Top 10 things to do in Rio de Janeiro, according to FlightHub

Rio de Janeiro is called “Cidade Maravilhosa” or “The Marvellous city.” One might wonder how Rio got that nickname but you only have one of two choices: Read information on the internet or travel and experience the marvellous city yourself.

According to, the best time to visit Rio de Janeiro is within the month of December, January, February and March for the best weather condition.

Now without further ado, here are the top ten things to do in Rio de Janeiro.

1. Football is big in Rio, they don’t consider it a hobby, they consider it as a part of their life. If you’re a football player, make sure to play with the locals, may it be on grass, concrete or the beach. Make sure to catch a game in the Macaraña Stadium and see what the hype is all about. The stadium is also powered by energy from the sun using solar panels. The people in Rio are devoted to the teams they support, from the day they were born, it’s in their blood to cheer for their beloved team may it be the Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Fluminense or Botafogo.


2. Now for the most common thing to do or rather place to visit. The Christ Redeemer statue is a manifestation of human art and faith. Millions of people visit the attraction yearly. They climb the Corcovado mountain using their vehicles to reach the top and gaze upon the panoramic view of the city.


3. Just like football, Samba is a big part of the locals’ life. The dancing style and music genre Samba originated from Brazil, most brazilians practice it as a musical expression. There are several Samba dance classes in Rio, one in particular is the session in the Ipanema Studio.


4. Rio de Janeiro is home to amazing beaches and resorts in all of Brazil. Find leisure and relaxation by visiting either the Ipanema beach house, walk on the beach hostel or Copacabana beach. The area might be crowded as the day goes by, so make sure to arrive early and mark your spot.


5. The Nightlife in Rio can be pretty wild with the blasting music, alcohol and people having fun. The best place to party during the night is the Lapa Neighborhood with its vibrant style. Visit famous nightclubs like Rio Scenarium which has the best facilities to rave and private tables for taking a break. The Rio Scenarium is also a hotspot for samba performances. It was ranked the number 1 nightclub on Previous travelers said that Rio Scenarium is one of the most stylish bars they’ve ever been in and that it’s a great stop for tourists. If you’re looking for blues and jazzy beats, visit Champanheria club instead for a more calm ambiance.


6. Find time to see the view of the majestic Sugarloaf mountain? The mountain is famous worldwide for its cableway that can support almost 65 passengers. The cable car has a glassed-wall so people can enjoy a full scenic, sublime view of the city. It travels a short distance from the Pao de Acucar peak to the Morro da Urca for almost 20 minutes.


7. Make your way to the Lagoa Neighborhood to experience the Rio de Janeiro lifestyle at its best. The neighborhood is famous because its surrounds the lagoon called Lagoa Rodrigo de Freitas. One of the oldest bars in Rio is the Bar Lagoa with its art deco interior design.


8. Explore the urban forest in the Tijuca National Park and hike the stiff mountain landforms to reach Rio’s highest peak, the Pico da Tijuca. The park is a green paradise field with giant trees that envelops most of the park.


9. Seek satisfaction at the famous Alessandro e Frederico restaurant. The restaurant was ranked number 1 on, most of the reviews gave a perfect 5 star rating complementing the delicious pizzas and flavorful wines. World renowned italian chefs Fabrizio Giuliodori and Gennaro Cannone prepare all meals with fresh ingredients and perfection.

Alessandro e Frederico restaurant

10. Appreciate a wide collection of arts by visiting famous galleries and museums scattered all over the city. They have the Museu de Arte do Rio that displays historical photos about human life captured by famous photographers. Rio is also home to one of the cultural centers of the cultural organization Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil. The center hosts some of the best theater performances, films, musical presentations and visual arts preserving the rich culture and heritage of Brazil.


This list presents 10 things to do in the city, Rio offers so much more for different aspects and interest. Travelers who have visited Rio before are saying that their experience was unforgettable and that they can’t wait to visit the city once more.

Hope you guys had a great time reading this review for Rio de Janeiro.

If you’re having a hard time budgeting your money for your trip. Consider booking with for flight deals and hotel reservations. Flighthub offers great deals for flight deals to Rio de Janeiro. Remember, it’s a lot better to have more money during your trip not before you buy your plane ticket.

