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Amusement Parks to Visit This Summer

Amusement Parks to Visit This Summer

As summer approaches, many travelers pack up and head to some of North America’s most famous amusement parks. While hordes of thrill seekers head to the household staples like Disney and Cedar Point, many of America’s top theme parks provide hours of family fun with special touches you won’t experiences at the mega-parks. Travelers looking to change up the Disney routine should check out the following amusement parks.

Indiana Beach, Monticello, Indiana

Indiana Beach has everything you could want from a theme park, including exciting rides and a water park, with special touches including lake-front cabins and cottages, a boardwalk, and a full golf course. The best part is that Indiana beach is refreshingly affordable.

Knoebels, Elysburg, PA

Knoebels bills itself as traditional theme park, offering free admission and reasonably priced ride fees. This Pennsylvania theme park has rides that will keep the entire family happy, and the park is safe enough to let older kids run wild freely.

Storyland, Glen, New Hampshire

Nestled in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Storyland is the quintessential family amusement park. There are more than enough attractions for small children, and almost all rides allow adults and children to ride, so families can enjoy together. Unlike many overpriced theme parks, Storyland’s food and souvenirs are reasonably priced.

Holiday World, Santa Claus, Indiana

Fans of Holiday World gush about the amusements park’s friendly staff, impressively clean grounds, and exciting rides. Ride the theme park’s giant wooden roller coaster and get soaked at the water park area. As an added bonus, Holiday World keeps the trip affordable by offering free inner-tubes, sunscreen, soda, and parking.…

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7 Things to Consider Before Taking a Grand Canyon Airplane Tour

7 Things to Consider Before Taking a Grand Canyon Airplane Tour

If you want to enjoy the Grand Canyon in style and comfort, take an airplane tour. Conducted aboard beautifully appointed fixed-wing aircraft, these aircraft let you see more canyon than any other means of transportation. Before you start packing your bags, here are seven things that will ensure that this trip option is for you:

#1 Where will start your flight?

There are several places where you can start an airplane tour. The most popular are Las Vegas, Phoenix, Sedona, AZ, and Flagstaff, AZ. Las Vegas is the least expensive. In Arizona, I recommend you rent a car; flights will be prohibitively expensive. All South Rim airplane trips start at Grand Canyon Airport in Tusayan, AZ, located just 10 minutes south of the Park’s main entrance.

#2 Which rim do you want to see?

There are only two places where you can enter Grand Canyon airspace: The West Rim and the South Rim. The arid West Rim is a 25-minute flight from Las Vegas and is best known for its activities and attractions. The South Rim, a 45-minute flight from Las Vegas, is famous for its verdant natural beauty and early 20th Century amenities.

#3 Do you want to see the Grand Canyon Skywalk?

This attraction is at the West Rim, also known as Grand Canyon West. The “Glass Bridge” defies gravity by extending 70 feet past the edge and suspending guests 4,000 feet above the Colorado River. From the air, it sparkles under the Mojave Desert sun. Optionally, you can upgrade your air tour to include access to the Skywalk. And, if that’s not enough, you can include a Las Vegas Strip flyover on the return!

#4 Do you want to fly to the bottom of the canyon?

This opportunity is only available at the West Rim. You will need to deplane and board a helicopter. The 4,000-foot descent is a journey through four geological eras of time (millions of years). Cliffs, spires and buttes fill the landscape. At the bottom, toast your incredible journey with Champagne, then explore the canyon’s ancient floor.

#5 Do you want to go river rafting?

Colorado River rafting is available at both rims. The West Rim requires a helicopter ride to the bottom; your choices include starting immediately upstream or being helicoptered to the base of Hoover Dam where you’ll put in. The South Rim is a fantastic airplane flight to Glen Canyon Dam (East Rim) for a 15.5-mile float trip that includes Antelope Canyon and ends at historic Lee’s Ferry.

#6 Do you want to see as much of the canyon as possible in one day?

This is almost a toss up. The flight from Las Vegas to Grand Canyon Airport covers a lot of ground. But for 100% classic Grand Canyon, nothing rivals Grand Canyon Airline’s Grand Discovery airplane tour. Why this package gets so little attention bewilders me. It includes the South Rim (Kaibab Plateau, Dragoon Corridor), the East Rim (Desert View Watchtower, Zuni Corridor, Navajo Reservation) and the North Rim (Imperial Point). It’s 50 minutes of utter bliss.

#7 If you want the best prices, book your tour online.

The market for Grand Canyon airplane tours is competitive. You are bound to see a lot of offers. Ignore them. The best, most solid deal you will get is from the tour operators themselves. Grand Canyon Airlines, in my opinion, is the low-price leader for high-quality West Rim and South Rim air tours. To get their rock-bottom price, book on their website. I personally have realized savings of up to 35 percent.

