Oakland is a large metropolitan city noted more for its urban communities and architecture. Just outside the city however, visitors are treated to some of the most pleasant countryside in the USA, the rolling California hills and San Francisco Bay area.Travelup ReviewsNo trip to Oakland could be considered complete without a trip to explore the breath taking countryside of surrounding California. Due to the region’s wonderfully warm climate, it’s always good weather for hiking around Oakland. Whether you’re after relaxing rolling hills, city vistas, waterside strolls or even more adventurous mountain climbing, the land around Oakland has it all. Five of the most popular hikes and walking trips accessible quickly from Oakland include;

- Batteries to Bluffs Trail

This short waterside trail provides idyllic views of birds and boats drifting across the San Francisco Bay, as well as dynamic views of monuments like the enormous Golden Gate Bridge that straddles it.

- Muir Woods and Tourist Club Loop

For a gentle family forestry jaunt this hike is perfect. Taking you through forests of giant redwood trees, the Muir Woods are awe inspiring, thought provoking as well as relaxing.

- Mount Diablo’s Grand Loop

For a little bit more adventure Mount Diablo provides vast panoramic views of the whole San Francisco Bay area, meaning you can look back to where you’ve come from Oakland.

- Steep Ravine via Matt Davis, Mt Talmapais

Cut by thousands of years of water coursing through, Steep Ravine is an enchanting hidden gem in beautiful Marin County’s crown.

- Sibley Volcanic Geology Hike

For something a bit different, the Sibley Valley is formed by the lava flow of a long extinct volcano. What remains today, is a fascinating landscape of igneous rock formations and old magma tunnels. The geology hike is a great way to engage kids in geology.

It’s easy to get out of the city and into the countryside either by hiring a car or taking advantage of Oakland’s excellent public transport network. You can find details on Oakland transportation through the Travelup Reviews website or arrange car hire through the main Travelup website. Travelup are highly regarded travel agents who offer a range of great deals on travel packages to destinations all around the world, and are perfect to advise any travellers looking to get on their feet and explore the countryside of California.

Orlando is a city most famous for its proximity to the Disneyland theme park. For millions of families a year Orlando is little more than a stopping off point before heading down to Disneyland. Savvy travellers know that there’s much more to Orlando however, as well as the city’s own mix of modern culture and parks, Orlando’s other great attraction is the world famous Cape Canaveral. Orlando is just under an hour’s drive away from Cape Canaveral and so perfectly situated for a visitor’s attraction that is literally out of this world.TravelupCape Canaveral is famous and of incredible significance all over the world as the jewel of the US space program. The site, on the east end of Merritt Island on the Atlantic coast, was selected to be the location of the Kennedy Space centre where the vast majority of US space missions are launched from.  The location on Merritt Island was chosen partly because it was sparsely populated; meaning less people were at danger from potential accidents, but also due to the island’s southern location. Rocket scientists found that, due to the Earth’s curvature, linear velocity was greatest closer to the equator; this makes it’s easier for rocket taking off to escape the Earth’s atmosphere.

The vast majority of US space missions have been carried out from Cape Canaveral, including the iconic Apollo missions. Cape Canaveral was where Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins launched in Apollo 11 to become the first people in human history to set foot on the Moon. Viewed live by over 500 million people around the world, the Apollo 11 Moon Landing is possibly the most impressive achievement of human history to date and Cape Canaveral is the place that made it possible. Disneyland can’t really compete with that.

Although the Space Shuttle program has finished, visitors can still come to see rockets launching into space on missions of science and exploration. Cape Canaveral also has extensive visitor’s centres that bring its inspirational history to life.

Visiting Cape Canaveral is best done from Orlando; details are available via Travelup Reviews. Travelup is a respected travel agent that provides flights and accommodation at great prices whilst the Travelup Reviews keep customers up to date with any essential information.

The United States of America aren’t running short on iconic monuments. The USA is home to landmarks such as the Grand Canyon, the Empire State Building even Cape Canaveral, but few of these memorable monuments have quite the same inspirational appeal or cultural significance as the Statue of Liberty. No visit to New York is complete without stopping off to pay homage to the colossal statue built to embody the American dream.
TravelupThe Statue of Liberty is a huge neoclassical statue of Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom. The statue embodies the principles of freedom, justice and opportunity.  Standing on Liberty Island, it rises triumphantly over the Hudson River to welcome all new coming settlers to the country. Throughout the twentieth century the millions of worldwide migrants to the USA sailing in up the Hudson River, were inspired by the bold statue.

