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Category Archives: Great Destinations To Travel To

Three festivals you shouldn’t steer clear of

There are a lot of unorthodox festivals all over the world annually. It's great fun to recognize a particular passion that doesn't get much attention throughout most of the year, and it's even more interesting to see how various cultures celebrate these odd interests.

One of the strangest traditions of all time that is still observed to this day is the Fiesta de San Fermin, which is more commonly known as the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain. Early in the morning, hundreds of people donning white and red Basque outfits do the best they can to outrun the enormous beasts, which can run at speeds exceeding 30 miles per hour. There are a number of escape routes that the runners can take advantage of, but there are always a few who end up with battle wounds.

For anyone who isn't quite ready to take on the real thing, there's the Hemingway Days Festival in Key West, Florida. In honor of the renowned author's affinity for the Spanish tradition, this festival has its own Running of the Bulls, as well as a number of other activities that Papa loved, including blue marlin fishing. At Sloppy Joe's, a bar that the man himself frequented, there's even an Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike Contest that Lonely Planet says attracts approximately 150 burly, bearded men every year.

Those looking for a less intense experience can head up to Canada for the Calgary Stampede for 10 days of rodeos, races and cowboy culture.

While all of these festivals can be loosely tied together, one thing that they all definitely have in common is that they take place in just a few of the many major cities served by Hermes Worldwide and their unrivaled luxury transportation services.

What to do with a few hours to kill in New York City

New York City isn't called the Big Apple for nothing. There are so many things to do in the city that it may not seem worth the hassle of finding something to do for a few hours if you have some time to kill. But, instead of sitting idly in a hotel room, call up a luxury SUV or limo and have the driver bring you to one of these great places.

If you're tired of navigating the crowded streets of the city, head over to Central Park. Of course there are heavily trafficked areas of bikers, joggers and walkers, but the trails actually lead into some thick wooded areas that make you feel like you're in the middle of the forest, instead of one of the busiest cities in the world.

The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Museum is also a great place to kill some time. There are roughly 50,000 different garments that have been around for hundreds of years, including clothing from America's first gallery of fashion, Lonely Planet reports.

While it's not nearly as popular today, Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery was once the most visited tourist attraction next to Niagara Falls, the source says. About 600,000 people have been buried here since 1838, and it was an important site during the Revolutionary War.

If you want to see the Statue of Liberty, but don't want to bother getting tickets for a ferry tour, you can hop on the Staten Island Ferry, which is free and goes right past the historic landmark. Once you get to Staten Island, you can jump right back on the boat and return to Manhattan.

Finding hidden gems of the Gulf Coast

The Gulf Coast of Florida is a beautiful vacation spot for travelers of all ages. That doesn't necessarily mean that all ages can harmoniously coexist in this location, though, as spring breakers and recent retirees probably have conflicting ideas of what a vacation entails.

In close proximity to all of the hustle and bustle of Tampa Bay is the refined St. Petersburg, Florida, which is undeniably a much more peaceful alternative for mature vacationers. Between the Dali Museum and the eye-opening glass works of Dale Chihuly at the Morean Art Center, St. Pete has a lot to offer for those who prefer to have their fun during the day. For a mellow night out, sports fans can enjoy a night at Tropicana Field, where the Tampa Bay Rays play their home games.

The Watergarden Inn at the Bay is a fine retreat for some relaxation. Though it only offers 14 rooms, this quaint inn was recently renovated in March 2012, according to CNN. The Watergarden is designed with both old-fashioned and contemporary inspirations, all paying homage to traditional Floridian style.

Just over 100 miles down the coast, Fort Myers Beach, Florida, is another great getaway spot for a more mature crowd. For fine, homey accommodations, there's the Mango Street Inn, a six-suite bed-and-breakfast. The inn has a fire pit in the courtyard and each suite is stocked with amenities like patchwork quilts, and has a private bathroom and kitchen, the source indicates.

Acquiring transportation by taxi or public transit in these destinations can be hectic at times. It's best to make a reservation for chauffeured transportation with Hermes Worldwide, which offers service in most major cities in Florida including St. Petersburg and Fort Myers.

A look at three of America’s weirdest festivals

Some people will travel long distances for the strangest reasons. Whether it's a roadtrip to see the world's largest ball of twine in Kansas or try a cheesesteak in Philadelphia, some adventurous minds are always looking for a unique experience.

While the cheesesteak probably won't last more than 10 minutes and the ball of twine will do nothing at all, there are a bunch of bizarre festivals and events all over the country that are a bit more substantial.

