla. Miami is a nightlife mecca full of romantic encounters just waiting to happen. Spend your nights in trendy South Beach or take salsa lessons in a Cuban nightclub. Your partner will be wowed!

6. Have a white (or slightly more colorful) wedding in Las Vegas, Nev. From elegant waterfront ceremonies to kitschy themed weddings, Vegas is the wedding capital that covers all the bases. Be sure to save money for fine dining, shopping and, of course, casinos.

7. Experience southern charm in Charleston, S.C. You'll feel like a true southern belle or beau while exploring this port city's historic streets. Stay in one of the quaint inns and explore antebellum mansions and landmarks. At sunset, enjoy each other's company in one of several family-sized swings in Waterfront Park on Charleston Harbor.

8. Savor world-class wine in Sonoma, Calif. Wine lovers will be in paradise in the heart of Napa – birthplace of California's most notable wineries. After a day of sampling Chardonnays and Syrahs, fall in love again in Sonoma Plaza, the largest town square in California.

9. Take in breathtaking views in San Antonio, Texas. Outside the cityscape, explore the rich natural South Texas scenery in San Antonio. Enjoy a romantic dinner at one of the many restaurants on the San Antonio River Walk, a network of cobbled walkways and bridges surrounding the city's Spanish-colonial water system.

10. Embrace your inner history buff in Philadelphia, Pa. The nation's first capital is a romantic (and patriotic) spot to fan the flames of love. Ride in a horse-drawn carriage around Independence National Historical Park and read excerpts from letters passed between Ben and Deborah Franklin, engraved in the pavement of Franklin Court.

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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Do You Miss Fantasy Football? Too Soon for Fantasy Baseball? Try Fantasy Fishing ... and Win $1 Million!

/PRNewswire/ -- Just because Steelers season is over and the Pirates are still two months away doesn't mean you still can't enjoy all the fun and excitement of fantasy sports.

And a $1 million grand prize with no entry fee doesn't hurt, either.

That's because fantasy fishing season is upon us. Established by the creator of FLW Outdoors and the Forrest Wood Cup, fantasy fishing is rapidly growing in popularity. There is no entry fee to enter, but for that added edge, participants can purchase Player's Advantage for only $10 to assist them in trying to win a $1 million payday, plus six $100,000 payouts, one for each qualifying tournament.

Fantasy Fishing is sponsored by FLW Outdoors, which brings the world's richest bass fishing tournament, the Forrest Wood Cup, to Pittsburgh this summer from July 30-Aug. 2. The Forrest Wood Cup is the final event in the Walmart FLW Tour, and just like fantasy football and fantasy baseball, you can follow the leading money winners on the FLW Tour all season long and win America's richest fantasy event when the Fantasy Fishing winners for 2009 are announced here in Pittsburgh on July 31.

There's no entry fee, it is easy to play, and one lucky winner will receive a check for $1 million. Runners-up will win prizes such as a $54,000 Ranger boat, a brand new Chevy vehicle, a $25,000 gift card, or one of more than 1,800 additional prizes.

The FLW Fantasy Fishing season kicks off on Thursday, February 12, with the first Walmart FLW Tour event in Lake Guntersville, Ala., the Chevy Open. Fantasy league players increase their chances of winning the $1 million grand prize by entering all FLW Fantasy Fishing tournaments throughout the season and accumulating a greater amount of points leading up to the Forrest Wood Cup.

The Richest Sports Fantasy Game

In just one season, Fantasy Fishing soared to the top of the fantasy sports world, gaining fans from all over the world attracted to the game's $7.3 million in cash and prizes, the highest payout of any fantasy sports game in the world.

More than 4,400 prizes were awarded during FLW Fantasy Fishing's first season, including seven $100,000 prizes, which went to the players who came in first place at the conclusion of each fantasy fishing tournament during the FLW Tour season. The $1 million grand prize went to the player who obtained the most points over the seven tournaments.

Last year's million dollar winner was Michael Thompson, 34, of Minneapolis.

Participants from 123 countries enjoyed Fantasy Fishing and prizes were awarded to players from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, Poland, South Africa, Estonia and a number of other countries.

Easy to Play

Fantasy Fishing is one of the easiest fantasy sports to play, especially with Player's Advantage. Players can simply register online at and start enjoying the fun. A team of ten anglers will be selected randomly for all players, who can simply play all season with that team, or select their own team from the FLW roster of anglers.

