Spring Into Queensland With a Raft of Sporting Events and New Tourism Products

November 21, 2014 on 8:09 am | In Australia, Beachbooker, Queensland, Sports Travel, Spring Break | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowNew thrill ride and slide for Dream world

Head spins are bound to happen when Dreamworld’s newest thrill ride, Tail Spin, opens this September and adds one more white-knuckle ride to the lineup of what is now Dreamworld’s Big 9 Thrill Rides.

A first of its kind in Australia, Tail Spin is made up of 12 mini rider-operated aeroplanes that not only hurl thrill seekers 22 metres into the sky, but also allow riders to customise their own manoeuvres and control the speed of each plane’s 360-degree spin. Manoeuvres range from gentle rocking to intense spirals that push the boundaries of adventure.

Dreamworld’s sister park, WhiteWater World, will also unveil the Triple Vortex water slide these school holidays. The 145-metre tube winds riders through dark serpentine tunnels and comes with a maximum drench factor of five, as rated by operators. Adrenaline chasers can slide through the three funnels on a two person raft to enjoy the rush together.

Both attractions are set to open on 20 September 2014 on the Gold Coast.

Further information:

Rates: Unlimited World Pass tickets are available online at $79.99 per child (3-13 years old/under 3 enter free) and $99.99 per adult.

W: www.dreamworld.com.au

Book Your Beach Resort at a Discount

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Launches Competition to Find Crew Member for a Day‏

May 27, 2014 on 11:51 am | In Abu Dhabi, Adventure Travel, Beachbooker, Middle East, Sailing, Spring Break | Comments Off



ARE YOU THE MAN FOR AZZAM?

Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Launches Competition to Find Crew Member for a Day

New York, NY (May 31, 2014) – For sailors the world over, there are few experiences higher on the ‘bucket list’ than the chance to be part of a Volvo Ocean Race team. And yet that’s exactly what Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) – the organization behind Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (ADOR), the emirate’s 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race entry – is offering an aspiring ‘Ian Walker in the making.’

‘Are you the Man for Azzam’ is a new competition that will run on ADOR’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/abudhabioceanracing) from June 1 until July 15, 2014, with ADOR Skipper Ian Walker looking for the perfect candidate to join his elite team for a day at the historic Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week regatta on the Isle of Wight in the UK.

“Rarely do sports fans have the chance to actually experience life as a professional athlete, but for one day later this year we are offering our fans just that,” said Walker, the Englishman who will be competing in his third Volvo Ocean Race later this year.

“One lucky amateur sailor is going to sail on our Volvo Ocean 65 – Azzam – one of the world’s most technologically advanced offshore racing yachts in a competitive race with my team, just two months before we start the next Volvo Ocean Race,” said Walker. “I hope the winner comes prepared to work hard and race to win.”

The ADOR competition is open to male sailors who are aged 18 or older by August 1, 2014. Beginning June 1, 2014, a competition app on the ADOR Facebook page will allow entrants to make their case for why they’re ‘The Man for Azzam.’ The public will vote for the person whose entry is the most compelling, and the top five voted entries will be reviewed by the team and TCA Abu Dhabi to choose the winner.

The winning ‘recruit,’ who must have sailing yacht experience to successfully compete, will join the ADOR crew aboard Azzam during the Artemis Challenge race at the Cowes Week regatta on August 7, 2014.

The Artemis Challenge is one of the highlights of the world-famous Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week regatta, pitting some of the fastest offshore racing yachts against each other as they race to circumnavigate the Isle of Wight as quickly as possible. For ADOR the race will be the team’s final competitive preparation before it embarks on the 1,802 nautical mile Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race (RBIR) three days later.

ADOR’s Emirati Trimmer / Helmsman, Adil Khalid, says the Artemis Challenge is a crucial part of the team’s development and training for the ‘main event’ later in the year.

“By August we should have over 10,000 sailing miles on Azzam under our belts and we will be fine tuning our race set-up with minds firmly focused on the Volvo start line in Alicante,” said the 26-year-old Khalid.

“Whoever is lucky enough to win this spot on Azzam in August will be part of a team on a mission,” said Khalid. “Our aim is to win the Artemis Challenge and the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race a few days later, before we sail to Alicante at the end of the month. It is an incredible opportunity for an amateur sailor – if he brings his sea legs with him he’ll have an experience that will last a lifetime.”

