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Visitors to St. Augustine will find an array of attractions in the nation’s oldest city. From living history museums like the Castillo de San Marcos to Gilded-Age hotels, swashbuckling adventures and specialized tours in the air, on the sea, and in the heart of the historic district, St. Augustine has it all!

Historical Sites

Explore the cobblestone streets and you will find historic sites all around downtown. Every corner is rich with a long history, waiting to be discovered. No vacation in St. Augustine is finished until you have gazed up at the Louis Comfort-Tiffany stained glass at Flagler College, or climbed the steps of the lighthouse, taken a sip from the fountain of youth or learned of the vast history of Aviles Street, the oldest street in the oldest city in the nation. Parts of the city predate the country itself! Visit St. Augustine and stop in at the old houses and museums to discover a new side of the city that was once a small port town and is now a bustling, energetic community dedicated to preserving its valuable past. The heritage and culture of the old city are still deeply relevant even today!

Living History

St. Augustine offers many attractions that highlight the history of the city with trained, professional re-enactors that love to bring history to life. Numerous attractions show people living out their lives at the attraction with you, helping visitors and tourists experience the centuries of history. You can even partake in the living history attractions and put yourself into the mix. Many sites allow you to literally dig through history, or create objects from the past. The idea of making history come to life allows each visitor to become a part of the narrative of this town, to feel the history and stories of this city.

Museums

The entire town of St. Augustine is a living and breathing museum – offering a piece of history around every corner, a historic site with a story to tell. Just walking through the city you can find a monument or plaque marking each site as a historic one with its own place and function in our shared history. Tour the old buildings and imagine how it was for the people of the past to live and work in this ancient port city. History even envelopes the architecture of the old city’s museums. The museums here are replicas of Spanish castles; they are historic wooden classrooms, fortifications, military hospitals that date back to the 1700s and living history sites that can help you travel back in time. So see the exhibits, and check out the treasures and artifacts hidden away in the museums of St. Augustine.

Fun For The Entire Family

The nation’s oldest city will come alive for the entire family in St. Augustine. Featuring attractions such as a pirate-themed museum, the nation’s oldest masonry fort, an iconic lighthouse, zoological parks and archaeological sites, and a host of fascinating historic sites, there’s always something fun to do. Kids will love the boat rides, the train and trolley tours, the cannon firings, and the unique opportunity to get up close and personal with a dolphin.

Historic Churches

Religious sites of a variety of denominations can be found in St. Augustine, and many come with a lengthy history of the early settlers who founded them. Some came here in hopes of a better life, looking to establish their own beliefs freely. Others came to proclaim the faith in far off lands and serve the people. Sites like the Methodist church, Jewish temple, Greek Orthodox shrine and the Catholic Cathedral Basilica which dates back to the late 1700s, offer a glimpse into the lives of these early pioneers. Tour these religious sites and get a feel for their devotion and dedication to St. Augustine. Through establishing religious sites each denomination found a home in the New World and therefore added to the rich history of this city.

Shop in Historic St. Augustine

St. Augustine, Florida has always been a thriving market for shops. It began as a bustling port town for merchants, and today it’s one of the top vacation destinations of the South. Remember your visit to Florida with a keepsake or memento purchased from one of the old city’s many shopping districts. High quality local products and gifts are in abundance here.

Shop souvenirs, art, clothing and apparel, home decor, jewelry, accessories, cigars, spices, wines – whatever your penchant, you’re sure to find a specialty store to suit your need. Walk down historic St. George Street, and venture through its many indoor shopping halls.

Art galleries galore can be found on Aviles Street, and tropical beach wares on Anastasia Island and St. Augustine beach. Browse through Victorian homes converted to boutiques, and shop St. Augustine’s various antique stores for the perfect gift. Buy any number of souvenirs and take a piece of the ancient city home with you.

Attactions On The Water

Get a thrill out on the water! Sail the historic seas on a cruise boat, a pirate ship, or a speed boat! You can test the waters of St. Augustine that first brought the early explorers to its shore hundreds of years ago. The water attractions are unique to this town and offer something for everyone; from family friendly tours on the water to an adults-only party on the pirate ship! The views of St. Augustine from the water are unmatched and the rich history of the city provides you with a full narrative of Florida’s nautical heritage – parasailing, surfing, swimming, boating, and sailing. Any attraction on the water will offer an experience like no other!

