Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Exploring the Arts in Salt Lake City

There are many things to see and do in Salt Lake City. Specifically, the arts and entertainment scene is full of hits for you and your family.

Ballet West's annual schedule includes 100 performances in Salt Lake City and Utah, and a rigorous out of state touring program. Their 2010 through 2011 performances include Carmina Burana, 2010 Ballet West Gala, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Bolero and Innovations.

The Capitol Theatre is home to the Utah Opera Company, Ballet West and Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company. Many other touring live performances and Broadway plays are also performed here at this magnificent theatre.

Check out their upcoming performances which include La Boheme, Hansel and Gretel and Little Women. You can buy tickets online or at the ticket stand in Salt Lake City; just make sure you do not miss your chance to enjoy some of these fabulous shows.

The Cultural Celebration Center was newly opened in 2003 by West Valley City, the Utah Cultural Celebration Center is a unique facility. The Center is dedicated to enriching and strengthening communities by promoting the expression of the arts, education, opportunities for economic development and the celebration of human diversity; you can learn more about their special activities online.

The Desert Star Playhouse specializes in family friendly entertainment with original musical melodramas that are characterized by audience interaction. Come and cheer the hero or boo the villain; either way, you are sure to laugh up a storm.

The Grand Theatre is located at the Salt Lake Community College and is another great venue which hosts a slew of artistic performances throughout the year. The Theatre offers various musicals, comedies and plays throughout the year.

You can currently buy tickets for Oliver, The Messiah, The Class Menagerie, The Marvelous Wonderettes and Urine Town the musical. You can purchase tickets online or at the establishment; either way, you will not want to miss out on the entertainment.

The Hale Centre Theatre is another venue on the expression scene. This place is also committed to producing family oriented comedies and musicals.

The Jordan Commons offers world class establishments, the unprecedented Cricket Super Screen in 70 mm, arcade and kid's theatre. Jordan Commons is also home to the gorgeous Mayan restaurant.

This 40,000 square foot theme restaurant will take you to undiscovered Mayan ruins with talking animals, daring cliff divers and tree top dining. This is more than just a meal; it is an adventure through the jungle with great food to accompany.

The Off Broadway Theater (OBT) is Salt Lake's downtown hot spot for comedy. From great Broadway style shows to wild and wacky spoofs and parodies to amazing improve comedy, there is one thing you can count on with OBT- something funny is always happening.

Their 2010 season includes The Wicked Wizard of Ahhs, Star Ward, Robin Hood- Boyz in the Hood, H.M.S. Pinafore, Y-Light, Miracle on Third and Main and Laughing Stock. Be sure to check out the scheduling and ticket availability of these shows while you are making your plans in the Salt Lake City area.

The Pioneer Theatre Company produces a seven play season running from September through May, including a mixture of classics, large scale musicals and contemporary dramas and comedies. You will not want to miss the performances they put on.

Also, the Repertory Dance Theatre is dedicated to the creation, performance, perpetuation and appreciation of American modern dance. If this is a type of art form you enjoy, you will not want to miss the world class skills of those who perform with Repertory Dance.

The Utah Symphony is another group you will not want to miss in the Salt Lake City area. Founded in 1940, the Utah Symphony has become a vital presence on the American music scene through its distinctive, international performances and its well known recording legacy.

The Symphony performs in the gorgeous Abravanel Hall. They are constantly holding new, special performances for holidays and such.

They have the Deer Valley Music Festival, the Patriotic Celebration at Scera Park and Peter and the Wolf and other Familiy Frolics playing in the near future. Be sure to check their schedule and ticket availability while you are planning your trip to Salt Lake City.

Terry Daniels has been writing about things to do in cities across America. He recommends ( for things to do in your area.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Save A Ton Of Money When You Travel

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Top 5 Scottish Castles & Manors

Can there be anything more evocative than staying in a luxury hotel set amid the annals of history? Combine your stay in Scotland with accommodation in one of the many luxury castles or manors.

Dalhousie Castle, just a half hour from the centre of Edinburgh, is a thirteenth century fortress which played a strategic role in the protection of the surrounding land. It is ironic that it now welcomes guests from afar to relax in its authentic rooms furnished with Scottish woods and tartans. Of the 36 rooms there are fifteen historically themed with period furniture to enjoy. This, combined with every modern luxury, makes for a comfortable stay with a twist.

