United States Travel Guide

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10 Reasons Why Washington State's Ferry Travel is Awesome

February 27, 2015 at 5:30 PM | by | Comment (1)

Living in the Pacific Northwest, ferry travel is a way of life. People rely on this mode of transportation to get to work, for inter-island travel and to get away, relax and explore. If you’re in a rush, it can definitely test your patience. But if you have the time, it’s a great way to slow down and take a scenic forced “time out” on route to a destination. Here are 10 reasons why I’d rather be taking Washington State Ferries (WSF):

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Photos: Cathay Pacific's First Class Menu by Mandarin Oriental San Francisco

February 27, 2015 at 3:19 PM | by | Comments (0)

Once you fly in First Class, on a long-haul international flight, it's quite difficult to return to coach on another flight having tasted what's on offer in the front of the plane. This is especially true for First passengers on Cathay Pacific, not only because the First Class seats were recently updated and remain a flyer favorite, but because the airline enjoys showing off in the in-flight dining department.

For 2015, Cathay Pacific's big treats for First Class travelers are monthly menus designed by Executive Chefs from Mandarin Oriental properties around the world. We already gave you an exclusive preview of the MO New York February meals, but now it's time for March and Mandarin Oriental San Francisco.

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Throwback: A Look at the Old Transcontinental Airway System

February 25, 2015 at 6:37 PM | by | Comments (0)

Back in the 1920s and 30s, before GPS and autopilot, air-mail pilots had to rely on another form of directional assistance when crossing the country: Gigantic arrows.

It sounds like we're kidding, but we're not! The old-school navigational tool is called the Transcontinental Airway System, a series of 1,500 beacons that directed pilots from New York to San Francisco. In an interesting piece by City Lab, a NASA ambassador explained how it all worked:

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3 Places to Eat and Drink and Avoid The Spring Breakers in Key West

February 25, 2015 at 1:15 PM | by | Comment (1)

March is almost here and in Key West, Florida that means one thing: the spring breakers are coming! Assuming you’ve matured out of the rowdy party-hearty mentality, there are perfect places to have a good time in Key West – without feeling like you’re starring in Animal House. Here are three suggestions:

Dinner at Santiago’s Bodega in the Bahama Village is a delightful experience that should be started with the spicy shrimp bisque before moving on to a selection of hot and cold tapas such as yellow fin tuna ceviche, beef short ribs and the petit lamb rack. The desserts are similarly spectacular, especially the bread pudding, drizzled with caramel bourbon glaze and topped with English custard ice cream. The atmosphere is laid-back and unique – look for the sign outside that says: Sangria-N-Beef Inside.
207 Perzonia St.

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Delta is Testing Out a New 20-Minute Baggage Guarantee

February 25, 2015 at 10:20 AM | by | Comments (0)

The planes and people over at Alaska Airlines have been doing something similar for years, but now Delta will give it a go as well. The airline is testing out some kind of baggage guarantee, as they look to "upgrade" the traveling process for their passengers.

Basically checked bags are supposed to arrive onto the baggage carrousel within twenty minutes—for domestic flights. If they don’t then the airline will hand out 2,500 miles for the inconvenience. So twenty minutes for your bag or 2,500 miles—it’s simple enough. The guarantee is in trial mode thought the end of March.

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Cruising to Chicago is Possible But It Will Cost Ya

February 24, 2015 at 12:46 PM | by | Comment (1)

As you sit dreaming of cruising right out of winter weather, a voyage to Chicago probably hasn’t entered your mind. But starting in July, Great Lakes Cruise Company will begin offering itineraries from Montreal to Chicago with the inaugural trip leaving Montreal on July 5 and porting in Chicago on July 14.

With only 105 state rooms, the ship, the M.S. Saint Laurent, is teeny tiny compared to typical cruise vessels due to Great Lakes size limitations. But this vacation won’t come at a teeny tiny price. The company says the price for the trip will range from $4,199 to $7,999 per person. Ouch.

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Dining App, Reserve, Offers Check-Free Dining...For a Price

February 23, 2015 at 2:15 PM | by | Comments (2)

You’re hungry. You’re indecisive. You shirk unnecessary human contact. Don’t worry, now there’s an app for that--it's called Reserve.

Jared Leto, Jon Favreau, and Will.i.am are among the celebrity investors in this mobile dining app — or rather, "digital concierge," per its website — which lets foodies in Boston, Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco secure seats, and automatically pay the tab, at over 100 different restaurants. (Chicago: you’re up next.)

Reserve users enter the size of their party and specify a window of time in which they’d like to dine; the app notifies them when the seats are locked down. It’s not readily apparent what distinguishes this process from the old-fashioned method of calling ahead, except for removing all that pesky immediacy. It is helpful that restaurant options are limited to a “curated” selection of quality spots, rather than overwhelming users with every Yelp-reviewed eatery around.

