Travel News: July 4 Edition

Rock out with the Honey Brothers, fly with Calvin and Hobbes, and reclaim the Jersey Shore this holiday weekend

By: Sophie Gilbert

Okay, so it’s not New Year’s Eve. But you can still party like it’s 1999 at DC’s W Hotel on the Fourth of July. Travel & LeisureEntourage’ named the W’s POV bar as one of the best places in the country to see fireworks Sunday, with panoramic views from the roof deck that look right over the Mall and a live performance by s Adrian Grenier and his band the Honey Brothers. The hotel’s Boom With a View package includes a room for two, two tickets to the rooftop party, an open bar from 6 to 9, and hors d’oeuvres, all for $619. Or if you’d rather sleep at home, tickets to the party are $200 per person. (BudgetTravel.com has handy tips on the best ways to photograph fireworks.)

If, like Calvin and Hobbes, you’ve ever wondered why flying cars haven’t been invented yet, you may not have that much longer to wait for your Jetsons-inspired dreams to come true. A Massachusetts company recently received approval from the FDA to start developing a car/airplane hybrid, with all the safety features of an automobile and all the, well, wings of a plane. Unfortunately, it won’t be cheap—the estimated price is almost $200,000. But when you consider how much you’ll save on checked-luggage fees, it’ll pay for itself in a decade or so.

A few last-minute Fourth of July sale fares for you, courtesy of United Airlines: One-way flights from Washington to Raleigh/Durham, Knoxville, and Cincinnati are $83 to $96, leaving on July 3 or 4 and returning July 5 or 6.

But if you’re staying home this weekend, be careful—DC was recently declared to be the ninth-most likely state to issue speeding tickets. As always, drive responsibly and stay sober if you’re going to be behind the wheel.

If you’re going on vacation this summer, chances are you won’t be checking your BlackBerry all that often. As unlikely as it might seem (particularly in a city that routinely takes smartphones to the restroom), only 17 percent of Americans say they can’t go on vacation without checking work e-mail or taking their iPhone along. A far more popular mode of communication is also “handheld”—a quarter of Americans say they pray while on vacation (and not just during turbulence).

And finally, it was bound to happen: the Jersey Shore backlash. Budget Travel’s Brian Hiatt writes this month about revisiting the site of many happy childhood vacations and trying to restore the area’s battered reputation thanks to a certain MTV reality show.

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