The winner, as adjudicated by Ian Walker, will be announced on July 21, 2014.

For more information about Abu Dhabi, please visit http://visitabudhabi.ae . For more information about the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing team or the 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race, please visit www.volvooceanraceabudhabi.com.

About Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority:

Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority conserves and promotes the heritage and culture of Abu Dhabi emirate and leverages them in the development of a world-class, sustainable destination of distinction that enriches the lives of visitors and residents alike. The authority manages the emirate’s tourism sector and markets the destination internationally through a wide range of activities aimed at attracting visitors and investment. Its policies, plans and programs relate to the preservation of heritage and culture, including protecting archaeological and historical sites and to developing museums, including the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Zayed National Museum and Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. The authority supports intellectual and artistic activities and cultural events to nurture a rich cultural environment and honor the emirate’s heritage. A key authority role is to create synergy in the destination’s development through close co-ordination with its wide-ranging stakeholder base. For more information, visit http://visitabudhabi.ae


WHAT’S NEW IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS

March 20, 2014 on 10:58 am | In Beachbooker, Hawaiian Islands, Spring Break, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV) recently debuted its newest resort, Hokulani Waikiki by Hilton Grand Vacations Club. Centrally located in the energetic hub of Waikiki, Oahu, the resort marks the final component of the Waikiki Beach Walk development, which is known for premier shopping, dining, and entertainment. Designed for sophistication, Hokulani Waikiki includes 143 one-bedroom suites featuring a distinctive Hawaii style, but with an urban, contemporary aesthetic. Cosmopolitan travelers can also enjoy the resort’s open-air, rooftop pool bar. www.US.HokulaniWaikiki.com

Aston at The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach (Maui) has unveiled its upgraded studio, one- and two-bedroom premium suites providing guests ultimate comfort and extravagance. The spacious and luxurious beachfront suites offer contemporary furnishings, ocean views, large private lanais, and comfortable entertainment areas. Guests also receive amenities catered to indulge the senses, including Maui-grown coffee, fresh-cut Maui pineapple, fresh orchids, and chocolates. www.AstonHotels.com

Four Seasons Resorts Lanai debuted its first full-service luxury airport lounge at Honolulu International Airport. The 1,000-square-foot lounge, located in the Island Air commuter terminal, will now welcome Four Seasons guests enroute to Lanai. Equipped with amenities including food, beverages, iPads, Wi-Fi access, charging stations, luggage holding areas, magazines, newspapers, and hi-def televisions, guests can retreat to the relaxing setting of convenience and comfort prior to stepping foot on Lanai. www.FourSeasons.com/Lanai

Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa (Oahu) recently completed $21 million in renovations to its guest rooms and snack shop, and the construction of a new beach club. Inspired by contemporary Hawaiian design with modern touches, the new enhancements include a complete décor room refresh of 552 guest rooms and 36 suites of both the resort’s Tower and Diamond wings. The Tower wing’s renewal also included the creation of the new penthouse at the Moana floor, perched 21 floors above Waikiki Beach. The addition of the new beach club caters to discerning guests seeking the ultimate resort hospitality experience. www.MoanaSurfrider.com

Nobu Lanai, located at Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay launched a half-acre garden to welcome a variety of herbs and vegetables, including baby lettuce, squash, scallions, tomatoes, watermelon radish, red beets, carrots, green beans, asparagus, and cilantro. Fresh from the farm and grown organically, the ingredients make up 65 percent of what is used on the menu at Nobu. The produce is harvested daily to ensure freshness and the garden is cared for by Four Seasons staff led by executive chef Sean Mell. www.FourSeasons.com/ManeleBay

Travaasa Hana, Maui announced a new partnership with Marriott Maui Ocean Club in Lahaina, allowing guests of Maui Ocean Club to utilize their Vacation Club Points and redeem nights at the resort in east Maui. Rates at Travaasa Hana start at 1,000 Vacation Club Points per night for a Garden Suite or 1,500 Vacation Club Points per night for a Sea Ranch Cottage. Travaasa Hana will also provide a complimentary upgrade to the next room category to vacation club guests utilizing this partnership, upon availability. www.Travaasa.com/Hana or My-VacationClub.com

