Win a wintercation along Oregon Coast

This winter, take advantage of one of Oregon’s best-kept secrets — winter on the Coast. This is the season that the Coast reveals some of its most beautiful treasures.

Catch sight of great gray whales on their southern migration from the Bering Sea to the warm waters of Baja. Look for spouts from 24 designated whale-watching spots staffed with volunteers during Whale Watching Week in December.

Winter is also storm-watching season — time to curl up by the fire and catch the tremendous wave show going on outside. The calm weather that follows is perfect for agate hunting and beaching combing on freshly scoured sands.

Try your handcrabbing from the dock during Dungeness season, which peaks in December, or purchase a freshly caught crustacean from a Coast fish market.

Get out on the water and explore miles of kayaking trails. Winter’s higher water levels on Coast rivers, bays and estuaries make for great wildlife- and bird-watching from the boat. And for some indoor pleasure, warm up inside with a pint of Oregon craft beer from a growing number of fine Coast breweries.

Want to win an Oregon Coast Wintercation of your own? Enter to win a trip for two on a guided whale-watching charter from Newport Tradewinds, $100 to spend at Rogue Ales and a stay at the Elizabeth Street Inn. We’re also including tickets to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, Ripley’s Believe it Or Not, Undersea Gardens and Wax Works, and a couple of bowls of clam chowder at Mo’s.

Get inspired: Read more about some of our favorite Oregon Coast Wintercations.

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Legoland California offers Holiday Snow Days

Celebrate the holidays with us at these Special Events! Winter Nights festivities at 5-7pm every Saturday in December, plus December 22-23, 26-30. Nightly Tree Lighting at 5pm, now through December 25. Holiday Fireworks at 7pm on December 26-30. Kids’ New Year’s Eve celebration from 11:30am-6pm on December on December 31.


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Christmas markets entice visitors in Ireland

Christmas markets in Dublin and Belfast are bursting with unique gifts, festive spirit, fantastic craic, and adventure-shopping.

Fall under the spell of spicy mulled wine, the scent of gourmet food, Christmas carols and the spirit of jolly shoppers. Dublin is a magical place at Christmas.

The first city-center Christmas Market on St Stephen’s Green promises to be the jewel of Dublin’s festive calendar through Dec. 23.

More than 60 traditional wooden chalets line St Stephen’s Green Park, next to the famous Dublin shopping mecca of Grafton Street – itself a great Christmas destination – offering a unique selection of quality goods.
There’ll be everything from handcrafted gifts, spices and chutneys as well as gourmet crepes, bratwurst, chocolate fountains, Glühwein and other seasonal non-alcoholic drinks to enjoy. Entertainment from local choirs and carollers add to the festive spirit.

There‘s an amazing amount of events around Dublin too, everything from the Peter Pan panto at the Gaiety Theatre to Ireland’s largest Christmas ice rink at Christmas Wonderland to a Live Animal Crib and Carols by Candlelight at Christ Church Cathedral.

In Belfast, there’s the huge, lively Continental Market that transforms the City Hall lawns into a bustling village.
Almost 100 European traders offer something for everyone, including a wide selection of food, unique gifts, drinks and entertainment.

Everyone comes to chill out in the onsite bars serving the best local and European brews, and to sample exotic tastes like ostrich burgers and eggnog.

The Victorian-vintage St George’s Market was voted the UK’s Best Large Indoor Market 2014 by the National Association of British Market Authorities.

It runs an annual Christmas Craft Fair and opens for additional days during the Christmas period. Enjoy the experience of being at St George’s Market at Yuletide.

Rediscover the adventure of real-life market browsing.

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Universal Studios offers 20 Days of “Grinchmas”

Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywod

Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Hollywod

It’s the most wonderful time of the year as Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk deck the halls for a wintry calendar of cool holiday activities at The Entertainment Capital of L.A.

A very, merry Grinchmas returns to Universal Studios Hollywood as the theme park celebrates the Who-lidays with The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and a roster of Whos from the town of Who-ville.

“Grinchmas” runs weekends on Dec. 6-7 and 13-14, then continues daily from Dec. 19 through Jan. 3.

The Universal Plaza, an elaborate grand piazza at the heart of the theme park, will serve as the backdrop for the lighting of the towering “Grinchmas” tree – a whimsical centerpiece twisting and spiraling 60 feet above visitors and providing the ideal setting for merry holiday making memories, while The Grinch, his adorable dog Max and the WhovilleWhos entertain guests nearby with fun-filled photo opportunities.

