Category Archives: North America

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10 Cheap Things To Do In Florida

Florida vacation 1960A trip to Florida is an opportunity for the holiday of a lifetime. With unrivaled opportunities to soak up sea, sun, scenery and local culture, there are things to do in Florida for every type of vacationer.

Trips abroad often have a large price tag – but it’s important to remember that cost is not as important as value.

Here are ten of the best cheap attractions in Florida to help you make the most of your trip, don’t forget that you can usually find Orlando theme park tickets for a discount online or buy them when you are at the gate:

Orlando Science Center
Science and technology take centre stage at this experience-based museum.
Price: Adults $17; seniors aged 55 or over $16; children 3-11 £12.

Titanic: The Experience
Take a walk through the infamous liner in the world’s first permanent Titanic exhibition, which offers a one-hour guided tour.
Price: Adults $19.95; seniors $17.95; children 3-11 $12.95; under 3s free.

Harry P. Leu Gardens
The garden collections on show at this scenic Orlando attraction are some of the most beautiful and extensive in the US and the world.
Price: Adults $7; children up to 12th grade $2; Monday 9am to noon – free entry.

Princeton Park and College Park Pool
If you’re looking for something a little more active, this site offers a basketball court, swimming pool and fitness equipment, as well as stunning scenery.
Price: Free

Cocoa Beach
What would a trip to Florida be without spending some time on its famed beaches? Renowned for its beautiful sand and amazing surf, Cocoa Beach is a good place to start and it’s located in close proximity to a range of family villas at Davenport Lakes, meaning added convenience for holiday-goers.
Price: Free

Kissimmee Manufacturers’ Mall
If discounted fashions and gadgets are up on your agenda, or you just want to cast your eye over the offerings, this outlet shopping centre will be your dream.
Price: free (apart from your purchases of course!)

Dr. James R. Smith Neighborhood Center
Among the 22 acres of this visitor attraction are shade, trees, spray pool, as well as atmospheric lighting and picnic tables for you to relax among.
Price: free

Clear Lake Park
Fancy a bit of fishing in the great outdoors? Even if you’re not a fan of heading out from the dock, there’s plenty to keep you busy.
Price: free

Orange County Historical Museum
Gain an insight into the history of the sunshine state through this amazing museum, which brings the lives of past central Florida residents to life.
Price: free – donations welcome

Club Firestone
Looking for some action after dark? Club Firestone is housed in a 1920s-built venue and renowned for being one of Florida’s largest dance arenas.
Price: covers from $5 – plus cocktails!

Things to do in Boston Thinkstock / iStockphoto

Where To Go Vintage Shopping in Boston

You may think you know where to go in Boston, but do you know where to go vintage shopping in Boston? Read on!

Boston Downtown [ThinkStock - iStockphoto]

Vintage shopping is experiencing something of a renaissance at the moment, both in the UK and across the pond. So, if you’re planning your next shopping trip to the US, vintage stores should definitely be on your radar. Personally, my ideal destination is Boston, simply because as well as having great vintage outlets, it’s also got bags of culture, which means you can intersperse shopping trips with visits to historical attractions.

Below, I’ve listed some of what I think are the best places to shop vintage in Boston.

Poor Little Rich Girl

Where: 166 Newbury Street, Back Bay, Boston

Since the first Poor Little Rich Girl store was opened back in April 2002, it has established quite a following. In fact, there are now three stores to choose from in the Boston area, including Back Bay, Somerville and Cambridge.

What I like about Poor Little Rich Girl is that it’s got some noticeable differences from your average vintage clothing shop. For instance, it stocks some labels that you may well recognise, while it also has a boutique-esque feel. Another thing I like is the fact that it’s reasonably priced (well, who wouldn’t?), so you really feel like you’re getting value for money, as well as beautiful clothes and accessories.

where to go Boston Thinkstock Photodisk

Urban Renewals

Where: 122 Brighton Avenue, Allston

If you’re hoping to come across a few bargains, Urban Renewals is definitely the place to go. This warehouse-like shop is very basic in terms of its appearance, which of course goes some way to making it that little bit more wallet-friendly for patrons.

