Why Cabernet Season Is the Best Time of Year to Take a Napa Valley Road Trip

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 10:00
<p>After what was deemed a “near perfect” growing season, autumn’s bountiful harvest left the Napa Valley ripe for winter relaxation. From November until April, the pace around wine country slows down. The grapes have been brought in and the new vintage rests in cellars throughout the Valley, giving winemakers the chance to relax and chat with tasting room guests in a way they can’t during busier months. Winter is also when Napa’s famed cabernets are released, giving visitors the chance for a first taste of some iconic wines.</p><p>Beyond the vines, the perks of road tripping through the quiet of winter are many. Snag a table at one of the Valley’s sought-after, Michelin-starred restaurants, cozy up with a hot toddy by the fire pit, wind along a blissfully traffic-free Highway 29, and snap photos of the brilliant swaths of mustard flowers popping up everywhere. This guide delivers a blend of new and noteworthy along with well-loved local haunts for a perfect long weekend (or longer!) in Napa Valley.</p><h2>Napa: Wine Country 101</h2><p>Once sleepy Napa no longer turns into a pumpkin by cocktail hour, with everything from new hotels and restaurants to a dynamic arts district and the opening of <a href="" target="_blank">Blue Note Napa</a>, an outpost of New York’s famed jazz club, playing a role in the town’s reawakening.</p><img alt="Cia at Copia, Napa Valley "src=""><p>As the gateway to wine country, Napa makes an ideal first stop on a Valley road trip. Wine novices and vineyard veterans alike can hone their oenophile chops at the Culinary Institute of America’s <a href="" target="_blank">CIA at Copia</a>, which opened in 2017 in Napa’s buzzing Oxbow neighborhood. A roster of classes with enticing titles like, “How to Taste Wine in 90 Seconds” and “The History of Napa Valley in 8 Glasses” is offered throughout the season, any of which will arm visitors with just enough savvy to enhance a weekend-full of wine tastings.</p><p>Be sure to make time to explore the campus. Last August the Institute unveiled the Chuck Williams Culinary Arts Museum, which features more than 4,000 culinary pieces once belonging to the founder of Williams-Sonoma. Meanwhile, cooks and eaters alike will love Copia’s on-site store, a haven of gorgeous kitchenware, pottery, books, and home accents.</p><p>Later, put newly acquired wine knowledge to use on a stroll with <a href="" target="_blank">Paper Napan Walkabouts</a>, a boutique tour company that spotlights Napa’s <a href="" target="_blank">Rail Arts District</a> – a cultural campaign turning forgotten outdoor spaces into works of art – and makes stops at a handful of downtown tasting rooms along the way. Afterwards, relax fireside at the boutique Archer Hotel’s rooftop lounge, <a href="" target="_blank">Sky and Vine</a>, over small plates and delicious wines.</p><h2>Yountville: Taste of the Town</h2><p>Named after George Calvert Yount, a former fur-trapper and pioneer who planted Napa Valley's first grapevines back in 1839, quaint Yountville’s picturesque main drag invites wandering. Often considered the epicurean epicenter of Napa Valley, a bounty of culinary options line Washington Street alongside 16 tasting rooms, which double as eclectic retail spaces. Pick up a passport-style <a href="" target="_blank">Yountville Wine Walk</a> map at the town’s welcome center – each tasting earns you a stamp. Meanwhile, the works of more than 30 artists scattered throughout town furnish <a href="" target="_blank">Yountville’s curated Art Walk</a>, including Rich Botto’s whimsical stone mushroom garden on the corner of Mulberry and Washington.</p><img alt="Yountville Art Walk, Mushroom Garden "src=""><p>Start the day with a latte and a ham, egg, and cheese on a perfect croissant at <a href="" target="_blank">Bouchon Bakery</a>, Thomas Keller’s popular Washington Street boulangerie. Across the way, take a peek at the chef’s famed French Laundry Gardens, which supply produce for Keller’s beautifully renovated, three Michelin-star restaurant.</p><img alt="Bouchon Bakery, Yountville, Napa Valley "src=""><p>Down the street, pop into Jean-Charles Boisset’s opulent <a href="" target="_blank">JCB Tasting Salon</a> for an unmatched sensory experience. Gilded mirrors adorn a matching ceiling hung with sparkling, Baccarat crystal chandeliers while leopard print stools surround a gleaming tasting table. To sip sans bling, visit family-run <a href="" target="_blank">Stewart Cellars</a>, one of Yountville’s newer additions, where you can sample a flight of five different wines in the airy Tasting Hall. Or settle in by the fireplace in the rustically elegant Nomad Heritage Library for the 2016 Nomad Cabernet tasting. </p><p>Though chef Richard Reddington’s well-loved Redd closed its doors in October, <a href="" target="_blank">Redd Wood</a>, his more relaxed, Italian-inspired osteria continues to deliver gastronomical joy. Tuck into house-made pastas, wood-fired pizzas, and plates of succulent meatballs – perfect for a cool-weather feast.</p><img alt="Mustard Flowers, Napa Valley "src=""><h2>Oakville-Rutherford: Cabernet All Day</h2><p>Barely a blip on the bucolic landscape along Highway 29, the tiny hamlets of Oakville and Rutherford could be easily bypassed en route to St. Helena, but the area absolutely merits a stop. Though it takes a seasoned palate to differentiate between the much-lauded cabernets from these mid-Valley appellations, for the wine novice, knowing that some of Napa’s best hail from this pocket of land should suffice.</p><p>The prettiest spot for a tasting is <a href="" target="_blank">Frog’s Leap</a>, with its big red barn and welcoming farmhouse tucked into the heart of an area known as the Rutherford Bench. A pioneer of organic, sustainable agriculture in the Napa Valley, winemaker John Williams touted the benefits of dry farming, chemical-free growing practices, and crop diversification – the winery also grows a bounty of vegetables along with more than 20 varieties of fruit – back when it was considered a hippie-hoax. Three different tasting options feature the vineyard’s current releases, but for a sampling of the famed Rutherford dust, their Estate Grown Cabernet is the one to try.</p><p>Afterwards, head for a bit of pampering at <a href="" target="_blank">Auberge du Soleil</a>. Nestled on the hillside with bubbling fountains and gorgeous wine country views, the spa there feels like a sanctuary. The Best of Auberge facial is especially lush, employing Vintner’s Daughter Botanical Serum created by nearby Gargiulo Winery’s former winemaker April Gargiulo as part of the sublime experience. Spend some time pre or post-treatment in the spa’s steamy thermal soaking pool, which overlooks a seemingly endless stretch of Valley vineyards.</p><img alt="Auberge de Soeil, Napa Valley "src=""><p>At dinnertime, do what the locals do and settle in at the inviting <a href="" target="_blank">Rutherford Grill</a>, where winemakers sip and talk shop over elevated comfort food like fall-off-the-bone ribs and oak-grilled salmon. Perch for a while at the restaurant’s huge, festive bar – and don't hesitate to bring-your-own – there’s no corkage fee for the first bottle.</p><h2>St. Helena: Main Street U.S.A.</h2><p>The pretty hamlet of St. Helena is often called Napa Valley’s Main Street. Packed with indie boutiques, art galleries, wineries, and restaurants, this half-mile stretch of Highway 29 invites exploration – and may be the best place to secure a few Napa Valley mementos.</p><p>Kick things off at <a href="" target="_blank">The Model Bakery</a>, a St. Helena institution since 1908 famous for their from-scratch English Muffins and pecan-laden sticky buns, then stroll through town stopping into local favorites like <a href="" target="_blank">Pennyweight</a>, <a href="" target="_blank">Woodhouse Chocolate</a>, and <a href="" target="_blank">Vintage Home</a>. Tucked off the main thoroughfare at the end of Charter Oak Avenue, <a href="" target="_blank">Napa Valley Olive Oil Manufacturing</a> feels like stepping into a time capsule. The snug, circa-1931 Italian purveyor has been making olive oil for decades and still bottles their own custom blend on site. Around the corner, find wine-infused bath bombs, antioxidant-rich vinotherapy cream, and lush, lavender body butter at <a href="" target="_blank">Napa Soap Company</a> all made by Valley local Sheila Rockwood.</p><p>Opened in 1999 by brothers Joel and Duncan Gott, the indisputable St. Helena lunch stop is <a href="" target="_blank">Gott’s Roadside</a>. The red and white Highway 29 icon, with its umbrella shaded picnic tables and walk-up window, remains the quintessential drive-in joint. Fish tacos and healthy salads grace the menu, but there’s no need to stray from the classics – a couple of cheeseburgers and an order of fries accompanied by a glass or two of Buehler Vineyards 2015 Cabernet (this is wine country, remember) is all you need.</p><img alt="Gott's Roadside, St. Helena, Napa Valley "src=""><p>Later, take a break from the grape at <a href="" target="_blank">Mad Fritz Taproom</a>, home to hyper-local, single-origin beers by wine industry veterans Whitney Fisher and Nile Zacherle. Fisher and Zacherle, who launched the brewery in 2014, are wholly committed to making their bottle and cask-conditioned beers using locally grown ingredients. A rotating selection of Mad Fritz brews can be sampled at the new Taproom, which opened last spring.</p><h2>Calistoga: Pairing Wine and Wellness</h2><p>Built around abundant, natural hot springs, quirky Calistoga had a spa industry long before it had a wine industry and the northernmost Valley town still exudes its own brand of vintage charm.</p><p>Detox at Moonacre Spa &amp; Baths at the new <a href="" target="_blank">Calistoga Motor Lodge</a>, where the décor taps into classic, mid-century Americana. The vibe is pure camp – turquoise tiled walls dotted with cheeky signage surround claw-footed tubs that invite soaking while three geothermal mineral pools fed by underground springs await outdoors. For a dose of Napa Valley wellness-style, try the divine Wine Country Scrub – a grapeseed exfoliation followed by a full-body massage using oils infused with local rosemary and lavender. Afterwards, sit and schvitz in the spa’s large steam room, styled after the communal bathhouses of a bygone era.</p><img alt="Moonacre Spa and Baths at Calistoga Motor Lodge, Napa Valley "src=""><p>Ready to re-tox? Stick with the retro theme at <a href="" target="_blank">Tank Garage Winery</a>, which features a rotating selection of four, one-and-done wines during tastings. Housed in a cool, 1930s-era gas station complete with old-fashioned pumps, pinball machines, and a backroom speakeasy, Tank produces a small collection of unique California reds, whites, and rosés - so unique that once they’re gone, they’re gone.</p><img alt="Tank Garage Winery, Calistoga, Napa Valley "src=""><p>At nearby Solage, chef Massimo Falsini infuses California cuisine with Italian flair for a dining experience at <a href="" target="_blank">Solbar</a>, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection. Elegant and inviting, the airy space is made cozy with velvet banquettes, deep woods, and twinkling chandeliers while the vibrant bar offers several comfortable seating areas where diners can relax over pre-dinner cocktails. The menu changes with the seasons, taking full advantage of the bountiful ingredients provided by local growers and producers. Solbar also offers a stellar wine selection that is both extensive and playful, spotlighting a large selection of biodynamic wines from neighboring Eisele Vineyard along with 12 pages of offerings arranged by flavor profile.</p>
Categories: Travel

