USA Tourists 2012 Hotel and Car Rental Discounts

USATourist News Magazine

June 2006

In this issue:

Welcome to the June issue of USATourist.com. In this issue we're visiting Texas and pointing out some of the state's highlights. We also have some great specials this month including Spirit Vacation Homes in Florida and Pawnee Wagon Train Vacations in Sterling, Colorado.

July 4th is Independence Day. That's the week for parades, festivals, and fireworks displays. Remember to check the local newspaper for events. If you'd like to book a reservation for a hotel or airline check here for hotel comparisons: www.usatourist.com/english/reservations/Reservations-Hotels.html

And airline comparisons: www.usatourist.com/english/reservations/Reservations-Flights.html

Texas

"Everything is big in Texas" is a phrase you'll often hear here in the United States. Texas is largest state in the contiguous 48 states and with an area of 268,820 square miles (696,241 km2) and a population of 22.5 million. I'd say the phrase is pretty close to the truth. Texas has seven regions: Piney Woods, Gulf Coast, Prairies and Lakes, South Texas Plains, Hill Country, the Panhandle Plains, and Big Bend Country. www.usatourist.com/english/destinations/texas/texas-main.html

Texas is known for its cowboys and their large "10-gallon cowboy hats." Cowboy hats actually originated in Mexico while the name stems from a misunderstanding between the Texas cowboys and the Mexican vaqueros (cow herders). The cowboys mistook the word "galón" (the narrow braided trimming decorating the vaqueros' hats) for "gallon." For more on Cowboy Cattle Drives visit this page: www.usatourist.com/english/culture/cowboys/cowboy-cattle-drives.html

Ranches and rodeos are common throughout the state, as are country-western bars and saloons. In Fort Worth, Texas you will find Billy Bob's, "The World's Largest Honky Tonk." And it is. It has 127,000 square feet of space that includes a concert stage, dance floor, arcade, casino, restaurant, and a live bull riding arena. The building itself has had quite a history. According to their website the building itself dates back to 1910. It started out as a large open-air barn used to house prize cattle during the Fort Worth Stock Show. During World War II the building was used as an airplane factory for the Globe Aircraft Corporation then in the 50's it transitioned to a department store. Being that it is so big the stock boys wore roller skates. Today many of the top name country stars perform here. If you're in the area, stop by. It's a lot of fun. www.billybobstexas.com

Texas has been the home to several Native American tribes. Currently there are three federally recognized tribes which still reside in the state: the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas, and the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo of Texas. www.500nations.com/Texas_.asp

Six Flags

The Six Flags amusement park chain got its start in Arlington, Texas, a town that sits between Dallas and Fort Worth. Today there are 24 amusement/water parks with the name Six Flags, five of which are in Texas (two in Arlington, two in Houston and one in San Antonio). Six Flags was named after the six flags that have flown over Texas: Spain, France, Mexico, the Republic of Texas, the United States of America and the Confederate States of America). You don't have to have kids to enjoy these parks. The roller coasters are a blast the food is good, and overall it's just a good time. www.sixflags.com

Texas Beaches

Texas has 600 miles of coastline framing the northeast section of the Gulf of Mexico. The most popular of the beaches are Galveston, Corpus Christi and South Padre Island. These three are popular Spring Break locations and see a lot of visitors in the summer months. www.allacrosstexas.com/gulf.htm

Some things to do in Houston (HOU)

  • Project Row Houses is neighborhood that includes 22 shotgun houses and is dedicated to the renewal of the community through the art of African Americans. www.projectrowhouses.org
  • Experience an "out-of-this-world journey through human adventures into space" at The Houston Space Center. Hours: 10 am - 5 pm weekdays, 10 am - 6 pm weekends. www.spacecenter.org
    Rates:
    Adults $18.95
    Children (4-11) $14.95
    Seniors $17.95
    Parking $5.00
    Group Rates (15 or more) are available. Please call 281-244-2105 for more information.
  • Holocaust Museum of Houston www.hmh.org

A great Houston, Texas online reference

Don't visit Houston without visiting www.houston-texas.us, an excellent travel and vacation guide. You will find information on attractions, art galleries, golf, nightlife and more.

Summer Specials

Spirit Vacation Homes Special

Spirit Vacation Homes is offering a special discount for USATourist.com readers: 15% off summer "high season" prices on select Disney Area Vacation Rental Homes -- complete with private swimming pool. Prices (before discount) start at $160/night. Call (from US and Canada) 1-866-357-7474 or (outside US) 407-396-4441 or email rentals@floridaspirit.com (Note: to take advantage of this special, readers must contact Spirit Homes directly -- either by phone or email).

