Cool Vacations

 

 

 

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here.

❄ EXPLORE A WINTER WONDERLAND ❄

The Christmas Markets are truly an experience in the winter wonderland of Europe.

This is YOUR YEAR to GETAWAY FROM YOUR EVERYDAY for the hollidays in Europe.

Imperial Escape With Berlin

  
Starting At:$1,199
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_715.jpg
9 Days, featuring: Vienna
More Details 

Spanish Escape

  
Starting At:$1,289
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_715.jpg
9 Days, featuring: Madrid, Spain
More Details 

Spain & Portugal Escape

  
Starting At:$1,189
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_715.jpg
9 Days, featuring: Lisbon
More Details 

European Escape

  
Starting At:$1,549
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_715.jpg
9 Days, featuring: Florence–venice
More Details 

European Escape With London

  
Starting At:$1,869
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_715.jpg
10 Days, featuring: London
More Details 

Paris & Lisbon

  
Starting At:$1,099
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_105501.jpg
 
More Details 

London and Edinburgh

  
Starting At:$1,199
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_105501.jpg
 
More Details 

Irish Adventure

  
Starting At:$1,199
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_105501.jpg
 
More Details 

London, Paris, and Amsterdam

  
Starting At:$1,699
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_105501.jpg
 
More Details 

Highlights Of Germany

  
Starting At:$1,699
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_105715.jpg
12 Days, featuring: Stuttgart Area–heidelberg–frankfurt Area
More Details 

Europe's Highlights

  
Starting At:$2,279
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_105715.jpg
14 Days, featuring: Lake Como–lugano, Switzerland–lucerne Area
More Details 

Europe's Highlights With London

  
Starting At:$2,539
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_105715.jpg
15 Days, featuring: Rome–pisa–montecatini
More Details 

The Splendors Of Italy

  
Starting At:$1,499
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_105715.jpg
9 Days, featuring: Rome
More Details 

Mediterranean Flavors

  
Starting At:$2,099
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_105715.jpg
14 Days, featuring: Venice
More Details 

Italy's Best

  
Starting At:$2,299
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_105715.jpg
14 Days, featuring: Venice Area–ravenna–assisi–assisi Area
More Details 

Lisbon, Seville & Madrid

  
Starting At:$1,199
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_105715.jpg
9 Days, featuring: Madrid, Spain
More Details 

Spotlight on Tuscany

  
Starting At:$1,699
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
Discover the rolling hills of Tuscany, home to sprawling vineyards, charming medieval hill towns, and enchanting cities. Savor a 7-night stay in Montecatini Terme, the famous resort and spa town. Visit Pisa, Florence, and San Gimignano in the Italian countryside. Discover the charming town of Lucca, Italy’s best-kept secret. Learn about the heroic deeds of WWII at remains of the Gothic Line and visit the Museum of Liberation. Enjoy free time to explore the cultural treasures of Florence. Part...
More Details 

Sicily and Its Isles

  
Starting At:$3,599
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
Explore Sicily and Malta – two island paradises nestled amongst the deep blue waves of the Mediterranean. Sample specialties in Palermo’s colorful food market. Meet a countess in her medieval palace. Taste award-winning olive oil and learn about the Slow Food movement at a local farm. Explore Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples (UNESCO) with a guide at twilight. Spend three nights in Taormina, perched above the Ionian Sea. See Mount Etna from a different perspective on an off-road excursion. En...
More Details 

Venice, Florence and Rome

  
Starting At:$1,899
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
History, culture, art and romance wait to be discovered on this wonderful introduction to a country you are sure to fall in love with. Discover the treasures of the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel with a local expert. Visit the Academy Gallery to view Michelangelo’s David. Savor an expert-led walking tour of Florence. Stroll the streets of Bologna on a "foodie" tour and taste cheeses, cured meats, bread, chocolate, gelato and more. Take in a Venetian adventure that includes St. Mark’s Squa...
More Details 

Classical Greece

  
Starting At:$1,999
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
Discover the magnificent ruins of ancient Greece in their tranquil Mediterranean settings. This comprehensive journey explores Greece's most important ancient monuments, like the famed Temple of Zeus, the archaeological site of Olympia, and ancient artifacts of Delphi. Explore Athens on a comprehensive tour of the incredible Acropolis. Visit a local farm in the countryside to see how olive oil and wine are produced. Learn how to cook traditional Mediterranean cuisine during a cooking demonstr...
More Details 

Imperial Cities

  
Starting At:$2,649
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
Bask in the splendor, history, and romance of Europe’s regal capital cities of Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. Your journey starts in Prague, the noble capital of the Czech Republic. Your adventure continues in Vienna, where you’ll delight in the Baroque marvels of the Schönbrunn Palace, the summer retreat of the Habsburg dynasty for more than 200 years. Listen to the lineage of Vienna’s history and indulge in a performance featuring the works of Mozart and Strauss, two former Viennese resident...
More Details 

Magical Christmas Markets

  
Starting At:$1,849
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
Experience the holiday spirit in Austria and Germany, where the tradition of the Christkindlesmarkt began over 600 years ago. Explore Christmas markets alive with festive cheer and cultural treasures. Uncover the history and tastes of these incredible regions spending five relaxing nights in Innsbruck, where the spirit of Christmas is undeniable. Venture to the Alpine village of Seefeld via train; partake in the traditional taste of schnapps before you’re whisked away on an actual horse-drawn...
More Details 

Germany's Cultural Cities and Romantic Roads

  
Starting At:$2,599
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
Through Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich, come to know Germany and the charms of its Romantic Road. Tour Berlin and Munich with an expert city guide, then walk the Fairytale Road guided by the Pied Piper. Feel like a local when you take the sleek ICE train from Berlin to Hamburg. Enjoy an overnight stay in a 16th-century castle. On Rothenburg’s breathtaking Romantic Road, go on a "Night Watchman" tour. Try the local beers of Munich. Along storybook pathways and across historic city streets, fall u...
More Details 

Treasures of Europe

  
Starting At:$3,499
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
Set your sights on the European journey of a lifetime and discover all the must-sees of England, France, Switzerland and Italy. See the incredible sites of London, from Buckingham Palace to Big Ben. Take the Eurostar train to Paris – the "City of Lights" – and enjoy a panoramic city tour before taking in breathtaking views from your dinner table aboard a Parisian river boat. Board a high-speed train bound for Lucerne, the enchanting Swiss city on a cobalt lake and one of Switzerland’s most be...
More Details 

Southern Italy & Sicily

  
Starting At:$2,799
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
Journey through a crossroads of civilizations in Sicily and on to the spectacular coastlines of Southern Italy. Uncover Sicily’s capital Palermo and its Moorish and Norman influences. Explore Agrigento’s ancient Valley of the Temples. Travel to the historic hilltop town of Taormina. Visit a local winery for a wine tasting and agriturismo dinner. Venture to the ancient cave dwellings of Sassi di Matera. Discover spectacular Mt. Etna Volcano National Park. Explore the stunning Amalfi Coast and ...
More Details 

Classical Christmas Markets

  
Starting At:$1,999
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
Sip mulled wine and collect unique handicrafts, hand-made ornaments and toys at some of the largest and most famous Christmas markets in Europe. Spend three nights in the traditional Alpine village of Oberammergau and two nights in the heart of the Black Forest. Bask in holiday cheer as you stroll along the cobblestone streets of Innsbruck, capital of Tyrolean Austria, and embark on your choice of a cultural walking tour or a visit to the Museum of Tyrolean Regional Heritage. Explore Strasbou...
More Details 

