Hit These 5 National Parks on a Road Trip From Las Vegas

Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon

road tripfrom Las Vegas

Las Vegas is North America’s center for glitz, glamor, and gambling. Unlike other casino centers such as Macau or Monte Carlo, however, Vegas is a gateway to some of the world’s most spectacular natural scenery. If you’ve ever seen movies that take place among expanses of the wild west with canyon walls as high as a skyscraper, you’ve seen places you can drive to from Las Vegas.

You can rent a car in Las Vegas and after a few hours crossing the desert be standing next to the Grand Canyon in Arizona or exploring the rock formations of southern Utah. This road trip is best done over a week to really soak it all in from some of America’s most scenic highways, but it would be possible to cover it all in a few days since the sites are just one to six hours apart.

Las Vegas to Zion National Park

To begin the journey, leave Las Vegas and head to Lake Mead to see this man-made lake created by the gigantic Hoover Dam. Continue on Northshore Road along the lake until you connect with I-4 heading Northeast to St. George. Stop for lunch or take a hike in St. George, then continue on I-4 all the way to Zion National Park.

Las Vegas to Zion National Park road trip

Zion is known for its variety of landscapes and extensive hiking trails that lead past granite cliffs, meadows, and waterfalls. It’s common to spot mule deer, foxes, and bighorn sheep in the mountain terrain. You’re less likely to see the nocturnal creatures such as the ringtail cat and mountain lion, though you’ll probably spot their tracks in the mud.

The Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon

Las Vegas to Bryce Canyon

It only takes an hour and a half to drive from Zion to Bryce Canyon National Park, but you will probably be tempted to stop off for photos several times along the way. Once at Bryce, spend some time viewing the incredible rock formations from different angles via the easy trails at the bottom or the more challenging ones that lead into the surrounding hills. Some of the lodging and camping areas are close enough to walk but lights are kept low to see the constellations at night.

To Arches and Canyonlands National Parks

The next two stops on this road trip from Las Vegas are close together, so these would be the best to combine in one day’s visit. Get an early start to get there though as it takes around five hours by the slow and scenic route or four hours by the I-70 interstate highway route to reach Arches National Park. The name is a strong clue of what to expect here, as erosion over many thousands of years has left giant standing arches that glow red as the sun is sinking close to the horizon.

Arches National Park

In Canyonlands, bike paths and trails go through rugged dry canyons and formations with descriptive names such as Needles, Candlestick Tower, Chocolate Drops, and Monument Basin. This Moab Region of Utah is anchored by the town of the same name and this is one of the world’s great playgrounds for adventure activities. Make this your base and you can find dozens of activities to sign up for such as extreme mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding, boating, river rafting, and stargazing.

The Awesome Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon from Las Vegas

No matter how many times you’ve seen photos of the Grand Canyon, it’s hard to imagine the immense size and wonder of this great natural geological site. Spread over hundreds of miles, it would take a lifetime to explore it all, but by coming from Utah you’ll visit the less crowded North Rim and have more of it to yourself. It takes six hours or so to get here from Canyonlands, so plan to spend the night at one of the many lodges or camping areas along the highway. By visiting it late in the day and then again in the morning, you’ll see it in a whole different light. If you can do a hike down inside, you’ll get another perspective again. Just bring plenty of water.

The next day, drive back to Las Vegas and complete the road trip loop. You’ll trade in starry skies and open landscapes for the bright lights and noises that never stop, but you should have hundreds of great photos to share from your great American road trip.

For information on all these regions, see the U.S. National Park Service website. To find a great deal and earn valuable points on your stay, see our Las Vegas Hotels section on Bonwi.com.

New Orleans, LA: What’s Going on Louisiana’s Biggest City?

Instead of lurching down Bourbon Street, discover the swamps outside of New Orleans on a night tour!
Instead of lurching down Bourbon Street, discover the swamps outside of New Orleans on a night tour!
Instead of lurching down Bourbon Street, discover the swamps outside of New Orleans on a night tour!

New Orleans has always been party central while at the same time, is loaded with historical significance. It may be fun to enjoy the insane Mardi Gras festivities or peruse the various ancient mansions, but there is so much more to see and do in the Big Easy.

Audubon Park is located on Magazine Street in New Orleans and has almost too many components to list. From jogging and bike paths to tennis courts, a golf course, playgrounds, and even a lagoon, this lengthy park will keep everyone and anyone occupied. Not to mention the 58-Acre Audubon Zoo is just down the road and is home to about 2,000 animals!

Why not try a swamp tour…at night. The Honey Island Swamp Night Tour gives tourists the chance to take a chilling flat-bottom boat ride at night. Whether you’re scanning your periphery for gators, listening for the sounds of wild boars or learning about the Honey Island Swamp Monster, this unique tour will have you on the edge of your seat!

Take a New Orleans Aerial tour and see the sweep of the Mississippi river and all of the sites of the city from above.
Take a New Orleans Aerial tour and see the sweep of the Mississippi River and all of the sites of the city from above.

Speaking of tours, if you’re not a fan of water or you would prefer not to be so close to snapping gators, try an aerial tour of the city. New Orleans Aerial Tours & Flight Training offers a Big Easy Aerial Tour which allows you to view New Orleans from the sky while simultaneously learning about the city.

Take a gander at the twists and turns of the Mississippi River, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and Louisiana’s many bayous. The Big Easy couldn’t look any more beautiful than it does from a birds’ eye view!

Should you plan on visiting New Orleans, here are some cool hotels that you may want to consider using.

The Ace Hotel in New Orleans may not be the only Ace Hotel in the world, but it nonetheless is a stylish and unique lodging option. The Ace Hotel in New Orleans sits in a former department store and boasts a beautiful hand-painted floor as well as voodoo folklore references in each room!

The Catahoula Hotel, a 35-room Creole townhouse, makes for a luxurious and authentic stay in New Orleans. The hotel’s café, rooftop terrace, and boutique coffee program may make you forget that the building has been standing since 1845, and will also make you want to stay in the hotel forever! 

The best thing about booking a New Orleans Hotel on Bonwi is that you get more nights free, using your Bonwi Points!

Anchorage, Alaska: Go Dogsledding in Summer

Summer Dog Sledding Alaska
A future dogsleg puller and her master in Anchorage, Alaska.
A future dogsled puller and her master in Anchorage, Alaska.

The first thing you probably think of when someone says dog sledding is snow, correct? What if I told you that you could go dog sledding, in the middle of summer, without the snow?

Well in Anchorage, Alaska you can go on your very own Summer Sled Dog Adventure, thanks to Girdwood Mushing Company and Gold Mine Safari Tours.