There’s a little bit of everything here, including men’s and women’s clothing, as well as a decent selection of homeware. In a space like this it’d be quite easy for things to be hard to find, but the staff do an excellent job of organisation, which means it’s actually nice and simple to locate what you’re looking for.

Bobby from Boston

Where: 19 Thayer Street, South End, Boston

Bobby from Boston is a wonderful little vintage store over on Thayer Street. Predominantly selling men’s clothes, it also stocks a small but well-chosen selection of women’s apparel. Its dark-wood interior is home to a large collection of men’s shoes, as well as bags and hats.

I think this store has a great atmosphere, being crowded as it is with great vintage items everywhere you look. And, despite the fact that the shop if definitely very full, it doesn’t look messy and disorganised – just interesting. In fact, there are so many tempting things all over the place that it’s difficult to know exactly where to look first!

Raspberry Beret

Where: 1704 Massachusetts Avenue, Porter Square, Cambridge

A fairly new addition to the vintage store circuit, Raspberry Beret is a great find. It gets new stock in virtually constantly, which means there’s always something new to browse, and its selection of dresses is particularly good.

This is also a brilliant place to come if you fancy finding yourself some new shoes or accessories, with many people claiming that these are what the store really shines for. Costume jewellery is a particular high point here, so if you’re into bold looks, you can’t go far wrong.

Copper Canyon Mexico by Eli Duke

Mexico: spectacular blend of science and nature

Many people head to Mexico for sun and sand – but not me. Well, not entirely anyway! What most excites me about Mexico is its amazing natural attractions, from its rainforests and cenotes to gigantic canyons and dazzling marine life. I think that discovering these is an essential part of making sure your trip to Mexico is the holiday of a lifetime.

To give you an indication of just how wonderful the landscape here is, scientists have long been flocking to the destination for research purposes. You see, the sheer variety of environments and life here is truly staggering – think volcanoes, reefs, deserts, caves, 50 national parks, nearly 30,000 species of flowering plants, 1,000 species of birds… I could go on. Of course, while all this is great in terms of scientific learning, it also creates the perfect basis for a luxurious holiday of discovery and adventure! Below, I’m going to give you a few useful tips on things to do and see during your stay.

Copper Canyon

Copper Canyon Mexico by Eli Duke

Let’s start with one of my personal favourites, Copper Canyon. You’ll find this in the state of Chihuahua, tucked away in the Tarahumara Mountains. Also known as Las Barrancas del Cobre, Copper Canyon is so-named for the greenish copper colour of its canyon walls – but this somewhat unusual hue is hardly the only amazing thing about the place.

What really strikes me about the canyon is its size. Spanning some 59,545 km in total, this network is actually longer than the Grand Canyon in the US, which should give you a pretty clear picture of just how incredible it is. Plus, the whole area is not only awash with stunning natural attractions, but it’s also the home to several indigenous peoples who have made the canyons their home.

You can get here via a train line called the Chihuahua al Pacifico, which covers 628 km in total. The best way to explore the area is, without doubt, by taking a guided tour. The beauty of doing so is that you can select one that’s relevant to your interests. For example, you could opt to go horse riding, or instead pay a visit to the second tallest falls in Mexico, the Basaseachi Waterfalls at 245 m high.

Scuba diving…

One of my favourite things about Mexico is that it’s just as beautiful below the water as it is above. Whether you’re an experienced diver, would like to learn or would prefer to stick to snorkelling, you simply can’t miss the landscape beneath the waterline. And, since there is an absolutely huge range of dive sites to choose from, you should have plenty of opportunity to go exploring. As an example, the ever-popular holiday resort of Cancun has 24 diving spots alone .

If you fancy seeing sunken shipwrecks, though, you should take a trip to either the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic coast, where there are many. Personally, I think the Parques Marino Nacional Arrecifes de Cozumel is a pretty unbeatable place to go, being home to part of the second largest coral reef system in the world.

… and other attractions in Cozumel

An added advantage of going to Cozumel is that it features lots of other spectacular landscapes that are just waiting to be discovered. For instance, it is where you’ll find Chankanaab Park, where you can meet sea lions, dolphins and manatees. Plus, this park also has spectacular botanical gardens. Take a stroll through these and you can see plants from more than 20 countries – a truly amazing display.