The statue was actually a French creation gifted to America in 1886. The design was by architect Frederic Bartholdi. Bartholdi in fact had a penchant for giant statues: he’d previously spent years proposing a replica Colossus to be built at the entrance to the Suez Canal. His Statue of Liberty was agreed upon to mark the centenary of the USA and cement relations between the USA and France.

Bartholdi built a twin statue in Paris that the American statue was copied from and shipped across the ocean limb by limb. Visitors to Paris today are still regularly surprised to see the original Statue of Liberty rising over the Seine, but slightly embarrassingly dwarfed by the nearby Eiffel Tower.

No replica can compare to the New York Statue of Liberty though. No other monument has so effectively captured American ideals of freedom as well as the unembarrassed sense of bold ambition that is the American dream. It is a statue that inspired generations of American settlers and still strikes awe into the hearts of those who visit.

Liberty Island is open to visitors by regular ferry rides, although the statue can be seen and enjoyed from almost anywhere around the Hudson. Visiting details to Liberty Island, as well as travel and accommodation information for New York is available on Travelup Reviews. Travelup Reviews contains a comprehensive collection of essential information on many destinations; it is then easy to book any vacation through the Travelup website.

Travelup ReviewsOakland is a port city off the northern coast of California. While it may not be as popular a travel destination as other parts of California, like San Francisco or Los Angeles, it is has a lot going for it and should be considered for your next holiday.

Oakland houses a number of events every year ranging from sports and concerts, to theatre productions and art exhibits. Traveling to attend one of these many events is a great opportunity to observe what else Oakland has to offer. Hotel accommodation and fine dining alone could make your trip one to remember. Highly rated restaurants include Commis, Ballanico and Zachary’s Chicago Pizza.

If you’re traveling to Oakland for sightseeing, there are several landmarks you will want to make sure you don’t miss. 16th Street Station, USS Potomac, the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO), Jack London Square, and the Oakland Museum of California are all must-see locations. There is no shortage of things to plan when visiting Oakland. The Oakland Zoo, alone, offers enough entertainment to plan a vacation around.

Oakland has an international reputation for its urban population, but there are many beautiful locations that offer the fresh air and scenery any outdoor enthusiast would appreciate. There are many outdoor activities and areas to check out if you’re looking to enjoy the scenery Oakland has to offer. If this is the aim of your vacation, be sure to check out the Sibley Volcanic Geology Hike, also known as the Mazzariello Labyrinth. Other natural hotspots include the Easy Bay Regional Park District, Lake Merritt, Lakeside Park and Garden Center, Tilden Nature Area.

For people interested in cultural activities there are a few places to check out. The Cathedral of Christ the Light, Mountain View Cemetery, Chabot Space and Science Center, Dunsmuir House, and various other locations will make your trip one to remember. Whereas if you are a family that needs to keep the kids occupied, Fairyland and Paramount Theatre are very popular locations with special events and activities on offer throughout the season. These areas are highly regarded by past visitors and are sure to amuse even the most demanding traveller. Those that give the city a chance will be pleasantly surprised by what they can get out of this often overlooked destination.

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Orlando has become universally synonymous with Disney World, and rest assured the cartoon mouse pretty much dominates the area. Much of the financial success of the Orlando area can be attributed to the grossly unbalanced tourism industry in Orlando in comparison to other parts of the state. Disney obviously employees many performers and entertainers, and once the mouse ears come off, they contribute to the burgeouning Orlando entertainment scene. The Orlando Shakespeare Theater is a local favorite, offering all of the classics performed by a group of very talented actors. There is also Mama’s Comedy Show, which is set in a smaller venue and encourages audience participation. If you aren’t too shy that is probably worth a visit.

For nature lovers and thrill seekers, Central Florida is also home to Discovery Cove, where you can swim with the dolphins and relax on the lazy river, which features a waterfall and cave. If you’re looking for even more excitement, then try iFly Orlando; a wind tunnel that allows you to experience the exhilaration of jumping out of an aeroplane without actually jumping out of an aeroplane.

