Tag Archives: travel

Travel to Bourbon Street, New Orleans

Rue Bourbon was the original name of the street since it was designed and laid out in 1721, by French engineer Adrien de Pauger. He chose this name as an au mage to the French Royal Family ruling at the time. Nowadays, Bourbon Street has become one of the more recognizable streets in the country and is a popular party destination known around the world. More than 6,000,000 visitors come to check out Bourbon Street every year, looking to enjoy its many clubs, bars, and restaurants.

Bourbon Street over the last few centuries has been home to numerous jazz clubs, gentleman’s clubs, burlesque, and vaudeville performances – which has served as the modern day inspiration of a party atmosphere that the street is currently known for. These days, Bourbon Street offers more than the exotic striptease clubs and nightlife options; it is also home to many world class restaurants, upscale lounges, and numerous traditional jazz clubs.

The Big Easy is Party Central

The street itself is the attraction, offering a carnival of sights, sounds, and plenty of opportunities for food and drink. The city of New Orleans shuts down vehicle traffic on the street, which turns Bourbon Street into a pedestrian mall each evening, allowing the people to come down and let their hair down and to walk the strip unimpeded. New Orleans has an open-container law, which means that the patrons of Bourbon Street are allowed to or “encouraged” to roam the street with drinks in their hand. Beer in a “go-cup” makes it easy to walk the street with a popular late night drink. Other staple cocktails include the “Hand Grenade” and the “Hurricane.”

Each night the party starts at the intersection of Bourbon Street and Canal Street, where the street fills with dancers and brass bands. Bourbon Street extends down thirteen blocks to Esplanade Avenue, where it runs under an endless row of clubs, bars, and restaurants; beneath the beautiful cast-iron balconies.

Mardi Gras

During the early spring’s Carnival season, many travelers come from all around to take in Mardi Gras, celebrating “Fat Tuesday” with the parties lasting throughout the day and night. This event features the traditional throwing and catching of beads from the famous Bourbon Street balconies as part of the festivities. Nowadays, these beads can be found on visitors as they sport their beaded treasures 365 days of the year.

Bachelorette Parties and More

Bourbon Street has become the mecca for those looking to have a good time, and has become a prime destination for events like bachelor and bachelorette parties. During the Southern Decadence Festival, which falls on Labour Day Weekend, Bourbon Street hosts many gay-friendly parties and festivals. Many of these festivals last the entire week.

With its famous laissez-faire attitude and lively party atmosphere, it is clear why Bourbon Street has become so popular. You are sure to find some excitement on Bourbon Street, so come on down and grab some beads; it’s Mardi Gras 365 days a year.

Travel to Universal Studios in Hollywood, California

Universal Studios Hollywood is both a movie studio and a theme park located in Universal City; an unincorporated community of Los Angeles, California. As far as Hollywood Studios go, it is the oldest and most famous movie studio still in operation. The park was originally created to offer tours through the sets and soundstages within the real Universal Studios. Now it is the first of many fully fledged Universal Studios Theme Parks located across the world. To enter the theme park, access can only be achieved by the Metro Red Line subway transit located at Universal City Station and by other Metro bus routes.

The official marketing headline for Universal Studios is “The Entertainment Capital of LA,” though it is often marketing as “The Coolest Place in LA,” during the summer months. The Universal Studios Hollywood mascot has long been Woody Woodpecker.

Outside of the theme park, on the Universal Studios back lot, is a new, all digital facility that houses the West Coast operations of NBC Universal. This new facility is now home to NBC News, Telemundo, Comcast Sportsnet, Bravo, and Hulu among many others. Universal City is home to numerous hotels, including the Sheraton Hotels and Resorts, Universal Hilton and Towers and the Universal CityWalk, which offers a collection of restaurants and souvenir shops.

The theme park is divided into an upper and a lower section. The lower lot is where you can visit many exhibits featuring movie and television artifacts, prop exhibits, and wardrobe exhibits. There are some popular rides that can also be found in this section of the park, including the Revenge of the Mummy ride, which is an indoor roller coaster set along a “dark” backdrop; Transformers: The Ride 3D, which is the parks’ newest attraction. This one takes its guests on a thrilling ride simulator through an intense robot battlefield.

