Tag: WIsh You Were Here

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Spring Training Has Officially Kicked Off in Scottsdale

March 6, 2015 at 2:30 PM | by | ()

The World Series Champion San Francisco Giants prep for their first home game at Scottsdale Stadium

The players have taken the field here in Phoenix, which means that baseball - and spring - are officially on our doorstep. Thousands of people have escaped the still-chilly northern states to help celebrate the start of a new season, including yours truly, who was fortunate enough to catch the last year's World Series champions, The San Francisco Giants home opener here at Scottsdale Stadium.

With the Giants winning the World Series for the third time in five years, Scottsdale has become a hub of spring training excitement, but there's action kicking off all across Phoenix. If you're planning a trip down this month, take a look at our guide to Scottsdale and Tempe, as well as our recommendations for what to do before or after the game.

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A Winter Photo Tour of Canada's Banff National Park

March 2, 2015 at 6:12 PM | by | ()

View of the North American Chairlift at Mt. Norquay Ski Area

Last week, we wrote that now is a great time to travel to Canada thanks to a favorable exchange rate for Americans. Taking our own advice, we shot up north of the border to Banff National Park outside of Calgary in Alberta. The northern part of the Rocky Mountain chain is known for its dramatic, jagged, glacier-carved peaks that shoot straight up from the sprawling, pine-covered valley floor.

Summer is the primetime season to explore its infamous alpine lakes - such as Moraine - but it is also an underestimated and often overlooked ski destination. Banff has three ski areas inside its borders, all within a 45-minute drive of each other: Norquay, Sunshine, and Lake Louise.

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Wish We Were There: American Airlines Flagship Check-In

January 19, 2015 at 7:15 PM | by | ()

Normally, our recurring travel snapshot series is called "Wish You Were Here" where we show off amazing travel destinations that we think you should go to. But today, we're reversing the roles and saying, "Wish We Were There".

That's because while flying out of Chicago O'Hare the other day, we noticed an exclusive zone amidst all the other lowly check-in desks-- The American Airlines Flagship Check-In . This writer had never seen an AA Flagship Check-in the wild but thanks to Jaunted's inside look at the AA Flagship lounge at JFK, I now know exactly all the luxury traveler shenanigans that are happening behind this walled-off entrance, such as: checking-in, changing seat assignments, and checking luggage. However, fancy pants Flagship travelers still have to go through TSA. Hah, suckers.

Think you can access the Flagship private check-in and the lounge once you're past security, check yourself. Do you meet the following requirements?

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Wish You Were Here: Porto, Portugal

Where: Porto, Portugal
October 24, 2014 at 1:16 PM | by | ()

View from Gaia across the Douro River to Porto

Last year, we spent a week exploring Lisbon, Portugal's capital and largest city. We loved it so much that we celebrated it as the 2013 destination of the year, diving head first into into its Fado culture, personable neighborhoods, and undiscovered nature. At the end of our trip, we vowed to return to explore more of the country, and this week we landed in Porto, Lisbon's rival city up north built alongside the Douro River.

It may be much smaller than Lisbon, but it sure doesn't feel like it as you walk its streets. Numerous vistas provide expansive views of the rolling terrain and snaking river that stretches inland. Across the Douro, you can see Gaia and its wine lodges, and from certain locations you can even see the Atlantic Ocean, just a 20-minute drive from downtown.

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It's Winter in Chile, and We're Hitting the Slopes

Where: Portillo, Chile
August 19, 2014 at 3:08 PM | by | ()

It might still be sweltering in many parts of the States, but it's wintertime here in Chile.

This week, we're getting an early start on the traditional North American ski season in Portillo, located in the Andes about two and half hours from Santiago. It's where many Olympians and celebrity skiers come to train during the "offseason." We're here to soak all that in, as well as investigate how Portillo differs from Santiago's other ski region, Valle Nevado.

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With Costa Rica in Full Bloom, What’s Happening in Nearby Guatemala?

August 8, 2014 at 10:42 AM | by | ()

Scenery on Lake Atitlan near San Juan La Laguna

At the end of July, we took you on a journey through Central America’s most popular tourism destination, Costa Rica. Without question, the country is the region's leader when it comes to attracting foreigners and monetizing its landscape.

