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*WINNERS ANNOUNCED* Win 1 of 3 $20.00 Coles/Myer Gift Cards for your best holiday tip for Los Angeles, Las Vegas or New York...

posted 27-9-2011 @ 10:00 AM www
*WINNERS ANNOUNCED* Win 1 of 3 $20.00 Coles/Myer Gift Cards for your best holiday tip for Los Angeles, Las Vegas or New York 100 wol
WOL, Entry methods: Online, Freq: Unlimited, Prize pool: $60, Closes 11/10/2011

Results Date: 12/10/11

Some of you may remember that earlier this year I was fortunate enough to win the Blackmore’s competition `Holiday of my Dreams’.

So the planning has begun and I would like to tap into the wealth of travel knowledge of my fellow compers.

We will be travelling initially to Los Angeles, New York and Las Vegas.

What I would like to know from you is recommendations such as:

Best apartment, hotel, location to stay in at the destinations
Best activity/excursion
Best restaurants
Things that are off the main tourist drag
Any suggestion you like

We are a middle aged couple with a particular love for wine, food and shows.

Particularly interested in some `non typically touristy’ suggestions – if that makes sense!

There will be three prizes each a $20.00 Coles/Myer gift cards posted at my expense at the conclusion of the competition.

Please post your answers of not more than 100 words in this thread.

I will choose the three winners and announce them in the thread.



posted 27-9-2011 @ 10:06 AM www

Las Vegas:

Paris Hotel has a Sunday Champagne Brunch buffet at Le Village Buffet- It's to die for! Unlimited champagne and soooo many food choices. It's worth it just for the freshly cooked crepes!
posted 27-9-2011 @ 10:15 AM www

In New York my husband dragged me to China Town...I was a bit nervous as it is rated as more dangerous...BUT it was awesome! We chose a place to eat based on the quality of the ducks hanging in the window. There was only one other anglo couple in there, the food and atmosphere was awesome. Loved the open street markets in China Town too.

You should also go to Central Park, Empire State building and Ground Zero.

Hope you have an amazing trip!!
posted 27-9-2011 @ 10:39 AM www

Do you love gelato..who doesn’t

Visit Il Laboratio del gelato
95 Orchard Street New York (lower manhattan)

With 200 flavours ranging from fig, lemon basil or wasabi
There’s no other place in New York especially if you are a foodie
Then you can walk around Central Park and not feel guilty.

Have a awesome trip..
posted 27-9-2011 @ 10:56 AM www


Great out of the way food experiences:

3 different foodie tours. No charge for tours, guides work for tips.
Highly recommended.

Match you with a local NYC resident to show you around. Book asap.

Cheap theatre tickets - don't bother standing in the TKTS line for hours, sign up to:

Same price or cheaper and you can book in advance and choose your seat.

Also check out whether Rush tickets are available for the shows you want details here:


posted 27-9-2011 @ 11:01 AM www


Take walking shoes!!!

Learn to love the Subway but avoid peak hours. Buy a weekly subway/bus ticket, saves heaps the system is safe and logical.

Walk the Brooklyn Bridge at sunset (or go on the Brooklyn free walking tour run by the company in my post above, we loved it) for the perfect picture of Manhattan, charge your camera batteries in advance (learn from my mistake)

The Intrepid Museum is awesome - an aircraft carrier, growler submarine and concorde. Our favourite.

posted 27-9-2011 @ 11:07 AM www



Look at the Affinia Apartments (we stayed at the Shelburne) they are good quality and you get that bit extra space.

If I had my pick (and without taking the kids) I would always choose a Kimpton hotel, there is one on Park Ave near Grand Central station in a quiet area. They have a great service ethic, good quality rooms, a free happy hour in the evening with wine and sometimes snacks, great way to try some American wine. If you join their reward programme you get a $10 mini bar credit per stay and free internet access every day. They also have facebook codes that offer something extra like a room upgrade or bottle of wine or free brekky. I can't recommend this chain highly enough. They are in LA as well.

Yes I do talk too much!

posted 27-9-2011 @ 11:16 AM www

And I like to shop!!!



Big brands crazy prices, like an outlet store but in the city. Heaps of locations different stock in each. You will love it or hate it. Worth looking. I got a $400 cashmere and wool high end designer black jacket/cardigan for $69. Havent stopped wearing it since I got back.
Good for undies and socks particularly mens.

Century 21

The store opposite ground zero is about 8 stories high, stuffed full of designer everything. If you have the time and the stamina there are amazing bargains to be found. This is serious shopping but not for the feinthearted.

Noordstrom and Macy's have discount cards from their visitor centres.