Bring the family and meet the 4-legged crew as they bring you across Alaska’s beautiful and scenic landscape. The ride starts with an eight-mile trek up the historic Iditarod trail in an open air high-mobility all terrain vehicle. A tour guide will explain the area’s gold mining history while you take in the phenomenal views.

After arriving at the Girdwood Mushing’s Company’s kennel, you will meet your musher, and of course, his dog crew. Leap into the sled dog cart and allow the Alaskan Huskies to escort you through one of the most picturesque spots in Alaska. You might even get a chance lead the dogs yourself.

Of course, you cannot leave without visiting the Puppy Petting Pavilion. The name even sounds great. Here, you can play with the future athletes and check out your musher’s award memorabilia and trophies commemorating “The Last Great Race”.

Learn about the gear mushers need to survive in such harsh climates and why Alaskan Huskies are natural born sled leaders.

Mushing doesn't stop just because there is no snow in Alaska!
Mushing doesn’t stop just because there is no snow in Alaska!

This one of a kind trip allows you to consume the knowledge and history of the area, all while taking in the feeling, sights, and smells that Alaska has to offer its visitors. Kennel tours and training rides are also available no matter what the season is. Visit with dogs that have Iditarod bloodlines…who knows, you could be petting a future champion.

The journey, which takes you to an elevation of 1200 feet, takes about 2.5 hours. Rides cost $148 for adults and $98 for children age 5-12. Tours are rain or shine, so dress appropriately! To find out how to book your own tour, visit http://www.alyeskatours.com.   

Plan your visit to America’s great wilderness and find the best hotels in Anchorage using Bonwi Points!

America’s Best Beaches

Ask true beach lovers to name their favorite expanse of surf and sand, and the answer changes with the tides. With all its surrounding oceans, seas, and lakes, there’s a beach to indulge any whim. From pearly crescents covered in shells to turquoise bays teeming with shimmering fish, none are created equal. This week’s Travel Tip Tuesday highlights the best beaches in the United States for you to visit this summer.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach has sixty miles of beautiful sandy beaches, first-class live entertainment, exciting attractions for everyone, endless shopping, exquisite dining, thrilling water sports plus so much more.

 

Coronado Beach, California

Coronado Beach, California

Swimmers, bodysurfers, boogie boarders, sand sculptors, and wildlife enthusiasts take to Coronado Beach year round. The north side of the beach is perfect for dog lovers and offers an off-leash park.

 

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Far removed from the bustle of any city, Cannon Beach stretches along the cliffs of the Oregon coastline. Haystack Rock towers on the shoreline, waterfalls cascade onto the sand at Hug Point, and marine life peeks out at low tide which makes Cannon Beach one of the most beautiful places in the world.

 

Biloxi Beach, Mississippi

Biloxi Beach, Mississippi

Biloxi offers 26 miles of white-sand beaches that catch a cool breeze from the Gulf Coast. The beach and surrounding area offers activities like casinos, charter-boat fishing, sailing, golfing, and parasailing.

 

West Palm Beach, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

The shoreline of West Palm Beach is highlighted by swaying palms, golden-hued sand, and the shimmering blue ocean. Keep an eye out for tortoises crawling out of the water since summer is their nesting season.

 

Martha’s Vineyard Beach, Massachusetts 

Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Secluded from the mainland, Martha’s Vineyard is an island bathed in scenic beauty. The island’s delectable seafood and easy-going vibe attract day-trippers, celebrities, and city dwellers to flock to the beach.

 

Ready to explore? Plan your next beach getaway with Bonwi.com!

Orlando, FL: Attractions to Experience this Summer other than Disney World

Discovery Cove in Orlando has flamingoes, emus, and many other animals and things to enjoy with your family.
Discovery Cove in Orlando has flamingoes, emus, and many other animals and things to enjoy with your family.
Discovery Cove has flamingoes, emus, and many other animals and things to enjoy with your family.

Orlando is home to a whole bunch of theme parks, including the two massive compounds of Disney World and Universal Studios. These concrete and metal monstrosities may be a ton of fun, but there are other places to see in Orlando that may surprise you and free you of screaming kids and long lines.

Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Resort is opening another location and it’s going to be amazing. It’s actually opening in nearby Kissimmee.  The 300-acre resort will not only feature a hotel with 187 rooms but it will also include 300 timeshare units and 1,000 vacation homes. The Jimmy Buffett-inspired tropical oasis is opening later this year and will make a fantastic getaway for fans of the famous singer and everyone and anyone else.

Discovery Cove is not a new water park at Universal Studios. It is a heavenly destination in Orlando that I would never have heard of if it weren’t for Travelingmom.com. For an all-inclusive ticket, you can swim with dolphins, snorkel with a variety of tropical fish, encounter a plethora of different wildlife, enjoy a hearty breakfast and lunch, and enjoy a whole bunch of other amenities. This tropical getaway is a wonderful alternative to an overheated day waiting in line at Thunder Mountain.

See a wide array of alligators and all kinds of kitschy souvenirs at Gatorland Orlando!
See a wide array of alligators, ride the zip line,  and find all kinds of kitschy souvenirs at Gatorland Orlando!

Travelingmom.com also opened my eyes to an incredibly unique experience available in Orlando. Gatorland Orlando may not seem like a desirable place to visit but there are actually plenty of reasons why you should add this destination to your vacation itinerary.

From wrestling with alligators to witnessing a menagerie of wildlife like emus, flamingos, and giant tortoises to name a few, to a critically-acclaimed zip line, and a Gator Jumparoo Show, Gatorland Orlando is a different and fun place to see when you are in the theme park capital of the world.

Orlando may be known for Disney World and Universal Studios but the always-growing Florida city has much more than those two massive parks. Instead of following the beaten path, take the road less traveled!

For your Orlando Vacation, find the perfect hotel from Bonwi…and use your Bonwi points for a future trip!

How to Beat the Heat in Phoenix, Arizona

Wet and Wild Water Park is Phoenix can chill you out on even the hottest summer days!
Wet n Wild Water Park in Phoenix can chill you out on even the hottest summer days!

Whether you like it or not, if you’re visiting Phoenix or are a lifelong resident, you are going to have to deal with the grueling and infamous heat.

With the average temperature in July lingering around 106 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best that you find some shade and start planning ways to make the most out of the summer heat.

In 100+ degree weather, the first thing most people think of is cooling off, and what better way to do that than a water park? Wet n Wild Water Park is conveniently located in Northern Phoenix and has family, kid, and thrill rides. For $30, you can bring the whole family can enjoy swimming, fireworks, and a variety of water rides. Just make sure to pack sunscreen.

Scottsdale's Fashion Square is a cool respite from the blazing temperatures in summertime in Phoenix. Plenty of shops to stroll through and a great food court, too.
Scottsdale’s Fashion Square is a cool respite from the blazing temperatures in summertime in Phoenix. Plenty of shops to stroll through and a great food court, too.

