Archive for January, 2013

It’s a huge weekend in DC, with over 100 different events happening throughout the city and the Metro system preparing for the over 800,000 people estimated to visit. If you’re one of the brave ones visiting DC this weekend – or any other weekend, for that matter — then let us help you get to know the nation’s capital, chockfull of sights, history and amazing food!

1. While you’re touring DC, solve a mystery at The International Spy Museum, which has the largest collection of international spy-related artifacts and immersive activities to enthrall children, as well as adults.

2. Why not stay in style while visiting the city of our country’s power players? Check out our picks for luxury accommodations.

3. Explore the beautifully historic neighborhood of Georgetown, and tour the favorite hangouts of former presidents — such as Bill Clinton, who graduated from Georgetown University in 1968.

4. Go sightseeing at one of the many monuments. Trust us, there are plenty of them – and they’re free!

5. Sip a coffee at Busboys and Poets, near the famous U Street, named for poet Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy at the nearby Wardman Park Hotel.

6. Since you’ve traveled to DC to support the president, find out a little more about how the president, himself, travels.

7. Of course you need to eat! Find out what makes DC a great town for foodies with these top restaurants.

Courtesy of Singita Boulders Lodge

One of 3 lodges in South Africa’s Singita Sabi Sand, a 45,000-acre private reserve, Boulders Lodge is aptly named for the large rock around which the property’s stunning wine cellar is now built. More »

Ghost Adventures in Snug Harbor

On an all-new episode of Ghost Adventures, Zak, Nick and Aaron are joined by ABC’s Nightline crew to investigate a historic collection of buildings that were once used as a sanctuary for retired sailors. Any man that had served on a naval vessel under the US flag was welcome to live out his remaining years at Staten Island’s Snug Harbor, and at its peak, the campus was home to almost 1,000 retired seamen.

Sailors’ Snug Harbor has since been deemed a National Historic Landmark District, and is currently under the care of the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden. But the impressive architecture and gorgeous gardens obscure the community’s dark past. Tales of gruesome murders at Snug Harbor arise from both urban legends and factual history. In the 1860s, a reverend and a resident sailor were involved in a gruesome murder-suicide, right on the steps of one of Snug Harbor’s buildings.

And rumor has it that a woman was stabbed to death in the Matron’s house by her mentally-challenged son … with a pair of scissors. Did this really happen? And does the spirit of the woman still haunt her former home? Find out tonight, Jan. 18 at 9|8c.

 

Photography by Oyster.com

Norway is best known for 2 things: Its jaw-dropping prices and its stunning natural beauty. For those who can afford to go, Norway offers a wealth of outdoor riches — dramatic, lush fjords; cascading waterfalls; red farmhouses in rolling valleys; and jagged mountain peaks. It also offers impressive history, and some visitors come primarily to see the wooden medieval stave churches around the country or the Viking ships on display in Oslo.

Understandably, the summer months are the most popular for tourists, and the long days mean it’s possible to pack in a lot of sightseeing. Visitors can partake in activities such as hiking, fishing, kayaking, and beach bumming (yes, there are beaches in Norway; the ones near Stavanger are quite nice). Fjord cruises are by far the most popular summer activity; for many, seeing the fjords is on the do-before-you-die list, and for good reason. But plenty of people (and Norwegians) spend the winter on the slopes.

For many visitors, Oslo is just a stopover city before heading to Norway’s more charming metropolises. But it nonetheless boasts plenty of sights and high-end hotels. The Carlton Oslo Hotel Guldsmeden is a quaint option, with 50 shabby-chic rooms and an eco-friendly philosophy.  Domestic flights are the easiest way to get from city to city, and Bergen is a popular home base for leisure visitors. The Radisson Blu Hotel Norge, Bergen is a family-friendly option, with a large swimming pool on-site, while the Clarion Collection Hotel is a romantic spot, with sexy décor and gorgeous city views.

- Oyster.com Staff

Reuters

The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered all U.S. Dreamliners to cease flying until the battery fire risk is investigated.

Following a nightmarish few weeks for the long-awaited Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the FAA has ordered that all 787 fleets be grounded as a precaution after an emergency landing in Japan. And that was after a series of other incidents, including a battery fire aboard an empty Dreamliner in Boston last week.

Japan, India and Ethiopian airlines have grounded their Dreamliners, and other nations where 787s were in service have followed suit.

Boeing President Jim McNerney issued a statement that the company is working around the clock with customers, regulators and investigators to solve the problems.

