Huge Projections and New Architecture Center Added to Chicago Riverwalk

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/15/2018, 7:00 AM

The Chicago River has had about as strange a career as any waterway in North America, starting with its namesake city's decision in the late 19th century (enacted in the early years of the 20th) to reverse the river's course in order to keep sewage out of Lake Michigan.  Of course, that just sent the sewage—including the foul runoff from the same meatpacking factories that gave Upton Sinclair the...

Can We Talk About Those Ridiculous Game Show Vacation Prices?

By Jason Cochran

When it comes to the cost of a vacation, the price is not right on TV game shows. 

Chill with Superheroes at Air-Conditioned Theme Park in Abu Dhabi

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/14/2018, 6:00 AM

And you thought Orlando was sweltering.  Temperatures in Abu Dhabi regularly top 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37.8 Celsius) during much of the year, making an outdoor theme park in the United Arab Emirates capital a sticky proposition, especially in summer.  But you don't have to worry about succumbing to heat exhaustion at the new Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi—it's entirely indoors. The air-condition...

advertisement

National Comedy Museum Opens in New York State

By Julia Levine

Posted on 08/13/2018, 12:00 PM

Think of the word museum and you’ll probably think of old paintings. You might expect the sound of footsteps crossing a quiet gallery or guards standing watch over masterpieces.    The National Comedy Center, which just opened in Jamestown, New York, shatters that lofty picture in favor of something more fun. If this museum is doing its job, attendees will be laughing their way through more ...

A Temporary Museum of the 1980s Opens in Seattle

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/09/2018, 9:45 PM

There's nothing like seeing cultural artifacts from your childhood in a historical exhibit to make you feel like an ancient relic. Those of us with memories of the 1980s can have that disconcerting experience at Seattle's Living Computers: Museum + Labs, where a temporary exhibit called "Total 80s Rewind" transports visitors to the world of a teenager in the Reagan years.  Gather 'round, kiddies...

The Arctic's Most Remote Cruise Destination Gets Less Remote

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/08/2018, 12:45 AM

Polar expedition cruises—the industry term for active voyages in remote, icy waters—are a big trend at sea right now. They appeal to contemporary travelers' taste for unique adventures, while climate change has made routes in the Arctic and Antarctica passable for longer stretches of the year (a development it's impossible not to feel ambivalent about to say the least). Even the famously faraway N...

The 'Mamma Mia!' Sequel is a Lie: That's Not Greece!

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 08/02/2018, 8:30 PM

You may remember—or perhaps you studied it in your Great Achievements of World Cinema class—that the first Mamma Mia! movie was set in Greece. Based on the hit Broadway musical, the film was famously, dazzlingly Greek, so Greek it made Zorba look shy. Meryl Streep's American character has decamped there to run a preposterously picturesque cliffside inn, where old flames hover and neighborhood teens...

Partially Underwater Artwork Welcomes Snorkelers in the Maldives

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/02/2018, 3:30 AM

The world's first semi-submerged sculpture park is now open for snorkel-equipped art lovers off the coast of the Maldives in the southern Indian Ocean. Dubbed Coralarium, the over-/underwater project was dreamed up by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor, who, according to Smithsonian magazine, has worked on similar installations off coasts in Grenada, Mexico, and the Canary Islands.  Those were ...

Which U.S. Airports Are The Most Expensive to Fly From? Check this New List

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 08/01/2018, 4:00 PM

Where you live impacts how much you pay for air travel. That’s the finding of a new study by The Boyd Group, an international aviation consulting firm. It looked at pricing from all of the major North American gateways and came up with a list of airports that are cheaper to fly from—and ones that cost more. The study was different than those performed by the U.S. government in the past, which ha...

Former High-Security Prison in Tennessee Opens to Visitors

By Julia Levine

Posted on 07/30/2018, 6:00 PM

Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary was not a spot often visited for just one day. This former maximum-security prison held dangerous criminals with sentences exceeding 200 years. The penitentiary in Petros, Tennessee, about 40 miles west of Knoxville, has been closed since 2009, but last Saturday it opened to the public as a tourist attraction, giving outsiders access to this rustic lockup like ...

American Airlines to Allow Carry-On for Basic Economy

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/26/2018, 12:00 AM

American Airlines passengers who buy basic economy tickets will each be allowed to bring a carry-on bag aboard flights, starting September 5. The news was announced by American executives this week during the carrier's second-quarter earnings call with reporters. Up to now, the luggage allowance for basic economy—American's cheapest, no-frills fare, which was introduced last year—has been just o...

