Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Florida Bargain Cities

According to the Global Business Travel Association, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers and West Palm Beach, Florida, have the three lowest tax rates in the U. S. for visitors.

Makes you itch to take a road trip, doesn't it?

For details on what to do and see and specials at hotels and resorts in these cities, go to

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hot deal on a Fiji getaway

Fiji from above.

Inspired by TV's Bachelorette, you can get a nine-day (two traveling) escape to one of Fiji's first-class resorts starting at $3,599.

Thirty-six hundred a person doesn't sound like a bargain, but read a little farther.

The destination is the five-star Namale Island Resort, not an el cheapo tourist spot, where you will spend seven nights in a romantic tropical bure, your own little grass shack, with all the comforts of a 21st century resort.

It's all-inclusive including breakfast, lunch, dinner and beverages (beer, wine, champagnes and liquor).

You'll each get a one-tank dive.

Included are coach fare from Los Angeles to Nadi and the flight from Nadi to Savu Savu plus the transfers from airport to hotel and surcharge fees.

Also the endearing friendliness and hospitality of the people of Fiji.

Catch? Travel dates are Nov. 1-Dec. 14.

Call 888-671-3982.

Tell them Wells World sent you.

To read more about vacationing in Fiji, go to the April and May posts on my other blog, Travel on the Level.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bargain Alert: Galapagos Steal of a Deal

Don't miss this.

The Galapagos Islands of Charles Darwin fame are to me the finest multi-generation destination in the world and should be atop anyone's bucket list.

AdventureSmith Explorations, announces a two-for-one special (cruise rate only in shared cabin) for four late summer / early fall departures in the Galapagos on the classic motor yacht Galapagos Evolution.

The Aug. 25-Sept. 4, Sept. 8-18, Sept. 15-25 and Sept. 22-Oct.1 packages which begin and end in colonial Quito, Ecuador, include an 8 day / 7 night Galapagos cruise, pre and post cruise Quito hotel accommodations, airport/hotel transfers, round trip flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands and a half day tour of the Quito's old town, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.

Departures (guaranteed when 16 guests have signed up for the program) start at $5,895 for the first traveler with the companion paying only $1,100 for extras (in-country air tickets, transit control card and park entrance fees) exclusive of the cruise rate. See:

For this same trip, guests may add a complimentary 4 night / 5 day Amazon adventure extension plus free extras valued at $600 per person if they forego the two-for-one offer and pay full price for the cruise. Bookings must be made by July 30.

Offers like this are rare in the Galapagos, especially during the popular months of August and September when temperatures are most pleasant for hiking and wildlife viewing.

Galapagos Evolution is designed to give travelers the sensation of stepping back into the Roaring Twenties aboard a cruise ship dedicated to guest luxury and style. It has 14 cabins and two suites for 32 passengers. A crew of 18 plus two naturalist guides and a cruise director accompany each sailing.

Phone: 800-728-2875 toll-free or 530-583-1775.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wells World on the Radio July 20, 2011

Hotter and Cheaper at King and Prince
 The hotter it gets, the cheaper it gets this summer at the grand King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort on St. Simons Island, GA.

Ocean front rooms drop from $235 a night July 27 and 28 (standard rooms $175) all the way to $209 a night Aug. 7-9.

Call the reservations office, 800-342-0212.

Cooler on Course in North Carolina
 The Waynesville Inn in the North Carolina Blue Ridge offers a Stay & Play deal through Aug. 31.

Accommodations for two, a round of golf per person and a full breakfast each morning from $119.

Phone 800-627-6250 or email

Opie Fans' Alert
Whistle your way to Mt. Airy, NC, home of the Andy Griffith Show, for the Mayberry Adventure Package.

A night at the Hampton Inn, transportation to Wally's Service Station and a tour of the historic town and Mayberry landmarks in a replica squad car from $139 a night.

Go to or call 336-789-5999.

Peanuttiest Festival
The S.C. Pelion Peanut Party celebrates its 30th year and the town of Pelion (20 miles SW of Columbia) celebrates its 100th Aug. 12-13.

Events begin with the blessing of the peanut pots at 5 p.m. Friday; up to 100 bushels will be cooked during the two-day family-oriented fest. The Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich Eating contest begins at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. Last year's winner downed 5 1/4 sandwiches in 3 minutes.

Go to for details.

Cheap Eats in Pittsburgh
For details, see July 18 post.
Atlanta Bargain
For details see July 19 post.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Atlanta Hotel Bargain

Car and kids (two up to age 18 with a pair of adults) stay free when you take advantage of The Emory Conference Center Summer Hotel Package. Rooms start at only $119 and include use of the Health Club and pools and free access to Emory's Fitness Center.

