Thanksgiving Getaway | Chicago, Illinois

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Visit the Windy City for a Thanksgiving getaway this year. Beautiful decorations and exciting events make Chicago a lively place to be during the holiday season. Experience festive attractions like the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade and Christkindlmarket, a European-inspired holiday marketplace. A trip to Chicago is the perfect way to kick off the holidays.

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Kinzie Hotel

Stay at the Kinzie Hotel in downtown Chicago’s trendy River North district. It’s close to the Magnificent Mile, the Loop, and the city’s best restaurants and nightlife. The Explore Chicago Package is the perfect way to experience the city. The Kinzie Hotel will welcome you with traditional Garrett Popcorn and a city pass that gets you into attractions such as Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago, The Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, 360 Chicago, Adler Planetarium, and the Art Institute. You’ll also enjoy breakfast each day and hors d’oeuvres and cocktails each evening.

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Bub City

Bub City is a popular Chicago restaurant that specializes in delicious barbeque and comfort foods such as brisket, fried chicken, and mac & cheese. With live bands and karaoke nights, it’s a fun place for a night out with friends. On Thanksgiving, Bub City will be open from 11 am to midnight serving hickory-smoked turkey, cornbread and sage stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, and cranberries. While some Thanksgiving dinners can cost you upwards of $80, this one is a surprisingly reasonable $17 per person.

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McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade

Originally called the Christmas Caravan, this parade started in 1934 to boost morale during the Depression. Today, the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade is an impressive display of floats, marching bands, staged performances, and celebrity guests. This year, see stars from Veep, Shameless, Chicago Fire, and Lethal Weapon. Watch the parade on State Street from Congress to Randolph. Make sure to get there early, and bring plenty of jackets and blankets – in late November, the average high is 42 degrees!

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Christkindlmarket

Christkindlmarket is an outdoor holiday marketplace in downtown Chicago. Modeled after Germany’s 16th century Christkindlesmarkt, it brings a taste of European culture and tradition to Chicago and is a fun holiday activity for all ages. Browse handmade goods, enjoy live music, and sample classic German foods such as sausages, potato pancakes, and Strudel. Be sure to try a glass of Gluhwein, German hot spiced wine that’s perfect on a chilly night. The market is open through Christmas Eve.

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Magnificent Mile

Chicago’s Magnificent Mile is a 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue with some of the city’s best restaurants, shops, museums, and hotels. Stroll down the street to get acquainted with Chicago and see the impressive architecture of its most iconic buildings. For incredible views of the Magnificent Mile, downtown Chicago, and the waterfront, head up to 360 Chicago. The observation deck, located on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center, towers above the city at 1,000 feet. At the top, grab a coffee or a cocktail while you admire the panorama.

Thanksgiving Getaway | New York, New York

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Find holiday cheer in New York City this Thanksgiving and kick off the season in style. Stay in the heart of the city near Times Square, see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and enjoy a hearty Thanksgiving dinner. You won’t run out of things to do in the city that never sleeps!

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Sanctuary Hotel

The Sanctuary Hotel is located in Midtown Manhattan, close to Times Square, Broadway theaters, Rockefeller Center, and Fifth Avenue. The lavish boutique hotel is dedicated to creating a top-notch guest experience complete with excellent service, luxury European linens, spa-inspired bathrooms, and complimentary breakfast. Book the Thanksgiving at the Sanctuary! offer to receive 15% off your stay and a $50 food and beverage credit for TENDER, their elegant steak and sushi restaurant. Best of all, you’ll be within walking distance of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade! 

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is celebrating its 90th year! The 2016 parade promises to be spectacular ­– see Charlie Brown, SpongeBob, and Pikachu balloons, and watch live performances from Tony Bennett, Fitz and the Tantrums, and more. This year, see the parade in person instead of from your couch. Wake up early on Thanksgiving morning, grab a pumpkin spice latte, and stake out a spot.

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Cassette

Cassette serves unique cocktails, an extensive selection of wine and beer, and an assortment of food ranging from simple (Avocado Toast) to indulgent (Bouchot Mussels). Though it’s a good choice for brunch or dinner any day, we recommend heading there for Thanksgiving dinner while you’re in town. Their prix fixe menu has three courses of tasty foods, including cast iron skillet cornbread, leek bread pudding, and sweet potato pie with charred marshmallow and caramelized pastry crust.

