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A First Timers' Guide to Visiting Denali National Park

Where: Denali National Park , Alaska, United States
July 23, 2015 at 11:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

Denali National Park is the Last Frontier's most iconic open space, sprawling across 6 million acres. The word "Denali" translates to "the high one," and it is named as such for its crown jewel, Mt. McKinley, North America's tallest peak at 20,237 feet. Established in 1917, the Park will celebrate its 100th Anniversary in two years, and it remains one of Alaska's top recreational playgrounds and tourism attractions.

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Ex Gang Members Can Be Your Tour Guides in Casco Viejo

July 23, 2015 at 10:15 AM | by | Comments (0)

"Gangs" is a word you may not like to hear when planning your travels. But in Panama City, ex-gang members are leading groups on guided tours of the Casco Viejo neighborhood.

The concept comes courtesy of a group called Esperanza Social Venture Club, which works on gang intervention and integration programs in the city.

Through their mission "to protect the human heritage of Casco Viejo," Esperanza puts forth a simple question: “If we don’t tackle the gang problem in our community, who will?” asks the organization on its website.

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Batter Up! JetBlue Now Streaming Live Baseball Games

July 23, 2015 at 9:07 AM | by | Comments (0)

Baseball fans, rejoice! You'll no longer need to wait with bated breath for the plane to land to find out how the big game goes. Thanks to JetBlue, Major League Baseball will now be available to stream — even while cruising at 35,000-feet.

USA Today shares the news that JetBlue flyers will now have free access to MLB.TV — which airs live games — via MLB’s "At Bat" mobile app. MLB.TV requires a subscription on the ground, but access will be complimentary when flying aboard JetBlue. So if you have a laptop, smartphone or tablet, you're just a couple clicks (or taps) away from tuning in. It goes without saying that WiFi is needed, but 90% of JetBlue's Airbus planes are equipped with WiFi, with the rest to be equipped by September, reports USA Today. (JetBlue's Embraer E190 planes will get it in 2016.)

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3 Couchsurfing 'Couch Crashes' To Hit Before the End of Summer

July 22, 2015 at 4:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you're looking for an excuse to visit a new city and make a new group of fellow travel-happy, vagabond pals, here's your chance.

Couchsurfing (the "poor man's AirBnb") is hosting a slew of "Couch Crashes" over the summer, special events where members of the free lodging-loaning community can descend en masse on a city to meet up, make friends, and work in some local fun at the same time. Each "Crash," arranged by a Couchsurfing host in that city, lines up a series of activities that between 50-200 participants will take part in.

So, where should you start searching for a futon to lay your head? The three remaining Crashes are coming up in Madison, Wisconsin (tomorrow, July 23 through July 26), Buenos Aires (August 15-17) and Milan (September 24-27). In Madison, Couchsurfers will take a beer, cheese and "Swiss heritage" tour, day trip to a Wisconsin lake, go river tubing and take a pub crawl, among other activities. In Buenos Aires, expect historic tours of the city, day parties and tango to be some of the fun factors. And though the Milan itinerary is still coming together, a "tram party" and "crazy nights" are so far on the agenda.

Head here to learn a little more about the idea, and for details on how to use Couchsurfing to line up a place to stay in one of these cities.

[Photo via Couchsurfing.com]

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TIMBER! Here's What You Need To Know About Wisconsin's Lumberjack World Championships

July 22, 2015 at 4:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Beginning tomorrow, from July 23 – 25, logger enthusiasts from across the world will unite in Hayward, Wisconsin for the annual Lumberjack World Championships. Maybe you already know about this extraordinary sporting event. (It does draw about 12,000 spectators!) Or maybe you don't — in which, case check out this video primer below. And then, whether you’re a first-time attendee, a seasoned fanatic or just curious about the world of logging, read on to discover what you need to know about this year’s championship games.

A Little History

The Lumberjack World Championships started in 1960 and have since flourished to become an ESPN-backed phenomenon with loyal fans and competitors. At this year’s games, more than 100 competitors will go head to head for over $50,000 in prize money – one of the top awards for any lumberjack competition in the world.

21 Unique Competitions

If you’re unfamiliar with logging culture, you probably wouldn’t assume there are so many events in the Lumberjack World Championships. The games will show off 21 different areas, from logrolling to pole climbing, chopping to sawing, and the always thrilling boom run competition. A full schedule of events can be found here.

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Hit This Florida Ale Trail Armed With a Selfie Stick

July 22, 2015 at 3:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

Beer and brewery tours can be a great way to see a new city. Unless, of course, you get a little too greedy with your flights and wake up with a pounding head and zero memories of what you saw on your tour the night before.

One resort in Florida has the solution: they send guests on beer tours armed with a selfie stick.

The Jupiter Beach Resort in Palm Beach County is now offering a new "Beach, Brews & Selfies” package that encourages guests to discover popular watering holes along Jupiter’s “Ale Trail."

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One of New York's Best Free Events Will Return in October

July 22, 2015 at 10:05 AM | by | Comments (0)

This is an early warning to mark off your iCal for the weekend of October 17-18, and book your tickets to be in New York City.

