Fleet Week in New York City …
Remember that Sex and the City episode when Carrie meets a sailor from Louisiana? It didn’t work out too well for her, but the rest of the ladies enjoyed the Fleet Week festivities. This past week was Fleet Week in New York City and sailors, marines and coasties took over Manhattan for parades, concerts and other events. READ MORE
By Jimmy Im
Conjure everything you know about Baltimore (camp, mediocre dining and The Wire) and throw it out the window. Baltimore is burgeoning as a luxury destination, thanks to the new Four Seasons Baltimore, which is spurring a new kind of scene for affluent travelers. In fact, visitors are bypassing neighbors DC and Philly to ride this new wave of change in Baltimore’s trendy Harbor East neighborhood.
- Four Seasons Baltimore
While the 256-room Four Seasons officially opened in February 2012, it finally rolled out all of its amenities last week, including the Splash Terrace, which includes a heated, 121-foot infinity pool, a wrap-around deck and the Splash Pool Bar & Grill. The hotel flaunts commanding views of the harbor, and the second-story outdoor level offers cabana rentals and an outdoor hot tub. This is the first hotel in the area to offer an outdoor, urban oasis. Further relaxation can be found at the decadent spa — the VIP treatment room even has its own outdoor deck. READ MORE
The Olde Time Coney Island Strongman Spectacular …
In a display that has not been seen at Coney Island for over 60 years, some of the strongest men in the country gathered on the streets — once known for their outrageous spectacles — to showcase unusual acts and super-human feats. Among the performers were a man who pulled a truck down a street with his teeth and a master escape artist. READ MORE
Cannes Film Festival …
Stars descended on the small French Riviera town this week for the beginning of the annual Cannes Film Festival. Among the guests was “The Dictator,” a character played by actor Sacha Baron Cohen in the upcoming movie of the same name. READ MORE
NBC’s 17th annual TODAY Summer Concert Series kicks off (appropriately) … today! If you’re an early bird and in Manhattan on any Friday this summer, head down to Rockefeller Plaza around 6 a.m. to stake out your spot for a free live show. Usher is the first on the all-star roster of performers, which also includes Justin Bieber, Maroon 5, Kenny Chesney, Zac Brown Band, Train and Jason Mraz. READ MORE
By Jimmy Im
The 2012 Mayan Doomsday is upon us (insert maniacal laughter). You’d think most travelers would make plans to avoid archaeological Mayan sites on Dec. 21, but it’s in fact the other way around — and with good reason.
“End of the World” packages and tours have skyrocketed with the upcoming Dec. 12 date, which Hollywood deems the end of the world (according to experts, the Mayan calendar simply indicates Dec. 21 starts a new life cycle). There’s so much popularity around this date that Mayan-civilized countries once at the top of their game (including Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and, of course, Mexico) have seen a growth in hotel and tour bookings for next December. READ MORE
This week, big-name acts rocked out at Jazz Fest, One Word Trade Center became NYC’s tallest building, and Queen Elizabeth II continued her tour of the UK to mark her 60th year as monarch.
New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival …
The 42nd annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival kicked off with performances by the Beach Boys, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bruce Springsteen and Jimmy Buffet, along with many local musicians like Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue. This weekend is set to be just as epic: Zac Brown Band, Ziggy Marley, Grace Potter and the Nocturnals, the Foo Fighters, the Eagles and local bands like Rebirth Brass Band are all slated to perform. READ MORE
Whether you are actually celebrating the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla … or just looking for an excuse to eat tacos and have a margarita and a few cervezas, there are plenty of free celebrations going on around the country Saturday for Cinco de Mayo. On the 150th anniversary of the battle, the celebrations are sure to be crazier than ever, so don’t miss out! Check out a few of our picks for great, free celebrations:
Yes — Omaha! The Nebraska celebration includes the coronation of a queen, concerts, carnival games, rides and, of course, Mexican food!
The annual celebration in Denver is one of the biggest (believe it or not!), with almost 400,000 people joining in the celebrations over the past few years. Admission to Civic Center Park is free, and attendees can enjoy the traditional Mexican music played by various mariachi bands, taste Mexican tamales and tacos, and participate in the Green Chili Bowl Cook-Off. READ MORE
In 2010, the Florida-based Spirit Airlines took the historic step of being the first US airline to charge passengers baggage fees for carry-ons. That’s right — not checked bags, carry-ons. Today, the airline is in the news again, this time for raising their already-unprecedented carry-on fees even more.
Travelers be warned: starting Nov. 6, any Spirit Airlines passengers who wait until they get to the gate to pay for their carry-on (defined as a bag that needs to be put in the overhead bin and cannot fit under the seat) will get hit with a whopping $100 fee. READ MORE
This week, giant puppets (yes, you read right) put on a show on the streets of Liverpool, England. Over 600,000 people turned out for the 3-day performance. Entitled “Sea Odyssey,” the show was a tribute to the Titanic, one of the many commemorative events held this month for the 100th anniversary of the ship’s tragic end.
Titanic Recreation …
A 30-foot-tall Little Girl Giant wandered the city of Liverpool with her dog Xolo, looking for her father who drowned when the Titanic sank. Luckily, her 50-foot-tall uncle was there to comfort her. The production, which ended with the giant puppets boarding a boat out of the city, was staged by the French street theatre company Royal de Luxe. It took 110 puppeteers and multiple cranes to operate the enormous marionettes. READ MORE