Top 10 Breweries to Visit in the US
The distinct green smell of hops can guide any traveler’s nose in search of the finest brews. Traveling to visit breweries is similar to that of wine-themed vacations. These days, beer aficionadas roam the country in search of the best of the best, the ales and lagers that are worth the trip alone. For your beer-themed travels, don’t miss these breweries across the U.S.
The Boston Beer Company - Boston, Massachusetts
If you are planning on staying in Boston at an Extended Stay America, you will want to find time to tour the Samuel Adams Brewery, part of the Boston Beer Company. America’s leading brewer of handcrafted beers began with brewer Jim Koch. Now the brewery boasts 30 award-winning styles of beers and the title of the U.S.’s largest selling craft beer. All ages are invited to tour the Samuel Adams Brewery in Boston. To sample the legendary brews, you will require an I.D.
Brooklyn Brewery - Brooklyn, New York
Started in 1988, the Brooklyn Brewery is one of the top craft beer producers in the world. With a Williamsburg, Brooklyn location, the brewery opens up to the public for small batch tours, tastings and even happy hours.
Bell’s Brewery - Kalamazoo, Michigan
This Michigan Brewery in Kalamazoo has made a name for producing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers. In fact, Bell’s Brewery is one of the oldest craft brewers east of Colorado. The original brewery in Kalamazoo can be toured along with the nearby Comstock Brewery.
New Belgium Brewing - Fort Collins, Colorado
Easily one of the top breweries in the U.S., New Belgium Brewing has made its home in Fort Collins since its beginning in 1991. Born out of a basement, the operations have now grown significantly, so much so that New Belgium is expanding to Asheville, North Carolina. The beer that started it all is New Belgium’s Fat Tire. You can tour and taste the Fort Collins facilities, but book in advance. Tours are frequently sold out.
Stone Brewing Company - Escondido, California
Located in Escondido, California, Stone Brewing Company is one of Southern California’s most recognized breweries. Tours are held every day in the 55,000 square foot brewing facility. Appropriately, a guided tasting follows the tour. Founded in 1996 by Greg Koch and Steve Wagner, Stone Brewing Company has also announced that it has plans to open a brewery in Berlin, which would make the company the first American craft brewery to open an establishment in Europe.
SweetWater Brewing Company - Atlanta, Georgia
With its wide range of beers, popular all across America’s southeast, SweetWater Brewing Company should be on your cross-country brewery tour. What began in the early 1990s with two college roommates has become Atlanta’s and the South’s go-to brewery. Tours are offered for $10. In return, you take home a souvenir pint glass and six tasting tickets to sample the brewery’s staples.
Boulevard Brewing Company - Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City’s biggest brewer is easily Boulevard Brewing Company. This middle of America brewery has been producing fine ales and lagers since 1989. Founder John McDonald began the brewery quite modestly by selling beer out of his truck. Today, tours of the brewing operations in downtown Kansas City are offered to the public. Boulevard remains the largest specialty brewery in the Midwest and is considered one of the best breweries in the area.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company - Chico, California & Mills River, North Carolina
The craft beer pioneer Sierra Nevada Brewing Company makes its original home in Chico, California with a second location in Mills River, North Carolina. Known for its famous Pale Ale, the brewery was formed by home-brewer Ken Grossman. Several brewery tours are offered with different themes and durations, making for an ideal stop for any beer fan whether you’re in Northern California or beautiful North Carolina.
Spoetzl Brewery - Shiner, Texas
Home to Shiner beer, Spoetzl Brewery is positioned in the small town of Shiner, Texas. In between Houston and San Antonio, the brewery is one of the oldest in the country with foundations in the early 1900s by a group of Czech and German immigrants. Tours go through the brew house where tastings are offered at the conclusion.
Deschutes Brewery - Bend, Oregon & Portland, Oregon
Located in Bend, Oregon, overlooking the Deschutes River, Deschutes Brewery stands with its award-winning lineup of pioneering beers. What began in 1988 is now often on those best brewery lists. Free guided tours are offered for an up close and personal look at the brewing process, and there is also a pub in Portland, Oregon.
