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A Guide to Staying and Playing in Tucson for Cheap

When heading off to Tucson for vacation, take a few tricks with you to help you get the biggest experience for the smallest cost. For example, find very affordable Tucson hotels around the Colonia Del Valle area. Several hotels, including La Quinta, Days Inn, and Hampton, are in the area and offer budget rates without skimping on More »

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Nightlife in San Diego

It’s easy to name a host of things to do in San Diego during the day – the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and the USS Midway Museum are a few of the easy ones to name. But what about San Diego at night? Where does one go? What does one do? If you’re on the More »

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Planning a Trip to San Jose: What You Need to Know

If you are heading to San Jose, this guide will help you to make the most of your trip. Discover the best places to stay in the city, where the best restaurants are, and which of the area’s attractions and unique neighborhoods you should definitely include in your travel plans. Choosing a San Jose Hotel More »

A Guide to Staying and Playing in Tucson for Cheap

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When heading off to Tucson for vacation, take a few tricks with you to help you get the biggest experience for the smallest cost. For example, find very affordable Tucson hotels around the Colonia Del Valle area. Several hotels, including La Quinta, Days Inn, and Hampton, are in the area and offer budget rates without skimping on amenities. Whether you want to visit museums, spend your days hiking in the Arizona wildlife, or checking out the city, Tucson is full of cheap or free activities.

Stay Downtown on the Cheap

Unlike many cities, hotel rates don’t go up in Tucson just for their proximity to the downtown area. You can find budget rooms and upscale rooms downtown. Several hotels on I-10, which borders downtown Tucson on its western edge, have affordable nightly rates. Try the Days Inn Tucson Convention Center or Motel 6 Tucson for basic amenities and reasonable prices. For something more upscale that still fits in a budget, the Tucson Marriott University Park has a pool, a restaurant, and spa services.

Walk the Turquoise Trail

Tucson Arizona

One of the coolest things about downtown Tucson is its free walking tour, the Turquoise Trail. It covers a 2.5 mile loop around downtown and passes by a number of historic structures, some dating back to the late 18th century. A downloadable map makes customization easy, since you can take the tour at your own pace and visit the sites you want. You’ll never get lost, either, because a turquoise stripe down the sidewalk marks the entire trail. The map provides historical detail about the sites you see while walking, but you can customize it further by looking up some of the structures in your hotel room before you go!

Low-Cost Museum Visits

University of Arizona Museum of Art

Two of Tucson’s museums offer admission for just $5. Visit the University of Arizona Museum of Art to see European works from the Renaissance era and Modern art by artists like Jackson Pollock. The Arizona State Museum has the largest collection of Southwest Indian pottery in the world. For a completely free museum visit, check out the Southern Arizona Transportation Museum.

Explore Neighborhoods or Hike Trails

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If you want to stay in town, several of Tucson’s neighborhoods are walkable and home to great local businesses. Check out Campbell-Grant for some cool local shops, or Miles East West for Cherry Field, its big park great for youth sporting events.

For those who want to get out of the city and into nature, Tucson has five mountain ranges bordering it, and myriad national parks offering hiking opportunities. Hills displaying native cacti provide low-grade hiking opportunities for those who want to take it easy. Trails up into the mountains make great day trips for experienced hikers. Some parks have small entrance fees, but hours of recreation are worth a few dollars. When in Arizona, definitely don’t forget to experience the surrounding desert in some way. The beautiful landscape is unforgettable.

What’s your favorite free thing to do in the city? Share your favorite Tucson experiences in the comments.

Author Bio: Alexandra Shostak is a freelance writer and graphic designer who likes to go on adventures, whether they take her down the street or on a road trip to another state.

Nightlife in San Diego

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It’s easy to name a host of things to do in San Diego during the day – the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, and the USS Midway Museum are a few of the easy ones to name. But what about San Diego at night? Where does one go? What does one do? If you’re on the hunt for some excitement when the lights go down, check out these stellar options. A few new, and a few not so new, will give you a pretty good mix of San Diego at night, no matter what your tastes are.

Lucky Bastard Saloon

A relatively new addition to the San Diego nightlife scene, the Lucky Bastard Saloon is a massive biker-inspired sports bar offering up daily drink specials, theme nights, and the thrill of being a bad boy, without the threat of any actual bikers.

The American Comedy Company

If a biker bar is not your thing, perhaps a few laughs will be more to your liking. The American Comedy Company is an intimate and cozy environment to see some of the world’s best stand-up comedians perfect their craft. Located in the heart of historic downtown San Diego, previous comedians to grace the stage at the club have included Jay Mohr, Joel McHale, and Drew Carey.