Disney Cruise Line Is About to Bring More Magic to the Sea With 3 Massive New Ships (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 09:57
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Disney Cruise Lines</a> will make some heavy-hitting additions to its fleet within the coming years.</p><p>By 2023, three additional new cruise ships will join the <a href="" target="_blank">Disney fleet</a>. And when they join, they will be the largest in the family, each weighing approximately 140,000 gross tons and with a capacity of about 1,250 guest staterooms.</p><p>In <a href="" target="_blank">an announcement about the new ships</a>, Disney said, “The new vessels will offer more innovation, new technologies, spectacular entertainment and more Disney stories and characters than ever before.”</p><img alt="Disney's New Cruise Ship and Marvel Characters "src=""><p>In renderings of the future ships, Disney said they aimed to “embody the elegance and romance of the golden age of ocean cruising with unique touches all their own.” One ship will set sail in 2021, another in 2022 and the final in 2023. At the moment, none of the ships have names.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Everything to Know for Your First Disney Cruise</a></p><p>In fact, not much is known about the ships besides their color scheme. From the first renderings, it looks like Disney’s new ships will maintain their distinctive Mickey Mouse coloring, with black, white, red and signature yellow life boats. The bow of the ship will be adorned with golden designs.</p><p>The ships will join the fleet at the cruise line’s home port in Port Canaveral, Florida, <a href="" target="_blank">according to <em>USA Today</em></a>.</p><p>The Disney Cruise Line fleet is still relatively small. There are only four ships, the oldest of which (Disney Magic) is currently 21 years old. The newest ship is Disney Fantasy, which set sail in 2012.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Beginning in 2020</a>, Disney Cruises will start to depart from New Orleans and will return cruises to Hawaii.</p>
Categories: Travel

Lea Michele Rented This Amazing Hawaii Home for Her Bachelorette Party — Here’s How You Can Rent It Too

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 09:09
<p>Lea Michele, the actress from the beloved series <i>Glee</i>, celebrated her upcoming wedding to Zandy Reich the best way imaginable: With a dreamy <a href="" target="_blank">bachelorette party</a> in Hawaii.</p><p>Michele’s bachelorette weekend in <a href="" target="_blank">Kalihiwai</a>, Hawaii surely upped the ante on all other bachelorette weekends. That’s because she got a little help from <a href="" target="_blank"></a> on finding and selecting her perfect party destination.</p><img alt="Hawaii Rental Home via "src=""><p>The 32-year-old <em>Scream Queens</em> alum had to find a house big enough for her entire girl squad, which meant finding a place for six of her closest friends including JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and her best friend, Stephanie Levinson.</p><p>She found that in <a href="" target="_blank">Ikena Lani</a>, a luxury residence on the island, whose name means “heavenly view.” The villa, <em><a href="" target="_blank">People</a></em> reported, typically runs at $2,400 per night in February.</p><p>The home was designed by the award-winning firms EDI Architecture and Trio Design Group. It’s meant to mimic a serene spa getaway and allow the warm Hawaiian breezes to flow throughout.</p><img alt="Hawaii Rental Home via "src=""><p>From the home, guests can take in the ocean views of the Kalihiwai Bay below and the Napali coast mountain range behind them.</p><p>The home is certainly big enough for a group like Michele’s as it comes with 3,500 square feet of living space, five bedrooms, five bathrooms, and a fully equipped gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances and fixtures. The home even has a gym, sauna, garage, a black bottom swimming pool, outdoor shower, and koi ponds, according to</p><p>How did Michele feel about the home? Just take a look at her Instagram caption: “The most incredible bachelorette weekend with my girls in Hawaii! Thank you so much <a href="" target="_blank">@bookingcom</a> for making it so special for us!”</p><img alt="Hawaii Rental Home via "src=""><p>Want to live out your A-list vacation fantasy, too? Here’s how you can <a href="" target="_blank">book the exact same getaway </a>for yourself.</p>
Categories: Travel

This New Tool Helps Long-distance Couples Find the Cheapest Places to Meet in the Middle

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 08:42
<p>Spending months away from the person you love can be emotionally taxing, especially when holidays like <a href="" target="_blank">Valentine’s Day</a> roll around.</p><p>That’s why search engine <a href="" target="_blank">Kayak</a> is releasing a new tool designed to help those separated from their loved ones find the most affordable ways to travel with one another, no matter what time of the year it is.</p><p>With Kayak’s new <a href="" target="_blank">Rendezvous</a> tool, those in long-distance relationships can see what the cheapest travel destinations are to meet at based on the cost of flights from each of their points of departure.</p><p>All users need to do is enter the two home cities they’ll be flying from and the dates of interest, and Rendezvous will suggest the most cost-efficient destinations to consider.</p><p>The tool looks at prices found in the last 48 hours to offer a comprehensive breakdown of several destinations that fit the bill, based on the predicted total cost of flights.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">Kayak May Have Finally Figured Out How to Take the Pain Out of Planning a Group Trip</a></p><p>Once a user sees a destination of interest, they can easily search for their own flights, or flights for their traveling partner, making it easy to book trips not only between long distance couples, but also for anyone who has friends and family that live in a different location.</p><p>To give an example, a current search on Rendezvous for one person from New York City trying to meet another who lives in Austin shows Fort Lauderdale as the cheapest destination, with a combined price of $217 for both flights. Results will of course fluctuate depending on the time of the search, but the tool is another way the search engine is making it simpler for those looking to plan trips with others to find options that are desirable and affordable. </p>
Categories: Travel

