Getaway Blog

Dallas, Texas…It’s Not All Football and Rodeos

Ok, I’ll admit…when I used to think of Dallas, Texas, the first thing that came to mind was cowboys.  The ones that ride horses, and the ones that play football.  But Dallas has developed into such a diverse and exciting metropolitan city, filled with art, music and culture that I thought I would highlight five of the highest ranking attractions in Dallas, as ranked by TripAdvisor reviewers.  I was surprised at a few of them, and I reckon y’all may be too!

The Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens is currently ranked #1 as the top attraction in Dallas.  Featuring over 66-acres on the shores of White Rock Lake, the Dallas Arboretum varies it’s displays four times each year, providing amazing color and breathtaking season changes for visitors year round.

The Morton H Meyerson Symphony Center is located in the Downtown Dallas Arts District and is home to the world-class Dallas Symphony Orchestra and other Dallas-based cultural organizations. The Meyerson’s impressive architectural features, open spaces, touches of elegance, and unsurpassed acoustics make the building the preeminent environment for exceptional events in Dallas.

The George W Bush Presidential Library and Museum also topped this list and the reviewers can’t say enough about how beautiful, clean and educational this library and museum is.  While it focuses on republican President Bush’s time in office, there is such a sense of American patriotism, it doesn’t matter if you are republican or democrat, it is worth a visit.

The Nasher Sculpture Center, in the heart of downtown Dallas, features a collection of more than three hundred sculptures, and twentieth-century paintings and drawings.  This is a beautiful center of indoor and outdoor exhibition space that is filled with natural light and elegant in design.

Dallas Museum of Art Established in 1903, the Dallas Museum of Art features an outstanding collection of more than 22,000 works of art from around the world, from ancient to modern times.  This museum is in the heart of the Arts District, and is highly rated on TripAdvisor.

So next time you are considering an arts and culture getaway, think of Dallas, Texas.   While you may not have had it on your bucket list before, I think you will be pleased, and may be surprised like I was, with what you discover in the heart of this amazing city.

 

Culinary Tours of Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina,  rich in history and southern charm was recently featured in USA Today Travel for it’s popularity as a culinary and beverage destination getaway. With  myriad hotel vacation packages in Charleston, (many of them being food and wine packages), we thought we would highlight some of the more popular culinary tours that are featured in the city.

Culinary Tours of Charleston, Savor the Flavors

This is a wonderful tour for you to experience a more general overview of Charleston’s essential cuisine. This tour is two and a half hours, and highlights downtown restaurants and food shops that will have you sample grits, pralines, benne wafers and more.  During this walking tour, you also learn about the area’s rich culinary history.  While some may find this to be enough of a meal, most who enjoy the tour may need a more substantial meal after the tour is complete, and there are plenty of options in downtown.

Charleston Brews Cruise

Not only is Charleston popular for it’s incredible cuisine, it has also moved up the ranksCharleston Brews Cruise in popularity as a beer-drinker’s paradise. While alcohol laws used to be very strict, they have eased up and the craft beer scene has blossomed.  This “Brews Cruise” is three and a half hours and highlights three local breweries, where you can sample four ounce tasters of IPAs, Porters and ESB’s.  Try any you love? You can buy them and store them in a cooler on the bus!

Charleston Culinary Tours, The Farmer’s Market Tour

The Charleston Farmers Market is an incredible experience for any “foodie”.  It features more than 100 vendors, entertainment and a whole lot of fun! Charleston Culinary Tours has a two hour tour each Saturday that allows you to peruse it like an insider!  Starting off the tour with some architectural history and ending the tour with a fresh brunch that your group creates from fresh ingredients you have gotten throughout the market tour.


Original Pub Tour of Charleston

As we mentioned before, Charleston is absolutely rich with history and some of theCharleston Pub Tour most interesting history comes from it’s centuries-old pubs. On the Original Pub Tour of Charleston, you experience a tour of four pubs, often  the Blind Tiger (whose building was erected in 1803) and The Griffon (also located in a structure that dates to the early 19th century).  Each of the pubs you experience offers complimentary appetizers as your guide shares tales of interesting and engaging characters from American history.  All food is included int he price of the tour, however drinks are not included in the ticket price.

