Summertime will soon be upon us — this week has already seen highs of 82 degrees in NYC! — and we can’t wait for long days spent strolling along the boardwalk. From Atlantic City to Santa Cruz, beach bums will strut their stuff down those sandy pathways, either taking in the views or letting loose on beachside coasters (or both!). Foodies will delight in summer treats such as saltwater taffy and Nathan’s hot dogs, and visitors can also play games, have their fortunes told, hit up unique shopping grounds, or just people-watch as the summer heat brings out some truly interesting characters. So bust out your flip-flops, spread on the SPF, and head to one of these boardwalks near you for some spring and summer fun in the sun.
1. Atlantic City Boardwalk, New Jersey
The Atlantic City Boardwalk is the oldest in the United States and the longest in the world.
First opened in 1870 and now spanning 5.5 miles, the Atlantic City Boardwalk is both the oldest in America and the longest in the world, garnering plenty of attention from East Coast visitors. Travelers fantasize about the Art Deco glamour and glitzy shows of Nucky Thompson‘s heyday while munching on saltwater taffy from the James Candy Company (in business since the early 1900s) or indulging in an order of deep-fried oreos. Others may try their luck in one of the many casinos that dot the boardwalk. Though Atlantic City was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, loyalists are helping this shore spot bounce back with a vengeance.
Where to Stay: Mainstays such as Caesars bring back loyal guests, while boardwalk newbie Revel has been a hot topic in the tabloids (Beyonce performed her first post-baby show here, and Kanye announced that baby momma Kim Kardashian was expecting during his performance at the resort).
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“This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius…” Yesterday, our favorite astrological free spirits started celebrating their 2013 birthdays, and we couldn’t be happier for them. Possessing a deep social conscience, Aquarians are humanitarian, philanthropic, and dedicated to making the world a better place. And they do so with flair. Known for their wildly inventive and creative ideas, Aquarians can also be temperamental and flighty if you don’t encourage their quirk. Luckily, Oyster has stayed at some of the best off-beat, hippie-chic retreats for fostering the unpredictable and artistic notions of the Water Bearers in your life. So get your sketchpads ready, it’s time to take these rebellious visionaries on a one-of-a-kind vacation.
Korakia Pensione brings a bit of the Mediterranean to Palm Springs.
Korakia Pensione is a striking hotel in Palm Springs. Modeled after a Mediterranean pensione, it looks like something out of Greece or Morocco, and Aquarians are sure to relish in its exotic, eclectic vibe. Aquarians are also notorious flirts (what with all of that passionate, creative energy roiling around inside them), so they’ll definitely appreciate that Korakia was named one of Forbes’ sexiest hotels in America. The two Korakia Pensione pools and many outdoor spaces – including fire pits, fountains, and stone paths — are all beautiful and unexpected. And the hotel plays old movies every night outside on the terrace. The rooms are named, not numbered, and each is slightly different, but all have an old-world, whimsical feel.
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Ever dreamed of sleeping in a castle? Check out all 15 of Oyster's bucket list stays.
If you’re like most of us, you probably have a dream trip tucked in the back of your mind — the improbable fantasy hotel stay that will happen one day down the road when you have the time/money/etc. Maybe. But now that we’ve all survived the Mayan apocalypse and are busy working on New Year’s resolutions, Oyster has a resolution challenge for you that you probably won’t mind keeping. In 2013, don’t put off that trip you’re planning to do before you die any longer. Because if the Mayans taught us anything, it’s that we could be dead tomorrow, right? To help you take the plunge, we’ve compiled 15 incredible and utterly unique hotel stays that should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Lobby at Liberty Hotel; Boston, MA
1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Liberty Hotel in Boston was busted last month for offering guests a welcome glass of champagne, which violates a Massachusetts law that bans free liquor.
2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The new “Stay Well Rooms” at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas include amenities such as shower water infused with vitamin C to promote healthy hair and skin.
3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Hotel St. George in Brooklyn was New York’s smallest hotel in the 1940’s, with just two rooms and a tiny bar.
4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Throughout September and October, guests staying at participating Kimpton Hotels can learn kitchen knife skills with lessons from the property’s chef.
5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? Mindy Kaling and John Mayer were spotted making out at the Trump SoHo New York’s new restaurant, Koi.
Check out the answers after the jump!
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The U.S. is known for being ahead of the curve in a lot of things (we’re still feeling a bit patriotic after all of Wednesday’s activities), and that includes making music. Paving the way for the rest of the world – from bluegrass to hip-hop, country to surf rock – cities around the country are famous for putting new music on the map. If you’re music junkies like we are, visit our five favorite U.S. spots to hear live music in a variety of venues — and of course, we’ve included our picks for hotels to stay in once the music’s over.