If you’re a beer lover and a road warrior, it’s high time you set out on an exploration across the land-o-brews and checked out some of these drink-worthy brew houses across the states.
4 Tropical US Vacation Destinations
As most of the country begins the long thaw out from winter, many of us begin dreaming of getting away to tropical destinations. The busy holiday season can make it hard to get away in the winter months, and venturing to tropical destinations beyond the continental U.S. can seem next to impossible. However, you don’t need a passport or an extensive plane ride to experience the tropics in the mainland of the Unites States. Leave your passport and jet lag remedies at home and head for these tropical destinations in the right here in the continental U.S.
Hilton Head Island - Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island in South Carolina might only measure 12 miles by five miles, but this tropical U.S. getaway answers for its size with dune draped beaches, Spanish moss decorated trees and miles of bike and hiking paths. In addition to the beach pursuits, biking and hiking, the island is also home to 24 world-class golf courses and 350 tennis courts. The ultimate island retreat pegs itself as a beach home away from home. Hilton Head Island certainly has that homey feel, with sparkling sands and endless outdoor attractions for the whole family. The island sits off the coast of South Carolina, within close range to both Savannah and Charleston.
Catalina Island - Avalon, California
Part of the Channel Islands, Catalina Island rests just 22 miles off the coast of Southern California. A short ferry ride from Los Angeles or San Diego leads travelers to a tropical oasis. Measuring just 21 miles, the island is home to a wealth of water sports around its crystal clear waters. Visitors can scuba dive, snorkel, parasail, fish and kayak through isolated beaches and coves. Even if you aren’t the aquatic type, Catalina Island is rich in lush hiking trails to explore. Travelers can stay on the island or rest up at an Extended Stay America back on the mainland.
Key West - Key West, Florida
If you truly want tropical in the continental U.S., Key West fits the bill. The southeastern-most tip of the country is an eclectic place. With year-round balmy temperatures and legendary sunsets, Key West is always a great endpoint for a warm getaway. Travelers can enjoy the area’s blue waters by going on a dolphin watching tour, taking in a sunset cruise, hopping on a glass bottom boat tour or even just on their own by way of snorkeling or swimming. The short drive from Miami down the U.S. 1 leaves travelers ready to walk in the footsteps of former residents such as Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee Williams.
South Padre Island - South Padre, Texas
Located at the end of the world’s longest barrier island, South Padre Island perches in southern Texas, right near the border of Mexico. Due to its southern position, the location is a popular stomping ground for tropical U.S. vacations throughout most times of the year. South Padre Island is home to 34 miles of uninterrupted beaches. As it is only a half-mile wide, travelers are always close to the beach, as it should be. Some popular activities in this tropical escape include surfing, swimming and sand castle sculpting due to the long stretches of soft sands along the Gulf shores.
Why brave the cold while the snow continues to fall this year? Book your reservations and hit the road to check out one of these warm weather tropical destinations. You can have your toes in the warm sand in no time.
5 Must-Have Items for Your International Business Trip
Traveling internationally for business is always depicted as quite glamorous in television and film. Actors and actresses always seem to look put-together and ready to take on that meeting in a different language. However, if you have traveled internationally for business, you know that it is not always as smooth sailing as it appears to be on the big screen, namely due to packing mishaps. If you have to take an international business trip, be sure you remember to throw these five items in your carry-on luggage.
1. A Power Strip
If you are like most business travelers, the first order of business when you check into a hotel is to immediately begin the search for the nearest outlets. In different countries, the outlets can be few and far between in your hotel room. Some come only with one plug, and it may already be in use for the room lights. Also, as you travel through airport after airport, you might face a similar problem of struggling to find a free outlet. A power strip should be in your carry-on or computer bag for both domestic and international business trips. When you don’t have a lot of time to charge up your devices, you’ll appreciate the convenience of having multiple outlets at your disposal.
