Do’s and Don’ts of Renting a Car

For business travelers and savvy globetrotters, renting a car has become part of their routine. They’ve come to understand the ins and outs of the car rental process, and they may have even found a few shortcuts along the way. If you’re new to renting a car, or you’re just looking for general car rental advice, there are a few tricks to be aware of as well as pitfalls to avoid. We’ve compiled a short list of the most important tips for renting a car, so you can travel like a pro. Here are the dos and don’ts of renting a car.

DO: Return your car with a full tank of gas. 

Most car rental companies, including Advantage Rent A Car, require that renters return the vehicle with the same amount of fuel as when they left. Failure to do so results in a service charge. You have a couple of options to avoid this charge.

The first option is to fill up the tank at a nearby service station. You’re likely to be in an unfamiliar or high-traffic area, which can make finding a station more difficult than expected. We recommend researching before leaving for the rental business location, so you know exactly where to go to refill.

The second option is to prepay for gas at the time of rental. This is a convenient option for travelers who are on a tight schedule or have an early flight. This allows you to skip the trip to the service station and return the car as is. This also avoids the higher rates of the service charge.

DON’T: Rush the inspection.

Before leaving the lot, you’ll be asked to take a close look at the car you’re renting. Many travelers are eager to get on the road and often rush through this inspection, but it’s important that you take this step seriously. Car rental companies can hold you responsible for dings, dents, or any other defects if they go undocumented.

Don’t forget to examine the inside as well as the outside of the car, and feel free to take videos or pictures during the inspection. These can come in handy if you need to dispute any damage charges. It’s important to remember that the inspection is primarily for safety purposes. It’s worth your time, and rental companies appreciate a helpful eye. You may find a problem that was previously undetected.

DO: Find the right car for your trip.

You’ll have plenty of options when it comes to finding the right rental car for your trip. From economy to full size, standard to luxury, Advantage offers a variety of rental cars that are designed for practical purposes as much as aesthetics.

If you’re traveling solo, an economy car provides plenty of room for your luggage while also keeping gas expenses to a minimum. If you’re sharing the car for business or taking your family on a vacation, a van or SUV provides enough room for your party and luggage.

Take your time, and avoid immediately choosing the cheapest or most luxurious option. You don’t want to end up with luggage in your lap. Research your options, and talk to an Advantage customer service rep to zero in on the perfect car for your purposes.

DON’T: Drive Recklessly

It’s exciting to get behind the wheel of a new car, and it might be tempting to push the limits of a vehicle that you don’t own. But we recommend ignoring the old jokes about beating up the rental and treating your rental car as you would your own car.

The most obvious reason for this car rental advice is that risky driving puts your safety, and the safety of others on the road, at risk. And while you don’t own the rental car, you are still responsible for any abuse or damage. Have fun, but be safe.

DO: Book Early

If you know the travel dates and destination in advance, look into booking your reservation as early as possible. This strategy offers you a few advantages. First, rates are often lower if you book at least a week in advance. Second, you can choose from a broader selection of vehicles. Third, you’ll have more time to review terms of service and any potential fees.

Booking in advance can prevent a lot of headaches, especially if you’re in a hurry. When you arrive to pick up your car, you’ll get the car you want, at a price you can afford, under the terms you’ve approved, so you can hit the road as soon as possible.

If you’re ready to book a rental car, use our online reservation tool to find a car for your trip!

 

Written by: Kody Pedersen

How To Use Business Travel to Feed Your Wanderlust

You’ve always wanted to see the bright lights of New York City, and soon you’ll be right in the middle of the Big Apple. So why are you dreading a trip to a destination that’s always been on your bucket list? “It’s for work,” you say.

Well we have good news. These days a business trip doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Many businesses are adjusting their work travel policies to allow for more flexibility when traveling away from the office.

This isn’t just a perk. This is an opportunity for you to use business travel to experience the pleasures of a typical vacation. Of course that doesn’t mean you can blow off work. But it does mean you can be excited about making the most of your next work trip. Here are a few tips for finding the right balance and making business travel work for you.

Tack on a couple more days.

If possible, schedule your business meetings for a Monday or Friday. This will allow you to arrive early or extend your stay depending on the day of the meeting. Not only will you get a couple of free days in a great destination, you won’t have to take vacation time to enjoy it.

Find a conference in a new city.

Many people attend industry conferences throughout the year as a way to network and learn new skills. These conferences often are held in some of the best cities in the world. Find a conference that’s in a city you’ve never experienced. These trips are great ways to expand your horizons personally and professionally.

Get out of the hotel or venue.

Business trips can be exhausting, and you might be tempted to head back to the hotel after a long day. But if possible, use that extra time in the schedule to get away from your room. If you rent a car for work travel, that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to also explore the city. This is a great way to blow off some steam, so you’re good to go for tomorrow’s round of meetings.

Seek out cultural events.