The upper lot of Universal Studios is the primary “Entertainment Center,” housing many of the parks’ top tourist attractions, rides, food vendors, and live performances. The most popular attractions in this section include, the Simpson Ride, where guest are taken through a simulated Krustyland; Terminator 2: 3D, which features a special effects barrage on the senses; Water World – A Live Sea Spectacular – an exciting and entertaining acrobatics show; and Shrek 4-D, which is a family based film that everyone in the family will enjoy.

Travel to the Palace of Versailles, France

The Palace of Versailles once served as the centre of government and former French royal residence; however now it serves mainly as a national landmark. Located in the city of Versailles, France, the palace is located 16 km southwest of Paris. Versailles was once the centre of the French court, serving as one of the grandest theatres of European absolutism.

Built from around 1631 to 1634, the original residence was used primarily as a private retreat and hunting lodge for Louis XIII and his family. Under the guidance of Louis XIV, the private retreat was transformed during 1661-1710 into a massive and extravagant complex. The complex was surrounded by French and English stylized gardens, with numerous details that were designed to glorify the king.

Architects Robert de Cotte, Louis La Vau, and Jules Hardouin-Mansart were commissioned with the design of the additions, while the interior design was handled by Charles Le Brun. Andre Le Notre, was the landscape artist that designed the symmetrical French gardens, which included ornate fountains featuring “magically” still water. The ornate fountains represented the sweeping power of the king over nature and the power of humanity over nature.

The Galerie des Glaces or Hall of Mirrors and other Grand Apartments or State Rooms are among the most famous rooms in the palace. The Galerie des Glaces features 17 wide arcaded mirrors that oppose 17 windows and ornately painted ceilings, which support glass chandeliers. In addition there are many gilded statues. Located on either side of the Galerie is the equally striking Salon de la Guerre or Salon of War or the Salon de la Paix or Salon of Peace. The Treaty of Versailles was signed by the Allies and Germany in 1919, inside the Galerie des Glaces.

Other important sites on the palace complex include the Grand Trianon, which was finished in 1688 and the Petit Trianon, completed nearly a 100 years later. These served as the private residences for the royal family and their guests.

During a period of restoration, Louis-Phillipe oversaw the construction of the Museum of French History, which was founded in 1837. The museum was dedicated “to all the glories of France,” though much of the 2,000 sculptures and 6,000 paintings remain sequestered away from the public.

In 1979, UNESCO designated the gardens and the palace complex a World Heritage Site. The French Government initiated a wide-ranging renovation and repair of the site following a devastating winter storm in 1989. This storm destroyed more than 1,000 trees on the palace grounds. Some 10,000 trees were lost after a severe windstorm in 1999, including many trees that were planted by Napoleon Bonaparte and Marie Antoinette. The windstorm also damaged the chateau.

It is estimated that nearly 6 million patrons visit the palace every year.

Travel to South Street Seaport, New York City

Located on the Manhattan Island, where Fulton Street meets the East River, the South Street Seaport runs adjacent to the Financial District. Designated a historic district, the Seaport is a distinct neighborhood from the adjacent Financial District. The area contains perhaps the largest concentration of early 19th century commercial buildings and features many of the oldest architectures in downtown Manhattan.

This popular tourist destination includes a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge, the former Fulton Fish Market, renovated sailing ships and many renovated original mercantile buildings. In addition, there are numerous great food establishments, shopping outlets, and night clubs. The Titanic Memorial lighthouse is located at the entrance to the seaport.

The Seaport was developed with the preservation of the building located along Schermerhorn Row on the Southside of Fulton Street. This block of buildings has long been neglected, due to undervaluing of NYCs shipping industry. The early efforts for preservation focused on these particular buildings and to acquire several sailing ships.

Nearly every building in the Seaport district has been preserved with the intention of bringing the visitor back in time to the city’s mid-19th century, when there was a larger emphasis on commercial maritime trade. Some of the historic sailing ships docked at the Seaport include the Flying P-Liner, the Peking, and several museum ships. There is also a section of Fulton Street that has been preserved with cobblestone and has been filled with many great shops, restaurants, and clubs.

