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Arts & Culture
Quito, Ecuador, is readying to reel in the tourists, intent on enticing visitors to stick around for more than just a quick stopover en route to the Galapagos. A new international airport just debuted in February, plans for a metro system are in the works, and the old colonial center – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – is fresh from a $250 million makeover, adding luster to the city’s picturesque plazas, colonial churches, and cobbled streets, all surrounded by scenic snow-capped Andean peaks and distant volcanoes. Freshly back from a week on the ground there, these five Quito attractions simply can’t be missed – best of all, in affordable Ecuador, they all ring in at under $5 (and a couple are even completely free!). Read more
From its dreamy Mediterranean coastline to Istanbul’s thrilling cuisine and nightlife, Turkey basks in the spotlight as one of the hottest travel destinations for 2013. But in recent days, images of the political protests in Istanbul – and volatile clashes with riot police – have been splashed across the international press. As a result, hotel booking engines are reporting a sharp decrease in searches for Turkey. Could this spell a golden opportunity to visit – with major discounts? Or is it unsafe? Read more
Do you know the difference between whiskey, bourbon, scotch, and rye? It can be confusing, especially since all bourbons are whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbons, and all scotch is whiskey, but not all whiskey is scotch. (Think of it like bubbly. All champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne.) Here’s your go-to guide on brown booze and where the best distilleries are around the world. Read more
Virgin America now flies to Anchorage, Alaska? In honor of the airline’s new route, a special Alaska sale offers some of the lowest one-way fares ever. These flights from popular cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington D.C., among others start as low as $149 and are available on select dates, June 7, 2013-July 10, 2014, with a 3-day advance ticket purchase. If you can book an ultra-last-minute getaway (with just one-day notice!) you can fly from Anchorage to San Francisco for $199 each way. Read more
Every destination has a taste or sound that burrows deep into our memory, instantly transporting us back. For me, In Cartagena, Colombia, the taste is mojitos and the sound is live music by a son cubano band.
Moments after the music strikes up, locals are on the dance floor, entangled in twosomes or gatherings of old friends. Both inside and out of the old walled city of Cartagena, there are bars, clubs, and outdoor venues where ceiling fans spin, mint leaves are muddled, and the band takes the stage several times a night. For music, mojitos, or both, here are some favorite places to drink and dance in Cartagena. Read more
Did you know that it costs about $4 million to take out an ad in Times Square for a year? Or that Sir Elton John has played at Madison Square Garden 62 times? How about that Macy’s has the second largest shoe collection the world, with 300,000 pairs? For those interested in such things – and lots of other New York City and celebrity trivia – the TMZ Tour might be your favorite new Manhattan attraction. Read more
If you thought flight attendant uniforms were boring, then these five airlines are about to prove you wrong. Check out how airlines like Canada Air Rouge, Qantas, and others have taken a page out of the fashion handbook – sort of. Read more
Whoever told you that dining in Paris is expensive…pretty much told you the truth. It’s exceedingly difficult as a traveler to find affordable dinner spots in Paris. Fortunately, I can let you in on a little secret: Lunch is where it’s at.
If you want to gorge yourself on all of Paris’s prizes (bread, amazing meats, cheese, and wine) for a fraction of the price, do so during the lunch hour. Most Parisian restaurants serve a prix fixe menu during the day, so diners can sop up the same quality of food for far less. Here are two recommendations that will give you both a taste of quality French food and a glimpse into how the locals live: Read more
Twenty years ago, tourism to Medellin, Colombia’s second-largest city, was entirely unheard of. The world capital of cocaine production, Medellin was overrun with drug traffickers (none so feared as ruthless kingpin Pablo Escobar) and the cartel-backed street violence here was downright paralyzing. Proof of what’s possible in just two decades (Escobar was killed by police in ’93, and the city has been on a steady incline ever since), Medellin is slowly emerging as a dynamic urban center, with safer streets (though petty street crime is still a threat), innovative architecture and infrastructure, and a bevy of new museums, parks, hotels, and eateries. Freshly back from a week on the ground there, and just ahead of JetBlue’s new routes to Medellin (launching June 13), I’ve got some quick value-friendly tips on what to see and where to sleep in the “City of Eternal Spring” (a nod to its pleasant weather, year-round). Read more
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