Whether or not you fancy yourself as a “foodie” these tours are sure to please, and are a whole lot of fun!

Are you planning your next vacation getaway? Consider our hotel packages in Charleston, South Carolina where you can reserve a wonderful Charleston hotel package, and then plan a fun culinary tour to complete your vacation itinerary!

Classic Southern California Getaways

 As the dog days of summer count down, don’t miss what may be your Best Summer Vacation Getaway yet! From Los Angeles to San Diego, here are some of the most popular, and quintessential Southern California experiences that should be on your “Fun Bucket List.”

Los Angeles - Do you know of anyone that visits Los Angeles who doesn’t get a picture of either the iconic Hollywood sign, or of themselves by one of the stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame? Check.  Universal Studios and Citywalk are so much fun and a great way to experience the essence of the movie scene in LA.  Madame Toussauds Wax Los Angeles, Hollywood, Jennifer LopezMuseum serves as home to many celebrity figures that bear an eery likeness to the real thing. Instagram op? Check.  LA also is a great option for sports fans wanting to take in an exciting game while traveling - whether it is an NBA basketball game or a professional baseball game, you can watch the Los Angeles Lakers at the Staples Center, or the Dodgers at the world famous Dodger Stadium.  The Santa Monica Pier is also a great diversion,whether traveling with your family, or just friends. Venice Beach offers a world of people watching.  Whether you are into celebrity sightings, thrill rides, NBA or pro baseball, LA has it all, and then some.

Orange County – This region includes Anaheim, home of the famous home of Mickey Mouse…Disneyland Resort, and Disney’s California Adventure which remain to be twoDisneyland, Southern California, Anaheim, Mickey Mouse of the most popular SoCal attractions.  Newport Beach serves as home to the amazing Fashion Island Mall, and beautiful Balboa Island which is a gem, and a special place you can either drive, walk, bike, or take the Balboa Island Ferry to get to.  And then there is Laguna Beach, which is gorgeous seaside town that has evolved into a destination for art lovers that hosts world class artists, festivals and shops.  It is well known for the popular Pageant of the Masters, a one-of-a-kind theatrical “living art” performance every summer.

Then finally, San Diego, America’s Finest City, where one can plan a week’s vacation, and still not fit in all the amazing attractions and fun things to do.  From Legoland, to SeaWorld San Diego, to the world famous San Diego Zoo, San Diego is thriving withSan Diego Zoo, Pandas world renown attractions. In addition to these well known attractions, there are awesome things to experience at the USS Midway Museum and Balboa Park, aka “the Smithsonian of the West”.  And if you need to just relax or take in a round of golf, there are 70 miles of beautiful beaches for you to enjoy, and more than 90 golf courses to work on your golf game.  San Diego is truly a recreational paradise for all!

Southern California, no matter where you go, offers you sunny and moderate temperatures year round and a host of activities and attractions that will please every traveler to the region.

When you are considering your next trip for two, a family vacation consider making a trip to Southern California, and go to our California Getaway page to check out each of these cities to see all the amazing hotel getaway packages that will make for the perfect getaway. Classic Southern California Getaways are always in style. no matter what the occasion for your trip!

America’s Top Free Attractions

What do the incredible and iconic museums and attractions such as the Smithsonian Museums in Washington DC, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, The Getty Center in Los Angeles and The Alamo in San Antonio all have in common?

They are free!

CNN Travel and Leisure recently published a list of amazing attractions and museums that do not charge admission fees to visitors.  What an incredible way for you and your family or travel partner to enjoy your vacation in a great American city, all while being a bit frugal at the same time.

Other attractions that were highlighted were Pike Place Market in  Seattle, Washington; the National September 11 Memorial in New York City, Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia and the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens at Bellagio in Las Vegas.

You know what else all of these fantastic museums and attractions have in common? They are all located in great cities, and we have excellent hotel packages in every city mentioned.  So you can not only save money by visiting them, but you can get even more for your money by purchasing a hotel package through Getaway Packages!

