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How to Make Your New York Trip Unforgettable

How to Make Your New York Trip Unforgettable

New York City is exploding with traditional tourist stops, historical markers, and timeless events. But to truly experience the depth of this city, consider going off the beaten path. Not only will you beat the crowds, but you’re going to experience a side of NYC that only the locals see.

Governor’s Island

Governor’s Island used to be a military base, but it’s been saved from deterioration and turned into a public park. It’s a five-minute ferry ride from Manhattan, and it’s the perfect place to sprawl on massive green lawns (sans the crowds of Central Park) and soak in the history of the island by way of the preserved historic mansions. You’re also treated to killer views of the Statue of Liberty without masses of people! Pay attention to their calendar of events so you don’t miss things like the summer Jazz Age lawn party and food truck rotations.

The Tenement Museum

The era of tenements is an overlooked part of New York City’s history, but this museum is keeping it alive. The building was an actual tenement, and the organization running the museum painstakingly researched the families that lived here. The apartments are decorated to depict how the tenants lived at the time, and the exhibits and guided tours tell you about the fascinating lives these families lived. The house has no elevators, so tours cannot accommodate wheelchairs or strollers.

Fort Greene Flea

Mingle with actual locals at this hip Brooklyn flea market instead of swanky Manhattan bars. You’ll get to see what NYC is made of with a variety of handcrafted goods and locally owned businesses. Plan accordingly on the weekends, especially if you’re taking part in any sort of city tour like Open Look New York. Saturday markets offer the best shopping opportunities and you can end your shopping spree at the General Greene where you can indulge on local fare. Sundays have the Smorgasburg, a lineup of over 100 local food trucks that gather along the river and offer plenty of goodies as well as epic skyline views.

McSorley’s Old Ale House

This itty bitty pub claims the title of NYC’s oldest continually operated saloon. The bar serves up a great pint, but it’s the history that will really get you. Old photographs line the walls, and dried-up wishbones left by soldiers heading off to war are scattered throughout the building. The secret is out with locals on this one, so expect heavy crowds if you go in the evening. Try to go in the afternoon to snag a table, and remember the pub only accepts cash and their food offerings are minimal.

New York City has endless sightseeing possibilities! Remember you’re going to get more deeply into the heart of the city if you manage to make it off the well-traveled trail and go where the locals go.

Eat at the City in Motion: 4 Top Notch San Diego Eateries

Eat at the City in Motion, 4 Top Notch San Diego Eateries

San Diego has dozens of restaurants and diners located all over the city. There are cuisine options from all over the world to sample because of the diverse culture of the community. For delicious choices when the best is the only thing that will do, experts have listed the following places as four of the best restaurants to try in San Diego.

Bertrand at Mr. A’s

This restaurant is said to have some of the most spectacular views in the city. It is located on the 12th floor where guests can see the San Diego Harbor and Point Loma. Because it is located in downtown San Diego, Bertrand at Mr. A’s offers eye-level views of planes descending into the San Diego International Airport. They also have a patio where diners can sit outside and bask in the view. They offer gourmet American cuisine and have a reputation for exceptional wine selections.

The Grove Steakhouse at Viejas Casino & Resort

The Viejas Grove Steakhouse has won the AAA Four Diamond Award for their outstanding customer service, exquisite meal options, and beautiful decor. They have a private dining room for special occasions and parties. They also have gourmet meal and drink pairings that offer diners select choices handpicked by the staff for exceptional dining.

Mille Fleurs

Mille Fleurs has been known for years as the best restaurant in the Rancho Santa Fe neighborhood. This establishment is a charming hacienda that is a perfect spot for date night or celebrating a romantic milestone. Courtyard dining allows visitors to enjoy the breeze and dine under the stars. They are known for premier service and French dishes that are scrumptious. They even have a piano bar for guests to relax while listening to soothing melodies.

