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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts in ‘Things to do in North America’

Great Saunter to explore rim of Manhattan on foot

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Adventurous holidaymakers planning New York tours later this year may be interested in taking part in the Great Saunter, a hike around the rim of Manhattan.

The 32-mile walk, which will be held for the 24th time this year, is scheduled for May 2nd.

Most of the route is fairly flat and the pace is described as "steady but not fast", although visitors should be aware that the walk will take place come rain or shine so waterproof clothing may be necessary.

Setting off from the South Street seaport at 07:30 local time, participants in the Great Saunter will pass through 20 parks and see the Statue of Liberty, all four of New York’s outer boroughs, the New Jersey Palisades and other sights.

Described as a "world famous civic event", the walk has received support from high-profile figures including secretary of state Hillary Clinton and New York mayor Mike Bloomberg in the past.

It is organised by Shorewalkers, which arranges numerous hikes across the state of New York throughout the year.

An itinerary arranged for April 26th will take in three lakes and three parks in Queens, while on May 9th visitors will be able to take part in a tour of the bridges and waterways of Central Park.

New York – From the dizzy heights of the Empire State Building to the serene Central Park, New York has it all!ADNFCR-1652-ID-19061507-ADNFCR

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Visit New York for the Five-Boro Bike Tour

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New York will become a hive of energy and activity at the beginning of May as it plays host to the Five-Boro Bike Tour, one of its most popular annual events.

Scheduled for May 3rd this year, the event will give people on New York tours the opportunity to travel 42 miles through the city using nothing but pedal power.

Some 30,000 people will hop on bikes to take part in the tour, making it the largest recreational cycling event in America.

The journey begins in Manhattan and heads north, passing through Central Park, Harlem, the Bronx, Queens and Brooklyn, taking in some of New York’s most iconic sights along the way.

Registration is limited so people planning to take part will have to act fast, but those who do not participate can still gather at various locations to see the impressive sight of 30,000 cyclists rushing past.

The Five-Boro Bike Tour is organised by Bike New York, which will also arrange events in Harlem, Long Island and New Jersey later this year.

New York – From the dizzy heights of the Empire State Building to the serene Central Park, New York has it all!ADNFCR-1652-ID-19051691-ADNFCR

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Obama Roots in Kogelo (Kenya) – Obama history tours

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Just as billions of other people, the isango! team has paused work to follow Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration. Parades are still on as we write, and partying will go on all night. We all have heard a lot about President Obama’s background and his global footsteps, from Hawaii to Indonesia, Kenya and Chicago.

We happened to discuss about Obama’s roots with one of our suppliers in Kenya, and we discovered the local village of Kogelo is becoming a key travel destination. Not just now, but since Obama’s 2004 election to Senator of Illinois there seem to be a steady flow of visits to Obama’s family house. The Kogelo village is rumoured to be building a small airport to welcome tourists. Given Kenya is becoming a popular golf destination (in addition to the classic safaris and beach resorts), it’s likely that the village will thrive with more and more visitors. continue reading

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Where to get the best travel deals this January

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In response to the credit crunch and the current recession the travel industry has now followed the lead of the high street and gone sale crazy. The discounts offered aren’t quite as strong as the ones offered in the high street, but there are still some great flight, hotel and package holiday bargains to be had. Read on for our guide to the best travel deals this January. Save as much money as you can on flights and hotels and then come back to isango! to spend the savings on the activities and experiences that make your holiday truly memorable. continue reading

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Famous Los Angeles lights come to a climax

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Few outdoor winter events in Los Angeles are as popular as the annual Griffin Park Holiday Lights Festival, which is to close at the end of the month after a fantastic run.

On December 30th the spectacular display along a stretch of Crystal Springs Drive will come to a close and there is sure to be a surge in popularity of this long-running and much-loved attraction among locals and those on Los Angeles tours alike.

At around a mile in length the festival is impressive in terms of its scale as well as it aesthetics and this year’s display could go down as one of the best ever. Highlights include illuminated renderings of the Statue of Liberty, the Hollywood sign and an incredible Tunnel of Lights.

In addition to the lights, the festival also incorporates a Reindeer Romp at the nearby LA Zoo and the Spark of Love Toy Drive, which aims to gather donations for underprivileged children at this special time of year.

The festival has been running for the last 13 years, attracts some half a million visitors each year and is organised by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
ADNFCR-1652-ID-18922622-ADNFCR

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‘Giant’ LA street party kicks off 2009 with a bang

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A huge street party in Downtown Los Angeles is set to usher in the new year in style later this month.