Flying is one of the best Grand Canyon tours out there. Be it West Rim or South Rim, you’ll see pretty much see it all. These airplane tours can be expanded to include helicopter flights, rafting trips, and Skywalk passes, and Las Vegas flyovers. They are also the fastest way to go from Las Vegas to the South Rim. These trips are economical, too, especially if you book them online, where you can get up to 35% off. So kick off your shoes, recline your seat, and prepare for departure. Getting to the Grand Canyon and seeing it in all its natural glory has never been easier.…

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Australian National Parks – Which Are the Best Ones to Visit?

Australian National Parks – Which Are the Best Ones to Visit?

Gondwana is the ancient name of the huge land mass made up of Africa, Australia, India, Antarctica and South America. Over 100 million years ago the mass broke up to form the individual countries. Australia is one of these countries and is one of the driest continents in the world .

Today there are 516 National Parks in Australia covering 3% of the land. That might not sound very much but given the size of Australia, it equates to 25 million hectares!

The parks are looked after by state governments but there are some National Parks that are deemed so significant that they are looked after by the Federal Government.

No visit to Australia is complete without a trip to at least one National Park. Most of its famous natural attractions are in one of the parks anyway, so by default, you’ll end up visiting.

Which ones are the best National Parks to visit? It’s certainly not feasible to visit or tell you about all 516. I will however tell you which are my favourites.

Firstly a little more background on the National Parks. They can be very large and have often acquired National Park status due to its ancient rock art (Uluru Kata Tjuta – Ayers Rock), special plants or trees, or wildlife. The average visitor only gets to visit a small pocket of the park given its size but there are others that are more manageable, given they are smaller.

Generally you will be asked to pay an entrance fee. The entrance fee is either per person or per vehicle. Its not usually very much (around $10 per person) but it can be more expensive in very popular areas such as Ayers Rock. The pass is usually valid for 48 hours.

Want to Camp in the National Parks?

There’s nothing better than camping in some of the best scenery in Australia. This is for you if you like the open air and don’t have a fear of snakes and spiders (it’s not that bad really!) Most parks have specific areas for camping, with strict campfire rules given the risk of bush fires. Don’t expect the luxury of hot running water though. The facilities are usually very basic but there are a few that offer hot showers operated by coins.

You generally need a permit to camp in the National Parks and places are limited. In the peak of summer it can sometimes be hard to find camping spots available so you need to book well in advance. The government websites will allow you to search for campsites. Remember that you will need to do this for EACH state given that the parks are run by the state government. Over Christmas when it is really busy, some of the national parks run a ballot system. If your name is picked out of the hat, you are one of the lucky ones (this is how it works in Freycinet National Park in Tasmania)

It can be a little subjective picking the best Australian National Parks to visit. Below you will find my top 3 but visit the website below for more information on over 15 great Australian National Parks.

Best for Beaches and Coastal Views

If you are looking for pristine beauty then head to Lord Howe Island. It is one of the only islands of Australia to be awarded the UNESCO World Heritage Listing. The island manages to keep the area unspoiled as it only allows 400 visitors onto the island at a time. The island has something for everyone – great marine life, mountain and forest walks and beautiful beaches. The day walk to the top of Mount Gower is known to be one of the best day walks in Australia. You can also take the Valley of the Shadows walk through 40 metre high forests or walk to Kim’s lookout and enjoy the view over the lagoon and island.

Best for Spiritual Rock Formations

Ayers Rock at Uluru Kata Tjuta National Park just has to feature in the top 3. Most come to visit the rock. Did you know its also on the World Heritage list? To see the rock you should make sure you get to the viewing platform (just take your car) at either sunrise or sunset. The light at these times makes the rock look particularly amazing. You can also pay to have a dinner or breakfast overlooking the rock at these times. But there are actually two rock formations in the park. The second is the Olgas and these were in my opinion, even more impressive than Ayers Rock. Make sure you visit both but make your first stop the Cultural Centre which gives great information on guided walks and a chance …

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Natural and Cultural History Overflow in Capitol Reef

Natural and Cultural History Overflow in Capitol Reef

If you seek the route less traveled, yet rates as one of the top scenic highways in America, you need to drive Scenic Byway, highway 24 in Utah’s red rock country and visit Capitol Reef National Park. Its beauty of crimson Navajo Sandstone cliffs, soaring spires and massive domes is outstanding, yet this is the least known and visited of Utah’s five national parks.

An isolated area, halfway between what are now Canyonlands and Bryce Canyon National Parks, the highway wasn’t paved until 1940. Because this area is incredibly rugged and forbidding, it is also famed for once being a haven traveled by Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch whose hideaway Robber’s Roost, was east of the park. Today it is a haven for explorers of mountain peaks and red rock desert.