Donovan’s Steak & Chop House

With stunning views and Prime USDA Choice steaks, Donovan’s Steak & Chop House is a luxurious dining option for people in San Diego. Their fresh, classic seafood dishes are some of the best in the area. Donovan’s has also won the Best of Award of Excellence from the Wine Spectator for their fantastic wine selection. Their martinis are a fan favorite of repeat customers.

Whether you live or visit San Diego, there are plenty of marvelous places to dine. You can choose to visit the places for a romantic meal with someone special or to celebrate a new accomplishment. These four restaurants are also excellent places for an everyday meal when you must have the best.

Common Mistakes People Make When Buying Their First Vacation Home

A home is probably going to be the largest purchase most people will make in their lifetime, and a vacation home requires even more to think about. As such, there can be a lot of pressure to make the right decisions when obtaining a vacation home. Unfortunately, sometimes people do make big mistakes. With that in mind, here are some of the most commonly made mistakes you should make sure to avoid when buying your first vacation home.

Forgetting There Are More Expenses than Mortgage Payments

One mistake made by first time homebuyers occurs because they are unaware that owning a home requires far more expense than a monthly mortgage payment. Many people may decide to take on a mortgage when they finally have enough income to make the monthly payment. However, this ignores many of the other routine expenses that can be involved.

Common Mistakes People Make When Buying Their First Home 2

This includes things like property taxes, home insurance premiums, electricity bills, water bills and even dues paid to a homeowners’ association. Certainly make sure you know all the expense that will be required to own a specific home before you agree to buy.

Not Getting the Best Home Loan

Another common mistake occurs when new homeowners select the wrong mortgage. The loans you can get will vary depending on the area you are looking at, so it’s important to keep that in mind. There are many home loans beyond the standard mortgage that are designed specifically for people who need financial help obtaining a home. You can find many of them on this website from a mortgage lender in Austin.

This includes options like loans from the Federal Housing Administration, the Veteran’s Administration and the US Department of Agriculture. Loans from these government agencies often come with great benefits for consumers like interest rates lower than regular mortgages. Make sure you qualify for such options before choosing a conventional mortgage.

Choosing a Home Before a Loan

The first step to buying a home should always be getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Part of the reason some people don’t is because they are nervous about the pre-approval process. They may assume that they’ll only be approved for a loan for a home much smaller than they actually want. They may also worry about being rejected outright. However, these fears are often misguided. Being pre-approved for a mortgage first will help you choose the right home from the beginning instead of having your hopes dashed later.

Overall, buying a vacation home is a big deal. There is a lot of decision making required, and it will be a huge financial commitment. Make sure you are well informed on the whole process so you can put some your fears at rest.

Cruising USA: What Travelers Need to Know About Driving in the United States

Cruising USA - What Travelers Need to Know About Driving in the United States

Driving in the United States for the first time can be an exhilarating experience. Because the traffic laws are different from most other countries in the world, it can be very confusing for international travelers. Here are a few things you need to know about US roadways and how to behave while driving in the States.

Wear a seatbelt at all times.

There are laws in place in the United States that require all passengers and the driver to have a seatbelt on whenever the vehicle is in motion. Failing to abide by this can result in legal action, and that’s not something any traveler wants to experience.

Yield to emergency vehicles.

Ambulance, police officers, and firefighters often need to get somewhere fast. When you see an emergency vehicle approaching from behind you, do what you can to pull over and clear a path for them. When you are waiting at a stop light and hear sirens, take a look around and don’t move until you’ve determined where they’re coming from and where they’re going.

Pay attention to the speed limit.

The maximum speed for a specific road is posted at various places along the highway. This speed can chance greatly depending on location; for instance, in school zones, it drops down very low, but on the interstate highways it can be as high as 70 mph. Knowing what the speed limit is and abiding by it is important for preventing legal consequences.

Make sure you have insurance.

In the United States, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle on the roadway without at least liability insurance. This insurance protects your assets in the event of an accident and covers the repairs to the other person’s vehicle. Having underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage is also important, even though many neglect to get it. For this reason, according to an underinsured & uninsured motorists attorney, many people who are injured in car accidents are under-compensated for the damages. Of course, ensuring your own vehicle is properly insured is important too.

