Lodging for Spring Break Vacations and Weekend Getaways for Students under 25 Years of Age

It can be frustrating trying to find a place to stay when you’re a college student under 25 years of age. Many times hotels and other places of lodging can be hesitant to rent a room to the younger crowd for fear of partying, damages, and other liability. But spring break vacations and other weekend getaways are still possible for college students under 25. These young travelers may just need to get a little more creative in their search for a place to stay!

Students seeking lodging for spring break or other weekend getaways may wish to consider a few different choices of lodging if they are unable to find a desirable hotel accommodation for their vacation. Camping can be lots of fun for a group of students traveling together or even for a smaller group of only a few friends. Renting a cottage or renting a room in a Bed & Breakfast is another accommodation option that may offer freedom and excitement for student vacations. Still, some hotels and condos may rent to visitors younger than 25 – it’s all a matter of finding the right accommodations for your group.
Rough it and Go Camping / Stay at a Campground
Camping is often a very affordable travel style, especially if you already own a tent, sleeping bags, a cooler, lantern, and other various camping supplies. You can have lots of fun at a campground, as many campgrounds offer fun activities for their campers, such as sports fields and equipment, games and contests, dances, and much more. Many times you can enjoy activities like boating and fishing as well.

Staying at a campground for spring break or another student vacation can be a blast, particularly if you plan a few additional activities or excursions outside of the campground. As one example, finding a campground near the beach or a lake automatically offers countless opportunities for fun and excitement, while a campsite near a theme park (like Disney World or Busch Gardens) offers another option. Your expenses should be low if staying in a tent at a campground, so you may have a bit of extra expendable cash on hand to enjoy some of the other fun excursions in the area.

To find a campground in or near your desired vacation destination, check out: http://www.gocampingamerica.com or http://www.reserveamerica.com.

Stay at a Vacation Cottage or a Bed & Breakfast
Staying at a Bed & Breakfast can be an especially romantic experience for students who wish to go on spring break or a special vacation with their sweetheart. Many Bed & Breakfasts feature soaking tubs and fireplaces, which offer a romantic ambiance for couples to enjoy. The Bed & Breakfasts may offer their own quaint charm for a relaxing getaway, but often they are close enough to various attractions that visitors can also enjoy a neat excursion while visiting.

For students wishing to travel with a group of friends, Bed & Breakfasts may still offer a great option for those under 25. Exciting travel destinations such as New Orleans and Las Vegas both feature Bed & Breakfasts that will rent to students and travelers under 25 years of age.

Here are a few examples of Bed & Breakfasts featured on BnBFinder.com that rent to college students:

Cottage Inn at Lake Tahoe in Tahoe City, CA accepts college kids, just no children under 12 years of age.  They offer double occupancy and discount on ski lift tickets.

Jewel Manor in Las Vegas, NV gets a lot of the college crowd and even has an onsite guest coordinator for guests who want to know about the happening bars on the strip, rent a limo or eat at a trendy restaurant.

Hotel St. Pierre in New Orleans, LA, Must be at least 21 years of age and can check for any specials on their website.

Avenue Inn Bed & Breakfast in New Orleans, LA: as long as one person in the group is at least 21 years of age, no other restrictions.

Sunburst Inn in New Orleans, LA, must be at least 18 years of age.

La Maison Marigny B&B on Bourbon in New Orleans, LA, must be at least 18 years of age.

Sully Mansion Bed and Breakfast in New Olreans, LA, must be at least 18 years of age.

Creole Gardens in New Orleans, LA, must be at least 18 years of age.

1896 O’Malley House Bed & Breakfast in New Orleans, LA, must be at least 18 years of age.

Block-Keller House in New Orleans, LA, must be at least 18 years of age.

Check out BnB Finder to view a wide assortment of Bed & Breakfasts all across the United States.

Staying at a Condo or Hotel that Caters to Student Travelers…

Top 2009 Spring Break Destinations

Spring break is a long awaited, much anticipated holiday for college students. Poolside may be the best place to relax for spring break. (Photo courtesy of morguefile.com)Each year, students scatter across the country and even to the Caribbean and beyond for an exciting weeklong getaway. Spring break vacations take students away from books, homework, exams, professors, jobs, and even athletic team practices most times. For 2009, some of the top spring break destinations may not surprise you – but some other top 2009 spring break destinations may catch you off guard.

Read on for the top 2009 spring break destinations for college students.

Top Spring Break Destinations for 2009 – Overlapping Popular Spring Break Locations
While different travel organizations are bound to find some similarities and some differences in the top spring break destinations for 2009, it’s interesting to see those similarities as a means of gauging the most popular destinations. It is also quite interesting to compare the differences as a way of expanding the possibilities for spring break hotspots for this year.

Cancun, Mexico continues to be a spring break hotspot with Las Vegas, NV also taking a popular spot for spring breakers this year. Some surprising facts – Chicago is among the top 10 spring break getaways for 2009, as is Panama City Beach, FL, which has carried its popularity as a spring break hotspot for many years.

Poolside may be the best place to relax for spring break. (Photo courtesy of morguefile.com)Top 10 Spring Break Destinations on Orbitz – Week of 3/16 (Spring Break)    

•    Cancun, Mexico
•    Orlando, FL
•    Phoenix – Mesa, AZ
•    Oahu, HI
•    New York, NY
•    Miami, FL
•    Los Cabos, Mexico
•    Riviera Maya, Mexico
•    Chicago, IL


Top 10 Spring Break Destinations on CheapOair.com

•    Panama City Beach, FL
•    Cancun, MX
•    Fort Lauderdale, FL
•    Key West, FL
•    Summit County, CO (ski)
•    Lake Havasu, AZ
•    Las Vegas, NV
•    Lake Tahoe, NC/CA (ski)
•    Killington, VT (ski)
•    New Orleans, LA

In addition to the above spring break travel data and statistics, Travelocity has named Orlando, FL as the number one destination for spring break this year.

