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Travel News March 2017


USA SPECIAL 23


HEN someone thinks of San Francisco, a giant International Orange-coloured bridge, a park spanning more than 1,000 acres or a city where contemporary art and culture collide often come to mind. While these mainstays never lose their lustre, the reasons to visit San Francisco are even more numerous. Where most visitors go while here might surprise you. Golden Gate Bridge: Once called "the bridge that couldn't be built," today it is one the seven wonders of the modern world. This magnificent bridge, perhaps San Francisco's most famous landmark, opened in 1937 after a four-year struggle against relentless winds, fog, rocks and treacherous tides. Spanning 1.7 miles from San Francisco to the Marin headlands, the bridge’s sidewalks are open during the day to pedestrians including wheelchair users and bicyclists. Golden Gate Park: One of the largest urban parks in the world, Golden Gate Park stretches for three miles on the western edge of San Francisco. There’s not a single “Keep Off the Grass” sign and its 1,017 acres are a tonic for mind and body. Two major museums, splendid gardens and facilities for more than 20 sports confirm that this is a playground in every sense of the word.


Lombard Street: Often called the “crookedest” street in the world, this scenic road on Russian Hill features tight turns, fragrant gardens and beautiful views of the bay, Alcatraz, and Coit Tower.


Alcatraz Island: Alcatraz was the site of the first lighthouse in the Western United States but became a federal penitentiary from 1934- 1963, housing famous convicts such as Al Capone and George "Machine Gun" Kelly. Now, this once infamous prison island is part of


Explore more in San Francisco! W


the Bay Area’s 80,000-acre Golden Gate National Recreation Area.


The Presidio: Formerly a military post, the Presidio is now a national park site and recreational paradise featuring spectacular vistas, beautiful trails, and historic and architectural treasures.


The Cable Car Museum: Located in the Washington-Mason powerhouse and carbarn on Nob Hill, the Cable Car Museum overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables for San Francisco’s famous trams. It also features three antique cable cars from the 1870s, photographs, mechanical displays and a fun gift shop.


The Exploratorium: Newly renovated and now open on Pier 15 on the Embarcadero at the heart of the waterfront, the Exploratorium is a home-grown, hands-on museum igniting curiosity and inspiring creativity in people of all ages. Explore more than 600 hands-on exhibits, including 150 new experiences and enjoy breathtaking views of the city and bay in the spectacular glass-and-steel Bay Observatory. Legion of Honor: Built to commemorate Californian soldiers who died in World War I, the Legion of Honor displays a collection of more than 4,000 years of ancient and Europe jewishan art and houses the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts in a neoclassic building overlooking Lincoln Park and the Golden Gate Bridge.


Angel Island State Park: Often referred to as the “Ellis Island of the West, the Immigration Station originally opened in 1910 and closed in 1940 as the result of a fire. During that time more than one million individuals were processed through the centre. Ferry service to the island, the largest in San Francisco Bay, is


From Avatar to Star Wars - it’s an exciting time at Disney World


IT’S an exciting time at Walt Disney World Resort, one filled with new fun that spans all four theme parks, Disney’s Water Parks and Disney Springs.


From the unveiling of a whole new land at Disney’s Animal Kingdom to an awe-inspiring fireworks show at Magic Kingdom Park to more retail and restaurant openings at Disney Springs, there is more to see and do at Walt Disney World Resort than ever before. Opening May 27, The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom will transport guests to a mystical world of bioluminescent rainforests, floating mountains and soaring Banshees.


In collaboration with filmmaker James Cameron and Lightstorm Entertainment, Disney is bringing to life the fantasy world of Pandora, inspired by Cameron’s epic film AVATAR.


Guests will discover two main adventures in this breathtaking new land. Avatar Flight of Passage, sending guests flying above the jungles of Pandora on a Mountain Banshee. Na’vi River Journey is a family-friendly boat ride that sails down a sacred river hidden within a glowing rainforest for an unforgettable encounter with a Na’vi Shaman.


Also coming soon to Disney’s Animal Kingdom is Rivers of Light.


This new nighttime show will take guests on a magnificent journey with a mix of water, fire, nature and light choreographed to an original musical score.


Starting May 12, Magic Kingdom Park guests will be treated to the most spectacular fireworks display in the park’s history with a brand new show called “Happily Ever After.”


Featuring more lasers, lights and projections than any Magic Kingdom Park show before it, “Happily Ever After” will take guests on an inspiring journey filled with heart and humour. Cinderella Castle itself will become part of the story, with dazzling projections bringing more than 25 heartfelt Disney stories to life on and around the iconic castle.


Several new Star Wars additions have recently taken centre stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, starting with new displays inside Star Wars Launch Bay that feature authentic replicas


The enchanting world of Pandora from James Cameron’s epic film Avatar is opening at Disney World


from “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” The new AWR Troopers from “Rogue One” are also now appearing in the daytime stage show “Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away.” For the ultimate Star Wars fan comes the ultimate experience: the all-new Star Wars Guided Tour.


Guests are treated to a seven-hour immersion with character greetings, themed dining, attraction experiences, insider’s tours, a dessert party and VIP viewing of Star Wars: a Galactic Spectacular.


Offered for an additional fee, the tour is available Mondays and Saturdays.


Epcot celebrates 24 years of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival this spring, kicking off March 1 and running through May 29.


Guests can sip and savour their way around Epcot enjoying new Outdoor Kitchens while taking in the sights of phenomenal topiaries designed after Disney characters.


Miss Adventure Falls, the newest family attraction at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park, splashes onto the scene this spring. Aboard this family-style raft adventure, guests will be immersed in the story of Captain Mary Oceaneer.


Legend holds that this treasure hunter roamed the seven seas in search of undersea artefacts – until a rogue storm marooned her at Typhoon Lagoon.


For more information visit disneyworld.disney.go.com.


Explore the streets of the historic city of San Francisco available from Fisherman’s Wharf.


San Francisco Zoo and Gardens: The San Francisco Zoo and Gardens is an historic treasure with 1,000 endangered and rescued animals representing 250 species on view in 100 acres of lovely, peaceful gardens nestled against


the Pacific Ocean.


Their mission is to connect visitors with wildlife, inspire caring for nature and advance conservation action.


For more information on visiting San Francisco go to sftravel.com.


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