Rome & Amalfi Coast

  
Starting At:$2,399
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
From the legendary Colosseum to the rocky cliffs of the Amalfi Coast, take in the best of southern Italy. Uncover Classic Rome’s myriad treasures and embark on an in-depth guided visit of the spectacular Colosseum. Explore the breathtaking scenery of Italy’s coastline, from the dramatic beauty of the Amalfi Coast to the charms of seaside Sorrento. Visit the renowned monastery of Montecassino. Discover Pompeii’s ruins. Stop at a local winery at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, learn how mozzarella ...
More Details 

Spain's Classics

  
Starting At:$2,899
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
Embark on a Spanish adventure as you take in medieval architecture, idyllic landscapes and delectable cuisine. Explore the wonders of the Prado Museum, one of Europe’s greatest museums. See the Cathedral of Seville, the third largest in the world. Enjoy reserved seating at a flamenco show and feel the passion of this famous dance. Visit the exotic and expansive Alhambra palace. Become part of an authentic "paella experience." View Antonio Gaudí’s architectural masterpieces, including a visit ...
More Details 

Sunny Portugal

  
Starting At:$1,799
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
From the coastal capital of Lisbon to the sunny cliffs of the Algarve, venture along Portugal’s stunning shoreline. Discover the charms of Lisbon. In Evora, step inside a medieval city with Roman ruins. Enjoy a leisurely 3-night stay in the Algarve region. Explore the soft sandy beaches and classic fishing villages. Take advantage of a free day to soak in the Portuguese sunshine and savor local flavors. See the dramatic cliffs at Cape Roca plummeting into the crashing waves below. Encounter p...
More Details 

London & Paris

  
Starting At:$2,499
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
From cosmopolitan London to romantic Paris, cross the English Channel via train and take in the best of these iconic cities during the holiday season. See Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London and Big Ben. Visit charming Christmas markets and take in Harrod’s with its incredible displace of Christmas decorations. Tour the stately Blenheim Palace the university town of Oxford. Savor a thrilling dinner and cabaret show at the Paradis Latin theatre. Come to know Paris with a local guide. Embark ...
More Details 

Italian Vistas

  
Starting At:$3,399
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
From the ancient ruins of Pompeii to the chic charm of Capri, embark on a spectacular Italian getaway. Enjoy multiple-night stays in Rome, the Sorrento Coast, Florence, Venice, and Stresa in the Lake District. Discover the treasures of Classical Rome, including the Colosseum. Walk in the footsteps of the ancient Romans in Pompeii. Take a boat to the enchanting Isle of Capri. See the gems of the Renaissance in Florence's Academy Gallery, including Michelangelo's David. Marvel at the Leaning To...
More Details 

Magical Christmas Markets

  
Starting At:$1,849
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
Experience the holiday spirit in Austria and Germany, where the tradition of the Christkindlesmarkt began over 600 years ago. Explore Christmas markets alive with festive cheer and cultural treasures. Uncover the history and tastes of these incredible regions spending five relaxing nights in Innsbruck, where the spirit of Christmas is undeniable. Venture to the Alpine village of Seefeld via train; partake in the traditional taste of schnapps before you’re whisked away on an actual horse-drawn...
More Details 

London & Paris

  
Starting At:$2,899
/images/logos/SupplierLogo_3680.jpg
Ring in the New Year in two of Europe’s most incredible cities! From cosmopolitan London to romantic Paris, cross the English Channel via train and take in the best of these iconic destinations. See Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London, Big Ben, and tour St. Paul’s Cathedral. Savor a thrilling New Year’s Eve dinner and cabaret show at the Paradis Latin theatre. Come to know Paris with a local guide. Embark on a romantic dinner cruise on the Seine River. Enjoy a leisurely-paced exploration wi...
More Details 

 

 

Having trouble viewing this email? Click here.

 

 

AUTUMN ADVENTURES

 

Cruising from the port of Los Angeles has returned and you have your choice this year of many itineraries and lengths of cruises.

GETAWAY FROM YOUR EVERYDAY from our close at home port of Los Angeles.

 

Panama Canal

 

Starting At:$1,299

+ $399.46 taxes/fees

Ship: Radiance of the Seas

You’re in for an off-the-grid explore-a-thon. Linger longer and wander further in the Last Frontier onboard a ship designed for edge-of-the-map exploration from the Inside Passage to Glacier Bay National Park. Dazzling with the most glass of any Royal Caribbean® ship, Radiance of the Seas® is perfect for glacier gazing and whale watching when you aren’t wandering rugged wilderness paths onshore.

More Details 

 

Cabo, Vallarta & Mazatlan Cruise

 

Starting At:$798.50

+ $124.99 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

Catalina & Ensenada Cruise

 

Starting At:$268.50

+ $111.32 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

Ensenada Cruise

 

Starting At:$239

+ $97.94 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

Ensenada Cruise

 

Starting At:$228.50

+ $97.94 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

Catalina & Ensenada Cruise

 

Starting At:$347.50

+ $111.32 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

Catalina & Ensenada Cruise

 

Starting At:$313.50

+ $111.32 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

Cabo, Vallarta & Mazatlan Holiday

 

Starting At:$748

+ $120.25 taxes/fees

Ship: Navigator of the Seas

 

More Details 

 

4-Day West Coast Getaway with San Diego

 

Starting At:$264

+ $140.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Grand Princess

With an atmosphere of comfortable elegance, tantalizing dining options and dazzling entertainment, your stay on board Grand Princess® will be anything but ordinary. Relax at The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults, enjoy Movies Under the Stars® poolside or experience something new with our Discovery at SEA™ enrichment programs.

More Details 

 

3-Day West Coast Getaway with San Diego

 

Starting At:$262

+ $135.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Majestic Princess

 

More Details 

 

7-Day Classic California Coast

 

Starting At:$649

+ $220.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Majestic Princess

Sail aboard Majestic PrincessSM, the newest member of our fleet and enjoy the signature favorites you've always loved along with so many new exciting additions not found on any other Princess ship, including two new specialty restaurants with dinner menus crafted by two Michelin-star awarded chefs. Come aboard and find out what makes this ship so special!

More Details 

 

7-Day Mexican Riviera

 

Starting At:$539

+ $145.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Majestic Princess

Sail aboard Majestic PrincessSM, the newest member of our fleet and enjoy the signature favorites you've always loved along with so many new exciting additions not found on any other Princess ship, including two new specialty restaurants with dinner menus crafted by two Michelin-star awarded chefs. Come aboard and find out what makes this ship so special!

More Details 

 

15-Day Hawaiian Islands

 

Starting At:$1,399

+ $200.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Grand Princess

With an atmosphere of comfortable elegance, tantalizing dining options and dazzling entertainment, your stay on board Grand Princess® will be anything but ordinary. Relax at The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults, enjoy Movies Under the Stars® poolside or experience something new with our Discovery at SEA™ enrichment programs.

More Details 

 

15-Day Hawaiian Islands

 

Starting At:$1,199

+ $205.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Grand Princess

With an atmosphere of comfortable elegance, tantalizing dining options and dazzling entertainment, your stay on board Grand Princess® will be anything but ordinary. Relax at The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults, enjoy Movies Under the Stars® poolside or experience something new with our Discovery at SEA™ enrichment programs.

More Details 

 

24-Day Machu Picchu Explorer - Tour 2D

 

Starting At:$5,719

+ $375.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Diamond Princess

DIA==T1S02D_SLS18B_DIA==024

More Details 

 

18-Day Andes & South America

 

Starting At:$1,049

+ $375.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Diamond Princess

Diamond Princess® is a treasure trove of exceptional delights waiting to be discovered. Dine on freshly prepared sashimi in Kai Sushi, watch street performers in the dazzling Atrium, or take in a lavish production show in our state-of-the-art theater. And for a unique treat visit the IZUMI Japanese Bath, the largest of its kind at sea.