Throughout that trip, we interacted with many expats and travelers who had been working their way through the surrounding countries, and in these conversations we noticed a common theme. Most of them, in some way, made reference to how several of the other countries in Central America, including Guatemala, are at the point of tourism development that Costa Rica was over a decade ago.

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Wish You Were Here: Fraser Island, Australia

July 21, 2014 at 1:42 PM | by | ()

We come to you from a small dollop of land off the Eastern coast of Australia by the name of Fraser Island. This World Heritage Site sits about 120 miles north of Brisbane in the Hervey Bay region, and is a haven for some unique flora and fauna, including native dingoes, goanna lizards, and more.

Fraser's biggest claim to fame however, is the fact that it's the world's largest sand island, boasting awesome 4x4ing, meandering nature walks, and an easy tropical escape from the city. At this particular time of year, the island is home to some foreign travelers without the need of passports; we're talking about the massive whale migration from the Southern Pacific to these slightly warmer waters near the equator.

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Wish You Were Here: Livin' La Pura Vida in Costa Rica

Where: Costa Rica
July 18, 2014 at 1:08 PM | by | ()

View of the scenery near the town of Turrialba

Costa Rica is a paradise for lovers of adventure and the outdoors, thanks in large part to its combination of Pacific and Caribbean climates that combine dry, wet, and volcanic ecosystems. The country has been blessed with a beautiful landscape, for sure, but after spending a few days in the country, it’s become apparent that its first-rate natural world is no accident.

The world’s leader in sustainable and ecotourism, Costa Rica has made a commitment to the continued health and longevity of its land, especially those it uses to lure in tourists. “Sustainability” and “green” have become marketing terms for many destinations, but Costa Rica walks the walk as a whole like nowhere else we’ve seen.

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Wish You Were Here: Hello from the Bottom of the Grand Canyon

June 13, 2014 at 2:42 PM | by | ()

We're down there... somewhere.

Most people only see the Grand Canyon from above, looking out from a viewing platform on the South Rim near the visitor center. For those that need a reminder of its "grandness," the canyon is 277 "river miles" long, one mile deep, and 18 miles at its widest point.

It's an amazing sight, for sure, one of which we need a much closer look. This weekend, we're headed off on a multi-day backpacking trip to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, making our way to Havasupai Falls, about an 11-mile hike from the top of the canyon.

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Wish You Were Here: Posting Up at One of the World's Best Beach Bars

June 3, 2014 at 11:57 AM | by | ()

The British-owned Turks and Caicos island chain is known for its lack of development and shallow coastal waters, the latter of which greatly contributes to the scenery with its turquoise shine (if you're not familiar with what makes the Caribbean water so blue, learn here).

This week and next, we'll give you a rundown of tourism on the island chain, including what to see and do and how the individual islands are different from one another. We'll also spill the peas and rice on what to eat and drink and where to hang out. Specifically, we'll give you directions to one of the world's best beach bars, found on Providenciales (Provo). The photo you see above is a snapshot from our happy hour yesterday. Yes, we do indeed love our research.

Stay tuned for the scoop, and wish you were here!

[Photo: Will McGough]

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Fairy Tale Switzerland Begins One Hour Outside Zurich

May 21, 2014 at 12:01 PM | by | ()

When this writer stepped off the train yesterday in Appenzell, the scenery I encountered was exactly what I had always pictured Switzerland to look like in the spring: Rolling hills of dairy farms, a small charming village, a couple cows, and the color green. It looked more like a fairy tale come to life than reality, something that brought an unstoppable smile to my face.

It's my first time in Switzerland, and one of my favorite parts of travel is seeing the expectations unfold one way or another. When I landed in Zurich, I was reminded of many of the other European cities I have visited. But as the train left the city limits, the scenery changed drastically as I entered the Swiss Prealps you see in the distance from Zurich.

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Wish You Were Here: Berlin Celebrates 25 Years Since the Fall of the Wall

Where: Berlin, Germany
May 9, 2014 at 9:19 AM | by | ()

In November of 1989, residents of East and West Germany celebrated as the government announced the "fall" of the Berlin Wall, a breaking of the barrier between the two sides and a signal that the country was ready to reconcile.

A massive celebration ensued, and this year, as the country recognizes the 25 year anniversary of its reunion, we've come to Germany's capital to get a fresh perspective on not only the commemorative events to come, but the state of Berlin as one of Europe's top cities to visit.

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