A First Timer’s Guide to Nashville’s Popular Attractions

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If you’re heading to Nashville for vacation, you’re in for a treat. The Tennessee capital is dubbed “Music City” for good reason. From country to bluegrass, and everything in between, this is the city that celebrates music, where a lot of artists have cut their teeth. While the strong music presence makes Nashville different from other major cities, it isn’t the only thing that makes this metropolis stand out. If you’re renting a vacation home in the area, there’s plenty to see and do.

With so many things to enjoy in Music City, you need to carefully plan your next Nashville vacation early. From checking out the best vacation rental deals and in making the most out of what the city has to offer, it’s best to come prepared and ready to rock on. If it’s your first time, this vacation guide shares all the must-see places and must-do activities to start your Nashville trip on the right foot.

8 Local Attractions

  1. Country Music Hall of Fame Museum

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    What better way to start enjoying Nashville than by paying a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum! Before checking out Nashville’s music scene, take in and absorb the history of the genre to better appreciate what lies in store for you in the city. Called the “Smithsonian of Country Music,” this is the place to see all things country. Within the building’s 350,000 square feet, you’ll find educational facilities, dynamic art galleries, archives and an event space all devoted to country music. Its core exhibit takes visitors on an immersive tour of the history of country music, with hands-on artifacts, photographs, video and music, educating visitors in a fun and engaging way.

  2. Grand Ole Opry House

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    The Grand Ole Opry, the radio show that help establish Nashville’s reputation as the country music capital of the world, moved out of The Ryman in 1974 and into the Grand Ole Opry. This venue sits northeast of downtown Nashville and tours are available all days of the week. The Opry has hosted many music legends since its inception in 1925, and many claim that it made Nashville the music mecca it is today. Even if you can’t see a show, it’s worth visiting for a backstage tour of the venue. On a daytime tour, an informative guide leads visitors throughout the Opry while introducing them to the music greats that have performed there. You’ll see the artist entrance and rooms and might even be allowed to stand on the famed wooden stage.

  3. Gallery of Iconic Guitars

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    If you’re interested in getting an up-close look at some of the most celebrated instruments in music’s history, The Gallery of Iconic Guitars at Belmont (also known as The GIG) will be a fun attraction for you. Located on the campus of Belmont University, the gallery gives visitors a chance to see a variety of makes and models of both guitars and mandolins, including pieces that are prized for their rarity. Alongside each instrument you’ll find in-depth history and technical information, making this a learning experience as much as a musical one. In addition to six exhibits, the gallery has a performance stage and will regularly host live performances, demonstrations, discussions and other events.

  4. The Parthenon

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    Roughly two miles southwest of downtown Nashville is one of the city’s more popular attractions, The Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the famous structure in Greece! In case you didn’t know, Nashville is also known as the “Athens of the South,” thanks to the many colleges and universities that call the city home. City dwellers of the past took this nickname to heart, building a full-scale reproduction of the Parthenon found in Greece. This towering monument was built in 1897 as a temporary display, but it quickly became a permanent attraction. Visitors can tour the building, picnic on the surrounding grounds and browse the art collection by 19th and 20th century American artists found inside.

  5. Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage

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    Nashville was home to America’s seventh president, Andrew Jackson. His mansion, the Hermitage, was built in the Greek revival style and is now considered a National Historic Landmark. This home is open to visitors, giving an insightful and interesting look at what life was like for this former president. When you tour the 1,000-acre grounds, you’ll find far more than just the main mansion house. See an original log cabin, remnants of farm buildings including the cotton gin house, various estate outbuildings, the Old Hermitage Church and Jackson’s tomb. You’ll also see the slave quarters, and learn the stories of the slaves who once worked on the estate.

  6. The Station Inn

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    If you love bluegrass, the Station Inn is one of the best places to visit in Nashville. That’s because this historic club has hosted countless big-time artists through the years, yet it remains one of the city’s hidden gems. With its intimate setting and no-frills food, the Station Inn is a far cry from the bigger and flashier music venues, but the low-key atmosphere is what gives it its appeal. Head there to hear live music every night of the week, or bring your own instrument and jam along with the band during the free bluegrass jam each Sunday.

  7. The Lane Motor Museum

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    Not all things to do in Nashville are music related. The Lane Motor Museum is not your average automobile museum. It has the largest collection of European cars and motorcycles in the United States. The colorful, eclectic, and unusual collection of autos delights visitors of all tastes and ages, even those who aren’t typically interested in cars. When you visit, you’ll see automobiles and bicycles from a wide variety of countries, representing many different eras. If you’re a history buff, you’ll also love learning the interesting and little-known facts about each collection. Don’t hesitate to bring the kids to this one as the play area on-site is designed for the youngest visitors and keeps everyone engaged.

  8. Johnny Cash Museum

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    This is a fun stop for families who are fans of the iconic country singer. The Johnny Cash Museum features exhibits and displays that include memorabilia, artifacts, writings, costumes, film, audio clips, and letters. Be prepared, however, as Cash’s many devotees make the place a bit crowded at certain times of the year.

5 Nashville Parks

  1. Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park

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    Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park, often called the Bicentennial Mall, is located in downtown Nashville. It was opened in 1996 to commemorate Tennessee’s Bicentennial Celebration. Highlights of the park are the Rivers of Tennessee Fountains, a Pathway of History, a granite map of the state, a 95-bell carillon, and a World War II Memorial. The park provides views of the State Capitol and Capitol Hill. Self-guided tours of the park are popular, and park staff often offer guided tours.

  2. Centennial Park

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    Centennial Park has several other attractions and activities aside from Nashville’s very own Parthenon. As you explore the park, you’ll come across Watauga Lake, a one-mile walking trail, an arts activity center, a sunken garden, and even an exercise trail. Centennial Park is also home to the Centennial Sportsplex, which includes pools, an ice rink, tennis courts and fitness centers.

  3. Warner Parks

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    Warner Park Nature Center is one of the main attractions in Edwin Warner Park and Percy Warner Park, collectively known as “The Warner Parks.” You can hike Warner Woods, Mossy Ridge, and Harpeth Woods trails, or you can hike the Burch Reserve’s trail through field and forest. In addition to hiking, mountain biking, and horse trails, the park consists of a dog park, picnic shelters, golf courses, and scenic overlooks. Warner Parks can be found nine miles away from downtown Nashville.

