The high desert town of Santa Fe is always an interesting place to visit, with history, culture and the arts combined with early Spanish Colonial architecture and great food, but the weekend of Las Fiestas de Santa Fe is the highlight of any Santa Fe experience.
Held in mid-September, the Fiestas go back to early colonial times and retain many early traditions. Dancing on the brick streets, southwestern food in abundance, the blending of cultures all come together for an event filled enjoyable weekend.
For almost 90 years the burning of Zozobra, or Old Man Gloom culminates the events of the Fiesta. An enormous effigy is skillfully created and then burned as dancers dance, music plays and fireworks go off.
Crowds of up to 40,000 people chant as he burns, taking away the all the worries and troubles of everyone in the area!
Sponsored by the local Kiawans Club, the whole town participates in the symbolic act of burning your troubles.
People can bring written notes of the unhappiness they want to banish from their lives, dropping them off at the local newspaper in the Gloom Box which will be burned at Zozobra's feet.
This spectacular show is simply amazing, not only in its amazing production but in the belief that something magical is really happening as Zozobra burns. It's an absolute must see event. - Rebba from Northern Kentucky
There were so many gorgeous flowers and trees. After checking in, we drove through downtown Miami and into Miami Beach. We spent that night walking on the beach and enjoying the clubs and nightlife there. The seaside was the perfect romantic setting. The next day, we drove over to the Everglades to take a tour.
That was really interesting, and we actually saw a few alligators! After the Everglades, we decided to get back in the car and drive all the way out to Key West. The highway that goes out along the Keys is like nothing else. You drive over dozens of tiny islands and lots and lots of water.
On Key West, we got some ice cream and went shopping. Then we drove all the way back to Miami. On Sunday, the last day of our vacation, we went back to the beach to enjoy the sun. It was a nice and lazy day, and we soaked up the sun until we had to drive back to the airport and fly home. - Jessica from Illinois
Key West is a small island in the Florida Keys, about 6 square miles so everything is in walking distance. The main attraction is so much a business as an area of the island. The "main" street in Key West is Duvall Street. It runs the entire length of the island and is home to the majority of the shopping and nightlife on the island.
Several world famous bars are located there, such as Sloppy Joe's and the Hog's Breath. There are countless stores on the street and as you get closer to the far end of Duvall, near the cruise ship dock, there are dozens of 5 dollar stores geared mostly towards the cruise ship population.
We could have spent all week just on the one street. You really need to force yourself to explore the rest of the island and see all there is to offer. All the walking definitely makes relaxing by the ocean that much easier. - Matt from NY
The boat has festivities for every member of the family. I was 13 and was thrilled to have the freedom to roam around the boat and make friends. I was worried the kid’s group activities would be "lame" but after the first day I couldn't wait to go back.
The food was delicious and it's nice to be able to eat as much as you want and anything you want without ever having to look at a price. Every night there are shows to attend on the boat that are wonderful and very entertaining- I would recommend seeing all of them! Jamaica and Grand Cayman are both wonderful destinations. In Jamaica we climbed Dunn's falls and went zip-lining; both of which proved to be very memorable excursions!
In Grand Cayman we swam with the Sting Rays and shopped and went to the beach. Looking at the different excursions online before the trip is a fun way to get the whole family excited; you can book them online or on the boat or simply show up on the island and do your own thing.
Either way, you're sure to have a great time. If you're looking for a trip to please the whole family, a cruise is a wonderful idea. It allows everyone to do activities individually or as a group and never really be separated. It gives you the opportunity to visit multiple exciting destinations and to kick back and relax on the boat. I can't wait to go on cruise number five! - Lisa from Michigan