2. Universal Adapter/Plug Converters
A U.S. power strip without a converter won’t be of much use to you in France. Even if you don’t pack a power strip, you need to have the right adapters for the country you are traveling to. Having the right converters will eliminate any frantic searches for a converter for your U.S. plug in the middle of Croatia.
3. Luggage Lock
Corporate travel often means you are traveling with all of your prized and pricy devices. Nothing could be worse than having them stolen, especially in an international setting where you might not be as aware as you are when traveling in familiar places. By packing a luggage lock, you can make certain that the items in your bag won’t be stolen in a quick grab and dash. A luggage lock also comes in handy when you have to go out to a business dinner and worry about someone back at the hotel getting into your room.
4. A Credit Card with No International Transaction Fees
Aside from making that phone call to your credit card company to notify them that you will be traveling internationally, you might also want to be sure you bring a credit card that doesn’t charge international transaction fees. If you are wining and dining clients constantly on your trip, those fees can quickly add up. Even if your company is covering the fee as part of corporate travel management, you should still have a card with you with such a feature in case you sneak off for your own independent activities.
5. A Travel Steamer
Looking your best for a business meeting is crucial. This can be incredibly difficult with a bunch of clothing that has spent several days, if not weeks, crumpled in a suitcase. It can also be even more challenging to locate an iron abroad. To look put-together, pack a travel steamer to iron out any wrinkles before your business activities.
When you need a domestic business-friendly hotel wherever you are headed to wheel and deal, Extended Stay America ticks all of the boxes. Suites provide access to free and fast Wi-Fi and comfortable spaces to both work and unwind.
4 Best Places to Experience St. Patrick's Day in the US
On March 17th, everyone is a little bit Irish, even if Ireland is a long way off. The color green covers the country and Guinness flows amply. Whether you are traveling on business during this holiday or vacationing, you might want to make a point to find some green and head for these legendary Saint Patrick’s Day celebrations across the U.S.
Chicago boasts one of the most famous Saint Patrick’s Day parades, making it easy to see why many check into an Extended Stay America in Chicago around March 17th. Parade aside, the city also has a rather quirky tradition when it dumps 40 pounds of green dye into the Chicago River just before the parade begins. The end result is a city that truly glows in a certain shade of Kelly green. This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Chicago Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Kicking off at noon on Saturday March 14th, the parade brings out bagpipers, horses and plenty of Irish step dancers. The parade starts at Balbo and Columbus and heads north on Columbus Drive. Visitors can hang around Buckingham Fountain where the viewing stand resides.
It might seem rather unexpected to find one of the oldest Saint Patrick’s Day parades down south in Savannah. However, Savannah brings out all that is good and green for its Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. The city officially began parading through its historic streets for Saint Patrick’s Day back in 1813. Now in its 191st year, the parade takes place on March 17th every year if it doesn’t fall on a Sunday. The parade heads through historic downtown Savannah and features a number of bands.
New York City, New York
New York City houses the oldest and largest Saint Patrick’s Day parade in the country. The New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade first began way back in 1762. Today it claims the title of being the world’s largest parade. Despite its size and history, the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade hasn’t changed since its inception. The parade still functions the old fashioned way, on foot; there aren’t any floats, cars or commercial aspects. The New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade is always held on March 17th unless it falls on a Sunday. The parade begins at 44th Street and heads up Fifth Avenue with plenty of bands and bagpipes to appreciate.
A parade has occurred in South Boston since 1901 and for good reason: the city is home to a large Irish population. The South Boston Parade always takes place on the Sunday closest to March 17th. The first parade occurred on the 125th Anniversary of when General George Washington and the Continental Army forced the British to end their occupancy of the city. The South Boston Parade begins on West Broadway and ends on Dorchester Avenue. This year’s parade will occur on Sunday March 15th. In addition to the parade, Boston boasts some of the best pubs in America for a little taste of Ireland, even if you can’t make it to the Emerald Isle.
