Grand Canyon

A Route 66 road trip wouldn’t be complete without a stop to see the Grand Canyon.

This week, our favorite travel blogs are serving up touristy attractions and experiences that are worth a second look.

Touristy places get a bad rap, but Landlopers explains why these 8 iconic attractions are far from “traps.”

Have you ever dreamed of snorkeling in crystal-clear … 35-degree glacier water? No? Well, the Expert Vagabond’s experience snorkeling Silfra fissure in Iceland might change your mind.

After a 3-month stay, Nomadic Matt shares his 6 life lessons learned in China.

If you’re thinking of indulging in high tea around the holidays but don’t know what to wear, the Luxe Travel has you covered.

If you think reading 1 piece about Route 66 is enough, you’re wrong. Rediscover the allure of the “road of flight” through the eyes of Boat Magazine’s editor.

Reese Witherspoon stars in film adaption of Cheryl Strayed's Wild memoir.

Reese Witherspoon stars in film adaption of Cheryl Strayed’s ‘Wild’ memoir. Fox Searchlight

Don’t walk alone. It’s a familiar warning for all travelers heading into dangerous, crime-ravaged countries — and for female travelers when they go … well, anywhere after sundown. Cheryl Strayed makes a daring move by walking alone somewhere dark, terrifying and ultimately unknown: the wilderness.

From the Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, all the way up to the Bridge of the Gods in Washington state — a full 1,100 miles — Strayed hikes solo in her best-selling, Oprah-approved memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. And now, only 2 years after the book was published and then translated into 30 different languages, her words come to life on the big screen in the highly anticipated film Wild. Academy Award winner Reese Witherspoon loved the story so much that she not only signed on to play Strayed, but she also is a co-producer after optioning the film even before the book’s release.

Hollywood stars aren’t the only ones attempting to re-create her journey; throngs of fans inspired by Strayed’s story are hitting the Pacific Crest Trail, one of the country’s longest and wildest thru-hikes, in record numbers. The Pacific Crest Trail Association is embracing the growing interest — about a 30% increase in the number of hikers this year alone — by sharing Strayed’s exact route and inspiring Wild stories.

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Photo courtesy of Daniel Schwartz

By Daniel A. Schwartz, Executive Producer

I traveled to Germany to join Josh Gates and the Expedition Unknown team to hunt for the missing eighth Wonder of the World — the legendary amber panels. These were from a room made of gold and jewels and presented to the Russians in the 18th century as a gift. But the Nazis stole it during the war and brought it back to Germany, and after that, it vanished in the chaos of World War II. New evidence has surfaced that it may be hidden in southeastern Germany, so that’s where we went! READ MORE

Do you have what it takes to be the next Travel Channel Star? If you think the answer is “yes,” then prove it! Submit a video online by April 15, 2015, that best showcases your travel perspective and highlights the travel moment that changed you.

Watch as our own Bert Kreischer demonstrates what we’re looking for:

 

Remember: Videos should be only 2 minutes long and shouldn’t have any music.

Upload your video now!

Rockefeller Center, New York, NY

Photography by Allan Baxter/ Stone/ Getty Images

Whether you’re going home for the holidays to be surrounded by extended family (and, potentially, tiny childhood furniture), looking forward to a “friendsgiving” or using the valuable vacation days to escape from it all, WalletHub has calculated the best cities for winter holiday travel, at home and abroad. Using metrics such as average airfares, flight times and hotel costs, it determined the best destinations to celebrate the holidays without the hassle. Without further ado … READ MORE

Photo Courtesy of W Fort Lauderdale

Cyber Monday, the post-Thanksgiving day of online shopping discounts, is lurking around the corner. You may have made your holiday wish list and even checked it twice, but did you remember to include a fabulous vacation for yourself and your family? Start imagining your travel fantasies today, and click fast on Dec. 1, when these amazing deals are in effect.
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Jay Fielden in his office at Town & Country Travel. Photo by Patrick McMullan.

He’s on a mission to bring back the intoxication and seduction of travel one story at a time. Jay Fielden, editor-in-chief of the newly resurrected Town & Country Travel, is more than ready for his big job of reinventing what a travel magazine can be — a portal that transports you to another world. While Town & Country might be known for catering to the well-heeled and glamorous — and its Travel extension doesn’t shy away from exclusive insider places, either — the innate curiosity of every traveler at heart will be intrigued by the stories behind those faraway, exotic destinations and people.

So if you can’t jet to Venice for a martini at Harry’s Bar, Fielden wants to make sure you’re still enraptured in the geopolitics of the martini arriving in Italy. (And who says you can’t drink a martini as you read the story on your couch?)

We caught up with the busy editor find out how his small-town San Antonio roots prepared him for New York’s glamorous magazine world, the one item he can’t imagine traveling without, and the café in Paris that may have just turned his 8-year-old daughter into a young Francophile. READ MORE

Photo courtesy of Sean McKnight

Travel Channel executive producer Sean McKnight (not pictured) traveled to Istanbul for the filming of the upcoming series Booze Traveler. With the crew and host Jack Maxwell by his side, Sean shares his insights into the City of the World’s Desire.

Open letter to the CIA:

More baseball.

Seriously. If you want to really shake things up at a grassroots level, teach more kids how to play baseball — or at least how to throw a decent split-finger.

Our man on the ground in Istanbul (pictured above with Jack — whose name is withheld here, just in case President Erdogan and his pals are doing a bit of light reading in their spare time) got mixed up in last year’s rioting but couldn’t quite go the distance.

After throwing many stones, a high percentage of which were high and/or outside, our guy would retire to the bar for a beer or 6, so he might live to throw another day.

Fortunately for us, things got (a little) better, and our guy stuck around to help us navigate Turkey.

What brought you to Turkey?

The crew of Booze Traveler traveled there in April 2014 to shoot our premiere episode (coming Nov. 24 at 10|9c on Travel Channel), and with some expert local knowledge, we found our way through a country that exceeded our expectations. READ MORE

Travel Channel Star logo with Thank You, New York

The competition to find our next Travel Channel Star is officially underway! On Monday, Nov. 10, passionate travelers from New York, California, Oklahoma, Atlanta and Washington, DC, lined the halls of New York’s Museum of the Moving Image for a chance to tell us why they should be the next Travel Channel star. Contestants were allowed only 2 minutes in front of the camera to make their pleas, and BOY did they make those 2 minutes count — we were even serenaded by 1 enthusiastic participant! READ MORE

Frosty The Snowman ICE! sculpture at Gaylord National Resort

Photo courtesy Gaylord National Resort

It’s beginning to look, and feel, a lot like Christmas. Bundle up this weekend and visit the annual “ICE!” exhibit at the Gaylord Resort and Convention Centers in Maryland, Texas, Florida and Tennessee, which all officially open their doors to the display this weekend.

In a steadily 9-degree room, the “ICE!” exhibit features larger-than-life ice sculptures from the beloved story of Frosty the Snowman (at Gaylord National in Oxon Hill, MD, and Gaylord Texan in Dallas), ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (at Gaylord Opryland in Nashville) or The Nutcracker (at Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, FL). Each display is perfectly crafted from more than 2 million pounds of ice by 30 artisans from Harbin, China, the ice carving capital of the world. Don’t worry about running out to L.L. Bean or the like: Cozy parkas are provided for all attendees — children and adults — so they can fully enjoy the exhibit.

Carving out 2.6 million pounds of ice — the most ever for Gaylord National — is no small feat. During an exclusive tour of its “ICE!” exhibit, public relations manager Rachel Dinbokowitz provided insider details on what visitors can expect this holiday season. READ MORE

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