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Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar

Whether you want to get a head start on holiday shopping or you’re just looking for a unique souvenir, the Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar is worth a visit. The free event takes place the Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving and is a great way to get in the holiday spirit. Browse clothes, accessories, décor, and more from 40+ sellers, and try food from local vendors like Ejen Korean Comfort Food. The event also has complimentary cocktails, a live DJ, and a photo booth.

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Magnolia Bakery

Magnolia Bakery first opened in West Village in 1996. Their irresistible desserts quickly became a sensation, and they now have locations all over the world. Magnolia makes cupcakes, cakes, muffins, scones, pies, cheesecakes, cookies, brownies, and more. Stop by for dessert one day and take home a bag of treats to snack on throughout your trip. They’re even open on Thanksgiving, so you can pick up a pie or try their cupcake of the month, Harvest Apple. It’s a taste of fall with apples, cranberries, pecans, and caramel meringue buttercream frosting.

Spooky Nights in San Diego | San Diego, California

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October is the ideal time to visit San Diego. The weather is still mild enough for a day at the beach, but the crowds of summer are long gone. Stay at the historic Hotel del Coronado for a beach escape during Halloween. San Diego has a number of Halloween events and attractions that you’ll find both terrifying and fun.

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Hotel del Coronado

Bask in luxury under the iconic red rooftops of the Hotel del Coronado, a San Diego landmark since 1888. The seaside resort has numerous ocean-view eateries, pools and hot tubs complete with cabanas and a bar, and a relaxing spa. The hotel is steps from a pristine beach and just a short distance from the island’s shops and restaurants. Book the Beach Village Offer and stay in one of their secluded cottages or villas with personal concierge service, daily breakfast, and a $200 resort credit.

Get your costumes ready! Attend the Hotel del Coronado’s Hallo-wine & Spirits event on Saturday, October 29th. It begins with a reception featuring tasty snacks, then transforms into a party with dessert, drinks, dancing, and a costume contest.

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Coronado Brewing Company

Coronado Brewing Company is celebrating 20 years of making craft beer in San Diego. Stop by the Coronado Brew Pub for lunch and a beer. We love the Mermaid’s BBQ Burger, topped with bacon, white cheddar, red ale BBQ sauce, and crispy fried onions. Pair it with the Coronado Blood Orange Wit, a crisp and citrusy beer infused with blood orange tea.

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The Haunted Hotel

The Haunted Hotel is San Diego’s longest running haunted house. Located in the trendy Gaslamp Quarter in downtown San Diego, it’s the perfect activity if you’re looking for a Halloween scare. Enter the haunted house and encounter a Hellevator, zombie alley, island of dolls, clown subway, and torture temple. Can you make it out?

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The Haunted Trail

Like The Haunted Hotel, The Haunted Trail is a fantastic Halloween tradition. The outdoor, mile-long path in Balboa Park is sure to terrify even the most courageous of visitors. Start out in “The eXperiment,” a 3,500 square foot maze of incarcerated lost souls. If you make it through, you’ll move on to brave the chainsaws, ghouls, and horrific characters of the Trail.

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The Scream Zone

San Diego’s largest Halloween attraction is The Scream Zone, a complex of horrors at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Enter The Scream Zone for free and enjoy food vendors, photo opportunities, and a bar. From there, you can choose which attractions to purchase tickets for. Highlights this year include KarnEvil, a frightening carnival freak show, and Zombie Boot Camp, an obstacle course that will get you ready for the zombie apocalypse. The Scream Zone also includes a House of Horror and Haunted Hayride.

Halloween in LA | Los Angeles, California

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There’s no better place to experience Halloween than Los Angeles. See your favorite horror films and television shows come to life at Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, then take a ride on the terrifying Los Angeles Haunted Hayride. Here’s your guide to the city’s scariest Halloween events and attractions.

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The Garland

Located in North Hollywood, The Garland is only a short distance from Universal Studios, the Hollywood sign, and Griffith Park. Built in 1970, the hotel reflects an old-school Hollywood style with retro-modern rooms. The Garland offers unique activities for guests, like Dive-In Movies shown poolside every Friday and Saturday. Book their Universal Studios Package, which includes a deluxe room, tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood, free transportation to the park, and Early Park Admission.

