Planning Your Trip to Disneyworld in California

Taking a trip to Disney in California is a fantastic opportunity to check out the venues and rides specific to this particular theme park. Unfortunately, making the trip can be confusing and expensive if you’ve never been there before. As a general rule, you’re better off planning for the trip months in advance before actually going on vacation. You’ll get better airfare and hotel rates if you book everything at least three or four months in advance to the trip. Use hotel and flight comparison sites to find the best deals available to you.

Because Disney is such a large theme park with adjoining amenities throughout the area, you’ll need to have a set plan for which park you’ll be visiting on which day. If you’re traveling to California for a week, you should have more than enough time to catch all the sights. However, if you’re only going for a long weekend, you need to establish a goal for which parks you’d like to see and which ones you’d rather forgo. This allows you to experience the full fun of a specific park without feeling confused or overly rushed.

If you’ll be in the area for months, you might want to consider getting a season pass to Disney and Universal. These season passes give you full access to the park every day of the season without requiring you to spend money each day to take advantage of rides. Even though season passes can be quite an expense for you and your family, the price you pay will actually save you money if you make good use of it. There are lots of apps and sites that offer additional discounts to people looking to visit Western Disney and would like to save money on their entire trip while they’re there.

Flying or Driving to the West Coast: Which is Better?

The west coast offers an array of amenities and tourist spots that are sure to please anyone on your trip. From Disney World and Universal to some of the biggest and sunniest beaches available in America, California truly has a diverse landscape catering to people of all ages. If you’re planning to travel to California for your next vacation, you may be wondering if it’d be best to fly by plane or drive by car. Understanding the pros and cons of each will allow you to determine the best route for you.

Flying to California is obviously the quickest way to get there. Even from New York, the flight to California is only five hours with minimal layovers. Unfortunately, taking a plane is also the most expensive route of transportation. Even if you are planning the trip months in advance, you should expect to pay a few thousand dollars for your whole family to get there. Even the more inexpensive airlines, like Southwest, charge a hefty fee for those traveling to California. You’re also limited in what you can bring on your trip and what you can bring back, so you’ll have to bring items you need and avoid any frivolous packing.

Driving is beneficial to those who want a long, relaxing trip. The trip to California from New York by car is approximately one week if you’re driving twelve hours a day. You’ll need to take the cost of gas into consideration when traveling by car because the fuel alone can cost just as much as a plane ticket. The advantage of traveling by car is that you are able to get a look at other attractions along your way. You can stop by the Grand Canyon, tour Las Vegas and have your pick at thousands of hotels, restaurants and amenities throughout your trip.

Get Sandy in San Diego

Although many people don’t realize it, the city of San Diego is truly a world-class destination. Not only does it boast one of the most diverse and exciting zoos on the planet, but it is also known for exquisite cuisine. Any night in the Gaslamp District of San Diego, travelers can walk around and choose from a dazzling array of eateries. From Irish pubs to Italian food and fusion cuisine, there is truly something for everyone.

In recent years, San Diego has probably become best known for serving as the host city for Comic Con. Every July, comic book fans and movie nerds gather together to celebrate all of their favorite characters in one spot. This is the one time of the year that the convention center is positively filled to the brim with people from all walks of life. The entertainment industry descends on the city, and the town becomes very busy with all kinds of promotions and parties. Although Comic Con is perhaps the most well-known event that the city hosts, however, there’s a lot more to explore.

With some of the best sports teams in the world, San Diego residents have easy access to the Padres stadium. Hotels such as the Omni host some of the best happy hours in town. For travelers who prefer to bring their pooches, the entire city tends to be very dog-friendly. However, those who fly should be advised that the airport can become a bit challenging at times. With shorter runways than most, events such as fog tend to impact it more than one might expect. Those who take the train can relax in the Pacific Surfliner while taking in the beautiful coastal terrain. For people who want to enjoy the best a city has to offer, San Diego is a great spot.

Palm Springs: A City on the Upswing

For hipsters and those who love the Coachella culture, there’s nothing better than Palm Springs. Once the playground of luminaries such as Frank Sinatra, the town wasn’t so swinging for the past couple of decades or so. In fact, it was known more as a place that people could retire. However, in recent years, Palm Springs has seen a definite upswing in the amount of vacationers coming out to enjoy the sunshine and unique features that the resort town offers.

