Archive for the 'USA' Category

An Introduction to iStopOver

We understand the high demand for short-term rentals in today’s traveling marketplace. We’re happy to introduce iStopOver, the Toronto based short term rentals website. Along with many iStopOver properties and hosts – you can find Vacapedia rentals. 

With listings in over 16,000 cities, iStopOver brings you a great range of choice when it comes to accommodation for any budget. Want to sleep on a houseboat? iStopOver has it. iStopOver focuses on bringing travelers and hosts (home owners) together. The accommodations vary – from private rooms in a home or entire apartments or houses.

iStopOver also has a feature that lets hosts bid on your business – it’s called WiseAsk and can be found on the homepage. WiseAsk lets you broadcast accommodation requests to hosts in certain cities. If you’re looking for 3 nights, no pets and close to a subway station location in New York City – enter it into your WiseAsk and hosts will contact you with their accommodations. It’s simple, quick and a great way to get exactly what you want when traveling.

Looking to travel? Check out some of the cities that iStopOver highlights:

San Francisco

San Francisco really is a treat – with a strong artistic scene and cultural vibe, there is a lot to see and do. You won’t find yourself with a minute to spare! Make sure to check out Lombard Street and the Fisherman’s Wharf! Find your San Francisco Holiday Apartment today. 

London

The London Eye is just one of many attractions in London – among Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and many more sites! iStopOver makes sure that you stay right in the middle of all the action. Make sure to take a look at these London short term rentals. With the 2012 Olympic games coming up – it’s never too early to start planning your trip!

Paris

Fall in love with the city of Paris! With charming streets, rich culture and incredibly romantic history, it will be hard not to! iStopOver has great hosts who are eager to share their love of the city with you! Finding accommodation with iStopOver in Paris est tres simple! Check here for Paris accommodation

Barcelona

Few cities can boast a metropolis filled with culture and still offer swimming at a beach as Barcelona does. No visit would be complete without a stroll along its famous pedestrian-only thoroughfare La Rambla! Make sure to hit the beach and soak up some rays. Rest assured that iStopOver will provide you with the finest Barcelona short term rentals.

Amsterdam

Rent a bike and tour this beautiful city and take in all that it has to offer! Spend an afternoon in any one of the beautiful parks and just watch the people go by. Make sure that you find your perfect Amsterdam holiday apartment with iStopOver!

New York City

A visit to the Big Apple is always memorable. Celebrity sightings, skyscrapers, and delicious meals are only a few of the experiences! New York short term rentals secured through iStopOver are the top choice to place you smack in the center of “the city that never sleeps” to explore the famous landmarks and neighborhoods.

Auckland

Ever thought of taking a trip to the wild and beautiful New Zealand? Auckland is the at the hub of it all on the North Island. Make sure you visit local coffee shops and stores. Any Kiwi will welcome you with a loud “Kia Ora, mate!” (which means Welcome! in Maori). Book an Auckland accommodation with iStopOver and be a part of the action!

Berlin

Let Berlin amaze you. With rich history and a vibrant arts scene – there is something for everyone. Make sure to get to know your area – every neighborhood has a story! You can find your quaint Berlin accommodation with iStopOver today.

Cape Town

We hear that Cape Town in December is the time to go! Don’t hesitat – iStopOver has amazing accommodation with hosts that are more than happy to show you around! Find your Cape Town Accommodation!

Dublin

You’ll have the luck of the Irish when traveling through Dublin! Make sure to swing by Guinness brewery for a nice pint of Ireland’s finest! Booking your Dublin short term rentals with iStopOver will have you living like a local!

Johannesburg

See some of the world’s best sunsets in Johannesburg, South Africa. Enjoy warm climates and friendly people! Find your Johannesburg accommodation today!

Los Angeles

Cruise the Sunset Strip and see if your hands match up with the stars’ along the Walk of Fame! Make sure to pack your sunglasses – you’ll get your fill of Vitamin D in the sunny streets of Los Angeles. Booking your Los Angeles short term rental with iStopOver will have you feeling like a local.