Why India May Soon Be the World’s Top Travel Destination

India has always offered a wealth of treasures to its visitors. The stunning Mughal architecture, incomparable natural beauty, and exceptional foodhave drawn travelers for centuries. India’s recent emergence as a technological and economic world power provides new and compelling reasons for travel as well. Keep reading to find out why India is the hottest destination in the world.

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Technological Boom

The Indian technology and services industry is on track reach $225 billion in revenue by 2020, and it will change the economic face of the country. India has quickly emerged as the second largest mobile phone market in the world, and there’s still plenty of room for growth: Almost 20% of the population (800 million people) still lack internet access.

Facebook’s recently started offering free mobile internet service to many in India who would not otherwise be able to afford it. Both startups and tech giants are increasingly interested in India as a new market base, and many are using it as a testing ground for new software and features.

Mark Zuckerberg himself is also invested in India’s technological growth and deepening the connection between India and Silicon Valley. When Facebook was foundering in its early stages, Zuckerberg took the advice of his mentor Steve Jobs and visited a temple in India. The trip inspired him to double down in his efforts, much as Jobs’ seven month Indian excursion inspired him to launch Apple in 1976.

Would-be tech entrepreneurs looking to recreate the success of Facebook and Apple will be drawn to India, and it’s never been easier for them to make the trip. India’s strong and lasting connection with Silicon Valley will be cemented with a recently announced direct flight from San Francisco to New Delhi. Operated by Cathay Pacific, the flight will run three times a week, and in the words of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, it will unite “two great cultural and economic centers of the world.”

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Travel Boom

The new flight is part of a general increase in Indian travel: India welcomed 7.68 million visitors in 2014 and expects more this year. Indians themselves are also traveling more frequently. In 2014, 9.6 million Indians traveled internationally, up from 3.5 million only a decade ago. Part of the growth is due to the rise of travel agencies designed exclusively for women. Groups like Women on Wanderlust organize women-only groups that travel within India and internationally, providing a safe and supportive community of female travelers.

India is also experiencing a huge expansion in air travel that will making getting around the country vastly easier for both residents and visitors. Over 20 airlines are currently operating in India, six of which have started flying in the last year alone. The proliferation of options has led to lower fares, making it very cost-effective to travel around India by plane. Domestic air travel is up 19% from last year, giving India has the highest growth in domestic air travel in the world.

It’s also easier to get a visa to India as of this August. Over 100 new countries, including the United States, are now eligible for e-Visas to enter India. Rather than waiting in long lines to apply in person, visas are now accessible online. Processing time has been reduced from two weeks to four days, and the fee has been reduced to $60. The new visa system is part of an initiative by Prime Minister Narenda Modi to incorporate more technology into government and education.

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Wellness Boom

In 1968, The Beatles made a pilgrimage to an ashram in Rishikesh to study Transcendental Meditation. Their trip helped to introduce Eastern spirituality to the West and opened up the idea of India as a destination for enlightenment and spirituality. Since then, travelers seeking a holistic mind/body experience have come to India to practice yoga, pray at temples, and embrace meditation and mindfulness.

The explosion of yoga’s popularity has also helped to fuel travel in recent years. Yoga originated over 5,000 years ago as an eight-fold path to spiritual enlightenment, and asana, the series of postures that make up its physical branch, is now a $27 billion industry in the United States with more than 20 million practitioners.

To capitalize on the demand, many ashrams are offering packages for yogis to experience their discipline in its homeland. Sivananda Yoga Vedanta, for example, has put together a Yoga Vacation that involves two weeks of silent meditation, lectures, and yoga classes with vegetarian meals provided.

Now there’s no excuse not to book a trip to India. Flights are cheap, visas are easy, and there’s never been more to see and do in this fantastically beautiful country. Get a visa, book a flight, and prepare to experience travel nirvana.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on October 16, 2015.

Exploring Barbados’ Beaches: Crane Beach

How many beaches worldwide can be accessed by a glass-fronted beach elevator? How many boast elite list celebrities from the worlds of music, sport and entertainment? How many promise fabulous hotels a pebble throw from the crystal-blue water which are still faithful to their 19th century heritage? The answer is few, if any, but Crane Beach is an unusual beach in many ways.

The accolades picked up by its white sands and pristine waves are multiple, and befitting of a shore grandly titled by Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous as ‘One of the 10 Best Beaches in the World’. Those awards, plus the near-30 degree Celsius temperatures across the year, make the visit an unforgettable one.

