Spooktacular Haunted Houses

October 29 2010 by Julie Drossos
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Haunted Houses.jpgHalloween is just around the corner, and what better way to get you into the spooky spirit than planning a fun weekend getaway around a visit to one of these terrifically terrifying Haunted Houses. I've surveyed my most devoted Halloween-lovers and Haunted House fanatics and put together this list of "must-see" haunts.

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Quebec Allons-y! (Let's go!)

October 28 2010 by Bryson Forbes
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iStock_000002340498XSmall.jpg"La belle province," as it is affectionately known, is Canada's only province with a predominantly French-speaking population. It is the largest province in land mass and second in population, behind only Ontario. In fact, Quebec is three times the size of France! Les Québécois are very passionate people and their province is rich with history. Many battles have been waged along the St. Lawrence River and some of Canada's defining political moments have occurred with Quebec and its people at the forefront.

Many people who visit Quebec remark on its "European" feel. The urban areas, especially Quebec City & Montreal, certainly have an old world vibe. The language, the food and wine and the people are connected with their historical roots, while crafting a Canadian identity that is unique and celebrated.

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Motorcycles on Television

October 28 2010 by Jason Fogelson

iStock_000012469312XSmall.jpgMotorcycles and motorcyclists used to have an image problem. A leather-clad biker symbolized danger, lawlessness and anti-social impulses. Television shied away from using motorcycles, except as shorthand for "bad."

There were the rare television characters who rode bike in the '60s and '70s -- I'm thinking of Jim Bronson on his Sportster in Then Came Bronson; Dr. Steven Kiley on his Bonneville in Marcus Welby, M.D.; Fonzie on his Triumph in Happy Days; and Ponch and John on their KZ-900P Police Specials on CHiPs. B.J. Hunnicut rode into the sunset on an Indian Scout in the final episode of MASH. If there's any unifying theme there, it's about characters marching to their own beat, individualists who don't care what others think about them. They were all riding against the tide.

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Higher Demand Driving Up Biz Travel Prices

October 27 2010 by Chris McGinnis
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iStock_000013528423XSmall.jpgEvery year at about this time, American Express releases its annual Business Travel Forecast for the coming year.

For 2011, it appears as though road warriors can expect more of what they experienced this year: rising prices.

Airlines have been slow to buy new aircraft or to pull many of them out of their desert parking lots, while the pipeline for new hotels has shrunk considerably. At the same time, demand for both air travel and hotels has increased rapidly, leading to higher prices.

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Travel Time Machine

October 25 2010 by BW Innsider
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Where's Your Time Travel Destination?

We all have our favorite destinations, but have you ever thought about what it would be like to visit them in a time machine? Yeah, probably not. But if you could, what destination would you visit and at what point in history would you make your trip? Leave your response in the comment section below with:

  1. Where you would visit?

  2. At what point in history you would go?

  3. Why?

Once you leave your comment, you will be automatically entered into a drawing for a chance to win a $250 Best Western Travel Card! Enter today!

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Only one guess per person. Must be a U.S. or Canada resident and 18 years old or older. Contest ends November 20, 2010.

NASCAR at Talladega - Contest

October 25 2010 by BW Innsider
Comments (35)

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The Chase at Talladega

The Sprint Cup Series goes down to Talladega for this weekend's race. There's only four races left, but "Who's Gonna Win" and take the checkered flag this Sunday?


Leave your prediction of "Who's Gonna Win" in the comment section below and if you guess correctly, you will have a chance to win a large die cast car and a hat, both autographed by Michael Waltrip! Make your prediction now.

*Entries must be in before the start of the race on 10/31, and winner will be announced on 11/01.

Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Limit only one entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers posted in the comments below.

Checking Bags, Grumbling About Fees

October 25 2010 by Chris McGinnis

iStock_000004699454XSmall.jpgMost frequent business travelers have packing down to a science. They almost always carry their bags on board and rarely consider checking them with airlines.

Cooler weather means bulkier clothing, and holiday travel usually involves bringing along family members who aren't as practiced in proper packing procedures. So the likelihood of checked luggage, a visit to the luggage carousel and pain of paying new airline fees could increase in the coming months.

Got a checked bag in your future? Then consider these tips:

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Why I Started Riding

October 22 2010 by Jason Fogelson

iStock_000000787311XSmall.jpgI know that you haven't been counting, but I have: This blog entry is my hundred and first about motorcycle travel for You Must Be Trippin'. A milestone like that puts me into a reflective mood, and right now I'm thinking about why I ride.

I can look back at three significant moments in my childhood that pushed me toward motorcycling.

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Canada's East Coast

October 21 2010 by Bryson Forbes

iStock_000006396780XSmall.jpgI love the east coast of Canada. The Forbes are from Halifax and as children we typically were on vacation down east for at least two weeks every summer.

The four smallest provinces--New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island--comprise the backbone of Canada's East Coast. This region, which is also referred to as Atlantic Canada, is home to just under 2.5 million people or approximately eight percent of our country's population. In this case, the adage that "good things come in small packages" is definitely appropriate.

