“Sun and surf” might be the stuff of summer, but that doesn’t mean a trip exclusively to the beach is in order. Some of our favorite summer destinations are located inland — but we don’t have to miss out on enjoying the cool off-water breeze or stunning scenery associated with beachy spots when we visit them. River locales, such as charming San Antonio or rugged Snoqualmie, possess all that and then some. Flowing past some of America’s best cities, around mountain ranges, and through desserts, these rivers are the optimal alternative summer spots for boating, fishing, hiking, and more while on vacation. So (bathing) suit up, and get ready to dive into our favorite river destinations.
1. May River in Bluffton, South Carolina
The May River is just one corner of gorgeous Carolina Lowcountry.
Carolina Lowcountry is a truly other-worldly corner of the United States. Here, salty marshes and mossy forests are connected by scenic waterways. The May, Cooper, and New Rivers wind through the region’s haunting landscapes, providing visitors with unique ways to soak in the beauty of the region. Boating and kayaking are popular, especially since bottlenose dolphins are common in this area. You can also go fishing, crabbing, or shrimping.
STAY: The Inn at Palmetto Bluff
This “inn” in Carolina Lowcountry is really more akin to a sprawling estate, offering a range of recreational facilities, including golf, bicycling, tennis, croquet, kayaking, and swimming; plus, the luxury spa is highly acclaimed. Read More »
Memorial Day weekend is just around the corner, and with it comes the official kick-off of the summer season. When that Friday hits, thousands of beach-bound celebrators will clog the highways on their way to sun and surf. But while we love a good beach day just as much as the next patriot, this Memorial Day we’re excited to try something inland. Join us in avoiding the crowds, uncovering new corners of America, and – of course – honoring our soldiers, with parades, festivals, and much more at these ten locales not on the beach.
Calling all patriots: Washington, DC wants to celebrate with you.
If you want to go hardcore patriotic, there really isn’t any place better to be this Memorial Day than Washington, D.C. (Especially since NYC had to go and cancel Fleet Week due to the sequestration.) In addition to a variety of military ceremonies taking place around town, visitors can also attend the National Parade or the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally (nothing like the wind in your hair, right?!). The National Memorial Day Concert, hosted at the Capitol Building, is always a special event, and this year’s affair features appearances by General Colin Powell and actor Gary Sinise, in addition to several military bands and the National Symphony Orchestra. Visitors can also opt to simply stroll through Washington’s many amazing monuments – during the day or at night – and sample some of D.C.’s delicious culinary offerings.
STAY: The gorgeous, 317-room W Washington D.C. blends the new – fusion cuisine from Jean-Georges Vongerichten; a great spa and gym; Whatever/Whenever service – with the old – the property’s historic Beaux Arts building dates back to 1917. Plus, you can see the Washington Monument from the hotel’s hip rooftop lounge, POV, making celebrating in style easy.
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Through our many travels we’ve learned that April showers don’t just bring May flowers – they bring delicious May produce! Everything from zucchini to asparagus, spring peas to corn, and watermelon to strawberries begin sprouting up during the spring and summer. And if you’re not quite ready to put on the overalls and bring in the harvest yourself, the next best thing is to visit a local farmers’ market, where fresh produce abounds. We’ve picked out our 10 favorite farmers’ markets across the states, so no matter where your spring and summer vacations take you, you’ll have plenty of tasty treats to bring home. And we’ve even found a great hotel near each spot so you can be sure to beat the crowds.
1. Pike Place Market, Seattle
Vegetable stand at Pike Place Market
Pike Place is one of Seattle’s main attractions. Featuring numerous produce, meat, and fish stands, the market also has plenty of craft kiosks for buying local artwork and gifts. It is open 7 days a week, and though most stands close around 5 p.m., several fine-dining restaurants on the 9-acre historic district are open late.
Where to Stay: Inn at the Market is aptly named. It is one of Seattle’s best-known, and most popular, hotels, in large part due to its unbeatable location: It’s in the heart of downtown Seattle, just half a block from Pike Place Market.
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The Inn at Palmetto Bluff is a romantic spot in Carolina Lowcountry.
Romance is alive and well below the Mason-Dixon line, where Southern charm makes everything seem more bewitching. Couples looking for a romantic getaway will be satisfied no matter their taste, considering that the region boasts both gorgeous antebellum mansions and modern luxury stays. Choosing the most romantic spots, then, is quite a difficult task, but we think we’re up to the challenge. From intimate city boutiques to sprawling Lowcountry estates, here are some of our favorite hotels in the South that are just the trick in the romance department.
The Luxury Beachfront Room at the One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas
1. FACT OR FAKEOUT? During Easter, guests staying at One&Only Ocean Club in Bahamas can request to be tucked into bed by an Easter bunny.
2. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Turnberry Isle Miami has launched a social media campaign to try to help a guest recover her wedding ring — which she lost at the hotel’s beach club — by spreading the word.
3. FACT OR FAKEOUT? A 20-year-old man was arrested at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Charleston – Historic District after flashing his genitals to a couple celebrating their wedding at the hotel.
4. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The Tribeca Film Festival and Conrad New York have launched a contest through which the winners get two Vesey passes for the festival and two Business-class flights from anywhere in the States or the United Kingdom.