  4. Fort Nashborough

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    Fort Nashborough, built in 1779, protected pioneers from armed attacks by Native Americans. This first permanent American settlement along the bluffs of the Cumberland River represents Nashville’s roots. You can learn about the lives of the early settlers in this living outdoor museum. When you explore the grounds of the third replica of the original Nashville settlers’ fort, you’ll find cabins and blockhouses. An interpretive plaza area focuses on Nashville’s Native American history.

  5. Fort Negley Park

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    Fort Negley was built by Union troops after they captured Nashville during the Civil War. This largest inland stone fortification discouraged Confederate attacks throughout the war because of its location, size, and guns. Today, the Civil War site offers interpretive panels and accessible walkways. You can watch two films at Fort Negley Visitors Center, and you can research the Civil War Soldier and Sailors System database and use interactive touch screens that highlight Fort Negley and occupied Nashville.

Ready to experience all the fun in Nashville? Find a charming vacation rental now!

Nashville Packages & Activities | Music, Food, Nightlife & More!

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Nashville is an exciting city filled with live entertainment, unique attractions, and lots of music. There’s something fun for everyone in Tennessee’s capital, also known as Music City, so to break it down for you, we’re sharing all the best vacation packages and activities by category. Read on to find out if a trip to Nashville is right for you and your travel buddies next time you want to explore a new city.

Types of Vacation Packages

  1. Spa Packages

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    Resorts like Omni Nashville Hotel offer spa packages allowing you to relax and release all the stresses of everyday life. Omni offers mother-to-be massages, a southern belle aromatherapy massage, 10 different facial treatments, and salon services so you can indulge a little on your vacation. Another spa that comes highly recommended is Escape Nashville, where you can spend the entire day getting pampered in a beautifully decorated facility.

  2. Bachelor and Bachelorette Party Packages

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    Bachelor and bachelorette parties are huge in Nashville because there’s plenty to do. The ladies can book a custom bachelorette package with Luxury Bachelorette, while the gentlemen can partner up with Bachelor Party Nashville for an all-inclusive local experience. Take a comedy bus tour, see a live show, go on a pub crawl, or book a party bike. Good news is, packages often include roomy accommodations, so your crew can all stick together.

  3. Honeymoon or Anniversary Packages

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    Nashville vacation deals for honeymoons and anniversaries include lots of romantic options. Kick off your getaway with a private hot tub suite, or opt for a love & luxury package that comes with bottles of rose, chocolate covered strawberries, and late checkout — because who doesn’t love late checkout when you’re spending alone time with your boo? To top off your intimate experience, you can inquire with Nashville Ballon about custom hot air balloon packages!

Nashville Activities by Category

  1. Music

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    They don’t call Nashville the Music City for nothing! There are nearly 100 music venues offering a variety of genres for your listening pleasure. Two classic Nashville venues are the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium, but there are many more for you to pop into. For an intimate musical experience, head to The Blue Room at Third Man Records, a live entertainment venue designed by singer and songwriter Jack White. Additionally, you can venture over to Cannery Row, home to three great locations to soak in live music: Cannery Ballroom, Mercy Lounge, and The High Watt.

    Country music fans should be sure to tour the legendary Country Music Hall of Fame, while wine lovers can pregame with a wine tasting before watching a show at City Winery. For a list of other iconic music venues in Nashville, along with where to eat and drink nearby, check out Thrillist’s list of top recommendations.

  2. Food

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    Nashville ranks third on the list of the top U.S. cities for foodies to add to their bucket list. Starting off with what the city is known for — hot chicken. Prince’s Hot Chicken put this local favorite dish on the map almost a century ago, and Hattie B’s spread hot chicken’s popularity to the masses. Although Hattie B’s Chicken has trickled into to several parts of the country, the restaurant’s success wouldn’t have been such a hit without their home base in Nashville. Scared of long wait times? You can also have it delivered straight to your vacation rental.

    For an authentic taste of Nashville, have a seat at Arnold’s Country Kitchen, which rotates their menu daily with Southern staples like fried catfish, country-fried steak, creamed corn, and fried apple. Or, since Nashville has a reputation for being the “Athens of the South” you can soak in the Greek vibes at Greko Street Food, serving up a menu of fresh charcoal-fired meats blended with imported ingredients straight from Greece.

  3. Culture

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    You’ll find plenty of art galleries, botanical gardens, and museums to get cultured in all throughout Nashville. Aside from Nashville’s Parthenon, which doubles as an art gallery, you can satisfy your creative curiosities at the Adventure Science Center and the Frist Art Museum. History buffs on the other hand, will find delight in taking a tour of President Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, the Belle Meade Plantation, and the Lotz House Civil War Museum.

    Other historic sites that guarantee a splendid afternoon include the Tennessee State Museum, the Cheekwood Estate & Gardens, and the Musicians Hall of Fame. You definitely won’t fall short of interesting places to go, even on a rainy day in Nashville. For a luxurious, over-the-top experience, be sure to stop by the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center right up the street from the Grand Ole Opry, which exudes all the best things about Nashville under one massive roof.

  4. Nightlife

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    The city comes alive when the sun goes down and the neon lights go on. Nashville is known for its honky tonk bars, defined as “an establishment that contains at least one rockin’ stage, cold beverages, and a party that lasts all day, everyday.” If you’re not sure where to go, you can start along the Honky Tonk Highway with its peak hours between 10:00 am to 3:00 am. They weren’t kidding when they said all day, everyday. You can also check out Printers Alley, where you’ll find several lively bars, clubs, and speakeasies all within walking distance from one another.

    Just a few blocks away from Printers Alley is the big pink building known as Tootsies Orchid Lounge, a multi-story rooftop bar right across the street from Ryman Auditorium. The lounge features two live music stages and music memorabilia everywhere you look. If games and drinks are more your thing, you ought to visit Headquarters Beercade. The bar hosts trivia and bingo nights, in addition to the free vintage arcade games scattered all around the bar. Upon entry, you’ll be welcomed by a pink neon sign that says “don’t grow up, it’s a trap” suggesting you can unleash your childish side at the Beercade.

Are you convinced to head to Nashville yet? Start planning with VacationRenter!

Explore Tennessee | 7 Quick Day Trips from Nashville, TN

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Nashville is a vibrant city made up of live music, rich history, fabulous restaurants, and Southern hospitality. But sometimes, even Nashville locals want to get out of town and explore their surroundings. Luckily, the state of Tennessee is packed with cool cities and points of interest that are all just a couple of hours away from Nashville. If you need road trip ideas from Nashville, you’re in luck. Check out these seven day-trips that can add to an exciting experience in Tennessee.

  1. Stones River National Battlefield

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    The battle that occurred on this historic battlefield is said to have been the bloodiest of all Civil War conflicts. Most historians agree that the Union gained crucial military advantages at the end of this battle. To learn about this important turning point of the Civil War as well as other fascinating tidbits about history, drive less than an hour south to Stones River National Battlefield. You can take a self-guided auto tour or walk the trails to explore the events of the battle. A visitor center is on the grounds, so you can also see exhibits, watch a film, or buy books in the bookstore.

  2. Franklin, Tennessee

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    Franklin is less than an hour drive from Nashville, so it may seem more like a staycation than a weekend getaway, but if you’ve never spent much time here, it’s time to pack up the car and take that quick drive south on I-65 so you can enjoy this amazing historic town. Go online and check out the town calendar before you make your travel plans, as you may catch live music events, a parade, or a festival such as Pumpkinfest or the Main Street Festival.

    History buffs ⁠— especially those into the Civil War ⁠— should find Franklin particularly interesting considering the town played a major role in the big battle. Enjoy a trip to the Carnton Plantation, which served as a field hospital for Confederate troops. Nearly 1,500 Confederate soldiers are buried nearby. Additionally, other historic sites include the Carter House and Lotz House to check out the informative museums in the area.

  3. Cumberland Caverns

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    Imagine exploring roughly 30 miles of passageways and caves hidden beneath Tennessee at Cumberland Caverns! The drive from Nashville to Cumberland Caverns typically takes less than two hours. Guided walking tours are available, but you could also opt for an overnight adventure tour if you’re looking for a darker, more immersive experience. Or for the most unique night in the caves, check out Cumberland Caverns Live, where artists put on musical performances 300 feet below the surface!

  4. Chattanooga, Tennessee

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    If you can’t get enough of Tennessee’s caves, you can head further south to the border of Tennessee and Georgia to visit Ruby Falls. There, you’ll find an astonishing 145-foot underground waterfall inside Lookout Mountain. To catch a glimpse of Ruby Falls, you have the option to go with the classic waterfall tour, or an after hours lantern tour. Other activities on Lookout Mountain include a zip line adventure, riding the Incline Railway to witness “America’s most amazing mile,” and the magical beauty of Rock City.

  5. Land Between the Lakes

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    The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is about an hour and a half northwest of Nashville, on the border of Kentucky and Tennessee. As the name suggests, the more than 170,000 acres of underdeveloped forests, wetlands, and other natural areas sit between two major lakes: Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley.

    If you’re a fan of spotting wildlife, you’ll want to check out the Elk and Bison Prairie, allowing you to drive through a 700-acre enclosure. Other popular attractions at the park include the Homeplace 1850s Working Farm that’s great for history buffs, the Gold Pond Planetarium & Observatory, and the Woodlands Nature Station. You can also hike, camp, swim, picnic, go target shooting, boating, fishing and take part in many other outdoor activities.

  6. Hurricane Mills, Tennessee

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    Better known as Loretta Lynn’s Ranch, Hurricane Mills is about an hour and a half west of Nashville, and it’s the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a good time and are a fan of country music. While the scenery alone is enough to take your breath away, there are also five museums you can visit on the grounds: the Grist Mill Museum, the Native American Artifacts Museum, the Coal Miner’s Daughter Museum, Loretta’s Frontier Homestead, and the Doll & Fan Museum. Then, get a gorgeous glimpse of Hurricane Creek from an observation deck, or visit the stables for a tour on horseback.

    Before you leave, be sure to stop by Loretta Lynn’s Kitchen to enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet, country music, and movie memorabilia from Lynn’s career, in addition to a souvenir shop. Plus, be on the lookout for ghosts! The Loretta Lynn herself claims the ranch is haunted.

  7. Smithville, Tennessee

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    Situated about an hour and a half east of Nashville, Smithville is a small, charming Southern town that will make you feel like you’re a million miles away from the big city. The local community really comes alive every the summer when the annual Smithville Fiddlers’ Jamboree lights up. Since 1971, the festival has attracted thousands of visitors to enjoy live music, dancing, food, homemade crafts, and a dose of Appalachian culture. It’s been dubbed the official festival for the state of Tennessee since 1997. In 2020, the 49th annual festival is scheduled to take place during the week of 4th of July. If you’re visiting during another time of year, art enthusiasts can head over to the Appalachian Center for Craft to check out exciting galleries and exhibits, featuring the work of over 100 artists.

Four Lovely Nashville Vacation Rentals You Can Escape To

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  1. Riverview Loft in Downtown Nashville

    This colorful private condo boasts views of the Cumberland River right outside your window, and is lined with a beautiful brick interior. Hard Rock Cafe is right next door, and Ryman Auditorium is just a walk away.

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    If you’re traveling with a group of four, this one-bedroom loft is equipped with a king sized bed and a pull out couch in the living room.

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  2. Downtown Southern Luxury Living

    Located on the outskirts of downtown Nashville, but not too far away from all the action, this cozy two-bedroom two-bathroom town home is perfect for a party of six.

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    The fully furnished space is equipped with a washer and dryer, and also welcomes guests to utilize an outdoor balcony and a private parking garage.

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  3. Heart of Downtown Deluxe Loft

    Conveniently in the middle downtown Nashville, this spacious loft is decked out with gorgeous interior, brick walls, and balcony seating.

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    The home sleeps six people comfortably, and even has a pool table that guests can enjoy with clear views of downtown out the loft’s tall windows.

