Shermanstravel Blog

Arts & Culture

terracotta pottery at Chichicastenango Market Guatemala

Guatemala is famous for the vividly colored handwoven textiles that locals expertly craft into everything from hammocks to purses. And there’s no better place to shop for these fashion finds than at Central America’s largest indigenous market in Chichicastenango, a highland community two hours north of Guatemala City. Rivaling the most extensive of malls and unfolding on the cobblestone streets of the central plaza Thursdays and Sundays, the market draws more than 300 vendors from all over the country. A vast array of wares — including handcrafted instruments, baskets, ceramics, blankets, and produce — fill the stalls from every angle. But what to buy? For those shoppers keen on souvenirs that reflect Guatemala’s rich Mayan heritage, here are our five key picks.

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View from Nevis Peak

Nevis Tourism Authority

When you think of Nevis, one word quickly comes to mind: relaxation.

From the soft West Indies ocean breeze, to the white sandy beaches and crystal clear teal waters, Nevis is all about rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Nevis is the oldest British Colony in the Caribbean, and the small, untouched island of just 12,000 residents and 36 square miles boosts a different kind of island vibe. With a mountainous volcanic landscape, vacationers can choose to spend their time in the mountains, by the sea, or an exotic combination of both.

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Galveston 1

Keith Hajovsky

Galveston Island is a unique coastal destination: An historic Victorian-era downtown surrounded by beaches that offer classic seaside fun. Whether you’re on a day trip from Houston or stopping over to or from a cruise, here’s how to make the most of it.

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Newborn monument

“Broke but sexy” is arguably the title pursued by any city attempting to recover from near-collapse. And Pristina — the tiny Kosovan capital brimming with gritty, post-communism blocks — seems just about ready to cross over from broke and war-torn to trendy and lively.

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Quinoa, Peru

Connie Lee

For many travelers to Peru, visiting ancient ruins offers one of the best reasons for venturing into the wild. After all, the fact that these sites are usually off-beat and well-protected — often to serve out their former purposes as spiritual centers, military strongholds, and imperial homes — is part of the joy. But what else is there to see and do if you start to feel “ruin-ed” out?

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Rock Hall Induction 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio

Laura Motta

When this year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction airs on HBO on May 30, you’ll see a taped version of the ceremony that took place on April 18 at Cleveland’s Public Hall. Why do they tape it? The answer is simple: The actual ceremony is five hours long. That’s what’s great about it. And if you want to attend a ceremony in the future – and have your own Cleveland rock-themed weekend — you can. Here’s how to do it.

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Flickr/Maurizio Costanzo

Flickr Maurizio Constanzo

Being able to speak the language in a foreign country allows you to interact with locals and experience their culture on a deeper level. If you’re looking to beef up your espanol, try turning your next vacation into a learning experience by enrolling in a full-immersion program at one of these Spanish-speaking countries around the world.

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Greenwich Village, New York City, NY - Christine Wei

Christine Wei

Greenwich Village is one of New York City’s most beloved neighborhoods for good reason. Not only is it the home to a slew of celebrities and other trendy Manhattanites — or the setting of the hit ’90s sitcom Friends – the boho-chic neighborhood is also where you’ll find a whole host of hip restaurants, chic boutiques, and lively music venues. Here’s how to sink your teeth into what locals call “The Village.”

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Cable Car to Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa

Cape Town Tourism

Summer in Cape Town may mean beach weather and festival season, but winter — spanning the end of May through August — is when you’ll find the city at its greenest. While this means prime weather for adventuring through the Cape’s natural wonders, travelers can also indulge in the city’s thriving food and wine scene or soak up some of the cultural hotspots. To jumpstart your research, here are just four ways to take on cosmopolitan Cape Town on your next South Africa trip.

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Chicago on the Cheap


Despite the city’s hard-working Midwestern roots, Chi-town’s world class restaurants, museums, and theaters don’t come cheap. But native Chicagoans know where to go to snag a deal and score free stuff. Follow these insider tips on Chicago bargains, and you’ll rarely have to get spendy in the Windy City again.

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Preservation Hall

Jeff Anding/Preservation Hall

When it comes to music, you could argue there’s nowhere else in the world like New Orleans. The city offers up a jambalaya of Cajun, zydeco, Afro-Caribbean, folk, blues, R&B, gospel, country, bluegrass, jazz, brass bands — and so much more. One of the best ways to taste all of that in one trip is during the annual 10-day Jazz Fest, full of performances and parades, kicking off in late-April. Of course, you can find live tunes all over the city any other time, too. While plenty of them do call the famed French Quarter home, most locals head to Frenchmen Street or the Bywater to hear their favorite performers. Here are six venues where the local bands laissez les bon temps rouler (let the good times roll) year-round.

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Port Jeffersoncourtesy of Port Jefferson office

Port Jefferson office

Once a shipbuilding center, the Village of Port Jefferson on Long Island’s North Shore has become a community enclave full of dining, shopping, and outdoor exploration. It’s perfectly located for those who want to escape the city during a visit to New York City. It’s just sixty miles from the city, and thanks to a summer ferry service launching this month, now is the perfect time to make a day trip. Once there, many attractions are within walking distance from the waterfront, particularly along Main and East Main Streets. Here’s how to ditch the steamy city streets and explore this picturesque harbortown.

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Frida Kahlo Museum Mexico City

Nilina Mason-Campbell

The international capital for museums, Mexico City claims to have more than anywhere else in the world. In the heart of the city’s Coyoacán neighborhood sits one of its most popular attractions: painter Frida Kahlo’s former residence, known now as the Frida Kahlo Museum. The property has morphed from Kahlo’s childhood house to martial home and finally the Frida Kahlo museum upon her passing. For the art and history buff alike, an afternoon at the museum is a wonderful way to step back in time and glimpse into the life of a brilliant mind.

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Emily Price

Eighty miles east of Raleigh, North Carolina, lies Kinston. Once a huge tobacco town, the city has started to undergo a bit of a renaissance in recent years. The area is now home to a large art collection, a craft brewery, outstanding restaurants, and a lot of history. Whether you’re on your way to North Carolina’s coast, or just looking for an affordable afternoon trip, there’s a little something in Kinston for everyone. Here’s how to spend an afternoon (or weekend) in this thriving North Carolina town.

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“Hello, hello. Come. Have a cup of tea.”

They’re friendly.

“You know. Very famous rugs here.”

They’re insidious.

“Nobody comes here to buy a rug, but everybody leaves with one.”

They’re gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse — or so you think.

You’ll find these salespeople chirping in the grand bazaars across North Africa and the Middle East in cities like Istanbul, Marrakech, and Cairo, but the aggressive tactics can be found from Jaipur to the Brooklyn Flea.

The approach generally begins friendly enough, “It would be an honor to have you look in my shop.” Next thing you know, you’ve had four cups of tea and are haggling for free shipping on a $1,300 rug, rationalizing the cost because the negotiation started at $1,700 — that, supposedly, lasts three generations, which is fantastic because the great, great grandkids need a half-wool, double-woven rug covered with sheep impressions.

But don’t worry. This type of encounter happens to almost every tourist — some multiple times — daring to enter the chaotic bazaars across around the world (seriously, not joking). But here’s what to expect and avoid at bazaars around the globe.  Read more

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