“Boeing deeply regrets the impact that recent events have had on the operating schedules of our customers and the inconvenience to them and their passengers,” McNerney says. “We are confident the 787 is safe, and we stand behind its overall integrity.”

But what about the fliers? Will they lose faith in the Dreamliner, even if the safety issues and bugs are resolved? Will the dreamy ‘mood lighting’ and larger windows ever override the trepidation of setting foot on a Dreamliner again?

Will you fly on a Dreamliner once the issues are resolved? Tell us in the comments.

The weather is cold, but our hearts are warm thanks to our most popular pin on Pinterest this week: a shot of Italy from our 2013 Most Romantic Honeymoon Destinations. Obviously, Valentine’s Day is already on our minds, and not many places embody romance quite like Italy. We don’t blame you for daydreaming about riding a gondola through the canals of Venice, tossing coins over their shoulders into the Trevi Fountain or grabbing the perfect photo op overlooking Florence’s Arno River.

If you’re looking for a honeymoon that’s a little more out-of-the-box, check out our picks for Romantic Adventure Vacations and Unique Honeymoon Destinations. Don’t forget to check out all things Romance and Honeymoons on TravelChannel.com and follow our Romance and Honeymoons pinboard for your fix of dreamy destinations!

Courtesy of The Modern Honolulu

Capitalizing on the Hawaiian capital’s more urban side, the high-rise Modern Honolulu has 353 guestrooms, each a pod of urban luxury thanks to plantation shutters, Frette linens, and views of the skyline, harbor and ocean. More »

 

 

Tonight on Baggage Battles: Grand Theft Auto, the auction specialists are in Tampa, FL, for a one-of-kind car auction. Every year, over 7 million vehicles in the U.S. are abandoned, repossessed or seized and sold at auction. The Tampa Machinery Auction is the largest auto auction in the southeastern corner of the country, and it attracts buyers from all over the nation. Billy, Sally, Laurence and Mark go head-to-head over a classic Corvette beauty. Once the bidding is complete, the real tests begin: Does the car even run? Will the buyer make a profit? Watch tonight at 9|8c to find out.

Rediscover Tampa

A trip to Tampa without enjoying the sights and sounds isn’t a trip at all. See what else the auction specialists got into in the Tampa Travel Guide!

And speaking of classic cars, learn all about the Detroit Auto Show and the newest Corvette!

Photography by Reuters

Looking for a flashy way to get around town or a not-so-practical option for your next road trip? Take a ride in the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray. On Sunday, the new hot rod was revealed during the press preview at the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Unfortunately, if you want to see it in person, you’ll have to wait until the Detroit Auto Show opens up to the public on Saturday, Jan. 19 or until the car hits showroom floors this fall.

It’s been 9 years since the Corvette has been revamped.  The biggest difference this time around is that the sleek car has a V8 engine, and – guess what! — it’s no longer a gas-guzzler. Strict government rules and fines from regulators forced engineers to rethink how to design the car for better gas mileage.

In addition to the Corvette, other automakers are showing off their new vehicles, too. According to the Washington Post, auto aficionados will be able to check out other experimental concept vehicles, including the Bentley GT Speed convertible, BMW 4-Series (Z4), Honda Urban SUV, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the Mini John Cooper Works Paceman.

The Auto Show will have more than 500 vehicles on display, representing the most innovative designs in the world. It is North America’s largest and most prestigious automotive showcase. And parents don’t have to leave their kids behind.  Family Day kicks off on Friday, Jan. 25, with magicians, acrobats and caricature artists to keep the kids entertained. If you can’t make it for Family Day, we recommend seeing the parade of cars on the main show floor at 3:30 and again at 7 pm on Jan. 19 – 27.

Yes, we’re aware that some of you may not live in Detroit to catch this big auto show, but there may be an auto show coming to a city near you next month. The Washington Auto Show kicks into high gear on Friday, Feb. 1 and runs through Sunday, Feb. 10. The Chicago Auto Show runs from Wednesday, Feb. 9 to Monday, Feb. 18.

We’d be remised if we didn’t remember the auto lover who appreciates a good, ole classic car. So, we thought we’d add the picture below of the Corvette Stingray, taken in 1955 without the flashy bells and whistles.  Back in the day, it still looked like a fun way to travel. What do you think?

If you’re interested in more recent cars, take a look at our auto show slideshows from 2012 and 2011.

Photography by Getty

Photography by Getty Images

In a country profuse with waterfalls and other jaw-dropping natural phenomena, the cascading masterpiece of Aldeyjarfoss in northern Iceland stands alone. More »

 

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