Jennifer Garner Went to Arkansas and All We Got Was This Video With a Plastic Hotel Penguin

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 08:01
<p>It’s clear that traveling with <a href="" target="_blank">Jennifer Garner</a> is an adventure. Just look at her Instagram.</p><p>If you <a href="" target="_blank">aren’t already following Garner</a>, you need to. She’s probably one of the most delightful people on the app, doling out fresh, feel-good, quirky content that also just so happens to be her celebrity life.</p><p>But it’s not all film shoots and photo spreads. Garner is also funny and down-to-earth and has a cute golden retriever. Everyone <a href="" target="_blank">loves golden retrievers</a>.</p><p>This week, according to her Instagram posts, she’s traveling without her kids. Because moms need to get away and relax sometimes, even when they’re A-list actresses. But there are still lots of ways Garner can get into mischief, it seems.</p><p>In her most recent Instagram video, Garner is clearly staying at one of the 21c Museum Hotels, which has locations all over the country and was named one of the <a href="" target="_blank">best small city hotels in the continental U.S.</a> by <em>Travel + Leisure</em>. It’s also famous for its multi-colored penguin sculptures. In the video, Garner is giving a bright green penguin a nice little shower.</p><p>We’re not sure why the penguin needed cleaning, but we’re happy to watch Garner lovingly bathe it.</p><p>The bright green penguin specifically belongs to the <a href="" target="_blank">Bentonville, Arkansas</a> location, as you can see on a <a href="" target="_blank">map on the hotel’s website</a>. The chain is a combination of a contemporary art museum and boutique hotel, and each location has its own, specifically colored, four-foot penguin made by Cracking Art Group.</p><p>According to <a href="" target="_blank">Bed and Brunch PR</a>, Holly Weyler McKnight, Director, Public Relations and Events with 21c said “They were intended to be a limited time exhibition but as they were on the property they began to take a life of their own and people began engaging with them.”</p><p>Occasionally, guests request the penguin in their rooms, like Garner, which the hotel is happy to do. And even though “they’re great companions,” according to McKnight, the penguins were originally intended to raise awareness of environmental issues, since they are made from petroleum.</p><p>And now the penguins are becoming their own social media stars. The 21C Museum Hotel features them frequently in posts on the hotel’s <a href="" target="_blank">official Instagram</a> as well.</p><p>More information about the 21c Museum Hotel can be found on the <a href="" target="_blank">hotel's website</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

Delta Is Removing ‘Creepy’ Napkins Encouraging Passengers to Give Out Their Phone Numbers on Flights

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 06:49
<p>The last thing anyone wants on their flight is an unwanted advance from a stranger. Especially if that stranger is an inanimate object.</p><p>According to <em><a href="" target="_blank">USA Today</a></em>, some passengers on Delta Airlines were left feeling a little “creeped out” by Diet Coke branded napkins on recent flights.</p><p>What’s so offensive about a napkin, you might ask?</p><p>Twitter users posted photos of the so-called creepy napkins, which, in addition to a weirdly suggestive, pick-up line style tag, have a spot for passengers to write down their personal phone numbers to then pass to another passenger.</p><p>No. Just no. If this was a Valentine’s Day ad campaign, they definitely missed the mark.</p><p>One side of the napkin tells passengers “because you’re on a plane full of interesting people...hey, you never know,” while the back (the side with spots for your name and number) encourages passengers to “be a little old school.”</p><p>Granted, in a society that defaults to social media and apps to get a date, it can be discouraging for single people out there. In fact, there’s even an app for <a href="" target="_blank">finding a date on your flight</a>. But we’re not sold on the idea of people carelessly handing out their numbers to strangers as being “old school” and romantic, especially 30,000 feet in the air.</p><p>As one Twitter user put it, “Pretty sure no one appreciated unsolicited phone numbers in the ‘good old days’ and they sure as heck don’t want the number of someone who has been gawking at them on a plane for hours today.”</p><p>But luckily, both companies involved heard passengers’ feedback loud and clear. Coca Cola said in a statement to the <a href="" target="_blank">Washington Post</a>, “We sincerely apologize to anyone we may have offended.”</p><p>“We rotate Coke products regularly as part of our brand partnership, but missed the mark with this one,” Delta said in a statement to <em>The Washington Post</em> and <em>USA Today</em>.</p><p>The napkins are being replaced with other designs.</p><p>Of course, this isn’t the first time Delta has been committed to "helping" people find love. In 2017, the airline launched a <a href="" target="_blank">“Tinder Wall”</a> with exotic travel backgrounds to help people take better pictures for their dating profiles.</p>
Categories: Travel

