The stifling heat this summer has me dreaming about the ocean breezes on a tiny island 30 miles out to sea. A place where no one spends much time indoors, where cobblestone streets weave through town, where protected land — nearly 50% of the entire island! — reigns supreme, and where you may just find yourself with a warm stretch of beach all to yourself.
My version of paradise is Nantucket, MA — the “Faraway Island.” Packed within this island of 105 square miles, you’ll find a place where days can be spent lazing on a quiet beach, afternoons can be enjoyed shopping for one-of-a-kind items at tiny boutiques and evenings savored with dining experiences at world-class restaurants. As you walk around Nantucket, you may even hear people refer to mainland USA as “America” — as if you’re in another country altogether.
Hungry for a taste? Here are 8 ways to truly savor the very best that this much-beloved (and very wealthy) island has to offer:
In case you haven’t heard, the iconic London Eye has been transformed into a barometer of sorts to measure how the Twitterverse is feeling about the Olympics. EDF Energy, a London Eye sponsor, has come up with an algorithm that will measure positive and negative tweets about the Games. Those feelings will then be reflected by the lights on the London Eye – yellow lights meaning positive, purple meaning negative.
So, this got us thinking … what if the eye goes purple? How will we spend our time in London if the Olympics take a nose dive? Well, regardless of the Eye being mostly yellow or purple, here are some other things to do around the city when you’re not keeping a close eye on the competition.
It’s hard to deny that gambling is probably one of the first things you think of when you think of Las Vegas. But, trust us, there’s a lot more to Vegas than the games — take a gamble and enter our Las Vegas sweepstakes to win an unforgettable summer vacation.
So, what do you do when you win? Here are a few itineraries to make the most of your Vegas vacation:
*In the warm summer evenings, cool off with a drink in your hand as you head out on the water on a Lake Mead cruise.
*Grab a bite and observe your surroundings at PBR Rock Bar & Grill at Planet Hollywood, where you can scan CityCenter, the Bellagio and the Strip all at once.
*There’s so much to do in Vegas besides gaming, but if this is your first time in town, you almost have to play a little. Many hotels offer free lessons for novices — the Golden Nugget among them.
Discovery aired an Animal Planet documentary this past weekend called Mermaids: The Body Found. Unfortunately, a mermaid body has not been found, despite many internet crawlers’ assumptions. But cheer up, Ariel — here are some ways you can travel like a mermaid (and, no, it doesn’t involve growing a tail).
Eat Like a Mermaid
*Dine lakeside on fresh seafood at the Mermaid Café in Mississippi.
*Enjoy the eclectic atmosphere as you fill up on Floridian cuisine under the sea-green tin roof of the Sign of the Mermaid Restaurant on Anna Maria island in Florida.
Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month in 1984. And lucky for us and the 90% of Americans who are ice cream lovers, today is National Ice Cream Day! We want to help you celebrate this most appetizing of summer holidays with tips on where to find the very best places for a bowl (or cone!) of the creamy stuff. Sure, you could have your own ice cream social, but there are a few events happening around the country that might spark your appetite for some chilled confections.
The Best of the Road RV continues to make its way across the country searching for America’s best small towns. Our road warrior, Allison Otto is capturing the wonders of Small Town America.
Check out Allison’s latest dispatch from the road, where she gets a taste of small town life — one bite at a time:
Biting into a hot, fried cinnamon-apple pie in Gainesville, TX; sipping a salt-rimmed prickly pear margarita in Santa Fe, NM; enjoying a freshly charred romaine salad drizzled with a blue cheese cream and balsamic reduction in San Luis Obispo, CA: This is how I discovered America on this Best of the Road journey.
Strawberry tart from Café Eccell in College Station, TX.
The sweets, the spices, the savories—I’ve been truly lucky on this trip to sample so many of the unique, creative dishes this country has to offer and the variety of meals that make American cuisine my favorite in the world. But what kind of traveler would I be if I didn’t share my finds with you all? So here–in no particular order—are five of the best:
1. Prickly pear margarita from the Coyote Café in Santa Fe, NM: Try this signature drink in the evening in their rooftop cantina with a bowl of chips and the café’s fresh guacamole. Heaven!
2. Strawberry tart from Café Eccell in College Station, TX: Pattie Sears, a College Station resident since the 1960s and a member of the College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau, said this tart— filled with Bavarian cream, topped with apricot-glazed strawberries and chocolate shavings in an almond-lace cookie shell– was a can’t-miss in College Station! I savored every single bite while listening to Pattie’s stories of College Station’s history. Thanks, Pattie!
Check out this week’s roundup of our favorite travel blog posts. From mud volcanoes to “tapas crawls” in Spain, here’s what caught our eye this week in the travel blog universe:
Did you know today is National Lobster Day? Gadling lists the best lobster dishes around the country. 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
by Jimmy Im
It’s not all about tacos and margaritas anymore.
Last week in Cancun, spring-break revelers flooded the bars and clubs for a Mexican-style St. Patrick’s Day, while Jersey Shore‘s Snooki and JWoww filmed scenes for a new show at Beach Palace Resort. But while nightlife remains an iconic fixture of the destination, Cancun has been luring a new type of traveler: foodies. From March 15 to 18, hundreds of visitors participated in the inauguration of the region’s first food and wine festival, a boon for Cancun’s growing culinary scene.
The Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival proved that Mexican gastronomy is no joke — in fact, traditional Mexican cuisine has been named to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list — as almost 30 world-renowned chefs from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Mexico and the US brought their culinary flair to the region to celebrate the local cuisine and introduce their own techniques to an emerging culinary destination.
Headlining the event was Ferran Adria from the highly touted elBulli restaurant, universally known as the world’s best restaurant for several years. (It closed in 2009.) While the festival honored Ferran at a gala reception and dinner, more than 30 culinary events were also open to the public.
Aspiring travelers flocked to the Convention Center in Washington, DC, for the Travel & Adventure Show this weekend, and today is the last day to catch Travel Channel host Sam Brown chat about her travel mishaps. Former Taste of America host, Mark DeCarlo, will be signing his new book, “A Fork on the Road,” and hosting an Interactive Cooking Class on the Culinary Stage.
The annual event has dozens of booths to inspire travelers to visit specific destinations and to tap into their sense of adventure by offering people with an opportunity to experience diving in a Scuba Dive Pool, experience the rock climbing wall, strap up for a zip-lining adventure and feel the motors revving with a NASCAR video game. A few tour companies are on hand to help you plan your wildlife safari, whitewater rafting trip and more.
And there’s not a shortage of destinations to plan your next fun-filled getaway. The Show has reps from popular destinations, both near and far, including Fiji, Maryland, Tibet, Spain, US Virgin Islands, Australia, Orlando, Belize, South Africa, Hawaii, West Virginia, Singapore, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and Water Country USA.
So plan your next water park trip now, and don’t miss the last day of the Travel & Adventure Show in DC or check it out in a city near you.