With highway travel in mind for some spring breakers, the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) reminds travelers to use its free 511 Travel Information System, which allows motorists to plan their travel routes ahead of time and call 511 for information on their customized routes to avoid traffic and stay safe. 511 is available in 34 other states, too.

For more information on 511 in Florida, please visit www.FL511.com or www.511News.com, and for information on 511 in other states, check out www.deploy511.org.

Creatures Great and Small: The Majesty and Wonder of Atlantis Resort, Paradise Island Bahamas

Given the choice between a traditional hotel resort and the majestic resort Atlantis, Paradise Island, the decision requires little contemplation.

The Atlantis resort welcomes guests with a regal Pegasus Fountain featuring the gleaming, golden Flying Horses of Atlantis. A magnificent golden dome ceiling extends upward in the lobby of the well-known Royal Towers, elaborately adorned with seashell designs and a brilliant blue sky. Ornate architecture spans throughout the entire resort, beginning with the common areas – including the casino, lobby and throughout the Royal Towers, Beach Towers and Coral Towers.

The breathtaking structural design stops short of nothing; ultimately creating a spectacular seascape that boasts 34 acres of water wonderland and 11 million gallons of fresh and saltwater. Perhaps Atlantis’ very claim to fame, this gorgeous underwater habitat is the world’s largest open-air marine habitat. Second only to the true natural oceanic habitat, the 11 great lagoons of Atlantis are home to more than 200 species of sea life.

Sliding with the Sharks…
The adventurous type will find favor with the world-renown Leap of Faith Waterslide located at the Mayan Temple. This tremendous slide sends brave guests on a 60-foot near vertical plunge through a clear tunnel in a shark and predator-filled lagoon. For those who don’t enjoy heights quite as much, the Serpent Waterslide offers a fun-filled slide ride in a single or double inner tube through the same aquatic environment. The more competitive guests can also enjoy a watery race down the electronically timed Challenger Slides.

Exploring The Dig…
Atlantis’ amazing sea creatures inhabit the waters far outside of the Mayan Temple. Telling a story with each underground twist and turn, The Dig creates a realistic subterranean labyrinth, brimming with saltwater and freshwater species from across the globe. The Dig signifies the ancient archeological excavations of the mythical Atlantis.

Marine Life for All to See
Portraying its ruins complete with an inventions room, a laboratory, crystal chamber and more, The Dig truly brings the legend of Atlantis to life. Eleven exhibits show off marine species in a mysterious, fun and interactive environment.

Tunnel of Life
Memorable and extraordinary is the 100-foot long clear tunnel that allows guests to become one with the waters of Atlantis and all its creatures. Buried deep within the Predator Lagoon, 1.5 million gallons of water surround this innovative viewing station. Here guests may see sharks, barracudas, groupers, snappers and other reef fish as they interact with each other.

Lucid Lagoon
The Seagrapes Lagoon contains 500,000 gallons of water and such marvelous creatures as the Spotted Eagle Ray. Atlantis also showcases sea creatures in The Great Hall of Waters – featuring nine-foot tall five-inch thick acrylic windows, the Ruins Lagoon – with a variety of native Bahamian fish, the Hibiscus Lagoon – home to Green Sea Turtles, and the Stingray Lagoon – where guests may touch and feed these friendly fish.

 * * *

Atlantis hosts more than 50,000 sea creatures in its vast underwater habitats. Among the ray family are the Cownose Ray, Southern Stingray, White-Spotted Eagle Ray, Smalltooth Sawfish and the incredible Manta Ray, whose wingspan may grow to 22 feet!

Fierce-looking creatures like the Green Moray Eel and Great Barracuda also populate the waters of the Atlantis resort. A fascination to many, several species of sharks also inhabit the Atlantean waters, including the Blacktip Shark, Bonnethead Shark, Zebra Shark, Nurse Shark, Caribbean Reef Shark and Great Hammerhead Shark. The hammerheads patrol a special lagoon where they circle and swim, their fins ever grazing the surface of the water.

A variety of groupers also dwell in the exhibits of the resort, including the humongous Goliath Grouper, which can grow to eight feet and more than a thousand pounds…not to mention his relatives, the Nassau Grouper, the Black Grouper and the Yellowfin Grouper.

Rainbow and Spotted Parrotfish also grace the waters, along with Yellowtail Snappers, Gray Snappers, Queen Angelfish and species of Hogfish. Spiny Lobsters sometimes creep closely into sight along the outdoor walkways between resort buildings. Exotic-looking creatures like Lionfish and Scorpionfish also find their homes at Atlantis, in addition to Seahorses, Bahama Starfish, Horseshoe Crabs and Queen Conchs.

With so many amazing sights to see and such a gorgeous waterscape to take in, it’s no wonder that Atlantis, Paradise Island is one of the most popular resorts in the world. The breathtaking exhibits and diverse underwater creatures truly lend themselves to an unforgettable, mystical experience to be enjoyed by all.

