Shermanstravel Blog

Arts & Culture

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There’s something about entering a big top tent, smelling fresh popcorn, and watching acrobats fly through the air that appeals to the child in all of us, no matter our actual age. In Sarasota, Florida — known as the Circus Capital of the World — the unique thrills of “The Greatest Show on Earth” can be enjoyed every day, not just when the circus trains roll into town. Put yourself in center ring with these interactive destinations.

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BogotaStreetArtWe already covered how you can explore the Colombian capital with a $20 bicycle tour, but that is just one way to see Bogotá. Here are three more tours to sign up for, including one that’s completely free.

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Federal Donuts Philadelphia - Lisa HubnerFor a city mostly known for its cheesesteaks, Philadelphia has recently caught up with the nation’s most famous food capitals, offering a range of culinary experiences in its diverse neighborhoods. On a recent trip, we chatted with Kristin Huxta, a Philly native and a communications pro at Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, to get the inside scoop on where the locals wine and dine.

Here are her suggested (and tested) tips for great foodie finds, taking you beyond the popular downtown area into up-and-coming neighborhoods in North and South Philly:
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Fashion Designer Nanette LeporeFresh off New York Fashion Week, Fashion Designer Nanette Lepore is likely heading for a Miami Vacation with daughter Violet.

But, in any case — whether heading south, or abroad for work or play — Nanette loves to pack. Just ask her husband.

In an exclusive interview, the New York-based apparel maven told us about the importance of bringing a sweater, wherever you go. She also discussed the inspiration for her latest collection — and guess what? It involves two amazing travel destinations.

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iStock - IndyCar LouisianaIn a city chock full of traditional festivals, the addition of a new one is a big deal. So it’s big news that New Orleans has been granted next season’s inaugural IndyCar Grand Prix of Louisiana. The dates have been announced for April 10-12, 2015.

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iStock/Lake Tahoe in AutumnReady to drive? America in fall is marvel: cooler weather and colorful foliage spread across the northeast; comfortably sunny days are the norm from Vegas to Miami; and there’s perfect hiking weather in the west. Over the past few months, we’ve highlighted dozens of destinations that are perfect for a road trip, whether you’re looking to discover a new beach in Florida, visit a winery in upstate New York, sail on Lake Tahoe, or delve into an American classic — the Grand Canyon. Here are some ideas that we hope will inspire you — and persuade you to fill up the tank and go.

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Sunset MarquisWho doesn’t love looking at photos of beautiful hotels? OK, maybe lots of people don’t, but our travel-addicted selves definitely do. Case in point, we’re loving these new shots of the remodeled Sunset Marquis in Los Angeles. This classic hotel is known as a haven for celebs — especially musicians. (Harry Connick Jr. met his wife by the pool. Dave Grohl met his by the bar.)

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Summer’s winding down, and as we approach the “hunker-down” days of autumn and winter, what better activity to amuse the armchair traveler than binge-watching Netflix shows? Rather than re-watching Breaking Bad for a fourth time, satisfy your travel cravings with our list of some of the best travel programs currently airing on Netflix (and don’t forget about our other favorites that are also available for streaming!).

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If there’s one responsible thing you do over Labor Day weekend, let it be solidifying your Thanksgiving plans. We know it’s difficult to think ahead to the next big holiday while you’re still working on taking advantage of the current one, but we hear from our friends at Hipmunk that airfare is expected to rise significantly after the holiday. If you don’t already have a destination in mind, consider some of our favorites for Thanksgiving.

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Bergen-Harbour Credit Bergen Tourist Board _ Willy Haraldsen - visitBergen.com - 620 - 3

Ever since Bergen was the inspiration for the kingdom of Arendelle in the hit Disney film Frozen, this Norwegian town has been getting a lot of attention from travelers. But the city is more than a fairytale setting — although the vibrant colors on the historic buildings in Bryggen wharf may seem straight out of a storybook. Teeming with culture, nature, and adventure alike, some of Bergen’s other proud badges include Norway’s second largest city, the Gateway to the Fjords, and a European City of Culture. Here are five ways to experience the best of all that on a budget:

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little rock - allen brewer

Long known for its political prowess as Arkansas’ capital, the riverfront city of Little Rock is now showing off a softer side, with an eclectic mix of history and nature that appeals to travelers. Surprisingly, some of the biggest attractions at this offbeat destination are also the free ones. Here are 10 of them to add to your itinerary:

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adirondackslakegeorgeAs the largest state-run nature reserve in the continental United States, Adirondack Park offers plenty of opportunity for outdoor activities, from hiking and fishing in the summer months, to wintertime skiing. Even if you find yourself near one of the park’s most popular resorts, Gore Mountain, outside of prime ski season, you’ll find plenty of other attractions to keep you busy. Here’s a sampling…  Read more

Vienna Austria ParliamentI traveled to Vienna this year to attend the Life Ball, the largest fundraiser for AIDS research in the world. The event is televised on Austrian TV and is notable for the procession of elaborately costumed partygoers walking the red carpet to the ornate City Hall. This year’s event included President Clinton, Ricky Martin, and Conchita Wurst, the Austrian drag queen who won this year’s Eurovision song contest.

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Doi Inthanon National ParkIf you’re hungry for variety in your travels, Thailand is your country. Visitors in search of big-city bustle, colorful produce and flower markets, and street food galore go to Bangkok. Partiers, backpackers, and sun worshippers head south to the islands. And outdoorsy types, and those simply in search of some fresh air and quiet, go north, to the mountainous region around the city of Chiang Mai.

Covered in both jungle and alpine forest — not a contradiction in terms — this area offers rice paddy-covered mountains, elephant sanctuaries, gilded temples (if you haven’t had your fill in Bangkok), and even opportunities to visit and stay with families via new community-based tourism efforts.

We recently spent some time in tourist-free Doi Inthanon National Park, which is about a two-hour drive southwest of Chiang Mai. Here’s a sampling of some things you can do and see in this area, all of which can be accomplished in a day trip with a rental car. Pay the 200 baht (about $6.25) entry fee; pack a sweater, comfortable shoes, and some rain gear; and you’re set for the day.

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Hanoi - Andrea Schaffer

This coming year, 40 years will have passed since the war ended in Vietnam. A political topic still sensitive here in the States, the occasion is all the more reason to dive in and learn more about what Vietnam is like today. And we can’t think of a better place to start than the country’s capital, Hanoi.

Crossing the Pacific to get there is an upfront investment, for sure, but once on the ground, things get affordable in a hurry. With forty-cent beers and 5-star hotels for under $200 a night, even a traveler on a strict budgets can fully indulge here without worry.

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