San Francisco Cable Cars

San Francisco Trolley Tour

What are your top San Francisco must-sees? The beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, once the longest suspension bridge and among the most recognizable of its type across the globe. Lush Golden Gate Park, filled with everything from the peaceful Japanese Tea Garden to the one-of-a-kind California Academy of Sciences. The quirky, eclectic architecture and hilly streets of the Mission District. The hustle and bustle of Fisherman’s Wharf and the Marina District. But the one thing that just screams San Francisco? The world-famous San Francisco Cable Cars! Cable Cars were an early form of the modern light rail – a street-level mass transit system that pulled cars along designated routes using a wire rope system from above. After a few initial line installations in San Francisco in the 1870s, Cable Cars quickly became a convenient, cost-effective, and safe form of transportation all across the … [Read more...]

Summer 2014 at the San Diego Zoo

San Diego Zoo Discount

The San Diego Zoo is a perennial favorite San Diego attraction for animal lovers of all ages. Located in the northern part of Balboa Park, the Zoo is home to 3,700 animals from 650 different species. A visit to the San Diego Zoo is a must-do activity for any San Diego vacation!  For the full Southern California animal experience, we also recommend paying a visit to the expansive San Diego Zoo Safari Park – a stunning 1,800 acres of African and Asian wildlife. First, some tips for visiting the San Diego Zoo. The Zoo encompasses approximately 100 acres of rather hilly terrain, so plan for active walking or take advantage of the Skyfari Aerial Tram or Express Bus to shuttle from point to point. Due to its size, the number of unique exhibits, special programming, and animal experiences, it’s impossible to see everything in one day. We recommend planning for two different visits … [Read more...]

San Francisco 4th of July Fireworks 2014

San Francisco attractions

San Francisco really shines in the summer, and this 4th of July weekend is the perfect time to visit and see why everyone falls in love with the City by the Bay. From cruises and bike rides to bus tours and scavenger hunts, the time is right to explore this beautiful city. Come to California this July and check out a few festive 4th of July San Francisco attractions! Everyone’s favorite holiday attraction is the 4th of July Fireworks. For 2014, the San Francisco 4th of July Fireworks will be set off in two locations: from Marina Green and from Fisherman’s Wharf. You’ll be able to see both sets of fireworks from most central locations, and the synched performance is truly an impressive sight. We recommend taking public transit to the area, as surrounding streets will be closed to cars for several hours in advance of the fireworks. (Insider Tip: pick up a Muni Visitor Passport … [Read more...]

Boston 4th of July Fireworks 2014

Boston attractions

Going to be in Beantown for the 4th of July? Check out our handy guide for celebrating our nation’s birthday in the beautiful historic city of Boston. From fireworks and whale watching cruises to walking tours and bike rides, you’ll be out and about and all around! Enjoy the best Boston attractions on your summer vacation for less with Smart Destinations. Each year the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is the centerpiece of Boston’s 4th of July celebrations. A free, fabulous live music extravaganza with orchestral performances by the renowned Boston Pops and accompanying vocal performances by local and national stars begins at 8:30 pm Friday, July 4th, on the Charles River Esplanade. For a full list of songs performed by the Boston Pops, check out the Firework Music score. If you’re in town earlier, there’s also a free concert on Thursday, July 3rd (although it won’t have … [Read more...]

“TILT” Opens at 360 Chicago!

360 Chicago

The most exciting new Chicago attraction of the year is TILT! It’s been called epic. One-of-a-kind. An absolute must-do for the whole family. Most importantly, it’s a brand new way to see Chicago. An exciting new part of the redesigned 360 Chicago (formerly the John Hancock Observatory), TILT is an architectural and visual marvel. It’s a separately enclosed platform on the south end of the building that slowly tilts forward to give visitors a stunning view of Chicago’s urban skyline from 1000 feet above. Designed with state-of-the-art technology to make each trip as thrilling and as safe as possible, TILT is the only attraction of its kind in Chicago. 360 Chicago is among the most popular Chicago attractions, famed for its stunning views and exciting visual technologies. Learn about the history of the building and the city at large through newly redesigned interactive … [Read more...]