The City: Los Angeles
L.A. has long been a hub for musicians and mainstay venues on the musical scene are still hot destinations for touring bands, especially those looking to be discovered. In recent years, an influx of young creatives has brought on a whole new age of music that’s less starry-eyed and more visceral.
Hollywood Bowl; Credit: Flickr by Margaret Napier
Where To Hear It:
Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, The Hollywood Bowl is an iconic music venue known for its large outdoor amphitheater and BYOB wine and food policy, which creates a one-of-a-kind atmosphere for viewing big ticket acts such as Animal Collective and The National. On the other side of the spectrum, Hotel Cafe is a dimly lit, intimate space showcasing up-and-coming talent, leaning towards promoting female singer-songwriters like Meiko.
The Pool at The Orlando
Where to Sleep: The Orlando – West Hollywood
Nobody walks in L.A. – except on the rare stretch of street where this cheap but chic hotel is located. Besides prime location, The Orlando offers free Wi-Fi (helpful in planning your nightly outings), two saunas and a pool for post-music show recharging. Plus, it’s pet-friendly for those divas who won’t leave home without their dog. A short drive from Sunset Boulevard, where many of L.A.’s famous venues reside, and well placed for offshoots to hip neighborhoods such as Silver Lake and Echo Park, this hotel is a music lover’s dream.
Attention hipsters-at-heart: You too are running out of time to plan your vacation. Okay, so the summer just officially started, but hotels are booking up fast, festival ticket booths are hanging the “Sold Out” banners, and flights are getting more expensive. So if all you’re looking forward to is to
having an excuse for growing a mustache, getting a tattoo, spending a few days eating organic, locally grown food, drinking coffee and biking around, check out our 5 top picks for a real hipster vacation and start packing. Tip: skinny jeans for him, cut-outs jeans for her, sunglasses, and an instrument required.
Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY
Hipsters started flocking to Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood in the early 2000’s, and in just a few years the area has become the ultimate boho-chic spot. As housing prices soared in the area due to its popularity, hipsters started moving to more affordable yet equally cool neighborhoods in Brooklyn, such as Greenpoint and Bushwick, and spreading the lifestyle. There’s now a bunch of farmer’s markets, hundreds of cool bars, and dozens of organic restaurants all around the borough. However, Williamsburg is still the place to catch a show at one of its hundreds of venues (ranging from small holes in the wall –check out Pete’s Candy Store–, to larger spaces like Brooklyn Bowl), get a drink, or even get a haircut (an expensive one, that is) in an old garage that doubles as a trendy tattoo parlor. Round up the experience with a trip to beautiful Carroll Gardens, family-friendly Park Slope, and even up-and-coming Downtown Brooklyn neighborhoods.
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You can watch free movies on Monday evenings in Bryant Park.
Everyone knows entertainment in NYC does not come cheap. If you’re traveling as a couple, you have to budget money for nice dinners, drinks, clubs, and shows, and costs add up just as quickly for families, who have to pay for mom, dad, and the kids. But, thanks to the city’s fantastic FREE summer movie screenings in several locations, you can have an entertaining night under the stars that won’t break the bank. Grab a sandwich to go, a blanket, an ice cream cone, and spread out, kick back and relax in these New York City parks or under these New York City skylines.
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Inside the Atlantic Avenue Tunnel
A stroll down Times Square, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and a visit to the Empire State Building are the typical locations people check out when visiting New York City. While there is nothing wrong with playing the role of a tourist in the Big Apple, you might want to take a break from the norm and check out these three unique views of the city that never sleeps. Read More »
Fried oysters at the Stone Park Cafe in Brooklyn, NY
Believe it or not, there is more to New York City than just the island of Manhattan. When you are in town be sure to hail a taxi or hop a train ride and check out one of the “outer boroughs.” One in particular that any visitor to the Big Apple should check out is Brooklyn.
If you make your way to the family- and foodie-friendly neighborhood of Park Slope, you will most definitely want to take a stroll down Fifth Avenue a.k.a. “Restaurant Row.” Among the baby carriages you will find many different types of eateries – fancy restaurants, quirky cafes, and everything in between. Read More »
Cheeseburger & fries at Buttermilk Channel restaurant in Brooklyn, NY
Manhattan may still be the best bet for fancy five-star meals, but now a foodie trip to NYC can’t be complete without a trip across the river for what’s being called “new Brooklyn cuisine”—farm-to-table fare featuring adventurous ingredient combinations, and served in a laid-back, barnyard-chic setting. These three newbies do it best.
Buttermilk Channel (524 Court Street): Every bite is a surprise at this somewhat-out-of-the-way Carroll Gardens restaurant. Complimentary popovers are dotted with sea salt and honey; house-made pickles bring a tangy, spicy kick; and roasted almonds are doused in maple and bacon. Read More »