More Details 

 

34-Day Antarctica, Andes & Cape Horn Grand Adventure

 

Starting At:$3,049

+ $675.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Diamond Princess

 

More Details 

 

10-Day Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez

 

Starting At:$999

+ $175.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Grand Princess

With an atmosphere of comfortable elegance, tantalizing dining options and dazzling entertainment, your stay on board Grand Princess® will be anything but ordinary. Relax at The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults, enjoy Movies Under the Stars® poolside or experience something new with our Discovery at SEA™ enrichment programs.

More Details 

 

5-Day Cabo San Lucas Getaway

 

Starting At:$399

+ $130.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Grand Princess

With an atmosphere of comfortable elegance, tantalizing dining options and dazzling entertainment, your stay on board Grand Princess® will be anything but ordinary. Relax at The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults, enjoy Movies Under the Stars® poolside or experience something new with our Discovery at SEA™ enrichment programs.

More Details 

 

4-Day West Coast Getaway with Santa Barbara

 

Starting At:$469

+ $135.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Majestic Princess

Sail aboard Majestic PrincessSM, the newest member of our fleet and enjoy the signature favorites you've always loved along with so many new exciting additions not found on any other Princess ship, including two new specialty restaurants with dinner menus crafted by two Michelin-star awarded chefs. Come aboard and find out what makes this ship so special!

More Details 

 

10-Day Baja Peninsula & Sea of Cortez

 

Starting At:$1,099

+ $160.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Majestic Princess

Sail aboard Majestic PrincessSM, the newest member of our fleet and enjoy the signature favorites you've always loved along with so many new exciting additions not found on any other Princess ship, including two new specialty restaurants with dinner menus crafted by two Michelin-star awarded chefs. Come aboard and find out what makes this ship so special!

More Details 

 

Mexican Riviera

 

Starting At:$615.30

+ $208.50 taxes/fees

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Cruise from the star-studded streets of Hollywood to the stunning coastline of the Mexican Riviera aboard Norwegian Bliss, one of our newest and most incredible ships. In Mazatlan, head to the historic downtown for a tour of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and a taste of delicious local fish tacos. The small village charm and spectacular beaches of Puerto Vallarta are the perfect backdrop to enjoy whale watching, horseback riding, snorkeling and so much more.

More Details 

 

7-Day Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles

 

Starting At:$699.30

+ $238.11 taxes/fees

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Romance, adventure, drama – the Mexican Riviera has it all. Whether you’re zip-lining through a pristine forest or shopping in charming downtown, you’ll get your adrenaline going in Puerto Vallarta. A scenic drive along the coastline of Mazatlán offers stunning ocean views. When you arrive in Cabo San Lucas, you can journey back in time in the town of Todos Los Santos.

More Details 

 

Mexican Riviera

 

Starting At:$839.30

+ $238.11 taxes/fees

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Cruise from the star-studded streets of Hollywood to the stunning coastline of the Mexican Riviera aboard Norwegian Bliss, one of our newest and most incredible ships. In Mazatlan, head to the historic downtown for a tour of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and a taste of delicious local fish tacos. The small village charm and spectacular beaches of Puerto Vallarta are the perfect backdrop to enjoy whale watching, horseback riding, snorkeling and so much more.

More Details 

 

7-Day Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles

 

Starting At:$559.30

+ $170.47 taxes/fees

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Romance, adventure, drama – the Mexican Riviera has it all. Whether you’re zip-lining through a pristine forest or shopping in charming downtown, you’ll get your adrenaline going in Puerto Vallarta. A scenic drive along the coastline of Mazatlán offers stunning ocean views. When you arrive in Cabo San Lucas, you can journey back in time in the town of Todos Los Santos.

More Details 

 

7-Day Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles

 

Starting At:$608.30

+ $170.47 taxes/fees

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Romance, adventure, drama – the Mexican Riviera has it all. Whether you’re zip-lining through a pristine forest or shopping in charming downtown, you’ll get your adrenaline going in Puerto Vallarta. A scenic drive along the coastline of Mazatlán offers stunning ocean views. When you arrive in Cabo San Lucas, you can journey back in time in the town of Todos Los Santos.

More Details 

 

Mexican Riviera

 

Starting At:$1,140.30

+ $179.48 taxes/fees

Ship: Norwegian Bliss

Cruise from the star-studded streets of Hollywood to the stunning coastline of the Mexican Riviera aboard Norwegian Bliss, one of our newest and most incredible ships. In Mazatlan, head to the historic downtown for a tour of the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and a taste of delicious local fish tacos. The small village charm and spectacular beaches of Puerto Vallarta are the perfect backdrop to enjoy whale watching, horseback riding, snorkeling and so much more.

More Details 

 

4 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$499

+ $109.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

3 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$409

+ $98.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

5 Day Mexican Riviera Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$604

+ $116.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

5 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$759

+ $113.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

7 Days Mexican Riviera from Los Angeles, CA

 

Starting At:$999

+ $114.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Panorama

 

More Details 

 

14 Day Hawaii Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$2,519

+ $188.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

4 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$459

+ $104.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Radiance

 

More Details 

 

3 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$424

+ $95.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Radiance

 

More Details 

 

4 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$469

+ $112.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

6 Day Mexican Riviera Cruise From Los Angeles, CA

 

Starting At:$1,034

+ $117.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Panorama

 

More Details 

 

3 Day Baja Mexico Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$589

+ $100.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

6 Day Mexican Riviera Cruise From Long Beach (Los Angeles)

 

Starting At:$1,109

+ $121.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Miracle

 

More Details 

 

8 Day Mexican Riviera Cruise From Los Angeles, CA

 

Starting At:$1,609

+ $121.00 taxes/fees

Ship: Carnival Panorama

 

More Details 

 

 

 

 

Ideas from our friends at Conde Nast:

 

The Best Places to Travel in August

Soak up those last days of summer right.

BY CAITLIN MORTON

June 17, 2021

 

Best Places to Travel in August

Getty

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

Is there any month more tailor-made for a vacation than August? The peak of summer is the perfect time to jettison all 9-to-5 obligations and indulge in a trip, whether you’re soaking up the sun on an exclusive Mediterranean island or holing up in a bucolic corner of the Mid-Atlantic. Plus, with the E.U. opening up to U.S. tourists this summer and states lifting COVID restrictions, we're more excited to book a flight than ever. If you're hoping to squeeze in a vacation before Labor Day, here are nine of the best places to travel in August.

  • madeira portugal

    •  

 

  • Getty

·         Madeira, Portugal

  • This island, 300 miles west of Morocco, is synonymous with winemaking and wine drinking. The Madeira Wine Festival (August 29 through September 12) showcases how the islanders developed the unique oxidation process to create their trademark wine six centuries ago. There are events and celebrations throughout the island, but be sure to visit Cabo Girão, where the microclimate around the cliffs allowed Jesuits to cultivate malvasia grapes and develop the sweet malmsey wine. The vertigo-inducing skywalk here is the highest such installation in Europe, though it’s best to try it before imbibing too much.
  • Kilimanjaro Kenya

    •  

 

  • Getty

·         Kenya

  • The Great Migration is one of the awe-inspiring natural spectacles on the planet, when more than 1.5 million wildebeest sweep through East Africa between July and October every year. In Kenya, the best place to watch the phenomenon is the Masai Mara National Reserve, with ample rivers (that’s where the real action takes place) and cliffs overlooking the savannah. Set up shop at the 15-suite Angama Mara, which sits close to the Mara River and affords 180-degree views of the surrounding plains. Even if you miss some of the migration action, you'll be able to see elephant, buffalo, and giraffe from your suite, or take a Maasai-led walking safari to see even more wildlife.
  • ADVERTISEMENT
  • Image may contain Tree Plant Door Outdoors Path Vegetation Tree Trunk and Grass

    •  

 