San Juan Safaris Special

San Juan Safaris offers Orca Whale Watching & Sea Kayaking from Friday Harbor & Roche Harbor, San Juan Island, WA. Engaging naturalist guides, excellent equipment, 30 years experience. Providing personalized adventures for families, small groups and independent travelers. New for 2006 -- 55' 49-passenger Sea Lion. Kayak groups from 2 - 30. Respectful interaction with wildlife packed with Serious Fun! - Join us at www.sanjuansafaris.com

New for 2006! Any guest touring with us can purchase our 'premium package', a San Juan Safaris T-shirt and a 16 oz bottle of spring water for only $10!! (a $16 value) Our guests children (12 and under) receive a FREE coloring book.

Check out Travelocity

If you plan on getting a rental car on your next trip Travelocity is a great choice. You will find the Best Car Rental Rates in Top Destinations. Search all the major car rental agencies and book online! Book today!

Hostels

Staying at a hostel is an economical way to tour the United States and cheaper than staying in a hotel. Hostels are informal and depending on the location, offer private rooms or dormitory style with male, female, and mixed rooms. Some hostels include breakfast and some enforce curfews out of respect for the guests. Hostels often appeal to the younger crowds, although often all ages are welcomed. Staying in a hostel is a fun way to meet interesting people and really get to "see" a city from a more "local" perspective.

I was looking at some of the offerings in our Online Hostels Reservations and came across some great selections. In Austin, Texas (the Live Music Capital of the World) I found the Hostelling International Austin. It has male/female dormitories and is only $19.75 a night. It's only ten minutes from downtown and offers many extras like bikes, canoes, and internet access.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida a new hostel has opened, The Bridge II, and it sounds rather nice. It has a guest kitchen, swimming pool, and wireless Internet. This hostel does have age restrictions: guests must be between ages 18-35 and children are not allowed. The nightly fee here is $25-$40, depending on the type of room you prefer.

Would you like to see more? Explore our Online Hostels Reservations: www.reservations.bookhostels.com/usatourist.com

Pawnee Wagon Train Vacations in Sterling, Colorado

GO BACK IN TIME AND LIVE LIKE THE PIONEERS THAT SETTLED THE OLD WEST

USATourist and Pawnee Wagon Trains invite you to experience an unforgettable summer weekend for only $245 per person!

The journey begins in Keota, Colorado on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. Your wagon master and his trusty crew will greet you. Your belongings will be packed safely into the supply wagon and the adventure will begin. The Pawnee National Grasslands are filled with history, both for your eye and in your mind. The beauty of this unique landscape will live in your heart forever. The night's camp is set up, followed by a mouth-watering meal, enjoyable entertainment, a glorious sunset and a star filled sky. You’ll return to civilization on Sunday and sadly say goodbye, but the memories and the friendships will last forever.

How to avoid those steep gas prices while traveling

The gas prices are up again. In some areas the price have risen to over three dollars a gallon. While gas prices can make for a very expensive trip there are several ways to avoid this cost. Although you may still want to rent a car for the convenience you may want to look at taking advantage of some of the other options available and save filling up on your rental car too many times.

  1. Hotel shuttles. Many hotels offer complementary shuttle/van rides to local attractions and restaurants. If you plan to have a couple of cocktails at dinner it's best not to be driving anyway, so you may want to seriously consider this option. It is also a nice gesture to tip your driver a few dollars.
  2. Walk. Walking is one way to get where you're going in any city or town. Just make sure you have your comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, water, and a map. Also, be aware of the distance between locations. If you're in a large city like Las Vegas the large casinos and hotels look a lot closer than they actually are.
  3. Rent a bike. Many beach and mountain towns have many shops that rent bicycles by the day or hour. This is great way to see the area and get some exercise. I've also stayed in hotels that offer bicycles to their guests on a first come first served basis.
  4. City bus. Nearly every city has bus transportation. The most important thing to remember about using this method is to carry a bus schedule with you (you don't want to miss the last bus).
  5. Subway. New York is one city famous for its subway system. It's a great way to travel and inexpensive.
  6. Tour bus. Instead of driving around cities sight seeing consider taking a tour bus. You will have the opportunity to actually enjoy the sights instead of worrying about parking places, maps, and the gas tank.

You can still rent an RV

You would love to rent an RV (Recreational Vehicle) but you're worried about the cost of gas? Don't be. Remember, you won't be paying for a hotel and you have the option of saving money on food by shopping at the grocery store and making your own meals, an option you wouldn't have in a basic hotel room. Just because you are exploring in an RV doesn't mean you have to travel for hundreds or thousands of miles. You can stay a few nights longer in the towns you visit or visit many small towns that are only miles apart. Here is a Web site I came across that has campsites for under $10 some are even free! www.freecampgrounds.com

USATourist Mail List Contest Winner!

Congratulations to Juan Coba Rivero! He has won a GoCard for San Francisco.

Thank you to everyone who entered the contest. Be sure to watch your Mail Box for the USATourist News Magazine every month. We'll have another contest soon!

If you'd like to purchase a GoCard, just go to the GoCardUSA site!

We hope you enjoyed this issue. Please feel free to request any features you would like to see in future issues. I'll be doing quite a bit of traveling this summer so forgive me if I don't get back to you right away. See you next month!

Written by: Elizabeth L. Blair


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