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If you’ve ever dreamed of splashing around with dolphins, Flipper-style, singing with crabs like a certain redheaded mermaid, or simply like the sound of “sleeping with the fishes,” then here are eight epic hotels that bring you as close to the deep blue as you’ll ever get.
Pemba Island, Zanzibar
What if you could book your own, private island? Well… you can, kinda. Essentially a three-story, private, floating island in the midst of the Zanzibar archipelago, The Manta Resort (from $900 per night) features everything from a perfect sunbathing deck, open-ocean swimming, and a bedroom submerged 13 feet below the ocean.
Two hours by plane from Sydney (and one and a half from Melbourne), Adelaide is generally known as a quieter, more rustic alternative to Australia’s bustling metropolises. Set along the gentle River Torrens, Adelaide has fashioned itself into something of a sports capital (its main cricket and football stadium, Adelaide Oval, recently completed a $535 million renovation), but it’s not just cricket fans who are showing up to enjoy Adelaide’s bucolic charm. Adelaide Hills and Cleland Wildlife Park – two of the city’s most popular and accessible public parks – showcase a wide range of native Australian wildlife, making Adelaide perfect for nature-lovers. Plus, the city is incredibly easy to navigate. A bus and tram (both free) help visitors get around the city center, while a basic grid system allows visitors to explore without worrying about getting lost.
In short, whether it’s adventure, cricket, or a quiet afternoon at the beach that you’re after, Adelaide hits all the marks, and, even better, you won’t spend a fortune while you’re there. Here are five places worth checking out: Read more
Australia in general isn’t known for being cheap, and Melbourne specifically – touted as the world’s most livable city and the capital of the country’s most densely populated state – can be quite expensive. But it doesn’t always have to be, so long as you know the right places to go and how to get there. Here are five tips for enjoying the best of the city without spending a fortune: Read more
We all know that there’s something irresistible about a waddling penguin. But who knew that some species are facing extinction due to the changing climate and to commercial fishing practices? In honor of Penguin Awareness Day, we’ve rounded up three great spots that not only offer spectacular views of penguins, but also offer unique educational opportunities and do important preservation work.
For the ultimate up-close-and-personal encounter, visit the Magellenic penguins of Argentina’s Isla Marillo; they’re extremely friendly. They make up the bulk of the 10,000 penguins who nest on the island from October through early April…
Ready to spend some of your holiday money? If you’re looking to get some overseas R&R, two airlines just announced sales, right in time for the New Year.
As the count down to the New Year approaches, so does the party-planning pressure. Most major cities throw vast, crowded spectacles for the occasion, but if you’re not so keen on ringing in the New Year elbow-to-elbow with thousands of strangers, consider planning something a little offbeat this year… Read more
Forget about the subway – with all the new innovations showing up in taxis lately, we’re sticking with getting around cities the old-fashioned, four-wheel way. And we’re not talking about things like e-hailing taxi apps, which we covered already in a post last month. No, this time we’re looking at new ways to pay fares, cabs with free Wifi, and eco-friendly electric taxis. Find out which cities are ahead of the pack, below! Read more
New York City flipped over the cronut – a sweet cross between a croissant and a donut created by pastry chef Dominique Ansel. But the Big Apple isn’t the only city that that has a signature sweet. (Or a series of signature sweets ; we remember when people in New York waited around the block for cupcakes, too.) Here’s a look at some other tasty treats that are satiating sweet tooths around the world.
When looking for an unusual brunch treat in Sydney, try the Dogg’s Breakfast at Reuben Hills in Darlinghurst. This hand-crafted ice-cream sandwich is served with salted caramel sauce. (The whole Reuben Hills menu follows suit, with some salty language.)
If you’re looking for a more traditional Australian treat, keep an eye out for lamingtons. The spongy yellow cake covered in coconut and chocolate is available at most bakeries and cafes.
Between 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…
When was the last time you were inspired to visit a destination based on a commercial you saw on TV, or a poster ad in the subway? Savvy tourism marketing offices are on a never-ending crusade to bring new visitors to their country; and with a well-placed, visually striking, simply-worded ad, they often manage to achieve their goal. But what is the key to a successful tourism campaign? Well, if you follow the lead of these five winning campaigns, the answer is: cute animals, drag queens, and a great sense of humor. Read more
Each year, The Economist releases its list of the world’s most livable cities – and for three years now, Melbourne in Australia has earned the number one spot. We got to thinking, there must be something we’re not seeing – certainly, we thought, it has nothing on Sydney’s rich culture, or the Gold Coast’s beautiful beaches, but after a little digging, we uncovered a few reasons why we think it’s made it to the top, year after year. Read more
Some people only dream of exploring Australia’s prized gem: The Great Barrier Reef, with its crystal clear blue waters and countless species of fish that call it home. But getting to Australia, let alone the natural heritage site (and one of the seven natural wonders of the world), isn’t easy. Aside from the numerous hours on a plane, hotel expenses, activity fees – the list goes on – there are plenty of reasons to just save it for “later.” Until now.
Defying scientific explanation, the waters of Lake Hillier are distinctly rose-pink. Located on Middle Island, the largest of the islands that compose the Recherche Archipelago in Western Australia, the lake’s beautiful pink color is neither a reflection of the floor of the lake, like many colored lakes and rivers, nor influenced by the dye of organisms and bacteria. The pink hue is permanent, even when placed in a container. Almost 2,000 feet long, the lake and its bubblegum hue can be seen clearly by air passengers flying above it. Read more
Glowing a brilliant red at both dawn and sunset (above), Uluru, a giant sandstone rock formation in Australia’s Northern Territory, provides nature’s version of an optical illusion. Though the rock itself is actually grey (which can be seen when it rains), its coat of red oxide combined with the reflection of the sun causes the inselberg (an isolated rock structure) to appear a different striking red or orange hue at different times of the day.
Also known as Ayers Rock, Uluru is located in Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. The rock is made up of arkose and conglomerate, and is 1,141 feet high (to put it into perspective, that lump is taller than The Shard in London). There are many species of flora and fauna that live near Uluru, as well as the group of aboriginal people native to the area, the Anangu, and Uluru is a sacred site for them, as they believe that it is the home of their ancestors. Read more
It’s officially summer in the northern hemisphere, which means holidays, road trips, and the urge to visit national parks. But if you’re craving a cooler sort of escape this season, consider a ski trip…to the southern hemisphere. With winter just settling in, places like Chile and New Zealand offer incredible skiing at a time of year when most North Americans are hitting the beach. The best part? Skiing in these destinations can be a bargain. Here are our favorite “summer” skiing destinations.
New Zealand: Cardrona Alpine Resort
Visiting New Zealand is a dream for lots of Americans. If you head down there to see the epic landscapes used as backdrops in the Lord of the Rings movies, consider hitting the slopes, too. Cardrona, New Zealand is easily accessible from Queenstown on the south island. Skiers will find plenty to love, and snowboarders will have a tough time finding better terrain anywhere. At under $100 for a lift ticket, it’s actually cheaper than many of the venues surrounding Vail, Aspen, and other high-end mountains in the U.S. Read more
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