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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
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 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
After a long, bitterly cold winter, we’re beginning to see the first signs of spring. Flowers of all types are in bloom, and in many places throughout the country, that blossoming is celebrated with festivals featuring music, food, fun and games, and naturally, flowers. We’ve picked five of our favorite floral festivals in April and May to help you get a spring in your step. Read more
In the harried chaos of airports, a frequent-flier lounge is a veritable oasis. Several airlines offer passengers quiet corners to unwind before takeoff, where they can enjoy drinks, WiFi, and a bit of peace. A drawback is many lounges, though secluded, don’t offer much in the way of views. If you’re lucky enough to find a spot with a window, the most you can hope to see is a small patch of the runway or an abandoned luggage cart. Plus, as much as you’d love to crack open that window a smidge, you still won’t get a whiff of fresh air until touchdown. Delta Air Lines will change that with plans to construct lounges that offer all their standard luxuries, and more. Read more
Winter time can prove to be an even bigger headache than usual for air travel. Blustering winds and pesky snowstorms regularly clog major air-hubs from New York City to Chicago (and everywhere in between), causing frustrating flight delays and cancellations. Spare yourself the stress of lengthy, invasive security procedures, and unreliable service by taking the train for your next getaway.
Fares for many of North America’s regional train lines are available for less this season. Here’s some of our favorite deals on rails.
Hot-lanta is actually pretty temperate in December, making it a premiere location for conferences, events, and even a personal trip down to enjoy the best of what Georgia’s biggest peach has to offer. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of Atlanta, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.
If your second home for the week is the Georgia World Congress Center, you may need a spot to take a client for a taste of what’s local. If so, there’s a spot called Glenn’s Kitchen just a quick hop away. It’s upscale local, with items like bread pudding and North Georgia Trout. As a bonus, those that can’t get enough can return and ask for the wine menu – it’s even bigger than the the grub menu, if you can believe it. Read more
Today’s breed of Halloween-themed attractions grows more terrifying every year, making the haunted hayrides of bygone eras look like tea parties in comparison. This year is no exception, as many venues have upped the fright factor with freaky new themes (bloodthirsty humanoid centipedes, anyone?), mazes designed for solo exploration, and more serial killer clowns than you can shake a scythe at.
Nobody seems scared off; in fact, brave souls are flocking to these Halloween attractions in such high numbers that many parks have added a fast-pass ticketing option that allows visitors to bypass the lines. Here are our picks for the scariest Halloween attractions in 2012. Check them out – if you dare. Read more
Climbing enthusiasts have yet another reason to consider the South for their next adventure: a 140-foot climbing wall in Historic Banning Mills Adventure Park (about 45 minutes west of Atlanta) that was recently certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s tallest freestanding climbing wall.
The 14-story structure, which received its Guinness certification on December 10, is the newest addition to the nonprofit adventure park. The professionally designed wall, which required about six months of construction, offers challenging routes (all belayed, no free climbing) for climbers of all skill levels, with nine lanes, including two 95-foot rappel walls, four overhangs, a traversing overhang, and a chimney. Read more
It’s hard to beat Megabus’ consistently low fares (seats start at just $1), but the discount bus service has found a way: To celebrate the opening of its Atlanta hub, 10,000 passengers will score free seat on the new routes, each valid for travel from November 16 to December 16. The service, launching November 16, links Atlanta to 11 southern cities: Birmingham, AL; Charlotte, NC; Chattanooga, TN; Gainesville, FL; Jacksonville, FL; Knoxville, TN; Memphis, TN; Mobile, AL; Montgomery, AL; Nashville, TN; and Orlando, FL.
THE VALUE: It’s free!
THE CATCH: Free seats are based on availability and only offered on select dates.
THE DETAILS: Visit www.megabus.com, and use promo code ATL10K.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on hotels, packages, and more travel deals.
Budget Rent a Car thinks you might if the price were right.
The rental car service has added 15 advertisement-wrapped cars to its inventory in Atlanta, and will let travelers drive these roving billboards off the lot through November for some steeply discounted rates, USA Today reports. Plus, anyone who opts into this promotion stands to score some swag and promotional materials from the vehicle’s sponsor (currently: Sheets energy strips).
Fancy a pre-flight tipple? Throughout the summer, select Delta Sky Clubs are hosting tastings featuring Tequila Avión – a new edition to the airline’s airport lounge menu – in creative cocktails designed by expert mixologists. Sample city-specific libations like the Flying Watermelon (tequila, watermelon juice, lime juice, agave nectar, and basil) or the Tailwind (tequila, lime juice, cucumber, and mint). Watch for the free cocktails at happy hours at select Sky Clubs in Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York (at JFK and Laguardia); swing by on Thursdays from 5-7 pm, except at LAX where tastings run from 7-9pm.
Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on flights.
Callaway Gardens, a resort about 60 miles south of Atlanta, markets itself as a place where families can enjoy quality time together while getting back to nature. That’s all good, but its wholesome reputation had me slightly skeptical that the property’s new TreeTop Adventure, a combination ropes course and zip line nestled high in the trees that opened in mid-May, would be, well, bland enough for Mom, Dad, Junior, and maybe even Grandma.
So, just a few minutes into the experience, my inner adventure snob is more than impressed. Guides call these 24 aerial challenges, some of which are about 30 feet high, “games” – but then, so would Jason Bourne. For mere mortals, they’re no joke: suspended logs, bridges, and even a series of more than a dozen narrow swings to navigate, one by one, the latter of which was so tricky for me I prayed mightily for the security of my safety clips and harness.
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