Travel

The Lyft-Uber War Is Expanding — to Canada

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 17:38
<p>Lyft is officially an international company with the launch of its first service outside the U.S. — in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/toronto" target="_blank">Toronto</a>.</p><p>The expansion was first announced last month and officially went into effect on Tuesday.</p><p>Toronto’s version of the popular ride-sharing app includes all the standard Lyft modes, including Lyft Plus, Lyft Premiere, Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux SUV rides. The ride-sharing service can also be used to take rides to and from Toronto’s Pearson Airport.</p><p>Lyft will now test its rivalry with Uber outside the U.S. for the first time.</p><p>Uber already has a stronghold in Toronto, but recently made a major gaff by <a href="http://time.com/money/5062376/uber-ride-toronto-refund/" target="_blank">charging a Toronto customer nearly $15,000 for a 20-minute ride.</a></p><p>Tim Houghton, the general manger of Lyft in Toronto, said the company is eager to win over Canadian customers.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>“We believe that we’re at parity with the competition in terms of [estimated times of arrival] and pricing,” Houghton <a href="https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2017/12/12/lyft-ubers-ridesharing-rival-launches-toronto-service.html" target="_blank">told the Toronto Star.</a> “Where we really set ourselves apart is how we treat people. So whether it’s a passenger, a driver, or regulators, we really go out of our way to make sure people are treated well and fairly.”</p><p>Uber countered Lyft’s comments with a statement of its own to the Star.</p><p>“We welcome competition that encourages the use of more transportation alternatives,” company spokesperson Xavier Van Chau said to the paper. “More options can help reduce congestion and pollution as consumers increasingly make the switch from driving their own car to using shared mobility services.”</p><p>Earlier this year, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/ground-transportation/lyft-cities" target="_blank">Lyft expanded to many cities throughout the U.S</a>. The company announced it was launching in 40 cities in January and expanding to an additional 54 cities in February. </p>
Categories: Travel

Enjoy 38% off an 8-day Cruise Around Italy

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 17:31
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation" target="_blank"><strong>travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation</strong></a></em></p><p>Italy: At least 38 percent off an <a href="http://www.croisieuroperivercruises.com/cruises/nap_vaaipp-la-dolce-vita-celebrate-valentines-day-italian-cinema-and-songs" target="_blank">8-day Mediterranean cruise from CroisiEurope</a>, a family-owned cruise line known for a variety of European itineraries and excellent French cuisine.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Valentine’s Day Cruise includes:</p><p>*7 nights on La Belle de l’Adriatique, round-trip from Naples, including stops in the Aeolian Islands, Messina and Capri</p><p>*Meals and beverages</p><p>*Shore excursions</p><p>*Travel assistance, repatriation insurance and all ports fees</p><p>Original Price: From $2,138 per person</p><p><strong>T + L Price:</strong> From $1,237 per person; valid for the February 9 and February 16 departures.</p><p>Booking details: <a href="http://www.croisieuroperivercruises.com/cruises/nap_vaaipp-la-dolce-vita-celebrate-valentines-day-italian-cinema-and-songs" target="_blank">Book online</a> or call 800/768-7232.</p>
Categories: Travel

How George and Amal Clooney Fly With Their 6-month-old Twins

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 17:17
<p>What are celebrity children but an opportunity for advertising?</p><p>When George and Amal Clooney boarded a recent flight to London with their six-month-old twins, they came prepared.</p><p>Before the flight took off, the celebrity couple handed out noise-canceling headphones to everybody in the first class cabin, <a href="http://people.com/babies/george-clooney-amal-clooney-pass-out-headphones-to-passengers-on-flight-with-6-month-old-twins/" target="_blank"><em>People</em> reported</a>, along with a note apologizing in advance for any noise their children would make throughout the flight.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>But because this is no normal set of parents, the headphones weren’t just any old set — they were branded. Each pair of headphones brandished the logo of Casamigos, the tequila brand that <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/fake-names-celebrities-use" target="_blank">George Clooney</a> founded and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/syndication/diageo-tequila-george-clooney" target="_blank">recently sold</a>.</p><p><a href="https://pagesix.com/2017/12/12/amal-and-george-clooney-give-out-headphones-on-flight-with-twins/" target="_blank">According to <em>Page Six</em></a>, Quentin Tarantino was on the flight and he wore the branded headphones.</p><p>However the headphones were an unnecessary precaution. “Sources” on the flight told <em>Page Six</em> that the babies “didn’t make a peep.” (Perhaps if they had, everybody in the cabin would have received a free shot of Casamigos.)</p><p>At this point, the Clooneys are pros at traveling with their children. A little less than a month after the twins were born, the family <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/george-amal-clooney-take-twins-to-italy" target="_blank">went on vacation to their house on Italy’s Lake Como</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Get 25% off a 9-night Adventure Through the Mountains of Nepal

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 17:08
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation" target="_blank"><strong>travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation</strong></a></em></p><p>Nepal: 25 percent off a <a href="https://www.lokaltravel.com/go/annapurna-community-trek-travel-leisure" target="_blank">9-Night Mountain Trek from Lokal Travel</a>, a booking platform for culturally immersive experiences and sustainable lodging around the world.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Annapurna Community Trek (operated by Lokal’s partner Royal Mountain Travel) includes:</p><p>*Nine nights in family home stays, community lodges and boutique hotels</p><p>*Services of a bilingual guide</p><p>*Trekking through a newly developed and pristine trail in the Annapurna region, where you’ll witness incredible vistas of Dhauligiri and Macchapucch mountain peaks</p><p>*Experience village life in the high Himalayas where you'll connect with local farmers and yak herders</p><p>*Enjoy authentic hospitality and be treated to home-cooked meals</p><p>*Spend a day in Kathmandu exploring the sights and sounds of this ancient city</p><p>Original Price: From $445 to $1,294 per person, depending on the number of travelers (up to 8)</p><p><strong>T + L Price:</strong> From $334 to $970 per person, depending on the number of travelers; book by February 28, 2018 for travel year-round.</p><p>Booking details: <a href="https://www.lokaltravel.com/go/annapurna-community-trek-travel-leisure" target="_blank">Book online</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

These Are the Most Searched-for Destinations in the World

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 17:06
<p>Many travelers might assume that everyone's bucket list includes Paris, New York City, and other famous tourist spots. However, the destinations that people were most interested in this year might surprise even the most seasoned traveler.</p><p>Google revealed on Wednesday the top searched destinations in the world for 2017. <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/las-vegas-nevada" target="_blank">Las Vegas</a> took the top spot, Barcelona came in second, and South Carolina's Myrtle Beach snagged third.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/how-to-find-cheap-flights-to-las-vegas" target="_blank">How to Find Cheap Flights to Las Vegas</a></p><p>Of course, with any search data, it's difficult to parse motivation. Las Vegas and Barcelona are already major tourist destinations, however recent news events in both — the terror attack in Las Vegas and both a terror attack and an <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/travel-warnings/is-it-safe-to-travel-barcelona" target="_blank">attempt at secession in Barcelona</a> — likely increased the number of searches.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Many of these destinations, however, are dreamy vacation spots, like <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/flight-deals/cheap-flights-singapore-airlines-bali-indonesia" target="_blank">Bali</a>, Aspen, the Maldives, and Punta Cana. Warm-weather destinations dominated the top 10, with Bermuda, <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/travel-warnings/turks-caicos-hurricane-recovery" target="_blank">Turks and Caicos</a>, and Cancun also making the list.</p><h2>Top-searched Destinations - Places</h2><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/how-to-find-cheap-flights-to-las-vegas" target="_blank">Las Vegas</a>Barcelona<a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/hotels-resorts/best-myrtle-beach-resorts" target="_blank">Myrtle Beach</a>Aspen<a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/airport-swimming-pool" target="_blank">Punta Cana</a>MaldivesTurks and Caicos<a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/travel-warnings/what-happens-when-bali-volcano-erupts" target="_blank">Bali</a>CancunBermuda<p>Google also released the top-searched activities in 2017, which was dominated by theme parks, with honorable mentions of landmarks, like the Great Wall and the Southwest's natural wonder <a href="https://www.antelopecanyon.com/" target="_blank">Antelope Canyon</a>, and a U.S. national park.</p><h2>Top-searched Destinations - Activites</h2>Six FlagsLegolandHershey ParkBusch GardensYosemiteKings Island<a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/the-great-wall-of-china" target="_blank">The Great Wall</a>Universal Studios Hollywood<a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/national-parks/yellowstone-national-park-guide" target="_blank">Yellowstone National Park</a><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/travel-bucket-list#joshua-tree" target="_blank">Antelope Canyon</a>
Categories: Travel