10 of the Best American Cities to Live Comfortably on $40,000 a Year (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Fri, 02/08/2019 - 06:07
<p>The American Dream doesn’t boil down to living outside of your means in big cities with soaring housing costs, tiny spaces, and $15 cocktails. It doesn’t have to be a choice between opportunity or obsoletion, between culture or cornfields.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">These Are the Most Affordable Countries to Buy a Vacation Home</a></p><p>In its June–July issue, <em><a href="" target="_blank">AARP The Magazine</a> </em>features 10 towns across the U.S. that you can call home for less than $40,000 a year. To create the list, the magazine took a different approach than in previous years, considering key livability factors like median housing price and accessibility to larger cities as well as more subjective characterizations like general vibe.</p><p><strong>Related:</strong> <a href="" target="_blank">These Are the Best U.S. Cities to Live in If You're Single</a></p><p>The main takeaway: Easy living doesn’t mean giving up the great outdoors or big cities; it means embracing them both — within reasonable proximity.</p><p>Read on to discover 10 U.S. cities where the good life is within reach, according to <a href="" target="_blank">AARP</a>.</p><h2>San Marcos, Texas</h2><img alt="Best American Cities to Live Comfortably on $40,000 a Year "src=""><p>It’s hard to find city comforts, natural wiles, and vibrant culture all in one place — unless you’re in San Marcos. This old Texas town benefits from nearby Austin and San Antonio (it’s less than an hour from each) and finds character in its Hispanic heritage and musical roots (check out Float Fest, a music festival on the river). Texas State University students and full-time residents alike are tempted outdoors year-round with more than 1,200 acres of parks to explore, while the consistently 72-degree waters of the San Marcos River are ready for swimming, SUPing, and tubing no matter the season.</p><p><strong>Median housing price:</strong> $197,500</p><p><strong>Vibe:</strong> Hill Country’s low-key charmer</p><p><strong>Freebies that count:</strong> Concerts take place in the park every Thursday during the summer.</p><p><strong>Best way to spend $10:</strong> Enchiladas at Herbert’s Taco Hut</p><p><strong>Urban getaways:</strong> Austin, 31 miles; San Antonio, 40 miles </p><h2>Alton, Illinois</h2><img alt="Best American Cities to Live Comfortably on $40,000 a Year "src=""><p>At the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers, Alton is saturated with the rich antebellum history typical of Southern cities, from an Underground Railroad station to Civil War sites visited by Lincoln himself. Particularly popular with bird watchers, it’s home to the largest state park in Illinois, which is a wonderland for anglers, climbers, and hikers. And because Alton is only 25 miles northeast of St. Louis, you’re never far from an international airport when the travel bug bites. </p><p><strong>Median housing price: </strong>$80,900</p><p><strong>Vibe:</strong> Funky small town with big-river life </p><p><strong>Freebies that count: </strong>Walk back in time with Abraham Lincoln; free audio tours connect 10 historic sites.</p><p><strong>Best way to spend $10: </strong>Grab a beer and a $3.99 Hot Chick on a Stick at legendary Fast Eddie’s Bon Air roadhouse, with live music nightly.</p><p><strong>Urban getaway: </strong>St. Louis, 26 miles</p><h2>Canandaigua, New York</h2><img alt="Best American Cities to Live Comfortably on $40,000 a Year "src=""><p>Life is picture-perfect in Upstate New York’s Canandaigua. Throughout the warmer months, residents enjoy the eponymous lake on which the city sits and all the boozy (and foodie) benefits of the adjacent Finger Lakes wine region. Come winter, adrenaline junkies take advantage of an average of 66 inches of annual snowfall, which only makes the historic downtown and 19th-century Queen Anne homes more photogenic. There’s a big focus on local here, as evidenced by New York Kitchen, a joint-effort nonprofit restaurant and learning space that supports the area’s culinary arts — of which there are many to explore.</p><p><strong>Median housing price:</strong> $191,600</p><p><strong>Vibe:</strong> Four-season fun</p><p><strong>Freebies that count:</strong> Check out the pioneer-kitchen exhibit at the Ontario County Historical Museum. </p><p><strong>Best way to spend $10:</strong> Sample local vintages at New York Kitchen, the city’s award-winning wine and culinary center.</p><p><strong>Urban getaway:</strong> Rochester, 25 miles</p><h2>Duluth, Georgia</h2><img alt="Best American Cities to Live Comfortably on $40,000 a Year "src=""><p>Though an Atlanta suburb may seem an unlikely culinary destination, Duluth is just that, due in no small part to the city’s diverse population. The Parsons Alley development project has become a hotbed of creative energy, in the form of delectable eateries, cool retail spaces, and public spaces. Plus, there’s no shortage of urban adventuring: The Town Green lights up in summer with free concerts and al fresco film screening, while the Infinite Energy Arena hosts major concert tours (hello, Beyoncé and Paul McCartney!) and gives sports fans something to cheer for as home to minor league hockey’s Atlanta Gladiators and the National Lacrosse League’s Atlanta Swarm.</p><p><strong>Median housing price:</strong> $209,600</p><p><strong>Vibe: </strong>Down-home diversity</p><p><strong>Freebies that count:</strong> See the galleries at the Jacqueline Casey Hudgens Center for Art &amp; Learning. The center also offers classes, including traditional Korean pottery, calligraphy, and soapmaking, at reasonable prices.</p><p><strong>Best way to spend $10:</strong> Head to Crave Pie Studio for a serving of coconut cream or seasonal peach.</p><p><strong>Urban getaway:</strong> Atlanta, 30 miles</p><h2>McMinnville, Oregon</h2><img alt="Best American Cities to Live Comfortably on $40,000 a Year "src=""><p>Nestled comfortably in the Oregon wine country and between the Cascades and coast, McMinnville spoils residents with more than 200 nearby wineries, ample farm-to-fork dining, and a historic downtown that’s been awarded one of the best Main Streets in America (complete with some 20 walkable craft breweries). It’s only about an hour from Portland or Salem, but with an annual UFO Festival and Turkey Rama carnival, McMinnville retains all the quirk of a small town.</p><p><strong>Median housing price:</strong> $290,200</p><p><strong>Vibe: </strong>Farm town for foodies</p><p><strong>Freebies that count:</strong> Picnic on the green at Linfield College and soak in the summer concerts. People 65-plus can audit classes for no charge.</p><p><strong>Best way to spend $10:</strong> Have a pint and some popcorn at the Bitter Monk. (For a $1 donation, compete in an adult spelling bee.)</p><p><strong>Urban getaway:</strong> Portland, 40 miles</p><h2>Munhall, Pennsylvania</h2><p>A borough built on the success of steel magnate Andrew Carnegie, Munhall is just seven miles from Pittsburgh, but the only hustle and bustle you’ll find here is The Waterfront development on the Monongahela River, where apartments meet urban-casual fare and shopping. But the gem of Munhall is the Carnegie Library of Homestead, a spectacular community meeting place built in 1898 that serves at once as library, athletic club, and music and performance hall that attracts talent like Jeff Goldblum, Josh Ritter, and Switchfoot.</p><p><strong>Median housing price:</strong> $81,300</p><p><strong>Vibe: </strong>American, circa 1950s</p><p><strong>Freebies that count:</strong> Pedal on to the Great Allegheny Passage, the 150-mile path connecting Pittsburgh to Washington, D.C.</p><p><strong>Best way to spend $10:</strong> Sample a slice at Di Sallis’ Pizza Parlor</p><p><strong>Urban getaway:</strong> Pittsburgh, 7 miles</p><h2>Gulfport, Florida</h2><img alt="Best American Cities to Live Comfortably on $40,000 a Year "src=""><p>Gulfport touts itself as a small town with a big heart, ready to accept newcomers with a warm greeting. A waterfront village filled with independently owned and operated businesses, Gulfport sits pretty on an aquatic preserve with colorful beach houses and an even more colorful tightly knit community. Residents turn out for the weekly farmers market and twice-monthly art walks along Beach Boulevard, but there are quiet moments to be had as well, lounging on the white sand beach, lazing under the Spanish moss hanging from old oaks, or kayaking the calm waters of Clam Bayou.</p><p><strong>Median housing price: </strong>$191,300</p><p><strong>Vibe:</strong> Key West vibe at a Costco price</p><p><strong>Freebies that count:</strong> The Gulfport GetGO, operated by volunteers, offer free rides daily until 10 p.m.</p><p><strong>Best way to spend $10:</strong> Find the nun-clad windows at Stella’s and settle in for breakfast and bloodies</p><p><strong>Urban getaway:</strong> Tampa/St. Petersburg, both 25 miles away</p><h2>Guthrie, Oklahoma</h2><img alt="Best American Cities to Live Comfortably on $40,000 a Year "src=""><p>Welcome to the Wild West! In Guthrie, just 30 miles north of Oklahoma City, visions of a cowboy-culture past live on in beautifully maintained Victorian buildings, the historic trolley that shuttles around town, and regular Old West reenactments. It’s also home to the annual Oklahoma International Bluegrass Festival, an active arts and entertainment scene, and a host of museums.</p><p><strong>Median housing price:</strong> $129,700</p><p><strong>Vibe: </strong>Postcards from the Wild West</p><p><strong>Freebies that count:</strong> Watch reenactors stage regular shoot-outs on South Second Street</p><p><strong>Best way to spend $10:</strong> Grab a latte at Hoboken Coffee Roasters, voted a national beauty by Architectural Digest</p><p><strong>Urban getaway: </strong>Oklahoma City, 33 miles</p><h2>Coralville, Iowa</h2><p>Great minds flock to Coralville, which abuts the University of Iowa in Iowa City. Here you’ll find walkable public spaces, like the Iowa River Landing, a former industrial zone turned 180-acre mixed-use development that’s now the hub of Coralville activity, with the Iowa Arena slated for completion next year. At nearby Coralville Lake, hundreds of campsites fill every summer with beach goers, boaters, and explorers eager to find fossils in the 375-million-year-old Devonian ocean floor, exposed after flood waters receded in the 1990s.</p><p><strong>Median housing price:</strong> $177,300</p><p><strong>Vibe:</strong> College meets cornfield</p><p><strong>Freebies that count: </strong>Cycling on the Iowa River Corridor Trail, Iowa’s busiest </p><p><strong>Best way to spend $10:</strong> Scratch Bakery’s famous cupcakes cost $2, and the menu changes daily </p><p><strong>Urban getaway:</strong> Iowa City, 3 miles</p><h2>Coeur d’Alene, Idaho</h2><img alt="Best American Cities to Live Comfortably on $40,000 a Year "src=""><p>The Pacific Northwest has a secret — and it’s in Idaho. The sparkling town of Coeur d’Alene, just 35 minutes east of Spokane, Washington, is rich in natural gifts. Winter dusts the mountains in picture-perfect snow, which melts into roaring rapids in time for spring blooms and rafting adventures, while long summer days are filled with festivals that set the scene for cozy autumnal afternoons curled up with local brew. The town’s namesake lake, dubbed one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in the world, has 135 miles of shoreline — plenty for you to explore at leisure.</p><p><strong>Median housing price:</strong> $247,700</p><p><strong>Vibe: </strong>Vast outdoor playground</p><p><strong>Freebies that count:</strong> Walk the world’s longest floating boardwalk </p><p><strong>Best way to spend $10: </strong>Ride on the city’s recently resurrected 1940s-era Carousel</p><p><strong>Urban getaway:</strong> Spokane, Washington, 33 miles</p>
Categories: Travel

MoMA Is Closing This Summer to Continue Renovations — Here’s What You Can Expect to See Inside When It Reopens