The United States drives on the right hand side of the road.

Many countries drive on the left side of the road, but the United States sticks to the right. This can be a confusing experience, especially for drivers from Ireland and the UK. However, knowing this — and abiding by it — is important for preventing accidents. Under no circumstances should a car be driving straight for you.

Following these five basic rules will help you make the most of your travels to the United States. Make sure to brush up on the specific rules of the highway.

6 Entertainment Ideas for your San Diego Vacation

If you are planning a vacation to San Diego, you will never run out of entertainment ideas to explore. This top destination spot has wonderful weather year-round, and it is perfect for a family vacation, getaway for two, or a group adventure. The many attractions, restaurants, and sights to see have made San Diego one of the top cities to vacation in.

Balboa Park

Families that want to kick off their vacation on a good foot should explore Balboa Park. The park not only includes the legendary San Diego Zoo, but many people love the parks, 14 museums, and several theaters on-site. You could also visit one of the many recreational centers or restaurants located within the boundaries of Balboa Park.

Cabrillo National Monument

If you want to enjoy an adventure, fun in the sun, and brush up on your San Diego history, the Cabrillo National Monument is a great entertainment idea. The Cabrillo National Monument has been designated as a historical landmark. The park is not only home to a variety of pristine beaches, but it also consists of beautiful tidal pools and historical lighthouses. Take advantage of the wonderful panoramic views, including the San Diego icon, Old Point Lighthouse.

Tour Brew Hop

If you want to take a tour in San Diego, plan to take one that is entertaining. Brew Hop is one of the most famous tours in this California city because it offers visitors the chance to visit some of the top breweries in San Diego. You will not only experience world-class beers with your buddies, but your hours touring will be filled with nothing but fun. Each unique tour is led by a VIP host who ensures that your tour goes smoothly.

Viejas Resort

You don’t have to travel to Las Vegas to enjoy a great casino; you have that option in San Diego! There are a variety of entertainment ideas that you can choose from, including shows and events, bowling, and more. You can dine in one of the many restaurants, including restaurants that serve gourmet meals. Be sure to try your luck at the slots, bingo, and a host of table games. Take a group tour or shop at one of the outlets at Viejas Casino and Resort while vacationing in San Diego.

Catalina Island

Your vacation in San Diego would not be complete without a trip to Catalina Island. This is one of the largest islands off of the coast of Southern California – it is the most populated island. You can take advantage of the many activities, including paragliding, snorkeling, and hiking. Be sure to check out the many shopping venues and restaurants on this island. You can also enjoy the movie theater nights, concert series, karaoke outings, bowling, and a host of other entertainment activities at Catalina Island.


This is one of the most popular entertainment venues for families traveling to San Diego. Adults, teens, and children love this destination. You can ride a variety of rides, including the Royal Joust. If you love water-rides, prepare to get wet when you go to the Pirate Shores site at this venue. There is so much that you can enjoy when you visit Legoland in California.

When planning your vacation to San Diego, be sure to consider the six entertainment ideas listed above. You will find a variety of activities and attractions to enjoy, regardless of who is traveling to San Diego with you. Prepare to be amazed, enjoy the warm weather, and have a great time!

Escaping the Cold: 6 Destinations to Consider for your Fall Break Vacation

It is the fall with summer long gone. The vacation mode is still in high gear to get one last warm vacation experience in before the holidays. There are a host of destinations with more than a warm climate to offer. Activities from water sports, hiking, golfing, and more can be found in these following six vacation stops.

Las Vegas

Go land-lock and have a fantastic time. This city has more to offer than just casinos. The biggest names in entertainment have shows in this paradise in the desert. A variety of cuisine with affordable pricing and buffet-style abounds. Weather is always nice with clear evening skies for cruising the strip. Hotel packages with resort-styled pools, cabanas, and stainless steel grilling stations add more allure.