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Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights

Visit Universal Studios after dark for Halloween Horror Nights, a terrifying celebration of Halloween featuring attractions from famous horror films and TV shows. This year’s highlights include seven new mazes based on The Exorcist, Halloween, Freddy vs. Jason, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and American Horror Story. You can also step into landscapes from The Walking Dead, where you’ll fight your way through zombies in an immersive experience. Horror Nights also includes rides, shows, and Scare Zones. It requires separate admission, but you can purchase a Day/Night Combo ticket that will allow you to experience Horror Nights and the park’s regular attractions.

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800 Degrees

Taste LA’s best pizza at 800 Degrees, a restaurant that masterfully combines authentic Italian and contemporary Californian flavors. Their pizzas are Neapolitan and wood-fired, made with flour imported from Naples, Italian tomatoes, and local mozzarella and vegetables. The crust is chewy and flavorful, thick on the sides and paper-thin in the middle. Create your own pizza by choosing one of their bases and adding gourmet toppings. We like the Verde base, which comes with pesto, mozzarella, and Parmigiano-Reggiano, topped with caramelized onions and chicken.

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The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride is another classic Halloween attraction. It’s held every year in Griffith Park, a historic wooded park in North Hollywood that has served as a filming location for countless movies, including Halloween. Climb aboard the Haunted Hayride and experience scary scenes with live actors and frightening effects. The theme of this year’s hayride is “Secret Society,” exploring darkness, power, and evil. Guests will journey through one of two different paths and then face an initiation section on foot. You can buy tickets for just the hayride, or purchase a general admission ticket that will give you access to different attractions like the suburb of Hell, a Scary-Go-Round, Theatre Macabre, murder scenes at Death Row, pumpkin carving, and psychic readings.

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MILK

Stop by MILK for a late-night snack after the Haunted Hayride. A favorite with locals, the dessert shop offers a medley of treats such as cookies, brownies, pastries, ice cream, milkshakes and sundaes. They’re famous for their macaron ice cream sandwiches, which have generous portions of gourmet ice cream between two large macarons. Try flavors like green tea, strawberry, and fruity pebbles.

August Outdoor Escapes | Big Bear Lake, California

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With fresh mountain air, breathtaking scenery, and a seven-mile long lake, Big Bear is ideal for a summer getaway. The quaint town offers beautiful views of the surrounding San Bernardino National Forest, excellent local craft beers, and delicious restaurants. Experience some outdoor fun with Alpine slides, water sports, and a parasailing adventure over the lake.

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Holiday Inn Resort Big Bear Lake

Located in downtown Big Bear, the Holiday Inn Resort Big Bear Lake is steps away from great restaurants, shops, and the Lake Boardwalk. The hotel has comfortable rooms, a health and fitness center, and an outdoor pool and whirlpool. Onsite eatery Stillwells serves up delicious California cuisine. Make your time in Big Bear extra special with the Romantic Escape Package. It includes a bottle of sparkling white wine, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and a box of chocolates.

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Sweet Basil Bistro

Enjoy a romantic night out at Sweet Basil Bistro, an intimate Italian restaurant just a short walk from the hotel. The family-owned restaurant is one of the town’s newest. Their menu is full of authentic Italian specialties and fresh sauces. We recommend the Braccilone, a flank steak breaded and stuffed with tomatoes and Gorgonzola and served over linguine with tomato basil sauce. For dessert, indulge in their decadent vanilla crème brulee. 

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Alpine Slides

The Magic Mountain Recreation Area is home to the Alpine Slide, one of our favorite activities in Big Bear. Take a chairlift up the mountain and then coast down a quarter-mile long cement track in an individual sled. During your ride, you’ll feel the fresh mountain air rushing past you and take in amazing views of the lake and surrounding forest. The recreation area also features a water slide, go-karts, and mini-golf.

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Big Bear Lake Brewing Company

Big Bear Lake Brewing Company offers their own house brews, well-known craft beers, a long list of homemade cocktails, and excellent food options. Try the Sidewinder Red Ale, which features pineapple, citrus, and pine aromas, or the Strawberry Lavender Martini, made with Reyka vodka, Lillet Rouge, Monin lavender, lemon juice, and fresh muddled strawberries. We recommend an Avocado Bomb to go with your drinks. It’s their signature dish made with honey ale tempura battered avocados, spicy sashimi ahi, crab and shrimp cake, and chipotle aioli.

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A Day on the Lake

Big Bear Lake is calling. Pine Knot Marina is the starting point for a variety of exciting water sports. Take a lake tour and learn about Big Bear’s history, spend the afternoon fishing, or rent kayaks, boats, or jet skis. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, try parasailing. You’ll soar through the air and experience unparalleled views of the glistening Big Bear Lake and surrounding mountains from over 500 feet up.

Off to the Races in Del Mar | San Diego, California

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Enjoy a seaside escape in San Diego’s North County. From July to September, racing season is on at the famous Del Mar Racetrack. Spend a day at the track cheering on your favorite horses and placing wagers. You’ll also want to explore the coastal towns of Del Mar, Solana Beach, and Encinitas. From boutique shops to mouth-watering restaurants to serene beaches, you’ll experience just the right mix of adventure and relaxation.

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Fairmont Grand Del Mar

Inspired by the palaces and resorts in Spain, France, and Italy, the luxurious Fairmont Grand Del Mar combines European and Southern Californian style. It features an 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a spa, and over 37 miles of trails in the surrounding Los Penasquitos Canyon Preserve. Fairmont Grand Del Mar is the ideal place to stay for a relaxing vacation. They provide free transportation to the nearby towns of Del Mar, La Jolla, and Solana Beach, and host fun summer events such as outdoor movie nights and beach escapes. With their A Day at the Races package, enjoy two nights in a guestroom or suite, breakfast for two each morning, reserved seats at the Del Mar Racetrack, and transportation to and from the track.

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Off to the Races

The Del Mar Racetrack was built by a partnership of actors that included Bing Crosby, who was there to welcome fans when the track first opened in 1937. In its early years the racetrack was a popular spot for Hollywood stars, and going to the races remains a fashionable summer activity today. During racing season, which runs from July to September, spectators can spend the day making wagers, watching the races, and socializing at the track. Racing season incorporates other events such as a summer concert series, a Pizza & Beer Festival, and a Spirits & Sliders event.

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Tony’s Jacal

After a day at the racetrack, head to Tony’s Jacal for dinner. Tony’s serves some of San Diego’s most authentic Mexican food. It opened in 1946, and many locals have been loyal customers for over 50 years. They’re known for their extensive menu that offers endless combinations of traditional Mexican dishes. Order a pitcher of margaritas and the Tostada Suprema, a mountain of beans, meat, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and guacamole atop a crisp flour tortilla.

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Solana Beach

Explore Solana Beach, a seaside community just north of Del Mar. Stroll down Cedros Avenue, a two and a half block stretch with over 85 independent shops that reflect the area’s cool and contemporary vibe. You can browse antiques, furniture, jewelry, clothing, and more. Spend the afternoon window-shopping and be sure to stop at Lockwood Table Café for an organic tea or fresh juice. If you’re in town for the weekend, visit Cedros Avenue on Sunday afternoon for the Solana Beach Farmers Market.

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Moonlight Beach, Encinitas

Drive a little further up the coast to Encinitas, another lovely coastal town in North County. Head to Moonlight Beach, a beach named for the midnight picnics locals had there in the early 1900’s. Whether your ideal beach day includes relaxing on the sand, swimming in the ocean, or playing sports on the shore, Moonlight Beach has something for everyone. You’ll find picnic tables, volleyball courts, a snack bar, and fire pits. Plan to get there in the afternoon and stay for a bonfire when the sun goes down.

Find Adventure in Seattle | Seattle, Washington

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With a lively city center surrounded by breathtaking Pacific Northwest scenery, Seattle is the ideal place to enjoy an urban vacation and spend some time outdoors in nature. Stay at a historic and stylish hotel in downtown Seattle, take a few hikes through Green Lake Park and an ancient coal mining district, and experience the best coffee, spirits, and dining that the city has to offer.

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Hotel Sorrento

The Italian-inspired Hotel Sorrento was built in the early 1900s. The first guests were prospectors and entrepreneurs, when Seattle was still a small city. Now, Hotel Sorrento blends its history with modern style to give guests the perfect Pacific Northwest experience. The hotel has been a gathering place for writers, dancers, singers, and musicians, and hosts lectures and performances by the city’s most talented artists. No two rooms are alike. Each one features vintage furniture, unique artwork, and retro-modern design. Best of all, Hotel Sorrento is only a few steps away from museums, boutiques, cafes, and nightclubs in downtown Seattle.

