Earlier in July CEO Stephanie Turner and her husband Will went out West with Globus for a motor coach tour in the Canyonlands. Stephanie and Will had an amazing time visiting places like the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands National Park, Zion National Park, and MORE! Keep reading to hear more about Stephanie's trip and see her stunning photos!
On July 4th, my husband and I left for a wonderful 10-day journey to the Canyonland of the Western United States. Though I have traveled all over the world and visited the Grand Canyon as a teenager, I have not visited many other National Parks. We decided to do a motor coach tour with Globus rather than drive it ourselves. They have all of the tools and resources in place to help create a close-to-perfect experience!
We were very happy with our decision to take this tour with Globus! They have their own experienced tour directors on staff. Our fearless leader on this journey was Craig, who has worked with Globus since the late 80's. He was interesting, informative, fun and always concerned with the interests and well-being of all 35 guests on this tour. With COVID many of the rules have changed regarding the parks, hotels and restaurants, but Craig had solutions for everything and prepared everyone!
After an exciting Fourth of July fireworks extravaganza in Las Vegas, we left for the Grand Canyon. We were fortunate that Globus uses almost all in-park hotels, which gave us amazing views from our hotel rooms! Our room overlooked the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
After doing some amazing sightseeing as a group, Craig encouraged us to take a walk at sunset around the area. It was spectacular! We ended up running into Craig on our walk and he took some photos of us that I will treasure.
We ate dinner that night at Fred Harvey. This nearby restaurant was nothing fancy, but had amazing service and delicious food! Restaurants are all very short-staffed right now, so there were some places that were not open.
The next day we were off for more breathtaking sightseeing around the Grand Canyon area before we headed to Lake Powell. Before leaving I took an optional helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon and it was breathtaking! Globus offered several choices of tours for the group in this area. Most of the tours in the trip were included for no additional cost!
We stopped for lunch in Williams, Arizona, along the old Route 66. It was a very cute town that made me feel like I was dropped back into the 1950s. Even Elvis was there!
We arrived at Lake Powell in the late afternoon. The drive was absolutely beautiful! For the next two nights we stayed in a lovely room right on the lake. We had dinner at the hotel overlooking the lake. It was a great way to meet and mingle with some of our traveling companions.
The next day we had the options of sightseeing on the motor coach or hiking. Those who opted for sightseeing saw Glen Canyon Dam. It was very hot out West, but the skies were bright blue with white puffy clouds. The motor coach was air conditioned and stocked with ice-cold water. We were even able to get in some great pool time.
The next area we visited was Monument Valley. This is a beautiful Navajo desert territory and we were so excited to be there. Our stop that night was at Goulding's Lodge, overlooking the valley. We had a delicious backcountry cookout with the locals. You just can't get that same experience on your own!
The following day we explored Monument Valley on a 4-wheel drive tour. You may be familiar with this place because it was often used as the scenery for old Western films. John Wayne starred in many pictures filmed here, as well as a slew of other famous cowboy stars. Scenes from Back to the Future 3 were filmed here was well!
The day we went was the first day the visitor center and this area was open again for tourists. There were a few gift shops in the area, which film director John Ford used as sets for many of his films. We visited a Navajo Hogan (traditional housing) and watched a rug weaving demonstration. We then said our goodbyes and stopped in Moab, Utah, for lunch. There were plenty of places to choose from!
We then arrived at our new "home" for the next two nights, Red Cliff Lodge! Every room had a separate area with a sofa, full kitchen, and beautiful patio. We were right on the river! That evening we had an included wine tasting and Western barbeque.
The next day we were off again and visited Arches National Park. It was amazing to see how nature has carved out these spectacular red rock arches. We had time to explore and then we were off to Canyonland National Park and Dead Horse Point State Park. When we got back to the lodge, we had free time to enjoy the pool and have a dinner to ourselves.
Waking up the next morning, I was very excited as we left for Bryce Canyon National Park. The sky was getting a bit hazy from the fires out West, but the temperature was starting to cool down. Our first stop was Capitol Reef National Park, which turned out to be a favorite! It was much greener than the other parks we had visited this trip and filled with Petroglyphs from Native Americans over 700 years ago. We had a picnic lunch here and then visited the cutest little bakery with a variety of pies and a neat gift shop. As sad as we were to leave this area, it was time to leave for Bryce Canyon!
