Although the summer is coming to an end, travelers are trying to sneak in that last vacation before the end of August. It looks as though travel destinations in the Caribbean are still popular among US residents during the summer months, according to a recent report released by Adara, a company that leverages global travel data to help improve future business performance. As of July, US residents accounted for nearly 25 million searches and more than 500,000 flight reservations to the Caribbean from June through August 2015.
Some roads are better experienced on the back of a bike. Here are our picks for America’s 5 best motorcycle road trips.
Tail of the Dragon (Deals Gap, NC)
Route: 11 miles
The Tail of the Dragon is largely considered the most popular motorcycle road trip, with 318 curves in a short stretch of US 129 along Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the Tennessee/North Carolina border.
Start in North Carolina at Fugitive Bridge — yes, of Harrison Ford’s 1993 thriller The Fugitive — where you’ll navigate a magnificent series of “S” curves before crossing the Tennessee state line.
Make sure to pack: A proper windshield. Trust us, you’ll be happy you sprang for one. READ MORE
Jennifer Aniston and new husband Justin Theroux have embarked on a luxurious honeymoon in the South Pacific after quietly tying the knot in front of 70 friends and family members at their Bel Air, CA, manse. Here’s what we know so far to inspire your own fantasy honeymoon (even if you have to settle for flying first-class like a mere mortal).
Mr Moeava de Rosemont / Four Seasons
The Getaway Plan
Odds were on Cabo, the couple’s frequent Mexican getaway, as the honeymoon destination. Instead, they went all-out to mark the special occasion by hopping on a private jet for the roughly 8-hour flight from LA to French Polynesia’s Leeward Islands. In all fairness, Bora Bora already received the couple’s stamp of approval when they celebrated Theroux’s 43rd birthday and their second engagement anniversary there last August.
Breaking With Tradition
While Bora Bora is a honeymooners’ tropical paradise, the newlyweds certainly didn’t plan on holing up in one of 100 overwater huts for a week. Aniston stayed true to her vacation style of beach, bikinis and besties, bringing along Courteney Cox, Jimmy Kimmel, Jason Bateman and their families to continue the wedding celebrations. Talk about #squadgoals. READ MORE
Photo Courtesy of Tracy Foster
Tracy Foster epitomizes who we love to follow in the travel industry. She’s a get-out-there kind of lady, traveling at every opportunity with her husband and taking exquisite photos alongside her fine travel bags, called ONA. In 2010, Tracy launched ONA, a luxury brand of multipurpose camera bags that don’t resemble your typical camera bags. With her beautiful outlook on life, food and travel, I knew that she was Our Type of Traveler. Follow Tracy Foster and ONA on Instagram.
When did you fall in love with travel and photography?
It’s kind of hard to pinpoint, but I do remember becoming really excited about traveling after taking a trip to Tulum, Mexico, with my husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) back in 2002. I was a junior in college, and he was a senior. I distinctly remember enjoying the balmy weather and gorgeous coastline, but I was especially taken by the Mayan ruins. Having mostly traveled within the US, I was pretty amazed to get a glimpse into an ancient civilization. I think that trip really inspired both of us to want to do more traveling abroad.
I’d always had a thing for photography and remember playing with cameras and taking photos even as a small child. But it was when I received my first DSLR in 2007 that I really got “into it” and found myself signing up for photography classes and taking my camera with me just about everywhere.
Photo Courtesy by G. Widman for GPTMC
One of the best ways to learn about a new destination is by eating and drinking locally. When I’m on vacation, there’s nothing I want more than a refreshing beer after a long day of exploring. As the US craft beer movement has grown over the past decade, so have the ever-popular beer weeks.
Beer weeks celebrate the local beer community through (sometimes over-the-top) events featuring local breweries at their best. Whether it’s an easy drive from where you live or in a new destination to explore, a vacation or staycation can become a beercation by planning a visit to some of America’s most celebrated beer weeks. It’s a great way to relax, recharge and put some of those unused vacation days to good use.
Photo Courtesy of Embratur
In exactly a year, on Aug. 5, Rio de Janeiro will be swarming with 10,500 Olympic athletes representing 205 countries for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. About 7.5 million tickets will be sold for 42 different sports. The majority of events will take place in Rio (in Barra da Tijuca, Copacabana, Deodoro and Maracana), but soccer matches are also expected to be held at venues in Brasília, Belo Horizonte, São Paulo, Salvador and Manaus.
In preparation for all the excitement for the 2016 Olympics, we pulled together a quick list of 12 things you should do when visiting Rio.
Photo Courtesy of the Maine Lobster Festival
You’re looking for something to do during your summer vacation, and you happen to be in the beautiful state of Maine. Well, as luck would have it, not only is the Pine Tree State absolutely stunning in the summer (and slightly warmer than in winter!), it also is home to one of the more storied festivals in the Lower 48. The theme? Lobster, obviously. Why? Because Maine plus summer equals lobster. It’s like eating a beignet on Bourbon Street or Key lime pie in the Florida Keys — it just feels right.
Photo Courtesy of the National Building Museum (Washington, DC)
Landlocked Paris has its faux beaches along the Seine to keep locals and tourists cool during the summer. And this year, the National Building Museum has adopted a similar idea by giving Washington, DC, its first 10,000-square-foot indoor beach.
Located in the Great Hall, the beach — where it’s always 70 degrees, according to museum’s website — has white lounge chairs and umbrellas on its 50-foot-wide shoreline, an ocean of 700,000 white plastic balls, and a snack bar. In addition to attracting kids and tourists, the beach has become a regular lunch-break spot for nearby workers to soak in the fun ambience that the museum has created as part of its annual Summer Block Party.
Photo Courtesy of the National Building Museum (Washington, DC)
The beach closes Sept. 7, but until then, visitors can enjoy a dip in the ocean, read a book on the shore or play beach-related games such as paddleball. No sunscreen required.
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Photo Courtesy of Jason Leppert, PopularCruising.com
As cruise ships get bigger and bigger, they often lose sight of the destination, but Viking Ocean Cruises and its new Viking Star are changing all that. After all, the destination is like a piece of art, and this intimate, 930-guest flagship is like a frame that perfectly accentuates the subject without distracting from it.
(Photo Courtesy of Rachel Townsend)
Be a producer on a digital video shoot for Watt’s World host Nick Watt in Scotland? Yes, please! From the get-go, I knew that Scotland was green, it had a castle, and it was connected to England. So … I didn’t know very much. By the end of the trip, I knew how to pronounce Edinburgh (Edin-brah), had felt the love of Prince William and Duchess Kate at the coffee shop they frequented in college, and had experienced my first Scottish breakfast (black pudding and some other weird meats). But first, I learned how to drive on the other side of the road.