La Mer Restaurant, Honolulu, Hawaii (Photo Courtesy of OpenTable)

Hey, lovebirds, don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is just a few weeks away, and if you haven’t made your plans yet, you better get cracking! Need ideas? OpenTable just released its list of 2015’s Most Romantic Restaurants in America.

Whether you want to woo your S.O. over swoon-worthy seafood or hope to rekindle a relationship with a fireside meal, these restaurants are sure to stir up a little romance. This year’s list of winning restaurants with decadent dishes and come-hither ambiences spans more than 31 states and the nation’s capital and is based on more than 5 million restaurant reviews.

It must be the dreamy ocean views, because California boasts the most romantic restaurants, followed by New York, Texas and Virginia.  And the cuisine that, for the past 6 years, has been the favorite for flirting over? Fondue.

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Courtesy of New York Times Travel Show

Before New York City got slammed with the wintry wrath of Juno, it hosted the travel world over the weekend for the annual New York Times Travel Show at the Jacob K. Javits Center. If you needed any inspiration to plan your next trip, this was the place to be, with over 500 exhibitors representing more than 100 countries.

The travel show kicked off Friday with a trade day for travel professionals and media. Doors opened to consumers Saturday and Sunday for 2 days of trip giveaways, travel seminars, cultural performances, book signings by celebrated travel writers, and global bites at the Taste of the World culinary pavilion.

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Photo Courtesy of Reuters

The northeastern US is preparing for a major winter storm that is expected to drop up to 3 feet of snow and bring near-hurricane-force winds. According to the National Weather Service, blizzard conditions are expected to affect more than 40 million people, including those in big cities such as NYC and Boston, where all forms of travel have been banned.
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Want to host your own web series for Travel Channel? Do you have the talent of Sam Brown, Andrew Zimmern, Kinga Philipps or Shane Reynolds? If you think you have what it takes, here’s your chance to become the next Travel Channel Star.

Join us for an open casting call Wednesday, Feb. 25 and Thursday, Feb. 26, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. each day, at Tastemade Studios in Santa Monica, CA.

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The Trip 2015: Hawaii
Tonight at 8|7c, follow Travel Channel hosts Don Wildman, Samantha Brown, Anthony Melchiorri and Bert Kreischer to the Hawaiian Islands for The Trip 2015. Watch as they snorkel through the “Cathedrals” of Lanai, rappel alongside a waterfall in Maui, take a helicopter tour of Manawaiopuna Falls (made famous by Jurassic Park) and much more! Then, enter for your chance to win this $100,000 trip of a lifetime. What are you waiting for?

Enter for a chance to win The Trip 2015!

More About The Trip 2015
See the Hosts’ Travel Photos
Exclusive Video: Kinga in Hawaii
Which Hawaiian Island Are You?

Portugal, sergoua/Getty Images/iStockphoto

This week’s travel blog roundup with have you seeing things differently, from little-known destination hot spots to the death of an in-flight institution.

Forgo Croatia’s crowded beaches for a tranquil Portuguese fishing village outside Lisbon. Head over to PureWow for more off-the-beaten-path destinations to add to your 2015 bucket list.

There’s much made over seeing the world through a child’s eyes, free of cynicism, preconceived notions and prejudice. Now you can experience this IRL thanks to this photo essay — a toddler’s view of New York City — in The NY Times.

Lucky Peach has an appetite-inducing (and beautifully photographed) regional guide to ramen in Japan (h/t Fathom).

In breaking travel news, SkyMall has filed for bankruptcy. Let’s reflect one last time on 11 of the in-flight catalog’s most ridiculous items with Business Insider.

Last but not least, we’ll leave you with this fun Washington Post quiz. Can you name these cities just by looking at their subway maps?

 

Photo Courtesy of Travel Channel

It’s new and improved! TravelChannel.com relaunched Thursday with a cleaner design and better user experience. The Travel Channel Digital Team has been working long hours over the past year to find ways to improve the website and enhance specific features. Here’s a quick list of some of the changes Travel Channel users will notice when clicking around the new site:

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Havasu Falls (Photo Courtesy Thinkstock)

There’s a lot of eye candy and some eyebrow-raising discoveries in this week’s travel blog roundup. Beyond the beautiful photography of the brightly-colored Havasu Falls in Arizona, Brendan’s Adventures also boasts everything you need to know about how to get there, what to see, where to stay and to what to pack.

How can color theory up your travel photo game? Geotraveler’s Niche explains.

Detroit most likely isn’t on your travel to-do list, but Hecktic Travels makes a compelling case why it should be.

“Why are some croissants straight, and others curved?” The Everywhereist answers the age-old question, and yes, there is a law about it in France.

From exquisitely prepared food to truly picturesque train rides, Legal Nomads shares 77 photos of Japan.

 

Photo Courtesy of Robin Bennefield

The biggest parties of the year in New Orleans and Rio are Mardi Gras and Carnival. But in Puerto Rico, it’s the San Sebastian Street Festival, or Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian, when thousands of Puerto Ricans and tourists pack the streets of Old San Juan the third week of January for 4 days of parades and over-the-top revelry.

There are no revealing costumes or skin-bearing for beads during this family-friendly festival that kicked off Thursday and lasts through Sunday. It features Puerto Rico’s hottest musicians and DJs on stages in 4 of the city’s largest squares.
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Photography by Walter Bibkow / The Image Bank / Getty Images

Cuba has long been the holy grail of travel destinations for many American passport holders, tempting them with the difficulty — or, for many, the near impossibility — of ever traveling there. For decades, US citizens who wanted to visit the island had to apply for special licenses, justify their travel to government agencies, or avoid the law altogether by entering Cuba via other countries.

But starting Friday, things get a whole lot easier. Under the new standards, travelers can visit Cuba without applying for a license if they qualify under one of 12 categories of authorized travel, which include family visits, research, education, public performances and humanitarian projects.
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