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The best things about birdwatching? You can do it at almost any time of the year, it can be a relaxing break from a packed travel itinerary, and it’s often a fairly low-cost activity. With migratory birds on the move or already at the their winter habitats, now is the perfect time to grab a pair of binoculars (and field guide) and explore some of the nation’s best bird watching destinations. Here are some of our favorites…
National wildlife refuges — protected lands managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service — offer many of the same recreational opportunities as national parks at a fraction of the cost. Some are even free, unless you plan to hunt, fish, or camp. We love these (mostly) gratis activities for experiencing the wilderness in a whole new way:
We’re a fan of pay-as-you wish restaurants, both as a way to avoid marked-up prices and as a chance to give back to the destinations on our travels. Here’s how it works: nonprofit restaurants encourage customers to pay for their meal based on what they’re able to afford, and/or give free meals in exchange for volunteer work at the restaurant. For travelers who do have a meal budget, it’s nice to know that our dollars are going toward establishments that provide resources and job training for the local community, and you can always take it a step further by volunteering as well has making monetary donations if you have the time and desire (free meals are meant for those who really can’t afford to pay). A number of establishments in the U.S. have successfully adopted this model. Here are four across the country to check out the next time you hit the road.
Colleges and universities aren’t just institutions of higher learning. Some of them are itinerary-worth destinations, even for those who haven’t stepped foot into a classroom for a long time, thanks to stunning architecture, fragrant gardens, impressive museums, and great history. Here are 10 schools that get an A+ on all these fronts.
Picture 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:
While many monied folks head to exclusive beach spots like the Hamptons and Martha’s Vineyard in summer, we’re thinking about the Jersey Shore for more affordable sand and sun on the East Coast. Don’t worry, we’ve no intention of hooking up with Snooki and her pals — instead, it’s off to the historic seaside resort town of Cape May. Just three hours from NYC and less than two from Philadelphia, this laid-back spot is a more affordable alternative for beachside cabanas, frosty cocktails, and boardwalk diversions. Here’s how to enjoy the destination without breaking the bank.
On the first of this month, United Airlines gave Atlantic City a leg up by launching daily service out of Atlantic City Airport to Houston and Chicago. The airport, which was previously only served by Spirit Airlines, lies just twelve miles from the Boardwalk. This makes it even easier for people from the Midwest and the south to get a first-hand glimpse of the waterfront casino town. Here’s how to do this city on a budget this summer: Read more
Some news for travelers heading from Newark to Hong Kong: Cathay Pacific has launched new daily nonstop service from Liberty International Airport this month. This is in addition to their four-times-daily service from New York’s JFK.
Following some recent legislation, it’ll be at least seven years before developers are allowed to build a casino in New York City (though we’d happily wait another 50). Until then, New Yorkers craving the sounds of ringing slot machines and clacking poker chips will continue trekking to the same ocean-sprayed resort town they’ve been visiting since the early 1900s: Atlantic City.
And why shouldn’t they? Situated just 130 miles south of Manhattan, Atlantic City is an easy day trip that’s both cheap and entertaining. Don’t believe us? Allow the facts to speak for themselves: Read more
With 12 restaurants, a co-hosting segment on ABC’s The Chew, and the coveted “Iron Chef” title under his belt, Chef Michael Symon is something of a mogul. But at his core, he’s also just a food-loving guy from the midwest, whose enthusiasm for Cleveland’s rapidly-growing dining scene is positively infectious. Ahead of his upcoming appearance at The Borgata Hotel & Casino this weekend in Atlantic City (where he, alongside Bobby Flay will be smoking “several hundred pounds of pork chop” for an expected 1200 people at an indoor street food festival on Saturday), Chef Symon sat down with us to share his thoughts on kielbasa, Cleveland’s hottest neighborhood, and why he can’t stand Chicago-style pizza.
While October might not scream “beach season,” many parts of the U.S. are still enjoying weather that calls for shorts and a lounge chair. Sure, you can go to Florida or Southern California pretty much year-round for sun and sand, but what about beach destinations that get cooler as fall sets in? For now, many of them are still prime for a late-season visit, with great deals, fewer crowds, and comfortable temperatures. Okay, so you might not get a sunburn (Who wants that, anyway?), but you’ll still find plenty to do in these seven locales: Read more
It’s no secret that Superstorm Sandy took a toll on the Jersey Shore. And with the Stronger than the Storm campaign in full swing (and a theme song that stays stuck in your head for days), some of the Jersey Shore’s most popular beaches, from Seaside Heights to Belmar, are back with more gusto than ever. But some of the Jersey Shore’s quieter, lesser known beach towns are alive and kicking, too. Here are four of our favorites “down the shore” for you to visit before the summer comes to a close.
With Victorian homes lining the streets and a picturesque lake in the center of town, Spring Lake couldn’t be further from the infamously rowdy, MTV version of the Jersey Shore. Hurricane Sandy wiped out the town’s boardwalk, but the new one erected in its place is ideal for early morning runs, walks, and bike rides. The boardwalk is void of any major commercial interests, save for a concession and gift shop run by the town, and the beaches are clean, well-maintained, and attended by families and more low-key beach goers. Be prepared to shell out $10 for a pass, but it’s worth it to relax on this lovely beach. Read more
It’s no secret that New Jersey has grit. Post Hurricane Sandy, the Garden State is indeed stronger than the storm and is resolutely opening its beaches. The state is also doing whatever it takes to lure travelers with an aggressive schedule of events, including several over Father’s Day weekend.
Whatever the dads in your life are into – be it pounding french fries, swaying to the Chairman, or running through mud for a cause – you can count on Jersey to deliver an activity that packs appeal. Here now, a few favorites. Read more
Some people would have you believe that hiking is a 3-season activity. Assuming a concerned tone, they’ll warn you about frigid temperatures, park closures, and impassable trails. And, to a certain extent, they might be right. In the United States, winter is a season for skiing, snowboarding, and ice skating. Or gathering around a fireplace with a few friends and a mug of hot cocoa or mulled wine.
Hikers should know however, that they don’t have to put off their kind of fun until the spring thaw, even if the snowdrifts outside continue to grow. They simply need to pick up a new piece of gear: snowshoes. A basic pair will only cost a little more than the waterproof, Gore-Tex boots you probably already own. Once you’ve chosen your snowshoes, all you need to do next is dress in layers, pack plenty of snacks and water (and maybe a few hand warmer packets just in case), and select a trail. To get you started, here’s a short list of state parks in the Northeast with winter trails and on-site rental facilities. Read more
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