Visit Little Rock and Six Relaxing and Educational Attractions

clintonLittle Rock sits almost in the center of the Arkansas. Native Americans inhabited the area for thousands of years and were documented in 1541 by Spaniard Hernando de Soto. Based on geographic landmarks, the city received its current name in 1721 from French explorer Jean-Baptiste Benard de la Harpe. Visit Little Rock today to tour Arkansas’s capital city and see its famous attractions as you enjoy a relaxing, educational and entertaining vacation.

1. River Market

Roughly 10 city blocks in downtown Little Rock offer guests a variety of year round shopping experiences. River Market’s outdoor and indoor vendors include grocery stores, restaurants, bike rentals, home decor shops and other consumer products merchants. Find all these pleasures and more in downtown Little Rock.

2. Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site

In 1957, nine African-American teenaged students made history during the first days of desegregation. Tour the commemorative site and garden at Daisy L. Gatson Bates Drive and Park Street on your own as you learn more about this event and the entire Civil Rights movement. You may also tour the high school during a guided tour you reserve at least two weeks in advance.

3. Clinton Presidential Library

Interact with exhibits, look through roughly one million photos and view replicas of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room at the Clinton Presidential Library. It sits on 29 acres at 1200 President Clinton Avenue and includes scenic outdoor walking trails.

4. Little Rock Zoo

Over 750 animals belonging to 200 species live on 33 acres and comprise the Little Rock Zoo. You’ll appreciate the eclectic collection of exotic and large animals at the small but versatile 1 Zoo Drive attraction.

5. The Quapaw Quarter

Nine square miles of historic buildings, some dating to the Civil War, comprise Quapaw Quarter. Walk, bike, jog or drive through the area and admire the architecture and design as well as the Governor’s Mansion, MacArthur Park and State Capital building.

6. Heifer International Headquarters

Environmentally friendly, the Heifer International Headquarters incorporates dozens of green innovations. With your group of 10 or more people, explore the 1 World Avenue building during 30-minute tours offered at 11 AM and 3 PM Monday through Friday.

Visit Little Rock for a laidback and relaxing vacation. Six attractions near Little Rock hotels keep you entertained and teach you about the area and its history too.

Cast Aside Your Cares at the Luxurious Sandals Antigua Resort

sandalsIf you want to experience a stress-free Caribbean vacation, the Sandals Antigua Resort is ideal. This all-inclusive resort is located on Antigua’s Dickenson Bay, which is one of the most breathtaking beaches in the area. The resort offers two getaways for one price. You can select a room in the Caribbean Grove or Mediterranean Village, and each area is yours to explore.

Accommodations

There are 373 rooms to choose from at the resort. You can opt for a charming rondoval in the romantic Caribbean Grove or choose a sophisticated villa suite in the six-star Mediterranean Village. Most rooms have balconies or patios with a beach, garden or sea view. Each room is air-conditioned, and 24-hour room service is available.

Dining

The distinctive restaurants at this resort are incomparable. There are 11 to choose from, and the settings range from island casual to world-class chic. Menus include haute Asian and European cuisine, gastro-pub and Caribbean classic. The resort also offers seven themed bars and live entertainment, so you can immerse yourself in the exhilarating nightlife.

Recreation

A number of water activities are available if you feel adventurous, including sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving and windsurfing. The resort also has six whirlpools and six freshwater pools. If you prefer to stay on land, you can participate in an aerobics or yoga class, take tennis lessons or test your skills at beach volleyball.

The fully equipped fitness facility offers more ways to boost your energy, and you can take advantage of the on-site shopping as well. If you need to relax after your island adventures, the Red Lane Spa offers indoor or outdoor services. There are numerous treatments available ranging from a simple mud wrap to in-depth couples massages.

Other notable amenities include:

Beauty services
Dry cleaning
Segway rental
Shuttle buses
Airport transportation
Business facilities
Ballrooms

The Sandals Antigua Resort is the ultimate location for experiencing the beauty of the tropics. This resort has something for everyone, and it provides a glimpse into two stunning worlds. The romance of the Caribbean combined with the refinement of the Mediterranean make this the perfect destination for anyone who wants to cast their cares away.