The Westin Maui Resort & Spa completed a transformation of 553 guest rooms and suites in the Ocean Tower of the 759-room beachfront resort. The multi-million dollar refresh project includes redesigned furnishings, modern decor and island inspired artwork, state-of-the-art electronics, and fresh flooring. The intuitive enhancements create vibrant energy amidst the beachfront resorts spectacular surroundings of legendary Kaanapali Beach and West Maui Mountains. www.WestinMaui.com

ATTRACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES

Buckle up and join The Groove Hawaii’s newest Formula 1 go-kart racing track and amusement hotspot located just outside of Waikiki. Oahu’s newest entertainment destination, The Groove offers numerous activities including go-kart races, driving clinics, outdoor climbing wall, Segway tours, indoor arcade and billiards lounge, private party rooms, and a full service restaurant. The Groove will be open daily from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. and patrons can utilize The Groove’s free shuttle bus available hourly from various locations in and around www.Waikiki.GrooveHawaii.com

Undergoing $57,000 of restoration services, the Battleship Missouri Memorial provides a new luster to enhance guests’ experiences of how officers of the retired USS Missouri lived while serving at sea. The 13 staterooms, known as “Officers County” have been restored to immaculate “inspection-ready” condition and appear as they did for the USS Missouri’s final mission on December 7, 1991. www.USSMissouri.org

Courtyard King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel (Hawaii Island) and Body Glove Cruises have partnered together to offer two fantastic cruise packages for added value and convenience. The sunset dinner cruise offers engaging historical narrative, live entertainment and an elaborate buffet dinner. For a morning activity, guests of the Kona Beach Hotel can also enjoy the Kona snorkel adventure, which includes a continental breakfast buffet, snorkel gear, and exclusive underwater snorkel time. www.KonaBeachHotel.com

Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea has launched a SUP (Stand Up Paddleboarding) Yoga class as part of its extensive list of fitness and wellness offerings. Following the island’s hottest fitness trend, SUP yoga combines the meditative art of yoga with the physical discipline of SUP to offer guests a truly innovative and unique experience, while absorbing the beauty of Maui at the same time. www.FourSeasons.com/Maui

Kaanapali Beach Hotel (Maui) is now offering a variety of new complimentary Hawaiian activities to its cultural program. Guests of the hotel can immerse themselves in Hawaiian culture and choose amongst scheduled programs such as ukulele and hula lessons, lei making, lauhala weaving, pineapple cutting, live Hawaiian music, nightly hula shows, and cultural garden tours. www.KBHMaui.com

Kohala Zipline (Hawaii Island) launched a convenient roundtrip shuttle service between its North Kohala course and all major Kona and Kohala resorts and hotels. Guests can choose either an early departure at 8:30 a.m., or late departure at 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Included in the shuttle service is a deli-style lunch with choice of sandwich, cookie, chips, and a soft drink. www.KohalaZipline.com

Koloa Zipline, the newest addition to Kauai Zipline Tours introduced its most challenging zipline adventure tour, the sunset zip. Highlights of the tour include flying through the jungle, soaring above the forest, and gliding across the water on over a mile and a half of exciting zip lines and beautiful scenery of South Kauai at sunset and into the twilight. The Koloa sunset zipline is a 3.5 to 4 hour tour and is offered daily at 5 p.m. www.KoloaZipline.com

With a blend of cultural, academic, and technical interests, Loko Ia, a new iPhone app built by a team of University of Hawaii Researchers, gives anyone the opportunity to take an interactive, multi-media fishpond tour and learn about Hawaii’s resources. Using GPS and location-based technologies, Loko Ia provides both walking and virtual tours of Heeia Fishpond, located on Oahu’s windward coast. The app, available on the iTunes App Store, also provides maps, data and visualizations of research the UH team is conducting. www.Hawaii.edu

Tasting Kauai created “A Taste of Kilohana” as an exclusive, guided food tour featuring a ride in an open-air train through the 105-acre orchard of the Kilohana Plantation in Kauai. The tour includes a Mai Tai workshop and an off-the-menu, three-course meal presented by Gaylord’s executive chef Todd Barrett in the private dining room of Wilcox Mansion. Guests can also disembark through the orchard feeding wild boar, goat, and chicken, while picking fruit from 50 varieties of exotic fruit trees. www.TastingKauai.com

Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu’s North Shore introduced its new engagement package incorporating the best in authentic North Shore locations and experiences for a once-in-a-lifetime proposal. Couples can enjoy a horseback ride along the breathtaking Kawela Bay, followed by a romantic private dinner, and ending with a memorable proposal celebration. Turtle Bay Resort will ensure every step of the proposal is seamless with an onsite photographer, ukulele musician, and hula dancer. New engagement packages are available for $1,018 per night for two with a three-night minimum in one of the resort’s luxurious beach cottages. WWW.TurtleBayResort.com


SPRING BREAK ISN’T JUST FOR KIDS

March 13, 2014 on 12:39 pm | In Southwest, Spring Break | Comments Off



In Scottsdale spring break isn’t just for college students. Scottsdale’s sunny weather and exciting new entertainment venues will make you feel young again this spring.

You may not be able to make it to Europe this spring break, but you can make it to Bottled Blonde Pizzeria and Beer Garden. At Bottled Blonde, which opened Jan. 29, you can enjoy contemporary Italian cuisine and a large variety of craft beers in a modern German bier garden setting. As you are served by waitresses dressed with a retro flair, enjoy the fresh air at one of the picnic-style tables adorning the 9,000-square-foot indoor-outdoor space, complete with a covered patio.

While you may feel like jet-setting to Mexico, stop by Salty Senorita in Scottsdale instead. The local hangout has a revamped look and menu at its new location in downtown Scottsdale. When you arrive, sip on one of the 21 hand-crafted margaritas as you enjoy beach-inspired cuisine created by new executive chef, Brian Feirstein, You’ll munch on ingredients grown in the restaurant’s new open-air vegetable garden.

If you find yourself craving some American-style fun, swing by Derby Public House. Part-modern, part-vintage “American Gastropub,” this new spot greets your palate with Southern-inspired food and handcrafted cocktails, such as house-brewed “Bottled Cocktails” made to mimic dime-store soda fountains. Derby Public Housedoesn’t just offer food and drinks either. While there, gather with friends to play old-fashioned board games at your table or let loose with televised off-track betting, skee ball, basketball shootout or a giant sized Connect Four.


Charter Oak‏ Winery in Napa for spring break

March 12, 2014 on 8:55 am | In California, Dine Drink, San Francisco, Spring Break | Comments Off



When most people hear spring break, they immediately think tequila shots, a sun burn, and bad decisions. Charter Oak Winery in Napa Valley provides an opportunity to flip the college version of spring break on it’s head and try again as an adult. Offering an ideal destination for the experienced wine connoisseur and those seeking a culture-filled, intimate vacation, Charter Oak is more than just a winery, it’s a quant but rich destination that offers visitors an art-meets-artisan experience unlike any other in the region.

Here is a video of a recent tour group reminiscing about their experience: https://www.dropbox.com/s/8566nl46tz54h7k/CO%20Testimonial%20.mov 

To give you a bit more background, Charter Oak Winery is owned by husband and wife duo Rob and Layla Fanucci. The Fanucci family has been mastering the art of winemaking for four generations, using century-old winemaking equipment to create a variety of truly unique vintages. Receiving as many as 600 visitors per month during the high season, Charter Oak boasts an exquisite collection of vintage wines and houses the art studio of acclaimed artist, Layla Fanucci, which features her distinguished cityscape paintings (Fanucci sold 32 paintings in 2013). Travelers can expect a personal experience, free of crowds and rich with art, culture, tradition and delectable wines. Click here to view the many scenes of Charter Oak.


Florida top for spring break getaways

March 10, 2014 on 1:01 pm | In Beachbooker, Florida, Miami, Orlando, Spring Break, The Keys | Comments Off



Florida will not likely lose its top billing as a spring break hotspot anytime soon.

Visit Florida chief marketing officer Paul Phipps said visitor numbers in the first quarter of 2014 are on track to beat last year’s all-time high of 26.3 million.

He attributes this to the epic and seemingly never ending wintry weather still being experienced in the northeast.

“They’ve had winters like they haven’t had in a long time and we have really been the beneficiary of that,” he said.

The unusually cold weather has been widespread this year, also affecting the Deep South, and Florida destinations have experienced a surge in visits from neighboring states, he added.

Phipps also said it was families rather than college revelers driving record spring break numbers to the state.