In 2012, the Seaport was heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy as tidal floods swept through much of the Seaport. Some of the local businesses closed up shop, while others remained in business only to see a rapid drop in their overall visitors afterwards. Starting in the fall of 2013, the shopping area known as “Pier 17” was to be torn down by the Howard Hughes Corporation, and replaced by a new structure sometime in 2015.

Nowadays, the Seaport serves primarily as tourist center and mall, built upon the East River’s Pier 17. Visitors have a large selection of shops and food establishments to choose from. There are also decks outside with views of the East River, Brooklyn Heights, and the Brooklyn Bridge. Currently, the Howard Hughes Corporation owns and manages the Seaport.

Travel to Universal Islands of Adventure in Orlando

Commonly known as Islands of Adventure, this large theme park officially opened its doors in Orlando, Florida, in 1999. The slogan of this theme park is “Live the Adventure.” Islands of Adventure includes CityWalk, as it was part of the expansion that converted Universal Studios Florida into the Universal Orlando Resort.

A journey of overall exploration is the park’s overall theme. Guests can start from the Port of Entry and visit with other uniquely themed islands, which all emphasize adventure. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park is the newest addition to the park. Based on the popular Harry Potter books and films, this theme park was the largest investment since opening its doors.

Islands of Adventure has not limited itself to Universals own library of characters and themes. In fact, much of the theme parks are based upon the characters of other rival studios, with many of these rivals not owning stakes in any theme parks. The Port of Entry, Jurassic Park, and the Lost Continent are based on Universals characters and themes, while the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Marvel Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, and Suess Landing are all themes and characters borrowed by Universal.

Wizarding World of Harry Potter

This new island theme park is spread out over 20 acres and includes many great shops, attractions, and restaurants. Some of the more popular attractions include the iconic Hogwarts Castle, Hogsmeade Village, and the Forbidden Forest.

The Lost Continent

This themed island is divided into two smaller sections based on the themes of ancient legends and myths. The first section is designed around the fabled Lost City of Atlantis, while the second section is based around the Arabian style marketplace called Sinbad’s Bazaar.

Jurassic Park

The area has some thrilling rides and informational/ educational exhibits based on the themes and characters that one would find in the “real” Jurassic Park. The island has done a fantastic job designing their theme park to focus on the dinosaurs.

Toon Lagoon

Geared towards the family experience, Toon Lagoon is based on the characters created by Kings Features Syndicate and Jay Ward. This island theme park is set around water-based rides and is rigged with many water props that squirt at visitors. Visitors can also opt for further soaking adventures aboard the many fun water rides that incorporate water guns and water cannons.

Travel to Ocean Park, Hong Kong

The Ocean Park theme park in Hong Kong is a marine-life park that features many great thrill rides, shows, and animal exhibits. Ocean Park was the first Asian winner of the prestigious Applause Award in 2012, for its ability to offer a world-class experience blending education and conservation. Ocean Park Conservation Foundation supports many great wildlife conservation projects.

Located on the southern side of Hong Kong Island, Ocean Park covers more than 870,000 square meters.

Polar Adventure – Polar Adventure is Ocean Park’s latest and greatest attraction. In this theme park, guests will let you explore the South and North poles on a thrilling bob sleigh ride, and then you will be able to get up close to king penguins. Also, this park houses many great animals, including: arctic foxes, spotted seals, snowy owls, and Pacific walruses. Tuxedos Restaurant is a popular eating establishment within Polar Adventure Park, which features soothing refreshments in front of more than 70 penguins.

Thrill Mountain – Thrill Mountain offers its guest many fantastic thrill rides, including: the Hair Raiser, which is a ride where patrons spend most of the ride upside down; the Rev Rooster, which is a high speed and energetic ride; and the Aviator, where guests can feel the sensation of flight.

Aqua City – Aqua City is a marine park that provides a fascinating underwater experience. Guests will be able to embark on a journey through the Grand Aquarium, which features more than 5000 fish and 400 species of aquatic life. In Aqua City, patrons will be able to catch a breath-taking multi-sensory show called Symbio, which is displayed on the world’s first 360-degree water screen. Aqua city is also home to the world’s largest aquarium dome.

Old Hong Kong – This theme park has been designed to recreate the unique culture of Hong Kong during the 50s, 60s, and 70s. The amazing sights and sounds can be experienced aboard the Heritage Tram. The old streets and scenes provide a mesmerizing display of color and buzz throughout the many fascinating and accurate recreations. This is definitely a memorable trip into nostalgia.