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  4. Fame House With Rooftop View

    Last but definitely not least, our fourth Nashville vacation rental sleeps a total of ten guests, and has incredible views of Nashville’s skyline from the roof deck!

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    The rooftop has everything you could possibly need, including a hammock, kitchenette, fireplace, and outdoor seating. Inside, you’ll find charming country-inspired decor, completing your Nashville experience.

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Ready to find an affordable home in Nashville? VacationRenter has you covered.

8 Tremendously Awesome Weekend Adventures in Upstate New York

Whether your work life is too hectic to take a full-blown vacation or you just need a quick escape from your everyday life, a weekend getaway can be a great way to recharge. If you live in New York City, Upstate New York is the best place to recharge. You can get in your car or take the train after work on a Friday, then make it back on Sunday night just in time to get a good night’s rest before starting your work week. Check out these eight spots in Upstate New York for a nice weekend getaway, all of these are just a short trip away from the Tri-State area.

  1. Niagara Falls

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    Niagara Falls is one of the most popular things to do in Upstate NY, and it’s easy to see why. The falls themselves are pretty spectacular, and the town is packed with exciting things to do. Enjoy an afternoon boat ride to see the Niagara Falls up close, visit the wineries along the Niagara Wine Trail, or pay a visit to historic Old Fort Niagara. For an extra dose of fun, cross over the border to the Canadian side and check out the Clifton Hill District.

  2. Sleepy Hollow

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    If you want to get your spook on close to Halloween, you can’t go wrong with Sleepy Hollow, ranked as one of the top 10 spookiest cities in the country. Here, you’ll walk through the setting of Washington Irving’s famous short story, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Go ghost hunting at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, or head next door to the Old Dutch Church, where the spirit of the Headless Horseman is rumored to wander. This town is also stunning in the spring and summer, with lots of hiking trails through vibrant scenery at Rockefeller State Park.

  3. Tarrytown

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    Just five minutes south of Sleepy Hollow, you’ll find Tarrytown. If you want to spend more time at your destination and less time traveling, this little village is an excellent option, just 25 miles away from New York City. This historic town is packed with points of interest including the Lyndhurst Mansion, the Tarrytown Lighthouse, and the Tarrytown Music Hall. For a fancy fine dining experience, indulge in what the restaurant calls “a multi-taste feast” at Blue Hill at Stone Barns.

  4. Syracuse

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    Syracuse is rich in history and culture, and it’s surrounded by beautiful countryside. Spend your afternoons visiting local farms, or gain some appreciation for the arts at one of Syracuse’s galleries such as the Everson Museum of Art. At night, dine in style in one of the area’s many great restaurants including Pastabilities or Sakana-Ya, or try some local craft brews at Empire Brewing Company.

  5. Letchworth State Park

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    Commonly referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park is filled with stunning cliffs, breathtaking waterfalls, and beautiful forests. It’s a fantastic place to experience the beauty of nature year-round, with a wide range of hiking and cross-country trails to choose from. Some notable things to do at the Letchworth are to see Middle Falls, go white water rafting, and hike one of the 27 trails in the park!

  6. Saratoga Springs

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    Enjoy a day at the races in the Saratoga Race Track. This city is famous for its racecourse, but there are plenty of other things to see and do in the area, like the Racing Museum and Hall of Fame, the National Museum of Dance and the 21 different public mineral springs. Learn how the jockeys practice their sport with a horseback riding lesson, take in some panoramic views on a hot air balloon ride, or pick apples at a local orchard.

  7. Hudson

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    Nothing says weekend getaway in Upstate New York like leafy trees, historic brick buildings, and amazing views of the Hudson River. Hudson has them all, plus a great food scene, lots of interesting museums and excellent shopping. Chow down on some fantastic pizza at Oak Pizzeria Napoletana, or pop into Lil Deb’s Oasis for delicious bites, refreshing drinks, and a fun quirky vibe! The city is also very walkable, so you can cover a lot of ground on foot.

  8. Kingston

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    Once upon a time, Kingston was the state capital. The capital moved to Albany long ago, but history is still clearly visible in this Hudson Valley town. Stroll through historic streets, admire Dutch colonial houses and take in a breath of fresh air along the waterfront. There are plenty of train and bus connections into the city, so you can easily get there without a car. As you walk though Kingston, you may also notice plenty of colorful murals that brighten up the city, an initiative sparked by the annual O+ Festival held in Kingston every October.

10 Unique Attractions Scattered All Over New York City, NY

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Visiting New York City is always fun, but if you’ve already taken a selfie at the Empire State Building and gone on the rides at Coney Island, you may be craving something new. Fortunately, you don’t have to stray far from the beaten track to find other unique local attractions. Here are 10 unusual destinations to revitalize your weekend adventures in New York City.

  1. Roosevelt Island

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    Roosevelt Island is a strip of land located right in the middle of the East River. It can be reached by car along the Roosevelt Island Bridge, or via tram. Ghost hunters and those with a taste for the macabre might appreciate a visit the abandoned smallpox hospital on the island, designed by James Renwick, Jr.

  2. Life Underground

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    Explore the New York Subway in search of the whimsical bronze characters that make up the Life Underground public art installations. Puzzle over the deeper meaning behind the funny fellows with moneybag heads, or just marvel at how darn cute they are.

  3. Toynbee Tiles

    If you’re a fan of scavenger hunts and mysteries, grab a map detailing the location of the Toynbee Tiles, and start searching. Each tile is around the size of a license plate and bears a cryptic message. Can you solve their meaning?

  4. City Island

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    For some of the best seafood you’re going to find in the Bronx, head to City Island. Johnny’s Reef has a large selection of fresh seafood on their menu that you can enjoy under the sun, with clear views of the water. This surprisingly quaint fishing village is like a little piece of Cape Cod, yet it’s less than an hour’s drive from Midtown.

  5. Oculus

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    Take a walk inside the architectural masterpiece known as Oculus. The World Trade Center’s transportation hub can be found on the corner of Church Street and Fulton Street, and you’ll know you’re there once you see the otherworldly building right before your eyes. Oculus is unlike other buildings in New York City — or any other metropolitan city, for that matter.

