Shermanstravel Blog


Red Rocks
For most concertgoers, heading to a local venue is a chore accomplished for one reason: to see a band or artist. The venue itself almost never plays a role in one’s decision to purchase a ticket, but as travelers, we know that the occasional venue speaks just as loudly as the act that’s filling it. For music lovers, there are a handful of venues that are routinely placed on a higher pedestal, and for good reason, whether for their acoustics, scenery, or sheer ability to attract concert-goers to such remote locations as:  Read more

DublinWe’ve all been tempted by those incredibly affordable airfare deals to Ireland. But with most of them falling in the autumn and winter months, you might be wondering what to see and do once you get there – and how many sweaters and coats you’ll have to pack. Thankfully, Dubliners take to the streets through the winter months, bundling up for plenty of outdoor activities, including al fresco dining. Thankfully, eating outdoors in the Irish capital doesn’t have to result in frostbitten fingers and hypothermia – if you take a few cues from the locals. The following local favorites take care to keep their open-air spaces and their patrons warm, regardless of the season.

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Do you live near… well…  just about any major city in the U.S.? Have you always wanted to go to Ireland? Well now is the time to book a flight. Major airlines like Delta, United, Aer Lingus, and more have slashed round-trip airfare to Dublin to the lowest prices we’ve seen all year. Our deals experts found flights from 18 American gateways below $670 — and one as low as $361!

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Red Star Line Museum, Antwerp, BelgiumBetween 1873 and 1935 the Red Star Line shipping company transported more than two million European migrants from Antwerp, Belgium to new lives in the “New World” of the United States and Canada. The shipping line’s former warehouses, which stood empty and decaying (and slated to be turned into apartments) since the line ceased operations, will reopen as a museum on September 28th.  Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, the architectural firm behind the renovation and preservation of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and Grand Central Terminal, were responsible for the warehouses’ restoration.

The museum will likely draw many American visitors who will be able to research their ancestry and see the very place, in a warehouse at the port of Antwerp, where their ancestors embarked on these life-changing journeys. Also of interest will be the stories of the famous passengers who left Europe on the Red Star Line, such as Irving Berlin, whose family loaned his transposing piano to the museum, and Albert Einstein who, as he fled Nazi persecution, wrote a letter on Red Star Line stationery announcing his resignation from the Prussian Academy of Sciences — also on loan to the museum.

The museum’s slogan is “People on the Move,” drawing attention to the fact that “migration is a universal phenomenon” and links the experience of the Red Star Line’s passengers with that of contemporary migrants. Interactive exhibits will attempt to simulate the experience of immigration, including a visit to, first, a Warsaw travel agency and finally an intake center in New York City or Philadelphia.

Here are some other migration museums around the world where you can trace your heritage…

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Ireland, Cliffs of Moher

You may be thinking that it would be foolish to approach Ireland outside of the summer months, but while it does start getting chilly and wet around this time of year, there are a few reasons to consider a fall trip to the Emerald Isle — and why we consider this time of year Ireland’s Sweet Spot.

For starters, Ireland’s festival calendar is full of interesting events: from the Cork Folk Festival (October 10th to 13th); to the Wexford Fringe Festival (October 18th to November 3rd ) and Opera Festival (October 23rd  to November 3rd), and the Dublin Marathon on October 28th. And then there’s the final few months of events to celebrate The Gathering 2013, too.

If that’s not quite enough to convince you to hop across the pond, how about some great deals that will make a visit to Ireland very affordable? And, remember the Dollar-Euro exchange rate is quite favorable now, too. Read more

Fall Travel DealsFall is a great time to take a trip: In many destinations, you’ll find lower rates and smaller crowds than in summer, making for a relaxing and easy-on-the-wallet travel experience. Our deals expert, Lisa Hubner, rounded up some of the best deals for fall travel to Europe, the U.S., and the Caribbean: Read more

Castles You Can Sleep InUnlike the baby Prince George of Cambridge, most of us are not born into royalty. That’s not to say we can’t fake it, though. With many former European royal residences being turned into hotels, we can at least sleep like a future king.