Who Plans the Vacations in Your House?

The other day I read an article about the statistics of who plans the family travel or vacation getaways.  According to that article, a survey done by travel search site Skyscanner concluded that 75% of women said they are the travel planners in their household, according to a recent report in Travel Media Daily. It also showed that one-third of the men said their partner found the best deals and they believe their partners enjoy finding the best travel deals and planning their getaways. This was not surprising to me at all because I always plan the family vacations in our house and my husband is more than happy to just pack what he needs for whatever I’ve planned the night before we leave.

But then, I ran across conflicting information that said 61% of households say that Dad plans the family  vacations.  This poll was recently posted by USA Today.  To be honest, I can’t even imagine my hubby taking the reigns on planning our family trips so I was a little surprised to see these poll results.  

Numerous focus groups, comprised of vacation consumers, tell us that regardless of who in the family plans the vacations, they are looking for the following things:

1) More Value: Hotels and resorts are seeing this trend and are offering many more packages which include amenities and value-adds so they feel like they are getting more for their hard-earned money.

2) Quick and easy travel research: Consumers are looking to make decisions quickly.  Gone are the days where you spend an hour or so at your local travel agent’s office perusing all their brochures.  Finding answers on the internet is the easiest way to go, but they need to find the best packages and deals in the cities they are searching quickly.

3) The ability to communicate their needs with the hotel from the start of the reservation process:  While sites such as Expedia, Travelocity, Hotels.com may offer lower rates in some cases, going through a “middle-man” can cause some challenges.  Difficult cancellation policies, challenges with special requests, and potentially getting placed in the least desirable hotel room location.  Why you may ask? Most hotels will acknowledge that the profitability on guestrooms sold through those travel sites is the lowest, so they generally set aside the least desirable rooms for those reservations.

One of the best things about Getawaypackages.com, is that we make it easy to find just the type of vacation package you are looking for in every part of the United States. Whether you are planning a family getaway, a golf getaway, a girls getaway, a romantic getaway, an outdoor adventure getaway, or a getaway to enjoy fine food and wine, we have the experiential package just for you. Getawaypackages.com makes it is easy to search only the locations you are considering, see the value in the hotel packages, and you book direct with the hotel, so there are no hidden fees or those hard to read cancellation policies. The chances are also good that you don’t get the room without a view or overlooking the parking lot because you got the least expensive rate for your getaway.

 Along with that, many packages include value-adds such as parking or complimentary wi-fi. Many also include perks such as attraction tickets, gift cards, hotel credit to spend, tour passes, spa treatments and more, so that you already have a plan of what to do during your vacation, and you don’t find yourself stuck after arriving to the hotel thinking…ok, what do I plan now that we are here?

GetawayPackages.com understands that planning a vacation getaway should be easy, and that consumers, whether they are men, or women, are looking for added value in their vacation purchase.

So whether you are the husband or the wife, and you are gearing up to plan your next family vacation, be sure to check out Getawaypackages.com to make sure that you are getting the most out of your vacation, and you know what to expect when you get there.

Napa Valley Food and Wine Getaways

The 3rd annual Napa Valley Film Festival (NVFF) returns November 13-17, 2013 to the picturesque communities of Napa, Yountville, St. Helena and Calistoga.  This festival is a celebration of film, food and wine during the most colorful season in Napa Valley.  Hotels throughout the region offer food and wine getaway vacation packages to entice the most distinguished traveler to stay and enjoy their venue during this fun event, or any other time of the year.

Napa Valley, in the northern region of California, is often likened to Italy’s Tuscany region…it’s just a smaller, more Americanized version.  It is home to almost 300 premier wine makers located in between rolling hills and amazing scenery.  When traveling throughout Napa Valley, tourists can tour wineries, taste the wine blends that are being created, enjoy exquisite dining, as well as experience the amenities of the many unique hotels that cater to the most distinguished guests.