Last month a report by Travelocity ranked South Florida as the number one spring break destination, based on booking data, with Orlando second, Fort Myers the fourth most popular, and Tampa-St Petersburg in eighth.


FREE KAUA‘I TRAVEL PLANNER

March 10, 2014 on 12:54 pm | In Beachbooker, Books Guidebooks, Hawaiian Islands, Spring Break, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



Learn about the five great regions of our beautiful island and discover what’s unique about each area. Request our free 57-page Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau Official Travel Planner by mail or view it online.


Panama City Beach Announces 2014 Events‏

March 4, 2014 on 12:41 pm | In Beachbooker, Dine Drink, Festivals, Florida, Sports Travel, Spring Break, Webbandstand | Comments Off



Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowThe Season Never Stops at the REAL.FUN.BEACH-
Panama City Beach, FL.– Long known for its emerald-green waters and sugar white sand shores, Panama City Beach continues to thrive as a REAL.FUN.BEACH and has become the ultimate coastal playground for its array of year-round events and Southern hospitality. In 2014, the destination will once again host another exciting lineup of concerts, festivals and plenty of Florida sunshine for all ages to enjoy.

Below is an overview of events being held in Panama City Beach in 2014:

Panama City Beach Mardi Gras & Music Festival, Feb. 28-Mar. 1, 2014

The two-day festival and parade takes place in and around Pier Park and is one of the most fun Mardi Gras events anywhere. The event is perfect for the whole family and includes a Mardi Gras Kidz Zone, float tours, Fat Tuesday Street Fair and live musical performances by Zydeco Zoo and Dr. John & the Nite Trippers. For more information, visit www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.

Seabreeze Jazz Festival, April 23-27, 2014

Named “Top 10 Jazz Festival in the USA” by JazzIZ Magazine and recently nominated as “Best Jazz Festival” at the Oasis Smooth Jazz Awards, the Seabreeze Jazz Festival combines the top national smooth jazz artists with a full weekend of fun, sun, great beaches, and good times – all on the west end of Panama City Beach. The event now attracts over 20,000 fans from the USA, Canada, and Europe for the ultimate performance-packed weekend of jazz. For more information, visit www.seabreezejazzfestival.com.

Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally, April 30-May 4 / Oct. 1-5, 2014

Cooltan Tan-Through Shirts & SwimsuitsKnown as “The Most Biker Friendly FREE Rally in the United States,” the Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally is held twice yearly in Panama City Beach during the first weekend in May and mid-October. Bikers from around the country enjoy scenic rides along the Emerald Coast, live entertainment and local cuisine.

For more information, visit www.thunderbeachproductions.com

There’s Music in the Air in Panama City Beach

Throughout the summer, visitors and locals gather for the free summer concert series at Aaron Bessant Park amphitheater, where live performances in the open air amphitheater set the tone for summer. The PCB Summer Concert Series takes place every Thursday night, and Groovin’ on the Green offers a scaled down version of the open air concert series on Monday nights.

4th of July Spectacular, July 4, 2014

Panama City Beach celebrates Fourth of July in style at Pier Park. Families can enjoy a day filled with live entertainment, children’s activities, tasty food and drinks, as well as a breathtaking fireworks display.

Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam, Aug. 29-31, 2014

This Labor Day weekend, the Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam will bring the best of today’s country music to the beach. Festival-goers will get a chance to see many of the biggest names in country music as they take to the stage on the beach then, as the sun begins to set, patrons can ride free shuttles to the headline stage at Frank Brown Park. For more information, visit www.gulfcoastjam.com.

Lobster Festival and Tournament – Sept. 18-21, 2014

Schooners sets the stage for the largest lobster festival in Florida, as the 25th Annual Lobster Festival & Tournament, gives divers a chance to compete, and attendees a chance to eat amazing lobster dishes.

Tournament participants compete in a variety of categories including Spiny lobster, Shovelnose lobster and Big 6. Weigh-ins begin on Saturday and end Sunday, with grand prizes and a Lobster Feast.

The popular Sand Sculpting Contest is now in its 16th year, and takes place on the beach behind Schooners. For more information, visit www.schooners.com.

Pier Fishing Challenge, Oct. 2014

To showcase the world-class fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach is luring avid anglers with weekend-long pier fishing tournaments this fall. Through the month of October, the City Pier vs. County Pier Challenge guarantees a prize purse totaling $7,500.