  6. New York Earth Room

    New York City is home to many interesting art installations, but perhaps none as peculiar as the New York Earth Room at 141 Wooster Street. Walter De Maria created the exhibit in 1977, filling the 3,600-square-foot Soho loft with a level 22 inches of dirt. If you’re interested in art that puzzles you, this is the place to go.

  7. The Irish Hunger Memorial

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    For a more sobering experience, visit the Irish Hunger Memorial. The work comprises of stones from every Irish county and depicts the Irish landscape with an abandoned cottage. It’s food for thought, and something to ponder as hunger strikes while you wait in line at Katz’s Delicatessen.

  8. Socrates Sculpture Park

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    Socrates Sculpture Park is a four and a half-acre park where artists are freely allowed to create outdoor work. It’s open year round and admission is free, so there’s always an opportunity to enjoy the surroundings, regardless of the weather. Exhibits at the park change regularly, so what you see at Socrates Sculpture Park on one trip to New York might be different next time you visit.

  9. The Elevated Acre

    Above the hustle and bustle of NYC’s Financial District is a secret haven of peace and relaxation. The one-acre hidden gem known as the Elevated Acre is a stunning plaza open to the public, with commanding views money can’t buy. You’ll find it in Manhattan on 55 Water Street. Even if you’re a New York local, this is a great place to get away if you want a reset on your lunch break.

  10. Queens Museum

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    Seeing everything New York City has to offer in a single weekend seems implausible, but it’s possible at the Queens Museum. The museum houses The Panorama of the City of New York, a massive 9,335-square-foot scale model of the five boroughs. It’s a jaw-dropping way to see every landmark at once.

Now that you have a whole list of new sights to see in The City That Never Sleeps, it’s time to plan another NYC trip!

5 Hot Spots for a Romantic Escape Close to New York City

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When you’re swept up in the chaos of city life, it’s easy to feel disconnected from that special someone. If that happens to you and your partner, consider planning a romantic weekend away from NYC for the two of you to reconnect and spend some quality time with each other. Good news is, you don’t have to go too far to get a breath of fresh air outside of the city. Check out these five cities that are a few hours outside of the Big Apple by car.

  1. Woodstock, NY

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    If you and your partner have a passion for music, you can spend a couple nights in the place that was originally intended for the monumental concert gathering that paved the way for the ever-popular music festivals of today. Woodstock’s community is the ideal getaway for those who appreciate an artsy and bohemian experience. Take a peek inside the world’s largest kaleidoscope, with a record-breaking height of 56 feet and width of 38 feet. Lovers of the arts can visit Opus 40 Sculpture Park & Museum, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, or watch a play at the Woodstock Playhouse. You can also visit Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, where you’ll find music exhibits through the decades, immersive experiences, and the original site of the very first Woodstock Music Festival.

    To get your outdoor fix, head to Overlook Mountain where you can hike, rent bikes, and see the beautiful views of the Catskills.

    Ready to head to Woodstock? Find a place to stay on VacationRenter.

  2. Bridgehampton, New York

    sunrise-on-beach-in-hamptons

    Roughly 100 miles from NYC, you’ll find luxurious vacation homes in the Hamptons. The Hamptons are made up of several seaside communities, including the town of Bridgehampton. Expect a weekend of romance and lounging in comfort with your partner. You can treat yourselves to four-star spa services at Blue Ocean Spa, beach walks, cafes, and a handful of museums including the Dan Flavin Art Institute and rotating installations at the Art Market. Rent a bicycle to spend quality time exploring the Hamptons along Montauk Highway, all the way to the National Historic Landmark known as the Montauk Lighthouse. Finally, you two can enjoy a wine tasting at Channing Daughters Winery or Wölffer Estate Vineyard.

    If you decide to visit during the winter months, you can take this time to cozy up together near the fireplace for a weekend of rest and rejuvenation together.

    Indulge in a lovely vacation rental for two in Bridgehampton.

  3. Hudson Valley, New York

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    Choose to really pamper your partner by planning a personalized romantic weekend getaway to Hudson Valley, which is especially beautiful in the fall. Drive out from the city, or opt to take the train for maximum comfort and relaxation, but in order to see all the most breathtaking sites, we should let you know that many of them are a drive away. South of Hudson Valley you’ll find Walkway Over the Hudson, the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. Take a moonlit walk over the Hudson River, or enjoy it in the daytime for optimal views as far as the eye can see.

    If you brought a car, you can drive up 45 minutes north to the Kaaterskill Falls. Before you visit, be sure to read up on the newly enforced regulations from the state of New York. You’ll also find that Hudson Valley is home to many extravagant estates and mansions, including Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Presidential Home, which has now been converted to a library and museum.

    Escape city life and head to Hudson Valley now.

  4. New Paltz, New York

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    Just 30 minutes south of Hudson Valley is New Paltz, New York. If you and your partner love being outdoors, you’re going to adore this place. To start, make your way to the Shawangunk Mountains ⁠— also known as The Gunks ⁠— which is part of the Mohonk Preserve where folks come to hike, bike, and rock climb to their hearts’ content. Atop the mountain you’ll also find the grand Mohonk Mountain Reserve, a Victorian castle transformed into a resort surrounded by lush trees and glistening waters.

    Venture outside and go tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and even skating on an ice rink in the winter. If you want to stay indoors, enjoy indoor swimming or a cocktail tasting. Speaking of libations, 30 more minutes south of New Paltz, you’ll find Brotherhood Winery, the oldest winery in America established in 1839. Enjoy a wine tasting while soaking in all the history that came long before the Prohibition Era.

    Get started on planning a romantic getaway to New Paltz!

  5. Ithaca, New York

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    This is another smart option for the nature lovers. Ithaca is located on the south tip of Cayuga Lake, the largest lake out of the 11 bodies of water that make up Finger Lakes. Pack a picnic and enjoy serene views of Cayuga from Stewart Park, or rent a kayak from Puddledockers and have a date out in the water. Another place you can get a nice perspective of Cayuga Lake is from Taughannock Falls State Park, offering campsites that overlook the water. At Taughannock Falls State Park, you’ll also have access to a gorge and bustling waters of Taughannock Falls, pictured above.