According to its official website, the Bridgetown bay has been named as one of the ‘Top 50 Places to go Before You Die’ by BBC’s Holiday Programme, and among the ‘Top 25 sexiest Beaches in The World’ by The Travel Channel – a true highlight among highlights in the kind of list that one would find on websites such as How to Spend It.

A-list celebrities who are believed to have strolled its white/gold sand include Simon Cowell and the Beckhams, while native Bajan Rihanna stays with her mother nearby.

The waves can be gentle and perfect for beginners and families, but also pack enough power for boogie boarding. Swimming with turtles and snorkelling through shipwrecks are attractive activities, perhaps as part of day cruises through East Caribbean waters. Bridgetown itself, with a population of 110,000, is replete with remnants of the old Colonial era.

Landmarks include Independence Square and National Heroes Square, formerly known as Trafalgar Square and still overseen by a statue of Lord Nelson. Cricket fans might also savour a visit to Kensington Oval, site of the 2007 World Cup Final.

The Residences By The Sea as part of The Crane Hotel resort – a favourite with honeymooners – comprise one or two bedroom Ocean view rooms (or three-bedroom if you prefer the Penthouse). These feature hardwood or stone floors inside a spectacular façade with turrets and porticos in authentic Barbadian styling. Elsewhere are residences in The Park with private gardens and dining gazebos, historic residences featuring 200-year-old coral stone walls, and a collection of private villas further up the beach. If the allure of Crane Beach grabs you then the next step could be to consider an investment opportunity, or the purchase of an apartment.

Foodies will not be disappointed by the plethora of dishes that offer tastes of both the Orient and traditional Western and Barbadian fare. The former includes outstanding Japanese Nigiri Sushi, and Speciality Maki of freshly caught prawn, eel, scallops and squid at the Zagat-rated Zen restaurant. The latter means burgers, barbecued chicken, perhaps pan seared scallops and seared lack of lamb, or even a Sunday gospel breakfast buffet.

This is as desirable a location as one can imagine. You’ll wake up to the sound of waves and chattering frogs and insects in the undergrowth, and stroll along the beach under palm trees that sheltered holidaymakers from the present and pirates and personalities from the past. The food, the drink, the ambience, the sea sports and the experience make this a perfect taste of the Caribbean – and one which will leave you wanting more.

Top 5 Backpacking Destinations That You Need To Visit Soon!

If you’re on a budget, backpacking will enable you to see the world without spending a fortune. From Australia to Andorra, Chile to China, France to Fiji, the world is your oyster.
But what are the top 5 back packing destinations that you need to check out? Here’s our rundown.

1. Nepal

Experience mother nature and Asian culture in Nepal – the beautiful landlocked paradise that packs an almighty punch. Although a flight to Asia can be expensive for Brits travelling abroad, Nepal provides exceptionally good value for money, with scenic mountain resorts and world-famous temples like Manakamana and Pashupatinath. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind, but if you’re an adrenalin junkie, you’ll find plenty to keep you interested too. From the Kathmandu Valley to historic cities, Nepal should be at the top of the list of any backpacker-to-be. Book a flight and see for yourself!

2. USA

Ever fancied travelling Stateside? The United States is a massive landmass with some of the world’s biggest cities; there’s plenty to see, do and explore on your travels. From New York to Las Vegas, Chicago to Los Angeles, the United States is a modern backpacker’s destination for Brits who love the hubbub of city living. But if the great outdoors is more your thing, you’ll find plenty of beaches, woodland, wildlife and mountains; the USA is home to some of the world’s largest national parks after all. Whether it’s West Coast or East Coast, the USA offers an unrivalled experience for British backpackers who want to broaden their horizons, meet new people and embark on an adventure of a lifetime.

3. Thailand

One of the world’s premier destinations for backpackers, Thailand is rich in culture and natural beauty. From some of the most beautiful beaches in the world to the hustle and bustle of metropolis Bangkok, Thailand is a heady fusion of the classic and the contemporary. If you love Thai food, this is the destination for you; if you love to party, book a flight! Thailand won’t break the bank if you are looking for accommodation; hostels and hotels will suit every budget during your stay. For the best deals, check out

4. India

You might have seen India on countless documentaries or in the pages of travel brochures, but visiting this enormous country will certainly take your breath away. Here you’ll find dazzling skyscrapers in large, modern cities, as well as a plethora of natural landmarks that you need to see up-close. You’ll find getting around India is relatively straightforward, with a network of train tracks that criss-cross the country. Staying here is also pretty cheap, with lots of inexpensive restaurants and hotels.