Or maybe you’re more of an air-conditioned type of person, that’s ok too because you can get your shopping on at the Scottsdale Fashion Square. A local favorite, the mall has over 250 different stores to choose from. With small boutiques and large brand name stores, this is the perfect place to get out of the heat, and update your wardrobe!

If neither of these destinations sounds appealing, then lucky for you that Phoenix has no shortage of museums that depict local art and culture. The Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix is the ideal place to get away from the Arizona sun. The museums feature interactive exhibits that bring the museum to life and has activities for all ages.

One of the museum’s signature events is called Science With A Twist, which is an adult only event every Friday night that includes music, cash bar, food, live demos, and more. Guess you’ll be calling the babysitter for this one.

General admission for the museum for adults is $18 and $13 for kids.

Taking a stroll in downtown Phoenix through CityScape is not a bad way to spend a hot afternoon, seeing that there are retail shops galore and a huge array of restaurants available. The dynamic and urban destination is a one of a kind place where you can truly experience the heart of Phoenix.

If you really don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your home, or hotel, then try cooking an egg on the hood of your car, we hear that’s pretty fun too!

Find air-conditioned, comfortable hotel rooms in Phoenix and use your Bonwi Points to get another stay free!

The Best Shopping Experiences in Orlando, Florida

name brand shopping Orlando

orlando shopping

Orlando, Florida is best known for its theme parks, of course, but many visitors take some time to find a bargain outside the cartoon character stores. With most of the world’s major brands having a retail store or outlet in Orlando, this has become a premier shopping region for name brand clothing, shoes, purses, and electronics.

Here are a few Orlando shopping destinations where you’ll find lots of options under one roof

The Florida Mall

This is central Florida’s largest shopping mall. It’s the best place to go if you only have time to visit one location. The hundreds of shops here run the range from high-end department stores like Macy’s to branded stores from the likes of Apple, Adidas, Coach, and Michael Kors. This is a great choice for families as it includes stores from Disney, American Girl, M&M’s, and Crayola crayons. It also has typical mall staples such as Banana Republic, H&M, Victoria’s Secret, and A/X Armani Exchange.

Florida Mall Orlando

The Florida Mall is near the international airport, so you can use it to kill some time on the way out before you return your rental car. See a full store directory here.

The Mall at Millenia

If you’re looking for the latest items from luxury stores and name brand designers, The Mall at Millenia is the top choice. The 150 stores are like a who’s who of respected international brands. For high-end clothing and accessories there’s Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Bulgari, Kate Spade, Versace, and Cartier. Other apparel options include Brooks Brothers, Under Armour, lululemon athletica, Abercrombie & Fitch, J. Crew, and Anthropologie. There’s also an Apple store, Pottery Barn, and Sephora. Department stores include Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s.

The Mall at Millenia also offers a range of typical sit-down dining chains such as P.F. Chang’s The Cheesecake Factory, Panera Bread, and California Pizza Kitchen.

name brand shopping Orlando

The Mall at Millenia is a half hour from the airport or most theme parks, so get directions here then see the directory for more store information.

Orlando International Premium Outlets

If you’re looking for deals on name brand merchandise, this location provides 180 stores to choose from. Orlando International Premium Outlets is the largest outlet shopping destination in all of Florida.

For fashion you can browse sale items from Diesel, DKNY, J. Crew, Kate Spade New York, Tommy Hilfiger, Cole Haan, LACOSTE, Michael Kors, and Polo Ralph Lauren. For athletic wear there are stores from Under Armour, Quiksilver, Columbia Sportswear, North Face, and Champion. For shoes you can shop Nike, Adidas, Reebok, UGG Australia, Kenneth Cole, Johnston & Murphy, Clarks, Timberland, Crocs, Vans, and Puma. Other popular brands include Movado, Sony, L’Occitane, Levi’s, Bose, and Guess.

Orlando Premium Outlets Store is close to the Universal Studios theme parks. Get directions and more information here.

Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets

Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets presents itself as a Mediterranean inspired outdoor village. It has almost as many shops as sister mall International Premium Outlets, with 160 instead of 180. There you can find a wide range of familiar brands for 25-65% off the regular prices.

Vineland Orlando shopping

There’s plenty for men, women and children on the clothing side, with Armani Outlet, Burberry, DVF, Nike, Prada, Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH, Coach, Nautica, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Tommy Hilfiger. Stock up for growing children with Gap Kids, NauticaKids, Carter’s, Gymboree, and Oshkosh B’Gosh. Watch brands Tag Heuer, Movado, Citizen, and American-assembled Shinola all have stores at Vineland.

Orlando Vineland Premium Outlets is located close to the Disney resorts and Sea World, right next to Interstate 4 highway. See a map and full store directory here.

Lake Buena Vista Factory Stores

Located just two miles from Walt Disney World at Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa, this is a smaller factory outlet center to visit after a day at the Magic Kingdom. This location focuses more on everyday brands rather than luxury ones and it has the only Old Navy Outlet in central Florida.

Most of the best-known name brands are here, such as Aeropostale, Calvin Klein, Carter’s, Eddie Bauer, Gap, Izod, Justice, Levi’s, Nike, Nine West, Tommy Hilfiger, and Under Armour. This is also a good place to buy an extra bag for carrying back your purchases: there are stores from Samsonite, Travelpro, and Wilson’s Leather.  See the official website here.

Disney Springs
Photo by Tim Leffel

Disney Springs

The outdoor commercial area owned by Disney is a recently revamped destination for dining, playing, and shopping and is popular with families. There are plenty of options to delight children, such as Build-a-Bear, The Lego Store, a Coca-Cola store, a Star Wars store, and about 15 different outlets connected to the Walt Disney empire. There’s also a Rainforest Café restaurant and a Haagen-Dazs ice cream store.

It’s not all meant for children though. There are many brands here you don’t see in every mall, such as Sanuk, Alex and Ani, Pandora Jewelry, Unode50, Harley-Davidson, Oakley, and The Art of Shaving. The 52 restaurants include chef-inspired options such as The Dining Room at Wolfgang Puck, Morimoto Asia (of Iron Chef America), and the excellent Homecoming southern cooking outlet from Chef Art Smith. Get directions and see a full directory with photos here.

Orlando has an abundance of hotels in every configuration and price range. Find a place to stay near your favorite theme park or shopping outlet and get lots of points back here: Orlando Hotels from Bonwi.

All photos courtesy of the individual shopping destinations unless noted.

