Travel Savings Alerts Newsletter, June 2018 Issue
Travel Savings Alerts
P.O. Box 877
Logan OH 43138
ISSN: 1542-801X, Copyright 2018
All Rights Reserved.
Editor: Nicki Chodnoff
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American Queen Summer Cruise Savings
|Take a river cruise to iconic cities and quaint small towns. Sail on a nine-day river cruise with American Queen Steamboat Company and save up to $4,000 per stateroom on a variety of itineraries and dates. Limited cabins remain.
Your cruise fare includes:
- One-night hotel stay with breakfast, taxes, porterage and transfer to the vessel
- Signature Hop-On Hop-Off shore excursions
- Entertainment each evening
- Regionally inspired cuisine
- Wine and beer with dinner
- Daily lectures by the Riverlorian, resident history and culture expert
- 24-hour room service from all-American staff.
Fares from $1,999 per person on double occupancy for cabin category IS on American Duchess 2018 voyages: June 3, 17, and 24, July 1 and 8, 2018.
Fares from $2,199 per person on double occupancy for cabin category D on 2018 American Queen voyages: July 1 and 22, and Sep. 9, 2018.
Fares from $2,999 per person on double occupancy for cabin category VS on American Duchess 2018 voyages: June 17 and 24, July 1 and 8, 2018.
Fares from $3,799 per person on double occupancy for cabin category AA on 2018 American Queen voyages: July 1 and 22, and Sep. 9, 2018.
This offer expires June 30, 2018 or when no valid cabins remain. The offer is good for new, paid-in-full bookings. Not valid on group bookings or existing reservations and the offer cannot be combined with other promotions or discounts. Promotional fares are capacity controlled, may vary by sailing and may be withdrawn without notice. Cruise fares are per person and do not include government taxes and fees, port charges, gratuities, airfare, insurance, personal expenditures, and transportation costs incurred while traveling to and from embarkation ports. Mention offer code 2018 Summer Sale.
American Queen Steamboat Company or 888/749-5280.
Breakers Palm Beach Summer Offer
|The Breakers Palm Beach, in Palm Beach, FL, offers a summer promotion to Oct. 31, 2018, including July Fourth and Labor Day holiday weekends.
The oceanfront resort offers nightly rates from $369 per room, per night, a savings of almost 50 percent compared to winter rates. The offer includes free daily benefits and savings, and there is never a resort fee.
Free daily benefits include:
- Full breakfast buffet
- Kids’ menu meals – ages 12 and under, when accompanied by a dining adult
- Unlimited tennis court time on the resort’s 10 lighted Har-Tru courts
- Unlimited access to the indoor-outdoor fitness center
- Weekly group fitness classes including cycling and yoga
- Unlimited Wi-Fi and local calls
- The sixth night free with a stay of six consecutive nights.
Additional summer savings apply to:
- Tennis and golf instruction
- Poolside bungalows for daytime rental
- Select services at The Spa
- Camp Breakers, for kids ages three to 12
- Dining at select restaurants within the resort's collection
- Shopping at select on-site boutiques.
The Breakers, on the island of Palm Beach, is 15 minutes from Palm Beach International Airport (PBI). On-site, there is golf, tennis, family activities, an indoor/outdoor spa and an oceanfront private beach club with four pools.
The Breakers or 855/313-8851.
Four Seasons Orlando 4th Night Free
|The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort offers the stay longer Fourth Night Free with a free fourth night with every three paid nights, through Sep. 30, 2018. Rates start at $509 per night after the fourth night free is applied. Added values included within the rate are free daily kids camp; kids five and younger dine free at resort restaurants; no resort fee; free transportation to the Walt Disney World Resort theme parks; and free access to the on-site five-acre waterpark, 24-hour fitness center, and spa relaxation areas.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando offers the Extra Magic Hours benefit, where you can experience select attractions at the theme parks before or after the parks are open to the general public. View the Extra Magic Hours calendar here, or request a copy of the printed Times Guide, available in the lobby.
With a valid Walt Disney World Resort theme park admission, you can make FastPass+ selections up to 60-days in advance of your stay. With a confirmed reservation can link to your hotel reservation on MyDisneyExperience.com, and with a linked, valid theme park ticket, you can utilize a 60-day booking window for FastPass+ selections.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando provides connectivity to Disney. The resort provides a Disney Planning Center in the lobby; a twice-weekly Good Morning Breakfast with Goofy & His Pals character breakfast; same-day merchandise delivery to the resort from the Disney parks; and views of the Disney fireworks nightly from Capa restaurant and select guestrooms.