Cliff walls range from more than 8,000 feet in the upper reaches to little more than 3,000 feet in the heart of the canyon and offer up a true cowboy enchanted western wilderness. Hollywood has filmed more than 100 western movies in Utah, so perhaps you have seen glimpses of the area caught on film.

Capitol Reef National Park and Fruita ghost town are located along the National Scenic Byway in south central Utah, and offers beautiful views of the canyon and the Fremont River gorge floor. Like the better known Grand Canyon and Death Valley, the cliffs and peaks here are always changing hues with the movement of clouds and sun.

The Fruita historic district within Capitol Reef bids an impression of a 1880’s western pioneer settlement and offers a significantly productive orchard of more than 3,000 trees in the midst of desert, canyon and cliff area. The orchards of apples, apricots, cherries, peaches and pears were planted by early Mormon settlers and stand as a reminder that this was once an important fruit growing center and providing the primary source of income to the community.

These orchards, now owned and well managed by the National Park Service, have become widely known for their U pick in season (early June through fall) fruit on the honor system for weighting and paying. Ladders and picking equipment are provided by the park service. To the delight of tourist, the orchards also attract wildlife such as mule deer until the last of the apples disappear

Fruita’s schoolhouse opened in 1900 and continued to keep classes of varying sizes until 1941, when there were no longer enough students to remain open. Once the small community’s hub for elections, town meetings and church activities, the one room log structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

I couldn’t help but wonder how did Capitol Reef get its name? At the park’s visitor information center alongside Hwy. 24, I learned it was christened “capital” for the white domes, molded by erosion, atop the sandstone cliffs and look much like capital building rotundas. And “reef?” I asked. “Well, that for the rocky cliffs, which are a barrier to the surrounding area, much like a coral reef.” I was told.

Waterpocket folds, a massive warp in the earth’s crust, describes Capitol Reef’s walls, these are sandstone layers that are eroded by moisture and over time erode the rock layers. The many layers have millions of years of history that reveal several different ancient climates as varied as ocean and swamps to Sahara like desert.

This area was called the “Land of the Sleeping Rainbow” by Navajo Indians because of its bright multicolored walls and twisting canyons. The earliest traces of human activity here have been dated to 700 AD when the Fremont and Anasazi people occupied the area. The Fremont culture was named for the Fremont River and its valley where many of their sites have been discovered.

A visit to Capitol Reef National Park in Utah is worth the journey for both its natural and cultural history, but before coming remember this is considered a remote area. Plan your trip carefully by gassing up before you leave the main highway, carry drinking water and bring food to snack on. The town of Torrey on the West Side of the park is about 3 A� hours south of Salt Lake City.

To learn more about Butch Cassidy’s years spent here, check out “Outlaw Trail, the story of Butch Cassidy” by Charles Kelly.…

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Universal Studios in Singapore – Top-Notch Entertainment Themed Tourist Attraction

Universal Studios in Singapore – Top-Notch Entertainment Themed Tourist Attraction

Located on the small island of Sentosa, Universal Studios in Singapore offers world-class entertainment and wonderful shopping. It is the only place in Singapore that allows you step directly into the movies. The park features many entertainment experiences and movie-themed attractions.

Visitors to Universal Studios in Singapore will love the Far Far Away Land, where fairly tales come true. This section of the park features tall stone walls surrounding a courtyard with pavilion. Some of the rides and shows available in this magical land include an interactive live show with Shrek’s Donkey, A Shrek Adventure in 4-D, the Enchanted Airways junior rollercoaster and the Magic Potion Spin, which is a Ferris wheel located in the Fairy Godmother’s Potion Shop.

Movie buffs will love stopping by Universal Studio’s Lost World and WaterWorld parks. This section features dinosaurs and live action stunt shows. The live water show in the WaterWorld center features sensational live action stunts and explosions. The Jurassic Park themed Rapids Adventure takes guests down a thrilling rapid ride where they are attacked by dinosaurs. There is also the Canopy Flyer, which provides a pre-historic fly-over of the Jurassic Park and the Amber Rock Climb, where junior archeologists can scale the walls and search for fossils. Young children can also pilot their own Pteranodon on the Dino-Soarin’ ride.

Universal Studios also features a life-sized rendition of Hollywood, where visitors can step onto the Walk of Fame and walk the Hollywood Boulevard. The Madagascar zone is modeled after the movie, where kids can go on a magical river boat ride with the Madagascar animals on the Crate Adventure or check out King Julien’s Beach Party Go-Round. Sci-Fi fans will love the Sci-Fi City. This city of the future contains a vibrant metropolis of the future and an intergalactic battle of good versus evil. Visitors can ride the large dueling roller coasters of the BattleStar Galactica Human or Cylon rides. The Accelerator takes riders on a whirling and twirling ride.

