USATourist News MagazineMarch 2004
In this issue:
It begins blustery and windy with wintry weather hanging on while the daffodils pop up and the leaves start to show. By the end of the month usually there's no mistaking that spring is really on the way.
Even though weather varies a great deal from place to place in the USA you can usually count on strong winds during the first part of March which makes it a perfect time to . . .
March 27 is KITE-DAY at the Children's Museum of Virginia. From 10:30 AM through 4 PM children can learn to make kites from all over the world. They'll also get to fly their creations. The Children's Museum of Virginia is in Old Town Portsmouth, Virginia near the center of Hampton Roads with several other interesting museums nearby.
Chicago, Illinois, America's "Second City" is known as "The Windy City." It's still a bit chilly in March so they put off kite flying until May when they have Mayor Daley's Kids and Kites Festival on May 1st, 2004 at the Museum of Science and Industry. You can bring your own kite or use the free kits that the city will hand out to make a kite. Kite flying instructors will be on hand to help with the fun. Even if you don't want to fly a kite the sight of hundred of kites taking to the skies will be worth a look.
March the fifth at Brooklyn Children's Museum, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, in New York City you can learn to make a Japanese Kite and view models of Japanese Kites from the museum's collection. Call 718-735-4400 for more information.
Even in March when the resort is less crowded than the summer months you'll find that it is helpful to have reservations for restaurants and dinner shows. You can make seating arrangements by calling 407-939-3463.
Many of the more popular rides and attractions at all Disney resorts let you use the FASTPASS option. You'll see a FASTPASS kiosk near the ride. Go up to it and insert your ticket, it will give you a reservation to ride the ride. You can enjoy other things and come back when it is your time to ride the ride, you'll avoid long waits in line that way.
If you need strollers, wheelchairs, or an electric scooter, they are available for rent just inside the park entrance at both California and Florida Disney theme parks.
If you are looking for a bargain break at Disney in Florida consider staying at conveniently located budget-priced hotel in Kissimmee Florida. Save time and money by booking your Disney World Tickets, Universal Studios Tickets, Sea World Tickets, Islands of Adventure Tickets and other attraction tickets on line.
If you've always wanted see the USA with the freedom to go where you want to go on your own timetable this is the year to do it. The Euro and Yen are strong against the dollar so you'll get a lot more mileage out of your money. Due to distances between attractions and limited public transport through many parts of the USA car travel is a great choice for your visit.
Hitting the highway has never been better than it is in 2004. Payless Car Rental has some amazing offers right now. Throughout the year --- all the way to New Year's Eve 2004 they are running a special promotion where you can rent a midsized car for only $30 daily.
They also offer a program for drivers fifty years of age and older, the Nifty Fifty Program. If you've passed the half-century mark you can sign up for this program on-line and get discounts and information about special offers.
Payless Car Rental has locations near most of the USA's top tourist destinations. You'll find them in Alabama, Alaska, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Right now they are celebrating their newest location in Atlanta, Georgia. They're conveniently sited close to Atlanta's Hartsfield International Airport. For a limited time they are offering rental rates on compact cars as low as $22 daily at this location.
Thirty miles outside of Philadelphia take a detour to see a special exhibit of Andrew Wyeth's work at the Brandywine River Museum. During March admission is free on Sunday mornings from 9:30 until noon. Regular admission will be charged after noon. It's $8 for adults; $5 for senior citizens, students, and children ages 6-12; free for children under six. The museum has a child-friendly Discover Game. It's open year-round, seven days a week with closure on Christmas Day.
It's located on US Route 1 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. You can call 610-388-2700 for further information.
Winter officially ends March 20th but all during the month leaves bud and flowers begin to bloom. While it isn't the best time to tour gardens, it's a great time to make your plans for garden visits in the coming months.
In Washington, DC The US Botanic Garden charges no admission fee. It is located on the National Mall across from the U.S. Capitol along First Street, S.W., between Maryland Avenue and C Street.
California Public Gardens are scattered throughout the state.
The Harry P. Leu Gardens in Orlando, Florida are a treasure that many travelers miss in their rush to get to Disney. They're easy to reach from the Disney area, just take I-4 East, and turn right at exit #85 (old 43) onto Princeton Street. Princeton will dead-end at Mills (Hwy 17-92). Turn right and go to the second traffic light and turn left onto Virginia Drive. Follow the road for one mile. It curves to the left. The main gate of the Gardens is on the left.
In addition to the largest rose garden in Florida; the Harry P. Leu Gardens are the home of the largest camilla collection in the USA outside of California. A palm garden, a bamboo garden, a tropical garden, and a house from the 1800s are a few of the other features. The Garden is open daily except Christmas. Adult admission is five dollars and children through high school graduation are admitted for one dollar.
South Carolina is full of gorgeous gardens but March is a bit early for visitors to really enjoy them. South Carolina is a great year-round golf destination but the best of the beach and garden weather isn't until later in the year.
Spoleto attracts more international visitors than any other event in the Southeastern United States and it is not too early to plan your trip. Check your April newsletter for information about South Carolina that you can use if you are one of the many folks who'll be making the trip to this cultural wonderland.
Fairfield Inns are moderately priced hotels with extraordinarily large rooms for the cost. Most of them offer a complementary continental breakfast and have twenty-four hour coffee service for free in the lobby. They are usually located close to major highways, airports, or business centers. The Fairfield Suites properties often have laundry facilities on site. Expect a clean, comfortable room in a good location for traveling onwards or conducting business. Do not expect a bar or a restaurant although most properties are located near restaurants. Often Fairfield Inns are clustered near other hotels, if you have a business meeting at a pricey property it is worth checking our hotel search engine to see if there is a Fairfield Inn nearby.
Okay. I really don't know why they call it international, because it seems like pure USA to me. Oh, they have crepes and some other pancakes from other cultures on the menu, but the menu mix, most entrees and the huge portions are characteristic of the USA. It's hard to miss these moderately priced restaurants if you drive through America and they have spread to British Columbia as well.
While their claim to fame is as a pancake house they serve an amazing array of entrees, sandwiches, and salads. They do serve breakfast anytime and have a children's menu as well. They are the perfect pick for a family on the road where each person likes a different style of food. Expect huge portions, constant refills on coffee, and lots of local color. Late at night you'll run into people who have been out clubbing, early in the day the clientele is all headed for work and in the middle of the day you'll meet anyone from shoppers to travelers. Service is usually fast. In tourist areas you may have a bit of a wait for service, particularly at breakfast, but turn over is quick, you won't wait long. Prices are moderate.
That's it for March
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