The Cartoon Network Is Building Its First Hotel

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/02/2018, 2:30 PM

Listen up, fans of Adventure Time, We Bare Bears, and The Powerpuff Girls: The Cartoon Network is getting its own hotel.  Developed through a partnership between the animated cable channel and amusement park operators Palace Entertainment, the 165-room property is currently under construction on 9 acres in southern Pennsylvania's Lancaster County. The new hotel will stand right next to the Dutch ...

Colorful New St. Louis Hotel Wants to Give You the Blues (or Reds or Yellows)

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/31/2018, 4:45 PM

"Got the St. Louis Blues," goes the old W.C. Handy song, "just as blue as I can be." Those lyrics take on new meaning at the Angad Arts Hotel, which opens this week amid the many galleries and performance venues of the Grand Center Arts District in St. Louis. Guests who book one of the hotel's 146 rooms or 38 suites don't just pick bed sizes but also a color to match one of four moods—red for pa...

You Can Stay in Ralphie’s House from ‘A Christmas Story’

By Michele Herrmann

Posted on 10/30/2018, 1:00 AM

Ultimate fans of the American holiday film classic A Christmas Story might already own a replica of the Major Award leg lamp, nightmarish bunny pajamas, or even a toy Red Ryder BB gun (warning: you may shoot your eye out). Yet, how many of them know that they can spend the night inside Ralphie Parker’s actual house? Located in the Tremont neighborhood of Cleveland, Ohio, the real-life house use...

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National Veterans Memorial and Museum Opens in Columbus, Ohio

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/29/2018, 3:00 PM

More than 40 million people have served in the U.S. armed forces. They've been honored with monuments, memorials, and museums in Washington, D.C., across the country, and even around the world (as at the D-Day Beaches in Normandy, France). But those sites focus on individual conflicts or branches of the military. The new National Veterans Memorial and Museum (NVMM), which opened in downtown Colum...

Paris' Henri Cartier-Bresson Photography Venue Moves to Meet Tourists

By Lily Heise

Posted on 10/26/2018, 12:00 AM

The gallery and archive dedicated to one of France’s most iconic photographers reopens this week in a new space in the artsy Marais district, where more tourists will be able to see it.   Henri Cartier-Bresson was instrumental in the development of modern photojournalism, particularly through his candid street photography. He was also, along with Robert Capa and several other contemporaries,...

Oldest Building on D.C.'s National Mall Reopens After Restoration

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/25/2018, 4:45 PM

You've probably never heard of the Lockkeeper's House in Washington, D.C. There's a good reason for that. It's been closed for decades. But this unassuming stone building at the corner of Constitution Ave. and 17th St. NW is actually the oldest structure on the National Mall. Built in 1835, the building is now open to the public after a restoration that took nearly two years.  Using funds from ...

The Pittsburgh Steelers Are Getting a Roller Coaster

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/23/2018, 6:00 PM

One of America's oldest amusement parks is teaming up with one of the NFL's most storied franchises.  Kennywood, which originated as a "trolley park" around the turn of the 20th century and still operates classic rides from the 1920s, is constructing a new themed area dedicated entirely to the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose Heinz Field is about 12 miles west of Kennywood (just go up the snaking Monon...

NYC's New Museum of Optical Illusions Wants to Blow Your Mind

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/19/2018, 9:00 PM

Remember that day in fourth grade when your teacher distributed photocopied handouts of M.C. Escher prints, figures that appeared to be differing sizes but were actually the same, and drawings of ducks that, on closer inspection, were also rabbits?  The new Museum of Illusions in New York City is two floors of that, with the added benefit—crucial in the age of Instagram—that guests can put them...

The Game Is Afoot at London's New Sherlock Escape Room

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/11/2018, 4:45 PM

Would you want to be stuck with Sherlock Holmes in an escape room—one of those games where players are locked in a confined space and have a limited amount of time to find clues, solve puzzles, and crack codes in order to get out? On the one hand, the super-sleuth of Baker Street would have every mystery on the premises cleared up faster than you could say "Hound of the Baskervilles." On the oth...

Police Destroy Semi-Submerged Sculpture Park in the Maldives

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/26/2018, 5:30 PM

Police officers wielding saws, pickaxes, and ropes have destroyed the world's first semi-submerged sculpture park.  Located in the Maldives, Coralarium—which Frommer's covered this summer when the work opened to the public—was an over-/underwater project designed by British-born artist Jason deCaires Taylor to be explored by swimmers and snorkelers. It stood amid calm waters belonging to the luxe...

Acclaimed Houston Art Museum Open After Renovations

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/24/2018, 8:00 AM

After more than six months of renovations, the Renzo Piano-designed main building of Houston's Menil Collection—home to an eclectic horde of 17,000 artworks, from antiquities to contemporary creations—reopened to the public on Saturday, September 22.  The interior has been extensively reconfigured to make the place less cluttered and to make room for new and expanded galleries, allowing for the p...

Boost Your Overseas Vacation with a Free Stopover in Switzerland or Belgium

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/21/2018, 8:00 AM

If you've ever longed to take a vacation from your vacation, maybe you should opt for an airline stopover. That's when a plane makes a days-long pit stop on the way to its final destination, giving passengers a chance to squeeze in an extra mini vacation in the connecting city.  Best of all, some airlines don't charge customers additional fees for the interlude—instead, they treat the journey as ...

