June 2010

The food at Roy's is locally sourced, delicious, and beautifully presented

If ever there was a place where locally sourced food makes sense, it’s Hawaii. Some 2,500 miles from the U.S. mainland, the importation of food to the islands is enough to make true locavores squirm. Happily, there are a number of dining establishments in Hawaii that take the “eat local” movement to heart, serving up dishes that are both delicious and environmentally sound.

Kokua Market Deli – The deli tucked in the back of Kokua Market is, as one patron calls it, a hidden goldmine. Offering dishes made with mostly-organic ingredients that are locally sourced whenever possible, the menu also features plenty of raw, vegan, macrobiotic and meat selections. The meat, of course, is antibiotic and hormone free. Headed out to explore the island? Stop by the deli to pick up a meal to go.

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You can save $113/night off of your stay at the Dreams Punta Cana Resort.

You can save $113/night off of your stay at the Dreams Punta Cana Resort.

In the Dominican Republic, staying at an all-inclusive resort can be a great way to save cash — provided you stay at a place with quality buffets and drinks, where you can eat and drink your money’s worth. Since there are plenty of inedible buffets and gasoline-quality liquor selections out there, we made a special page listing all of our favorite Caribbean all-inclusives to help you plan the perfect trip. When it comes to value, nothing beats a top-notch all-inclusive with a fair price tag.

Except, of course, a top-notch all-inclusive that’s on sale.

This summer, five of our hands-down favorite all-inclusives in the D.R. are slashing rates up to 50 percent, making it an excellent time to plan an indulgent beach getaway. Below, find out where to score these hot summer deals. Read More »

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You can watch free movies in Bryant Park every Monday evening.

You can watch free movies on Monday evenings in Bryant Park.

Everyone knows entertainment in NYC does not come cheap. If you’re traveling as a couple, you have to budget money for nice dinners, drinks, clubs, and shows, and costs add up just as quickly for families, who have to pay for mom, dad, and the kids. But, thanks to the city’s fantastic FREE summer movie screenings in several locations, you can have an entertaining night under the stars that won’t break the bank. Grab a sandwich to go, a blanket, an ice cream cone, and spread out, kick back and relax in these New York City parks or under these New York City skylines.

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View of the Ocean from the Gran Bahia Principe Where the Hotel sits on its own Private Island

View of the Ocean from the Gran Bahia Principe, which sits on its own private island

Summer is a time for relaxation — getting together with family and friends to enjoy the warm weather and a cold beer. But with the numerous barbecues (from which you’re inevitably “invited” to cook up your favorite dish to share), hours spent at the crowded pool, and in-laws who descend upon you for unannounced, week-long visits, summer activities can be downright exhausting. We here at Oyster understand how you feel and, we promise, it’s normal. So to help you find some real R&R to fit into your busy summer schedule, we’ve tracked down a handful of secluded island resorts where you can discover the true meaning of relaxation. Whether you’re looking for super-lux, high-tech digs hidden in the foothills of Jamaica or prefer the rustic charm of a cottage on one of Hawaii’s best beaches, Oyster.com has found an isolated island resort to fit your needs.

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Sushi Sama serves delectable Peruvian-influenced Japanese fare.

Sushi Samba on Lincoln Road serves delicious Peruvian-influenced Japanese fare.

South Beach tends to make us all feel a bit more body conscious than usual, but luckily, great healthy fare is readily available. These three fabulous sushi restaurants offer myriad light dishes and raw fish masterpieces with minimal consumption remorse!

Sushi Samba (600 Lincoln Road) – Peruvian and Japanese cultures crossed for two major events in history: the Peruvian presidency of the controversial Alberto Ken’ya Fujimori, and the conception of Sushi Samba, an exquisite taste explosion of East-meets-South. The “sashimi seviches” blend the tanginess and zest of Peruvian flavors with the tenderness of top-grade sushi, most notably through the “Yellowtail Sashimi Seviche” bathed in ginger, garlic, and soy and the “Lobster Sashimi Seviche” infused with mango and lime. Regardless of the countless sushi options, the highlight of any trip to Sushi Samba is still the exceptional “chicharron de calamar”—cornmeal-crusted calamari with tamarind sauce, tomato salsa, and plantain. The innovative drink menu focuses heavily on the sweet and fruity. Sushi Samba is located on Lincoln Road, up the street from the Ritz-Carlton South Beach.

