Category Archives: Travel

National Trails Day: 15 spectacular hikes around the USA

June 6th is National Trails Day, so we thought we’d take a look at 15 trails throughout the USA that provide spectacular views as the reward. Want to find something near you? Click here to find an event, or simply get outside and take a hike!

One hundred and twenty five miles of trails weave through Acadia National Park in Maine, many of which were initially established by Native Americans and early settlers, and then made into trails in the early 1900s. The Bubbles Divide Trail (or Bubble Rock Trail) winds through mixed forest with views of Jordan Pond and Bubble Rock; Bubble Pond is a further from Jordan Pond.

The “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park in Genesee Falls in New York’s Finger Lakes region has 66 miles of marked trails ripe for exploration, the Genesee River roaring through a gorge to create three waterfalls. (The park was also named the USA TODAY Readers’ Choice Award for Best State Park in the United States for 2015).

On a clear day along the Appalachian Trail near Roanoke, Va., you can easily see the Southern Shenandoah Valley from McAfee Knob, one of the most photographed spots on the Appalachian Trail; closer in you’ll find stunning views of the Catawba Valley. The hike is about six miles long roundtrip and affords 270-degree views, as well as a downhill return.

In North Carolina’s Smoky Mountains, the five-mile hike at Purchase Knob can be done in about four hours, but that depends on how much time you take to stop and simply gaze at the beauty that surrounds you. A comprehensive guide map points out those must-stop spots.

Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia has more than 20 miles of hiking trails, and along the way you’re sure to spot the falls for which the park is named, not to mention the water that flows through an eight-mile long gorge. The Lindy Run Trail is just over a mile long yet provides spectacular, sweeping mountain views.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in Michigan has 13 trails with nearly 100 miles ripe for exploration. Follow the 2.8-mile Sleeping Bear Point Trail for dramatic views over Lake Michigan.

Be sure to take water with you when hiking in Saguaro National Park outside of Tucson – it gets hot in the Arizona desert any time of year. Once in the park, Douglas Spring Trail is an easier six-mile, round-trip hike that ends at a – surprise! – waterfall (seasonally).

Elsewhere in Arizona, the easy, one-hour Brins Mesa Trail in Sedona’s Coconino National Forest starts just outside of town and leads hikers to wide open spaces to really soak in the majesty of the red rock formations that crop up throughout the area, including Chimney Rock and Coffee Pot Rock.

Getting to Delicate Arch in Arches National Park, Utah, is not for the faint of heart. Most of the three-mile round-trip hike is on wide paths, but as you get closer, the path gets more narrow and the last 200 yards or so is along a rock ledge. The views at the other end more than make up for that lasts harrowing bit, however.

Hiking in the Virgin River’s 65-or-so-degree water, stepping through and on slippery rocks in a current is more than challenging, but The Narrows in Zion National Park provides stunning surrounds. Rock walls tower overhead a thousand feet, and whether you hike for an hour or the entire 10-mile roundtrip, the views are stunning both going and coming.

Probably one of the most iconic hikes in all of the USA is Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. The work is hard – 14 to 16 miles roundtrip – and you’ll climb up, up, up 4,800 feet, but is it ever worth the effort. Along the way, stop for views of Vernal and Nevada Falls, Liberty Cap and finally, panoramic views of Yosemite Valley and the High Sierra.

The majesty of Olympic National Park in Washington instantly surrounds you upon passing into the park, and beautiful spots are bountiful and accessible. For a different sense of beauty, hike the Hoh River Trail to “One Square Inch,” possibly the quietest spot in all of the USA. Once there, sit, close your eyes and let the silence wash over you.

Denali National Park in Alaska doesn’t have many maintained trails, so it’s pretty much hike where you like. However, if a trail’s what you’re looking for, make sure and hike Horseshoe Lake Trail. The three-mile roundtrip trail is developed most of the way with panoramic views of the Nenana River.

On the Hawaiian Island of Lana’i, the hike to Pu’u Pehe, or Sweetheart Rock, is a popular spot to watch the sun rise over the island. Leaving from the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, a quick 20-minute hike up the rocky cliffs ends in this sweet spot, also perfect for watching the sun set at the end of the day.

Instead of hopping on a mule for the descent along Moloka’i’s sea cliffs – the world’s tallest at 3,600-3,900 feet – lace up your hiking shoes and hoof it instead. At the bottom, a quiet beach awaits, and a bit farther afield, Kalaupapa National Historic Park.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at

USATODAY – Travel Top Stories

Marsh & McLennan buys large Texas agency


Marsh & McLennan Agency (MMA), a subsidiary of Marsh, the White Plains, N.Y.-based insurance broker, has acquired Dallas-based MHBT Inc., one of the nation’s largest independent insurance brokers.