Miami

Bring your bathing suit and hit the beach! South Beach, that is. With culinary delights, amazing sunshine and cool drinks – you’ll find yourself relaxing in no time in Miami. For your perfect Miami accommodation – check out iStopOver’s listings!

Montreal

Visit one of Canada’s most interesting and vibrant cities – Montreal. Located in La Belle Province, Quebec, you’ll have a memorable experience. Make sure to grab a few pastries from a local shop and spend the days wandering the old streets. IStopOver has plenty of excellent Montreal accommodation for any budget.

Toronto

Pay a visit to the CN Tower – one of the world’s largest free-standing landmarks! Take a ride on the TTC and take in the beautiful waterfront that Toronto has to offer. Feel right at home in any one of iStopOver’s Toronto short term rentals.

Vancouver

Visit the West Coast and experience that cool breeze off of the water! Vancouver is home to some of the best and fresh sushi! So go ahead, and find yourself an affordable Vancouver short term rental!

Wellington

Otherwise known as ‘Wellywood’ (because of the smash success of Lord of The Rings – which was filmed throughout New Zealand and premiered in Wellington), Wellington offers cool culture and awesome ocean views! Find your affordable Wellington accommodation – suitable for any budget!

So the next time you’re planning a trip – check out iStopOver for affordable short term accommodation!

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All the world is a stage in Branson, Missouri

Branson in Missouri is a small town which is located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains in Missouri.  Characterized by much scenic beauty which also includes a  man-made lake, Lake Taneycomo, Branson is visited by hordes of visitors every year. These vacationers come to Branson not only for its quaint small town ambiance and its excellent fishing and golfing opportunities; they also come to Branson for its thriving entertainment scene which is made up of more than forty theaters which present performances of every kind from gospel, rock, and pop to comedy, drama, and variety shows.

Your vacation rental near the bright lights of Branson

Your vacation rental near the bright lights of Branson

These shows are held throughout the day at the various theaters which are located on Branson’s main entertainment drag known as ‘the Strip’. Estimates indicate that Branson’s theaters which offer 60,317 seats in more than 50 venues outstrip the world renowned Broadway theaters of New York in terms of capacity.  Apart from theaters and shows, Branson also offers much myriad entertainment for all the family in the form of three theme parks including the famous Silver Dollar City theme park, many restaurants and eateries, three lakes, ten golf courses and shopping options that range from the outlet malls to upscale boutique stores.

How did such a small town grow to become such an important hub on the entertainment map? Branson was initially settled by the Osage people, after which it figured on the map of European fur traders in the 1600s. The Louisiana Purchase rendered Branson and Missouri a part of the US in 1803 and subsequently the region saw much action during the Civil War. However the tourist boom in Branson can be attributed to a novel called The Shepherd of the Hills which was written by a traveling minister Harold Bell Wright in 1907.  The book describes the many charms of life in Ozarks which sparked the interest of its readers who then ventured out to the area to discover its many delights themselves.

To entertain these summer visitors family variety shows began to be staged for their entertainment in the 1950’s which gradually evolved into more diverse shows as big name entertainers realized they had a captive audience in these summer visitors who came to vacation in the Ozarks. In the 1980’s and 1990’s many theaters, restaurants, theme parks, golf courses were constructed in and around Branson which helped to make it the vibrant entertainment hub that it is today.

Branson can actually provide you with a comprehensive vacation experience as it has much to offer for all kinds of vacationers. Booking a vacation rental in Branson makes for sound economic sense as well as with a vacation rental you can eliminate many expenses which are associated with a hotel stay and thus you  can have much more to splurge on the many attractions of Branson. Moreover depending on whether you are fishing enthusiast or a golf nut or even a theater buff you can choose the location of your vacation rental accordingly from a wide variety of options that are available to you.