The hotel bar is nice, but if you want to really experience what a city has to offer, look for a nearby festival or community event. That doesn’t mean you’ll want to mix meetings with Mardi Gras, but catching the local farmers’ market or music festival can be a fun way to finish a trip.

Be sure to read your company handbook, and always adhere to company guidelines for work travel. Many of these extracurriculars will have to come out of your pocket, but in the end, you can save time and money by using business travel to feed your wanderlust. Advantage Rent A Car would love to help make your next business trip the most productive yet. Use our reservation tool to find the rental car you need!

Written by: Kody Pedersen

Warm Winter Vacations for Families

roadscholar.org

7 Warm-Weather Winter Escapes for Families

The first snowfall of winter may be majestic, but soon, Jack Frost won’t just be nipping at your nose — but also your ears, hands and toes! Before the bitterest temperatures set in and keep everyone cramped up inside for the next few months, start planning your escape to warmer weather.

Besides keeping your luggage lighter thanks to not packing all those bulky coats and sweaters, traveling during the winter months could mean cheaper airfare and off-season hotel rates.

Not sure where to go? Rent a car and check out one of these destinations to say goodbye to the snow and hello to the sun!

warm winter vacations for families

theclio.com

Central Florida

Typical winter temps: Low 70s
What to do: While Orlando’s theme parks may be the biggest draw, Central Florida has much more to offer than Mickey Mouse and Harry Potter. With the world’s largest concentration of freshwater springs, you can canoe alongside manatees, kayak over alligators or even take a dip in the constant 72-degree waters. In addition, countless beaches, Kennedy Space Center and many other family-friendly attractions await, most within an hour’s drive
Where to stay: Waldorf-Astoria, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

warm winter vacations for families

cntraveler.com

The Florida Keys

Typical winter temps: Mid 70s
What to do: The Florida Keys offer an abundance of year-round activities. Swim with dolphins or dive in the nation’s first underwater state park in Key Largo. Go paddleboarding in Islamorada. Visit The Turtle Hospital in Marathon. Play golf in the Lower Keys. Experience the Butterfly and Nature Conservatory and the most incredible sunsets in Key West.
Where to stay: Tranquility Bay Beachfront Hotel & Resort, Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa

warm winter vacations for families

lovebigisland.com

Hawaii

Typical winter temps: High 70s
What to do: From black-sand beaches, lush tropical jungles and fiery lava deserts to legendary surfing, snorkeling and fishing, the islands of Hawaii are always a spectacular vacation destination. Visit Volcanoes National Park and Rainbow Falls on the island of Hawaii. Go whale watching and attend a luau on Oahu.
Where to stay: Hilton Waikoloa Village; Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa

warm winter vacations for families

la.curbed.com

Los Angeles, CA

Typical winter temps: High 60s
What to do: La-La Land may be known for its Hollywood glitz and glamour, but L.A. has lots of great activities for the whole family. Relax on one of its picturesque beaches, play games and ride rides at the Santa Monica Pier, or visit the La Brea Tar Pits. To add a little culture to your trip, stop by the Getty Center or Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Or get your blood pumping and hike through Griffith Park or Runyon Canyon.
Where to stay: Magic Castle Hotel, Casa del Mar

warm winter vacations for families

travel.aarp.org

Palm Springs, CA

Typical winter temps: Low 70s
What to do: While parents will likely appreciate Palm Springs’ architecture, palm trees, spas and golf, the kids will love its giant swimming pools and activities geared specifically for them. Take a ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, visit the Children’s Discovery Museum of the Desert, hike to 49 Palms Oasis at Joshua Tree National Park and more.
Where to stay: The Saguaro, Ace Hotel

warm winter vacations for families

experiencescottsdale.com

Scottsdale, AZ

Typical winter temps: High 60s
What to do: Spend some time outside in Arizona and let the dry desert air of mend your winter-weary bones. Play golf or get pampered in this spa mecca. Take the kids on a desert jeep tour or, for something truly unusual, let them try out the Westin Kierland Resort’s FlowRider, which combines the skills of surfing with the feel of snowboarding.
Where to stay: Westin Kierland Resort, The Scott Resort and Spa

warm winter vacations for families

sacurrent.com

San Antonio, TX

Typical winter temps: Mid 60s
What to do: San Antonio is a great city for kids — and for kids at heart. Float down the San Antonio River on a narrated cruise, tour the Alamo, stroll down the River Walk, soak up some culture at the San Antonio Children’s Museum or Witte Museum, or scream your lungs out on all of the roller coasters your heart can handle at Six Flags Fiesta Texas.
Where to stay: Embassy Suites Riverwalk, Mokara Hotel and Spa

Written by: Angie Lewis

Las Vegas Family Vacation

visitlasvegas.com

Vegas Vacation

While Las Vegas is still healing from the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, now is the time for Americans to show their resilient nature by flocking to the Entertainment Capital of the World. Because tourism is what drives the city, visitors can provide some much-needed economic and moral support.

Although Sin City has an adults-only reputation thanks to gambling and showgirls, its lesser-known attributes can turn it into Grin City when you take the family along for the ride!

