ALL POSTS TAGGED "[Holidays]"

The Resort at Paws Up

Photo by The Resort at Paws Up

Well folks, you had the perfect gift picked out online, added it to your list, but just when you were about to add it to your “cart,” the express shipping fee made your eyes bulge or worse, the item is now on backorder. Not to fear, we have some last-minute ideas that your favorite traveler will truly appreciate: An unforgettable travel experience where the only thing to ship is yourself.

Glamping at the Resort at Paws Up in Greenough, MT
Wilderness lovers and those who prefer to be pampered (think: gourmet meals) will both be pleased with a getaway to this luxurious ranch about 30 minutes east of Missoula, MT. Guests can go fly fishing, horseback riding and hot-air ballooning before hitting the spa tent for a massage and then retiring to their own tent, complete with heated floors and electricity.

Check out more glamping spots.

Sonoma Country’s 3-Day Barrel Tasting Weekends
The Wine Road, an association of more than 100 wineries that includes household names like Clos du Bois and family-owned operations such as Stryker Sonoma, typically hosts barrel tastings twice a year along Sonoma’s Russian River Wine Road. Most wineries offer “futures” on their barrel samples — a chance to purchase wine while it’s still in the barrel, at a discount, before the wine is bottled in 12 to 18 months. So this really could be the gift that keeps on giving.

Explore more wine-tour weekends.

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Photography by Reuters

Indeed, we can depend on the Christmas tree at NYC’s Rockefeller Center to beguile us with its size and glittering ornamentation year after year.
Daily Escapes!

Photo by Park City Mountain

What better way to welcome the holiday season than with family, festivities, and, of course, the perfect holiday portrait. Don’t just settle for mundane decorations or a white background for this year’s holiday card; head to one these locations to truly wow your loved ones – no Photoshop required.

There’s no need to scramble to deck the halls and put up the tallest Christmas tree for the perfect holiday portrait. Trade an ordinary fireplace backdrop for one of the country’s coziest hotel fireplaces – just find one near you.

Looking for something less formal … and posed? Get outside and take the kids to a nearby park for a photo shoot. For you city slickers, we’ve rounded up a list of some of our favorite urban parks. No excuses!

Capture their attention with breath-taking views of the ocean, coast, or mountains from your last vacation.  If your annual ski trip or beach house rental feels like a family reunion, why not use a photo from the last time you were all together?

Looking for more Everyday Escapes during the busiest travel time of the year? See our Holiday Tips for Family Travel.

Take a photo on your phone to share your family holiday spirit in a real Hallmark card with just a few clicks. Download the Hallmark Go Cards app to send real Hallmark cards to their mailbox from wherever you are. Download it now at Hallmark.com/GoCards.

Think twice about that elusive 99-cent iPhone, people. Pushy crowds, endless lines and bitter cold can make you second-guess whether that deal is really a steal once Black Friday rolls around. Don’t even get us started on the whole sales-starting-on-Thanksgiving backlash. Here’s a better idea, several in fact, that can be ordered from the comfort of your own home.

At Travel Channel, we’ve been busy rounding up the ultimate gifts for all the globetrotters on your list – check out some of the best gear, gadgets and luxe travel essentials this holiday season below. Then enter for a chance to win some of our favorites as well as $10,000 cash in our Gift of Travel Sweepstakes!

Travel's Best Gifts

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With St. Patrick’s Day falling over a weekend this year, parades, festivals and celebrations are planned across the US. Here are 5 cities with uniquely Irish-themed soirees in the works.

Boston

If pretty much everyone you walk by is wearing a scally cap or a Dropkick Murphys shirt, then you must be in Boston. More than 600,000 people line the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade route as it winds through South Boston – (but call it Southie if you want to sound like a local). Plus, scores of the political and politically-connected will gather for the infamous St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast at the Boston Convention Center (a chance to roast one another in the spirit of the day).

Best Craic: The World Championships of Irish Dancing at the Hynes Convention Center, March 23-31.

Chicago

Each year, 40 pounds of green dye are added to the Chicago River, turning it a bright emerald green – head to the east side of the Michigan Avenue bridge for the best viewing. Hundreds of thousands of people also show up at the parades that wind through Chicago’s streets, including the Southside Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 10, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16. This year, city leaders are working to have the Windy City named as the US headquarters of St. Patrick’s Day as part of its ShamROCK Chicago campaign.

Best Craic: Celtic punk by the Tossers at Metro, Saturday, March 16.

New York City

Plenty of cities claim to have the best, but there’s no question as to whose parade is the largest. New York City’s annual procession up Fifth Avenue, started in 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British army, will draw nearly 2 million spectators. Step inside Molly’s Shebeen (287 Third Ave) after for some renowned lamb stew or shepherd’s pie. A white stucco exterior topped with shingles, sawdust floors and a warm fireplace make this watering hole one of New York’s most authentic.

Best Craic: McSorley’s Old Ale House at the 8 a.m. opening – everyone is still sober, friendly and excited about the day at this point.