For a gourmet dinner of local venison, salmon or grouse descend to The Dungeon. With its vaulted ceilings, worn stone stairway and roughly hewn stone walls, it is hard to imagine that it was once used for more sinister purposes. For a lighter meal visit the Orangery with its wonderful views of the lazy River Esk. Whether you enjoy the falconry displays in the extensive grounds or have a hydrotherapy session in the Spa you will always find something different to do at Dalhousie Castle.

Airth Castle and Spa Hotel dates back to the fourteenth century and nestles beside the River Forth. Each generous bedroom has all the modern conveniences and twelve are historically themed. Enjoy your private Jacuzzi, rest in your own lounge or laze on the king sized bed.

You can walk the extensive grounds taking in the views along the River or enjoy the open fire in the lounge. The Glasshouse Restaurant sits under a pyramid of glass and offers traditional fare with a touch of modern flair. For a light snack or a glass of wine the Stables Plasma Lounge is perfect.

Visit the Orkney Islands at the top of the world and stay at Balfour Castle on the island of Shapinsay. The log fires are very welcoming and the rooms are all different, offering a range of styles. The Brass Room has its own turret with island and sea views while The Lairds boasts a four posted bed with carvings of the Balfour Coat of Arms. All rooms are furnished with original Victorian furniture. This small family run hotel will allow you to relax and enjoy your stay.

The Castle has two private boats, just perfect for discovering and exploring uninhabited islands and geos, the delightful caves carved out of the soft sandstone by the sea. Delight in the diverse bird life, go fishing, play a round of golf - you are in Scotland the home of golf - or bicycle your way around the Island. Balfour Castle offers a set menu which changes every day and uses fresh locally produced foods.

You will be warmly welcomed with a bottle of champagne when you arrive at the luxurious Dornoch Castle. This family owned and run Castle is set in the village of Dornoch, an hour north of Inverness. The Cathedral Room with its spa bath is in the oldest wing of the castle. The garden rooms are sunny and bright, overlooking the walled gardens. Enjoy freshly prepared meals in the restaurant. With such delights as Scottish salmon and honey and Whiskey Creme Brulee, your palate will sizzle. Enjoy sitting by the roaring fire after a round of golf.

The Royal Dornoch is the third oldest course in Scotland and runs along the coast, overlooking the beaches below. Visit local icons such as John O Groats or take a rambling hike across the moors. Try your hand at clay-pigeon shooting or fish the local lochs. Dornoch Castle is a delight in summer and is transformed in the winter months to sheer beauty.

While not a castle but a Manor, Mar Hall sits majestically on the banks of the Clyde River, just a short trip from the city of Glasgow. This five star establishment was built in the mid eighteen hundreds and its Gothic architecture lends it authority and dignity. Upgraded in 2002, you now walk past two bronze stags in the car park and into the Lobby. After check-in, proceed to the heart of the hotel, the Grand Hall where the creamy walls are covered in tapestries. In fine juxtaposition, the rooms have a contemporary feel and a modern attention to detail.

The Cristal Room Restaurant, off the Grand Hall, includes such wonderfully appetizing foods as slow cooked pork belly and elderberry sorbet. You can also partake of a typical Scottish breakfast here, including porridge cooked the traditional way.

Travel Associates is a travel agency engaging in luxury holidays to amazing destinations around the world including luxury Vietnam holiday packages, Vanuatu holiday packages, and Hawaii holiday packages.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Check out Iran Tourist Attractions of Post-Islam Era Before You Travel to Iran

Being an ancient country with plenty of very old monuments to offer to its visitors, Iran stands among the top cultural tour destinations. Some of them are already enlisted at UNESCO's world human heritage and some other ones are documented and waiting for such recognition.

As the advent of Islam and Arabs' invasion is a landmark in Iranian history and as the architecture of the monuments has been largely influenced due to such a change, this article will introduce you only to the monuments remained from post-Islam period.

Nain Friday mosque

As one of the earliest mosques ever built in Iran before the concept of symmetry was entirely internalized in Islamic architecture, Nain Friday mosque has been inspired by the architecture of Sassanians. Iranian architects built structures with similar brick arrangements to decorate exterior and plaster-work embellishment to decorate inside the buildings.

Yazd Friday Mosque

With the tallest minarets in Iran, 53 meters, Yazd Friday mosque took 40 years to be constructed. The mosaic works applied to the southern ivan and portal of the mosque is one of the best examples of Ilkhanid period. The various shades of blue color applied to the facade of the portal is unique and striking.


With a 50-meter tall domed chamber and largest Islamic dome in the world for several centuries, Soltanieh is a mausoluem built by Oljayto, the Ilkhanid king near Zanjan in Iran. Many scholars believe that he was finally buried at that structure although it was built for another purpose.

