Shermanstravel Blog

Food & Wine

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If there’s one responsible thing you do over Labor Day weekend, let it be solidifying your Thanksgiving plans. We know it’s difficult to think ahead to the next big holiday while you’re still working on taking advantage of the current one, but we hear from our friends at Hipmunk that airfare is expected to rise significantly after the holiday. If you don’t already have a destination in mind, consider some of our favorites for Thanksgiving.

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Flickr/Anna Fox - Epcot Flower Festival

Any trip to Disney World usually feels like a special event, but did you know that the resort hosts unique parties and festivals all year long? Here’s what you can expect from six of the most popular celebrations.

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dr franks vinifera wine cellars - christine wei - 620In upstate New York, there’s a 2.6 million-acre region characterized by rolling green valleys and sprawling open space, and it’s just four hours from Manhattan. Yet, Finger Lakes wine country doesn’t receive nearly the attention it deserves as a breezy summer escape or a fall foliage getaway — or an excellent anytime jaunt for wine lovers.

While sweet Rieslings and Cabernet Francs are the hallmarks of the region — the climate is nearly identical to that of Germany’s Mosel region — more refined reds are also starting to take hold. This quirky destination draws a savvy crowd of visitors with an appreciation for natural beauty and laid-back hospitality. Those who prefer a more personal experience, and a slower pace, will find few highly commercialized experiences in its 11,000 acres of vineyards. Instead, small estates, run by multi-generational families, each boast their own flair and character. A wealth of independent museums, state parks, and other attractions round out any trip.

Wine country is divided into three distinct trails, along Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga Lakes. Like the individual wineries, each of these lakes have a vibe and history of their own. Here’s a guide to finding your ideal trail, plus some of our favorite spots along each lake.

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Nevis 620x400Located in the Caribbean’s Leeward Islands, St. Kitts and its sister island Nevis are relatively new to the tourism circuit. We put together a slideshow of activities — whether it’s on the beach, or in the rainforest, or at a great restaurant — that we hope will inspire you. Check out our slideshow here.

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Ever since Bergen was the inspiration for the kingdom of Arendelle in the hit Disney film Frozen, this Norwegian town has been getting a lot of attention from travelers. But the city is more than a fairytale setting — although the vibrant colors on the historic buildings in Bryggen wharf may seem straight out of a storybook. Teeming with culture, nature, and adventure alike, some of Bergen’s other proud badges include Norway’s second largest city, the Gateway to the Fjords, and a European City of Culture. Here are five ways to experience the best of all that on a budget:

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seredipity-dessert

These days, many loyalty programs are being scaled back and points or miles being “devalued.” But Orbitz is bucking that trend in a major way with its latest announcement: Rewards members are now able to earn cash to spend on travel by dining out. You’re probably wondering what the catch is, but, truthfully, there isn’t one.

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Exclusive and sometimes quirky, pop-up restaurants offer a festive alternative to the traditional, reservations-needed dining experience we’re accustomed to when we got out for a gourmet meal. These underground experiences can be trick to plan for on vacation, considering the location is often undisclosed until right before the event, and there’s only one seating. But for friendly foodies, it’s absolutely worth pursuing — it’s a great way to interact with locals, taste ingredients sourced from the area, and be a part of the fun experiments that up-and-coming chefs are dreaming up. Here’s how you can secure your place at the table:

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Villa CampestriVilla Campestri, a stunner of a property that’s situated in the hills of Mugello, just 45 minutes from Florence, and has something that other Tuscan resorts don’t: an on-site olive grove and production facility.

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620x400_TedAllenAs the star of Food Network’s Chopped, and former judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, Ted Allen can eat.

And eat. And eat.

But when he’s not eating, or jamming out to David Bowie, he’s traveling — and currently looking for some vacation suggestions. That said, when he does take off, Ted has reading requirements for boarding a plane and refuses to purchase products from those in-flight magazines. We recently caught up with Ted while eating Thai food, as he, Pepcid, and Eater.com, hosted dinner at Pok Pok NY at its new Brooklyn location.

Read on for our exclusive interview…

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Hanoi - Andrea Schaffer

This coming year, 40 years will have passed since the war ended in Vietnam. A political topic still sensitive here in the States, the occasion is all the more reason to dive in and learn more about what Vietnam is like today. And we can’t think of a better place to start than the country’s capital, Hanoi.

Crossing the Pacific to get there is an upfront investment, for sure, but once on the ground, things get affordable in a hurry. With forty-cent beers and 5-star hotels for under $200 a night, even a traveler on a strict budgets can fully indulge here without worry.

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ShelteringSky2We’re into our last few weeks of summer, but before you start dusting off your coats and settling in for the winter, let’s wrap up the season in style with one last go around of all the things that make a New York summer great.

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Sandito Mojito, Cuba Libre OrlandoWe’re game to celebrate nearly every food- or drink-focused holiday (National Margarita Day, anyone?), so we’re excited that August is Rum Month. Rum is the elixir of both swash-buckling pirates and bleary-eyed Caribbean travelers alike. But some folks have rum misconceptions: They think only of umbrella-topped super-sweet frozen drinks or unimaginative soda mixes from their young-adult years. We’re here to open your eyes to a brave new world of this sugar cane-based liquid miracle. Beyond plain Bacardi, there are hundreds of varieties of rum — some as premium as any top-shelf cognac.

These 21 bars from coast-to-coast (and points in between) are serving up choice cocktails this month using rums you may not have heard of before. And don’t forget that Saturday, August 16 is officially National Rum Day. So raise a glass and say, “Aaar!”

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Traveling this weekend? You’ll want to save some room for dessert on the road, when the classic marshmallow campsite treat achieves cult status on Sunday, August 10. That’s right — it’s National S’mores Day. Here are five great places in the States to indulge in the wonderfully sticky, gooey flavors:

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CaribeOn August 15, San Juan’s Caribe Hilton has good reason to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Piña Colada, Puerto Rico’s national drink. The cocktail was created at Caribe Hilton in 1954 by bartender Ramón “Monchito” Marrero who continued to serve the drink at the resort until his retirement in 1989. To celebrate the occasion, the resort is offering a piña colada-inspired deal.

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clambake - Flickr-joyosity - 620Picture a summer evening on the beach with a bonfire. Add to that steaming clams, fresh lobster, live music, and maybe even s’mores, and you have a traditional New England-style clambake. These are typically in full swing across the U.S. during August and into September. Here are five ways to enjoy one:

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