The Hotel Zones of Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale Beach

The Atlantic Ocean coastal city of Fort Lauderdale is part of a 23-mile stretch of beach in Broward County, so there are plenty of places to stretch out on the sand. Then there’s the Intracoastal Waterway, a gay travel zone, and chic Las Olas inland, so sorting out the best place to book your hotel can be a challenge.

Fortunately, the various hotel zones of Fort Lauderdale are relatively well-defined. Once you know your objective, you can narrow down the options from 100+ properties to find the best place to stay in your budget. Be sure to check Bonwi for the best hotel deals and the most reward points back no matter which area of the city you choose.

Northern Beach Area

If you’re looking for a quiet, more residential area, the stretch of beach going from Lauderdale by the Sea down to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park is going to be the best bet. There are fewer hotels in this area and they’re more spread out, though of course the surf and sand are going to be just as enticing.

Southern Beach Area

The bulk of the areas hotels and resorts are clustered in the area between the state park and the turnoff to the convention center. Here you’ll find the largest range of options, from 5-star luxury resorts to small family-run hotels with a kitchenette. Just remember that none are directly on the beach no matter what: there’s a public walkway on that side and no buildings directly next to the sand—unless you count lifeguard stands and public bathrooms.

walkway along the beach in Fort Lauderdale

Gay Fort Lauderdale Hotels

This destination is frequently touted as the top LGBT place to visit in the Eastern USA, with around 20 gay-exclusive guesthouses, a robust nightlife scene, frequent same-sex weddings, and several dedicated museums.  Guesthouses that cater to same-sex couples and groups are primarily clustered in the blocks between Vistamar and Riomar streets  and will have “Gay” or “Gay-friendly” in the description.

Hollywood, Florida

Although technically not Fort Lauderdale, this is so close that it might as well be, plus the water taxi heads down here on its last stop. If you’re planning on parking yourself at the beach most of the time, this can be a good alternative.

Convention Center and Cruise Port

If you’re just spending a night before or after one of the many cruises that depart from here, you want to be at the southern end of Fort Lauderdale, near the street that quickly changes names from Seabreeze Blvd. to SE 17th Street to A1A. Some airport and downtown hotels will also shuttle guests to the cruise port, so check the descriptions when you book.

Hotel map Ft. Lauderdale

Las Olas and Downtown

If chic shopping and fine restaurants get you more excited than body surfing in the waves, then Las Olas is the place to stay. This mile-long retail street is full of interesting shops, some of the top restaurants in the area, and fun nightlife options.  Downtown Fort Lauderdale is the cultural magnet of the area, with the county’s main performing arts center and multiple museums.

Fort Lauderdale Airport

If you’ve got an early flight or are just on a business trip, there are multiple hotels near this busy airport served by multiple international carriers and serving as a hub for Spirit Air. Most provide some kind of shuttle service and don’t forget that the South Florida Tri-Rail system has train service up to Palm Beach and down to Miami.

If you need to get from one zone to the other in Fort Lauderdale, don’t worry. There are plenty of options for getting around, even without a car. Besides taxis and rideshare services, there is a water taxi system, a city bike share system, and a malecon sidewalk running the length of the beach that’s great for walking.

Ready to book a vacation? See the Fort Lauderdale hotels at Bonwi.com, where you’ll find guaranteed low rates and generous points back you can use for your next hotel stay, flight, or rental car with no blackout dates.

Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden Is a Must-Visit

In Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Garden is not to be missed. You can even go at night!
In Phoenix, the Desert Botanical Garden is not to be missed. You can even go at night!

Searching for the ideal summer vacation in Phoenix but not sure where to start? Seeing that it is located on the upper edge of the Sonoran Desert, there are heaps of outdoor adventures to be had in Phoenix this summer.

But, above all, the one place you surely won’t want to miss seeing is Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden. If you’re wondering, there are other things in the desert other than sand and tumbleweeds.

You don’t have to have a green thumb to want to visit this garden, as it is equipped with family activities, concerts, seasonal exhibits, and cafes. The desert itself offers its visitors a delightful and extensive collection of the world’s best arid plants and wildflowers. Whether you’re a rookie iPhone picture taker or a pro wildlife photographer, I can promise you there will be many picturesque moments in the Sonoran Desert.

Whether you’re a rookie iPhone picture taker or a pro wildlife photographer, I can promise you there will be many picturesque moments in the Sonoran Desert.

The Desert Botanical Garden has over 50,000 desert plants on display throughout five different outdoor trails that portray what life is like in the desert for humans, animals, and plants alike.

Experience the garden in a whole new light, or in a lack of it. Flashlight Tours are nighttime excursions that allow you to feel, see and hear how the desert performs a night. Bring your own flashlight and guide yourself through the trails and capture what different activities and learning experiences the desert have to offer.

For those art enthusiasts, the garden also offers several art exhibitions, including the Larry Kornegay and Jun Kaneko Sculpture Exhibit. The colorful and daring artwork illustrates the desert’s beauty, allowing guests to view the art as they travel throughout the garden.

Gertrudes is the place to enjoy lunch or dinner at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.
Gertrudes is the place to enjoy lunch or dinner at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona.

One of the most memorable aspects of visiting the garden is by far dining at Gertrude’s. The restaurant, with an ever-changing menu, offers fresh ingredients straight from the farm and pasture to your plate. The menu showcases local cuisine and ingredients from farmers and artisans in the area. Stop by for a quick brunch or a nice sit-down dinner at sunset.

General Admission into the garden costs $24.95 for adults and $12.95 for youths. The garden is open daily from 8 a.m. until 8 p.m.  Don’t feel like paying? The garden admission is free the second Tuesday of every month–nice!

To plan your visit to the Desert Botanical Garden, visit their website https://www.dbg.org.
Find the absolute best deals on Phoenix Hotels and earn Bonwi Points to use for your next trip.

 

Explore the Distilleries and Breweries of Washington, D.C.

Washington DC distillery

Want to sample some local hooch after you visit the Smithsonian and snap photos of D.C.’s monuments? Here’s a rundown on a few notable local distilleries and breweries in the city.

Among the revolutionaries that moved to Washington, D.C. in the late 1700s to start the USA’s first government, quite a few were were brewers or distillers. So it’s fitting that the nation’s capital has some production facilities of its own nestled into its limited land area. I got a tour of some of the options with City Brew Tours and here’s what we found.

Cotton and Reed Rum

Washington D.C. Distilleries

Cotton & Reed
Although rum played an important (and often unsavory) role in the Americas in the 1700s and 1800s, there was never a rum distillery in Washington. Cotton & Reid Distillery changed all that when they opened in a revamped 1929 factory building in 2016. They make two kinds of rum for now, white and spiced, because nothing has had time to age. So the attached bar serves lots of cocktails—really good cocktails. They’re serious about the craft though, using Lousiana cane sugar and distilling with a botanicals basket that includes the cane itself. One of the founders, Reed Walker, was a NASA engineer so they’ve got the chops for the science part.

