In case you need a refresher on one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Wall of ChinaMore »
In case you need a refresher on one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Wall of ChinaMore »
“It’s absolutely breathtaking…”
“Like, this place is gorgeous…”
“This is built for love…”
“Everything about it really sets the tone for romance…”
Or heartbreak? Hot-tub makeout sessions? A proposal? We’ve heard this all before. It’s the 9th season of the Bachelorette, and they have the formula down pat: 25 potential suitors + beautiful backdrops = recipe for true love, or at least guilty-pleasure TV. Desiree didn’t have quite the globetrotting season that Emily Maynard did, but she still swept away her bachelors on some pretty amazing vacations.
Atlantic City, NJ: Early in the season, the bachelors checked into the penthouse suite at REVEL in Atlantic City, where they enjoyed AC’s finest saltwater taffy, the Steel Pier amusement park and, of course, beachfront sunsets with Desiree.
Munich, Germany: First stop abroad was Munich. Think: sausage, lederhosen and sledding down the highest point in Germany. The crew spent a night in igloos, but the rest of their stay was at the 5-star Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten.
Barcelona, Spain: In Barcelona, Desiree’s entourage checked into the top floor of the beautiful Melia hotel. The guys even got a chance to try to score on Desiree when they took the field at the RCD Espanyol for a game of futbol.
Madeira, Portugal: On the beautiful island of Madeira, they made themselves at home at the Quinta de Lorde resort. What’s more romantic than taking a toboggan ride down a narrow street and kissing on “Cloud Nine”?
And if you want the Bachelorette treatment (while avoiding the casting couch) enter ABC’s sweepstakes for a romantic trip for 2 to Antigua, the Caribbean escape where the final episodes will take place. This winner will receive a 7-day of all-inclusive accommodations and luxury spa treatments at Galley Bay, St. James Club, or the Verandah.
(Don’t ask us why the final rose ceremony isn’t rumored to take place at St. Anne’s Point. But who are we to complain about Antigua?)
For more vacation highlights, check out “As Featured on The Bachelorette.”
It’s National Ice Cream Day on Sunday, July 21, and it couldn’t come at a better time. This 100+ degree heat wave has us seriously considering eating ice cream for breakfast. Don’t judge. You’ll want to, too, after checking out our Editors’ favorite ice cream shops around the country.
The Ice Cream Store, Rehoboth Beach, DE
“The Ice Cream Store at Rehoboth Beach might be a little hard to find, but it’s well worth the hunt. With flavors ranging from bacon (with real pieces of bacon!) to beer (made with Delaware-brewed Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale!), the Ice Cream Store is a one-of-a-kind, hole-in-the-wall boardwalk staple. My favorite flavor? Crack — brown sugar vanilla ice cream with pasteurized egg yolk, butter and sea salt.” – Amanda, Interactive Producer
Sebastian Joe’s, Minneapolis, MN
Sebastian Joe’s is the coolest spot for ice cream in Uptown Minneapolis. Take your pick from dozens of flavors, including Caramel Coffee Oreo, Roasted Garlic Almond Chip, Mint Milano, White Chocolate and Bailey’s Irish Cream. My summer ritual was to get a double scoop of Maple Nut and Cinnamon before casually strolling around Lake Harriet or Lake Calhoun. – Kwin, Managing Producer
Sundae School, Cape Cod, MA
“Don’t skip Sundae School!” is the motto at this classic, old-fashioned Massachusetts ice cream parlor — and it’s the motto I lived by as a kid during summers on Cape Cod. Long days of playing in the waves on the National Seashore were always topped off with a waffle cone of homemade strawberry ice cream. My mother still says it’s a “boring flavor choice,” but I say it’s perfection. Plus, Sundae School happens to be our own Samantha Brown’s favorite ice cream shop, too.“ –- Allee, Interactive Producer
Leopold’s Ice Cream, Savannah, GA
“The moment I walked into Leopold’s Ice Cream, it was heaven: homemade ice cream – butter pecan, caramel swirl, chocolate — oh God! — chocolate chip and so much more, all at this Savannah parlor dating back to 1919. Fun fact: The shop is owned by American film producer Stratton Leopold, who oversees the generations-old shop, adorned with movie memorabilia posters and autographed star pics like Georgia native Kim Basinger. But the real showstopper here is the ice cream sundae: gooey fudge, whipped cream, bananas, a cherry … and the ice cream of your choice waiting beneath it all. Take me back!” –- Lisa, Interactive Producer
Molly Moon’s, Seattle, WA