It's Official: Meghan Markle Will Spend Christmas With the Queen

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 17:06
<p>Meghan Markle is changing up very old royal traditions before she even officially <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/prince-harry-quit-smoking-for-meghan-markle" target="_blank">joins the family</a>.</p><p>A Kensington Palace spokeswoman confirmed to multiple outlets, including <a href="http://people.com/royals/meghan-markle-spending-christmas-with-prince-harry/" target="_blank"><i>People</i></a>, that “You can expect to see the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry and Meghan on Christmas Day.”</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/why-meghan-markle-will-never-be-princess" target="_blank">Why Meghan Markle, Like Kate Middleton, Will Never Actually Be a Princess</a></p><p>This is a major change from the old royal rules of “no girlfriends, boyfriends, or fiancés” for the holidays. Even Kate Middleton was barred from spending the holidays with her then-fiancé Prince William at <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/01/watch-exploring-the-queens-sandringham-estate/" target="_blank">Sandringham House</a>, the family’s home in Norfolk, located about 110 miles north of London. And as <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/meghan-markle-join-prince-harry-royal-family-christmas/story?id=51760969" target="_blank">ABC</a> reported, Mike Tindall, the husband of Zara Philips, Queen Elizabeth's granddaughter, also did not attend the royal family party for Christmas before their wedding.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>According to <i>People</i>, the palace would not reveal any other details about the couple’s holiday plans, including where they will be staying. However, rumor has it that Meghan and Harry will stay with Prince William and Kate Middleton at Anmer Hall, an estate located less than two miles from the main house.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/meghan-markle-buckingham-palace-teen-tourist-photo" target="_blank">This Photo of 15-year-old Meghan Markle at Buckingham Palace Proves Dreams Do Come True</a></p><p>The palace has also yet to confirm if Meghan will simply join the family for the annual church services at St. Mary Magdalene Church on Christmas Day, which is a short walk from the main Sandringham House, or if she will take part in all other activities as well. <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/british-royal-family-christmas" target="_blank">Those activities include</a> a festive Christmas Eve dinner, exchanging gifts, and a large brunch on Christmas day.</p><p>If she does take part in the gift giving event, Markle may be in for a real treat. Despite the stiff upper lip the royal family presents to the public, it turns out they all have a softer, and funnier, side when it comes to presents. <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/british-royal-family-christmas" target="_blank">According to royal insiders</a>, each year the family competes to see who can give the cheapest, silliest, and downright most inappropriate gift. And we mean really inappropriate. According to<em> <a href="https://www.express.co.uk/news/royal/449690/Royal-Christmas-secrets-How-the-Queen-and-her-nearest-and-dearest-celebrate" target="_blank">Express</a></em>, Prince Harry once gave Queen Elizabeth a shower cap that read "Ain't life a bitch?" Prince Charles was reportedly also once gifted a white leather toilet seat by his sister. So hopefully Meghan has a royal sense of humor as well.</p>
Categories: Travel

Man Bites Fellow Passengers on JetBlue Flight, Causing Emergency Landing

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 16:49
<p>Things are truly getting unruly in the once friendly skies. Take, for example, the events that took place on Sunday, Dec. 10 onboard a Jetblue flight from Los Angeles to New York.</p><p>According to <a href="http://www.travelmole.com/news_feature.php?c=setreg&amp;region=3&amp;m_id=Y!Y!vY!_rY!~A&amp;w_id=33907&amp;news_id=2030186" target="_blank"><i>Travelmole</i></a>, shortly after JetBlue flight 1224 took off, a male passenger became irritated and started biting his fellow passengers and attempting to hit others. The attack was reportedly unprovoked and began suddenly. When doctors attempted to assist the man, he allegedly attempted to bite them as well.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/plane-diverted-after-women-is-denied-champagne" target="_blank">Angry Passenger Causes Emergency Landing After Being Denied More Champagne</a></p><p>Other passengers then had to restrain the man until the flight was diverted and landed safely in Las Vegas.</p><p>"I grabbed his hands behind his back and held him there while the flight attendants put the restraints on him,” a passenger identified as Tom told <i>Travelmole</i>. “At that point, he started yelling and tried to come towards the flight attendant, behind me, at the time. I really had a hell of a time keeping him in place there."</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>The passenger was immediately taken into custody when the plane landed.</p><p>While events like this are rare, they may not be as rare as you think.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/teen-slides-down-plane-wing" target="_blank">Teen Arrested After Opening Emergency Door and Sliding Down Plane Wing</a></p><p>According to a report released earlier this month by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), there were more than 58,000 unruly passenger incidents between 2007-2016, across four levels of disruption. Those levels, <a href="https://apex.aero/2017/12/06/unruly-passenger-incidents-fewer-more-severe" target="_blank">APEX</a> explained, range from failure to comply with safety procedures and crew requirements to an attack on the flight deck.</p><p>And while there are fewer incidences overall today than there were in previous years, the events that do occur <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/unruly-airline-passenger-incidents" target="_blank">are more violent than before</a>. As the reported noted, level two incidents, including physical assault, obscene behavior, verbal threats, harassment, or tampering with emergency or safety systems onboard, increased from 11 to 12 percent from 2015 to 2016.</p><p>What’s causing the uptick? According to Tim Coleman, IATA’s assistant director, external affairs, it all comes down to too much alcohol both before and during a flight.</p><p>“In the confines of an aircraft, [level two incidents] are difficult to manage,” Coleman said at the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/unruly-airline-passenger-incidents" target="_blank">IATA Media Day event in Geneva</a>. “Governments must do their part by ensuring that we have a strong deterrent. And we need airports, airport restaurants, airport bars, and duty-free providers to make sure that they are serving, promoting, and selling alcohol responsibly so we don’t have incidents of intoxication in the air.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Save 30% on an 8-day Castle Tour in Scotland