Terms were not disclosed.

With roots dating back nearly 100 years, MHBT is a provider of insurance, risk management, and employee benefits solutions to businesses and individuals throughout the US. The firm has annual revenue of approximately $ 76 million and 350 employees in five offices throughout Texas.

All MHBT employees will join MMA and operate under the name “MHBT, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company.”

MHBT will serve as MMA’s Southwest regional hub under the leadership of MHBT CEO Bill Henry. Anthony C. Gruppo, who has been serving as MMA’s Southwest regional CEO since 2013, will continue to serve as CEO of MMA Houston.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at

IFAwebnews | National

10 romantic getaways you’ve never done before

Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

Feel like you and your sweetheart have done everything there is to do? This Valentine’s Day, think outside of the (chocolate) box and embark on one of these unique — and unusually romantic — getaways, from the stark orange desert of Oman to the snowy tundra of Greenland.


Perfect for: Luxury-minded lovers of hot weather

Where to stay: Six Senses Zighy Bay. This extremely posh desert resort comes complete with spacious pool villas and butler service and is situated on one of the finest stretches of beach in northern Oman. The holistic spa is the perfect hideaway; indulge in Ayurvedic treatments and a traditional Moroccan hammam for a most relaxing stay.

What to do: The resort staff can hook you up with a number of adventures in the Omani desert and seas, from paragliding to mountain biking to snorkeling. Discover Arabic cooking with a master-chef-led lesson and a tour of the on-site organic gardens. Or embark on a sunset cruise with your significant other, during which you’ll see a gold-and-pink sunset over Haffa Bay.

Finnish Lapland

Perfect for: Dog lovers who don’t mind the cold

Where to stay: Nellim Wilderness Hotel. This eco-friendly hotel tucked away in the wild Inari area is a great base camp for your northern adventures. Guests can book an Aurora Bubble for the best views of the vibrant northern lights, but the cabins with steamy private saunas are also good bets for romance seekers.

What to do: Explore the local wilderness area with the hotel’s expert guides. Visit a nearby reindeer farm alongside a reindeer herder (yes, such a thing exists!). Drive a dogsled led by snow-loving huskies to glittering Lake Inari. Or snowshoe through Finland’s wild and frosty forests before stopping for an open-fire picnic lunch.

Sri Lanka

Perfect for: Escapists who love Southeast Asia’s beaches but hate crowds

Where to stay: Casa Colombo. This hotel in Sri Lanka’s capital is a funky and modern retreat, with 12 eclectic suites combining Moorish balconies, Italian tile and Indian art. Super-accommodating staff, a stylish restaurant and bar, and a pool surrounded by neon lights make this a truly sensual stay.

What to do: Mt. Lavinia Beach ranks among TripAdvisor’s best for its golden sunsets and inexpensive nightlife. Discover Sri Lanka’s long history and colorful culture at The National Museum, a surprising must-see. Or visit the beautiful Buddhist temples that dot the area, including Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara, a serene shrine in the countryside.


Perfect for: Anglophiles interested in new landscapes and historic castles

Where to stay: St. George’s Hotel. This Victorian hotel is all elegant style and old-school cool (black-and-white-tiled bathrooms, crystal chandeliers and pitch-perfect service). Plus, it’s near the medieval castles of Conwy, Caernarfon and Criccieth, all of which you can rent for your moody, romantic Welsh wedding.

What to do: Llandudno, a seaside resort town, is a largely undiscovered destination with beautiful and ancient churches, long stretches of picturesque sand and Great Orme, a towering limestone landmark. Take a cable car up its cliffsides for stunning views of the north Welsh coast and emerald-green hillsides dotted with sheep. Bring your cutest sweaters.


Perfect for: Road-tripping oenophiles who like a good view

Where to stay: The Inn at Little Washington. The 24 splurge-worthy rooms and suites are unbelievably decorated in an English manor-home aesthetic and come complete with fireplaces and soaking tubs. Chef Patrick O’Connell’s restaurant of refined American fare is continually considered one of the best in the U.S. — perfect for a once-in-a-lifetime romantic meal.

What to do: In the state’s rural countryside, it becomes clear why the tourism slogan is “Virginia Is for Lovers.” Wineries and distilleries dot the rolling land along the western edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Pull over for a round of tastings, embark on a scenic journey along Skyline Drive or descend into Luray Caverns.

