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  • Spend A Little Extra Time In These 5 U.S. Port Cities

    5/26/2022 2:10:58 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment

    Looking for a way to make a vacation last just a little longer? Cruise enthusiasts will be happy to know that their point of embarkation doubles as the perfect weekend getaway. The U.S. is home to so many wonderful port cities that make for the perfect family, couple or solo travel vacation-within-a-vacation, so stay an extra day or two in the cities on our list.

    1. Seattle, Washington

    Seattle is a city worthy of any traveler’s bucket list, and it also happens to be the perfect port city for cruisers looking to visit Alaska. According to cruisecritic.com, seven cruise lines sail from Seattle to Alaska each season so there are plenty of options to choose from. While in the Emerald City, travelers won’t want to miss a visit to the Space Needle, a stop at The Museum of Flight and of course lunch at the famous Pike Place Market. Those lucky enough to spend a few days in this fabulous city may also want to make arrangements to see Mt. Rainier, Olympic National Park or Snoqualmie Falls. Don’t know where to stay the night? Check out the Seattle Downtown Hampton Inn Suites or Hilton Seattle for a good night’s sleep.

    2. Boston, Massachusetts

    With historic sites, cobblestone streets and seafood that can’t be beat, Boston, Massachusetts is one of the most charming port cities in the U.S. From this port of embarkation, travelers can sail the east coast or venture to Canada. While exploring Beantown (a nickname lovingly bestowed upon this city in honor of its famed regional dish Boston baked beans), travelers can explore the city streets by trolley, take part in an immersive American history tour and even hop on a boat in hopes of becoming BFFs with some local whales, aka whale watching. History buffs will also enjoy the opportunity to walk America’s Freedom Trail and the chance to visit the legendary Boston Tea Party ships which have been converted into a museum. After all that exploration, travelers can rest their heads at Hyatt Regency Boston, a Trip-Advisor-approved lodging option.

    3. Savannah, Georgia

    Ocean cruises and river cruises, the city of Savannah plays host to both. Nestled in the Deep South, cruisers can beat the sizzling heat with a glass of sweet tea, but don’t forget to be polite – Georgians take their manners very seriously. The city of Savannah is small yet mighty with good food, fabulous museums and plenty of haunts. An old pirate’s home, battle grounds forever stained by blood spilled during the Civil War and a dark history with slavery make Savannah one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. Locals have embraced the city’s spookiness and cruisers can enjoy one of the many macabre walking tours or pub crawls any day of the week. If they aren’t too freaked out after all those ghost stories, travelers can catch some shut-eye at the Homewood Suites located in the city’s Historic Riverfront District.

    4. San Francisco, California

    Located in the heart of the city, the Port of San Francisco is the perfect gateway to exploring this fantastic destination. A city filled with many notable attractions, travelers won’t want to miss an afternoon in Fisherman’s Wharf (home to one of our favorite San Fran hotels, the Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf), a walk or ride along the wacky Lombard Street and a visit to the infamous Alcatraz Island. Families will enjoy local museums and attractions such as Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum, the Walt Disney Family Museum and Exploratorium. When it comes to day trips, nature lovers must take some time to visit Yosemite National Park or Redwood National State Park for a vacation they won’t forget.

    5. Charleston, South Carolina

    South Carolina might not be the first place to come to mind when travelers think cruising, but Charleston is home to a busy cruise ship terminal that acts as a home base for many of the world’s top cruise liners. Charleston was named Travel + Leisure’s “Top US City” of 2018 for its natural beauty, rich history and southern charm. Favorite attractions in the area include historical walking tours and carriage rides, a stop at the South Carolina Aquarium and a visit to Middleton Place, an 18th century rice plantation and National Historic Landmark with impressive terraces, reflection ponds and wildlife. When it comes to making it to the cruise terminal on time, travelers can ensure an easy commute with a stay at Hampton Inn Suites Charleston West Ashley, located just minutes from the waterfront. To learn more visit https://bit.ly/3MX5eZT.

  • The Oldest City In The United States

    5/17/2022 3:49:25 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment

    Hotel El Convento, San Juan Puerto Rico

    Did you know San Juan is the oldest City in the United States? San Juan was established in 1521 as a Spanish military settlement, and it still bears the influence of its past in many of the city’s most iconic features, like its stone wall surrounding a portion of the city, its cobblestone streets, El Castillo de San Felipe del Morro and much more.

    San Juan, Puerto Rico Celebrates 500th Anniversary

    San Juan, Puerto Rico is celebrating its 500th anniversary this year, between the months of September 2021 and June 2022, bringing along with-it new events celebrating the oldest city in the United States.

    Other lesser-known but noteworthy historic sites is the Teatro Tapia, the oldest free-standing theater still in use, built in 1832. The Casa Blanca Museum was built in 1521 as the residence of Puerto Rico’s first governor, Juan Ponce de León, and offers a glimpse into the island’s past.

    The San Juan Bautista Cathedral is the oldest in the U.S. and the second-oldest in the Western hemisphere, dating back to 1521. It currently houses the remains of Ponce de León and a first-century Roman martyr, Saint Pius.

    Hotel El Convento (Picture above) was originally the first Carmelite convent in the Americas, built in 1651. It was a convent until 1903, and opened in 1962 as a hotel, where guests can experience a truly historic hotel in the center of San Juan.

    The 500th-anniversary celebration will be celebrated in the city in a myriad of events, including art exhibits, parades, academic forums, a concert featuring international stars and much more, set to be announced at a later date. For more information visit https://bit.ly/3LYO11p.

  • Your Guide to Planning the Perfect Road Trip to Puerto Rico

    5/6/2022 3:08:59 PM Link 0 comments | Add comment

    Pack a bag, grab your sunglasses (and a camera, of course!) and head out on an ultimate tropical road trip adventure across Puerto Rico. Puerto Rican road trips are diverse, unique and unparalleled. The best part? It won't take days to reach your destination. Puerto Rico is approximately 110 miles long and 35.5 miles wide, which means you can get across the island in a few hours and therefore plan multiple road trips for your getaway!

    And hitting the open road is a great way to take in the destination, the landscape and even explore how other people live. From seaside views to lush mountain backdrops, urban drives and country immersions, Puerto Rico is seeping with natural beauty and thrilling experiences for every traveler seeking a Puerto Rican-style adventure.

    Book the flight and pack

    You can make the most of your time in Puerto Rico by catching an early flight, especially if your travel itinerary requires a connecting flight to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU). No, you don't need a passport – if you’re a U.S. citizen – to enter Puerto Rico. All you need is a valid photo ID as you would if you travel anywhere else in the country.

    Note: Make sure to verify Puerto Rico Travel Guidelines, as the government is enforcing measures developed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, alongside U.S. Travel Association guidelines, to safeguard the wellbeing of residents and visitors.

    Since Puerto Rico uses U.S. dollars as a currency, you don't need to worry about exchange rates, but you should call your bank and let them know you are traveling, so they don't freeze your account while you're enjoying yourself in the heart and soul of the Caribbean.

    When packing, be sure to include summer-like attire for day and night, as the weather in Puerto Rico is warm, ranging from 70 to 80 degrees throughout the year with the occasional rain shower. So, shorts, tank tops, flowy dresses, comfortable shoes and sunglasses are recommended–there's a lot of walking while touring! If you forget something – whether it is clothing, toiletries, medicine or anything else, there are convenience stores and pharmacies (both familiar chains and local) to keep you covered.

    Renting a car and getting around

    The most convenient way to get across (and back to) the island is by renting a car, and by doing so you can plan multiple road trips that include some beach time, landmarks, forests, and more. Most companies require you to be at least 25 years old and have a valid driver's license to rent a car in Puerto Rico. And, as all the major U.S. car rental companies have a presence on the island, you can avoid all the paperwork and hassle by processing your rental before your arrival.

    Once your rental is set, you can navigate the island with ease, following road signs and GPS such as Google Maps, Maps and Waze, which all work fine in Puerto Rico.

    Crossing from one town to another may require some tolls to pay along the way, but most rentals already include the AutoExpresso tag (just like an EZ-Pass) since most tolls have gone cashless.

    Pro tip: Make a list of all the places you wish to visit before booking your hotel or vacation rental and see which town should become your "departure hub" during your stay. Depending on how long you will be on the island, you should plan a schedule that lets you experience the natural wonders, culture, and vibrancy of Puerto Rico’s picture-perfect regions.

    Note: Puerto Ricans love to explore the Island on the weekends, so be mindful that places may be a little more crowded from Friday to Sunday.

    Pro Tip: You don't have to do it all in a day! Spread out your points of interest and enjoy the cross-island experience. Remember to pack your phone's car charger and snacks for the road. Make time to be spontaneous!

    Although we recommend you map out your route before heading towards adventure, keep in mind that part of the fun of a road trip is to strive away from the plan and enjoy the freedom the road provides. Pull out your electronic map and search for nearby suggestions for quick detours or enchanting finds. After all, Puerto Rico is at your leisure!

    To learn more visit https://bit.ly/3MQTura.

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