Are We There Yet? – American Travel News

Check out So Cal and Arkansas!

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

I love being in the travel biz – it's an exciting industry with cool things always on the go, and this week two very interesting press releases came across my desk. I had to share em:

Have you ever heard of the Arkansas’ Ozarks? The Ozark Mountains are filled with large and small caves throughout the hillsides, and if you are really adventurous you can explore them… but if you’re like most people, you'd prefer seeing caves that are safe and come with a professional guide. Well, Mystic Caverns is the place to go to enjoy one of the most beautiful caves in the country safely (and trust me – you'll be amazed!). Mystic Caverns happens to be one of the few tour caves in the Ozarks that is open to the public daily. Located south of Harrison, Arkansas, on Scenic Highway 7, the region of the Ozark Mountains were likely settled in the 1830s and it’s believed that tours began a few years before 1928. If Mystic Caverns was in fact open for tours prior to 1925, it would be the second oldest commercially-operated cave in the state of Arkansas. Today, visitors to both of the caves can expect to see a fascinating blend of geological formations ranging from stalactites, regal columns, soda straws, helictites, and a 28-foot pipe organ. The eight-storey rotunda in the Crystal Dome section of the tour is magnificent, and at certain times of the year, concerts are held in the cave to take advantage of the acoustics and the unique setting. Regardless of the time of year, the cave is always a comfortable 59 degrees. You’ll be led by a knowledgeable guide on a one hour and 20-minute tour. Call 888-743-1739 for more information on tours and times, or visit their website here.

The Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa is set to open this July along one of California's most pristine beaches. The 215-room resort will offer panoramic ocean views along with more than 25,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. Amenities include an ocean-view swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and several complimentary beach, sports and local transportation programs. With easy access to miles of beach, recreational activities like surfing, fishing and water sports are readily available, while for families, shoppers and young guests, the resort is five minutes from LEGOLAND California, Carlsbad’s famed Flower Fields and the Carlsbad Premium Outlets. Nearby are Sea World, the San Diego Zoo, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, Balboa Park, Disneyland California, and Knott’s Berry Farm. For guests arriving by air, the resort is ten minutes from Palomar Airport, offering easy connecting flights to/from LAX, and a 35-minute scenic drive from San Diego International Airport. Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa is scheduled to open in July 2012.

For more information on the area, visit their website here.

Bon Voyage,



Jenn Cox is a Montreal-based freelance journalist. Visit her website or email her at