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May/June 2014 Issue

Focus on caring for father during Men’s Health Week in June

This Father’s Day, consider giving a gift of travel to dad, uncle, granddad, or brother that will help him tap into good health habits–including relaxation.

Every year leading up to Father’s Day–which is June 15 this year–Men’s Health Week, a public awareness campaign, reminds men and their families of lifestyle measures to combat preventable health problems and encourages early detection and treatment of disease.

With healthy diets, exercise, screenings, and proper rest and relaxation, men can significantly cut down risks of heart disease and cancer.

Relaxation and exercise are part of a healthy lifestyle, and travel –from a weekend in the outdoors to pursuing more gentler hobbies–might be just the tonic for the man in your life. Grouped according to interests common to many men, here are a few ideas to help you plan a little R&R for the man in your life.

The Gentleman

Does he appreciate fine wine and great food? Does live theater or concerts appeal to him? Maybe he wants to tap into his “inner Bond” and go for the glitzy getaway. These regional suggestions would interest the gentlemen.

Two European families settled in the Arkansas River Valley in 1880, attracted by the soil and moderate climate. Jacob Post and Johann Wiederkehr planted vineyards in Altus, Ark., and the early beginnings of the Arkansas Wine Trail took root. Tours and tastings are offered; a few of the wineries offer accommodations on site.

If a great restaurant helps him to unwind, you can’t go wrong with a visit to New Orleans, La. Between the French Quarter and the Northshore, dad can find something to satisfy his palette. Where to begin with so much selection? Look to AAA Four Diamonds, and your night on the town will shine. Restaurants in New Orleans that hold this prestigious rating are: Commander’s Palace (Creole); Emeril’s (contemporary Louisiana); Emeril’s Delmonico Restaurant (Creole); Restaurant August (French); Restaurant R’evolution (Louisiana); Root (American). Chef John Besh (Restaurant August, among others) also offers La Provence in Lacombe, La.

Does he prefer to cook versus going out to eat? A weekend at the Viking Cooking School in Greenwood, Miss., can be combined with a stay at the boutique hotel, The Alluvian. Cook with Executive Chef Justin Devillier (La Petite Grocery in New Orleans) June 20–22.

A great dinner often is followed with a wonderful play, and he may enjoy Arthur Miller’s Death of Salesman at the newly restored Le Petit Theatre in New Orleans, May 9–24. Help him put the years of his English lit classes behind him–and have a good laugh at it–with The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) at The Arkansas Repertory Theatre in Little Rock, June 4–29.

Vegas-style entertainment and gaming, along with wonderful restaurants and plenty of gaming action, can be found along Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. Headliners this summer include Chicago (May 30) and Kenny Rogers (Aug. 22) at the tony Beau Rivage Casino and Resort (AAA Four Diamonds), Biloxi, Miss. He can even take in a few holes of golf at Fallen Oak, the resort’s course designed by Tom Fazio.

Of course, the South has a few golf trails he may like to explore.


Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail draws players from across the country. With 11 courses throughout Alabama, there’s plenty of variety to entice the dad who loves the links. Another incentive is price: from May 29 through Sept. 7, play for $82 a day–including the cart and range balls–excluding the Ross Bridge course.

The Natural State Golf Trail in Arkansas offers 12 courses, as does the Audubon Golf Trail in Louisiana. While there’s no single trail in Mississippi to beckon golfers, your guy can take his pick from some 170 courses throughout the state, with a good selection around Tunica and the gulf coast region.

Summer and baseball make a great team, and the South has a great lineup of stadiums if your guy loves the game. A major league weekend always is a great trip idea; the Astros, Rangers, or Braves are easily reached. There’s also minor league action in the region.

In North Little Rock, Ark., the Travelers play in a nifty ballpark. Their 48th season in the Texas League is underway at Dickey-Stephens Ballpark. The Arkansas Travelers are the Class AA affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

The Mississippi Braves play in Pearl, Miss. They are the Class AA affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Catch the New Orleans Zephyrs of the Pacific Coast League play at Zephyr Field, the “Shrine on Airline.”

Does he have the need for speed? Racing excitement is underway. For NHRA or NASCAR schedules, visit

the outdoorsman

Sometimes, the perfect way to relax is to escape outside. The South’s rivers, lakes, and wetlands are calling the outdoorsman who wants to canoe, kayak, boat, or fish. If this matches your man’s personality, start your planning with a state park. In Bismarck, Ark., DeGray Lake Resort State Park has plenty of outdoor recreation to enjoy–as well as a spa, should he need to rest tired muscles.

If hunting is more to his liking, present him with a getaway for the fall, when ducks and other game are in season, to Louisiana. It’s a safe bet your hunter has heard of Duck Commander, which is headquartered in Monroe, La.

Should he be more of a Wicked Tuna kind of guy, go after the big catch along the Gulf Coast in Alabama, Louisiana, or Mississippi. There are dozens of charter companies that will arrange everything–your guy just has to show up.

Your AAA Travel professional can help you with hotel reservations, car rentals, maps, TripTiks®, and TourBook® guides for the states mentioned.



AAA earns Partner of the Year from cruise line

Royal Caribbean International recently recognized AAA Travel, one of the largest leisure travel agencies in North America, with its Loyal to Royal Consortia Partner of the Year award for AAA’s outstanding sales and commitment to the cruise line.

Royal Caribbean is a AAA preferred partner and as such offers members exclusive benefits and discounts through AAA Travel.

“We are thrilled to name AAA as Royal Caribbean 2014 Consortia Partner of the Year,” said Vicki Freed, senior vice president of Sales, Trade Support, and Services for Royal Caribbean International. “AAA is committed to this partnership, and we thank all AAA agents for having the confidence in Royal Caribbean to book their clients on our ships.”

Jan Borje, vice president of AAA Travel, said not a day goes by when agents don’t book a Royal Caribbean cruise or at least talk to travelers about the product.

“Royal Caribbean has such amazing ships with amenities like rock climbing walls, surf simulators, and even bumper cars that cruisers want to know more about the cruise line’s fleet and destinations,” Borje said.

The newest ship in the fleet, Quantum of the Seas, debuts in November and will make Cape Liberty, N.J., its home port. After a few two- and three-day sampler cruises, Quantum of the Seas begins its Bahamas and Eastern Caribbean sailings in December. The 16-deck ship can accommodate up to 4,180 passengers. Its sister ship, Anthem of the Seas, debuts in April 2015.



SeaWorld observes 50 years of fun

It was 50 years ago in March when the original SeaWorld park opened in San Diego, Calif. Since then, two additional SeaWorld locations have opened (Orlando, Fla., and San Antonio, Texas).

During SeaWorld’s 50th Celebration in all three parks, guests will see a new nighttime Shamu show, new animal shows, view giant sea life sculptures, and more. It’s SeaWorld’s anniversary, but we enjoy the gifts.

Get discounted SeaWorld tickets by visiting or your nearest travel office.


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