For gay visitors, there are a lot of options, including the annual White Party that happens over Easter. Indeed, the gay community in Palm Springs is probably the one group that remained vibrant and hot—even when the town itself had more of a “retiree” reputation. However, it wasn’t long before the town was rediscovered by the younger crowd, and it’s easy to see why. Filled with mid-century modern architecture, Palm Springs is a dream for those who are of the hipster ilk.

After the recession, many young people went ahead and purchased property in the area, reveling in its unique charm. Once they renovated the homes, however, many of them turned to rental sites like Airbnb to begin turning a profit on their properties. Although some locals are not fans of this practice, it’s become an effective way for some purchasers to recoup their investments.

There’s a lot to like about this city, which features excellent restaurants, bars and shopping centers. Additionally, there’s even an airport that vacationers can fly into. Former President Barack Obama has become a fan of the Rancho Mirage area, which was why Air Force One had been parked at the Palm Springs airport several times. For people who are looking for a quick getaway from anywhere in Southern California, Palm Springs is a convenient drive.

San Francisco Expects Fewer European Travelers for 2017

San Francisco television station, KRON4.com, reveals concerns that fewer international tourists may visit the city in 2017. The San Francisco Travel Association projects that growth in tourism overall has flattened with only a 2 percent increase expected over 2016 figures. The projected growth rate for international tourism is even lower at 0.03 percent. Because tourism is the number one industry in San Francisco, such flat rates could adversely effect the economy of the entire Bay area. While international tourists comprise only 23 percent of those who visit San Francisco annually, they contribute 62 percent of the income earned by tourism- and hospitality-related businesses in the Bay area.

While the modified plan’s 90-day ban on travel by residents from Syria, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Yemen, and Sudan who have not been granted US visas would be expected to have some unavoidable impact on international tourism, those bans are not the direct cause for the flat projections. In the report by Kron4.com, Joe D’Alessandro, from the San Francisco Travel Agency, cited polls conducted in top tourism markets such as England, Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia that indicate that the original ban, issued on January 27, 2017, was seen as an unfair policy that raised concerns about whether or not tourists would face issues when dealing with US customs while traveling.

Representatives of San Francisco’s hospitality- and tourist-related businesses and organizations have met to discuss ways to encourage international visitors to continue to come to San Francisco. The San Francisco Travel Agency is meeting with California’s State Travel Agency to explore the same issue.

However, two European visitors who were interviewed for the report, one from the Netherlands and one from Germany, firmly stated that they would not have changed their plans had they made them after the November election instead of before the election. A tourist from China expressed enthusiasm for San Francisco and a lack of concern about travel difficulties.

It remains to be seen whether the modified plan, which abandoned some forcefully stated positions, will mitigate the concerns of other international tourists. The new plan, revealed on March 6, 2017, takes effect on March 16, 2017.

Travel to the Real Life La La Land

The city of Los Angeles features prominently in the film that came so close to winning an Oscar for Best Picture. In La La Land, famous scenes of the freeways make a dazzling appearance, as well as many other landmarks in the city. For those who find themselves yearning for a trip to Los Angeles, there is so much to do in the “City of Stars”.

First, many people like to start with the traditional haunts of the movie stars. Those who love the glitz and glamour of Old Hollywood will want to check out all of the celebrities’ stars on Hollywood Boulevard. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre is where the footprints and handprints of the famous are displayed, making it easy to see how one’s hands measure up to stars like Marilyn Monroe. Charlie Chaplin fans can take a walk down to his favorite restaurant, which is called Musso & Frank’s and is still in business and serving essentially the same menu today.

For those who appreciate a good view, there’s nothing quite like the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway). Hop onto this majestic road and catch a glimpse of the dazzling, pristine Pacific Ocean right beside you. While you’re at it, you can stop at some of the most famous Malibu haunts of all time. Duke’s and Moonshadows are particularly well-known restaurants. If you stay on the PCH long enough, you can drive north all the way to Santa Barbara. This sleepy beach town is known for its picturesque views and stunning beauty.

Although many travelers fly into LAX when they choose to visit Los Angeles, the Burbank Airport is another excellent option. Central to most landmarks in the city—and without the massive amounts of traffic—it is also known as the Bob Hope Airport. Regardless of where you land, you’re bound to love La La Land.

Washington State Plans to Launch Tourism Marketing Authority

49 states in the US currently have a state-sponsored tourism marketing program. The only one that doesn’t is Washington. This could all change if the state legislators pass a new bill.

 

The bill calls for allocating $15 million over the course of two-year periods to fund a Tourism Marketing Authority. This official organization would be responsible for creating and executing plans to showcase what the state has to offer to visitors.

