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Where Travel Writers Want to Go in 2015: Part 3

December 16, 2014 at 12:48 PM | by | Comments (0)

We see Nantucket in our future for 2015...

As 2014 quickly comes to a close, there's no better time than now to think through exactly where we want the next 12 months to take us. Forget trend pieces trumpeting generic destination hotspots; over the next week, we'll share with you where our own Jaunted contributors personally want to go in 2015.

Kyle here—with the addition of a brand new baby suitcase in 2014 my plans for 2015 are just a little different. Sure far off stretches and exotic locations are still on the travel to-do list, but I think I will dream of some more realistic locations for 2015 in search of foodie finds, charming towns, and the great outdoors.

1. Nantucket! I have been before, but I can’t wait to go again. I was tipped off to the place’s awesomeness by our own fearless leader, and after visits a couple years in a row—I was hooked. Surfside Beach, Cisco Brewery, and the WAVE bus are all waiting for me this summer, and I can’t wait to share it all with my daughter.

2. For whatever reason I cannot get enough fun in the sun over in Hawaii. Whether it’s Maui, the Big Island, Kauai, or Oahu they all have their own treasures and treats. I think it might just be that I really enjoying swimming with the fish—like in the snorkeling way. Maybe this year will finally be the time I check out Molokai or Lanai, or try out scuba diving for the first time.

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Why the Best Buy 'Geek Squad' is on the Scene at Chicago-O'Hare

December 16, 2014 at 9:40 AM | by | Comments (0)

If your electronics and mobile doodads aren’t behaving this holiday season there’s a new way to get things repaired and fix while on the go. Best Buy is sending their Geek Squad unit into the airport, as the brave women and men will be stationed at Chicago-O’Hare for the next few weeks.

When your phone just isn’t keeping up its end of the bargain make your way over to Terminal 3 near the Concourse H food court. There you’ll find the Geek Squad, and that’s where they will be providing tech support for free through December 23.

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Virgin America Hops into Bed with Virgin Hotels for Flyer Perks

December 10, 2014 at 10:56 AM | by | Comments (0)

Perhaps to apologize for opening a hotel in Chicago in the middle of winter, Virgin Hotels is nuzzling up with Virgin America to help surprise flyers on the airline's routes to/from Chicago.

Last night, VX's Chicago flyers enjoyed a Virgin Hotels Social Hour, with free in-flight WiFi and a complimentary cocktail. These things may cost at 35,000-feet, but Virgin Hotels plans to offer them free to guests. One passenger on each flight also won roundtrip tickets and a 2-night stay at the Virgin Hotel Chicago (which opens January 15, 2015).

The onboard fun was also a prime time for Virgin Hotels to announce what perks Virgin America's frequent flyers will enjoy when on the ground and in bed:

All Virgin America Elevate members will receive 1,000 points per stay at Virgin Hotels. They will also get a special introduction offer of double bonus points for stays from January 15 to March 31, 2015.

Elevate Gold members will get complimentary breakfast and a room upgrade, based on availability. Silver members will also receive an upgrade, if available.

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Henry Cavill and Amy Adams are Chicago Tourists When the Camera's Off

November 10, 2014 at 2:59 PM | by | Comments (0)

Henry Cavill is proving he can do it all while filming Batman v Superman in Chicago.

On Friday, Henry filmed a scene in which he was suspended from a wire high above the streets of Chicago just hours after carrying his co-star Amy Adams, aka Lois Lane, to safety. And, he did it all while squeezed into that iconic Superman suit.

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5 Festivals That Stretch Chicago's Summer Fun Well Into Winter

October 9, 2014 at 12:16 PM | by | Comments (0)

During the summer Chicago is a paradise of outdoor festivals, concerts, and events, but that doesn't mean the fun must be restricted to warm days. Chicago works with its weather to promote a range of activities throughout the year, well into turtleneck and mitten weather.

Here's our round-up of the best Chicago events during the fall and winter:

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Virgin Hotels Has an Opening Date, and a Possible Plan for Frequent Flyers

October 9, 2014 at 9:22 AM | by | Comments (0)

It feels like forever ago that the future existence of Virgin Hotels was teased. In reality it was only 2010, and finally there's a solid opening date. The first Virgin Hotel will open in Chicago in January 2015, and rooms—excuse us, "Chambers"—just went on sale from $209 per night.

