Win Big on History and Affordability at Foxwoods Casino

Posted September 17, 2010 by Kate Hamman

Foxwoods Located in Mashantucket, Connecticut, Foxwoods is a destination unto itself. But, it has more to offer than just gambling. While here, you can learn about the Pequot Tribe that runs the massive casino by exploring a nearby museum devoted to the Tribe's history. Then you can get your fill of all types of food at an affordable buffet, before returning to your room across the street from the noisy slot machines.

Pequot Museum: Not far from Foxwoods, you'll find a tribally owned and operated museum featuring exhibits on the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe's history and culture. Through a series of dioramas, text panels, computer programs, and films featured in the permanent display, you'll come to understand the evolution of the tribe. On top of this, the museum features native crafts and artwork in the galleries. Plus, walk through the life-sized Pequot Village and literally step back in time as you follow the tribe's movements from the Ice Age through the 19th century. Admission costs $15.

Festival Buffet: No matter what type of food you're craving, the Festival Buffet in the Foxwoods Casino is sure to deliver something that will satisfy your needs. Here, you can dine on Asian, BBQ, Italian, seafood, and pastas all in one sitting. Plus, you can get fresh made-to-order risotto, steaks, and hot snow crab legs. The breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus rotate, so you can eat here almost every day without having the same thing twice. Prices for all-you-can-eat lunch and dinner start at $16.95, but the real bargain is breakfast for $10.50.

Two Trees Inn: With four hotels to choose from, Foxwoods offers options for any budget. You'll find affordable country-style comfort at the Two Trees Inn, where you can relax by the inviting fireplace in the lobby. Located close to Foxwoods, the hotel provides a 24-hour courtesy shuttle that makes it easy to get to the action of the casino.

To search for flights and compare prices to Hartford and Providence, the nearest major airports, please use our price-comparison tool. (Photo: Index Open)

Enjoy Hartford's Affordable Cultural Side

Posted August 25, 2010 by Kate Hamman

6a00e5500ce6be88340115701b4ccb970b-800wi Hartford may have a reputation as the insurance capital of America, but the only numbers you'll think about while visiting is how much money you won't have to spend. Come discover the cultural side of Hartford in a museum filled with priceless works of art. Later on, dine in a wine bar serving delicious affordable dishes, or sip freshly roasted coffee in a local cafe.

Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art: Step inside America's oldest public art museum for the greatest show in Hartford, with more than 45,000 pieces of art. You'll find works by Dali, Picasso, Monet, and Van Gogh, plus way too many other artists to list. The castle-shaped museum features special exhibitions, lectures, tours, and educational programs designed to help you immerse yourself in art. Admission costs $10.

Bin228: Though Bin228's wine list might give Bacchus chills, you don't have to imbibe to appreciate everything the restaurant has to offer. The Italian-focused menu earns Bin228 a visit in its own right. You can choose from a dazzling array of bruschetta, including a fig compote and prosciutto for $4. Or for something a bit heartier, try one of the many paninis for $8.

Jojo's Coffee and Tea: You'll instantly smell something different at this locally owned coffee shop. Jojo's roasts its own beans on-site each day to give you the freshest coffee possible. And with a unique lighter roast, the coffee has a taste all its own. Tea is also a point of pride for Jojo's. Come experience how a coffee shop should smell, while you sip on a freshly brewed cup of joe.

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(Photo: Laura Stone/iStockphoto)

You Don't Have to Spend a Lot to Win Big in Atlantic City

Posted July 14, 2010 by Kate Hamman

Atlantic City With a historic boardwalk and casinos aplenty, Atlantic City attracts those who want to gamble with an ocean view. However, among the sound of slot machines and shuffling cards, you'll also find happening nightlife, upscale shopping, and great eats at cheap prices.

Harrah's Pool After Dark: When the sun goes down on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, Harrah's poolside nightlife heats up. The dome-enclosed tropical oasis, with six hot tubs, becomes a happening place to grab a drink. DJs complete the club-like atmosphere by playing an array of music while you dance or swim the night away.

The Pier Shops at Caesars: Home to 80 retail stores and restaurants, the Pier Shops make any shopaholic's dream come true. The mall strives to incorporate natural elements into the design, offering three stories of glass displaying spectacular views of the surrounding ocean and boardwalk. With a slew of top designer stores such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co., it's not cheap to shop here. However, even if you don't buy a thing, you can still enjoyan indoor fountain show.

Harrah's Atlantic City Country Club Sunday Brunch: Bring your appetite and come to Harrah's country club for one of the greatest deals in town. On Sundays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., you can feast on salmon, turkey, ham, omelets, waffles, fresh fruit, and pastries for just $24.95. Reservations are highly recommended.

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(Photo: Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority)

Traditional New England Beach Fun in Cape Cod

Posted June 14, 2010 by Jaclyn Liechti

Cape Cod Provincetown Cape Cod is a collection of 15 towns in southern Massachusetts that promise New England beachy fun. From Sandwich to Provincetown, this area evokes days gone by and quaint traditions that shouldn't be missed. Whether you want to chow down at a local clambake, shop in funky art galleries and stores, or listen to the sound of the waves hitting the shore, Cape Cod is a favorite destination.