5. FACT OR FAKEOUT? The fifteen items known as the Jewels of Titanic — including diamonds, sapphires and gold jewelry — on display at Luxor Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas will be auctioned on May 31st, 2013.
Check out the answers after the jump!
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Spring is the season for bachelor and bachelorette parties, when engaged couples celebrate their final days of freedom before their summertime nuptials. Of course, bachelor/ette parties head everywhere around the globe to embrace their fleeting singledom, but some destinations are always at the top of everyone’s list. Here, we bring you six of the most popular destinations for bachelor and bachelorette parties. But instead of limiting you to the traditional activities, we also offer alternative options for those looking for something a little different. Either way, these spots are sure to make your party memorable.
Soon-to-be married men partying it up at Tryst at the Wynn.
This one comes as no surprise: Tons and tons and tons of bachelor and bachelorette parties head to Sin City to let loose. Chock-a-block with nightclubs, casinos, pool parties, and strip clubs, Vegas is a massive playground and even the nicest hotels offer relatively inexpensive rates. But that’s all because they know you’ll be spending your life savings on gambling, fine dining, and, often, strippers. Though it used to be just a spot where soon-to-be married men got away, now plenty of bachelorette parties choose Vegas as their destination as well; Kim Kardashian partied at Tao at the Venetian before her ill-fated marriage to Kris Humphries.
Alternative Pick: If stripper shows and packed clubs aren’t your thing, Vegas can still be a great spot for a bachelor/ette party, especially for those on the West Coast who can easily get to the area. About a 30-minute drive from the Strip, Henderson features numerous luxe hotels that are nonetheless relatively reasonably priced and feel miles and miles away. The Westin doesn’t even have a casino; instead, visitors visit the gorgeous spa, enjoy water activities at the beach, relax by the large pool, rent bicycles to explore the property, and take outdoor yoga classes.
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What's not to love about the look of the Low Country?
The Carolina Low Country, which extends from Charleston down to the Sea Islands, exudes a a particularly carefree vibe that only that warm stretch of coast can. The area features stunning marshlands and Southern sensibilities, translating into a style characterized by wrap-around porches, antebellum plantations, accents of the West Indies, and carriage houses covered in lush, Spanish moss. Kick back and take a look at the hotels that do Low Country decor and design just right.
The Flat at the Jasmine house Inn, Charleston, SC
If you’re looking for some old-world charm, check out the Jasmine House Inn, located in a tony downtown area of Charleston, South Carolina. The hotel is actually a converted 19th century mansion, and features 12 rooms with as much vintage allure as there are modern innovations. Think 15-foot ceilings and hardwood floors juxtaposed against flat-screen televisions and fast, free Wi-Fi. Most notable is the highly stylized décor (everything matches), including patterned rugs and floral wallpaper. Freebies include continental breakfast and evening hors d’oeuvres – but parking is not included.
Read the full review>>
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From the cryptic mythology throughout the Mississippi Delta, to the spirits of wartime past down the Atlantic coast, the South has no shortage of spooky adventures. Whether you’re looking for a friendly encounter from the other side, or trying to find a true adrenaline rush by meeting with a tortured (undead) soul, these Southern haunts have plenty of history and unexplained mysteries for thrill-seeking travelers.
Be on the look-out for any "half-headed" cadets at this Charleston hotel
The ghostlore: Charleston prides itself on its chilling past, and it’s no wonder that the town where the Civil War started has its share of lingering souls. One of the city’s most haunted sites is the Embassy Suites hotel in the downtown Historic District. Known as the Old Citadel, the building formerly housed the State Arsenal and military college, which is located just a short drive away nowadays. Legend has it that The Lost Cadet, or “Half Head,” roams the hotel’s halls to this day. The spirit is said to be a young solider missing the top half of his head after losing it to a cannonball. But despite his misfortune, he apparently has a joyful demeanor. Read More »
Sure, a week holed up in a beach bungalow or a romantic jaunt to the City of Lights is a nice way to spend one’s honeymoon. But we’d argue it can be a bit cliché, and you’re not just any other couple, right? If you and your significant other identify more with the less-than-traditional set of newlyweds, why not jet off to some exotic, unexpected locale instead? Taking the road less traveled for a honeymoon can be all the more romantic, now that you have someone else to protect you, natch. So before you book that all-inclusive in the Caribbean, give our five alternative honeymoon destinations a look — you never know where they will take you!
1. Go on an African Safari in Botswana
&Beyond Xaranna Okavango Delta Camp
The &Beyond Xaranna Okavanga Delta Camp is an all-inclusive resort in Botswana– but not like one you’ve ever been to before. (Read: you’re not going to be carrying around that same old plastic cup all week.) Set on an island that’s home to a 62,000-acre nature preserve, this unique getaway combines natural beauty and a far-away feel that’ll be sure to create a sexy atmosphere — for an adrenaline-junkie couples happy. Couples can go on game drives, bush walks, and river cruises, or simply enjoy cocktails on the hotel grounds, waiting for lions, hippos, or monkeys to mosey by. The tented suites are a study in glamping (that’s glamorous camping for the uninformed), complete with soaking tubs, indoor and outdoor showers, and four poster beds. A holiday on safari is the perfect way to begin the adventure that is marriage, don’t you think?