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Memorial Day marks the start of summer in most of our minds (if not officially on our calendars). For many of us, it means the first trip to the beach, a road trip adventure, or a weekend in the country. For others, however, it’s just a long weekend away from the office with no getaway plans. That doesn’t mean that that those folks don’t have travel on their minds, however. Now, I’m not advocating calling something a “staycation;” I’m just suggesting that you use Memorial Day weekend to plot, scheme, and organize a trip that you can take sometime this summer. Use the holiday as your launchpad and start your own countdown to the trip that you deserve.
There’s no right or wrong way to travel. Love your RV? Plan an epic drive through to a national park. Prefer more luxury on your trips? Find a deal on a hotel that will cater to your every need. Summer is perfect for adventure and Memorial Day weekend is the right time to get yourself ready. Read more
With the Summer Olympics upon us, the already swarming city of London will be flooded with visitors. It behooves those planning to attend to take a word of advice from those in-the-know. On my recent trip to London, I sat down with Sophie Campbell, journalist, Daily Telegraph travel columnist, and Blue Badge Tourist Guide for London to learn how to navigate London amidst the frenzy.
Do you have any tips for out-of-the-ordinary and unique things to do while visiting London for the 2012 Olympics?
Take the District Line on the Underground to Bromley-by-Bow station and, instead of walking up to the Olympic Park, walk south down the Limehouse Cut to Limehouse Marina, where you can see multi-million pound yachts moored and watch boats leaving the marina via the huge lock. Then go and have lunch at Gordon Ramsay’s pub, The Narrow, which has a huge terrace overlooking the lock entrance.
Also, on August 2 make for the Whitechapel Gallery – celebrating its 101st year in the East End this year – for the Time Out First Thursdays night, when East End contemporary art galleries open their doors late and there are talks, walking tours, discussions, and plenty of eating and drinking options on offer.
Finally, anyone going up to the canoe and kayak events further up the Lee Valley at the Lee Valley Whitewater Centre should go to Waltham Abbey just down the road. Get the train from Liverpool Street Station out to Waltham Cross. It’s one of the least visited and most fascinating churches in England: parts of it date back to Anglo-Saxon times, King Harold, the last Anglo-Saxon monarch, is supposed to be buried here and the abbey itself is just stunning. Read more
We recently included New York in our list of Top 10 Cities for Cycling. With the Citi Bike share program set to launch shortly and many hotels offering bikes for guests, we want to help you ride safely in this bustling metropolis.
Before you peddle off to your favorite landmarks, eateries, and parks, be sure that you’re ready for cycling in one of the busiest cities in the world.
Wear a Helmet
While only riders under the age of 13 are required by law to wear helmets, it’s a good idea for everyone to protect their heads when cycling. The new bike share program will not be supplying headgear, so be sure to pack your own if you’re visiting New York.
Seattle’s native son (well, technically he hails from Tacoma, 35 minutes to the south of the city), Dale Chihuly will be properly honored in Seattle this spring, when the comprehensive permanent exhibit, Chihuly Garden and Glass, is slated to open its doors. The highly anticipated exhibition center will highlight some of the artist’s – revered as one of the world’s greatest glass artists, with his works showcased in 200-plus museum collections around the globe – most popular works and architectural installations, spanning his older collections to more contemporary pieces. Expect to see Chihuly’s Neon and Glass Forest, a Northwest Room, a Sealife Tower, and more on display in the main gallery spaces of a 12,208 square-foot indoor pavilion. Read more
The level 1 beginner course focuses on fundamentals like posture, dance etiquette, and musicality, as well as basic steps and sequences.
Strictly Tango welcomes couples and singles alike, as no partner is necessary when signing up.
With an emphasis on traditional Argentinean tango, free of influences from other dance styles, Strictly Tango has built a reputation for fun, authentic classes with accomplished and dedicated instructors.
Our ShermansTravel Local Deal gets you a month’s worth of beginner classes – at a 50 percent discount – as well as a free CD of tango music and discounts for additional courses and training.
Chicago’s set to enjoy some time basking in the international spotlight this spring, when it will host several major events like the G-8 and NATO summits and the World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates. But international VIPs and political bigwigs aren’t the only ones who should be looking to Chicago in 2012 – the city has an exciting roster of new attractions and events for new and repeat visitors alike. We’ve rounded up four of the best of them below: Read more
Don’t know a lager from an IPA? A trip to City Swiggers beer shop and tasting room is your chance to become a true beer connoisseur.
With 14 beers on tap and 400 types of beer on sale – as well as a knowledgeable staff – City Swiggers appeals to both beer snobs and those just beginning to branch out from Bud Light.
Patrons can mix and match bottles purchased in six-packs or single bottles off the shelf or from the cooler, or fill up a growler jug with one of the brews on tap. You can even show off your beer knowledge or pick up a few pointers over a cold one in the store.
With recognition from the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, City Swiggers has fast become a new local favorite in a neighborhood better known for wine bars. www.cityswiggers.com
For general trip-planning information, see our New York City Travel Guide.
Steve Cohen, dubbed “the Millionaires’ Magician,” has been a mainstay at New York City’s legendary Waldorf Astoria for the last decade, entertaining upper-crust crowds (royalty, celebrities, and politicians frequent his audience) with his Chamber Magic show – the longest running solo magic show in NYC – held in a Waldorf penthouse on weekends.
In his latest bag of tricks, he’s taking his show on the road in 2012 with a brand-new, bigger-and-better Theater of Wonder show brimming with new illusory acts designed for a much larger setting – the new traveling show is kicking off tonight with a one-night-only performance at NYC’s Carnegie Hall (where tickets have been sold out for two months). Here, Steve sits down with us to offer up a magician’s guide to travel, with insights on his Waldorf Astoria home base, reflections on his former stomping grounds in Japan, tips for travelers interested in magic, and insight on what to expect on his new road show. Read more
Next time you pass over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, you should be sure to wish it a happy birthday – the bridge is 75 years old this year. While the official celebration won’t be held until Memorial Day weekend in May, the anniversary comes with a full year of events that start this month. 75 community tributes from art galleries and films to dances and hikes, inspired by and featuring the bridge, will take place in the Bay Area throughout the year. (This month will bring an exhibit at the Marin History Museum entitled The Golden Great Bridge – An Icon that Changed Marin and feature the story of the bridge and how it fundamentally altered Marin County.)
The main event, though, is the Golden Gate Festival on May 26 and 27. The free community festival will span the waterfront from Fort Point to Pier 39, and venues include the Marina Green, Crissy Field, and Fisherman’s Wharf, among many others. Expect art, self-guided walks, bike trips, historical displays, music, films, and more, including a firework display to mark the end of the festival.
If you’re looking for ways to take advantage of the long weekend for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, consider the national parks. From January 14-16, entry to all 397 national parks is free. (Although the parks you’re familiar with may not charge fees, more than 100 national parks do; to see the list of parks that are fee-free only on designated fee-free dates, click here.)
Specifically MLK, Jr. and Civil Rights themed parks and monuments include the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia (MLK, Jr.’s birthplace), the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail in Alabama that follows the route of the 1965 Civil Rights March, and the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Certain parks are also holding events to commemorate Dr. King, including tributes at the D.C. Memorial, Morristown National Historical Park in New Jersey, Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Tennessee, and Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, D.C. (where the tribute is an MLK Film Festival).
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