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Travel Tips Around The World

Sep 25 2017

Things to Do on Kauai's North Shore

Category: Best Of | Favorites | General | Itineraries | Lists | Sightseeingkmaxwell @ 05:23

Known as "the Garden Isle" thanks to the lush tropical forest covering much of its 562.3 sq mi of terrain, Kauai has been featured in more than 70 Hollywood movies and TV shows—in large part for the breathtaking beauty of its dramatic peaks, scenic waterfalls and stunning canyons.

If you're lucky enough to visit this peaceful island in the middle of the Pacific, consider adding the following sights and activities to your itinerary:

Kilauea Lighthouse

This century-old lighthouse situated on a rocky peninsula 180 ft above the ocean is located in the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, a protected breeding ground for many Hawaiian seabirds. Placards along the walkway provide information on wildlife visible from the point, including the red-tailed tropicbird (koa'e 'ula), Layson albatross (moli), great frigatebird ('iwa) and more.

Tours are offered, but times vary based on availability of staff and volunteers. The refuge is open 10 am-4 pm Tuesday-Saturday.

Kilauea Lighthouse from the lookout point

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Jun 12 2017

Portland's Finest Roasters

Category: Best Of | Cafes | Favorites | Listskmaxwell @ 04:19

In a city known for its specialty coffee, it can be hard to choose among the dozens of micro-roasteries and cafes that dot the downtown streets. But choose, you must. This coffee mecca takes its java-sipping seriously, and it’s one of the best ways to get a true taste of Portland. Skip the Starbucks for now (especially if your time in the Pacific Northwest includes a stop in Seattle, where you can visit the original Starbucks), and check out these local standouts instead:  

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

Although this roaster and retailer has been recently acquired by powerhouse Peet's Coffee, it began as a grassroots operation that popularized a new type of cafe experience—one that elevated coffee from commodity to craft. There are now multiple locations throughout the city, as well as sites in Seattle, New York, Los Angeles and New Orleans.

Head to the headquarters on Salmon Street for free public tastings, where you can sip samples and learn from one of their knowledgeable baristas.

Stumptown Coffee cafe in Portland, Oregon; photo via Wikimedia Commons

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Apr 6 2016

Five must-see temples in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto, Japan is a city of seemingly endless temples and shrines, and it is easy to begin to feel as though one has seen it all—there are so many that even several days in Kyoto wouldn't allow for visiting nearly all of them. A few temples stand out for their intricacies and idiosyncrasies, and we highly recommend checking them out.

1. Fushimi Inari. This temple is famous for its red torii gates—there are thousands of them crawling up the hillside to the temple, with more being added all the time: Wealthy businesspeople donate them for large sums of money as tribute to the shrine of the god of rice and money. The shrine itself, at the top of the mountain (a long hike, and not really a necessity), isn't much of an attraction; you come for the gates. It's a great place to visit at night as well.

                                                                                    

          Just a small sampling of the thousands of gates at Fushimi Inari; photo via Wikimedia Commons

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Sep 15 2015

travel42 Best Of: Top 10 mountain lodges

Category: Best Of | Hotels | ListsMegan Leader @ 06:49

By this point in the year, we're all getting ready to say our goodbyes to summer and embrace the fall (and holiday?!) travel season. That means warm hearths, cozy beds, world-class comfort food, and bright foliage giving way to snow-capped peaks.

To celebrate the season and make the most of the chilly weather around the corner, we've rounded up our favorite hotels around the world that capitalize on their gorgeous mountain settings. Grab your camera and bundle up: Let's go exploring!

1. Four Seasons Resort Vail, Vail, Colorado. This Four Seasons is one of a growing number of FS properties with a low room count and large pool of amenities anchored to a More...

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Jun 11 2015

5 alternative destinations in Florida

Category: Destinations | ListsKaren @ 05:30

The state of Florida is a vacationer's paradise. I'd be willing to bet there isn't a square inch of undiscovered land – especially beach – anywhere in the state. Yet, it's still possible to find areas that aren't quite so besieged by tourists as the theme parks and big cities. If you want to take advantage of the Sunshine State's, well, sunshine, but would just as soon skip the madding crowds, consider booking some time in one of these places instead.