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Guest of honor will win trip of a lifetime in London

There are seven days to go until the international search for London’s Official Guest of Honour ends. Launched last month (November 12) byVISITLONDON.COM, the official Visitor Guide to the capital, together with VisitBritain and the GREAT Britain campaign, the opportunity has drawn thousands of people from all over the world to  apply for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to experience London as never before, with many more expected before applications close on TuesdayDecember 9.
The winning guest will be invited to London in February 2015 and will have the unique honor of opening Tower Bridge, the most famous bridge in the world, visiting the Science Museum with renowned physicist Professor Stephen Hawking. Downton Abbey’s butler Carson – actor Jim Carter – will provide the winner with afternoon tea at Lord’s Cricket Ground; and both the world-famous singer and conductor, Plácido Domingo and British ballerina and Strictly Come Dancing judge Darcey Bussell, will take the winner to one of their favorite theatres in the world, the Royal Opera House.
The Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton will personally cook a meal for the Official Guest of Honour at one of the capital’s best restaurants and the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, will take the Guest of Honour behind the scenes of the Houses of Parliament.
As part of the experience, the Guest of Honour will fire the guns from HMS Belfast, be an extra in the West End smash hit musical Mamma Mia!, walk the red carpet at a film premiere in Central London, and meet the English tennis star Tim Henman for a VIP tour of the All England Tennis Club, which hosts The Wimbledon Championships.
To apply to be London’s Official Guest of Honour, entrants must go to Visitlondon.com, submit a short film or image and in 70 words describe their perfect day in London. The closing date is December 9, 2014 and participants must be ages 18 and over. For all terms and conditions see thevisitlondon.com website.
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Huntingdon Beach looking for Surf City VIPs

surfDo you love getting treated like a VIP?

Have you always wanted to try surfing? Now is the time, and Huntington Beach is the place! Register yourself here as a Surf City VIP in order to receive a unique code. Signing up is free! Use this code to book a surf lesson before February 1, 2015 through one of our four sponsored surf schools.

Once your surf lesson is complete, you will be given an exclusive #SurfCityVIP t-shirt, earning yourself the VIP treatment at 21 local businesses, including retail stores, restaurants, breweries, and attractions around Huntington Beach.

 

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Not a surfer?

Enter to win one of ten “Golden VIP Tickets” here! Winners will be chosen on December 1, 2014 and notified shortly after.

 

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La Quinta Resort debuts multi-million makeover

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 It’s a new day in the desert as La Quinta Resort & Club, the first resort to debut in Palm Springs, adds another gem to its crown: a multi-million dollar milestone restoration befitting of a legendary classic.

Shouldered by the rugged Santa Rosa Mountains and a storied Hollywood past, the iconic 1926 landmark steps up with fresh, contemporary look while retaining the glamour and architectural elements that anchor what has always been an authentic experience.

Ready for its close up, the resort-wide renovation encompasses upgrades of all guest casitas, starlight villas and suites as well as a re-imagined pool experience. The ambitious project also infuses the resort’s lush 45 acres with a bevy of additional bougainvillea, roses and citrus trees. www.laquintaresort.com.

This signature Waldorf Astoria resort has long been a vortex for the sports- and culinary-minded, a haven for urbanites looking to unplug and refuge for Hollywood’s elite seeking an escape from the limelight.  One can easily decamp here to sketch out a screenplay (as Frank Capra did), drill down a handicap or rekindle a flame.

From the stately Spa at La Quinta® to five championship golf courses including PGA WEST’s® TPC Stadium Course and award-winning Morgan’s in the desert, La Quinta Resort once again sets the stage as California’s top desert retreat.

Drawing inspiration from the colorful desert environs, Los Angeles-based firm Smith & Firestone created a residential-style design featuring custom tile work and wrought iron elements, new furniture, floor coverings and two-toned blocked drapery panels.

The resort’s signature casitas, clustered around 41 showcase pools, are set in a fresh earthen palette of ivory, terracotta and chocolate offset with citrus overtones.

Stylized Palomino textured leather bed benches, crisp hued pillows and throws adorn luxurious Wingback style headboards and contemporary Victorian chairs, while upgraded lighting and blue-sky accessories enhance guest bathrooms.clip_image004

Standout elements include oversized, nail-head embellished headboards flanked by two arched mirrors reflecting the resort’s colorful tile designs.  Rich maple furnishings mirror the stunning geometric floor treatment set in beige and cocoa.