Best Restaurants across the United States – Favorite Restaurants as Recommended by our Readers

Romolos in Congers, NY (Photo from dineromolos.com)

In a recent contest, Life Love Beauty readers shared their favorite restaurants, cafes, and eateries across the United States. Here is a list of our readers’ favorite restaurants – the best restaurants in the United States as recommended by people just like you.

Read on for the best restaurants in various states such as California, Florida, New York, and Illinois, to name a few.

Favorite California Restaurants
“Favorite restaurant:  East of India — because it has vegetarian choices and the dishes are seasoned perfectly!”
– Doreen Kuneck, CA

“My favorite local restaurant is definitely Schooner’s. Their mac and cheese is the greatest, and the live music always rocks.”
– Kayleigh Ann Farris, CA

Favorite Florida Restaurants
“Luna Italian Restaurant in Stuart, Florida.  Authentic cuisine with flare. The Pasta Puttanesca is to die for.”

“Too Jays in Stuart Florida.  Authentic New York deli-type restaurant.  The chicken livers and gravy are outstanding.  The chicken noodle soup is made with real stock and is heavenly.  I’d tell you more about the menu selections but I always order the chicken livers.”
– Pat Krueger, FL

Favorite Georgia Restaurants
“Café Tu Tu Tango is a cool restaurant in Atlanta, GA.  It is very artsy and you usually go with a group and share a bunch of appetizers.  They have paint brushes at the table and paint pallets.  There are local artists’ paintings on display. The food is good and unique.  It is a fun, relaxed atmosphere.”
– Heather Simone, GA

Favorite Idaho Restaurants
“Zoe 75 – The have the best sushi.”
– Kathy Scott

Dengeos has two locations in Illinois. (Photo from Dengeos site)Favorite Illinois Restaurants
“P.S. Bangkok on North Clark Street in Chicago. This restaurant is relatively inexpensive for a big city like Chicago. The entrees start at $6.95.  The Panang Curry is the best I’ve ever had.  The curry sauce is velvety smooth and spicy piquant.  Busy but never crowded.  I usually take my friends from out of town here.  Never a bad meal.”

“I like the soups and vegetarian stack at Mary’s Market in Rockford.”
– Rosanne Morrison, IL

– Ed Nemmers, IL

Favorite Indiana Restaurants
“Village Inn because it is the only place we can easily get to and eat at with the kids (we don’t get out much).”
– Katharine Davis, IA

Favorite Maryland Restaurants
“My favorite restaurant is El Churrista – It is a small Mexican restaurant that is family owned – The service is fast and pleasant and they remember us – the food is wonderful and never disappoints – we eat there at least three or four times per month and also use it for carry out – my husband and I can eat dinner for under $20.00 – what’s not to love!!!”
– Carol Drury, MD

Favorite Massachusetts Restaurants
“My favorite local restaurant is Cafe Polonia on Dorchester ave in south boston.  It features homemade polish food at great prices.  The staff is wonderful, and the decor is ‘polish chic’!”
– Debra Dewald, MA

“My favorite restaurant in Beacon Hill of Boston is Grotto. It is a really cute and cozy restaurant that has an excellent menu which changes with seasons. It is a wonderful date place. It is tiny and hidden, a true beacon hill treasure.”
– Taj Kattapuram, MA

Favorite Michigan Restaurants
“Matter of Taste in Commerce, MI – It’s my fave, because it is cozy , located on a lake and has a wonderful array of food selections.  Some of my favorite are the House Salad (fresh veggie, fruits and nuts) heaped high on your plate, their homemade olive bread and their pasta dishes.  It is not unusual in the summer to have to wait until 10:00 pm to get a table. They also have a cute little catering store that also sells wine.”
– Diane Baum, MI

Favorite Minnesota Restaurants
“My favorite restaurant would be Rudy’s Red Eye Grill in Rosemount, MN.  Two reasons – 1. Popovers – 2. Flirty Martini’s with Champagne Chasers!”
– Deb Berg, MN

Favorite Mississippi Restaurants
“Penn’s Fish House, love the chicken on a stick.”
– Aprill Marie Coleman, MS

Visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras – Tips and Recommendations from a Louisiana Native

Celebrating Mardi Gras in New Orleans is arguably something that everyone should experience at least once in their lives. Mardi Gras beads (photo courtesy of morgueFile.com)From the parades to the spirited culture and the zesty Creole food, there’s truly something for everyone who visits New Orleans for Mardi Gras.

Louisiana native Allison Gouaux manages public relations for Southern Comfort in the New Orleans area and has a number of tips and recommendations to share with travelers regarding the Mardi Gras celebration.

Q. Life Love Beauty – Where is the best place to stay? What part of the city?

A. Allison Gouaux – Although there are parades happening all over New Orleans, the French Quarter has an abundance of world-class hotels that put you at a great location to experience the French Quarter festivities while also being close to the Uptown and Mid-City parades. Some hotels that come to mind are the Royal Sonesta (located on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter), the Intercontinental and the W (both located on Poydras in the Central Business District), and the Astor Crowne Plaza and the Marriot located on Canal (these are walking distance to the French Quarter too.) Also, because there are several Uptown parades it may be fun to stay at an Uptown bed and breakfast or rent a local’s apartment who is out of town during Carnival. You will already be in the neighborhood, and can easily walk to parades or any restaurants/bars after the parades are over.

Q. Life Love Beauty – Which restaurants or food hot spots can’t be missed?

A. Allison Gouaux – New Orleans food experience is unlike any other. The below listings are local favorites – some dives and some more upscale.