Jos. A. Magnus & Co.
Taking the name and recipes from a midwest distiller that ceased operations during prohibition, Jos. A Magnus is a company that takes the best from the past and reworks it for the modern age. (One poster from the original days says, “A staunch friend from sunrise to sunset.” Another says it’ll cure your marital ills.) They make several styles, with their excellent Murray Hill Whiskey, a bourbon, already winning awards. Their Vigilant Gin is made exclusively with American ingredients. It’s a bit sweeter than most, in an attempt to lure in new fans to the spirit.

Heading up the operation is Nicole Hassoun, who mixed cocktails at D.C.’s top gin bar before striking out on her own. The company also makes Royal Seal Vodka, which tastes like…vodka. Good stuff all around.

Joseph Magnus liquor DC

Washington D.C. Breweries

Atlas Brew Works
Downstairs from Jos. A. Magnus in the Ivy City neighborhood is Atlas Brew Works, probably the city’s best-known brewery. Two of their three most popular beers are ones you would easily predict: the easy-drinking District Common and a Ponzi American pale ale. The third one, Rowdy, is kind of a wild card though: a hop-forward rye beer that doesn’t taste quite like anything else I’ve had.

Unfortunately I didn’t have a lot of time to linger here, but did find out that Atlas is a 100% solar-powered brewery. How many breweries can say that? There’s a great pub vibe here, so make a night of it and go down the row for a flight.

Atlas Brew DC

Blue Jacket Brewery
Located walking distance from the Nationals baseball stadium, Blue Jacket is a new-build brewery inside the walls of an old boilermaker factory, in an area that’s gone from closed-factory-desolate to gentrified glory in just a few years. Because they could plan it all out from scratch inside, this brewery has set up operations in the traditional style, letting gravity take its course. Brewing starts at the top level and then works its way down to the bottom. There modern science takes over and beers are served in the brewpub at the ideal temperature: lagers at a colder temperature than stouts, for instance, all temperature controlled from the back.

Brewery near Washington Nationals baseball

They’re not afraid to experiment at Blue Atlas though, brewing wild yeast beers that sometimes work and sometimes don’t, and having two dozen house-brewed beers on tap at any given time. The Mexican Radio spiced stout is a typical example. It’s not like anything you’re ever going to actually find in Mexico, but it’s yummy. This is a bustling restaurant too, so get some food in you between samplings.

There are a few other breweries and brewpubs in D.C. proper. You can check out the whole list of what’s there, in Virginia, and in Maryland nearby at DCbeer.com.

Find the best deals on Washington D.C. hotels and earn far more points for your stays than you would anywhere else—go to Bonwi.com DC.

San Diego: Summer Happenings in America’s Finest City

San Diego's famed Gaslamp Quarter is full of nightlife and great restaurants.
San Diego’s famed Gaslamp Quarter is full of nightlife and great restaurants.

The beautiful city of San Diego, California is playing host to a whole smorgasbord of events ranging from international soccer to an expansive county fair. There’s something to do for everyone in the Plymouth of the West this summer!

The San Diego County Fair alone has enough going on to satisfy everyone in the family. A Wild Wild West theme is the backdrop for the fair that includes live musical entertainment, the International Beer Festival, deep-fried foods, woodworking, livestock exhibits, an award-winning flower show, and much more.

In early July, the CONCACAF Gold Cup, an international soccer competition, will take a couple of its opening round games to Qualcomm Stadium in the city. The Mexican national team will be one of the teams competing in these open round games in California’s southern city.

Watch dogs compete and surf in San Diego this summer!
Watch dogs compete and surf in San Diego this summer!

You can even watch dogs surf!  In late July, Imperial Beach will host the annual Surf Dog Competition. More than 70 dogs will be competing in various surfing challenges that will surely be a treat to see in person!

The city is accustomed to many glorious hotels with beach themes and plenty of amenities. When in Rome, well, San Diego, try these hotels on for size:

The Hotel Indigo San Diego Gaslamp Quarter is a boutique hotel located Downtown. This pet-friendly lodge is eco-friendly and even has a rooftop bar!

Believe it or not, but the Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel and Marina is a very stylish hotel that truly draws itself apart from its other U.S. locations. Tons of suite options, a long list of amenities, and some fantastic views make this hotel a must stay venue!   

Book a San Diego hotel with Bonwi and earn points to come back another time!

How to Hit the Savings Jackpot in Las Vegas

Las Vegas hotels at night

An experienced gambler can tell you how to avoid getting fleeced at the Las Vegas casino tables, but there are also ways the cards are stacked against you as a visitor spending vacation money. Whether you’re betting or not, you have to play the Vegas visitor game correctly to keep the odds in your favor. Here are some of the best ways to shave hundreds or even thousands of dollars off your tab.

Avoid the Weekends

You may think a weekend trip to Las Vegas is a good idea, but so does everyone else. The city is driving distance to Los Angeles and a short direct flight from many other markets. That means huge crowds converge on Friday nights and leave on Sunday. Bachelor parties, bachelorette parties, anniversaries, birthdays, guys/gals weekends away, and on it goes. If there’s a reason to celebrate, this is a natural destination for the occasion.

That means prices double or triple most weekends. If you can come on a Sunday instead or leave on a Friday, you can still find unbelievably low rates in these massive hotels. Just remember to factor in the extra “resort fee” that gets you what’s normally included in the rates elsewhere: this hated practice is a common one at area hotels.

Avoid Major Convention Periods

The USA’s biggest convention city can absorb a lot of visitors at once: MGM Grand Hotel alone has more than 5,000 rooms. When a massive conference is in town though, even the biggest properties can fill up and rates rise accordingly. If the Society of Medical Diagnostic Sonography is town (1,700 attendees), no big deal. But when the Consumer Electronics Show brings in 165,000 people, you probably want to change your plans. See this Vegas convention calendar for details.

Widen Your Hotel Horizons

downtown Las Vegas hotelSure, it’s fun to be at a famous hotel on the Las Vegas Strip and you can find some legendary choices there, but there are literally more than 100 places to choose from. Prices in the prestige hotels are inflated for nearly everything, so browse around to find the best value. You may want to spend at least part of your time downtown. There you’ll find a revitalized area that’s walkable, filled with fun bars, restaurants, and the Container Park. Hotels such as the Golden Nugget, Plaza Hotel, and California Hotel have poured millions into renovations and their pool complexes in recent years.