Five miles from the Magic Kingdom Park, accommodations include 443 guest rooms, including 68 suites with connecting options. The resort offers six restaurants; the Tranquilo Golf Club; three Har-Tru tennis courts; a five-acre water park with lazy river and recreational area; an adult-only pool; and a spa with 18 treatment rooms and two lounges.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando or 800/267-3046.
Clinton Hotel Tax Day Sale
|BOOK BY JUNE 2 - - Take a break after tax season and use some of your refund money for a Miami Beach getaway at Clinton Hotel in South Beach. This Tax Day they are offering up to 50 percent off booking rates.
The tax sale is for three-night minimum bookings from Sunday to Thursday through June 2, 2018. Using the code "TAX18" you can book a one bedroom suite for $201.80 per night. The suite features a king sized bed with a separate sitting area with a sofa bed and two full bathrooms. The bedroom king room is $99 per night.
Clinton Hotel or 305/938-4040.
Japan Sayonara Tax
|Beginning in January 2019, your visit to Japan will become more expensive.
The Japanese Diet passed legislation implementing a new levy, coined the "sayonara tax." From Jan. 7, 2019, travelers leaving Japan will pay a departure tax of 1,000 Yen or about $10.
The tax applies to both Japanese and foreigners, who will be required to pay the tax when they leave Japan by plane or ship, adding to airfares and ship fares. Children under the age of two and transit passengers leaving Japan within 24 hours of their arrival will be exempted.
The tax, which is expected to raise about 43 billion Yen a year, will be used to improve infrastructure and services such as installing facial recognition gates and providing multilingual guides at national parks and cultural sites.
A Year of Travel and Service
|World Life Experience is looking for 11 participants for a one-year journey around the world in 2019. There will be 20 international destinations to five continents. The eleven travelers will get to know different societies and cultures, while they do volunteer work in local non-governmental organizations. Volunteer work may be in reforestation, permaculture projects for environmental sustainability, workshops with refugees and cooperation in reconstruction projects. Each participant will receive a monthly wage (2.500 euros), paid by World Life Experience, who will also cover all expenses of the trip.
To travel the world and contribute to the planet you can apply online. Applications incur a nine euro fee (about $11), with 2.5 euros going to the NGOs associated to World Life Experience.
Selection of the 11 participants for 2019 will be by an independent entity, a center for management studies and scientific organization (CEGOC), an arm of the European training and development group (CEGOS) dedicated to the areas of training, consultancy and recruitment.
Applicants must be 21 to 39 years of age and be responsible, empathetic, thoughtful, tolerant, communicative, proactive, flexible, know at least intermediate level English and can work in a group. The participants chosen will be of different nationalities and will share their experience of the journey on social media.
The stay in each city will last two weeks and will involve a program oriented towards social work, through local organizations (NGOs), and a leisure component aimed at tourism and cultural activities. The 11 participants will be on their journey Jan. 15 to Nov. 27, 2019, and will have six days to explore each city, six days to volunteer with local organizations and three free days to rest in each destination.
On confirmation of payment, World Life Experience will send instructions and details on how to access the three surveys, needed for completing the candidacy profile – one concerns personal data, another asks about voluntary work and group conduct, and there’s a third on logic. At this stage there is a test to assess your English proficiency. The results will be communicated on July 31, 2018.
There is a psychological evaluation test and a self-promotion video before a Skype interview. The candidates will be notified individually on Aug. 30, 2018 if they have been approved for the interview phase.
Interview results will be released by Sep. 30, 2018. On Sep. 30, 2018, the 11 chosen participants will be informed before the list is published online.
World Life Experience.
Free San Francisco Walking Tours
|San Francisco City Guides are local volunteers who love San Francisco, its history, lore and legends. The volunteers share their love as guides who lead free walking tours.
Regularly scheduled tours are free (donations welcome), and are open to the public. Tours are not open to parties of eight or more. If you have a group of eight or more people, you need to book a private group tour.
Most tours last 1-1/2 to two hours and no reservation is needed. Just show up at the appointed time and place. Guides wear badges that display the City Guides logo. Tours take place rain or shine. There are indoor tours at the Palace Hotel, Fire Dept. Museum and Coit Tower.
