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Spring and summer seem to be festival seasons, and this time of the year, there’s plenty to celebrate. Warm weather, blossoming flowers, the ability to carry your wife long distances – wait, what? Across the globe, there are tons of strange and spectacular festivals commemorating everything from macaque monkeys to body painting. We’ve selected seven we find a little bit odd, but entirely awesome. Read more
There is a vast and under-appreciated tract of land on the eastern seaboard that goes by the name of New York state, and my family’s wanderlust for seeing more of it was ignited during a recent jaunt to Rochester and its magnificent Strong National Museum of Play.
I’m almost ashamed to admit that my knowledge of New York geography is so inferior that it hadn’t even dawned on me until after we left Rochester that I should have tacked a visit to Niagara Falls – a mere two hours west of Rochester by car – onto the end of our vacation. The good news is that we now have incentive to head back upstate – to see the falls, explore Albany, and pay our respects to Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
If you too have been contemplating why you don’t know New York state better than you do, think seriously about doing something about it this summer. Not only are many parts of the state perfectly outdoorsy and beautiful in the summertime, it’s also difficult to turn around without bumping into a festival or two that will likely yield quirky and highly memorable moments (see photo). Read more
Planning a block party can be a lot of work. You’ve got to secure permits, book entertainment, and prepare enough food to stave off a riot. It’s never easy to be the party planner, but being the guest at a well-orchestrated bash is a blast. Don’t fret, enthusiastic-but -unorganized partiers: the Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival in Miami Gardens promises patrons all the fun of a rocking block party, with none of the work.
A number of notable musicians will be taking their talents to South Beach for the Jazz in the Gardens Music Festival in March. The festival, in its eighth year, has drawn several high profile acts from the pop, R&B, and, of course, jazz worlds. The bill will feature Earth, Wind, and Fire, Monica, Fantasia, Ne-Yo, and Najee. The festivities will run March 16 and 17 and be held at Sun Life Stadium, home of the Miami Dolphins. Also returning is host Michael Baisden, a nationally-syndicated radio personality who played emcee at the 2011 event.
Myanmar has shot to the top of myriad travel hot lists of late, putting this emerging Southeast Asian destination top of mind for travelers in search of tourism’s next “it” spot. Since word is widely out on the country’s big-league attractions (from temple-speckled Bagan to the floating villages of Inle Lake), herewith an insider’s tip for travelers looking for more off-the-path, slice-of-life authenticity. Coordinate your 2013 visit with the auspicious full moon of Tazaungmone (or, November, according to Myanmar’s traditional calendar), when the country is set aglow during its heralded annual Tazaungdaing Festival (or, Festival of Lights).
Fresh from attendance at this year’s exceptional edition, I can firmly declare the event to rank amongst the world’s most wonderful, weird, and wow-factor festivals, exceeding my wildest expectations. Just be forewarned: One look at this balloon-, lantern-, and pyrotechnic-fueled spectacle and home-front Fourth of July celebrations to come will be condemned to comparative yawn-worthy status. Read more
It was a pretty brutal summer all over the United States. Here in New York City, where ShermansTravel is headquartered, that meant plenty of sweaty commutes and indoor (read: air conditioned) activities. It’s no wonder, then, that we’re pretty excited for fall to be here. Cooler temperatures, changing colors, football, festivals, and a bounty of seasonal foods make autumn a great season for getting outside, taking trips, and celebrating the end of that oppressive heat.
If you’re looking for places to celebrate the season, you should check out our Top 10 Fall Foliage Destinations. Additionally, you can heed the advice of some of our experts. We decided to ask our ShermansTravel colleagues what they love most about this time of year. How do we do fall? Take a look. Read more
The idea of famous bands hosting cruises is not a new thing. Typically, though, it’s been big name acts, classic bands, or Kenny G. The idea of an entire music festival hitting the high seas is a bit more unusual. That’s exactly what’s happening this December, however, as famed California music festival Coachella has partnered with Celebrity Cruises to offer two S.S Coachella cruises. While Coachella is known for sweltering desert heat, camping, and throngs of young people swaying to hipper-than-hip beats, having the festival on a cruise ship does make some sense.
As The New York Times points out, festival goers at sea won’t have to worry about late night drives back to hotels when they can just wobble back to their cabins. The bathroom facilities are sure to be cleaner. And a midnight buffet might just be a better end to a long day of partying than collapsing inside a tent.
Guests on the ship will also have a chance to mingle with some of the performers at events like a wine tasting with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem.
The cruises are set for December, with a three-day offering to the Bahamas and a four-day festival at sea bound for Jamaica. If you’re willing to share a cabin with three other music lovers, prices start at $500 per person. Prices include food, lodging, and entertainment, but not alcoholic beverages. Just like at any concert, that’s where they get ya.
When it comes to summertime fun, not every town is satisfied with state fairs and carnivals. These intrepid communities celebrate quirky bits of history and time-honored traditions that make simple petting zoos seem boring. While some of these festivals might look bizarre at first glance, they serve the same purpose as the more run-of-the-mill gatherings: Get a bunch of people together to have fun. Read more
Just 65 miles east of London, in Sandwich, Kent, the famous lunch snack, the sandwich, was born. The Sandwich Celebration in mid-May coincides with British Sandwich Week and commemorates the 250th anniversary of the 4th Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu, “inventing” the sandwich. A food fair, street music, children’s events, and concerts will take place during this two-day festival honoring the genesis of the sandwich.
The story goes like this: in 1762, the Earl of Sandwich asked for meat to be served between slices of bread, to avoid interrupting a gambling game. So, his servants brought him what is today known as the sandwich, and the rest is (delicious) history.
As dependable as the swallows of Capistrano, and quite possibly as majestic, there’s no surer sign that Spring has sprung (as well as your libido) than the annual invasion of our Men in White. For those of in you New York City – or fans of Sex in the City re-runs – you know what I’m talking about, and for those of you watching from afar, here’s two simple words you’ll remember forever once you experience it: Fleet! Week!
Since 1984 a small armada of vessels dock in NYC harbor to honor the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. over Memorial Day Weekend – this year May 26 to June 2 – releasing their uniformed crew the to carouse with the locals, titillate the tourists, and all around impress with their starched sculptedness. And of course, feature military demonstrations, tours of boats, musical performances, yada yada . . . Did we mention there are sailor balls?! This year, you can also get in on the action with some exclusive hotel deals. Read more
Today, as Spain wraps up the third day of its annual, nine-day Running of the Bulls festival in Pamplona, New Orleans readies for tomorrow’s Encierro, its own version of Iberia’s wild street fest – except this one involves no bucking beasts.
Where Pamplona employs angry bulls to storm through the calles, New Orleans brings in the Big Easy Roller Girls (plus skaters from select other derby teams) to glide through the Crescent City’s skinny streets.
About 300 skaters – each decked out in red, donning bull horns-topped hats, and swinging baseball bats – race through the French quarter and chase the some 8,000 runners (dressed in the traditional white with red sashes) who show up for the festival. And yes, the so-called RollerBulls do sometimes whack people with the bats (though mostly men, we’re told).
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