Budapest, Hungary

Perfect for: Twosomes who want city lights and tons of culture

Where to stay: Corinthia Hotel Budapest. This grand hotel sits behind one of the most beautiful Neoclassical facades in Central Europe. Rooms are large and luxurious, and a pampering Ayurvedic treatment at the massive Art Deco spa is the way to cap off a day of sightseeing.

What to do: Budapest, called the “Paris of the East,” is all bustle and charm. Soak in a thermal bath at Gellert (which is utterly romantic, with Art Nouveau style and Roman columns buttressing its pools). Explore the city’s eclectic museums, wander the wide grassy parks and savor the culinary scene of Hungarian comfort food and refined, shareable desserts.


Perfect for: Stateside city slickers who are sick of New York

Where to stay: Four Seasons Toronto. This sophisticated stay is a top pick on TripAdvisor for good reason, with luxury suites, a 30,000-square-foot spa, a Daniel Boulud-helmed restaurant and, coolest of all, an in-house art curator who can give you tours of the Four Seasons’ magnificent private collections.

What to do: Toronto’s food scene is, simply put, crazy good. Get a glimpse of the city lights from Canoe, situated high atop the TD Bank Tower, and dive into Chef John Horne’s tasting menu of elegant cuisine that spotlights different regions of this vast country. Before dinner, check out AGO for an eye-opening slate of Canadian art plus rotating exhibitions featuring everyone from Da Vinci to Basquiat.


Perfect for: The couple who prefers the road less — almost never — traveled

Where to stay: There are a few hotels scattered about the island, but the best way to experience this fascinating land is via a cruise. Hurtigruten’s MS Fram, made specifically for sailing in polar climes, takes you up close to the colossal icebergs and stark national parks. Discovering Greenland from your deck-side Jacuzzi is an otherworldly experience.

What to do: Embark on daytime hikes, boat trips, and glacier walks led by the ship’s expert expedition crew. Check out the local museum in Qasigiannguit or interact with the locals in the Ukkusissat settlement. Shop for handicrafts, then settle down for a coffee and a regional sweet.


Perfect for: Nature lovers, birdwatchers, eco-travelers

Where to stay: The Lodge at Pico Bonito, near La Ceiba. Away from Roatan’s crowds, this eco-lodge surrounded by lush rainforest is a true sanctuary. Find nature in all its glory at the on-site butterfly farm and in the relaxing pool hidden by colorful gardens. At night, unwind on your cabin’s private verandah, where you can listen to the birdsong.

What to do: In this birders’ paradise, guided nature tours introduce you to the vibrant flora and fauna of Honduras’ rainforests, from rare and gem-colored birds to monkeys and jaguars. Hike winding trails, see spectacular waterfalls, ford two rushing rivers or snorkel along the world’s second-largest barrier reef beneath the vibrant blue Caribbean.

Portland, Ore.

Perfect for: Hipsters, book lovers, the food-obsessed

Where to stay: The comfortable Heathman Hotel in downtown Portland. One of Conde Nast Traveler’s 2013 World’s Best, this property is basically in the middle of everything and comes with tons of amenities: a bed menu, free French press coffee, twice-daily housekeeping service and all the other little extras you could want on a romantic getaway.

What to do: Eat and hit the outdoors. For the first, a slate of America’s top ethnic restaurants awaits, from Pok Pok (Chef Andy Ricker’s superlative northern Thai restaurant that’s worth a flight alone) to Andina, a Peruvian tapas joint that uses Portland’s pristine produce, meat, and seafood. After you dine, hit Portland’s many public parks or find a corner at Powell’s cozy flagship bookshop.

READ THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE: 10 romantic getaways you’ve never done before

Read or Share this story:

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at

USATODAY – Travel Top Stories

Museo del Calzado in Mexico City: Still in business?

That’d be the one mentioned on Wikitravel:

Museo del Calzado (Shoe Museum), Bolivar 27, 1st Floor. Private collection of old shoes from the 18th, 19th and 20th century. The museum belongs to the shoe store “El Borcegui”, established in 1865 and still selling shoes today.

I found a blog from 2008 (with a comment in 2009) also about going there.

And Visit Mexico (the tourism website) still has it listed on their museums page, so it’s almost certainly open.

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at

Recent Questions – Travel Stack Exchange

Photo tour: The most spectacular suites at sea

Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

One of the biggest stories in the Cruise World in recent years has been the arrival of a new crop of megasuites on ships: Big, bold and beautiful cabins that can cost tens of thousands of dollars a voyage.