Better stop now...feel free to ask any specific questions!

posted 27-9-2011 @ 06:49 PM www

Thanks for your great suggestions everyone, especially 3littlepigs :)

Gawd don't mention shopping 3littlepigs `himself' will be a lost cause, he loves to shop, I love not to shop:



posted 27-9-2011 @ 09:14 PM www

If himself likes Designer suits, ties, shirts etc send him to Century 21 I have never seen so many ties in my life, a rainbow of them!
And they sell luggage as well:D
And there is a fantastic place to buy suits on the corner of 3rd Ave and 42nd St, you go downstairs and there's a huge warehouse sized room full of them. Lots are 2 for $199.
Don't forget to have pizza a whole one is about $20 and fed all five of us to bursting!

posted 27-9-2011 @ 10:56 PM www

Congrats on winning! I am off to the same locations in Dec! so I've done some research.

Rodeo Bar & Grill New York City, USA
Entertainment › Country, folk

New York’s best Texas-style honkytonk is in Murray Hill? Good shows of country, bluegrass and rockabilly are staged nightly for a foot-tappin’ Manhattan crowd. There are creative margaritas and plenty of steaks, fajitas, burgers and veggie dishes, too.

check out this list
posted 27-9-2011 @ 11:25 PM www

We visited NYC in January this year and quite by accident came across The Tenement Museum, Lower Manhatten East Side. This is an actual tenement house that had been boarded up for decades (interesting story) and is now preserved as is. As the volunteer guide should us through what was a private home and place of business, shared interesting stories of immigrants who came to New York and lived in this street. It brought the history of NY alive for us. We got there on the Big Red Bus and the surrounding areas were fascinating and full of interesting little shops and eateries. Our apartment was on Madison Ave and we took the underground to get home, another NYC experience.
You can then do a walking tour of Orchard Rd and even discover a little theatre where a teen-age, Greek Sephardic immigrant played by a costumed interpreter tells her story set during 1916. Perfect! When you visit the website you'll discover other our of the way, below the tourist radar places of interest. Have fun.
posted 27-9-2011 @ 11:44 PM www

We just got back from Las Vegas Sept 2011 and LA but some tips on the Vegas trip..
you can get show prices on the day from the discount booths on the strip but we found out (too late) that some hotels eg MGM offer multi discounts of their own on the shows in their complex
example: MGM GRAND have David Copperfield, Cirque du Soleil KA and another one (cant remember the name) when we were there for $99 p/person/ea (all 3 shows in one complex not on the same night but booked thru their box office) whereas we happened to book David Copperfield and Ka separate at the daily discount booths for approx $190 p/person/ea.
This was advertised on a poster near the box office in the MGM Grand and we also saw the same in other hotels, it depends on how busy it is really, but great savings to be had.
posted 30-9-2011 @ 02:46 PM www

Las Vegas:

MUST DO: Trip to the grand canyon...and if you can swing it camp there, it's amazing. We camped on the edge of a little camp ground there. Sunrise and sunset over the canyon are indescribable. After hours there's noone around, and the quiet and vastness is unreal.
posted 1-10-2011 @ 02:31 AM www

In LA The Farmers Daughter is a great little resonably priced boutique hotel a bit quirky and very clean the restuarant attached had the best breakfasts/food plus its opposite CBS studio so if you book early enough you may be able to see a tv show filmed and its almost opposite the Farmers Market and the Grove shopping complex great for food or just wondering around plus also close by is the museum district and La Brea Tar Pits.
Theres also a bus stop outside so you can catch a bus up to Hollywood Boulevard or to downtown or anywhere you want staff are friendly and helpfull.

Oh and in New York you got to have a coal fired pizza at Lombardi's mmmm would go back to New York just for this pizza

posted 1-10-2011 @ 09:12 AM www

New York is an amazing city, so much to see and do. We were there in May this year. Try Big Apple Greeter, it is a free service offered by local volunteers. You have to fill in an application about 3-4 weeks before you arrive and if you are chosen a local will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and take you to all of those off the beaten track exciting places. You can also suggest places that you are interested in. The website is:
All the best for your holiday, you will have the best time!
posted 1-10-2011 @ 11:51 AM www

Forgot to say earlier:

Before we went in July we were talking to George and Gary from Masterchef (another prize LOL) they had just returned from New York and recommended EATALY as a not to be missed Eating/Drinking/Coffee spot in NYC, of course we didnt get there but it looks awesome and they absolutely raved about it! There are a number of restaurants and cafes there as well as a marketplace.

posted 2-10-2011 @ 01:33 PM www

NYC Cosmo Hotel is a great hotel. Quite large (by new york standards), reasonably priced and great location in Tribecca - very trendy neighborhood. Subway stop right outside. Great Irish pub around the corner too :-)
posted 2-10-2011 @ 02:24 PM www