Napa Valley Lodge – VIP Winery Tour

Be safe as you explore the beautiful Napa Valley and it’s  wineries.  This number one selling vacation getaway package at the Napa Valley Lodge includes a bottle of wine upon arrival, an in-room champagne continental breakfast, and a five hour winery tour with your own private chauffeur.

The Meritage Resort and Spa - Taste-Cation Package

This award-winning hotel is set amidst the beautiful vineyards of California’s Wine Country and offers an unforgettable vacation getaway package which includes a two-night stay with champagne upon arrival, breakfast for two, a delectable dinner, a tasting at the resort’s own Trinitas Cellars and another winery, and to top it off, bowling for two at Crush Ultra Lounge.

The Silverado Inn – Napa Valley Film Festival Package

Add glamour and excitement to your stay in Napa for the Napa Valley Film Festival.  The historic Silverado Resort and Spa invites you to enjoy the celebration of film, food and wine with a vacation getaway package for this annual Napa Valley event.  Included in your stay is breakfast for two each day before heading out to experience all that the Film Festival has to offer.

Andaz Napa - Napa Film Festival Package (Reels, Reds, and Beds..Oh My!)

The Andaz Napa is nestled in the West End of downtown Napa, and close to the Napa Valley Opera House and Uptown Theater.  This vacation getaway package includes two, five day passes for the film festival with a minimum 3 night stay, select mini bar food and beverage items, welcome beverage upon arrival, wireless internet in guestroom and self parking for one vehicle.
Check out all of these Napa Valley Packages and more!

 

 

 

Great Gatsby Hotel Vacation Packages

“The Great Gatsby” hit theaters recently and while many of us remember having to read the novel in school, and at the time, may have thought it was slightly boring, this blockbuster movie is a alive with opulent colors, drama, glitzy costumes and incredible music that is sure to spark a yearning for nostalgia in everyone who views the movie.

Now hotels from Portland on the West Coast to New York on the East are joining the Gatsby scene by offering romantic getaway packages that honor the age of the Roaring Twenties and allow guests to experience a glimpse of the opulence, elegance and style of this memorable era at their upscale hotels.

The Heathman, Portland, Oregon

Experience the Heathman Hotel and their Great Gatsby Package in downtown Portland Oregon, while indulging in the lavishly exquisite lifestyle of those famed in the new Baz Luhrmann movie!

The Heathman Hotel Great Gatsby Hotel Package includes accommodations in their  luxurious Literary Arts Suite, a copy F. Scott Fitzgerald’s, The Great Gatsby,  DVD of the 1974 Jack Clayton and Francis Ford Coppola adaptation of The Great Gatsby starring Mia Farrow and Robert Redford,  choice of cocktail from The Heathman 20s-inspired cocktails including a Sidebar, Raspberry Rickey, Gin Gimlet or Champagne Julep, appetizers and more! For more information go to Great Gatsby Hotel Packages.

The Willcox Hotel, Aiken, South Carolina

The Great Gatsby Food and Wine Getaway Package offered by The Willcox Hotel Aiken, South Carolina, this summer as becomes an establishment of private  distinction featuring a Speakeasy sub-culture. Their Gatsby Hotel Package includes accommodations, Gatsby-inspired cocktail, Three-course tasting menu for two, a copy of the Great Gatsby and more.

Visit The Willcox Hotel Packages for more information on this limited time offer.

Vanderbilt Grace, Newport, Rhode Island

The Grace Gatsby – Recreate the Gilded Age in the playground of Gatsby at Vanderbilt Grace includes a two-night stay at Vanderbilt Grace, two Mansion Passports to tour any five of the following: The Breakers, Chateau-sur-Mer, Chepstow, The Elms, Green Animals, Isaac Bell House, Kingscote, Marble House, Rosecliff, five course dinner for two with wine pairings, sunset sailing cruise of historic sites of Newport, daily champagne breakfast and more. Visit Getaway Packages Food and Wine Vacations.

Vinoy Renaissance, St. Petersburg, Florida

The Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf Club, invites couples to celebrate their love with aomantic Getaway Package which includes cocktails inspired by the Prohibition and a picnic carriage ride through  town, a Charleston style dance lesson, luxurious accommodations in an upgraded bay view guestroom and dinner for two each evening. To learn more about this romantic vacation getaway, visit Getaway Packages Romantic Getaways.