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 16:48
<p><em>T+L launched Operation Vacation to inspire workers to use their days off and get away, offering exclusive travel discounts as incentive. For the latest deals on hotels, airfare, cruises, and trip packages, visit <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation" target="_blank"><strong>travelandleisure.com/operation-vacation</strong></a></em></p><p>Scotland: 30 percent off an 8-day castle tour from <a href="https://www.authenticireland.com/travel-leisure/?utm_source=t-and-l&amp;amp;utm_medium=partner&amp;amp;utm_campaign=operationvacation&amp;amp;utm_content=scotland" target="_blank">Authentic Vacations</a>, a British Isles-focused company with strong local expertise and partnerships on the ground.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Medieval Heroes &amp; Castles includes:</p><p>*Seven nights in guest houses and a 700-year old castle</p><p>*A rental car for the duration of your stay, including insurance and unlimited mileage (you can drive to sites such as Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle)</p><p>*Full Scottish breakfasts each morning</p><p>*Risk-free cancellation policy</p><p>Original Price: From $1,298 per person (or $185 per night)</p><p><strong>T + L Price:</strong> From $908 per person (or $130 per night); book by February 28, 2018.</p><p>Booking details: Use booking code T&amp;L <a href="https://www.authenticireland.com/travel-leisure/?utm_source=t-and-l&amp;amp;utm_medium=partner&amp;amp;utm_campaign=operationvacation&amp;amp;utm_content=scotland" target="_blank">when booking online;</a> a $100 deposit is required.</p>
Categories: Travel

Your Holiday Packages May Arrive Late, UPS Warns

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 14:13
<p>In the wake of record spending on this year’s Cyber Monday, UPS is struggling to keep up with deliveries as <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/holiday-travel/christmas-travel" target="_blank">Christmas</a> approaches.</p><p>The delivery company warned last week that some packages might arrive late by one or two days despite the efforts of employees working extended hours, <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2017/12/12/ups-and-others-warn-that-holiday-deliveries-are-already-falling-behind/" target="_blank">according to the <em>Washington Post</em>.</a> UPS expects its holiday output to increase by 5%, up to about 750 million packages throughout the holiday season.</p><p>To cope with the increased demand, UPS implemented a 70-hour, eight-day workweek for its drivers (up from 60 hours over seven days). The company previously also said that it had plans to hire roughly 95,000 temporary employees for the holidays, according to the <em>Post</em>.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Despite slip-ups last week due to the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/style/shopping/best-cyber-monday-travel-deals" target="_blank">Cyber Monday</a> influx — which saw Americans spend a record <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/gift-guides/gifts-under-50-dollars" target="_blank">$6.59 billion</a>, according to an Adobe Analytics report — UPS says that it’s back on track for the month of December.</p><p>“UPS’s operations have returned to the peak operating plan after the initial Cyber Week surge,” a company spokeswoman wrote in an email to the newspaper. “The vast majority of packages will be delivered in accordance with the service commitments for the specified time-in-transit.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Day 6: Eagle Creek Weekend Warrior Gear Kit

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 13:54
<p>Enter for a chance to win on December 13, 2017.</p><p>Travel + Leisure’s <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/15-days-travel-giveaways-2017" target="_blank">15 Days of Travel Giveaways</a> offers a new prize each day, so be sure to check back here every morning at 10am EST for your chance to win.</p><p>Retail Price: $99</p><p><a href="http://www.pntrs.com/t/2-332053-131940-141082?sid=TL_15DaysGiveaways2017&amp;website=250357&amp;url=https%3A%2F%2Fshop.eaglecreek.com%2Fweekend-warrior-gear-kit%2Fd%2F1642" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.travelandleisure.com/microsites/features/sweepstakes-missed_out_buy_now.jpg" width="100%" /></a></p><p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/sweeps/15-days-travel-giveaways-2017-email"><img src="http://www.travelandleisure.com/microsites/features/sweepstakes_enter_for_a_chance_to_win.jpg" width="100%" /></a></p><p>Travel + Leisure may receive compensation for some links to products and services in this email.</p><p><strong>NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Purchasing does not improve your chances of winning.</strong> Travel + Leisure 15 Days of Travel Giveaways is open to residents of the 48 contiguous United States and D.C., age 18 or older. Void in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, outside the United States and wherever else prohibited by law. Sweepstakes begins at 10:00:00 AM ET on 12/8/17 and ends at 9:59:59 AM ET on 12/23/17. Click here for <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/sweeps/15-days-travel-giveaways-2017-facts" target="_blank">Sweeps Facts</a> and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/sweeps/15-days-travel-giveaways-2017-rules" target="_blank">Official Rules</a>. Sponsor: TI Media Solutions Inc., 225 Liberty St., New York, NY 10281.</p><p><a href="https://subscription.travelandleisure.com/storefront/privacy/travelleisure/generic_privacy_new.html?dnp-source=E" target="_blank">Travel + Leisure Privacy Policy</a> | <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/sweeps/15-days-travel-giveaways-2017-rules" target="_blank">Rules</a> | <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/sweeps/15-days-travel-giveaways-2017-facts" target="_blank">Facts</a> | <a href="https://subscription.timeinc.com/storefront/privacy/tio/generic_privacy_new.html?dnp-source=E#california" target="_blank">Your California Privacy Policy</a> | <a href="https://subscription.travelandleisure.com/storefront/privacy/travelleisure/privacy_terms_service.html" target="_blank">Terms of Use</a></p>
Categories: Travel

There Used to be Human-Sized Penguins Roaming Around New Zealand

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 13:37
<p>Scientists have discovered a <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-01959-6" target="_blank">new species</a> of giant, human-sized <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/animals/scientists-capture-penguin-footage" target="_blank">penguins</a>.</p><p>Researchers discovered the fossil remains of the prehistoric <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/zoos-aquariums/chinese-zoo-used-inflatable-penguins-as-substitutes" target="_blank">penguin</a> in New Zealand’s Otago region, sizing fossil fragments that included flippers, body, and leg bones to reveal the species had the same proportions as a medium-sized human man with a height of about six feet and a weight of roughly 220 pounds.</p><p>The new species, which is named Kumimanu biceae and translates to “monster bird” in Māori, roamed the Earth some 55 million years back, making it one of the oldest species of giant penguins to be found so far, researchers said.</p><p>The study, which was published Tuesday in <em><a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-017-01959-6">Nature Communications</a>, </em>is an exciting new twist on what’s been previously known by scientists regarding when giant penguins existed.</p><img alt="giant penguin "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513168925/giant-penguin-illustration-PENGUIN1217.jpg?itok=6WRTxkWH"><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/anthony-bourdain-antarctica" target="_blank">Anthony Bourdain Traveled to Antarctica and Hung Out With Penguins</a> </p><p>While the species is not the first giant penguin to be found, researchers pointed out in the paper that they were typically much younger species.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>The rare finding of the older species reveals that some penguins could have become giant in the early stages of evolution for penguins, becoming flightless and diving into the oceans instead. </p><p>Researchers said this giant species were likely wiped out by large marine mammals like whales and seals that either ate them or out-competed them for food in the oceans, leaving us with the smaller penguins we’ve come to know so well.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Incredibly Nerdy Fan Cruise Has Inspired an Entire Subculture

