Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, May 2016 Issue
Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 877
Logan OH 43138
All Rights Reserved.
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright 2016
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff
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|In This Issue:
Pot Still at Willet Distillery, Bardstown, KY
4th Graders’ Travel Free Program
|Austin Adventures wants families to remember Canadian and its parks north of the U.S. border.
That’s why Austin Adventures expands its 4th Graders Go Free on any U.S. National Park adventure promotion into Canada for the 2016 season. Matched with a generous exchange rate, families with fourth graders can look to Canada for vacation savings.
Austin notes two trips in Canada popular with families with children age seven and up. The five night Alberta Family Banff to Jasper trip offers two parks; Banff and Jasper. Summer departures include July 3, 10, 24, Aug. 7 and 14, 2016. The per person, double rate is from $2,898 adult; children’s rates are from $2,318.
Highlights include a glacier trek, alpine hiking, paved trail biking and whitewater rafting through “Wild Rose Country” in the Canadian Rockies. Home-away-from-home is at Baker Creek Chalet (three nights) and Banff Royal Canadian Lodge (two nights).
Another family trip in this promotion is British Columbia Family / Whistler. This five night trip departs June 26, July 3, 10, 31, and Aug. 21. The adult per person double rate is $2,798; children’s rates begin at $2,238. Activities in Whistler, BC, include hiking, biking, whitewater rafting and horseback riding. Legends Lodge in Whistler’s ski village serves as home basecamp.
If a visit to Canada isn’t in the plan, families with fourth graders can save vacation dollars at one of 11 U.S. National Park adventures. Throughout 2016, Austin Adventures waives trip fees for all fourth graders traveling with their family to Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Yosemite, Glacier, Grand Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Zion.
Austin Adventures or 800/575-1540.
Summer deals at Wilderness Lodges
|The Appalachian Mountain Club promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of America’s Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions.
AMC helps you explore and develop an appreciation of the natural world. With chapters from Maine to Washington, D.C., you can enjoy hiking, paddling, cycling, and skiing, and learn new outdoor skills.
Young Explorers Deal: All summer, kids stay, play, and eat free at Cardigan Lodge and Lonesome Lake Hut, both in New Hampshire. Bring the little ones to Cardigan Lodge and explore nature trails, waterfalls and pond critters. For an overnight in the backcountry, Lonesome Lake Hut is the perfect spot. Free meals for kids include breakfast and dinner. A trail lunch is included with your stay at Cardigan Lodge. One child stays free per adult at Lonesome Lake Hut. Up to three children stay free per adult at Cardigan Lodge. Mention PLAY16 when booking. The offer is for new reservations only and is not valid with guided programs, including Wee Wanderers, are in session.
Extended Stay Savings - - Save 10 percent on a three-night stay, or 20 percent on a five-night stay, at New Hampshire and Maine Lodges and Huts. This offer is available during the full-service season, Sunday to Friday, at any combination of AMC huts, the Highland Center, Joe Dodge Lodge, Little Lyford, and Gorman Chairback.
Appalachian Mountain Club.
Spot the Signs of Drowsy Drivers
|Fatigue affects your driving capabilities and that's why Canada Auto Association South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) reminds you to be aware of the warning signs:
- Inability to recall the last few miles driven.
- Disconnected or wandering thoughts.
- Difficulty focusing or keeping your eyes open.
- Feeling as though your head is very heavy.
- Drifting out of your driving lane.
- Yawning repeatedly.
- Accidentally tailgating other vehicles.
- Missing traffic signs.
To avoid nodding off behind the wheel, CAA SCO suggests:
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Drive at times when you are normally awake.
- Schedule a break for long drives.
- Travel with an alert passenger.
- Avoid medications that cause drowsiness.
Creekside Inn Spring Promotion
|Creekside Inn, on Islamorada in the Florida Keys, offers a spring promotion where you buy one night and the second night is 50 percent off.
A standard room costs $199 per night, a double with two double beds costs $229 per night, a kitchenette room costs $259 per night and a deluxe King balcony room costs $279 per night. Rates are valid through June and apply Sunday through Thursday. Taxes are extra.
Newly renovated rooms include free Wi-Fi, beverage fridge, microwave and coffeemaker.
Creekside Inn is on the ocean-side of Tavernier Creek Bridge, with direct access to the Atlantic Ocean or Florida Bay. Casual and fine-dining, shopping, movies, dive shops, and theme parks all within minutes of the Inn. The largest indoor storage marina in the Keys is across the street, with fishing and boating needs.
Bring your boat and dock it outside your room on the deep water canal.
Creekside Inn or 305/852-2351.
Bonaire Summer Specials
|Many of Bonaire's hoteliers and activity providers make it easier to enjoy your vacation with additional savings. Here are some of packages and deals available:
Belmar Oceanfront Apartments, 888/655-0605, offers their Drive, Dive & Stay package. Every second diver dives free from $545 per person, per week. Specials are valid through May 27, 2016.
Bonaire Oceanfront Apartments, 599/717-6130, offers three seven-night Wellness Vacation packages through June 2016. The Ohm package ($499) includes yoga, meditation, demo dive, and a 60-minute massage; the Prana package ($599) includes yoga meditation, three breakfasts, demo dive, a 60-minute massage, Reiki and full moon yoga (if available) and the Namaste package ($799) includes yoga, meditation, three breakfasts, demo dive, a private salsa lesson, a 60 minute massage, Reiki, pedicute, three Aurvedic lunches and if possible, full moon yoga. Prices are per person, per week and include all taxes and service charges.