Watch for Promotional Deals

The days when Vegas was a bargain-hunters paradise started fading when the corporations started gobbling up all the hotels and casinos. There are still plenty of great values around though if you keep your eye out for coupon books, loyalty sign-up bonuses, and off-peak buffets. Casinos still want to get you in the door and any restaurant that’s not full regularly will do what they can to pull in the crowds. If you’re flexible with your plans, you can score free bets and great meals at a discount. (And hey, it’s okay to just hang out by a beautiful pool all day.)

Las Vegas swimming pool

Use Public Transportation, Uber, and Lyft

Las Vegas taxi drivers have seen it all, but unless you want to pay for a good story there are better ways to get around the city. The overtaxed (and quick route-challenged) drivers aren’t usually the best option anymore to get from A to B. A bus runs from downtown through the strip, a monorail is a block off the strip, and the usual rideshare services are always on the move.

Get the best rates on Las Vegas hotels and get the most points back by booking with Bonwi.

Gulliver’s Gate Brings the World in Miniature to Times Square

Gulliver's Gate is a giant 3D model of the entire world laid out inside the former New York Times building, where people can walk as if they are giants among a tiny created world.
Gulliver’s Gate is a giant 3D model of the entire world laid out inside the former New York Times building, where people can walk as if they are giants among a tiny created world.

You can pay a visit to Times Square in Manhattan, New York any day and you will surely be bombarded will thousands of eager tourists wanting to see the city.

You are also likely to be approached by a topless woman with painted breasts, or the Naked Cowboy, strumming his guitar in his skivvies, asking if you want to pose for a photo next to them.

However, the city is about to get a whole lot busier as its new attraction called Gulliver’s Gate becomes more and more popular.

On the floor of the former New York Times Building, (kind of neat!), the 23,000 square-foot space is the new home to Gulliver’s Gate. It took a whole slew of engineers and designers to replicate the phenomenal view of the Big Apple, not to mention it took 358 days to create.

The metropolis exhibit, opened on May 9, features miniature 3-D models of the city, including more than 300 tiny buildings and over 1,000 model train cars. There is no doubt that you will feel like the giant from Gulliver’s Travels after peering down at dwarf-sized printed replicas of Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, and other scenes from around the world.

There is no doubt that you will feel like the giant from Gulliver’s Travels after peering down at dwarf-sized printed replicas of Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, and other scenes from around the world.

You don’t even need to travel to Beijing, Buenos Aires, or Israel because they are culturally diverse displays created from all of these places, and more! Some models are even interactive, bringing the displays to life.

Guests can choose to either buy a timed ticket for $31, which allows them to book a certain day or time, or buy a flex ticket for $41, which permits them to go whenever they please. The easiest way to buy tickets it through their online website at gulliversgate.com.

Located on 216 W 44th Street, the exhibit opens every day at 9 a.m. If you’re not impressed yet, you can also become a citizen of Gulliver’s Gate, which entails getting yourself scanned and becoming a miniature 3-D replica human in the display. You then receive your very own framed photo of the “mini you” and you will also be given a lifetime discount for anytime you want to go back.

If you’re looking to change your own perspective, well literally I guess, stop by Times Square and visit this new attraction. Find the best deal on a NYC hotel room and use Bonwi points for a return visit!

Talk about living large!

Nashville, Tennessee: New Attractions in the Music City

The Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tennessee.
The Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville, Tennessee.

Erase any negative preconceived notions you have about Nashville because this southern city has a lot going on. Whether you’re a fan of music, sports, or great cuisine, the capital of Tennessee holds a variety of new and exciting things to do.

It’s not called “The Music City” for nothing. Country music and rock n’ roll have been a presence in, and perhaps the defining quality of Nashville. The Music City Walk of Fame Park immortalizes musical artists and other members of the music industry in a landmark tribute reminiscent of Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. Recent inductees include Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, Mayor Karl Dean, and many others.

The Ascend Amphitheater’s 2015 opening was celebrated with a two-day performance starring Eric Church. This fairly new music venue hosts a myriad of different musicians throughout its operating season that ends in November. Enjoy an amazing night at the Ascend Amphitheater as you look up into the night sky while simultaneously watching your favorite artists perform!

Music isn’t the only cultural aspect of Nashville. Multiple sports teams have been expanding and improving in the Tennessee capital. The Tennessee Titans of the NFL enjoyed a 9-7 record in the 2016/2017 season. Their Nissan Stadium has almost 70,000 seats so there should be no trouble finding tickets for this growing football franchise.

First Tennessee Park is the home to the Nashville Sounds, an AAA baseball team.
First Tennessee Park is the home to the Nashville Sounds, an AAA baseball team.

The Nashville Sounds, the AAA affiliate of the MLB’s Oakland Athletics, have a new stadium called the First Tennessee Park that opened in 2015. And who could forget the NHL’s Nashville Predators incredible 2017 playoff run that saw the Preds sweep the Blackhawks and earn their first ever Western Conference title?  They might have lost to the Penguins, but they certainly put the city on the world’s hockey map.

After you have seen the musical and sports aspects of the Tennessee capital, try one, or more, of Nashville’s awesome new restaurants. The Hillsboro Village neighborhood is home to the Grilled Cheeserie Melt Shop with the top of the line grilled cheese sandwiches and milkshakes. Slim and Husky’s Pizza Beeria in the Germantown Area has an upbeat vibe along with great pizza and local microbrews.

The Mainstay, a restaurant with plenty of craft beer and TVs, sits in East Nashville. Experience these newly opened eateries and tons of others within the city of Nashville!   If you’re traveling to Nashville, find the best deals on hotel rooms and get points to use on your next trip from Bonwi.

New York Is Getting the Wheel of the Century

The New York Wheel will be the world's tallest Ferris wheel, with pods that hold 40 people, towering at 630 feet above Staten Island!
The New York Wheel will be the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, with pods that hold 40 people, towering at 630 feet above Staten Island!

New York City has always been the top destination for tourists both near and far, but the upcoming tourist opportunities have just expanded as the city welcomes the New York Wheel.  More than 60 million tourists came to the Big Apple in 2016. 

In June of 2018, the tallest observation wheel in the world will open on St. George, Staten Island. Visitors can look forward to an unique experience for the whole family, from a 10,000 square-foot playground to an outdoor beer garden, there are options for the both the kids and adults.The wheel itself will feature a 30-minute ride and will include 36 capsules with over 7 million dollars worth of LED lighting, the wheel will surely illuminate the skyline, paving way for an epic view.Each pod holds up to 40 people and allows its guests to see beautiful views of the New York Harbor, Statue of Liberty, Verrazano bridge and the New York City Skyline. With an expected visitation rate of 30,000 visitors per day, the attraction will also feature a five-acre green roof, which will host concerts, festivals, and other outdoor events.