5. Australia

With a culture similar to that of the UK, you’ll seem at home as soon as you step off the plane. Australia is ginormous – with several time zones and masses of desolate, unpopulated land. You’ll also be able to enjoy some of the largest cities in the Southern Hemisphere, such as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. In Australia, there’s always something to do, whether it’s visiting the mysterious Ayers Rock or going snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef.

Experience the glitz and glamour of the Melbourne Cup

A short guide to maximising your glam and fun party times at Melbourne Cup.

All standing for the National Anthem of Australia - 2013 Melbourne Cup
[Chris Phutully, on Flickr.]

Spring racing carnival is a beautiful time of the year for Melbournians. The harsh bite of winter has loosened its fangs and the first warm breezes begin to shimmy through the city, exciting and enticing the residents of Melbourne out to the streets once more. The warmth of the days heralds the arrival of the warmer months, and this is the perfect excuse for a party: The Melbourne Cup. As one of the only exciting events left on the Australian calendar for the year before the hullabaloo of Christmas and New Year’s begin to take hold, it’s definitely a time to let loose and to enjoy yourself. Men and women preen and primp for the weeks (and months) beforehand, working hard to ensure that they are at their very best. All the while, trainers and jockeys are training and working to put themselves and their majestic equine friends through their paces in the hopes of pulling the ultimate prize – the Melbourne Cup.

It’s a very magical time of the year in Australia and is a time that manages to captivate and enthral the entire nation for as long as the race manages to last for. Obviously, it’s in the interests of the competing parties that the race is over as quickly as possible, but for the excited punters and racegoers watching over televisions in bars and homes, and from the stands at Flemington Racecourse, there comes the feeling that the race might go on for a magically long time. If you’ve ever wanted to experience the glitz and glamour for yourself – and not just through the screen of your TV, then it might be your year this year to get yourself to Flemington and on to the green for the cup. Follow our quick and easy guide to ensuring that you are completely race-day ready for the Melbourne Cup and anything she might throw at you!

Get Race-Day Ready
Got a standard beauty routine? Get ready to ramp it up just a little – and then just a little bit more. You are certainly wanting to be going for the ‘less is more’ aesthetic but with a bit more longer and harder-wearing than you might usually be used to. After all, you’re going to be out and about in heels and a pretty dress for the vast majority of the day, so you need to make sure your tan, nails, hair and outfit are ready to stand the test of time. There are any number of salons and beauty therapists who will jump at the chance to help you with your race-day preparations, so get in touch early to ensure you don’t miss out.

Understand how to place a bet
One of the fun parts of going along to the Melbourne Cup is placing a bet or ‘having a flutter’. When you’re in the environment of the races it’s a lot of fun to put some money on a horse and see how it goes – and it can also add to the excitement of watching a race, if you know that there’s a chance you might win some money as a result of it. Either learn online or ask a friend who knows what they are doing and get them to show you the ropes.

Live it up in style
When the Melbourne Cup beckons you should answer it in style! Think about getting a lavish hotel room, think about getting a limo and think about getting only the best champagne – and then stop thinking about it and just do it! There’s not really a better excuse to get down and splurge with your best friends, so soak it up when you can.

The keys to your beautiful Melbourne Cup Day experience are to get race-day ready, to organise things in advance and to ensure that you have a special touch of glam. Oh, and that you’re clued in on how to place a bet.

Top 5 Autumn City Breaks

Summer may have gone, but it also means the tourists and sweltering heat have gone too! It is why autumn is the perfect time to take a break to one of THE big cities. In summer a trip to a museum can be hard work because of the crowds, while booking a reservation at a fine restaurant is often impossible. Not in autumn! Everything is more accessible and this makes things more fun to do. Here are the top 5 cities to visit during autumn.

1. To Paris With Love
Paris is especially beautiful in the autumn. It is the perfect time of year for a romantic stroll along the Seine, when the trees are yellow and there is a crisp chill in the air. It’s also a great time to visit the wonderful attractions Paris has to offer, from the Eiffel Tower to The Arc de Triomphe. The only downside is it can be an expensive city to stay in, but it doesn’t have to be as there are lots of affordable and fabulous Paris holiday lettings available for rent. Paris is the perfect city for an autumn romance!

