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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 ...

A Makeover and New Museum at Gateway Arch in St. Louis

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/08/2018, 9:00 PM

A multiyear, multimillion-dollar project to gussy up the grounds of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis culminates this summer in the July 3 opening of an expanded museum that tells the tale of America's westward expansion.  Located underground, the newly rechristened Museum at the Gateway Arch replaces the similar but more limited previous facility, which had become outdated both in its simplistic, Gu...

This Summer's Stupid Food Fad Has Arrived

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/04/2018, 12:00 AM

Following in the tradition not only of gimmicky dishes made with absurdly expensive ingredients (which is how we ended up with monstrosities like the $1,000 omelet and the $25,000 taco) but also in the tradition of gimmicky dishes made for Instagram rather than taste buds (looking at you, rainbow bagels), a restaurant chain in New York City is now serving 24-karat gold chicken wings.   ...

U.S. National Park Fees Leap Higher Overnight

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 06/01/2018, 1:00 PM

When Americans woke up this morning (June 1), they discovered it would cost them a lot more to enter their national parks. Nearly all the major parks hiked their entry rates by a hefty $5. Bryce Canyon, Canyonlands (pictured), Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Mount Rainier, Olympic, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion—all of them, and many more, saw their prices jump $5, regardless of whether it's for a vehicl...

Singapore Airlines Bringing Back the World's Longest Flight

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/30/2018, 9:45 PM

Singapore Airlines has announced plans to resume nonstop service between the Asian city-state's Changi Airport (pictured above) and Newark Liberty International Airport just outside New York City—a flight that will cover more than 10,000 miles and last just under 19 hours, making it the world's longest. The carrier previously offered this route up until 2013, when it was decided that planes would...

How Bad Will Hurricane Season Be This Year?

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/30/2018, 12:00 AM

Hurricane season officially starts Friday, June 1, but the first named storm of the year has already arrived.  Subtropical depression Alberto made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on Memorial Day and continues to bring the threat of heavy rains, wind gusts, and flash flooding as it moves through the Southeast. The Weather Channel predicts the storm could last through late Wednesday, as what rema...

Bad News for the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/28/2018, 8:45 AM

Pearl Harbor's world-famous memorial (pictured above) that straddles the submerged wreck of the USS Arizona has been closed indefinitely. The trouble began May 6, when cracks were discovered in its structure at a point where it meets the loading ramp from its boat dock. Repairs were carried out, but hours after the platform reopened on May 23, the fissures were seen again, which indicated a more s...

Seattle's Space Needle Gets a Glassy Makeover

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/26/2018, 12:00 AM

A $100 million update to Seattle's skyline-defining Space Needle is just about finished.  But don't worry, purists: The 605-foot retro-futuristic tower still looks like something dreamed up by the animators for The Jetsons—or, as the Frommer's guide puts it, "like a flying saucer on a tripod."  Some sprucing up here and there aside, the most dramatic changes can be found on the observation deck,...

New Ferry Links Spain with Ireland, Thanks to Brexit

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 05/22/2018, 5:00 PM

Something brand-new happened this month: A new ferry service between Ireland and Spain was inaugurated. Why? Because as the United Kingdom proceeds with Brexit, its half-baked plan to secede from the European Union, the border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland, which remains in the EU, will become much harder to cross. The new ferry service allows Irish and Spanish people to pass easily b...

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