From the green waters of the Chicago River to the bagpipes in Boston, the U.S. celebrates Saint Patrick’s Day in style. If you have to travel for business to any of these major cities or you merely need an excuse to take a late winter vacation, Saint Patrick’s Day makes for a good reason to get up and go for the love of green.
5 Busiest Airports in the US
Whether you are traveling for business or merely on your next vacation, your journey might involve stopping in some of the busiest airports in the country. These chaotic hubs are often just that, a frenzy of security wait lines, baggage claim clutter and tight connections. Before you take off and to better prepare for the chaos, you may want to study up on the busiest airports in the United States.
#5. Denver International Airport
With one main terminal and three connecting concourses, Denver International Airport is positioned right smack in the middle of America. Due to its location, Denver is one of the busiest airports in the world, ranking fifteenth in the world and fifth in the United States. More than 52 million passengers travel through DIA each year. Denver International Airport is unique in that it features a vast collection of art, transforming the normal humdrum experience of visiting an airport.
#4. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Located in between Dallas and Fort Worth, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport lives up to its busy reputation. The airport is the third busiest in the world in terms of operations and the tenth busiest in the world in terms of passengers. In 2013, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport reported a total of 60,436,739 passengers. For travelers in the Dallas area, the airport is made up of five terminals across seven runways. Before you take off or touch down, you will want to be sure to figure out which terminal you will be flying in and out of to make your time in Dallas a little more manageable.
#3. Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport, otherwise known as LAX, is the sixth busiest airport in the world and lands (pun intended) as the third busiest in the country. LAX sees 692 daily flights to 85 domestic cities. In addition, the airport welcomes 928 weekly non-stop flights to 67 cities in 34 countries. In 2013, the airport saw 66.7 million passengers come through its doors. For travelers catching flights in or out of Los Angeles, the airport features nine passenger terminals connected by a two level roadway. And if you need to lengthen your sunny So Cal stay, Extended Stay America in Los Angeles provides roomy suites where the chaos of LAX seems very far away.
#2. O’Hare International Airport
For 40 years, O’Hare International Airport held the title for the world’s busiest airport. While Chicago’s bustling airport is still very much busy with passengers, today it frequently finds a spot as the second or third busiest in the United States. The airport features over 1,000 daily direct flights to nearly 150 destinations in the United States along with over 120 daily direct flights to 60 international destinations. O’Hare International Airport sits in close proximity to downtown Chicago, where you can find a wealth of Chicago hotels.
#1. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
When it comes to the busiest airports in the U.S., Atlanta’s stands on its own. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is not only the busiest airport in the country, it’s once again considered the world’s busiest for the 16th straight year. Serving more than 150 U.S. destinations and more than 60 international cities, you will mostly likely pass through this airport at some point on your travels. Atlanta’s hub airport sees more than 2,500 daily flights. The airport sits just 10 miles from downtown Atlanta in the southeastern United States, making it easy to stay in Atlanta before or after your flight if you need to rest up.
Even if you have no alternative but to travel through these busy airports, knowing what you’re up against is half the battle in staying sane when braving the hustle and bustle to get to your destination.
Spring Forward with These Daylight Savings Tips
Every spring, travelers on the road wake up in a panic at least one day of the year. They have missed a meeting, appointment or their flight because they forgot about Daylight Savings Time. You can blame Benjamin Franklin for coming up with the concept of Daylight Savings Time. Dealing with that lost hour of sleep isn’t easy, especially if you aren’t at home. This year, Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday March 8th at 2AM. At this time, clocks spring forward, giving that extra hour of daylight in the evening, just as old Ben intended. Now that you know the date and time of this year’s “spring forward,” here are a few tips for remembering and dealing with Daylight Savings when you are traveling.