  • Getty

·         Woodstock, Vermont

  • One of the most beautiful towns in America, Woodstock’s appeal extends far beyond fall foliage and craft beer. The city oozes New England charm in any season, which is clearly evidenced by the lovely and quaint Woodstock Inn & Resort. The 142-room hotel thrives in the summer, when the on-site garden boasts more than 200 varieties of produce that get sent directly to the property’s two restaurants. And the seasonal delights don’t end there. Just down the road at the Billings Farm & Museum, the 20,000-square-foot Sunflower House will enter its third year in bloom this summer. Thousands of sunflowers (which reach peak bloom in mid-August) will be planted in a maze-like structure, ranging in height from 18 inches to a staggering 14 feet.
  •  

 

  • costa smeralda sardinia italy

    •  

 

  • Getty

·         Costa Smeralda, Sardinia

  • Sardinia’s Costa Smeralda is one of Europe’s most glamorous summer getaways, with stunning white sands and yacht-crammed waters off Porto Cervo. Lean into the luxe vibe by booking one of the suites at the Hotel Cala di Volpe, and remember to pack the kind of bikinis that were never designed to actually get wet for its ultra-exclusive beach club. The suites, decked out in whitewashed walls and Sardinian marble floors, are perfect for kicking your feet up between pool visits. At night, book dinner at one of the restaurants on Porto Cervo’s beloved Piazzetta—choose between the classic fish spot, Il Pescatore, or Novikov, an Asian fusion restaurant from owner and Russian restaurateur Arkady.
  • bonneville salt flats utah

    •  

 

  • Getty

·         Utah

  • Utah is renowned for its national parks (its state parks are pretty spectacular, too), but there are plenty of reasons to visit this summer outside of the obvious. (Depending on where you are, the temperatures range from 70 to 99 degrees during August.) Get your dose of thrills with an ATV ride around the Coral Pink Sand Dunes, with 2,000 acres of sand that turn pink as the sun begins to set. Or choose from ten zip-lines (one of which reaches a speed of 65 mph) at Deer Creek State Park. If you prefer to watch the action from the sidelines, watch drivers try to break world records at the Bonneville Salt Flats during Bonneville Speed Week (August 7-13). Whatever type of activity you crave, Utah probably has it somewhere. While you're in the state, you might as well make a point to stay at the sensational Amangiri resort in Canyon Point: The remote location, food, views, and spa treatments are well worth a detour.
  • napa valley

    •  

 

  • Getty

·         Napa Valley, California

  • Napa Valley is one of the best places to travel in August, corresponding with the region's harvest season (August through October). The crowds tend to be a bit denser during this time, but you can still have a luxurious, intimate vacation—if you know where to look. Start by setting your sights on the Four Seasons Resort Napa Valley, one of the most exciting new hotels of the summer. When it opens, it will be the only Napa property that sits on an active winery. Add to that a dedicated kids club and world-class spa, and you have yourself one stellar stay. For a not-so-average tasting experience, book The Legacy Tour onboard the Napa Wine Train. Expect sparkling wine samples, a three-hour tour of the valley, and four-course gourmet meal.
  • minnesota state fair

    •  

 

  • Getty

·         Minnesota

  • Summer is the season of state fairs, and few states do the tradition justice better than Minnesota. The nation’s second-largest fair (after Texas, of course) was canceled in 2020, but Gov. Tim Walz is hopeful that this year “should be a pretty close to normal event.” And in this case, normal means outdoor beer festivals, classic car shows, Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw concerts, and 500 food stands serving up all things deep-fried and skewered. The fair takes place from August 26 to September 6 this year, giving you plenty of August wiggle room to explore nearby Minneapolis (about 15 minutes away from the fairgrounds in Falcon Heights), a city which only gets more interesting the longer you stay there.

Trending Stories

  •  

 

Little Island Park, May 2021, New York City

 

  •  

 

COMO Metropolitan Miami Beach Pool

 

 

  •  

 

Image may contain: Land, Outdoors, Nature, Shoreline, Water, Sea, Ocean, Coast, Beach, Island, and Atoll

 

 

  •  

 

Berlaymont building, European Commission, Belgium, Brussels

 

  •  
  • north fork long island

    •  

 

  • Getty

·         North Fork, Long Island

  • Each summer, the North Fork of Long Island offers a welcome contrast to the hectic Hamptons on the southern spike. Instead of imported city glitz, it’s a countrified hideaway, mostly full of family farms, vineyards, and small towns filled with clapboard homes. While the Hamptons crowds struggle to find a spot on the beach, spend the month of August exploring the quiet charm of this charming area. Southold’s Custer Observatory Institute hosts stargazing and meteor-spotting parties on Saturday nights, and you can try oyster-shucking at Greenport’s Little Creek Oyster Farm & Market. Most vineyards here boost their visitor offerings in summer, like Bedell Cellars, which has live music in its tap room on Sunday afternoons in August. Take the seven-minute ferry ride from Greenport to Shelter Island for a stay at The Chequit, a 37-room Victorian inn from 1872 that made our Hot List in 2016.
  • isla holbox mexico

    •  

 

·         Isla Holbox, Mexico

  • May through September is whale shark season in the Mexican Caribbean, when the magnificent beasts emerge in the warm waters between Isla Mujeres and Isla Contoy every year. August is a particularly great month for whale sightings due to the amount of plankton in the water, which the whales gather to feed on. This year, head to dreamy Isla Holbox to celebrate Whale Shark Day on August 30—no better time to try your hand at a once-in-a-lifetime whale shark dive. Eco-boutique hotel Las Nubes de Holbox is the only hotel adjacent to the Yum Balam Nature Reserve, and connects its guests to sustainable whale shark tours around the island’s stunning natural landscapes. Afterwards, relax at the Orquídea Spa with a salt bath or facial of organic Mexican products.

 

The Highest Railway in America Has Finally Reopened 

The Pikes Peak Cog Railway now has modern amenities, but has kept all its the historic charm—and its heavenly views.

BY CHADNER NAVARRO

May 27, 2021

 

Pikes Peak Cog Train

The Broadmoor Manitou/Pikes Peak Cog Railway
  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

When it comes to mountainside activities, Colorado has always been spoiled for choice. But in addition to skiing, biking, and hiking the various peaks that dot the state, one iconic way to experience these mountains actually requires little by way of physical exertion: riding the The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway in Manitou Springs.

First installed in 1891 by Simmons Beautyrest mattress inventor Zalmon Simmons, who found the experience of getting up the mountain on mule-back entirely uncivilized, this historic attraction that climbs to 14,115 feet (the highest railway in the country) was shuttered in 2017 following an infrastructure evaluation. At first, it wasn’t clear whether its current owners would bring it back to life or permanently close the train. But with its unique legacy—the highest cog railway in the world, and views that inspired the song “America The Beautiful”—the decision to invest in its renovation and modernization was a no-brainer. So in May 2021, after $100 million and three years, The Broadmoor Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railway is back, and it’s truly better than ever.

A hundred million dollars can get you a lot of things—including jokes from the conductor that he’s now the oldest part of the train—because every inch of the experience, including the depot and the upcoming visitor center in the summit, was rebuilt, upgraded, or changed. The main depot retains its original 19th-century mining town aesthetic with a fresh coat of bright blue paint, but a second train platform, an overhead walkway, and remodeled bathrooms and gift shop are now part of the depot, too.

 

Pikes Peak Cog Train

The world's highest cog railway is back, and moving better than ever.

 

In 2019, tracks were ripped out of the earth and relaid. Previously, the trains ran on two cog rails; this brand-new system features a single steel cog rail that’s thicker than the older ones combined, which elevates overall performance and safety. The ride was always safe, but based on the way the trains looked in their run-down glory, most locals who took the nine-mile ride before 2018 will likely tell you that they weren’t exactly convinced they would make it up the mountain. Not to mention, passengers were still sitting on wood benches.

