United States Travel Guide

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Here Are Some New Airport Eats Heading To Washington, DC

July 3, 2015 at 1:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

Your layover in DC just got better, as some new dining options area headed to the airports that serve America's capital. (Yes, we bring you this exciting news just in time for July Fourth. Cue the fireworks!)

The good news comes via Eater, which reports that later this year two DC-serving airports will say "bon appétit" to some new options. In the heart of the city Reagan National airport's Terminal B/C will score some fast casual Thai and Chinese courtesy of Big Bowl, plus Georgetown Gourmet Market, which will serve salads, soups, and sammies will all do their thing at Terminal C.

Meanwhile, Dulles International airport (just over the Virginia border) will add a Five Guys and Subway location to take care of your chain burgers-and-subs cravings. However, if you’re looking for something a little substantial, ubiquitous celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck will be welcoming his 10,000th restaurant — that's our latest estimate — called The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck.

Flight delayed? At least now you'll have some more spots to feed.

[Photo of another Big Bowl via Facebook]

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Where to Feed at San Francisco's Ferry Building

July 2, 2015 at 2:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

San Francisco might possibly be one of the best cities to nosh on delicious farm-to-table bites while sipping boutique wines — especially in the bay city's charming gems of neighborhoods. The Embarcadero is a great place to get a one-stop-shopping experience without exhausting your legs sore from countless hills and steps.

Although guidebook recommendations make it popular with tourists, the Ferry Building is actually a hot spot for locals as well. The 117-year old building is a great place to score some snaps of the Bay Bridge and breathe in the salty air, plus its food hall is a cool place to discover homegrown (and hipster-inflected) tastes of the region. Saturday mornings are special, with a farmers market dominating the sidewalk in front — but everyday is an event to be experienced, and here are some of our favorite food purveyors to check out.

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JetBlue is Testing a 'Dedicated Check-in' Area For Mint and Mosaic Passengers at JFK

July 2, 2015 at 11:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

JetBlue made headlines this week with its new checked baggage fee (we can still hear the internet groaning about this) but the airline is also offering a new way to check in for your flight at JFK.

The day before our flight from JFK to LAX, we received an email from JetBlue saying we were eligible for a "dedicated check-in experience” on the arrivals level of Terminal 5, separate from the usual check-in spots. This type of "private" check-in is usually only seen for first class or business class on international airlines. So to have it here on a domestic flight sounded intriguing.

But there was a catch—we had to be traveling to LAX or SFO on JetBlue Mint or we had to be a Mosaic member. Fortunately, we were flying Mint so we qualified for the new check-in.

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Prepare Your Spin-the-Bottle Skills: Here's a Summer Camp Series for Adults

July 1, 2015 at 3:51 PM | by | Comments (0)

Sleep away camp is way more fun as an adult — at least that's what Camp No Counselors is counting on.

This series of adult getaways, which temporarily takes over campgrounds near Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville and in New York's Adirondack Mountains, invites adults to spend the weekend doing old-school activities — like water skiing, slip n' slide, archery, dodge ball, ping pong, and talent shows — only this time around, each is infused with plenty of booze.

Just like a kids' camp, guests sleep in bunks and eat meals cafeteria style. But unlike the summer camp most people remember from their childhood, this one encourages mingling between the sexes, offers co-ed bunk beds, serves breakfast with a Bloody Mary, and even throws nightly happy hours and dance parties that last until 2 AM.

The concept is so popular that most of this summer's camps are already sold out. But you can still snag a spot at for the Los Angeles camp (October 1-4) and one of the New York camp sessions, the weekend of September 17-20.

Prices start at $475.00 including accommodations, meals, snacks, an open bar and activities. To make a reservation, visit campnocounselors.com.

[Photo: http://campnocounselors.com]

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How to Get To (and Escape From) Alcatraz — And Why It's Worth It

July 1, 2015 at 2:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

For 30 years, from 1933 to 1963, this tiny island 1.5-miles off the coast of San Francisco was a place that people never wanted to go. (Some even attempted to flee from it, albeit allegedly unsuccessfully.) Yet now the former island-prison is a tourist attraction that brings people from all corners of the earth to see where infamous criminals were incarcerated. Yes, the half-day trip is touristy — but it's well worth the cost and time to visit the abandoned penitentiary.

The trip will set you back about $30 per visitor, depending on the time of day; this includes the round-trip boat ride across San Francisco Bay. But don't be fooled by the multiple cruise companies offering trips to "The Rock," as Alcatraz Cruises is the only biz allowed to dock its boats at the National Park to bring visitors. (Yes, Alcatraz Island is now managed by the National Park Service.) The boat schedules include several trips per day; the early morning cruises are less crowded, but the evening trips offers some stunning views of the city as the sun sets. (Hence their higher price tag of $37.)

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Spaceport America Opens Its Doors To Tourists

June 29, 2015 at 7:53 AM | by | Comments (0)

The test flights for Virgin Galactic might be on hold, but that’s not stopping its New Mexico facility Spaceport America from becoming the country’s latest tourist attraction. The $219 million facility is now open to the public, inviting guests who dream of outer space to get a taste here on terra firma. Dubbed the Spaceport America Experience, the facility's new tour includes the ability to check out life-size replicas of some of Virgin Galactic’s offerings, including SpaceShipTwo, view the 45,000-square foot terminals's hangar from a massive "Gateway Gallery," take a ride down the 12,000-foot runway, and try out a "G-shock simulator." Tours start off at a visitor center a bit removed from the actual facility, then a short bus trip takes guests on-site.

