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Travel Tips Around The World

Oct 20 2016

Exquisite dining experiences—and views—in Jackson Hole

Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is a place for adventure, with a slew of exciting—and often exhausting—activities, from hiking and skiing to hang gliding and parasailing. If a little fatigue sets in, you don't have to give up the great outdoors in order to relax: Of Jackson Hole's many restaurants, there are several with absolutely stunning views, and food to match. These are some of our favorite places to unwind while still feeling in touch with the natural beauty of the area.

                            

                                    All of the good things at The Granary; photo courtesy of the restaurant.

The Granary is top-notch fine dining with incredible views of the valley to match. The food is exceptional—try something local and fresh, like the salmon or elk. No other spot in Jackson Hole has quite the same ambience as The Granary, or the same views. There's patio seating in warm months, but the vistas from the windows in the winter are nothing short of breathtaking. This is one of the best places in town to relax amidst the scenery.

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Oct 18 2016

Jackson Hole: Adventures for the Faint of Heart

Category: Destinationslrodini @ 08:23

Known as one of the most beautiful places on earth, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, is also one of the most indulgent. The area is famed for its steep, snow-topped mountains and cold, fish-filled rivers, but while its backcountry skiing and hiking trails can get pulses racing, Jackson Hole’s upscale resorts, boutiques and restaurants ensure that even the tamest travelers can have fun, too.


Moulton Barn, Wikimedia Commons

Wyoming’s Wild West may conjure images of the frosty and rather lonesome Moulton Barn (it’s only a 30-minute drive from downtown Jackson), but you can't quite say you’re "roughing it" here: Teton County is home to more billionaires per capita than any other county in the country.

Summertime is the area's peak season, when tourists are plentiful and most businesses are open. And while a Mr. Jackson actually existed (his first name was Davy), the hole does not – its name refers to the nearly vertical pass between the Teton and Gros Ventre mountain ranges that early homesteaders had to climb… down.

Luckily, today's visitors won't have to face such hardships—in fact, you won’t even have to drive if you don't want to. A Black Car Service's fleet of Escalades and other luxury SUVs can greet you at the airport, whisking you to your hotel and destinations between Jackson and Teton Village, about 12 miles apart. If you do decide to rent a car, remember that the Jackson Hole Airport is the only commercial airport in the U.S. located within a National Park. That means that exiting the parking lot places you smack in the middle of Grand Teton National Park's woodland roads, many of which are unpaved, and also full of wildlife, like moose—so drive carefully!  

Travelers who pack light will be rewarded by mammoth outdoors shops, like Teton Village Sports, which rents and sells skis, snow gear, fishing equipment and clothing. You won't have to travel far for recreational pursuits, as Grand Fishing Adventures is conveniently based out of the store. It offers half- and full-day fly fishing adventures on the Snake River, including a boxed lunch. Muscular tour guides will do all of the heavy lifting, and pleasantly, to boot: All you'll need to do is sit down while they lower the canoe into the river, row to the prime spots and bait the rods. They'll show you how to make the line float on the clear water's surface and even help reel in the catch! Then they'll give you all the credit and take your photo, cementing your bragging rights on social media.

Fly Fishing on the Snake River (I caught this one myself!)

Even armchair travelers will find plenty to do in the lively town of Jackson, which has an art gallery and a fascinating history museum, The Jackson Hole Historical Society. Exhibits include a full-scale model of an early trapper's cabin and the diaries of Cowgirl Grace Gallaton Seton-Thompson, who once said "...How you will pity your unfortunate friends who have never known what it is to sleep on the south side of a sage brush, and honestly say in the morning 'It is wonderful how well I am feeling.'" (Who wouldn't agree?)

Other low-incline pursuits include an appointment at one of the area's many top-rated spas, such as The Spa at the Four Seasons Resort and Residences. You can indulge those muscles with a massage or salon treatment, such as their top-rated manicure, which uses local wild honey and strawberry seeds. Be sure to linger for an extra few minutes in the relaxation room. Or, better yet, get a room: the sumptuous, duck down-filled duvets and feather-duck down mix pillows will make it difficult to go outside again.