Bruce Bowker's Carib Inn, 599/717-8819, offers a Summer & Autumn Special through Nov. 5, 2016 with $20 off per night on any non-seaside room and both houses.
Book Buddy Dive Resort’s, 599/717-5080 ext. 524, Drive & Dive six-boat dive package and receive three extra one-tank afternoon boat dives plus a 50 percent food credit. Weeincludeskly rates begin at $952.73 per person. The package is valid through May 27, 2016.
Buddy Dive Resort’s Coral Lovers June package, valid June 1 to 24, 2016, cooperates with the Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire. The package coral restoration presentations, adventure dives, coral restoration specialty courses and guided restoration dives.
With Caribbean Club Bonaire's, 599/717-7901, Dive & Explore package, receive a free guided shore dive plus a 50 percent food credit from $643 per person, per week. The package is valid through May 27, 2016.
Den Laman Condominiums, 800/382-1094, seven- night package starts from $717 per person, based on four people in a two bedroom Ocean View condo. The package includes a four door pick-up truck, six days of unlimited tanks for shore diving, free Nitrox upgrades and room tax. Rates are valid through Dec. 23, 2016 based on availability.
Divi Flamingo Beach Resort and Casino, 800/367-3484 ext. 2077, offers up to 30 percent off with per person rates from $139 per night, based on double occupancy. Book through Dec. 19, 2016, for travel until Dec. 19, 2017.
The seven-night 'Summer Savings' package at Eden Beach Resort Bonaire, 855/228-4644, includes six days of unlimited shore diving with Wannadive Bonaire, free Nitrox, and a seven-day truck rental. Weekly rates from $910 per diver for a studio with terrace, based on double occupancy. The package is valid through July 1; Aug. 27 through Sep. 30; and Nov. 26 through Dec. 16, 2016.
Sand Dollar Condominiums, 800/288-4773, offers their seven night Free Ride to the Reef package with Dive Friends Bonaire. The package includes a rental truck, six days of unlimited tanks for shore diving, free Nitrox upgrades and tourism tax. Boat diving packages are also available. Weekly rates begin at $654 per diver, based on four people sharing a two bedroom/two bath condo. The package is valid for travel to Dec. 23, 2016.
Bonaire from the Sea, 599/785-2277, offers introductory prices for a fully catered day of diving and snorkeling on the AMORAY. Rates begin at $650 for up to two guests, and $750 for groups of six guests. Bonaire from the Sea offers weekly self-catering live-aboard packages which include daily sailing with the crew and full diving and snorkeling options. The live-aboard contains three in-suite double cabins and is moored at the Harbour Village Marina where you have access to shore facilities, bars and restaurants. Weekly rates begin at $3,750 for two people and $4,500 for a group of six guests. All prices include local taxes.
Flow Bonaire’s, 599/788-4636, Double Adventure special lets you experience the fluorescent night dive/snorkel of the reef using a special dive light and a mask visor. Their caving adventure explores a dry cave and snorkeling in a cave with clear, fresh water. The Double Adventure special is $79 (including taxes), as opposed to the regular price of $50 per adventure.
Tropical Travel Bonaire’s, 599/701-1232, Nature Park tour includes a guided tour through Washington Slagbaai National Park and free snacks and refreshments. Transportation to/from hotel is included. The $55 tour does not include the $25 entrance fee to the Park.
Zika: Protect Yourself from Mosquitoes
|Soaking up some sun in a tropical locale is turning to concern about mosquitoes. In early 2015, the World Health Organization declared Zika virus a global public health threat. Currently, the virus is active in 24 countries.
Transmitted through Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito bites, the Zika virus causes symptoms from mild fever to a skin rash to conjunctivitis. Zika is a serious concern for pregnant women or women who may become pregnant as the virus is thought to be responsible for a birth defect called microcephaly (abnormal smallness of the head linked to incomplete brain development).
If you're traveling to a region where Zika virus mosquitoes are active, RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) wants to offer four important steps to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.
- Put up personal barriers. Wear light-colored clothing and cover up with long sleeves and pants. Aedes mosquitoes fly during the day so cover up anytime you are outside whether daytime, dawn or dusk.
- Reinforce your habitat. Aedes breed indoors and your home or hotel is a welcoming place to them. Make sure doors and screens are closed and in good repair to keep the biting insects outside.
- Apply mosquito-specific defenses. Apply EPA-approved insect repellent, like DEET, on exposed skin, especially your legs. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a variety of safe and effective repellents for you and your family.
- Eliminate sources of standing water. Survey of your vacation surroundings and ask to have any unnecessary standing water drained, such as buckets, drums, bottles, birdbaths, pet bowls, flowerpot saucers, and plastic wading pools, which attract mosquitoes and allow them to breed. Aedes mosquitoes can breed in containers as small as bottle caps, so pick up litter too.
African Travel 40th Anniversary Promotions
|African Travel, Inc. celebrates four decades of providing African safaris by offering special promotions each month. Sign up for African Travel's newsletter to receive discounted birthday offers for the remainder of 2016.
African Travel, Inc. or 800/421-8907.