Today, the four refurbished trains and three new, 214-feet-long aluminum trains purchased from Stadler (the world’s only manufacturer of cog railway equipment) are not only outfitted with upholstered, cushioned seating, they are also speeding up to Pikes Peak like never before. Toward the end of its upward journey, when the incline is at its sharpest, these vibrant red trains are charging at nearly 10 miles an hour. 

Ten miles an hour may not sound very fast, but this isn’t a roller coaster. The ride is meant to provide a scenic way up a Fourteener. Even in Colorado, where conquering a mountain peak with an elevation of at least 14,000 feet is a personality trait, not everyone can or wants to make the hike up. The 70-minute-ish journey into Pike National Forest and up to the summit is full of unbelievable sights, from giant eons-old quartz boulders called Pikes Peak granite to canopies of Colorado blue spruce, Ponderosa pine, and Aspen trees; even meandering waterfalls shuttling ice-cold glacier water. There are historic points, too, like the site of a lodge that used to house adventurous hikers. If you’re lucky, you may see wildlife like big-horn sheep, elk, and the occasional eagle. When you get over the tree line, however, things get really dramatic—it looks like the train is riding over the clouds.

A round-trip ticket costs $58, but consider forking over the $10 upcharge so that you can pick your seat. Whenever possible, you’ll want seat A. It’s the window seat on the side of the train that looks over the mountain and offers superior views. (The views on the other side are mostly of rocks.)

At the top of Pikes Peak, 360-degree views reveal the rust-hued Garden of the Gods in the north, the mining town of Cripple Creek and the continental divide to the west, and the Sangre de Cristo mountain range to the south. Depending on visibility, you might be able to spot the Denver skyline. 

Right now, all you can really do at the summit is take in the views and snap some spectacular photos. But the brand-new visitor center, which will have interactive displays and films detailing the history of Pikes Peak, as well as a restaurant, retail, and a terrace, should open June 2021. Soon, too, you will be able to take guided hikes up or down the mountain; there will also be a biking option for more intrepid thrillseekers. A final tip: Watch out for the altitude, which often leaves passengers napping its side effects off on the ride down.

 

 

 

 

 

A Guide to Australia Travel Restrictions and Other Regions in Oceania

What to expect from Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, and beyond this summer.

BY SHANNON MCMAHON

June 23, 2021

 

Bora Bora French Polynesia

Getty
  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

Sitting on an airline voucher for a trip to the remote Pacific, or crossing your fingers for a New Zealand visit in the near future? There are a few things you need to know about local travel restrictions before you start booking. 

The pandemic prompted nations of Oceania small and large to crack down on international travel more than a year ago, barring most travelers from the region completely. And with COVID-19 cases still springing up across the globe, and vaccinations slow to mount throughout Oceania, it's still difficult to visit most destinations whether or not you’re vaccinated—with a few exceptions.

Here’s where you can travel in the region of archipelagos, and the nations sticking to tourism shutdowns until further notice. Read on for New Zealand, Bora Bora, and Australia travel restrictions, and beyond. 

Australia

 

Bondi Beach Australia

Under the current Australia travel restrictions, the country is largely closed to foreign visitors. 

 Getty

ADVERTISEMENT

Nonessential travel “remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,” according to officials in Australia—which has kept its coronavirus case count extremely low since mid-2020 through border shutdowns and tight restrictions on leisure travel (both international and domestic). Per the current Australia travel restrictions, anyone visiting must acquire an exemption granted by the government, which only applies to critical workers or those who must travel for emergency purposes related to family (i.e. a death or illness). And even those with an exemption must quarantine upon arrival for 14 days in a government-run facility. The only exception to that rule is quarantine-free flights from New Zealand, which require travelers to have been in the country for at least 14 days.

New Zealand

According to the government of New Zealand, which has kept COVID-19 cases to a minimum throughout the pandemic, its borders remain “closed to almost all travelers to help stop the spread of COVID-19.” Quarantine-free travel is only possible (albeit with testing requirements in place) from Australia, the Cook Islands, and Niue—all places maintaining near-zero coronavirus case rates that have political ties to New Zealand. Family members of New Zealand citizens and permanent residents are only permitted to enter if they quarantine in a government-run facility for 14 days. It remains unclear when the nation, which was once hugely popular with tourists for its other-worldly landscapes and Lord of the Rings fame, will reopen, and officials have signaled it’s unlikely to happen soon. Even visas for long-term visitors like students have been extremely restricted due to the coronavirus. Find more information here.

French Polynesia

 

Tahiti French Polynesia

Tahiti is now open to vaccinated travelers, along  with the other 117 French Polynesian islands. 

 Getty

ADVERTISEMENT

The 118 French Polynesian islands, including Bora Bora and Tahiti, have reopened to fully vaccinated travelers from certain “green” nations including the United States, as of June 9. The broader reopening occurred along with the reopening of mainland France, after an early-opening period from May 1 during which curfews were still in place (they have since been lifted). All visitors must test negative for COVID-19 within the three days prior to arrival; full vaccination is defined as 14 days after second Moderna and Pfizer shots, or 28 days after a single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.

Each traveler must submit an Electronic Travel Information System (ETIS) form confirming their vaccination, other health information, and travel itinerary at least six days before departure. Air Tahiti states that while officials permit unvaccinated children to enter the archipelago with their vaccinated guardian(s) if they test negative and are under-18, a “compelling reason” for travel will be required of anyone over age 11 who is not vaccinated.

Fiji

The archipelago nation of Fiji is currently seeing its first substantial upswing of COVID-19 cases, and does not allow Americans to enter without quarantining on arrival. The country has administered coronavirus vaccinations to less than one percent of its population, though the Fijian tourism board has expressed hope that mounting vaccinations will eventually “[restore] the livelihoods for thousands of Fijians, who are dependent on the tourism sector.”

Marshall Islands

The archipelago of the Marshall Islands has remained closed to tourism since early 2020, which has prevented the coronavirus from taking hold in the islands. “International travelers are not permitted to enter the Marshall Islands,” according to the U.S. Embassy in the Marshall Islands. “There has been no community transmission of COVID-19 within the Marshall Islands, and activities are proceeding as usual.”

Samoa and American Samoa

Samoa’s borders remain closed to tourism with most commercial flights canceled, a tactic that has kept its islands free of confirmed community cases of COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic. The ban on visitors extends to the U.S. territory of American Samoa; essential visitors, including Samoan citizens repatriating from abroad, are required to seek approval from the Samoan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Except in exceptional circumstances approved by Cabinet, all international travel to and from Samoa by plane [is] ceased,”

 

 

How to Bring Japanese Cocktail Culture to Your Home Bar

Bring the precision and beauty of Japanese cocktail culture into your home, with five easy-to-emulate drink recipes. 

BY NOAH KAUFMAN

March 26, 2021

 

5 Japanese Cocktails That Are Easy to Make at Home

Brent Hofacker/Alamy

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

The cocktail likely originated in the United States—but it may have been perfected in Japan. Japanese cocktails have a focus on precision, not just in measuring and stirring, but even down to the ice used in the glass, which is sometimes chiseled into the shape of slow-melting diamonds and spheres. It's no surprise that spirits writers have likened the art of Japanese cocktail preparation to tea ceremonies. 

But that's not to say you can't make Japan's best cocktails yourself. The first iteration of Japanese cocktail culture actually began with an import: German-American barman Louis Eppinger came to work at the Yokohama Grand Hotel in 1890 (now the New Grand), where he created drinks like the Bamboo that remain part of the cocktail canon today. By the turn of the last century, Japan was exporting what 100 years' worth of bartenders, including all stars like Hisashi Kishida of Star Bar and Hidetsugu Ueno of Bar High Five, had perfected. 