    Taughannock Falls isn’t the only waterfall you’ll get to witness in this city. Next stop: Ithaca Falls! The trail to Ithaca Falls is an easy route accessible for all skill levels, and dogs on a leash are allowed too. Once you get there, you’ll be greeted by a 150 foot tall and 175 foot wide roaring waterfall. Visitors are prohibited from swimming, but it’s truly an incredible sight to see. If you were hoping to swim by a waterfall, you could do so at Buttermilk Falls State Park, where you can also camp, picnic, and hike! Ithaca is paradise for a romantic outdoor adventure.

    Is Ithaca calling your name? Find an affordable place to stay now.

Budget Travel | How to Enjoy New York City on a Shoestring

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Start spreading the news: a trip to New York City doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you’re in the market for free and low-cost things to do in the Big Apple, you’re in some serious luck. Once you’ve found an affordable apartment to cozy up in, hitting the town on a shoestring budget is easy.

It’s no secret that New York contains plenty of culture, history, bars, eateries, and sightseeing — but did you also know that much of it can be enjoyed for roughly $100 or less? Read on for a few ideas about what to see and where to go for a memorable trip to New York City without breaking your bank.

Free Activities in New York City

  1. Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge

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    At 1.3 miles long, a walk over the East River courtesy of the Brooklyn Bridge takes an average of 25 minutes. Along the way, walkers can expect to enjoy breathtaking views of the city on both the Manhattan and Brooklyn sides of the river, as well as the busy harbor, which plays home to watercraft of all kinds. On a clear day, schlepping from the Brooklyn to Manhattan side is guaranteed to give a lovely sunset view, but foot travelers can pretty much expect a satisfying view 24/7.

  2. Ride the Staten Island Ferry

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    Located at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, the Staten Island Ferry is one freebie that visitors shouldn’t miss. Running 24 hours a day with rush hour and off-peak schedules, the ferry takes passengers five miles from Manhattan to Staten Island. Passengers can expect a 25 minute ride that brings them past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, as well as giving them a view of the city skyline.

  3. Go Skating in Bryant Park

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    During New York’s crisp, chilly fall days, Midtown’s Bryant Park offers up the opportunity for skaters to take to the ice free of charge at its Winter Village. Skaters are allowed to stake for up to 90 minutes, and can get warm afterward at The Lodge, which offers food and drink options like Pierogi Boys and The Stackery.

  4. Stroll Through Central Park

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    At 843 acres and 1.317 square foot miles, this famous public park packs a lot of free options within its gates. Whether it’s walking the trails, finding a spot for a picnic, watching the sailboats, or taking in a show at Shakespeare in the Park, these freebies are sure to please. The park is also home to dozens of free concerts and independent entertainers.

    If you happen to get hungry while you’re there and haven’t packed a picnic, not to worry. There are low-cost vendors selling items like hot pretzels, hot dogs, and ice cream around each corner, in addition to several spots within the park to sit and dine in style (for a fee, of course).

    Ready to plan your next NYC trip? Stick to your budget and start by finding an affordable place to stay.

New York Attractions Under $50

  1. Tour the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum

    planes-in-sea-air-space-museum

    From 10 AM to 5 PM each day, visitors to the gigantic-ship-turned-museum docked at West 46th Street’s Pier 86 can expect a serious show alongside an informative tour about air and space that does not disappoint. Whether it is a guided tour, education demonstration, or taking a trip courtesy of its simulator, visitors can get into the spirit of the ship. On weekends, the museum also offers programs for children. Plus, there’s an opportunity for visitors to take a tour of a spacecraft, the Enterprise.

  2. Climb Aboard the W.O. Decker

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    If you’ve ever wanted to experience life on a tugboat, the W.O. Decker, located at the South Street Seaport as part of its museum family, is definite must-see. The old-fashioned, well-preserved tugboat offers 60 minute rides that take everyone onboard out into the harbor for views of three boroughs of the city that can’t be beat. While on board, visitors can also take a tour and learn about the history of the boat.

  3. Visit One World Trade Center

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    For those who want to know what it feels like to stand on top of the world, this 104 floor marvel known as One World Trade Center has got you covered. Completed in 2013, the vibrant building and its surrounding amenities offer plenty of dining, fun, and shopping opportunities well below 50 stories, and at the 100th to 102nd floors, guests have the opportunity to gaze at the city from high above. The Observatory also offers dining and exhibits. Tickets start at $35 and go up from there.

Other Activities Under $100

  1. Catch A Discounted Broadway Show

    new-york-city-broadway

    If there’s one thing New York is known for, it’s the bright lights of Broadway, but at upwards of $140 a pop, catching a musical can really put a dent in your vacation budget. Enter the various entities selling the same Broadway tickets that get you into the seats, but at a discount. Check out the TKTS website, which offers up same-day discounted tickets for popular shows like Chicago and Frozen starting at $70 to $80 for top notch seats.

  2. Feast Yourself on a Chinatown Gourmet Food and Walking Tour

    vibrant-apartments-in-chinatown-new-york

    With a reputation for being America’s largest Chinatown, this iconic neighborhood in New York City thrives on its spices, wares, and palate pleasers. With a fee of $65 a person, the three-hour food and culture tour involves walking about the zone and enjoying three sit-down tastings. Past trekkers have enjoyed dumplings, custard, and freshly carved peking duck.

  3. Bake Dessert at Milk Bar
  4. Since 2008, Milk Bar has made itself famous for shaking up the dessert world, giving the vibrant bakery the cult following it has enjoyed for over a decade. Visitors to the Williamsburg shop in Brooklyn can take it one step further from tasting the delectable sweets, to enjoy a lesson in baking their popular menu items, which includes techniques for frosting and crumbs.

If you think these deals sound unbeatable, just wait until you see these deals on places to stay in New York with VacationRenter!

7 Cities Where You’ll Find the 7 Deadly Sins, Aside from Sin City

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Mark Twain once said, “there is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable” and that definitely holds true for the seven deadly sins: gluttony, greed, lust, wrath, envy, pride, and sloth. As mere mortals, we’ve all committed one of these sins at least once in our lives, to a certain extent. Most of them happen while we’re on vacation and indulging ourselves.