Fort Lauderdale's "Escape to The District" Package
|In Fort Lauderdale’s Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District, you can visit the Flummox'd Escape Rooms, explore the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, and enjoy pizza and beverages at PizzaCraft Artisan Pizzeria at a 15 percent discount. The District's "Escape to The District" interactive package, available through Sep. 30, 2016, lets you enjoy this one-of-a-kind day for $32 per person.
To purchase the individual components of the package would cost at least $45, before added discounts for the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society gift shop and PizzaCraft Artisan Pizzeria.
The "Escape to The District" package includes:
- One ticket to Flummox'd Escape Rooms where live-action puzzles, riddles, and physical tasks help you solve the room's secrets in order to escape. This 60-minute interactive game stimulates players to use their wit, intuition, brainpower, and collaboration skills. Flummox'd Escape Rooms is located at 211 Himmarshee St, Suite D, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301.
- One-day pass to the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society
- Ten percent off any purchase at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society Gift Shop
- Fifteen percent off food and beverage purchase at PizzaCraft Artisan Pizzeria
The Escape to The District package is recommended for those age 12 and older. It is available daily 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. booking times at the Escape Room by Flummox'd. Other Escape Room-only experiences are available daily until 11 p.m.
You can book the "Escape to The District" package here. Enter code FLFUN at checkout.
Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District.
Perks for Philly Overnight Hotel Package
|Book your stay in Philadelphia using the Visit Philly Overnight hotel package and get more perks, including free passes for Indego, Philadelphia’s bike-sharing program, and free tickets for the PHLASH downtown loop, which stops at more than 20 attractions in Center City.
The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel package always included free hotel parking. Now the offer comes with perks that make it easier to get around.
- The Visit Philly Overnight Hotel package is available at more than 30 hotels in Center City and beyond. It includes:
- A one- or two-night hotel stay
- Free hotel parking (up to a $100 value)
- Two Indego bike share passes, each good for four 30-minute rides (available through February 2017)
- Two PHLASH passes (available through Sep. 5, 2016)
Book the overnight hotel package here.
Orlando Seek the Weekend Package
|The Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside’s Seek the Weekend package offers 20 percent off deluxe accommodations plus a $25 daily hotel credit that can be used at on-site restaurants. Package rates start from $124 per night, for Friday or Saturday night stays through May 23, 2016.
Not a typical airport hotel, the Orlando Airport Marriott Lakeside offers two lakes with amenities including an outdoor pool, hammocks and lounge chairs overlooking Lake Michelle. An indoor pool and fitness center is available. Free bicycles and fishing poles are available to use on property.
Rooms and suites offer soundproof floor-to-ceiling windows and pillow-top mattresses. Flat-panel Internet-ready HDTVs offer access to Netflix, Hulu and premium movie channels.
Book online using promo code P91.
Seek The Weekend Package or 800/228-9290.
California's Great America Hotel Packages
|Save on California's Great America theme park when you spend a night at one of 10 Santa Clara hotels. The discount packages represent an almost 50 percent savings over regular room and ticket cost.
Hotel/theme park packages include one night's weekend accommodations and two California's Great America general admission tickets (extra tickets can be purchased at a discount at several participating hotels). In addition, a few of the packages include free breakfast and transportation to and from the park. Here are details on each hotel package SantaClara.org/HotelPackages.
Participating hotels are Avatar Hotel, Best Western Inn Santa Clara, Biltmore Hotel & Suites, Embassy Suites Santa Clara, Hilton Santa Clara, Hyatt house, Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, Mariani's Inn and Restaurant, Santa Clara Marriott, and The Plaza Suites. Package prices start at $149. Sales tax is not included and packages are subject to availability. Packages are good thru Oct. 29, 2016.
For 2016, California's Great America will introduce new additions to the park including Mass Effect: New Earth, a HD Holographic Journey with characters and settings from Electronic Art's Mass Effect video game series.
Great America Hotel Packages.
BVI FREEdom Program Kids Stay Free
|The Summer FREEdom program allows kids to stay free in the British Virgin Islands. Offers range from chartered yachts, private islands to villas and vacation homes.
Here are some offers.
Bitter End Yacht Club – With the Super Summer Family package, June 1 to Aug. 13, 2016, kids five and under stay for free and you can add a private Blue Water Day Sail. With the five-night Romance package, valid Oct. 10 to 30, 2016, you can add a sixth night for free.
Fischer's Cove Beach Hotel & Reef Restaurant – Kids eat, play, and stay free. The offer is valid for children under 12 years old who share a room with parents. The package includes free beach toys, sand beach play sets or snorkeling gear, and free kid's breakfast with a kid’s menu. Valid through Oct. 30, 2016.
Guana Island – On the private island, explore seven beaches, 22 hiking trails and free watersports, including Hobie Cat sailing, standup paddle boarding, kayaking, and off-the-shore snorkeling. Up to two kids ages 10 and under stay free in the same room with their parents. Valid until Aug. 30, 2016.
Long Bay Beach Club – 30 percent off summer rates plus up to two children, ages 11 and under, stay free when sharing a room in a deluxe beachfront or beachfront suite. Valid until Oct. 31, 2016.
Necker Island – During Celebration Weeks kids up to six years old stay free. Kids stay in the Bunk Room at the Great House, which is full of toys, books, and video games. Valid through Oct. 30, 2016.
Peter Island Resort & Spa – Get up to 30 percent off this summer at the 1,800-acre private island resort plus kids 12 and under eat and stay for free.
Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina – Two-, three-, or four-bedroom hillside villas feature equipped kitchens, master suites, private pools, and Caribbean views. Book five nights and receive two nights free and a $500 resort credit. Valid through Oct. 30, 2016.
BVI Villa Rental – Choose from villas with private pools, on the beach or in the hills. The summer FREEdom package allows kids under 12 to stay free. Valid through Oct. 30, 2016.
Guavaberry Spring Bay Vacation Homes – Package 1, valid June 1 to Aug. 31, 2016, allows kids to play and stay for free and includes a one-bedroom house with air conditioning and a free gift for each child. Package 2, the Endless Summer FREEdom package, valid Sep.1 to Oct. 31, 2016, includes a one-bedroom house with air conditioning and a one-day vehicle rental. Both packages include free WiFi and snorkel equipment.
Katitche Point Greathouse – Offers five double bedrooms and one kids' bedroom. The family package allows kids under 12 to stay free and teenagers to pay half-price. Stay seven nights and pay for six. The package includes a rental car, shopping-on-arrival service, beach toys, snorkeling gear, free Internet, WiFi, local and international phone calls, a full-day maid service and a villa concierge service to arrange island activities. Valid June 1 to Oct. 30, 2016.
Red Rock Villa & Spa – Offers three double bedrooms and a private spa-suite. The family package is similar to the family package at Katitche Point Greathouse.
Necker Belle – the catamaran sleeps up to 12 guests. Charter Necker Belle for seven nights can get a free night onboard. Valid June 1 to Oct. 30, 2016.
Summer FREEdom program or 800/835-8530.
2016 Inaugural Offer on New Cruise Line
|French America Line introduces boutique U.S. river experiences with the August launch of the 75-stateroom Louisiane. From her home port of New Orleans, the riverboat is fresh from a multi-million dollar refurbishment.
Inaugural sailings for up to 150 guests with a U.S. crew of 64 begins Aug. 22, 2016. Cruise tours of five to 10 days visit places where larger riverboats cannot navigate along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Red rivers, and the Intracoastal waterways of the Gulf Coast.
For the inaugural season, French America Line offers free pre-paid gratuities on all sailings. The offer includes onboard gratuities of $16 per person, per day for onboard service staff (excluding spa personnel) and $5 per person, per day for included shore excursions. The offer value of up to $420 per stateroom is based on double occupancy for a 10-day cruise tour. Some cruise tours are shorter and corresponding savings will be less. The offer is applied automatically at time of booking and applies to bookings made on or before June 15, 2016 for any cruise tour departing prior to Dec. 31, 2016.
Louisiane sailings include:
- All-inclusive pricing
- Chef-designed meals
- Free-flowing hand-selected beverages, spirits and wines
- One-night pre-cruise hotel stay with breakfast
- Daily shore excursions
- Free WiFi.
Many of the 75 suites and staterooms have verandas or French balconies.
There are two open seating dining venues, 24-hour in-room dining, three lounges, free nightly entertainment, onboard enriching talks and chats, bicycles, helmets and maps for private shore explorations, onboard full service spa and healthy menu choices at every meal.
French America Line or 888/387-1140.
North Bend State Park Spring Special
|North Bend State Park in West Virginia has several spring special offers. Call North Bend for details 304/643-2931.
Kayak Basics – Sunday to Thursday during June 2016
The two-hour kayak excursion on the lake introduces and improves basic flat water skills. This individualized quest includes safety information, balance and basic paddle strokes. The package costs $175 for two people and includes one night's lodging for two people, kayak rental, taxes and fees.
Spring Cabin Break - through May 31, 2016
Stay two consecutive nights in a North Bend cabin, Sunday through Thursday nights, and the standard rental rate is reduced 25 percent. Call North Bend State Park Lodge direct and ask for "Spring Cabin Break"
The "Voyage" Package - May 13 to Oct. 30, 2016
The package costs $125 for two people and includes one night’s lodging, tickets for two to Blennerhassett Island Historical State Park which includes a sternwheeler ride to and from the island (two passes), two tickets for wagon ride tour of the island, two tickets for Blennerhassett Mansion tour, and two passes for Blennerhassett Regional History Museum. Package rate includes taxes.
Packaged rates can't be combined with other discounts or packaged rates.
Innsbruck Free Hiking
|Innsbruck Austria’s summer hiking program is free for guests staying in Innsbruck or its 25 holiday villages. Included in the program is a hiking guide from the Alpine School of Innsbruck, hiking bus and equipment.
All visitors to Innsbruck and its 25 holiday villages can use the hiker's bus free with their guest card (distributed at check-in) and take part in the mountain hiking program for free. With the Innsbruck hiking program a transfer bus takes you from your hotel to the many scenic hiking regions around Innsbruck. Free rental equipment (hiking boots and backpack) and a personal guide from AlpinSchule Innsbruck (ASI), which successfully operates hiking tours all around the globe.
From June until the end of October, a choice of several two to five hour guided hikes are offered. Most are 'combi hikes', where you choose a gentle or moderately difficult hike. If you are not tired at the end of the day, a lantern-lit walk with music is offered. Register for all hikes the day before via your hotel.
There is an easy, leisurely hike towards the south of the city, on Innsbruck's Patscherkofel mountain. At an altitude of 6,000 feet, the Zirbenweg trail shows off nature at its finest. This walk is best in June and July when alpine roses are in bloom and the stone pine woods offer shaded resting areas. With its levelled and well maintained paths the Zirbenweg can be enjoyed by all as the Patscherkofel cable cars take you up the mountain to the even and easy hiking paths.