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 17:40
<p>Those heading to <a href="" target="_blank">New York City</a> will soon be able to visit a revamped Museum of Modern Art, as representatives from MoMA <a href="" target="_blank">have announced</a> that the museum is closing for several months this summer to continue with renovations of the space. </p><p>The renovated MoMA, which will open on Oct. 21, 2019 will include more than 40,000 additional square feet of gallery spaces, and a new way of showcasing its art.</p><p>In its expanded galleries, the museum will begin showcasing a variety of mediums and artworks from various timeframes side by side, combining contemporary pieces with early masterpieces, and incorporating painting and performances into the same space to reimagine how these art forms can be displayed.</p><p>“Inspired by Alfred Barr’s original vision to be an experimental museum in New York, the real value of this expansion is not just more space, but space that allows us to rethink the experience of art in the Museum,” director Glenn D. Lowry, said in a statement. “We have an opportunity to re-energize and expand upon our founding mission—to welcome everyone to experience MoMA as a laboratory for the study and presentation of the art of our time, across all visual arts.”</p><p>To showcase “the most innovative art,” galleries will change on a seasonal basis, while new works will further highlight those by artists of diverse backgrounds and geographies. </p><p><strong>Related: <a href="" target="_blank">New York City's New Museum of the Dog Is Home to the World's Largest Collection of Canine Fine Art</a></strong></p><p>All of the exhibitions during the October 2019 opening will include works from the museum’s collection, with upcoming exhibitions including Latin American Art collections, and exhibitions by artists Pope.L and Betye Saar.</p><p>A studio in the heart of the museum will serve as a space for live programs and performances incorporating dance, music, and sound works in connection to the art presented in its surrounding galleries, while street-level galleries that are free and open to all on the ground floor will help connect locals and travelers to its pieces.</p><img alt="North/south section-perspective through the new gallery spaces at The Museum of Modern Art, looking east along Fifty-third Street. "src=""><p>On the second floor, visitors will find a new space where they can further interact with the art, taking part in conversations, meeting artists, and creating art themselves.</p><p>The changes are part of a multi-year expansion and renovation project, with <a href="" target="_blank">Diller Scofidio + Renfro</a> designing the changes in collaboration with <a href="" target="_blank">Gensler</a>.</p><img alt="Elevation of The Museum of Modern Art on Fifty-third Street with cutaway view below street level. "src=""><p>As part of the renovation, changes include a light-filled main lobby that connects routes throughout the museum, a sixth-floor lounge complete with an outdoor terrace facing 53rd<sup> </sup>Street, and large glass features to open up views of the museum’s design and book store to the public.</p><p>“This work has required the curiosity of an archeologist and the skill of a surgeon,” Elizabeth Diller, a founding partner of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, said <a href="" target="_blank">in a prior statement</a> regarding the renovation.</p><p>“The improvements will make the visitor experience more intuitive and relieve congestion, while a new circulation network will knit together the expansion spaces with the lobbies, the theaters, and the Sculpture Garden to create a contiguous, free public realm that bridges street to street and art to city,” Diller added.</p><p>To prepare for the changes, the museum will be closing to the public after June 15 (though members will be able to visit on June 16 to celebrate the occasion) before it reopens again.</p><p>When it opens in October, the museum will also open at 10 a.m. each day and offer extended programming until 9 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month.</p><p>MoMA will also be partnering with <a href="" target="_blank">The Studio Museum</a> in Harlem, allowing for its exhibitions to be displayed in the museum and at MoMA PS1 while the Studio Museum constructs a new facility at its 125th Street location.</p>
Categories: Travel

This Stunt-loving Flight Attendant Celebrated Her 50th Birthday by Walking on the Wings of an Airplane

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 16:55
<p>William Shatner was right. There’s...something on the wing.</p><p>But don’t worry. It’s just a flight attendant celebrating her 50th birthday.</p><p>Sabrina Swenson, a daring, Germany-based flight attendant who celebrated turning 50, <a href="" target="_blank">wrote in a blog post</a> on the United Airlines website about her exciting idea to become a “wing walker” by walking on the wing of a plane mid-flight.</p><p>According to her post, Swenson first got the idea to take a ride outside the airplane about eight years ago while visiting her mother in the U.S.</p><p>"We stopped at a small airport cafe for breakfast. While looking over the menu, certain dishes had nicknames like 'the pilot,' 'the flight attendant,' and there it was…'the wing walker!' I thought, 'Hmm, that would be fun!'," she wrote. </p><p>After some research, Swenson found a company that actually specializes in taking people to the sky while safely strapped to the wings of the plane, even as an amateur.</p><p>As Swenson described, the company allows people to be strapped standing position on the very top of a Boeing Stearman biplane (yes, you have to stay there the whole time). Of course, this is the position Swenson chose, and she “enjoyed it immensely.”</p><p>But for her 50th birthday, she wanted to go bigger. That's when she found <a href="" target="_blank">Mason Wing Walking Academy</a>, an operation two hours from Seattle where she could actually learn to professionally wing walk.</p><p>Oddly enough, Swenson didn’t have to spend weeks studying for this stunt, just a morning. "The entire morning was spent reviewing and practicing the wing walking moves I would make. Over and over, I practiced learning what to do and not to do in flight," she wrote.</p><p>In the afternoon, the pilot arrived with a Boeing Stearman biplane and they were ready for take off over the Olympic Peninsula and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.</p><p>"Upon reaching the appropriate altitude and slowing down to just above a stall speed, the pilot wagged the wings, letting me know it was time to get out," Swenson wrote of her experience in the air.</p><p>"I left my seat and grabbed the two hand holds above me, fighting the wind the entire time. I carefully made my way up between the cables above me to the pole on top of the plane. I leaned against it and buckled into the four-point harness," she continued, later noting that she was strapped to a safety harness the entire time, just in case you were worried.</p><p>But of course, the pilot wasn’t going to go easy on her. Swenson said he started doing "loops, barrel rolls and hammerheads" as she was strapped to the wing. But after the first loop, Swenson said, she felt confident enough to throw out both arms.</p><p>After some "aerobatics" and other maneuvers, Swenson returned to her seat.</p><p>"I could have spent all day in the sky, but soon enough my time was finished,” she wrote. “The pilot brought us back to the grass strip and the hangar as I smiled from ear to ear." She added that it was one of the best days of her life.</p><p>Wing walking is a daring activity for thrill seekers, but you don’t have to be a trained stunt person to do it. Back in 2018, a 91-year-old woman became the <a href="" target="_blank">oldest person to wing walk</a>. Even <a href="" target="_blank">Elon Musk has done it</a>, not that we're surprised.</p><p>Read a more detailed account of Swenson’s experience on the <a href="" target="_blank">United Airlines Hub</a>.</p>
Categories: Travel

You Can Sit in the Iron Throne at This ‘Game of Thrones’ Bar in Chicago (Video)

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 11:01
<p>Don’t remind <em>Game of Thrones</em> fans that this is the last year “winter is coming.”</p><p>But for those who would prefer to drown their sorrows about their favorite show in alcohol, a bar in <a href="" target="_blank">Chicago</a> is making itself over as Westeros.</p><p>Visitors who walk into <a href="" target="_blank">Replay Lincoln Park</a> in the next few weeks will be dazzled by elaborate sets that seem to be taken directly from the show. The drinks are on fire. There is a dragon. And of course, there is a replica of the Iron Throne.</p><img alt="Replay Lincoln Park - Chicago - Game of Thrones Bar "src=""><p>“With this pop-up in particular, we were really trying to transform the space so people will feel like they’ve stumbled upon a fantastical world where they can escape the cold, hang out with a life-size dragon, and grab a couple drinks,” Raquel Hung, one of the artists who worked on the pop-up, <a href="" target="_blank">told<em> Forbes</em></a>.</p><img alt="Replay Lincoln Park - Chicago - Game of Thrones Bar "src=""><p>Even the menu is getting a makeover for the theme: Guests will be able to purchase <a href="" target="_blank">Ommegang’s selection</a> of brews inspired by the show — King in the North (barrel aged stout), Queen of Seven Kingdoms (sour blond ale), Hand of the Queen (barleywine) and Mother of Dragons (smoked porter blended with cherry kriek) — on tap.</p><p>Entry to the bar is free, although mega-fans should consider purchasing a $20 VIP ticket. The pass will let you skip to the front at the bar, get your photo among the epic installations and includes a free pint of mead or beer, which you’ll drink from a goblet you get to take home.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Replay Lincoln Park</a> is no stranger to a themed takeover. The bar has hosted previous themed pop-ups based on <em>The Office</em>, <i>It</i><em>’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia</em> and <em>Rick &amp; Morty</em>.</p><p>Much like the show, the concept of a <em>Game of Thrones</em> bar is extremely popular. In 2017, when the show was on the air, there were at least two different incarnations of the bar: <a href="" target="_blank">one in Washington D.C.</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">one in Edinburgh, Scotland</a>.</p><p>And last year, an ice hotel — yes, a hotel made of ice — in Finland partnered with HBO to create <a href="" target="_blank">themed <em>Game of Thrones</em> accommodations in the snow</a>.</p><p>To take it one step further, the biggest fans of the show should consider a bigger trip to tour the iconic sets for a <a href="" target="_blank">behind-the-scenes look</a>, including a <a href="" target="_blank">stop in Iceland</a> to really feel the cold.</p>
Categories: Travel

