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Baseball is officially back, and along with it comes a summer full of sports travel, groups of friends and families making their way across the country to visit different stadiums. Some make it their life goal to visit them all, others simply try to catch a game as an activity while in town. Either way, donning the hometown jersey is a great way to fit in and experience a little local flavor.
Yet the reality is that sporting events are expensive, and the ticket is only part of the problem. Once inside, street-level pricing goes out the window, and you pay dearly as a captive audience. For a solo traveler only responsible for himself, it might not be the end of the world. But a family of four? With tickets and food/drink, a trip to the ballpark all of a sudden becomes a $200 night out.
In a new weekly Friday column, we'll explore street food and other culinary specialties from around the world. Last week, it was a taste of turtle in Grand Cayman. This week, we head to Columbus, Ohio, to see what's cooking.
Last time we were in Columbus, we set out to investigate what we were told was a budding food scene. We quickly became familiar with areas such as German Village, a historic neighborhood packed with colonial feel and farm-to-fork restaurants.
We drank local gin from the Watershed Distillery (best gin this contributor has ever had... really), and when we started asking around for some local grub, people kept pointing us in the direction of the taco trucks. We thought it was a joke, until we learned that there are approximately 40 of them circling the city.
Space Travel / Museum Travel / Red Bull / Felix Baumgartner / Ohio Travel / Red Bull Stratos / Sky Diving / → All Tags
When it comes to aviation, Dayton, Ohio seems to have all the best stuff. There's the history of the Wright Brothers, the Neil Armstrong Air & Space Museum in nearby Wapakoneta, and the National Museum of the US Air Force. You'd think those would be enough attractions for the middle of Ohio, but not so.
Dayton is now temporarily home to Felix Baumgartner's Red Bull Stratos capsule and spacesuit.
So what if Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and held that there'd be six more weeks of winter? CNN doesn't even believe in his credibility: "The good news is that, according to analysis by the National Climatic Data Center, Phil is wrong most of the time."
And if Phil is wrong, then that means somebody's got to be right. For 2014, that honor goes to Ohio's own official groundhog weatherman, Buckeye Chuck, who didn't see his shadow and predicted an early spring. Staten Island Chuck of New York and General Beauregard Lee of Georgia even have their own less influential groundhog opinions, but the fact of the matter is that Ohio's big rodent may be slowly supplanting Phil in popularity and prediction success.
Beer Travel / Drinking Travel / Beer Festivals / Festival Travel / Events / Boston Travel / Ohio Travel / Denver Travel / → All Tags
The weather outside is certainly frightful, but drinking a beer or three is certainly going to make things a little more delightful. The winter beer festivals are now arriving in a city near you, as brewers work to get lagers, ales, and all things spiced and seasonal ready to sip and sample. We can’t mention all the events around the world, but here are three winter beer festivals where you can warm up this month.
Columbus Winter Beerfest – Columbus, Ohio
They’re promising over 225,000 square feet of craft beer awesomeness right in the Greater Columbus Convention Center, as the Columbus Winter Beerfest is set to do thing across two days on January 17 and January 18. Over 300 different beers will be in attendance from breweries around the region and the world. Brew Kettle, Cellar Rats, and Columbus Brewing Company are just a few of the local options, but they have the full list on their website. It’s even available as a spreadsheet—so you can disguise at as work in your office—where you can filter and search things to your heart’s content. Tickets are $50 during the day of the event, but only $40 if you order in advance. Things start on each day beginning at 7:30pm, and your admission includes up to 25 samples in a five ounce souvenir mug. The last pour finishes up at just before 11pm—cheers.
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The TV movie marathon hasn’t started just yet, but it’s only a matter of a time before A Christmas Story is rolling 24/7 on screens around the nation. This year you can actually skip watching the film and check it out in real life, as the house used for some of the filming has been restored, is looking great, and is open for public tours all year long.
Yes—there is a leg lamp in the window—and there’s plenty of props, memorabilia, costumes, and other bits and pieces from the film. The place is one part movie set and one part museum, and of course there’s a gift shop where you can bring home a little of the movie back to where you call home. The address has seen its share of visitors thus far, as they’ve had more than 100,000 fans swing on through.
Airport News / Vending Machines / CMH / Ohio Travel / Columbus Travel / Ice Cream Travel / Dessert Travel / Awesome Stuff / → All Tags
Port Columbus Airport is actually quite lovely and not a desperate ghost town airport like neighbors to the west, Toledo-Express and Cincinnati-Covington. For a brief period it even boasted JetBlue service and was the hub for a sadly departed little-budget-airline-that-could called SkyBus. Still, exciting things are happening in Columbus, as evidenced by the arrival of gourmet ice cream vending machines.
The airport plugged in the machines earlier this year, and the small servings by hometown company Jeni's Ice Creams have been selling like hotcakes. Or, rather, coldcakes? Anyway, it's a unique amenity considering how obsessed airports have been with cupcakes and only cupcakes of late.