Experience the local sights and tastes with the Urban Distillery Tour package. You’ll be chauffeured in a Mercedes-Benz on a 2.5 hour tour of Seattle’s distilleries, with stops for vodka, gin, and whiskey tastings. Back at the hotel, you’ll enjoy a welcome amenity, deluxe accommodations, and breakfast for two in one of the Hotel Sorrento’s historic on-site restaurants.

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Cafe Allegro

Though Starbucks may be Seattle’s most famous coffee shop, you can find a more authentic experience at Cafe Allegro. First opened in 1975, Cafe Allegro is Seattle’s oldest Espresso bar. Brick and dark wood give the cafe a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, and their roastery is located right upstairs. Café Allegro imports quality coffee from family farms all over the world. Start your day off with a cup of the best Seattle-style coffee.

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REI Seattle Flagship Store

The REI Seattle Flagship Store is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts. Browse clothing and gear for virtually any outdoor activity. Visitors can rent equipment, a perfect option for adventurers who want to camp, backpack, or ski while they’re in town. Be sure to take advantage of their free classes, including Pacific Northwest Camping Basics, Bike Maintenance Basics, and Kayaking Basics. Check their calendar to see what you can catch while you’re in town. Rock climbers can take on the 65-foot Pinnacle. It’s a Seattle landmark that offers views of the city’s skyline and surrounding mountains at the top.

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Spend Some Time Outdoors

Seattle has a number of excellent hikes with beautiful Pacific Northwest scenery. Get some exercise while seeing the city at Green Lake Park. It’s a 2.8 mile path around Green Lake in one of Seattle’s most popular neighborhoods. Locals and newcomers alike enjoy the native plants, trees, and birds around the lake. Green Lake Park offers two paths – a paved path for bikers and a crushed granite trail for runners and walkers. For something more outside the city, try the Coal Creek Trail in neighboring Bellevue. It’s a round-trip hike of 5.6 miles that will take you through a historic coal mining area. You’ll be able to see coal mine shafts and occasionally catch the scent of coal and cinders.

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The Pink Door

End your day with a delicious Italian meal at The Pink Door, located right next to the famous Pike Place Market. Aptly named for the pink entrance that identifies it, The Pink Door manages to be both quaint and elegant. Indoors, they have entertainment that includes cabaret, trapeze artists, burlesque, music, and even tarot card readings. Outdoors, you’ll find a picturesque patio perfect for relaxing with a glass of wine. The menu is full of simple Italian classics and fresh fish. We recommend the spaghetti – theirs is enhanced with fresh artichokes, garlic, bread crumbs, and olive oil.

An Unforgettable Vegas Trip | Las Vegas, Nevada

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While what happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, we know you’ll want to create a trip that you’ll remember for years to come. From flashy and funny shows to upscale bars to diving with sharks, we’ve got you covered. Here are some memorable ways to enjoy the City of Sin.

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The Palazzo

Stay at The Palazzo, an upscale, all-suite resort located on the Strip. Their luxurious suites are almost twice as spacious as other Vegas hotel rooms. The Palazzo has great slots and table games, over 200 boutiques, a spa, and relaxing pools with private cabanas. Guests can choose from over 14 delicious eateries run by world-famous celebrity chefs, like Wolfgang Puck’s steakhouse CUT. The Palazzo also has great nightlife, offering a number of bars and nightclubs. For something unique, be sure to check out the Fusion Latin Mixology Bar, featuring homemade cocktails from Mexico, Trinidad, Brazil, and Peru. Featured cocktail Smokin’ Mama, made with Mamas Boy Tequila, Xicaru Mezcal, Aperol, fresh lemon-lime sour and garnished with chili salt is sure to refresh and invigorate you.

The Palazzo is home to some of the best shows in Vegas. Book the Complimentary Show Tickets package and enjoy rates from $159 and two free tickets to one of The Palazzo’s many fantastic shows (up to a $100 value). Lipshtick, a comedy series featuring a number of famous funny women like Whitney Cummings, Iliza Shlesigner, Loni Love, and Garfunkel & Oates, is just one of the shows you can use your complementary tickets for.

