Tag Archives: walking

Visit New Orleans: Celebrating 300 years of History, Art, and Music

Happy Tricentennial Birthday New Orleans!

My first visit to New Orleans was Mardi Gras (1999) and I have returned a few more times for Thanksgiving and festivals. Every visit is a great time filled with fun, food, history, and entertainment.

2018 marks the tricentennial birthday for New Orleans and I could not pass up the opportunity to celebrate the big 3-0-0!

First-time visitors typically stick to the top 5 activities, which are a very good place to start, and revisit anytime in New Orleans. Continue reading Visit New Orleans: Celebrating 300 years of History, Art, and Music

Best of Downtown Tempe, Arizona

Tempe, Arizona is home to Arizona State University and located in the heart of the Valley of the Sun.  I am no stranger to Tempe, graduating from both high school and University. Many years later, I am back to walk down memory lane and explore my hometown. Tempe is no longer just a college town in the shadow of Phoenix and Scottsdale, this little town has grown up!  Offering an amazing variety of excellent independent restaurants, shops, and activities, Tempe is a wonderful blend of modern and hip fitting along the rich history of the town.Best of Downtown Tempe AZ

Visiting twice in the last two months, I have discovered some new and wonderful activities and am reminded of the spots that are better than ever.  Here are my recommendations for the Best of Downtown Tempe Activites, Shopping, and Dining. Continue reading Best of Downtown Tempe, Arizona

Exploring Seattle’s Underground in Pioneer Square

Pioneer Square Park

Park at Pioneer Square
Park at Pioneer Square

Tucked behind the modern Seattle waterfront is the historic area of Pioneer Square.  The most noticeable landmark is the triangle shaped park in the heart of Pioneer Square. Continue reading Exploring Seattle’s Underground in Pioneer Square

Humacao Natural Reserve

Humacao Natural ReserveThe Humacao Natural Reserve is located on the East Coast of Puerto Rico near the community of Palmas del Mar.  Behind the small unassuming entrance awaits big adventure exploring the lagoons, swamps, and wetlands.  The walking and bike trails are well maintained throughout the reserve.  Kayakers can enjoy the calm lagoon waters in a secluded section of the reserve.  Fishing is a common sight from the bridges and docks.  There are multiple floating docks along the lagoons for fishing and unobstructed views over the lagoon water.  The majority of the natural reserve is shaded by the lush foliage making it a pleasant destination year round. Continue reading Humacao Natural Reserve

Winter in NYC Tourist Highlights

New York City is a busy, loud bustle of activity and I love it!  Coming from the hot, dry desert, NYC is especially magical in the Winter.  I never stay as long as I want, nor do everything on my travel list, since NYC is so expensive.

Here are my favorite, and best value, activities for NYC in the winter.

First, the FREE stuff!

Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal

Grand Central Station – Officially known as Grand Central Terminal, this may be your first stop when arriving in NYC.  A major hub for trains, this busy station is a destination for most tourists.  Take a moment and look up at the elaborate astronomical ceiling in the Main Concourse, clocks, and sculptures throughout.

Rockefeller Center
Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center – Check out the world famous Christmas tree (perfect for selfies), golden sculpture of Prometheus, and Ice Skating rink.  Do not let the crowds scare you away, add people watching to your activities at the center.

Macy's Herald Square
Macy’s Herald Square

Department Store Window Display – Walk down 5th Ave and check out the Window displays starting at Bloomingdale’s (closer to 3rd Ave), and moving on to Barney’s, Tiffany’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks, Lord & Taylor, and Macy’s Herald Square.  These are no ordinary displays!  Every year these stores create an impressive display of movement, animatronics, light shows, music, color, and imagination!

Empire State Building
Empire State Building view from Monarch bar in Herald Square

Empire State Building – Visible all along 5th Ave, the Empire State Building is best viewed from Herald Square, a perfect accompaniment to the Window Displays.   There are restaurants, shopping, and elevator rides to the observation decks (not free, not cheap, but a bucket list item for many people).

Central Park
Central Park

Central Park – Walk around and take in the NYC skyline view from the park.  Wear comfortable walking shoes to explore tip to tip of this impressive park.  Bundle up and check out all the spots featured in TV and Movies.  The best time to go is after fresh snowfall, it is simple stunning!

Times Square – No trip to NYC is complete without walking through Times Square. Known as the Crossroads of the World, so many activities will lead you to Times Square, in fact, it is difficult to visit NYC without passing through.

High Value Activities (do whatever your budget allows)

Radio City Music Hall view from the Mezzanine level
Radio City Music Hall view from the Mezzanine level

Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular – The best seats to see the entire show, and intricately choreographed Rockettes dancing, is from the First Mezzanine.  There are several shows per day, and the earliest and latest shows tend to be less expensive.  These tickets sell out fast, so buy your tickets as soon as possible.

Lion King Mask in Theater Lobby
Lion King Mask in Theater Lobby

 

Broadway Show – This is where travelling solo really has advantage, buying a single ticket is easier and you get better seating for one.  Check out show availability and prices, certain nights and showtimes are cheaper than others.  I scored 6th row center seats to Lion King for Thursday night, when Friday was completely sold out!

Lion King 6th Row
Lion King 6th Row

Russian Tea Room – Stop in for Breakfast, 3 course lunch, Pre & Post Theatre 3 Course Dinner, or between meal time for a drink (hot or cold, plus full bar).  The decor, ambiance, and amazing artwork is well worth the visit.

Russian Tea Room
Russian Tea Room

NYC Observation Decks – Rockefeller Center offers views at Top of The Rock, Empire State Building, One World Observatory all require (pricey) tickets to access the observation decks.  I paid to visit one observation deck years ago, now I try to book reservations at restaurants that are on high floors of skyscrapers.

winter-in-nycHotels, Food and Drink are more expensive than comparable cities throughout the US. Less expensive deals can be found, do your research and assume that if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is in NYC.  Above all, take advantage of all the free and fabulous sights the city has to offer!

Want more?  Wanderlustingk has are even more tips for Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve, and holiday activity around New York!