Walking in San Francisco often involves hills. Tour descriptions indicate how strenuous tours are. If you have mobility concerns, call.
Tours are given in the following areas: Marina and Presidio, Pacific Heights, Richmond, Haight-Ashbury, Castro & Noe Valley, West of Twin Peaks & Sunset, Russian Hill and Nob Hill, Fisherman's Wharf, Union Square and Financial District, Civic Center, SOMA and Potrero Hill, Mission and Bernal Heights and the Southeast Neighborhoods.
San Francisco City Guides or 415/557-4266.
Win Trips by Fundraising
|Win Epic Trips is a non-profit fundraiser launching its first adventure travel campaign supporting Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Southern Nevada. The platform gives donors a chance to win adventures for making a $10 donation to the featured charity. Now helping others really is a win-win.
Each trip is active and cultural, planned but customizable, and covers expenses for two people so donors can bring a friend. Each quarter, a new charity is supported with new trips. The trips span travel adventures, food and music festivals, and cultural events, such as dog sledding in Sweden under the Aurora Borealis, the Montreal Jazz Festival, or cage diving and sandboarding in South Africa.
Vacation Express Spring Special
|Vacation Express offers a spring special to AlSol Tiara Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic. The offer must be booked by June 22, 2018 and is valid for travel to Dec. 22, 2018.
This new free-style property is in Marina Cap Cana and features spacious suites, most with ocean views. The all-inclusive resort has 115 oceanfront rooms, seven restaurants and six bars with wait service of food and beverages at the beach.
The spring special saves you up to 20 percent on a seven night Marina Suite stay in mid-July. The per person price drops from $2,061 to $1,718 which includes airfare from New York, taxes and fees.
A stay at the resort includes:
- All meals and snacks
- Unlimited domestic beverages and selected premium brands
- Gym/fitness center
- Tennis courts
- Daily organized activities
- Nightly entertainment
- Hotel taxes and gratuities.
A stay includes access to the Jack Nicklaus Signature experience at Punta Espada Golf Club. Alsol Tiara Collection will provide free transportation to and from the Punta Espada Golf Club. A caddy is available at an additional cost.
When you stay at the AlSol Tiara Cap Cana resort, you have access to AlSol Del Mar Capa Cana and AlSol Luxury Village Cap Cana. You can use this option for dining. Speak to the concierge at your hotel before you leave your property.
Vacation Express or 800/309-4717.
Value-added Deals at 6 Corinthia Hotels
|Six Corinthia Hotel properties offer added-value spring deals that last all year.
Corinthia St. Petersburg Hotel: 33 percent off any weekend stay from Friday afternoon until Monday morning when booking an executive room or suite. Weekend Escape in St Petersburg package is valid until Dec. 28, 2018. The package includes access to the hotel’s Executive Club Lounge. Weekday bookings receive 15 percent off if booked via Corinthia.com.
Corinthia Budapest Hotel: 25 percent off the hotel’s best available rate when you stay three nights or more. Breakfast is included along with access to the Royal Spa for those staying in deluxe rooms and higher categories. The Stay 3 Get 25 Percent package is available for stays until Mar. 31, 2019.
Corinthia Palace Hotel, Malta: Book before Aug. 27, 2018, for 30 percent off stays up to Mar. 31, 2019.
Corinthia St. George‘s Bay Hotel, Malta: Book before Aug. 27, 2018, for 30 percent off stays up to Mar. 30, 2019. Book on Corinthia.com and save 10 percent on flights with Air Malta.
Corinthia Hotel London: Early Bird booking reward of 10 to 15 percent. Book 21 to 59 days or more in advance and stay in a deluxe room category or above to receive 10 percent discount. Book at least 60 days in advance to receive 15 percent off. The Early Bird deal is valid on stays until Dec. 30, 2018.
Corinthia Hotel Lisbon: Book a suite for a minimum of three nights and receive airport pick-up and drop-off, welcome gifts of Champagne, truffles and white roses, 40 Euros (approx. $49) credit on all spa treatments, a 40 Euros (approx. $49) credit redeemable at the hotel’s Tipico restaurant, and free pressing of a change of clothing. The Suite Lisbon package is valid until December 31, 2018.