These are the just-announced 2015 dates for one of the best free events of the year in the Big Apple: openhousenewyork (OHNY). For one weekend every year, some of the city's most private places fling open their doors to complimentary tours for the public. A few tours do have a small fee, but they'll be worth it. Some popular locations in the past have included Kickstarter's headquarters in Brooklyn, the World's Fair Hall of Science in Queens, some private apartments that have gone "off the grid" despite being in the middle of Manhattan and, of course, the TWA Flight Center at JFK Airport.

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AirGrub Is A Handy Ordering App For The Terminally Hungry

July 22, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

When you're hungry at the airport, having to wait in line at Sbarro or Starbucks is a drag. Your airport time is valuable; you have things to do, commitments to keep, loops of CNN to watch and the latest issue of US Weekly to read. Thankfully one company values your worth, and they’re helping you out with an airport meal-based ordering app, now live in San Francisco and Boston.

Travelers going through SFO and BOS are the first to have access to AirGrub, an app that lets you enter your flight info, browse menus from restaurants within your terminal, place an order, schedule when you want to pick it up, and — with the quick flash of a boarding pass once you clear security — cut the line to grab your meal to eat in the airport or take on the plane.

So far the the folks behind the app have made dining mates with spots like Perry’s in SFO's Terminal 1, Napa Farms Market in Terminal 2, and Yankee Pier in Terminal 3. But with Boston just added and New York on the horizon, we're sure in due time you'll be scheduling caramel macchiato pick-ups from coast to caffeinated coast.

[Photo: Official Site]

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Melbourne’s Kid-Friendly (But Kinda NSFW) Puppet Art Show Might Be Coming To A Town Near You

July 21, 2015 at 3:30 PM | by | Comments (0)

A giant inflatable naked puppet with lots of detachable body parts recently died, then had a baby and lactated all over children in Melbourne.

For two hours, that (and much more) happened in a live art show put on by Snuff Puppets, a radical large-scale puppet company based in Footscray, Australia. The show is called “Everybody,” which is short for the show’s four separate acts: "Everybody’s Born," "Everybody Cries," "Everybody Shits," and "Everybody Dies." Needless to say, it commenced to very mixed reactions from parents in Melbourne.

The puppet was made to represent “the essential humanness of everybody.” (But last we checked, it isn’t possible for most people to take their boobs off.) It’s experimental live art at its finest and weirdest. The complex, high-tech design was handmade by Snuff Puppets and incorporates roaming human body parts, each being a character with its own storyline of sorts. The cast included: Mouth, Eye, Poop, Foot, Ear, Nose, Brain, Lungs, Baby, Penis, Vagina, Butt, Skin, Heart, Hand, Guts, Boob and Hair. With special guest appearances by Pig and Brick. (Spoiler Alert: Brick falls on the puppet’s head and kills it. But that’s how the show starts, so it’s not really a spoiler.)

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Eat Up: The Largest New York Restaurant Week Ever is Now Underway

July 21, 2015 at 2:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

The only hard part of eating out is hemming and hawing over the menu. We're so indecisive! What do we want: Lark or Lo-Fi? Should we turn the contrast up or down? Frame or no frame?

Oh, sorry. We were talking about our Instagram menu. Deciding what to eat is tough too, though.

Prepare to make some hard choices, NYC residents and tourists, because yesterday the city kicked off NYC Restaurant Week, which sees eateries across the city offering special three-course lunch ($25) and dinner ($38) menus through August 14. (For all the details and the full list of restaurants, head here.) Launched in 1992, it's the longest-running restaurant promo of its kind (pretty much every other major city has launched a similar Restaurant Week concept since) — but 2015 is special, because this is the biggest NYC Restaurant Week ever. A record-setting 368 restaurants are participating; yes, you could dine somewhere different every night for the next year and still not hit all the spots on board. So how to decide what to squeeze in to the next few weeks? (Pro-tip: Throw a Zagat guide in the air. Point at the page that lands open. Repeat.)

And because NYC Restaurant Week is recognizing the modern social media-driven world in which we live, they're also running an Instagram contest: Snap a photo of your experience at a participating restaurant (like you weren't planning to anyway!), hashtag it as #NYCRestaurantWeek, and cross your ketchup-covered fingers — because judges will chose four winners each week for four weeks to receive $250 or more in restaurant gift cards.

Because we prefer our food porn like we want our table water: Heavily filtered, please.

[Photo courtesy of NYC Go]

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Learning Vacations Remain on the Rise With Travelers

July 21, 2015 at 12:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

Believe it or not, many of us like to multitask — which is why we dig the idea of learning vacations. Sometimes you need a week of sun, surf and trashy magazines at the beach. But at other times, you want to take home something more than photos and memories.

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5 Reasons Why SJC is Better Than SFO (At Least In The Summer)

Where: 1701 Airport Blvd. [map], San Jose, CA, United States, 95110
July 21, 2015 at 10:35 AM | by | Comments (3)

Take it from this contributor: Flying out of San Francisco International Airport (SFO) sucks, especially during the summer months. When I lived in the Bay Area, I endured countless flight delays at SFO. So many that I’d go out of my way to fly out of Oakland International Airport (OAK) or even Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC) instead.

Oakland is close, of course, so it makes obvious sense as an alternative to SFO. But believe it or not, it really is worth going through SJC, an hour or so outside San Fran. Why?

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