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North Carolina – A Great Vacation and Travel Destination

The best time to visit the Biltmore House in the mountains of North Carolina is during the fall. That way not only will you get to enjoy the amazing Biltmore House but you will also be able to enjoy the beauty of the leaves changing colors. There are few things more beautiful than the North Carolina Mountains during the fall with the leaves turning bright orange, yellow, and red. The vibrant colors serve as a beautiful backdrop to the imposing Biltmore Estate.

The Biltmore Estate consists of an immense mansion built by the Vanderbilt family in the late 1800s. It is the largest home that is privately owned in the United States and the descendents of the Vanderbilts still own the home. It is amazingly large at 175,000 square feet. The available tours of the home are simply incredible and it is unbelievable to tour the home and realize that more than 130 years ago architecture, design, and the like were so advanced.

The best time to visit if you want to save money is during the winter months. And, many times the North Carolina winter is fairly mild so you won’t be worried about freezing to death when visiting. Hotel prices are much cheaper during this off season and you can even get a winter pass for $35, which is considerable savings!

If you want to really enjoy the atmosphere of the Biltmore Estate then staying at the Inn is really the best route. The Biltmore Inn is beautiful and located on the Biltmore Estate and when you stay there you receive free entrance into the Biltmore Estate. This is a great way to combine the hotel with the tour and save money while really enjoying the atmosphere.

The Biltmore Estate is also a great place to host meetings, conferences, weddings, and even to shoot movies. The grounds are exquisite and the home is gorgeous and is the perfect place for any special event. While you are in Asheville, North Carolina you should also check out the Urban Trail. This is a walking trail that teaches individuals about Asheville’s history and architecture. Famous author Thomas Wolfe’s childhood home is in Asheville as well and a tour of his home place is interesting and inspiring.

When you head to Asheville, North Carolina you will have an amazing vacation. You can spend time at just the Biltmore Estate, or you can venture out and see more of the area. But, whatever you do, one thing is for certain and that is that you will love the experience.

Taking A Honeymoon Cruise Can Be Magical

Many couples are finding that an all-inclusive honeymoon cruise can make their special getaway after marriage even more special. When they climb on board, they cannot believe the joy and simplicity of their vacation, with no worries and no stress! Taking a honeymoon cruise can make for one of the most memorable vacations you will ever experience and it all occurs on a single cruise ship! In the last several years, millions of couples have enjoyed honeymoon vacations on cruise ships, and with all the perks that you can find on a cruise ship it is not hard to see why.

When you think of a honeymoon cruise, you can think automatically of romance. When you watch movies, many of the most romantic moments you can think of are a couple on a ship sailing into the sunset. When you are on the deck of a cruise ship, you will have several opportunities to take advantage of this romantic situation! You will sail off into the sunset for however many nights your vacation lasts, while also getting romantic, moonlit nights and fun, sun-filled days. When you take a honeymoon cruise, you will also get the enjoyment and intimacy of secluded beaches and exotic locations. These events will make the memories of your honeymoon cruise very special for the rest of your lives together.

The reason it is so easy to see why so many people choose a honeymoon cruise is the simplicity of your whole vacation. When you purchase the fare for a honeymoon cruise, you are purchasing everything you could possibly need on your entire vacation. Included in that one cruise fare are your meals, snacks, accommodations, entertainment and any on-board activities. This in addition to the exciting destinations you visit all over the world! What could be easier than a cruise for all of that? You don’t have to make your own dinner reservations or purchase theatre tickets when you are on a cruise. It’s already done for you!

How you enjoy your honeymoon cruise is also up to you. You can sit back and relax, enjoying the sunny days by the pool or on the beach without exerting yourself. Or you can be on the go constantly, going from one show to the next, one activity to another, and exploring each and every exotic location you visit in detail. All of this between delicious dining experiences you’ve only ever dreamed of. Again, there are no worries or stresses, as all of these wonderful things are included in the cruise package!

Booking a cruise is easy, whether it is for your honeymoon or a special getaway. Look online or call a travel agent near you today.

Stirling City guide, including Stirling Hotels

Known as the “gateway to the Highlands,” Stirling is Scotland’s youngest city, yet also steeped in some of the country’s most colourful and glorious history. Situated on the River Forth, 40 minutes from Glasgow and 50 minutes from Edinburgh, the city enjoys breathtaking views of the Highlands, Loch Katrine, the inspiration for William Blake’s The Lady of the Lake, Campsie Fells, and the Highlands’ largest loch, Loch Lomond. Stirling offers a wide range of places of historical interest, activities, and great shopping and dining, which attracts over one million visitors a year.

Places of interest:

Stirling is home to the magnificent Stirling Castle, where ruling Scottish monarchs resided for over three centuries. King Kenneth McAlpine battled and conquered the tribe of the Picts in 843 to form the Kingdom of Scotland within sight of the Castle, and over one thousand years later, William Wallace triumphed over King Edward’s army at Stirling Bridge in order to gain freedom from the tyrannous English for the Kingdom. The battlefield of Bannockburn, where Robert the Bruce defeated the English in 1314 to be crowned King of Scotland is nearby, and the creative, optimistic, and possibly occasionally foolhardy, nature of the Scottish people is captured in John Damian’s 1507 attempt to fly from the battlements of Stirling Castle, with wings made from hen’s feathers!

Open year round, the National Wallace Monument stands 220 feet above Abbey Craig, as testament to and in honour of the life and achievements of one of Scotland’s greatest heros, William Wallace. The monument offers a living history introduction to Wallace’s life, bloody and glorious campaign for Scottish freedom, betrayal, trial, and gory death.
Since 1874, the Smith Art Gallery and Museum has housed history, archaeological and fine art collections that celebrate Scottish history and achievements.
Bannockburn Heritage Centre is the site of one of the most important events in Scottish history. The Centre presents a vivid retelling of the 1314 battle in which King Robert Bruce defeated the army of King Edward II, securing freedom for the Scots.
No visit to Stirling would be complete without experiencing Stirling Castle. Built on volcanic rock, the site of the castle had been inhabited by Picts, Romans and Scottish monarch among others, for over eight thousand years. The prehistoric castle has been rumoured to be the setting of the legend of King Arthu’s Camelot, and features tours, exhibitions and living history performances that offer fascinating insight into the lively history of the castle and grounds.
The Church of the Holy Rude is said to be the only church still in use that has witnessed a coronation.

Things to do:

There are loads of things to do while in Stirling. From fantastic shopping centres to fun amusement parks, Sterling provides entertainment for everyone.

The Thistle Centre is one of Scotland’s premier shopping centres, home to a plethora of high street names, including Marks & Spencer, Monsoon, Next and the Virgin Megastore.
There are a number of popular bike rentals, mapped cycle routes and guide led cycle tours for all ages and abilities, taking in the historic town and beautiful surrounding areas.
The Safari and Adventure Park in Blair Drummond, near Stirling, is great for kids’ entertainment and home to elephants, rhinos, giraffes, tigers, bears, camels to name a few species of wild fauna, and with an Adventure Park, Pets Farm and performing sea lions shows on offer for all round amusement.
For some fantastical and supernatural entertainment, the Doon Hill Fairy Walk is a must for a guide led walk exploring local legends of Fae folk, or for the brave, the Ghostwalk with Jock Rankine’s Spirit Guide meets at the Stirling Town Hall.

Food & Drink:

Dining in Stirling is an unforgettable experience. No matter what pleases the palate, Stirling’s fine dining sites can satiate anyone’s appetite.

With traditional, home cooked food on offer, local mother and daughter run Victoria’s Coffee Shop is a great bet for lunch on the go and casual family dining.
Recommended by EatScotland.com, The Birds and the Bees offers a lively atmosphere, national and international dining in an authentic farm steading conversion.
For a refined dining experience, the four star Jekyll’s Restaurant at the Queen’s Hotel is recommended for traditional dishes in luxurious surroundings.
Hermann’s Brasserie is recommended as a staple of Stirling’s dining experience. Featuring a unique fusion of Scottish and Austrian cuisine, it is also famed for its warm and hospitable atmosphere.
Reservations are recommended to experience the sophistication and world class cuisine of The Heritage in the sophisticated Park Lodge Hotel.

Stirling Hotels & Accommodation:

There is a wide range of Hotels and Accommodation available to suit all requirements and budgets in Stirling, from traditional, family run bed and breakfasts to dependable national chains to lavish high end hotels.

Express By Holiday Inn Stirling
The Stirling Highland Hotel

Entertainment

Stirling offers all sorts of entertainment and nightlife, from cinema such as Carlton Cinemas, presenting the latest UK releases, to clubs and bars to family friendly activities including ice skating a the Stirling Ice Rink and ten pin bowling at AMF Bowling or the Stirling Indoor Bowling Centre. Traditional entertainment, including Highland Games and Celtic folk nights of music and dancing, known as celidhs, are in abundance. Stirling enjoys a varied nightlife, with dance clubs including Fubar and Enigma, and traditional pubs such as All that Jazz and O’Neills, both frequented by University of Stirling students.

Stirling, and its surrounding areas, is rightly known as Scotland’s birthplace. It cannot be mere coincidence that so many events of great significance to the Kingdom of Scotland occurred within the vicinity of the gateway to the Highlands. Once the area was home or destination to national heroes such William Wallace, Robert Bruce and Mary, Queen of Scots, literary heroes including Rabbie Burns and William Blake, and the villain Rob Roy, and today it is a premier destination for tourists and local visitors alike. Exulting in the breathtaking and unrivalled scenery of the Highlands, proximity to Scotland’s urban centres of Glasgow and Edinburgh and enjoying a range of activities to suit a wide variety of visitors, Stirling is at its heart an essential destination for any enthusiast of Scottish, or wider Celtic history and culture.

Tailored Cheap Discount Holiday Travel

Cheap holiday travel isn’t just restricted to package holidays. You can get great deals on hotels and flights when you book them separately.

There’s no reason why you should compromise your travel plans just to save money. Today’s travel market is intensely competitive and it’s fairly straightforward to put together your own itinerary for a fraction of the normal cost.

1. Flights

Cheap flights are available from nearly all the airports across Europe, allowing you to fly at a low cost. What’s more, you can take in several destinations in one trip without having to pay o fortune for internal flights or train fares. The growing accessibility of flights and destinations means that, with a bit of flexibility, you can find cheap flights that suit your holiday needs.

2. Accommodation

From apartments and villas to hotels, you can find great deals on accommodation in the location of your choice. Savings on flights could mean you have more to spend on accommodation, whilst saving on both may allow you to stay for a few more nights. Many discount travel websites have special offers and low-cost alternatives that could provide you with exactly the accommodation you need.

3. Car hire

Car hire has become increasingly competitive, with small independent companies often offering better rates than the established firms. You can often get a discount on car hire prices by booking online and, by shopping around, you can get great deals. Be careful not to be seduced by upgrades and offers when you collect your car though, or you could end up spending much more than you wanted to.

4. Money

It’s now possible to get very competitive exchange rates, making your holiday money go further. Researching currency exchange outlets on the internet should give you an idea of which rates are best for you.

No matter where you want to go, you can probably find a cheap or discount travel agency that can help you plan without spending all your money.

ea: Origins, Flavors and Health Benefits

How many times do we just want to drink tea after a heavy meal, but are then bombarded with all the various tea flavours that we get lost. This article answers that need.

What you should always remember is that there are only four types of tea.
1) Black tea
2) Green tea
3) White tea
4) Oolong tea

All these are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis, also known as the tea plant. Other herbal infusions such as chamomile tea, ginger tea or red tea made of rooibos leaves are disqualified as types of tea since the tea plant is not involved in their making. The difference between the four tea variations lies in the process of making them. In addition, each type of tea has another flavor and various health benefits.

1) Black Tea
The strong flavored burnt Sienna colored hot beverage is the most popular type of tea in the West. Either served with a squeeze of lemon or added milk and a cube of sugar, the cup of black tea is part of daily tea ceremonies that take place worldwide. Black tea is made of heavily oxidized Camellia sinensis leaves. When served plain, it contains no calories, carbohydrates, or fats. A cup of black tea contains more caffeine than any other types of tea but less than in any cup of coffee.

2) Green Tea
The lightly oxidized tea has been popular in China, Japan and Korea for centuries. Recently, rumors on its health benefits increased its popularity in the West as well. It has been proven that drinking green tea can lower cholesterol, prevent cancer, increase metabolic rates and be helpful in variety of other conditions and illnesses. The green tea is lightly oxidized, dried, but not fermented. It is usually served plain, without sugar or milk. Since some of the green tea variants taste a bit bitter, it should be brewed in lower temperature than the boiling point.

3) White Tea
White tea is rarer and more expensive than the other types of teas mentioned above. Originated in the Fujian province of china, the white tea is made of young Camellia sinensis leaves, which go through a long process of steaming or frying, inactivate fermenting and drying. Since the leaves are harvested while the buds are still covered by white hair, it is called white tea. White tea has the most delicate, sweet taste than the other types of tea. Moreover, it contains the smallest amount of caffeine and the largest amount of antioxidant that help prevent cancer.

4) Oolong Tea
The traditional Chinese tea is the common companion of Chinese foods such as dim sum and chop suey in American Chinese restaurants. The oolong tea, black dragon in Chinese, got its name after its long, dark distinguished leaves that look like wild black dragons when brewed. The unique taste of the oolong tea is achieved by a long process that includes sun drying of the Camellia sinensis leaves, light oxidization, cooling and drying processes. The result is a lighter flavor than the popular black tea and stronger than the delicate green tea.