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USATourist News Magazine

April 2005

In this issue:

Welcome to the April edition of USATourist News Magazine. Spring has officially arrived and as the weather gets warmer more outdoor events are occurring all over the United States. In this edition you'll find information on many of the upcoming festivals, races, and events.

Have you seen the new face of our USATourist.com home page? www.usatourist.com

If a summer cruise is on your mind visit our new USA Cruising page for information on the different types of cruises, cruise lines, tips, and other valuable information. www.usatourist.com/english/traveltips/cruise-ship-tips.html

Flower Festivals

The colorful spring flowers are blooming all over United States and if you have plans to visit here during April, May, or June there's a good chance you may stumble across numerous tulip and rose festivals and if you're in Texas you'll find Texas Bluebonnet Festivals though out the state. The festivals are loaded with events, food, parades, music, and other local related events. Here's a list of some of the coast to coast flower festivals:

April 1-30 The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in Washington www.tulipfestival.org

April 8-10 The Texas Bluebonnet Festival in Burnet, Texas www.burnetchamber.org

May 5-7 is the celebration of Pella Iowa's Dutch heritage during the Tulip Time Festival www.pellatuliptime.com

May 6-8 The Albany Tulip Festival www.albanyevents.org/tulip_festival/index.cfm

June 2 is the kick off of the Portland Rose Festival www.rosefestival.org

June 18-19 is the Maplewood Rose Festival in Rochester, New York www.ggw.org/~mna/rose.htm

The Gathering of Nations Powwow

April 28-30 is the Gathering of Nations Powwow in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Located at the New Mexico Arena, this event is the largest Native American festival in the US and attracts thousands of Native Americans from numerous tribes and other cultures. In addition to the music, dance, and cultural food, the Indian Trader's Market is held April 29-30 which offers aisles of shopping and exhibition of Native American & Indigenous artifacts. Everyone is welcomed. www.gatheringofnations.com

Stop by our Native American Indians page for some interesting history of Native Americans, tribes, and Indian reservations. www.usatourist.com/english/culture/nativeamericans/native-american-indians-main.html

Visit Santa Fe and soak up New Mexico's culture

Only 60 miles north of Albuquerque is the quaint town of Santa Fe. Anytime is a good time to visit Santa Fe. Hundreds of galleries fill the historic buildings as does a wide assortment of restaurants. For more information on this delightful town visit our new Santa Fe page. www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/newmexico/santafe/santa-fe-main.html

Fancy hats and Mint Julep

It's that time again for fancy hats and Mint Juleps. The first Saturday of every May is the prestigious horse race, the Kentucky Derby held at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky. This year the race is May 7. Thousands gather to enjoy numerous upscale social gatherings as well as the race often referred to as, the Run for the Roses. The "roses" refer to the garland of over 500 red roses delivered to the winning horse. www.kentuckyderby.com/2005

89th Indianapolis 500

May 29 is the day of the 89th Indianapolis 500. The days and weeks that lead to the big race are also filled with festivities and practice races. The day before is the 500 festival parade in downtown Indianapolis. Visit out NASCAR page for some history and links to other related sites. www.usatourist.com/english/inside/nascar.html

Have you even wondered what it's like to sit in the driver seat of a race car like Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt? Well, now you can by attending a NASCAR racing class through Finish Line Racing Adventures in Edgewater, Florida. Prices start as low as $99. For information on the NASCAR racing classes visit www.usatourist.com/english/reservations/affiliates/finishlineracing/finish-line-racing-main.html

Street Rod Nationals

From April though November the Street Rod Nationals will be popping up all over the country. Two new cities are hosting the Nationals this year: Milwaukee, Wisconsin (July 15-17) and Richmond, Virginia (August 26-28). Some of the other Nationals are to be held in Tampa, Florida; Pueblo, Colorado; Sacramento, California.

