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Can’t wait for the Jurassic Park sequel, “Jurassic World,” to hit theaters in June? Have your own prehistoric adventure at one of these fun-packed dinosaur destinations.
The Field Museum, Chicago
Home to “Sue,” the largest, best-preserved, and most complete Tyrannosaurs rex ever found, The Field Museum is a must see for budding paleontologists and adventurers. After you’ve gawked at Sue’s 42-foot long frame and 58 dagger-like teeth, explore the museum’s dinosaur collection, part of the Evolving Planet exhibit. $31 adult, $25 students, $21 children 3-11.
Sure, Napa and Sonoma are stunning, but the United States is chock-full of smaller wine regions worth a visit — in particular, the North Georgia Mountains. This hamlet of America offers hiking, river rafting, and dozens of vineyards and wineries that makes for an ideal romantic weekend or girlfriend getaway from Atlanta. Pack your bags for a tasting and be sure to save room to bring back a bottle (or three).
Wineries to Visit
Crane Creek, pictured above, is a stunning 1886 farmhouse-turned-winery and event venue. You’ll feel like home when sipping a glass of Sweet Sally, the fruity dessert blend named for the winery’s pup.
Hightower Creek is a family-run winery that fully celebrates the area’s heritage, particularly with their Deliverance red blend. Soak up inspiring views of the Blue Ridge Mountains as you sip a robust red.
Cavender Creek in Dahlonega hosts wine tastings and live music every weekend — it’s the perfect time to sample their Farmhouse Peach, a blend that incorporates local peaches and muscadines for a tart and sweet dessert wine.
Where to Stay
If you’re staying for longer than a day, base yourself in Helen, Dahlonega, or Young Harris, as these picturesque stowns have the most options in terms of accommodations. We recommend the range of choices at Unicoi State Park and Lodge, which boast camping and hotel rooms, as well as the luxurious suites at Brasstown Valley Resort.
Driving the area is your best bet if you can manage it, as most of the towns and wineries are 20-30 minutes apart. But if you prefer the ease of a tour with the benefits of a designated driver, you can visit with VIP Southern Tours, which visit many of the wineries in full- or half-day tours.
Atlanta is home to tour companies that suit every interest and hobby. Whether you’re looking to stroll among the Walking Dead filming locations, sip the city’s best craft brews, or learn about Atlanta from the ground up, here are three of the city’s most unique tours.
Since breaking onto the scene in 2004 with her album Goodies, recording artist Ciara has traveled the globe — while on tour and during time off. This new mom has teamed up with Degree’s DO:MORE campaign to take her performances to the next level and challenge people everywhere to accomplish their goals.
In an exclusive interview, Ciara shares where she wants to travel next, what’s in her carry-on, and the scoop on a sweet treat she picked up in Asia.
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.
It’s no secret that Google Maps is a lifesaver if you’re traveling without a car. Generally, this, and similar sites like Hopstop, are incredibly reliable for planning your travel route on public transportation. But what if you want more precise information – like when to leave for the station in order to make the next train, for example, or detailed schedules that tell you how often buses and trains arrive?
This is where locally-based transit apps come in. A whopping 246 public transit systems across the nation make schedule and GPS-generated location data accessible to developers so they can incorporate them into new programs. Here are some of the best free transit apps for iOs and Android that are worth downloading before your next trip… Read more
Every week, Delta publishes its Weekly Web Fare Specials. This week, we spotted flights between select cities for $80-160, each way – a great-sounding deal. If it seems too good to be true, consider that availability is very limited: departures are permitted on February 1 only, and return flights on February 3 or 4 only.
If taking a romantic getaway was your 2014 resolution, then you have lots to look forward to next month. Hotels far and wide are putting together some nifty Valentine’s Day packages to help lovebirds get the most out of the holiday. From free spa treatments, to add-ons like champagne and rose petals, there’s a trip here to suit every taste, and save you some money.
For laid-back lovers…
In Curaçao, the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort is making itself extra-accessible to lovers on a budget with their “Love In the Caribbean” package, which is available even after Valentine’s Day. Starting at $379 per night with a 3-night minimum, this deal packs in a couple’s massage, daily breakfast for two, a complimentary dinner at Shore, welcome cocktails, and (why not?) a two-day car rental. Valid for stays through the end of 2014.
It’s easy to forget, in the rush of shopping, cooking, and traveling, that the holidays are meant to be relaxing. So, if you are dreading chore of cooking and cleaning up after your Thanksgiving Day meal, why not leave the dirty work to someone else by making a reservation at a hotel restaurant.
New York City
The Thanksgiving feast at the InterContinental Barclay offers a tasty buffet of local, natural and organic food with a turkey and ham carving station, seafood, smoked meats, soups, salads, hot entrèe selections that include Amish free-range organic roasted chicken breast with morel sauce, and pistachio-crusted organic farm-raised bronzini with lemon and pink peppercorn sauce. Dessert offerings include pumpkin pie, and chocolate and pecan tart. You may also like to partake of the Barclay Bar’s collection of 92 different Calvados labels or the collection of more than 100 martinis and cocktails. Thanksgiving seatings are from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the price is $75 per adult, $30 for children ages 4 through 12. You can make reservations through OpenTable.
