by Amanda DiGiondomenico
To celebrate that extra day we’ve been granted this leap year, many travel destinations — from Orlando to South Africa – are trying to make those extra 24 hours worth your while. Instead of wasting away your leap day, let these 5 travel ideas inspire you to make the day something to remember.
One More Disney Day
For starters, Disney wants your leap day to be extra magical, so they are officially calling leap day, “One More Disney Day.” To commemorate the day, Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando’s Disney World and Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, will be open 24 hours straight. Once the gates open at 6 a.m. on Feb. 29, Mickey fans can have the run of the park until the rides shut down at 6 a.m. on March 1. The lines will probably be short in the wee hours of the morning, offering maximum opportunities to ride.
Leap at Martha’s Vineyard
If peace and quiet are more your speed, then head to Martha’s Vineyard for a little rest and relaxation. But don’t take yourself too seriously there; at the Vineyard Square Hotel you can score a free bottle of wine if you bring a photograph of yourself leaping over something. So let loose, find the closest leap-able object and bring someone who has a camera.
by Troy Petenbrink
In the beginning, New Mexico didn’t get much respect; early opponents of statehood said New Mexico’s cultural diversity and rural territory were actually liabilities. Today, those same reasons are what make America’s 47th state worth visiting.
This year, New Mexico celebrates its 100th year of statehood, making it the perfect time to discover (or rediscover) the state’s rich past and promising future. Here are 6 ideas to make a New Mexico trip memorable:
6) Explore History From the Pueblos to the Atomic Age
History lovers can explore the 2,000-year-old Acoma Pueblo atop a towering sandstone mesa; its responsible for the state’s nickname, “Sky City.” The 19 pueblos across New Mexico allow visitors to learn more about its native people.
Fast-forward to the 1940s: New Mexico’s vital role in ending World War II can be explored at Los Alamos, one of the primary locations for the Manhattan Project and home to the Bradbury Science Museum, which documents the history of the famed nuclear weapons project. Also tour Trinity Site, the location of the first atomic bomb explosion (it’s open for public visits twice a year); and The National Museum of Nuclear Science and History, located outside of Albuquerque, NM.
5) Stroll a Mile-Long Stretch of Galleries
Art and culture encompass nearly every aspect of New Mexico. There’s Native American pottery and jewelry made throughout the pueblos; Santa Fe’s mile-long stretch of galleries on Canyon Road; and the many museums in Taos, NM.
You can also learn about one of New Mexico’s most famous artists, Georgia O’Keeffe. Walk among the inspiring majestic landscapes that surround her two homes — Ghost Ranch and Abiquiu– where she lived until 1984. View the largest single repository of her work at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in downtown Santa Fe.
Before you ring in 2012, remember the year in travel. Travel Channel’s Year in Photos slideshow captures several memorable events around the world, including the Austria’s World Bodypainting Festival, the Middle East’s revolutionary demonstrations, the 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in NYC, DC’s MLK Memorial opening, and Iceland’s Grimsvotn volcano eruption.
We also remember 2011 with When Nature Attacks, a look back at some of the most devastating natural disasters around the world. And don’t forget to check Travel Channel’s Most Memorable Moments of 2011, which highlights fun moments from some from our TV shows, including No Reservations, Ghost Adventures, Bizarre Foods and The Dead Files.
In addition to this slideshow, we also take a look ahead at the upcoming College Bowl Championship series, what’s hot in and what’s out in travel, and our TV show hosts give you the dish on their new year’s resolutions. So start your New Year off right, with a look back and a look ahead, on TravelChannel.com!
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By Robin Bennefield
Barbados’s appeal has nothing to do with its sizzling 80 to 90 degree temps, but everything to do who’s going there — and why. Celebrity chefs like Top Chef‘s Tom Colicchio and Top Chef Masters‘ Marcus Samuelsson have discovered the tiny Caribbean island and claimed it as their food paradise, bringing the foodies who love them along for some fun in the sun. Today marks the close of the second annual Barbados Food & Wine and Rum Festival, a weekend-long event featuring 20 food-focused activities all around the island.
Beautiful Bajan beaches and Barbados’s best resorts were the backdrop for cooking demonstrations by Colicchio and Samuelsson, as well as Ming Tsai, Mark McEwan and Bruno Loubet. On Saturday night, the chefs served up some of their best fare to well-dressed fans at a party at an exclusive polo estate, as wine, rum and champagne flowed.Tsai joked with guests as he plated and passed out tastes of ahi tuna, while Colicchio posed for pics and Samuelsson and his model wife made the rounds. READ MORE
Looking for a way to spice up an already exciting trip in New Orleans? Head to The Big Easy during the summer to run with the bulls. OK…not really, but you can be 1 of 100s of spectators that try to avoid roller derby chicks dressed as bulls. These women follow a predetermine route, but festival goers must be nimble to dodge these “bulls,” carrying plastic bats to beat off anyone standing in their way. Check out the website for more information.
In case you didn’t know, San Fermin is a festival celebrated in Pamplona, Spain, in honor of Saint Fermin. It starts on July 6 at noon and runs until July 14 at midnight. Over a million people travel to see the festival, including running of the bulls, the festival’s main attraction.
Take a break and satisfy you quest for thrill and adventure. Check out this fun video we found on YouTube from this past weekend. It’s not the best quality, but it definitely looks like a good time! What do you think?
Austin’s SXSW festival isn’t just for music fans, interactive geeks and film snobs anymore; it’s also for foodies. There are dozens of food trucks set up along the streets, and the choices range from mild to wild. Festivalgoers can make a pit stop at Before The Cone food truck, which is set up outside the Convention Center, to pick up a waffle cone filled with bacon and a mixture of decadent ingredients.
If you’re looking for something a little tamer, then visit Short Bus Subs. These guys serve up deli, chicken and veggie sandwiches with unique names, including the “Hot For Teacher,” “Summer Vacation,” “The Cheerleader” and “The Pep Rally.” And don’t be bashful, there are other food trucks to sample, including Mighty Cone, Flip Happy Crepes, Torchy’s Tacos and Hey Cupcake!
There are lots of opportunities for foodies to mix and mingle at SXSW. Food bloggers and Tweeters hold bleet-ups or tweet-ups to sample some of Austin’s offerings. The Big Texas Beer Tweet-up provided beer connoisseurs the opportunity to hang out and sample a variety of beers with local, self-proclaimed “Twunkards” (tweeting drunkards). Others joined the TacoJournalism’s Taco Mafia for breakfast tacos after a long night of SXSW parties.
Thousands of people converged at the Austin Convention Center for the second day of South by Southwest, one of the largest music festivals in the world. The popular festival runs from March 11 to 20, and it has something for everyone.
Within the past few years, the festival has expanded to include SXSW Film, one of the world’s premier film festivals focusing on new directing talent. In 2007, the festival organizers took it a step further, by adding SXSW Interactive. This portion of the festival attracts web creators and entrepreneurs, which creates a great breeding ground for new ideas and creative, emerging technologies.
The festival also includes SXSW ScreenBurn to highlight the video game industry, and Style X to showcase new talent in the fashion industry. SXSW Comedy was added for the first time this year to provide comedians with several new venues to perform their acts.