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 13:32
<p>“At first, a cruise didn't sound like something I would enjoy,” says singer-songwriter Aimee Mann, as I speak with her and collaborator Jonathan Coulton (nicknamed “JoCo”), also a famous musician-composer (especially on the Internet, and in so-called “nerd culture”). Mann's discussing the annual, all-inclusive <a href="https://jococruise.com" target="_blank">Joco Cruise</a>, founded in 2011 by Coulton and geek-music-comedy duo Paul &amp; Storm. It's a sea-faring nerd-culture festival, on which Mann has now appeared in three consecutive years.</p><p>“Having [fans] and entertainer friends in one place, on a cruise ship, is so much fun,” says Coulton, also an NPR house musician, who gained a considerable online following in the aughts for his songs (one hit is called “<a href="https://www.jonathancoulton.com/chords/code-monkey/" target="_blank">Code Monkey</a>”), and for his video-game scores. “The community is among the most polite, enthusiastic, fun-loving, creative bunch I know.”</p><p>The JoCo, which helps support the “geeks doing good” charity <a href="https://worldbuilders.org/" target="_blank">Worldbuilders</a>, first sailed as a 375-person group mostly made up of subscribers from Coulton's newsletter. The group gathered on a pre-existing <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/worlds-best/large-ocean-cruise-ships" target="_blank">Holland America</a> voyage from Fort Lauderdale to the Western Caribbean.</p><p>That first trip, mixing with everyday cruisers, went well, and the event has since grown to over 1,800 people, which now allows the producers to charter a whole ship for seven nights: Holland America's <em>MS Oosterdam</em>. JoCo's talent pool comes from the intersectional worlds of comedy, music, storytelling, comics, books, and podcasting.</p><p>This year, the lineup includes the founders as well as Aimee Mann, Netflix comedy sensation Maria Bamford, comedic actor Michael Ian Black, humorist John Hodgman, and many others.</p><img alt="John Roderick at Loreto, JoCo Cruise "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1511823087/John-Roderick-Loreto-JOCOCRUISE1117.jpg?itok=To31ndpP"><p>On paper, the JoCo, which next embarks <a href="https://jococruise.com/" target="_blank">in February from San Diego</a> to Mexico's Sea of Cortez, seems like the antidote to a 'basic' Princess cruise — especially for cruise virgins and the creative class. It even kicks off with a party at a San Diego comic-art gallery. But the cruise's social scene can seem hermetic, and originally Mann, and many others, didn't think they'd fit.</p><p>“There was literally no good reason for me to say yes to Jonathan's [first] invitation, except guilt,” Mann says, laughing. “I don't like groups. I'm antisocial. I don't like hanging out with people. I'm not a nerd, so I didn't know what to expect. And I get seasick.”</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/culture-design/tv-movies/best-christmas-movies-netflix-2017" target="_blank">The Best Christmas Movies to Watch on Netflix If You Can’t Wait for the Holidays</a></p><p>But Mann was glad she made the leap. “It was the most fun thing I've ever done,” she adds. “It's [now] the highlight of my year. I love the nerds.”</p><p>The JoCo is not just notable for its eclectic offerings: shows, writing and gaming events, cocktail parties, movies, open mics, even karaoke and dance parties. It's also spawned a multi-generation community of self-described “Sea Monkeys” (or JoCo regulars). At this point it's an actual subculture that mostly stays in touch online, and which has generated new relationships (platonic and romantic), along with smaller friend- or shared-interest groups that meet on land throughout the year.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Sea Monkeys even produce a so-called “Shadow Cruise.” This consists of hobby-specific get-togethers on the ship for cruisers who also might bring along gear (e.g., cosplay costumes, instruments for jam sessions, sewing machines, clay-firing ovens, and an array of games, digital and tabletop).</p><p>Sea Monkeys designed and now use a Twitter-like app to communicate with each other during trips, but they also communicate on message boards and in closed Facebook groups. They're quick not only to recommend new activities — iPhone bell choir, cosplay photo-session, or puzzle-hunts, anyone? — but to organize them with a certain seriousness and openness to newcomers.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/cruises/quirky-themed-cruises-around-the-world" target="_blank">Cats, Knitting, and Murder Mysteries: The Most Unique Cruises You Can Take in 2017</a></p><p>“We allow the attendees to set up their own events, and we've had knitting circles, ballroom dance classes, a capella groups, and massive ukulele armies,” says Coulton. “[Sea Monkeys] create more content for themselves than we are able to create for them. So it's a really wide-ranging experience for people who like just about anything.” Mann even attended a panel called “Teach Aimee Mann How to be Nerd.”</p><p>“I was very curious about the nerd culture, and what it meant to be one,” she says. “They're adorable, fun, and interesting.”</p><p>JoCo Cruise does encourage some relaxation, and numerous SeaMonkeys say it's fine to laze by the pool (although the response is generally: “Why would you want to spend a whole day that way when there's so much to do together?”). Food can also differ from that of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/cruise-finder" target="_blank">most cruises</a>. One night the staff cooks dishes from their cultural backgrounds, and the stop in Loreto, Baja — a small town (or anti-Cabo) with a historic mission and cobblestone streets — stages a JoCo festival on land, including performances and dishes from local cooks. Formal nights on the ship are even still a thing, which to some may seem odd, but Sea Monkeys, by and large, love to dress up, and there's no pressure to wear anything specific.</p><img alt="JoCo Cruise "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1511823087/pool-deck-cruise-JOCOCRUISE1117.jpg?itok=CwCEfCe-"><p>Whether or not performers participate in the shared <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/cruises/disney-cruises/disney-cruise-line-secrets" target="_blank">cruise</a> experience or act just like the talent varies. But there are “Celebrity Office Hours,” and mixing with Sea Monkeys is certainly more authentic than it is in fan conventions, according to Storm.</p><p>“We have hospitality for performers — people do like to get away,” he says. “But the cruise is just a totally different way for [SeaMonkeys] to meet one another, the performers, and also to engage with new fans and old fans that they don't experience anyplace else.”</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/cruises/what-happens-cruise-during-hurricane" target="_blank">What Happens When Your Cruise Gets Stuck in a Hurricane</a></p><p>This year there are even a couple of naval architect Sea Monkeys who want to offer a seminar on how cruise ships work. Then there are "Helper Monkeys": those who volunteer to help run the cruise and community for which they pay good money.</p><p>Kate Cantrell, 43, is a consultant and the volunteer administrator of the Sea Monkey Facebook groups; she and her husband, a computer programmer for The Smithsonian in Greater Washington, D.C., have been on every Joco event since 2011.</p><p>“I'll joke that we need a vacation after our vacation, because I'm the kind of person who wants to go to all the shows, late-night panels, and special collaborations between performers you wouldn't see anywhere else because they've been able to take their time and bounce off of one another for a few days,” she says. “I <em>am </em>exhausted by the end of the week.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen Designed a Watch Inspired by the Ones They Wore in the ’90s

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 12:13
<p>There's no debating that <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/gift-guides/smart-home-tech-gifts" target="_blank">smart technology</a> has helped keep us constantly connected and on track. Looking down at a tiny little screen on our wrists, we have the ability to respond to emails and our 16 group text chains, set reminders, get directions, and as Apple assures us, "<a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://aos.prf.hn/click/camref:1100lIrM/pubref:TLEandJWatch/destination:https%3A%2F%2Fwww.apple.com%2Fapple-watch-series-3%2F" target="_blank">never miss what matters</a>."</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-travel-accessories" target="_blank">The Best Travel Accessories to Solve All Your Problems on the Go</a></p><p>There was a time when the only digital capacity our watches had was telling us the time. This season, the star-studded designers behind <a href="http://shop.elizabethandjames.us">Elizabeth and James</a>, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, were drawn to the once-revolutionary LED technology of the 1970s. Nostalgic for the simplicity of the digital timepieces of the past, they designed a watch that combines modern materials with classic shapes and technology.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>The 200 SERIES watch is sleek and minimal in design, and with the press of a button, the time, date, or stopwatch is illuminated in iconic red LED digital numerals. Giving off the illusion of a smartwatch with its sleek, futuristic design, there is something refreshing and retro about being less in touch than we've become used to being.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/how-to-unplug-on-vacation" target="_blank">7 Simple Ways to Unplug While on Vacation</a></p><p>It’s simple: All this watch does is tell you the time. And unless you click the button, you have the opportunity to lose track of it. When was the last time you let yourself lose track of time? Try it. Let go. Get lost. And then you’ll realize that what actually matters doesn’t live on a tiny little screen on your wrist, it’s what’s directly in front of you.</p><img alt="Elizabeth and James Retro Watch "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513017861/elizabeth-and-james-retro-watch-2-RETRO1217.jpg?itok=ODZ4n_AK"><h2>Elizabeth and James 200 SERIES Watch</h2><p>To buy: <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.shopbop.com/elizabeth-james-accessories-watches/br/v=1/53076.htm?folderID=53076" target="_blank">shopbop.com</a>, <a href="https://shop.elizabethandjames.us/pages/watches" target="_blank">elizabethandjames.us</a>, $200</p>
Categories: Travel

