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California's Scenic Highway 1 Soon to Reopen in Full

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/06/2018, 12:45 AM

For the first time in more than a year, all of California's spectacular Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles will soon reopen to drivers.  Parts of the 650-mile route, famous around the world for its coastal views (particularly in Big Sur), have been closed to travelers for months due to damage caused by heavy rains and a huge landslide in 2017. Caltrans, the state's transportation depart...

This Midwest American Town Is Turning 350 Years Old

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/03/2018, 7:15 PM

You might have heard that New Orleans and San Antonio are each celebrating a 300th birthday this year. Both cities made our list of the Best Places to Go in 2018 for that very reason.  But it's likely you missed the news about another riverside municipality's big milestone—even though it bests the other two by half a century.  Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan turns 350 this year.  The Soo, as it's kn...

Two Atlantic City Casinos Reopen Under New Management

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/02/2018, 5:30 PM

Not long ago, Atlantic City seemed in danger of becoming a ghost town. A string of casino closures—five in two years, according to the Associated Press—came as a consequence of events such as the economic downturn of 2008, the legalization of gambling elsewhere in the U.S. (meaning Nevada and Atlantic City are no longer your only legal gaming options), and the financial chicanery that's easier to...

James Bond Museum Opening in Austrian Alps

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/26/2018, 11:45 AM

You'll have to wait until the fall of 2019 for the next James Bond movie, which is being directed by Danny Boyle and stars Daniel Craig in what is reportedly his last outing as 007. Starting on July 12, though, the debonair British spy's fans (Live-and-Let-Diehards?) can visit a new Bond-themed museum set at one of the shooting locations for the previous installment, 2015's Spectre.  The 007 Ele...

New Great Wolf Lodge Water Park Opens in Chicago Burbs

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/22/2018, 11:30 PM

Midwesterners in search of chlorinated fun have a new destination in the Chicago suburbs.  Great Wolf Lodge Illinois, the 17th outpost in a chain of Northwoods-themed indoor water park resorts across North America, has opened in Gurnee, the same town (located about 40 miles north of downtown Chicago) where you'll find Six Flags Great America.  The new Great Wolf occupies space once belonging to ...

New Zealand to Start Taxing Tourists

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/20/2018, 5:30 AM

The price of a vacation in New Zealand is about to go up.  The country's government has announced plans to charge a new tax on tourists, expected to go into effect in the middle of 2019. International visitors staying less than 12 months will be charged somewhere in the range of NZ$25–35 (US$17–24). Citizens of Australia and most Pacific Island Forum countries will be exempt from the fee.  Acco...

Which North American Airport Has the Fastest Free Wi-Fi?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/18/2018, 12:00 AM

Finding an airport with free Wi-Fi in the United States and Canada isn't as hard as it once was. It's still a challenge, though, to find free airport Wi-Fi that doesn't move at a pace recalling cold molasses, elderly turtles, or repairs to the New York City subway system. But the situation is improving in some terminals, according to a new report from Ookla, the company behind the Speedtest site ...

Historic Luxury Resort Reborn in Arizona

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/13/2018, 9:30 PM

For several decades starting in 1896, a remote Arizona resort located about 50 miles north of Phoenix played host to a steady stream of well-to-do vacationers, including Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, Roosevelts, and other Gilded Age muckety-mucks.  They were drawn to Castle Hot Springs for the seclusion, sunny weather, Southwestern pursuits like horseback riding, and the supposed restorative propert...

Polish Vodka Museum Opens in Warsaw

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/12/2018, 8:00 AM

There's some dispute about where vodka was born. Both Poland and Russia lay claim to having produced the first batch of the transparent spirit from distilled grains or potatoes more than five centuries ago. Since the stuff has become so deeply embedded in both countries' cultures and economies—not to mention their citizens' bloodstreams—we're content to call it a tie.  Poland has arguably la...

After 700 Years, Westminster Abbey Opens Secret Attic to Visitors

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/11/2018, 12:00 AM

It took five years and $30.5 million (£22.9 million) to make it happen, but Westminster Abbey in London has just made a spectacular new addition to one of Europe's top tourist attractions. Which is to say it opened something more than 700 years old. The Triforium, a medieval attic balcony that runs around the top of the Abbey's nave from 52 feet high, has been converted into the Queen's Diamond ...

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