Here are just a few you can choose from. Read more

Up-and-Coming Cruise PortsEvery cruise vacationer has a favorite port of call. For some it’s posh St. Bart’s in the Eastern Caribbean or St. Tropez in the Western Mediterranean. Others value the culture of Barcelona or the Nordic history of Copenhagen. These destinations are common port calls for most major cruise ships, but there a handful of emerging ports around the globe that are getting the attention of both cruise lines and travelers looking for something a little different. Check out these five lesser-known, but up-and-coming ports… Read more

TV Tourism DestinationsYou watch your favorite television show to unwind after a long day at work or to enjoy some entertainment without leaving your couch. But some people are so inspired by what’s happening on-screen that they’re motivated to travel to the place depicted in their shows. Yes, TV tourism is a real thing, and destinations like Nashville and Northern Ireland reap the benefits when shows are based or filmed there. Here are some notable TV-centric destinations where visitors are flocking this year. Read more

Message Bottle QuebecLast October, nine-year-old Oisín Millea found a green two-liter soda bottle on the beach near his home in East Passage, in County Waterford, Ireland. Inside was a note from two 12-year-old girls from Quebec, who had tossed the bottle into the St. Lawrence River while on vacation in a beautiful town called Grande-Vallée on Quebec’s Gaspe coastline.

Various media outlets from around the world jumped on the story, which continues today when Millea and his family kick off a 12-day vacation in Québec courtesy of Tourisme Québec to commemorate the unlikely find, which Millea calls his “treasure.”

Highlights of the trip to Quebec, Montreal, and Grand Vallee, the coastal town where the bottle started its journey, include a visit to the Irish Memorial park on Grosse Ile, an overnight stay in a yurt, and whale watching in the St. Lawrence at Saguenay Fjord. Read more

The Best Places to Try Brown BoozeDo you know the difference between whiskey, bourbon, scotch, and rye? It can be confusing, especially since all bourbons are whiskey, but not all whiskeys are bourbons, and all scotch is whiskey, but not all whiskey is scotch. (Think of it like bubbly. All champagne is sparkling wine, but not all sparkling wine is champagne.) Here’s your go-to guide on brown booze and where the best distilleries are around the world. Read more

Hands-On Classes Around the WorldTravelers seeking cultural connections might want to roll up their sleeves on an upcoming trip. In big cities and small towns, a variety of hands-on classes are linking curious visitors with local experts. Whether you want to learn about cheesemaking or butchery, there are many opportunities to get your hands dirty and meet locals at the same time.

Many of these classes are focused around food, a pleasure that connects us no matter where we call home. Not only do the following classes teach us something new and provide the framework to connect with locals, but they are also delicious. With every class there is the reward of tasting what you made and feasting with new friends. Here are four of my favorite ways to get your hands dirty around the globe. Read more

Hangover Cures Around the WorldNo matter where we call home, we share one thing in common: gathering around the table to break bread and crack open a bottle or two. Sometimes when the conversation and local liquor get flowing, the result is a big old headache the following morning.

Approaches to alleviating the hangover vary by destination. Some are healthy, some are indulgent, and some are plain crazy – while others turn to a cheeky afternoon drink as the ultimate cure. Here are five hangover cures from around the globe. Read more

Adrian Sadlier/St. Patrick’s Festival

Green beer, nearly legal drinking in the streets, and raucous, overcrowded parades; they all come to mind when we think of St. Patty’s Day. But the holiday isn’t just an excuse for the Irish (and the “Irish For A Day” types) to get a bit boisterous. 

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Ashford ResizedGetting married is for the birds. At least that’s the case (quite literally) at Ireland’s historic five-star Ashford Castle (one of our Top 10 Castle Hotels), thanks to their new owl-assisted Proposal Package. Engage the assistance of Dingle, Ashford’s resident owl, for your unforgettable engagement, all set on the site of a 13th-century castle surrounded by some 350 lush Emerald Isle acres, marked by a backdrop of woodlands, mountains, and a lake and river. Sign up for the Proposal Package, and Dingle will swoop in on your beloved with an engagement ring tied to a string around his neck for a proposal that will have your soon-to-be-betrothed soaring herself (or himself). Read more

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