Each machine stocks 12 different flavors (6 cups, 6 sandwiches), and currently travelers may take advantage of the machines in both Concourses B and C, and coming soon to Concourse A.
Festival Travel / Events / Fall Travel / Festivals / California Travel / Florida Travel / New Hampshire Travel / New York Travel / Ohio Travel / Halloween Travel / → All Tags
Autumn is finally here, so grab one of those pumpkin spice latte beverages and make your way to one of the many fall festivals. This month we’re focusing on those events dedicated to all things pumpkin, so here are five picks for pumpkin festivals doing their thing this month:
Circleville Pumpkin Show – Circleville, Ohio
Between October 16 and October 19th, one Ohio town turns into all things pumpkin. There’s a Miss Pumpkin Show that crowns a new gourd-geous—couldn’t resist, sorry—to reign over the annual festival. Farmers from around the state and region roll their pumpkins to the festival, as past winners have weighed in at well over 1,300 pounds. There’s a parade, live music, arts and crafts, and creatively arranged pumpkins and gourds all over downtown. Admission is free, but we’d bring spending cash for some of the attractions or for pumpkin this or that when you’re hungry.
Keene Pumpkin Festival – Keene, New Hampshire
We try to be fair and balanced in our assessment of this year’s pumpkin festivals, but the one in Keene, New Hampshire might just be the best thing going on this fall. They’ve got a food and craft court and a pumpkin road race, but what sets this festival apart are all the jack-o-lanterns. The town carved and brought in nearly 30,000 jack-o-lanterns last year, and they illuminate each and every one right around the town’s center. As you can imagine things look pretty darn awesome once the sun goes down, so bring your own pumpkin and head to New Hampshire on October 19th—just bring cash for parking.
Historical Travel / Events / Lake Erie Travel / Ohio Travel / Great Lakes Travel / War Travel / Military Travel / → All Tags
The War of 1812 actually didn't happen in 1812. In truth, it was a 32-month conflict between the US and Great Britain which stretched from June 1812 to February 1815, with one of the most notable turning-of-the-tides going down in 1813. On September 10, Captain Oliver Hazard Perry flew the flag "Don't Give Up the Ship" on the ships of his fleet as they went head-to-head (or cannon-to-cannon) with the Royal Navy, eventually winning the Battle of Lake Erie.
His victory is essentially the reason why (most of) Lake Erie, Detroit and much of eastern Michigan and northern Ohio belong to the United States.
Naturally this is a huge frickin' deal, and 2013 marks the bicentennial of the battle. To celebrate, ports of the Lake Erie Islands are banding together to host a gathering of 18 tall ships and re-enactments, and the public is welcome to do more than watch; you may sign up to join the crew on a ship, be a part of the land militia, or just volunteer to help the onboard tours when the ships pull into port.
Sports Travel / Retro Travel / Baseball Travel / Ohio Travel / Michigan Travel / Vintage Travel / Historical Travel / Tennessee Travel / → All Tags
Congratulationsyou've made it through half the summer. At this point in July, you've hopefully hit a few BBQs, waved some sparklers around after dusk and chased some fireflies. There's also the matter of baseball. What can be more American than America's favorite pastime? The answer: Vintage Base Ball, games played according to the 1860 rules and blissfully free from the multi-million-dollar contracts, cheap bobbleheads, and overpriced coney dogs that cloud the modern spectacles.
This summer, head on out to watch lovers of the game play it as it once was. Check out these four vintage baseball matches and don't be too shy to dress retro yourself:
According to Mother Nature it’s not technically summer for at least another month, but we go by the calendar and the season starts with Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully theme parks also seem to follow the calendar, so the last few weeks of May are always a good time to enjoy that new roller coaster smell. That’s especially the case over in Sandusky, Ohio, as once again Cedar Point is welcoming the amusement park season with a brand new ride.
This year it’s GateKeeper that’s taking up a permanent residence inside the park, as the new roller coaster breaks all kinds of records. With a 164-foot drop and over 4,000-feet of track it’s the best in its class, and that’s even before your get buckled in for a ride.
Beer Festivals / Beer Travel / Montreal Travel / Ohio Travel / San Diego Travel / Events / Winter Travel / Drinking Travel / Festivals / → All Tags
February doesn’t have too much going on, so it’s a great month to head somewhere warm to escape the winter weather. We realize that might not be in the cards, so that’s why we’re suggesting the old standby—drinking—to get you through this month. Here’s three beer festivals where you can toast to February:
San Diego Winter Beer Festival
It doesn’t get quite that chilly during the winter over in San Diego, but the city still has plans for their very own winter beer festival. This year’s events are scheduled to do their thing on Friday, February 8, so if you don’t have plans for this weekend—you do now. Brewers in attendance include Ballast Point, Black Market Brewing Company, and Mission Brewery.
Tickets will set you back $40 in advance, but it’s going to be around $10 more if you’re getting them at the door. Things run between 7pm and 10pm, and it all takes place over at the Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier. Live music from bands like Three Fiths Sober, 22 Kings, and YOVEE round out the event, so cheers to that.