We arrived at Bryce Canyon National Park in the late afternoon. Our accommodations for the night were the only time we stayed outside of the National Park, but we were only 5 minutes away and the property was very nice! The next morning we left for the park. The scenery is some of the most spectacular in the world! Our tour escort had something to offer for everyone, from long hikes into the canyon (which interested my of the younger people in our group) to a shorter trail that we opted for where we could see all of those ambitious hikers going around. We got to visit the place where Thelma and Louise *spoiler alert* drove off the cliff! Sorry if I ruined the movie for you!
The next morning we left for Zion National Park! The greatest part of being on this tour was that we never had to wait to get into any of the parks, as the motor coaches seem to have priority access. I want to give a shout out to our motor coach driver, Wade, who was outstanding! The motor coach was always spotless and he was always there waiting for us.
In Zion we took the Park Shuttle to the end of the line and hiked along the river. It was so beautiful and the weather was cooler than it had been. Our guide, Craig, got us moving a little earlier so we could avoid some of the heat. We had a wonderful lunch at Zion. The staff everywhere were lovely and very accommodating.
We arrived back in Las Vegas in the afternoon and got ready for our farewell dinner. Our group was fairly diverse, with a few younger children, a few teenagers, some single people and lost of couples, ranging in age from their 40s to early 80s. Everyone got along really well and it was nice to make new friends! We ate dinner with a variety of fellow travelers throughout our trip. We would highly recommend visiting the National Parks on a motor coach tour. I think you will see so much more and you will be able to take the stress out of your travels.
Interested in touring the Canyonlands with Globus? Contact one of our Travel Consultants! Call us today 314-439-5700
At the end of June Marketing Associate Brenna Shea traveled to Fort Myers Beach, Florida, with her mom and sisters. They spent a relaxing 6 days soaking up the sun and enjoying delicious food and drinks. Keep reading to find out more about her trip and to see a couple photos!
Everything from national monuments to amusement parks, here is some inspiration for a trip anywhere in the U.S.!
We love to get away and see the world, but there's something so exciting about discovering all of the amazing places that are close to home! We asked our staff about some of their favorite places to visit in the United States and why they love them so much. Keep reading for some great recommendations for your next domestic vacation!
Club Med Sandpiper Bay-- Port St. Lucie, Florida
Stephanie Turner, President & CEO
"Looking for a great all-inclusive family vacation in the United States? Then look no further than Club Med Sandpiper located in Port St. Lucie, Florida. This lovely resort is located only an hour from the West Palm Beach Airport and is the perfect destination for families and multi-generation vacations. From their mini club which takes infants (4 months) and toddlers to the wide variety of sports programs for kids of all ages including tennis, golf, circus training, mini golf, basketball and swimming to boating, kayaking, water skiing, sailing and paddle boarding to just relaxing by the pool – there is something for literally everyone. There is a great fitness center and a variety of classes are offered including yoga and other workouts. Club Med also offers a special adults-only pool and accommodations area, a wonderful spa and adults-only dining areas.
Every night there is fun entertainment for everyone to enjoy, and there are evening cocktail parties by the pool. Dining is in a casual atmosphere, but the food is excellent and there are choices for every taste. A variety of wines and cocktails are also included in the price.
I have been there 4 times. Most were with my children and grandchildren, but I have also been there for a business meeting. We thoroughly enjoyed our experience (and I improved my golf game at the same time). The golf pro is a former LPGA champion and she was fantastic! You can take either free group lessons or pay for private lessons. I experienced both and they were great.
Enjoy a few days or a week at this fun resort right in the good old USA."
Asheville, North Carolina
Stacey Hoehne, Supervisor of Leisure
"One of my favorite places to visit in the states is Asheville ,NC! It is such a cute town filled with local shops and breweries. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, there are a lot of stops for waterfalls and trails to hike. I loved visiting the Omni Grove Park Inn for the stunning views! I hope to stay at this amazing property next time I visit Asheville!"
Fort Meyers, Florida
Brenna Shea, Marketing Associate
"There is nothing my family loves more than a trip to the beach! We have taken multiple trips to Fort Meyers over the years, as it is one of our favorite beach towns in the United States. So many memories have been made here as a family, which makes this place so special. One of our favorite things to do is walk along the boardwalk in the evening and explore the variety of little shops and restaurants."
French Lick Springs Resort-- French Lick, Indiana
Missi Wilson, Supervisor of Marketing
“My favorite U.S. destination is French Lick Springs Resort in French Lick, Indiana. Since I was 10 years old, I’ve visited this resort almost every summer with my family members that live in Indiana. We go the second weekend of August each year and we spend our time poolside listening to the DJ, wine tasting at French Lick Winery, and on Saturday night, going to nearby Legendz to sing karaoke. The resort is absolutely gorgeous and it’s a historic hotel that was built in the 1800s. The resort is adorned with gold leaf details in the lobby and classic rocking chairs on its wrap around veranda. On the weekends it’s so relaxing to sit on the veranda and listen to the live Dixieland band. It’s the perfect weekend getaway as it’s only 3 hours away from St. Louis and it’s near Santa Claus, Indiana, where Holiday World is located. Only 6 more months until my next visit and I can hardly wait!”
