TakeTours’ Top 10 Tips for Outlet Shopping

Shopping at Premium Outlets

by Emma Gifford

Admit it: like many consumers, you’re a sucker for a good brand name. Sometimes it’s worth paying that little bit (or maybe more than a little bit) extra for a certain logo or designer brand; especially if you’re loyal to that company’s merchandise, fit, or style. But in this kind of economy, you also want a bargain. What to do?

It’s an easy answer: visit factory outlets and outlet malls.

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I met Marilyn Monroe at Madame Tussauds

Marilyn Monroe{link url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/popculturegeek/5475476854/in/photostream/}(Photo by popculturegeek){/link}

By Andrew Lin

I visited Madame Tussauds when I was still a twenty-year-old, in New York City with a friend, looking for something touristy to do. We happened upon Times Square, just following the crowd and our sense of the busyness of the city. She had pretty much been to everything in New York but Tussauds, so Tussauds it was. And, I must admit, I was curious. Something about seeing a wax Marilyn Monroe fascinated me–even though I had fears of the whole experience being a bit of a bore. (I imagined it would be like shopping for clothes, just with more interesting mannequins.)

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Let the Force Guide You…to Disney’s Soundsational Summer!

Sleeping Beauty's Castle Disneyland
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle Disneyland ({link url=garrykhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:DisneylandCastle.JPG}Photo courtesy of Wikipedia, by Cd637{/link})

Picture this: you have just won Wimbledon. Or a major league pennant. Or the Superbowl. Or heck, even your local bowling tournament. What do you do next? Go to Disneyland, of course! (Well, at least if you believe the conventional wisdom of Disney commercials.)

But now there’s even more reason to visit this famous entertainment park and quintessentially American vacation spot. This summer, the Disneyland Resort in California is introducing many new shows and rides with what it’s calling the “Disney Soundsational Summer,” a season that promises to be chock full of sensory surprises. Whether you’ve been to Disneyland before or arrive as a fresh newcomer, there are plenty of laughs and thrills to experience: from Mickey’s Soundsational Parade and Star Tours: The Adventures Continue at Disneyland Park, to The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure and Goofy’s Sky School at Disney California Adventure Park, there’s something for kids of all ages. (And, apparently, even for Jedi lords who have gone to the Dark Side. See the video below.)

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The Best Wine You’ve Never Tasted: the Great Grapes of the Finger Lakes

A selection of Finger Lakes wine
“Wine is bottled poetry.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Row after row of vines stretching down gentle slopes to the water. Miles of road dotted with wineries as far as the eye can see, parking lots filled with vinophiles eager to sample the latest seasonal offerings. Restaurants led by locavore chefs keen to pair their creations with regional vintages. Casual street conversations which often include words such as “bouquet”, “nose”, “varietal” and “terroir”. Where are we? In Napa? Sonoma? The Pacific Northwest? Somewhere in Australia or New Zealand? Nope. Would you believe it if we said upstate New York?

The latest wine region starting to garner more attention both nationally and internationally is the scenic Finger Lakes area, tucked up in the northwest corner of New York state, just below Lake Ontario. Here, certain varietal vines thrive near the long, thin bodies of water such as Seneca, Canandaigua, Keuka, and Cayuga lakes which act as temperature regulators during bouts of extreme weather: keeping things cool in summer, and protecting vines from the worst of the frost in winter. (No wonder the region has more than 100 wineries!) Known principally for the strength of its German cool weather grapes such as Riesling and Gewurtztraminer, the Finger Lakes are also becoming famous for their sparkling wines and other varietals such as Cabernet Franc and Chardonnay. Several Blanc de Blancs have won regional and national recognition, and most of the local ice and dessert wines are spectacular.

This summer, the Finger Lakes will feature its annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival from July 15-17, which draws wineries and food and craft vendors from throughout New York State. Held on the grounds of the Watkins Glen International Speedway, the popular event is an opportunity to taste the best work of more than 90 local and state wineries and food artisans, as well as enjoy rituals like the Friday night blessing of Bacchus (attendees are urged to wear togas), cooking classes, and wine seminars. And if you’re there, be sure to get a taste of some of the TakeTours staff’s favorite labels: Dr. Konstantin Frank, Swedish Hill, Red Newt Cellars, and Hermann J. Wiemer, to name a few.

But you don’t need a festival to experience the wonderful vintages of the area: wineries are open throughout the summer and year-round. So if you’re interested in exploring the beautiful and bountiful Finger Lakes region of New York, why not let TakeTours help you find the right trip? Click here to explore the many tours offered by our affiliated vendors.

TakeTours Offers Various Tours to Niagara Falls as the Maid of the Mist Reopens Today!

The warmer Spring weather has melted the last of the ice in Niagara Falls. And now one of the most popular tours in the country, The Maid of the Mist, is officially open for business! TakeTours.com is offering hundreds of tours to Niagara Falls that feature the Maid of the Mist attraction. Choose from different amenities, travel dates, tour duration, price, and more from the extensive list of travel options.

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