Rates start at $329 on Thanksgiving night.
Not long ago, New York’s Central Park Zoo said a sad farewell to one of its own: Gus the polar bear. He was a fixture at the zoo for more than 25 years and had some…well, problems. Sure, he was neurotic (like a true Manhattanite), but he was beloved by many. (It’s reported that nearly 20 million people visited him during his time at the zoo.) On a happier note, we can’t help but think about the new baby animals that draw visitors to zoos across the country each year. And let’s face it, no matter how young or old we are, it’s hard not to ‘ooh and ahh’ over a cute baby cheetah (or elephant, or snow leopard). If you’re looking for a pick-me-up, here are some new furry friends that have recently arrived at America’s zoos…
It doesn’t get much cuter than these adorable kittens. At the Memphis Zoo, a male leopard was born in July, and while he doesn’t have a name yet, the public will have a hand in picking it from seven choices. Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo also welcomed a male cub in June, and he’s set to make his public debut this month when he turns three months old. Poaching and other factors have lead the species to be listed as endangered and only about 3,500 to 7,000 exist in the wild.
When to go: While you can’t see the Memphis cub just yet (the zoo is reconfiguring the cage so there are no spaces in the caging where he could slip out), stay tuned for updates on their Facebook page. In Chicago, you’ll be able to see the newborn by the end of next week. Read more
In life, being in the right place at the right time can come down to serendipity, but in travel, it is almost always the result of good planning. To avoid crowds and inflated prices, we recommend the period between high and low seasons when the weather is fine, places are still open and happy to welcome travelers, and you can explore a destination at your own pace. We call this magical time and space continuum the Sweet Spot and make it a point to round up the best of them for you each season. We’ve covered the 40 best places to go this fall and grouped them by region. Our editors have even included picks for our favorite fall festivals, ranging from the fun to the downright funky – time your visit accordingly, and add some oomph to an autumn escapade. Follow the links to right to discover this season’s Sweet Spots.
When was the last time you flew somewhere just to check out the airport? If the answer is ‘never,’ then a new trend sweeping the U.S. might make you reconsider. From Denver to Long Beach to San Antonio, more and more airports are trading out old, generic food courts for diverse, high-quality offerings that reflect the local flavor. Creating partnerships with major concession operators, these ‘hyper-local’ vendors are combating the anonymous airport experience by providing a unique sense of place – not to mention an excellent meal – before and after passengers board the plane.
When Denver International Airport realized last year that many of the leases for its food and beverage outlets were set to expire, officials seized a unique opportunity to overhaul 75% of its concessions. Explains DIA’s Chief Commercial Officer John Ackerman: “We’re bringing in a new blend of local Denver brands and concepts that will completely transform the character of the airport.”
Indeed, in the past six months, a dozen or so new restaurants have opened, including an outpost of the Denver-based Elway’s Steakhouse. With several locations in Denver and another one in Vail, the popular airport eatery (which is owned by former NFL star John Elway) gets so busy on weekends, there is often a wait list to get inside. On top of that, there’s the upcoming Steve’s Snappin’ Dogs, which began life as a hot dog stand in downtown Denver, and Udi’s Cafe and Bar, whose line of gluten-free treats was recently acquired by Smart Balance.
A similar thing is happening at San Diego International Airport, where 71 new restaurants and shops are expected to open between now and early 2014 – including the city’s first in-terminal spa. In June, SDIA debuted Craft Brews on 30th Street, a restaurant and bar inspired by San Diego’s lively 30th Street Corridor, and which features a range of seasonal and year-round beer selections from local breweries like Ballast Point, Coronado Brewing Co., Green Flash and Left Coast.
Meanwhile, in other parts of the country, the trend is manifesting itself in sleek new concourses, ice cream shops, and Mexican street food eateries. Read more
A couple of weeks ago, Delta’s CEO Richard Anderson issued a rare public lashing on immigration wait times for passengers coming into the United States. Obviously, the leader of a U.S.-based airline has financial motives for wanting to get passengers off the plane and through passport control in a more efficient manner – but his rant still held a lot of truth. Immigration wait times in countries like Japan or the Netherlands are far shorter than what we face here in the United States.
For those looking to make informed decisions around their future travel plans, here’s a quick look at which airports boast the shortest wait times – and perhaps more importantly, which airports have the worst. Though we can’t guarantee you’ll miraculously breeze through immigration and customs on your trip, at the very least, you’ll know which entry points to avoid or plan for longer layovers if you have a connection. Read more
For a quick summer getaway, we’re loving this new hotel sale from Sonesta. This offer, which just began yesterday, includes dozens of properties across the country and saves 30 percent on seasonal rates. Stay two nights or longer through August 31 to get this deal. Rates start at $52 per night, with deals in major cities from Orlando to Boston to New Orleans. Read more
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