Extending more than 1,500 feet into the Gulf of Mexico, the M.B. Miller Pier (County Pier) and the Russell-Fields Pier (City Pier) are two of the longest on the Gulf Coast and are prime fishing spots for anglers of all ages.

There is no fee to enter the contest – anyone fishing from the pier is automatically entered into the tournament.

Pirates of the High Seas Festival, Oct. 10-11, 2014

Columbus Day weekend will bring a wave of fun-filled adventures to Panama City Beach with the Pirates of the High Seas Fest. Taking place throughout the coastal community, the festival will include an ensemble of parades and sword-swinging showdowns, culminating with a dueling fireworks display reenacting The Battle of the Seven Seas. For more information, visit www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.

Seafood and Music Festival, Oct. 17-19, 2014

The Panama City Beach Seafood and Music Festival celebrates seafood, fishing, culinary arts, music, entertainment, arts and culture. Headliners last year included Collective Soul, Better than Ezra, Loverboy, and Foreigner. Visit www.pcbeachseafoodfestival.com  for the 2014 lineup when it becomes available.

Ironman Florida, Nov. 1, 2014

What began as a challenge between groups of Navy Seals has become one of the most recognized endurance events in the world. The Ironman consists of a 2.4 mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2 mile run, with the Florida edition of the challenge serving as one of the most popular races on the circuit. For more information, visit http://ironmanflorida.com.

Emerald Coast Cruizin’, Nov. 3-8, 2014

The annual event at Aaron Bessant Park is perfect for families and attracts thousands of classic cars, hot rods, custom cars and trucks. For more information, visit www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.

Panama City Beach’s Biggest Loser Half Marathon/5K RunWalk and Health Expo, Dec. 27-30, 2014

The REAL.FUN.BEACH has partnered with Dan and Jackie Evans, season five contestants on NBC’s hit show “The Biggest Loser,” to offer the RunWalk as a non-intimidating environment for everyone. Participants will walk, jog and run the course with the stunning emerald green waters and sugar-white sands of the Gulf of Mexico serving as a backdrop. For more information, visit www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.

Seventh Annual Beach Ball Drop, Dec. 31, 2014

Celebrate New Year’s on the beach! A family-friendly countdown at 8 p.m. culminates with fireworks and 10,000 beach balls being dropped over the crowd. As the seconds tick down to midnight, thousands of revelers watch an 800-pound glowing beach ball descend to signify the start of a New Year. For more information, visit www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.

Get Your Barbecue Tools HereAbout Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is situated on 27 miles of sugar-white sand beaches bordering clear, emerald-green waters where the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrew Bay converge. With 320 days of sunshine annually and attractions such as St. Andrews State Park and Pier Park, the region has long been favored by travelers seeking an affordable beach vacation with year-round offerings for families, couples, groups and adventure-seekers. These include championship golf courses, spas, sporting events, award-winning dining and diverse recreational activities. In addition, Panama City Beach’s Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport offers non-stop flights on Delta Airlines and Southwest Airlines.

For more information, call 850-233-5070 or visit the official website of the Panama City Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau at http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com .

Stay connected with Panama City Beach on Twitter (@PCBeach) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/visitpanamacitybeach)

Book Your Beach Resort at a Discount

New Extreme Water Sport, Flyboarding, Offered at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit‏

February 26, 2014 on 9:55 am | In Beachbooker, Mexico, Sports Travel, Spring Break, Surfing Resorts | Comments Off



New Hotel Package Includes Flyboard Tour, Savings on Rates,

Spa & Golf Credit & More

Riviera Nayarit, Mexico– Just like veteran actor Leonardo DiCaprio soared above the water off his yacht in the Mediterranean, thrill-seekers are increasingly trying Flyboarding, the new hottest extreme water sport. Vacationers at the AAA Five Diamond Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit can now strap their feet on a personal water craft and fly 40 feet through the air as part of the Flyboard Experience package.

When traveling to the luxury all-inclusive resort before April 26, 2014, the Flyboard Experience includes one Flyboard Tour per adult per stay with tour operator Vallarta Adventures, transportation to and from the tour and savings that include 20 percent on adult rates and 50 percent on rates for kids ages 5 to 16.