In addition to its McCarran International Airport (LAS) location, Advantage Rent A Car has rental counters at five Vegas area hotels: the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino, Main Street Station Casino Brewery Hotel, The Orleans Hotel and Casino, Suncoast Hotel and Casino and its newest location at the Stratosphere Casino, Hotel and Tower. So no matter what your plans are during your stay, you can reserve a car whenever and wherever you need one, and then hit the gas toward your desert adventure.

las vegas family vacation car rental

lasvegaspass.com

Viva Las Family

Traveling anywhere as a family means spending a lot of extra money. But with a Las Vegas Power Pass, everyone can enjoy access to more than 50 attractions, tours and experiences, including:

  • High Roller | The world’s tallest observation wheel takes riders on a 30-minute rotation, which offers amazing 360-degree views of the Las Vegas skyline and Nevada desert.
  • VooDoo Zip Line | Soar more than 30 mph 50 stories above city rooftops between the two towers of the Rio Las Vegas.
  • Marvel Avengers S.T.A.T.I.O.N. | Step inside the Scientific Training and Tactical Intelligence Operative Network of the Marvel universe, where visitors can train to become official agents.
  • Xterious Escape Games and Countdown Live Escape Games | Choose from many different themed escape rooms that test your problem-solving skills in a race against the clock.
  • Big Apple Roller Coaster at New York-New York | Step inside an NYC taxi and climb 203 feet before plummeting more than 140 feet at 67 mph, speeding past replicas of New York City landmarks.

las vegas family vacation car rental

stationattraction.com

The Boulevard — And Beyond

In addition to all of the activities covered in the Power Pass, Las Vegas offers plenty of other family-friendly attractions and shows.

Get interactive at the Discovery Children’s Museum, play more than 160 video and classic arcade-style games at GameWorks, or catch a performance by Blue Man Group.

las vegas family vacation car rental

scootcitytours.com

Venture about 20 minutes west of the Las Vegas strip to enjoy the sights of Red Rock Canyon behind the wheel of a three-wheel Scootercar.

Gaze into Mandalay Bay’s Shark Reef Aquarium or take in a show by the Popovich Comedy Pet Theater, which features more than 30 pets rescued from animal shelters.

Experience one of the city’s other family-friendly shows, such as Cirque du Soleil’s Mystère, Love or O.

las vegas family vacation car rental

stratospherehotel.com

Get your adrenaline pumping on one of the sky-high thrill rides atop the Stratosphere tower or enjoy more than 15 rides at Circus Circus’ Adventuredome.

Whether you’re visiting with family or friends, or you’re in town on business, Las Vegas has no shortage of fun activities for everyone.

las vegas family vacation car rental

circuscircus.com

For more kid-friendly attractions, visit:

Vegas.com

LasVegasKids.net

Written by: Angie Lewis

Albuquerque Travel – Things to Do

theqandi.com

Up, Up And Away In Albuquerque

Thanks to 310 days of sunshine, perpetually blue skies and low humidity, any time of the year is a good time to visit Albuquerque, NM.

Albuquerque — also referred to as Burque, The Duke City or The Q — lies in the heart of America’s Southwest and is positioned along historic Route 66. Straddling the Rio Grande in Central New Mexico, this desert oasis offers exceptional cultural experiences, exciting outdoor activities and spectacular scenery.

Fly into Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) and pick up a Hyundai Santa Fe from Advantage Rent A Car at the Sunport Car Rental Center, then head off for an unforgettable adventure in the high desert.

Hot-Air Fiesta, Forever

Try to catch the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in October, when nearly 600 colorful hot-air balloons decorate the beautiful New Mexico desert sky.

fun things to do in albuquerque

rainbowryders.com

The fiesta began in 1972 with a small gathering of only 13 balloons. Over more than four decades, it has continued to grow — one year seeing 1,000 registered balloons! — and repeatedly earns the title of “the world’s most photographed event.”

fun things to do in albuquerque

nationalgeographic.com

This year’s festivities take place Oct. 7-15 and feature the awe-inspiring mass ascension, balloon glows, Special Shape Rodeo, competitions, fireworks, chainsaw carving, a film fest, music fiesta, balloon rides and so much more.

Don’t worry — even if you miss the fiesta, Albuquerque’s great year-round weather makes it the perfect place to experience the thrill of a hot-air balloon flight anytime. Plus, be sure to stop by the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, where you can learn about the culture, history, art, science, spectacle and sport of ballooning.

Let Nature Take Its Course

In addition to its annual balloon fiesta, Albuquerque offers lots of other fun, family-friendly activities.

fun things to do in albuquerque

theqandi.com

Start with a ride on the Sandia Peak Tramway, which travels nearly 3 miles above breathtaking terrain and deep canyons. From the observation deck atop Sandia Peak, you’ll get a stellar panoramic view of the Rio Grande Valley and much of the state of New Mexico.

Then explore a zoo, botanic garden, beach and aquarium all in the same complex at the ABQ BioPark.