The attraction will be open to the public and accessible seven days a week from 10 a.m. until midnight. But, if you really want to be stunned, stay until sunset, and see the reflection of the 630-foot-tall wheel emerge on the New York Harbor. If you decide the come by boat, the project plans to partner with private ferry services to bring guests from different locations along the harbor.

The wheel will also an attraction for the local Staten Island community, as it will draw tourists to visit area shops, eateries, and cultural institutions. All the foot traffic near the wheel will encourage people to visit the surrounding area, benefiting St. George economically.

With $1.2 billion invested in the project, local contractors and building trades will be utilized and hundreds of construction jobs will be created. It seems to me that the New York Wheel is a win win for both the city and its tourists.

As 2018 creeps around the corner, I’d start planning your trip now, I wouldn’t want to miss out on seeing one of the most spectacular views in the world.

If you want to catch a ride on the New York Wheel in 2018, book your NYC hotel using Bonwi points!

San Francisco Never Forgot the Summer of Love

This summer, celebrate the 50th anniversary of 1967's Summer of Love in San Francisco!
This summer, celebrate the 50th anniversary of 1967's Summer of Love in San Francisco!
This summer, celebrate the 50th anniversary of 1967’s Summer of Love in San Francisco!

San Francisco’s 50th Summer of Love Festival is quickly approaching as summer is upon is.  In the heart of one of the most diverse cities in the world, visitors can expect the celebration to feature dozens of events, activities, exhibitions, and an insight into the rich history of the Love Festival which first took place in 1967.

The festival prides itself on allowing people to display their own unique and creative ways of self-expression, whether that be through elegant artwork or live music. In addition to the festival, San Francisco offers several other music oriented destinations for all music loving visitors, such as The Fillmore Music Hall and The Great American Music Hall.

If the crowd of festival goers is too intimidating on the narrow street of Haight-Ashbury, no worries, a quick bite to eat at the Yellow Submarine located on 503 Irving St. will surely fix any worries, and cravings too.

The tiny corner building tucked behind the sidewalk cannot be missed, as it is painted is the most vibrant hue of yellow with a red awning draping down the top of the entrance. To fully experience this one of a kind sub shop, a steak and cheese with all the “fixings” are a must try.

What makes this sandwich so memorable is the fresh steak that is stacked sky high, be sure to ask for it cut in half, the enormity of it means you’ll be taking the other half home.

The original Summer of Love celebration in San Francisco in 1967.
The original Summer of Love celebration in San Francisco in 1967.

If a lunch with a view sounds appealing, luckily Twin Peaks can be accessed via foot from The Yellow Submarine. Enjoy your sub on the top of the two infamous hills that overlook the beautiful city landscape, with a vast birds-eye view, the festival will definitely be visible.

The low murmurs of the music might even be heard from the heights too. The winding road leading up to the peaks is a short 15-minute hike, but the view is worth every step. The daytime view is stunning, but schedule a visit at sunset and see the city lights emerge like fireflies on the horizon.

The first package deal, Summer of Love at The de Young, includes two VIP general admission tickets to the de Young Museum, which will be displaying the “Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll” and 10% off the best available rate. The special exhibit costs 10 dollars and grants visitors the ability to discover a remarkable collection of rock posters, photographs, interactive light shows, and more.

The Summer of Love & Festivals package deals allows guests 15% off the best available rate and the opportunity the explore the city and partake in the festival.

The Summer of Love Festival is a one of a kind experience in a city filled with remarkable food, history, and sights. Pack your hippy glasses and your flowy skirts and make your way to the West Coast to participate in the spiritual awakening of thousands of people celebrating love.

These days, San Francisco is known for its upscale hotels like the Fairmont and others. To dive into more detail of what to expect at the festival, visit www.summeroflove2017.com

Make your own summer a lovefest by finding the best San Francisco hotel deals on Bonwi, and then earning Bonwi points for a future trip.

Washington DC Shines, Despite Today’s Politics

The view of the Jefferson Memorial from a paddleboat Washington's Tidal basin. Max Hartshorne photo.
The view of the Jefferson Memorial from a paddleboat Washington's Tidal basin. Max Hartshorne photo.
The view of the Jefferson Memorial from a paddleboat in Washington’s Tidal Basin. Max Hartshorne photo.

I’m just back from a trip to Washington, DC, where the beauty of the city and the energy of its citizens energized and entertained me. If you haven’t spent time in the capital in recent years I’d highly recommend a visit. More than 20 million people visited DC last year, and there are a whole lot of reasons why that number will keep growing in 2017.

Being able to see the buildings that memorialize our greatest presidents as well as the newest monuments like the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Martin Luther King statue is exhilarating, and refreshing.

In the glittering sun of a lazy Sunday, we climbed into paddleboats and enjoyed monument-viewing up close in the Tidal Basin.  All around were the great monuments, the obelisk nod to our first president, Washington, the rectangular Lincoln Memorial and the newest monument to our nation’s great African American citizens, which looks like a crown, with a dark color that contrasts with the lighter colors of the others.

The city has expanded its water transit network in the face of traffic problems so that now, many residents commute to the city from Maryland and Virginia by water taxi.  We cruised up the muddy Potomac River where were told that the water quality has dramatically improved–but you still can’t go swimming, or, God forbid, drink it.

Yet this didn’t stop a flotilla of kayakers, paddleboarders, and pleasure boaters large and small from taking to the water on this sunny afternoon.

Kayaking on the Potomac River in Washington DC.
Kayaking on the Potomac River in Washington DC.

The river is an area that’s going to be dramatically changed when the expansion of the Kennedy Center is completed in Sept 2018. As part of an ongoing $175 million expansion project, a new pedestrian bridge will connect the Kennedy Center to Rock Creek Trail, which runs along the Potomac River, connecting the National Mall to Georgetown, Rock Creek Park, and the C&O Canal.

If a visit to DC is in your future, you’ll find plenty of hotels to choose from. In fact, 4,635 of the city’s hotel rooms are within walking distance to the Walter Washington Convention Center.

Find DC Hotels on Bonwi, and you’ll earn Bonwi points for a future trip!

Boston: Yotel Brings the Future of Lodging

Yotel's unique beds fold up into couches, making a small room that much bigger.
The newest Yotel, in Boston's Seaport district, will open in the city in summer 2017.
The newest Yotel, in Boston’s Seaport District, will open in the city in summer 2017.

In New York City, there is an incredibly modern and groundbreaking hotel called the YOTEL. This luxurious and futuristic hotel is located just two blocks west of Times Square on the corner of Tenth Avenue and West 42nd Street.

Apart from its convenient location that keeps guests in the heart of the Big Apple, YOTEL offers a totally unique hotel experience. From the check-in process to the abundance of amenities, YOTEL has qualities you just won’t find in other hotels.