Shiekh Lotfollah Mosque

This mosque is a private one constructed by Shah Abbas the first for his family members who could walk through a corridor from under the opposite structure, Aliqapu palace, to the basement of this palace.

Imam Khomeini Mosque

Shah Abbas the first has ordered this Friday mosque to be built at Naqsh-e-Jahan square. According to many experts in Iranian studies, this mosque is one of the masterpieces of Islamic architecture in Iran, which has been built in Isfahan.

Chehel Sotun Palace

The structure in the middle of a typical Persian garden is built by Shah Abbas the second as his administration edifice. The huge pool in front of it helps the reflection of portico columns and doubles the number of them from 20 to 40. That is why it is called forty-column palace.

AliQapu Palace

The high-rise of Safavid period in Isfahan, the capital city of Shah Abbas the first, Aliqapu palace was built overlooking Naqsh-e-Jahan square. From up there, ambassadors, governors, kings and any other officials visiting Persian capital city could see the flourishing economy of the country.

Gonbad e Qabus

This tomb tower is one thousand year old and totally built by baked bricks. Under Zyarids, this tower was ordered to be built 3 km north of the ancient city of Jorgan.


This is the longest bridge on Zayandeh rood, which is the river snaking through Isfahan. It was built under Shah Abbas the first to connect Chahar Bagh Street on both sides of the river. There are 33 arches along this bridge that were built so solidly that the structure could also be used for blocking the water.

Khajou Bridge

Built under Shah Abbas the second, this bridge is meant to be used both as a bridge to connect Khajou street on northern bank of the river to the other side and as a water damn to raise the water level. The accessible water could then be used to irrigate royal gardens.

Golestan Palace Complex

As the best example of Qajar period architecture, there are several structures constructed during the reign of Qajar kings. The mirror works as well as tile works applied on these palaces are very spectacular. No other such compound can be found anywhere else in Iran as Tehran was the capital city of these kings.


Sometimes, a tomb decoration, a hunting mansion, etc could also be very eye-catching and beautiful to a visitor, but the list here refers to some of the most famous monuments that are in good condition and usually on the routes of the main towns and cities of Iran. To be able to visit lots of Iran tourist attractions, you need to travel to Iran yourself and spend some time on a well-planned tours so that you can make the most of your stay in this country.

Destination Iran provides Iran visa services for you to travel to Iran and visit the highlights of the country. Remember that you need a well-planned itinerary for your journey. Learn more at:

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Booking Accommodations in Athens

When in Athens, one must have accommodations that match the elegance and style of the city itself. Decor and ambiance coupled with friendly helpful staff with guarantee that you hours at rest in this bustling city can renew and inspire you for the next day's adventures. Three such hotels are the Amalia Hotel Athens, the Herodion Hotel, and the Hera Hotel. At these choice venues, you will find a level of service and attention to detail that will put your worries at ease. Serving as your home base in the grand city of Athens, any one of these three would place you well within the prime tourist areas while at the same time give you respite from the hustle and bustle when and if you need it.

At the Amalia, the rooms are newly furnished, luxurious and spacious. Many of them feature a balcony as well. Soundproof windows eliminate street noise from below.

The hotel is located within walking distance of most major attractions, including the Parthenon, the Plaka (restaurants, bouzouki clubs & shopping), Syntagma Square (where you can watch the changing of the guard), and the new Acropolis Museum. There is free internet access in the rooms and free wi-fi in the lobby.

Herodion Hotel is on a quiet street just a block from the Acropolis. It features beautifully appointed lounge for the guests with comfy couches with an adjoining bar and restaurant as well as a two-level rooftop deck where you can enjoy astonishing views of the Parthenon especially when it is lit up in the evening. While gazing at the view, you can also enjoy the two hot-tubs that are well-positioned on both levels. Back on the ground floor, the restaurant features a sun-room where you can look out at the garden while you dine.

The Hera Hotel is just a ten minute walk to the Acropolis and a five minute walk to the New Acropolis Museum which is a definite bonus as the collections therein are fascinating. The metro is nearby as well as the Plaka for great shopping and dining options. Some of the rooms have balconies with views of the Parthenon. There is a rooftop restaurant with great views that serves elegant meals in-season. The breakfast buffet, however, is available all year long and it is delicious with quite an array of choices. With such a plethora of activities at your doorstep, a hearty breakfast for strength and endurance is a definite must.

For more information about hotels and travel related services in Athens Greece visit To find all Hotels on the Map of Athens visit, to find Athens luxury hotels visit