Discover the art of brewing Sam Adams in Boston, the skill of buying art in the Dallas Arts District, or how to pass a bill right here in DC. It's part of the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts' new Apprentice Trips packages—weekend stays that help guests get to know local culture by teaching a skill. The DC package is a one-night stay, starting at $209 on weekends. Rates for the Boston Brewery Package start at $429 for an overnight. View the trip options here.
Get outside and visit one (or more) of the country's 392 National Parks fee-free. National Parks Week is from April 17 through 25 and offers free entrance to parks during the week, along with other promotions and activities. This doesn't just mean those big parks out West—DC itself has nearly 40 historic sites, museums, monuments, and memorials, many of which charge admission otherwise. As the weather gets warmer, find a park in DC, Virginia, or Maryland, or use this as an excuse for a road trip.
Flying is on the rebound. Air passenger demand is up almost 10 percent from last year, according to IATA, and although it's not quite up to pre-recession standards, it's inching closer. With a strong rebound so far this year, why not join in on the aviation comeback?
Destinations in Mexico are fighting bad press with good deals, according to Gabe Saglie of Travelzoo, and Cancun has always been a popular perennial getaway. Cancun is also on Orbitz's Top 10 Summer Destination list. As one of their Top 20 deals, Travelzoo is offering a six-night Cancun vacation from Washington DC for $499. This Fly and Drive package includes roundtrip airfare, accommodations with breakfasts, and a seven-day SUV rental. If you want to go without a package, the Hilton Cancun Golf & Spa Resort is offering $69-a-night oceanview rooms through May 29. You have to book these by April 7.
The real and the whimsical combine in a garden in a new exhibit at the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden in Richmond. Glorious Glass in the Garden, which opened April 1, features hundreds of glass sculptures by artist Hans Godo Fräbel alongside the spring flower bloom. Art ranges from intricate flower and frog recreations to huge geometric shapes. Admission is $10 for adults and garden hours are 9 AM to 5 PM. The exhibit runs through January.
Think you're too old to take advantage of student travel deals? Think again. Sites like STA Travel, Student Universe, and Student City offer deals to more than just college kids. STA Travel offers promotions, tours, and accommodations for all ages. And Student City's deals can be used by anyone, according to New York Times. And Student Universe deals now go up to age 25. Just check the box "Youth" instead of "Student" in the search window. There are also perks if you're a teacher. Ages are often extended, too, making room for graduate students. CNN's Clark Howard suggests planning vacations around the deals you find, rather than picking a time and place and searching for prices afterwards.