The Plaza Hotel, New York, New York

The Plaza Hotel in New York honors one of their most famous patrons, F. Scott Fitzgerald, with their newly appointed Fitzgerald Suite.  This Gatsby inspired package includes luxury accommodations in The Fitzgerald Suite,  Gatsby champagne cocktails, breakfast for two, champagne upon arrival and a Plaza branded set of ‘His & Her’ flasks to take home.  Visit Gatsby Romantic Getaway.

 

 

 

 

 

Romantic Weekend Escape

It’s no fun working day in and day out during the summer. Sometimes it feels like everyone is on vacation, except you. Well, now is the time to treat yourself.  Pack up, hop in the car and have a romantic weekend and relax with that special someone.

Here at Getaway Packages, we have plenty of romantic weekend vacation packages to choose from.  This summer, make a plan for a romantic weekend in Los Angeles. This world famous metropolis is jam-packed full of activities and sightseeing destinations. Check out the “Romance Package” and “Your Vacation, Our Vacation” packages at the Terranea Resort.

Romance Package: Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Rekindle your love with the Romance Package at the beautiful, oceanfront Terranea Resort. Just minutes away from downtown Los Angeles, the Terranea is located in the gorgeous Rancho Palos Verdes. Capture breathtaking views of California’s coast from your Ocean View room.

The romance package includes:

  • Overnight accommodations in an Ocean View room
  • Sparkling wine and strawberries
  • Rose petal bath
  • Breakfast for two at Catalina Kitchen or breakfast in bed (room service), daily
  • Daily resort fee

Your Vacation, Our Desintation: Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA

Romance with American Express has it’s perks! When you pay with your American Express Card, you will earn DOUBLE American Express Membership REWARDS and a complimentary room upgrade!

Promotion includes:

  • 20% off our best available rate
  • Upgrade, based on availability at check-in
  • Early check-in and late check-out, based on availability
  • Double Points, if enrolled in the Amex Membership Rewards Program for all stays through 2013!

L.A. has more to offer than being home to famous celebrities.  The city boasts some of the most world-renowned museums. Create an educational and memorable experience with your special someone by visiting museums.

The Paul J Getty Museum, originally opened in the early 1970’s, and features dozens of fascinating pieces of visual art, amazing architecture, and beautiful gardens. The Getty has two locations in the Los Angeles Area for you to explore.

The featured exhibits this summer include:

  • Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line:
    July 3–September 23, 2012
  • Drama and Devotion: Heemskerck’s “Ecce Homo” Altarpiece from Warsaw
    June 5, 2012–January 13, 2013
  • Heaven, Hell, and Dying Well: Images of Death in the Middle Ages
    May 29–August 12, 2012
  • In Focus: Picturing Landscape
    May 22–October 7, 2012
  • The Getty Research Institute: Recent Print Acquisitions
    April 7–September 2, 2012
  • Portraits of Renown: Photography and the Cult of Celebrity
    April 3–August 26, 2012
  • Herb Ritts: L.A. Style
    April 3–August 26, 2012
  • The Life of Art: Context, Collecting, and Display
    February 7, 2012–Ongoing

 

Punta Mita Vacation Package

As a veteran hotel sales and marketing executive (more than half of my life) I have always pushed the value of hotel direct promotion. Long before fax machines, cell phones and the internet, I went door to door and city to city hawking my hotel products with dog and pony shows. I can’t even count the number of pastries, donuts, candy, pizzas and even some hot dogs I gave away in my quest to boost sales over the years. What I do know is that the cost on an annual basis never equaled or came close to the cost of lowering rates and selling through third parties. We hoteliers valued the old style “10 percenters” (real travel agents you could speak to). Add in their commission and the cost of sale was still lower than the cost of OTA promos and discounted rates.

This said, as co-founder of a direct-to-hotel package directory website that increases metasearch to each hotel’s proprietary booking engine via their proprietary brand and/or independent site, one would think that for my personal trips, I would steer clear of an OTA… right?