Now, at a time when we can’t dip into Ginza’s tight, quiet low-lit spaces for an immaculately prepared cocktail, here are five to make at home. Bonus points if you carve your own ice.

All products featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

  • Whiskey High Ball

    •  

 

  • Alamy

·         The Mizuwari (whisky highball)

  • Mizuwari is less a cocktail recipe than it is a cocktail practice. There are several steps to making this Japanese highball: First, stir the ice to chill the glass, add the whisky and stir to chill again. Then, add the soda water and, you got it, stir to chill again. Whisky highballs have become so prevalent in Japan that whisky maker Suntory created a blend, Toki, specifically for them, which is sweet, subtly smoky, and a little spicy—all of which gets enhanced with the addition of bubbles.
  • To make this highball, add three large ice cubes to a highball glass and stir, pouring out any melted water. Add 1 ½ ounces of whisky and stir again (there are some who insist you must stir 13 ½ times counter clockwise; whatever the origin of that number, its stresses the need for precision and consistency when making the drink). Add three ounces of soda water and stir several more times.
  • Buy now: Suntory Toki whisky, from $40, drizly.com 
  • Line Cocktail

    •  

 

  • Courtesy Yonekichi Maeda

·         The Line

  • Created in 1924 by Yonekichi Maeda, a bartender at the Cafe Line, this is one of the early examples of a cocktail created in Japan by a Japanese bartender. The Line will give you a taste of Japan's cocktail history, though it hasn’t seen the resurgence of some other cocktails of the 1920s. It may be because one of its main ingredients, herbal Benedictine, hasn't gained the cult following of other strong flavored liqueurs like Campari or Fernet. It may be because it’s from an era of “short” cocktails and the whole thing is only about an ounce. But in addition to recipes, Maeda created Kokuteeru, Japan’s first modern cocktail book, so he certainly knew what he was doing.
  • To make the Line, shake ⅓ ounce gin, ⅓ ounce Benedictine, and ⅓ ounce sweet vermouth with ice and strain into a cocktail glass.
  • Buy now: Benedictine, from $23, drizly.comTanqueray gin, from $35, drizly.comCarpano Antica Formula Vermouth, from $39, drizly.com
  • ADVERTISEMENT
  • Boozy Refreshing Bamboo Cocktail with Vermouth Sherry and Orange

    •  

 

  • Brent Hofacker/Alamy

·         The Bamboo

  • One of Louis Eppinger’s longest lasting contributions, the Bamboo was created while he was manning the Yokohama Grand, and, unlike the Line, has seen a comeback in recent years. As Drew Lazor explained in a deep dive on the drink, the brief ingredient list of sherry and vermouth has allowed the latest generation of bartenders to experiment with different bottlings of each. If you've always thought of sherry as a fusty old drink that no one has actually poured in 50 years, this is a good chance to change that.
  • To make the Bamboo, add 1½ ounces of sherry, 1½ ounces dry vermouth, two dashes of Angostura bitters, and two dashes of orange bitters to a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain into a coupe glass.
  • Buy nowFino sherry, from $17, drizly.comCarpano Bianco vermouth, from $24, drizly.com
  •  

WATCH

 

A Cocktail for a Hot Day at Kuala Lumpur’s JungleBird Bar

 

  • Million Dollar Cocktail

    •  

 

  • Getty

·         The Million Dollar cocktail

  • This is another cocktail whose invention is credited to Louis Eppinger, although the Japan Times, in its long 2018 history of Japanese cocktails, attributes its popularity to a member of the next generation of Japanese bartenders, Shogo Hamada, and writer Kan Kikuchi in the 1920s. Kikuchi reportedly mentioned it in the advertising of his literary magazine Bungei Shunju, which is still a fixture in Japan today. As for the drink, it remains a frothy, fruity favorite of Tokyo barkeeps.
  • To make a Million Dollar, add 1 ½ ounces of gin, ½ ounce of sweet vermouth,  ½ ounce of pineapple juice, ½ ounce egg white (this will be about half an egg white), and ¼ ounce of grenadine to a shaker without ice. Shake hard to emulsify the egg white. Add ice, shake again to chill, and strain into a coupe.
  • Buy now: Salcombe gin, from $37, drizly.comCarpano Antica Formula vermouth, from $39, drizly.com
  • Lemon Sour chu hi

    •  

 

  • Jordan Lye/Getty

·         A Lemon chuhai

  • Japanese cocktail culture isn’t all meticulous bartenders and hand-chiseled ice spheres. Case in point: The chu hai. An abbreviation for shochu highball, chu hais have been popular canned drinks in Japan for decades, in many ways a precursor to the current hard seltzer frenzy. They're available in convenience stores and the country’s famous vending machines, but they’re also easy to make yourself.
  • To make a lemon chu hai, add two ounces of shochu, four ounces of club soda, and a ½ ounce of lemon juice to a highball glass with ice. Stir to combine.
  • Buy now: Iichiko Saiten Shochu, from $33, drizly.comFever Tree club soda, from $8, drizly.com

 

 

 

 

Conde Nast let’s us know you don’t have to go to Europe to feel its essence.

 

6 U.S. Cities That Are Full of European Charm

With trips to Europe on pause for most Americans, these six domestic destinations offer appealing alternatives.

BY DEBRA KAMIN

July 14, 2020

 

6 U.S. Cities That Are Full of European Charm

Connie Coleman

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

With the coronavirus still impacting much of the world, there’s no doubt that this summer will be a very different one for most of us—especially Americans, who are largely banned from traveling to Europe right now. But while your plans for Roman holidays and decadent Lyonnaise meals are on hold, there are a handful of places right here in the United States—perhaps even within driving distance of your own home—that can offer a distinctly European fix, thanks to their quaint city squares, rich architecture, and Old World food scenes. (Of course, while coronavirus remains a concern, you should always remember to check the latest local guidelines before visiting.) From coast to coast, here are six U.S. destinations worth experiencing this summer.

  • The oldest city in the U.S. St. Augustine Florida was settled in the mid1500s by the Spanish and their influence lives...

    •  

 

  • SeanPavonePhoto

·         St. Augustine, Florida, instead of Madrid, Spain

  • The oldest city in the U.S., St. Augustine, Florida, was settled in the mid-1500s by the Spanish, and their influence lives on today, particularly in the city’s architecture. Among its treasures are the imposing Castillo de San Marcos, a stone masonry fortress along Matanzas Bay on the city’s western edge, and the grand Hotel Ponce de Léon at Flagler College. Built in 1888, the structure is a masterpiece of Spanish Colonial Revival design (with Moorish influence) with its symmetric cupolas, Tiffany stained glass, and grand rotunda lined with murals; for another impressive point of interest, hit the city's Lightner Museum, a marvel of the Spanish Renaissance Revival style, which houses mostly American Gilded Age antiquities in the 19th-century Hotel Alcazar building.
  • Image may contain Outdoors Tree Plant Nature Scenery Landscape Path and Tree Trunk

    •  

 

  • Funwithfood

·         Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, instead of Cinque Terre, Italy

  • Italy’s famed string of five seaside villages, where homes are painted in candy-color shades of red, terra-cotta orange, and pastel pink, fishing boats bob in turquoise waters, and vineyards dangle precariously off of jagged cliffs, is one of Europe’s most enchanting—and heavily touristed—spots. But Carmel-by-the-Sea, a pint-sized enclave along California’s Central Coast, offers the same sort of windswept, beachy magic, with its quaint cottages, tumbling bluffs, and enticing collection of cafes, wineries, and independent boutiques.
  • ADVERTISEMENT
  • Image may contain Bus Transportation Vehicle Human Person Car Automobile Road Wheel Machine Asphalt and Tarmac

    •  

 

  • Connie Coleman

·         Leavenworth, Washington, instead of Bavaria, Germany

  • Deep in the Cascade Mountains in Washington State sits Leavenworth, America’s very own Bavarian village. A massive civic initiative meant to boost the economy and tourism in the 1960s brought German culture, art, and architecture to this charming little mountain town, and today visitors are treated to Alpine-style buildings, food halls including Rhein Haus, Ludwig’s and München Haus, serving German beer and brats, and an adorable nutcracker museum. There’s also top-notch skiing, biking, and birding, as well as one of the most rollicking Oktoberfest celebrations this side of the Atlantic, which is canceled for 2020 but scheduled to make a return in 2021.
  •  

WATCH

 

Money Expert Decodes the World's Most Popular Currencies

 

  • Windmills spinning in the breeze. Thatchedroofed shops peddling wooden shoes and cuckoo clocks. Bakeries serving...

