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Take a Vacation the Military Way

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Military Vacations

Tony Conboy III


Hawaii's ASTON Hotels & Resorts offers special rates to active duty and retired military personnel

In addition to Hawaii's ASTON Hotels & Resorts, there are many other entertainment and travel related attractions anxious to thank active duty and military veterans for serving their country by offering them special discounts. You'll read about many of these discounts only at About.com! When getting rate quotes or making a reservation at a hotel, ask for the veterans/military rate and inquire on what type of proof of veteran/military status is required to obtain the special rate. All prices quoted do not include taxes, are subject to change without notice and may not be available at all times.

Coconut Plaza room interior. Photograph Courtesy of PRWorks - Used With Permission
ASTON Hotels & Resorts in Hawaii, which operates 30 condominium resorts and hotels statewide, is offering special rates to active duty personnel and retired military. You can stay for as low as $68 per night at the ASTON Coconut Plaza Hotel in Waikiki or $95 per night for a one-bedroom suite with a kitchen at the ASTON Maui Islander.

At the Coconut Plaza Hotel, each guest room includes a microwave, min-refrigerator and cooking utensils - perfect for breakfast or a sunset dinner on your private lanai. You'll also find the world famous Waikiki Beach a short stroll away, along with world-class restaurants, shops, golf, tennis and other water activities.

On Maui, while staying at the Maui Islander, you'll meander your way through the resort's 10-acre grounds that

Maui Islander room interior. Photograph Courtesy of PRWorks - Used With Permission
include tropical landscaping and low-rise Hawaiian style architecture. Fishing, scuba diving, bike riding and the historic Lahaina harbor are all close by.

For more information, contact ASTON at 800-92-ASTON (922-7866) or visit its website at www.astonhotels.com.


Florida's Cypress Gardens in Winter Haven, near Orlando, is offering 15% off admission for anyone with a military ID. It is often tabbed as Florida's "tropical" theme park because it covers 200 acres of lush vegetation, gardens and natural landscape. It is a refreshing change from the cement and steel theme parks that dot Florida's landscape.

The Gazebo at Cypress Gardens, one of the most photographed attractions in Florida. Photo Courtesy of Cypress Gardens - Used with Permission
Visitors to Cypress Gardens will enjoy the splendor of the original gardens and the serene lake cruises aboard the authentic paddle wheel boat. There are also action packed water ski shows; ice shows, the European Circus Magic show, Butterfly Conservatory and much, much more.

For more information on Cypress Gardens call 800/282-2123 or visit its website at www.cypressgardens.com.

St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum in St. Augustine offers complimentary admission to active duty and retired military personnel with an ID card. Built in 1871, this active aid-to-navigation still has its original first order Fresnel lens. Visitors may climb to the top of the 165 foot tall tower, see and touch artifacts from ships lost in the treacherous inlet, and experience the life of a lighthouse keeper and his family in the beautifully restored Victorian keeper's house.

Beachside Gardens Convenience Suites in south Florida is offering a special military rate of only $37 per night/double occupancy. Each suite is equipped with full kitchen with a pool and beach nearby. For more information call 954/427-0523.

Courtyard Villa Hotel, in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea in Broward County, Florida is offering a 15% discount on rooms for active duty and retired personnel. The property is located directly on the ocean. Its rooms are furnished in 19th-Century antique reproduction furniture and each features VCR, cable TV, microwave oven, kitchenette and complimentary breakfast. For further information call 800/291-3560.

Charleston, South Carolina

Gibbes Museum of Art offers a special military rate of $6 per individual. The museum holds over 10,000 American art objects - paintings, sculpture, photography and more. For more information contact the museum at 843/720-1682.

Charleston Stroll offers persons with a military ID $2 off the regular tour price. Among the highlights of Charleston's rich history walking tour are hidden gardens, cobblestone streets, famous footsteps, mansions on the battery and historic churches. Tours depart Mondays through Saturdays and reservations are recommended. For more information call 843/766-2080.

Magnolia Plantation and Its Gardens, which is world renowned for year-round floral beauty and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, offers a discount of $1 off admission to persons with a military ID.

The Plantation boasts a Nature Train as well as a Nature Boat to take in some of the 500 acres of the plantation, which is now a wildlife refuge. The Nature Train departs hourly for a 45-minute, four-mile tour of the Plantation. It offers a complete view of the Plantation's flora, fauna and early history. The Nature Boat, a 22-person pontoon boat, offers a view of the mansion's 125-acre rice field and the various wildlife that call it home.

The first house, which was erected at the site during the early days of the Carolina colony, has been the home of the Drayton family. During your visit, you'll learn about the two subsequent houses of Magnolia Plantation and the house's role in the Colonial Era, the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and finally life on the modern plantation.

For more information, call 800/367-3517 or visit www.magnoliaplantation.com.

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