Take for example the annual Great Mosquito Festival in Clute, Texas. A short drive from Houston, this strange event honors perhaps the most annoying insect of them all. Though most people would do everything they could to deter these pests from swarming around them, one of the festival's signature competitions is the mosquito calling competition. The Mosquito Festival has been held for the last 31 years, and draws roughly 13,000 guests.

Down the road in Austin, Texas, more than twice as many people have gathered for the last seven years to honor the world's largest urban bat colony. With more than two million Mexican Free Tail Bats living under the Congress Street Bridge in Austin, at least there's a reason for this celebration.

Less than an hour drive south of Raleigh, North Carolina, is the National Hollerin' Contest. There, they have contests for men, women and children and even have a conch shell blowing competition.

Anyone who is going to these events or any others in major cities all over the world should get a group of friends together and arrange for transportation for large groups provided by Hermes Worldwide.

Staying at luxurious beach resorts for reasonable rates

Anyone who wants to go away on a luxurious vacation knows that it won't be cheap. That's not always the case though, as there are a number of resorts all over the world that are priced rather reasonably, especially considering the fantastic amenities each has to offer.

Just north of Miami, Florida, is beautiful Fort Lauderdale. Known for its fine beaches, Fort Lauderdale draws in a great deal of tourists from all age demographics, but sometimes the oceanfront can get a little rowdy. To dodge the loud crowds on the shore for a reasonable rate, there's the B Ocean resort. Furnished with white-on-white leather, this chic getaway spot looks like something that the late Steve Jobs designed, and even offers free iPad rentals for guests. B Ocean has rates starting at $189 per night, and with affordable spa services, free WiFi and a view of the ocean, you can't beat that.  

Go a bit further south and you'll find Le Reve in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. This is a smaller venue, but that's the beauty of it. At nightly rates from $210, guests are treated with a great deal of privacy, whether it be in a hammock by the garden or in a bungalow with a secluded plunge pool. Guests who want to do a bit of exploring can even use Le Reve's snorkeling gear, which is available for free to anyone staying at the resort.

For chauffeured transportation around locations such as Playa del Carmen and Fort Lauderdale, be sure to take advantage of the first class services provided by Hermes Worldwide. With airport service and limo transportation available in most major cities across the globe, Hermes has an established reputation for excellence in the luxury transportation industry.

Theme park lovers have a whole new menu of attractions in 2012

Theme parks are popular for thrill seekers of all ages across the world. With unique rides based on everything from comic books to blockbuster movies, these venues draw hordes of guests everyday. There are so many different parks in America that in order to differentiate themselves from the competition, there are always new attractions and rides opening every summer.

This year is particularly spectacular for roller coaster lovers, as USA Today Travel reports that there are 20 new rides opening up at U.S. theme parks in 2012.

As to be expected, Disney is opening a number of new attractions this year. Cars Land, based on the popular Pixar animated films, and Buena Vista Street, designed to look like Los Angeles in the 1920s and 1930s, will be opened up to guests at Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim on June 15.

Down the road a bit, Universal Studios Hollywood opened Transformers: The Ride – 3D last week, while it's east coast counterpart in Orlando is unveiling the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem ride later this summer.

A whole new park opened its doors last Friday in Galveston, Texas. Named The Galveston Island Historic Pleasure Pier, this park was built to resemble a similar one that opened in the early 20th century. It features a roller coaster called the Iron Shark, which the source says has a vertical lift of 100 feet.

Families and other parties looking for airport van service or other group transportation should make a quick reservation with Hermes Worldwide. With their reliable luxury accommodations and second-to-none concierge services, getting to and from attractions in major cities across the globe is easier and more pleasant than ever.

A tour around baseball’s most storied ballparks

Coined America's pastime, baseball has a special place in the hearts of millions of U.S. sports fans. While the rules, some of the teams and most of the ballparks have changed over time, there are some Major League Baseball stadiums that are historical gold mines.

Boston's Fenway Park, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2012, is not only the oldest baseball park in MLB, it's also the smallest. Fenway's Green Monster has become one of the most iconic stadium features in all of sports. The park has seen some of baseball's most memorable moments, from Carlton Fisk's walk-off home run in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series to the unforgettable 1999 All-Star Game, when the MLB All-Century Team was revealed.

Then, of course, there's Wrigley Field in Chicago. Famous for its day games and green ivy walls along the outfield, Wrigley stands aside Fenway as two of the most timeless venues in sports.

While the Dodgers aren't originally from Los Angeles, Dodger Stadium in Chavez Ravine has definitely had its fair share of history. As a matter of fact, the ballpark is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its opening.