And Fantasy Fishing is free to all players, unlike other fantasy sports that require an entry fee that is used to create the prize pool for winners. Participants can win prizes for individual tournaments as well as accumulate points over the six event season to make them eligible for the $1 million cash prize, which will be awarded to the player with the highest overall points for the season. That winner will be announced here in Pittsburgh at the Forrest Wood Cup on July 31. Fantasy Fishing also offers $3 million and $5 million exacta bonus games by correctly ranking the top five finishers in the Forrest Wood Cup or the top seven finishers in a tournament.

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Friday, February 06, 2009

Wyndham Peachtree Announces Valentine's Day in Atlanta Getaway

T2F Note: Sometimes the sweetest trip of all doesn't involve leaving Fayette County. We give this romantic getaway the coveted Fayette Front Page Day Tripper Award.

The Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center yesterday announced its "Sweet Escape" package designed for guests planning to spend Valentine's Day in Atlanta or the surrounding area. The Sweet Escape package includes upscale deluxe accommodations for two adults, one chilled bottle of Domaine Chandon champagne and full breakfast buffet in either the hotel's Terrace Restaurant or room service.

The Terrace Restaurant offers buffet as well as à la carte dining options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Live entertainment and cocktails also are available at the Wynners Lounge. To enhance this package, guests may also schedule a tee time at the adjacent Flatcreek Golf Club.

The Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center offers indoor and outdoor heated pools, whirlpool spa, jogging trails and fitness center and is 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta,
the Georgia Aquarium, Stone Mountain and other romantic attractions.

For more information about the Sweet Escape package and planning a Valentine's Day in Atlanta, call (770) 487-2000 or visit: For more information about the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center and visit:

Packages are subject to availability and other restrictions. Taxes and gratuities are not included in the package price.

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Free Reasons To Smile

(NAPSI)-In addition to sunshine, thrill rides and attractions beyond compare, Orlando has created more reasons to smile when planning a getaway this spring or early summer.

The "Bundles of Free Smiles" promotion, running through June 30, includes free admission to attractions, free room nights, free perks and even free events, making it even easier to enjoy an affordable vacation.

The program was created by the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Inc. Freebies include additional nights at top resorts such as the Orlando World Center Marriott, free theme park tickets and free kids tickets at various attractions such as airboat or balloon rides. In addition, trips to SeaWorld, Universal and Walt Disney World come with free add-ons and discounts.

Free offers are redeemed by downloading an Orlando Smile Card™ at or mentioning the promotional code associated with the offer. If the card is required, visitors can simply show it at participating establishments.

More information is available by calling (800) 551-0181 or visiting

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Delta Introduces New Account-Linking, Mileage-Transfer Capabilities for SkyMiles(R), WorldPerks(R) Members

/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) today announced that Delta SkyMiles and Northwest WorldPerks members now have the ability to link frequent flyer accounts and transfer miles between both accounts at no charge. Members who link their accounts before March 15, 2009 will earn 500 bonus miles.

This new feature allows members who have SkyMiles and WorldPerks accounts to visit or, link their accounts and transfer any amount of miles into either account on an unlimited basis. Both accounts will remain open and functioning until late 2009 when Delta plans to merge the two programs to deliver one best-in-class loyalty program for members in 2010.

"The mileage-transfer feature enables our frequent flyer members to immediately enjoy both SkyMiles and WorldPerks redemption opportunities, including Award Tickets, upgrades, merchandise and experiences. We encourage them to link their accounts today," said Jeff Robertson, Delta's vice president of Loyalty Programs. "This marks yet another step toward aligning the two programs and offering more value to our combined members."

The programs also recently announced that members may earn elite status by flying a designated number of flight segments on either Delta- or Northwest- operated flights. Additionally, SkyMiles and WorldPerks elite members continue to be eligible for complimentary First Class upgrades on both airlines' flights.

More information on the SkyMiles program is available at WorldPerks program information is available at

The award-winning Delta SkyMiles(R) program offers members multiple mileage-earning opportunities when flying Delta, Delta Shuttle(R), the Delta Connection(R) carriers, Delta AirElite(R) and other SkyTeam(R) airlines. Additional mileage-building opportunities are offered through more than 100 partners such as the Delta SkyMiles Credit Card from American Express, participating hotels, car rental companies, the SkyMiles Store, restaurants,, floral and gift retailers and more. Now in its 27th year, SkyMiles is one of the longest-running and most successful loyalty programs in the travel industry. It was named "Best Domestic Frequent Flyer program" for 2007 and 2008 by readers of Executive Traveler magazine and "Best Frequent Flyer Program" for 2006 and 2007 by Business Traveler magazine. The program also received top honors for "Best Bonus Promotion" from InsideFlyer magazine at the 2007 Freddie Awards.