“One of my must-dos for my annual summer trip out to Seattle is to hit Molly Moon’s. This homemade ice cream shop has lines out the door, but it’s worth the wait. After your first scoop, you’ll be hooked on their freshly made waffle cones and seasonal flavors like Strawberry Sour Cream. And, no surprise with this java lovin’ town, they always offer their Stumptown Coffee flavor.” – Kathleen, Interactive Producer
Amy’s Ice Cream, Austin, TX
“When the summer temperatures reach into the 100s in Austin, TX, there’s no better way to cool off than with a trip to Amy’s Ice Cream. Choose from dozens of unique flavors (like All Thai’ed Up or Dementor’s Cloud) and Amy’s always-animated staff will ‘crush in’ your choice of toppings before throwing your treat into the air and catching it in a cup. My favorite: Mexican Vanilla (sweet cream and Mexican vanilla) with Kit Kats as a ‘crush in.’ But with dozens of unique flavors and toppings, it’s hard to choose!” – Liz, Photo Editor
Kohr Brothers Frozen Custard, Rehoboth Beach, DE
“Vacationing in Rehoboth Beach, DE, as a kid, I mostly remember all of my cousins crammed into the beach house, Friday nights at Funland, the freezing ocean (even in July) – and the many boardwalk treats: Thrashers fries, Grotto Pizza, and of course, Kohr Brothers ice cream. The summer just wasn’t complete without a signature orange-and-vanilla swirl (or 3) from Kohr Brothers, still made from Archie Kohrs’ 1919 recipe.” –- Sara, Interactive Producer
Cold Stone Creamery, Tempe, AZ
“Whether you like vanilla or chocolate ice cream, Oreo Cookies or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Cold Stone Creamery lays out all your ingredients out on their “smashing” board and mixes whatever combination you choose to create a perfect blend of portion size and taste — the perfect treat for your retreat from the hot summer sun.” –- Ben, Interactive Producer
Bonus: We hear Cold Stone is celebrating with free ice cream for the first 200 guests starting at 2pm on Sunday.
From childhood classics to gourmet ingredients and surprisingly delicious flavor combinations, tell us: What’s your all-time favorite ice cream?
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With the San Fermin festival winding down, the celebrations keep coming with Bastille Day fireworks, the eccentric Chap Olympiad and the 101st Calgary Stampede rodeo in This Week in Photos. Want even more travel highlights from this week? Read on for the viral news stories on our radar.
Music to the ears of any ‘90s kid and geography whiz, HuffPost rounds up the rumors surrounding the triumphant return of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego.”
The Smithsonian reports that a rare, smelly corpse flower is about to bloom in the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington DC. Seriously, we couldn’t make that one up.
USA Today continues to cover the fallout surrounding the Asiana plane crash in San Francisco earlier this month. The latest? Asiana is now suing a San Francisco TV station over their use of fake, and racially offensive names for the 4 pilots on air.
The NY Daily News covers a couple who managed to snap a photo in all 118 of Manhattan’s subway stations – in a span of 9 hours.
Watch “Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen throw the worst first pitch ever. Enough said.
*Or, 5 Casual Observances for Summer Tourists From a Whirlwind NYC Weekend
1. The Cronut Craze — When I visited the Dominique Ansel Bakeryin SoHo back in May, you could still deign to enjoy your “DKA,” or “Cronut” seated on the small back patio (although we took ours to nearby Washington Square Park). Now the half-croissant, half-donut hybrid attracts lines around the city block –- and fans from as far as Singapore. I can’t blame them, though, the combination of flaky, delicious dough and caramelized crust is unparalleled. While we waited in line we were also treated to tasty mini-meringues — hope you are, too.
2. Pub Crawl With Pups — A friend’s birthday celebration took the form of a Brooklyn bar crawl with a “no presents, just pets” theme. Rather unsurprisingly, Williamsburg has a slew of establishments that not only allow, but also cater to canines and their owners. We started the afternoon at The Levee, think: a sea of sneakerwedges, $1 PBRs, never-ending buckets of cheeseballs and bar games ranging from Jenga to Big Buck Hunter. Later that evening we strolled to Luckydog, where more than one pug was spotted in skull paraphernalia.
3. The Standard — Situated under the canopy of the High Line, in the heart of the Meatpacking District, the Standard’s open-air Biergarten serves up sausages, pretzels, beer (for 8 bucks a pop) and ping pong all summer long. There’s even homemade gelato at the Ice Cream Cart parked in front. It’s more casual than the storied rooftop, which boasts dramatic city views, live jazz music and almost-famous clientele. Both tend to get packed, so come early or expect to wait in line.
