Free Admission at Wisconsin State Parks on the First Weekend of June

By Zac Thompson

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

Wisconsin is giving locals and visitors alike a good reason to experience the state's considerable outdoor charms on June 2-3.  That weekend, admission will be free at all Wisconsin state parks, encompassing forests, hiking trails, lakes, bluffs, and beaches. You can hit the trails to see picturesque cascades at Copper Falls (pictured above) in the northern part of the state, survey the mighty M...

New Booking Site for Clothing-Optional Stays

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/09/2018, 12:00 AM

We're strong believers in packing light—all that luggage will only slow you down—but the champions in that department have got to be those who are fond of vacationing in the nude. After all, once they reach their destinations, they don't need much more than towels and sunscreen (take that, airline baggage fees!). Those carefree and, we assume, frequently chilly travelers now have a new online res...

Longest-Ever Around-the-World Cruise to Set Sail in Summer 2019

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/08/2018, 9:15 PM

If you've seen a map of the world, you've seen the itinerary for the latest offering from Viking Ocean Cruises: a truly epic, ridiculously expensive, globe-girdling voyage that will leave Greenwich, London on August 31, 2019, and return to the city from the other direction eight months later. That's 245 days in total, making this the longest continuous cruise ever undertaken.  By the time the t...

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Avocado Museum Coming to San Diego

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/04/2018, 9:00 PM

Even fruits and vegetables are subject to trends—need we remind you of the Great Kale Craze of 2013?  One of the hottest green things in recent years has been the avocado, which has at least one significant advantage over kale: It doesn't taste bad.  Now, California avocados are getting their own trendy pop-up museum in San Diego. Named The Cado, it will open June 16 at Liberty Station, a waterf...

United’s Updated Pet Policy: Ban Certain Breeds

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 05/02/2018, 9:30 PM

United Airlines has updated its pet-carrying policy following a comprehensive internal review in the wake of a disastrous couple of weeks in March.  First a French bulldog died on a plane after a flight attendant instructed the owners to put its pet carrier—with the dog still inside—in the overhead compartment. Then the airline sent two separate dogs toward the wrong destinations; one wound up in...

Famous Hawaiian Mule Ride Closed Indefinitely

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/30/2018, 9:45 PM

One of the most popular tourism experiences in Hawaii has shut down, possibly for good.  Travel Weekly reports that the operators of the long-running mule rides down the cliffs of Molokai have been evicted from the location where they stable their animals and organize riders for the daylong descent to Kalaupapa National Historical Park some 2,000 feet below.  That idyllic seaside spot was once a...

Floating Bike Path Being Built Around Italy's Lake Garda

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/27/2018, 8:00 PM

A new cycling route that seems destined to be considered one of the world's most beautiful is under construction in northern Italy.  Encircling the famously crystal-clear Lake Garda, which stretches from the foothills of the Dolomites in the north to vineyards and villas at the southern end, the 87-mile-long, 8.5-foot-wide path will give bicyclists the sensation of floating while pedaling 197 fee...

New Alabama Memorial Honors America's Lynching Victims

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/25/2018, 12:00 AM

A memorial to the nation's victims of racist terror lynchings opens in Montgomery, Alabama this week.  Located on a 6-acre site overlooking the state capital, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice uses sculpture, text, and hundreds of weathered steel columns to honor the multitude of African Americans murdered throughout the United States by angry mobs and other extra-judicial enforcers of ...

Dachshund Museum Opens in Germany

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/24/2018, 7:30 PM

A museum containing more than 4,500 pieces of dachshund memorabilia—toys, artwork, ceramic figurines, photos, and more—has opened in the city of Passau in Germany's Bavarian region.  Owners Josef Küblbeck and Oliver Storz, who began amassing their horde of wiener dog kitsch 25 years ago, told the BBC that their brand-new Dackelmuseum has the largest collection of dachshund-themed objects on earth...

What Fresh Hell Is This? Standing Airplane Seats

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/20/2018, 12:00 AM

Just when you thought the aviation industry couldn't possibly find a way to cram more people onto an airplane—short of stashing passengers in the cargo hold or overhead compartment (like there's any room up there anyway)—some evil genius has devised the abomination pictured above.  What you're looking at is the Skyrider 2.0, which was introduced by Italian company Aviointeriors at the Aircraft In...

Renowned Ocean Liner Reborn as Floating Hotel in Dubai

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/19/2018, 12:00 AM

The retired Queen Elizabeth 2 ocean liner, which the Cunard Line operated from 1969 to 2008, has been transformed into a floating hotel in Dubai. Docked at the city's Port Rashid for a decade (the 2008 recession slowed down the remodeling project), the 13-deck ship has more than 200 contemporary rooms and suites, ranging from tiny cabins to opulent aeries with private verandas. The design, accor...

Coming in May: UFO Fests in Oregon and New York State

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/17/2018, 12:00 AM

The search for signs of intelligent life in the universe hasn't turned up much so far. Even here on earth intelligent life can seem awfully hard to come by.  But judging from the many UFO festivals held across the country each year, there are evidently still plenty of those who believe the truth is out there.  Among this spring's crop of events dedicated to alien abductions, government cover-ups...

Biased Metrics? Concerns Over Privacy and Race in Airport Face Scans

By Zac Thompson

The Department of Homeland Security plans to scan the face of each passenger leaving the United States, citizens included. Should we be worried—and is the technology fair?