Delta Air Lines is the world's largest airline. From its hubs in Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita, Delta, its Northwest subsidiary and Delta Connection carriers offer service to 378 destinations in 66 countries and serve more than 170 million passengers each year. Delta's marketing alliances allow customers to earn and redeem either SkyMiles or WorldPerks on more than 16,000 daily flights offered by SkyTeam and other partners. Delta's more than 70,000 employees worldwide are reshaping the aviation industry as the only U.S. airline to offer a full global network. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and flight status at

* Only SkyMiles and WorldPerks miles can be transferred between accounts. Medallion Qualification Miles (MQM), Medallion Qualification Segments, Elite Qualification Miles (EQM) and Elite Qualification Segments, which are used to qualify for elite status, will not be immediately affected by linking or transferring, but will be combined when linked accounts are merged later this year. Elite status is currently recognized on both Delta and Northwest.

Terms and Conditions

Complimentary upgrades are subject to availability and offered on most Delta and Northwest flights within or between the United States (excluding Hawaii), Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America, Mexico and northern South America. All SkyMiles program and WorldPerks program rules apply to SkyMiles and WorldPerks program membership, miles, offers, mile accrual, mile redemption and travel benefits, respectively. To review the rules, please visit and

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Monday, February 02, 2009

Punxsutawney Phil Says It's Not Over - More Winter to Enjoy in 2009

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Groundhog Day forecast is in: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning and predicted six more weeks of wintry weather. Thousands of visitors gathered in Punxsutawney, in the heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds, to witness Phil's annual prognostication.

"With Phil's prediction of continued cold weather, Pennsylvania visitors can spend more time enjoying winter activities," said Mickey Rowley, deputy secretary of tourism in the Department of Community and Economic Development. "Winter months in Pennsylvania offer traditional outdoor fun like skiing, ice skating, snow tubing and snowshoeing, while also making indoor attractions like museums and art exhibits an inviting alternative."

Here are a few examples of what Pennsylvania travelers can discover during these remaining six weeks of winter:

-- Lincoln Bicentennial: David Wills House Grand Opening, Feb. 12-16,

In celebration of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday, the David Wills House in Gettysburg will open to the public on Feb. 12 and feature seven galleries, including David Wills' office and the President's bedroom where Lincoln finished revising the Gettysburg Address.

-- Meet the Makers: Urban Tree Forge, Feb. 16, Pittsburgh

Known as the largest silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified museum in the country, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh is hosting an event that transforms unwanted trees into unique masterpieces of furniture, sculpture and art right on the Museum's exhibit floor. All of the pieces are created by John Metzler from trees that have been locally-sourced.

-- International Chainsaw Carvers Rendezvous, Feb. 21-28, Ridgway

Each year, hundreds of chainsaw carvers from across the country and the world gather in Ridgway to share their art and skill with the public and to raise money for charities. Celebrating its 10th year, this event in the heart of the Pennsylvania Wilds offers chainsaw competitions, safety classes, carving displays and much more.

-- Cezanne and Beyond at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Feb. 26-May 17

Escape the winter air with a visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and explore the new "Cezanne and Beyond" exhibit. The show includes 60 paintings and drawings by Paul Cezanne, as well as other works from artists whom he influenced. .

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Hawaii Hotels Slash Prices Via '3rd Night Free'

/PRNewswire/ -- According to online retailer Travel Hawaii LLC (, Hawaii's hotels are slashing rates in a variety of ways in order to stimulate demand. Combined with record low airfares to Hawaii, the overall cost of a Hawaii vacation has tumbled dramatically.

"3rd Night Free is the new norm," said John Lindelow, owner of Travel Hawaii. "We track all the offers from Hawaii's hotels, and we now have 33 hotels offering 3rd Night Free. Combined with already discounted rates, this can make the cost of a hotel stay half of what it was a couple years ago at this time." The Outrigger Hotel chain, for example, is offering 3rd Night Free at 19 of its 23 Hawaii hotels and condo properties. All of the 3rd Night Free specials can be found on Travel Hawaii's special page at

Some hotels have simply slashed their basic rates. The Sheraton Waikiki, for example, is selling Ocean Front rooms through Travel Hawaii for $206/night through mid-May. And the Outrigger Waikiki on the Beach has City View rooms for $161/night for all of 2009.

Record low airfares round out the equation, with fares from the East Coast well under $500 to Honolulu round trip, and those from Los Angeles under $350.

"So two people traveling from the East Coast and staying a week in an Ocean Front room on Waikiki would pay around $2400 for airfare and hotel," said Lindelow, "which is pretty astounding since this is normally the busiest, and most expensive, time of the year for the Hawaii tourism industry."

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