Washington, DC

The Shamrock Festival is a massive celebration of all things Irish. On Saturday, March 16, visitors will jam the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds in Washington, DC, to experience more than 40 bands across 9 stages, beer trucks spanning the length of 2 football fields, a pub row and strolling entertainers. The Irish Village will provide step dancers, pipers and games. The city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off the next day and will make its way up Constitution Avenue at noon.

Best Craic: Legendary traditional Irish group The Chieftains at the Kennedy Center, March 14-16.

San Diego

Swarms of revelers are expected to squeeze into San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the 18th annual shamROCK. Live Irish bands will perform on the main stage – including this year’s headliners the Young Dubliners – and a 150-foot Irish pub will be accessible streetside on F Street between 5th  and 7th avenues. Plus, there’ll be 80,000 square feet of green turf covering the streets of San Diego.

Best Craic: The Smiling Irishman contest at the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Balboa Park on Saturday, March 16. The winner takes home a special hat and a Blackthorn walking stick.

- Bill Burke 

You May Also Like:
St. Patrick’s Day
Travel Trends 2013 Ireland
Top US Celtic Festivals

Still trying to figure out what to do on New Year’s? Well, if you happen to be near any of Priceline’s top 50 party spots, there’s a good shot that there are too many good parties to choose from.

Priceline released their 9th annual list of the Top 50 New Year’s Party Spots this week, and we bet you can guess what city came out on top. New York City not only topped the list, but also took several spots with different boroughs holding their own when it comes to partying like it’s 1999.

Florida grabbed 12 of the 50 spots with their theme parks and top-notch beaches stealing away many New Year’s revelers.

The top 10 party spots are:

#1 New York City, Midtown West

#2 New Orleans, French Quarter

#3 Las Vegas, Strip North

#4 New York City, Upper East Side

#5 Las Vegas, Strip Vicinity South

#6 New York City, Times Square/Theater District

#7 Orlando, Downtown Disney/Lake Buena Vista

#8 Miami, Downtown

#9 San Francisco, Fisherman’s Wharf

#10 Chicago, North Michigan Ave./River North Area

If you’re looking for a more adult-oriented New Year’s celebration, check out our picks for Sexy New Year’s Eve Getaways.

Are you in one of the top NYE party spots? What are you doing to celebrate? Tell us in the comments!

Our 7th Day of Sparkle is from New York City, thanks to Instagram user vpedrianes. Keep sending us your best holiday lights photos using the hashtag #TCHolidayLights!

Day 6 of our 12 Days of Sparkle was taken in Temple Square in Salt Lake City Utah by Instagram user anditraveler.  Keep sending us your best holiday lights photos with the hashtag #TCHolidayLights!

Here at Travel Channel, we’re travel junkies (I know — gasp!), so it shouldn’t come as much surprise that we’ve all got travel-related gadgets on our list for Santa this year. As you can probably tell from our picks, we’re a pretty diverse group — so if you’re still looking for the perfect gift for a fellow world wanderer, chances are there’s something here that they’d like. Check out a few of our favorite picks below, or browse the full gallery. THEN, tell us, what’s on YOUR travel wish list? Leave it in the comments, or tweet using the hashtag #TCWishList.

1) Everpurse
2) Katadyn Pocket Water Filter
3) Gizmon
4) Morphie Juice Pack Plus
5) Bloom Theory Straps
6) Nalgene Flask
7) 36 Hours

A high-density, vertical city with tourists and locals from everywhere on the planet, New York delivers — no matter who you are or when you visit. But the holidays are a particularly nice time to head to the Big Apple, when the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, the holiday shops at Union Square, and the ice-skating rink in Central Park put the city in the holiday spirit. Lined with iconic museums, Central Park draws class field trips, jogging locals, and Hollywood film crews all year long. At Union Square, students take to the streets on skateboards and New York’s premier chefs seek out locally grown produce from the farmers’ market. Shoppers can splurge on Chanel, Prada, and Gucci along 5th Avenue, or venture deep into SoHo, the West Village, or the Lower East Side for insider boutiques, where one might glimpse New York’s acting elite. Meanwhile, art lovers can bask in the grand museums of the Upper East Side or preview up-and-coming imagery at Chelsea galleries.

Throughout the city, expect to pay a premium for cramped rooms — a cozy 200 square feet is about the norm. But remember that in New York, it’s not so much about the room as the location, location, location, instead. For old-world grandeur, Midtown East and the Upper East Side are home to the Waldorf-Astoria, the Peninsula, and the Pierre, an elegant, historic hotel across the street from Central Park, which offers a taste of grand old New York to those staying in any of its 189 small — but freshly renovated — guest rooms. Hip downtown spots include such notables as the Gramercy Park Hotel and the Soho Grand, where guests can find an authentic but accessible taste of the trendy downtown scene. And the hotel still attracts its fair share of celebrities. Of course, you’ll also find outposts of every major hotel franchise — from the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental up by Central Park to the more down-to-earth Hilton,Westin, and Marriott Marquis in Times Square.

- Oyster.com Staff

More on the Holidays in New York City:
Best Holiday Shopping in New York
Best New York Hotel Holiday Decorations
Christmas in New York City

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