On January 31st the Giant Maximus party will occupy a sprawling seven-acre site off 8th Street and Figueroa to celebrate the biggest party night of the year.

For the third year running the event will bring together some of the biggest names in the dance music business for an unforgettable night of action underneath the collection of heated ‘big-top’-style marquees.

This year’s event will run on the theme of ‘circus’, meaning freaks and stilt-walkers galore should be out in force around the event, delighting revellers on Los Angeles tours with their antics as the clock ticks on towards midnight.

Multi-talented DJ, producers and musician Moby will be headlining the main stage, alongside such legendary names in the dance music world as Benny Benassi and Paul Oakenfold.

New York may have its dropping ball in Times Square but for the clubbing fraternity of the City of Angeles there is only one place to be on NYE – Giant Maximus.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18921090-ADNFCR

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“Zoopendous” fun in Los Angeles

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A popular monthly event at the famous Los Angeles Zoo offers a rare chance to experience a different side of this terrific family attraction.

The first Zoopendous Nights of 2009 will be held on January 24th and 25th, with plenty of zoological fun in store for all the family.

The event gives younger visitors on Los Angeles tours the chance to see the attraction after dark and take part in some unique and very hands-on experiences.

After gorging themselves on pizza and salad, the youngsters can listen to some animals stories to send them off to sleep before waking up to the sound of the natural world rising for the day all around them, with a hearty continental breakfast to look forward to as well.

The city has enjoyed a zoological attraction since 1885, with the current Los Angeles Zoo opening in 1966. One of the original residents, an alligator named Methuselah, is still on display to visitors today.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18919767-ADNFCR

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New York, New Year in Times Square

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The heart of downtown Manhattan, Times Square is the center of the cultural and social life of the city – making it an appropriate location for the one of the biggest and most famous new year’s celebrations on Earth.

On December 31st the iconic spot will see hundreds of thousands of revellers of all ages gather to enjoy the last moments of 2008 and usher in 2009.

While all the usual accoutrements of the passing of one year to the next are observed – not least a rousing chorus of Auld Lang Syne – the most well-known tradition is one unique to the city: the dropping of the ball at One Times Square, which marks the stroke of midnight.

Bars, restaurants and hotels around the area will be packed out with happy partygoers, with some of the more high-rise establishments offering some very special deals and exclusive views of the evening’s proceedings.

Visitors to the Big Apple enjoying one of the many New York tours on offer over the festive period should consider making Times Square their party point of choice on New Year’s Eve.

Why not book tickets for the Manhattan Sky or Observatory in advance?ADNFCR-1652-ID-18915854-ADNFCR

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Christmas shopping in New York still on the cards

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Despite the slump in the value of the pound against the US dollar, British people might still consider jetting off to the Big Apple to do their Christmas shopping, it has been suggested.

According to a leading travel publisher, the sustained interest in this seasonal treat might even be because of the credit crunch, rather than in spite of it.

Tom Hall, travel editor at Lonely Planet, said: "The temptation of busting out of the gloom that surrounds them [UK holidaymakers] at the moment and going and living it up in New York for a few days, might override other concerns."

In addition, Mr Hall suggested that the environmental impact of long-haul travel might also be put on the back burner while the economy is in the doldrums.

"I think everybody is aware of the environmental impact of a huge number of things in their life, flying is obviously included in that. Whether it stops people going who want to go, I’m not sure."

Founded by Tony and Maureen Wheeler when they published their first guide, entitled Across Asia on the Cheap, Lonely Planet has become one of the best-selling travel book series worldwide over the last 30 years.

New York – From the dizzy heights of the Empire State Building to the serene Central Park New York has it all!ADNFCR-1652-ID-18902750-ADNFCR

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Legendary dog sled race commemorates through competition

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In March 2009 a legendary dog race will begin winding its way across the frozen expanses of Alaska.

The Iditarod Dog Sled Race commemorates the efforts of the a group of sledders who transported vital medicines to diphtheria victims in the Bering Sea town of Nome during the outbreak of 1925.

During the courageous journey 20 drivers risked their lives to travel for five days with their life-saving cargo.

The race began as a commemoration of this heroic effort and while this still a crucial part of proceedings, it has now evolved into a fiercely competitive event.

On the first Saturday of March a ceremonial start in Anchorage remembers the actions of the brave souls more than 80 years ago, before the restart the following day in Wasilla begins the main event, which will poignantly conclude in Nome itself.

The race covers 1150 miles of some of the most spectacular scenery and terrain anywhere on Earth and will take the competitors anywhere between 10 and 17 days to complete.

Alaska is the largest US state in terms of land mass but only has a population of just under 700,000 people.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18897737-ADNFCR

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