If your family enjoys the outdoors, try high-altitude hiking or biking. If heights aren’t your thing, Albuquerque’s interconnected trails system offers a 16-mile route for walking, running, cycling and even horseback riding.

fun things to do in albuquerque

sandiagolf.com

The city’s golf courses, ranked as some of the best in the country, are one of Albuquerque’s best-kept secrets. Mile-high elevations combined with stunning backdrops, such as rocky mountain peaks and the Rio Grande, make New Mexico one of the most diverse environments in which to hit the links.

Prefer to hit the slopes instead? Go skiing or snowboarding at the Sandia Peak Ski Area, which also offers a beginner’s area and certified ski school.

Or trade in your ski poles for oars and enjoy a scenic float down the Rio Grande. If that’s not enough, hit the whitewater for an exhilarating rafting adventure.

Stay And Play In Santa Fe

While you’re in town, take advantage of the short drive to Santa Fe, the nation’s oldest capital city, which is about an hour northeast of downtown Albuquerque.

fun things to do in albuquerque

theoutbound.com

Situated between the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountains, Santa Fe offers countless historic sites, Indian pueblos, cultural experiences and museums — which include the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, New Mexico Museum of Art and more than 250 other galleries. The city is also home to San Miguel Mission, the oldest church in the U.S., originally built in 1610.

fun things to do in albuquerque

santafe.org

Not only is Santa Fe the nation’s oldest capital city, but it’s the highest too. Thanks to its 7,000-foot altitude in the southernmost Rocky Mountains, the city enjoys 320 days of sunshine and is surrounded by more than a million acres of unspoiled natural forest, which makes it an outdoor lover’s dream! Biking, skiing, golfing, hiking, rafting, fishing, horseback riding… The activities are never-ending.

fun things to do in albuquerque

santafe.org

After an action-packed day, allow Santa Fe’s legendary restorative powers to relieve your sore muscles — or simply rejuvenate your mind and body at one of the city’s many spas staffed by body workers and master healers.

But if tequila is your master healer, be sure to check out the Santa Fe Margarita Trail, which allows you to enjoy a variety of the specially crafted cocktails and collect stamps for fun swag. (Just remember to drink responsibly and have a designated driver.)

Whether you want to soak up Southwestern culture, explore your artsy side, get back to nature or renew your spirit, the opportunities are endless in the Land of Enchantment.

For more info about everything our 47th state has to offer, visit NewMexico.org.

Written by: Angie Lewis

Napa Valley Road Trip – Tips and Activities

visitnapavalley.com

Uncork & Unwind: Explore All That Napa Valley Has To Offer

When you think about the quintessential location for vino in America, Napa Valley probably comes to mind. As one of the most popular wine regions in the world, Napa’s fertile soils are known for having some of the finest cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay grapes.

In addition to its beautiful countryside filled with rolling vineyards, the Napa Valley area also has many other fun and relaxing activities. Napa Valley is made up of several towns, which include Calistoga, St. Helena, Oakville, Rutherford, Yountville, Napa and American Canyon.

Fly into San Francisco International Airport and pick up your Hyundai Elantra or Toyota Camry from the rental car counter, then drive less than an hour-and-a-half north to Napa Valley and spend a few days in California’s wine country.

Tip: Napa Valley can be extremely busy during the weekend, so the best time to visit is during the week when you should be able to avoid traffic jams and crowded tasting rooms.

napa valley road trip

winespectator.com

In Vino Veritas

Napa Valley boasts more than 400 wineries and what seems like nearly as many options to get to them. Take a tour (with a designated driver!) — by limo, bus, luxury car or SUV, classic convertible or Napa Valley Wine Trolley. If you prefer to get a little exercise while you’re at it, cycle your way through the vineyards or take a hike through the hills and forests.

napa valley road trip

napavalleywinetrolley.com

Tip: While many of the larger wineries don’t require an appointment for tastings, some of the smaller ones do. Make sure you check the tasting room hours for each of the wineries you’d like to visit and plan accordingly.

Since the Napa region is renowned for its cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays, be sure to treat your palate to these grapes’ juices.

For cabernets, try Louis M. Martini Winery, Hewitt Vineyard, Crosby Roamann, Salvestrin Winery, HALL St. Helena, Stags’ Leap Winery or Robert Mondavi Winery.

napa valley road trip

nightout.com

For chardonnays, try St. Supéry Estate Vineyards and Winery, Grgich Hills Estate, Beaulieu Vineyard, ZD Wines, Inglenook Vineyard, Peju Province Winery, Robert Mondavi Winery or Elizabeth Spencer Winery.

napa valley road trip

inglenook.com

Or, tickle your tongue with sparkling wines from Domaine Carneros, Domaine Chandon, Mumm Napa or Schramsberg Vineyards.

