United States Travel Guide

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Fire It Up at Wisconsin's Famous Fish Boil

April 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM | by | Comments (0)

Traverse City and the rest of Northern Michigan get all the love when it comes to midwest summer destinations, but don't sleep on Door County, the peninsula that sits directly west across Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. Right, we know what you're thinking. The first thing that comes to mind when someone says "Wisconsin" is winter, and you can get cheese in any supermarket, thank you very much.

This mentality is precisely what makes Door County so enjoyable to visit, the fact that it crushes all your preconceived notions of what Wisconsin is as a state and travel destination. What you'll find during the summer is a mellow, bed-and-breakfast paced community on a peninsula that is comprised of a series of small towns tucked in between dairy farms, wineries, and cherry orchards. You might also remember our story last fall about the restaurant with the goats on the roof. That's a novel place and a staple of the city, and foodies will also appreciate another local favorite, the state's traditional fish boil held "backyard style" during the warmer months.

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This is the Mother of All Ways to Experience the USA Pro Challenge

April 18, 2014 at 10:11 AM | by | Comments (0)

Fans of the cycling circuit are no doubt looking forward to this summer's USA Pro Challenge in Denver, when the world's best racers will take on an eight-city route through the Rocky Mountains, including Aspen, Crested Butte, Colorado Springs, Gunnison, Breckenridge, Vail, Denver, and Boulder. The typical spectator might hit one or two of them, but a company called NextGreatTrip has created the mother of all VIP itineraries for the race should you have an extra $9,500 lying around.

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Is 'Flytographer' the Solution in the Struggle for Vacation Selfies?

April 17, 2014 at 6:21 PM | by | Comments (0)

Let's be real. Nothing is more embarrassing than a selfie stick, but you can't just travel around with a personal photographer in tow. Or can you?

Flytographer.com finally has a solution for travelers who are struggling for selfies, consistently disappointed with vacation photos, or feel like they're not living in the moment with an eye to a viewfinder. That solution is to book a local vacation photographer who will tag along to craft an informal photo shoot in your destination.

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Should Airlines Just Do Away with the Pre-Flight Safety Spiel?

April 17, 2014 at 8:28 AM | by | Comments (6)

By now, you’ve probably seen the footage of the Southwest flight attendant who made the mother of all mockeries of the safety briefing. Lots of flight attendants have put on such a routine in the past, yet few have been so transparent about their second-hand intentions. Most, we assume, are just trying to make a mundane, mandatory speech colorful and interesting. But according to this latest video’s description on YouTube, this flight attendant had a bigger vision: She wants to make an appearance on Ellen.

This writer is not even going to get into that last part, as it would only help her cause. I will tackle the bigger picture here, the well-known fact that even flight attendants aren’t afraid to advertise that the safety video is nothing more than a legal burden, that they think it’s an absolute joke, so much so that they’re consistently willing to go out on a limb to make fun of it, to joke around as if airplanes never have accidents, to refer to the lifejacket as a "teeny weeny yellow Southwest bikini."

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Strip Off the Winter Coat for a Frolick in These California Flower Fields

April 16, 2014 at 10:54 AM | by | Comments (0)

Just the other day we shared a great place to tiptoe through the tulips, and now we’ve got another recommendation on where to check out all the glory that is the spring season. Pack your favorite allergy medicine—we’d recommend at least a Claritin or two—and head to Carlsbad, California, as The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch are now in the business of blooming until May 11.

Not too far north from San Diego sit over fifty acres of blossoms, as Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers take over the rolling hills and fields. The Fields are open to the public each and every day of the week and, judging from the picture, it’s well worth the cost of admission. It’ll set you back $12 for the adults in your group, and the kids will be just $6—with those under two scooting in for free. If you like what you see, opt for a season pass that'll set you back $25.

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This is Our Vote for South Jersey's Best Beach Town

April 16, 2014 at 9:52 AM | by | Comments (0)

Yesterday, this writer talked about the advantage of driving into a destination, a perspective you don't necessarily gain when you fly. I can remember specific moments when this concept was affirmed for me as fact, many from a trip I've been making almost every year of my life: Driving from the city of Philadelphia to the South Jersey coast.