Parasol’s – Local bar with the best roast beef po’boys in the city.
Central Grocery – Fantastic muffalettas! You can also buy your own olive spread to take home with you.
Cooter Browns – Local uptown bar that is known for their freshly shucked oysters and an enormous selection of domestic and imported beers
Café Reconcile – Great spot for lunch during the week
Upperline – An upscale fine dining restaurant known for it’s great food and local character
Commander’s Palace – Known as the grand dame of restaurants in the lower garden district that is a great place to go to brunch
Gautreauxs – Their chef just got recognized by Food and Wine as “Best Chef in 2007”
Dante’s Kitchen – Classic Creole restaurant located in the River Bend uptown with great food
A king cake is a must during Carnival season. Traditionally, king cakes are made of dough twisted in a circular bread with white icing and purple, green and gold (the traditional Carnival colors) sprinkles. You can either get the traditional cinnamon-flavored cakes or get one “filled” with either cream cheese, pralines, or other fruit flavors. Locals love king cakes from bakeries such as Haydel’s, Randazza’s, and Boulangerie (for a fancy French king cake).

A specialty drink known in New Orleans is the Hurricane. Made famous by Pat O’s Bar on Bourbon Street, this concoction is a New Orleans treat. Southern Comfort has a great recipe too.

Mardi Gras is a fun getaway idea for couples. (photo courtesy of morgueFile.com)Q. Life Love Beauty – Which parades are the best ones to see?

A. Allison Gouaux – The most talked about parades roll the weekend before Mardi Gras and include Endymion, Orpheus and Bacchus. Mardi Gras Day include Rex and Zulu – after the parades a great spot to be is on Frenchman Street in the Marigny. It is also popular for locals to dress up in costumes on Mardi Gras. You can find plenty of unique costumes on Frenchman and in the French Quarter.

Q. Life Love Beauty – Besides the parades, what other activities are must-see/must-do for couples, families, or groups of friends?

A. Allison Gouaux –
Music – Some great places to listen to some fabulous local musicians include: Tipitina’s, Maple Leaf, DBA.
Family – If you are cominMardi Gras beads come in all shapes and colors. (photo courtesy of morgueFile.com)g to New Orleans as a family, some great places to visit include the Children’s Museum, Insectarium, Audubon Zoo, Aquarium

Q. Life Love Beauty – What is the weather typically like this time of year? How should travelers to New Orleans pack/plan to dress?

A. Allison Gouaux – Typically, the weather is warm during the day, but depending on how our crazy weather is acting it may be cool at night. Parade attire is very casual (think jeans and a sweater or t-shirt), and comfortable shoes are a must. It may be a good idea to also pack a small ice chest to bring with you while waiting for a parade to pass with snacks and beverages.

Q. Life Love Beauty – Are there any major safety concerns?

A. Allison Gouaux – New Orleans is no different than any other major city. Sometimes people who haven’t been to Mardi Gras in the past have a tendency to over-indulge which may make them less aware of their surroundings and what they are doing. I say just keep your wits about yourself, and you should be fine.

About the Expert:
Allison Gouaux is a Louisiana native and a representative for Beuerman Miller Fitzgerald, and specifically for Southern Comfort in New Orleans.

Romantic Weekend Escape for Couples in the Poconos – Skytop Lodge

For a secluded, romantic weekend getaway, surround yourself with nature and enjoy a place where you can focus on just the two of you. The Inn at Skytop in the Poconos (Photo by Justin Van Druff)Skytop Lodge in the Poconos of Pennsylvania is that kind of place. The resort is enveloped by natural wonders like waterfalls, visited by wildlife like deer and squirrels, and painted in the most beautiful colors as every season arrives. Take a trip to Skytop Lodge for a romantic weekend getaway you won’t forget.

Skytop Lodge offers all-inclusive packages so guests can preplan some of their trip without having to worry about paying for meals on the fly. Special bonus packages are available, such as the romance package, which includes a fresh floral arrangement in the room, champagne for two, and embroidered robes as gifts to take home.

Skytop Lodge in the Pennsylvania Poconos (Photo by Justin Van Druff)Review of Skytop Lodge, Poconos
My husband and I spent two days and one night at Skytop Lodge, where we found ourselves amid the peak of fall foliage in late October, surrounded by the most beautiful hues of yellow, red, and orange, reflecting off the lake at Skytop. An encircling walking trail presented a pleasant option to stroll around the lake with many picturesque photographic opportunities.

Our room sat above the 18th hole at The Inn at Skytop. A wrap-around deck style balcony stretched across the length of our room and the rest of the second floor rooms, facing the golf course below.  Our favorite feature, our own in-suite gas fireplace, offered instant warmth and true ambiance. The room also featured a flat-screen television, full size closet, loveseat, desk, and bathroom.

Customer service at Skytop Lodge surpassed all expectations. The Inn’s Windsor Dining Room overlooked part of the lake, and the wait staff truly aimed to please. The cuisine selections matched the upscale atmosphere of the lodge, and truly satisfied the palate. The food alone is an exceptional reason to visit the Skytop Lodge for a romantic weekend getaway.

On the lower level of the Lodge at Skytop, a tea room offered a quick bite and a variety of hot and cold beverages. While it was nothing glamorous, the turkey clubs we enjoyed with chips really hit the spot for a late afternoon lunch.

Skytop Lodge also offers a lunch buffet in the two main dining rooms, with such selections as fish, pork, chicken, and more, with dessert options and hot beverages as a finishing note.

