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, 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.

 


You’ll never be short on things to do when you visit Orlando – in fact, you may find that you can’t fit in everything you want to see and do during your holiday to this city. To help you choose which attractions to visit, Travelup offers some more information about the most popular spots in Orlando.

You can’t mention Orlando without discussing the Disney World Resort; although the city has plenty to offer aside from this, it remains one of the most well loved attractions here, with many Travelup reviews citing this resort as their favourite attraction in Orlando. The resort is made up of four theme parks, including Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot Centre and Magic Kingdom.

You can visit each one individually, or alternatively a ‘hopper’ pass can be purchased, so that you can take a trip around each one. Thrills and spills, classic children’s film characters and an abundance of places to dine make this a great place for a day, or even a week of fun.

Another option for theme park enthusiasts is Universal Orlando – this is made up of two different parks, namely Universal Studios Florida, and Universal Islands of Adventure. Here, Travelup explains, adults and children alike can experience their favourite cartoons, comic books, movies and stories in the form of cutting edge thrill rides and live shows.

Universal Orlando Travelup

SeaWorld Orland is a must for anyone who loves water rides and non-stop action; this attraction is home to shows, featuring whales and various other aquatic creatures, as well as fireworks, fountains and plenty of gravity defying rides. Another nature-based attraction which is popular with tourists is Discovery Cove, which allows visitors to get a glimpse of life in the tropics. You can relax on the beach snorkel with stingrays and fish, swim with the dolphins or feed tropical birds.

For anyone interested in reptiles, Travelup says that a trip to Orlando would not be complete without a visit to ‘Gatorland’, home to thousands upon thousands of crocodiles and alligators. You can meet the creatures face to face at the petting zoo, take in a show or view the breeding marsh.


Many travel analysts agree that New York City is arguably the most sprawling and vibrant in the world, occupying 5 main neighbourhoods  with each having its own unique identity.

Travelup Reviews reveal that Manhattan borough is home to some of the most recognisable New York sites, dominating a popular perception of New York City. Some of the most famous regions include the Financial District and Wall Street, where investment banks coexist with landmarks such as the Trinity Church. The World Trade Centre was also in this district, until the tragic destruction in 2001, however today you can visit a memorial and a museum under construction.

If you are keen on African American studies, then you must visit Harlem while in New York, which is home to the Harlem renaissance and arguably, the country’s most cultural, artistic and literally district. You will appreciate the many southern restaurants and jazz clubs in the district says Travelup.

A visit to the Manhattan district is incomplete without a visit to the Hell’s Kitchen and Times Square. You will find numerous souvenir shops, Broadway musicals, and enormous billboards. A few blocks to the west, you find the famous Hell’s Kitchen, which is a community filled with bars, shops, eclectic restaurants, and the actors temple. Travelup Reviews

The other notable region include the Greenwich Village, which has some of the most expensive town houses in New York state, has a wide range of music clubs, bars and shops. The East Village is multi ethnic, in which young professionals and students have gone a long way to redevelop. Travelup Reviews say you are most likely to find vegetarian restaurants, craft shops, cafes, art exhibitions among others.

This is a huge borough stretching from the elegant Brooklyn Heights, to the festive Coney Island, but regardless of where they originate from, the dwellers are largely proud of their borough. Some of the attractions that they are proud of and that you will appreciate as well include the Brooklyn botanical garden, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Brooklyn museum.

If you love baseball, then you must visit Bronx, which is home to the New York Yankees as well as a well-manicured botanical garden. Lastly, end your travelup trip in Queens if you want to experience cosmopolitan lifestyle and cuisine, including cheap ethnic restaurants. This is also home to the Flushing Meadows and the Moving Image.