Cascade Pool at sunset, St. Regis Punta Mita Resort

I wanted to book a romantic getaway package north of Puerto Vallarta for my husband and I this month, and I was intrigued by the peaceful, quiet setting of Punta Mita where the St. Regis is located. A romantic dream destination and boutique luxury resort with unrivaled room amenities, service and cuisine was just what I was looking for. I had no idea from their website that the hotel would exceed our wildest expectations. I knew however that this trip that I was booking less than 5 weeks from departure was too expensive to book for my budget on their website directly…….so, I looked at Expedia. When I found the package I was looking for priced well below my budget, I booked immediately, extended our stay by one night and felt no guilt at all! Someone was going to book that trip anyway. Where’s the parity?

My husband and I had the most  peaceful, relaxing, pampered trip of a lifetime and believe me, we have stayed in some of the finest hotels in the world. The staff of the property could not wait to smile and greet you warmly, help you in anyway with recommendations and suggestions and even decline tips stating that some were “unnecessary…” One staff member asked me “instead of a tip, please write a review on Trip Advisor so that more people like you will know about us and come and visit.”

How can I not go to Trip Advisor and tell the story of the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort and my new family there? How can I not tell everyone I know about this wonderful place with magical, sincere people in a country with such a beautiful heart. Moreover, how can I convince hotels worldwide to allocate a fraction of their revenue towards pushing hotel direct sales through GetawayPackages.com and other hotel direct portals?

I thank Expedia for this booking experience. We hope to offer the same through GetawayPackages.com and we expect to return every year, once a year to refresh ourselves in true hospitality and service.

Happy Dia de la Amistad amigos! Hasta Pronto.

Click here to learn more about The St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, Nayarit Mexico. And if you must, go to an OTA… but do go!

P.S. No one at the hotel knew my business background and we did not handout a single business card. It would have been VERY embarrassing. And thanks so much Jorge, aka Jose, whose mother makes the best quesadillas in Puerto Vallarta!

Romantic Getaway Packages

While February is the month of romance — with Valentine’s Day smack in the middle of the month — here at Getaway Packages, we believe that romance should be a year-round state of mind. After all, a romantic getaway with your special someone doesn’t need to only take place on a certain day, weekend or week in February!

Here are some vacation packages that will help ignite romance in your life — whether you book them now or file away the ideas for trips this spring or summer.

City Chic: Boston Harbor Hotel
Explore all that the historic city of Boston has to offer from  your home base at the Boston Harbor Hotel. The romance package includes luxurious accommodations on the waterfront (on the 8th through 16th floor, for lovely water or city views), plus champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries and a full American breakfast for two.

Coastal Getaway: Catalina Island
This marvelous little island off the coast of Southern California is the perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of city life with your sweetie. Retreat to the New Pavilion Hotel for this romance package that includes accommodations, in-room continental breakfast delivery, chocolate and champagne delivered to the room, a $75 dinner credit at the Avalon Grille, two tickets to the iconic Casino Theatre and 50% a zipline eco tour.

Quiet B&B: The Barn Inn
Retreat to Ohio’s Amish Country with this “Spoiled Rotten” package from The Barn Inn Bed & Breakfast. Book any two-night stay and add on these extras: a 1 lb. box of assorted Coblentz fine chocolates, sparking juice and cheese basket waiting in your room; a 30-minute foot massage by a licensed reflexologist; hors d’oeuvres delivered to your room whichever evening you prefer. Each of the rooms in the big red barn are uniquely decorated, and a farm-fresh breakfast is included in the nightly rate.

Desert Delight: L’Auberge de Sedona
This luxurious property in the desert community of Sedona, Arizona, offers the Amour Package, with chilled champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries waiting in your room on arrival, plus a $170 dinner credit and $36 breakfast credit at L’Auberge Restaurant at Oak Creek.

Enjoy your vacation package, whenever you travel — a next-weekend getaway, or a longer escape later this year!

The Vacation Gals are big fans of romantic escapes, whether it’s to a quiet nearby hotel or an exciting getaway across the country.