WOW air Premium Fares
|WOW air, Iceland's low-fare transatlantic airline, announces WOW premium, a full-service ticket bundle for the business or leisure traveler. WOW premium is similar to business services offered on legacy carriers.
The WOW premium ticket bundle includes: the WOW air BigSeat, a wider seat with a foot rest and at least 37 inches of legroom; priority boarding and fast track security; an in-flight meal and drinks; two checked bags; one carry-on item; one personal item; and no change fee for rescheduling and cancellation protection.
WOW premium is an enhanced version of the WOW biz offering that was announced in 2017.
For a limited time, you can purchase select one-way WOW premium fares to Iceland from Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) and New York (EWR and JFK) from $399. WOW air offers select one-way WOW premium fares from Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO) and New York (EWR and JFK) to Amsterdam (AMS), Paris (CDG) and London (LGW and STN) via Iceland from $599.
The fares are based on lowest one-way WOW premium fare booked on WOW air and includes all taxes, fees and carrier charges. The fares are available for travel through June and September to October, 2018. Subject to availability, the offer applies for 375 seats on select flights when booking round trip flights. The lowest advertised fare is for MyWOW members.
WOW basic fares include a flight ticket and one small personal item.
- WOW plus fares include a flight ticket, personal item, one carry-on bag, one checked bag and standard seat selection.
- Wow comfy fares include all the features of WOW plus fares plus cancellation protection for a refund if you cancel a flight reservation due to unavoidable reasons and a seat reservation with an XL or XXL seat with extra legroom.
WOW premium service.
Alaska Airlines Basic Economy Fare
|Alaska Airlines will introduce a basic economy non-changeable Saver Fare ticket and will add new passenger fees this fall. Roughly equivalent to the Basic Economy fares introduced by the three big U.S. carriers, Alaska Airline will sell cheaper, no-frills tickets with assigned seats at the rear of the plane and Saver Fare passengers will be at the end of the boarding line.
The moves follow airline-industry trends, in response to competitive fare pressure and rising fuel prices.
Alaska will begin charging extra for exit-row seats and will eliminate fee waivers for itinerary changes made more than 60 days before travel. In addition, Alaska will shift the pricing for premium seats in real time according to demand, a practice that is standard for coach-class seats.
Those initiatives are projected to add $150 million in revenue for Alaska in 2019, two-thirds of that coming from the basic economy fares.
The merger with Virgin swelled Alaska Airlines by 33 percent and the airline doubled its growth in the past five years.
Alaska Airlines or 800/252-7522.
Poseidon 13-Day British Isles Cruise
|Poseidon Expeditions offers a new 13-day British Isles cruise May 22 to June 3, 2019.
The cruise departs Plymouth, England sailing north on the Irish Sea between England and Ireland wrapping around islands off of Scotland’s coast before concluding in Edinburgh. The intent is to explore the landscapes, wildlife and history that are overlooked.
Book by Nov. 1, 2018, and receive discounts of up to 15 percent. A double, suite accommodation rate, with discount, is from $7,196; a triple rate, with discount, is $5,216. The cruise is on the recently refurbished 114-passenger Sea Spirit.
Leading a team of naturalist guides will be historian Huw Lewis-Jones. You explore the Isles of Scilly off Cornwall’s coast, the puffin breeding grounds on the Skellig Islands.
Stops include Snowdonia National Park in Wales; Rathlin Island off of Northern Ireland’s coast; Scotland’s Inner and Outer Hebrides; Mainland, the largest of the Orkney Islands, and the remote Flannan Islands with birds, minke and pilot whales, and several species of dolphin.
Additional sites include Skellig Michael, the basalt columns of Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway, Conwy Castle in Wales, Jarlshof, Iron Age fortifications at the Broch of Mousa, Waterford crystal, Mount Congreve, Shetland ponies, a Highland distillery and Tresco Abbey Garden.
Sea Spirit received a $1 million refurbishment of all 55 guest suites (square footages up to 463) and public areas. There are two multi-purpose lounges, a restaurant, library, and outdoor deck space.
Activities directed by polar guides and educators include Zodiac excursions, hiking and optional kayaking and camping, along with informative presentations aboard.
Antlers at Vail Hotel 30-Day Package
|Antlers at Vail Hotel in Vail, CO, offers a 30-day Vail Sabbatical lodging package through Oct. 31, 2018. The value package allows you to live like a local for a month in the Rocky Mountain community.