As can be seen above in our new photo tour of the 10 most spectacular suites at sea, some of the latest cruise ship megasuites are bigger than the average American home, with multiple bedrooms, living areas with dining rooms and sprawling balconies. Sweeping views of the ocean are a given. The pampering is world class.

As one would expect, luxury lines such as Silversea and Seabourn have been rolling out some of the most stunning (and pricey) suites. But there’s also been a super-suite arms race of sorts in recent years among the big, mass-market operators such as Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line, which are catering to an ever-broader range of customers (see the additional gallery at the bottom of this page for a look at the swankiest suites on Royal Caribbean’s new Quantum of the Seas).

In addition to expensive furnishings and designer style, the top suites at sea now almost always come with around-the-clock butler service — someone to unpack your bags, take out your dry cleaning and even arrange private cocktail parties for your new on-board friends. And you’ll probably have access to a private concierge, too, to book your shore trips and dinner reservations.

Other perks normally reserved for top suite guests include priority embarkation and disembarkation, priority access to the ship’s spa and restaurants (just name a time and the table is yours!), and more than likely an invitation to dinner with the ship’s captain (and maybe even a tour of the bridge).

But, then again, you may never want to leave your room. All of the top suites in our photo tour above feature elegant living areas; bedrooms with plush bedding (think top-of-the-line Egyptian cottons) and giant walk-in closets; and marble-lined bathrooms that often have whirlpool tubs and cavernous showers. On some ships such as Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2, the biggest suites spread over two decks.

Show Thumbnails
Show Captions

Read or Share this story:

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at

USATODAY – Travel Top Stories

Can someone living in China on a business visa write a letter of invitation for an S2 visa?

My girlfriend lives in China under a business visa. I would like to go visit her for a few weeks, and it seems that the S2 visa is the appropriate one for me to get (if I should still get the tourist L visa instead, please let me know!). However, I have only seen references to people “working” or “studying” in China as being able to write the needed invitation letter for the S2. Does a business visa count as “working”, and, if it does, can she write me the needed invitation letter?

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at

Recent Questions – Travel Stack Exchange

Backpacking in Australia

Is it possible to backpack across the Australian continent East to West (or W to E)? In other words, as an American, only familiar with movies/tv shows, etc, I think of Australia as a wasteland in the center. Would it be possible to backpack across as a (personal) achievement?

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at

Recent Questions – Travel Stack Exchange

Monday Five Thirty: Get High Off ‘Sky Beer’ in Myanmar

/ / / / / /

Monday Five Thirty: Get High Off ‘Sky Beer’ in Myanmar

Aside from providing much needed shade and scenery to the hot and dry areas of Southeast Asia, the toddy palm also gives back with something to drink while you sit beneath it. Generally referred to as palm wine throughout the region, the locals in Myanmar affectionately call it “sky beer.”

It’s similar to kava in that it’s an organic alcohol alternative-beverage. The juice is collected from the top of the tree and gathered into earthenware pots. It is traditionally served as is – i.e. no additives or processing (although be aware that some places serving tourists do add alcohol nowadays).

As the natural juice sits, a small amount of fermentation will occur, which means that, unlike kava, alcohol will be present in the drink when consumed. As the local wisdom goes, the later in the day you drink sky beer, the stronger it will be because it has had more time to ferment. Even at its strongest, it is not day-changing and results in nothing more than rosy cheeks and laughter.

The taste of sky beer is a bitter-sweet combination, transitioning from the latter to the former the longer it sits and ferments. It is easy to drink due to the lack of carbonation and has a milky texture (but lacks the chalkiness that comes with kava). One of the best parts of drinking sky beer is that it is usually found in small, shack-style village bars overflowing with personality and other local specialties. At one particular “bar” we visited outside of Nay Pyi Taw, bat and rat were served as munchies.

Sky beer has been drank throughout history by everyone from princes to farmhands, and it is still a popular drink today in rural areas where western-style beer is too expensive for the locals. Whereas a 16-ounce beer might cost 600-800 kyats in Myanmar, sky beer is normally sold for 200-500 kyats a liter. Ask around to see where you can find it next time you’re in Southeast Asia.

[Photo: Will McGough]

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at

Jaunted – The Pop Culture Travel Guide

How To Plan Your Best Spring Break Ever

Spring break 2015 is just around the corner and if you’re looking for tips on how to have the best spring break ever, you’ve come to the right place. Even if your class finals are inching closer, you should take some time to do some planning and figure out where you’re going and who’s coming along for the ride. In order to stay safe and have the time of your life with your besties, read on for five valuable tips for your best spring break ever.

