Photography by Oktoberfest Zinzinnati
With the fall finally here, it’s a good bet that you and your friends will be headed out to arguably the most traditional festival of the season — Oktoberfest. And while I think it’s safe to say most of us won’t be making the trip to Munich for the official celebration (Sept. 20-Oct. 5), there are plenty of options stateside for a real taste of Germany. Whether it’s in a small town, major city, German beer hall or vintage barn, Oktoberfest is always great fun. But we’re not talking about the generic beer garden and polka band here. We’re talking about German-American communities getting down the same way their ancestors and countrymen have been doing across the pond for centuries. I mean, you wouldn’t go to a Mexican restaurant for St. Patrick’s Day, would you? Of course not!
So let’s break out the bratwurst, slap down some sauerkraut and, of course, tap the kegs on some of America’s most authentic Oktoberfest celebrations.
Cincinnati (Sept. 19-21)
Perhaps the largest and most popular Oktoberfest in the US is smack dab in the middle of the country —not surprisingly, in a city rich with German culture. Cincinnati (or Zinzinnati this time of year) plays host to thousands of Oktoberfest supporters, young and old, each fall with the city’s signature festival. With six blocks closed down for the party, there is plenty of room for you and your friends to don some lederhosen, down a few liters of beer and stuff your faces with German cuisine. Founded in 1976, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati may be best known for earning its place in the Guinness Book of Records by setting the mark for the world’s largest Chicken Dance at the time, with 48,000 people in 1994. The traditional dance is still going strong 20 years later, along with numerous other German games and dances throughout the three-day festival. READ MORE
With a historic vote on independence this week, all eyes have been on Scotland. And while the Scottish people said “No” to the referendum and chose to remain part of the UK, this small, but proud nation captured the attention of the world. Here at Travel Channel, all this talk of Scotland served to remind us of the age-old traditions and natural beauty that has lured travelers to the country from around the world.
Sample Scotland’s Drink of Choice
Lots of Scots said they’d toast a “Yes” vote with a dram of whisky, but we have no doubt the “No” votes will be doing the same. With nearly 100 distilleries around the country to choose from, there’s no excuse to miss out on this centuries-old tradition on your visit to Scotland. Start your tour on the western coast, also known as the “Whisky Coast,” on the tiny island of Islay. This mecca for whisky drinkers is just 25 miles long, but it’s home to 8 top-notch distilleries. Laphroaig, Bowmore and Kilchoman are 3 of our favorites, but whichever you chose you’ll notice the distinct salty flavor the island’s strong whiskys are known for, thanks to the sea spray that covers the island’s peat, which is used during the malting process.
Photo courtesy of Baron Baptiste
In honor of National Yoga Month, we caught up with one of leading men in the yoga world, a man who has transformed the face of modern yoga in America — Baron Baptiste. A global force on the scene for the past 2 decades, Baptiste is a yoga teacher, trainer, best-selling author and speaker. He was destined to be a yoga pioneer: His parents opened the first yoga studio in San Francisco in 1955, and he started practicing yoga at the ripe age of 12.
Founder of the Baptiste Power Yoga Institute and creator of Baptiste Yoga, he has built his own brand of power yoga — a vigorous style of yoga seeking to transform the mind as well as the body — that’s one of the most popular practices in America. From teaching war veterans to the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, Baptiste strives to make yoga accessible and empowering to all, without new-agey mysticism.
Find out how the busy but serene yogi became a yoga icon, how he takes his practice on the road and what he’d be doing if he weren’t a yoga teacher. Hint: It’s still just as Zen.
Joe & Misses Doe Honey Beer (Photography by Nancy Borowick)
Raise your steins! The annual 16-day Oktoberfest celebration, which pays homage to German beer, kicks off Sept. 20 in Munich. And if you’re not among the lucky few making a trip to Germany this year, Oktoberfest events in US cities including New York City, Miami and Cambridge, MA, will host their own celebrations, featuring their fair share of German brews, live Bavarian folk music, traditional cuisine and more. Then, mix it up — literally — with a visit to a local restaurant or bar for one of the following signature beer cocktails — tasty concoctions made with both beer and liquor — to keep the party going. READ MORE
Photo Courtesy of Casa Palopó
Calling all the ladies! Sept. 24 marks National Women’s Health and Fitness Day, an annual event that stresses the importance of regular physical activity and health awareness for women.