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Apr 7 2015

The best private restaurants in Havana

Category: Best Of | Destinations | Dining | Favorites | ListsChristine Norris @ 08:52

Things are changing in Cuba: President Raul Castro has made some sweeping reforms, and the U.S. is preparing to extend a hand of diplomacy to the long-shunned island nation. There's a lot of good news for travelers in all these changes, and the best and most important concerns the food. Cuban cuisine has never been anything to write home about, usually served poorly cooked and in a once elegant but now run-down government-owned restaurant; and surprisingly for an island, you really did not want to order any fish. Luckily for foodies, private, family-run restaurants have slowly been building a presence, especially in the capital, serving world-class cuisines in a myriad variety of styles. Here are some of our favorite paladars (private restaurants) to try in Havana.

La Corte del Principe. Without a doubt the best Italian restaurant in town, this unpretentious and off-the-beaten-path restaurant is beloved by Havana's expat community. Sergio, the Italian owner, has created a piece of home away from home, down to the red-and-white checkered tablecloths. The fare depends on Sergio's daily whim; the waiter will tell you what's on offer. Every dish is divine. Be sure to try whatever pasta is available.

               

                                Elegant seating at Le Chansonnier; photo courtesy of the restaurant

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Feb 17 2015

Top 10 all-inclusive resorts to visit in 2015

Category: Hotels | ListsMegan Leader @ 08:08

At travel42, we're always exploring the latest and greatest hotels and destinations all over the world. So each month this year, we're going to share our favorite properties in various hotel themes. This month, in celebration of wave season and warm-weather destinations, we're taking a look at all-inclusive properties (but not just in Mexico and the Caribbean)!

For many travelers, all-inclusive resorts provide one of the most valuable assets on vacation: Peace of mind. We've scoped out 10 of our favorite all-inclusive resorts across the globe, from Patagonia to Cancun, Vermont to Thailand. Here they are: Our top 10 picks for all-inclusive resorts in 2015.

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Feb 2 2015

10 things families will love about Club Med Cancun

Category: Destinations | Hotels | ListsMegan Leader @ 07:48

I had the privilege of visiting Club Med Cancun in September to attend the unveiling of its new building of Aguamarina family suites. This was my first-ever Club Med experience, and I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. When it comes to brand identity, Club Med has evolved immensely in the past few decades. These days, its focus is on family travel (often multigenerational) and infusing its properties with the effervescent joy, vibrancy and activity that Club Med is famous for today. 

Long story short, I had a blast at Club Med Cancun, and I got to see many families taking advantage of the resort's offerings to enjoy a delightful, fun-filled vacation together. Here are just a few of the things families have to look forward to at this resort. More...

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Jan 14 2015

Estonia, Europe's rising star

Category: Destinations | Favorites | ListsMegan Leader @ 08:55

Estonia has topped several trending destination lists for 2015, including travel42's own list of hot up-and-coming destinations. This may come as a surprise, because Estonia isn't a country that shouts out for your attention. This Baltic country, located just south of Finland, west of Russia and north of Latvia, is a quiet beauty. But boy, is it stunning. With a legacy of medieval castles, German manor houses, breathtaking coastlines and serene forests that look their most spectacular when covered in a fresh blanket of snow, Estonia is trending for good reason, and we've got the photos to prove it.

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Nov 3 2014

Playa del Carmen is calling me with these 4 luxurious resorts

Category: Hotels | ListsCindy @ 10:08

We’ve been updating travel42’s hotel reviews for Mexico, which has me dreaming of a visit to our southern neighbor. Nearly 30 years ago, I honeymooned in Cancun, long before it was spring-break central. It was an idyllic spot in the mid-1980s and offered everything we wanted for our honeymoon: a quiet, beautiful beach, romantic dining spots, delicious seafood and Yucatan specialties, interesting shopping and intriguing Mayan ruins. More...

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