Life in the Fast Lane – Renting an Exotic Car in Central Park

If you are travelling across the USA and spending some time in New York, you may be interested in finding different ways to experience the fascinating and exciting city.  On a recent trip there, I discovered a great little thing you can do – hire a luxury car and drive around Central Park.  If you want to feel part of the wealthy crowd that inhabit New York, this is definitely something you should look into.

I mean, the whole point of renting a fancy car like the ones available at Opulent Cars, is not so much to get from a to b, but to get from a to b in style.  The real joy of driving round Central Park is that it gives you the chance to take in the sights and atmosphere of New York, while avoiding the hideous and infamous Manhattan gridlock.

Central Park has various drives that you can take your car on.  However, if you want to drive and get the best possible view of the city you need to try one of the routes in the North end of the park.  Although these routes are much more hilly and curvy, it does mean that you will be able to see the New York that you expect to see.

Some Driving Rules You Need To Observe And Follow

Obviously, there are certain rules that go with driving round the iconic Central Park that you need to follow implicitly.  You aren’t allowed to just speed round the routes without a care in the world, regardless of how much horsepower your car has or the maximum speed it can reach.  The speed limit in Central Park is 25 mph, so you need to make sure that you never drive faster than that.  As there are a large number of bikers and pedestrians at most points during the day, going any faster than 25 mph could result in an unfortunate incident.

As well as the speed limit, you need to be aware that the Central Park drives are only open to the public at certain parts of the day.  The West Drive is open on weekdays between 8 am and 10 am and is only open to vehicles with high-occupancy.  The East Drive (which runs from 72nd Street/5th Avenue through to 110th Street) is open on weekdays from 7 am to 7 pm.  While the 72nd St Cross Drive is open on weekdays between 8 am and 10 am.  Central Park is closed to any and all traffic from 7 pm on Friday through to 7 am on Monday morning.  Therefore, if you are interested in trying one or more of Central Park’s great driving routes, you need to make sure that you plan this activity for during the week, as you will be unable to do it on the weekend.

Whether you choose to try each of the different drives a different day or only choose one in particular, you will not regret it.

Cheap and Cheerful Days out in the United Kingdom

If you are looking for a way to have a fun day out without breaking the bank, it can sometimes feel like it’s difficult to find a good destination. These days, it is probably more important than ever to try and keep the purse-strings nice and tight, but that doesn’t mean you should be denied your right to a good day out!

With that in mind, we’ve gone around the country and knocked up a list of great destinations that you can enjoy without fretting over the bank balance.

The Natural History Museum in London

All National Museums in the UK are owned and operated by the state, meaning they are completely free to enter. Occasionally, limited time exhibits may require an admission fee, but you can usually see the majority of the good stuff for free.

There are a number of different national museums in the country, but the biggest and the best would have to be the beloved Natural History Museum. There is a lot to be seen here – a ginormous diplodocus skeleton straddling the entrance hall, a giant squid named Archie, and a complete blue whale skeleton. In winter you can even take to the ice rink!

Longsands Beach in Tynemouth

Another completely free attraction, Tynemouth Longsands has been a popular destination for holidaymakers since the 1700s. It certainly lives up to its name – the golden sands stretch on for more than a kilometre, reaching the nearby village of Cullercoats.

It’s still vastly popular in the summertime, so you’ll have to get down there early if you’re hoping for a good spot. Because of the length of the beach, it’s a good place to do some training; the Newcastle United squad are often spotted running up and down at dawn.

The world championship of surfing is frequently held here, and there’s even a surf school to cater to any newbies. What a fantastic place! Make sure to treat yourself to some lovely ice cream too.

Ness Botanic Gardens in Merseyside

If you are looking for the perfect place for a picnic, then you need look no further – Ness Gardens overlooks the Dee estuary with a lovely patch of rolling grass to sit on, making it absolutely divine.

However, that is (of course) not the only reason we would recommend these botanic gardens to you – you can get a good picnic spot almost anywhere if you’re willing to look hard enough! No, instead, the reason you should visit Ness Gardens is for the plants.

A day out at Ness will be an intriguing one: there are more than 10,000 different varieties of plants on show there, from rare types of flowers to unusual breeds of tree. Arguably the most amazing part of the whole place though is the wild flower meadow, where you can stroll through a simply gorgeous area just covered in flowers.

And if you’re hoping for something to top it all off, the gardens often host music and theatre events, so make sure you check out their events calendar!

48 Hours in Stockholm

With over 100 museums and 750 years of history, the Swedish capital of Stockholm is the ideal destination for a city break and has culture in abundance for visitors of all ages. From a charming old town tohistoric relics and one of the largest palaces in the world, here’s our guide to making the most of this vibrant city in just one weekend.

Gamla Stan

Sweden’s medieval city centre is one of the oldest and best preserved in Europe, and is where the city was founded in 1252. It still retains many of the features from the Middle Ages, including cellar vaults, frescoes and winding cobbled streets that give the city a fairy-tale-like appearance. It’s also the best place to start exploring the city.

