cheeseburger and french fries

Summer – and its heat – has officially arrived, and with it comes summer foods: beachside BBQ, fried green tomatoes on the patio, lobster on the islands and more – all featured in our Travel’s Best Summer Foods for 2014. READ MORE

Photography by Archive Photos / Getty Images

Tomorrow, people across the US will don their red, white and blue in celebration of America’s 238th birthday.

Pictured above, actress Louise Synder wears a vintage swimsuit and a Stars & Stripes top hat to set off fireworks for a Fourth of July celebration on the beach in 1950.

Whether you’re planning to spend Independence Day with family and friends at the beach, grilling in the backyard, or watching one of the best fireworks displays in the US, we hope you’ll enjoy this week’s holiday-themed, throwback Thursday as much as we do.

Check back every week this month for our Vintage Summer Throwback Thursdays.

 

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Our Type of Traveler, Matt Stabile, meets a monk near Darjeeling.

Founder and editor-in-chief of TheExpeditioner.com, one of the largest independent travel sites in the world, Matt Stabile is Our Type of Traveler. Balancing a full-time career as a lawyer, managing a robust travel website and hosting a travel web series, Matt’s overflowing plate begs the question, “How does he do it all?”

It seems that the same limitless energy and attention to detail that makes a great lawyer also makes a great traveler. When we caught up with the globe-trotting attorney to find out how he juggles both worlds, the New Yorker explained that he funnels his boundless energy into documenting his travels when he’s not working on a case.  “I have a disorder that doesn’t allow me to relax, even while on vacation, so naturally, I would turn my travels into as much work as possible,” confesses Matt.

And the travel world seems to be happy Matt can’t sit still — his online web series, featuring his travels around the world, has been viewed more than 1 million times on YouTube.

Find out how Matt “unplugs” from lawyer life, what destinations he recommends for those short on time and money and where he hangs out when he’s home.

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Mariana Van Zeller

Mariana Van Zeller is a co-host alongside chef Michael Voltaggio, in our newest show (coming early 2015) Breaking Borders. In Mariana’s “other life” she’s a correspondent for Fusion/ABC NEWS, and on a recent trip to Brazil to cover the World Cup, she took some time out to explore the Amazon rainforest. We asked Mariana to tell us a few things about her excursion with her husband and 3-year-old son.

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Tonight, on the all new-series American Grilled, we’re traveling across America to discover the best and boldest flavors competitors can fire up on their grills in this ultimate, outdoor cooking challenge.

Host David Guas is in Asheville, NC, as 4 rough-and-tumble grillers battle it out using local cuisine including scuppernongs, a large grape native to the Southern United States, and liver mush, for the opportunity to take home $10,000 and the honorary title of “Grill Master.”

In this episode, Will Smith, a self-proclaimed refined redneck caterer, Shawn “Tiny” Townsend, a part-time caterer and full-time grill lover, Jeff Banister, a process server who hunts and grills whole animals, and Dillon Black, the youngest in the group but perhaps the most experienced on the BBQ circuit, battle it out for grilling supremacy.

Who will take home the cash prize and the ultimate bragging rights of being the master griller of North Carolina? Find out in the all-new episode, You Hear That Sizzle?, tonight at 9|8c.

 

Photo Courtesy of Universal Orlando Resort

Book by August 31.

If you’re itching to see the new Diagon Alley expansion at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Universal Orlando, this package offers you a great and less expensive way to do it.

For $669 per person, this deal from Delta Vacations includes round-trip airfare, 3 nights at a brand new resort, a 3-day park ticket to Universal Orlando, free “Universal Express Unlimited” access that lets you skip the lines and early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. With this offer, you’ll save about $120 on travel dates later in the season.
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Canada Day celebration

Photography by Thinkstock

While Americans famously celebrate Fourth of July, Canadians celebrate their own nationalistic holiday, appropriately named Canada Day, on July 1.

Until Oct. 27, 1982, Canada Day was actually known as “Dominion Day.”  It was almost a hundred years before that, on July 1, that the British North America Act was passed (sometimes referred to as the Constitution Act) which established Canada as a separate nation. The following year, the Governor General of Canada asked that all Canadian citizens celebrate on July 1. Declared a civic holiday in 1867, most Canadians are pleased this day off landed in the summer instead of the cold winter, because it’s often the kick-off weekend to summer vacations. READ MORE

Thinkstock

Whether you’re headed to the beach or are just lounging in your backyard hammock, summer is the perfect time to escape with a good book. Our summer reading list includes quintessential steamy beach reads and quirky family memoirs, but all of our picks also have us wanting to pack our bags for summer vacations of our own — from sexy Spanish beaches to the wild Amazon rainforest.

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Prague

eTramping tells you how to do Prague for less than $25 a day. Photography by Thinkstock

This week we welcome y Travel and eTramping to our weekly roundup, we suggest you bookmark them immediately. Oh, and some exciting news for Star Wars fans coming soon … well, in 2018. Enjoy!

A little worried about the price tag of that dream European getaway?  eTramping reveals Europe’s 6 less-expensive cities and tips to see them on a budget.

Something to download before your next trip: y Travel’s handy list of 16 must-have apps and websites for digital nomads.

The Expeditioner looks into the rise of solo travel beyond the backpacker — and gives 4 reasons why you should consider traveling alone.

A Luxury Travel Blog rounded up 7 amazing sights to see  in Central America — the photos speak for themselves.

And may the force be with you … in Chicago, where George Lucas is building a $700 million art and Star Wars memorabilia museum, to be called the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, via Vanity Fair.

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Photo by The Cosmopolitan

Wide-eyed. A little overwhelmed. And, admittedly, a bit dazzled. That sums up how I felt my first few hours in Las Vegas, on my first ever trip to Vegas. “You haven’t been to Vegas?!” most people exclaimed when I told them this was my first trip. It seems no one could believe that I’d reached my 30s without at least 1 rite-of-passage, wild weekend in Vegas. And maybe that’s why I hadn’t felt a need to check this city off my list before now – I felt I could go without visiting a city full of Hangover-style debauchery laced with cheesy tourist traps. While I did find these things in Vegas, I surprisingly learned that it’s also possible to have a sophisticated and unexpected weekend here, too.

So if you want a mix of class and whimsy and OK, a few adventurous drinks, follow my first-timer’s 48-hour itinerary for Vegas.

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