I'll spare you the childhood recollections and instead point to the summer of 2012, when I made a road trip that took me to Cape May, Damascus, Hammondsport, and Beaufort. Not to take anything away from the latter three - I've already told you what I like about them - but I remember my arrival in Cape May much better than I do the others. The reason was because of the change, from the concrete of Philly to the farmland of South Jersey to the salty reeds of the shore.

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Smithsonian Air and Space Museum to Get First Refresh Since the 1970s

April 16, 2014 at 9:42 AM | by | Comments (0)

We checked out the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum when we were kids, and when we visited it recently—it looked exactly as we remembered it. Turns out that things haven’t really changed much since the place’s debut back in 1976, but thankfully that’s about to change as the place is undergoing a little bit of a 21st century facelift.

There will be some temporary closures of exhibits over the next two years, but it’s a small price to pay to get things looking shiny and new once again. Obviously history hasn’t really changed, but the curator folks are changing up what they’re showing off. Things from the Apollo moon landing will now be one of the main features that greet guests, while great goodies from the past like the Spirit of St. Louis, the Mercury capsule from the first Earth orbit, and an Apollo Lunar Module will all be some of the stuff on display.

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How to Get Last-Minute Tickets to the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival

April 15, 2014 at 3:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

Tomorrow the Tribeca Film Festival opens with a new mix of foreign films, documentaries, big budget movies, filmmaker talks, and indies including the Nas doc Time Is Illmatic and Begin Again starring Keira Knightly.

With only a few hours left until the start of the fest, tickets are running out quickly. Luckily, the festival has put together a daily list of screenings with limited tickets left to help fans navigate the packed schedule.

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Why Drive When You Can Fly? We Can Think of One Really Good Reason

April 15, 2014 at 11:59 AM | by | Comments (0)

Scenery along I-70 in Kansas. No, that's not a UFO.

To say we're obsessed with air travel would be an understatement, but keeping in line with our budget-friendly, small town travel recommendations for the summer, we have to give the good old-fashioned road trip some love.

There are obvious benefits to flying over driving. Time, for one, and the amount of options that it opens up (you can't drive across the Atlantic). We often hear people complain when they have to drive long distances, and for this writer, that used to be the case as well, until I realized how much perspective you can gain on a region when you travel via car.

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Where to Go with Your Tax Refund: Austin, the Lone Star State's Capital of Cool

April 15, 2014 at 10:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

Tax day is here, and you're probably excited...but not because you love sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" trip—a Tax Refund Vacation.

In case you didn’t hear, today’s the day you'll need to finalize your tax return and, if all goes according to plan, your refund should be arriving by check or direct deposit within the next few weeks. At last update, the friendly folks at the IRS report that the average refund this year is just shy of $3,000, so we say it’s time to take that money and head out of town.

Affordability is key during tax season, so today we're featuring a domestic destination, to Texas' capital of cool—Austin. Now’s the time to visit before the sweltering summer weather rolls in, and with an average April temperature of nearly 80 degrees, you can enjoy the sun without the humidity of the tropics.

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Boston's All Set to Blanket the City with 'Wicked Free WiFi'

April 15, 2014 at 8:38 AM | by | Comments (0)

Checking out a city is always a little easier with the help of WiFi access, least of all to double-check direction in Google Maps. Thankfully Boston agrees, and it has started to flip the switch on city-wide connectivity. City officials have named the network "Wicked Free WiFi".

Up first is the Grove Hall neighborhood, encompassing about one and a half square miles and home to roughly 30,000 residents. This neighborhood was chosen as number one to provide decent speeds to those who might not necessarily be able to afford paying the premium for broadband at home, as city officials clearly recognize a resident's right to social media usage.

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Urban Wine Trails Are Cool, But There’s No Substitute for Wine Country

April 14, 2014 at 5:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

In celebration of the most needed happy hour of the week, this column, called “Monday, Five Thirty,” takes a look at all things booze from around the world. Last week, it was a potent after-dinner drink made of "gum drops." This week, we head to California wine country.

If the hand-holding haven of Lotusland is Santa Barbara's best kept secret, then its proximity to the Santa Ynez wine country is a close second. From downtown, a scenic drive up Highway 154 will take you up "into the valley," past Lake Cachuma and through the towns of Solvang, Los Olivos, and Buellton. Northern California gets most of the attention when it comes to wine on a national level, yet the Santa Ynez Valley was put on the map when it was featured in the book turned movie, Sideways.

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