People line up to pay to get into the Metropolitan Museum in New York...however in very small print on the signs it says you don't have to pay, you just walk straight in past the big long lines of paying people!!! The bus driver told us! Yayyyyy. :yes:

posted 5-10-2011 @ 08:08 PM www

Originally posted by kismet
People line up to pay to get into the Metropolitan Museum in New York...however in very small print on the signs it says you don't have to pay, you just walk straight in past the big long lines of paying people!!! The bus driver told us! Yayyyyy. :yes:

you are able to pay what you wish/can afford for the Met but the suggestion is/was $20 when I was there and I was quite happy to pay. love that place. If you go make sure you go up to the roof - cafe/snack bar up there and the views are fabulous and they also have art installations up there as well. As part of the entry fee you can also visit The Clositers. Quite a way out of town by bus but passing all the burbs along the way was quite interesting.

most museums have special times when they are free and some have late night opening as well

New York Botanic Gardens - was a big deal for me plus they were also holding a special exhibition at the time. train trip from Grand Central - easy

Accom Affina 50 near 3rd ave & 5oth E - great uptown location some with kitchenette - very handy

Helmsley - very nice right near Grand Central terminal - good shopping nearby incl Daffy's a couple of blocks away

Blue Circle Line boat tour, great views , and of course Staten Island Ferry (a freebie - suggestion is to go at dusk, on the way back you get city lights)

oh, how could I have almost forgotten...The Frick Collection, the art is fabulous as is the story of the benefactor

NY public Library guided tour, very interesting (another freebie

more shopping Filene's basement

will probably think of more - have a fabulous time
posted 7-10-2011 @ 10:14 PM www

This hotel was beachside and most afforable in Santa Monica
we didn't stay there but wished we did.
Santa Monica is a public bus ride from the airport $1 approx so no need to take expensive shuttles. The tourist board send a huge manual about Santa Monica for free if you have time to ask before you go. The public transport into the main sites ( except Disneyland) is easy and cheap. You can ring a number and tell them where you are and where you want to go and they will tell you exactly what public transport to use. Really no slower than driving and no parking to worry about.

Santa Monica is connected to 17miles of bikeways to ride if you hire pushbikes. Venice Beach is worth the visit. We got free iced coffees with a spontaneous promotion that we came across.

The beaches are a good places for celebrity spotting. We saw Jessica Alba, Chase and Honour.
posted 8-10-2011 @ 11:07 AM www

Thanks for your ideas, please keep them coming:thumbup:

Any suggestions where to stay in Las Vegas?

posted 8-10-2011 @ 11:25 AM www

If you like impressionist art, arrive at the MOMA at opening time and head straight up to the Monet Gallery. It is unbelievable. One huge room containing only 4 paintings, two are HUGE...I didnt realise how big...the length of the room. Just enormous. And we had at least 10 minutes in there by ourselves before anyone else appeared...just my family and the security guard, and they let you get quite close to the paintings too.

One of the things we loved the most in NY was visiting the United Nations. There is no charge, and you can actually go into the general assembly room you see on the news (and in the movies) kids were stunned! They also have displays about some of their projects very interesting. There are a few shops downstairs selling lovely UN souvenirs including a couple of stalls run by spouses of the delegates who volunteer to fundraise for UN projects. Loved it, Loved it, Loved it! Many would think it was boring but it was one of our trip highlights (yes we are a bit geeky here:lol:)

posted 8-10-2011 @ 11:27 AM www

With New York, try not to overdo the walking first up - the first thing we did was walk around Central Park, then walked around the American Natural History Museum (heavens I could stayed there for two weeks, it was so amazing, I even started crying a few times as I saw things in real life that I had only seen on TV and read about in books).

The pain in my feet was pretty much excruciating by then and it just got worse over the week. I wore good running shoes the whole trip, but it wasn't good enough for my feet. I developed a blister that was so big it was just like I had a 6th toe.

So if you are doing a lot of walking, find something that protects your feet, I don't know what the answer is. Running shoes aren't enough. Maybe it is hiking shoes, or going to a podiatrist before you go if you think you will have problems with your feet (which I think I will do next time I go for a holiday that is going to involve lots of walking - the local podiatrist around here doesn't believe in orthrotics, but believes in prescribing the right shoe for your foot, so I think that is what I need).

I found I couldn't enjoy my holiday as much as I wanted as my feet were just so sore that I put off doing things that required a lot of walking and tended to take the subway more if that was possible.

So my advice is to find ways to protect your feet or else you will be miserable.
posted 8-10-2011 @ 11:33 AM www

Sure we can't tempt you to amend your trip to include a few days in Washington DC? Its only a train ride from NYC and has sooooooooo much to offer! We spend 8 days and have decided next time we need a month to do it all justice!

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