You can get away from it all with a sabbatical-style change of scenery, living in the hotel, working in your room with free WiFi and soaking up the Colorado mountain setting.
Your stay includes access to the gym, a loaner cruiser bike, tickets to local music festivals, GoPro cameras to borrow, and kitchen appliances like espresso machines and waffle makers.
Antlers guests can borrow free cruiser bikes to visit the Vail Sunday Farmer's Market. Your suite includes a kitchen and the option of a propane grill on the private balcony plus access to Antlers year-round outdoor pool and hot tubs.
Other perks of the 30-Day Vail Sabbatical package include tickets to entertainment and concerts (depending on dates), including lawn seats for Bravo! Vail. Antlers welcomes your dog and offers a dog bed and canine dishes (pet reservation requires advance notice).
Antlers 30-day Vail Sabbatical package starts from $1,850 for a month's stay in a studio, one-bedroom or one-bedroom with bunks – tax-free and with no resort fees. Additional person or pet is $250 per month. The package includes one chef-prepared meal delivered to your suite and free passes to local cultural events. Package is subject to availability.
Condominiums range from studio suites to four-bedroom penthouses. Every unit includes a fully equipped kitchen, fireplace, balcony, daily maid service, free Wi-Fi and parking.
Antlers at Vail Hotel.
India Early Bird Special $999
|Tour operator, World Spree Travel, offers a value trip if you can plan for May, 2019. That’s when their Exotic India tour starts from $999, which includes roundtrip airfare, all ground transportation and transfers, baggage handling, sightseeing and entrance fees, English-speaking tour managers/guides, daily American breakfasts, five meals and accommodations at hotels such as Marriott and Hilton with swimming pools, fitness centers and restaurants.
If you can’t plan that far ahead, the tour costs $1,349 to $1,549 September 2018 to April, 2019.
The tour covers northern India: Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. Sightseeing in Delhi includes a rickshaw ride through Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk market, the Red Fort, India’s largest mosque, Humayun’s 16th-century tomb and a Sikh temple. The tree-lined boulevards of Edwin Lutyens’ 20th-century imperial city, New Delhi, and a visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s former home.
Agra includes a tour of the Taj Mahal, a visit to the marble market and free time for sightseeing and shopping.
The tour stops at the 10th-century “stepwell” that’s 99 feet deep, with 13 floors and 3,500 steps. At the “pink city” of Jaipur, activities include a jeep ride to the hilltop Amber Fort and markets full of rugs, silk scarves and embroidered shawls. There’s a visit to an initiative that supports homeless children. Then return to Delhi for a farewell dinner and airport transfer for your trip home.
All prices are per person, double occupancy, and are subject to availability.
Exotic India tour or 866/652-5656.
Kids Stay Free at Select Velas Resorts
|Velas Resorts properties in Los Cabos, Riviera Maya, Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta offer free stays for kids, discounted rates for teens, dedicated kids’ and teen clubs, summer camp, and baby concierge this summer.
Through Oct. 31, 2018, at Grand Velas resorts in Riviera Nayarit, Los Cabos, and Riviera Maya, up to two kids (ages four to 12) are free when staying in the same suite as adults. Families traveling with children ages 13 to 15 to Grand Velas in Los Cabos and Riviera Nayarit receive a 50 percent discount off teen rates. Additionally, Velas Vallarta in Puerto Vallarta features discounts on kid and teen rates.
At Grand Velas and Velas Vallarta, activities range from sand castle building, Spanish lessons, piñata making, kickball tournaments, animal shows, cooking and baking classes, and eco-cycling tours. Summer Camp at the resorts is held July 15 to Aug. 12, 2018, with activities such as zip lines, climbing walls, astronomy nights, and DIY mandala workshops. Throughout the year, the resorts feature dedicated kids and teen clubs, family-friendly entertainment and a baby concierge to cater to little ones.
Families can stay in the resorts’ two-bedroom family suites. The suites, all more 2,000 sq. ft., feature one king bed suite and a suite with two queen beds interconnecting and a private terrace with jungle (Grand Velas Riviera Maya only) or ocean views. Amenities for families include resort mascot stuffed animal, bathrobes and slippers in mini sizes, family photo session and credit for the purchase of photos, kids’ welcome beach kit, and kid-friendly evening turndown.
