Along The Travel Scene

Monday, June 9, 2014 - by Diane Siskin

See the Sights of Washington, D.C. with Thomas Jefferson—“In Hand”

The beautiful and historic The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, DC, is offering you and your family 20 percent off a summer package from now through Sept. 7.

The hotel is also offering a “Kids Rate” for guests 12-18 years old to occupy a second room for 50 percent off the regular room rate.

The Jefferson named a “Best Hotel in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler has put together an adventurous way to get your family out on a wholesome, happy and instructional history tour of our nation’s capital.

This self-guided tour can be strolling on foot or rolling around on a bright red bicycle, snapping pictures of Tommy, a one dimensional Thomas Jefferson cartoon character finding his way around 21st century Washington, DC and to a list of appointed treasurable spots.

Before you and your family venture out, the hotel will fuel you with coffee, muffins and a lesson on the city’s past, as you meet with the hotel’s bona-fide-in-the-house, on-staff Washington historian. (The historian is available only on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.)

To further make your adventure easy, you can have the hotel pack up a Jefferson Mobile Meal to go with a chef’s choice sandwich and all the tasty snacks you will need to keep your legs trekking across the city. (There is a charge for the meal).

Then you are off with your map with a list of suggested destinations, all of which have a strong Jefferson connection. When you arrive to each location you can document your presence by taking a picture of “Tommy’ with your smart phone and uploading it to an Instagram with the handle @TheJeffersonDC and hashtag #WheresTommyDC

Those participants who complete all destinations will return to a Seasonal Treat along with a Thomas Jefferson bobble-head to remember it by.

This summer package is subject to availability and some blackout dates apply. It must be booked by August 31, 2014 and the stay must take place by September 7th, 2014  

The Jefferson, DC is located at 1200 16th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036. (202) 448-2300.

Or Maybe You Are Looking For A Girlfriend Getaway!

Yes, there are real ranches in Florida with thousands of acres of ranch land and cowboys/girls who look after them.

One of the state’s history-steeped ranch is a 1,400-acre property owned by a third-generation and called Creek Ranch in Haines City Florida. This ranch has become the girlfriend getaway of choice.

It is a well-deserved retreat into an iconic American lifestyle with exciting activities and elegant accommodations. You can horseback ride, watch more than 90 species of birds in their natural Everglades habitat and enjoy a cocktail cruise on Lake Hatchineha.

Creek Ranch offers a group of friends a wonderful way to truly retreat from the multitasking life into a fun-filled, relaxing world.

No cooking or worrying about others. All meals are prepared by a personal chef and menus are discussed in advance. All wines and other beverages are also included in the rate, as are all activities.

There are even self-driving jeep tours around the ranch, mountain biking, clay pigeon shooting or maybe just sunbathing by the pool followed by a massage. At night, a campfire with s’mores or a good game of bridge in the Great Room.

The accommodations are in the main house, which is filled with family heirlooms, antiques, painting and art books that blend with the comfortable couches and oversized chairs.

There are four large bedroom suites on two floors and each of the two floors has a convenient mini-kitchen for early morning coffee.

Three additional bedrooms make for a total capacity of 14-16 adults.

This trip back to Florida’s past just may be one of the state’s best kept secrets. The minimum rate to rent Creek Ranch exclusively for your group is $3,250 nightly. That rate covers up to eight guests and includes everything. The maximum occupancy is 16 people.

For more information you can call toll free (800) 225-4255 or (802) 457-5280.

The Four-legged Members of Your Family Also Need a Vacation

The Alfond Inn, a stylish new boutique hotel, in Winter Park, Florida caters to your “VIP” a very important pup. With this package the inn extends a canine welcome even further.

The city of Winter Park is known for its exceptionally dog-friendly shops and more than two dozen dog-friendly restaurants and sidewalk cafes, along with Fleet Peeples Park, the 23-acre green space on Lake Baldwin where dogs can run off leash during specific posted hours.

The VIP (Very Important Pup Package) is designed to make everyone happy during their stay. It includes dog-friendly rooms, complimentary keepsake water bowls and signature treats at turndown, plus more tail-wagging amenities that will treat canine guests as truly pampered pooches.

In keeping with the hotel’s philanthropic mission, for each VIP Package booked, a donation will be made to The Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando. 

The inn, a Preferred Boutique Hotel is owned by Rollins College, a private liberal arts college located in Winter Park. The 112-room hotel includes the popular Hamilton’s Kitchen restaurant, a pool and fitness center. It is 15 minutes from downtown Orlando and 30 minutes from Walt Disney World and Orlando International Airport. The Alfond Inn is at 300 East New England Avenue, Winter Park, Fl.32789., (407) 998-8098.  

Lovers Should Head to Virginia to Celebrate Outdoors Month

June Great Outdoors Month is a time when Virginia celebrates the health and well-being that active lifestyles provide. From the coastal serenity of the Eastern Shore to the rugged terrain of the Appalachian Mountains, Virginia’s abundant natural resources offer outdoor recreation throughout the Commonwealth.

This June Virginia Tourism Corporation offers outdoor getaway ideas for all interests and skill levels with a new landing page highlighting 25 Virginia Adventures. The landing page includes an interactive map of outdoor activities throughout the state, making it easy for people to find specific activities in certain regions.

Social media savvy people are encouraged to share their experiences on the new Virginia Outdoors Social Lounge with the #VAOutdoors hashtag for a chance to be featured on Virginia is for Lovers social media channels.

Plan your getaway at You can stay connected with Virginia on Facebook at and on Twitter and Instagram at @VisitVirginia.

Diane Siskin

Tennessee Tourism Round Up For Oct. 6-17

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27th Annual Southern Festival Of Books Begins This Friday In Nashville

As the colors of summer fade to fall, Nashville’s War Memorial Plaza and the downtown Nashville Public Library come to life in a dynamic celebration of the written word. The Southern Festival of Books, widely recognized as a fixture of fall in the South, will take place  Oct. 9 -11. The 2015 program welcomes back festival favorites, introduces new opportunities for festival-goers ... (click for more)

Lee University Social Media Threat Suspect Identified, Charged And In Custody

Lee University student Olayinka Opaso, from Nigeria, 18, confessed on Tuesday to a senior Lee University official about his involvement in the Yik Yak post describing potential threats to Lee University students. Opaso was immediately placed into custody by the campus security director, Matt Brinkman. Mr. Brinkman transported Opaso to the Cleveland Police Department where ... (click for more)

Bullets Ring Out Near Alton Park School Bus Stop Sending Students Scrambling; Vehicle Used Had Been Carjacked In Knoxville

Bullets rang out near an Alton Park school bus stop on Tuesday morning, sending students scrambling for cover. Police took two suspects into custody. The incident happened on W. 38th Street across from the Bethlehem Center and was believed to be gang related. Crime tape quickly went up at the shooting scene, and W. 38th Street was temporarily blocked. There were five ... (click for more)

A New Commercial Look For Signal Mountain

A speaker at the Signal Mountain Town Council meeting last night presented some very interesting information about the council’s new bigger and brighter vision of our commercial area. Councilman Spalding presented a list of sign changes to the Design Review Commission that the council wants and several of those items were approved last night.  Still to come on the list are ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: It Was Our Tool Shed

Some said the huge beams had been soaking in creosote for two or three years when the men finally stacked them to dry. They were long, about 20 feet each, and thick – maybe eight inches. I remember they were 14 inches wide but the biggest thing I remember was that it was the ugliest lumber I ever saw. They cured the beams for one entire hot summer in the Tool Shed, a huge building ... (click for more)