Summer Fun for the Winter Weary: Off-Season Rates Make a Summer Vacation Affordable

By Kinnon, Joy Bennett | Ebony, May 1998 | Go to article overview

Summer Fun for the Winter Weary: Off-Season Rates Make a Summer Vacation Affordable


Kinnon, Joy Bennett, Ebony


Off-season rates make a summer vacation affordable

Ah, summer ... remember when it seemed six months long and when there were only two real seasons that counted--summer and Christmas? Get that feeling back this summer with the array of vacation options available stateside side and seaside, at home and abroad, from your back door to the world's front door.

Summer is back again and it's time to get off the treadmill and slow down. When schedules ease, time is just there for the wasting. No more pencils, no more books, or computers or calculators either for that matter. It's time to rest, rejuvenate and have fun.

Planning to have fun is half the fun. So get together with your partner, family or travel buddy and plan your dream vacation. Bargains abound and an effortless search can mean surplus vacation dollars for heavy spending later. Don't overlook the Internet travel guides (new ones are added frequently), newspaper advertisements and vacation specials through car rental and ear insurance agencies, credit card companies and airlines. Your company credit union may offer discount tickets to local and national attractions.

Many air carriers, such as American and Southwest, offer special discount vacation packages that combine air travel, car rental, and hotel accommodations in one package. British West Indies Airlines (BWIA) and other air carriers regularly offer bargain rates to the Caribbean Islands, Florida and other vacation playgrounds. Reputable travel agents can be very helpful in facilitating that dream vacation and providing information on hot vacation spots and bargain travel deals.

So where's your first stop? Probably not far from home since summer is the season of festivals, fireworks, food fests, block parties, art shows and amusement parks.

Who has more fun than kids at an amusement park? No one--so start your vacation at one of the many amusement parks near your home. On the West; Coast, Disneyland in Southern California launches its total renovation of Tomorrow-land, one of the park's eight themed lands, on May 22. A new ride, the "Astro Orbitor," will greet guests at the entrance. Also featured in the extensive renovation project is an interactive pavilion of technology and imagination.

Most Americans live within a day's drive of amusement parks, which provide mini-vacations for the whole family. In addition to thrill rides, amusement parks offer other attractions. The Six Flags park in St. Louis also highlights its annual Gospel Family Day on May 16, featuring the Grammy Award-winning group God's Property, Fred Hammond and the Mississippi Mass Choir.

Missouri calls itself the Gateway to the West, and from the St. Louis Gateway Arch to its bayou-like lowlands, the "Show Me State" is eager to show travelers a good time. From hot barbecue to cool jazz, Missouri offers diverse and exciting destinations like? the first museum in the country devoted exclusively to jazz, the Kansas City` Jazz Museum, and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, both in the historic 18th and Vine district.

Further down the Mississippi more warm smiles, Southern hospitality and cities with cultural celebrations beckon. Georgia has Southern coastal shores and big-city lights. Atlanta, for example, is brimming with African-American heritage and just plain fun. Stroll through the Sweet Auburn historic district on your way to the Apex Museum with its African art as well as contemporary work by noted local artists. The King Center provides daily tours and significant milestones in the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement. The 1998 National Black Arts Festival from July 10-19 will offer art exhibits, concerts, lectures and more.

After Atlanta, don't miss the variety of doings in other Georgia locations like Macon. The annual Pan-African Festival is scheduled for May 9. A visit to Savannah's inviting RiverwaLk and historic district will sweeten your Southern wanderings like a good peach cobbler. …

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