2. Take A Bite Of The Big Apple
Autumn is the perfect time to head to New York. A stroll through Central Park or a trip to see the Statue of Liberty is a joy as the weather is so pleasant at this time of year. It’s also the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping, as the shops are second to none! From Macy’s to the trendy boutiques in Soho, you are spoilt for choice. And then there’s Broadway to enjoy with all its fabulous shows. No wonder they call it the city that never sleeps when there’s so many wonderful things to do.

3. Go Double Dutch
Amsterdam in the autumn is just stunning and so romantic. The canals are the perfect setting for an amorous walk or cycle ride. And you will find lots of cool cafes to duck into and many great museums to enjoy. If you love your art the Rijksmuseum is a great place to visit. It has over 400 masterpieces, including paintings by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh. Van Gogh even has his own museum, which has over 700 drawings and paintings on show. Amsterdam is a great place to find the perfect mix of culture and romance.

4. Don’t Be A Sauerkraut
Berlin’s beautiful autumnal scenery makes it a stunning place to visit. It is also a great time to go to attractions like The Brandenburg Gate or The Berliner Dom. If you want culture there are more than fifty museums to enjoy. It’s also a great place for some retail therapy – the KaDeWe is Germany’s equivalent of Harrods. And it would be remiss not to mention Berlin’s infamous nightlife; from hipster bars to techno clubs there is something for every taste!

5. It’s London Baby!
Autumn is the perfect time to explore London. The crowds have gone and the Tube isn’t as hot as hell. One of the world’s most vibrant cities, there is always something to do – you can catch a West End show; shop till you drop on Oxford Street; visit the Palaces and world famous museums; view the stunning skyline on the London Eye; go to a Premier League football match – the list is endless! The great thing about London in autumn is there are so many fantastic London holiday lettings to choose from. London has always been the place to be!

Things to do in Sydney at night

Even when the sun goes down and takes with it the wonderful views, Sydney still retains much of its charm. With plenty of entertainment options, diverse dining opportunities and varied watering holes, there’s no slowing down for Sydney after dark. If you are thinking of trading Sydney’s million dollar views during daytime for city’s skyline at night, here are a few activities you can indulge in.

Gaze at the stars at the Sydney Observatory

On occasion, the Sydney Observatory hosts night time tours for a $14 fee. Head to the observatory during after hours and view the stars and planets in dark night backdrop. There’s also a 3D space theatre and planetarium which allows visitors to make enquiries from astronomy educators on-site in order to learn more about the meteorological and astronomical objects on display. The night tours in Sydney Observatory must be booked in advance.

Wine and dine at The Rocks

The Rocks is one of Sydney’s oldest precincts, which enjoys spectacular views of its heritage listed sites. It is home to several water holes, bars, traditional pubs and old-style buildings. Whether you’re looking to have a cocktail in The Argyle, enjoy a schnitzel at Lowenbrau or wining and dining at any other spot, The Rocks comes to life after sundown.

Feast on Vietnamese cuisine in Cabramatta

This spot is one hour’s drive from Sydney and is the perfect place to feast on authentic South-East Asian food, culture and mingle with colorful locals. There’s a wide variety of restaurants to choose from and most of them offer Vietnamese Cuisine.

People watch in Circular Quay

Circular Quay is the pace to be if you want to marvel at the city’s skyline or the harbor. There are other things to do here including dining at any of the restaurants by the water, drink at the acclaimed Opera Bar or simply take a stroll and enjoy the best views as you take in the beauty of the historic buildings.

Spend the evening at the Darling Harbor

This is one of the most popular nightspots in Sydney and understandably so. With waterside fireworks every weekend and more than 24 restaurants, bars as well as entertainment venues, there’s something for everyone. Whether you are looking to take a stroll or splurge on a harbor side dinner, the Darling Harbor is worth your time in the evening.

Visit Chinatown

Located just a few blocks from George Street, Chinatown is packed with plenty of Asian eateries. The options range from darling dumpling spots, sushi trains, trendy wine bars and cheap Chinese restaurants. If you have time on a Friday, head to Chinatown as it hosts night market decked out with stalls and lanterns offering plenty of cheap Asian cuisine including sushi, teppanyaki, pho and more.

Spoil yourself with room service

Do your stay in style in one of the best Sydney luxury entertainment hotels. Spoiling oneself a little never hurt anyone. As such, there’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of the room service at staying in the room.