Cheap Los Angeles Attraction Tickets

Cheap Los Angeles Attraction Tickets

From the glitzy streets of Hollywood to the sunny beaches of Santa Monica, Los Angeles is the ideal vacation destination. Whether you’re traveling with friends, your significant other, or the whole family, you’ll find plenty of attractions, tours, and cruises to fill your time. Now, while LA is one of the most exciting cities to explore, it can also be one of the most expensive; from five star restaurants to shopping on Rodeo drive, the cost of your excursions can add up fast. So don’t forget to pick up some Go Los Angeles Card attractions discount tickets to save money on all your other activities! Kids will never forget a day at Universal Studios Hollywood or Knott’s Berry Farm. But studio tours and amusement parks are among the priciest attractions – especially for a family of four. Fortunately, with a Go Los Angeles Card, you can get free included admission to all the … [Read more...]

Cheap Boston Attraction Tickets

Cheap Boston Attraction Tickets

Everyone thinks of New England as the ideal autumn destination, but Boston in the summertime is just as fun! It’s also a smart place to take the whole family, with flight and hotel prices less expensive than many other east coast destinations during the summer season. Of course, you’ll still need to be a savvy explorer once you arrive in Boston; why not pick up a few discounted Boston attraction tickets to save on all the tours, museums, and attractions you visit? Enjoy temperate Boston summers with a healthy dose of outdoor activities. Check out the famed Swan Boats of Boston, charming paddleboats in the lush Boston Public Gardens. Another iconic Boston attraction is the Freedom Trail Tour, a guided walk around the historical hotspots of downtown Boston. It’s a handy introduction to the city, too, as it takes you through the major downtown neighborhoods and past big name … [Read more...]

Art Institute of Chicago Welcomes Special Magritte Exhibition

Art Institute of Chicago

Huge news for art lovers in Chicago this summer! The Art Institute of Chicago will be opening a fantastic new special exhibition of twentieth century art, organized around one of the most iconic surrealist painters of the age – René Magritte. This exhibition, “Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938,” focuses particularly on the artist’s most experimental and inventive period, with a collection of pieces that illuminate the evolution of his artistic philosophy. Best known for its clean lines, simple shapes, and unexpected elements, Magritte’s work has emerged over the years as some of the more memorable and thought-provoking surrealist art. Paintings that couple simple images with words or short phrases, like “The Treachery of Images,” brought him fame in the first part of his career. Magritte’s evolving exploration with disturbing or unexpected distortions … [Read more...]

Millennium Park Celebrates 10th Anniversary!

Millenium Park Chicago

2014 is a big year for Chicago. In addition to ushering in new attractions, exciting theatrical debuts, and inspiring art exhibits, this summer also marks the 10th anniversary of one of their most famous landmarks, the iconic Millennium Park! It’s one of the most visited Chicago attractions each year, attracting millions of visitors from all over the world. This 24.5-acre urban paradise was first imagined in 1997, when Mayor Richard Daley envisioned replacing old rail yards and dead space with a centrally located public space for Chicagoans to come together for art, music, and outdoor fun. In conjunction with renowned architect and visionary designer Frank Gehry, the city designed a truly modern park space that would include a music pavilion, public works of art, elaborate fountains, bike paths, and cultivated gardens. The park officially opened to the public in July of … [Read more...]

Cheap Vacation Ideas and Tips

Cheap Vacation Tips

It’s that time of year where we all feel like we need a vacation. But sometimes, it can be hard to take the vacation you want on the budget you have. Luckily, the smart and savvy traveler has Smart Destinations to make that trip happen, no matter how much or how little you have to work with. Check out a few of our favorite tips for budget-friendly vacations! Let’s start with travel and transit costs. If you need to fly to your destination, use a site like Kayak to keep an eye on the best airline deals. Airlines usually update their pricing throughout the week, although Wednesday is the best day for sales. If you have a favorite airline, be sure to get on their e-mail list to hear about great deals first! Once you’re at your destination, explore your transit options carefully. Some places, like Los Angeles or Oahu, are often easier to navigate with a rental car. (Tip - the Go … [Read more...]