Visit Oklahoma City to See Historical and Contemporary Attractions

cowboyFounded in 1889, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma serves as the state’s capital. It’s also the sight of the world’s largest livestock auction and a major travel corridor to Mexico and Texas. Visit Oklahoma City to see a mixture of both historical and contemporary attractions.

1. Memorial Center Museum

The infamous 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building put Oklahoma City on the map. Take your time touring the Memorial Center Museum at 620 North Harvey Avenue as you remember the 168 lost lives.

2. 45th Infantry Division Museum

In the Lincoln Park Armory, find the 45th Infantry Division Museum. It features uniforms, vehicles and firearms from 1541 to today. Learn more about the state’s military history at the 2145 NE 36th Street museum.

3. American Homing Pigeon Institute

Today, you use your GPS to find your way home, but homing pigeons simply fly up to 1,100 miles to their homes. Learn more about these birds as you explore the Scottish Pigeon Tower, Wright Learning Center and two lofts at the 2300 NE 63rd Street attraction.

4. Oklahoma City Zoo

A collection of 2,200 zoo animals, a 20,000-square-foot Butterfly Garden, 80 Herpetarium exhibits and 1,500 animals at the Aquaticus means the Oklahoma City Zoo offers something for everyone. Appreciate the habitats and natural beauty at 2101 NE 50th Street.

5. National Cowboy Hall of Fame

Iconic Wild West artifacts and materials whet your imagination as you tour the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center. The attractions at the 1700 NE 63rd Street museum also include the John Wayne Collection and the Rodeo Hall of Fame.

6. Kirkpatrick Centre

Explore several museums and other attractions when you visit the 2100 NE 52nd Kirkpatrick Center.

7. National Softball Hall of Fame and Museum

Fans of the game will appreciate the 2801 NE 50th Street museum. It tells the story of the sport and features pictures of all the current members.

When you visit Oklahoma City, you enjoy a mix of historical and contemporary attractions. Stay in one of many Oklahoma City hotels at night and explore the city by day during your next vacation.

Visit Milwaukee to See Diverse and Unique Attractions

harleyYou’ll find Milwaukee, Wisconsin along Lake Michigan and the Street Lawrence Seaway a short ninety mile drive north of Chicago. The city started as a trading post in the 1700s and grew into an important port and home for German immigrants. Visit Milwaukee today and enjoy its diverse history, culture and attractions.

1. Harley Davidson

Whether you’re a bike fan or not, appreciate the fine craftsmanship of the brand that started and thrives in Milwaukee. The store is open seven days a week at 11310 West Silver Spring Road.

2. Pettit National Ice Center

Watch Olympic hopefuls train and try out your own skating legs at the Pettit National Ice Center. Multiple rinks and a year round walking and running track give you plenty of exercise opportunities at 500 South 84th Street.

3. Milwaukee County Zoo

One of the largest zoos in the U.S. welcomes you to learn more about raptors, sea lions and 2,000 other mammal, amphibian, fish, bird and reptile species. The exhibits are open year round, and you’ll see unique shows and enjoy a train ride during summer hours at the 10001 West Bluemound Road zoo.

4. Milwaukee County Historical Center

Learn more about Milwaukee at the 910 North Old World Third Street Historical Center. Exhibits, artifacts and displays tell the city’s story. Plus, you’ll want to admire the 1913 building that earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

5. Pabst Theater

As another member of the National Register of Historic Places, beautiful Pabst Theater features an Italian marble staircase and Baroque interior. Enjoy a live show at the theater on 144 East Wells Street.

6. Haggerty Museum of Art

Marvel at the talent of painters, sculptures and other artisans when you view the 2,000-piece collection housed at the Haggerty Museum of Art. It’s located on the Marquette University Campus at 530 North 13th Street.