Spend the day (or a week) by the pool at the Four Seasons Jackson Hole

Surely, all of that exertion will have worked up an appetite, so head next door to the Hotel Terra for some serious eats at Il Villaggio Osteria (just be sure to make a reservation). Chef Serge Smith's indulgent creations would satisfy even the biggest mountain climber: Order the braised pork jowl on a foie gras croissant, topped with poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. Just try to save room for dessert.

Check out our in-depth Jackson Hole guide here.

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Oct 14 2016

A bar crawl in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, Cambodia, has a happening bar scene, with cheap drinks and a friendly mix of tourist and expat imbibers—and at many places, the party lasts all night long. Don't expect a ton of glamour (with a few exceptions, mainly in hotels), but be prepared for potentially raucous fun. These are some of our favorite places in Phnom Penh for letting loose; to explore further, just walk down Street 51, where bars abound.

                            Refinement and luxury at The Elephant Bar; photo courtesy of the Lorrie Graham Blog.

The Elephant Bar. For true luxury in the Phnom Penh drinking scene, visit The Elephant Bar, located inside the Raffles Hotel le Royal. Drinks are certainly more expensive than in other parts of the city, but quality is high, and the ambience is elegant. Elephant decor abounds, right down to the glasses that cocktails are served in. The food is excellent and the drinks are stellar—this is definitely the place to pamper yourself after a long day on Phnom Penh's busy streets.

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Oct 7 2016

The San Benedetto Market: A cornerstone of Sardinian life

Cagliari is the capital of Sardinia and the city you're most likely to first visit on the island, since the airport and major port are there. The capital is the hub of many of the arts and culture of the island, and is more bustling than some of the slow-moving smaller towns. There's no place that fact is more in evidence that at the San Benedetto Market, the city's main market and the place where Sardinians buy all of their food. 

                   Fresh fish for sale at the San Benedetto Market; photo courtesy of the Sardinia Tourism Board.

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Sep 30 2016

Beer Spa Bernard: A thoroughly Czech experience in Prague

Category: Destinations | RecreationChristine Norris @ 09:51

The city of Prague seems to run on beer; there are bars everywhere, and people sipping from bottles on the cobblestoned streets. A strong drinking culture is woven into the history of the city, and it's no wonder, since the beer is certainly some of the best you'll ever drink. One spa in Prague has taken the malt mania a step further, offering beer baths—and unlimited beer to drink, too.

                                                                      Photo via Expats.cz.

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Sep 22 2016

Chicago Neighborhood Profile: Logan Square

Most visitors to Chicago only make it outside of the Loop (our name for downtown) to head to the Southside for the Museum of Science and Industry, or maybe to head a little bit north to Wrigley Field; and that's a real shame, because our city is vibrant, diverse and full of incredible experiences, many of the best of which are outside the tourist hubs. If you want to escape the endless hordes of people on Michigan Avenue, hop the CTA Blue Line for twenty minutes and get off at either the California or Logan Square stops, and you'll find yourself in Logan Square, the most up-and-coming area in the city, jam-packed with award-winning bars and restaurants. Here are some of my favorite dining, drinking and shopping spots in my neighborhood. 

                        

                                     The signature dish at Logan Square's Fat Rice. Photo via Bon Appetit.

Dining. Some of the most exciting and unique dining experiences in the city reside in Logan Square. My favorite is Fat Rice, which serves Macau cuisine—Macau was a Portuguese trading outpost in China where many cultures blended, producing a one-of-a-kind fusion cuisine. You'll find dumplings and pork buns along with traditional Portuguese drinks such as caipirinhas, but the real star is the titular dish, the fat rice, which is a rice pot loaded with clams, prawns, a variety of sausages and porks, and hardboiled eggs (it'll feed two to four people). It's basically a treasure trove that you eat. Get a reservation, because I was once told on a Thursday evening that it was a two-and-a-half-hour wait for a party of two. (Tip: Fat Rice has a bakery next door where you can buy a wide variety of buns (they even have a Chicago-style hot dog bun, if you're feeling brave) and coffee and tea that's open during the day.)