More intriguing is the payment system, which takes a cue from Uber. (One of that ride-hailing app’s founders is also behind the scenes on Reserve.)

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The Academy Museum Will Cure Your Oscar Hangover (But Not Until 2017)

February 23, 2015 at 12:29 PM | by | Comments (0)

From the winners and losers to the best and worst dressed—there’s a lot to discuss this morning regarding the Academy Awards. For those who truly love the Oscars it’s sad that it’s only a one-night affair, but there is hope. Officials behind the award are hard at work to provide a year-round place to pay tribute to those little gold statues, and the movies and people that won them.

While you won’t be able to cure your Oscar hangover with a visit this week, there are plans in the works to create and construct something known as The Academy Museum. Think cutting edge galleries, plenty of exhibition spaces, ample movie theaters, and a few spots to hold special events. As they put it, “it will be the world's premier museum devoted to exploring and curating the history and future of the moving image.”

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All The Awesome Trips and Experiences Oscar Nominees Will 'Win' This Weekend

February 20, 2015 at 7:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

Don't feel too bad for the Oscar losers this weekend. As is the tradition, all of this year's Oscar nominees who aren't lucky enough to go home with the gold, will receive an Oscar Gift Bag, worth more than $167,000, as their consolation prize.

This year's gift bag has been making headlines for some of the racy swag inside, but we're more interested in the amazing vacations and experiences included in the package. Here's a look at the trips Ethan Hawke, Bradley Cooper, Felicity Jones, Reese Witherspoon and the other nominees can look forward to after Sunday's ceremony.

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Photos: Thousands of Airplanes in the Arizona Desert, at Pima Air and Space Museum

February 19, 2015 at 8:35 PM | by | Comments (0)

Last year, we called the Museu Tam outside Sao Paulo, Brazil the "greatest aviation museum you've never heard of," but what what institution can lay claim to the sister title of the "greatest aviation museum you have heard of?" For that, we go not to the Smithsonian, but to the desert outside Tucson, Arizona, home to Pima Air & Space Museum.

Before you protest to say that you actually haven't heard of it, wait a sec.

Pima has become the final resting place of many a historic airliner, including a NASA "Super Guppy" and the DC-6 which served as Air Force One to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Pima's massive museum and even more ginormous outdoor exhibition area (over 80 acres!) is a jolly neighbor to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base's 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group (AMARG), which you'll most likely recognize as the haunting landscape of 2,600 acres full up with retired military aircraft.

The AMARG makes occasional cameos in movies, TV shows, and on curiosity websites, but spends most of its time as a mecca for #AvGeeks from around the world.

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The Art of Written Correspondence is Very Much Alive at This Seattle Restaurant

Where: 425 NW Market Street [map], Seattle, WA, United States, 98107
February 19, 2015 at 5:14 PM | by | Comments (0)

At Brimmer & Heeltap, a bistro-pub in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, they’ll mail their menu in postcard form to whomever you choose. Jot down a sweet nothing, fold it up and they’ll even pay for postage. Such a cool way to reclaim the lost art of letter-writing, right? (We live for handwritten correspondence.)

The neighborhood spot is a favorite for locals and foodies. Brimmer & Heeltap’s chef, Mike Whisenhunt hails from Revel, bringing a loyal following for his locally-sourced dishes with an Asian twist. Proprietress Jen Doak, has worked some of Seattle’s best dining rooms, and brings her warm sense of conviviality to the front of the house experience.

Jen also contributed menus collected from her travels to the restaurant’s “Wall of Menus.” It’s one of our favorite features of Brimmer & Heeltap (aside from Chef Mike’s pork shoulder with kimchi, natch). We caught up with Jen for a quick Q&A to talk food, travel and handwritten letters.

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One Chicago Artist Has Turned The City's Potholes into Art

February 19, 2015 at 2:50 PM | by | Comments (0)

Anyone living in the snow-covered northern states knows that, among the many annoyances of winter, are the potholes that seem to pop up everywhere as snowplows wreck havoc on frozen streets.

But, for one Chicago street artist, what most people see as a nuisance, he's turned into the perfect canvas.

Jim Bachor began to fill Chicago’s potholes with original works of art in 2013. His mosaics, which feature flowers, flags, and other reminders that spring is right around the corner, are a bright spot in the often long and dreary winters.

To help people find his pothole pieces, Jim has created a map of the installations around Chicago. A good reminder that, if you want to see his street art, you shouldn't wait too long. As Chicago Now recently pointed out, Bachor’s pothole mosaics will likely, eventually, be covered over as the streets get patched up by the city.

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