4. The Rain Room — MoMa’s must-see exhibit takes some coordination, but
the ticket line moves surprisingly quickly and the hours-long wait can be
spent perusing the magnificent modern art gallery and equally inspiring museum shops. I’d highly recommend planning one of your days around the 300-square-foot immersive environment, as admission is not guaranteed. And don’t worry, you’ll stay dry despite the falling water droplets, thanks to a system of 3D-tracking cameras that pauses the rainfall whenever a human body is detected.
5. No Reservations? No Problem. — Being a good corporate citizen, I can point you to a wealth of NYC recommendations. In a pinch, however, the power of recent Yelp reviews shouldn’t be underestimated. The app helped point us in the direction of some charming, more casual restaurants — like South Williamsburg’s Uruguayan resto Tabaré, SoHo’s cozy French spot Cocotte, and brunch at Café Cluny in the West Village — that we would have otherwise missed.
Also, dine off-hours when you can. After arriving rather late Friday night, it was nearly 11 p.m. once we checked into the hotel and headed out to dinner. However, we were able to walk right into Cocotte, its handful of tables having been occupied right up until that time. Dinner at Tabaré was at an early-bird 6pm — hey, we’d been at a bar crawl ALL day. Take advantage that you’re on “vacation time” — you’ll miss the trendy crowds, but eat well that way.
Happy birthday, America! Even our favorite ex-pats and travel bloggers were feeling patriotic this week. If you’re like us and back in the office, here are some of the best posts to get you through the workday.
Gadling has video of the world’s largest American flag. Watch 600 people unfurl the 505-foot, 3,000-pound “Super Flag.”
Johnny Jet got a first look at Sir Richard Branson’s Mahali Mzuri Kenya Safari Camp. Located in the Motorogi Conservancy in Masai Mara, Kenya, the breathtaking lodge officially opens August 1, 2013.
HuffPost Travel has 51 facts and attractions you need to check out, from the historical to the natural to the wacky.
Backpacker Becki tells you exactly how much it costs to travel in Myanmar / Burma, the newly-opened-to-tourism hot spot in Southeast Asia.
The Frugal Traveler plans a kid-friendly day in Washington D.C. — with lots of free art.
Want even more travel highlights from this week? Check out our This Week in Photos slideshow!
Nothing says “road trip” more than blasting music as you cruise down the highway, windows down, with all your worries disappearing in the rearview mirror.
With road trip season now in full swing, the editors here at TravelChannel.com decided to share our favorite songs to listen to while on the road. So all you have to do is sit back, put the car in cruise control and rock out to our Road Trips ’13 Playlist.
No matter where the road takes you this summer, here’s our road trippin’ soundtrack to set the mood. Editors’ suggestion: Turn it up!
1. Road to Nowhere — Talking Heads
2. Ride Like the Wind – Christopher Cross
3. Honky Tonk Badonkadonk – Trace Adkins
4. Never Stop – The Brand New Heavies
5. Wagon Wheel – Old Crow Medicine Show
6. Gone for Good – The Shins
7. Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum
8. Life is a Highway – Tom Cochrane
9. Road Trippin’ – Red Hot Chili Peppers
10. Summertime – DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince
11. Turn the Page — Bob Seger
12. Cruise — Remix — Florida Georgia Line
13. Dirt Road Anthem – Jason Aldean
Over the last 2 months I’ve managed a couple of fun vacation runs — a variation of a mileage run that involves actually leaving the airport and exploring a city — to Moscow, Paris and Johannesburg. My trip to Moscow was a weeklong vacation, while my runs to Paris and Johannesburg were just extended weekends. A little crazy, I know, but the experiences and sights were well worth the expense and travel time. And besides, or perhaps most importantly, I earned a LOT of miles, ate caviar and saw elephants.
Total Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM): 29,043
Total Redeemable Miles (RDM): 58,086
Flying Time to/from Moscow: 23h 13m
Flying Time to/from Paris and Johannesburg: 37h 40m
This year, I’m hoping to earn 150,000 SkyMiles in order to book a round-trip business-class award ticket to Australia — a ticket that would normally cost approximately $16,000 (yes, you read right). I was inspired to book both of my recent “vacation runs” after I saw posts about cheap tickets on FlyerTalk. Another great site to follow is The Flight Deal, which gathers airfare deals that make the most of your miles and money.
When booking mileage runs, be sure to check your fare class. Some fare classes don’t earn miles or only earn a reduced number of miles. For my trips, I flew Delta T class and KLM/Air France R class, both of which earn full Medallion Qualifying Miles (MQM). Both trips also had a low cost per mile (CPM), which is important for a great mileage run. Typically, you want the CPM to be under 5 cents per mile.
Moscow Cost per Mile: $0.0347
Johannesburg Cost per Mile: $0.0420
A mileage run is a trip solely for earning EQM, so oftentimes you never even leave the airport. But in this case, I turned them into vacations.
My trip to Moscow was the first time I used Global Entry, a Customs and Border Patrol program that expedites the immigration process when returning to America, which I was approved for the week before leaving for Russia. Thanks to this program, it literally takes less than 1 minute to clear customs. If you don’t have it, I recommend you apply since it also includes TSA Pre-Check, which gets you through security quicker and with fewer hassles.
Overall, Moscow is a beautiful city with many activities, but in my experience, it is also very expensive. I stayed at the Hotel National, where Lenin stayed while the Kremlin was under construction. It’s also a Starwood property, with which I have Gold elite status, and so I earned 8,852 SPG points thanks to my stay.
While in Moscow, I enjoyed the various sites such as Saint Basil’s Cathedral and a day trip outside the city to Troitse-Sergiev Monastery. If you find yourself in Moscow, be sure to explore the metro system — the various stations are truly beautiful, each with a different design. I also enjoyed proper meals, including a 10-course omakase meal at Nobu Moscow. Don’t worry, I also sampled iconic Russian cuisine such as caviar and borscht.
My trip to Johannesburg was a much shorter and farther excursion, with a 12-hour layover in Paris and about 37 hours in Johannesburg. With such a short amount of time in Paris, I made my way into the city and used a hop-on/hop-off tour bus to see the major sites before I returned to CDG and grabbed some food and Scotch whisky in the Air France Salon to await my flight to Johannesburg.
Once in Johannesburg, I took the Gautrain, Africa’s first rapid rail system, to the Radisson Blu Gautrain hotel, and shortly after, my guide arrived to take me on a tour of Joburg. I liked the sound of Cashan Private Day Tours, which offered custom city tours, and I was able to book a half-day tour with Penny Cashan. Our first stop — and most surprising and enjoyable element of the tour – was the Market on Main, which occurs every Sunday at the Arts on Main in the Maboneng Precinct, with great food and various art galleries. I had no idea that Joburg has such a thriving art community.
The next and last day in Joburg, I booked a 1-day safari with Felleng Tours to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. This turned out to be a great experience, since we were able to take the time to find 2 of the Big Five– the white rhino and the African elephant — along with many other amazing animals and sights. Fortunately, the daytime temperatures were low, so the animals weren’t hiding in the shade.
Back at O.R. Tambo Airport, I headed to the Air France Salon before deciding to check out other lounges in the airport thanks to my Priority Pass membership, which gives me access to lounges around the world where I do not have elite status. Properly hydrated and nourished, I headed to the gate to catch 2 flights home — just short of 22 hours with a connection in Amsterdam. Now I need to start thinking about my next mileage run.
Watch Mommy Points‘ tips to earn airline elite status.
Travel moves you and so will our Watch Travel Channel App. Travel Channel’s brand-new app for iPad® and iPhone® refreshes daily, offering the full range of our video content wherever and whenever you want. To watch the latest full episodes, you will need the username and password provided by your television service provider. The app filters content by show, host, destination or interest, making it tap-simple to get ideas for your next vacation or nearby outing. Watch Travel Channel is a must-have for every fan – and it’s now available to download for free at App Store. We’re working on an Android™ version too; more on that later this summer.
Until then, check out our Mobile Apps page for more info about other Travel Channel apps, including The Layover app.
Today is your last chance to enter our Ultimate Grand Canyon RV Adventure Sweepstakes! While you’re waiting to see if you’re the lucky winner, get inspired by some of our favorite RV bloggers. From wineries to manatees, check out why they chose to ditch their neighborhoods and hit the road.
Planning to taste a few new wines? Don’t have your trip end at the Napa Valley. These two Geeky Explorers explored not only the sights but also the wineries of Walla Walla.
Get a little taste of the Grand Canyon from Fab Grandma. See firsthand adventures of driving to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, hiking the Cape Final Trail, and seeing a herd of bull bison.
Want to take a trip up North? You won’t be disappointed with the picturesque views that Canada has to offer. But first learn a thing or two about our northern neighbor from Travels With Miranda.
The excursions don’t stop at RVs — Roads Less Traveled gives you the inside scoop on resorts and tips for RV and sailboat vacations.
If you’ve ever dreamed of snorkeling with seals, swimming with manatees, or encountering crocodiles, NeverEndingRvTrip has a few things to add to your bucket list.
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