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Four Seasons Seattle Sparkles With New Goldfinch Tavern

Where: 99 Union Street [map], Seattle, WA, United States, 98101
June 25, 2015 at 10:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last weekend, we got a look at Chef Ethan Stowell’s new restaurant at Four Seasons Seattle, Goldfinch Tavern, and it’s a stone cold fox. Seriously, the space is a stunner.

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Hologram Helper Still at Miami Airport, Still Slightly Creepy

June 23, 2015 at 1:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

Speaking of Miami today

It's been a few years since we checked in on the airport hologram helpers that have popped up in several U.S. airports but the trend is still going strong at Miami International Airport.

We spotted a creepy lovely hologram helper speaking Spanish and English just after we went through security at the airport's South Terminal. Of course, we had to stop and take a picture. Technically, the official name for the hologram helper is called a "Virtual Reality Passenger Assistant". And she also has a "human" name, Leticia. She may not be the hardest working airport employee but she does "work" seven days a week, 24 hours a day. (Cue the movie about a man who falls in love with the hologram helper and decides to move into the airport to be closer to her.)

Unfortunately, Leticia can't help you get an upgrade or put you on a different flight as her main goal is to give passengers tips on where to shop within the terminal. #hologramfail. Well, at least she looks pretty?

[Photo: Jaunted]

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A Cocktail Expert's Guide to Drinking in New Orleans

June 19, 2015 at 7:52 PM | by | Comments (0)

Written by Mark Ellwood for Conde Nast Traveler

Every July, drinks aficionados descend on New Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail, a boozy bash dedicated to the history of craft cocktails. Curious? Keep reading to find out what the event is all about and where to drink in the Crescent City right now.

For five days each July, New Orleans is awash in tipples—even more so than the rest of the year—during Tales of the Cocktail (July 15–19), a drinks-focused event that combines the brainpower of Davos with Olympic-level mixology skills. Bartenders, industry insiders, and drinkers descend on the Crescent City to sample new products, attend seminars, or participate in dozens of tastings. And despite its prestigious guest list, anyone who buys a ticket can attend.

This remarkable celebration of mixology is the brainchild of New Orleans native Ann Tuennerman, who launched the event in 2002 after realizing that her hometown lacked a walking tour touting its credentials in cocktailing. The city is widely acknowledged as the cocktail's birthplace; the Sazerac, made from rye whisky, absinthe, bitters, and a sugar cube, was first recorded here in 1838, and is the drink from which martinis, margaritas, and everything in between first sprung.

"There was nothing that told that story—of Sazeracs, how we were the first to use citrus in cocktails, the invention of Peychauds bitters," explains Tuennerman. So she created one.

A year later, keen to boost its profile, she planned a small one-year anniversary celebration to highlight other aspects of cocktailing history. Hosted by industry legend Dale DeGroff of The Museum of the American Cocktail, that first bash featured just two events but immediately captured the cocktail world's imagination.

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More Mint for JFK as JetBlue Picks Up What United's Dropping

June 18, 2015 at 4:03 PM | by | Comments (0)

While loyal United flyers may still be reeling from the airline's recent announcement that they'd be completely withdrawing from New York's JFK Airport—moving their "p.s." all-business-class transcontinental flights over to their Newark hub—another airline has quickly stepped up to fill the hole.

This morning, JetBlue stated that they'd be increasing their number of daily nonstop flights from New York-JFK to both Los Angeles-LAX and San Francisco-SFO, beginning October 25. That same date is, conveniently, the day United is scheduled to pull their six daily JFK flights to LAX and seven to SFO. And it's not just like JetBlue is throwing some extra flights onto the schedule; the boost will be exclusively Airbus A321s with JetBlue's premium "Mint" class onboard. Have a look around.

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Phew! IATA Backs Down On Reducing Carry-On Sizes

June 18, 2015 at 11:44 AM | by | Comments (0)

"That was a close call!"

You've probably felt that way when getting your just-passably-sized carry-on past gate agents. But this week we all breathed a collective sigh of relief about size standards for carry-on bags. There had been some recent discussion about changing things up; well, there was nothing literally up about it. In fact, it was a call to shrink things down into a smaller size. We (and we don't think we're alone in this) already tend to push the limits with what will fit in the gate area's baggage sizer — so we’re breathing a sigh of relief.

Because, while The New York Times goes into more detail, basically the International Air Transport Association has backpedaled on previous suggestions that the size of carry-on luggage should be reduced. (By about 20%!)

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Soon You May Need Reservations To Visit Arches National Park

June 17, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

If your summer vacation involves a visit to Utah's Arches National Park, your chances to swing by for an impromptu visit may be dwindling. Apparently the crowds are getting just too darn crowded, and the park's superintendent has proposed a reservation system to help keep the herds in check.

According to the Associated Press, a reservation system has been suggested to reduce swells of crowds on certain days, and allow the park — and its rangers — to better handle the swarms of visitors. The park is already planning to charge higher fees during peak hours to help spread out crowds — which rose 20 percent last year — but dangerous traffic conditions over Memorial Day weekend really drove home the need for more significant steps. (State police even had to close the park entrance because the traffic was too much to handle.)

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