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Travelocity uncovers local secrets.
Friday, 29th June 2007
Source : Travelocity
Reminding travelers that there are plenty of local gems and hidden hot spots close to home, Travelocity and their friends at IgoUgo release the third edition of Local Secrets, Big Finds(R) just in time to celebrate a slice of Americana this Fourth of July.

With summer travel costs on the rise, travelers may be looking for destinations close to home with a unique flare to help them enjoy their vacations this year. For those who want to uncover lesser known local treasures while on vacation or in their hometown, Travelocity's online collection will send them straight to the heart of their destination to the very places where the locals go.

Travelocity's editorial team culled down more than 10,000 entries to develop the exclusive Local Secrets, Big Finds list, which includes 295 winners. From unusual festivals such as Nevada's 48th Annual International Camel Races to all-American staples such as Virginia's pet-friendly Hull's Drive-In Theatre, these attractions are sure to pique the interest of locals and visitors alike.

"Our authentic collection of local treasures uncovers a whole new set of fascinating finds for locals, business travelers and leisure tourists," Amy Ziff, Travelocity's editor-at-large and industry expert, said.

"Our goal in compiling this list was to make local exploration simple and fun by pointing travelers in the right direction to find authentic local flavor."

To discover more hidden gems and leave comments about your local experiences, go to www.windowseat.travelocity.com. Also, call our insider's hotline at (877) 771-2007 to tell us about what you think about Local Secrets, Big Finds.

In addition to being named a winner for their state, Ziff recognized 15 local hot spots in her "Editor's Choice Awards," giving them best of the best honors.

Editor's Choice Awards include:

Tartine Bakery, San Francisco: In the heart of what's being dubbed "the new, gourmet ghetto," Tartine is acclaimed as "the best bakery in the city." Locals gushed to us about the exquisitely-made, "to-die-for morning buns," the "flaky, almond croissants," and the "cheesy croquet monsieur."

Red Rooster Drive-In, Brewster, N.Y.: Cockadoodle-doo! Wake up and smell the "soft-serve ice cream" at this "throwback to the 1950s," about 60 miles north of Manhattan in the Hudson Valley. The fact that you can't just drive through is merely a technicality--simply step inside and "you won't find a better milkshake anywhere."

Sleepy Monk Coffee Roasters, Cannon Beach, Ore.: The misty north Oregon coast town of Cannon Beach is the perfect backdrop for slugging back cups of steaming coffee on the porch at Sleepy Monk. Taking advantage of this beach town's year-round activities, ranging from beachcombing and surfing to wine tasting and storm watching, can work up a need for some piping-hot java.

The Bigfoot Lodge, Los Angeles: As if "Smokey the Bear opened a bar," but "hid the sign," this unmarked, local watering hole adds a dose of Adirondacks cabin style to the "design-happy neighborhood" of Los Feliz. Stacked log walls, mid-century camp furniture, and a stone fireplace with faux fire draw regulars like Drew Carrey and "everyone else at the bar."

Puka Dog, Kuai: Revolutionizing the standby Mainlander hot dog and adding an Aloha twist, a puka dog is "something out of the ordinary." Owners Rick and Dominique started out with a "small hut in Kekaha at the base of Waimea Canyon in Kauai." They put a hole ("puka" in Hawaiian) through a bun-sized loaf of bread.

Lily's, Stonington, Maine: Owned by a quilter and native Mainer, Lily's offers "great organic food," including fresh crab cakes, broiled halibut sandwiches, and homemade pies. Located in a "cute old cottage with a sign in the parking lot urging visitors to please park pretty, this "delightful" spot with great service attracts those wanting to find "a true taste of Maine."

The Venetian Pool, Coral Gables, Fla.: The Venetian Pool is "most likely the only swimming pool to be on the National Register of Historic Places." Formed from a coral rock quarry in 1923, it represents the history of Miami's development. The pool is centrally located in the Coral Gables neighborhood, and as cliched as it may sound, it's "fun for the whole family."

The Purple People Bridge, Newport, Ky.: Cross this bridge and end up in an entirely different state. Connecting Cincinnati, OH to Newport, KY, the 2,670 foot Purple People Bridge is the longest pedestrian-only bridge in the country. Built in 1872, this bridge closed to cars and pedestrians in 2001.

Burgdorf's Winery, Haslet, Mich.: You, too, can be a vintner at this "delightful surprise" of a winery that has been offering a terrific selection for 29 years, while also letting you "make your own." Close to the Michigan capital, the "friendly and savvy" owners are more than willing to "introduce the inexperienced to the secrets of wine."

Santa Fe Farmer's Market, Santa Fe, N.M.: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in Santa Fe you'' witness a bustle of local farmers and Hispanic families selling their produce at the lively farmers' market. Local musicians keep spirits high while you can peruse the wares offered by lavender growers, goat cheese-makers, and herb salve-makers.

International Camel Races, Virginia City, Nev.: What began as a practical joke is today a somewhat "unusual festival" that brings in camel riders from around the world. The family-friendly events take place in various venues in Virginia City. In addition to the fiercely competitive camel races, highlights include the camel parade and camel hump ball.

Chapel in the Hills, Rapid City, SD: Lots of weddings take place here for its "picture-perfect scenic beauty" and because it's as close to an international destination wedding as you can get in South Dakota. If you feel like you've been transported to Scandinavia, you won't be the only one.

7 Tubs Nature Area Trail, Hunlock Creek, PA: Cavort with chipmunks and hummingbirds in this "wooded area that has a large reservoir running through the mountainside." Maintained by the Audubon Society, the trailhead has parking and easy access from several highways.

Mariachi Mass at San Jose Mission, San Antonio, TX: Once a week, Mexico makes its way across the border when the San Jose Mission holds "Mariachi Mass." Loud and celebratory, the chapel service is "musical, historical, and loved by visitors." The building itself is a "unique offering."

Monday Night Jam Sessions at the Jazz Corner, Hilton Head, SC: Most nights, this "hard-to-find gem" serves "wonderful, American-style meals" set to live jazz played by "well-known musicians," but Monday nights, in particular, are "always fun and always a surprise."

More Details on Travelocity's Local Secrets, Big Finds for 2007

After querying millions of Travelocity members to find out about the favorite quintessential finds in their area, Travelocity's team of editors culled down more than 10,000 customer responses to unearth the best local spots in each state and is now sharing the third edition of Local Secrets, Big Finds with vacationers across the country. The list highlights 295 winners in the United States. More insider secrets from around the world will launch later this year.

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