High Flying: Most Popular Pot Destinations By Budget

Amsterdam was once a place where college kids and marijuana aficionados flocked in order to enjoy herb out in the open, eliciting no more than a glance from passersby. But the times, they are a-changin’. Now that marijuana is legal in five U.S. states and the District of Columbia, American pot smokers need not cross the pond for the experience.

According to Hipmunk airfare search data, Amsterdam has fallen from the #7 most-searched international destination in 2014 to #10 in 2015. We speculated it has something to do with domestic cities like Denver and Portland (both of them) joining the small group of pro-ganja cities.

We took a look at Hipmunk data to see if there was an increase in flight searches shortly after Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, D.C. legalized marijuana back in November 2014. And there was.

Increase in Share of Searches on Hipmunk From November 2013 to November 2014
Alaska 37%
Washington DC 21%
Colorado 19%
Oregon 15%


With so many more options and the Amsterdam government imposing stricter regulations on herb, we thought it’s time to outline all of your pot tourism destination options along with estimated budgets for each.

Pot-Friendly Vacation Destinations by Price
Destinations Average Flight Price Average Nightly Hotel Price Estimated Cost of a Weekend Trip for Two
Colorado $300 $174 $948
Oregon $362 $150 $1,024
Washington $370 $182 $1,104
Amsterdam $1269 $182 $2,902


We dug even deeper to bring you estimated weekend getaway pricing for popular cities in each of our domestic pot-friendly states.

Pot-Friendly Domestic Vacation Cities by Price
Cities Average Flight Price Average Nightly Hotel Price Estimated Cost of a Weekend Trip for Two
Yakima, WA $317 $110 $853
Denver, CO $275 $184 $918
Spokane, WA $395 $125 $1,039
Boulder, CO $275 $249 $1,048
Portland, OR $349 $178 $1,054
Colorado Springs, CO $424 $114 $1,076
Eugene, OR $419 $121 $1,080
Bend, OR $449 $130 $1,157
Seattle, WA $362 $241 $1,206
Aspen, CO $715 $310 $2,049
Vail, CO $715 $365 $2,160


Did we miss your favorite 420 destination? Or have you traveled to one of these locations to take a toke? Let us know in the comments below.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on October 7, 2015.

The Four Best Day Trips for Fall Visitors to Seattle

For visitors to the Pacific Northwest this fall, there is no shortage of activities in Seattle, the region’s largest and fastest-growing city. Baseball fans can check out a Mariners game, foodies can stroll around Pike Place Market for hours, and brave souls unafraid of heights can take in the unparalleled view from the Space Needle. But travelers who find themselves with free time, and with access to a car, may want to consider the following four day trips, which highlight the lush beauty unique to the Emerald City and the surrounding area, particularly in the Autumn season.

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The San Juan Islands:

About a three-and-a-half-hour drive north, the San Juan Islands are a must-see destination for out-of-towners. The San Juan Islands are composed of 172 individual islands, but four (San Juan Island, Orcas Island, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island) are served by ferries and feature activities for visitors. For wine aficionados, visiting San Juan Vineyards, located on the main San Juan Island, is well worth the drive –  their well-regarded wines have won many awards. Those with fond memories of the film Free Willy should also be sure to go whale watching while exploring the islands, with the best time for viewing occurring from late May to October. All four islands have hotels and inns for those wishing to stay overnight, with the Earthbox Inn and Spa offering the perfect ambiance to relax.

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North Cascades National Park:

Northwest of Seattle is the North Cascades National Park, which is about a four hour drive from the city. Many come here to camp, and the jagged peaks, engulfed by hundreds of glaciers nestled among cascading waters, ensure an unforgettable experience. No other U.S. park outside of Alaska contains as many glaciers, in addition to diverse wildlife: bald eagles, moose, bears, grey wolves, and more than 200 species of birds. If you’d prefer a day trip in the park as opposed to camping, try staying at the budget-friendly Red Roof Inn near the Seattle-Tacoma Airport (Sea-Tac).

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Olympic Peninsula:

Three hours west of Seattle is the Olympic Peninsula, home to temperate rainforests and the Olympic Mountains. There is no shortage of activities with fishing, sailing, boating, and hiking being among the most popular. The Peninsula is also famous for its lush scenery featured in Hollywood blockbusters like the Twilight series. Those wishing to stay in and around the peninsula have a plethora of options, while nearby Olympia offers budget-friendly hotels like Red Lion Hotel or the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites.