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Eat is a new restaurant in downtown Las Vegas that offers delicious breakfasts and lunches. Chef Natalie Young uses fresh and local ingredients to bring quality food to the surrounding community. The result is a menu full of simple yet tasty options. Stop by for brunch and try the Huevos Motulenos, made with two eggs, green chiles, black beans, peas, pico, feta, and sautéed bananas with corn tortillas.

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Mandarin Oriental

The Mandarin Oriental offers some wonderful venues to eat, drink, and take in the views of Las Vegas. The Mandarin Bar is located on the hotel’s 23rd floor and offers impressive views of the bustling Strip. Try a hand crafted cocktails like the Cucumber & Cilantro Margarita. It’s made with Casamigos Reposado tequila, cilantro, cucumber, agave nectar, fresh lime juice, and egg whites. You’ll love it.

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Prefer tea? Try the Mandarin Oriental’s Tea Lounge. Enjoy teas from all over the world while you snack on delicious scones, pastries, and desserts. The Tea Lounge offers unparalleled views of Las Vegas and is the perfect afternoon getaway. 

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V – The Ultimate Variety Show

Can’t get enough of Las Vegas’ exciting shows? The city offers a staggering number of shows in almost all of the major hotels. It can be hard to choose between comedy acts, concerts, magic shows, and acrobatic routines. Get tickets to see V – The Ultimate Variety Show, and you won’t have to choose a particular genre. V is a 75 minute show that includes about seven different acts. Master juggler Wally Eastwood hosts and performs with energetic showmanship and humor. Audiences will get to see acts like rhythmic gymnast Tamara Yeroffyeva, comedian Russ Merlin, dancer and street performer Turf, and drummer group The Crazy Gauchos. See the show at Planet Hollywood.

get_blog7 Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium

The Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay showcases rays, sea turtles, piranha, jellyfish, sharks, and even a golden crocodile. Visitors can feed stingrays, sea turtles, and even sharks in special animal encounters. If you’re feeling especially daring, sign up for their Dive With Sharks Program. You’ll go on a tour of the entire aquarium and then see over 30 exotic sharks up close on a guided dive.

Experience the Unique Charm of Portland | Portland, Oregon

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Portland is one of the country’s most unique cities, well known for its eclectic vibe. Situated between the Columbia and Willamette rivers, it’s full of Pacific Northwest beauty. Portland offers an array of entertainment options including performing arts theaters, museums, and parks. Explore the Pearl District, see the world’s largest bookstore, and check out some of the latest art exhibitions.

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The Mark Spencer

Stay at The Mark Spencer and immerse yourself in Portland. This stylish and comfortable hotel provides free continental breakfast, afternoon tea and cookies, and an evening wine reception. It’s located right in downtown Portland, close to the vibrant West End and Pearl District. Book the Paperback Writer package, which includes a $50 gift certificate to the famous Powell’s Books, a Powell’s coffee mug, and a bookstore map. You’ll also enjoy free parking at the hotel and a late 1pm checkout.

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Powell’s Books

Any book lover will tell you that Powell’s Books is one of the most famous bookstores in the country. The store has been an independently owned Portland landmark since 1971, and has expanded to include five stores. Visit the flagship store, which is called Powell’s City of Books due to its incredible size. It’s the world’s largest used and new bookstore, occupying an entire block of Portland’s Pearl District. Don’t miss the Rare Book Room, which has about 9,000 of their most valuable and exciting volumes.

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The Pearl District has become one of the city’s most exciting areas. It boasts art galleries, spas, and endless food and beverage options. Stop at Ovation Coffee & Tea for an afternoon pick-me-up. They have a great selection of coffee and tea, including Moroccan beverages and cold brew, as well as delicious scones and pastries. The Pearl District is also a great place to browse some of Portland’s unique, independently owned shops. You’ll find amazing stationary at Oblation Papers & Press, a 19th-century print shop. Visit Nau, a store committed to creating sustainable clothing, for some of Portland’s best fashion.