Key West

Every day is a beach day in this city. Bath tub warm waters will have visitors participating in a host of water sports. Scuba diving, snorkeling, and jet skis are just some of the activities to enjoy. Known as the Conch Republic, fresh seafood of a large variety is available. Book a deep sea fishing trip and grill dinner. They say New York never sleeps, but the same can be said about Key West.

Myrtle Beach

The beaches of South Carolina have a flavor all their own. Weather is the perfect high 70s with cooler evenings. This city has all-inclusive packages from places like Sands Resorts where guests do not have to leave the resort. Nestled on the Atlantic Ocean, panoramic views and sea breezes will captivate. Flawless golf courses, water parks and four or five star hotels are more incentives.


For spectacular beaches, international cuisine, and a busy nightlife, this city has loads to offer. The fall season has low humidity for carriage and rickshaw rides along Collins Avenue. Forget about an itinerary in this city, just put on the sun screen and head out. Plenty of flights and hotel room packages make this an attractive destination.


Pulling out passports to a warm and exotic location in Mexico is a definite option. There will be plenty of sun and night life with authentic cuisine. This is another location for all-inclusive fun. While Cancun is known for its beaches and sun, visiting the Mayan ruins would offer a world-class ancient museum experience.


Keep passports near for this lovely destination. Paris is at its best during the fall season as temperatures are crisp for evening strolls along the Seine River or at a scrumptious meal. The top museums in the world are located here with the Palace of Versailles as an example.

The suggested fall trips listed could be a bucket list. Vacationers can spread them out over a period of years. Each season offers its own set of activities. Have fun with planning these vacations as they are the spice of life. Don’t forget the camera!

North American Paradises: 4 Underrated Cities You Must See

North American Paradises, 4 Underrated Cities You Must See

North America is a large area covering three large nations, and several different cultures and landscapes that change from beach to rocky landscape in a heartbeat. You must see the four cities listed in this article, and you will surprise yourself when you visit each one to find something that is beyond your expectations of what the city would be like.

1. Vancouver

Vancouver has played host to the Winter Olympics, and the city is a cultural center in Canada. There is a symphony in town, and the skiing villages just north of town hosted the largest part of the 2010 Winter Olympics. You may go into Vancouver for a ski vacation, but you may travel down into the city to have a cultural and leisure vacation that is unlike any other. Vancouver sits right on the water, and you have access to cruises that will take you all the way to Alaska.

2. Mazatlán

Mazatlán is a beach community in Mexico that sits on the eastern coast, but it is not your typical beach resort town. Mazatlán is one of the oldest Aztec settlements in Mexico, and there are pyramids sitting right outside the city. You may take tours of these ancient pyramids, or you may stay on the beach and enjoy the fantastic views. You have a clear choice between a historical and a leisure vacation when you land on the eastern shore of Mexico.

3. Toronto

Toronto plays host to a majority of the TV productions in Canada, and the CBC tower is a landmark in the city skyline. Toronto is home to television shows like Flashpoint, and you will see many sets from the show when you visit the city. Toronto is a hub for immigrants coming to Canada, and you will find a tiny neighborhood featuring every ethnicity somewhere in the city. Toronto is a melting pot much like New York City, but it exists in a completely different time and place. You may love Toronto so much that you decide to stay, in which case a site like will be a great resource to get you started.

4. San Diego

San Diego is home to the largest naval yard on the west coast, and the sailing community in San Diego flourishes because of the Navy’s presence. You may visit San Diego to enjoy the beaches, or you may take a cruise down to Mexico that originates in the harbor. The city is just a short drive from Los Angeles, but San Diego is a much quieter place to vacation.

You must put all four cities here on your bucket list. They range from nice beaches to skiing villages, and you will find a lovely place to relax on your next vacation.

