Let’S Go Somewhere!

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How many times have you said to a loved one or friend, let’s go somewhere?

With the summer over and the tourists pretty much diminished in various areas, this just may be a good time to venture out and do a little traveling.

There are so many interesting things to do right here in Arizona. You have the Grand Canyon, scenic mountain areas, fishing, hunting, hiking, horseback riding, boating and camping. We are so lucky to be living in a beautiful area. We can even take day trips if budget and time are considerations.

Not too far away is Palm Springs. There are a number of hotels, resorts and spas providing a variety of accommodations and Palm Springs offers about the same climate as Phoenix.

For many years Palm Springs has been a favorite desert vacation spot of the millions in Southern California as well as Arizona.

The city has about everything you would want in the way of restaurants with quite a few that are ethnic themed. One of my favorites is Sherman’s Kosher Deli on Tahquitz Drive.

Be sure to purchase tickets for the Palm Springs Follies while you are here. The cast is composed for players, dancers and singers who are 55 years of age and older. It plays in a downtown former movie theater that seats about 800 people. There is also a pit orchestra. The show is a mix between burlesque and old-time musical theater. You will enjoy every minute of it.

You might try the Palms to Pines tramway, which takes you from sea level to above 8,000 feet in the mountains behind Palm Springs. The ride is a thrill. You can have breakfast in the desert and lunch in the mountains. The tramway was Swiss built.

There are a number of classic spas here also. Check them out on the Internet before leaving home. Palm Springs is a good place to really do nothing — just relax for a few days in the sun.

San Diego is popular with Arizonans mainly because of its beautiful setting on the Pacific Coast, its many attractions, friendly people and mild weather. You will find live theater, concerts and many other forms of entertainment in California’s second largest city. It is probably a good idea to book a hotel or motel at or near the ocean. The water will not be warm, but it’s enjoyable to walk the sandy beaches with your shoes off early in the morning or during sunset.

There is much to do here and in the area. Balboa Park is a highlight and includes one of the best zoos in the country. Drive to La Jolla, a suburb just north of the city spread along the Pacific and next door to it is the beautiful town of Del Mar.

Del Mar also features a racetrack and a visit to it always makes for a good afternoon, even if you do not gamble.

Take the coastal route north to Carlsbad. This is a beautiful drive with plenty of views of the ocean. If you have children with you, make a stop at Legoland, which you will pass on your way north.

The Mexican border is just 30 miles to the south of San Diego if you want some authentic Mexican food one day for lunch.

San Diego is also home to a fine maritime museum and docked nearby is the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier now retired and open to public viewing.

Downtown is the location for interesting shopping and Old Town which is perfect for walking and snooping.

San Francisco is a favorite of many. The classic dwellings, the bay, Fisherman’s Wharf, the parks and other recreation areas make this a distinct city unlike most others. The seafood here is the best and available at many places. From here you can drive across the bay and visit the wine country of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino.

Not too far from here is famous Yosemite National Park. It is outstanding in every way and the mountainous scenery and waterfalls are hard to beat.

In San Francisco it’s simply fun to get on a cable car or two and ride the circuit. Have your cameras ready for some good shots.

Las Vegas is a favorite for those who like nightlife, shows, fine dining and great resort hotels. Gambling is the thing to do here if you feel lucky. Be careful. Vegas is hot in the summer and very nice in winter.

Farther away is the Crescent City of note — New Orleans. Plan to stay in the French Quarter with all its 1800s feeling. Many fine and famous restaurants are located in this part of the city and you won’t have to go far for the candy stores that line the streets. Here is another city that is fun to ride the streetcar and simply take in the various sights.

New Orleans is also famous for its jazz clubs and they come to life in the night. Pick your style of jazz and then take time in the club you have chosen to enjoy a couple of drinks and to hear the wonderful tunes played in classic style.

If you have the time, book an afternoon on one of the paddle wheel river steamers to enjoy gazing at the interesting scenery as your boat cruises by. This is the old South and beautiful.

If you have the time and budget, a trip to Orlando, Fla. can be eventful — visiting the Disney theme parks as well as other attractions. Your children or grandchildren would love this part of the world. Take a lot of money. Everything is expensive here. You can get an idea by planning your vacation here on the Internet.

New York City is always good for three days. There are numerous theaters presenting plays and musicals with leading stars of Hollywood and Broadway. There are also classical music concerts and the Metropolitan Opera. All are the best you will find anywhere. The great hotels would like your business and you have more than 5,000 restaurants from which to choose in Manhattan alone. If Radio City offers a production when you are there, be sure to book seats for a performance. You won’t forget this place.

A half-day cruise around Manhattan Island is worth the time and will show you the many sights of this world famous city. Visit the home offices of NBC-TV, CBS-TV and ABC-TV and request studio audience tickets to some of their telecasts. These are free.

Many find Los Angeles and area interesting. This is where more than 400 feature films are made each year and some of the studios allow guests to tour the facilities. The Universal lot is a must if you are into movies.

While in Hollywood be sure to stroll the Walk of Fame down Hollywood Boulevard to view the plaques of former stars as well as present ones. And, stop at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre to view the hand and footprints of the stars set in cement.

Beverly Hills is not far away, as is Santa Monica. If you can stand the traffic, give LA a visit.

Washington, D.C. is always fascinating. After arrival, book a tour that includes all the major points of interest. While here, visit the railway station and take a fast train to New York for lunch and be back in D.C. for dinner.

For those who desire international travel, check out an active-travel operator, Austin-Lehman Adventures, which are debuting three new itineraries to Argentina and Chile for 2012. The tours focus on wine appreciation, bicycling, hiking, horseback riding and other niche activities. The eight-night program includes not only visits to vineyards and wineries, but multisport activities. Prices begin at $5,098 per person, double.

The Westin Resort at the seashore, Playa Conchal in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, introduced a new signature spa treatment known as Shells. Therapists at the resort’s spa employ local ingredients such as marine products. See www.westin.com for more information.

My Exclusive Journeys is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of Machu Picchu with a Centennial version of its Machu Picchu and Cuzco tour with departures through the year. Fares begin at $1,892 per person, double plus taxes and airfare.

Whatever getaway you choose, please have fun and be safe.

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