A vacation rental at the Fairways at the Thousand Hills Resort is ideal for the golf enthusiast

A vacation rental at the Fairways at the Thousand Hills Resort is ideal for the golf enthusiast

Some popular sights that you should try and take in on your vacation to Branson include:-

The  Music City Center
This Center is one of the key locations in Branson which stages many thoroughly entertaining acts that feature acrobatic displays as well as dance and music. Popular shows that have been staged here include “The Haygoods,” “Tony Roi’s Elvis Experience” and “Red, Hot…and Blue!”

The Starlite Theater
This 1950’s theater which is spread over 11000 square feet and can comfortably accommodate 900 guests has held popular shows over the ages like the Platters, Liverpool legends etc.

The Stockstill Park
The 62 acre verdant paradise known as Stockstill Park has the pretty Roark Ceek located within its environs. It  also has many open meadows, playgrounds, sports facilities and picnic tables making it an ideal location to spend a lazy summer day with all the family.

The Silver  Dollar City Theme Park
This 1960’s constructed theme park which is built around an 1880’s theme is extremely popular with families who choose to vacation in Branson as it has a wide array of rides and local attractions . This theme park is located between Branson and Branson West on Highway 76.

Perfect your swing on your golfing vacation at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the Atlantic coast of the USA. This resort city which is located in Horry County, South Carolina is visited by almost 13 million people annually. People from all over the world come to Myrtle Beach for its wide repertoire of attractions which include over 100 challenging golf course of every price range.  Myrtle Beach is also blessed with a year round temperate climate which makes it a perfect all season destination. This resort city of Myrtle Beach encompasses an area known as the Grand Stand which consists of a complex of beach towns and barrier islands that stretch from Little River to Georgetown in South Carolina.

A historic Myrtle Beach plantation vacation rental has its own unique charm

A historic Myrtle Beach plantation vacation rental has its own unique charm

To the south of Myrtle Beach, lies Pawleys Island which was first developed as a resort area before the Civil War. Pawleys Island also has many golf courses and many shopping and dining options but is less congested than popular Myrtle Beach which is firmly entrenched on the tourist map. The development of Myrtle Beach as a resort began at the start of the twentieth century when a Timber Company called Burroughs & Collins began to develop their seaside holdings located here. As the area developed and evolved, it first came to be known as New Town and then as Myrtle Beach in honor of the many wild wax myrtles that grow in abundance in the area. Today the area known as the Grand Stand is extremely well developed and has  wide array of recreational facilities that are bound to appeal to all kinds of tourists.

Beachside vacation rentals afford you easy attractions to seaside activities

Beachside vacation rentals afford you easy attractions to seaside activities

When you book a vacation rental in Myrtle Beach it gives you a chance to kick back and relax as you indulge in your favorite pastimes. Your vacation rental located in Myrtle Beach affords you easy access to the many soft sand beaches, golf courses, restaurants, theme parks, water parks and shopping centers located in the area. Once you have arrived at your ocean front vacation rental you can leisurely decide if you want to just lie on the beach and take in some sun or if you want to be more active and indulge in more energetic pursuits like scuba diving, parasailing, and deep sea fishing or hiking all of which are easily ‘doable’ on your Myrtle Beach vacation.

If however your passion is golf then Myrtle Beach with its more than 100 top class golf courses will have the appearance of paradise for you especially if you choose to share your vacation rental with your band of golfing buddies. All these recreational and entertainment facilities make Myrtle Beach, a rather complete holiday destination that you would like to return to repeatedly.

Some of the top attractions in Myrtle Beach are:-

The Barefoot Golf Resort
This golfing paradise features four very different courses which have been designed by golfing greats Greg Norman, Davis Love III, Tom Fazio and Pete Dye. These courses which amply showcase the diverse landscape of the area attract golfers from all over the world for golfing vacations in Myrtle Beach.

Hard Rock Theme Park

The Hard Rock Theme Park provides hours of raucous entertainment for families visiting Myrtle Beach with their children as the park is equipped with many thrilling rides and interactive attractions and play areas and gardens. This theme park also features many live performances and has several shopping and dining attractions along with an amphitheater which can accommodate 10,000 people.