Arthur Frommer: What Would Happen if Mexico Published Warnings About the U.S.?

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 04/08/2018, 9:30 AM

The Secretary of Travel for Mexico, one Enrique de la Madrid, was recently interviewed by the editor of Travel Weekly and expressed considerable upset at the various “advisories” (warnings) published by our U.S. State Department about travel to different parts of Mexico.   Every time, he said, that there is an outbreak of violence in or near a city of Mexico, our U.S. State Department quickl...

D.C.’s African American Museum Tests a Change to Its Admissions Policy

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/04/2018, 4:00 AM

The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. is trying out a new admissions practice this month. Each Wednesday in April, visitors can simply walk up to to the building on Constitution Avenue, get in line, and gain entry to the museum on a first-come, first-served basis, starting at 10am, when it opens.  That might sound like standard museum-going procedure, bu...

Hard Rock Hotel in Vegas Getting a Virgin Hotels Makeover

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/02/2018, 3:00 PM

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is entering Virgin territory.  The hotel—located just off the Strip on Paradise Road—has been acquired by the growing Virgin Hotels chain, which is giving the property a top-to-bottom overhaul.  Virgin founder Richard Branson revealed the changeover at a press conference announcing that his company and other investors had made the purchase.  The ren...

TSA to Make You Remove Snacks from Your Carry-On—Except When It Won't

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/29/2018, 3:00 PM

The next time you go through airport security, you could be asked to remove all food from your carry-on luggage, along with all the other stuff that gets removed—your shoes, your laptop, and, should you be selected for an invasive pat-down, your dignity.  Then again, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) might let you keep that Snickers bar or bag of Cheetos in your bag as it slides al...

National Comedy Museum Opening This Summer in New York State

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/28/2018, 12:15 AM

Baseball players have Cooperstown. Rock stars have their own hall of fame in Cleveland. Even androids, when they're not dreaming of electric sheep, can visualize themselves getting inducted into the Robot Hall of Fame in Pittsburgh. But what about the age-old, joy-bringing art of comedy? Why isn't there a national museum celebrating history's most important producers of yuks?  Come August, you w...

Arthur Frommer: An Enemy of Our U.S. National Parks is Now in Charge of Them

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 03/26/2018, 1:15 PM

Of all the members of the Trump cabinet, the one with the most direct control of travel developments is the Secretary of the Interior, one Ryan Zinke. His agency is in direct charge of our U.S. national parks and can affect their development.     Rather, however, than cherish and protect those parks, Zinke is obviously hell-bent on starving and diminishing them.   He is a rather unusua...

Singapore Airport Named World's Best for Sixth Consecutive Year

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/23/2018, 2:45 PM

In its well-regarded annual ranking of the world's best airports, Skytrax has named Singapore Changi Airport number one for the sixth time in a row.  Relying on millions of customer surveys filled out by travelers around the globe, the terminal trackers found the Asian city-state's airport exceptional in its cleanliness, service, shopping, dining, security and customs processing, transit options,...

Arthur Frommer: A Major Softening of Transatlantic Airfares Seems Underway

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 03/23/2018, 1:45 PM

When my 15-year-old granddaughter was asked where she wanted to spend her springtime school break, she quickly answered “Paris.”   And my daughter and her husband, not wanting to discourage the young one’s travel urge, set about to study the cost of transatlantic airfare. To their surprise, they quickly found a round-trip fare of only $400 between Newark and Paris.  Now it is true that this ...

Hotel on Skis Debuts in Finland for Northern Lights Viewing

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/21/2018, 9:15 PM

A novel way of experiencing the Northern Lights has come to Finland.  The new Aurora Wilderness Camp, located near the village of Kilpisjärvi, is comprised of three mobile cabins that have been mounted on skis so that they can be dragged into the remote reaches of the country's Lapland region. And because each unit has a glass roof, guests have a good chance of spotting the Northern Lights from t...

Play the Casanova at New Museum in Venice

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/19/2018, 11:30 PM

Giacomo Casanova belongs to the rare class of historical figures whose names became common nouns. Traitorous World War II-era Norwegian leader Vidkun Quisling and France's lecherous Marquis de Sade (lop off the "e" and add an -ism or an -istic) are in the same crew. It's a curious kind of superstardom where the legend outstrips the life to such an extent that the world often forgets there was ev...

Makeup Mogul Bobbi Brown Opening Her Own Hotel in New Jersey

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/16/2018, 12:30 PM

Makeup designer and skincare expert Bobbi Brown is going from fashionable boutiques to her own fashionable boutique hotel.  Known for creating a popular line of understated cosmetics (she later sold the company to Estée Lauder), Brown has teamed up with her husband, developer Steven Plofker, to open The George, a 32-room inn "with modern style and historic bones." In other words, it sort of looks...

New Club Med Openings: Sicily, the Great Wall, and More

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/13/2018, 2:30 PM

Club Med has embarked on an ambitious expansion project. The pioneer in all-inclusive resorts plans to add 15 new properties to its worldwide roster by the end of 2020, opening five resorts per year between now and then. Though you might associate Club Med with sunny spots in the Caribbean, major focuses of the company's latest efforts are Asia and the mountains of Europe. Openings scheduled fo...