Weekend on the Beach: Weekend trips that include relaxing on the beach are always a good idea. Visit the Florida Keys where you can check into one of the island resorts or explore fun attractions and restaurants in Key West. During the summer, many lake and ocean beaches are within driving distance on the East Coast, West Coast, the South and Midwest. During the warmer season it's easy to plan a day trip or an affordable overnight stay. In the winter, inexpensive vacation spots may be harder to find and you may have to take a plane to get to a tropical beach in South Florida, Hawaii or the Caribbean.
A new marketing strategy has been partnerships with professional sports teams and venues. As the official airline of the New York Jets, JetBlue has specially painted the exterior of one of their Airbus A320s (N746JB) in the team's colors. Aircraft N605JB is based on the design of the Boston Red Sox road uniform and sports a grey fuselage with navy lettering. This aircraft was unveiled in February 2012, just in time for the opening of the Red Sox new spring training facility in Fort Myers, Florida named JetBlue Park at Fenway South. Additionally, JetBlue and MasterCard have pledged to refund select flight purchases made online at JetBlue.com using a MasterCard. JetBlue has also partnered with various other sports teams and sporting venues in cities they serve.
The Big Easy turns the Big 3-0-0 this year, and in this city where the good times roll, the parties will be epic — think citywide art shows, supersized Mardi Gras parades, and a festival of lights using landmark buildings as backdrops. Thirteen years after Hurricane Katrina, there is much to celebrate: The Central Business District, once a dead zone after dark, now crackles at all hours thanks to four new hotels (the Ace, Troubadour, Catahoula, and NOPSI), each with its own rooftop bar. The neighborhood is also home to new restaurants like Maypop — a Vietnamese-Creole joint from acclaimed chef Michael Gulotta. Another area coming to life is the three-mile riverfront, where a renovated Spanish Plaza will reopen this spring. More riverfront updates, including a new Four Seasons Hotel, will roll out in the next few years. Toast the tricentennial at the Sazerac House, a French Quarter museum dedicated to the official cocktail of New Orleans, opening later this year. —Allison Entrekin
Vacation Packages: More hotels, resorts and inns offer romantic, family, wedding, honeymoon and other packages than people realize. If your heart is set on a particular getaway, check their web site for current offers. In some cases, the property will offer a romantic package that you can add on to the cost of your stay, such as flowers or a gift that can be prepared ahead of time. In other cases, the romantic package will include the room rate as well. When you are researching the best places to vacation, it pays to check for packages.
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