Vegas can be an expensive place once you've gambled, shopped and seen a few shows. Save a bit of money by eating at one of the buffets. For around $12 you get all you can eat. There's a surprisingly good range of food, including plenty of friut and veg if you starting to tire of burgers and Coke.
If you fancy a break from Vegas's 24-hour noise and neon, then get yourself on a tour of the Grand Canyon. The canyon is only an hour away by helicopter and you'll fly over some of Vegas's most famous sights on the way. The view as you come over the top of the canyon is unforgettable - a once in a lifetime experience.Try and book a tour for early morning and you'll see the sun rise over the desert. If you're jet-lagged the early start won't hurt you too much, so think about going at the start of your trip.There's loads of operators, so shop around for the best deal.
One company worth looking at can be found here:www.lasvegasgrandcanyontour.com
A very inexpensive way to get around the city. Marta operates trains and buses and has a flat fare of $1.75 one way. However visitors can purchase a MARTA pass for $10. This pass entitles the bearer to unlimited access on the MARTA system.
The Marta system is safe, clean, and cheap moreover they have their own transit police. As a rule no consuming of drink or food is allowed on Marta they have zero tolerance of anti-social behavior.
For general travel downtown it is best advised to travel by rail, Atlanta operates a park and ride system, stations have more than enough adequate parking spaces and these are free provided you ride the Marta.
An apartment letting site.
For the traveller who doesn't want a package: live like a real New Yorker. Stay one night or as many as you like.
Excellent service from the company and the owners made us so very welcome. Also, more economical than a hotel room and you can make yourself a decent cup of tea after all that shopping.
The YMCAs in Manhattan are more comparable to upmarket backpackers' hostels than they are to the YMCAs we have in the UK. The one near Central Park West has the best facilities, including a reasonably priced cafe serving a wide choice of food. All three YMCAs in Manhattan have gym facilities. Most of all, the price for rooms is hard to beat - you could be ten minute's walk from Times Square for a fraction of the amount you'd pay for any other hotel in the city.
Harlem YMCA: 180 West 135th Street, NY 10030.
West Side YMCA: 5 West 63rd St., N.Y. 10023.
Some people are a little nervous of the subway, thanks to the terrible reputation it previously had for crime and vandalism. Thankfully, times have changed, and the subway is not only a cheap and efficient way to get around the city, it's a great way to experience the 'real' New York.
Buy a day ticket for the hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus. I would seriously recommend the downtown tour for your first day-there is a tour guide on each bus if you’re interested in the history of the places, and if not, you can sit back and enjoy the views or try to follow your route on a map to get your bearings! You can get on and off at any stop-which are at all the main downtown attractions, buses are quite frequent and the tour guides are very friendly-pleased to answer any questions or help you figure out which stop you need!
By the time we reached Moab we had already driven through four states. All impressions of Jack Kerouac lost along the countless miles of steaming tarmac and Utah desert. As we crossed the Colorado River for what appeared to be the third or fourth time we reached Moab, a town I had heard so much about but expected to be bigger. Moab has a reputation for attracting adrenaline junkies, but alas me and my slipper-wearing ways were drawn to other attractions by way of Arches National Park. Arches National Park has over two thousand sandstone arches. This includes the much-photographed Delicate Arch, as featured on all Utah State numberplates.
Set at the end of a not-so-tasking two-hour hike, Delicate Arch stands on the rim of a red rock amphitheatre with the picturesque La Sal Mountains as breathtaking backdrop. The arch itself is 46ft high but it is not the scale, which is impressive, but the aesthetic shape. For those unable or unwilling to hike, distant views are available at a parking area 1.2 miles from Wolfe Ranch, the starting point for the hike. The rest of Arches National Park is also fantastic but the impact of witnessing Delicate Arch up close would hardly be replicated. Looking back it dawned on me that Moab didn’t need to be any bigger, in fact if it was, I wouldn’t have had the same experiences, the photographs and views would be ruined by countless others who share my Kerouac idealism.