Rates for adults start at $169 at Velas Vallarta, $381 at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, $434 at Grand Velas Riviera Maya and $582 at Grand Velas Los Cabos per adult, per night, based on double occupancy.
Teen rates are $95 and $100 at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit and Grand Velas Los Cabos (with 50 percent discount applied). At Grand Velas Riviera Maya, teen rates are $200 per night. At Grand Velas Riviera Maya in the ocean view Ambassador, kids are $120 per night. At Velas Vallarta, kids and teens are $36 and $48 respectively per night.
Two-bedroom Family Suites rates start at $920 at Velas Vallarta, $1,356 at Grand Velas Riviera Maya, $1,984 at Grand Velas Los Cabos and $2,015 at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit for two adults and two kids. The Summer Promotion is available through Oct. 31, 2018.
All-inclusive rates at Velas Resorts include accommodations, a la carte gourmet meals at specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, taxes, and gratuity.
Velas Resorts or 888/407-4869.
Star Clippers Summer Savings
|If you are searching for a vacation getaway, Star Clippers has specials on some of their most popular modern tall ship sailing adventures in the Mediterranean and Indonesia. Following are three deals to help make a getaway a reality.
Mediterranean Air Savings: Sailing the Mediterranean on a tall clipper ship is one of the best ways to see this part of the world. With itineraries in the Eastern and Western Med, you can visit the French Riviera, port hop along the western coast of Italy, or explore some of Greece’s more remote island. Book select seven- and nine-day sailings through October and receive up to $1,200 air credit per cabin. Sailing and air packages start at $1,190 per person (which includes air credit), based on double occupancy.
Bali Hotel and Tour Package: Star Clippers offers seven-, 10- and 11-night sailings roundtrip from Bali covering East and West coast Indonesia. Select Indonesia itineraries June through September offer a free extended stay and tour. You get two nights and three days in Bali at the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, a full-day Spirit of Belimbing tour and select meals and transfers. You can take advantage of this offer before or after the sailing. Sailings start at $1,395 per person, double.
Grand Voyages Air Deal: Star Clippers’ Grand Voyages are longer sailings through some European ports. These 12- to 17-night sailings allow you to become immersed in the culture and history with time to relax. Book Grand Voyages through October and receive $499 roundtrip airfare per person from any of 11 cities in the U.S. Sailings start at $3,030 (not inclusive air), double.
Star Clippers or 800/442-0551.
Denver Now CityPASS Partner
|The newest CityPASS North American destination is Denver, CO which increases the number of destinations for which travelers can purchase CityPASS tickets to 13.
The new Denver CityPASS C3/C4/C5 ticket is a mobile ticketing concept that allows you to select any three, four or five attractions from a list of eight top sights. The ticket is delivered to your email, which can be saved to your smartphone and scanned at each attraction. Designed to be flexible and customizable, the tickets do not require you to pre-select the attractions that you will visit; you are free to choose as you go.
Depending on the attractions chosen, Denver CityPASS can save you up to 34 percent off the cost of purchasing the included tickets individually.
- The list of attraction options includes:
- Children's Museum of Denver at Marsico Campus
- Denver Art Museum
- Denver Botanic Gardens
- Denver Museum of Nature & Science
- Denver Zoo
- Downtown Aquarium—Denver
- History Colorado Center
- Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum.
Denver CityPASS mobile tickets are valid for seven consecutive days, including the first day of use. Available for sale on CityPASS.com, the tickets are available in seven languages: Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.
Pricing for Denver CityPASS tickets starts at $39 for adults; $29 for children, age three to 11:
- C3 (visit any three attractions): $39, adults; $29, children
- C4 (visit any four attractions): $48, adults; $38, children
- C5 (visit any five attractions): $57, adults; $47, children.
MLK’s Atlanta by Nicki Chodnoff
|April 4, 2018, was the 50th anniversary of the death of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King.
A large group of people gathered at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, in Atlanta, GA to commemorate this sad occasion. Thirty nine people were selected from the crowd to each ring a bell, one person to represent each year of King’s life. The last bell ringing culminated right before the official moment of King’s assassination 7:01 p.m. As each of the volunteers rang their bell they read some of the principles and ideals Dr. King stood for: protecting civil rights, women’s rights and gay and lesbian rights. Most of the people were quiet and reflective others were softly weeping.
