Dollywood, A Classy Couple’s Answer to Theme Parks
April 15, 2014 – 8:46 pm | Comments Off

If you are looking for a classy and fun way to enjoy some kid-like recreation, you will want to visit Dollywood as a couple.
Sometimes it’s good to do something youthful as a couple that revitalizes the playfulness that brought you together in the first place.

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Shreveport – A Good Bet
April 4, 2014 – 2:55 am | No Comment

HMuseumOur guest post and monthly column comes from Howard Hian who was recently awarded a Gold Medal/First Place Award from the North American Travel Journalists Association’s annual international writing contest.  

A Short History – Shreveport was founded in 1836. During the Civil War, it was the state capital after Baton Rouge and Opelousas fell. From 1948-1960, the iconic Louisiana Hayride Radio Program originated from Shreveport. Elvis made his broadcasting debut and Hank Williams was a regular. The mid-1990s changed the city forever with the introduction of legalized gambling. Tucked away in the northwest corner of the state, along with its Red River neighbor, Bossier City, Shreveport is now the commercial and cultural center, where the borders of Arkansas and Texas meet “The Other Side of Louisiana”

Sleep Easy – An annual writers conference brought me to town. I was pleased to discover that a previous travel story of mine featuring Reno, Nevada had a connection; both are home to the family owned Eldorado Resorts. It’s AAA rated Four Diamond and features comfortable rooms (pet friendly), free Wi-Fi, HDTV, free parking (including valet), a spa, casino and live music in the lounge and in the showroom.

Good Eats – The Eldorado has five restaurants. The elegant Vintage Steak House features 100% prime beef. The wine list is extensive and the in-house bakery creates outstanding desserts (try the St. Louis gooey butter cake). Sportsmans’ Paradise Cafe is the 24/7 place Strawn's Muralto go for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just inside the entrance is a coffee kiosk that features home-made cakes and pastries. The Buffet offers an all-you-can-eat array of Italian classics, Southern comfort food, salads, Mexican dishes and sweets galore.

If you want authentic Louisiana cooking, head for Bergeron’s Boudin and Cajun Meats for a dose of cracklins, smoked meats and crawfish. Marilyn’s Place is a converted gas station serving po-boys, red beans and rice, creole, jambalaya, etouffe and gumbo dishes. Bergeron'sFor desserts, the legendary Strawn’s Eat Shop has been featured in Southern Living Magazine and on the Food Network’s, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. The strawberry ice box pie is world famous. Icy treats rule at Geauxsicles Gourmet Popsicles. There are over a dozen unusual flavors including mojito, hazelnut, banana and my favorite PB&J. All of the popsicles are emblazoned with Louisiana State’s Fleur de Lis.

Lady Luck – My favorite gambling spot is the Eldorado, especially the friendly, well-run poker room. There are over 1,500 slot machines and 50 table games, including blackjack, craps, mini-baccarat and roulette. There are six other casinos in Shreveport-Bossier City.

Don’t Miss – La Spa in the Eldorado is dedicated to relaxation, health and exercise. There is a state-of-the-art fitness center, Jacuzzi, sauna and steam room, full service salon and a wide range of spa treatments. Margaritaville Resort Casino is the newest hotel in the area. It is across the river in Bossier City on the Louisiana Boardwalk, which also features outlet shopping.

Sightseeing with Captain Sandy via the Red River Cruise provides a lesson in the history, flora and fauna of the region while plying the waterways and visiting bayous.

Gater & MeThe Alligator Farm offers an up close look at these reptiles. There is also a petting zoo and a zipline over the alligator enclosure.

Theater and the arts are alive and well in Shreveport. The Louisiana State Exhibit Museum was completed in 1939 as part of the WPA. Considered an architectural masterpiece, it is Louisiana’s only Smithsonian Institution Affiliate and it’s on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Don’t miss the unique “Louisiana in Miniature” dioramas. The RobinsonFilmCenter is home to daily screenings of independent, classic and foreign movies in two intimate theaters. They offer activities for seniors and educational programs. The Strand Theatre a preserved “movie palace,” features a year-round schedule of musicals and concerts.

Travel Notes – It’s always exciting to find a new travel destination; Shreveport is a good bet.

Photos courtesy of Howard Hian.

Sign up for the Eldorado Club card for extra benefits. For hotel reservations and specials, logon to

Safe travels and enjoy the journey…

Howard Hian


Thanks to the various websites for information, photos, etc. 

The Pigeon Forge Area’s Museums Are Not Just for Kids
March 25, 2014 – 10:16 pm | No Comment
The Pigeon Forge Area’s Museums Are Not Just for Kids

For couples, the Pigeon Forge and Sevierville area of Tennessee is a traveling paradise that isn’t just for kids. While fabulous shows, spectacular views, excellent dining, and thrilling rides are only part of the excitement in the region you shouldn’t over look the area’s excellent museums.

Napa Valley’s True Treasure is in Calistoga
March 17, 2014 – 11:36 pm | No Comment
Napa Valley’s True Treasure is in Calistoga

It’s a good thing all the goodness of Calistoga is within a pleasant stroll of just a few quaint downtown blocks. It’s hard to not overindulge in Napa Valley’s best treasure.

California Roundup – March 2014
March 8, 2014 – 12:18 am | No Comment
California Roundup – March 2014

The full-service Viejas Casino and Resort, owned by the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians, is an ideal blend of shopping, dining, unwinding and entertainment.

California Connection: February 2014
February 26, 2014 – 5:44 pm | Comments Off
California Connection: February 2014

The theater season is in full swing and two of my favorite venues have wonderful lineups. The Civic Center has the largest seating capacity in town (almost 3,000).

Canine Travel Etiquette for Couples
February 12, 2014 – 4:46 am | Comments Off
Canine Travel Etiquette for Couples

Many couples who enjoy road-tripping are also dog owners who take their dogs on road trips or shopping excursions, but neglect proper etiquette and consideration.

California Roundup – January 2014
January 14, 2014 – 4:13 am | Comments Off
California Roundup – January 2014

Anza Borrego State Park, larger than Rhode Island, is ranked by National Geographic as the best state park in California. Drop by the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association for guides, maps, etc.

Road Trip Fresh Goodness in McClean, Virginia
January 7, 2014 – 7:48 am | Comments Off
Road Trip Fresh Goodness in McClean, Virginia

Whenever our road trip excursions in the Virginia area, stir up an appetite, we will look forward to a repeat visit. There are currently locations in Vienna and Arlington, VA as well.

Buona Sera Ristorante & Bar is Romantic
December 28, 2013 – 7:33 am | Comments Off
Buona Sera Ristorante & Bar is Romantic

You must arrange a visit to this little bistro on your next Reno or Carson City area vacation.

David Walley’s Hot Springs is Perfect for Couples
December 18, 2013 – 7:19 am | Comments Off
David Walley’s Hot Springs is Perfect for Couples

David Wally’s Hot Springs provided a perfect ending to a relaxing weekend in the gorgeous Carson Valley.

Holiday Shopping – 2013
December 9, 2013 – 1:58 am | Comments Off
Holiday Shopping – 2013

Award winning travel journalist Howard Hian shares his annual Holiday Travel Must-Buys.