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What do you know about Ottawa, Canada? Okay, it's the capital of Canada and home to Parliament. Okay, it's in the province of Ontario and maple products are absolutely on offer. Okay, it's very cold and snowy in the winter.
What you may not know is that Ottawa has a dining scene increasingly adopting the "100-mile diet" concept of localized gastronomy, a booming hotel scene (for example, the historic Fairmont Chateau Laurier is the midst of a full room remodel and Hyatt's Andaz is breaking ground), and an outdoorsy scene throughout the winter, thanks to the annual Winterlude/Bal de Neige Festival from January 30 - February 16.
So, why in the heck would anyone want to visit Ottawa in the middle of winter?! We have a few ideas...
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If it's cold where you live, then pay attention this week as we profile a few Perfect Weather destinations.
Brazil is so hot right now.
Coming off 2014, the year the country successfully hosted the World Cup, energy is still high and airfare deals are plenty. For Rio de Janeiro in particular, tourism has never been better, and it’ll only continue trending upward as the city preps for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Rio is tropical and temperate year-round, but there are some distinct times of the year when it’s best to go, or best to stay away.
Every winter, the
nauseating infamous Beach Boys song, "Kokomo" enters the minds of Caribbean vacationers with that first line crooning, "Aruba, Jamaica, oo I want to take ya", but our contributing editor Will McGough lists what you should really know about one of Jaunted's favorite islands.
Aruba's resort-focused tourism approach tends to keep travelers quarantined in the northwest corner of the island in either the "low-rise" or "high-rise" hotel zone. As a result, while most people can tell you all about the beautiful beaches, they won't have a clue when it comes to local culture. Below, we've put together five things to help you appreciate Aruba beyond its beaches:
The Island Has Its Own Language
Although most children grow up learning Dutch, English, and Spanish, Aruba also has its own native language called Papiamento. A pidgin mix of English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Dutch, all Arubans know it and speak it between themselves. It is also the native language of nearby Curacao.
If you’re still looking for plans to celebrate the New Year look no further than what the National Hockey League—NHL to their friends—has been doing for the last few years. The league takes ice hockey outdoors to its natural habitat, as they play a game on New Year’s Day—this year the fun takes place in Washington, DC.
They bring the rink, they bring the ice, and well they pretty much bring everything else needed to take the show on the road. The preparations are well underway, and they even have a time lapse camera set up so that you can check out the progress. This year hockey comes to another baseball stadium, as Nationals Park is where the Chicago Blackhawks will take on the Washington Capitals beginning at around 1pm, ET.
The busiest travel day of the year isn't right after Thanksgiving as holiday travel folklore would have you believe, but it is tomorrow, December 19. Are you ready?
Airlines4America predicts that 45 million travelers will fly US airlines over a period of 19 days, the peak holiday span between December 17 and January 4.
Planes are projected to be 80 percent to 90 percent full over the winter holiday period, with the busiest travel day expected to be Friday, Dec. 19. The lightest travel days are expected to be Wednesday, Dec. 24; Thursday, Dec. 25; Wednesday, Dec. 31; and Thursday, Jan. 1.
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Google Aruba's average weather and you'll quickly learn two things:
1. Aruba is pretty much an ideal 84 degrees every day, year round.
2. Aruba lies outside the Caribbean hurricane belt.
Both of those statements are music to the years of travelers in the mood for "anywhere sunny, with a beach," but there are reasons outside the weather why you may or may not want to head down to "One Happy Island."
To make sure you book that dream trip and have the best possible time, we've got some recommendations for when to go to Aruba.
Above: the huge Christmas tree at Navy Pier
'Tis the season for Christmas Festivals filled with lights, music, hot chocolate, and roasted chestnuts.
Here are three of this year's best holiday festivals and how you can get tickets to each:
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If you’re sick of the slopes this winter there’s a different kind of run to get your adrenaline going—the bobsled run. The tracks are few and far between, and it looks like there’s actually only a handful doing their thing within the United States and Canada—at least according to Wikipedia.
No experience necessary, as they’re eager to welcome newcomers and adventure seekers alike. So without further ado here’s the four spots where you can ride in a bobsled this winter:
Like we said, if hitting the slopes isn’t getting a little boring there’s always the bobsled run. Now through December 19 they’re even offering up a deal. Only $129.50 will get you a ride down the 2002 Olympic track, and of course the ultimate bragging rights to friends on social media. It’s all part of Utah Olympic Park—book online right here.
Like it or not December has finally arrived, and that means the holiday season is in full swing. Everyone gets in on the Christmas decorations this time of year, but there are a few that take the holiday kitsch to the next level. Here’s five of our picks for putting a smile on your face—or to just shake your head in decoration disgust:
If lights are what you’re after than this is where you need to be, as one dad just took the whole Clark W. Griswold thing to the next level. The new Guinness World Record title for the largest image made of LED lights now belongs to someone in Australia, as this guy has set up around 1.2 million lights. Obviously things are a little much for the neighborhood, so you’ll need to visit Canberra's CBD to check things out.
The mother of all Christmas stores does its thing in Frankenmuth, Michigan, and you can bet that they have holiday kitsch down to a science here. If you can’t visit in person there’s a virtual tour online, and they even have quite an online retail presence. So if you just need that 28.25-inch Lighted Plastic Penguin with Scarf—ordering it through their website is a breeze.
This weekend moviegoers can experience what it's really like to live in Antarctica as the movie Antarctica: A Year On Ice hits theaters.
The film is directed by Anthony Powell who, along with his wife Christine, has been living in Antarctica for more than 10 years. Powell's first documentary captures a year in the life of these two brave Antarctica dwellers, including everything from months of darkness to some of the worst storms on earth.
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It has begun.
With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, airlines are already issuing winter storm travel waivers for tomorrow, Wednesday November 26. You can blame Winter Storm Cato on the Northeast for any travel interruptions, but the Midwest is due to experience snow and high winds as well.
Get ahead of the weather by taking advantage of these proactive waivers to alter your plans:
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The Weather Channel's headline of "Wind, Snow, East Coast Storm May Frustrate Fliers and Drivers" isn't what travelers want to read before heading out for a stressful holiday trip. And yet that's exactly what much of the United States will do this week for the Thanksgiving holiday.
To prevent entering the five emotional stages of a flight delay, and keep your cool so you reach your destination as close to on-time as possible, take our tried and true airport survival tips to heart: