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Polo is considered the sport of kings, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can’t indulge in this spectacle steeped in tradition at everyday prices. One of the oldest team sports in history — and one of the most dangerous in the world — polo combines the skillful mastery of eight horses galloping down the field at 30 miles per hour, along with an excuse to drink copious amounts of champagne and wear frilly hats.
Think of New Zealand, and chances are images of dramatic natural landscapes spring to mind long before its cultural triumphs do. But for culture vultures swooping in on Kiwi country, New Zealand’s charismatic Wellington capital (affectionately dubbed “Welly”) makes for an engaging urban base to sample the creative local take on Kiwi culture.
The lively little city brims with world-class museums and galleries; quirky outdoor sculptures; a slate of local theaters, live music venues, and performing arts centers (including the Royal New Zealand Ballet, New Zealand Opera, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, to name a few); regular arts and cultural events; and a vibrant film industry (“Wellywood” is the base for Peter Jackson’s international film empire). But you’ll still get that wow-factor true-to-New Zealand natural setting nestled between a picturesque harbor and rolling windswept hills. Plus, a coffee, culinary, and craft beer culture (perhaps best sampled in the Bohemian quarter near Cuba Street) help fuel this urban jewel’s pulsing creative buzz.
Read on for some of the best cultural freebies to ensure your time and money is well-spent in Wellington. Read more
Guiding ships into port was just the beginning for these landmark lighthouse hotels. In their current incarnation as unusual – and in some cases quite plush – hotel rooms, they’re helping travelers steer clear of a rough night’s sleep. Our top 10 lighthouse hotels span perilous harbors across the U.S. (did you know there are approximately 700 lighthouses in the U.S. alone?), the UK, Europe, South America, and New Zealand. While modern technology (radar and GPS) has made their original job less essential, their second shift as a storied keep means visitors can learn firsthand how they work (most on our list are still operational, thanks to automated systems) and about their stormy pasts (some have been working the fog for over a century). Climb the narrow spiral stair, watch the light beam across the sea, and spend the night in an iconic tower – then and always the universal symbol for safe harbor. Check out our Lighthouse Hotels slideshow for a preview of these landmark accommodations.
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