There's no better way to show up to a baseball park than in a luxury limousine. Anyone who has driven themselves to a ballpark, especially those that are in downtown areas of big cities, understands what a hassle it can be to find parking before the game. And after games, the last thing fans want to do is drive through traffic. Hermes Worldwide offers service in all of the aforementioned metropolitan locations, and has established a solid reputation for its reliable, hassle-free door-to-door service.

Vacation doesn’t always have to be on a tropical beach

Not all travelers are looking for a peaceful week on the beach when they are planning their next vacation. It can be hard to find a unique experience that well suited for their lifestyles, however. To help out trip planners who are struggling with this dilemma, Kitty Bean Yancey offered the following suggestions for one-of-a-kind getaways.

In the past 10 years, Texas Hold 'Em poker has become very popular. With tournaments and high stakes matches featured routinely on television networks such as ESPN and the Travel Channel, people have been dreaming of becoming the next poker player to make it big.

For just under $2,000, both amateurs and professionals alike can sit down with some of the world's best poker players as a part of the World Poker Tour Boot Camp, which Yancey explained is held in places such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Aruba.

Another interesting trip is a biking excursion through Boston. Led by local history buffs and expert Beantown tour guides, guests are treated to an exclusive look at the many communities of one of America's most storied cities. Cycling tour professionals Butterfield & Robinson offer packages that run from September 13 to September 16, and September 27 to September 30, and attendees can even end their trips with a spa treatment at the Fairmont Battery Wharf.

Whether travelers want to show up at Las Vegas poker rooms in style or cyclists are looking for a stretch limousine in Boston to relax in after a couple days of biking, they can make a quick reservation with Hermes Worldwide, a leader in the luxury transportation industry.

Toronto thrill-seekers can take a walk on the wild side

Some people like to get around in style. Whether that means paragliding or riding in a luxury SUV, there are certainly some interesting ways to go from here to there. For tourists in Toronto, one attraction talks walking to a whole new height.

First opened to the public on August 1, 2011, the EdgeWalk at the CN Tower gives tourists an opportunity to walk along the edge of one of the world's most amazing man-made structures. The walk closed during the winter months after a very successful first season, and reopened for 2012 on May 1.
                                                
"We are inspired by the continued enthusiasm for EdgeWalk throughout our first season and leading up to our second," Jack Robinson, chief operating officer of the CN Tower, said in a statement. "Often referred to as the 'thrill of a lifetime' and a 'bucket list' item, many embraced this unique experience for marriage proposals, milestone celebrations and more. We look forward to more great stories and unique feats during Season 2."

According to a press release, the EdgeWalk is the world's tallest external walk on a building at 1,168 feet or 16 storeys high. The platform is a full circle hands-free walk that is five feet wide and surrounds the top of the CN Tower's main pod, the release states. It's very safe, however, as walkers are attached to an overhead rail supported by a harness system.

Because it was so popular in it's pilot season, patrons can now make a quick reservation to experience the Edgewalk online in 2012.

To reserve luxury transportation to the CN Tower or anywhere else in Toronto, be sure to request a quote from Hermes Worldwide, the leading experts in concierge services and worldwide travel.

Pro baseball players talk about the best cities to visit on the road

Often times, businesses will arrange lavish travel accommodations for their executives who are required to go away for company matters. These frequent fliers are no strangers to a diverse number of cities all over the United States, but perhaps none are on the road as often as professional athletes, who play against teams in nearly every major city in America every year.

While luxury transportation and first-class airport service can certainly make any destination pleasurable for athletes who only visit cities for a day or two, Major League Baseball players are usually laid over in a metropolitan area for three or four days at a time. Because of this, one could deduct that they are the ultimate business travel authorities.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander, winner of the 2011 American League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards, told USA Today Travel that he's particularly fond of visiting Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, "because [he gets] to see some family and friends that drive up from Virginia."

Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino said that he also enjoys playing the national's capital, despite the fact that it means his team is facing division rival, the Washington Nationals.

Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Matt Kemp said that, similar to Verlander, he enjoys playing in St. Louis and Houston thanks to their close proximity to his family.

Aside from personal attachments to cities, New York Yankees ace pitcher CC Sabathia told the media outlet that he enjoys the restaurants in Chicago and going to wine tastings in California's Napa Valley.

Any parties who are visiting major cities such as New York City, Seattle and Atlanta can make sure that they are provided with the best chauffeured transportation and concierge services by making a reservation with Hermes Worldwide, a leader in executive transportation.