Ranging from Extraordinary to Absolutely Ordinary, Travelers
Nominated More Than 10,000 Local Gems, 295 Winners Announced
SOUTHLAKE, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–June 25, 2007–Reminding travelers that there are plenty of local gems and hidden hot spots close to home, Travelocity and their friends at IgoUgo release the third edition of Local Secrets, Big Finds(R) just in time to celebrate a slice of Americana this Fourth of July. With summer travel costs on the rise, travelers may be looking for destinations close to home with a unique flare to help them enjoy their vacations this year. For those who want to uncover lesser known local treasures while on vacation or in their hometown, Travelocity’s online collection will send them straight to the heart of their destination to the very places where the locals go.
Travelocity’s editorial team culled down more than 10,000 entries to develop the exclusive Local Secrets, Big Finds list, which includes
295 winners. From unusual festivals such as Nevada’s 48th Annual International Camel Races to all-American staples such as Virginia’s pet-friendly Hull’s Drive-In Theatre, these attractions are sure to pique the interest of locals and visitors alike.
“Our authentic collection of local treasures uncovers a whole new set of fascinating finds for locals, business travelers and leisure tourists,” Amy Ziff, Travelocity’s editor-at-large and industry expert, said.
“Our goal in compiling this list was to make local exploration simple and fun by pointing travelers in the right direction to find authentic local flavor.”
To discover more hidden gems and leave comments about your local experiences, go to www.windowseat.travelocity.com. Also, call our insider’s hotline at (877) 771-2007 to tell us about what you think about Local Secrets, Big Finds.
In addition to being named a winner for their state, Ziff recognized 15 local hot spots in her “Editor’s Choice Awards,” giving them best of the best honors.
Editor’s Choice Awards include:
— Tartine Bakery, San Francisco: In the heart of what’s being
dubbed “the new, gourmet ghetto,” Tartine is acclaimed as “the
best bakery in the city.” Locals gushed to us about the
exquisitely-made, “to-die-for morning buns,” the “flaky,
almond croissants,” and the “cheesy croquet monsieur.”
— Red Rooster Drive-In, Brewster, N.Y.: Cockadoodle-doo! Wake up
and smell the “soft-serve ice cream” at this “throwback to the
1950s,” about 60 miles north of Manhattan in the Hudson
Valley. The fact that you can’t just drive through is merely a
technicality–simply step inside and “you won’t find a better
— Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters, Cannon Beach, Ore.: The misty
north Oregon coast town of Cannon Beach is the perfect
backdrop for slugging back cups of steaming coffee on the
porch at Sleepy Monk. Taking advantage of this beach town’s
year-round activities, ranging from beachcombing and surfing
to wine tasting and storm watching, can work up a need for
some piping-hot java.
— The Bigfoot Lodge, Los Angeles: As if “Smokey the Bear opened
a bar,” but “hid the sign,” this unmarked, local watering hole
adds a dose of Adirondacks cabin style to the “design-happy
neighborhood” of Los Feliz. Stacked log walls, mid-century
camp furniture, and a stone fireplace with faux fire draw
regulars like Drew Carrey and “everyone else at the bar.”
— Puka Dog, Kuai: Revolutionizing the standby Mainlander hot dog
and adding an Aloha twist, a puka dog is “something out of the
ordinary.” Owners Rick and Dominique started out with a “small
hut in Kekaha at the base of Waimea Canyon in Kauai.” They put
a hole (“puka” in Hawaiian) through a bun-sized loaf of bread.
— Lily’s, Stonington, Maine: Owned by a quilter and native
Mainer, Lily’s offers “great organic food,” including fresh
crab cakes, broiled halibut sandwiches, and homemade pies.
Located in a “cute old cottage with a sign in the parking lot
urging visitors to please park pretty, this “delightful” spot
with great service attracts those wanting to find “a true
taste of Maine.”
— The Venetian Pool, Coral Gables, Fla.: The Venetian Pool is
“most likely the only swimming pool to be on the National
Register of Historic Places.” Formed from a coral rock quarry
in 1923, it represents the history of Miami’s development. The
pool is centrally located in the Coral Gables neighborhood,
and as cliched as it may sound, it’s “fun for the whole
— The Purple People Bridge, Newport, Ky.: Cross this bridge and
end up in an entirely different state. Connecting Cincinnati,
OH to Newport, KY, the 2,670 foot Purple People Bridge is the
longest pedestrian-only bridge in the country. Built in 1872,
this bridge closed to cars and pedestrians in 2001.
— Burgdorf’s Winery, Haslet, Mich.: You, too, can be a vintner
at this “delightful surprise” of a winery that has been
offering a terrific selection for 29 years, while also letting
you “make your own.” Close to the Michigan capital, the
“friendly and savvy” owners are more than willing to
“introduce the inexperienced to the secrets of wine.”
— Santa Fe Farmer’s Market, Santa Fe, N.M.: Tuesdays, Thursdays,
and Saturdays in Santa Fe you” witness a bustle of local
farmers and Hispanic families selling their produce at the
lively farmers’ market. Local musicians keep spirits high
while you can peruse the wares offered by lavender growers,
goat cheese-makers, and herb salve-makers.
— International Camel Races, Virginia City, Nev.: What began as
a practical joke is today a somewhat “unusual festival” that
brings in camel riders from around the world. The
family-friendly events take place in various venues in
Virginia City. In addition to the fiercely competitive camel
races, highlights include the camel parade and camel hump
— Chapel in the Hills, Rapid City, SD: Lots of weddings take
place here for its “picture-perfect scenic beauty” and because
it’s as close to an international destination wedding as you
can get in South Dakota. If you feel like you’ve been
transported to Scandinavia, you won’t be the only one.
— 7 Tubs Nature Area Trail, Hunlock Creek, PA: Cavort with
chipmunks and hummingbirds in this “wooded area that has a
large reservoir running through the mountainside.” Maintained
by the Audubon Society, the trailhead has parking and easy
access from several highways.
— Mariachi Mass at San Jose Mission, San Antonio, TX: Once a
week, Mexico makes its way across the border when the San Jose
Mission holds “Mariachi Mass.” Loud and celebratory, the
chapel service is “musical, historical, and loved by
visitors.” The building itself is a “unique offering.”
— Monday Night Jam Sessions at the Jazz Corner, Hilton Head, SC:
Most nights, this “hard-to-find gem” serves “wonderful,
American-style meals” set to live jazz played by “well-known
musicians,” but Monday nights, in particular, are “always fun
and always a surprise.”
More Details on Travelocity’s Local Secrets, Big Finds for 2007
After querying millions of Travelocity members to find out about the favorite quintessential finds in their area, Travelocity’s team of editors culled down more than 10,000 customer responses to unearth the best local spots in each state and is now sharing the third edition of Local Secrets, Big Finds with vacationers across the country. The list highlights 295 winners in the United States. More insider secrets from around the world will launch later this year.
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Andrea Collins, 212-715-2222
Amanda Borichevsky, 972-488-4790