New Foodie Arcade Opens on Paris’s Left Bank

By Lily Heise

Posted on 09/20/2018, 12:00 AM

Visitors to Paris have a new one-stop destination for gourmet delicacies from the city’s top chefs and food purveyors. Beaupassage, a refurbished historic passageway in the heart of the stylish Saint-Germain district, has opened on the Left Bank. Unveiled on August 25th, the vast 10,000-sq.-m (32,800 sq-ft.) space flows through three connecting pedestrian lanes built in 1703. By the mid-1850s...

Would You Fly on Wires High Above Vegas? You Can!

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/19/2018, 2:00 PM

Starting in November, you'll be able to ride a zipline high over the Las Vegas Strip—a first for Sin City, where daredevils have previously had to limit themselves to off-Strip zips such as the ones at the downtown Fremont Street Experience and the Rio resort.  But the new Fly LINQ attraction launches from the LINQ Hotel & Casino, which has an honest-to-goodness South Las Vegas Boulevard addr...

New Long-Distance Cycling Trail Links the Western Balkans

By Molly Harris

Posted on 09/18/2018, 8:15 PM

The first regional cycling trail to cross borders in the Western Balkans, the new TransDinarica route (www.transdinarica.com), has opened its first segment. Travelers can now cycle over gravel and mountains from Slovenia through Croatia and on to Bosnia and Herzegovina on challenging, remote track through areas of the Balkans that haven’t seen many tourists. The project, which aims to economica...

Arthur Frommer: Prosecution of Fake TripAdvisor Reviewer Raises Questions

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 09/18/2018, 1:00 PM

The defendant, in a recent criminal prosecution brought in Italy, was a man who operated a company manufacturing fake hotel reviews. Presumably hiring excellent writers, he apparently sent hundreds of fake recommendations to TripAdvisor.com, claiming that particular hotels (at which the writers had never stayed) were outstanding in their service and facilities. For this work, the defendant was app...

A New Women's Travel Magazine Hits the Newsstands (and the Internet)

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 09/14/2018, 9:15 AM

A new travel magazine debuted this month, called Unearth Women. I spoke with Nikki Vargas, its Editor-In-Chief and co-founder, about what the first issue holds, and what this new publication promises to female travelers down the line.   Pauline Frommer: Why do women need their own magazine? Why can’t they just read Afar, or Condé Nast Traveler, or one of the other travel magazines out there?...

Is This the King of Airfare Search Sites? The Aggregator of Aggregators

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/13/2018, 1:30 PM

For years, we've been telling you that the best places to find cheap airfare are often the "aggregators," which are search engines that scan prices from dozens of different airfare-selling websites to pick out the lowest prices and tell you which site to visit to find them.  But even though these aggregators do their best to level the shopping playing field, or at least to make the shopping game l...

Switzerland Just Won the Gondola War (If That Exists) With This Crazy Tramway

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/12/2018, 3:00 PM

Temperatures that plummet 20 degrees below zero. A hostile, windy crag 2.5 miles (4,000 m) high, totally devoid of trees. Air so thin that people can only wheeze, creeping around at 60% of their normal abilities.  It's not hell. It's Switzerland! Those are the conditions that workers endured to give the Alps a new wonder: luxury gondolas on the Matterhorn Glacier Ride, the world's highest cablewa...

A Brand New V&A Design Museum Opens This Week

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/11/2018, 6:00 PM

The world-famous V&A museum, founded as an offshoot of the Great Exhibition of 1851, is one of London's most popular attractions, bringing in about 4.4 million visits a year. This weekend, the Victoria and Albert, the more formal name for the powerhouse of decorative arts, will have a presence in Scotland, too. V&A Dundee, billed as Scotland's first design museum, opens on the revitalized...

Your African Dream Trip Is Now Cheaper Than Ever

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/10/2018, 8:15 PM

In the past six months, the value of the South African rand has tumbled some 40% against the U.S. dollar. In March, one greenback would get you a bit more than 11 rand. Today, you get over 15. South Africa has been a terrific bargain for years. As long as you can swing the airfare there, which regularly costs around $1,000, you'll find it incredible how cheap things are on the ground.  With ...

Eat on Florence's Streets and You Could Be Fined $580

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/06/2018, 4:00 PM

Lots of people choose to visit Italy because they respect the cuisine, but now, eating it with dignity is the law. On September 4, Florence instituted a new penalty for tourists who are caught loitering as they eat. On the narrow lanes of central Florence, local shopkeepers are fed up with visitors who linger in doorways and on stairwells to have a snack.  The biggest complaint, it seems,...

WW2 Tower Converted to Vacation Rental in Channel Islands

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/05/2018, 5:15 PM

During World War II, the Nazis occupied the Channel Islands, a string of isolated spots floating between England and France. Using forced labor, the Germans built concrete fortifications aimed at their British enemies, and many of these structures still stand to this day. Now, a local preservation group has converted one of them to a vacation rental. Standing on the southwestern tip of Jersey Is...

Arthur Frommer: The Biggest News is the Dominance of Tourism by the Chinese

By Arthur Frommer

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

Suddenly, the press that deals with travel is full of articles about the sudden rise of Chinese tourism.   All over the world, Chinese citizens have become the largest source of tourism, edging out the American, German, British and French. This doesn’t happen by accident.  In recent years, the Chinese government has encouraged the movement towards international travel as a means of accomp...

New, Heart-Stopping Bungee Catapult Launches in New Zealand

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/29/2018, 4:15 PM

New Zealanders are like Elphaba in Wicked—they're obsessed with defying gravity.  The world's first permanent commercial bungee operation was established by AJ Hackett Bungy (that's how Kiwis spell it) in 1988 over a gorge near Queenstown on the country's South Island. In the three decades since, many more places for playing human yo-yo have been set up over New Zealand's lakes, dramatic mountain...