For everything we know about Virgin Hotels to this minute, you'll want to check out the HotelChatter story, because right now we're pretty distracted by the tasty news that hotel stays will work with flights towards your frequent flying totals. The NY Times tucked this tidbit into the very end of their story:

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Fire at Chicago FAA Facility Grounds Flights, Worsens Friday Travel Mayhem

September 26, 2014 at 10:49 AM | by | Comments (0)

Update: 12pm EST Flights into and out of Chicago are resuming at a "reduced rate." It has been stated that the fire which caused today's interruption was deliberately set, but was not an act of terrorism. It was set by a man found with self-inflicted wounds, in the basement of the facility.

Early this morning, smoke began billowing out of an FAA facility in Aurora, IL. The fire, whose cause remains suspicious, nonetheless made an impact on US air travel as all flights set to travel into or out of Chicago's O'Hare and Midway Airports were delayed or cancelled, along with many others simply set to fly through the Chicago control area. As of 10am EST, FlightStats.com was reporting upwards of 400 cancelled and 300 delayed flights for the airports.

As expected, lines within the airports stretched along with phone wait times for further information. One gate at O'Hare was reported to quote "30 minutes or 3 hours" for the delay, which demonstrates the uncertainties at the time.

If you're scheduled to fly anywhere in the United States today, please check with your airline (we'd recommend via their official Twitter account or website, with posted alerts) before heading to the airport. As always, be sure to embark on travels today with fully-charged electronics, packed snacks, and some flexibility and patience for the tens of thousands of other stuck in a similar position or worse.

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High-Speed Rail from Chicago is Full-Steam Ahead (Almost)

September 18, 2014 at 9:07 AM | by | Comment (1)

Riding the rails out of Chicago will not only get easier, but a whole lot faster thanks to a plan to run a high-speed rail link between the Midwestern metropolis and the Gateway to the West, St. Louis. Just last week, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn allotted a whopping $102 million from the state's budget for improvement of the rail corridor between the two cities.

The plan for the sped-up Amtrak line will allow higher speed trains to travel up to 110 mph between St. Louis and Dwight (about 75 minutes from Chicago). The final leg to Chicago will also be ready to go fast in 2017.

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The O'Hare Animals are Back for Another Season of Airport Maintenance

September 5, 2014 at 7:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

Some furry friends are now back doing their thing over at Chicago-O’Hare, as they do their best to keep the airport grounds in tip-top shape.

We’ve mentioned unique airport groundskeeping crews before, but the herd that tends to the land in and around O’Hare might just be one of the best. They’re back at work this year, as goats, sheep, llamas, and donkeys are all doing their thing. They’re hungry and there’s apparently plenty to eat, as they work to eliminate all kinds of vegetation—even poison ivy.

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How to Get Tickets to Chicago's Riot Fest 2014

August 12, 2014 at 3:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

Lollapalooza is now just a memory and summer is winding down, but that doesn't mean the Chicago music festival scene is over for 2014.

On Sept. 12-14 Riot Fest returns to Humboldt Park with a lineup that includes The Cure, Jane's Addiction, The National, Rise Against, Weezer, The Flaming Lips, Wu-Tang Clan, Samhain, Tegan and Sara, and dozens more.

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George Lucas Chooses Chicago for New Museum

June 27, 2014 at 5:45 PM | by | Comments (0)

Confirmation that the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum will be built in Chicago has some wondering if Mayor Rahm Emanuel performed a Jedi Mind Trick on George Lucas.

Since the museum was announced it was largely assumed it would be built in San Francisco, near the LucasFilm headquarters. So, many were surprised this week when Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for Emanuel, announced Lucas' decision to build the facility in Chicago, over San Fran.

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Everything Old is New Again: Wooden Roller Coaster Debuts at Six Flags Great America

June 20, 2014 at 8:23 AM | by | Comments (0)

We’ve been awaiting its arrival since January of this year, and now it’s finally time for the roller coaster known as Goliath to make a debut.

This big and bad new coaster isn’t a usual hi-tech coaster offering either, as this thing is a wooden coaster—so expect all of that moving and shaking that goes along with a timber track. With its opening comes world records, as Goliath will feature the longest drop, the steepest drop, and the highest speed of any wooden coaster. Top speed is 72mph.

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