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Merger Mania

October 21 2010 by Chris McGinnis

Plane 200.jpgAirline mergers have been in the news a lot lately. Over the last year, for example, we've witnessed a relatively smooth blending of Delta and Northwest. It was a long time coming, and it's got a long way to go, but United and Continental recently sealed the deal on their merger, as well.

Even low fare carriers are getting in on the act. Southwest recently announced it would absorb AirTran for $1.4 billion. Last year, Denver-based Frontier and Milwaukee-based Midwest Airlines joined forces under the Frontier brand (which makes me happy because we'll keep seeing Frontier's classic animal photos on airplane tails!)

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Gettysburg

October 20 2010 by Sam Lowe

09 getty.jpgMy initial visit to Gettysburg National Military Park was on a cold and dreary October day more than 20 years ago. It was so chilly, in fact, that my stay lasted less than an hour so, obviously, I didn't see much. Or learn much.

Determined to make up for that bit of wimp-related brevity, I returned in September and was amazed not only at what I had missed the first time, but by the addition of the splendid new Visitor Center and Museum. Opened in 2008, it is filled with history, artifacts, photographs and other reminders of the battle that took place here in July 1863.

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Where the Safe Drivers Are

October 19 2010 by Chris McGinnis
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iStock_000010702872XSmall.jpgI'll never forget driving in the Caribbean on one of the first business trips of my career. It was insane. Every driver was out for him or herself, ignoring stop signs and painted lane separators. Drivers slowed down (but did not necessarily stop) for red lights.

I'm still amazed that I came out alive and with no wrecks. Not even a ding.

But you know what? I learned a lot about driving both offensively AND defensively, and it prepared me for living in San Francisco--a city which sits near the bottom of the list when it comes to safe driving.

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NASCAR Contest!

October 18 2010 by BW Innsider
Comments (48)

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Psychics Wanted!

Martinsville plays host for the next chapter in the Chase for the Cup on Sunday. We want to know..."Who's Gonna Win"?!


Your job is to leave your prediction of "Who's Gonna Win" in the comment section below and if you guess correctly, you will have a chance to win a clear tote bag and large die cast car, both signed by Michael Waltrip! Make your prediction now.

*Entries must be in before the start of the race on 10/24, and winner will be announced on 10/25.

Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Limit only one entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers posted in the comments below.

Day Six: Morro Bay to Los Angeles, CA

October 18 2010 by Jason Fogelson

_MG_2420.jpgWe woke early on Tuesday morning. We had a full day of riding ahead, and I had planned a new route home, through a different part of the state than we usually traveled.

The ocean air was cool and moist. We had slept with our window open last night at the BEST WESTERN San Marcos Inn, and the soothing sounds of the surf mingled with the barks of the seals to produce a relaxing night of rest. Robin and I were both eager to get home, but bittersweet to end a ride that had been so rewarding. We had a quick cup of coffee at the hotel's breakfast buffet, skipping over the pastries and dairy products this time. We had a brunch destination in mind 160 miles away in Ojai, so we were saving our appetites.

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Day Five: Monterey to Morro Bay, CA

October 15 2010 by Jason Fogelson
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_MG_2379.jpgWe ate a quick breakfast in the lobby of the BEST WESTERN Monterey Inn. After a nice night's stay, we were off for the ride of a lifetime.

We loaded up the bike, and rode out in the direction of the Pacific Coast Highway, California's Route 1. Due south of the Monterey Peninsula, PCH traces the coast along a stretch known as Big Sur.

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Day Four: Sonora to Monterey, CA

October 14 2010 by Jason Fogelson
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_MG_2356.jpgWe woke to a beautiful crisp morning. Breakfast at the BEST WESTERN Sonora Oaks Hotel's Pine Tree Restaurant was included with our stay, so of course, we filled up our tanks before heading out on the road.

This day's ride was the most urban of our six days on the road. We headed west on Route 120, down a very pleasant stretch of undulating road through several small towns and farm villages. After 50 miles or so, the houses started piling up beside the roads, and we were riding through suburbs instead of countryside. Soon, we jumped into the broad spaghetti dish of freeways that lead toward San Francisco, and our urban adventure commenced.

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Day Three: South Lake Tahoe to Sonora, CA

October 13 2010 by Jason Fogelson
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_MG_2307.jpgGorgeous day.

We ate breakfast in LewMarNel's Steak and Spirits, on the grounds of the BEST WESTERN Station House Inn. The staff has been there for years, and they really pull out all the stops for hotel guests. Instead of the usual breakfast buffet, the restaurant features a real menu, cloth tablecloths, daily specials and great ambiance -- all included with the price of a night's stay at the hotel. The place is charming and comfortable, with lots of personal touches, like signed wine bottles lined up along the dining room's rafters. According to Jimmy, our waiter, guests who order a bottle of wine with dinner are invited to sign their empty bottles and add them to the room's decor. Some guests return year after year to visit their bottles, and to add to the collection. LewMarNel's Steak and Spirits also serves lunch and dinner.