Other popular Napa wineries include Opus One Winery, V. Sattui Winery, Sterling Vineyards, Frog’s Leap Winery, Castello di Amorosa and Cakebread Cellars.

napa valley road trip

castellodiamorosa.com

By Air, Land & Sea

Get a bird’s-eye view of wine country from the basket of a hot-air balloon. Napa Valley Balloons has been flying for more than 31 years and has FAA-certified pilots and aircraft. Start your adventure before sunrise with coffee, teas, pastries, fruit and juice, followed by orientation. Then listen to the burners roar, inflating the balloon and lifting you off the ground as you peacefully drift over the vineyards and mountains across the valley.

napa valley road trip

winecountry.com

Climb onboard the Napa Valley Wine Train for fine dining, delicious private-label wine and gorgeous scenery. Relax in beautifully restored, century-old Pullman railcars, featuring Honduran mahogany paneling, etched glass partitions, velveteen fabric armchairs and brass accents. Choose from a variety of dining journeys, day trips and winemaking tours. The train also offers special events, such as its Rock the Rails music series, Murder Mystery dinner theater and Santa Train.

napa valley road trip

winecountry.com

See Napa from a different perspective aboard the Napa Valley Wine Yacht. Cruise along the Napa River on a 50-foot power catamaran while enjoying a four-course meal by Tarla Grill’s Chef Kadiye. Plus, Aum Wine Cellars’ owner and winemaker personally pair each course with his wines. While pleasing your taste buds, take in views of the valley’s vineyards, as well as the Mayacamas and Vaca mountain ranges.

Family Fun

Napa Valley isn’t just for adults. The area has plenty of family activities, too. Visit a 400-acre wildlife sanctuary at Safari West, where you can ride in an open-air safari vehicle and get up close and personal with African mammals, such as giraffes, zebras and wildebeests, among the more than 800 other animals. Or, experience life on a farm at Connolly Ranch, which offers a variety of children’s and family programs.

napa valley road trip

napavalley.com

Check out the public art on display in downtown Napa Valley along the Napa Art Walk, which also offers an accompanying audio tour. Let the kids get creative in an art class at Nimbus Arts. Stop by the Robert Louis Stevenson Silverado Museum and check out the homage to the Scottish-born author of “Treasure Island” and other classic works. If it’s a hot day, take in a movie at the century-old Cameo Cinema.

napa valley road trip

napaartwalk.org

Hop in a kayak or on a paddleboard for a quiet journey down the Napa River. Take a family bike ride down the Napa Valley Vine Trail. Or, let the kids practice their ollies at the Napa Skatepark or play on the playground at Crane Park.

In Calistoga, watch one of only three regularly erupting geysers in the world, Old Faithful Geyser of California, where you can also enjoy the gardens, play bocce ball, and see Tennessee Fainting Goats, Jacob’s Four-Horn Sheep and Guard Llamas on the property’s farm. Journey back more than 3 million years to admire majestic, petrified redwood trees that were turned to stone by a local volcano in California’s Petrified Forest.

napa valley road trip

oldfaithfulgeyser.com

For a more low-key day, relax and rejuvenate in geothermal springs or a mud bath at Napa Valley spas, such as Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, Golden Haven Hot Springs, Indian Springs Resort and Spa or Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs Resort. Or, stroll through the various shops and restaurants at Oxbow Public Market.

Whether you have a day or a week to spend in Napa Valley, this region of California wine country has plenty of vino for tasting and lots of activities for the kids and non-wine lovers, too.

napa valley road trip

gaytravel.com

For more info about Napa Valley, visit:
https://www.visitnapavalley.com
https://www.napavalley.com
https://napavintners.com/wineries
http://www.visitcalifornia.com/destination/spotlight-napa-valley

Written By: Angie Lewis

2017 Solar Eclipse Nashville – Viewing

travelandleisure.com

Solar Eclipse 2017

On Aug. 21, the United States will experience “The Great American Eclipse” — an event nearly a century in the making. As the first total solar eclipse to cross the entire country since 1918, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime celestial spectacle. Those within the 70-mile-wide line of totality, which starts in Oregon and ends in South Carolina, will get to witness up to 2 minutes, 40 seconds of darkness.

In this series, we’ll spotlight a few of the best viewing locations along the path, including Idaho Falls, ID, Casper, WY, Nashville, TN and Greenville, SC. Whether you travel to your preferred city the weekend before or turn the trip into a weeklong summer vacation, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in each locale.

Nashville solar eclipse viewing

Viewing Location Spotlight: Nashville, TN

One of the best viewing areas along the path is in Nashville, TN. Fly into Nashville International Airport, where you can pick up a vehicle from Advantage Rent A Car and set out for an unforgettable family adventure in Music City.

As the largest U.S. city in the line of totality, Nashville has lots of great locations to observe the nearly 2 minutes of darkness — including city and state parks, as well as outside all of the city’s major attractions.

Nashville solar eclipse viewing

firsttennesseepark.com

Official viewing parties include First Tennessee Park, Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, Dave and Buster’s and many other locations throughout the city. In addition, pre-eclipse festivities will be held at the Adventure Science Center, Italian Lights Festival, Grand Ole Opry and more.

