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Fly from NYC to West Coast on Virgin America for $109!

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Ready to ditch the humid summer heat of the East Coast? Hankering to go on a foodie tour of San Francisco’s North Bay or dine at some of the World’s Best Oyster Bars in the Bay Area or Seattle?

Good news, because West Coast airfares from New York City on Virgin America airlines (voted “Best Domestic Airline” in T+L’s 2009 World’s Best Awards) just dropped to $109 each way. Offers are good to these West Coast cities, and more:

*Las Vegas
*Los Angeles
*Orange County
*San Diego
*San Francisco
*Seattle

The $109 fare is available for travel on Monday-Thursday and Saturdays between Aug. 28-Nov.18, Dec. 2-16 and Jan. 6- Feb. 10 (Friday and Sunday flights cost an extra $25). Tickets are on sale through September 8, but book quickly as certain flights may sell out.

For more information or to book, visit Virgin America.

Lyndsey Matthews is an editorial intern at Travelandleisure.com


Photo courtesy of Lyndsey Matthews

JetBlue Announces $599 Unlimited Flight Pass!

Attention would-be jetsetters, adventurers, vagabonds, and nomads: It’s time to call in that month-long sabbatical you've been due at work!

JetBlue has just announced an unprecedented deal aimed at people with a serious case of wanderlust. Through August 21, the airline is selling a month-long “All-You-Can-Jet” pass for $599 that offers travelers unlimited flights between September 8 and October 8, 2009 to any of the airline’s 56 destinations.

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Two-Wheel Trend: City Hotels Offering Bikes

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I admit it: I may the only Brooklynite left who hasn’t jumped on the bicycle trend. (Blame my Minnesota roots: I remain loyal to the birthplace of the Rollerblade.) But though I don’t own a bike at home, I do love to hop on two wheels to explore a city while on vacation, and am pleased report that more and more hotels are pedaling to, well, urban pedalers.

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TRAVEL NEWS: August 6, 2009

Today's top travel headlines:

- Hurricane outlook in Atlantic cut to as few as three, NOAA says [Bloomberg]
- On-time arrivals soar at O'Hare; credit given to new north runway [Chicago Sun-Times]
- Putin bares torso in Siberian vacation shots [CNN International]
- Swiss seek Pope's blessing to stop glacier melting [Reuters]
- Antigua mountain renamed after President Obama [Caribbean World News]
- NYC subway officials seek new voice of the trains [NY1]

Bing.com’s Bright Ideas

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Have you visited Bing.com yet? I mentioned it briefly on Weekend Today a few weeks ago, but if you’re unfamiliar, Bing.com is Microsoft’s new search site—and its travel section is my current obsession.

I’m not sure about you, but when it comes to booking a flight, I get a little anxious. Is this the best fare possible? Am I going to get an Airfarewatchdog deals email and see that my $357 round-trip to Miami is now $275? Don’t fret: Help is on the way.

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All Aboard the Maharajas’ Express

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What is being touted as the most luxurious train in the world is now accepting bookings for its first season. And trust me, this ain’t Amtrak.

The Maharajas’ Express has four itineraries of six and seven nights and takes passengers to some of the most exotic destinations on the subcontinent, including Jaipur, Agra (home to the Taj Mahal), Varanasi, Delhi, Mumbai, and Udaipur (voted the best city in the known universe in the 2009 World’s Best Awards), among many others.

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Affordable Dubai?!

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Looking for an exotic vacation that's also within reach?  It’s likely you haven’t considered the United Arab Emirates, a country known to be the epitome of over-the-top luxury and conspicuous consumption. But with the debut of the country’s first low-cost airline, flydubai, (launching this week) and two new boutique hotels, there’s plenty of proof that the UAE—and Dubai in particular—are ready to welcome a new type of visitor: the budget traveler.

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Hop On the "CultureBus" in SF

A new Muni bus line, dubbed the CultureBus, now services San Francisco's prominent cultural institutions. Bright yellow coaches bearing red "CB" logos will link the new California Academy of Sciences and the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in Golden Gate Park with the Asian Art Museum in the Civic Center, Union Square, and all the museums in the Yerba Buena neighborhood. Riders will be able to enjoy everything from "penguins to Picasso."

Buses run daily every 20 minutes, from 8:40 a.m. to 5:50 p.m.; there's also an all-day, on-and-off fare of $7 ($5 for seniors and youths) that includes discounted admission to selected museums including the California Academy of Sciences and de Young museums. Ridership is projected to be between 168,000 and 250,000 per year. Today, 50 percent of visitors to the Bay Area ride the Muni system, especially the cable cars and historic F-line along the Embarcadero.

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