With Halloween right around the corner, we’ve rounded up the top destinations where the seven deadly sins are undoubtedly lingering in the air.

  1. New York City, NY

    Gluttony: an inordinate desire to consume more than one requires

    new-york-pizza-slice

    Our first sinful destination leads us to take a bite at The Big Apple. New York City is known for having a diverse range of delectable cuisines to try. There are so many amazing options, that foodies might end up consuming more meals a day than the standard breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    For breakfast, head to Russ & Daughters for a traditional, yet high quality bagel & lox. The cafe has been around for over 100 years and you’ll have to go there for yourself to see what the hype is all about. Another place you definitely have to pencil in to your list of must-try restaurants is Katz’s Deli. This New York staple cooks up a killer pastrami on rye, as well as a reuben sandwich, and they’re very generous with the amount of meat they put in between two perfectly baked slices of bread.

    katz-reuben-sandwich

    One of the hottest restaurants in New York right now is Lillia, serving up hand crafted pastas in all kinds of combinations. The highly in-demand fine dining eatery is owned and operated by Missy Robbins, who has specialized in Italian cuisine over the last decade. If you’re on a mission to splurge, check out Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare, where the culinary experts blend Japanese cuisine with French technique to deliver unbelievable courses like Hokkaido uni and black truffle on a brioche bun.

    For a longer list of places to eat in NYC, check out Infatuation’s First Timer’s Guide to Eating in New York City. You’re bound to find a handful of things that tingle your tastebuds.

  2. Atlantic City, NJ

    Greed: the desire for material wealth or gain

    gambling-table-in-casino

    One of Atlantic City’s greatest attractions is its casinos. Everyday, hundreds of tourists come to this seaside destination to test their luck on the slots and tables, in hopes that they come home with a jackpot prize. Along the boardwalk, you’ll find the bright lights of each casino luring you in. The casinos are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    In alphabetical order, the most popular casinos are Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesar’s Atlantic City, Golden Nugget, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, and Ocean Casino Resort. Put on your poker face at the poker table, have a go at a game of black jack, or try to hit the lucky combos on the slots.

    interior-of-atlantic-city-casino

    We know that winning easy money sounds very tempting, but it can also come back to bite. If we could give you any gambling advice, the most important thing would be to start your vacation with a specific gambling budget. Be mindful of your spending habits. If you spend that entire budget, it’s time to step away from the casino, no matter how bad you want to keep playing. You’ll thank yourself for coming to your senses when you step back into reality after your vacation.

  3. Palm Springs, CA

    Lust: an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body

    couple-getting-massage-in-spa

    Pleasures of the body come in all shapes and forms — and no, it’s not what you’re thinking. Whether it’s treating yourself to a simple massage, or getting the feeling of an adrenaline rush coursing through your veins on an ATV or skydiving off a plane, Palm Springs has a lot to offer. With a wide range of spas and extreme sports to indulge in, this desert city represents lust in the most PG form, and we’re all for it.

    Palm Springs has a great selection of luxurious spas to choose from when you need some time to unwind and de-stress. Among them is one of our favorites, the Miramonte Indian Wells Resort & Spa. Not only does the resort have spa specials, but they also have several pools to spend the day in, a golf course with marvelous views, a fitness center, and a monthly full moon yoga.

    atv-in-the-desert

    If you prefer adrenaline over getting pampered, we have a couple options for you. Your first option is an ATV experience, zooming through the desert like you’re on the set of Mad Max. Or for the ultimate thrill-seeker, how does skydiving above California sound? Skydive West Coast offers tandem skydives less than 30 minutes out of Palm Springs. No matter what you decide to do, we’re sure it will be an extremely satisfying getaway.

  4. Philadephia, Pennsylvania

    Wrath: manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury, also known as anger

    hockey-players-screaming

    For the record: choosing love over anger is never the way to go. But in the particular instance of watching a hockey game or any sports match, that manifested wrath allows athletes to thrive and take home the win. If you’ve never been to a hockey game before, head over to Philly’s Wells Fargo Center to catch a game between NHL in-state rivals: Philadelphia Flyers versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Don’t be shocked when a fight breaks out mid-play — those are common, and perfectly legal, in professional hockey matches.

    Additionally, you can wander into Tipsy Bistro to see if your favorite sports teams are going head to head — or for more wrath, you can grab a drink when they’re showing a boxing match or UFC fight. Not only is UFC the Ultimate Fighting Championship, but it’s also the ultimate example of wrath in a sport.

    mixed-martial-arts-fighters

    Feel the energy of the crowd in University City as two mixed martial arts fighters go against each other in the Octagon. It’s pretty much like watching modern-day gladiators at battle.

  5. Beverly Hills, CA

    Envy: the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, or situation

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    Indie rock band Weezer hit the nail right on the head in their early 2000’s track Beverly Hills as they sang, “Beverly Hills, that’s where I want to be; living in Beverly Hills.” As you take a stroll down Rodeo Drive, it’s hard not to envy the lavish lifestyles of the 90210’s residents, and many aspire to obtain that status. Take the Beverly Hills Trolley Tour to catch a glimpse into the lives of the rich and famous. This 40-minute tour takes you down Rodeo Drive, and stops by historic landmarks in the area, as well as celebrity homes.

    You can also live like a millennial celebrity on Melrose Avenue by attending a Cycle House spin class. Then, snap a post-workout photo in front of Paul Smith’s Instagram famous pink walls, and grab a cup of coffee at Urth Caffe. Who knows, you may even stumble upon Kylie Jenner while you’re there, who is known to be a loyal green tea boba fan at Urth.

    latte-art-in-green-mugs

    Want to try to catch other celebrities out and about? Check out Spoon University’s list of the seven best coffee shops to spot celebrities in the area.

  6. Portland, OR

    Pride: excessive belief in one’s own abilities, and the sin from which all others arise, also known as vanity

    keep-portland-weird-sign

    Portland radiates pride on so many levels, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Being recognized as the top U.S. city for LGBTQ+ Pride, along with the city’s constant need to “Keep Portland Weird,” and the passionate delight Portland has for craft beers and coffee — it’ hard to deny that pride bursts at the seams in this city.