All in all, we enjoyed a completely amazing time at Skytop Lodge. The atmosphere, the food, the activities, and the customer service all contributed to a perfect romantic anniversary weekend getaway.

Room with a balcony and a view at Skytop (Photo by Justin Van Druff)View of the green from the Inn at Skytop (Photo by Justin Van Druff)Room with a fireplace at Skytop Lodge (Photo by Justin Van Druff)

Things to Do in the Poconos at Skytop Lodge
The first thing many people notice about the activities at Skytop is the lovely golf course, meandering across the grounds with a few challenging holes. Beyond golf, Skytop offers everything from a spa to a florist shop, with both indoor activities and seasonal outdoor activities such as fishing, tennis, volleyball, and an exercise course, to name a few.

Beautiful fall foliage in October at Skytop Lodge (Photo by Justin Van Druff)Some seasonal activities and offerings at Skytop include:
•    Canoeing
•    Fishing
•    Geocaching
•    Ice Skating
•    Kayaking
•    Mountain Biking
•    Paintball

•    Rock Climbing
•    Shooting
•    Skiing
•    Sledding / Tobogganing
•    Snow Shoeing

Skytop’s Skyview Spa also offers couples spa packages for the romantic weekend getaway. On their romantic weekend, couples can enjoy massages (Swedish, Deep Tissue, Reflexology, and Sports), European facials, wraps, manicures, and pedicures. Guests can also relax at the pool or get a good workout in the Lodge’s fitness center with cardio and weightlifting equipment.

For More Information about Skytop Lodge:
For additional information or to view the Skytop Lodge in depth, please visit online at http://www.skytop.com.

Things to Do for the Holidays in Cape May, N.J.

If you plan to spend the holidays in Cape May, N.J., count yourself lucky. Cape May is a beautiful, quaint town with much to do in terms of restaurants, shopping, sight-seeing, and touring. Visit Cape May in the winter for the holidays!The lovely beach atown of Cape May offers many things to do for the holidays, from a walking tour of the Washington Street Mall to casual or fine dining and much more.

To plan your own list of things to do when spending the holidays in Cape May, N.J., consider those who are traveling with you and the guests you are visiting. Keep everyone’s age, health, and personal interests in mind as you try to find the perfect holiday activity in Cape May.

Consider the following list of ideas for things you can do over the holidays in Cape May, N.J., whether by yourself or spending the time with your friends and loved ones.

Visit Cape May wineries like Turdo Vineyard.1. Visit any or all of the Cape May, N.J. wineries and vineyards for an enjoyable cultural experience.

Wineries and vineyards offer so much to those who take the time to visit and sample the selection of wines. A winery tour can be as simple or as complex as you wish, ranging from an hour or two to visit or planning a full day of wine tastings and tours, visiting several wineries instead of just one.

Cape May, N.J. offers a fine selection of wines to indulge your senses. Consider visiting Cape May’s wineries:

Cape May Winery‎

711 Town Bank Rd, Cape May, NJ‎
(609) 884-1169‎

Cost: Wine tasting for $5, keep the glass.

January – April: 12 – 5 p.m. Thursday through Monday
May – December 12 – 5 p.m. Daily
Extended hours: July – August till 6 p.m.
Closed: Easter, Thanks
Gift shop on site

Turdo Vineyards‎

3911 Bayshore Rd, Cape May, NJ
(609) 884-5591‎

Visit: Open daily for wine tasting, 12 – 5 p.m.

Natali Vineyards LLC‎

221 N Route 47, Cape May Ct Hse, NJ‎
(609) 465-0075‎

Open daily, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Thanksgiving Day

2. Take a walk through the festively decorated Washington Street Mall.

Many of the cute shops and eateries in Cape May remain open at night during the holiday season. You can do a little last minute shopping, pick up a few things for your own home, or simply enjoy the noncommittal joys of window shopping.

Cape May’s Washington Street Mall recently underwent some renovations to enhance the aesthetics of the town’s popular attraction. Various eclectic shops and restaurants line the street, which now boasts a lovely brick pattern on the ground between all the stores. The renovations also include fountains and other aesthetics.

The Washington Street Mall features a wide array of gift shops, art galleries, bookstores, clothiers, jewelry stores, toy stores, restaurants, candy shops, and ice cream parlors, to name a few. For an artistic afternoon, consider checking out some of Cape May’s lovely art galleries: Cape May on Canvas, Victorian Walk Gallery, Washington Street Gallery, and Winterwood Gift & Christmas Gallery. Some favorite Washington Street Mall restaurants include Stumpo’s Italian Grille and Cucina Rosa, but the walk is lined with options to fill your tummy.

To learn more about the Washington Street Mall in Cape May, N.J., visit: http://www.washingtonstreetmall.com.

3. Take a ride on a Cape May horse-drawn carriage.

Cape May Carriage Company offers romantic horse-drawn carriage rides.Schedule a romantic date or family activity in Cape May. A half-hour tour of the quaint town on the horse-drawn carriages (also known as hansom cabs) may be the perfect holiday activity for you and your sweetheart or for your group. Riding in a horse-drawn carriage is an excellent activity for any time of year, but during the holidays, it offers an extra special element of romance to the experience.

When weather permits, the Cape May Carriage Company takes guests on a romantic tour of Cape May, starting at Ocean St. & The Washington Street Mall. The carriages can accommodate up to eight adults and two children.

Cape May Carriage Company
641 Sunset Blvd.
Cape May, N.J. 08204

To learn more about horse-drawn carriages and horse-drawn carriage rides in Cape May, N.J., visit http://www.capemaycarriage.com.

