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Arts & Culture
I have been to Budapest several times and, on each visit, I adore staying at the Four Seasons Gresham Palace. In the off-season (winter, or shoulder season in fall or early spring), rates are quite reasonable relative to other 5-star properties in Paris, London, or New York City. (Think $280-$320 per night, compared with $500+.) The Gresham Palace is, in many ways, in a league of its own when it comes to Budapest’s hotel offerings. In fact, it was just named the number three hotel in the world in Travel + Leisure‘s 2014 World Best Awards. The majestic old-world structure was originally designed to be an insurance company before it became a hotel.
The hugely popular novel Outlander, written by Diana Gabaldon and the first in a series of eight books, has at long last been made into a television series, premiering on Starz this Saturday, August 9. The story is set in the Scottish Highlands during the 18th century Jacobite rebellions. The series was filmed on location there — the producer even called the country the “third character.”
If you’re a fan of the novels, or are caught up in the excitement over the new show, you might want to put some of the show’s atmospheric shooting locations on your travel list. Here are some to get you started:
Colleges and universities aren’t just institutions of higher learning. Some of them are itinerary-worth destinations, even for those who haven’t stepped foot into a classroom for a long time, thanks to stunning architecture, fragrant gardens, impressive museums, and great history. Here are 10 schools that get an A+ on all these fronts.
The Ozark mountain range is so vast that it not only covers the southern half of Missouri, it also extends to Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. And even though it’s referred to as mountains, the area is actually a plateau. Covering 47,000 square miles, the rugged Ozarks are filled with forests, and hiking trails, and beautiful views. Here are some ideas for exploring:
If you’ve been to Rome, you probably visited Piazza di Trevi, Piazza di Spagna, or some of the other, more popular public squares. But Rome’s other piazzas offer just as much culture and history as their touristy counterparts. Here are five lesser-known piazzas worth seeking out:
Ready for a modern version of the World Fair, and in a place that you were already planning to visit? Milan has been chosen to host the 2015 Universal Exposition that will run from May 1 to October 31, 2015. This six-month event will showcase the best of the participating countries’ technology and innovation. This year’s theme is “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” which will focus on the culture, traditions, and creativity of the participating countries and how they relate to food and diet. Visitors can expect an open-air theater, a wine pavilion, tastings, and lots more. With Italy’s incredible food culture, it’s easy to see how Milan was a logical choice. Here’s Milan’s Expo by the numbers:
We all know cities share common names — there’s a Paris in Texas and a Rome in Georgia, just to name two. But who would have thought that some cities would go as far as to share landmarks? Las Vegas is an obvious example, but other lesser known ones include the miniature Eiffel Tower in the Lone Star State, complete with a ten-gallon hat, and a 15-year-old Statue of liberty in Tokyo. Indeed, literally hundreds of cities worldwide replicate popular tourist attractions, both satisfying their own citizens wanderlust and increasing visitors’ chances of crossing various famed sights off their lists. Here are just some of our favorite replicas.
One of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous Arizona works, Arizona State University’s Gammage Auditorium in Tempe, AZ, turns 50 this year. The building has an interesting history, initially commissioned by the assassinated King Feisal II of Iraq and then eventually revived as a university building, finally opening in 1964. To celebrate its birthday and the prestigious guests it has received — from traveling Broadway productions to George W. Bush and John Kerry during the 2004 presidential debates – the performing arts center has partnered with two other iconic Wright destinations to offer the “Frank Lloyd Wright Experience,” with hotel and entertainment discounts this week.
Paris, Rome, and London are all classic first-time Eurotrip destinations. But for savvy or returning travelers, Eastern European cities — think: Prague, Budapest, and Tallinn, among offers — offer just as much beauty and history, but at cheaper prices and in fewer crowds. Although communism clothed much of the area a few decades ago, the region has largely shed that attire and now welcomes travelers with eclectic mixes of medieval architecture and preserved fortresses alongside Soviet era blocks and 21st century designs. With so many nations to discover, here’s where to start:
While vacationers often gravitate toward coastal paradises, America’s heartland is often missed as a vacation — except for those on the Kerouacian road-trip. But Kansas City is ripe for exploration, firstly because it’s a mere three-hour flight from either coast. It’s also one of the cheapest Midwest destinations to fly into — airfare is competitive because no airline has a hub and major claim there. Secondly, KC has tons to offer on countless cultural fronts, from its historic jazz foundation to epic barbecue spots to trendy boutiques galore. If you need proof, consider this: Both Google and Lego love the city enough to use it as fertile testing grounds (Google Fiber and Legoland, respectively). The cherry on top? All of the below adventures will hardly dent your wallet.
Who vacations in Cleveland?
Surely, not enough people. Like many Rust Belt cities, Cleveland’s associated with joblessness, dilapidation, and general unsavoriness. But contrary to these common views, the city’s been slowly transforming into an affordable enclave for the trendy, the foodies, and cost-conscious travelers of all kinds. The Tremont district, for example, is filling up with boutiques and quality restaurants — even Iron Chefs love the famous West Side Market. The next time you have a weekend to spare, here’s what you should include on your Cleveland itinerary:
Looking to plan your next vacation but don’t want to spend a fortune? For an enriching getaway that doesn’t break the bank, Portland’s utopia of sustainability, cycling, good eats, and natural beauty has you covered.
The fortunes of Glasgow, Scotland’s biggest city, have turned more often than most. With its days as a great shipbuilding center long over, Glasgow spent much of the latter half of the past century struggling to overcome a reputation for poverty and crime. But regeneration has gathered pace over the past few decades, helped along by its hosting of large events; most notably, this year, the 2014 Commonwealth Games, which begin on July 23, as well as the 2014 MTV Europe Music Awards in September.
Whatever your reason for visiting Glasgow, here are the areas to explore.
The Clyde Waterfront
The Clyde Waterfront regeneration project has been spurred along by the promise of the Commonwealth Games. This former shipbuilding stretch of the River Clyde, which once saw the construction of the great Cunard shipping line vessels such as the QE2 and the Royal Yacht Britannia, is now home to Scotland’s new national arena at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Center and the newly built Emirates National Indoor Arena and Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, named for Scotland’s six-time Olympic cycling champion.
Not all of the development is centered around the Games, however. You will also find the Sir Norman Foster-designed, armadillo-shaped, Clyde Auditorium here, as well as the Riverside Museum, designed by Zaha Hadid and named European Museum of the Year for 2013.
Travelers looking to experience one of France’s medieval towns often head to Chartres or, even further afield, Orleans in the Loire Valley. But for those visiting Paris, there’s a more convenient option that’s just an hour away by train: Provins. Once a center of commerce, this is a prime choice if you’re looking for a picture of rural life and French history while still being able to get back to Paris for an evening out. Read more
From murals to music to roast pork, there’s plenty for the budget-conscious traveler to enjoy in Philadelphia. But in case you’re in town for an extended visit, we encourage you to hop on a train or get behind the wheel for a some nearby exploration. Here are three great day trips under a two-hour drive, whether you love art or history, tapas or beer:
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