ALL POSTS IN [Culture]

Photography by Getty Images

Lisbon may get all the glory but Sintra, with its UNESCO-worthy streets, Arabesque hilltop estates and winding castle walls, may just change all that.

Daily Escapes!

Photography by Houmas House

Built in the mid-1800s, the grand mansion with sturdy columns and generous verandas is the centerpiece of the Houmas House.
Daily Escapes!

Photo Courtesy of Perez Art Museum Miami

If you’re heading to Miami to dodge the chilly weather or to attend the Art Basel international art show this weekend, we have some exciting news to share. You not only get the pleasure of enjoying Miami’s premier art show and relaxing on South Beach, but can now visit the new Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).

The new 200,000-square-foot building opens its doors to the public this week. Located on Biscayne Bay, between the Arsht Performing Arts Center and the American Airlines Arena, PAMM features large, shaded verandas, a park and galleries with views of the bay, an education center and Verde, a waterfront restaurant.


See the Swan House, on a Catching Fire tour of Atlanta. (Photography by Atlanta History Museum)

See the Swan House, on a Catching Fire tour of Atlanta. (Photography by Atlanta History Museum)

Hunger Games: Catching Fire
is living up to its name. This past holiday weekend, the second installment in Suzanne Collins’ post-apocalyptic saga broke Thanksgiving box-office records. Now that you’ve seen the movie, walk in the footsteps of Katniss and company — and see where the Hunger Games franchise was actually filmed.

Photography by David Santiago Garcia / Aurora Photos

This mini-city, built directly into the ruddy-colored stone cliffs, served as an important religious area during the 9th and 13th centuries.
Daily Escapes!

Photography by Ken Scicluna / JWL / Aurora Photos

The building, originally built in 1869, is particularly well-known for being home to composers Gustav Mahler and Richard Strauss in the early 20th century.
Daily Escapes!

Photo Courtesy of Embratur

The vigorous sounds of beating drums, flags flying, fans singing and chanting; finally, the FIFA World Cup 2014 has come to Brazil. With the excitement of the tournament setting the scene, visitors to the 12 host cities should take the opportunity to absorb themselves in the local culture and experience the hidden gems that make each location unique.

São Paulo, the City of Paulistanos
True to its city motto of “Non ducor, duco,” which translates to “I am not led, I lead,” São Paulo will lead the celebration by hosting the first games of the World Cup. Located in the southeastern part of Brazil, between Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo is a major business hub, but its hospitable people, the “Paulistanos,” know how to enjoy the diverse pleasures of life through food, art and music.


The Zócalo

Photo: Robin Bennefield
The Zócalo, Mexico City’s main square, at night.

In a country that’s been getting a bad travel rap, Mexico City stands devoid of travel warnings, rich with cultural heritage, an impressive arts scene and cutting-edge cuisine. It checks all the boxes for the urban traveler seeking a cosmopolitan mix of stylish hotels, trendy neighborhoods and new foodie pursuits.

Just a 4 or 5 hour flight from the East Coast or West Coast, the city boasts over 170 museums, a burgeoning high-end shopping district, the oldest park in North America and one of the largest public squares in the world. So, if you go, put away any pre-conceived notions, pack some patience to navigate the city’s traffic-jammed streets and start by hitting these Mexico City hot spots.


Seen through the ancient arches of the arcade that borders it, the piazza is magically framed, like a master painting come to life.
Daily Escapes!

The “Day of the Dead,” or Dia de los Muertos in Spanish, is often compared to Halloween due to its celebration the day trick-or-treaters hit the streets. But it has a much different purpose. The occasion is a national holiday on Nov. 1 and 2 in Mexico and centers on the gathering of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is held in connection with the Catholic All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

If it seems to you like the holiday often goes uncelebrated in the United States, you might just not be in the right place. Below are 5 “Day of the Dead” events that honor those who have died. Find a complete list of the nation’s events here.

1. Dia de Los Muertos in Los Angeles, CA 
When: Nov. 2 from noon to midnight
The celebration is held at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery and is the largest of its kind in California. The festival features an altar-decorating competition as well as live music and costume contests for the best Calaca (skull or skeleton) costume.

2. Bare Hands Dia de Los Muertos, Numero Once Festival in Birmingham, AL 
When: Nov. 2 from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Bring a small altar or memento of remembrance and dress up in bones for this energetic cultural celebration. The festival attracts thousands of visitors and is sponsored by Bare Hands, a non-profit organization that provides opportunities for community involvement and promotes cultural dialogue.

3. All Souls Procession in Tucson, AZ 
When: Nov. 3 at 4 p.m.
The All Souls Procession brings more than 35,000 people together to the streets of downtown Tucson for a 2-mile-long walk that culminates with the burning of a large urn filled with hopes and offerings from the public for those who have passed. The procession is organized by non-profit arts collective Many Mouths One Stomach.

4. Dia de Los Muertos Street Festival in Corpus Christi, Texas
When: Nov. 1 and 2
This festival brings a large art exhibition, artist workshops, and entire day-long dancing and concert events to celebrate the “Day of the Dead.” The event promotes cultural tourism by drawing artists, musicians and vendors to the area each year.

5. Dia de Los Muertos 2013 in Albuquerque, New Mexico 
When: Nov. 1 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
This annual celebration is held at San Jose de Armijo Cemetery and features sugar skull painting, costumes and music organized by the Atrisco Heritage Foundation. The foundation works through the event to promote and preserve the ancestral and cultural heritage of Albuquerque.

You May Also Like: 
Mexico’s Ancient Ruins
Ghoulish Ghost Tours
Destination Fear

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