United States Travel Guide

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There's a New Reason to Revisit Alcatraz This Winter

October 14, 2014 at 4:22 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you've been to San Francisco before, you've probably taken a trip out to Alcatraz, one of the world's most infamous golden cages. If the beautiful city views and deep history aren't enough to bring you back for a second visit, the fact that the prison has been taken over by an art exhibit may entice.

At the end of September, a Chinese artist - who is coincidentally under house arrest at the moment - launched a seven-installation exhibit called "@Large: Ai Weiwei at Alcatraz." The installations are found throughout Alcatraz and carry a theme of "protest songs." The most attention-getting exhibit has arguably been one called Trace, which features 176 portraits made of Lego bricks, each presenting "an individual who has been imprisoned or exiled because of his or her beliefs, actions, or affiliations."

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How to Get Last-Minute Tickets to Screamfest LA

October 14, 2014 at 12:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

This week Hollywood is going to get a little scarier.

Screamfest, the world's biggest horror film festival, kicks off tonight at the TCL Chinese 6 Theatres and will feature up and coming horror directors while also honoring the best in the biz.

The festival has earned a reputation for finding the next best next thing in horror. Back in 2007 they showcased the then little known independent movie Paranormal Activity which went on the earn more than $60 million at the box office in its first month.

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Dallas' Love Field Finally Says Adios to the Wright Amendment

October 14, 2014 at 10:14 AM | by | Comments (0)

...As the saying goes, everything is bigger in Texas - even if the federal government has to force it to be.

The Wright Amendment was enacted in 1980 as a change to the Federal Aviation Act of 1958. It was all about protecting the risk and financial investment put into opening Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport in 1974, sheltering it from the older, smaller Love Field just a 21-minute drive away.

While the amendment was not technically created because of Southwest Airlines, the fear was that if Southwest, or any large carrier, continued to operate out of Love Field (previously the main airport in North Texas) it would decrease passenger numbers at the shiny, new and expensive DFW Airport.

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Try Not to Be Freaked Out by the Robot at Indianapolis Airport

October 14, 2014 at 8:52 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you've never made it to or through the airport over in Indianapolis, then you're missing out on one of the USA's top airports—seriously.

Travelers at IND now have an extra amenity in the form of a robot, who has just begun roaming around the terminal and using its interactive abilities to answer questions.

The thing is called "Double Robot"—guess there was no money left in the budget for a clever name like "IndyBot"—and it’s topped off with an iPad. Instead of employing a physical human being to walk around, the robot is equipped with a video link to an actual person, ready to assist you.

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The Best $50 We've Ever Spent at an Airport: Vegas' Amex Centurion Lounge

October 13, 2014 at 7:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

An empty airport can be a very loud place. Moving walkways squeak, the soundsystem blares with a soundtrack of Rihanna and Nickelback, a carpet cleaner steers his roaring machine ever nearer and, in the particular case of Las Vegas-McCarran International Airport, slot machines on low volume still ring, ting, beep and buzz.

During a 10-hour overnight layover at LAS this last weekend, we were faced with a dilemma: pay a Friday night room rate (plus resort fee and taxi) at a Vegas hotel or suck it up and hunker down for the night on the floor at the airport. Partying was out—we'd just flown in from Hong Kong and our greatest desire was only for warm food and a few hours of horizontal-ness.

After settling for an Auntie Anne's pretzel dinner, we sauntered around the terminal on sleeping zone reconnaissance and, somewhere near the start of the D gates, we spotted our salvation in the form of a stark white wall and two doors of lapis lazuli blue. The American Express Centurion Lounge!

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Showtime's 'The Affair' Makes Montauk the Star of the Show

October 13, 2014 at 3:31 PM | by | Comments (0)

The new Showtime series The Affair stars Dominic West, Ruth Wilson, Maura Tierney, Joshua Jackson, and—perhaps most of all—Montauk, NY.

The show's first season is set and was filmed almost entirely in Montauk, showcasing the area's beaches, dunes, and slower-paced way of life.

