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Most cities offer plenty of reasons to visit. Whether it’s fine art or great food, window shopping or bar hopping, there’s something to entertain just about everybody. At times the number of options might actually seem overwhelming to tourists and residents. For years though, multi-day cultural festivals and restaurant weeks have successfully promoted urban exploration, encouraging people to take a fresh look at a familiar town. More recently, spurred on by the non-profit Brewer’s Association and motivated hop heads, beer weeks have started to pop up around the country, too. In essence, a celebration of American-made ales and lagers, these events tap in to the excitement surrounding the current craft beer boom. And it doesn’t matter if you can’t distinguish a Gueuze from a Gose. Above all, beer weeks are supposed to be fun. Read more
In a program called Holiday Photos on the Fly, Southwest Airlines and Microsoft are bringing a little extra holiday cheer to your busy travel schedule: Santa Claus will be set up at 26 U.S. airports to pose for free holiday photos with passengers, young and old. Santa’s helpers from Microsoft will not only provide travelers with a free photo print, but also show customers how to edit and share their pictures. The program will run for the three weekends preceding Christmas in December (Dec. 2-5, Dec. 9-12, and Dec. 17-20) from 8am to 7:30pm. You can seek out Santa at the following Southwest airports: Albuquerque, Austin, Baltimore/Washington, Boston Logan, Chicago Midway, Dallas Love Field, Denver, El Paso, Fort Lauderdale, Houston Hobby, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Nashville, New Orleans, Oakland, Ontario, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, San Diego, San Jose, San Antonio, St. Louis, Seattle Tacoma, and Tampa Bay.
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Welcome to the era of the underground supper club, a kind of professional dinner party masterminded by a talented (and often amateur) chef bringing together a group of strangers, usually in a private home. Long common in Hong Kong and Cuba, a few started bubbling to the surface in the U.S. around 2001 and now they are sprouting up worldwide. These “culinary speakeasies,” which operate without licenses or inspections (partially explaining their aura of secrecy), turn out unique—and often transporting—dining experiences. For the food lover, they’re a welcome alternative to the overblown restaurant scene. For the traveler, they’re a way to explore a new city by breaking bread with the locals. We’ve culled a few impressive examples, both pioneers and up-and-comers, and will tell you how to get a seat at the table.
Everyone knows cities like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago are among the best in the U.S., but there are many other fabulous – albeit smaller – American cities that just don’t get their fair share of the spotlight. Whether their proximity to a larger metropolis steals their thunder or a recent city makeover remains undiscovered by the masses, the cities on our list are oft overlooked by even the savviest of travelers. If you’re looking to broaden the scope of your trips to include some less-talked-about places with great art scenes, friendly locals, delectable cuisine, and/or rich history, then add one of our 10 most underrated U.S. cities to your “must-see” list today! For a sneak peak of our favorites, see our Underrated Cities Slideshow.
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