How to See Italy Like Oprah and the Obamas, According to Their VIP Guide

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 11:41
<p>Sure, Italy may be a favorite tourist destination, and you may have even visited more than once, but we guarantee you’ve never experienced it the way the Obamas and Oprah have.</p><p>On seperate travel tours (though we wouldn’t put it past them to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/obama-oprah-tom-hanks-bruce-springsteen-vacation" target="_blank">travel together</a>), both the Obama family and Oprah experienced Italy like true locals thanks in large part to the kind folks at <a href="http://accessitaly.net/" target="_blank">Access Italy</a>.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/obamas-luxury-italian-villa" target="_blank">Inside the Luxurious Italian Estate Where Barack and Michelle Obama Vacationed</a></p><img alt="Access Italy tour guide Barack Obama Oprah Winfrey "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513199214/italy-tour-guide-oprah-winfrey-OPRAHBAMAITALY1217.jpg?itok=Eumtaluk"><p>“Access Italy provides unique access to venues that are hardly accessible to the public,” Simone Amorico, co-founder of the exclusive tour company, explained to <i>Travel + Leisure</i>. Through Access Italy tours, guides provide both local and authentic experiences that make “clients feel like they are immersed in the Italian culture," he said.</p><p>And it’s because of this unique approach that Oprah named it her <a href="http://www.oprah.com/world/Angelo-Amoricos-Guide-to-Rome-Travel-Guide" target="_blank">“favorite” tour operator</a>. And, although there’s no way to confirm this, we’d love to think she called up her friends Michelle and Barack to personally recommend the service too.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/barack-michelle-obama-vacation-italy" target="_blank">Barack Obama's Tuscan Bike Tour Will Inspire Your Next Italian Getaway</a></p><p>So why did Oprah love her experience so much? According to Amorico, Oprah took part in the tour company’s truffle hunting excursion in Umbria. She also visited the "Godfather" house in Sicily (yes, the very same one featured in the movie), and even visited the offices of the mayor of Rome and checked out its breathtaking views over the Roman Forum.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>While Oprah certainly gets the best of the best wherever she goes, it turns out that you can have the exact same experience as the queen of daytime television. “We treat every client like a star,” Amorico said.</p><p>For example, the tour company often arranges cooking classes in a private home with a Roman family alongside an expert Italian chef. They reportedly did something similar for the Obamas. Though their travel itinerary technically needs to remain a secret, it’s rumored that the former first family enjoyed gelato making in one of the oldest gelaterias in Rome.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/celebrity-travel/michelle-obama-italy" target="_blank">Michelle Obama Shows Us All How to Dress for an Italian Vacation</a></p><p>The company, Amorico explained, hires top tier drivers and guides who they train themselves to ensure the highest level of quality and attention to detail across their tours. And those tours, all of which are private, include a behind the scenes Vatican tour, a gondola ride in Venice, a private dinner on a Roman rooftop with musical entertainment, truffle hunting, and wine tasting in the most exclusive Barolo wineries, or even a boat excursion off the Amalfi Coast. With each package the group will also book your hotels, transfers, make restaurant suggestions, take care of ticketing, and throw in 24-hour on-call service.</p><p>And they’ll even throw in tennis lessons, like they did with Ben Stiller as he prepared to film "Zoolander 2," because as it happens Amorico was a top tennis champion in the United States years ago.</p><p>As for his favorite tour, Amorico said it will “always remain the Vatican but in a special way,” because they have special access to unique rooms and the ability to visit the Sistine Chapel after hours.</p><p>Of course, the tours are for everyone, not just the rich and famous. According to Amorico they are great for “couples and families but also grandparents with grandchildren.” As he said, Italy is perfect to visit any time of year, but the spring and fall are particularly stunning seasons. And hey, as an added bonus, you never know who you’ll run into along the way.</p>
Categories: Travel

Geminid Meteor Shower Peaks Tonight: Where and What Time to Watch

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 11:31
<p>The most impressive holiday lights this year may not be on your overly festive neighbor’s front porch. Instead, look to the skies to see what experts are calling the year’s greatest display of shooting stars. The <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/space-astronomy/december-stargazing-geminid-meteor-shower" target="_blank">Geminid Meteor Shower</a> is tonight.</p><h2>What is the Geminid Meteor Shower?</h2><p>This annual celestial event is made up of remnants from a massive meteor called 3200 Phaethon. It actually began on December 7 and will continue until December 17, but the shower will be at its most spectacular on the night of December 13 and into December 14. Stargazers may be able to see as many as 120 shooting stars per hour, or one shooting star every 30 seconds, making this an event you won’t want to miss.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Additionally, it may be possible to witness a multicolored ‘Earth-gazer’ fireball shooting through the sky, which is an intensely bright meteor that will enter and exit Earth’s atmosphere.</p><h2>Geminid Meteor Shower 2017 Location and Where to Look</h2><p>Unlike <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/space-astronomy/geminid-meteor-shower-2016" target="_blank">last year’s display</a>, 2017’s Geminid shower will not be overshadowed by a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/space-astronomy/supermoon-meteor-shower" target="_blank">supermoon</a>. Instead, the crescent moon will be waning toward a new moon, making the skies dark and largely devoid of moonlight: a perfect environment for stargazing and seeing this December meteor shower.</p><p>Keep your eyes peeled: These shooting stars may come from anywhere in the night sky and will not only appear to originate from Gemini.</p><p>Although viewers should be able to see the meteor shower from anywhere in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, those wanting to witness the most dazzling show should still make their way to <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/space-astronomy/dark-skies-skyglow" target="_blank">darker, more remote locations</a>, away from flooding city lights. A local field, park or nature reserve will likely afford watchers the best view of the spectacular shooting stars.</p><h2>Geminid Meteor Shower 2017 Time</h2><p>Although you can begin to search the skies anytime after night falls, it’s likely you won’t be able to see much activity until <a href="https://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/12/geminids_meteor_shower_2017_wh.html" target="_blank">at least 9 p.m.</a> However, if you’re willing to stay up a it later, the best time to see the Geminid meteor shower should be around 1 a.m. to 2 a.m. EST.</p><h2>When is the Next Geminid Meteor Shower?</h2><p>If you’re missing out on tonight’s show, the Geminids 2018 will return on the same dates next year, but will instead peak on a Monday night.</p>
Categories: Travel

These Are the Gorgeous Vacation Destinations Taking Over Pinterest

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 11:26
<p>When planning your trip of a lifetime, it’s best to stay organized. From picking a hotel to planning excursions to figuring out <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/packing-tips/what-to-pack-for-a-long-trip" target="_blank">what to pack</a>, the best way to keep all your ideas in one place is <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/honeymoon-destinations/best-honeymoons-pinterest" target="_blank">Pinterest</a>. And it turns out many of you are already doing it that way.</p><p>In its end of year pinning report, <a href="https://blog.pinterest.com/en/pinterest-100-top-trends-try-2018" target="_blank">Pinterest</a> revealed that more than 4 billion travel ideas were saved on the social media site, marking a 33 percent increase in pins. Pinners, the site said, used it both as a bucket list board and guidebook for their destinations. Pinterest said 68 percent of users are searching for destinations to visit in the future. After they pick the location, they then looked for places to play, stay, and eat. They even pinned potential souvenirs in addition to inspiration for food, home decor, style, and beauty to incorporate into their everyday life back home.</p><p>But where exactly are people pinning most? Keep scrolling to learn more about the hottest destinations and travel ideas on Pinterest.</p><img alt=" "src=""><h2>Deserts</h2><p>Searches and saves of the term “desert travel” have increased by more than 125 percent, according to pinterest. Top destinations include <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/joshua-tree-travel" target="_blank">Joshua Tree</a> in California, the Atacama Desert in South America, plus <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/fi-taylor-easyjet-luggage-morocco" target="_blank">Morocco</a> and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/dubai" target="_blank">Dubai</a>.</p><h2>Mediterranean<b> </b></h2><p><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/croatia" target="_blank">Croatia</a> and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/mykonos" target="_blank">Mykonos</a> both saw a huge spike in pins this year, with saves for “Croatian islands” and “Mykonos” increasing by more than 96 percent.</p><h2>Mexico</h2><p>America’s neighbor to the south also saw a big increase in searches, especially for some of the country’s most glamorous cities, including searches for <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/tls-definitive-guide-to-mexico-city" target="_blank">Mexico City</a> increasing by 96 percent. And many pinners, of course, are saving searches for the best places to eat, drink, and lounge by the sea in Mexico as well.</p><h2>Rivers</h2><p>Seafaring pinners have been all about <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/cruises/u-by-uniworld-paris-cruise-for-millennials" target="_blank">river cruising this year</a>. Specifically, Pinterest reported that pins for cruises in Vietnam, Germany, and Egypt were up 346 percent.</p><h2>Historical Cities</h2><p>This year it’s out with the new and in with the old… the really, really old. Searches for old world European cities and ancient sites like Angkor Wat are up 92 percent.</p><h2>Mountains</h2><p>In 2017 people were searching for a little fresh air. According to Pinterest, scuba diving searches were down, while rock and <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/adventure-travel/hiking-most-popular-outdoor-activity" target="_blank">mountain climbing adventures</a> made a steep, well, climb, with searches and saved pins increasing by 82 percent.</p>
Categories: Travel

