France welcomes over 70 million visitors a year.
The Eiffel Tower, one of
the seven wonders of the
world, is still number one.
- Las Vegas, NE
- Orlando, FL
- Maui, HI
- Honolulu, HI
- Phoenix & Scottsdale, AZ
- New York City, NY
- Anchorage, AK
- Ft. Myers, FL
- San Francisco, CA
- Los Angeles, CA
Destinations Last Year
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
or site help!
Gem of the Cascades - Bend, Oregon
Central Oregon has one of the country's most desirable
places to live - Bend. A little more 50,000 people reside in town
but what a hub of outdoor recreation. You will find this a "must vacation
spot". And for a town surrounded by wilderness, Bend has a lot of big
town commerce and entertainment. You will not get bored!
Our trip to Bend wasn't our first nor will it be our
last because of its unique attractions. So let's go exploring places
to see and things to do around Bend.
Route 97 and the airport at Redmond about 23 miles
down the road are the primary accesses to this area. We like to
fly into Portland and drive Route 26 through the Mt Hood wilderness
area on our way there. Sometimes we have taken Interstate #84 along
the Columbia River Gorge then turned on Route 35 and traveled the
East side of Mt Hood.. These are two magnificent drives which both
lead to Route 97 south to Bend. When we return to Portland, we usually
take the other route back.
Three major wilderness areas dominate the country
on the east side of the Cascade Mountains: Mt. Jefferson (10,497
ft), Mt. Washington (7,802 ft), and the Three Sisters Mountain range
(all topping 10,000 ft.) Wilderness areas. Many of these peaks were
ancient volcanoes which spilled lava flows over the landscape millions
of years ago. Abounding with mountain streams, lakes, and waterfalls,
these recreational areas are favorites of hikers, fishermen, and
We cannot forget the lakes. The most famous lake
in the central cascades is Sparks Lake only 30 minutes west of Bend.
This lake, as several others in the area, do not permit motor boats.
Pristine environments like these are a sight to see. Suttle Lake,
Scout Lake, and Three Creeks Lake are near each other northwest
Bend has every conceivable national name brand store
you can think of in town, from Barnes and Noble to Staples. It even
has been blessed with an excellent outlet shopping center by the
Prime Outlet developers that includes LL Bean, Coldwater Creek,
Carter's, Big Dog, and others. After all, you have to go shopping
when you vacation to find those "things" that can not be found at
So if you are interested in having a wilderness vacation
and still be able to be "in town", Bend, Oregon is the place. It is
a great year round escape from the office.
The 'Maine' Month
Timing cannot be better to visit Maine then in the month
of September. The seasonal weather with temperatures in the 70's and
a lull in tourists makes it the perfect time to see one of our nation's
most unique coast lines.
Maine is a very large state but most of its population
lives in the southeastern to mid-coastal areas from Kittery to Acadia
National Park. Along this craggy coast are some of Maine's 'must see'
places to visit. Our favorite list consists of the following and all
are accessible via route US#1.
If you are looking for upscale resort areas, Ogunquit,
Kennebunkport, and Boothbay Harbour will fit the bill.
You cannot leave Maine without visiting one of the
world's most famous places to shop - LL Bean in Freeport. Open 24
hours a day, 365 days a year, LL Bean is the king of outdoor gear.
Their website is the source of our World Parks link in Atravco's
resource page. Check it out.
If nature is calling, then you must visit two pristine
parks, Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge near Kennebunkport
and Acadia National Park at the northern terminus of our trip. While
at Acadia, visit Mount Desert Island and climb 1,530 ft. to the
top of Mount Cadillac and see the first light of day for the U.S.
You'll have to get up real early.
So if you have the time, spend two weeks visiting the
rocky coast of Maine this year. September is really the 'Maine' month.
You can view over 32,000 festivals around the world
on one of our favorite links... Festivals.com.
They have a site that lists coming events state-by-state and country-by-country.
It's easy to navigate and check out what's happening in your area.
Best kept secret to see New York City - Weehawken,
Sounds incredible but the best way to visit New York City is through
Lincoln Harbor in Weehawken, NJ. A place to stay with plenty of parking,
a short ferry ride to Manhattan, bus around the city, a great place
to eat, a Broadway show, and back again, all on a limited budget.
That's what we did recently for the weekend!
A place to stay with plenty of parking - Sheraton
Suites at Lincoln Harbor. This hotel on the waterfront allows some
spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline especially at night. If
you are lucky, the room for you and your loved one(s) could have a
180-degree view of New York - straight across from the Empire State
Building. The hotel has a lot of parking for those who drove their
A short ferry ride - Take the hotel shuttle bus 2 miles to
the ferry landing for the Waterway Authority and hop on a 7 minute
ride across the Hudson River and on to one of the Authorities' buses
for your destination in Manhattan. A round trip ticket costs only
$10 and you can hop on and off the buses all day and then back to
the Sheraton when you are exhausted from the hustle and bustle of
the Big Apple. Another 7 minutes trip and you're back to the quietness
of the Lincoln Harbor Complex.
A Broadway Show - The big city is famous for it's many on
and off Broadway shows. This time was Annie Get Your Gun with
Bernadette Peters and Tom Wopat at the Marquis Theatre, a part of
the magnificent Marriott Hotel Complex at 47th and Broadway. The cast
put on a splendid performance which prompted a standing ovation.
A great place to eat - Marriott Hotels are always great to
see but this one is one of the best! The lobby starts on the
eighth floor, beautiful shops galore, and the atrium seems to never
end. And the setting is just great to visit the Encore Restaurant
and have some Sea Bass or Salmon for as much as it costs back in our
town, Virginia Beach, VA. For less than $25 apiece, my lovely wife
and I had the best seafood we have eaten in a long time.
Back to the Sheraton - remember, it's just a quick bus trip
back to the ferry landing, a short ferry ride to the other shore,
and a quick shuttle ride to our lodging. While you are staying at
the hotel, spend an evening at the Sprito Restaurant enjoying a fine
meal while viewing the spectacular skyline of Manhattan.
Summer's here with it's huge volume of travel. The ASTA
suggest the following tip guidelines.
Send us a note on your travel experiences. We especially
would like to hear about the pleasant ones. E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.