In Dallas, Lumen package
cuts cost of summer visit
Up for a visit to check out Dallas’ hot restaurants, cool bars and fabulous shopping? The Lumen, a Kimpton hotel at 6101 Hillcrest Ave. (near NorthPark Center for shopping), has a Summer in the City package that offers 15 percent off the going rate (a $199 king room goes down to $169 on a typical Monday, for example) as well as a $25 poolside food and beverage credit to help you bask in the rays at its rooftop pool.
You’ll also get a pair of flip-flops and sunscreen when you check in. If you stay on the first or third Saturday of each month, the Lumen offers free poolside yoga. The deal’s good through Aug. 16. Find out more at hotellumen.com.
Would a simulated ocean view float your boat?
Look carefully at the view in this photo. The sky of blue and sea of green on this posed couple’s wall is not a real view.
It is an LED screen in an interior cabin showing, in real time, what the sky and sea look like. Royal Caribbean calls it a virtual balcony. It will be available to guests in some interior cabins when Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas starts sailing year-round out of Galveston when it emerges from a month’s dry dock next February. Austin travel agents are cheering the cruise line’s decision to extend its Galveston schedule.
The ship will sail seven-night western Caribbean itineraries. Her time in dry-dock has been spent adding some new restaurants and a pool surf simulator as well as the view simulators.
Meanwhile, the Carnival Triumph is back at sea with four-night itineraries starting at $429. Carnival is spending about $700 million to upgrade its fleet, paying special attention to fire safety and operating redundancies. The Carnival Magic is also sailing out of Galveston this summer. Carnival, by the way, is reviewing its ad campaign to try to find a way to lure customers after a spate of problems in the past couple of years. Expect good deals to be a part of the plan.
The Disney Wonder resumes trips at Galveston on Sept. 28.
For cruises, I always recommend contacting a travel agent. There are so many to choose from, and these folks are experts at helping you find one you’ll truly enjoy.
Albany outdoor musical
celebrates the Old West
About 30 miles northeast of Abilene, Albany is home to Texas’ oldest outdoor Musical, the Fort Griffin Fandangle, and it hits the stage Thursday, Friday and Saturday along with June 27, 28 and 29. Each performance starts at 8:30 at the outdoor Prairie Theater after a calliope concert.
Tickets to the show, which tells the story of Texas’ Old West, are just $10 to $20. Order at 325-762-3838 or drop by the box office at Main and Railroad streets. Be there June 29 and you can join a downtown Albany street dance. Find out more at fortgriffinfandangle.org.
Santa Fe’s Fonda
getting a face-lift
La Fonda on the Plaza, the oldest hotel in Santa Fe, N.M., and one that makes excellent margaritas in its bar, is renovating all its 164 guest rooms, and the last one is expected to be done in August.
It’s a thorough re-do, including wiring and plumbing as well as furnishings. Summer rooms start at $189, and, remember: Santa Fe is typically 15 to 20 degrees cooler than Austin this time of the year. Find out more at lafondasantafe.com.
Drag queen brunch
or wedding package
The Bourbon Orleans hotel in New Orleans’ French Quarter is feeling festive and feisty. First, if you’re in New Orleans for Festigals women’s festival (festigals.org) next weekend, the Saints and Sinners Drag Queen Brunch on June 23 offers a huge buffet and fascinating entertainment for $49. More at bourbonorleans.com/dragqueenbrunch.
Or if you’re in a serious frame of mind, consider the hotel’s Lovely Elopement package. Tie the knot on a shoestring with this ceremony for 15 people or less, which includes the setup (chairs, etc.), bouquet and boutonniere, small wedding cake and bottle of champagne for $2,000. (Rooms are extra.) Call 504-523-2222 to arrange that one.
I’ve always said that Gunnison, Colo., is a great place to stay cheaply when you’re visiting pricier Crested Butte about 30 miles away. But Gunnison has some events of its own, including the July 6-14 Cattlemen’s Days celebration of rodeo and Western heritage.
The rodeo ($15) is the star, but you’ll also find music (Kellie Pickler, Kyle Jacobs), cowboy poetry, a carnival, a parade and dances. For more on the event, visit cattlemensdays.com. Find related hotel packages and information at gunnisoncrestedbutte.com.