Ripley’s Aquarium

Yet another great family fun attraction in Myrtle Beach is the Ripley’s Aquarium which is located within Broadway at the Beach. This aquarium showcases many wild and wonderful marine creatures which makes it a prime attraction for families visiting the resort city of Myrtle Beach.

Escape to the Golden isle in Georgia to relax and rejeuvenate your body and soul

On the coast of the southern US state of Georgia lies a tranquil paradise in the form of Georgia’s ‘Golden isles’. These golden isles which are made up of four barrier islands-St Simons island, Sea Island, Little St Simons island and Jekyll Island are all accessible from the main land city of Brunswick. These islands were named the golden islands by the Spanish explorers who came here more than four hundred years ago in search of gold and instead found a serene stunning paradise which had golden sands and amiable year round weather.

Your beach-front vacation rental overlooking the golden sands and the ocean

Your beach-front vacation rental overlooking the golden sands and the ocean

St Simons Island is the largest of these four sun-dappled islands which is located across the Marshes of Glynn and is accessed by crossing two bridges that have been built over the river inlets and the marsh lands. This quaint island which has an all pervading sense of calm is characterized by a lush verdant landscape which is made up of gently swaying green grasses, tall palm trees and massive ancient oaks which are filled with Spanish moss. The marshes and creeks that surround the island teem with many kinds of birds, fish, crab and white tail deer and greatly enhance the ambiance of serenity which prevails on this stunning island. Moreover the island is constantly cooled by a gentle ocean breeze which blows in from the Atlantic Ocean and no matter where you are on the island you are always enveloped with this fresh breeze from the ocean which does provide a respite from the intense southern summer heat.

Majestic Oak Trees on St Simon Islands

Majestic Oak Trees on St Simon Islands

The beaches which are the biggest draw of the island are especially beautiful as they port a golden hue due to the mineral enriched sand which is packed tightly down. The sand on the beaches of St Simons Island is so firmly packed because the beaches are constantly washed by the waters of the changing tides. Most visitors to this tranquil golden paradise choose to book their vacation rentals close to these golden sands and luckily for them many of the vacation rentals on St Simons Island are located in beach-front condominiums which afford spectacular views of the ocean and these golden sands.

Moreover having a beach front vacation rental on  St Simons Island offers you easy access to  the water based activities that are offered on the island like sea kayaking, canoeing, boating, deep sea fishing, swimming, wind surfing, parasailing and of course simple beach combing. Another activity here which visitors to St Simons Island find most intriguing and extremely entertaining as well is ‘crabbing’. The islands waters are home to hordes of blue soft shell crabs and the local islanders  stand on the shoreline to fish for these crabs in a practice which is known as ‘crabbing’ wherein they  use a piece of chicken as a bait to attract and catch the crabs. Once you get the hang of crabbing it can provide you with hours of entertainment.

Your beach-front condo vacation rental on St Simon affords you easy access to its manywater based activities

Your beach-front condo vacation rental on St Simon affords you easy access to its many water based activities

The island is also well equipped for bicycling as it has many paved trails that you can follow from your vacation rental at the coast to the center of town or the Pier. If your vacation rental doesn’t offer you a bike rental you can easily rent one in town and enjoy exploring the island on your own. St. Simons Island is also home to seven fine golf courses and is also a popular destination for golfers from around the world. Apart from all these sporting activities the island also has many dining and shopping options in its main village.

For those who enjoy sight- seeing the island also has  much to offer in the form of its many renowned national monuments like its imposing  Ford Federica which was built in 1736 by James Oglethorpe to  protect the British colonies in North America from the marauding Spaniards in Florida who had  expansionist designs. The island also has other national treasures and historical landmarks like the Christchurch Church, the Bloody Marshes, the St Simons Lighthouse and the Neptune Park which has a mini golf course, a playground and even a fishing pier. In fact the golden isle of St Simon has much to offer for everyone and a vacation on this serene tranquil paradise is sure to relax and rejuvenate your body and soul.