Arches National Park, Moab; tel: (435) 719-2299
Lazy Lizard International Hostel
1213 S. Highway 191, Moab, Utah 84532, United States
Great place for breakfast – never “brunch,” kay? – in the Village. So good in fact that people happily queue to get in on a Sunday morning. But the retro diner decor, buzzing atmosphere and not-too-phony great service make it worthwhile. Oh, and the food: all manner of egg dishes, bacon, coffee from the bottomless jug … let’s do breakfast, man.
Hours: Sun-Thurs 8:30am-10:30pm; Fri-Sat 8:30am-11pm
This is brilliant, only $59 and it gets you into loads and loads of attractions, costing you less than if you bought the tickets individually. The pass also allows you to skip the queue in most places.
Great for getting from San Francisco to your hotel if you're centrally located. The BART is San Francisco’s underground system and covers (as it says in name) most of the bay area.
Depending on your arrival time it’s really easy to get the BART to the centre of the city. This will save forking out $40 on a cab.
Once you arrive at the airport and have picked up your bags follow the BART signs. Trains run every 15 minutes and you can buy single tickets from the machine for $4.95. All you need to do then is get off at Powell Station for Union Square. Believe me, I'm a cab fiend but this was easy and makes you feel less touristy.
The hotel can get you cabs when you depart to the airport and it takes around 30 - 45 minutes to get there.
I stayed four nights in San Francisco in September and ate at a lot of great places. However Alfred’s stands out for a number of reasons. My guidebook recommended it as the best steak house in San Francisco. However not only is it great steak, it’s a very lovely old-fashioned romantic restaurant. It’s full of red velvet banquettes, large tables with white linen and white aproned waiters.
I had the 14oz (that’s the smallest they did) sirloin with mash and my boyfriend had the Porterhouse 20oz, which is a speciality - he could only manage half as it literally took up the whole plate. The bar is also lovely to have your coffee or for a pre-dinner drink - they specialise in single malts.
659 Merchant Street, it's located between the financial district and Chinatown on Market and Kearny and is not really near any other restaurants so you'll have to look hard. My taxi driver didn't know it so make sure you take a map; tel: 415 781 7058; www.alfredssteakhouse.com/
Jah Mama is a take-out restaurant (with minimal seating) located in the trendy East Village. The emphasis is on authentic home-style Jamaican cuisine with gourmet flair, a true sense of ethnic cuisine, influenced by the variation in culture and ethnicity of the people living in that region of New York. The menu is diverse and the prices are amazingly affordable for the quality of food provided. It is a great place to eat in a refreshingly clean atmosphere combined with its excellent and interesting food that is both tasty and healthy.
199 East 3rd Street, between Avenues A & B (Alphabet City);
Nearest train stations: Essex Street (J,M,F); 2nd Ave.(F,V); tel: 212 228 2663
Located in Brookline, about 10 minutes outbound from Boston on the Green Line of the T (Brookline Village T stop), Matt Murphy's is an Irish pub and a quality place for food and drink. Why, you may ask, am I directing you there while you may be visiting America from somewhere with more than a few Irish pubs? Aside from genuinely yummy food, great drinks, and a great staff, Matt Murphy's has some fantastic - and free - live music. They've recently seen the launch of an independent record label (Pub Records) showcasing a variety of the excellent bands heard there in recent history.
This place is cash only, but no worries - there are a couple of cash points across the street. It's also non-smoking - but so is all of Massachusetts now.
If you don't now how to get there, just ask anyone when you get off the T at Brookline Village. If they don't know, they must be a tourist too, just ask the next person. It's about a three-minute walk from the T station if you take your time. Quietly sat between a doughnut shop and a real estate broker, you could easily walk right by without noticing it. That is, until the music comes on.
City is a weekly paper that lists all local events from movies to music to restaurants. Free and available practically everywhere in town. Also recommended (online only) is MyRochester.com
The Distillery has huge portions of burgers, fries and salads. Explore their selection of beers brewed on the premises. Inside it's the best sports bar in town. Outside ask for a table with a view of Mt Hope cemetery. Reservations recommended unless you want to sit at the bar. Free internet access while you wait for your table.
1142 Mt Hope Ave; tel: 585 271 4105
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