Guests also enjoy 10 percent savings at the resort boutique and $50 spa or golf credit that can be used at the resort’s Leading Spa of the World or at a number of impressive local courses.

Traveling between April 27 and Dec.19, 2014 is ideal for families, where the same perks are included, yet savings on rates change to complimentary stays for two kids ages 2 to 12 and 50 percent savings for teens sharing a suite with their parents.

Cooltan Tan-Through Shirts & SwimsuitsGuests at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit enjoy all-inclusive features including luxury suite accommodations, a la carte dining at a choice of gourmet restaurants, gourmet kids menu, premium branded beverages, fitness center with sessions with a personal trainer, 24-hour ensuite service, taxes and gratuities and more. The Flyboard Experience package starts at $339 per adult, per night, based on double occupancy and a three night minimum stay is required.

Visitors during March and April 2014 enjoy a variety of creative kid, teen and family programming, including Picnic Parties featuring animal shows with birds and seals, as well as clowns, magicians and mines. At “Pancho’s Cinema”, guests can watch movies on a large screen and enjoy snacks like popcorn, soda, chips and cookies, while the Pirate-Themed Dinner on the beach is complete with decor, music, and live performers and waiters dressed in costume.

The Teen Club at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit is also open throughout the Spring, where teens enjoy slot machines, foosball, special disco dance floor and video games.

For reservations or more information, please call 1-888-210-9591, email reservations@grandvelas.com , or visit the Flyboard Experience package’s dedicated landing page, WWW.velasresorts.com/flyboard/en/

About Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit:

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, an all-suites and spa resort located just 15 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta on Banderas Bay, is a member of The Leading Hotels of the World and a recipient of the AAA Five-Diamond Award. The resort features 267 spacious ocean-view suites. The crown jewel of the resort and a member of Leading Spas of the World, the Spa at Grand Velas features 20 treatment rooms, over 60 spa treatments, gym and exercise room, spa boutique and beauty salon. The family-friendly resort also offers tiered three-temperature infinity pools, tennis court, 25,321 total sq feet of meeting space and a Kids Club. Nearby are championship golf courses, numerous options for soft adventure, and the charming town of Puerto Vallarta with its many shops, art galleries and nightlife. Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit has received numerous accolades within the industry, most recently named one of Forbes’ 10 Coolest All-Inclusive Resorts, as well as a 2013 Best Hotel In Mexico and the #1 Hotel in Puerto Vallarta by U.S. News & World Report.


Spring Break Airfares

February 25, 2014 on 10:15 am | In Airlines, Beachbooker, Spring Break | Comments Off



Ah, decisions, decisions.

South Florida? Orlando? Cancun? Lake Havasu? Las Vegas?

It’s Spring Break time over the next month or so at thousands of colleges and high schools across the country, which means hundreds of thousands of students will be deciding where to spend that memorable week that will be talked about for years to come.

But just about wherever they go this spring – and wherever they go there from – the cost of the plane ticket will increase over last year, according to two different reports.

A Travelocity.com survey shows airfare prices are up 14.7 percent for the Spring Break period (traditionally March 1 to April 15).

Travelocity Senior Editor Courtney Scott said spring breakers are going to have to get creative this year.

“Travelers should try to travel on off-peak days, bundle flight and hotel bookings into vacation packages and search flights in surrounding airports,” she said.

And that might be the key right there – finding the best airport to fly out of and the best time. Another online travel service, Hopper.com, found that the weeks of March 16 and March 23 will be the most expensive for spring break airfares, Traveling during those weeks could add up to 34% onto an average ticket price.

Fly.com reports the average roundtrip airfares for many popular spring break destinations dropped in price compared with 2013.  However, travelers flying out of Boston and Columbus, Ohio for instance can expect to see an overall 1-to-2 percent price increase to destinations from their city. The largest fare hike was 39 percent from Boston to San Juan, Puerto Rico, where the average roundtrip flight costs $406 this spring.

On the flip side, while some routes decreased in price by as much as 66 percent (Philadelphia to Dallas), the No. 1 spring break destination for seven of the eight college towns analyzed, respectively, was not the cheapest flight route available. The top destinations also failed to experience the biggest year-on-year price drop.