The beds, for example, fold up into a couch, and while the rooms are small, it never feels crowded since they have big windows and it’s all laid out very sensibly.

Checking into the YOTEL is a quick and simple procedure with self-service check-in kiosks. The YOBOT, a robot designed to store luggage, goes hard at work to ensure secure and efficient luggage storage. YOTEL’s reception desk, better known to the institution as “Mission Control,” assists guests with any needs and offers concierge services.

Yotel's unique beds fold up into couches, making a small room that much bigger.
Yotel’s unique beds fold up into couches, making a small room that much bigger.

And YOTEL’s rooftop terrace offers guests a fantastic place to eat, drink, and just relax while enjoying magnificent views. In New York, it’s the biggest outdoor terrace in the whole city!

 And guess what? YOTEL will be opening a Boston location this summer! The new YOTEL is situated in Boston’s Innovation District in the heart of Boston’s lovely Seaport neighborhood, among such sights as The Institute of Contemporary Art, The Rose Kennedy Greenway, and the World Trade Center.

The Boston property will be home to “326 amazing cabins featuring YOTEL’s signature SmartBeds, monsoon showers, Smart TVs, super-fast and free Wi-fi,” said Christopher Hartzell, the new General Manager for YOTEL Boston, in a recent interview.

The new property will include a Club Lounge on the ground floor, and a Sky Lounge and Rooftop Terrace, “offering indoor and outdoor spaces for cocktailing, dining, socializing, meeting or just enjoying the panoramic water and neighborhood views,” stated Hartzell.

YOTEL’s oddities put this marvelous hotel ahead of the competition. Hartzell noted, “YOTEL Boston offers a fresh and innovative approach to hospitality. We take the essential elements of luxury hotels and place them into smart spaces while redefining time for the guest experience, all at very competitive rates.”

Once the YOTEL Boston doors open this July, the Boston Seaport neighborhood will finally be home to a whole new innovative hotel unseen to Beantown. Book your stay today at yotel.com and be one of the first guests to visit the new Boston property.       

Use Bonwipoints to book a Boston getaway and use the reward points for a future trip!   

  

Where to Stay and Play in Dallas, Texas

Poolside at the Hotel Zaza, a boutique property in Dallas, Texas.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas.
The Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas.

Dallas, Texas is a cultural hotspot home to many sports teams, tons of history, and plenty of museums. Among these museums is the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, an internationally acclaimed science museum with lots of hands-on learning, tours, school programs, and plenty of other interesting and fun things to do.

The 180,000-square-foot museum is situated in Victory Park on the edge of Downtown and the Dallas Arts District. The massive museum includes the largest and most comprehensive Maya exhibition in the United States, a large 3D theater, and five floors of interactive “amaze your brain” adventures.

The district is 68 acres large and is home to some of the city’s most significant cultural landmarks including facilities for visual, performing, and developing arts.

The Arts District is home to 13 facilities and organizations including The Annette Strauss Artist Square, the Belo Mansion/Dallas Bar Association, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Dallas Museum of Art, the Symphony Orchestra, Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Nasher Sculpture Center, St. Paul United Methodist Church, Fellowship Church, Trammell Crow Center, and the Trammell & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art.

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science is a fantastic destination for kids and adults. Be sure to add this exciting museum to your itinerary the next time you’re in the Big D, or Texas for that matter!

And whenever you do plan your next trip to the city, book a stay in one of these beautiful hotels situated right near the Perot Museum.

The Omni Dallas Hotel is a four-star, lakeside hotel located just one mile from the Perot Museum. Luxurious and equipped with everything business-related for those who are always working, this hotel is perfect for anyone looking to relax and stay on top of things at the office. And the Omni Hotel is just a few miles away from Zero Gravity Thrill Amusement Park and Sandy Lake Amusement Park, so the kids will always find something to do!

The Fairmont Dallas was once a condominium complex, but now it is a beautiful and luxurious hotel located in the midst of the DArts District. The Fairmont Dallas is within minutes of great shopping, entertainment, restaurants, and of course, arts. You will barely have to walk anywhere from the Fairmont to get to the Perot Museum, as the two are separated by just a 10-minute walk!

Poolside at the Hotel Zaza, a boutique property in Dallas, Texas.
Poolside at the Hotel Zaza, a boutique property in Dallas, Texas.

Hotel Zaza Dallas is situated Uptown and is within walking distance of multiple business and shopping centers, not to mention some wonderful nightlife scenes as well. Hotel Zaza is a boutique hotel that boasts luxury suites, award-winning dining at their own “Dragonfly restaurant,” and a day spa. 

Book a few nights in any of these Dallas hotels on Bonwi, and use your Bonwipoints to get free stays or flights for future trips.

America’s Most Beautiful Hikes

Beautiful hikes

This Travel Tuesday we are highlighting some of the most beautiful hikes right here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. Of all the modes of travel available to us today, walking is still the best for experiencing the wonders of the world. North America offers some of the best hiking in the world because of the many national parks and protected areas. Whether you prefer a brisk walk, a casual saunter, or a stroll, here are the best hikes to get the legs moving.

Pacific Crest Trail

Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a long-distance route that spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. Being such a long trail, it’s extremely diverse. You’ll walk through arid deserts, glaciated valleys and thick forests as you take in the most stunning landscapes the West has to offer.

Grand Canyon, Arizona

Grand Canyon, Arizona

The Grand Canyon is an impressive 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep. This beauty comes with an exhausting downhill and uphill round-trip hike.

Great Smokey Mountains

Great Smokey Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountain range straddles the Tennessee-North Carolina border. The name derives from the natural fog that rolls over the range and looks like large smoke plumes. Hikers will see the most beautiful waterfalls along each trial that flow year round.

Precipice Trail, Maine

Precipice Trail Maine

Experienced hikers say the ocean views atop the Precipice Trail is something you need to experience. The short and steep 1.6-mile round-trip hike provides hikers with a dramatic view of the rugged coast.

Glacier National Park, Montana

Glacier Park Montana

Huge mountains, active glaciers, colorful lakes, variety of hiking trails and abundant wildlife make this place a hiker’s dream come true. You will find something for each type of hiker. There are more than 730 miles of marked trails ranging in difficulty.

Appalachian Trail

Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is approximately 2,200 miles and runs up the East Coast from Georgia to Maine. The majority of the trail is in wilderness, although some portions traverse towns, roads and cross rivers. Hikers of all skill can jump on anywhere along the trail.

John Muir Trail, California

John Muir Trail California

The John Muir Trail is a 210 mile trail that cuts through the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. You don’t have to trek the entire trail to experience the finest mountain scenery in the U.S.

 

Ready to start exploring? Let Bonwi.com ensure that your next adventure is the best one yet.