USATourist News MagazineFebruary 2005
In this issue:
As winter fades into early spring, some interesting events will begin in the USA. March is the month of madness. For sports fans interested in basketball, the great college basketball playoffs, known as “the March Madness” will take place in various cities across the country. It is also the time of another madness known as “Spring Break” when universities all over the USA dismiss their students from studies for a holiday “break“. Hundreds of thousands of those students will gather on the beaches of Daytona and Panama City Florida for a wild melee of non-stop partying.
On March 17, Americans of Irish heritage will parade down the avenues of New York, Boston and many other cities to honor Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. Afterwards, many will gather in bars and pubs for wild celebrations. Another ethnic group will also hold their major celebration of the year on the weekend of March 14 – 17. Hispanic Americans with gather in Miami for the Calle Ocho Festival and the largest outdoor party and outdoor dance in the USA.
A month later, on April 28 – 30, many thousands of Native Americans from various Indian tribes with gather in Albuquerque New Mexico for the Gathering of Nations Powwow. This is the largest festival of Native American culture in the USA with endless exhibitions of music, dance and dress. Tourists are welcome. www.gatheringofnations.com
If you are a lover of accordion music, you will want to attend the Fifteenth Annual San Francisco Accordion Festival on June 5 at The Cannery at Fisherman’s Warf. Admission is free to all. www.ladyofspain.com
It is almost time for spring to begin its northward journey up the latitudes of the US states. Spring weather is already very evident in our far southern states with temperatures averaging 65 – 75 F (22 – 25 C) in Florida, California, Arizona and Southern Texas. By March, the early flowers will be blooming from North Carolina across the country to northern California. In April they will come to New York, Pennsylvania, Chicago and the Pacific Northwest. The flowers might not reach the northern reaches of Maine, Minnesota and Montana until early May.
These are great times to begin your vacation in the USA before the tourist crowds arrive. Most US families wait until June, July and August to take their vacation trips after their school-age children begin their summer holidays. In April and May the weather is usually very pleasant in most locales, yet the tourist accommodations are still plentiful and relatively inexpensive.
Florida is a great destination for vacations any time of the year. During the winter months, the “snowbirds” say farewell to their children and grandchildren in the northern cities of the USA and go to their winter vacation homes in Florida. They return north when the summer heat returns. During the summer months, families with children on summer vacation from school head south to the warm beaches of Florida and the great amusement parks near Orlando.
A vacation in Florida can be rather inexpensive if you shop for bargains. Airfares are still rather inexpensive from most European destinations and the exchange rate of the Euro against the dollar is very good. Car rentals are normally very inexpensive in the Orlando area due to the abundant competition among rental agencies. Check out the prices for car rentals at Travel Now: www.usatourist.com/english/reservations/Reservations-Cars.html
Hotels can also be quite inexpensive if you compare prices and shop for bargains. You can easily find nice hotel rooms near Disney World for less than $100 per night and even for less than $50 per night. Check on our Budget Hotel Page for a list of bargain priced accommodations in the Orlando area. www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/florida/themeparks/disneyworld/budget-hotels-near-disney-world.html
With a bit of bargain shopping, you can easily obtain accommodations for two people complete with a week-long car rental for under $500.
The city of Las Vegas is still the most popular travel destination in the USA. This time of the year, the weather in this growing desert metropolis hovers around 60F (20C). As long as you avoid the weekends, you can still find many accommodation bargains in Sin City. Even the Casino hotels along the Strip offer some very attractive room rates during midweek. Check the prices: www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/nevada/lasvegas/casinos-on-strip.html
If you don’t mind staying at the less popular hotels a few blocks away from the Strip, you can find even better bargains. www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/nevada/lasvegas/casinos-off-strip.html
There is so much free entertainment in Las Vegas and so many places to eat at inexpensive casino buffets, that you can actually spend very little money and have a great time. Of course, if you choose to gamble, it may cost you a lot more than you expect.
When you visit Las Vegas, you will be very close to the Grand Canyon, one of the greatest, most spectacular scenic attractions in the world. There are many tour options that will pick you up at your hotel, take you to the Grand Canyon via bus, helicopter or airplane, and bring you back at the end of the day. It does not cost very much and the experience is something you will never forget.
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