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Sep 22 2016

The Goddess and the Baker: Fuel for your trip to Chicago's Art Institute

Category: Destinations | Dining | Favorites | GeneralChristine Norris @ 04:09

The Art Institute of Chicago is consistently ranked as one of the best museums in the world, and with a slew of the world's most famous pieces of art, visiting there is an overwhelming but incredible experience. As a resident of Chicago and a member of the Art Institute, I've been lucky to be able to get an insider's perspective, to learn where everything is in relation to everything else, and finally, to have the luxury of a quick trip of only an hour or two if I'm low on time or just want to check out that one new exhibit. Even though I visit with frequency, and though my visits are rarely exhausting, I still find myself at The Goddess and the Baker before or after every single trip to the museum.

                       g&b-eatnowcaffeinate

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Aug 29 2016

travel42 Best of: 3 Sides of Panama

Category: Anna Goodman @ 09:44

If you're itching for an idyll on an isthmus this Christmas, start making your plans for Panama. Our travel42 reviewer has discovered a trio of getaways so good we just have to share. 

1.  FINCA LERIDA, Boquete. This relaxing 21-room boutique property is on a coffee plantation in the Chiriqui highlands, just at the foot of Baru Volcano near the border with Costa Rica. Coffee tours start in the fields surrounding the hotel and cover all aspects from growing to grinding, with the special twist that the farm was started by a Norwegian engineer who helped design the emergency gates of the Canal. But many guests come for the birding. The hotel is steps away from La Amistad National Park, home to four indigenous tribes and recognized by UNESCO for its extraordinary biological diversity. It is inhabited by some 600 species of birds, including the Resplendent Quetzal, the sacred bird of the Maya and the Aztecs. 

 

2. AMERICAN TRADE HOTEL, Panama City. The folks who brought you the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles have revitalized this landmark building in Casco Viejo with a hipster's loving approach to preserving historical detail. The full experience comes to life at the rooftop pool deck and Danilo's Jazz Club, a courtyard venue that draws world-class names in jazz to perform alongside the club's founder, Grammy-winning pianist Danilo Perez. 

 

 

3. EL OTRO LADO, A PRIVATE RETREAT. Portobelo. Perched on a hill overlooking Portobelo Bay on the Caribbean side, the resort is inside a national park and best accessed by boat, but it is far from isolated. It is near the Spanish colonial village of Portobello, founded in 1597, and Fort San Fernando, built by the Spanish king to protect transatlanic trade. Accomodations are in separate villas that dot the hillside, where guests can survey boat activity on the bay from private balconies. 

 

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Aug 2 2016

travel42 Best Of: Top 10 Hawaii hotels

Category: Best Of | HotelsMegan Leader @ 04:49

The heat of summer is in full effect, but it's already time to start planning winter getaways. One of our top hotel correspondents spent spring in Hawaii reviewing the islands' finest hotels. These 10 stellar properties top the list for searches among our travel agent subscribers, and we can see why.

1. Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, Lahaina. This property has amenities galore. Widlife tours, lei-making More...

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Jun 23 2016

Get in the FLOW with Adventure Flow Tours

Category: Destinations | Favorites | On The Scene | Recreationbhicks @ 07:15

Juneau is a popular stop on almost every Alaskan cruise, with shopping, sight-seeing, and whale watching being just SOME of the amazing options to choose from while in port. This blogger, though, set his sights on something a little more... ADVENTUROUS!

Adventure Flow offers outdoor small group tours that focus on providing the optimal Alaskan experience. The most attractive feature of Adventure Flow is the promise that their passionate guides will take you a step away from the crowds—most guided hikes in the area are highly populated, but Adventure Flow takes your small group on an intimate hike together. With walking, hiking, and smartphone photography tours they have something for everyone to enjoy the Southeast Alaska splendor. Adventure Flow tours place you in the moment and maximize your experience, giving you a unique opportunity not offered by any other tour operator. 

Here I am, preparing to embark on a Smart Phone Photography Tour. I was very excited to get started! The description of the tour promised that More...

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