Admire Nature in all it’s isolated glory at Big Sky in Montana

If skiing on the slopes of Europe is not a possibility this winter why don’t you stay Stateside and try your hand at the slopes of Big Sky Ski resort  instead?  Big Sky Ski Resort is located in similarly named Big Sky  which is located in vast and sparsely populated state of  Montana.  The region known as Big Sky is located between the city of Bozeman and West Yellowstone and it contains some of the most stunning landscape in the entire United States.

Your Mountain Lodge Rental overlooking Lone Mountain

Your Mountain Lodge Rental overlooking Lone Mountain

The Big Sky ski resort was conceptualized and created by NBC News anchorman Chet Huntley who was a Montana Native. The resort opened for business in 1973 and it has grown in leaps and bounds over the last 35 years. Big Sky Ski Resort has three mountain terrains that are ideal for all level of skiers and snowboarders. The most famous mountain located here is Lone Mountain which soars to a height of over 11,000 feet and has many trails which cater to all levels of skiers. Also located within Big Sky Ski Resort is the Andesite Mountain which is more suited to intermediate skiers. The third mountain which is  called Flat Iron Mountain  also has  a landscape which is  suited to all types of skiers and snowboarders. Apart from skiing, this resort which is located in close proximity to the national treasure of the Yellowstone National Park also has facilities for golfing, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, snowshoeing, fly fishing and tennis. So even if skiing is not your thing there is much to keep you busy in this wild  beautiful land.

Your vacation rental at Huntley Lodge

Your vacation rental at Huntley Lodge

When you choose to book a vacation rental in Big Sky you can actually choose to stay at Huntley Lodge which is a hotel that was part of the original plan for the resort. This hotel has been recently refurbished and now offers many amenities for enthusiastic skiers like ski storage and the ability to ski-in or ski-out to core base camp. The hotel is also equipped with an invigorating Spa where you can rejuvenate and refresh your tired muscles after pounding the slopes all day. Huntley lodge is just one of the many vacation rentals that are offered at Big Sky.  Some of the other vacation rentals located here also include traditional mountain lodges which afford great views of Lone Mountain and Lake Levinsky and are located in close proximity to the slopes .

A winter sports holiday in the untouched wilderness of Montana may  perhaps provide a welcome change from the ordinary this ski season.  So why dont you give it a try by reserving your Big Sky vacation rental at the earliest.

Romp around in America’s Desert Playground, Palm Springs, CA

Set amongst verdant palms and azure pools is your ideal getaway

Set amongst verdant palms and azure pools is your ideal getaway

Palm Springs, a desert city located in Southern California used to be known as the ‘Playground of the Stars’ in the 1930’s for many Hollywood leading lights escaped  from the hustle and bustle of their daily lives to seek refuge in  the many luxurious resorts located here in the midst of palm lined canyons and gushing waterfalls. Marlene Dietrich, Frank Sinatra, Clark Gable, Carole Lombard all spent time in this desert city which is known for its great natural beauty which is characterized by desert flora and fauna. Al Capone a notorious mobster from Chicago also used the Two Bunch Palm resort to hide from the police and rival gangs in the 1920’s.  In fact Sonny Bono of pop duo Sonny and Cher fame served as the mayor of Palm Springs in the late 1980s such has been the association of this desert city with the rich and the famous of America.

The original residents of Palm Springs were Native American Indian who named the city for its many natural hot water springs which they believed had medicinal properties. People initially flocked to Palm Springs for these hot water springs but today they come to Palm Springs for its many myriad attractions like its more than hundred championship golf courses which host a variety of golfing tournaments and have led to Palm Springs being labeled as “The Golf Capital of the World”. Many of the golf courses located in the luxurious resorts of Palm Springs have been designed by golfing greats like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Greg Norman. Apart from golfing, visitors to Palm Springs also enjoy the many outdoorsy activities offered here like hiking and trekking in the nearby Tahquitz Canyon and the Joshua Tree national Park as well as horseback riding  in the  mountainous trails of San  Jacinto Mountains which tower over the city.

