Shermanstravel Blog

Arts & Culture

Barcelona - Flickr_Ferran BCN

Flickr/Ferran BCN

With the euro now in favor of American travelers for the first time in many years, European cities with chic, cosmopolitan flair are an attractive travel option this summer. Barcelona is one of our current favorites, with its world-class architecture, museums, abundance of tapas restaurants, and seaside ambiance. Sure, flights are still seasonally priced — we found round-trip fares of $1,300 for mid-July between New York City and Barcelona — but what you’ll pay on the ground can easily make up for the flight. Here are five ways to explore Barcelona on a budget.

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Restored Civil War Inns with Summer Availability from $95

BedandBreakfast.com/Glenfield Plantation Historic Bed and Breakfast

Looking for something a little different this summer? How about stepping back in time and cozying it up at a beautiful mid-1800s restored home? We’ve gathered a handful of converted inns and B&Bs that truly show off the architectural trends and designs of the era, from intricate fireplaces and high ceilings to exposed beams and wide wood plank floors. Plus, summer stays — including those over Memorial Day weekend — start from $95 per night. Bonus: They all include WiFi.

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generic jewely factory - denisdervisevic FLICKR1

denisdervisevic/FLICKR

Love trinkets and other souvenirs? On your next trip, we suggest taking a step behind the jewelry counter to explore how your favorite pieces are crafted — and of course get a great hands-on experience while you’re at it, too. These five tours allow you to blow your own glass, check out a gold mill, and get to know local artists in their own studios.

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dubrovnik

DiscoverDubrovnik.com

Croatia consists of over 1,000 islands, most of them paradises in their own way. Unfortunately, it’s pretty much impossible to hop to each of them in one trip, or perhaps even a lifetime. Here, we’ve decided to help you figure out which Adriatic island is perfect for you. Read more

Tikal3

Jess Novak

Tikal National Park, home to what was once the capital of a powerful Mayan kingdom, has been uninhabited by anyone but spider monkeys for more than a thousand years. If you’re looking to be transported — or hankering to get back to nature — this UNESCO World Heritage Site provides the perfect off-radar escape.

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Rending of the Club Med/Cirque du Soleil Playscape in Punta Cana

Rendering of the Creactive Playspace at Club Med Punta Cana

After witnessing any Cirque Du Soleil show, it’s inevitable that the audience leaves wondering, “How do they do that?” Very soon, it’ll be possible to get a first-hand glimpse at the athletic and creative artistry that makes Cirque Du Soleil performances so unique, with a brand new program at Club Med resorts called CREACTIVE.

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By Sid Lipsey for Yahoo! Travel

game of thrones - danerys
Face it. You want to travel like Daenerys. (Photo: AP)

When we last saw Game of Thrones two of its most interesting characters were traveling, and not for pleasure: The too-smart-for-his-own-good Tyrion had to go on the run after murdering his vengeful ex and complete jerk of a father, and teenage badass Arya hit the road because … well, because she really had nothing else to do.

Fortunately, we Game of Thrones fans can travel just like our favorite characters from the show — and, unlike them, have fun doing it. Fans have begun taking pilgrimages to the international locations where the show is shot. And places where the Game of Thrones cast and crew spent last year filming Season 5 (which debuts on HBO on April 12) are expected to see massive increases in tourism.

Related: You Can Take a Cruise Based on ‘Game of Thrones’?

Various touring companies are offering special Game of Thrones-themed vacations to Season 5 filming locations (luxury travel referral service Zicasso is offering GoT tours of Season 5 filming locations in Spain and Croatia).

Here are the spots you’ll want to see after you’ve watched the new season. Just don’t be too disappointed if you don’t see any dragons.

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Newcastle

Tommy Burson

First stop London. Second stop Edinburgh. Is there even a third stop on a typical UK vacation?

Of course there is, even if London and Edinburgh tend to get the most attention. London alone attracts about 15 million more visitors than the second closest English city. But the next time you’re there, we suggest getting out of the city and spending the weekend in Newcastle, northern England’s capital. Much discovery awaits there, considering its struggle for visitor numbers to approach anything near the one-million mark — somewhat surprising, considering that the readers of The Guardian consider it the UK’s best city. Here’s how to join the cool kids club and experience this Geordie center for yourself.

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view of glasgow in scotland (uk)

Tommy Burson

Not long ago, Glasgow resembled Detroit — once proud city in the midst of a depression that was characterized by liquor, drugs, and crime. Today, Glasgow is possibly the trendiest city in the UK, catering a booming arts scene and a musical surge reminiscent of Motown in Detroit. Despite the Scottish hotspot’s growing popularity (and the all-mighty pound), there are still lots of free or nearly free ways to enjoy all the culture to be found here. These are some of our favorites.

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Bosnia Above

Tommy Burson

We know Croatia’s beautiful. Who finds sunny beaches or marble, Roman towns perched above the Adriatic Sea hideous? Not many. And that’s why the destination has become so loaded with toursits over the past year.

For those who want to avoid the crowds, we have a suggestion that might surprise travelers: Bosnia. Yes, this country — just a bit smaller than West Virginia in size — had once witnessed one of the worst forms of genocide in the past twenty years. But, these days, there’s a ton of beauty hiding there too. Here’s what we love:

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South Carolina Historical Society in the Fireproof Building, by Charleston's Washington Park

Walk up and down King Street in Charleston and it’s easy to see that money flirts with charm. So many cobblestoned paths lead to high-end hotels, wine bars, antique stores, restaurants, and apparel boutiques. But no worries, you can still carve out a quality weekend at this Southern hotspot without blowing a lot of cash.

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montreal street art tour - Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

With non-stop festivals and foodie delights at every turn, Montreal attracts hordes of tourists eager to sample the culture and style of this sophisticated metropolis. But after you’ve viewed a Cirque Du Soleil performance and munched on a St. Viateur bagel, it’s time to dig into Montreal’s more unexpected experiences. Here are some alternatives to the big-ticket attractions.

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Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina

Kim Button

The Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina could be America’s closest example of a real-life castle. The 250-room French Renaissance chateau is still the largest private home in the country. Built by George Vanderbilt in 1895, the current 8,000-acre estate and grounds are just a small fraction of what the Vanderbilts originally had to call their home. Thankfully, you don’t need a trust fund to be able to indulge in the high life at Biltmore Estate today, especially when you use these tips and tricks to make a visit more feasible and affordable.

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SouthIndia

Charu Suri

Practically its own sub-country with several vernaculars, South India is flanked by the natural bookends of the Eastern and Western Ghat mountains. Within this plateau heartland lies a nexus of rivers, dialects, and manmade wonders in the form of more than 30,000 temples. All in all, the peninsula encompasses the states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala — as well as the often forgotten islands of Andaman and Lakshadweep.

It’s easy to see why the Tropic of Capricorn needs its own in-depth guidebook. But to start, for those who might be ambivalent about skipping South India in favor of more well-known gems in the north like the Taj Mahal, here are just three reasons to pause and reconsider.

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Rajasthan Farm Life - farm stay - I Like Local

i-likelocal.com

These days, travel is more and more about immersive experiences that help you truly connect with the destination’s culture. For those who love meeting the locals, here’s the latest resource to catch our attention: I Like Local, a website that offers local-led tours and activities in developing countries to help you head down the path less traveled. We like that the site gives 100 percent of the fees to the most important people involved — the expert guides — without charging them a service fee. For a taste of what’s offered, here are five adventures we’d love to embark on for glimpsing how another part of the world lives:

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