4. Check in with the marina to see …

A Romantic Weekend Getaway to Beautiful Niagara Falls USA

Niagara Falls, whether on the USA side or the Canadian side, makes a wonderful romantic weekend getaway for couples. Taking a three-day or four-day weekend to visit Niagara Falls gives a perfect amount of time to relax, take in the sights, and taste the cuisine of the many fine restaurants in the Niagara region. No matter what activities you and your significant other like best, there’s something for everyone at Niagara Falls USA.

Niagara Falls and Maid of the Mist (Photo courtesy of R Beaty, morgueFile.com)

According to Laura Taczak, a representative for the American side of the falls, Niagara USA attracts roughly 50,000 honeymooners every year. She said the Niagara Falls destination became a popular honeymoon getaway in the early 1800s when Napoleon’s brother and Aaron Burr’s daughter honeymooned there.

“The mystique that attracts lovebirds to the region involves everything from the falls themselves — with their power and grace — to the region’s quaint small towns that offer relaxation, historic exploration and enjoyment,” Taczak said. “Travelers looking for romantic getaways will enjoy stunning outdoor vistas, gaming at the Seneca Niagara Casino and Hotel, seven distinct wineries and lodging at more than 20 luxurious bed and breakfast properties.”

Beautiful Niagara Falls, American Falls (Photo courtesy of Noel Clark)She noted the availability of countless activities and excursions for couples on a romantic weekend getaway, such as limitless shopping, a wealth of history, exquisite and delicious dining options, adventure and excitement, romantic tours, and luxurious accommodations. Taczak suggests the following exciting and memorable ideas for planning your romantic weekend getaway to Niagara Falls USA.

Shopping in the Niagara Falls Area
On your romantic getaway to Niagara Falls, you can take a little time to pick up a few special reminders of your trip at the numerous shopping venues. Browse through the antique shops throughout the county or visit nearby Lewiston, Youngstown, Olcott, and Lockport for their unique antique and boutique shopping prospects, such as Lakeview Village Shop and Wilson Harborfront Shops (both in Olcott-Newfane).

For a well-rounded shopping experience, you might also consider visiting Fashion Outlets Niagara Falls, boasting more than 150 brand name stores, such as Burberry, Anne Klein, Coach, and Tommy Hilfiger.

Niagara Falls Activities for History Buffs
If you and your significant other are interested in some historical adventures on your romantic getaway, you might want to check out Old Fort Niagara to discover one of the fortresses that protected America’s northern border for more than 100 years.

You can also visit the charming Castellani Art Museum, which features a new Underground Railroad Historical Center. Another great historical attraction is the majestic 30-Mile Point Lighthouse, which offers spectacular views and amazing photograph opportunities.

Dining during a Romantic Weekend Getaway to Niagara Falls USA
Your dining choices on the side of the American Falls range widely from catching a meal at one of the well-known family-owned restaurants to checking out any of the Seneca Niagara’s six famous restaurants, and more. If you would like to get up close and personal to the falls for a breathtaking dining experience, consider lunch at the Red Coach Inn, which is perched a mere 1,500 feet from the American Falls.

You might also consider a meal at a restaurant in one of the nearby towns during a shopping excursion, as mentioned above. The Village of Lewiston, located approximately 7 miles from the falls, boasts a number of finer restaurants worth the trip.

Things to Do on Your Hawaiian Honeymoon – A Photo Tour

If you’ve decided to plan your honeymoon in Maui or Hawaii in general, you’ve made a very wise choice. Hawaii is perhaps the most desired and romantic vacation spot in all of the United States, if not in the entire world. Before you begin your Hawaiian honeymoon adventure, you may wish to plan a few exciting activities, or you may at least want to research what type of activities available to Hawaiian honeymooners.

We’ve prepared a photo tour accompanied by music for your enjoyment, as well as further details within this article.

Just as a sampling, here are some exciting and relaxing Hawaiian honeymoon activities you may enjoy:

  • Cocktails and conversation
  • Deep sea fishing
  • Massages on the beach
  • Relaxing on the beach or by the pool
  • Room service!
  • Sight-seeing
  • Snorkeling
  • Swimming

We hope you enjoyed this article and photo tour, but not as much as you enjoy your own romantic Hawaiian honeymoon!

Top Ten Romantic Weekend Getaways for Couples of All Ages

Consider these top 10 romantic weekend getaways for couples of all ages.Sometimes taking a week-long vacation isn’t an option. That’s when romantic weekend getaways for couples can really do the trick to recharge your batteries and reignite the spark that brought you together. No matter where you live, there’s bound to be dozens of wonderful places where you can enjoy a romantic weekend getaway.

Consider these ideas for a weekend or an extended weekend away, and you may find yourself the perfect excuse to leave home and enjoy a new and romantic destination within a reasonable drive from your home. Here are my top ten romantic weekend getaways for couples of all ages.

Top 10 Romantic Weekend Getaways for Couples

1. Hide away at a quaint Bed and Breakfast. No matter where you live, there’s bound to be an adorable, unusual, or elegant Bed and Breakfast near enough to suit your search for weekend escapes. You will both enjoy the intimate and relaxing setting that a Bed and Breakfast provides, offering you seclusion and time just for the two of you. Enjoy the meals, explore the countryside, and spend time focusing on each other.

