Let's Get Festive: Five Fun & Funky US Fests and more...

Let's Get Festive: Five Fun & Funky US Fests

Chicago Pride Fest. Photo credit: Adam Dixon.

Spring has sprung and summer is not far behind. With the arrival of better weather, now is the time to start letting you know about all the sunny fun that’s available to you at the many festivals taking place in your favorite CityPASS destinations. Here are five fun and funky festivals to enjoy. We will share more as the season heats up!

NEW YORK CITY

If Robert DeNiro created it, you know it has to be cool. “Bob” created the Tribeca Film Festival in 2002 with some friends in response to the devastating events of Sept. 11, 2001. It was his way of giving back to the city he loves. And boy has he ever. The festival, now in its 13th year and currently taking place in Lower Manhattan until April 27th, attracts over 3 million people to the Tribeca neighborhood to celebrate independent film and thinking. Pssst…it’s also a great place to run into elusive celebrities. Now through April 27. Buy tickets.

CHICAGO

Chicago’s Pride Fest, which celebrates June's Pride Month, returns for its 12th fabulous year in 2014. It's held on the first day of summer and the weekend before Chicago's iconic annual Pride Parade (which this...

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Best Playgrounds in the United States

Springtime -- and the impending end of school days -- brings out the kid in all of us. For those adults with kids of their own, no family summer vacation trip would be complete without some time to experience life out of doors in the big city. After you've scouted out some fun, educational attractions, treat the kids (and yourself) to a visit to some of the most amazing modern playgrounds around the country. While playground staples such as monkey bars, slides, and tire swings are still a part of the mix, there are numerous high-end playgrounds across the country, all boasting something unique. Here are some to visit and compare with those fond, albeit flickering, images from our childhoods.

Hudson River Park, New York City

Hudson River Park's Pier 25 Playground is a beautiful, activity-filled diversion for children of all ages. From swings to a climbing wall to mini-golf, kids have a wealth of great things to do. A little further down the line, the Pier 51 Play Area offers some educational attractions, including a replica of Minetta Brook, which was once part of New York City's wetlands. (Wetlands? In NYC?) Kids get to control the flow of water in...

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Boston in Bloom

What a long, cold winter this has been. If you live in or near Boston (or, let’s be honest, anywhere in the upper half of the continent), chances are that you’re really, REALLY ready for springtime weather. Now that it’s finally warming up, what better way to celebrate the change of season in Boston than with some plein air activities?

Boston Common/ Public Garden/ Swan Boats

First stop: Boston Common, the oldest public park in the country and the home of the city’s Public Garden, with its iconic Swan Boats. Comprised of 48 acres of greenspace in the heart of the city, the Common is perfect for a stroll down the paths, a picnic in the grass, or a game of Frisbee. The beautifully cultivated flowers and plants of the more formal Public Garden are stunning in the springtime. Take a ride on the elegant Swan Boats – a 130-year old tradition, having ferried famous passengers such as Shirley Temple and John F. Kennedy – to complete the experience.

Swan Boat at Boston's Public Garden. Photo credit: Captain Tucker.

Public Art Walk

The history of Boston comes alive through its numerous public art works. Officially compiled through the Public Art Walk,...

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A Perfect Weekend in San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge

There’s a reason San Francisco often appears on the list of most expensive cities in the nation. It’s because so many people want to be there.

San Francisco has some of the world’s best chefs, city parks, sports teams, iconic views and landmarks, shopping districts, and waterfronts. It has a modern transportation system and old-school, world-famous cable cars. Plus, SF residents have a live-and-let-live attitude about quirky interests, alternative lifestyles and unabashed eccentricities. In other words, it’s just a fun city to be in.

But a first, money-saving step for any visitor is to buy a San Francisco CityPASS ticket booklet. It includes a 7-day Muni and Cable Car Passport, as well as discounted, prepaid admission to the California Academy of Sciences, a Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise, and a choice between Aquarium of the Bay or Monterey Bay Aquarium, and either the de Young and Legion of Honor Fine Arts Museums or the Exploratorium. The city is your oyster with that in your hand.

Having visited San Francisco on a regular basis for as long as I can recall, with each trip, I wrestle between seeking new experiences and going back to old favorites....

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Atlanta for Romantics

Sugar Magnolia Bed & Breakfast. Photo credit: Debi Starnes

If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, Atlanta is a wonderful place to go. As a large city, it offers a multitude of world-class accommodations, cultural events and sights, yet it’s diverse and quirky enough to allow for a truly unique experience. What you and your partner choose to do depends, of course, on who you are as a couple, what you most enjoy together, and what your ideal date would be. Atlanta is a delightful setting for your romantic experience, whether you opt for cozy and intimate, lavish and luxurious, or simple and inexpensive.

ACCOMMODATIONS

The first decision you need to make is where to stay, and for most, it boils down to two options: midtown or Buckhead. Midtown’s advantage is that you’ll be in the heart of the city, and as a result, you’re more likely to experience what it has to offer. For the ultimate in luxury and service, The Four Seasons (75 Fourteenth St.) is unbeatable, and it’s situated near Woodruff Arts Center and not far from Piedmont Park. The High Museum of Art (which is included in Atlanta CityPASS), is also close to Piedmont Park and Woodruff Arts Center.

...

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