Après-hike entertainment includes a visit to the Imperial Palace, shopping malls, a stroll along Maria-Theresien-Street, or an aperitif in a local pubs.
Innsbruck Hiking Program .
Shelter Dog for The Day In Hawaii
|Missing your pet while on vacation? Options now include "checking out" a shelter dog for the day from the Hawaii Island Humane Society in Kona.
Shelter staffers introduce visitors to canine candidates that are allowed out on field trips and, once a selection is made, supplies are readied. Hawaii Island Humane Society supplies an Adopt Me harness and leash, water and a bowl, towels for car transport, toys, treats, waste bags and cleaning supplies. Only sterilized and microchipped dogs with good behavior are available for field trips.
Visitors evaluate the dog so that potential adopters can find out more about the pet. Field trip pictures are encouraged and these may have a positive impact on people looking for a new pet.
Residents can also participate in the field trip program.
Lava Dogs 808 provides an online resource for dog-friendly places on Hawaii Island. The Hawaii Island Humane Society will also provide options for those headed out on an excursion.
Check out: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Saturday
Same day return: No later than 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday
- Participant must be at least 18 years old.
- Liability waiver must be signed.
- A credit card number is recorded for a $200 deposit in the event the dog is not returned.
- Dogs must be transported in an enclosed vehicle (no riding in an open convertible or in the open bed of a truck).
- Dogs must be on leash at all times and never left unattended. Dogs are not allowed off-leash in any park or beach.
- Dogs are not allowed "people" food, since it can cause stomach upset and diarrhea.
Hawaii Island Humane Society Kona Shelter location: 74-5225 Queen Kaahumanu Highway, Kailua-Kona
Spring into The Magic Rates
|In Lake Buena Vista, FL, “Spring into the Magic Rates” are offered by the seven Disney Springs resort area hotels for stays through June 30, 2016. Rates are based on availability, which may be limited and some blackout dates apply. Rates do not include the resort services fee, daily parking fee (if applicable), taxes or gratuities. The offer is not valid with any other special offers, promotions, existing reservations, or for groups.
Located in the Walt Disney World Resort, these seven Official Walt Disney World Hotels are an easy walk to Disney Springs. Disney Springs features four outdoor neighborhoods, with a diverse mix of retailers, entertainment, upscale restaurants, and casual dining options.
The seven Disney Springs resort area hotels provide shuttle transportation every 30 minutes to all four Walt Disney World Theme Parks, two water parks, and to the Disney Springs area, home to La Nouba by Cirque du Soleil featuring two new acts in 2016.
“Spring into the Magic Rates” for stays through June 30, 2016 are:
- B Resort & Spa – rates from $99 per room, per night
- Best Western Lake Buena Vista – rates from $69 per room, per night
- Buena Vista Palace – rates from $99 per room, per night
- DoubleTree Suites Orlando Lake Buena Vista -- rates from $119 per suite, per night
- Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – rates from $119 per room, per night
- Holiday Inn in the Walt Disney World Resort – rates from $99 per room, per night
- Wyndham Garden Lake Buena Vista – rates from $77 per room, per night.
Spring into the Magic Rates.
Crescent Hotels D.C. Deals
|Crescent Hotels & Resorts manage more than 100 hotels and resorts in the U.S. and Canada including more than a dozen in the Washington, DC area.
Crescent put together a list of hotels in and around Washington, DC that offer conveniences like being close to Metrorail or free shuttles to the Metrorail – along with the special summer offers and promotions:
Hyatt Place Washington DC/US Capitol: The hotel’s Newseum package includes two tickets for the Newseum and late check-out. The Urban Experience package customizes your visit with two all-day Metrorail passes for one day of unlimited travel and dinner for two.
Sheraton Tysons Hotel: Next to the Spring Hill Road Metrorail Silver Line, the hotel is less than 20 minutes from downtown Washington, D.C. Beginning Memorial Day, The hotel offers a Stay & Play Family package and a Sunset Lovers package. The family package includes four tickets to the Tysons AMC Theater, one admission to Jefferson Falls Mini Fold at Jefferson District Park, and discounted admission at the Colvin Run Mill. The couples’ package offers a room with a sunset view of the Blue Ridge Mountains, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries, in room movie and breakfast in bed.
3Hilton Crystal City Hotel: The “Hot Summer Deal” package includes breakfast for two and two all day Metrorail passes plus a free shuttle to and from airport and metro.
Cambria Hotel & Suites in Rockville features the Breakfast, Parking and Points package with free parking, free breakfast and 500 Choice Privilege Points. The Family Fun package includes breakfast for two adults and two kids, coloring books or games, milk and cookies, and sparkling juice or wine and chocolate covered fruit for the parents.
The Westin Arlington Gateway: Starwood Preferred Guest members earn double points with the “Take Two” promotion. Promotional packages include “Pay Rates Equal to your Birth Year.” Locals get a 20 percent discount.
Westin Reston Heights: Offers free shuttles to the airport and the Silver Line Metrorail. Promotions include the “Pay Rates Equal to your Birth Year” package. The Virginia is for Lovers package offers an upgrade to a Junior Suite, $50 dining credit, bottle of Virginia wine, a VA for Lovers keepsake, and late check out.