Harrah’s Resorts Southern California

Old fashioned vintage slot machine

You can bet your bottom dollar you’ll have fun at this attraction. Actually, you can bet any amount you want. Just a short drive from downtown San Diego, Harrah’s Resort Southern California offers a casino with all the usual attractions – slots games, poker, roulette and all other forms of casino fun.

Drive-in Movie Theatre

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If your idea of fun doesn’t involve booze or casino chips, perhaps a night of old-fashioned fun is in order. The South Bay Drive-in Theatre offers new release films on three gigantic screens. A recent refurbishment of the projector system ensures state-of-the-art sound and film quality.

Miramar Speed Circuit Kart Racing

Gentleman (and ladies), start your engines! Even though most folks think of go-cart racing as a daytime activity, Miramar Speed Circuit Kart Racing is open until 11pm daily (midnight on weekends) and offers an adrenaline rush for big kids of all ages. There’s also a laser tag facility on site, just in case you feel like shooting something afterwards.

What’s your favourite from our list of San Diego Nightlife offerings? Let us know in the comments section below.

Planning a Trip to San Jose: What You Need to Know

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If you are heading to San Jose, this guide will help you to make the most of your trip. Discover the best places to stay in the city, where the best restaurants are, and which of the area’s attractions and unique neighborhoods you should definitely include in your travel plans.

Choosing a San Jose Hotel

No matter what your budget might be, you will find a choice of San Jose hotels to meet your needs. If you are hoping for a little luxury during your stay, hotels such as the Sainte Claire Hotel and the Plaza Suites are a good choice. If you would prefer to stay in a cheaper hotel, take a look at options such as the Executive Inn Hotel and the Super 8 Motel. If you are flying into Mineta San Jose International Airport, you can save on transportation costs by considering hotels that offer a free airport shuttle such as Courtyard by Marriott San Jose Airport.

San Jose Dining Options

Whether you prefer casual eateries or veer toward fine dining venues, the San Jose dining scene is impressive. Try La Victoria Taqueria on Santa Clara Street for delicious burritos or Scott’s Seafood on Park Avenue for the freshest oysters. Head to San Pedro Square, another of the city’s foodie hot spots, where you will find local favorites such as Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria, 71 St. Peter, and the Hedley Club. If you still have room, there is an abundant supply of street food joints around San Carlos and Third Street.

Must-Visit San Jose Attractions

San Jose Museum of Art San Jose California

San Jose boasts more than a few attractions that will keep you entertained during your visit. Many of the best known attractions such as the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, the San Jose Museum of Art, and City Hall are found in and around the downtown area, but venture further afield and you will find lesser-known gems such as the Mexican Heritage Plaza, the Latimer Community Garden, and the Portuguese Historical Museum. If you like to enjoy the outdoors, the Blue Oak Ranch Reserve and the Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve are also nearby.

Explore San Jose Neighborhoods

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While in San Jose, make sure that you allow time to explore the city’s neighborhoods, each one boasting a charm of its own. Discover the stunning Buddhist Church Betsuin and bustling Santo Market in Japantown, sample authentic 19th-century charm in historic Los Gatos, and savor traditional Vietnamese food and the unique vibe in Little Saigon. A visit to see the 4,000 rose shrubs at the San Jose Municipal Rose Garden is a must, as is a stroll along the pedestrian-friendly streets of Campbell on your way to explore the Santa Cruz mountain vineyards.

Find out more about San Jose attractions on Hipmunk.com, discover more of the area’s hotels, and take advantage of cheap flight deals. If you have your own San Jose travel stories to tell, why not share your tips below? Your fellow travelers would love to benefit from your experience.

Linda Forshaw likes to write about local haunts and far-flung places. She lives in Liverpool, England, and spends her free time exploring new places, going to live gigs, and planning her next adventure. She is currently working on the #HipmunkCityLove project.

Planning a Trip to Sedona? Here is Your Guide

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Cathedral Rock is one of the most hiked red rock formations in all of Arizona. Travelers come from all over to see the gorgeous geological formations. Additionally, the city of Sedona that sits surrounded by multiple red rock formations is a popular destination for those seeking a higher power and rejuvenation. Sedona has a lot to offer visitors and should be on your list of must see cities. Book a room at one of the many affordable hotels in Sedona, and discover all this magical city has to offer. 

Getting to Sedona

Sedona Arizona

There is a small airport in Sedona, but unless you plan on flying your private plane or chartering a small jet, you won’t be making a stop here. Instead, you will need to fly into Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) and drive the 118 miles to Sedona, or catch the commuter flight from PHX to Flagstaff and drive 30 miles. Most visitors say it is easier, faster, and more enjoyable to drive direct from PHX, as flights to Flagstaff are often delayed and the 30 mile drive from Flagstaff will take almost an hour to make.