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Rich, Beautiful and Fun! I Think I'm in Love...With Alberta

October 13 2010 by Bryson Forbes
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iStock_000001729772XSmall.jpgThe most populated of the three Canadian Prairie Provinces, Alberta has become a poster child success story with its per capita GDP at an astounding 61%, the highest in country and higher than the national average. (CDN $74,865 according to recent Stats Can data).

The majority of the wealth can be traced to oil and natural gas. These assets continue to attract people and the population has risen steadily to almost four million residents. Alberta is often compared to Texas; they are almost identical in land mass and share a can-do, wild-west culture, though Texas has six times more people.

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Day Two: Mammoth Lakes to South Lake Tahoe, CA

October 12 2010 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (13)

_MG_2250.jpgThere's nothing like a 300-mile motorcycle ride through the desert to assure a good night's sleep. A nice, clean elegant room at the BEST WESTERN High Sierra Hotel doesn't hurt much, either. We packed up our gear, then went down to the hotel's adjacent Cafe 203 for eggs cooked to order, bacon, sausage, coffee and juice -- all included with our night's stay. We ran into Gary and his girlfriend as we were loading the bike for the road. They were going to dip into Yosemite National Park through the Tioga Pass on their way to Lake Tahoe, a detour that we had considered. We had other plans, so we wished each other well, keep the rubber side down, and went our separate ways.

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Who's Gonna Win? - NASCAR

October 11 2010 by BW Innsider
Comments (66)

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Two Prizes for the Winner!

The Chase for the Cup returns to Charlotte this Saturday. The checkered flag is up for grabs so the question is... "Who's Gonna Win"?!


Your job is to leave your prediction of "Who's Gonna Win" in the comment section below and if you guess correctly, you will have a chance to win a $25 Travel Card and a hat signed by Michael Waltrip! Make your prediction now.

*Entries must be in before the start of the race on 10/16, and winner will be announced on 10/18.

Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Limit only one entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers posted in the comments below.

Day One: Los Angeles to Mammoth Lakes, CA

October 11 2010 by Jason Fogelson
Comments (22)

_MG_2215.jpgI rolled the 2011 Harley-Davidson Ultra Classic Electra Glide out of the garage, and out onto the street in front of our house. The two-tone Root Beer paint sparkled in the morning sun. I loaded our jam-packed liners in the hard saddlebags on each side of the bike, and carefully placed a third liner in the Tour Pak at the back of the motorcycle. We were packed, and ready to begin our six-day ride through the heart of the Golden State.

My wife, Robin, took some time off work to join me on this ride. I planned a counter-clockwise loop up the eastern side of California, from Los Angeles up to Mammoth Lakes, to South Lake Tahoe, to Sonora, across to Monterey, down the coast to Morro Bay, and then back to Los Angeles. Though we have lived in California for ten years, we have never explored this part of the state. We're very excited. We'll be staying in BEST WESTERN Hotels all along the way, and making as many interesting stops as time will allow.

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Business or Pleasure? Or both?

October 8 2010 by Chris McGinnis
Comments (2)

iStock_000001792812XSmall.jpgIn a recent poll of the Best Western Diamond 100 group, an ultra-elite group of the Best Western Rewards program members, we asked how likely it would be for members to combine business and leisure trips.

The response was split nearly right down the middle, but leaned toward more likely--54 percent said they'd be very or somewhat likely to combine business and leisure trips, while 46 percent said it would be less or not at all likely.

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America the Beautiful Pass

October 7 2010 by Julie Drossos
Comments (1)

iStock_000010985058XSmall.jpgThose who are fortunate enough to live in the United States are blessed to be surrounded by beautiful parks and recreational sites to enjoy for camping and other activities, right across the country. If you are an adventurer or nature lover, and can see yourself visiting several national park areas over a 12 month period, or even just during a single extended camping trip with multiple stops, you should consider purchasing an America the Beautiful Pass. This pass is the new and improved version of the Golden Eagle Pass which you may have heard of before.

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Head of the Charles

October 6 2010 by Claudia Kunkel
Comments (14)

iStock_000001551685XSmall.jpgGrowing up on the north shore of Long Island, in a town where sailing is as common as brushing your teeth, it's no surprise any kind of boating activity is on my top 10 favorite things to do and see. And the Head of the Charles Regatta in Cambridge, Massachusetts is the ultimate location for the ultimate boating experience.

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NASCAR Giveaway

October 4 2010 by BW Innsider
Comments (63)

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Chase for the Cup!

It's anyone's race in Fontana this weekend where the next chapter in the dramatic Sprint Cup Series rages on. Who's Gonna Win at Fontana in the next Chase for the Cup race?


Leave your prediction of "Who's Gonna Win" in the comment section below and if you guess correctly, you will have a chance to win a hat and clear tote bag, both signed by Michael Waltrip! Make your prediction now.

*Entries must be in before the start of the race on 10/10, and winner will be announced on 10/11.

Don't forget to check back before every race to play Who's Gonna Win!

Follow Us on Twitter I Become a Facebook Fan

Limit only one entry per person. Must be 18 years of age or older and a resident of the US or Canada to be eligible to win. Winner will be randomly selected from all correct answers posted in the comments below.