Archive for August, 2013

This Week in Photos

It’s the dog days of summer in This Week in Photos. While the Obamas welcome another adorable Portuguese Water Dog to the White House, our favorite travel blogs add to your end-of-summer amusement.

Mashable brings you the 10 people to avoid at amusement parks. We can’t decide if #2 or #7 bothers us more.

The Daily Traveler rounds up the worst airline names after AirAsia’s Japanese arm rebranded itself as Vanilla Air. Our personal favorites are Wizz Air and Song & Ted. Yours?

Kids, they’re cute and all, but admit it: You’re never psyched to see you’re sitting next to a toddler (and his parents) on a 13-hour flight. Would you pay to upgrade to a kid-free cabin? Skift has more on Singapore Airlines and AirAsia’s newly launched “quiet zones.”

What do a trip to Belize and Breaking Bad have in common? Gadling explains.

To solve a question we’ve all wondered while wandering the airport terminal: How can you get into an airline club lounge without becoming a member? Johnny Jet has the answer.

A Europe Round-a-Bout

“A Europe Round-a-Bout” by Shem702

Another week, another winner. This week we were totally blown away by Shem702′s submission, “A Europe Round-a-Bout.”

He explains that it’s just “a small little lighthouse, shining out over the Edinburgh coast line. A beautiful sunset for a beautiful night.” We couldn’t agree more!

We were also inspired by he and his wife’s story. After saving for 2 years, they are determined to hit 17 countries before they leave Europe this summer. Best of luck Shem702, and congrats on winning a $500 Choice Hotels voucher to use at any location!

See the other finalists from this week below, and remember we have 2 grand prizes left! Upload your best vacation photos now for a chance to win.

“Lincoln Memorial at Night”

“Seeing Our Roots in Switzerland”

“Mr. Turtle” by Jewell

“Celebrating the Sunrise” by dpk

For more information — or to size up the competition — check out our 2013 photo contest.

Photo Courtesy of Embratur/Brazilian Tourism Board

The wait is over for soccer fans! Tickets to the FIFA World Cup 2014 are now on sale. Fans will be able to request tickets based on a random selection draw, from Aug. 20 through Oct. 10, and on a first-come, first-served basis from Nov. 5 through Nov. 28.

Fans are currently able to buy tickets based on the date and the venue of the match, or to follow their favorite team. Twelve cities in Brazil will host the best international soccer teams as they battle it out to become the FIFA World Cup 2014 champions. Host cities will include Fortaleza, Salvador, Manaus, Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Porto Alegre.

In addition to hosting the World Cup matches, Rio de Janeiro will also host the 2016 Summer Olympics, making it a hot tourist destination over the next few years.

For now, it’s all about the World Cup. For more information on tickets and pricing, visit the FIFA website and or download the official guide to tickets.

Take a tour of the 12 Brazilian cities that will host the soccer matches for the FIFA World Cup 2014. See our slideshow and explore each city’s amazing culture and tourist attractions.

The ghosts at night are such a fright … *clap* *clap* *clap* … deep in the heart of Texas!

Tonight at 9|8c on an all-new Ghost Adventures, the guys investigate the Black Swan Inn in San Antonio, TX, on the banks of the Salado Creek. As the guys learn before the lockdown, these grounds were the site of a bloody battle.

After a long day of filming, the GAC took a stroll down the San Antonio River Walk to relax before the lockdown. To find out where they went and what you should see on your own visit to San Antonio, check out our travel guide. FYI: the guys ate their fill of Tex-Mex while in the Lone Star State.

And don’t forget to submit your own video shout out to the guys after tuning in for tonight’s episode, so you can tell them what you thought of the Black Swan Inn investigation!

Photography by Awasi

Almost, but not quite, hidden in Chile’s massive Atacama Desert, the 8 bungalow Relais & Chateaux property Awasi is surrounded by a historic wall More » 

Ah, the great outdoors. There’s nothing quite like a vacation to hike Half Dome in Yosemite National Park or check out Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. And with millions of Americans visiting the parks this summer, there has never been a better time to show your support.

Now comes the exciting part: From now until Sunday, when you give to the National Park Foundation, Travel Channel will match your donation $1 for $1 up to $30,000.

NPF can do twice as much with your gift to:

  • Restore 250 miles of trails and waterways
  • Work with teachers in all 50 states to embrace national parks as classrooms
  • Preserve and protect America’s treasured places through grants

What are you waiting for? Donate now to double your impact for NPF!

