Archive for July, 2013

North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Beaches, Nature, and More

Friday, July 26th, 2013

Vacation Package Deals to North Carolina Outer Banks, online travel booking, chep travel deals, hotel accommodations, travel reservations, discount travel

 Vacation Package Deals to North Carolina Outer Banks, online travel booking, chep travel deals, hotel accommodations, travel reservations, discount travel

The Outer Banks located in North Carolina are a group of barrier islands stretching along the Atlantic coast nearly 100 miles made up of the Northern Beaches, Roanoke Island & Dare Mainland, and Hatteras Island.  If you are going to fly the best airports to arrive at are either Norfolk, Virginia (ORF) which is a two hour drive down the coast, or Raleigh Durham, North Carolina (RDU) which is about a 4 hour drive depending on traffic.    You can find a variety of flights, hotels and car rental deals at Voyagemonkey.com.

The Northern Beaches consist of the following towns:  Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head.  These small towns are a wonderful vacation spot filled with great beaches, outdoor activities including kayaking, jet skiing, and paddle boards, as well as some food fishing.  On the music scene, the town of Duck will host its annual Jazz Festival in October which commenced in 2007.  And for those that enjoy nature, Kitty Hawk boasts a 461 acres of maritime forest reserve called Kitty Hawk Woods featuring 1877.2 acres of maritime deciduous swamp, forest and marsh.  The reserve has a great diversity of wildlife from the gray fox and white tailed deer to muskrats, river otters, reptiles, hawks, warblers and herons to name a few.  The reserve has hiking trails and is closed to the public after sunset.  And of course, you cannot go to the Northern Beaches without spending some time in Kill Devil Hills home to the Wright Brothers Memorial Shaft , the site of the first heavier than air powered flight.  On December 17, 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright made a twelve second and 120 foot flight which commenced the Age of Aviation.  Whether you relax along the beaches, hike the trails in Kitty Hawk or shop at the Tanger Outlets in Nags Head, there are activities for everyone to enjoy.  There are also many good restaurants to choose from and Voyagemonkey.com  recommends the Colington Café located behind the Wright Memorial in a beautiful Victorian home that has a variety of gourmet food and great service that easily accommodate intimate parties or large groups.  Other restaurants we recommend are the Flying Fish Café, and Miller’s Seafood and Steak House.  When it comes to lodging, the town of Kill Devil Hills has a variety of vacation rentals, as well as many moderately priced hotels and motels with great deals to be found at Voyagemonkey.com

As you move down the coast to Roanoke Island & Dare Mainland you will arrive upon the waterfront town of Manteo in the North and the fishing village of Wanchese located at the southernmost end of Roanoke Island.   The main attractions consist of the Roanoke Island Festival Park exhibiting a 25-acre interactive historic site representing the first English settlement attempt in 1585, North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island known for the largest collection of sharks in the state, Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on 513 acres of land which includes the Elizabethan Gardens built as a memorial to Sir Walter Raleigh’s lost colonists, and the historic Bodie Island Lighthouse built in 1872.  There are also plenty of restaurants including Front Porch Café, Stripers Bar & Grille, and La Dolce Vita.

For a fun day trip to explore the southernmost towns of The Outer Banks, you can drive from Nags Head down to Hatteras in less than 2 hours and explore the many beautiful towns along the way including Rodanthe which was the setting for the major motion picture starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane name Nights in Rodanthe, as well as the town Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton home of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Frisco and Hatteras each boasting of the natural unspoiled beauty and wildlife, local restaurants, as well as vacation rentals and motels.  Now go and explore North Carolina’s Outer Banks for another fun-filled adventure filled with American History.  Find easy online travel booking now at VoyageMonkey.com Travel.

Chicago, the Windy City By the Lake

Monday, July 1st, 2013

 Chicago vacation package deals, Chicago hotel accommodations, Chicago travel deals, Chicago discount travel, Chicago online travel booking

 Chicago vacation package deals, Chicago hotel accommodations, Chicago travel deals, Chicago discount travel, Chicago online travel booking

Chicago is one of America’s top visited cities, offering some of the best hotel accommodations around.  Besides its outdoor activities on Lake Michigan some of the nation’s top restaurants, nightlife, shopping and museums are located here.   The beautiful cityscape views alone make it a destination worth visiting.  Lake Michigan offers an excellent summertime playground along with port access to the Atlantic through the Saint Lawrence Seaway.  The lake provides fun beaches in and around the city as well as several marinas for boating, sailing and a multitude of recreational water sports.

Visitors should be sure to explore the popular Navy Pier, and discover the thrilling rides, activities, dining, and shopping along the pier.  The pier includes over 50 acres of parks, promenades, gardens, shops, restaurants and attractions.  Here you can catch various boat tours of the lake and aquatic activities.  You can rent a bike, skates,  or a Segway at the pier, or enjoy the 150-foot-high Ferris wheel, musical carousel, old-fashioned swing ride, fun house, maze, an 18-hole miniature golf course, Children’s and Stained Glass Museum, and more.  Restaurants include the Riva Crab House, Harry Caray’s Tavern, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville.

Chicago’s “Museums in the Park” are another main attraction of this city.  The Museums in the Park comprise a coalition of eleven of the most visited museums in the United States.  Around 8 million people visit these museums annually.  Located on the Chicago Park District property, in and around Grant Park and South Lake Shore Drive, the Museums include the popular Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium, Museum of Science & Industry, Museum of Contemporary Art, and various other history, art, and culture museums.   While visiting the museums you can enjoy your stroll through the lake front park, with its beautiful fountains and other attractions like Millennium Park.

To fully appreciate this city many visitors choose to visit one of the city’s famous Skydecks and observatories to view the city from above.  Atop the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower), Skydeck Chicago attracts nearly 1.3 million visitors each year to its 103rd floor observation deck, which is 1,353 feet above the street.  The 110-story Willis Tower is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere and is still one of the tallest buildings in the world.  On a clear day, you can scan the horizon to Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois. For the best views you can step out onto The Ledge, a glass-enclosed balcony.  The tower is located at 233 S Wacker Dr.   As an alternative, Located at 875 N Michigan Ave along “The Magnificent Mile” district, the John Hancock Center Observatory offers views that are just as good from 1,000 feet.  You can step outside at 1,000 feet and find out why Chicago is called the windy city.  Also, you can take an elevator up to an even higher floor and enjoy the same views with a cocktail in hand.  Views also stretch across 4 states and Lake Michigan.

The Magnificent Mile district is a 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue with endless shopping, top rated international cuisine, theatre, shows, galleries, bars & clubs, dancing, luxury hotels, lively entertainment, nightlife, and majestic architecture.   The district features more than 460 stores, 275 restaurants, 60 hotels and plenty of unique entertainments and attraction.  Here you can find some of the best dining in Chicago.  Enjoy French, Latin, Italian, Asian, Indian, contemporary American, seafood, and some of the best steak houses in America.  Top rated Steak houses include Mike Ditka’s, Michael Jordan’s, Harry Caray’s, and various top national steak house chains like Morton’s, Smith & Wollensky, McCormick & Schmick’s, Mastro’s, Lawry’s, and Fleming’s.  Chicago is serious about their steak, so enjoy one of the best steaks you will ever eat.  In this district you’ll find some of the best Chicago hotels like the Fairmont, Ritz-Carlton, Walforf Astoria, Sofitel, Omni, Trump, as well as the Westin, Sheraton, Hyatt, Marriott, and the W Hotel overlooking the lake.

Search our travel deals at VoyageMonkey.com Travel to find your hotel, flight and rental car for your Chicago vacation.