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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’

New York ‘the premier Christmas destination’

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New York is the "ultimate city" for a Christmas break, one travel expert has said.

The city offers appeal all year round, but comes into its own over the festive season, said Tom Hall from the Lonely Planet.

He explained that the "thought of hopping across the Atlantic for a few days" is appealing to holidaymakers, explaining that low-cost travel and hotel accommodation is widely available.

Just before Christmas is a "good time" to visit New York as prices tend to be more affordable than over the actually holidays.

"Ultimately the more cities you visit, the more you realise that New York is, in many ways the ultimate city, and it’s somewhere that goes beyond shopping, so it’s great for three or four days, or even longer if you can spare it."

Research from the Post Office Travel Services Christmas Shopping Guide has revealed that consumers can save 17 per cent on presents by shopping in New York.

The best savings were found on designer clothes, with many other bargains also available.

New York – From the dizzy heights of the Empire State Building to the serene Central Park New York has it all!ADNFCR-1652-ID-18893536-ADNFCR

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The world’s eyes look to Florida on Superbowl Sunday

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Sporting events don’t come much bigger than the Superbowl, NFL’s season finale which is watched by American football fans the world over.

The game to decide the 2008-2009 champions will take place on February 3rd next year and will see the top two teams from the United States battle it out to claim their place in history.

The epic tussle that was Superbowl XLII saw a dramatic finish as the New York Giants inflicted the only defeat of the campaign on the New England Patriots, denying them what would have been a perfect 19-0 season in the process.

Next year’s Superbowl XLIII, to be held at the Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida for only the second time, promises to be just as much of a bruising encounter.

So this season AFC South surprise package the Tennessee Titans have only lost one game, as have reigning champions the Giants of the NFC East, but all this could well change by the time Superbowl Sunday rolls around.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18893072-ADNFCR

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Movies by the beach make for a great occasion

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One of the most beautiful spots on the Californian coastline is the setting for an understandably laid-back filmic treat every January.

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival attracts some of the best in mainstream and independent cinema to its enviable coastal location from January 22nd to February 1st.

Known for its golden beach, beautiful palm trees and surf culture-infused lifestyle, the relaxing idyll will welcome big names from both in front of and behind the camera, with festival honours going to the likes of Penelope Cruz and Kristen Scott Thomas.

A highlight will be the presentation of the American Riviera Award to Mickey Rourke, in honour his superb resurgence to major movie-making in the past few years.

Alongside the usual raft of screenings there will be a rich programme of forums, discussions and other fun events to support the varied range of films on offer.

With beautiful scenery, plenty of sunshine and – for a few days in January – fantastic movies, Santa Barbara really does seem to have it all.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18886958-ADNFCR

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Hollywood migrates east for Sundance

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Perhaps second only to Cannes in terms of its international recognition, the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah will once again see the great and the good of mainstream and independent cinema gather together.

Combining established stars from both in front of and behind the camera with lesser known names in fringe and art-house movie-making, the festival gives film fans and scribblers the chance to preview some of the biggest and most hyped productions of the coming year.

The 2009 event, taking place from January 15th to 25th, will see some 200 films selected from over 9,000 initially submitted to the panel.

Aside from the range of screenings on offer, the Off Screen program is very extensive, featuring talks, workshops, discussion forums and prize-giving across the range of venues incorporated into the respected event.

The festival is organised by the Sundance Institute, which was formed by Hollywood legend Robert Redford in 1981.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18880762-ADNFCR

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Cowboys from far and wide saddle up for Denver

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For almost a century the National Western Stock Show has combined the best in cattle and livestock sales and a huge rodeo competition, drawing in cowboys and cowgirls from across the United States.

From January 10th to 25th, the Denver Coliseum will play host to an archetypal American festival, a celebration of the frontier spirit and love of ranching animals that has underpinned much of the country’s proud history.

The indoor rodeo contests are the biggest of their kind and incorporate every discipline from bareback riding to steer wrestling, all of which delights the crowds which are expected to exceed half a million people.

Stock auctions bring the premier breeders and buyers in the ranching and farming industries, as well as exhibitions of agricultural machinery and demonstrations of farm skills such as sheep shearing.

Visitors young and old can take in the sights and sounds of this genuine slice of Americana in one of the country’s most beautiful states, Colorado.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18870052-ADNFCR

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Unique golfing event honours one of the game’s favourite celebrities

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The Bob Hope Chrysler Classic brings together some of the biggest names in golf in an event made famous by one of the funniest men to play the game.

