Shermanstravel Blog

Arts & Culture

Dr Pepper Museum - Waco - Matt Howry - 620

The movies we watch, the toys we play with, the fun foods we eat — these elements of every day life and entertainment define every society’s culture. To celebrate the American way of life this summer, take a day trip to one of these seven pop culture museums worth the drive.

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If you want to head to New Orleans when it’s cheap, go there in summer. Hotels lower prices in August, and you can find round-trip flights from many parts of the U.S. for under $300. Why? It’s hot. It’s also hurricane season — a thing that’s not to be taken lightly in New Orleans. But if you can deal with the risk and brave the heat, it’s a great time to go. Crowds are smaller. Lines for restaurants are shorter. And there’s something about 90-degree weather that feels right in New Orleans — like it’s part of the city’s charm. If you’re heading down, here’s how to brave the heat:

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copenhagen - thomas rousing - 620

Founded by Bishop Absalon in 1160, Denmark’s capital has grown over the centuries into one of the northern Europe’s most charming cities. Packed with historical photo opps like Amalienborg Palace and Tivoli Gardens amusement park as well as feasts for the eyes and palette, Copenhagen can satiate travelers of all varieties. Of course, it’s also got a reputation as one of Europe’s most expensive destinations — but just because you have your eye on the good things in life doesn’t mean that you have to break the bank. Here’s how to experience the best of Copenhagen on any budget.

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Flickr/Sharat Ganapati

Parisians typically flee the city for their summer holidays in August, but for travelers heading to the City of Light, there are plenty of ways to beat the heat (or bask in it). A bonus? You’ll experience smaller crowds and the sunniest of sunny days. Here’s how to do it:

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When it was announced in December 2012 that the English region of Yorkshire had been selected to host the 2014 Tour de France’s grand départ (the three-stage opening route stretches from Leeds to Harrogate; York to Sheffield; and Cambridge to London), there was shock. Not that the esteemed French bicycle race was beginning somewhere other than France — that’s actually quite common, occurring usually every other year — but that Yorkshire had beaten out contenders Barcelona, Berlin, and Florence. Nevertheless Yorkshire has been having a moment lately. Last year it was declared the Leading European Destination by the World Travel Awards. What better reason to visit Yorkshire even after the grand départ has, well, departed?

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tuscany 1

Travel is filled with emotions. Anytime you go somewhere, you’re giving yourself the chance to be delighted, to fall in love, to feel out of place, to find comfort. That’s a big part of why we like to get out there — and yet sometimes nothing in the English language adequately explains these experiences. Or at least not as succinctly as these foreign travel-related words we’ve gathered below. We’re keeping these in our back pocket for the next time we’re grasping for a word to capture a specific, evocative moment from our journeys, and we invite you to do the same.

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hell gate - jonathan stonehouse

Movies and travel have something very important in common: They both transport. And it’s no coincidence — film creators are often inspired by the colors and the characters of specific destinations on very detailed levels, beyond the general history and culture that might push the plot lines. And perhaps none is more influential than Disney, whose recent blockbusters have each inspired a new wave of visitors to Norway, Scotland, and more. From the Chateau of Chambord in France (from “Beauty and the Beast”) to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia (“Finding Nemo”), here are the inspirational locations Disney has honored on the big screen. See them here.

oakland - lake merritt - michele ursino - 620

Finally, Oakland is getting the attention it deserves from travelers and media alike as one of the country’s coolest cities, having been skipped over for years for sister city San Francisco. But as Oakland enters the spotlight, it remains an extremely affordable destination for culture, food, and other entertainment. These budget activities will make any cost-conscious traveler wonder why you took so long to discover Oak Town:

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door county - wisconsin - cana island - emily jean - 620 - 3

It isn’t just the quaint coastal communities, museum-quality art galleries, and scenic state parks that make Door County one of the Midwest’s most popular summer destinations. Known as the Cape Cod of the Midwest, this northern Wisconsin peninsula attracts thrifty travelers with its bounty of free and nearly-free things to do along the shores of Lake Michigan. Here’s what to do and how to stretch your dollar here:

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Hopworks, Portland, Oregon

From scenic day trips, to breweries and wineries galore, to cycling and hiking, it would be impossible to experience all that Portland has to offer in a single day — but you can certainly try. Make a mad dash for all of these places, or space them out over a two- or three-day itinerary:

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Temple, Sri Lanka Once known as Ceylon, the island nation of Sri Lanka off the southern coast of India is still finding its tourism balance as it rebuilds from the devastation of the 2004 tsunami and years of political unrest. As such, Sri Lanka doesn’t see nearly as many visitors as its neighbor to the north, where it’s often easy to find good value on accommodation and tour packages. If you’re looking for a destination that offers the color and spice of India, and all the gracious hospitality and natural beauty of Southeast Asia, but still feels relatively free of tourists, Sri Lanka may be the ideal choice. Here are three reasons why:

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shilin night market taipei taiwan - flickr-rustler2x4 - 620

Already a mainstay in Asia for decades, night markets are now taking hold all over the world. With a buzzy, carnival-like atmosphere, they’re the place to be for finding shopping and food deals as well as for rubbing elbows with locals out for a night of casual fun. Some markets run year round, some are seasonal, and some are weekend events. Here are five around the world worth noting:

Canada: International Summer Night Market
The city of Richmond in British Columbia is home to three major night markets, but the International Summer Night Market is the largest and most popular. It draws approximately 20,000 people every weekend to the trinkets, handicrafts, and even fresh produce from nearly 200 vendors. Between purchases, you can sample good eats like Singapore-style jerky, enjoy live entertainment, play nine holes of miniature golf, or pose for photographs with the two 9-foot inflatable pandas on display. The market runs Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and holidays, May 9 through September 14. Admission is 2 CAD ($1.86 USD). Tip: Print online coupons before you go to save at select vendors, and hit up the ATM — most vendors only accept cash.

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MaltaIt may be small, but the European island nation of Malta, with its warm climate, rich culture, three World Heritage sites, and beautiful coastline, has a lot to offer travelers. And unlike some European countries, you don’t have to spend a lot to enjoy it. Here are some tips for sticking to a budget while visiting Malta: Read more

hong kong light show

If you thought that light shows were reserved for children at theme parks or at techno shows for young adults, think again. Each year, each day, cities around the world ignite their skies with colorful arrangements of phosphorescent lights. From decorative cranes at an old Croatian navy yard to entire harborscapes like those in Hong Kong and Singapore, there’s a delightful journey in some of the world’s finest light shows. See our favorites here.

Bonnet House via David Warren - 620You’re bound to pass through Fort Lauderdale at some point. Whether you’re laying over on your way to the Caribbean or South America, or using it as your departure point for a cruise, this sprawling beach town has plenty of its own charms. You could easily spend a full week exploring, but it’s also possible to have rich, relaxing experience in just a few hours. Here are itineraries for one, three, and five hours in Fort Lauderdale.

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