Scientists Found a USB Stick Full of Vacation Photos in Seal Poop — and Now They're Looking for Its Owner

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 10:27
<p>Did you happen to lose a USB drive full of photos and videos of your vacation in <a href="" target="_blank">New Zealand</a>? Well, we’ve got good news and bad news for you. The good news is, scientists found it. The bad news is, they found it in seal poop.</p><p>Krista Hupman, a biologist in New Zealand who studies the feces of leopard seals, shared with <em><a href=";smid=tw-nytimesworld" target="_blank">The New York Times</a></em> that her team found the odd discovery in fecal matter collected at Oreti Beach in the Southland region of the South Island of New Zealand in November 2017. The seal feces had previously been frozen for a later study of the animal’s diet, <i>The New York Times</i> explained.</p><p>“They said: ‘You won’t believe what we’ve found,’” Hupman said about the volunteer’s reaction to finding the USB stick.</p><p>According to the team, the USB stick was found fully intact with the cap still on. Best of all, it was still in working order.</p><p>The team checked out the memory stick and found images of wildlife taken at Porpoise Bay, which, <i>The New York Times</i> noted is almost 60 miles from where the feces was collected. However, there were no identifiable humans on the memory stick, only a blue kayak. Now, researchers are using that as a clue to help find the rightful owner.</p><p>“NIWA is searching for the owner of a USB stick found in the poo of a leopard seal,” the team tweeted. “[Recognize] this video? Scientists analyzing the scat of leopard seals have come across an unexpected discovery – a USB stick full of photos &amp; still in working order!”</p><p>So far, Hupman noted, at least four people have come forward to claim ownership of the stick. However, Hupman does not believe any of those people are the actual owner.</p><p><strong>Related: </strong><a href="" target="_blank">How to Spend the Ultimate, Thrill-seeking Week in New Zealand</a></p><p>While this is a rather humorous tale, volunteer Jodie Warren cautioned that it’s still a sign of potential environmental catastrophe.</p><p>"It is very worrying that these amazing Antarctic animals have plastic like this inside them," Warren <a href="" target="_blank">said</a>. "The more we can find out about these creatures, the more we can ensure they are looked after."</p>
Categories: Travel

‘Captain Marvel’ Fans Will Be Obsessed With This New Alaska Airlines Plane

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 10:12
<p>Meet the plane that will take you higher, further and faster than ever before.</p><p>At least, it <em>looks</em> like it could based on its mascot.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Alaska Airlines</a> added a special “Captain Marvel” themed Boeing 737 to its fleet at its hub in Seattle in honor of the new movie, starring Brie Larson, premiering March 8, <em><a href="" target="_blank">USA Today</a></em> reported.</p><p>Larson plays the titular character, also known as Carol Danvers, who was <a href="" target="_blank">a pilot in her own right</a> in some iterations of the character. So, it’s only fitting that Alaska Airlines was first in line to celebrate Captain Marvel.</p><p>“We're excited to showcase a pilot who's risen to Super Hero status – an image that embodies strength and confidence and inspires future aviators across our expansive network to go further,” said Natalie Bowman, Alaska Airlines' managing director of marketing and advertising, in a statement to <i>USA Today</i>.</p><p>Passengers over the wing can also catch a glimpse of Captain Marvel’s cat, Goose, according to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Points Guy</a></em>.</p><p>The plane itself will be operating on cross-country routes and flights to Hawaii, including between Bellingham, Washington (BLI) and Maui’s Kahului Airport (OGG), <i>The Points Guy</i> reported.</p><p>Many airlines like to celebrate pop culture or historical events with <a href="" target="_blank">themed planes</a>. Over the years there have been several planes decorated with popular characters, including an adorable <a href="" target="_blank">Toy Story plane</a> operated by China Eastern Airlines back in 2018.</p>
Categories: Travel

Tyra Banks Is Opening a Modeling Theme Park in California

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 10:07
<p>In case you didn’t know, Tyra Banks is a well-diversified woman. Not only is she a model, television host, entrepreneur, and Harvard extension school graduate, but she’s also apparently a new theme park owner, too.</p><p>On Tuesday, the multi-hyphenate announced her plans to build a new modeling theme park that will also be a mall — because like her, all of her projects must be multi-purpose as well. It will be called, <em>what else</em>, Modelland.</p><p>“Iconic Supermodel turned Super Entrepreneur Tyra Banks announces her biggest venture yet, Modelland,” a press release stated. “A first-of-its-kind experiential attraction, Modelland will intersect a fantasy version of the modeling world with state-of-the-art interactive entertainment, creative collaborations, curated retail, dining and special events.”</p><p>The park, which the press release calls a “breakthrough new attraction,” is set to open in late 2019 at Macerich’s Santa Monica Place in <a href="" target="_blank">Santa Monica</a>, California.</p><p>“It’s my calling to bring modeling to the masses,” Banks shared with <em><a href="" target="_blank">WWD</a></em> about the park she says she’s been working on for the last decade. “It’s a permanent attraction anchoring the mall,” Banks added. “I’m inspired by <a href="" target="_blank">Disneyland</a>, a place I went to a lot as a child. There is a storyline I have been working on for a year. Anybody can enter and feel like a model.”</p><p>The park will be a multi-level ticketed interactive experience, according to Banks.</p><p>“Modelland has been 10 intense years in the making,” Banks said in a statement. “It has been my ultimate dream and I have worked tirelessly with laser-focused tunnel vision to bring it to fruition. Modelland will awaken your childlike glee by entertaining and educating in unexpected ways that will make learning about oneself fierce and fun. I want people to feel seen and validated. Modelland will provide the tools for them to do so and empower them to embrace, adorn and celebrate their own unique beauty.”</p><p>Though we’re still a little unclear as to what this will all look like, we’re totally here for it. Especially if there’s a space where we can learn to <em><a href="" target="_blank">smize</a></em>.</p><p>“Modelland is all about celebrating your flawsome self,” the statement read. “We are fun. We are fierce. We are fantasy. And, we are for real.”</p>
Categories: Travel

You Could Get Paid $97,000 a Year to Visit Private Islands and Test Luxury Cars, Jets, and Yachts

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 10:01
<p>Luxury shopping marketplace and concierge service <a href="" target="_blank">Hush Hush</a>, which showcases a variety of luxury goods, brands, and services, is on the search for a luxury product tester.</p><p>One lucky candidate could get paid close to £75,000 (about $97,000) a year, all while getting to sample and experience <a href="" target="_blank">luxury products</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">destinations</a>.</p><p>With the full-time position, the tester will be responsible for reviewing a variety of products before they’re listed for sale on the website.</p><p>The candidate will test these products for their style, comfort, performance, and suitability for the website, producing a report on each item and working with company suppliers as part of the role.</p><p>As part of the position, the tester will be surrounded by luxury goods, with some of the most expensive items that are featured on the website including an $80 million French chateau, a $71 million jewel-encrusted watch, a $61 million superyacht, and a $23 million jet.</p><p><strong>Related: <a href="" target="_blank">21 of the World’s Ultimate Luxury Vacations</a></strong></p><p>Testers will be working across areas that include aircraft, cars, art, fashion, jewelry, and furniture, which is why they’ll need to be a quick learner and show a passion for travel, art, and fashion.</p><p>The company is also looking for a candidate that has an eye for detail and has the ability to travel, as reviewing private islands and properties that are for sale across the globe will also be part of the role.</p><p>Applications are open through the end of February, with candidates required to be 18 or older to apply. Ideal candidates should also posses the ability to write and maintain a professional and approachable nature as a representative of the company. </p><p>Interested candidates are invited to apply on the <a href="" target="_blank">company’s website</a> by providing their name, email, contact information, and a brief introduction for the possibility to gain an interview for the role. </p>
Categories: Travel