    •  

 

·         Solvang, California, instead of Aarhus, Denmark

  • Windmills spinning in the breeze. Thatched-roofed shops peddling wooden shoes and cuckoo clocks. Bakeries serving piping-hot aebleskiver, a spherical Danish pancake, and Viking-age re-enactments in the courtyards of beer gardens. It’s all here in Solvang, a city that’s just a 45-minute drive from Santa Barbara but is Scandinavian from every angle, from its half-timbered Danish Provincial buildings to its replica of Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid sculpture and its own Round Tower, a scaled reproduction of Copenhagen’s identical-but-larger Rundetårn. The sunshine and salt-kissed air, though? That’s entirely Californian.
  • If youre craving a trip to the French Riviera with its pebbly shores and laidback elegance youll be pleasantly surprised...

    •  

 

  • Shobeir Ansari

·         Newport, Rhode Island, instead of Nice, France

  • If you’re craving a trip to the French Riviera, with its pebbly shores and laid-back elegance, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by Newport, Rhode Island, where Gilded Age mansions and ramshackle lobster shacks coexist in perfect seaswept harmony. Nice’s coastal walkways may have been inspiration for Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso, but Newport’s cliff walk, which stretches for 3.5 miles, is equally captivating, as is The Breakers, Cornelius Vanderbilt II’s Beaux-Arts villa, built by architect Richard Morris Hunt in 1892. The city, known for its sailing, is a holiday-making heaven in its own right; and best of all, it’s driving distance from both New York City and Boston (a 3.5-hour-drive and 90-minute-drive, respectively). It’s also home to a number of storied hotels, including the Chanler at Cliff Walk, which is open with new COVID-19 protocols in place, and The Wayfinder, which opened in June.

JENNA SCATENA

  •  
  • New Glarus Wisconsin

    •  

 

·         New Glarus, Wisconsin, instead of Bern, Switzerland

  • Set in the rolling hills of Green County, Wisconsin, the picturesque village of New Glarus is often referred to as America’s Little Switzerland, and for good reason. Founded in 1845 by more then 100 Swiss emigrants, the town, which is anchored by its cheesemongers, farmers, and popular brewery, is now home to about 2,000 residents, all of whom showcase the city’s Swiss heritage with pride, while greeting you with quintessential midwestern hospitality. Here, the shops look like chalets, with sloping roofs and wide eaves; red and white Swiss flags flutter in the breeze; and street names are written in both German and English. Sip an ale from Spotted Cow, the city’s famous brewery; feast on rahmschnitzel, a creamy breaded veal, at the New Glarus Hotel Restaurant; and get a history lesson at the Chalet of the Golden Fleece Museum, a Swiss Bernese mountain chalet frozen in time.

 

Conde Nast kinda makes you want to experience Iceland.  Been there and done that and would not mind returning.  It’s beautiful.

 

Iceland's Volcanic Eruption Has Become a Reason to Party 

At the base of the Geldingadalur volcano, champagne bottles are popping and hot dog vendors are working overtime. 

BY ALYSON KRUEGER

August 4, 2021

 

Iceland Volcano 2021

Norris Niman

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

Our Here, Now column looks at trends taking hold in cities around the world and gives you the low-down on how to experience them the next time you're in town.

“It felt like a music festival,” says Tomas Gustafsson, a college student who has traveled to Iceland twice since the spring. 

He was in Iceland on day four of the eruption of the Geldingadalur volcano, to witness the crater spewing out bright red, bubbling lava onto the rocky valley below. Gustafsson expected to see a mind-blowing natural feat—an eruption hadn’t occurred in this part of the country, the Reykjanes Peninsula, in 782 years, after all—but what was less anticipated was the bustling social scene he would encounter.

“There were all these cars parked on the street, and tons of people were just walking toward the volcano,” he says. “We grilled hot dogs on the lava and drank beer. We met the people around us, and some said they had heard groups singing Icelandic folk songs. Everybody was so happy, like they couldn’t believe they were there.”

In Iceland the volcano, which started erupting on March 19th and is still going, has become a reason to party. At the site locals and tourists, vaccinated and emerging from lockdowns, are eating, drinking, and mingling with strangers. Vendors, including one selling fish and chips, have set up shop to feed hungry revelers. “There was this one guy selling lamb soup out of his trunk,” says Danny Manzouri, a New Yorker who held his bachelor party in Iceland at the end of June. “He was cleaning up.”

ADVERTISEMENT

To no surprise, the tourism industry is benefitting from it, too. “We joke that we are having our own version of the Fyre Festival,” says Ryan Connolly, co-owner of Hidden Iceland, a tour company known for small, personalized trips. (With none of the implications that name brings, of course; though the nickname is undoubtedly catchy.) He has visited the volcano around 15 times since it began erupting—and his company has brought more than 300 Americans since mid-May.

 

Iceland Volcano 2021

Tourists in front of the Geldingadalur volcano

 Norris Niman

 

Iceland Volcano 2021

The volcano's crater

 Norris Niman

From March—when the Geldingadalur volcano started erupting—through June, visitors could get within 500 feet of it via a walking path, says Connelly. Though cold temperatures across Iceland typically prevent people from staying outside for extended periods of time, even in the summer, that proximity to the lava delivered enough heat to keep visitors there for hours. Connelly went with his friend Simon who was celebrating getting his master's degree. “He brought about six bottles of champagne,” says Connolly. “Everyone was popping bottles.”

Lava has since covered that access path—which required a two-and-a-half hour walk from start to finish—and now, visitors can only see the crater from afar, after taking a steep, strenuous hike up a mountain along one of several alternate routes. (A new lava flow field that formed at the end of July is also accessible, by a two-hour walk.) The new routine is to make the big climb to see the volcano’s crater—and to then spend the night celebrating in bars, restaurants, hotels, and even lagoons afterward.

Given the intensity of the hour-and-a-half-long hike, Manzouri had assumed his group of nine would go straight to bed after leaving the volcano at 1 a.m. Instead, thanks to an adrenaline high, they stayed out until 5 a.m. “We went to this club called Sólon and got bottle service and toasted to the volcano,” he says. “We were so proud of ourselves for making it.” Strangers came over to share their own volcano stories over shots.

ADVERTISEMENT

Even at some of Iceland’s most interesting destinations, people are talking about the volcano. OX is a hidden restaurant in Reykjavik that only serves 11 people two nights a week. Diners get a 16-course tasting menu, paired with wine, full of interesting, local varieties of fish, meat, and produce. While tipsy diners used to ramble on about the food, they now talk about the eruption. “They are most impressed with the volcano,” says chef Thrainn Freyr Vigfusson.

At the Sky Lagoon, a new geo-thermal spa in Reykjavik that opened at the end of April, tourists and locals are comparing notes of what they saw while lounging in the thermal pools overlooking the sea. “I was looking out at the water in the sauna, and one of my friends mentioned the volcano," says Connelly. "Three tourists [near us] were like, ‘What is it like? How do we get there?' It’s always on the tips of people’s tongues.”

