Memorial Day Getaway: Ski, Bike, Golf Mammoth Mountain

Ski Mammoth Mounta Memorial Day Weekend!Are you still making plans for Memorial Day weekend? Then look no further than Mammoth Mountain Resort, where unique spring weather conditions have made it possible for visitors to ski, mountain bike and play golf all on the same day.

Even though the Memorial Day weekend often marks the unofficial start to summer, Mammoth isn’t quite ready to completely give up on winter just yet. The resort is one of the few places in the U.S. where it is still possible to ski this spring and the lifts will remain open from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Monday, May 28.

Once you’ve finished taking a few turns on the slopes, head over to Mammoth’s fantastic mountain bike park, which officially opens for the season on Saturday, May 26. The lower-mountain trails will be fully accessible and the uphill shuttle will run from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., making it as easy as possible to bomb down the great trails there.

Finally, cap off the day with a round of golf on the Sierra Star Golf Course, which opened for the season this past Friday. The beautiful course is surrounded by snow capped peaks and is also located at 8000 feet above sea level, making it the highest course all of California. The thin air will add distance to your drives while the serene setting will brighten your mood, even after a three-putt.

Because it is so unusual to be able to ski, mountain bike and golf all on the same day, Mammoth is offering fantastic deals on passes for the weekend. Visitors can choose to either ski and ride or ski and golf for just $79 or they can elect to partake in all three activities for just $99. That seems like a bargain for a very active day outside. Check out all of these deals and more on the Mammoth Summer Kick-off page.

[Photo courtesy Mammoth Mountain]

Best Times To Hit The Road For Memorial Day

We’re always looking for ways to avoid traffic, and Memorial Day is a particularly large headache for drivers looking to make it to their destinations without spending much of the long weekend stuck in traffic.

Waze, a free social traffic and navigation app for drivers, offered this traffic infograph to help you determine when best to hit the road for your weekend travels.

Who would have thought that rush hour is actually the best time to travel? (Personally, we’ll be leaving early Saturday!)

Travel Hubs To Avoid For Memorial Day 2012

american flag Holiday travel can be hectic, especially when it comes to transportation. Despite the potential to be a scary experience, AAA statistics show that 34.9 million Americans used plane, train and automobile transportation last Memorial Day. With this year expected to be just as crazy, Foursquare has compiled data from 20 billion users, to let travelers know what the busiest travel hubs are expected to be this Memorial Day.

Top 10 Busiest Airports:
Foursquare looked at the change in check in rates to airports vs. the same time window during the week prior to Memorial Day 2011 to compile these findings:

1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
2. San Francisco International Airport
3. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
4. John F. Kennedy International Airport
5. McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas)
6. LaGuardia Airport (New York)
7. Denver International Airport
8. Boston Logan International Airport
9. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
10. Newark Liberty International AirportTop 10 Busiest Train Stations:
Foursquare looked at the change in check in rates to train stations vs. the same time window during the week prior to Memorial Day 2011 to compile these findings:

1. New York Penn Station
2. Grand Central Terminal
3. Union Station (Washington, D.C.)
4. Chicago Union Station
5. 30th Street Station (Philadelphia)
6. Long Island Railroad Jamaica Station
7. Newark Penn Station
8. Union Station (Los Angeles)
9. New Jersey Transit Frank R. Lautenberg Secaucus Junction Station
10. New Haven Union Station

Top 10 Busiest Bus Stations:
Foursquare looked at the change in check in rates to bus stations vs. the same time window during the week prior to Memorial Day 2011 to compile these findings:

1. Port Authority Bus Terminal: New York, New York
2. South Station Bus Terminal: Boston, Massachusetts
3. Harbor Pointe and Shuttle Area: Anaheim, California
4. Boltbus Midtown Stop (34th Street and 8th Avenue): New York, New York
5. Megabus NYC Stop (West 31st Street): New York, New York
6. Megabus DC Stop (Union Square Parking): Washington, D.C.
7. Frankford Transportation Center: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
8. International District/Chinatown Station: Seattle, Washington
9. Hollywood Studios Bus Stop: Lake Buena Vista, Florida
10. Magic Kingdom Bus Stop: Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Top 10 Busiest Highways:
Foursquare looked at the change in check in rates to highways vs. the same time window during the week prior to Memorial Day 2011 to compile these findings:

1. Lincoln Tunnel: New York, New York
2. Bourbon Street: New Orleans, Louisiana
3. Lombard Street: San Francisco, California
4. Rodeo Drive: Beverly Hills, California
5. Huntington Beach: Huntington Beach, California
6. Long Island Expressway: Long Island, New York
7. Holland Tunnel Toll Plaza: Jersey City, New Jersey
8. I-95 on Georgia/South Carolina State Line
9. Brooklyn/Queens Expressway: Brooklyn, New York
10. I-95 on Florida/Georgia State Line

Top 10 Busiest Rest Stops:
Foursquare looked at the change in check in rates to rest stops vs. the same time window during the week prior to Memorial Day 2011 to compile these findings:

1. Delaware Welcome Center Travel Plaza: Newark, New Jersey
2. Maryland House Travel Plaza: Aberdeen, Maryland
3. Molly Pitcher Service Area: Cranbury, New Jersey
4. Lake Forest Oasis: Lake Forest, Illinois
5. Cheesequake Rest Area: Sayreville, New Jersey
6. Woodrow Wilson Service Area: Hamilton, New Jersey
7. Chesapeake House Travel Plaza: North East, Maryland
8. Grover Cleveland Service Area: Woodbridge, New Jersey
9. Charlton Service Plaza (Westbound): Charlton, Massachusetts
10. Des Plaines Oasis: Des Plaines, Illinois

[flickr photo via mrsdkrebs]

A US National Park Ranger Tells All

national park ranger Grand CanyonMemorial Day is fast approaching, kicking off the beginning of the busiest time for America’s national parks – the summer season. Budget Travel has just published some confessions from a national park ranger (stationed at the Grand Canyon, judging from his anecdotes). Think Americans are the most reverent about our national treasures? Think again. It’s more likely to be a foreigner who knows better than to ask where the bridge across the Grand Canyon is, or be genuinely interested in the history behind the parks. But if you show some real interest and respect, a park ranger is likely to help make your experience in the park even more memorable.

If you’re headed to a park this summer, you may want to check out the Park Advocate, the official blog of the National Parks Conservation Association. They post helpful tools for hikers, interesting lesser-known stories about the parks and other multimedia and news for visitors.

Read the full confessions at

[Photo courtesy Grand Canyon NPS‘ Flickr photostream.]

Vintage Coney Island: postcard from 1938 Fortune Magazine

Coney Island
Summer has officially started and for many New Yorkers, summer is synonymous with Coney Island‘s boardwalk, beach, and hot dog eating contests. Fortune Magazine has just republished a story from their archives about Brooklyn‘s famous “island” (really, it’s been connected to the mainland for many years and is an island only in name, though technically it is part of Brooklyn, which is part of Long Island) when a day at the beach cost only 10 cents (round trip!) in subway fare.

The fascinating and evocative article chronicles the history and then-current status of New York‘s “nickel empire” after its 1920s heyday and at the beginning of its decline that led to the closure of most of Coney Island’s original attractions.

Back in 1938, there were sixty bathhouses where you could rent a locker, use the pool facilities, and even rent a bathing suit for fifty cents or less (nowadays you can try to change in a municipal restroom, but the only pool will be the overflowing sinks). Though it may seem a world away from the Coney Island of 2011 (men in white sailor suits cleaned the boardwalk each night!), a lot of parallels can be drawn about the waning popularity of urban beach resorts and revitalization efforts of Coney Island then and now.

Other highlights of the article include:
-The saga of Feltman’s frankfurters, who could once serve 8,000 meals at a time until a young upstart named Nathan undercut the hot dog business by a nickel and took over the market.
-Observations from chief lifeguard of 37 years John McMonigle on beach rescues: ” The fat dames is different. Hell, you don’t have to worry about them — can’t swim a lick — but they go in, dog paddle around two hours, an’ never touch bottom. By God you can’t sink ’em.”
-The oddly intriguing practice of baby incubators on the boardwalk with a charge to view (Boardwalk Empire viewers will recall seeing this in 1920 Atlantic City). Turns out they were opened by a pragmatic and kindly doctor who treated poor and ill infants, using the admission fee to pay for the medical care and facilities.
-The difficulties of running a freak show, where acts included “The Spider Boy; Singing Lottie, Fat Girl (O Boy, Some Entertainer); Laurello, the Only Man With a Revolving Head (See Frisco, the Wonder Dog); Professor Bernard, Magician Extraordinary (He will fool you); Professor Graf, Tattoo Artist (Alive); and his star act, Belle Bonita and her Fighting Lions (Action, Thrills).”

Read the whole article (maybe on your way to Coney Island on the subway) here.

Photo courtesy Flickr user Albany_Tim.