At the Center for Civil and Human Rights, April 4th, was a time devoted to reflect on the life of Dr. King and celebrate Dr. King’s vision, courage and commitment.
Along with free admission, extended hours and the commemoration of his assassination, the Center hosted a day of activities that challenged visitors to continue the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Atlanta’s famous son is at the heart of the Center for Civil and Human Rights exhibits. The King Collection is the reason the center exists. The King heirs auctioned Dr. King’s documents. Atlanta’s mayor at the time, Shirley Franklin, and King’s friend and fellow civil rights activist, Andrew Young, secured the papers for Morehouse College, King’s alma mater.
When the City of Atlanta won the bid, where and how to house the papers was the kernel of the idea for the Center of Civil and Human Rights.
The King Collection is permanently housed in the center and some of King’s personal effects are on display, including his school report card and drafts of his "Letter from Birmingham Jail." A good place to start a visit to the Center is at the King Collection, one of three main areas in the museum.
To get a feel for Dr. Martin Luther King’s Atlanta we started the next day at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the place King and his wife Coretta Scott King are buried and an eternal flame burns. The King Center is at the hub of a 23 acre National Historic Site which includes the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site across the street, operated by the National Park Service. Both are located on Auburn Street, in the Old 4th Ward, the neighborhood where Dr. King grew up and had a newspaper route.
In front of the King Center is where we got on the tour bus for Tom Houck’s Civil Rights tour that draws on his personal history and wide circle of friends in the Civil Rights movement. Houck was a volunteer for civil rights causes who arrived in Atlanta in 1966 to help with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference voter registration efforts. While waiting for a ride in front of SCLC headquarters on Auburn Avenue, Dr. King spotted Houck and invited him home for lunch. Over lunch, Houck, Dr. King and Mrs. King talked and bonded. Coretta asked if Houck had a driver’s license explaining the family’s need for a driver. A chance encounter and a yes meant that for the next nine months, Houck drove the four King children to classes at Spring Street Elementary and occasionally ferried Dr. and Mrs. King around town.
A number of stops on the tour show you the world where Dr. King grew up, lived and preached, the old 4th Ward. We take in about 20 sights in three hours that include taped original interviews with John Lewis, Andrew Young, Julian Bond, and others, along with archival photos and footage, conveniently shown while driving between stops.
As we sat on the bus in front of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial at the National Park Service before the tour left, Houck spots Dr. C. T. Vivian, known for his work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and strategist for the SCLC organization. Dr. Vivian pops in to say hello and leaves us with an inspirational challenge, “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted a world that has yet not come. It is up to you to be more than spectators.”
As the tour starts, Houck points out civil rights landmarks and history often overlooked by visitors and locals alike. We are riding around the old 4th ward, a middle-class African American neighborhood in the 1920s where King grew up and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial stands today. As we stop in front of 540 Auburn Avenue, now 540 John Wesley Dobbs Ave., Houck introduces us to John Wesley Dobbs. Born to sharecroppers, Dobbs was known as the “mayor” of Auburn Avenue, and was credited for coining the phase “Sweet Auburn” in the 1930s. In 1956, Fortune magazine called Auburn Avenue “the richest Negro Street in the world” and “Sweet Auburn” was a nod to that prosperity.
Dobbs served as the Grand Master of the Prince Hall Masons, headquartered on Auburn Avenue, and contributed to civil rights causes. Dobbs believed that political power was the key to economic advancement and pushed voter registration and Black political unity in Masonic halls, in African American churches, and on street corners. Politicians took note and candidate William B. Hartsfield (who served six terms as Atlanta’s mayor and has the city’s airport named after him) made a deal with Dobbs. If Dobbs could register 10,000 to vote for Hartsfield, Auburn Avenue will get street lights and eight African American police officers for the community. Dobbs got the job done and in 1948 Hartsfield fulfilled his promise by hiring eight African American police officers, a significant challenge to segregation. In 1949, street lamps were installed on Auburn Avenue.
We stop at 334 Auburn Avenue, built in 1941 as the home of Prince Hall Masons Grand Lodge and the former home of WERD, the nation’s first African American radio station. The building served as the national headquarters of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference founded by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Houck noted, “Outside of the Oval Office, there were probably more important decisions made that affected this country in the 1960s in that SCLC conference room than any other place in the world.”