Best Places to Stay

Nature in Sedona Arizona

There are many great hotels both downtown and in surrounding areas: resorts, boutique hotels, chain hotels, and bed and breakfasts. With so many options, where you decide to stay depends on what you have planned.

If you are interested in seeing all that the great outdoors of Sedona has to offer, so choose accomodations like the Sky Ranch Lodge. From here, you can see all the famous red rock formations as well as the small town of Jerome in the distance. On the other hand, you may be more interested in art and culture. If so, choose to stay downtown at The Orchard Inn of Sedona surrounded by several spiritual shops and restaurants. No matter where you choose to stay, you are sure to leave Sedona feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Must See Attractions

 

Golf in SEdona Arizona

There is much more to see in Sedona than first meets the eyes. In fact, one of the biggest attractions in Sedona is not something you can see; the Sedona vortex draws visitors year round. It is said that in addition to the natural beauty, Sedona has an empowering force that possess healing powers and rejuvenates the soul. If this force appeals to you, you should consider reconnecting your mind, body, and soul with a Restorative Yoga in Red Rocks. This is a fantastic yoga class that focuses and embraces the vortex powers.

Many of Sedona’s must see attractions involve being outdoors. Cathedral Rock, Red Rock Scenic ByWay, Broken Arrow Trail, and Devil’s Bridge Trail are just a few of visitors’ favorites. US News Travel has ranked what they believe are the best sights and attractions in the Sedona area; this is a great resource for the first time Sedona visitors looking for tips on what they should do and see.

Author Bio:

Carrie Dahle is a multi-talented writer living no place in particular. Why, because she is too busy traveling. Her travels have included bike rides down volcanoes, maneuvering the waves of Hawaii, sailing the seas of the Caribbean, and so much more. While Carrie has spent countless hours in copywriting, and producing website content, she has transformed herself into a fantastic travel writer

Sante Fe Welcomes You

Do you long for the good old days? Do you wish that people stopped and took the time to help you out or share a story? What if you heard that old-fashioned friendly hospitality still existed? You’ll find it in Santa Fe!

Santa Fe Hotels are a Home Away From Home

Santa Fe hotels delight in going the extra mile for their guests.Employees turn on the charm from the moment you arrive at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Santa Fe and receive a warm, welcoming chocolate chip cookie. Its trained professionals can help you plan a large or small onsite event or simply make sure your room is comfortable. It’s telling that 96 percent of Hipmunk.com users say the DoubleTree’s staff members are friendly. They’re even more enthusiastic about the workers at the Inn at Sante Fe. A near perfect 97 percent of Hipmunk.com users give the employees at this independent hotel the thumbs up. It’s not uncommon to read reviews praising the way the staffers go the extra mile to ensure their guests are happy and comfortable.

Santa Fe has Great Spas for Extra Pampering

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Santa Fe has plenty of full-service spas which can make you feel really special on your vacation. Enjoy a taste of Oriental indulgence at Ten Thousand Waves, a unique spa inspired by Japanese mountain hot spring resorts. A more traditional spa can be enjoyed at Absolute Nirvana. This establishment only employs master-level therapists with at least 17 years of experience.If you’d rather not travel to enjoy a dose of pampering, why not check out The Hacienda and Spa at Hotel Santa Fe? This decadent spa employs licensed practitioners in everything from energy work to sports and cranial-sacral massage. It’s ideally located on the grounds of the secluded Hotel Santa Fe.

Warm Hospitality at Family-Run Restaurants

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Santa Fe is legendary for its fiery cuisine, but it’s more than good food that makes its local eateries some of New Mexico’s best. The warm hospitality of local restauranteurs helps make these Santa Fe establishments really special. This is a city where you’ll find few chains. Instead most of the independent restaurants are still run by the families that established them years ago, such as Café Castro, Casa Chimayó, and Atrisco Café & Bar.

Fly Home from Nearly Private Airport

Too often air travelers feel like cattle as they’re herded through the gates of large scale airports. At Santa Fe Municipal Airport, they do things a bit differently. The majority of flights from the airport are provided by planes carrying a maximum of 30 passengers, so things never get too crowded. With fewer passengers to look after, the airport staffers have more time to ensure you’re left with a positive impression of Santa Fe. Read Hipmunk.com’s guide to flying from Santa Fe to learn more about this unique travel hub.Where have you received the best customer service on vacation? Make sure to share your story below!
Author Bio: Lauren Katulka is a happily married freelance writer living on Australia’s Central Coast. When she’s not playing around with words she loves roller skating, spending time in the kitchen, watching indie films and cuddling her Devon Rex cat, Gizmo.