Destination News - North America.

 
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Aug 16, 2009

The organizers of the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference (ESTC) have confirmed the recently announced date change for the next ESTC conference as September 8-10, 2010. The ESTC 2010 will be held at the Hilton Portland & Executive Towers in downtown Portland, Oregon, USA. Aug 14, 2009

A 2,000 pound crocodile believed to be among the largest of his kind has died at a popular Miami tourist attraction. Hank the Crocosaurus was 47-years-old when handlers found him dead at the bottom of his pool Saturday at Jungle Island. Hank was three feet tall and 20 feet long, twice as big as the other crocodiles there. Aug 10, 2009

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel

The Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel is offering a Beach. Board. Bliss. Package, featuring a choice of a private, two-hour stand up paddle board or surf lesson for two with an instructor from the Hans Hedemann Surf School. The package also includes a USD 50 TikiOs Grill & Bar dining certificate. The nightly room rate is USD 199 with a four-night minimum through Dec. 21. For more information, call 866-774-2924 or visit www.astonhotels.com. Aug 12, 2009

Catalina Island Blues Festival

The Catalina Island Blues Festival, which takes place Sept. 25 to 27 in Avalon, has announced its lineup. Headlining this yearOs festival are two-time Grammy Award-winning Taj Mahal, the Len Rainey Band, The Bayou Blues Band, the Midnight Players, and The Missy Anderson Blues Band. In addition, five-time Grammy Award-winning artist Robert Cray will perform OBest of the BluesO concerts in the Casino Ballroom. The festival begins with a Blues Walk throughout Avalon, where local hot spots and night clubs will feature various artists performing the blues late into the night. Visitors can stroll through town from location to location. The festival continues Sept. 26 in the center of town at Crescent Street and Metropole Avenue with a free outdoor concert from 2 to 3:30 p.m. The headline entertainment begins in the Casino Ballroom at 7 p.m. with the dual bill of Taj Mahal & The Phantom Band and Robert Cray. The festival comes to a close on Sept. 27, with a free concert at the Descanso Beach Club. Blues bands (to be announced) will take the stage for Blues on the Beach from 12:30 to 4 p.m. Aug 13, 2009

Comfort Suites

Comfort Suites hotels are offering travelers the opportunity to take a trip to space. As part of the brandOs OExplore the Space SweepstakesO three lucky online participants will get the chance to win a trip to space. Starting Aug. 13 through Sept. 24, 2009, consumers can go online to www.ExploreTheSpaceSweepstakes.com to enter for their chance to win Oout-of-this-worldO prizes and qualify for a chance to win a trip to space. To qualify, entrants must be current members of or sign up for the Choice Privileges rewards program. Once selected, three finalists will be given USD 5,000 in cash and a power-packed trip to Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex, where they will participate in an amazing astronaut experience program. On the last day of their visit, the finalists will play a game of chance for the ultimate grand prize -- a trip to space. In addition to the three finalist prize winners, three second-prize winners will each receive a trip for four to space camp in Huntsville, Ala., and a Comfort Suites prize pack making for the ultimate space camp family experience. And just so no one is left on the launch pad, 50 runners-up will receive a Comfort Suites prize pack valued at USD 100. For more information on the Comfort Suites Explore the Space Sweepstakes, visit www.ExploreTheSpaceSweepstakes.com . Additional corporate information may be found at www.choicehotels.com. Aug 12, 2009

Cruise West

Cruise WestOs year-long OVoyages of the Great Explorers,O scheduled to depart in March, will feature lectures and presentations by travel experts from the Smithsonian Journeys on select segments. Cruise West and Smithsonian Journeys will develop the lecture series for 10 of the 24 itineraries highlighting such exotic locales as Singapore, Rome, Alexandria, Istanbul and Mumbai. Smithsonian Journeys experts will lead in-depth discussions and presentations on each regionOs rich history and culture. The OVoyages of the Great ExplorersO reflect the exploits of the legendary seafarers. Booked separately or as a complete journey, each segment offers historical insights into the sea commanders who first made history along the same routes. Smithsonian Journeys is the Smithsonian InstitutionOs educational travel program. Aug 12, 2009

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises is offering food lovers luxury vacation choices in the Mediterranean, Caribbean and Amazon. Crystal SymphonyOs Nov. 10 and Nov. 22 Wine & Food Experiences of Discovery cruises from New York to Miami and Miami to the Amazon, respectively, feature cooking demos and specially created menus from guest chefs Azmin Ghahreman, Giuliano and Lael Hazan, and Andr Rochat. Wine tastings are led by sommeliers David Glancy and Kris Margerum, respectively. Cocktail classes will be led by master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, and pastry-making classes by guest chefs and CrystalOs own staff. Aug 13, 2009

Crystal Cruises

Crystal CruisesO ballroom dance-themed trans-Atlantic voyage in November will feature classes with professional dancers, afternoon tea dances, and presentations from Town & Country editor Janet Carlson about her book, OHow Ballroom Dancing Saved My Life.O Evenings offer dancing and performances, with extra Ambassador Hosts for guests in need of dance partners. The 10-day cruise aboard Crystal Serenity departs Lisbon on Nov. 12 and concludes in Miami. Guests on the preceding Barcelona-Lisbon itinerary can extend their vacations with the southern Atlantic cruise back to the U.S., and receive back-to-back cruise savings. In addition to the ballroom dance programming, the voyage will offer expanded onboard enrichment, including presentations from a veteran baseball pro, a television producer and a rocket scientist. Aug 12, 2009

DineLA Restaurant

DineLA Restaurant Week returns for its first fall run Oct. 4 to 9 and Oct. 11 to 16. Presented by LA Inc., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau in partnership with American Express, DineLA includes family-owned eateries celebrity chef restaurants, cafes and bistros from all corners of Los Angeles County. There is no membership, no credentials and no exclusivity; customers can simply make reservations as they would for any other night to take advantage of the special three-course menus. Menus during the fall 2009 Restaurant Week will be available in three price categories: Deluxe Dining is USD 16 for lunch and USD 26 for dinner, Premier Dining is USD 22 for lunch and USD 34 for dinner, and Fine Dining is USD 28 for lunch and USD 44 for dinner. Beverages, tax and gratuity are not included, and participating meal periods vary by restaurant. Also, many of the participating restaurants will be offering wine pairings along with their three-course menus for an additional charge. American Express card members will be able to register their American Express cards to receive a USD 20 statement credit when they dine three or more...

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