Nashville solar eclipse viewing

travelandleisure.com

While you’re in town, board the Music City Hop, a DIY hop-on/hop-off tour by trolley and double-decker bus with 16 stops that let you visit more than 100 attractions and points of interest. One stop includes the Country Music Hall of Fame, where you can see more than 2 million priceless artifacts while the kids can try their hands at new and familiar instruments in the museum’s Musical Petting Zoo. For real animals, visit the Nashville Zoo at Grassmere or head over to Lucky Ladd Farms, home to more than 100 friendly farm critters, plus pony rides, a playground, splash pad and more.

Nashville solar eclipse viewing

visitmusiccity.com

For more active outdoor fun, swing between the trees by zip line at Adventureworks or Treetop Adventure Park, test out your climbing skills at Soar Adventure Tower, or cool off during the dog days of summer at Nashville Shores or Wave Country.

Nashville solar eclipse viewing

nashvillelifestyles.com

Take it easy aboard the Pontoon Saloon, where you can BYOB and food, and enjoy some of the best views of the city’s skyline from the Cumberland River.

Nashville solar eclipse viewing

tennessean.com

Speaking of food, Nashville’s culinary scene alone is more than enough reason to make the trip. With its famous hot chicken, Southern breakfasts and barbecue, and restaurants that are uniquely Nashville, the options are endless — and mouthwatering!

Nashville solar eclipse viewing

foodnetwork.com

No matter how long you get to spend in Nashville, you’re sure to leave Music City on a good note.

Solar Eclipse Fun Facts

  • A solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and Earth are in exact alignment.
  • The year the last total solar eclipse was visible in the United States was 1979 — in just five states. The total solar eclipse of 2017 will pass through 12 states from coast to coast.
  • The sun and moon appear to be the same size during a total solar eclipse, but this is an illusion. The sun is 400 times wider than the moon and 400 times farther away, so they only coincidentally appear the same size
  • The faint light that appears around the moon during a total solar eclipse is part of the sun’s outermost atmosphere, called the corona.
  • Wildlife can be confused by totality. As the sky grows dark and resembles twilight, you may hear roosters crowing and grasshoppers chirping.

Written By: Angie Lewis

2017 Solar Eclipse in Greenville, SC via Charlotte, NC

totaleclipsecolumbiasc.com

Solar Eclipse 2017

On Aug. 21, the United States will experience “The Great American Eclipse” — an event nearly a century in the making. As the first total solar eclipse to cross the entire country since 1918, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime celestial spectacle. Those within the 70-mile-wide line of totality, which starts in Oregon and ends in South Carolina, will get to witness up to 2 minutes, 40 seconds of darkness.

In this series, we’ll spotlight a few of the best viewing locations along the path, including Idaho Falls, ID, Casper, WY, Nashville, TN and Greenville, SC. Whether you travel to your preferred city the weekend before or turn the trip into a weeklong summer vacation, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in each locale.

2017 solar eclipse charlotte, nc

Viewing Location Spotlight: Greenville, SC

One of the best viewing areas along the path is in Greenville, SC. Fly into Charlotte, NC, where you can pick up a vehicle from Advantage Rent A Car and set out for an unforgettable family adventure in the Palmetto State.

Two hours southwest of Charlotte Douglas International Airport, Greenville will be one of the last cities to see the full eclipse — with 2 minutes of totality — before the path moves out into the Atlantic Ocean.

2017 solar eclipse charlotte, nc

furman.edu

Eclipse viewing events are planned for the Greenville Drive minor league baseball game, Furman University, Bob Jones University, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate, NoMa Square, Up on the Roof, and Swamp Rabbit Café and Grocery.

2017 solar eclipse charlotte, nc

greenvillejournal.com

In addition, as an official NASA viewing site, the Roper Mountain Science Center is hosting a weekend-long Eclipse Extravaganza, which includes full-dome eclipse shows in the planetarium, hands-on activities for all ages, NASA ambassadors and educators, and more.

2017 solar eclipse charlotte, nc

sciway.net

If you’ll be in town for a few days, head less than an hour northwest to Caesars Head State Park and get your bearings from atop the Blue Ridge Escarpment, which looks out into North Carolina and Georgia. Plus, right in the heart of downtown Greenville, enjoy waterfalls, landscaped gardens, a nature trail, pedestrian suspension bridge, scenic overlooks and more at Falls Park on the Reedy.

2017 solar eclipse charlotte, nc

visitgreenvillesc.com

For even more nature, glide through the treetops on America’s steepest, fastest zipline canopy tour at The Gorge, go whitewater rafting or rappelling with Green River Adventures or visit the Greenville Zoo. About an hour and 15 minutes north of Greenville, you can also hike the 499-step Outcroppings trail to Chimney Rock in North Carolina, where you can see 75-mile views of the Carolina Piedmont, Lake Lure and Hickory Nut Gorge.