What You Need to Know About the (Likely) Cost of Travel in 2019

By Pauline Frommer

Posted on 07/25/2018, 4:45 PM

Will it be a happy new year for vacationers in 2019? Experts are predicting some price shifts.  A number of factors should impact the cost of trips next year and beyond. If you’re planning on vacationing next year—and I hope you are!—here’s what to look out for. Airfares: “Up, up and away” is the price forecast from most industry watchers. Airfares, particularly from North America to Asia and Eu...

Ticket Prices Go Up at Kennedy Space Center in Florida

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/25/2018, 4:30 PM

The price of admission has gone up at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex in Florida. It will now cost you $57 ($47 for kids ages 3–11) to see NASA artifacts and memorabilia such as the space shuttle Atlantis, a moon rock, spacesuits, rockets, and more.  That's a $7 increase from the previous cost. While the price might sound astronomical by museum standards, wouldn't that be appropriate, ...

U.S. Airports with the Most and Least Secure Wi-Fi

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/20/2018, 11:45 PM

You already know that airport Wi-Fi can be maddeningly slow. Did you know it also could be leaving you vulnerable to hackers? That's the conclusion reached by a new study (which you can download here) from cybersecurity company Coronet. Analyzing data from the devices of more than 250,000 passengers who had traveled through the 45 busiest airports in the United States over a five-month period, re...

Barcelona Unveils Website for Finding Legal Apartment Rentals

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/18/2018, 8:45 PM

Barcelona has been cracking down on illegal apartment rentals lately. The Spanish city has closed about 2,000 of them for operating without a license, and slapped Airbnb with a fine of €600,000 (US$700,000) for allowing listings for unlicensed apartments on its website. The company has since agreed to ban illegal rentals in Barcelona—though it has yet to pay the fine. Airbnb's move hasn't kept ...

You Can Now Go Glamping on NYC's Governors Island

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/18/2018, 4:45 AM

A secluded campground has opened in New York City.  There are no typos in the preceding sentence.  A grouping of 37 tents can now be found on Governors Island, a 172-acre piece of land floating between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. Once an Army and Coast Guard outpost, the redeveloped isle is partly a national monument and partly a setting for concerts, art exhibits, and other events open to the...

Nuts! Southwest Airlines Stops Serving Them on Flights

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/10/2018, 9:30 PM

If you were on Family Feud and Steve Harvey asked you to name a snack served on an airplane, it's a cinch that peanuts would be on the board, probably as the number-one answer.  Which is odd because peanuts aren't served on the planes of major airlines anymore, with only one or two exceptions. Delta is one—though according to Travel Weekly, that airline will "refrain from serving peanuts on a spe...

A Deadly End for the Yellowstone Daredevils

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 07/09/2018, 12:00 AM

Two years ago, in the spring of 2016, a few young Canadians created an international scandal by treading into forbidden, protected areas of Yellowstone National Park and recording it for their social media followers in the name of living life to the fullest. The men were famous for shooting videos of themselves doing extremely dangerous things in beautiful places. We wrote at the time: "Hundreds...

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...

Arthur Frommer: The Ban on Muslim Travel to the US is Counterproductive

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 07/05/2018, 3:00 AM

Undoubtedly, the most significant recent development in travel was the Supreme Court’s approval, by a slender 5-to-4 margin, of Donald Trump’s ban against Muslim travel to the United States.  All Americans should examine the validity of that ruling from the standpoint of economics, constitutionality, and national security. From an economic standpoint: The world’s population of Muslims amount...

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...

Route 66 and Puerto Rico Among USA's Most Endangered Historic Sites

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/28/2018, 3:30 AM

Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Route 66 all appear on 2018's "Most Endangered Places" list, the National Trust for Historic Preservation's annual roundup of important architectural and cultural sites in peril. The purpose of the list, the group says, is to raise awareness and spur action to protect landmarks—and in some cases landmasses—"facing a range of challenges and threats, from d...

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...

Arthur Frommer: National Parks Devotees Can Utter a (Brief) Sigh of Relief

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 06/25/2018, 12:00 AM

In the early months of the Trump administration, it was widely rumored that the new head of the Department of the Interior, Ryan Zinke, would propose a doubling of the entrance fees to some 100 national parks that charge admission.   The reaction to that drastic proposal was so negative, and from both sides of the aisle in Congress, that it was since assumed that a far milder increase would be ...