Spring Forward Your Clock a Few Days Before
Daylight Savings Time occurs at 2AM on Sunday when most of us are fast asleep. It can be a rude awakening when you are particularly groggy the next morning because you have received one hour less of sleep. Most of us either forget to go to bed an hour earlier, or we simply stay up far too late to feel like a human being the next morning. This year, try to ease into Daylight Savings by setting your clock forward a few days in advance. The change will come as less of a shock to your mind and body if you are already going to bed, waking up and eating on a new schedule. On the Friday or Saturday before Daylight Savings Time, try to adjust your clock an hour forward to gradually work up to the official day of Daylight Savings.
Schedule a Wake Up Call For Sunday Morning
If every year you find yourself frequently wondering when is Daylight Savings? you are most likely the person who oversleeps through your flight or meeting the next morning. And if you’re traveling, you don’t always have your normal sleep routine and trusted alarm clock. As a result, you can miss engagements and activities. In order to not miss a beat, you can have your Extended Stay America front desk schedule a wake up call for you. With a wake up call, you can rest easy, literally, knowing that a phone will ring to wake you when you need to be up.
Sure, you can have your hotel wake you up and you can even begin springing forward several days in advance. However, many travelers don’t know what to do with that extra hour of daylight when they do have it. Make the most of those long daylight hours by getting your sweat on. Getting some exercise not only helps you shed the pounds, but it’s proven that working out also results in a better night’s sleep, even with the time change. Exercising should be easy to do on the road if you book a hotel that has a gym or a swimming pool. Travelers should be cautious about when they exercise. While that morning jog might help wake you up, jogging just before bedtime could also keep you awake at night.
Travelers don’t have to be a cranky, tired mess if they are on the road during the time change. With some planning, assistance from your hotel and a little good old-fashioned exercise, you can spring forward with a certain spring in your step rather than puffy eyes and yawns.
5 Must-See Spring Training Attractions
They are four little words that bring such joy and delight to any baseball fans’ ears after a long winter, “pitchers and catchers report.” In order to prepare for the Major League Baseball season, in late February each year, teams head south for training. And each year, excited fans follow their team to either Arizona or Florida to scout out the latest prospects and perhaps most importantly, to finally get out from under the cold and snow. If you are in need of a little spring training yourself, here are some must see attractions near the ballparks in both Arizona and Florida.
#1. Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZ
The Cactus League is home to 15 teams, all practicing and preparing for the season within 47 miles of one another in the greater Phoenix, Arizona area. With most of the ballparks around Phoenix, you can experience a number of nearby attractions when you aren’t rooting for your favorite home team. One not to be missed is Scottsdale’s Taliesin West, a dramatic National Historic Landmark built by Frank Lloyd Wright in the 1930s. The grounds now operate as a world-renowned architecture school and tours are available daily. Visitors to Taliesin West get to see a masterpiece building once lived in by Wright as well as, depending on the tour you decide on, stunning outdoor “shelters” that students spend their final year in while living at the school.
#2. Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, AZ
If you need to work off that hot dog from the ballpark, you can head to one of the Phoenix area’s most popular hiking spots, Camelback Mountain. Part of the Echo Canyon Recreation area, Camelback Mountain truly resembles the shape of the hump and head of a camel. The prominent landmark in Phoenix presents fine hiking with two summit trails gaining around 1,200 feet in elevation of the 2,704-foot mountain.
#3. Play Ball-The Cactus League Experience Exhibit in Mesa, AZ
For travelers visiting Arizona for spring training and spring training only, you can still stray outside the ballparks and learn a little bit more about the Cactus League. The Mesa Historical Museum boasts the Play Ball-The Cactus League Experience exhibit. The exhibit details the history of the Cactus League in Arizona. It also houses rare spring training memorabilia.
#4. Sanibel Island in FL
Florida is the MLB spring training home for twelve teams along the coasts and three in the state’s center. A tradition in Florida since the 1890s, travelers who want to catch the Red Sox or Twins can begin by heading to Fort Meyers. In addition to the spring training games, you can also pay a visit to nearby Sanibel Island. Located along the Gulf of Mexico, the island is just a short drive from Fort Meyers and presents jaw-dropping sunsets, lighthouses and opportunities for shell seeking. Sanibel Island boasts a number of beaches and state parks that you can easily explore in between innings.