2017 solar eclipse charlotte, nc

greenriveradventures.com

If that’s not enough activity to get your blood pumping, put the pedal to the metal at the BMW Performance Center.

2017 solar eclipse charlotte, nc

upcountrysc.com

Prefer a more relaxing afternoon? Take the kids to one of Greenville’s many waterparks, such as Discovery Island, 7th Inning Splash or Otter Creek. If you’d rather stay dry, take a ride on one of the city’s downtown trolleys, then take a stroll on Main Street and let the kids try to find all nine Mice on Main bronze statues.

2017 solar eclipse charlotte, nc

greenvillerec.com

Whether you’re in Greenville for a day or a week, the Palmetto State will surely become a new favorite family vacation destination!

Solar Eclipse Fun Facts

  • A solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and Earth are in exact alignment.
  • The year the last total solar eclipse was visible in the United States was 1979 — in just five states. The total solar eclipse of 2017 will pass through 12 states from coast to coast.
  • The sun and moon appear to be the same size during a total solar eclipse, but this is an illusion. The sun is 400 times wider than the moon and 400 times farther away, so they only coincidentally appear the same size
  • The faint light that appears around the moon during a total solar eclipse is part of the sun’s outermost atmosphere, called the corona.
  • Wildlife can be confused by totality. As the sky grows dark and resembles twilight, you may hear roosters crowing and grasshoppers chirping.

Written by: Angie Lewis

2017 Solar Eclipse in Idaho Falls

visitidaho.org

Solar Eclipse 2017

On Aug. 21, the United States will experience “The Great American Eclipse” — an event nearly a century in the making. As the first total solar eclipse to cross the entire country since 1918, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime celestial spectacle. Those within the 70-mile-wide line of totality, which starts in Oregon and ends in South Carolina, will get to witness up to 2 minutes, 40 seconds of darkness.

In this series, we’ll spotlight a few of the best viewing locations along the path, including Idaho Falls, ID, Casper, WY, Nashville, TN and Greenville, SC. Whether you travel to your preferred city the weekend before or turn the trip into a weeklong summer vacation, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in each locale.

Total Solar Eclipse

Viewing Location Spotlight: Idaho Falls, ID

One of the best viewing areas along the path is in Idaho Falls, ID. Fly into Salt Lake City, UT, where you can pick up a vehicle from Advantage Rent A Car and set out for an unforgettable family adventure in the Gem State.

2017 solar eclipse idaho falls

idahofallsidaho.gov

About three hours north of Salt Lake City International Airport, Idaho Falls offers unobstructed views across crystal-clear skies for about 1 minute, 48 seconds of totality. Designated viewing locations include Old Butte, Tautphaus Park, Freeman Park and Community Park. In addition, the Museum of Idaho is a preferred NASA viewing site.

2017 solar eclipse idaho falls

museumofidaho.org

The museum also features a special interactive touring exhibit from NASA titled Space: A Journey to our Future, where visitors can touch actual meteorites from the moon and Mars, take a spin on a human-powered centrifuge and much more. Plus, representatives from NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will be onsite at the exhibit from Aug. 18-21.

Leading up to the big event, Eastern Idaho is hosting a weekend of pre-eclipse festivities, which include the Mutt Strut 5K, auto racing at Noise Park, Cosmic Night swimming at the Wes Deist Aquatic Center, Idaho Falls Farmers’ Market, Duck Race, Brothers Osborne concert, and extended hours at the Idaho Falls Zoo.

2017 solar eclipse idaho falls

yellowstonebearworld.com

Whether you arrive in town a few days beforehand or stay and play after the eclipse, Idaho Falls offers plenty of fun outdoor activities. Get up close with black bears, grizzly bears, elk, bison, moose and more at Yellowstone Bear World drive-through wildlife park, which also includes a petting zoo with free-roaming barnyard animals and amusement rides. For an additional charge, you can bottle-feed bear cubs! For more native wildlife, visit Zoo Idaho.

2017 solar eclipse idaho falls

rexburgrapids.com

Have a splashing good time at Rexburg Rapids or Ross Park Aquatic Complex, or take a relaxing dip in Lava Hot Springs, which also offers a summer water park and indoor aquatic center, or Heise Hot Springs, which features an adrenaline-pumping zipline tour. Picnic in one of Idaho Falls’ many parks, such as McCowin Park, Porter Park, Ross Park or Sportsman Park.

2017 solar eclipse idaho falls

lavahotsprings.com

Ride up to the 9,862-foot summit of Fred’s Mountain on the Dreamcatcher chairlift at Grand Targhee Resort, where you can also explore the Tetons and Caribou-Targhee National Forest by horseback. Experience a Wild West shootout, horse-drawn carriage ride, barbecue and more at the Mountain River Ranch’s Summer Dinner Theatre.

2017 solar eclipse idaho falls

npca.org

Idaho Falls has indoor activities to keep the family entertained, too. Let the kids get creative at the ARTitorium on Broadway, which features a motion wall, creation stations, green-screen studio, stop-motion animation stations, magnet wall and more. Better yet, get your family workout on with indoor rock climbing at The Edge Climbing and Fitness center.