Driving along Auburn Avenue Houck points out Martin Luther King, Jr. Birth Home, 501 Auburn Avenue; Atlanta Life Insurance, 100 Auburn Avenue; Atlanta Daily World, 145 Auburn Avenue, the Rucker Building ,Atlanta’s first African American office building in 1904, 158-160 Auburn Avenue, Odd Fellows Building, home to many Black businesses, 228-250 Auburn Avenue, and the Herndon Building, home to African American businesses and professionals during the Depression era, 231-245 Auburn Avenue, to mention a few.
In addition to African American businesses, Auburn Avenue was home to Big Bethel AME Church, Wheat Street Baptist Church and Ebenezer Baptist. This half-mile stretch of Auburn Avenue incubated the Civil Rights Movement so our country could put aside its past and try to become the nation Dr. King envisioned, where people “will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
Houck reminds us of “landmarks” that only exist in memory as he points to a Jamaican restaurant, formerly Henry’s Grill & Lounge, a spot where Dr. King loved the pork sandwiches and pig’s ears.
The tour includes a stop at South-View Cemetery in southeast Atlanta, founded by former slaves in 1886. Dr. King was originally buried in South-View cemetery before his body was moved in 1970 to its current location alongside his wife Coretta at the King Center. Dr. King’s parents are buried at South-View. As we walk toward their graves, Houck points out the inscription on the tomb of Martin Luther King Sr., better known as “Daddy King.” It reads: “I love everyone. Still in business, just moved upstairs.”
MLK's home at the time of his assassination, at 234 Summit Street, stands out as a tour highlight. Unlike his birth house, the home is in Vine City, remains vacant and closed to the public. That may change in the future as the Park Service supposedly received more funds. Houck says much of the house's original features remain intact: vinyl slipcovered furniture and artificial flowers fill the vases.
The house on Summit Street shows that the people fighting for the civil rights movement were fighting for change from ordinary houses on ordinary streets, not from palaces or estates.
To get the real feel of Black Atlanta visit:
Sweet Auburn Curb Market, 209 Edgewood Ave SE, 404/ 659-1665 - Located inside the original Municipal Market building, which opened in 1924, “the Curb Market” as called by locals, houses local small businesses, including produce and meat merchants, a bakery, a bookstore, pharmacy and 11 eateries. Blacks could shop inside of the market when its doors opened in 1924, but could only sell merchandise outside along the curb. Today some call it the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, a name that reflects the market’s proximity to Auburn Avenue.
Paschal’s Restaurant, 180 Northside Drive S.W. 404/525-2023 - In 1947, James and Robert Paschal opened a 30-seat luncheonette at 831 West Hunter Street where they sold sandwiches and sodas. They expanded to serve hot lunches but there was no stove and the brothers did not own a car. The get around was that the hot food was prepared at Robert’s home and delivered by taxi to the restaurant.
When the brothers decided to serve dinner, fried chicken would be the specialty of the house and Robert created his “secret recipe” which is still considered by many to be among the best and Robert’s recipe is still a secret.
The Paschal brothers needed more space to accommodate their growing clientele. In 1959, Paschal’s Restaurant & Coffee Shop opened its new location at 830 Hunter Street. In the 1960’s, the Paschal brothers became involved in the Civil Rights Movement. Paschal’s was considered the unofficial headquarters and meeting place for the Civil Rights movement as key leaders and strategists including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his lieutenants ate and met here frequently.
The Paschal Brothers employed student sit-in demonstrators, posted bond for arrested protesters, served free meals, stayed open later so parents and friends could greet their loved ones after release from jail and offered meeting space to multiple organizations. Paschal’s was a place where blacks and whites were welcome to meet and come together.
In December of 1960, La Carrousel Lounge opened and was considered Atlanta’s jazz mecca for more than a decade. Local and nationally recognized artists performed here including, the Ramsey Lewis Trio, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Dizzy Gillespie and the Paul Mitchell Trio. As Black performers couldn’t stay in whites-only hotels, in 1967, the brothers opened Paschal’s Motor Hotel with 120 lavishly furnished rooms, meeting rooms, additional dining spaces and a swimming pool. In 2002, the 21st century version of Paschal’s on Northside Drive in the Castleberry Hill area opened. The new location pays homage to its roots, celebrating black history with art and photos on the walls.
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