A vacation rental overlooking a 'green' is perfect for the golf enthusiast

A vacation rental overlooking a

When you book a vacation rental in Palm Springs you can enjoy all what this fascinating desert city has to offer, for in addition to its many recreational activities, Palm Springs also has a delightful ‘Village’ located in its downtown which is a vibrant space alive with a variety of restaurants, trendy shops, historic sites and annual festivals and is perfect for the vacationer who prefers more sedentary pursuits. You have a plethora of vacation rentals options available in sunny Palm Springs and depending on your preference, you can choose to stay in a vacation rental that overlooks a championship golf course or in a rental that is located among verdant palms and one of more the more than 30,000 swimming pools that dot the unique landscape of this city which is known as America’s desert play ground.

Once you have your Palm Springs vacation rental you can set out to explore its many delights. You can take a ride on its Ariel Tramway and get to the top of the San Jacinto Mountains which tower over the desert city from a height of 8500 meters. In winter the San Jacinto Mountains are covered in snow and trip on the Ariel Tramway into the mountains can provide a welcome respite from the searing heat of the desert in mere minutes. Another way to experience the natural beauty of Palm Springs is to take an Elite land tour at dusk which is conducted aboard a fully stocked Hummer vehicle. From your perch inside the Hummer where you are equipped with a pair of night vision goggles you get to see much of the desert wildlife that abounds in the desert around Palm Springs and the Joshua Tree National Park located nearby. After you have spent the day sightseeing and indulging in the various recreational activities offered here, you could head back into the Village and enjoy a scrumptious dinner at one of Palm Springs many renowned restaurants. A vacation in sunny  Palm Springs has something that is bound to appeal to every kind of vacationer.

Eco-friendly Golf Resort Vacations in Lake Tahoe

Golf and green are often uttered in the same breath, but of late, green has come to mean one more thing – Eco-friendliness. Put all three together in a jar and shake well, and what do you have? An eco-friendly, green golf course.
Now this may not be at the top on your list of priorities, but you have to think whether your recreation, and your vacations, end up doing harm to the earth and the environment. Trees are cut down to make room for the golf course, it consumes a heck of a lot of water, and the fertilizers used to keep it green seep through into the surroundings and make things even worse.
How about I make it easy for you? How would it be if you could get everything you want – A world class resort, an impossibly beautiful and scenic 18 hole course, a par 71 Robert Trent Jones, Jr. championship links layout, which, FYI, uses all natural biostimulants and compost. And it is included in Audubon International’s list (pdf file) of certified golf courses as an Audubon Certified Cooperative Sanctuary.
The Resort at Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe, CA

The Resort at Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe, CA

I’m talking about The Resort at Squaw Creek in the Olympic Valley in Lake Tahoe, CA, which has everything you want in a golf vacation. The resort itself is extremely family friendly, and offers excellent vacation homes suitable for both couples and an entire family. In addition to the golf course, there’s also 2 tennis courts, 3 swimming pools, 4 restaurants, and a host of other facilities and amenities, including ski in/ski out to Squaw Valley and use of private triple chairlift to access Squaw Valley.

As for the golf course, well, like I said, its impossibly scenic. And challenging. Surrounded by the granite peaks of Squaw Valley, the course meanders along the Valley floor at an elevation of 6,200 feet, weaving in and out of the wetlands, measuring 6, 931 yards from the gold tees. It will test your skill and temparament, and accuracy is more important than the distance.
The first 9 holes climb up along the mountainside through the trees, and its pretty narrow, which explains the stress on accuracy. The 9 holes that come after that are set in the wetlands of Squaw Valley, through marshes and tall grass. Even if your abilities are not on par (forgive the pun) with the class and reputation of the course, its still a great palce to have some fun, with 4 sets of tees, and family tees just off the green.
Its a tough course, but its hard not to fall in love with the rolling greens and the panaromic view when you look around. This course was the site of the 1960 Winter Olympiad, and has been named as one of the top 10 courses by Golf magazine. If you’re a serious golfer, then you don’t want to miss out on a chance to play on such a fine course. The bonus, of course, is that Lake Tahoe is a fun place for the entire family, and you enjoy the green while your family hits the slopes.

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