7. Brewery Tours

No visit to Milwaukee is complete until you tour one of several local breweries. Choose your favorite brand or try them all as you drink responsibly.

Visit Milwaukee to experience diverse attractions that offer something for everyone. Whether you take in a live show, admire unusual animals or share a beer with locals, check out friendly Milwaukee hotels in this diverse city.

Allure of the Seas: Can a Cruise Ship Be its Own Destination?

Lounge chairs on a cruise ship deckWith a gross tonnage of 252,282 and a capacity of more than 8,000, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas easily takes top honors as the largest cruise vessel ever built. Anyone who has sailed her sister ship, Oasis, will immediately recognize Allure’s unique layout and mind-boggling array of amenities.

The Neighborhood Concept

Although a 17-story-high cruise ship could easily swallow its occupants whole, the Allure’s unique locality-based layout will make every traveler feel quickly at home. These distinct neighborhoods include:

- The Boardwalk. A family-oriented area with the feel of an old-time amusement park. In addition to vendors, diversions and festivals, the region offers a hand-carved carousel, an aquatic theater and 233 cabins spanning seven decks.

- The Youth Zone. The amenities offered by this expansive area range from a nursery for the youngest set to a disco and lounge for teens.

- Central Park. Nestled among the flowers, trees and vines that cover this ample garden area, the traveler will discover a variety of upscale bars, restaurants, high-end shops and galleries designed to please the adult generation.

- The Royal Promenade. The close resemblance of this boulevard-like expanse to the chic main drag of an American city is sure to provide an at-home sensibility to passengers who choose to tarry in its nightclubs, shops and pubs.

- The Sports Zone. Along with a zip line, basketball court and surfing simulators, this area even includes a miniature golf course.

- The Entertainment Place. A casino, ice rink, jazz club and disco join this area’s varied attractions and theatrical offerings in providing passengers with more than one means of whiling away the hours.

- The Pool Decks. Without at least one swimming hole, no ship would be complete. Allure of the Seas has four, one of which is an actual water park. While children frolic on the slides, parents can relax in the hot tubs, cabanas and bars surrounding the adult-oriented pools.

Accommodations

Along with standard staterooms and family-sized cabins, Allure offers 13 different varieties of suite that range from the smallest juniors to top-of-the-line two-story lofts complete with balconies and extensive window walls with an ocean view.

Cruise Ship or Vacation Resort?

When Allure of the Seas docks at the various ports, not all choose to debark. Many prefer to remain on board the ship that not only carried them there but also serves as a vacation destination of its own.

Tranquility to Spare at the One&Only Palmilla

oneTime spent at the One&Only Palmilla Resort is like stepping out of reality and into a dream. Located between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo on the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, this luxurious getaway is perfectly situated right on the beautiful waters of the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez.

Accommodations

Visitors have plentiful room choices with 12 separate categories among 173 total rooms. There’s something for every taste, from spacious deluxe rooms to multiple suite arrangements to the stunning and singular Villa Cortez, featuring its own private beach, gym, theater and wait staff. Every room in the resort offers spectacular oceanfront or beachfront views, and every room also has a private balcony or patio.

Amenities

The One&Only Palmilla offers an abundance of complimentary services and amenities with each room. These include:

Shared 24-hour butler service
Daily delivery of fresh fruit
Tea and espresso
Daily choice of cocktail snacks
Robe, slippers and sandals
Pillow and aromatherapy turndown selections
Beach tote, resort logo caps and sun-care products
High-speed Internet; Wi-Fi available

Rooms also feature:

Flat-screen TV with satellite access and DVD/CD
Bose audio system with surround sound
Outdoor furniture for dining or relaxing
Binoculars for watching whales or gazing at stars

Cuisine

Dining choices are lavish, and guests have the option of purchasing customized meals through convenient half-board or full-board plans. Guests can also enjoy 24-hour room dining as well as specialized menus at the resort’s pools and beaches. Restaurant dining emphasizes regional variety:

Agua Restaurant offers “Mexiterranean” cuisine
Market Restaurant presents a blend of Euro-Asian food and Mexican flavors
Suviche Restaurant features an extensive selection of sushi and ceviches
Breeze Alfresco Café provides light lunches and snacks
Agua Bar highlights specialty drinks and appetizers

Other Treats

The One&Only Palmilla features luxurious spa amenities, such as massages, facials, healing techniques and more. An impressive variety of activities and excursions includes golf, tennis, yachting, hiking, parasailing and many others; special programs offer fun for kids and teens. Games, game rooms and use of the basketball court are complimentary; charges apply for all spa amenities, sports and other activities.

Visit Richmond and Discover Five Historical Wonders

Original life-size statue of George Washington by Jean-Antoine HTemporarily settled by Jamestown residents in 1609, Richmond, Virginia was officially founded in 1737 and holds a special place in history. Here, Patrick Henry called for liberty or death in 1775, and the city became the southern Confederacy’s capital in 1861. Visit Richmond today and discover five historical wonders.

1. Virginia State Capitol

Thomas Jefferson designed the capital building, and its construction was completed in 1788. This building also served as the site where Virginia officially seceded from the Union and Robert E. Lee was named general of the Confederate Army. Tour the building with a guide or on your own seven days a week on the second floor of 910 Capitol Street.

2. Virginia House

Explore 1500s England in the heart of the Shenandoah Valley when you tour the Virginia House. It features period architecture, interior design and artifacts. The eight-acre gardens also invite you to relax in the midst of nearly 1,000 ornamental plants. This unique sight sits at 4301 Sulgrave Road.

3. Richmond National Battlefield Park

You know that Richmond played a major role in the five-year Civil War, but learn more details during a tour of the Richmond National Battlefield Park at 3215 East Broad Street. Walk, bike or stroll through interactive displays, monuments and other educational exhibits at 13 sites which include:

  • Tredegar Iron Works, site of Confederate weapons and ammunition production
  • Chimborazo, one of the largest Civil War military hospitals
  • Cold Harbor Battlefield, site of complicated Union and Confederate military maneuvers during a two-week battle in 1864

4. Museum of the Confederacy

Hundreds of artifacts detail the people and the army of Confederacy at the 1201 East Clay Street museum. Tour just the three-story building or combine it with a tour of the White House Confederacy next door. Active duty military personnel and their families receive free admission year round.

5. Edgar Allan Poe Museum

Pay homage to a literary great when you inspect a collection of Poe’s personal items and original manuscripts. The museum sits at 1914 East Main Street and provides tours Tuesday through Sunday.

History comes alive when you visit Richmond and five of its historical wonders. Whether you travel alone or bring along friends or members of your civic group, stay in Richmond hotels and rest up for your days of exploration as you enjoy the history of Virginia’s capital city.

Visit St. Louis to Enjoy Five Family Friendly Sights

St. Louis ArchAlso known as the Gateway to the West, St. Louis, Missouri conveniently sits near the Missouri and Mississippi River junction. Settlers heading into the Wild West during the 1800s stopped here to stock supplies and prepare for their journey into untamed territory. Visit St. Louis with your family today and learn more about the settlers’ adventures as you tour five family friendly sights and have fun together.

1. Gateway Arch

Since 1965, the Gateway Arch has welcomed visitors to St. Louis. It’s the city’s most iconic symbol and extends 630 feet into the air. Eight elevators transport visitors from the street level to the observation platform for each 45-minute tour. Because there are no bathroom facilities at the top of the Arch, plan accordingly as you enjoy the magnificent views with your family.

2. Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Park

United States President Thomas Jefferson authorized the Louisiana Purchase and thus launched the country’s expansion to the west. Enjoy the park’s sights during your visit to St. Louis and call 877-982-1410 to sign your kids up for the Summer Junior Ranger Program. It’s held on Tuesday and Thursday summer mornings and includes scavenger hunts, art projects and outdoor games.

