Category Archives: Travel

TIME’s 2019 World’s Greatest Places

How does one measure the greatness of a place—in miles covered, dollars spent, or visitors captivated? Such metrics can play a part, but also important is something that many travelers aspire to experience: the sense that one has stumbled upon the extraordinary.

To compile TIME’s second annual list of the World’s Greatest Places, the magazine solicited nominations across a variety of categories—including museums, parks, restaurants, and hotels—from our editors and correspondents around the world as well as industry experts. Then they evaluated each one based on key factors, including quality, originality, sustainability, innovation and influence.

The result: 100 new and newly noteworthy destinations to experience right now, from America’s hottest hometown pizzeria to a Tokyo museum bringing digital art to life.

California made the list with Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland, Hearst Castle in San Simeon, AutoCamp in Yosemite, Arts District Firehouse Hotel in Los Angeles, and Nyum Bai restaurant in Oakland.

To see the full list, click HERE.

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Weekends Are Better In Boston! Things to Do In Boston For a Weekend Filled With Fun

Boston, Massachusetts has everything anyone could want, and more than you can imagine. From its colonial history to its distinctive accents, Boston will always make an indelible impression on the first time visitor and its frequent traveler, with its outrageous sports fans, gorgeous parks, and quirky personality.

Here are ten things to do in Boston, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

1. Fenway Park 

One of the oldest baseball stadiums in the country, Fenway Park is revered as a shrine by sports fans. The famous Boston Red Sox, winners of the 2018 world series and life long enemies of the New York Yankees, inspire fanatic adulation in Boston natives.

Built in1912, the stadium has been renovated or expanded many times, resulting in weird features like Pesky’s Pole, and the Green Monster in left field.

It has also hosted other sports competitions from soccer to football, in addition to concerts.

2. Harvard Yard 

Not many can get into Harvard, but anyone can tour its hallowed halls and see its Ivy-covered towers. One of the country’s oldest universities and one of the most famous, Harvard is situated in Cambridge, Boston’s sister city across the Charles River. Famous alumni include several Obamas, Mark Zuckerberg, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

You can even download a free walking tour, and explore the famous red brick buildings seeking out the Harvard Crimson (newspaper) offices, the statue of John Harvard, and the Whispering Arch.

Around Harvard, there’s a ton of cool coffee shops, bars, and bookstores to fill up a day with academia and beverages. Don’t forget to pick up a crimson hat or T-shirt to wear at home!

3. New England Aquarium 

Over a million visitors a year check out Boston’s aquarium, which boasts the famous Giant Ocean Tank, a 200,000-gallon tank simulating a Caribbean coral reef. Open at the top, the tank has a walkway that spirals down, giving visitors views of the reef from every angle. You can also see penguins, rare sea dragons electric eels, and sea urchins.

There are special exhibits dedicated to everything from jellyfish and turtles to seals to sharks and stingrays.

4. Quincy Market

This market has been serving food to local Bostonians since the 1800s. Also known at Fanueil Hall, this lively marketplace has all varieties of food plus street performers and all-around great people-watching.

Come here to grab some traditional Bostin meals like clam chowder, Boston cream pie, Boston baked beans with brown bread, and lobster rolls.

Because of Boston’s proximity to the sea, you can find all manner of fresh seafood. Oysters are especially tasty here, as they are freshly plucked from seabeds nearby.

Boston was also a place where many Italians resettled on coming to America. Expect to find a great assortment of Italian specialties, from excellent pizza to delicious desserts like cannolis!

5. Escape Rooms 

If you are traveling with a group, there’s no better way to bond than by solving a problem together. Try it at one of Boston’s newest attractions, Breakout Games. Here your group can search for clues and solves puzzles to escape before time expires in a number of scary scenarios, from being kidnapped to conducting a museum heist.

6.  Whale Watching

During spring and summer, you can jump on a charter boat and try to spot the whales that often travel through Massachusetts waters.  If you are lucky, you might see humpback whales, finback whales, or pilot whales that frequently pass through Massachusetts waters.

Whales migrate to Massachusetts to feed on mackerel, herring, krill, and other fish on their way to warmer climates to mate and give birth. There are lots of tours along the wharf and through the aquarium,  but be prepared to stay on the water several hours to give you a chance to see one. Dress warmly, too!

7. USS Constitution 

The USS Constitution, otherwise known as  “Old Ironsides” is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. Everyone interested in all things maritime will love to explore this relic of the high seas.

A favorite for school trips, the ship and its museum next door have lots of interactive exhibits. If you take a harbor tour, you will learn about the Boston Tea Party, a pivotal moment in our nation’s evolution.

8. Boston Commons and the Public Garden

This beautiful park has swan boats to glide around in, and a statue based on the children’s classic: “Make Way for Ducklings.”

The oldest park in America, over the centuries it has served as a military camp, a dump, and a place for riots and protests. Nowadays, people who live in, work in and visit Boston traverse its paths for a bit of serenity in the middle of the big city.