Now that that’s covered, we have one more challenge for you. How much do you really know about America’s national parks? Take our quiz below and find out!

Photography by Mandarin Oriental, Barcelona

It’s easy to viva la vida when you’re staying at the Mandarin Oriental Barcelona. More »

 

Photography by Valerie Conners

It’s the heart of August in Big Sky, MT, home to some of North America’s most incredible ski slopes and majestic mountain scenery — but the resort town is hardly shut down for the summer season. Incredibly, Big Sky springs to life during the so-called “off” season. The resort town offers a seemingly endless array of outdoor activities — from hiking to fishing, and zip lining to horseback riding — to an ever-increasing number of warm weather visitors.

Photography by Valerie Conners

What to Do
Hiking: The region in summer is downright heaven for outdoors lovers who take advantage of seemingly endless miles of hiking trails, like the famed Beehive Basin, Ousel Falls and Storm Castle trails. While August might be late to view wildflowers in various other regions of the country, many fields here are still awash with the vivid reds, yellows and purples of the regional flora.

Experience the Gallatin: Not to be missed is a trip to the Gallatin River, which winds its way through along the Canyon and through the Meadow, as the lower regions of Big Sky are known. The river has become a mecca of sorts for fly fishermen as well as rafters and kayakers. Remember the iconic film, A River Runs Through It? Parts of the movie were shot here along the Gallatin. A number of outfitters around town can help visitors organize fly fishing trips or guided rafting tours.

Photography by Valerie Conners

Explore Moonlight Basin: Also known for its epic skiing in winter, this luxe mountain resort offers families and couples a veritable world of onsite summer activities. Popular favorites include horseback riding tours with Cedar Mountain Corrals along some of the resort’s stunning 8,000 acres of land, as well as the Tuesday evening Hike, Bike & BBQ. Sign up for this weekly event and choose to explore the property’s 16 miles of trails on foot or mountain bike, then cap it off with a celebratory barbecue overlooking the mountain vistas. Good thing you’ll have worked up an appetite for the slow-roasted ribs. Guests of the resort also have access to a swimming pool and hot tub — perfect for a relaxing post-hike dip.

Visit Big Sky Resort: Neighbor to Moonlight Basin, Big Sky Resort is a must-visit. Take a tram tour to the top of 11,166-foot-high Lone Peak — it’s a stunner. On a clear day it’s possible to see 2 national parks, 3 states (Montana, Wyoming and Idaho) and many mountain ranges. The resort’s Basecamp can also organize activities such as zip line courses, mountain biking and hiking with lift access, a bungee trampoline, disc golf, a climbing wall and even paintball.

Photography by Valerie Conners

Explore Yellowstone National Park: A trip to America’s first national park, Yellowstone, is a must for visitors to Big Sky. The nearest park entrance lies a mere hour outside of town, and it is possible to take the popular Grand Loop Road drive to see the park’s major sights, such as Mammoth Hot Springs, Old Faithful, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Lake Village.

 

Photography by Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa

Designed to replicate a great manor home, the 144-room, 5-star hotel overlooks the perfect trio of Scottish views — the links course. More »

Still on the prowl for the best hotel deals for Labor Day weekend? Our hotel expert, Anthony Melchiorri, has the best hotel travel tips for Washington DC, Colorado, California and Florida, and he’s willing to share them all with you!

Catch Anthony on the Today Show, this morning at 9:30|8:30c, where he’ll be giving you the lowdown on the best deals at some of the country’s nicest hotels.

Washington DC Travel Tip: As people flock to the beaches for Labor Day, cities empty out, so you can score some really amazing deals. Washington, D.C., is great because not only is it the nation’s capital, but it’s also family-friendly. Centrally located along the East Coast, most of the museums and attractions are completely free, making it a perfect budget option for those looking to save some cash.

Colorado Travel Tip: Colorado is not just for winter sports! Resorts are open year-round and offer a beautiful mountain getaway with plenty of nature and comfortable dry temperatures in the warmer months.

California Travel Tip: For those looking for a beach getaway, La Jolla is a beautiful resort town on the Pacific Ocean and a great escape from Los Angeles. There are gorgeous beaches, great restaurants and plenty of shopping.

Florida Travel Tip: Orlando offers something for everyone! This hotel is a retreat for golfers and non-golfers alike, and it’s nearby many of Orlando’s theme parks and attractions. It’s also less than an hour from the Kennedy Space Center.

Plus, don’t miss all-new episodes of Hotel Impossible, premiering Mondays @ 10|9c.

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