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Follow the Adventures of Batman and Ben Affleck in Detroit

October 13, 2014 at 12:55 PM | by | Comments (0)


Above: the new Batmobile on the streets of Detroit

To some, Detroit might be a city of 20th century ruins, but, to film director Zack Snyder, Detroit reminded him of a modern day Gotham City for the upcoming Batman vs. Superman film, starring Ben Affleck.

So what all does that mean? Well, in addition to finding the film locations for the movie, we decided to document The Ben Affleck Tour of Detroit, since he loves the city so much:

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NYC's Most Touristy Ice Rink is Officially Open

October 13, 2014 at 11:22 AM | by | Comments (0)

What is the "official" start of the holiday season? While Christmas craziness is full swing come Thanksgiving, the real "spirit of the season" begins when NYC says it does, namely with the opening of the Rockefeller Center Ice Rink. You can thank all the live morning shows broadcast around the Big Apple for that influence.

Today—October 13—is the rink's opening day for the 2014-2015 winter season, and the landmark celebrated the occasion with an on-ice performance by ice dancing Olympics gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White before allowing the general public to strap on skates.

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One Airline CEO Needs Your Halloween Costume Help

October 13, 2014 at 10:19 AM | by | Comments (0)

In case you haven’t finished your Halloween shopping just yet—note that there’s only 17 days until the big day. Southwest Airlines is very much aware of the timeline, as the carrier is looking for suggestions on how to dress up their CEO.

Over on the Nuts About Southwest blog they’re entertaining offerings on Halloween costumes for the big boss. As a reminder, the airline really LUVs—ha—Halloween, and each year CEO Gary Kelly dons a costume. Last year he went as Phil from Duck Dynasty, the year before he dressed up as Woody from Toy Story, and who could forget the time he was Frankenstein?

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Alaska Airlines Gives a Thumbs Up to New Thumb-Out Fingerprint Technology

October 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’re not quite ready to name a Jaunty winner for biggest mover and shaker of the airline industry for 2014 just yet, but Alaska Airlines seems to be making a case for the title each and every week. This time they’re introducing further technology at their destinations, specifically a way to check-in for flights with just your finger.

Alaska Airlines is checking out how to use fingerprints for your reservation, calling it “e-thumb” technology. It’s not just to get on the plane either, as if things go well they’ll put biometrics to use to credit cards for stuff like onboard purchases. Right now the testing seems limited to using the technology—and your thumb—to gain access to the airline lounge.

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Where to See the New Snowden Statue If You Missed It in New York

October 13, 2014 at 9:08 AM | by | Comments (0)

This past weekend, a nine-foot statue of Edward Snowden was on display at Union Square Park in New York City as part of the Art in Odd Places festival. The statue got a lot of reaction on social media, but also went unrecognized by many people on the street.

The statue was created by a Delaware-based artist, who had an altruistic vision behind his creation:

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Cheap Waikiki: This Japanese Gem Might Be the Best Bang for Your Buck in the City

Where: 2310 Kuhio Avenue [map], Waikiki, Hawaii, United States
October 10, 2014 at 11:47 AM | by | Comment (1)

Lineup at Marukame Udon in Waikiki

Between Waikiki and Honolulu, the south shore of Oahu is without question the epicenter of Hawaii's food scene. The problem is that, given the area's tourism draw and expensive real estate, food prices can be quite hefty, making it tough on the budget traveler to dive in. Last week, while investigating some of the Asian-influenced eateries in the area, we discovered a restaurant that we think might be the best-going value in Waikiki: Marukame Udon.

Marukame is a seat-yourself, cafeteria-style restaurant that specializes in udon noodle bowls. The lineup, which can get extremely long during peak hours, takes you through the different stations, starting with the udon. Behind the counter, you can see them making the noodles, and it is here that we found the best value: $5.25 for a noodle bowl. There are a handful of flavoring options, including curry, bukkake, kake, niku, and veggie, among others.

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