 

Seattle has seen its tourism industry boom in recent years, but this growth hasn’t been reflected in other regions. The group will be expected to identify areas that could benefit from enhanced marketing and then get the word out that the four corners of the state are all attractive to visitors.

 

The money for the new agency would come from taxes in addition to private funds. Those taxes would be generated from general sales taxes on travel items like hotels, restaurants, and rental cars. In fact, those taxes are already being collected, and the bill would simply reappropriate how they are allocated. This makes it a win-win for everyone. More visitors bring in more money, and the economies across the state should hopefully experience benefits.

 

The state used to have a tourism office, but it was forced to close during the recession in 2011. At that time, budgets were tightening in multiple areas, and the organization didn’t make the cut. After a period of hiatus, the tourism group can hopefully relaunch and become successful once again.

 

LA Will House George Lucas’ Art Museum

After a long search for a home, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has found one: Los Angeles. In earlier rounds, some cities, notably Chicago, actively turned down the proposal. In the final round, which also included San Francisco, organizers chose Los Angeles since the museum would impact the area more positively than it would have in the proposed area in San Francisco.

 

The label “narrative art” reflects the nature of Lucas’ collection, which focuses on items that tell a story. Without a doubt, Star Wars memorabilia and artwork will feature strongly in the museum. But the collection will extend to everything from comic book art and Mad magazine covers to paintings and photographs from over the centuries. The museum’s curators will attempt to blur the boundaries between highbrow and lowbrow art.

 

The museum will represent an estimated investment of $1.5 billion, which will include the construction costs, the artwork, and an endowment. Lucas is paying for the museum on his own, which made it an attractive offer for many cities. The Los Angeles Exposition Park eventually won out, possibly in part because it already houses three other major museums.

 

Architects plan to complete the sleek, contoured building, which is reminiscent of something out of Cloud City, by 2020. In addition to being near the Metro line, it will come equipped with parking spaces for 1,800 vehicles. The galleries will be located on an elevated terrace, leaving room for people to walk below. Construction will begin later this year.

 

 

Legislative Effort in Washington State Seeks to Restore Tourism

Over the last few years, the tourism industry of Washington State has mostly languished. The Evergreen State is not the first choice for prospective visitor who wish to discover the wonders of the West Coast of the United States; most people think of California and Oregon, but Washington is not often mentioned.

 

Legislators who wish to revive the Washington tourism industry are pushing for a new marketing campaign and a revitalized office to tap into this important economic resource. Although Washington is blessed by the strong economic contribution of the Seattle Metropolitan Area, lawmakers believe tourism could add even more revenue that could be directed to smaller communities.

 

Washington House Bill 1123 was recently discussed by the Committee on Community Development, Housing and Tribal Affairs. If approved, the bill would create a new Washington Tourism Marketing Authority and a plan to attract people traveling to the West Coast over the next few years.

 

The legislative proposal would not impose new taxes. Tourism operators believe that Washington is ripe for discovery. Even without marketing, the tourism industry is the fourth largest sector of the state economy; however, this position could fall if marketing continues to be ignored.

 

Tourism could produce an annual gain of $21 billion to Washington State. The best part of this revenue is that it tends to be evenly distributed among sectors and communities. The new marketing program would ostensibly portray the Evergreen State as a region to be discovered beyond Mount Rainier. The program would include an introduction to Native American reservations where tourists are always welcome.

 

Visiting the Bay Area? Consider Oakland

Sometimes forgotten in the shadow of San Francisco, Oakland is also a city by the bay that has a lot to offer. City officials have been working hard to boost tourism. They’ve been marketing the area’s entertainment, dining, and shopping destinations, letting people know that the Bay Area region encompasses more than just San Francisco.

 

The hard work has paid off, and hopefully the city’s tourist industry will continue to grow. In 2015, an estimated 3.5 million people visited Oakland, pumping in $795 million into the local economy. This data is the most recent available, released in January of 2017 by the city’s tourism marketing organization. The numbers are a great sign for people who believe in Oakland’s potential as a bona fide tourist destination.

 

Significant chunks of money were spent on lodging and food and beverage. The demand for hotel rooms has been growing, and plans are in the works to build modern, upscale hotels to cater to both business and leisure travelers. Some of these visitors are in town for conferences or for meetings at some of the region’s tech companies.

 

Many neighborhoods in the city have been undergoing transformations. Restauranteurs are identifying places around downtown and other trendy spots where they can launch new establishments. Many of these places could go for a high-end feel, as the Bay Area is one of the wealthiest regions in the US.