Maggie Groene, Travel Consultant
Natalie Pistone, Travel Consultant Intern
"I’ve taken quite a few trips to Memphis, Tennessee, and always have a wonderful time! With its own unique mix of history, culture, and music, Memphis is a destination for people with a variety of interests. One of my favorite places in the city is the Peabody Hotel, home to the famous Peabody ducks! At 11 a.m. and 5 p.m., the ducks “march” through the lobby to the hotel’s fountain where they stay and swim all day. While you are downtown, Sun Studios (the “birthplace of Rock and Roll”) is a fun stop that takes you in the footsteps of legends like B.B. King, Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis. It may be a small studio, but it is full of history! The National Civil Rights Museum is in the same area as well, telling the story of the American Civil Rights Movement through artifacts, films, and interactive exhibits. And the building itself is historical: the Lorraine Motel (the building housing the museum) is the location of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
If you want your Memphis trip to have a focus on music, I absolutely recommend visiting Beale Street. It has been named a National Historic Landmark and is a hub for two things Memphis is famous for, music and delicious BBQ. If you are looking for some classic Memphis BBQ, Charlie Vergos' Rendezvous restaurant has exactly what you will be craving. I loved the whole experience there, though finding it was a challenge (the entrance is in a back alley)!
No trip to Memphis is complete without visiting Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley. While visiting, you will have an opportunity to visit the Graceland mansion and Elvis’ airplanes on the property. There are also several brand-new museum facilities that have everything from Elvis’ personal cars, stage outfits, and awards on display. While you are there, leave your mark! It is tradition to sign your name on the wall outside Graceland as fans have done for decades."
Are you inspired to start planning your next U.S. getaway? Contact Brentwood Travel to get started today!
Call 314-439-5700 or email us
Nothing is better than taking that perfect travel picture to share with your friends and family. If you're willing to do anything for the perfect Insta, pack your bags and head to Nashville, Tennessee! From giant murals to aesthetically pleasing shops and restaurants, this city is the perfect backdrop for unique travel photos. Keep reading to find out about some of the most Instagrammble spots in Nashville!
"I Believe in Nashville" mural
Five Daughters' Bakery
Amelia's Flower Truck
"Nashville Looks Good on You" mural
Three Brothers Coffee
Cheekwood Botanical Gardens
John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge
Contact Brentwood Travel to start planning your Insta-worthy trip to Nashville today! Call 314-429-5700 or email us today
My husband and I have always been huge Disney fans which means we absolutely love to vacation at Walt Disney World. My entire pregnancy people told me "you know you have to wait years before you go back to Disney World?" because people knew I would be dying to go back there and to most people it sounds like a miserable idea to take a baby to Disney. Well, when I announced I was planning to take my baby to Walt Disney World I got tons of push back! Of course I was a little nervous, but guess what - taking my 10-month-old to Disney was the best decision I ever made and I can't wait to go back with him! I will say it definitely was a different type of Disney vacation than what I've been used to, but it was completely worth it and here are some of my tips for taking your baby to Disney:
1. Be on your baby's schedule
On previous Disney vacations my husband and I would be the first ones in the park and the last to leave each day. We had to ride every ride, see every show and close out the night with fireworks. Unfortunately, this plan doesn't work too well with a baby. Nap time, feedings and bedtime all have to be taken into consideration. But this doesn't mean you can't still have fun! Be sure to have a stroller that you can recline back so baby can nap during the day and you can walk around the Park or get a yummy snack. Also, slowing down your pace will actually allow you to enjoy more of the Parks than constantly being on the go, which we definitely learned on this trip. Don't expect your baby will be awake for every photo opportunity. You have to learn to just go with the flow.
2. Ship baby necessities to your resort
If you plan to fly to Walt Disney World it's not practical to pack diapers, formula and food in your suitcase. You'll lose valuable space and you'll probably get stuck paying for heavy luggage fees at the airport. Instead, go on Amazon before your trip and select the items that your baby needs the most and have them shipped to the resort you're staying at. This was a lifesaver for us! I chose everything I needed and changed the shipping address to the resort. Be sure to include "Guest" with your name and check-in date on the shipping label so they can easily find the package when you check in.