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Wedding on the beach at the Melia Caribe Tropical

Wedding on the beach at the Melia Caribe Tropical

It’s summer again, which means amor is in the air. And while it seems that you’re spending the summer attending everyone’s wedding but your own, by the end of this season of love it may just turn out to be you planning the fiesta of your dreams.

So if you find yourself dreaming about saying your vows on a quiet beach while wiggling your toes in the hot, white sand, you may want to consider the Dominican Republic as your island of choice. But there are a lot of challenges involved with planning a destination wedding in a foreign country, where the normal stress of wedding planning is compounded with the pressures of taming your hair in the humidity and scrambling to remember your 8th grade Spanish. So we’ved done some legwork for you and we’ve hand-picked six resorts in the Dominican Republic that we know will take marvelous care of you – and the wedding of your dreams. So if you’re in the planning stages – or even just the dreaming stages –  of your nuptials, below we’ll tell you about our six favorite spots in the Dominican Republic to take the plunge (and we don’t mean into the ocean).

Want to see more photos of our top picks? Check out our slideshow of destination wedding hotels in the Dominican Republic.

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Disney Monrail

Walt Disney World is a huge place.  There are four theme parks, two water parks, hundreds of restaurants, thousands of shops, millions of people … How does everyone get around? Are things close enough to walk? Are there buses? What’s that monorail thingy? Where does it go? What about boats? I’m always seeing pictures of boats at Disney World. And the big one, how do I get from the airport to the parks?

How does one get from point A to point B in the 47 square miles of Disney World?

Walt Disney was fascinated with transportation. He developed some interesting transportation technologies when he was building Disneyland, so it’s no accident that Disney World has a very large transportation infrastructure that’s capable of moving over 15 million guests per year all around the property. That’s a whole bunch of folks.

How they do it (and how you should do it, too!):

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Outdoorsy travelers can take in sights like the Golden Gate Bridge by sea kayak, or from beautiful Presidio National Park.

Outdoorsy travelers can take in sights like the Golden Gate Bridge by sea kayak, or from beautiful Presidio National Park.

With rich natural attractions — like Presidio National Park, and of course, the bay — and plenty of jogger- and cyclist-friendly paths, San Francisco is a great city for getting outdoors. Below, take a look at our picks of some of the best outdoor activities to try during your trip, and our favorite hotels that are convenient for each.

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Enjoy a free movie screening with Hollywood's long-departed rich and famous at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

Enjoy free summer movie screenings with Hollywood's long-departed rich and famous at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles.

On weekend evenings at dusk every summer, thousands of people join together to watch movies with dead people — literally — as part of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery movie series. Bring a picnic, a blanket and pillow, and sit amongst the famous people entombed there, while you watch classic movies under the nighttime stars.

Top Los Angeles DJs kick off and end the evening by spinning great music, while people dance atop graves.  Sound a bit morbid?  It’s not, it’s a great night out, and you’ll be hanging out with locals from every neighborhood of  this enormous city, as it pulls people in from hither and yon — Cinespia (the host of these screenings) is famous.

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There are still great, affordable hotels available for July 4th weekend, including this Four Points by Sheraton

There are still great, affordable hotels available for July 4th weekend, including this Four Points by Sheraton

Even though July 4th weekend is only 8 days away, it’s not too late to find a well-priced, convenient hotel in the heart of Manhattan. So if you’re planning on coming to New York City but haven’t ironed out the details yet, or if you want us to inspire you to come to New York, below you can read our recommendations for six hotels that still have availability and extremely fair prices. Whether you’re coming from far away or just need a nearby stay-cation in your own backyard, don’t miss Manhattan’s spectacular Macy’s fireworks, tanning in Central Park, and rooftop grilling that continues all weekend long. Prices shown are for July 2 through July 5.

Four Points by Sheraton Manhattan SoHo Village

A reliable chain that offers free wireless and access to a 24-hour fitness center, this hotel provides in-room comforts and features that best other hotels in its price range. Though it is situated on a drab, industrial-style street, SoHo’s famous boutiques, bars, and restaurants are just around the corner.

  • Location: SoHo
  • Price: Average $239/night
  • Room available: Traditional King Room. Maximum capacity is 2.

Book Now Long

After the jump, 5 more last-minute hotel options.

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