It's been one strange year for the travel industry. First, gas prices rose to an all-time high, topping out above $5 a gallon here in California. Then, they were the lowest they have been in years, but thanks in part to a recession (and perhaps a heightened awareness of the environment), people have been driving less, thus keeping the supply-and-demand factor in favor of the consumer. Air travel became increasingly more difficult, what with the ridiculous addition of fees--baggage fees, paying-for-exit-row-seat fees, purchasing-tickets-via-phone fees, sky-high fuel surcharge fees, anything the airlines could come up with really. And long-distance buses...well, who takes those anyhow? They're crowded, slow and unreliable.
It's true there's no place like home for the holidays...but sometimes you just want to get away from it all before the chaos ensues (or rather family togetherness--or in-laws--becomes just too much to bear). The current state on the economy has put a damper on many people's travel plans, but hotels are beginning to take note of this by significantly lowering their rates to an affordable level and creating packages that allow you more bang for your buck this holiday season. Check out these amazing opportunities before it's too late.
Christmas is just two-and-a-half weeks ago and you haven’t even started your shopping? Not a problem. But the more important issue at hand is what do you buy the chic jetsetter who has everything? Lucky for the last-minute shopper, we have a few suggestions that will meet all your gift-giving needs.
It was a heart-sinking sight after a wildfire erupted on the Bay Area's Angel Island State Park on Sunday, October 12, lighting it up in bright orange streams. The park reopened to visitors on Monday, and though areas that were burned and most hiking trails are currently off-limits, this is a great time to visit, with fewer crowds, nice fall weather, and almost half the island untouched by the fire.
It’s surprising how many locals have never been to the Wave Organ; many don’t even know where it is. This “acoustic sculpture” is actually a huge marble-and-granite musical instrument created in 1986 by the Exploratorium’s senior artist Peter Richards and master stone mason George Gonzales. This surprise is located on a jetty behind the Golden Gate Yacht Club; follow Lyon Street toward the water from where it meets Marina Boulevard, continue as it becomes Yacht Road and go all the way out to the end of the jetty.
The Big Easy: Part Lewis and Clark, part laid-back lazing, the Big River invites the exploration of a wide tree-lined estuary with resident river otters, sea lions, and kingfishers. The water vehicle of choice is a handcrafted, wooden outrigger canoe that’s as smooth and steady as it is swift and fun. Because the river is tidal, you want to paddle upstream with the incoming tide and downstream with the outgoing tide.