3. Pack a change of clothes each day
Accidents and babies go hand in hand. You just never know when something will happen to a baby's clothes. Be sure that before you head out to the Parks each day that you have a spare change of clothes in your diaper bag. To quickly locate everything I recommend putting the change of clothes in a Ziplock bag, and this will also help keep the soiled clothes separate from everything else in your bag. Trust me, accidents WILL happen.
4. Mark your stroller
Any time you want to hop on a ride you have to leave your stroller in the sea of stroller parking. It can be difficult to quickly identify which stroller is yours, so to help out be sure to have a sign that you can attach to the back of your stroller. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, you could use a brightly colored ribbon. However I like to be a little extra and full of Disney flair, so I had a custom sign made that I found here on Etsy. Remember, don't leave valuables in your stroller!
5. Get a stroller fan
I can't emphasize this enough, you have to get a fan to clip on your stroller! There is almost nothing hotter than the Florida sun and you have to have something to keep your baby cool. I purchased this rechargeable fan on Amazon and it worked wonders. We clipped it to the top of the stroller so our son couldn't mess with it but it was securely aimed on him at all times.
6. Utilize Fastpasses for baby-friendly rides
Fastpasses are free with your park admission and they're a great way to make your ride-planning much easier. You get three Fastpasses that you can book in advance, and once you've used all your Fastpasses at one park you can request additional passes. To avoid waiting in lines and causing our son to get restless, we only went on rides if we had a Fastpass (or if there wasn't a long wait time). They made our day so laid back and our son thoroughly enjoyed every ride he went on! Our son got to experience The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Frozen Ever After, "it's a small world", Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan's Flight, The Voyage of The Little Mermaid, Prince Charming Regal Carousel, Carousel of Progress, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and Kilimanjaro Safari. I loved how his face would light up with curiosity, he would let out happy squeals and clap his hands to songs!
7. Book Character Dining experiences
My son is obsessed with watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and I knew I wanted him to have the chance to meet all of the characters. The best place to do this is at Chef Mickey's at the Contemporary Resort. I booked this during breakfast when I knew it wouldn't interfere with nap time and he would be in good spirits. It was the best way for us to have one-on-one time with each character without having to wait in long lines to meet them. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto and Goofy all came to meet our son and he just couldn't get enough of them! It even brought a few tears to this Disney momma's eye.
8. Document as much as you can
Since Disney is so dear to my heart I wanted to document as many moments as I could with my son. Before the trip I made "first" signs for different experiences I knew my son would have throughout Walt Disney World. It made us pause during the day to appreciate little moments and take in different experiences in a new way. Not to mention I have so many more pictures for our photo album because I captured the moment!
Bottom line, just go with the flow and you'll have a fantastic time! To book your Walt Disney World vacation, contact Brentwood Travel at 314-439-5700 or send us an email!
Coming home after a vacation is such a wonderful feeling! You are back in a familiar place and feel right at home, but then you begin to think about where you will travel to next. You have been a tourist in many unfamiliar places before, but have you ever thought about being a tourist in your own town? Many people have lived in our hometowns their entire lives, so we often take the amazing spots in our hometowns for granted. At Brentwood Travel, we are proud to call St. Louis, Missouri, our home! No matter if you were born and raised or have never been, here are the places you MUST VISIT when you're in STL!
10. Ballpark Village: Located just steps from Busch Stadium, Ballpark Village has a variety of bars and restaurants that will suit everyone! It is the perfect spot for before and after Cardinals games or any night out! With seven different bars under one roof, you can get a night of variety with the convenience of being only a couple of feet away from your next stop.
9. City Museum: This unique museum is home to many exhibits consisting largely of re-purposed architectural and industrial objects. The City Museum is the perfect place to let your imagination and inner child run wild! If you enjoy heights and thrills, be sure to check out the school bus on the rooftop!
8. Imo's: Nothing is more St. Louis than St. Louis-style pizza! This unique thin crust, square-sliced pizza is something you don't see all over the country, so when you'll want to try it out if you never have!
7. Grant's Farm: This historic farm is built on land given to President Ulysses S. Grant and his wife by his father in law. Today, you can visit Budweiser Clydesdales in-training, feed goats, watch animal shows, or relax in the courtyard for lunch and complimentary Anheuser-Busch products.
6. Ted Drewes: This is one of our favorite places in STL! The line is always worth the wait for the best frozen custard concretes around. Their large menu has something to satisfy every type of sweet tooth. Because of this, Ted Drewes has been a St. Louis classic for 90 years!
5. St. Louis Zoo: What is better than a day at the zoo? A day at a zoo that is FREE to the public! Visit all kinds of animals, from polar bears to prairie dogs to elephants; the St. Louis Zoo has it all!