Sheraton Reston Hotel: Free shuttle to the Silver Line Metrorail and the “Pay Rates Equal to your Birth Year” package. The Shopping package offers breakfast for two, a $50 Visa gift card at Tysons Center or Reston Town Center, and free shuttle service to Reston Town Center and Wiehle Metrorail Station. The Date Night package includes breakfast for two, and two movie tickets to Bow Tie Cinema at Reston Town Center.
DoubleTree by Hilton Largo-Washington DC: Located near FedEx Field and Six Flags America, the hotel offers free shuttle service to nearby restaurants and two Metrorail stations. The Six Flags Stay & Play package includes two Six Flag admission tickets per reservation, a Six Flags parking voucher, breakfast buffet for two and a welcome play kit for children.
Wingate by Wyndham Chantilly: The pet-friendly hotel offers a free shuttle to the airport and the Smithsonian Institution Air & Space Museum. AAA/AARP discounts, special rates for active and retired military and discounts for advance purchases are offered.
Residence Inn Herndon Reston: The all-suite, pet-friendly hotel offers a free shuttle to Metrorail, Dulles Airport, and anything within a three-mile radius. The hotel offers free hot breakfast daily and full kitchens in every suite.
Best Western Old Colony Inn: free shuttle to Old Town Alexandria, the Metrorail and airport, the hotel offers discounts to AAA and AARP members.
Crescent Hotels D.C. Deals.
Along Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail - article and photos by Nicki and Harold Chodnoff
|Bourbon is America’s liquor a creation originating several hundred years ago. All bourbons are whiskeys but not all whiskeys are Bourbons said Stephen Fante of Limestone Branch Distillery. To learn a lot about bourbon, we traveled on a part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
So what’s the difference? By definition, whiskey is a spirit distilled from fermented grain mash, either wheat, rye, barley, and corn or a combination thereof, and then aged in wooden barrels. Whiskey is made all over the world. The most popular form of American whiskey is bourbon.
The United States government dictates that bourbon whiskey must be produced in America
- Its mash must be at least 51% corn,
- The distillation proof has to be less than 160° proof and entered into the barrel at less than 125° proof
- The oak barrels must be new and charred,
- Straight bourbon whiskey has to comply with all of the above plus spend at least two years in wood.
Kentuckians claim their limestone branch water is another essential ingredient. Maybe there’s truth to that as Kentucky is where 95 percent of the world's bourbon is made. So why is 95 percent of the world’s bourbon made in Kentucky? It began in the 1700s with the first settlers of Kentucky. This was the frontier and farmers had a hard time getting their crops to market over narrow trails and steep hills. Converting grains to whiskey made it easier to transport, prevented excess grain from rotting, and brought some welcome income or product for barter.
Generations of Kentuckians continued the time-honored tradition of making Bourbon using the process used by their ancestors.
Which leads to the question, how did it get the name Bourbon? It’s a question that has many answers. One of the answers we most often heard is that one of Kentucky’s original counties was Bourbon County, established in 1785 when Kentucky was still part of Virginia. Farmers shipped their whiskey in oak barrels that were stamped “from Bourbon County” down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to New Orleans. The long trip aged the whiskey, with the oak wood giving it the distinct mellow flavor and amber color.
In 1999, the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, a trade marketing organization, formed the Kentucky Bourbon Trail tour to give visitors a firsthand look at the art and science of distilling Bourbon. Kentucky’s Bourbon Trail stretches for about 60 miles, from Louisville to Lexington and down to Lebanon and Bardstown. All Bourbon distillers are not part of the organization. Some of the distillers that are not part of the organization still have distillery tours.
Bourbon Country is rolling hills, pastures with sleek thoroughbred horses or cattle grazing and country roads with piled stone walls and black tobacco barns. Without the bourbon, it’s still a scenic ride.
Here are some of the places we visited. We stopped at a variety of distilleries large and small where we learned about bourbon, sipped bourbon and delved into the roots. You’ll learn a new language in the process – angel’s share, (amount that evaporates during aging), rick houses (warehouses storing aging bourbon), and mash build (recipe) to name a few terms.
Lebanon - Limestone Branch Distillery, 1280 Veterans Memorial Hwy., 270/699-9004.
Part of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour, this fairly new distillery started around 2012. Moonshine is their entry into distilling, a beverage that can be produced and brought to market quickly and bring income while you wait until bourbon ages. A family-owned and operated craft distillery, its pedigree reaches back near the beginnings of Kentucky bourbon. Beam brothers Steve and Paul incorporate their Beam and Dant heritage. Using traditional distilling techniques, including a 150-gallon hand-hammered copper pot still Limestone produces small, one-barrel batches of fine spirits. The distillery offers tours and tastings and is known for Gold Medal-winning T.J. Pottinger Moon*Shine and Minor’s Revenge. The newest creation is MoonPie MoonShine. MoonPies are the graham cracker cookie confections with marshmallow filling made in Chattanoonga, Tenn. by the Campbell family, fifth generation bakers. MoonPie MoonShine combines two Southern traditions in every jar. Free tour.
Lebanon - Kentucky Cooperage, 712 E Main St., 270/692-4674.