Starlight Casita patios, popular for their stunning mountain views, debut romantic new fire features as well as plush couches and tables for alfresco entertaining.

The custom-designed suites, including the coveted El Presidente with a showcase private pool and spa, share a similar design as well as new landscaping, updated patio furniture and renovated decks.

New amenities include 42- to 47-inch flat-screen high-definition televisions, mini refrigerators, Keurig® coffee makers, charging stations with dual USB ports, upgraded fireplaces and photography inspired by the storied history of the resort and its surroundings.

La Quinta Resort & Club participates in Hilton HHonors®, the only guest loyalty program that allows members to earn Points & Miles® for the same stay and redeem points for free nights with No Blackout Dates at more than 4,100 hotels worldwide.

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SLS Las Vegas offers Black Friday deals

This Black Friday, SLS Las Vegas introduces an irresistible deal with 50 percent off best available room rates booked Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. With no blackout dates, to redeem the offer guests simply visit slsvegas.comand select desired dates between Dec. 1, 2014 and Aug. 31, 2015. The Black Friday special is offered exclusively online and is subject to availability.

SLS Las Vegas is the latest property by global hospitality leader sbe®featuring more than 1,600 guestrooms in three distinct towers, along with a collection of acclaimed restaurant and nightlife concepts. With the limited time sale, guests have the opportunity to experience Las Vegas’ hottest new property for only a fraction of the standard rate.

For more information and to make reservations, please visit slsvegas.com.

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San Diego brews up events for Beer Week in November

Building off the success of the past five San Diego Beer Weeks, the San Diego Brewers Guild is preparing for San Diego Beer Week 2014 on Nov. 7-16.

San Diego Beer Week is a ten-day celebration inspiring people to drink local, craft beer and promoting San Diego’s thriving brewing culture with multiple events happening across the county.

San Diego is home to more than 90 breweries and has gained an international reputation for brewing award-winning beers. The city’s breweries brought home more medals at the 2010 World Beer Cup than the traditional beer countries of England, Germany, and Belgium combined and won 20 medals at the 2011 Great American Beer Festival.

With the popularity of craft beer on the rise, San Diego is poised to be the capital of craft beer tourism in the United States.

Scenes from the 2011 Beer Week

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Las Vegas gears up for Halloween

With boozy concoctions and a sinful nightlife scene for naughty nurses and devilish doctors and attractions and indulgences for loyal minions and adorable Elsas, there’s no doubt Las Vegas is one of the best places to celebrate the ominous occasion.

Attractions for Creatures Big and Small

  • The world-famous dance crew JABBAWOCKEEZ will celebrate Halloween with a special 4 p.m. matinee performance of “PRiSM” at Luxor Hotel and Casino on Friday, Oct. 31. Locals are invited to take advantage of a “Buy One, Get One Free” ticket offer. Complimentary candy will be provided to guests who arrive in costume as well as JABBAWOCKEEZ T-shirts awarded to the best costumes. And this year, Nevada Day falls on Halloween, so the kids are out of school!
  • At Shark Reef Aquarium’s Haunted Reef inside Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, Halloween and Dia de los Muertos come together for a frighteningly good weekend. On Friday, Oct. 31 the Haunted Reef will host its annual community day. Kids ages 12 and under who dress up in a Halloween costume, as well as any adults who donate blood at the designated United Blood Services booth, will gain free admission to the aquarium. The weekend will continue with trick or treating, decorations and events that pay tribute to Dia de los Muertos.
  • Fright Dome at Circus Circus Las Vegas instills fear into the hearts of everyone brave enough to enter one of the nation’s top-ranked haunted attractions. This year’s theme, THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, has guests screaming as they step into scenes from the iconic film to fend off attacks from the notorious Leatherface. As if it couldn’t get any more terrifying, Fright Dome double-dog dares guests to enter “Isolation,” a haunted house for those bold enough to brave the traps and crazed inhabitants alone. This is the first year guests can experience the newest roller coaster, El Loco, under the darkness of the haunted attraction. El Loco is an adrenaline-pumping adventure complete with G drops, gravity-defying turns and over-the-edge twists. Fright Dome is open 7 p.m. – midnight, through Oct. 31 on select nights.
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