4. Anheuser-Busch Brewery: Visit the King of Beers and see how your favorite beer is brewed right in St. Louis. The (FREE) brewery tours are not only educational but also fun! Try freshly brewed samples throughout the tour as well as redeeming your free beer at the end. If you're visiting around the holidays, be sure to stop by the brewery for some of the best light displays around!
3. Cardinals Game: St. Louis has always been the ultimate baseball town! Nothing is better than a beautiful summer evening in Busch Stadium cheering on our team. We recommend trying the loaded nachos while you're there, you won't regret it!
2. Blues Game: We are proud to be the home of the 2019 Stanley Cup Champions! If you are in town during hockey season, make sure to pick up some Blues tickets to watch the boys in action.
1. Gateway Arch: The Gateway Arch is the most iconic landmarks in St. Louis. Take a ride to the top to get a breathtaking view of downtown St. Louis, or if heights aren't your thing, walk around the beautiful grounds or cruise around the Mississippi River in a replica 19th century paddle-wheel riverboat.
Did we miss one of your favorite STL spots? We told you our favorites, now tell us yours!
Let us know on our Facebook and Instagram
In May of this year, Travel Consultant Christine Hakenjos sailed to Alaska on Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of The Seas. She, along with her fiancé and 14 of his family members, departed out of Seattle for an Alaskan Cruise they would never forget! Keep reading for her experiences in Alaska and her thoughts on the ship itself.
We boarded the ship on Friday, May 24th after spending the evening prior in Seattle. We arrived at the Cruise Terminal and boarded Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas. The check in at the terminal was a breeze! We had completed our check in process before we even arrived in Seattle. I highly recommend doing this!
Our itinerary was absolutely wonderful! Although I will say, after this cruise I DEFINITELY want to see more of Alaska! This 7-night cruise featured stops to Juneau, Skagway and Victoria, British Columbia. We also had two days out at sea and one day cruising through Alaska’s Inside Passage as well as one day cruising through Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier.
I will be honest, I was a bit bummed at first that we were only going to have 3 days in port, but after experiencing the views from our balcony stateroom during our days cruising, I totally changed my mind! I swear we could have sat out on that balcony for HOURS.
With a group of 16, it was hard for us all to decide on the same shore excursions so some of us did different things while in port. All our excursions & tours were booked through a company called Shore Trips because we were wanting smaller group excursions. Everyone LOVED their shore excursions! We all thought our tour guides were very knowledgeable and entertaining. The tours were very well done and worth every penny!
On our 4th day of the cruise, we arrived in the small town of Juneau, Alaska. The town was absolutely adorable and has a lot to see and do just within walking distance of the pier.
The tour that 8 other members of our group and I went on was the “Whale Watching and Mendenhall Glacier Combo Tour.” First, we were taken to Mendenhall Glacier where we were given an hour and half to do what we wanted. We decided to take the mile hike to the foot of Nugget Falls. The views from this point were just stunning! I have never seen a waterfall that big before. The waters of Mendenhall Lake were a mixture of blues and from where we were standing, we could actually see where the fresh water from the lake met the glacier’s run-off. This change in colors was beautiful to see! The glacier itself was unbelievable. I had seen many photos of it from all the research I had been doing prior to the trip but seeing it in person was a whole new perspective.
After our visit to Mendenhall Glacier, we were driven to Auke Bay where we boarded our boat and met our very knowledgeable captain and marine biologist tour guides. They were both very insightful and entertaining. They lead us directly to whales, sea lions, harbor seals, bald eagles, and other wildlife while teaching us all about life in Alaska and the habits and lives of these beautiful mammals.
Even though we had chances to see whales and dolphins from our ship, seeing them up close and personal like this was a whole other experience! We were all SO glad we took part in this tour!
Two members of our group did the “Mendenhall Lake Canoe Adventure.” They paddled their way across beautiful Mendenhall Lake leading them to the face of the living Mendenhall Glacier.
Three other members of our group decided on the “Helicopter and Dog Sled Tour” in Juneau. Their tour began with a 20-minute helicopter ride through glacier-carved mountains to the top of Herbert Glacier where they found about 80 huskies waiting to greet them. The mushers (tour guides/dog sled leaders) then took them on a 2-mile look through the mountains, even letting them drive the sleds!
Brentwood Travel Vacation Experts
In the 64 years since Brentwood Travel was founded in 1957, we've grown into the largest, full-service travel agency in the Greater St. Louis area. No matter what your travel needs may be, our consultants will be able to assist you.