3. Missouri Botanical Garden

The Missouri Botanical Garden has promoted horticulture and beauty since 1859. Enjoy a variety of gardens and a tropical plant Climatron as well as the Children’s Garden. It features a cave, tree house, prairie village and other features designed to inspire and educate your little ones. The Garden sits at 4344 Shaw Boulevard.

4. The Magic House

Three stories of themed exhibits and hands-on activities at the Magic House welcome your kids to experiment and satisfy their curiosity. The museum at 516 South Kirkwood Road is open every day but Monday for your enjoyment and fun.

5. City Museum

At the 701 North 15th Street City Museum, your entire family learns about architecture, participates in art activities, wonders at the giant aquarium and performs in a circus. All the exhibits are geared to kids, so even your little ones will enjoy the entertaining experience.

Downtown St. Louis features five top sights that help your family have fun and bond together. When you visit St. Louis, keep your kids entertained all day and relax at night when you book a room in one of the St. Louis hotels that welcomes your family to the Gateway of the West.

 

The Global Entry Program – How It Works And It’s Benefits

global entryIf you are a frequent international traveler, you may want to consider applying for and becoming a member of the Global Entry program, run by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Membership in the program enables you to speed up the clearance process when entering the United States by giving you access to automated kiosks in select airports. While this program is geared towards frequent travelers, there is no minimum amount of travel required to be eligible. The program is available to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, citizens of the Netherlands enrolled in Privium, Korean citizens participating in the Smart Entry Service and Mexican Nationals.

To apply for Global Entry, you will need to fill out an online application and pay a non-refundable $100 application fee. Once your application has been reviewed, and if it is conditionally approved, you will be contacted and instructed to schedule an interview at one of many Global Entry Enrollment Centers. Each individual who is applying must create their own account and go through their own interview, even if they are a minor child.

During the interview, you will be expected to answer questions, have your photo taken and your fingerprints scanned. It is important to note that any application errors must be disclosed during the interview process because your application cannot be changed after it has been certified.

If you are accepted into the program, you will be able to bypass standard entry processes at airports with automated Global Entry kiosks. Once at the kiosk, you will simply need to submit to a fingerprint scan and present a passport or U.S. permanent resident card and make a customs declaration, if applicable. You will then be given a receipt and may proceed to baggage claim.

It is important to note that the program is for low-risk travelers and that you must pass a rigorous background check to be accepted. You may still undergo further inspection after entering in to the United States, even if you are a member of the program, and failing to follow the rules of the program will result in removal from it and appropriate action from law enforcement.

Visit Providence to See a Mix of Historical and Modern Day Sights

parkFounded as a haven for religious freedom in 1636, Providence, Rhode Island sits along the Narragansett Bay. Its geographic position and commercial port soon created a thriving economy, and the first factory in the newly independent United States opened here in 1793. Visit Providence today, and discover a unique mix of historical and modern day sights.

1. Roger Williams National Memorial

You can’t visit Providence without honoring its founder Roger Williams. Stand on the land where the city started when you visit his memorial at 282 North Main Street.

2. Benefit Street (Mile of History)

Original 17th and 18th century colonial homes and churches proudly line the “Mile of History.” Walking and bus tours start at 21 Meeting Street.

3. Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art

An art and design collection of over 86,000 pieces welcomes you to the Rhode Island School of Design at 224 Benefit Street. Stay for an hour or an afternoon as you appreciate items from Ancient Greece and Rome, Europe, Asia, Latin America and the U.S.

4. Trinity Repertory Company

Enjoy a theatrical or musical production downtown when you visit the Trinity Repertory Company. Find it at 201 Washington Street, and remember to arrive early for decent parking.

5. Historical Churches

Dozens of churches dot Providence streets, but five historically and architecturally significant buildings stand out.

Visit Providence today and enjoy the eclectic mix of old world history and new world innovation. From the historical architecture to the modern Providence hotels, you’ll enjoy the way history meets modern day in this city.