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Portland Art Museum

The Portland Art Museum is the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. It was founded in 1892 and features over 42,000 objects and unique exhibitions. Case Work: Studies in Form, Space & Construction blends art and architecture together, presenting pieces of architectural design that were part of the creative process for some of the country’s most impressive buildings. The museum is also presenting Native Fashion Now, a look at modern Native American Fashion and indigenous designers in the last half-century. Both exhibitions run through September 4, 2016.

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Go “Floating”

Portland is full of unique trends and opportunities. Try something new while you’re in town and check out Float On. What is “floating”? Floaters spend 90 minutes inside a float tank containing a mix of water and Epsom salt. The tank is soundproof and dark, and the buoyancy makes you float on your back in the water. The idea is to lose track of your body and the environment around you. It’s been described as a profoundly relaxing experience, reducing stress and giving your body a break from gravity.

Blue Wave Bar and Grill at Island Palms | San Diego, California

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The Blue Wave Bar & Grill at the Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina offers handcrafted food and drinks, friendly service, and picturesque views. The on-site bar and restaurant features a marina view dining room and an outdoor deck overlooking the pool. The restaurant hosts a unique mix of hotel guests, locals, and crew members that have come to San Diego from all over the world. Executive Chef Christopher Spayde has created a contemporary California menu for all hours of the day.

Island Palms’ Shelter Island Escape Package offers guests the perfect way to experience the restaurant. In addition to complimentary parking at the hotel, you’ll be greeted with welcome beverages, receive a breakfast credit for two, and enjoy a 20% discount off of lunch or dinner at the Blue Wave throughout your stay.

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Lunch With a View

The outdoor deck makes the Blue Wave a perfect place for lunch. Take a seat overlooking the marina and enjoy one of their handcrafted cocktails with your meal. Our server Theresa was friendly and attentive, answering all of our questions about the menu and recommending some wonderful food and drink pairings for us. Blue Wave offers a variety of classic and California-inspired dishes, all freshly made with house sauces and condiments.

Try the Grilled Fish Tacos for a truly Southern California meal. Fresh Mahi Mahi is wrapped in corn tortillas and topped with homemade salsa and Jalapeno crème. The tacos are served with a side of house-made potato chips. Pair your fish tacos with a Firestone Walker Brewing Co. 805 Blonde Ale, a refreshing and light California-style beer.

The Kobe Beef Burger is another one of Blue Wave’s most popular lunch options. The burger is cooked to your liking and piled high with cheddar cheese, bacon, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and red onion. A delicious house-made garlic aioli is the perfect finishing touch. Be sure to ask for some crisp and flavorful French fries on the side.

If you have room, the lunch menu also includes tempting dessert choices including a Flourless Chocolate Torte and Carrot Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream. They’re fun to share and it’s a great way to end your meal on a sweet note.

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Happy Hour

Happy hour at the Blue Wave is the perfect way to cap off a day of sightseeing around the city. From 4-7pm daily, enjoy $3 domestic bottled beer and Bud Light Draft, $4 house wines, and $3.50 wells. You can also get select craft beers for $4. Blue Wave has beer on tap from many of San Diego’s best breweries like Stone Brewing Co. and Ballast Point Brewery. The happy hour menu includes mini tacos, sliders, and wings. We recommend sharing the Half Flatbread with chicken, caramelized onion, goat cheese, tomato, mushroom, basil, and balsamic reduction. Enjoy happy hour outside in the refreshing ocean breeze on the Blue Wave’s deck. Check into the Blue Wave Bar & Grill on Facebook to receive a special $5 drink of the day.

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Fresh Cocktails

The Blue Wave specializes in classic cocktails with modern twists. They craft their drinks with freshly squeezed juices and house-made simple syrups. We love the Blood Orange Screwdriver, made with Tito’s Vodka, fresh blood orange juice, sparkling water, and house-made rosemary simple syrup. Another good choice is the Dirty Bird, a blend of Grey Goose vodka, olive juice, and blue cheese stuffed olives.

You don’t even have to wait until 5 o’clock. The Blue Wave has a full menu of breakfast cocktails that include traditional favorites like mimosas, Bloody Marys, and Irish coffee. For something a little more adventurous, try the Peaches n’ Cream. It’s made with Absolut Apeach, peach liquor, orange juice, simple syrup, and half & half. If tequila is more your style, go with the Paloma, a refreshing mix of El Agave Silver Tequila, grapefruit juice, and sparkling water with a lime garnish.