#5. Gatorland in Orlando, FL
If you brought the whole family and are staying at an Extended Stay in Orlando, you can easily reach many ballparks and the family-friendly Gatorland. Right between Orlando and Kissimmee, Gatorland is home to thousands of alligators and crocodiles. In addition, you can catch a glimpse of the rare white alligator. The 110-acre theme park also hosts a free-flight aviary, petting zoo, animal shows, natural alligator breeding marsh and a zip-line.
#6. Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum in Jupiter
Many fans of the Cardinals and the Marlins find time in Jupiter to explore the historic Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum. The landmark lighthouse hails from 1860. In addition to the lighthouse itself, visitors can also tour the museum with its exhibits detailing the history of the waterfront. The museum sets up in a restored Naval housing quarters building from World War II.
The wait is finally over for baseball fans, and now when you catch your favorite team in Arizona or Florida, you have some fun options to fill up your down time in between games. If you are bringing the whole family, or maybe even traveling with some non-baseball fans, there are still plenty of things to see and do around the ballparks to help your trip go a full nine innings for everyone.
6 Conferences You Should Attend in 2015
Every year, business professionals take time away from the office to travel to trade shows and conferences. These industry events can take up time out of already busy schedules, and perhaps most importantly, they often cost a hefty chunk of change. While a good investment for most professionals, you also don’t want to waste your time and money on lackluster conferences. Here are six conferences to attend in 2015 that promise to give business professionals rewarding experiences for their careers.
#1. Adobe Summit
The digital marketing conference Adobe Summit is held in Salt Lake City, Utah from March 9th through March 13th. The event provides an opportunity to connect with over 5,000 digital marketing leaders. Business professionals can learn and explore the latest trends and tools in digital marketing to better their own endeavors.
#2. Social Media Marketing World
Held in San Diego from March 25th through March 27, Social Media Examiner’s Social Media Marketing World provides a chance for business professionals to discover the best social media marketing techniques with a little help from the world’s top experts. Tagged as the world’s largest social media marketing conference, Social Media Marketing World provides the opportunity to mingle with social media pros.
If you can make it to Nashville in April, you might want to schedule your visit around the GrowCo conference. Particularly identified as a small business conference, the Grow Your Company Conference spreads out across three days from April 7th through April 9th. The event brings entrepreneurs and business leaders who want to grow within their organizations. Business experts and best selling authors are on hand to provide tips, tricks and tools for moving up the ladder.
#4. New Media Expo
Set to take place at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the New Media Expo is the world’s largest electronic media event. Professionals in the new media industry won’t want to miss this world-class event in Las Vegas, Nevada April 13th through April 16th to learn about all things blogging, podcasting, Web TV and video. The business conference brings in roughly 98,000 bloggers, podcasters and web TV creators.
#5. Fortune Leadership Summit
From May 12th through May 13th, Orlando welcomes the Fortune Leadership Summit. Participants from all over the world come to Florida for one of the most high-powered trade shows 2015 will offer. Throughout peer-level discussions, attendees gain leadership and executive development to put in place at their own company. Many of the leaders from Fortune’s fastest growing companies are present including hundreds of CEOs. If your head is spinning a bit from hobnobbing with CEOs, you can always head back to your Extended Stay America suite to relax with its laundry list of amenities.
#6. World Domination Summit
Originally conceived by New York Times best selling author, Chris Guillebeau, World Domination Summit is a gathering of entrepreneurs, travelers, writers, artists and activities to exchange ideas in a funky way. Held July 9th through July 13th, the business conference takes place in Portland, Oregon. In 2015, World Domination Summit promises to take over the whole city due to its overwhelming popularity.
If you’re mapping out your conference budget for the coming year, be sure to check out these promising events that are sure to give you the most bang for your budget-buck.