The Top Ten Must Visit Historical Sites in the World

The Top Ten Must Visit Historical Sites in the World







Many fascinating historical sites attract visitors from around the world. Sometimes a journey to explore a landmark offers additional information to supplement a history degree online with real world experiences; in other situations, the trip simply fulfills a lifelong yearning to travel to a place where momentous events happened in the past.

Most people include these ten sites on their list of essential global landmarks. Each one promises an interesting visit:

The Acropolis and the Parthenon

This site overlooking Athens in Greece gained renown for its beauty because of the perfect symmetry and elegant construction of the building. Today the ruins still attracting visitors from around the world.

The Great Pyramid of Giza

For nearly 4,000 years, the Pyramid built for Pharaoh Cheops (Khufu) outside the modern city of Cairo remained the tallest building on Earth. It was designated at one of the “seven wonders” of the world, and still holds mysteries today.

The Tower of London

Over the centuries, many famous historical figures resided for periods of time in the Tower of London, the traditional site where the British government stores the royal crown jewels.


These ruins in Pakistan once formed the heart of a vibrant civilization; the city’s identically shaped, regular rectangular buildings likely represented one of the first planned communities.

Uluru-Ayers Rock

A center of Aboriginal culture in Australia for thousands of years, visitors tour this historic monolith by helicopter, on foot or with camels.

The Kremlin

The beautiful, historic Kremlin constituted a fortified city within Moscow. It contains numerous structures and exceptional works of art.

The Eiffel Tower

Built in 1889, this romantic steel structure appeals to many people. It also offers excellent skyline views of Paris!

Machu Pichu

This outstanding abandoned Incan city towers at 7,970 elevations amidst the Andes Mountains.

The Great Wall of China

Extending at its height for over 5,500 miles, this massive defensive wall protected China from nomadic invaders during centuries of warfare. It draws tourists today, remaining one of the most incredible fortifications in the world.

Mount Rushmore

Some 400 workers under the direction of Gutzon Borglum carved this 60 foot high landmark in South Dakota into a steep cliff face using automated machinery between 1925 and 1941. The monument depicts several celebrated Presidents.


You’ll treasure the memories acquired visiting these extraordinary sites. All of them offer profound insights into the past and the present.

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Don’t Let History be a Mystery! The Top Historical Sites in America to Add to Your Bucket List

Don't Let History be a Mystery The Top Historical Sites in America to Add to Your Bucket List









The most effective way to get a true sense of history is to stand where it actually has taken place. For a country as large as the United States, this may seem like an overwhelming or even impossible undertaking, but it never hurts to give it a shot. For those that want to see how United States was shaped, here are some historical sites that everyone should add to their bucket list.

Ellis Island
Ellis Island became one of the largest immigration stations in the country in 1892 and stayed active all the way through 1954. Not only was it a practical location in which the United States had to continuously change its immigration policies as millions moved through this small island, but it also became a symbol of the melting pot that the country would become. Modern studies show that the ancestors of over 100 million Americans passed through Ellis Island.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Few historical sites in the United States are as profoundly emotional and important as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Located in Arlington National Cemetery, this stretching monument serves as a reminder for all American soldiers that have died in battle over the last 230 years. The iconic changing of the guard continues to take place daily as a sign of respect to those that have been lost during and after battle.

Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park has come to symbolize a monumental shift in conservation in the United States. Countless authors, poets, and other artists have claimed it to be one of the most beautiful locations in the world with views that can be seen nowhere else. John Muir helped the public to not only appreciate the beauty of this park, but to also recognize its ecological importance to the country.

USS Arizona Memorial
The USS Arizona Memorial is one of the most recognizable memorials in the country and remains exactly where it was sunk in Pearl Harbor in 1941. The sinking of the USS Arizona along with the rest of the damage inflicted in Hawaii is seen as one of the single biggest reasons that the United States decided to fully join World War II. Veterans of the Pearl Harbor bombing continue to act as guides and park rangers for this memorial.

The history of the United States has been painted by both good and bad events, and these few locations are a great place to truly dig into the foundation of this country.


Informational Credit

The information for this article was provided by Norwich University which offers a masters in history for prospective students.