Throughout all seasons there are things to do, from ice skating to Shakespeare in the Park in the summer to the floating jack-o-lanterns in the Frog Pond in October.

9. Warren Anatomical Museum 

The Warren Anatomical Museum is a treasure trove of strange medical tools, death masks, skeletons, and human abnormalities. See items like the skull of Phineas Gage, who survived an iron bar being driven through his head and lived to tell the tale.

Great for students of medicine or just people who like ghoulish things, this museum displays over a thousand watercolors, drawings, photographs, and lantern slides, a thousand anatomical models and casts, and thousands more medical, dental, and public health instruments and devices.

10. The Museum of Bad Art 

Founded in the fall of 1993, this place is exactly what it sounds like. With a tagline: “art too bad to be ignored,” this museum is currently under renovation but is worth the trip once it reopens.

You will roll on the floor with laughter at its collections of atrocious portraits (“poor traits”), hideous landscapes, and, of course, awful pictures of pets.

Things to Do in Boston: No End to the Possibilities

if you are trying to come up with a list of things to do in Boston, your real problem will be finding the time to do it all! This city is a must-see for history buffs, beer drinkers, and football fans, plus students, artists, and just about everyone else.

Keep checking back to discover new, interesting and silly ways to be entertained.

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Here Is A First Peek At The Taco Bell Pop-Up Hotel In Palm Springs

Taco Bell shared a first peek inside its much-anticipated pop-up hotel in Palm Springs, California named ‘The Bell’.

Reservations open Thursday, June 27,  with availability to guests this summer from August 8 through August 12 for $169 per night.

“The hotel draws on Taco Bell’s vibrant palette to create a unique and flavor-filled destination that is the ultimate expression of the brand, unlike anything the brand has done before,” says Taco Bell’s senior director of retail engagement and experience, Jennifer Arnoldt.

The branded hotel, which will temporarily take over the V Hotel Palm Springs hotel at 333 E. Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, will offer 70 rooms. It will feature a “Freeze Lounge”—inspired by the chain’s “Mountain Dew Baja Blast” beverage—where presumably guests can enjoy antifreeze-colored slushies, try to not bounce off the walls in the ensuing sugar rush and ultimately crash into a puddle on the floor.

Other entertainment will include “dive-in movies” and performances from musical acts participating in Taco Bell’s long-running “Feed the Beat” food-for-touring-bands program, as well taco-themed nail art.

While guests will be able to eat Taco Bell-inspired resort fare and new (as-yet-unveiled) menu items, Taco Bell is also hinting that Taco Bell breakfast in bed will be available.

Click HERE for more info.

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Dream Destinations 2: A Disney Travel Poster Exhibition To Open At Gallery Nucleus On July 13

Get ready to pack your bags because Cyclops Print Works is excited to announce Dream Destinations 2: A Disney Travel Poster Exhibition, their newest exhibition in collaboration with Gallery Nucleus opening July 13!

Featuring new limited edition screen prints and 30+ pieces of original art inspired by vintage travel posters, you’ll be visiting your favorite animated Disney locales with a roster of new and returning artists. This exhibition is the perfect getaway for every adventure-seeking Disney fan!

Featured artists include: Alex Asfour, Ameorry Luo, Amanda Jane Sharp, Anoosha Syed, Benjamin Burch, Bill Mudron, Claire Hummel, Corinne Caro, Doki Rosi, Drake Brodahl, Eva Vilhelmiina, Fiona Hsieh, Glen Brogan, Grace Chen, Grace Kum, Izzy Abreu, James Gilleard, James Silvani, Janice Chu, Jestenia Southerland, Keneth Leoncity, Mirelle Ortega, Nadia Kim, Natalie Dombois, Tara Nicole Whitaker, and Zoe Persico.

The reception will be held at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra on July 13 from 6-9PM. See below for more details and a sneak peek of our screen prints!

For more info, please visit HERE.

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Meet scUber: The World’s First Rideshare Submarine On The Great Barrier Reef

Uber is now headed underwater. The ridesharing service has announced scUber, “the world’s first ridesharing submarine.”

ScUber will take riders around Australia’s Great Barrier Reef for $2,000 for two people. That cost also includes a helicopter trip to the docking station and the full one hour trip around the reef.

The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living organism on Earth and has been hurt by climate change. According to a study recently published in the journal Nature, baby coral in the reef has declined by 89%, and mass-bleaching events caused by climate change have decimated large portions. Uber is matching the dollars spent on scUber—and donating an additional $100,000—to Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef to help protect the reef from future harm.

ScUber is a limited time offering, running until June 18. The main service is only available to riders based in Queensland, Australia, but other regions have a chance to participate by entering Uber’s contest that gives the winner and a friend an all-expense paid trip to Queensland and a free ride on scUber.

Winners will be chosen based on pleas limited to just 25 words. Six of these trips will be awarded to various regions around the world, and submissions must be entered before June 1.