    If you want to be right in the middle of where the pride is, check out our blog post of the best spots to hit in Portland based on your guilty pleasure. To summarize, the article breaks down all the best restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries, including all of downtown Portland’s winners from 2019’s Oregon Beer Awards. One notable five-time gold winner is 10 Barrel Brewing Company in the Pearl District, where you’ll find a chirpy rooftop bar right across the street from another brewery called Rogue, serving canned house made cocktails, in addition to classic craft brews.

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    While you’re there, be sure to head over to the “Keep Portland Weird” mural, found on 3rd Street in between Ankeny Street and Burnside Street. This puts you within walking distance of several local favorites, including Voodoo Doughnut, Portland Saturday Market situated by the water, and world’s largest bookstore: Powell’s City of Books.

  7. Your Very Own Hometown

    Sloth: the avoidance of physical work

    woman-sleeping-in-bed

    Some days, all you want to do is lay around and do nothing. That’s exactly what sloth is. So when you’re in the mood to exert absolutely zero energy, why not plan a staycation in your home city? The only effort you need to make is to find a lovely vacation home you wish to spend the weekend in, and VacationRenter makes that search process incredibly simple.

    Filter your results based on location, guests, and the type of amenities you want, then scroll through images to find your dream vacation home. The only body part you’ll have to move are your hands to do the typing and clicking. Your sloth staycation is just a click away!

  8. The Ultimate Sin City: Las Vegas, NV

    It would be a sin in itself to not mention Las Vegas somewhere in this article. It is “Sin City” after all, a place where all seven deadly sins are very much alive.

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    • Gluttony: Indulge in a wide selection of all you can eat restaurants such as Sakana Sushi, Biwon Korean BBQ, or Wicked Spoon.
    • Greed: Spend all day and night gambling at one of the many casinos along The Strip, or if you’re knowledgeable in the sports world, place a parlay bet at one of Sin City’s sportsbooks.
    • Lust: Treat yourself to what is classified as “a seductive retreat for your mind, body and soul” at the Waldorf Astoria Spa.
    • Wrath: Catch a live UFC fight at the MGM Grand, or witness people get riled up at the most lively sports bars in town.
    • Envy: Go window shopping at The Shops at Crystals and browse through all the things you wish you could take home with you, or even buy something that catches your eye.
    • Pride: Get ready to have your mind blown at one of seven different Cirque de Soleil shows, as performers proudly show off their insane acrobatic and choreographic skills.
    • Sloth: Arrange for bottle service to a private cabana at Marquee Day Club or Encore Beach Club so you can spend a whole afternoon lounging around under the sun, having your drinks served to you at your disposal.



    Las Vegas is the quintessence of going all out vacation mode, and releasing your inhibitions. Small doses of this city are recommended — because in the end, everyone’s got to to pay for their sins.

5 Awesome Family Vacation Spots Even Your Kids Will Love

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Whether school is out for winter break, spring break, or summer, it’s always good to start planning ahead so your whole family can enjoy a fun family vacation. Thankfully, there are many cities in the United States that offer something for everyone — even the pickiest of little travelers. Check out our list of the top five cities in the country for the best family vacations with kids!

  1. Honolulu, Hawaii

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    Most people think of Hawaii as a place for grownups, but it’s actually the perfect spot for a family getaway. Head to Honolulu on the island of Oahu to spend your days at Waikiki Beach, one of the most iconic coastal spots in the world. Waikiki’s calm waters make it a favorite for parents of young children, and it’s also a great place for big kids to learn how to surf at Ty Gurney Surf School. Your kids will also get a kick out of swimming with dolphins and zip lining over Jurassic Park. For more information on kid-friendly activities near Honolulu, check out our full blog post here.

  2. San Diego, California

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    San Diego Zoo is one of the largest zoos in the United States and a top family vacation spot for seeing creatures you’d probably never see otherwise. Best of all, for all of October, children ages 11 and under get in for free! Stop by to check out the pandas, polar bears, elephants and other exotic animals. Afterward, you can spend a day at the beach, visit the Model Railroad Museum, or check out Legoland an hour north of San Diego. If your kids have never been to Legoland before, we promise you’re in for a treat. Enjoy fun rides, an aquarium, a waterpark, and a fascinating miniland version of some of the world’s greatest landmarks, all made out of lego!

  3. Atlanta, Georgia

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    With over six million gallons of water, and more than 100,000 sea creatures including whale sharks, beluga whales, and dolphins, Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest of its kind in the world. The city is also home to kid-friendly attractions, like the Atlanta Zoo, the World of Coca-Cola, and CNN Studio, where you’ll witness behind the scenes sets of some of your favorite movies and shows. The best part is, you can access all four of these attractions — and more — with Atlanta’s CityPASS for a total cost of $62 for kids ages 3 to 12, and $76 for adults 13 and over. Save big and see all of Atlanta’s hottest attractions for kids.

  4. Denver, Colorado

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    From Denver’s museums to its opportunities to get up close and personal with wildlife, both the living and extinct, the capital of Colorado makes for one of the coolest family vacation spots. There you’ll find the Denver Zoo, with over 4,300 inhabitants, and the Downtown Aquarium — both of which offer multiple animal encounters. Other places to check out are the Children’s Museum of Denver, the Museum of Nature and Science and nearby Dinosaur Ridge, a site where dinosaur bones and footprints were discovered in the 1800s. Great news: Denver also offers a CityPASS, allowing you to access your choice of three, four, or five of the city’s top attractions, starting at only $32 for kids! Visit the CityPASS website for more details.

  5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

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    While it’s not technically a city, America’s oldest National Park remains one of the best family-friendly vacation destinations in the country. Kids love to see Old Faithful erupt right on schedule! You can also spend quality time watching for wildlife, including bears, bison, elks, and wolves. If your kids really love the outdoors, you can hike, take part in the ranger program, camp, fish, go biking, kayak or canoe. Kids ages 8 and over can accompany you on a horseback riding tour through the park. There are also several fun and educational programs available for children.

Ready to plan a vacation for the whole family? Book affordable lodging with VacationRenter for your next trip!