A street rod is an automobile manufactured in 1948 or earlier which has undergone some type of modernization, such as engine, transmission, interior improvements, or other alterations. A street rod is also required to be driven to events under its own power. The opposite of NASCAR, racing is not part of the street rod culture. When you attend a street rod event you'll notice its slow pace and that it's an event the entire family can enjoy. See what other cities are hosting the Street Rod Nationals: www.nsra-usa.com

If you'd like to plan a visit to one of the cities the Street Rod Nationals will take place we can help you book your hotel and your flight. www.usatourist.com/english/reservations/Reservations-Hotels.html www.usatourist.com/english/reservations/Reservations-Flights.html

The Boeing Everett Tour Center

Seattle, Washington has some great attractions worth exploring. The Boeing Everett Tour Center is one such place to visit which offers an amazing behind-the-scenes tour of the 747, 767, and 777 airplanes in different stages of production. The tour lasts just over an hour and is given only in English. If you’re traveling with children there is a height minimum of 4 feet 2 inches (127 cm) to go on the tour. The summer months can get very busy, but there is the option of buying your tickets early for $10 on VISA or MasterCard with a 24 hour advance required notice. Call for reservations: 1-800-464-1476 or visit the Boeing website for more information: www.boeing.com/companyoffices/aboutus/tours

Other Seattle attractions

A nice option Seattle offers visitors is the City Pass. For $39.50 for adults and $26.50 for children, you receive a booklet of passes. You then have 9 days to use the passes to visit several local attractions one time each. Included in the package are the Space Needle, Museum of Flight, Woodland Park Zoo, Pacific Science Center, Argosy Cruises Seattle Harbor Tour, and Seattle Aquarium. Sound like fun? Visit our Seattle page for more information on the Emerald City: www.usatourist.com/english/places/washington/seattle.html

If you're looking for summer travel ideas and enjoy exploring the outdoors, only three hours from Seattle, is the beautiful Mount Rainer. You can make it into a daytrip or turn it into several days of outdoor exploring, hiking, camping, hiking, or just sightseeing. June through October are the best months to visit. If you'd like to read more about Mount Rainer visit our webpage: www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/washington/nationalparks/mount-rainier-main.html and remember we can help reserve your rental car. http://www.usatourist.com/english/reservations/Reservations-Cars.html

Mountain roads and passes

As the snow begins to melt and the snow is done falling the snow plowing begins to clear the mountain passes that have been closed throughout the winter. This is most commonly started in April but can last though May and June and sometimes even July. Although the passes may be cleared quickly and reopened an unexpected snowfall may cause the roads to be closed again. Before venturing onto any mountain roads or passes make sure they are open ahead of time by calling the state's Department of Transportation.

City Pass cities

Seattle isn’t the only city offering the City Pass. Included in the program are Boston, Chicago, New York, Hollywood, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Southern California. The prices do vary from city to city. http://citypass.net/cgi-bin/citypass?mv_pc=usatourist

Floating on air

There is nothing like a sky filled with the bright colors of hot air balloons. If you've never attended a balloon festival, this is one event worth planning to attend. Balloon festivals are hosted year-round in the US but the majority of festivals are held in the summer months through October. Here is a link to a list of tentative 2005 dates and cities for balloon festivals, rallies, and competitions. www.eballoon.com/schedule_of_nonevents.htm

The world's largest balloon festival is the Albuquerque International Balloon Festival (AIBF) which brings in thousands of people from all over the world. www.aibf.org Last year's event brought in 730 registered balloons and almost 795,000 guest visits. This year the AIBF is held September 30 - October 9. It's still several months away but if you're considering attending it’s not too early to make reservations and we can help you book your hotel. There are still rooms available but this is such a huge event the rooms will be filling up quickly. http://www.usatouristreservations.com/hotel/deals/10019704/161/albuquerque_nm_hotels.html?lang=ENG

If you're not going to make the Albuquerque festival but are going to be in the Orlando area we can help you book a hot air balloon ride with Magic Sunrise Ballooning. Each balloon ride can hold up to four passengers. They also offer a “Lovers Only” flight that is perfect for honeymooners or a romantic escapade. www.usatourist.com/english/reservations/affiliates/thompsonaire/thompson-aire-balloon-rides-main.html

Written by: Elizabeth L. Blair


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