Comedian Bob Hope gave his name to this event in 1965 and cemented its place in the celebrity pro-am golfing calendar, attracting some of the biggest names in the sport, entertainment and even politics.

The tournament is played over five days and four different courses: the Palmer and Nicklaus Private courses at PGA West, the SilverRock Resort and the Bermuda Dunes Country Club.

In it’s 50-year history the event has seen appearances by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, President Dwight Eisenhower and Samuel L. Jackson (who won last year’s event), to name but a few.

It is thought that Bob Hope scored as many as six holes-in-one during his lifetime. The much-loved comedian died in 2003, aged 100.

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-18867744-ADNFCR

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A bite of the Big Apple set to get cheaper in January

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Dining out in New York City can be just as expensive as any city on Earth, but during January the fine cuisine it has to offer is set to be that much more affordable.

NYC Winter Restaurant Week sees some of the biggest locations in the city’s culinary compass offer reduced rates for their dining experiences.

In our credit-crunching times many gastronomes might be keen to book a table for a special occasion and take advantage of the tasty offers available during the event.

Among the 220 restaurants that took part in last year’s Week were Mai House and Ruby Foo’s.

The prices for three-course lunches were fixed at $24.07, in honour of the non-stop society of ‘the city that never sleeps’, with a three-course dinner available at $35.

New York has always been famed for its nightlife and gastronomy. It is home to Nobu, the joint venture between the famed Japanese chef Nobuyuki "Nobu" Matsuhisa and actor Robert de Niro, which is among the most exclusive and highly-regarded restaurants in the world.

New York – From the dizzy heights of the Empire State Building to the serene Central Park New York has it all!ADNFCR-1652-ID-18867494-ADNFCR

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Hero’s day of remembrance takes on new resonance for contemporary America

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Martin Luther King Jr Day, falling on the third Monday in January, around the time of his birthday on the 15th, will take on new resonance this year.

It will be the first occurrence of the national holiday with a black man in the White House, marking a remarkable journey from the days of slavery and prejudice against which Dr King’s civil rights movement railed against in the 1950s and 60s.

All over America people young and old, black and white celebrate the life and work of the man who pioneered non-violent protest and became known as an inspirational orator.

The day of remembrance includes celebrations such as, a special concert held in Atlanta, Georgia at the Martin Luther King Jr International Chapel and a massive parade through Los Angeles, one of the most racially diverse cities in the world.

While Barack Obama’s accession to the White House is down to a number of political and social factors, the very fact that the new commander-in-chief is an African-American is being seen as a momentous step.

Democrat Barack Obama defeated John McCain in the US Presidential Election on November 4th, collecting significantly more than the requisite 270 Electoral College votes required to win.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18861356-ADNFCR

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Champions Tour gets into full swing in Hawaii

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The PGA Champions Tour is the senior professional circuit and one of the favourite parts of the worldwide golfing calendar.

Teeing off this year”s tour is the MasterCard Championship at Hualalai Golf Course at Ka”upulehu-Kona in Hawaii.

Featuring a host of former top-ranked players, the tour draws big crowds and awards big prize money, with a combined purse of $1.8 million to be spread among the field.

The course was designed by the legendary all-time leading major winner Jack Nicklaus and sits alongside a spectacular run of volcanic coastline, the very kind which marks Hawaii out as one of the world”s most unique and beautiful visitor destinations.

Famous names who might appear at the event include old campaigners like Bernhard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Nick Price, not to mention defending champion Fred Funk.

Golf fans and those in search of picturesque and peaceful surrounding need look no further than this stunning Pacific Island.

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-18857862-ADNFCR

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California city revels in ”anti-festival”

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In a world where every event has to have a festival to go with it, one group of organisers – or, rather, ”unorganisers” – satirise the culture with the annual Doo Dah Parade.

Held in the Old Town district of Pasadena, a city on the outskirts of Los Angeles, the parade began life as a spoof of the Festival of Roses, held each year to celebrate the revered annual college football showdown, in 1976.

Its founders perceived an increasing tightening of rules and regulations associated with the event and decided to strike back with their own celebration which revels in having no rules, no restrictions and no theme whatsoever.

The result is a carnival like atmosphere where, it seems, anything goes – perhaps explaining it being described as a "passport to weirdness" by those behind it.

Thousands of spectators gather to watch performers cavort through the city under the watchful eye of the Grand Marshall.

While anyone can take part they should be mindful of just how random they”re expected to be given the past attractions, which have included Synchronised Precision Briefcase Marching Drill Team.

Special Interest – Nightlife – From an extravagant meal to an eerie ghost walk – plenty of things to keep you entertained after the sun goes down.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18855674-ADNFCR

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