Rainforest – The Rainforest allows its guests to become immersed in the exotic sound of a tropical rainforest. Here, you will come across some of the most fascinating animals sounds found anywhere. You will be able see some weirdly wonderful critters, including the Pygmy Marmoset, the world’s smallest monkey; the world’s largest rodent, the Capybara; and the smallest toucan, the Green Ancari.

Asian Animal Exhibit – This Amazing Asian Animal exhibit lets visitors see some of the rarest animals found in Asia. The Giant Panda Adventure is an exhibit where you can see some of the most precious animals found on the continent, such as giant pandas, red pandas, giant salamanders, and alligators native to China. The Goldfish Treasures exhibit offers a spectacular display of goldfish, or you can visit colourful birds and other small-clawed otters at Panda Village.

Ocean Park hosts many special events during festive seasons, such as the Summer Splash water play activities, and Halloween Bash, which is the continents biggest Halloween party.

Travel to Victoria Peak in Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Victoria Peak is a mountain located on Hong Kong Island’s western portion. The mountain in known locally as The Peak, and is also known as Mount Austin. It has an altitude of 1,811 feet or 552 m, making it the highest mountain on the island. Tai Mo Shan is considered the highest point within the Hong Kong Special Administration Region.

The summit of Victoria Peak is reserved for a radio telecommunications facility and is not open to the public. “The Peak” generally refers to the surrounding area of public parks and residential area, which serves as a prime tourist attraction, offering great views of Lamma Island, Lantau Island, Central Hong Kong, and Victoria Harbour.

The Peak regularly hosts more than 7 million visitors each and every year, making it one of Hong Kong’s major tourist draws. Upon the viewing deck are several coin operated telescopes that guests can use to view the entire landscape. Due to the abundance of visitors every year, two major shopping centers (the Peak Tower and the Peak Galleria) were constructed adjacent to one another.

The Peak Galleria incorporates the bus station which connects the green minibuses on the Peak with the Hong Kong public buses. The Peak Tower on the other hand, incorporates the Peak Tram, which is a cable railway that moves passengers from the Peak into the St. John’s Cathedral in Hong Kong’s Central district. The Peak can also be reached by taxi and private cars using the Peak Road, while others can reach the Peak from the Old Peak Road near the Zoological Botanical Gardens.

Located on the site of Mountain Lodge, which was the Governor’s old summer residence, Victoria Peak Garden is the summit’s closest publicly accessible point. The garden can be accessed by using the Victoria Gap, which is a steep climb of more than 150 m or 490 ft. up Mount Austin Road. The level loop along Lugard Road is another popular walking spot, as it provides really good views of Kowloon and Hong Kong’s Central District. The loop returns along Harlech Road, which covers the highest accessible points on the mountain.

On Victoria’s Peak there are several restaurants located in the two shopping centers. The Peak Lookout Restaurant however, is located in a more traditional building that once served as a residence for the engineers that worked on the Peak Tramway. This location was originally build in 1901 as a stop area for sedan chairs, but was later repurposed as a restaurant in 1947.

The Peak also serves as the hottest area for the countries super rich, where many of the homes and properties are considered the most expensive in the world.

Travel to Nagashima Spaland, Japan

Located just outside of Nagoya, is the Nagashima Resort. This is a major vacation destination that is comprised of four main recreational or leisure facilities: the Nagashima Hot Spring Complex, the Nabana No Sato Flower Park, an outlet shopping mall, and the Nagashima Spaland Amusement Park. The resort sits along a picturesque stretch surrounded by rivers and the sea, giving it the name “long island” or Nagashima.

The main attraction of the resort is the Nagashima Spaland, which is considered to be the best amusement park for roller coasters in all of Western Japan. In this particular park, there are more than 40 rides, ranging from smaller rides for the kids up to the faster, more exhilarating rides geared towards the teen and adult audience. The Steel Dragon 2000 is a gigantic roller coaster ride that spans the entire length of the park and is one of the park’s main attractions.

The Joyful Waterpark is a wide area open only in the summertime. It is dedicated to waterslides and fun pools for a general audience.