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Mt. Rainier National Park:

For aspiring mountain climbers, the three hour drive south to Mt. Rainier National Park is a must. Mt. Rainier is an iconic part of Washington state’s landscape, standing at 14,000 feet above sea level. An active volcano, Mt. Rainier has the largest glaciers in the U.S. outside of Alaska. Most climbers require two to three days to reach the summit, with experience in glacier travel and self-rescue required. About half of the 8,000-13,000 climb attempts per year are successful, so only the brave at heart should undertake the climb. Less experienced mountain climbers shouldn’t feel left out though, as the entire park is open for hiking, backcountry skiing, camping. Photographers should definitely pay a visit – you won’t see anything else like it in the U.S. Try staying in nearby Tacoma, at either the Hotel Murano or the Silver Cloud Inn, for affordable, modern luxury.

This post was posted by thehipmunk on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on September 23, 2015.

Experiencing great Irish cuisine in Waterford

Restaurants and pubs in Waterford

Irish food isn’t just about stew and potatoes. The country has a wide range of traditional tastes to suit every palate, whether you’re a vegetarian or eat a gluten free diet, and restaurants from practically every country can be found around Ireland. Unsurprisingly, the Irish capital Dublin has the most varied selection of restaurants around, but with the Michelin guide for 2016 just having been released, we wanted to try out something a little less predictable. We headed down to the Travelodge Waterford Hotel to explore one of Ireland’s lesser known culinary hotspots.

The longest inhabited city in all of Ireland, Waterford has had more than a millennium to develop some delicious tastes. County Waterford has more Michelin starred restaurants than practically any other area in Ireland (tying with Dublin), demonstrating just how incredible the area’s cuisine is. We’ve put together a guide to the best restaurants around Waterford along with a bit of information about what to see in this often overlooked Irish city.

In the 2016 Michelin Guide, two restaurants in County Waterford achieved the prestigious star award. While the Cliff House Restaurant is around an hour and a half from Waterford itself, the Copper Hen is just a 20 minute drive, or around 10 minutes from relaxing Tramore Beach. The Copper Hen’s menu excels when it comes to traditional Irish cuisine, with dishes like Irish beef and salmon along with a daily vegetarian option. The restaurant offers a set menu at a surprisingly low price, making it ideal for anyone wanting to try world-class cuisine on a budget.

Around the city of Waterford, you’ll find a range of great flavours, and we’ve recommended a few favourites here:

The Olive Tree: Perfect for quick eats, this authentic tapas bar serves up a selection of authentic Spanish dishes from paella to potato omelette tortillas. We definitely recommend checking out the chorizo frito con patatas y huevo (Fried potatoes and chorizo topped with a fried egg) for a real taste of Asturian cuisine, or try some vegetarian and fish-based options.

Momo: Definitely healthier than the average restaurant, Momo offers a range of delicious meals, with particular focus on fresh vegetable dishes. Try out some vegetable tempura, some local Irish lamb or put together a special sharing board to try a few different tastes!

Bodega: An innovative range of dishes focuses on local Irish produce, from Ireland’s famous seafood, lamb and beef to vegetarian dishes and a great wine menu. Celiac friendly options and delicious vegetarian choices like pumpkin burgers and goat cheese tarts make sure that Bodega stands out from the crowd.
We don’t have room to mention all the great Waterford restaurants you can find around the city, but rest assured that there’s something that totally suits your tastes.

Waterford’s Best Attractions

If you visit Waterford, you’ll find an impressive range of attractions, whether you’re interested in exploring over a thousand years of history or seeing something more modern. We’d definitely recommend starting off with a trip over to the three Waterford Museums, particularly the Medieval Museum.

Waterford’s arts scene is far more modern than you might expect from a city founded back in the 10th century. Theatres, galleries and festivals make for an ever changing experience, backed up with a genuinely unique atmosphere around the city. Waterford is absolutely ideal for a weekend break away from work: try some great food, take in a local play and relax in some beautiful natural areas like the Mount Congreve Gardens.

Our hotel was located just a few minutes from the city centre, making sure that we could get around the restaurants and attractions that Waterford had to offer. A lot of Waterford’s best dining can be done on a budget, so the low cost of the Travelodge hotel felt like a particularly good choice for our stay.