At nearly every distillery tour we took, we learned how important the barrels are to the bourbon process. Going on the Kentucky Cooperage tour, also known as the Independent Stave Company, lasts about 45 minutes and tells and shows you the complex barrel making process. At some point in your Bourbon trail journey, include the free cooperage tour in your travels to give you the whole picture of bourbon making. Since only new barrels can be used to age bourbon, American distilleries require a steady supply of white oak barrels and Independent Stave Company makes many of the white oak barrels for most of the major bourbon distilleries. Each distiller specifies how long they want the wood aged, how thick the barrel slats should be and how deep a char the inside of the barrel gets. These multiple barrel nuances give each distillery the variables they work with to create unique products. You don safety glasses and head phones and actually go into the factory with your guide and stop at different stations on the production line. Barrel making is labor-intensive, though more automated than a century ago. For some of that process the labor is highly skilled.
Loretto – Maker’s Mark, 3350 Burks Spring Road, 270/865-2099.
The Maker’s Mark distillery in Loretto is what we pictured a Kentucky farm or distillery would look like: a large black barn with cherry red shutters, the old homestead (now a visitors center) tucked beneath shade trees, landscaped paths, and a trickling stream named Whisky Creek.
The brand started in 1953, but the farm that fourth-generation distiller Bill Samuels bought to create his signature bourbon has been a working mill since 1805.
The Maker’s Mark tour is immersive. You can see the steps from the corn mash bubbling to the final bottling. As you start the tour you smell the yeast and can stick your fingers into the mash tanks and taste what the corn mash tastes like on days 1, 2 and 3. You get to walk through the warehouse, called a rick house, and see the barrels stacked high. And you can see how incredibly fast employees dip the bottled bourbon in hot, red wax to seal the finished products. After you follow the whole process, you get to taste the finished product and learn how to smell bourbon: Stick your nose over the glass, open your mouth and inhale. When you breathe through your mouth rather than through your nose, you smell the distinctly different aroma of each of the five bourbons without getting a nose full of alcohol fumes.
Harrodsburg - Private tasting with Dixon Dedman at the Beaumont Inn, 638 Beaumont Inn Dr., 859/734-3381.
At a distillery bourbon tasting, you taste what that distillery produces. With a private tasting with Dixon Dedman, the fifth generation of his family that own and operate the Beaumont Inn, you can compare and contrast across brands. We thought this tasting was the most informative and the most personal. At a distillery tour tasting you can be one among 20 or 30 tasters. With Dedman’s private tasting, there will only be up to 12 people.
Our informal tasting was held in one of the beautiful parlors of the inn. The table was set with five or six bourbons from different distilleries. Dedham tries to include highly allocated bourbons, ones that are rare and few stores sell, so you get a chance to sample stuff that isn’t widely distributed. As the tasting started, Dedham told us that it is “not what you’re tasting but where you are tasting it.” In two pours, he explained how different two bourbons can be. “Localizing where the sensation lands is how you develop your palate.” Sipping brands side-by-side and talking about the spirit with an unbiased person who grew up surrounded by the industry proved educational.
Dedman explained that 90 percent of bourbons use rye as the second grain. Rye is strong and becomes the dominant flavor, tingling you on the back of your tongue. With wheat as the second grain, the flavor comes from the barrel. The line up of bourbons may not be the same at each tasting, but the goal is to learn about the contrast of wheat vs. rye.
In addition to taste of the bourbon, Dedman explains about each bourbon sample and the history behind each distillery. If you want to test your newly acquired bourbon knowledge, you can have dinner in Old Owl Tavern at Beaumont Inn where the bar stocks more than 70 varieties of bourbon.
Bardstown - Heaven Hill Distilleries, 1311 Gilkey Run Rd., 502/337-1000.
This relatively young company’s point of pride is that they are still family owned and operated. There is no distilling or bottling at this facility but Heaven Hill has more than 50 warehouses and five and a half million barrels of bourbon aging in Kentucky. So if you’ve been to other distilleries and consider yourself an “expert” on how bourbon is made, you can simply sample bourbon with a bourbon guide, who shares some colorful history along with the science. For instance, in their 92 proof Larceny bourbon, the master distiller looks for a white initial product that in seven or eight years will be golden. Instead of a tour where you see distilling, they have the Bourbon Heritage Center, a museum and gift shop surrounding a barrel shaped tasting room. The Welcome Center features history about bourbon, its trade in Kentucky and information about the origins of many of the distilleries in the area. Try the free samples of bourbon based sauces - tasty. In the Heritage Center, there’s a display where you can smell bourbon.
Bardstown - Willett Distillery, 1869 Loretto Rd., 502/348-0899.
Willett Distillery is on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour. The family still uses mash bills written by original founder Thompson Willett. Mash bills are something like recipes that keep track of the percentages of grains that make each bourbon. The distillery is small compared to others on the Bourbon trail distilling about 20 barrels a day. There are less than 50 employees and three master distillers. Family members are involved in this family business from marketing to tastings. The facility is beautiful, on an old farm, and Willett has its own limestone spring water source.
The tour starts with a history of the family and how the company started. You see where the bourbon is distilled and learn about every stage of the distilling process. After that we went to the other building where they barrel the bourbon. This included hearing about how the barrels are charred and how much bourbon goes in.
The tour continues to the rick house (bourbon warehouses) and you see the barrel aging process. The filled barrels each weigh about 500 pounds. The tour finished with a tasting of the bourbons they make at Willett. Overall, our tour guide was knowledgeable and answered everyone's questions.