The Nagashima Spaland is a superbly designed park with many structures that go well with their surroundings. At the south-west end of the resort is the Yuami No Shima Hot Spring Bath Complex. This facility offers many indoor and outdoor baths set within a man-made nature environment. Baths are divided into large sections for each gender. The men’s bath section is set in beautifully recreated scenery of the Kurobe Gorge, while the women’s bath is set in the background of the Oirase Stream. Massage services, Jacuzzis, and saunas are also available here.

The Mitsui Outlet Park is a large scale outlet mall located right next to the Nagashima Spaland. This mall is home to more than 240 stores, making it the largest outlet mall in Japan. Shoppers can find stores carrying many world renowned brand names and a variety of domestic and foreign boutiques offering various fashion items and accessories. In addition, there are many popular sporting goods stores.

The Nabana No Sato Flower Park is located some distance from the Nagashima Spaland, taking roughly 15 minutes to get their by bus. This park offers some terrific scenery with many great views of seasonal flowers that prosper throughout the year. Nabana No Sato hosts a flower festival every spring, which is claimed to be one of the largest flower festivals in Japan. During the winter months, winter illuminations can be enjoyed from the middle of November into early March. Island Fuji is a unique moving observation deck that offers many great views of the park.

Travel to California Adventure in Anaheim

Disney California Adventure is a theme park located in Anaheim, California. Owned and operated by the Walt Disney Company, the 72 acre park is themed after the culture and history of California. California Adventure is the second of two theme parks; Disneyland Park built on the Disneyland Resort complex.

The parks concept of dedicating it to the state of California came about during a Disney executives meeting in 1995, after the WestCOT project was cancelled. The park was constructed over 3 years from 1998 to 2001, when it was officially opened to the public. After the park was opened to the public, some of the early reviews were negative about the park and the company’s original projections were never met. In order to boost attendance, Disney spent several years adding new attractions, including rides and shows to help boost the number of visitors.

Disney announced in 2007, a major expansion and overhaul of much of the park. Construction was completed over a five years span, with much of the implementation completed in stages. Cars Land was one of the feature attractions that debuted in June 2012.

The park was the 11th most visited theme park in the world in 2012, with 7.75 million guests, according to the Themed Entertainment Association.

The World of Color nighttime show is fun show that features more than 1200 fountains, with lights, lasers, and fire. Designed by the Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, this show also features high-definition projections on mist screens that are similar to the ones used in Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World and in Fantasmic! at Disneyland.

The Pixar Play Parade features many of the colorful characters based upon the Disney-Pixar movies, such as: Finding Nemo, Cars, A Bug’s Life, The Incredibles, Monter’s Inc., and Toy Story. The floats in the parade feature small water jets that shoot water into the crowds. The parade music is shared with Mickey’s WaterWorks Parade at Hong Kong Disneyland.

Travel to the Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is a long series of fortifications built along the historical borders of China that stretched from the east to the west. The wall was originally designed to protect the Chinese Empire against intrusion from the various nomadic groups or form other warlike groups with large military forces. The Great Wall was made from stone, wood, tamped earth, brick and other materials.

Many of the original walls were erected during the 7th century BC; but were not joined with the other walls until much later when they were made bigger and stronger. The first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, built an especially famous part of the wall during 220–206 BC. Since that early time, the wall has undergone many renovations and enhancements, with the majority of the work being performed by workers from the Ming Dynasty.

The Great Wall extends throughout the Chinese Countryside like a giant dragon, where it meanders for more than 8,800 km or 5,500 miles across grasslands, over deserts, and through the mountains. The eastern end of the wall extends to the Bohai Gulf and the western end extends to the Hushan Mountain in the west. The wall crosses over ten provinces and numerous cities. Over its several thousand year history, the wall has undergone many changes from the Warring States to the Ming Dynasty.

Visiting the Wall

The Great Wall offers different sceneries throughout the seasons, offering fantastic shots of the landscape and wildlife. The best times for an ordinary visitor are during the autumn and spring season, from May to September or early October. During this time, the weather is traditionally sunny, with nice, brisk temperatures in May and September. June to August is the typical season for tourism, however temperatures are often much hotter. During the months from November to April, the weather is bitterly cold with chilling winds, and the Great Wall sees very few tourists.