No matter where your Idaho Falls adventure takes you, the Gem State can help create countless family memories that will last a lifetime.

Solar Eclipse Fun Facts

  • A solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and Earth are in exact alignment.
  • The year the last total solar eclipse was visible in the United States was 1979 — in just five states. The total solar eclipse of 2017 will pass through 12 states, from coast to coast.
  • While the sun and moon appear to be the same size during a total solar eclipse, this is an illusion. The sun is 400 times wider than the moon and 400 times farther away, so they only coincidentally appear the same size.
  • The faint light that appears around the moon during a total solar eclipse is part of the sun’s outmost atmosphere, called the corona.
  • Wildlife can be confused by totality. As the sky grows dark and resembles twilight, you may hear roosters crowing and grasshoppers chirping.

Written by: Angie Lewis

2017 Solar Eclipse Casper, Wyoming | Viewing

visitcasper.com

Solar Eclipse 2017

On Aug. 21, the United States will experience “The Great American Eclipse” — an event nearly a century in the making. As the first total solar eclipse to cross the entire country since 1918, this will be a once-in-a-lifetime celestial spectacle. Those within the 70-mile-wide line of totality, which starts in Oregon and ends in South Carolina, will get to witness up to 2 minutes, 40 seconds of darkness.

In this series, we’ll spotlight a few of the best viewing locations along the path, including Idaho Falls, ID, Casper, WY, Nashville, TN and Greenville, SC. Whether you travel to your preferred city the weekend before or turn the trip into a weeklong summer vacation, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in each locale.

2017 solar eclipse casper, wyoming

Viewing Location Spotlight: Casper, WY

One of the best viewing areas along the path is in Casper, WY. Fly into Denver, CO, where you can pick up a vehicle from Advantage Rent A Car and set out for an unforgettable family adventure in the Cowboy State.

2017 solar eclipse casper, wyoming

playcasper.com

Less than four hours north of Denver International Airport, Casper is situated at an altitude of more than 5,000 feet. With a high probability of clear skies and 2 minutes, 26 seconds of totality, the town should be one of the best spots in the nation to view the eclipse. Good spots include the Central Wyoming Fairgrounds, Casper Events Center and Hogadon Ski Area. Try not to stop by the side of the road. Too many stopped vehicles could create a hazard for non-eclipse traffic.

2017 solar eclipse casper, wyoming

historictrailswest.com

Leading up to the big event, Casper is hosting the Wyoming Eclipse Festival, a weeklong schedule of special activities and programs that include covered wagon train treks and Pony Express rides, behind-the-scenes distillery tours, Insane Inflatable 5K, Riverfest and the Great Duck Derby, among other activities.

2017 solar eclipse casper, wyoming

visitcasper.com

Whether you choose to explore the area ahead of time or stay and play after the eclipse, Casper offers plenty of fun outdoor activities. Take a scenic drive up Casper Mountain or hike to Garden Creek Falls and the 4.5-mile Bridle Trail in Rotary Park. Take a boat ride, mountain bike or rock climb through Fremont Canyon. Reel in monster brown trout out of the North Platte River, whose “Miracle Mile” — which is actually a 5.5-mile stretch — is swimming with about 4,000 fish per mile. Better yet, toss an inner tube into the river, sit back, relax and just float.

2017 solar eclipse casper, wyoming

visitcasper.com

Since Casper’s wildlife lives among the people, you’re likely to spot pronghorn antelope — which outnumber the town’s human population — or one of the many other natives in the area, such as mule deer and wild turkeys.

2017 solar eclipse casper, wyoming

visitcasper.com

Casper has plenty of indoor activities, too. The kids can interact with dinosaurs at the Tate Museum, check out the exhibits and critters at The Science Zone, explore the night sky at the Casper Planetarium, learn about Wyoming’s indigenous wildlife at the Werner Wildlife Museum or create their own masterpiece at the hands-on art studio in the Nicolaysen Art Museum & Discovery Center. The best part? All of these attractions offer free or low-cost admission!

2017 solar eclipse casper, wyoming

visitcasper.com

No matter how long you’re in Casper, the Cowboy State is sure to wrangle your heart and provide family memories that will last a lifetime.

    Solar Eclipse Fun Facts

  • A solar eclipse occurs when the sun, moon and Earth are in exact alignment.
  • The year the last total solar eclipse was visible in the United States was 1979 — in just five states. The total solar eclipse of 2017 will pass through 12 states, from coast to coast.
  • The sun and moon appear to be the same size during a total solar eclipse, but this is an illusion. The sun is 400 times wider than the moon and 400 times
  • The faint light that appears around the moon during a total solar eclipse is part of the sun’s outermost atmosphere, called the corona.
  • Wildlife can be confused by totality. As the sky grows dark and resembles twilight, you may hear roosters crowing and grasshoppers chirping.

Written By: Angie Lewis