38 Things to Do in Indianapolis, Indiana

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 10:30
<p>Designed in 1821 by an architect named Alexander Ralston, the <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/indianapolis-activities" target="_blank">city of Indianapolis</a> is blessed with lush green public parks, abundant <a href="https://www.visitindy.com/indianapolis-monuments-memorials" target="_blank">memorials and monuments</a>, and a scenic riverfront that visitors can follow all the way to the zoo. In short, there’s something for everyone here (not to mention plenty of charm).</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/things-to-do-colorado-springs" target="_blank">27 Fun Things to Do in Colorado Springs</a></p><p>Fun things to do in Indianapolis include world-class museums, catching strikes at an original 1920s bowling alley, and taking advantage of the popular bikeshare program. If you’re planning a vacation in Indianapolis in the coming year, here’s the good news: it’s on the rise. With dozens of new development projects, including a <a href="http://www.thecabaret.org/news/cabaret-celebrate-10th-anniversary-permanent-downtown-home" target="_blank">refurbished cabaret theater</a>, a <a href="https://www.indygo.net/redline/" target="_blank">new bus transit system</a>, and an incendiary <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/americas-favorite-places/americas-favorite-places-food#indianapolis-indiana-skyline-night-bridge-food-city" target="_blank">food scene</a>, there’s never been a better time to visit the Hoosier state.</p><h2>Where Is Indianapolis, Indiana?</h2><p>Roughly equidistant from Chicago and Columbus, Indianapolis sits in the middle of Indiana, and its climate mirrors that of surrounding states, with four distinct seasons. Typical of most spread-out Midwestern cities, it comprises smaller neighborhoods, several of which overlook the scenic White River. While Indiana is too-often considered a drive-through state, its capital city is quickly becoming a destination in its own right, full of culture and pride, with enough attractions to fill up a weekend or a week’s worth of vacation time.</p><img alt="Pacers Bike Share "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1504214356/Indianapolis-Pacers-Bike-Share-INDYGUIDE0817.jpg?itok=o-3TE4Jj"><h2>Indianapolis’ Top Attractions</h2><p>One of Indianapolis’ most unique attractions is the <a href="http://indyculturaltrail.org/" target="_blank">Cultural Trail</a>. Noted for its 10 public art installations, the trail links Fountain Square and White River State Park to downtown via an eight-mile urban bike and hiking path. It also pairs great with Indy’s <a href="https://www.pacersbikeshare.org/" target="_blank">Pacers Bikeshare program</a>, as most of the 29 bike rental stations are located on or within a few blocks of the trail.</p><p>When it debuts, <a href="https://www.patronicity.com/project/the_idle_a_point_of_view#/" target="_blank">The Idle</a> — a new public park built off the Cultural Trail — will offer an unusual perspective on the urban landscape when it opens this fall. The Idle will be surrounded by two interstate highways, and visitors will be able to enjoy the sight of moving cars while safely seated on a park bench.</p><p>At the iconic <a href="https://www.childrensmuseum.org/" target="_blank">Children’s Museum of Indianapolis</a>, 120,000 artifacts ranging from retro Barbies and prewar toy trains to Samurai suits of armor (and a T. Rex that was discovered in the badlands of South Dakota) make this a learning experience for museum goers of all ages. Focusing on the arts, humanities, and archeology, the facility opened in 1925, and remains the biggest children’s museum in the world. Next March, the new <a href="https://sportslegends.childrensmuseum.org/" target="_blank">Sports Legends Experience</a> will add interactive outdoor and indoor experiences like mini golf and an Indianapolis Motor Speedway pedal car racetrack.</p><p>What started in 1883 as a small group of citizens gathering to appreciate fine art morphed into the <a href="http://www.imamuseum.org/" target="_blank">Indianapolis Museum of Art</a>, a must-see attraction just north of downtown. The encyclopedic collection houses American Impressionist paintings, ancient Greek pottery, and works by Rembrandt, El Greco, and Caravaggio. If you’re feeling antsy, go outside and wander through the <a href="http://www.imamuseum.org/page/virginia-b-fairbanks-art-nature-park-100-acres" target="_blank">100-acre nature park</a> that borders the museum.</p><h2>Major Events and Festivals in Indianapolis </h2><p>Perhaps the event Indianapolis is best known for, the <a href="https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/events/indy500" target="_blank">Indy 500</a> is ranked along with the Monaco Grand Prix and the 24 Hours of Le Mans as three of the most important automobile races in the world. In the spirit of fast cars, the <a href="https://www.500festival.com/" target="_blank">500 Festival</a> runs all month long in May, featuring a grand parade with floats, antique cars, and a marching band, and culminating with the big race over Memorial Day Weekend (ticket sales are already open for 2018). <a href="https://www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com/at-the-track/museum" target="_blank">Tours of the speedway</a> are available throughout the year.</p><p>Downtown’s Monument Circle is easy enough to find, as it’s anchored by a 284-foot-tall monument (which has an <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/best-view-in-every-state#14" target="_blank">observation deck at the top</a>) commemorating Indiana soldiers who fought in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War. During <a href="http://www.downtownindy.org/events/257/circle-of-lights-presented-by-quality-connection-ibew-481/" target="_blank">Circle of Lights</a> in November, tens of thousands gather to see the monument get lit up for the holidays with more than 4,000 colored lights.</p><p>If you’re curious how beers from other states — not just Indiana — taste, then head to the <a href="http://www.canvitational.com/" target="_blank">Sun King Canvitational</a>, which showcases over 50 different breweries from around the country. The annual event takes places at the Pan Am Plaza each September, and since nothing pairs with craft ale better than food trucks, expect plenty of those, too.</p><h3>Fireworks in Indianapolis</h3><p>Travelers in town during the Fourth of July should head to downtown Indy for <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/holiday-travel/best-fourth-of-july-fireworks-in-america#indiana-indianapolis-fourth-of-july-celebration" target="_blank">an impressive fireworks display</a>. Get the best views from the Indiana Originals Marketplace. </p><img alt="Spring night to take walk along Canal in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1504214356/Indianapolis-Indiana-INDYGUIDE0817.jpg?itok=Glr_iz5J"><h2>Shopping in Indianapolis</h2><p>Within walking distance of downtown, <a href="http://discoverfountainsquare.com/" target="_blank">Fountain Square</a> is a lively historic neighborhood bursting with creativity. Here, you can stroll in and out of antique and clothing shops during the day and, in the evening, check out live entertainment at places like <a href="http://www.whiterabbitcabaret.com/" target="_blank">The White Rabbit</a>. Looking to pick up a souvenir? Try <a href="https://www.goodwillindy.org/shop/boutiques/" target="_blank">Vintage Vogue</a> for one-off designer finds, <a href="http://www.gameparadisestore.com/" target="_blank">Game Paradise</a> (a library of game boards), and everything from handmade soap to home decor at <a href="https://www.facebook.com/LillysSoapKitchen/" target="_blank">Lily’s Soap Kitchen &amp; Artisan Market</a>.</p><p>Meanwhile, in the budding cultural hub of Broad Ripple Village, the choice is almost overwhelming. With Broad Ripple Avenue as the main thoroughfare, you’ll pass everything from high-style boutiques to natural food stores and outdoor gear shops. Across the river, <a href="http://www.8fifteen.com/" target="_blank">8Fifteen</a> remains one of Indy’s best-loved boutiques, offering luxury women's clothing and accessories by labels like Isabel Marant, Raquel Allegra, and Mother Denim.</p><h2>Indianapolis’ Best Restaurants</h2><p>Indianapolis’ love of good beer and fresh-baked bread has made it a trusted stopover for fans of Midwest-style comfort food. Now, as a new set of culinary masters — like Jonathan Brooks (<a href="http://www.foodandwine.com/chefs/best-new-chefs-2015#carlos-salgado-taco-maria-costa-mesa-ca" target="_blank">voted Best New Chef</a> by <em>Food &amp; Wine </em>magazine), and Ukiyo’s Neal Brown — takes hold of the city, a diverse collection of restaurants is turning Indianapolis into one of the most exciting places to eat.</p><img alt="A general view of The Panasonic Pagoda at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Indianapolis, IN "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1504214356/Indianapolis-Motor-Speedway-INDYGUIDE0817.jpg?itok=hgNgCWUI"><h3>Most Romantic Restaurant: <a href="http://www.tinkerstreetindy.com/" target="_blank">Tinker Street Restaurant &amp; Wine Bar</a></h3><h3>Cheap Eats: <a href="http://publicgreensurbankitchen.com/" target="_blank">Public Greens</a></h3><h3>Best Steak Restaurant: <a href="https://www.stelmos.com/" target="_blank">St. Elmo Steak House</a></h3><h3>Best Southern Restaurant: <a href="http://thunderbirdindy.com/" target="_blank">Thunderbird</a></h3><h3>Best Bakery: <a href="http://www.renesbakery.com/" target="_blank">Rene’s Bakery</a></h3><h3>Best Vegan Restaurant: <a href="https://squareup.com/store/three-carrots" target="_blank">Three Carrots</a></h3><h2>Best Bars in Indianapolis</h2><p>For a fun night of drinking, you can’t go wrong in this relaxed, fun-loving city. And knowing how seriously Midwesterners take their beer, a good place to start would be <a href="http://www.indycm.com/tomlinson-tap-room/" target="_blank">Tomlinson Tap</a>: an old-school pub that stocks only Indiana-made beers. While you’re there, you’ll get treated to a mini history lesson (the taproom is located above City Market, a bustling hall with 37 merchants that’s been in business since 1886).</p><p>Locals have a lot of pride for <a href="http://www.sunkingbrewing.com/" target="_blank">Sun King Brewery</a>, one of the city’s award-winning breweries and the host of the <a href="http://www.canvitational.com/" target="_blank">Midwest’s largest canned craft beer festival</a>. The facility’s downtown tasting room is a great place to try a flight sampler of hits like the Sunlight Cream Ale or the Wee Mac Scottish Ale, or just fill up a growler to take back to your hotel.</p><p>Over in Fountain Square, <a href="https://www.newdaycraft.com/" target="_blank">New Day Craft</a> is the spot for lovers of craft mead: a honey-based alcohol that appeals to beer and wine drinkers alike. The tasting room is housed in an old blacksmith shop from the mid-1800s, and hosts frequent live music performances. Guests can also stay entertained with a collection of classic board games.</p><h2>Easy Day Trips from Indianapolis</h2><p>Technically within city boundaries, <a href="https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/indianapolis/ftbenjaminharrison.htm" target="_blank">Fort Benjamin Harrison State Park</a> is a scenic, 1,700-acre stretch of wilderness with hiking trails, picnic sites, and fishing access at Fall Creek. The site was used as a military training base throughout both World Wars, and retains many handsome brick buildings from the early 1900s — including an upscale restaurant in the old Officers’ Club.</p><h2>Where to Stay</h2><p>Within Indianapolis, there are dozens of tasteful places to stay, ranging from those with highbrow art collections to the more relaxed, straightforward options. Most are within walking distance of the main attractions like Monument Circle, White River State Park, and the Indianapolis City Market, so for those who opt for a traditional downtown stay, you’ll have an action-packed vacation. </p><h3>Luxury Hotels</h3><p>For a pampered experience in the heart of Monument Circle, <a href="http://conradhotels3.hilton.com/en/hotels/indiana/conrad-indianapolis-INDCICI/index.html" target="_blank">Conrad Indianapolis</a> is a luxury spa hotel with a special tier of “Collection Suites,” all designed around a specific piece of art in various genres (think: Pop, Modernism, and Surrealism). <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/hotels-resorts/hotel-openings/west-elm-hotels-announcement" target="_blank">West Elm also has plans</a> to introduce a stylish, design-driven hotel with the brands distinct Mid-century aesthetic. </p><h3>Boutique Hotels</h3><p>Another pick for visually minded travelers is <a href="https://www.thealexander.com/" target="_blank">The Alexander</a>: a stylish boutique hotel in downtown Indy with a robust art program (they even commissioned a U.K.-based graffiti artist to vandalize their parking garage). The on-site lounge, Plat 99, serves delightfully odd-sounding cocktails alongside charcuterie plates.</p><p>Further away from downtown, <a href="http://www.hotelbroadripple.com/" target="_blank">Hotel Broad Ripple</a> offers 13 individually designed, rustic-chic rooms. From its perch on the White River, this property has a cozy lodge feel to it, and in the summer serves beer and wine on the patio.</p><h3>Affordable Hotels</h3><p>For those who want to be closer to the convention center and are especially conscious about staying within the budget, several affordable hotels like the <a href="http://www.sheratonindianapoliscitycentre.com/" target="_blank">Sheraton Indianapolis City Center</a> and <a href="https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/us/en/indianapolis/indwe/hoteldetail" target="_blank">Holiday Inn Indianapolis Downtown</a> round out the bill.</p><h2>Vacation Rentals in Indianapolis</h2><p>In addition to hotels, there are several resources for choosing stylish (and affordable) homes located within the city and in its attractive suburbs, using sites like <a href="https://www.airbnb.com/" target="_blank">Airbnb</a> and <a href="https://www.flipkey.com/" target="_blank">FlipKey</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