It’s not just in Reykjavik, either. At a seaside restaurant named Bryggjan in Grindavík, a fishing village about a 10-minute drive from the volcano, the owners now show a volcano live stream on a large screen. People sit there for hours, eating their famous lobster soup and drinking beer, while watching. It's hard to pin down just what makes this eruption such a big deal—though a number of converging factors seem to be working in its favor. 

First, Geldingadalur is safe to visit. Unlike recent eruptions including E15, a volcano in the south of Iceland who grounded planes in Europe for a week in 2010, this one is effusive—or, hardly explosive. “The ground in this area is already cracked or fragile, so it’s easy for the lava to find places to escape without a big explosion,” Connolly says. The lava flows gently, more like a stream, so it's safe to get close. (Though local officials still monitor conditions including gas levels should the site become unsafe for humans.)

 

Lockdowns in Europe, Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

VIEW STORY

It’s also rare for an erupting volcano to be so conveniently located. Geldingadalur is a 45-minute drive from Reykjavik, a 30-minute drive from the airport, and a 15-minute drive from the popular Blue Lagoon. “It couldn’t be at a better place from a tourist standpoint,” Connolly says.

The party atmosphere is fueled by the country’s current 24 hours of daylight, something tourists and locals report gives them energy and stamina. “You just don’t even feel that tired,” Manzouri says. “The sunlight keeps you up.”

Then there’s the reality that, as more people get vaccinated and feel comfortable going out (for now, at least), they're eager to experience everything, especially something so unusual, on offer.

“This volcano erupted after everyone had undergone a long period of isolation,” says Connolly, and it’s just not clear how long the eruption will continue. “It could be 10 minutes, two weeks, two years, or an entire lifetime,” he says. “We just don’t know, and nobody

 

Despite Delta Variant Concerns, Bookings for Fall Trips Are on the Rise

This fall, 63 percent of travelers say they want to be more intentional with their time off, according to a new AmEx survey, and are prioritizing domestic and outdoor getaways.

BY JESSICA PUCKETT

August 2, 2021

 

Trip for Fall Amex Travel Data

Getty

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

A friendly reminder to anyone who enjoys travel as the seasons change and the weather cools: If you're still wondering how to use your vacation days this fall and haven't yet booked a trip, now is the time to get a plan in place. 

In addition to scoring an array of fast-disappearing deals, booking fall travel now means locking in plans for what is shaping up to be another busy vacation season. According to a recent survey from AmEx Trendex, 63 percent of consumers want to be more intentional with their paid time off this fall and use it for vacations. 

Given the proven benefits of using all your vacation days, that statistic is encouraging. But it also means that autumn bookings are going fast, especially as pandemic restrictions in the U.S. continue to roll back.

In terms of what types of fall vacations will be most popular, domestic trips seem to still be ranking high. “While it’s too early to tell exactly what the fall travel season will look like, we expect to see a lot of the travel trends that emerged earlier this year continue to remain popular," says Audrey Hendley, president of American Express Travel. "We’re seeing travelers continue to seek out outdoor destinations where they can more easily access space and enjoy privacy." Essentially, travelers can expect destinations and attractions that have been popular since the pandemic's onset—like national parks—to continue to be swarming with visitors through fall. 

ADVERTISEMENT

Late summer can be one of the best times to find travel bargains for autumn, too. A handful of airlines, including JetBlue and Southwest, have been holding periodic flash sales in recent weeks offering discounts on flights for fall. If rail travel is more your speed, Amtrak is offering up to 50 percent off its Saver Fares and flexible cancellation options for customers who book at least two weeks in advance. That's potentially a valuable deal on rides through regions in the Northeast with the most prolific fall foliage in the U.S., for example.

There are also still deals to be had on autumn hotel stays, according to recent data from Expedia. The numbers show that September is a sweet spot for hotel rates in cities like New York and Nashville, with the average daily room cost clocking in at $257 and $264 per night, respectively. In October, affordable hotel stays are plentiful in San Francisco (an average of $216 per night), Salt Lake City ($156 a night), and near Yellowstone National Park ($182 per night), while in November, hotels in destinations like Austin, Texas ($236 per night) and Boise, Idaho ($143 per night) offer some of the best deals, according to Expedia.

Of course, top of mind for many travelers is how the metastasizing outbreak of the Delta variant in the U.S. and abroad might affect future trips. On that front, Hendley advises travelers be willing to revert to plan B. “I experienced this firsthand on a recent family vacation to the Dominican Republic when COVID-19 restrictions changed overnight,” she says. "My advice for anyone looking to travel right now is to do your research ahead of time to know what travel requirements exist at your destination, go into it with an open mind, and be willing to pivot if things don’t go exactly as planned. And lastly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself."

At the end of the day, the best advice is to not get too stressed over how to use your vacation days wisely. “It’s also important to remember planning travel should be fun,” Hendley says. "If the idea of planning a two-week vacation is the reason you are putting it off, then start with a simple weekend getaway—or day trip—at a nearby destination. Travel isn’t only about the hard-to-get-to destinations, it’s also about exploring the local gems and enjoying time with your loved ones or by yourself." 

 

 

NEWS & ADVICE

JetBlue's Newest Plane Makes Flying Economy Much More Comfortable

Finally, a plane that prioritizes economy fliers with fewer middle spots, wider seats, and bigger windows. 

BY JESSICA PUCKETT

January 12, 2021

 

Seats on JetBlue's New Airbus A220300 jet

Business Wire

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

  •  

 

JetBlue Airways has done it again: The New York–based carrier, known for making flying in economy actually enjoyable, has launched a new plane that is loaded with perks for budget fliers. The airline's first Airbus A220-300 jet was delivered to its base at New York JFK at the end of December, and its interiors were unveiled on Tuesday. 

One of the most notable things on board the single-aisle plane? Fewer middle seats. The jet's 140 seats are arranged in a two-by-three configuration, meaning there's less of a chance fliers will be caught in the dreaded middle spot. Seats on the new jet are also wider—at 18.6 inches across, the seats are the widest coach seats of any single aisle aircraft, according to JetBlue, and the most spacious in the airline's fleet. The airline also says it has specially contoured the back of each seat to allow fliers to have more knee space.

 

Seats on JetBlue's New A220300 plane.

The single-aisle A220-300 jet has 140 seats in a two-by-three layout.

 Business Wire

ADVERTISEMENT

But it's not just the seats that have gotten an upgrade on the new jet. The overhead bins and windows are also larger on the plane, as is the lavatory, which is outfitted with a subway tile pattern—a nod to JetBlue's self-proclaimed status as “New York's Hometown Airline.”

Additional touches on the new aircraft include mood lighting that will change throughout the day, fuel-efficient engines that are 50 percent quieter, and three types of power outlets at each seat (including USB-C, USB-A, and AC power ports). And of course, classic JetBlue amenities like free onboard Wi-Fi and free in-flight entertainment with live TV are also available.

 

Overhead bins on JetBlue's new Airbus A220300 jet

The jet's overhead bins were designed to be more spacious.

 Business Wire

“With the A220 we’ve taken a state-of-the-art aircraft and added our award-winning touch to bring to life an experience only JetBlue could dream up,” Jayne O’Brien, JetBlue Airways' head of marketing and loyalty, said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming customers onboard our newest aircraft, with incredible onboard comfort, one-of-a-kind design elements, and unparalleled entertainment and connectivity.”

JetBlue says its new A220-300 will begin flying in the spring and enter scheduled service by mid-June on the carrier's Boston-Fort Lauderdale route. When it launches, it will be one of the only A220s in operation in the U.S. (Delta launched its first A220-300 back in November.) JetBlue has placed an order for 70 more of the -300 model, which is a precursor to the even larger -500 model that Airbus is building for launch in the next few years.