Bardstown - Bartons 1792 Distillery, 300 Barton Rd., 502/348-3991.
Originally the Tom Moore Distillery, tour the fully operating distillery and see the inner workings of how eight different bourbons are made on site including Very Old Barton and 1792. One of the most informative tours, you start the process in the grain dump and see it through to the tasting. It’s almost like reporting for work at the distillery as the gate keeper greets you at the entrance and lets you in. Production is on a larger scale. The atmosphere is industrial and manufacturing, so don’t expect a boutique family distillery in a pastoral setting. The 28 rick houses have a 19,600-barrel capacity. Automation is key and you see few employees near the four and a half story tall column still and control room on the tour. This facility is home to a substantial bottling operation, filling bottles that are packed in cases of vodka and margarita mix for their parent company, Sazerac. Many products are bottled here, as the bottling line does subcontract work.
Bardstown - Kentucky Bourbon Marketplace, 110 W Flaget St., 502/348-8611.
Here’s where you find bourbon everything. The Kentucky Bourbon Marketplace is in the renovated Mary May House in the downtown historic district. Here’s where you will find bourbon souvenirs and gifts, a boutique liquor store and a bourbon sampling bar where the bourbon selection is impressive. The advantage is that you can buy and taste bourbons you cannot get at home. You’ll receive personal attention and excellent advice while enjoying flights of bourbon. Friendly, personable and knowledgeable owners Dee Dee and Howard Keene’s mission is to provide an informed, educational experience. You can sample the wares of the entire Kentucky Bourbon Trail in one location. It’s more personable than distillery tours. This place already feels like the town’s social hub, expect a mix of visitors and locals.
Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History, 114 N. Fifth St., 502/348-2999.
To put it all in prospective, our last stop was at the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History which houses the liquor memorabilia collection of Oscar Getz. Getz was a Chicago businessman who in 1933, after prohibition, went into the whiskey business under the company name Barton Brands. Getz became a well-known whiskey historian and lecturer, with a museum in the Barton Distillery offices. After his death, his museum was installed in the then newly restored Spalding Hall.
Admission is free and the museum is larger than you think, taking up most of the first floor of Spalding Hall. The collection is a history of whiskey by way of artifacts – advertisements, hundreds of old bottles some dating to the Revolutionary War era (some bottles still have whiskey in them), ephemera such as Abraham Lincoln’s license to make and sell whiskey, prescriptions for “medicinal” whiskey, old stills and gadgets from distilling whiskey and bottles cracked by Carrie Nation. At some point in your Bourbon Trail journey, walk through this strange, colorful world of American whiskey history.
Lebanon Tourist & Convention C
Kentucky Bourbon Trail ommism Commission
Harrodsburg / Mercer County Tourism
Here are a few of the places we ate and slept.
Mammy’s Kitchen, 116 W Stephen Foster Ave., Bardstown, 502/350-1097.
The moto at this casual restaurant is “Country Cookin’ Makes Ya Good Lookin’.” It’s a family kind of place that locals arrive early in the morning for coffee and conversation. It's also the kind of place that serves so much food. That means a side pancake as big as a plate, two sausage patties with your eggs that can feed two and strong coffee with the refills coming. Although Mammy’s serves lunch and dinner, we ate at Mammy’s for breakfast so we didn’t get to try their bourbon burger with bourbon sauce and caramelized onions.
The family restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner with a range of familiar options like eggs, pancakes, chicken salad, burgers, hot dogs, chicken, steak and more plus regional favorites like the hot brown. Bourbon fans should not miss the bourbon burger, featuring the scrumptious combo of bourbon sauce and caramelized onions.
Rickhouse Restaurant & Lounge, Xavier Dr., Bardstown, KY 502/348-2832.
You can walk passed this restaurant several times and not realize it is in the lower level of Spaulding Hall. Named for the warehouse where bourbon barrels age, this dinner only restaurant offers upscale classic American entrées and more than 130 bourbons and bourbon flights for tasting. After touring distilleries, the ambiance of this restaurant makes you feel as if you are eating at a distillery rickhouse. Their steaks are flavorful and tender (hand-cut in house) and their blueberry bourbon salmon is outstanding.
Harrison Smith House, 103 E Stephen Foster Ave., Bardstown, KY 502/233-9993.
The farm to table establishment makes its home in a comfortable and inviting house with two dining rooms and a small bar area. The limited menu changes often depending on what’s available locally which means freshness.
The attentive staff and outstanding food will make sure your dining experience is top-notch. It’s the kind of place that the general manager will stop by to ask about your meal and he/she actually is interested in your experience to gauge your level of satisfaction. He also brought us a taste of Chef Newman’s unique take on Brussel sprouts. When we asked how the Brussel sprouts were prepared, Chef Newman stopped by to give us the low down. It speaks volumes about the service and staff that the manager rolled up his sleeves to help clear some tables.
Beaumont Inn, 638 Beaumont Inn Dr., Harrodsburg, KY 859/734-3381 – Brimming with Southern hospitality and charm, the Beaumont Inn was built in 1845 as a school for young ladies. Here you find yesteryear with actual keys to your room, hand written paper receipts, an old gated elevator that takes you to upper floors. Its popular eatery, the Old Owl Tavern, was named for the owner's Kentucky Old Owl Bourbon distilled along the Kentucky River before Prohibition. The tavern is known for their yellow legged fried chicken,
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