Enjoy a trip to the mountains for the weekend retreat.2. Immerse yourself in the finer things in your nearest wine country. Wine in and of itself embodies a fine element of romance. To amplify that feeling to exponential form, plan a romantic couples weekend getaway at your nearest wine country and check out several of the different wineries. If you can find a Bed and Breakfast or a cottage for rent within a reasonable walking distance of the wineries, all the better! If you simply can’t spare the expense to travel to a wine region, consider picking up a few varietals at your local wine and spirits store and then plan and prepare a wine tasting of your own.

3. Hit the slopes… or the slides. If you and your significant other are a couple of regular snow bunnies, head off to the slopes where you can really enjoy a romantic weekend excursion. Glide down the mountain, hold hands on the chair lift, and sip hot chocolate by the fire inside the cozy lodge. If skiing isn’t in season, consider visiting a water park to relive some of your childhood fun. The slides and wave pools can be a great way to cool off on a hot day.

4. Soak up the sun, wade into the surf, and relax on the sand. For many people, the beach is a must-see destination each and every time the summer rolls around. If you can get to the seashore conveniently from your hometown, make sure you pack your camera and plenty of sunblock. You can ride the waves, walk out in to the ocean, stroll along the sandy shores and search for seashells during this classic romantic weekend getaway for couples, families, or singles alike.

Enjoy romantic breakfast in bed with your sweetheart.5. Sneak away to a romantic couples resort. If you really want some special time to yourselves, book yourselves some intimate accommodations at a couples resort or at a posh resort that offers romantic couples packages. You might spend some time taking tennis lessons together, or visiting the spa for a romantic couples massage. Perhaps you won’t even want to leave your room! Depending on the nature of your accommodations, your room might even have its own private Jacuzzi.

Keep Reading for Five More Romantic Getaways…

Smart Packing Tips for Stylish Chicks

Dashing off to the beach for vacation or a weekend getaway? Pack light for an enjoyable and carefree trip! (Photo courtesy of morgueFile.com.)Not so fast! Be sure you’ve packed all the essential items you’ll need to stay stylish and chic during your time in the sun! Grab your favorite beauty and fashion goodies, but don’t go overboard….

To maximize your fun, minimize the number of beauty accessories you lug along to you vacation location with these helpful packing hints:


* Lip gloss is critical for preventing chapped, dried out smackers, but even more importantly, for avoiding sunburned lips! Try to find a tasty chap stick that also offers SPF protection—read the fine print, as many advertise whether or not they include SPF15 or greater.

Don’t stress out over how much eye makeup to bring, and forget about the liquid foundation as the sticky heat makes it react quite differently than you’re used to….

* If you like, pack a waterproof mascara to prevent the waves from washing out your eyes. Nothing is worse than unexpectedly looking like a crybaby or a tired raccoon when you’re having the time of your life in the surf and on the sand! (Do not forget to pack makeup remover, as most waterproof mascara is resistant to even soap and water!)

* Bring a concealer stick or powder compact to touch up blemishes. Too much foundation on a warm day can look and feel “cakey” or may just run if the temperature is too high. Also, makeup bottles stowed away in luggage, purses and carry-on bags are a bad idea when traveling. I once had a bottle of liquid foundation coat the entire contents of my backpack, destroy a brand-new purse and give me at least an hour of clean-up in one fell swoop! If you simply cannot live without your liquid foundation, place the bottle in a zip-lock bag just in case!

* Craving some color? It can’t hurt to bring a hue or two of eye shadow… but be careful with lipstick, as it tends to melt when higher temperatures prevail!

Body Care:

* No matter how badly you want a tan, bring suntan lotion to protect your precious hide from overexposure! In this case, it may be necessary to bring a special “faces” sunblock to prevent breakouts as well as a standard bottle of sunscreen for use on your entire body.

* Though they are possibly the most obvious item, don’t forget your sunglasses!

* Just in case you do get some sunburn, do your body a favor and slap on some aloe. A medium-sized plastic bottle is more than you will need, and you’ll thank yourself for remembering it if you happen to fall asleep on the beach. (Of course, you can also buy this at your vacation destination – it just might cost a little more than it does at home!)

* For another miracle remedy, pick up a small bottle of cocoa butter lotion. Once the aloe has reduced the burning sensation from your skin, you can rub in a little cocoa butter to prevent peeling and to moisturize the afflicted area.

* Have you ever been caught in a sand storm? Well I have, and I can’t stress enough about the value of a bottle of eye drops in case those pesky particles of sand find their way into your eyes, whether by a storm itself or by a playful game of football, volleyball, or beach soccer.

* Don’t forget your normal necessities such as toothpaste and toothbrush, deodorant or antiperspirant, towels, shaving gel and razors, tweezers, body wash, etc.

Hair Care:

* Remember to pack your shampoo and conditioner, brush and comb, elastic bands and/or barrettes. If you don’t want to heave your family-sized Don't forget to pack a hat! (Photo courtesy of morgueFile.com.)containers of hair products to your vacation destination, you can easily pick up smaller travel-sized products. (Tight on money? You can always collect the small samples from hotels, as they are there for your use and wouldn’t you know—they fit perfectly in a small makeup bag!) If you are flying to your destination, pack all your liquid or cream-based products in plastic zip-lock bags. I once had a bottle of lotion explode on a flight, but thankfully I’d bagged it up tight before we left!

* When you spend time in the ocean or playing on the beach, what happens to the top of your head is likely the last thing on your mind. To help prevent sunburn on your scalp, consider packing a hat of some sort, a bandana, or a hair scarf.