Scargo Cafe: Pull up a bar stool at the colonial-inspired Scargo Cafe in Dennis Village, where you'll feel right at home next to the roaring fireplace or on the deck for sunset cocktails. Try a Crantucket Lemonade, made with Triple Eight Nantucket distilled vodka, limoncello, and cranberry juice; or a local craft brew named Whale's Tale. Cocktails start at $6, craft beers start at $8.

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(Photo: iStockPhoto/Christopher Bradshaw)

The Situation in Wildwood is Good

Posted May 10, 2010 by Jaclyn Liechti

Wildwood Wildwood Island is part of a cluster of barrier islands on the Jersey Shore. Five miles of beaches and a two-mile boardwalk help make this area one of the top summer destinations for Jersey Shore-goers. Classic American family fun like mini-golf, go-carts, and roller coasters can be found around town during the day. And the island provides plenty of free entertainment at night, such as live concerts, parades, and fireworks. If you’re looking for the ultimate Jersey experience, Wildwood has what you’re looking for.

Jersey Girl Drinks & Dining: It’s not the Jersey Shore without a martini or two, and the Jersey Girl serves up plenty of tasty treats. Stop by for dinner and enjoy surf and turf menu options, or drop in later for drinks alone. Try a Jersey Girl, made with Stoli Peach, fresh white peach puree, and white cranberry juice; or order a Jersey Boy, made with Stoli Vanilla and Frangelico, and rimmed with toasted walnuts. Martinis start at $10, but if you drop by for little black dress night on Thursdays between 9 p.m. and midnight, you can nab a half-price martini.

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(Photo: iStockphoto/Sharon Meredith)

Set Sail in Romantic Saint Michaels

Posted April 26, 2010 by Jaclyn Liechti

Saint Michaels Saint Michaels, Maryland, is located on a peninsula in the Chesapeake Bay. Its maritime history is well-represented at numerous historic buildings around town, as well as in the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Nautical attractions and tasty seafood are guaranteed to give any landlubber their sea legs. If you’re looking for a romantic seaside getaway, Saint Michaels offers the perfect mix of seclusion and activities to enjoy.

Sail Selina II: What better way to explore the Chesapeake Bay than on a 1926 sailboat? The Selina II is a classic New England Crosby Cat designed boat, and treats guests to an old fashioned sailing experience. The ship takes daily two-hour cruises around the Bay, but for something special, reserve a spot on the Sunset Champagne Cruise. Listen to Captain Iris describe the waterfront and the history of St. Michaels, then sip on Champagne (or the drink of your choice) and sample hors d’oeuvres as the sun dips below the water. Champagne Cruises start at $65 per person (limit of six), daily sails cost $50 per person. Cash discounts are available.

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(Photo: iStockphoto/William Britten)

Choose the (Frank Lloyd) Wright Vacation in Buffalo

Posted March 22, 2010 by Amy Westervelt

Buffalo Most architecture buffs know that Buffalo is a great place to see the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Once inspired by Wright, you can explore other aspects of Buffalo's art and design scene by walking through nearby Delaware Park, planned by Frederick Law Olmsted, and then head to the theater district for dinner.

Darwin D. Martin House Complex
: If you see just one of Wright's houses while in town, it should probably be the Darwin D. Martin. Considered the greatest example of Wright's "Prairie" style, the stunning complex comprises five separate structures sporting 394 art glass windows. In 2009, a new visitor's center designed by well-known Japanese architect Toshiko Mori was completed. A one-hour tour costs $15.

Handmade in Buffalo
: If you're looking for artisan goods that are uniquely Buffalo, look no further than Handmade in Buffalo, a cluster of six shops offering genuine craftsman goods. Take home a one-of-kind piece of furniture from Thomas Stender Designs or a hand-built serving bowl fired at Cone Five Pottery. Or, go window-shopping (literally) at Glass Roots Stained Glass Studio. Whether you're looking for a souvenir for yourself or as a gift, these artists offer nationally renowned goods that represent the city as much as Wright's architecture.

Rue Franklin
: Not too far away, the Rue Franklin, located near Buffalo's theater district, is the sort of place arts enthusiasts may enjoy. Fresh ingredients highlight a seasonal modern French menu that includes everything from a light filet of sole with lobster sauce and rice pilaf to a perfectly cooked filet mignon with red wine shallot sauce and potatoes Anna. The prix-fixe, three-course meal served Tuesdays through Thursdays is a fantastic deal at $28 to $32 a person. In the summertime, opt for an outdoor table in the garden for optimal charm and romance.

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(Photo: Courtesy Buffalo Niagara CVB and Biff Heinrich)

Succulent Seafood and Spectacular Views in Port Clyde, Maine

Posted March 19, 2010 by Amy Westervelt

Port Clyde Surround yourself with natural beauty in the picturesque fishing village of Port Clyde, Maine. Artists such as N.C. Wyeth have long been inspired by the charming downtown, busy harbor, and gorgeous views. Find out why at a cozy bed and breakfast, an idyllic island cafe, or at the most photographed lighthouse in Maine.