As well as plenty of restaurants, cafes, shops and bars, Gamla Stan is also home to some of the city’s most notable churches and museums including the Stockholm Cathedral, Nobel Museum and the Royal Palace – one of the largest palaces in the world with more than 600 rooms! Be sure not to miss out on the parade of soldiers and daily changing of the guards.

Skansen Open-Air Museum

Boasting a wonderful location on Royal Djurgården, Skansen is one of the oldest open air museums and is the ideal setting for a family day out. Popular with locals and visitors alike, you can enjoy a fantastic view all over Stockholm here.

You’ll learn all about the history of Sweden here, with150 farms and dwellings from across the country on show here as well as charming town districts featuring glass blowing, a bakery, a golden manor house, a tinsmith’s workshop and a beautiful wooden church from the eighteenth century. There’s also a zoo here featuring moose, bears, lynxes, wolves, seals and other animals native to Scandinavia.

The Royal Palace

We’ve mentioned it already, but no luxury weekend away would be complete without a visit to the ultimate in grandeur and splendour – The Royal Palace. The official residence of His Majesty the King of Sweden boasts more than 600 rooms and five museums!

Built in the popular Italian Baroque style in the eighteenth century, the palace was built to replace the Tre Kronor Castle which burned down in the late seventeenth century. Some of the highlights of your visit will be the lavish eighteenth and nineteenth interiors of the reception rooms, the Hall of State featuring Queen Kristina’s silver throne and Gustav III’s Museum of Antiquities. The Royal Palace also houses the Armoury, which is well worth checking out if you want to see royal costumes and armour as well as fantastic coaches from the Royal Stable.

Junibacken

Astrid Lindgren is Sweden’s most beloved children’s writer, but this fun attraction isn’t just for the younger visitors. You’ll enter the wonderful fairy tale world of Astrid Lindgren’s famous books, and meet a whole host of friendly faces including Mardie, Emil, Karlsson on the Roof, PippiLongstocking and more. The kids will love the playful exhibit and visiting the fantastic children’s book shop.

From Cali to the Caribbean–a Music Festival Road Trip

What would you do if you had an unlimited travel budget and a passion for going to the best music festivals and meeting people? We’ve put together a fantasy festival itinerary for the summer starting in the dewy climate of Coachella festival in California, partying through the wildness of Burning Man and the hyperactive overload of the Miami EDM scene all the way through to the world’s most important reggae festival in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

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Coachella Festival California

Coachella nowadays is bursting with Hollywood celebrities desperate to be photographed in their best festival going looks. However, you can still catch some extremely good music at this luxuriously grassy, glossy music festival. All of the year’s hottest artists will be booked to perform and in 2013 festival goers saw acts like hip-hop heavyweights 2 Chainz, all the way to British indie veterans like Blur. Grab a pair of designer shades and head over to this festival which is just peaking in cool.

Burning Man Festival

From the totally mainstream to an obscure festival that teeters on the edge of the mainstream, Burning Man Festival is less of a music festival than a gathering of expressive arts and music performance in the desert. Don’t turn up expecting any acts booked to play, you, the festival goer are the entertainment. What you can expect is to meet a crazy collection of people who make festival going their lifestyle. The festival began in the 1980s as a collective of 20 friends hanging out on the beach and burning effigies for fun. By last year the number of people turning up to the burning man festival had grown to nearly 70,000. It is one of the last truly noncommercial big festivals in the world and you would be a fool to miss it.

Ultra Music Festival, Miami

As soon as you arrive in Florida’s beachfront party city Miami, you know that you’re probably not going to get a decent night’s sleep for many, many nights. And why would you want to? The Ultra Music Festival will play host to practically all of contemporary EDM’s most chart bursting artists. Head on down to set by Avici, Carl Cox and Steve Angelo amongst many many, more. Hyper commercial and geared to a youth audience, the Ultra Music Festival is the perfect stop on your way to the Caribbean. Next you’ll be sailing off to clear blue waters with the Royal Holiday vacation club.

Reggae Sumfest, Jamaica

Billed as the greatest reggae show on earth, this annual festival features headliners as massive as Flo Rida and Miguel plus reggae greats such as Barrington Levy, Sofia Squire, and Nature. It’s always a great party with an electric atmosphere and a great array of supporting treats like fantastic food and entertainment. It takes place on the 3rd week of July in the area of Montego Bay. Get tickets as soon as possible as it’s sure to sell out like hot cakes every year.

If you choose budget travel and accommodation, then it’s very possible to attend all of these events within a budget of about £5,000. If you have any ideas on how to budget a summer festival road trip of fun and excess, then leave your comments below. Tell us also if you’ve been to any of the festivals we’ve mentioned and give us your tips on how to make the most of your time there.