USATourist News MagazineMay 2005
In this issue:
Welcome to the May edition of USATourist News Magazine. Summer is just around the corner which means hotels and airlines will be booking up quickly. This is a great time to make reservations for both. The airlines are expecting this to be the busiest summer ever.
We're excited to share the new Sedona, Arizona page with you. Sedona is only a two hour drive north of Phoenix. You can visit Sedona for just a day trip, as you pass through on the way to the Grand Canyon, or stay in a hotel and spend a few days. Whether you take an exciting jeep tour, visit the metaphysical vortexes, or decide to just soak up the scenery on one of the many restaurant patios, you'll be sure to have a memorable experience. Make sure you bring lots of film or extra memory cards because the photo opportunities are endless. www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/arizona/sedona/sedona-main.html
Forty minutes from Sedona and two hours north of Phoenix is the Verde Canyon Railroad. The Grape Train Escape is a wine tasting train, with views of beautiful scenery and wild animals. The first wine is served with an exotic garden salad as the train departs the Clarkdale depot and is followed by additional courses and a variety of wines. Passengers have a choice of visiting the open-air gondolas with amazing 360 degree views. Keep in mind there are limited dates available this summer: May 13, June 3, July 8, July 22, August 19 and September 9, 2005. www.verdecanyonrr.com
July 17, 1955 was the opening day of Disney Land in Anaheim, California. This year May 5th is the kick off of the 50th anniversary celebration. New attractions include the interactive Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters adventure, new effects on Space Mountain, state-of-the-art special effects during the fireworks show, and Sleeping Beauty Castle's "magical makeover" with glittering jewels and regal banners.
The closest airport to Anaheim is Orange County/John Wayne Airport (airport code: SNA). The next closest is Long Beach (LGB), followed by Ontario (ONT), Los Angeles (LAX), Burbank (BUR), and San Diego (SAN), which is 1.5 hours south of Anaheim. www.usatourist.com/english/reservations/Reservations-Cars.html
California's Redwood Coast has some of the most beautiful and treasured land in America. Traveling to Humboldt County, located on California's northern coast, is a scenic drive approximately 300 miles north of San Francisco and 100 miles south of the Oregon border. The area is diverse and offers a wide variety of activities, attractions, and year round events. The Native American Heritage is celebrated through museums and cultural events and the area is a bird watchers dream with over 425 species. Camping, boating, kayaking, fishing, and hiking are just some of the outdoor activities available to visitors.
Dont be surprised if you see musicians playing on street corners, Humboldt County has a vibrant music scene. Throughout the summer are blues, jazz, and reggae concerts. July 17-24 is the Humboldt Folklife Festival which focuses on the local talented musicians. August 18 is the Fun and Food event where local restaurants and caterers offer delicious samples off their menus. Then, August 27 is Hops in Humboldt, a tasting of the local breweries and breweries from all over California and Oregon. The cost for each event is $20. For more information on what else this scenic part of our country has to offer visit: http://redwoods.info
You can book your rental car for the drive to the Redwood coast here: www.usatourist.com/english/reservations/Reservations-Cars.html
If you've ever had the interest to stay at and explore a working cattle ranch Soldier Meadows may be the perfect place. The family owned Nevada Lodge is located in the Black Rock Desert about three miles north of Reno. Soldier Meadows is loaded with opportunities for the entire family and not just ranch related. For the members of your group who like activity there's 4-wheeling, mountain biking, and hunting. The slower paced person may enjoy the hot springs, history tours, or bird watching. Soldier Meadows is just one of the many ranches across America listed on our Dude Ranch home page. To see the list and make a reservation, stop by: www.usatourist.com/english/duderanches
July 4th is the United States' Independence Day and one of the most spirited holidays the US has to offer. No matter where you visit, small towns and big cities alike have multiple fireworks displays and parades. Our nation's capital has one of the largest celebrations. At noon, Constitution Avenue welcomes a parade of more than 100 marching units then later in the evening the National Symphony Orchestra performs followed by the 9pm fireworks display.
If you're planning on visiting Washington, DC the closest airport is Ronald Regan Washington National Airport (DCA), followed by Washington Dulles (IAD), and Baltimore Washington International (BWI).
We also have a list of recommended DC hotels: www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/washingtondc/washington-dc-accommodations.html And budget hotels in the DC area: www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/washingtondc/washington-dc-budget-hotels.html
Do you have plans to visit one of our beautiful National Parks this summer? If so, don't forget to purchase a 2005 National Parks Pass for $50. https://buy.nationalparks.org/default.asp?ref=nps
The pass can be used at Arizona's stunning Grand Canyon: www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/arizona/nationalparks/grandcanyon/grand-canyon-main.html
Kentucky's Mammoth Cave National Park: (Don't forget a jacket, the caves get really cool.) www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/kentucky/nationalparks/mammothcave/mammoth-cave-main.html
Wyoming's Grand Teton National Park: www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/wyoming/nationalparks/grandteton/grand-teton-main.html
St. Louis, Missouri's Gateway Arch is another attraction where you can use the National Park Pass. The entrance to the arch is 100 feet underground to a tram. (You must go through security similar to the airport.) There are two trams, one in each leg of the arch, which take four minutes to climb to the top and only a three minute return to the bottom. Each tram has eight cars which hold five seated passengers. (The tram may remind you of the egg shaped spaceship on the late seventies/early eighties sitcom, Mork and Mindy.) Once you arrive at the top you will be able to enjoy the breathtaking view from 630 feet. June 12 - August 25 are considered the busy season so if you plan on going during this time, expect to face long lines.
For flight reservations to St. Louis (STL): http://www.usatourist.com/english/reservations/Reservations-Flights.html
It's true. See here for a full report. www.usatourist.com/english/bulletins/bulletins.aspx?bulletin=nb91.html
Later in the summer, August 8 14, the roads of the Black Hills of South Dakota will be flooded with several hundred thousand motorcycle riders or "bikers" as the 65th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally gets into full swing. www.sturgis.com
We've received a few requests for information on visas. If you have any questions you can visit our visa page for information: www.usatourist.com/english/traveltips/us-visa-tips.html or go to http://travel.state.gov/.
If you have any questions, comments or would like to see something specific in USATourist News Magazine please just click on my name and email me. I'd love to hear from you and hear what interests you. See you next month!
Written by: Elizabeth L. Blair
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