This Multi-millionaire Is Looking to Buy a Mountain So He Can Have His Family's Faces Carved Like Mount Rushmore

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 09:41
<p>Move over, <a href="" target="_blank">Mount Rushmore</a>.</p><p>There’s a man in the U.K. who wants to put the iconic U.S. monument to shame. He just needs the perfect mountain to do it.</p><p>According to<em> The Scottish Herald</em>, an English multi-millionaire is seeking to buy a mountain in Scotland for £12 million (about $15.5 million USD) in order to carve faces into it in the style of Mount Rushmore.</p><p>But not the faces of British Monarchy, or statesmen, or even The Beatles. He just wants to carve his own family’s faces into it. This is taking the Sears Photo Studio to a way extra level.</p><p>And apparently, according to <em><a href="" target="_blank">The Scottish Herald</a>, </em>Scotland is the best place to find particularly high peaks in Britain. The request to find an appropriate mountain was put forth on the luxury marketplace website <a href="" target="_blank">HushHush</a>.</p><p>The anonymous buyer said the mountain would need to be big enough to “fit me, the missus, my three boys, my daughter and our dog so I’d like it to be quite large,” the <em><a href="" target="_blank">Scottish Sun</a></em> reported. He’s also open to a cliff face. And, most importantly, it has to be a surprise.</p><p>Perhaps unsurprisingly, not everyone is in favor of this proposal and some even think it's an elaborate joke. Neil Reid of Mountaineering Scotland told <em>The Scottish Herald</em>, “It would not be a case of buying a mountain and carving your face in it, I would have thought you would need planning permission.”</p><p>Some even have denounced it as vandalism, according to <em>The Scottish Herald</em>. Ben Nevis, a spokesman for the John Muir Trust, said, “we see ourselves as guardians rather than owners, protecting these mountains for present and future generations. We hope no-one would dream of selling any mountain so it can be defaced by an irresponsible millionaire.”</p><p>So, it seems this anonymous millionaire’s request may end up being an up-hill battle (sorry).</p><p>But it’s apparently not the first time he’s bought an extravagant gift for his family. According to <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Metro</em></a>, he bought them a private tropical island and bought his wife a necklace through HushHush only last week.</p>
Categories: Travel

Dad Writes Letter to Stranger Who Taught His Daughter 'What Compassion Looks Like' at the Airport

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 09:04
<p>Parents get a pretty raw deal while traveling. It’s not easy being 100-percent responsible for yourself plus at least one other human being. They have to tend to their child's every possible need — or, at the very least, <a href="" target="_blank">keep them occupied</a>.</p><p>That’s why when a good stranger comes along to show parents a little kindness and maybe even give them a little break, it can be very much appreciated.</p><p>One dad met a stranger like that on Feb. 1 while traveling from Las Vegas to San Diego with his wife and 16-month-old daughter, <em><a href="" target="_blank">Good Morning America</a></em> reported.</p><p>Kevin Armentrout, whose talkative daughter, Carter Jean, was “being her usual inquisitive self” at the airport, met a man named Joseph Pat Wright while waiting for their flight, he wrote in a Facebook post.</p><p>“[Joseph] reached out and asked if she wanted to sit with him. He pulled out his tablet and showed her how to draw with it, they watched cartoons together, and she offered him snacks. This wasn’t a short little exchange, this was 45 minutes,” Armentrout wrote.</p><p>Beyond simply noting how nice Wright was to his child, Armentrout was struck by how much of a profound moment it was, especially in the current political climate.</p><p>“Watching them in that moment, I couldn’t help but think, different genders, different races, different generations, and the best of friends. This is the world I want for her. In a country that is continuously fed that it’s so deeply divided by beliefs, I want her life to be filled with moments like this... not liberal or conservative republican or democrat, socialist or capitalist, just HUMAN,” he wrote.</p><p>He ended his note by thanking Wright for “showing my daughter what kindness and compassion looks like.”</p><p>The post has been shared over 128,000 times, but it is unclear whether or not Wright has seen it. Occasionally, posts like this do reach the people they are written to, like one from a mother to a <a href="" target="_blank">man who gave up his first class seat</a> for her chronically ill daughter.</p><p>Next time you're stuck waiting around an airport, maybe use your time to make someone else's day better. It'll likely make your trip better, too.</p>
Categories: Travel

JetBlue's Latest Sale Will Let You Escape the Cold for $39 One-way

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 08:36
<p>If the recent blast of <a href="" target="_blank">arctic air</a> has you dreaming of a warm-weather getaway now may be the time to go. That’s because JetBlue is hosting a flash sale that could get you to places like California and Florida ASAP.</p><p>In a promotional email, the airline announced its “hip-hop somewhere great” promotion. As part of the promotion, JetBlue is offering one-way tickets booked by Thursday, Feb. 7 to some of its best <a href="" target="_blank">warm-weather destinations</a> for just $64.</p><p>However, there is a catch: Travel must take place from Feb. 12 to April 30. There is also a blackout date on Feb. 19, and the tickets must be booked for Tuesday and Wednesday travel. But even with these caveats, if you’re planning to travel soon for work, pleasure, or spring break, this could be the prime time to get your tickets.</p><p>As <em><a href="" target="_blank">EliteDaily</a></em> noted of the sale, the price shown in the promotional email is a $64 flight from New York City to <a href="" target="_blank">Charleston</a>. The site also found deals from <a href="" target="_blank">Las Vegas</a> to <a href="" target="_blank">Long Beach</a> for a mere $39 one-way. There were also tickets from <a href="" target="_blank">Austin</a> to <a href="" target="_blank">Orlando</a> for $64, as well as <a href="" target="_blank">Boston</a> to <a href="" target="_blank">Nashville</a> for $59.</p><p>Of course, you can still score great deals on other destinations that aren’t a part of this sale, as well. While perusing JetBlue’s Best Fare Finder, we were able to find tickets from <a href=";origin=JFK&amp;destination=CHS&amp;fare=DOLLARS" target="_blank">New York to Los Angeles</a> in February and March for as low as $119 one-way. Those looking for a more tropical getaway can even find flights from <a href=";origin=JFK&amp;destination=CHS&amp;fare=DOLLARS" target="_blank">New York to San Juan, Puerto Rico</a> in both February and March for as low as $103 one-way as well.</p><p>Need more spring travel inspiration? Check out <em>Travel + Leisure’s</em> entire <a href="" target="_blank">guide to spring travel</a> and get going.</p>
Categories: Travel