Added bonus: Not only are you surrounded by the serenity of a 26-acre forest preserve and the liveliness of the campus, you get up to four free tickets to the adjacent Michael C. Carlos Museum,  which houses the Southeast's largest collection of ancient Egyptian mummies and other treasures.

Tell me the kids won't love that.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Eat well and cheaply in Pittsburgh

Cities can be expensive but rarely have I encountered a city in the USA where you can eat better and cheaper downtown than in Pittsburgh, PA.

Head to "the Strip," a rectangle of international deliciousness along Smallman Street, Mulberry Way and Penn Avenue, between 16th and 23rd Streets,and bring cash. Few of the diners delis and grocery/cafes take plastic.

You won't need much; $10 will slake your thirst and fill your stomach.

Delis, bakeries, farmers' markets and street-side carts provide farm to fork take-away fare. If you want a sit-down meal try these.

Primanti Bros. The all-in-one, two-fisted meal was born here: meat of choice, cheese, tomatoes, coleslaw and french fries are piled between two slabs of Italian bread. It was a miners' and steelworkers' favorite back in the day; "strip" came from a former strip mine along here.

S&D Polish Deli. Snag a table in the back and settle in for delicate pierogis and filling stews and dumplings.

Pamela's P&G Diner. You might not catch the Obamas noshing on the crepe-like pancakes here, although they do whenever in the area, but you will join a host of locals for breakfast or lunch.

De Luca's. Feed the whole family on one of their 11 (!) egg omelets.

Read more:

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Innisbrook Summer Specials

 The Copperhead course.

The song was wrong: Mad dogs, Englishmen and golfers go out in the midday sun, especially with rates like those at Innisbrook, the Salamander resort in North Palm Harbor Florida.

The classic golf package starts at $109 per night which includes lodgings plus a round of golf for every night you stay.

You don't have to be a swinger to get a good deal. Other summer special resort packages include:

Pass on Your Gas Charges - Turn in your gas or airline receipt for up to a $75 resort credit. You won't be spinning your wheels while at Innisbrook because the package includes complimentary transport throughout the 900-acre facility plus free shuttle service to Caladesi Island, one of America's best beaches, and breakfast for two daily starting at $179 (valid through Sept. 5, 2011).

Call 800-492-6899 or go to for details on these and other packages.
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Safari in Namibia

13-Day Great Namibian Journey
from $7,232 per person (Save $1,000!), double occupancy

Through October 31, 2011, Premier Tours is offering $1,000-off the original price for bookings on its ultimate 13-day Namibian excursion ($7,332 per person, reduced from $8,232).

See the world's largest sand dunes in the Sossusvlei section of the Namib-Naukluft Park, home to springbok, gemsbok, ostrich, bat-eared fox, aardwolf, and numerous other species.

Explore the dramatic Skeleton Coast by ground and by air, and visit the picturesque port towns of Walvis Bay and Swakopmund and the seal colonies of Cape Cross.

Witness the majestic black rhino in Damarland and spot African game both big and small on the white saltpans of the Etosha National Park. Days of watching wildlife end with nights of sleeping soundly at some of Namibia's most comfortable lodge accommodations.

The package, which is valid until October 31, 2011, includes:

• Two nights at Kulala Desert Lodge in the heart of the Sossusvlei, Namib Desert
• Two nights at Hansa Hotel in coastal Swakopmund
• One night at Damarland Camp
• Two nights at Desert Rhino Camp in Damarland
• Two nights in tented accommodation in the Ongava Game Reserve just outside the Etosha National Park
• Three nights at Skeleton Coast Research Camp
• All meals
• Ground transportation and light aircraft charters (with optional international airfares add-ons available)

For more information call Premier Tours at 1-800-545-1910 or visit

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July Wine Dinner, Azure, The Shores Resort & Spa, Daytona Beach Shores

Here's the menu

Monthly Wine Dinner
Thursday, July 21, 2011

Seating at 6pm
$45 per person
Reservations required, 386.767.7356

First Course
Belle Chevre Montrachet-Style Goat Cheese
B & W Farms Watercress, Macerated Strawberry
Clifford Bay 2009 Sauvignon Blanc

Second Course
 Pan Fried Soft Shell Crab
Smoked Vegetable Remoulade
Starmont 2008 Chardonnay

Entrée Course
Sausage-Fine Herb Stuffed Quail
Minnesota Wild Rice Pilaf, Pinot Cherry Reduction
Wild Rock 2008 Pinot Noir

Dessert Tasting
Rhubarb Tart Tatin, Brut Cocoa Dust
Oakley Five Reds 2008

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