“Students and families need to make smart, informed decisions if they want to save money on airfare this spring,” said Warren Chang, vice president and general manager, Fly.com.  “Sticking with last year’s destination may not add up. On the East Coast, we are seeing tremendous value from destinations like Las Vegas, Cancun and West Palm Beach and, for West Coast travelers, flights to Hawaii are trending significantly lower than last year.”

Fly.com used data collected from more than 4.75 million user searches and extracted domestic and international flights with travel dates between March 1 – April 6, 2014, for major college towns in California, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.

Here are its findings:

Boston:
2014 Top 10 Routes

Avg. Fare

YOY Fare Change

1. Orlando

$279

9%

2. Fort Myers

$261

-11%

3. Fort Lauderdale

$277

-5%

4. West Palm Beach

$220

-21%

5. Tampa

$262

-5%

6. Las Vegas

$363

6%

7. Miami

$352

6%

8. Chicago

$199

1%

9. San Juan, Puerto Rico

$406

39%

10. Oranjestad, Aruba

$492

-2%

Columbus:
2014 Top 10 Routes

Avg. Fare

YOY Fare Change

1. Las Vegas

$386

0%

2. Orlando

$342

-3%

3. Fort Lauderdale

$367

5%

4. Fort Myers

$361

1%

5. Tampa

$343

2%

6. Miami

$356

-8%

7. Phoenix

$409

8%

8. San Diego

$537

13%

9. Cancun, Mexico

$511

-17%

10. Honolulu

$880

9%

Detroit:
2014 Top 10 Routes

Avg. Fare

YOY Fare Change

1. Tampa

$462

-13%

2. Miami

$369

-8%

3. Los Angeles

$350

-9%

4. San Diego

$388

-15%

5. New Orleans

$358

27%

6. New York City

$171

-26%

7. Cancun, Mexico

$478

-2%

8. Salt Lake City

$396

-11%

9. West Palm Beach

$338

-19%

10. San Antonio

$420

-1%

Los Angeles:
2014 Top 10 Routes

Avg. Fare

YOY Fare Change

1. Honolulu

$438

-21%

2. Las Vegas

$141

-7%

3. New York City

$329

-6%

4. Seattle

$183

-21%

5. Miami

$395

18%

6. Kahului, Maui

$601

-12%

7. Lihue, Kauai

$617

-1%

8. London, U.K.

$861

-5%

9. Los Cabos, Mexico

$389

9%

10. Fort Lauderdale

$358

2%

New York City:
2014 Top 10 Routes

Avg. Fare

YOY Fare Change

1. New Orleans

$298

-2%

2. Las Vegas

$358

-10%

3. Miami

$301

0%

4. Fort Lauderdale

$264

-8%

5. San Juan, Puerto Rico

$361

-4%

6. Paris, France

$761

-9%

7. Cancun, Mexico

$441

-21%

8. Los Angeles

$333

-14%

9. Punta Cana, D.R.

$485

-18%

10. Guayaquil, Ecuador

$566

-11%

Philadelphia:
2014 Top 10 Routes

Avg. Fare

YOY Fare Change

1. Las Vegas

$207

-40%

2. Orlando

$266

-19%

3. Dallas

$135

-66%

4. Fort Lauderdale

$288

3%

5. Miami

$303

-5%

6. Tampa

$284

7%

7. New Orleans

$354

32%

8. Fort Myers

$288

-15%

9. Los Angeles

$319

-1%

10. San Diego

$338

-5%

San Francisco:
2014 Top 10 Routes

Avg. Fare

YOY Fare Change

1. New York City

$318

-11%

2. Honolulu

$507

-14%

3. Las Vegas

$210

4%

4. Fort Lauderdale

$391

-4%

5. Shanghai, China

$713

-22%

6. Miami

$451

0%

7. Cancun, Mexico

$497

-17%

8. Los Angeles

$159

-2%

9. Denver

$200

-22%

10. New Orleans

$464

-3%

Washington D.C.:
2014 Top 10 Routes

Avg.  Fare

YOY Fare Change

1. Tampa

$194

-23%

2. Las Vegas

$331

-23%

3. Fort Lauderdale

$317

26%

4. Miami

$321

9%

5. San Juan, Puerto Rico

$377

7%

6. Lima, Peru

$573

-13%

7. New Orleans

$271

-11%

8. Cancun, Mexico

$438

-23%

9. Orlando

$269

-36%

10. San Diego

$285

-32%


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