To plan a trip to any of our dynamite destinations, drop us a line at info@takethreenights.com or visit www.takethreenights.com. To learn more, or to find out about travel specials, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Source: Visit St. Auguestine (visitstaugustine.com)

Rain, rain, go away… especially during my vacation! While that’s a common lament, it’s important to understand that, into each getaway, a little rain might fall. And when you visit certain cities, you’re more likely to encounter inclement weather. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make hay while the sun isn’t shining. Here are some rainy day suggestions for having fun in some of America’s soggier cities:

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The Big Zip: Aerial Adventures

  September 23, 2016  |    David Abolafia

A growing number of travelers are putting some zip into their vacations by checking out the aerial adventures of zipline and ropes courses… soaring through the trees and looking down on the world from above. Here’s a line on a few of our favorites:

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A Glossary of Lowcountry Cuisine

  September 16, 2016  |    David Abolafia

Visitors to the South Carolina Lowcountry – a region along the state’s southeast coast that includes the Sea Islands, of which Hilton Head is perhaps the best known – tend to drop by for the scenery, the history, the golf, the lighthouses and more. But what really sticks with them is the food; there are a number of dishes that are either unique to the area, or are just closely associated with it.

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Incredible Sights to See, Nationwide

  August 18, 2016  |    David Abolafia

Anyone can go sightseeing, any time. If you think about it, as long as your eyes are open (and you’re not in total darkness), you’re seeing something. Of course, certain spots on Earth – including the United States – provide much more amazing sights to see.

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While avid readers appreciate the art form of the written word, the buildings that hold so many words – and the books that contain them – can be marvels in and of themselves. Here’s a look at some of the most architecturally astonishing libraries around the country.

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America’s Most Unusual Museums

  July 18, 2016  |    David Abolafia

Today, people tend to associate the word “museum” with a stodgy assortment of paintings, sculpture, dinosaurs or historic artifacts. However, strictly speaking, a museum is defined as “a building or place where works of art, scientific specimens or other objects of permanent value are kept and displayed.” And in playing upon on the idea of “one man’s trash” being “another man’s treasure,” there are many unique items that are considered valuable to the people who collect them. Hence, America is filled with museums with far-flung subjects and unique inventory. Here are some of our favorites, listed alphabetically.

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For three weeks each October, the Arizona State Fairgrounds in Phoenix transforms into a spectacular community celebration with all the sights, sounds, smells, and flavors you crave. From grandstand events to concerts, entries competitions to livestock, and all the thrills of the midway, make the fair the backdrop of your most vibrant memories.

A popular family event, the Arizona State Fair is one of the Top 20 Arizona USA Events and Festivals and one of the top five state fairs in the country. It attracts over 1 million residents from all over the “Grand Canyon State” and beyond, who come to enjoy the traditional and new entertainment including national concerts, as well as rodeos, racing, livestock, homemaking arts, rides, and tasty treats at numerous food booths. Popular regular and new events are the Arizona State Fair 5k Fun Run/Walk, United States Armwrestling Championships, and more.

The Fair was first held in 1884 (back when Arizona was still a territory), when residents organized the Arizona Territorial Fair to provide family entertainment. The fair was held near the banks of the Salt River; entertainment included horse, pony and mule races, while agriculture, cattle and home economics were the common exhibits. Due to flooding, the Great Depression, World War II and other events, it didn’t become a regular annual event until 1946.

Today, the fair typically has roughly 75 amusement rides – including La Grande Wheel, the largest transportable Ferris wheel in the World – 110 food booths and 300 commercial sales booths. In addition, the Fair will also host an impressive array of concerts, featuring chart-topping artists across various musical genres.

The Arizona State Fair runs Wednesdays through Sundays, October 7-30. For information on planning a trip to Phoenix to take part in the festivities, drop us a line at info@taketwonights.com or visit www.taketwonights.com. To learn more about our other destinations and various travel deals, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For the differently abled, travel can be a challenge. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has helped make many businesses and attractions more accessible, it’s important to know before you go – so that you can choose destinations that can accommodate special needs, and make the most of your vacation. Here are some of our top spots for travelers with disabilities:

  • Orlando – This Central Florida city is great for the disabled because of its mild weather. The modern wheelchair accessible construction, combined with its wonderful transit system, make Orlando one of the most disability friendly cities around. Plus, there is virtually an unlimited amount of entertainment in the area. Every hotel and motel in Florida is required by law to have a special room or rooms equipped for wheelchairs, often with wheel-in showers. Many attractions at the parks, especially the newer ones, are designed to be accessible to a wide variety of guests. People with wheelchairs and their parties are often given preferential treatment so they can avoid lines. The assistance available is outlined in the guide maps you get as you enter the parks. Wheelchair and electric cart rentals are available at most major attractions, but you’ll be most comfortable in your chair or cart from home if you can bring it. Keep in mind, however, that wheelchairs wider than two feet may be difficult to navigate through some attractions.
  • Portland – The city has many different transit options including, bus, light rail and even streetcars – all of which accommodate wheelchairs. However, the TriMet’s transportation system has a Lift service that provides riders with more than 250 minibuses and over a dozen cars that will take them anywhere in the city. Many of the area’s attractions are either accessible, or make appropriate accommodations. These include Rex Hill Vineyards, Argyle Winery, the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, the Banks-Vernonia State Trail and, in the Columbia River Gorge, the Skamania Lodge Zip Tour and the Vista House.
  • Reno – This vibrant city has wheelchair-accessible buses and rapid transit systems that offer discounted fares for those with a disability. The access to a quality transit systems helps to make the city feel small. Plus they provide paratransit services within the city and to some outlying areas as well. Most of the casinos, shows and restaurants are wheelchair accessible because the city has many tourists from all over the world. This is a place where one will never get bored, and besides the great nightlife, the city has many handicapped accessible parks to enjoy.
  • Seattle – Even with boatloads of rain and numerous hilly areas, Seattle makes this list because of its modern transit system. The city offers handicap-accessible buses and light rail lines that are discounted to wheelchair users. There is also a paratransit van service that will take a user anywhere within the large city. There is a rideshare program for the handicapped and maps that show downtown routes that are accessible to those with disabilities. This helps to make a notoriously tough city easy to access. (Key reasons Seattle is ranked #1 by WheelchairTravel.org as the most wheelchair accessible city in the United States.) While some of the older parts of the city present obstacles – including steeply angled sidewalks and ineffective curb cuts – most people find the city’s culture and overall livability are worth a few challenges. Most modern buildings and facilities are readily navigable, including the Space Needle observation deck, Boeing airplane factory, Puget Sound harbor cruise, Seattle Aquarium and the Experience Music Project Museum.
  • Madison – Madison has been investing heavily in good mass transit for 25 years, and its ridership per capita almost rivals big cities. All the fixed-route buses are 100 percent accessible on weekends and holidays, and mostly accessible during the week, depending on what routes you use. All of Madison’s parks have accessible parking and paved pathways. Numerous area attraction, including the Kenosha Civil War Museum, Bristol Renaissance Faire and the Jelly Belly Center have received positive reviews on JJ’s List, a website devoted to meeting the needs of consumers with disabilities.
  • San Antonio – Though known for its history, the Texas city is ultra-modern in its accessibility. For instance, it’s home to Morgan’s Wonderland – the only large-scale theme park in the world dedicated to those with special needs (and their families). The “ultra-accessible” park offers numerous rides and attractions… and entry is free for special-needs children and adults. Meanwhile, Six Flags Fiesta is considered one of the most ADA-accessible theme parks in the nation. Sea World is also plenty inclusive for the wheelchair set, with rides like Shamu Express and Journey to Atlantis. River Walk – the state’s top tourist attraction – is brimming with shops, bar, restaurants, museums and special events, and there are plenty of elevators and ramps to transport people down, one story below the heart of the city. Finally, San Antonio Missions Historical Park, which preserves four of the city’s five Spanish frontier missions, offers several activities for people with disabilities.

To learn more about all of our accessible destinations, drop us a line at info@takethreenights.com or visit www.takethreenights.com. To receive additional information, including travel specials, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Seattle is a city that’s long been recognized for its rich musical legacy – a history that is constantly being rewritten with continued contributions to the artistic canon. And for much of the time that Seattle’s been on the musical map, there’s been an annual event that’s helped the city stake its claim on the soundscape.

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When searching for a vacation destination that’s right for every member of your family – including the tail-wagging types – it can help to make sure you’re barking up the right tree. Some cities go out of their way to provide an inviting atmosphere for man’s best friend; here are a few of our favorites, in alphabetical order.

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