The Disco From 'Saturday Night Fever' Is Reopening — for One Night Only

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 10:15
<p>It’s been 40 years since <a data-ecommerce="true" href="https://www.amazon.com/Saturday-Night-Fever-Blu-ray-Miller/dp/B06XDCTSPM" target="_blank">Saturday Night Fever</a> hit screens on Dec. 13, 1977. So, naturally, it’s time to disco.</p><p>One of the movie’s most iconic locations is the 2001 Odyssey Club, a former disco that has been home to Chinese restaurant Bamboo Garden for many years. It's opening its beloved dance floor for one night only on Wednesday. A disco ball will be spinning, polyester will be glistening, and the club’s original DJs, Monti Rock and Ralphie Dee, will be on deck.</p><img alt="Saturday Night Fever is alive again in Brooklyn for one night only. "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513203072/travolta-jump-FEVER1217.jpg?itok=HLpOaSXw"><p>The film, which was shot in <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/weekend-getaways/weekend-in-brooklyn" target="_blank">Brooklyn</a>, features a number of neighborhood landmarks — like Lenny’s, the Bensonhurst <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/slideshows/americas-best-pizza" target="_blank">pizzeria</a> that was the real star of the opening scene and is catering tonight’s event — that are remembered in movie tours and guidebooks to this day.</p><img alt="Saturday Night Fever is alive again in Brooklyn for one night only. "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513203072/saturday-night-poster-FEVER1217.jpg?itok=VeMwv_eG"><p>Bay Ridge, historically an Italian and Irish neighborhood and main character Tony Manero’s stomping ground, has become more ethnically and economically diverse over the years — and, of course, disco has gone the way of the dodo. But hundreds of neighborhood residents and former 2001 Odyssey staffers are thrilled to come together and remember the Brooklyn that was.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>Seventies stars and neighborhood fixtures will be in attendance, with performances by disco mavens Carol Douglas, the cowboy from the Village People, and members of the Trammps reviving their classic, “Disco Inferno.” Cast members including Karen Lynn Gorney, who played Stephanie Mangano (girlfriend of John Travolta’s Tony), will join Borough President Eric Adams and City Councilman Robert Cornegy as they don their leisure suits in celebration.</p><img alt="Saturday Night Fever Tonight "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513200906/saturday-night-fever-tonight-DISCO1217.jpg?itok=K6aP7hGN"><p>The person responsible for this disco fever reenactment is Gianluca Mech, an Italian millionaire who claims to have seen the film more than 30 times. The <a href="https://nypost.com/2017/12/09/this-guy-spent-200k-to-recreate-the-saturday-night-fever-disco/" target="_blank"><em>New York Post</em></a> reports that he dropped a cool $200,000 to recreate this childhood fantasy, commissioning a bespoke white three-piece <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/how-to-pack-a-suit" target="_blank">suit</a> from Dolce and Gabbana.</p>
Categories: Travel

Here’s What Happens When You Check Baggage and Don’t Get on the Plane

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 09:44
<p>Few prospects are more terrible to a traveler than being separated from their luggage — except maybe being on an aircraft with luggage separated from its owner.</p><p>About one hour into a <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-news/norwegian-air-approval-argentina" target="_blank">Norwegian Air</a> flight from <a href="http://travelandleisure.com/travel-guide/london" target="_blank">London</a> to Boston earlier this month, crew discovered that they were transporting a piece of luggage without its owner.</p><p>When the airline discovered that the passenger was not on board, pilots performed an emergency diversion to Ireland. However, the Dublin detour was not meant to reunite the passenger with their lost piece of luggage. It was performed as a security measure.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>“The passenger whom the luggage belonged to was not on board the aircraft, which is why this security measure was taken,” the airline <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/norwegian-flight-diverts-unaccompanied-baggage/" target="_blank">said in a statement</a>, according to <em>The Telegraph</em>. “We’re sorry about the inconvenience caused to the passengers.”</p><p>Regulations prohibit an airline from <a href="https://www.quora.com/Is-it-true-that-if-someone-checks-a-bag-and-doesnt-get-on-the-plane-that-it-wont-take-off" target="_blank">knowingly transporting luggage without a passenger</a> across international borders. Standard operating procedure is to match luggage with passengers during the boarding and loading processes. If a passenger is not on the plane, grounds crew will “offload” their luggage.</p><p>But since the flight to Boston had already taken off, they had to divert.</p><p>There were 344 people onboard the plane when it diverted. The aircraft was on the ground at Dublin Airport for nearly two hours. It arrived in Boston <a href="https://flightaware.com/live/flight/NAX7147/history/20171203/1600Z/EGKK/KBOS" target="_blank">about three hours late</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Virgin Atlantic Is Encouraging Passengers to Steal From Business Class

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 09:27
<p>In 2011, Virgin Atlantic stopped giving salt and pepper shakers in the shape of mini airplanes to its first class passengers. Soon after the airline introduced its uniquely shaped shakers, thousands had disappeared — usually into the carry-ons of <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/clapping-for-plane-landing" target="_blank">passengers</a>.</p><p>One year later, <a href="https://www.ausbt.com.au/virgin-atlantic-brings-back-its-often-stolen-plane-salt-shakers" target="_blank">the airline brought back the silver shakers</a>. Only this time they had the words “pinched from Virgin Atlantic” printed on the bottom to deter thiefs.</p><p>The plan didn’t work. The shakers kept disappearing. Some even ended up on eBay, selling for upwards of $20.</p><img alt="Virgin Atlantic salt and pepper shakers "src="http://cdn-image.travelandleisure.com/sites/default/files/styles/1600x1000/public/1513197380/salt-pepper-shakers-virgin-atlantic-VATHEFT1217.jpg?itok=WBMhUpxg"><p>“When we launched Wilbur and Orville over 15 years ago we had no idea they’d become so iconic and loved by our customers,” Mark Anderson, an executive vice president at Virgin, said in a statement. “Although our cabin crew keep a close eye on them, thousands have been pinched over the years as customers like to take home a special memento of their Virgin Atlantic flight.”</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/island-vacations/richard-branson-necker-island-reopening-october-2018" target="_blank">After Hurricane Irma, Richard Branson’s Private Island Resort Will Open in October 2018</a></p><p>But now, passengers who need a last-minute Christmas gift (and a five-finger discount) will be able to pilfer Virgin Atlantic’s iconic shakers as part of the airline’s cheeky Christmas promotion.</p><img alt=" "src=""><p>For six days, <a href="http://virginatlantic.com" target="_blank">Virgin Atlantic</a> is actually encouraging passengers to make away with its iconic cabin merch. The airline will premiere special red holiday versions of the shakers for business class passengers from December 21–26 — and passengers are encouraged to take them home.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="http://www.travelandleisure.com/airlines-airports/why-do-pilots-say-roger-that" target="_blank">Why Pilots Are Always Calling Everyone 'Roger'</a></p><p>As part of the promotion, the airline also revealed the top items that make their way out of the cabin with customers. The salt and pepper shakers topped the list, but customers also make off with Virgin Atlantic’s mugs, blankets, hand wash, hand creme, cutlery, safety cards — and even sick bags.</p>
Categories: Travel

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