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Here Are America’s 50 Favorite Bookstores

Hoodline has ranked America’s 50 favorite bookstores. 

Topping the list is Oregon’s Powell’s City of Books (my favorite all-time book shop), located at 1005 W. Burnside St. in Portland. With an impressive five stars out of a whopping 3,831 reviews on Yelp, Powell’s is the largest new and used bookstore in the world, with roughly one million books on offer. 

Occupying an entire city block, the bookstore features more than 3,500 different sections and nine color-coded rooms stacked with books, including best-sellers and one-of-a-kind finds in its rare book room. 

I am a bookstore fanatic and have been lucky to have visited: Powell’s City of Books (Portland, Oregon), Strand Bookstore (New York City, New York),

Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver, Colorado), The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles, California), Brookline Booksmith (Brookline, Massachusetts), The Elliott Bay Book Company (Seattle, Washington), Harvard Book Store (Cambridge, Massachusetts), Borderlands Books (San Francisco, California)

and Vroman’s Bookstore (Pasadena, California). It appears that I have quite a few more stores to visit during my future travels!

Check out the entire list HERE and see if your favorite bookstore made the cut.

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Meet Greg, Denver International Airport’s Talking Gargoyle

Denver International Airport is celebrating its 24th birthday with a playful nod at its mysterious reputation. For months now, the airport has been poking fun at the many conspiracy theories that have surrounded the facility since its construction.

In the main hall of the facility, a motion-controlled animatronic creature named Greg works in tandem with a clever behind the scenes improv actor. 

Watch below as the 243 year old gargoyle surprises and delights travelers and workers.

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Overhyped, Overrated Tourist Traps To Avoid At All Costs

There are plenty of attractions that you must see when traveling. You can’t go to Paris for the first time without seeing the Eiffel Tower, and few people want to come home from Yellowstone without photos of Old Faithful.

But for every tourist destination that’s come by its iconic reputation honestly, there’s a crappy tourist trap that isn’t worth your time or money.

Sure, a lot of this comes down to personal opinion. After all, one person’s tacky attraction is another person’s campy must-see perfect for Instagramming. Yet Far & Wide feels pretty confident that the places on this list are a total wash. Their lines are long, the crowds add hours to your visit, and the chances of having the time to genuinely take in what you’re seeing are very slim.

Check out the list HERE and see if you agree?

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Warner Bros. Plans To Build Tramway Linking Burbank Lot To Hollywood Sign

Warner Bros. has a bold vision for an aerial tramway to transport visitors to and from its Burbank lot to the Hollywood sign. Like a plan that Musk has for a high-tech hyperloop that would shuttle riders between Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Warners tramway would alleviate traffic and parking problems that plague the famed landmark.

The studio, now owned by innovation-focused AT&T, on Monday told Los Angeles officials that it will pay the estimated $100 million for the so-called Hollywood Skyway.

“The Hollywood sign is an important historic and globally recognized landmark for the city of Los Angeles. The sign’s fame, however, has created unintended negative effects such as heavy traffic in adjacent residential areas and related safety concerns,” a Warner Bros. spokesperson said in a statement. “The concept of an aerial tram as a solution is one that been suggested in the past and was most recently highlighted as a potential solution in the comprehensive strategies report by Dixon Resources Unlimited.”

Warners decided to step up given its close proximity to the north side of the Hollywood sign and wanted to be part of a solution that has the least impact possible on the environment so that Griffith Park and the surrounding residential neighborhoods are left largely undisrupted. 

“We understand there are a number of possible solutions being considered, but we are confident the city’s feasibility study will show our proposal to be the best option — an option that can be built and operated at no cost to the taxpayer and that will provide public benefit to the city of Los Angeles and its residents,” the studio spokesperson added.

The length of the tram route would be more than 1 mile and last roughly six minutes — a far cry from current driving estimates even under the best conditions — traveling up the back of Mt. Lee to a planned visitors’ center near the sign.

Read more HERE.

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Travel Stamps United States Series Album & Guide

This summer, as your family considers making that road trip within your state or across the country, consider this Travel Stamps United States Series Album and Guide as a wonderful keepsake to remember your journey. My 9 year old daughter loves adding a new stamp to her book and learning about our latest destination when we have visited a new state. 

Spiral bound in hardcover, this beautiful new book will accompany you on your journey through the great variety of landscapes, cities, activities and foods this country has to offer. Expert text, helpful maps and a listing of state tourism websites will assist you in planning your uniquely American adventures, while a handy checklist serves as a scorecard for the states you’ve visited and those you have yet to explore.

Also included in these pages are the five permanently inhabited U.S. territories and seventeen spectacular USA road trips that celebrate travel on the open road. Designated stamp spaces accompanying each destination’s description await placement of your colorful Travel Stamps, which beautifully illustrate each state’s welcome sign and iconic features.

Order HERE for $19.99. United States stamps can be purchased as a set or individually. For more info, go to www.travelstamps.com.

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