Visitors can also take a trip to the grandest city in the Americas by stopping by the New York zone. Here the guests can experience the classic landmarks and sights of New York City. They will also find access to the Lights, Camera, Action program hosted by Steven Spielberg. This event turns an empty sound stage into a full blown hurricane in just a few minutes. Finally visitors to Universal Studios in Singapore can visit the Ancient Egypt zone, where they are transported to 1930’s Egypt. Here visitors can explore the Golden Age of Egyptian Discovery and see ancient pyramids and obelisks. The Revenge of the Mummy is an indoor dark rollercoaster that outruns scarab beetles and warrior mummies. Treasure Hunters allows kids to drive their own jeeps into an abandoned excavation site.

Universal Studios in Singapore offers visitors plenty of shopping and dining experiences in addition to their entertainment tours. No trip to Singapore would be complete without stopping by Universal Studios to take in the sights and sounds of the world of movies.…

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Rwanda, the Most Magical Safari Destination

Rwanda, the Most Magical Safari Destination

Renowned for the Mountain Gorillas, Rwanda is a lush country of endless mountains and stunning scenery. It is a small landlocked country situated in the Equatorial region of Africa and lies on the eastern rim of the Albertine Rift, a western arm of the Great Rift Valley between Africa’s two Grand River systems: the Nile and the Congo. It is bounded on the north by Uganda, on the east by Tanzania, on the south by Burundi, and on the west by the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Geography – Rwanda is a photographer’s paradise with a variety of landscapes; the valleys and peaks combine with the skyline to produce captivating moods. Much of the country’s terrain is dramatically mountainous, the highest peak being Karisimbi at 4,507m, part of the volcanic Virunga chain in the northwest. The average elevation of the plateau is about 1.700 m. The country is Africa’s most densely populated, and heavily cultivated with even the steepest hills outside of conservation areas. Rwanda has a rich culture with its second city, Butare, having one of the finest cultural museums in Africa.

Lake Kivu in the Albertine Rift is a beautiful inland sea enclosed by steep terraced hillsides. Several other lakes are situated around the country including Burera, Muhazi, Ruhondo and Mugasera, all of which have erratic shapes following the contours of the steep mountains, which enclose them.

The Biodiversity – Rwanda prides in its rich biodiversity that has a number of unique delights to offer to its visitors. The mountain gorillas remain the country’s best known tourist attraction in the Volcanoes National Park of the Virunga volcanoes.

There is more to Rwanda than the mountain gorillas, however. The shores of Lake Kivu have some of the best inland beaches in Africa. Deep in the southwest, Nyungwe Forest National Park is the largest montane forest in Central Africa, renowned for its large troops of colobus monkeys and rich variety of orchids.

Akagera National Park is a savannah park which plays host to numbers of elephants, hippo and crocodiles in the Akagera River. There are a large variety of birds especially in the forested areas and water-logged sites.…

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Wristbands For Park Admissions

Wristbands For Park Admissions

Lost wristband issues can happen, especially when using paper bands that weaken when they come in contact with moisture or rip if pulled too hard. Although these can stand up to mild abuse, for a full day or longer of activity, there is a good chance for a tear. When choosing the best option for your water park customers, consider the benefits of plastic wristbands.

Always keep your visitor’s comfort in mind. Paper wristbands can wrinkle, especially when worn on water rides or while swimming. Torn ends may become an annoyance to the wearer. Plastic wristbands, on the other hand, won’t tear or wrinkle. Even when submerged, the wristband will dry quickly while remaining flat. That also leaves less room for wristbands to become caught on clothing or objects. A soggy wristband can be very uncomfortable, especially once the wearer has changed into dry clothing.

Plastic wristbands are far more durable than any other variation. No amount of moisture will cause plastic to dissolve or tear while being worn. This makes them ideal for water amusements and outdoor activities. Minimize the frustrating problem of a lost wristband by opting for a sturdy plastic design that will stay firmly attached to the wrist no matter how many water slides the wearer braves!

Present a style that your water park visitors will love to wear. Plastic wristbands offer vibrant color that will last, even when moist. If wristbands must be worn for more than one day, make sure they look just as attractive as they did from the beginning of the event! Plastic wristbands will not fade or yellow like paper variations do. These bands are a requirement for your guests’ to enjoy rides and amusements, so make sure each wristband remains just as eye-catching as it did when it was first strapped on!

Paper can hold moisture and collect foreign substances over time. Plastic, on the other hand, can be wiped clean with no problem. This is especially true if wristbands must be worn through water sprays and splashing. Keep the wearer clean by using solid plastic wristbands that can be sanitized easily. Even lotion, hand soap, and dirt can be rinsed or wiped off of the smooth plastic surface without much difficulty.

Plastic wristbands offer durability, comfort, and cleanliness that your water park visitors will enjoy. Let them worry less about losing their admission and more about the many attractions your park offers. Plastic wristbands can withstand the elements all without losing their attractive coloration or printed design!…