Any grown ups who visit Disneyland will be pleased to know there is one attraction they cannot miss: Around the World at Epcot Center. No expense has been spared in this recreation of different parts of the globe, the employees all hail from the different countries they are assigned, adding to the authenticity of the experience. Its no substitution for actual globe trotting, but once you enjoy a Bellini in Italy, a perfect, cool margarita in Mexico, and a glass of grower champagne in France, there’s a small chance you might forget you are in a Florida theme park.

Outside of the them parks, the dining scene in Orlando is mostly geared toward small town tourists, and there is a disproportionate number of chain restaurants compared to ones with local flair. There are a couple of exceptions that are worth the visit: Chatham’s Place has been around for many years, and still impresses the locals with it’s hospitality and uniqueness, and Café Tu Tu Tango is a fun restaurant with the recurring theme of “Food for the Starving Artist” and features art work from local painters and photographers on the wall, all of which are for sale.

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sydneySydney, located in New South Wales on the South-East coast of Australia, contains perhaps some of the best known landmarks in the entire world. Travelup reviews Sydney attractions and provides affordable holiday packages including flights and accommodation to allow holiday-makers to explore everything the city has to offer.

Bondi Beach is quite possibly the most famous stretch of sand in the entire world. A full kilometre long, the beach boasts golden sands and clear turquoise seas where at dawn the sun appears to rise right out of the water. Popular with surfers due to the amazing waves, there are hundreds of activities to be enjoyed both on the beach and in the water. The nearby Campbell Parade boasts some of the finest bars and restaurants in the area for times when baking in the glorious, almost year-round sunshine becomes just too much.

The Taronga Zoo gives visitors who don’t fancy trekking through the bush an opportunity to see some of the unique wildlife Australia has to offer within natural habitats. The zoo is famous for the first elephant birth ever in Australia in 2009, and thousands of visitors flock to the park every year just to see the calf Luk Chai. Visitors to the zoo can experience a Sky Safari which takes them over the top of the enclosures and deposits them within the Edwardian entrance pavilion. Taronga has strong conservation links and works hard to promote animal welfare both within the zoo itself and across the planet. For those more interested in flora than fauna there are the Royal Botanic Gardens nearby, with exquisite displays of both native and exotic plant-life and many open green spaces ideal for picnics.

Of course, no visit to Sydney would be complete without checking out the iconic Opera House, located within Sydney Harbour. The multi-purpose performing arts centre features four resident companies: the Australian Ballet, the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, the Sydney Theatre Company and Opera Australia, who give regular performances throughout the year. On top of this many world-famous touring companies have played at the Opera House since it first opened in 1973. Visitors who are more interested in the soaring architecture can choose to simply view from outside or take advantage of the numerous cafes, bars, restaurants and retail outlets within the building, or take a guided tour including daily backstage admission to areas normally reserved for performers, cast and crew members.

There are many nicknames for the City of New York such as ‘The City That Never Sleeps’, ‘Gotham’, ‘Metropolis’, and, of course, ‘The Big Apple’, but whatever you call it, the city is recognised as an iconic representation of America itself.  With the impressive Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Broadway and Central Park being instantly recognisable, it’s almost as if you already know the city.  New York is, in fact, the most populous city in the United States and there are an estimated 800 different languages spoken in the city reflecting the ethnic diversity of its population.

New York City has often been called the cultural capital of the world and is a world centre for entertainment and the performing arts and contains world-class museums.  The city received a record 50 million tourists in 2011 and, with the choice of sights and attractions available, that number is set to increase.

Travelup have some great options for holidays to New York and, according to various Travelup reviews, they consistently provide excellent value for money.

The major destinations for tourists within New York City are the Empire State Building, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Central Park, luxury shopping down Madison Avenue and Fifth, the Statue of Liberty and, of course, Broadway Theater productions.  Other places to visit include the Bronx Zoo, New York Botanical Garden and Coney Island.  Depending on what dates you visit New York City, you may be able to witness some spectacular parades such as the St Patrick Day’s Parade or Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Eating out in New York City can be quite experience; with a variety of world cuisines available reflecting the city’s immigration history.  Italian, Asian, Chinese, and Middle Eastern restaurants cater for every kind of taste, and of course hot dogs and pretzels are the staple street fare.