* If dried-out hair due to excessive exposure to sun, chlorine or saltwater is a concern of yours, fret not! When you return home from your time away, try a deep-conditioning treatment or masque (Some use sea kelp to restore moisture).


* For a flirty appearance, bring a cute sarong or wrap to wear to the beach, or simply pack a pair of comfy shorts if you hope to beat up on the guys in football and Frisbee!

* Take two towels: one to lie on and one that is sand-free for when you need to dry off. A beach blanket or beach mat, or even a sheet from your accommodations, may also serve a handy purpose for time at the shore.

* An old T-shirt doubles as an escape from the sun’s powerful rays when you just want to relax and enjoy the sounds of the surf. Simply place the shirt over your face and you’ll still be able to experience the wonders of the beach without the sun in your eyes. Also, a T-shirt is good to have on hand, as it is important to cover exposed skin when the sun has already burned it.

* Normal clothes that you should be sure to bring: Shorts and tanks/tees, jeans or other long pants, perhaps a long-sleeve shirt and a hooded sweatshirt, a sundress, pajamas, bathing suit and underclothes. Don’t forget to bring a windbreaker or light jacket for those chilly nights off the coast!

* Footwear: Bring sandals or flip-flops, sneakers, and shoes to go with at least one nice outfit. (Hint: Try to pack outfits that look nice with the same sandals to reduce the need for extra shoes. As long as you can help it, you should not be toting an entire bag dedicated to shoes alone!)

Five Top Travel Stops in Chicago

Chicago offers much to see and do, for seniors, for young children, and everyone in between. The breath-taking architecture begs attention and remembrance. Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes, offers residents and visitors a sandy beach while the city itself has more than even a list would do justice. Deep-dish pizza’s reputation precedes itself – many say you can’t visit the city without at least trying the delectable dish.

From great eats to exciting shows and sports, it’s easy to spend days in Chi-town with a dozen or more items left on your to-do list. Whether you’re visiting Chicago for business or pleasure, make some time for these excellent activities and attractions.

Chicago – Home of Deep-Dish Pizza! If nothing else, you simply must try a slice of deep-dish pizza while you are visiting Chicago. The pies take roughly three quarters of an hour to bake, which is a small price to pay for the delightful taste that is so unlike any other. Chicago-style pizza is a meal in and of itself. Each slice of pizza must be cut with knife and fork (in my experiences), and brims with hearty tomato sauce, lots of cheese, and a variety of toppings if you so desire. The crust is dense and buttery, and quite delicious. No matter what you decide to do with your trip to Chicago, set aside at least one mealtime to enjoy this legendary style of pizza.

Gino’s East: www.ginoseast.com
Giordano’s: www.giordanos.com

Lincoln Park Zoo – Animal lovers and those looking for a little bit of exercise on their trip can find adventure at the free community zoo. For a free venue, this place does it up right. The exhibits showcase animals of all kinds, boasting everything from seals and sea otters to primates, snakes and reptiles, the big cats, polar bears – even vulchers – and more. You can walk around, grab a bite to eat, take some pictures, rest at the lily pond, and learn more about animals than you’ve ever known. The staff members offer knowledgeable tidbits here and there, introducing certain animals by name, and showing off exciting happenings at the zoo.

Lincoln Park Zoo: www.lpzoo.org

Millennium Park and Grant Park – If you’ve got a few hours and nothing to do, head over to Millennium Park. The architectural wonders, expressive art, and beautiful gardens are well worth your trek. From towering fountains with faces that occasionally spit water out on people (Crown Fountain) to the enormous reflective jellybean, Cloud Gate, this park offers so much more than your run-of-the-mill recreational area. Millennium’s other key attractions include the sophisticated Jay Pritzker Pavilion, which is an outdoor concert arena designed by Frank Gehry, as well as the contemporary Lurie Garden, which features many perennials and a hardwood footbridge, flanked by a dramatically lit hedge. Just adjacent to Millennium is Grant Park, where you can visit the giant fountain (Buckingham Memorial Fountain) that you see in the beginning credits of the sitcom Married, with Children.

Millennium Park: www.millenniumpark.org

Navy Pier – Whether you’re hunkering for a delicious frozen Italian ice treat or a ride on the giant ferris wheel, Navy Pier is a one stop shop for fun. You can check out the gift shops and souvenir stands inside and out, catch a show, or grab a bite to eat. For an especially social evening, grab a seat at the Navy Pier Beer Garden, where you can enjoy live music and great fair food, like burgers, hotdogs, fries, chicken sandwiches, chicken fingers, salad, pizza, and much more, not to mention draft beer, bottled beer, and a fine array of mixed drinks.

Navy Pier: www.navypier.com

Sports Fever – Wrigley Field, the home of major league baseball’s beloved Cubs, is a great destination for baseball fans and history buffs alike. The field may or may not be sold in the near future, so if you’re visiting Chicago anytime soon, take the cab ride over to the stadium – it’s sure to be worth your while. While you are in Chicago, you can also check out Comiskey Park (now known as U.S. Cellular Field), the home of the White Sox, or of course, take a ride over to the United Center to see where the Chicago Bulls basketball team and Chicago Blackhawks ice hockey team play.

Wrigley Field: http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/chc/ballpark
Comiskey Park / U.S. Cellular Field: http://chicago.whitesox.mlb.com/cws/ballpark
United Center: www.unitedcenter.com

No matter what you decide to do, tote along your camera to capture priceless memories and don’t forget some change for the meters or cash for your cab fare. Chicago is a great city to visit and explore, so get out there and enjoy it!