Stop Procrastinating

If you want to have the best spring ever, chances are other students will have a better one. That’s because they already made travel arrangements and by booking early, got a better package deal. So if you’ve decided on where to go, whether it’s stateside or an international destination, you need to start planning now. Why? Because students just like yourself are also hoping to make reservations with the best possible deals. For each day you procrastinate, the number of available hotel rooms are reduced as well as the number of available seats on a flight, if you are flying. Bottom line: the closer you get to spring break, the higher the prices.

Related: Spring Break Destinations On The Less Expensive Side 

springbreak How To Plan Your Best Spring Break Ever

Photo Credit: STA Travel (Credit, Randy Yagi)

Where To Find The Best Deals

If this isn’t your first spring break, you may already know where to search for the best deals. But those planning a spring break vacation for the very first time, there are a few student travel sites you should visit – STA Travel, StudentUniverse and Student City. These sites offer you so many travel options that you might not need to visit any other travel sites. These sites offers student discounts for flights, hotels, tours and activities, as well as information guides for the spring break destination of your choice and tickets to spring break parties. Additionally, many of the best spring break destinations like South Padre Island, Panama City Beach and Cancun have an official website (or more) offering student discounts for sleep-and-eat packages, the biggest parties, the hottest nightclubs and much more.

dj How To Plan Your Best Spring Break Ever

Photo Credit: DJ Equipment (Credit, Randy Yagi)

Don’t Forget Anything Before You Leave

Before you leave for your best spring break vacation ever, make a list of things you need to bring and things that can be better left at home. Things like your smartphone and charger, credit cards, bankcards, cash and emergency contact numbers are just some examples of what you really need to bring along for the trip. If you’re on a budget, consider buying enough groceries for the road and nonperishable goods while you’re vacationing. If heading to a beachside destination, remember to bring the essentials needed for this type of environment, e.g. sandals, flip flops, sunglasses, a hat, bathing suit and sunscreen. Conversely, if you’re headed to the slopes for some skiing and snowboarding, you’ll need to bring layers of clothing, gloves, lip balm, sunglasses, etc. Things like expensive laptops and tablets may be better off left safe and sound at home.

miami How To Plan Your Best Spring Break Ever

Photo Credit: Miami Beach (Credit, Randy Yagi)

Drive To Your Destination

If your spring break destination is within reasonable driving distance, your transportation costs will be considerably cheaper than flying, especially if you’re traveling with a group. Think of it this way, your flight ticket will be in the hundreds of dollars as will everyone else’s in your group. On the other hand, with gas prices below $ 3, automobile expenses will be far less than they were one year ago. To strike this point ever further, consider this – while gas prices have gone down, the airlines have not lowered their fares to reflect cheaper fuel costs. Besides, what’s better than a road trip with some of your best friends?

cancunpic How To Plan Your Best Spring Break Ever

Photo Credit: Cancun (Credit, Randy Yagi)

Be Safe And Smart

Being safe and smart starts well before your trip begins. It’s obvious to make sure your home is secure before you leave and chances are, there won’t be any friends to look after your place because they’re traveling too. So if you’re like millions of other students who use social media on a regular basis, be careful about what you post to your friends or worse yet, to the general public. It’s no secret that thieves will randomly search Facebook profiles to see where they’ve checked in. The same goes if you over share information on other sites that use geotagging like Instagram and Twitter.

Of course, staying safe while on spring break is equally important. This means staying safe when you’re on the road, swimming at a beach, walking around at night, using an ATM machine, meeting new friends at parties and flying to an international party destination. One particularly good website for students to review before the trip is SafeSpringBreak, which provides several valuable tips to make for the best and safest spring break ever.

Related: Best Long Weekend Trips For College Students

Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at

CBS Connecticut » Travel

Quit Job and Gooo !!!

Quit Job and Gooo !!!

Ciao traveler,
here Francesco from Italy, with my backpacker and my bad English
Anyway… I quit my job as IT and I begun my journey.
Actually I don’t know where I wanna go… but I go.

I’m traveling by myself with my PC ( I’m SEO )… I hope to become a nomad worker!

Let me know if u wanna meet me for many s.

Buona strada


Reply With Quote

Recommended article: Chomsky: We Are All – Fill in the Blank.
This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at

Horizons Unlimited – The HUBB