Summers in New York City are generally hot and humid with average July temperatures reaching around 25 °C (76 °F), whilst winters are cold and damp where temperatures could reach as low as -12 °C (10 °F).  On average, the area enjoys 234 days annually with at least some sunshine.

Orlando, FloridaThe first thing that comes to mind for a lot of people when they think about Orlando in Florida is Mickey Mouse, rollercoasters and theme parks. This sunny part of the world has become a bit of a theme park homeland attracting families and couples from all over the planet to experience the rides and adventures on offer.


One of the most recent additions to the Orlando theme park roster is Harry Potter World, which is part of the Universal Islands of Adventure. Other impressive parks that you might already know of are Busch Gardens – home to some of the biggest rollercoasters – SeaWorld, and the original, and arguably still the best, Disneyland. You could spend your entire trip visiting these parks, and many people do. They may be a little bit pricey and they don’t offer the highest cultural experience, but where else in the world are you going to get to play out your movie star fantasies, adventure into an underwater world or even sign yourself up for American Idol and embarrass yourself on American TV.

Universal Studios in Orlando, FloridaAfter you have either entertained the kids, or enjoyed being one yourself, there are quite a few other highlights to be had on a trip to Orlando. Being California, there’s a tremendous collection of spas and health centres. There’s no end of luxurious places for you to spend the days pampering yourself. And if that’s not your thing either, or you want to get your husband out of the way so that you can stay in the spa a little longer, there are plenty of golf courses to while away the hours on too.


Space station in Orlando FloridaHidden behind the glare of the theme parks there’s also some genuine culture to be explored in Orlando. Whether it is the City Arts Factory, where you can look at the art or relax in their classy coffee house, the glass exhibit, or the world famous Blue Man Group concerts, you can fulfil a few slightly less guilty pleasures in Orlando too.

Orlando is one of the great family holiday destinations. Take them there before they grow up; just make sure that you take some time to enjoy the other sights once you get there.

Travelup reviews are distributed by the experienced travel agents at the Reading agency Travelup. Find a Travelup agency the next time you are planning your trip abroad. You can also find Travelup reviews for many of the other holiday destinations you might be considering.


Thailand is a country which is packed to the brim with culture and incredible attractions; without a doubt, its crowning glory is its capital, Bangkok. Filled with magnificent architecture, lavishly decorated temples and colourful markets, the city is a feast for the senses. Travelup clients name Bangkok as one of their favourite places to visit – here are a few of the sights which they recommend.

If you’re less inclined towards the cosmopolitan attractions of the city, and are more interested in the ‘real’ Bangkok, a trip to one of the floating markets is a must. One of the busiest and most fascinating is Bang Khu Wiang, which stays open seven days a week. Here, you can purchase fresh fruit and veg, as well as handcrafted jewellery and clothing, which is piled high the boat stalls – be prepared to haggle, as stall owners expect this, and may even be offended if you don’t!

Architecture fanatics will adore the Grand Palace, and the temple Wat Phra Kaew which can be found inside this complex. The palace was constructed in the late eighteenth century and served as the seat of the country’s king for a century and a half. Wat Phra Kaew is home to the world famous Emerald Buddha, which is several feet tall and made from pure jade. This temple is considered to be the spiritual centre of Thailand, and is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, as it has a very peaceful, welcoming atmosphere. Another temple frequently mentioned in Travelup reviews is Wat Arun. This is located on the banks of the River Chao Phraya, and is a beautiful sight indeed. Decorated with pieces of porcelain and glass, it’s a particularly stunning place to visit at dawn, as the rays of the sun reflect off the walls and create a glimmering effect.


Travelup customers rarely miss out on a trip to China Town (Yaowarat) when in Bangkok. This is a great place for an afternoon stroll on a hot day; the atmosphere is electric, particularly during celebratory times, such as Chinese New Year, when thousands and thousands of residents take part in parades and parties on the streets. Amongst the endless rows of wooden houses and shops here you’ll find authentic Chinese restaurants (serving everything from Shark fin soup to Dim Sum), as well as market stalls selling herbal remedies, gold jewellery and traditional Chinese clothing and souvenirs.