Seaside Inn
: Snuggle up at the Seaside Inn, an 1850s sea captain's home converted into a welcoming bed and breakfast. Help yourself to complimentary coffee, tea, and cocoa before turning in for the night in one of the nine cozy guestrooms.

The Barnacle:
An easy day trip from Port Clyde is a visit to Monhegan Island and the popular local cafe The Barnacle. The cafe is in a building dating back to the early 1900s when local fishermen and tourists enjoyed tea and goodies there. Not much has changed, and visitors and locals alike pop in for award-winning locally-roasted coffee, tea, and homemade goodies. You can also take your java to go along with a picnic lunch to munch while you explore Monhegan Island's local art galleries and 17 miles of hiking trails.

Marshall Point Lighthouse:
Marshall Point Lighthouse has two claims to fame: It was featured in the movie Forrest Gump and in the popular children's story Nellie the Lighthouse Dog. A short, scenic walk from Port Clyde, the lighthouse has been warning boats of the rocky point since 1857. Walk the long ramp connecting the lighthouse to the mainland for a picture-perfect moment, then wander the beautiful grounds. The lighthouse keeper's cottage, built in 1895, houses a seasonal museum highlighting Port Clyde's history and the lives of the lighthouse keepers.

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(Photo: Greg Panosian)

Have a Heart and Save in Jackson, New Hampshire

Posted March 5, 2010 by Kate Hamman

JacksonWith a red covered "honeymoon" bridge leading to its small colonial village, Jackson, New Hampshire, may be the quintessential New England town. However, a blanket of white in the winter turns its charming exterior into a playing field for cross-country skiers and snowshoers. Come experience the trails, and then fill up on hearty dishes before falling asleep to the sounds of a river at a romantic inn.

Jackson Ski Touring Foundation
: As one of the top destinations for cross-country skiing in the Eastern U.S., the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation (JSTF) will get your heart racing with nearly 96 miles of trails that wind through the village, over covered bridges, and into the forest. Here, you can rent snowshoes for $12 per day and cross-country skis for $16 per day. A daily membership, which allows access to the trails, costs $19 for skiing and $10 for snowshoeing. If you arrive after 2 p.m., you can ski for $12 or buy a Go-Ahead pass for $30 that includes skiing the next day as well.

Red Parka Steakhouse & Pub
: After traipsing through the snow-covered valley, there's no better place to warm up than the Red Parka. For more than 30 years, this après-ski restaurant and pub has been a favorite among winter enthusiasts for its tender steaks and ultimate comfort foods. Entrees start at $10.95, and the mud pie can't be beat.

Inn at Ellis River
: Nestled alongside, you guessed it, the Ellis River, this inn screams romantic retreat. The morning is a delight with dishes like cinnamon crepes stuffed with apple filling and orange croissant french toast with fresh strawberries. Each room is unique, and some come with whirlpool tubs or fireplaces, or both. The inn offers packages throughout the year, such as the Midweek Stay & Ski, Ski, Ski package that includes one- to four-nights' lodging, daily breakfast, afternoon refreshments, and skiing for two from $199 for a one-day ski package. Room rates typically start at $119 per night, and include breakfast.

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(Photo: Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce)

Annapolis Turns 300 and Is as Affordable as Ever

Posted February 16, 2010 by Anne Banas

Annapolis Set along Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis' connection to the water is undeniable. Not only is it "America's Sailing Capital" and home to the U.S. Naval Academy, but its maritime history is centuries long. In 2008, the city celebrated its 300th anniversary, and now is the perfect time to discover its past by strolling around the refreshed City Dock. Then crack open a few crabs at a local sailor's bar nearby, or curl up sea-captain style at a 1870 inn, all while keeping within an ordinary seaman's budget.

City Dock
: After taking a few months off for a beautification and reconstruction project, this historic Annapolis boardwalk has reopened. Come watch sailboats proudly strut their stuff as they parade up Ego Alley. Or visit the Kunta Kinte-Alex Haley Memorial, which commemorates the author of "Roots" and the landing of his enslaved ancestor, Kunta Kinte, from Africa. The dock also hosts History Quest for a before and after look of the harbor. Everything is free.

Boatyard Bar & Grill
: Take the water taxi from City Dock to Eastport's restaurant row, and tack into one of the top sailing hangouts in the world (according to Coastal Living). Nosh on surf and turf like the blue crab sandwich for $10.95 or boatyard burger for $8.95, while rubbing elbows with local sailors. Look for specials like Crisfield crab cakes for $14.95 on Monday nights.

Flag House Inn
: This nautical-themed B&B is so close to the water that the house motto is: "If you're a real slow walker, it might take you a minute to get there." The home is composed of two Victorian townhouses, so guests have their own entrance and more privacy. If guests are interested, owners Charlotte and Bill Schmickle will share all their Naval Academy and historical preservation insights from personal experience. Free parking and state or country flags hung for every guest make Flag House a true downtown Annapolis gem, from $160 per night.

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(Photo: Hart)

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