Snow Polo is a Thing — And I Went to the World Cup for It

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 08:00
<p>While us regular folk commemorate the colder months by, say, slapping on the skis once a season, the international jet prefers to get a bit more inventive — or perhaps, over-the-top — when it comes to their winter sport of choice.</p><p>Enter snow polo, a death-defying take on the Sport of Kings that challenges even the most gifted players on the circuit through freezing temperatures, gusting winds, and of course, vision-blurring swirls of snow.</p><p>To witness a match first-hand, I trek to <a href="" target="_blank">St. Moritz, Switzerland </a>— the small, luxurious ski town located three hours away from <a href="" target="_blank">Zurich</a> by train — where the annual <a href="" target="_blank">Snow Polo World Cup</a> is set to unfold over the course of a weekend. The route weaves through the Swiss Alps and offers views so picturesque that the journey has earned a UNESCO “World Heritage Sight” distinction.</p><p>Stepping off the train, I scan my surroundings, counting the number of floor-length fur coats and feather-covered caps in sight. Much like Aspen, St. Moritz is a town of just 5,000 year-round residents, but its population swells during the winter months, when a well-heeled set of regulars come to partake in exclusive sporting events like snow golf, white turf horse racing, vintage car rallies, and of course, snow polo.</p><img alt="Grand Hotel Kronenhof, St. Moritz, Switzerland "src=""><p>I check into <a href="" target="_blank">The Grand Hotel Kronenhof</a>, one of the many high-end hotels in the area, which sets a distinctly Wes Anderson-worthy scene with its pastel-hued, symmetrical architecture dating back to 1864. Today, it offers all of the modern bells and whistles, along with a lavish restaurant, a cozy, wood-paneled parlor, and a basement bowling alley that serves Swiss treats like fondue and potato roti. These hideouts, I come to learn, are where snow polo players come to sip their signature post-game cocktail, a mix of mix of Coca Cola and Fernet-Branca digestif.</p><p>Ahead of the Snow Polo World Cup final, I meet with lifelong polo player Malcom Borwick, who refreshes me on the brass tax and nuances of the sport. Donning his branded riding gear, he explains that the game is divided into six seven-minute play periods called chukkers, and that players are restricted to using the polo mallet in their right hands.</p><p>But the similarities between the average game of polo and snow polo end there. With snow polo, the “field” takes the form of a frozen, snow-covered Lake St. Moritz. A bright red inflatable ball replaces the white, usually wooden variety. And horses wear metal race plates and snow rim pads (“essentially like snow tires for their hooves”). </p><img alt="Snow Polo Gala, St. Moritz, Switzerland "src=""><p>Later that day, I dine with many more skilled players at the Snow Polo Gala, a black-tie affair held inside the Badrutt’s Palace Hotel. I notice that nearly all the players are sporting an assortment of nicks, cuts, and bruises from their battles on the field. One competitor in particular, Adrian Laplacette, earns many glances thanks to the bandage wrapped around his ear — the result of an opponent’s hard-swinging polo mallet.</p><p>Turning heads in a different way is Melissa Ganzi, the first and only woman to earn a spot in the Snow Polo World Cup Final. Dressed in a show-stopping sequined Louis Vuitton number, she’s accompanied by her husband, Marc, and son, Grant, both talented players in their own right.</p><p>This being the eve of the final match, I’m impressed by how the players are taking it in stride.</p><p>“I don’t have any pre-game routine,” says the dashing Alfredo Bigatti, one of the four players on the Badrutts Palace team. “I just get up and go.”</p><p>When Sunday morning arrives, an appropriately heavy flurry blankets the town as we make our way to the lake. The scene inside the grounds is a mix of runway show, cocktail party, and sporting event, set to the sounds of clinking glasses and galloping hooves.</p><img alt="Spectators at Snow Polo, St. Moritz, Switzerland "src=""><p>I take in the match first from the grand stands to get a bird’s eye view of the action, and later relocate to the sidelines, where the horses whiz past my head and an announcer often cautions us to stand back. Throughout the game, I see the eight dueling ponies and their riders race across the field, usually concluding in a scrum around their respective goal posts. It’s a nail-biting mix of flying mallets, bucking ponies, and more than a few expletives in foreign languages. </p><p>But with tensions high and their sights set on making history, Melissa Ganzi and her partners eventually pull away from Team Maserati, winning 7 to 3. As the proverbial crowd goes wild, Ganzi gallops past us, raising her mallet in triumph.</p><img alt="Badrutts Palace Polo Team, St. Moritz, Switzerland "src=""><p>She’s the first woman to ever win the Snow Polo World cup in its 35 years.</p><p>Later, the players celebrate this historic moment in a trophy presentation, complete with speeches, photo opps, and a toast. And corks popped, the team and the crowd sprayed in a shower of champagne.</p><p>“I am beyond happy,” Melissa yells, jubilant. “We’ll be back next year.”</p>
Categories: Travel

Timothee Chalamet Flies Coach and Is Ridiculously Nice to His Seatmates, According to This Lucky Fan

Travel and Leisure - Thu, 02/07/2019 - 06:32
<p>It turns out stars really are just like us. At least when it comes to travel.</p><p>Earlier this week, Twitter user Alankrutha took to social media to share her nearly unbelievable encounter with Oscar-nominated actor Timothee Chalamet. Why was it so unbelievable? Well, according to Alankrutha, Chalamet was snuggled up in <a href="" target="_blank">economy class</a> like a normal, non-famous person.</p><p>“Y’all nbd just sat next to <a href="" target="_blank">@RealChalamet</a> on a 3 hour flight and we CHATTED FOR AN HOUR NBD I AM SUPER CALM RIGHT NOW AS EVERYONE CAN TELL,” the fan tweeted about the encounter.</p><p>According to Alankrutha, she immediately recognized Chalamet but tried to play it cool for his sake. However, about 30 minutes into the flight she had to confirm her suspicions. So, she turned to her seatmate and said, “Hey, you look exactly like Timothee Chalamet” to which he smiled and replied, “I get that a lot.”</p><p>Alankrutha let it go, at least for a little while. But, after she enjoyed a sandwich, she finally turned to him and said: “I know you’re Timothee.”</p><p>The actor then laughed and confirmed his true identity, according to Alankrutha. With her suspicions confirmed, she began to grill the actor with questions like, “Why are you sitting in economy class (he laughed and said how dare you), have you met Beyoncé (he has not), how is Steve Carrell (he said he’s amazing and offered to FaceTime him!!)”</p><p>But, the best part of the journey, Alankrutha said, was just how invested the actor was in learning more about her.</p><p>“What shocks me the most is this dude wanted to know about me. He asked me what I do, what project management is about (literally who cares Timothee), where I grew up and PRONOUNCED MY NAME RIGHT,” she tweeted.</p><p>She added, “And all his questions were super sincere and genuine and he KEPT high fiving/ friendly nudging and while my heart was exploding, I also spoke to him like I would to a friend only bc he made me feel so comfortable!”</p><p>Before the two parted ways, Chalamet offered to take a selfie with his seatmate, which she posted on Twitter:</p><p>"Idk how one can be this terrible at taking selfies but look out world here I come," Alankrutha wrote at the end of her Twitter stream. "Anyway idc just look at his face, this experience has been beautiful and he’s a very nice person (and we might be friends but idkkkkk)."</p>
Categories: Travel

Rumors Suggest Universal Orlando Is Building a Massive New Park — and It Might Involve Super Mario World

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 02/06/2019 - 17:51
<p><a href="" target="_blank">Universal Orlando</a> is launching a new theme park. At least, we <em>think</em> they are.</p><p>Based on a number of leaked documents that made their way to the internet, Universal may (or may not) be building a new park called “The Fantastic Worlds.” The park,<i> </i><em><a href="" target="_blank">Orlando Weekly</a></em><i> </i>reported, will be built along Kirkman and Universal Boulevard, just south and east of Lockheed Martin.</p><p>Though Comcast has yet to verify the authenticity of the leaked information, <em>Orlando Weekly </em>reported the photos did come from an official Comcast townhall meeting. Several insiders have also independently confirmed the authenticity of the documents, <em>Orlando Weekly</em> explained.</p><p>According to the leaked information, the new park will be a bit of a departure for the theme park. If it comes to fruition it will be one of the largest parks Universal has ever constructed. <em>Orlando Weekly</em> noted that it will also be made with a “hub-and-spoke design,” reminiscent of <a href="" target="_blank">Disney’s Magic Kingdom</a> and Animal Kingdom.</p><p>Typically, Universal parks use what is known as a "race track" circular layout, to keep guests moving. However, this new park will likely come with a central attraction and spread out from there. It is not known what that central icon will be.</p><p>Though the leaked documents didn’t confirm what the theme of the new park will be, <em>Orlando Weekly</em> is speculating Super Mario may be involved. However, at the bottom of the documents sit a number of other trademarks, including both <a href="" target="_blank">Harry Potter</a> and Jurassic Park, but that could just be coincidental.</p><p>Even the budget for the new park is unknown, however, <em>Orlando Weekly</em> estimated it may cost the same as <a href="" target="_blank">Universal Studios Beijing’s</a> new park, which ran upwards of $6.5 billion. The company, the leaked documents revealed, is hoping this new park in Orlando will encourage people to stay an extra day and make it at least a three-day travel destination.</p><p>So, we don’t know what it is, when it’s happening, or what the rides will be. But, we know it’s <em>something</em>, so, that’s something.</p><p>Fingers crossed for a real-life Super Mario Kart track, banana peels included.</p>
Categories: Travel