Celebrate the occasion — and yourself — with a jaunt to a destination devoted to better health and wellness.
Head to sexy South Beach in Miami and toast your health at the boutique hotel Sense Beach House, whose on-site restaurant, The Local House, will offer a “Healthy Hour” from 3 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 24. Specials include a limited-edition, handcrafted juice (a pineapple blend with ginger lime and a touch of cinnamon) to boost metabolism.
Feeling on top of the world at the summit of Table Mountain, overlooking Cape Town and the surrounding mountains. A 5 a.m. wake-up call is tough (especially when it’s really midnight your time) but worth it to see the sunrise at 3,500 feet.
Look who we found in South Africa! Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown was recently in Cape Town. We thought it was the perfect time to catch up with Sam and get the “skinny” on her trip: unforgettable moments, things to do and, of course, what to eat in Cape Town.
What were your expectations of Cape Town, and did it live up to them?
I’ve been hearing a lot of great things about Cape Town for close to 10 years. It’s where my husband and I wanted to go on our honeymoon but couldn’t, due to lack of time. When I arrived early Saturday morning, I was mesmerized by Table Mountain; I mean, the location of Cape Town is just overwhelmingly beautiful. However, when I went out for a long walk, I was a bit underwhelmed. I headed downtown, which was a ghost town. All the shops were closed, and I wanted to go to a coffee shop I had read about that is run by a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. When I got there, it, too, was closed. I finally made it to a cute, hip neighborhood that ran along Kloof Street and had a great pot of tea and a nice conversation with the owner, who told me that if it’s a nice day (and it was gorgeous, especially for their winter), everyone closes up shop and heads to the beach. That’s when I realized Cape Town is really a city that’s a beach town at heart. It was also the last time during the trip that I was underwhelmed by Cape Town.
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images Entertainment
Book by Oct. 31.
One of the most anticipated new hotels on the famed Las Vegas Strip is now open, and you get to stay there for 25% off. The 4-star SLS Las Vegas only recently opened its doors to the public in late August after a multimillion-dollar renovation of the iconic Sahara Hotel and Casino. Now, it’s confirmed as one of the hottest spots to stay during your time in Sin City.
Photography by Lakeview Photography
Get a dose of Southern comfort at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival this fall. The weeklong event runs from Sept. 16-21 and is absolutely worth a trip to Bardstown, KY. This famous bourbon celebration started in 1992 to bring together popular distilleries in the region. Last year, about 52,000 visitors attended the Kentucky Bourbon Festival, and this year’s turnout is expected to be booming.
Photography by Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association
September is California Wine Month, and there’s no better time to plan a visit to one of the state’s 28 wine regions. Wineries will be marking the harvest and celebrating the month with special wine tours, tastings, concerts and more.
With more than 4,000 wineries ranging from intimate, boutique wineries to larger, more recognizable brands, California is sure to provide visitors with one that appeals to them — and their taste buds.
There’s no doubt that Napa Valley is the state’s — and possibly the country’s — most recognized wine region. However, head to Southern California for a lesser-known area, where picturesque rolling hills and vineyards await. READ MORE
Photo Courtesy of Alex Chacón
Hitting the road on a motorcycle can be a major adrenaline rush, and for Alex Chacón, viewing the world from the seat of his motorcycle is the only way to travel. This adventure videographer and photographer lives to ride on the open road and is committed to documenting his adventures while raising awareness and money for charitable organizations. In fact, his most famous charitable expedition was a 500-day solo trip from Alaska to Argentina to raise money for the Children of Uganda in Africa.
In addition to his charitable efforts, Alex also owns Your Expedition South, a motorcycle travel consulting business that offers advice and occasionally leads motorcycle tours in Latin America. We wanted to catch up with this unique adventurer for Our Type of Traveler and understand why Alex is at his happiest when traveling on a motorcycle, even after clocking hundreds of miles. Buckle up and enjoy this ride.