Top Destination Wedding Locations


For many engaged couples it is easy to get captivated by the allure of tying the knot overseas. Exotic locations and unbeatable experiences that suit your personal tastes will make for a perfect special day. However when it comes time to select a location it is best to remember that as well as choosing where you will marry, you are also choosing where your guests will vacation next. This means that you need to select a location that has mass appeal in order to attract your guests to make the journey. To help you decide we’ve compiled our list of some of the world’s finest destination wedding locations detailing exactly what sets them apart.

wedding-preparing bali

Made up of several plentiful islands each with their own unique features and feel couples are guaranteed to find their ideal seaside setting in Hawaii. For couples seeking a more private and secluded affair it is best to head for the Big Island or Maui which are known for having fewer crowds. The Hawaiian Islands boast picturesque landscapes of pristine coastlines, stunning waterfalls and rugged terrain including mountains and volcanoes. Couples will enjoy the diversity on offer and will be particularly fond of the luxury hotels and resorts that provide the perfect escape. Friendly locals and a colourful culture only add to the appeal of Hawaii and with a range of activities to suit all tastes your guests will too love the appeal of a Hawaiian wedding.


Another popular beach wedding destination Mexico’s appealing warm weather, vast coast line, vibrant culture and array of enticing food options poses as a major drawcard for bridal couples. With an extensive amount of all-inclusive resorts to help plan the perfect destination wedding couples will struggle to find reasons why not to wed in Mexico. The local flavour of Mexico with its welcoming locals and exciting atmosphere (it is the home of tequila) will add flair to your wedding celebrations sure to entertain and captivate your guests.


Known for its hospitable locals and astounding bargains bridal couples can tie the knot in Bali’s luxurious surrounds on a range of budgets. Boasting first-class resorts, lush scenery, beautiful beaches and a rich culture it’s easy to find yourself immersed in Bali’s distinct ambiance. Fast becoming a go to destination wedding location, Bali’s exceptional resorts and hotels are fully equipped with an array of experienced wedding planners and coordinators to ensure your day goes off without a hitch.

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Santorini, Greece
This European hot spot is famous for its crystal clear waters, volcano backdrop and breathtaking sunsets. The idyllic location that is Santorini has an unmistakable romantic atmosphere perfect for a wedding. The striking architecture of this ancient city combined with the delights of feasting on delectable Greek food is sure to entice your guests. The added beauty of tying the knot in Santorini is that you can then island hop for your honeymoon or embark on a sightseeing European adventure.


A beautiful country filled with diverse landscapes to suit a range of wedding types. From exquisite vineyards and historic chapels with undeniable charm to Mediterranean beaches Italy has it all. A visual wonder Italy has a rich history and culture that offers an air of romance to any nuptials. Let’s also not forget to mention the food – nothing compares to traditional Italian fare and your guests will love sitting down to an Italian feast paired with local wines.


Las Vegas
There’s nothing else quite like a Vegas wedding. Whether you choose to tie the knot in one of Las Vegas’ premium hotels and resorts or in one of the famous chapels on the strip it’s sure to be a memorable occasion. Couples can tie the knot on the tightest of budgets in Vegas with an abundance of wedding options and packages available to them. Your guests will love the excitement and fun that comes with Las Vegas and all its offerings. Aside from its obvious action packed nightlife, Las Vegas offers a beautiful backdrop and a great deal of activities to keep guests entertained.


This exotic location is famed for its magnificent beaches and lush forest scenery. Offering stunning landscapes Fiji is also credited as being one of the friendliest destinations in the world. Fiji has a distinct leisurely attitude which can be infectious ensuring a stress-free wedding day for all concerned. With a rich culture and paradise feel Fiji has a definite charm about it.

‘Kristi Charter is an experienced freelance writer with a breadth of knowledge across an array of subjects. Captivated by the wedding industry, Kristi is currently the Content and Social Media Coordinator at Giant Invitations‘.