Archive for March, 2013

Courtesy of The Beloved Hotel

One word. All-inclusive. It means don’t think about another thing. From the welcome cocktail when you arrive to the pillow menu in your room at night, The Beloved Hotel just outside of Cancun has everything covered. More »

Palm Beach, FL, offers a mixture of old money and new-age sophistication, with an abundance of sunshine, grade-A golf courses, clean beaches, and even some cultural and historical exhibits. An enclave of the uber-rich, the beach destination caters to a well-established, traditionally upper-class crowd. Between Donald Trump’s exclusive spa, “Mar-a-Lago,” and the ritzy Worth Avenue, it’s safe to say that visitors need to be ready to shell out some serious green while vacationing here.

Most beaches are private, which means wide, uncrowded stretches of sand lined by beautiful oceanfront mansions and hotels. One of the most iconic spots is The Breakers, originally opened in 1896. This luxe hotel features 5 pools, two 18-hole golf courses, 10 tennis courts, 9 restaurants and 540 rooms. If you’re looking for something a bit more sleek and sexy, the Omphoy’s Asian-inspired décor, trendy restaurant, and beachside location attracts a fun, young crowd. Those looking to save some green may consider the Marriott. It’s not on the beach but amenities such as a heated outdoor, an on-site Starbucks, and a 24-hour fitness center make this hotel a solid value.

- Oyster.com Staff

Tonight starting at 10|9c, catch 2 all-new episodes of Armed & Ready. In tonight’s episodes, Kevin Michael Connolly tries 2 things he’s never done before: jousting and street luging.

In Fort Collins, CO, Kevin visits a medieval fair where extreme sports take a historic turn. But will a man who has never been atop a live animal – never mind not having legs – be able to stay balanced and defeat his opponent in a jousting tournament? Maybe with a custom saddle and a little practice!

Then, Kevin heads to LA, the birthplace of the freeway and the skateboard, to try a sport that combines the two. Kevin skates everyday – in fact, his skateboard is his main mode of transportation – but can he handle going down a highway on his back at breakneck speed? Maybe if he can find a skateboard with brakes …

Tune-in tonight to see what kind of trouble Kevin gets himself into, and in the meantime, check out his photo journal!

With St. Patrick’s Day falling over a weekend this year, parades, festivals and celebrations are planned across the US. Here are 5 cities with uniquely Irish-themed soirees in the works.

Boston

If pretty much everyone you walk by is wearing a scally cap or a Dropkick Murphys shirt, then you must be in Boston. More than 600,000 people line the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade route as it winds through South Boston – (but call it Southie if you want to sound like a local). Plus, scores of the political and politically-connected will gather for the infamous St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast at the Boston Convention Center (a chance to roast one another in the spirit of the day).

Best Craic: The World Championships of Irish Dancing at the Hynes Convention Center, March 23-31.

Chicago

Each year, 40 pounds of green dye are added to the Chicago River, turning it a bright emerald green – head to the east side of the Michigan Avenue bridge for the best viewing. Hundreds of thousands of people also show up at the parades that wind through Chicago’s streets, including the Southside Irish St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Sunday, March 10, and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade on March 16. This year, city leaders are working to have the Windy City named as the US headquarters of St. Patrick’s Day as part of its ShamROCK Chicago campaign.

Best Craic: Celtic punk by the Tossers at Metro, Saturday, March 16.

New York City

Plenty of cities claim to have the best, but there’s no question as to whose parade is the largest. New York City’s annual procession up Fifth Avenue, started in 1762 by Irish soldiers in the British army, will draw nearly 2 million spectators. Step inside Molly’s Shebeen (287 Third Ave) after for some renowned lamb stew or shepherd’s pie. A white stucco exterior topped with shingles, sawdust floors and a warm fireplace make this watering hole one of New York’s most authentic.

Best Craic: McSorley’s Old Ale House at the 8 a.m. opening – everyone is still sober, friendly and excited about the day at this point.

Washington, DC

The Shamrock Festival is a massive celebration of all things Irish. On Saturday, March 16, visitors will jam the RFK Stadium Festival Grounds in Washington, DC, to experience more than 40 bands across 9 stages, beer trucks spanning the length of 2 football fields, a pub row and strolling entertainers. The Irish Village will provide step dancers, pipers and games. The city’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade steps off the next day and will make its way up Constitution Avenue at noon.

Best Craic: Legendary traditional Irish group The Chieftains at the Kennedy Center, March 14-16.

San Diego

Swarms of revelers are expected to squeeze into San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter on St. Patrick’s Day to celebrate the 18th annual shamROCK. Live Irish bands will perform on the main stage – including this year’s headliners the Young Dubliners – and a 150-foot Irish pub will be accessible streetside on F Street between 5th  and 7th avenues. Plus, there’ll be 80,000 square feet of green turf covering the streets of San Diego.

Best Craic: The Smiling Irishman contest at the St. Patrick’s Day Festival in Balboa Park on Saturday, March 16. The winner takes home a special hat and a Blackthorn walking stick.

- Bill Burke 

You May Also Like:
St. Patrick’s Day
Travel Trends 2013 Ireland
Top US Celtic Festivals

Photography by Getty Images

This ruggedly handsome beach is probably just as photogenic as the swimsuit models who are often found posing on its sleek stretches of sand. More »

 

Anthony travels to the snowy mountains of Mammoth Lakes, CA, to bring a beautiful, rustic family-owned lodge into the modern age. Robert Schaubmayer has owned and operated the 58-room Alpenhof Lodge since 1973, and it sits just steps away from the chair lifts of the popular ski resort, Mammoth Mountain.

Despite its charming, first-rate exterior, the Alpenhof’s outdated interior and dysfunctional family dynamics are keeping it from being a 5-star hotel. Robert refuses to pass on responsibility to any of his family members, including his 2 sons, who currently own an extremely popular restaurant next to the hotel.

After doing a bit of digging, Anthony also discovers that the family’s marketing efforts are mostly unsuccessful, despite being so close to a huge tourist attraction.

With time running out, can Anthony convince Robert to step down after 40 years of running the Alpenhof Lodge before it gets permanently stuck in the past? Find out on an all-new episode, tonight at 10|9c.

Plus, don’t miss these exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from Anthony’s trip to Mammoth Lakes.

Tonight on an all-new Bizarre Foods America, Andrew Zimmern heads to what several like to call the “Cheese State.” Yes. Andrew travels to Wisconsin, where he not only encounters cheese but Emu oil, Southeastern and Siberian-American cuisine, and a run-in with a few cows at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s farm.

Watch a clip from tonight’s episode: Wisconsin’s Dairy Researchers

Plus, go behind the scenes with our Wisconsin Pictures slideshow, and if you’re planning a visit to Wisconsin, don’t miss our Travel Guide from tonight’s episode that lists all of the places Andrew visits, plus where to stay.

Courtesy of St. Regis Bora Bora

Like walking into a postcard, St. Regis, with its over-water bungalows, lagoon awash in every hue of turbulent blue, and views of craggy, emerald-colored Mount Otemanu, delivers the dream. More »

 

 

Photography by Christian Heeb / Aurora Photos

Photography by Thinkstock

The accolades wash upon Croatia’s Brela Beach like its warm Adriatic waters — most beautiful, most romantic and sexiest. More »

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