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Vote For Your Town in T+L's America's Favorite Towns Survey


Small towns have a charm you just can’t find in cities. Quiet B&Bs stand in place of bustling hotel towers; mom-and-pop shops outnumber the strip malls. Beach towns like Rehoboth, DE and Boca Grande, FL are all-American classics, with saltwater taffy and seafood shacks lining the boardwalks. Stranger towns like Lily Dale, NY are known for their residents (psychics here were the focus of an HBO documentary), while Bardstown, KY’s 1892 courthouse makes its town square one of the most beautiful.

We’ve nominated these towns—and hundreds of others across the U.S.—to be one of America’s Favorites. Think your town deserves recognition? Head here to view our full list and vote in a number of categories, from farmer’s markets to cool motels. Rank your town from now until Oct. 15th and—besides possible bragging rights—receive a free download of the World's Best Affordable Beaches and a chance to win $25,000 towards a dream vacation. Follow the hashtag #TLTowns on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more to see how much noise your town is making.

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DogVacay App Gives Pet Parents a Break


Tech-savvy pet parents now have a way to discover dog sitters wherever they’re traveling. DogVacay.com has launched their first mobile app (available for iOS) that uses location services to find vetted and insured home boarding, pet sitting, and doggie daycare centers around you. The app functions like a cross between HotelTonight (last-minute booking) and Yelp (user reviews) for your pup, with the ability to schedule meet-and-greets and make reservations with potential pet hosts. Rates claim to start at $15/night, but be weary of your location—services in Midtown Manhattan, for example, range from $35 to $80/night.

Our favorite feature? The doggie pics. Pet hosts can set reminders to send you photo updates of your pet having a ball (or fetching one) directly through the app. So even on your night off, you can have some Instagram-worthy shots of Fluffy to take home.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is on the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Photo courtesy of DogVacay

Dogfish Head Brewery Opens Delaware Hotel


Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, based in the tiny town of Milton, Delaware, is now venturing into the travel world. In late spring 2014, these brew masters plan to open Dogfish Inn in downtown Lewes, at what is currently the Vesuvio Motel. The 16-room motel, which sits halfway between Dogfish’s brewpub and distillery in Rehoboth Beach and their production brewery in Milton, will serve as a warm welcome to visiting beer-lovers. Locals are buzzed about the opening as well—with no pub or restaurant on-site, nearby venues will be providing snack-relief.

Designers from Studio Tack in Brooklyn and Lighthouse Construction in Magnolia, DE will renovate the space, which promises to bring some laid-back “Dogfish vibes” to the beach town. Sound too chill? Pedal down the Breakwater Trail to reach the brewpub for a taste of those famed IPA’s—and opt for a taxi ride on the way back.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is part of the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Photo courtesy of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Dogtoberfest & New Pet-Friendly Hotel Ella Come to Austin


October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month, and what better way to raise awareness than by celebrating the season with our canine companions? Come October 19, Dogtoberfest kicks off in Austin, Texas. The annual festival—now in its sixth year—features a slew of activities where your pups take center stage. Weiner dog races, a canine costume contest, and DogtoberTROT, a 1K stroll around Austin’s Domain mall, are among the most anticipated.

Don’t live in the area? No worries—Austin’s newest pet-friendly addition, Hotel Ella, just opened today. There’s no size or weight limit for dogs, which means whether you have a dachshund or Doberman pincher, specialty biscuits, beds, and in-room dining are all up for grabs.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is part of the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Photo courtesy of dogtoberfestaustin.org / Nicole Mlakar

Enterprise Debuts Electric Cars in Orlando


If you’re planning a vacation to Orlando this winter, you may want to consider renting an electric car. In an effort to make the Sunshine State a shade greener, the Electrification Coalition has partnered with Enterprise Rent-A-Car, among other area travel companies, to launch their new Drive Electric initiative. The project is a big step towards eco-friendly travel, especially since Orlando is one of America's most visited cities (according to Forbes), attracting over 50 million guests annually.

Besides shrinking your carbon footprint, the perks also extend to your wallet. Orlando's metro area boasts over 300 charging stations—many of them free—with complimentary re-charging at participating hotels like the Peabody Orlando. And with no gas tank to go empty, you won’t have to waste time filling up between Kingdoms.

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Pet-Friendly Hikes in Mammoth Lakes, CA


This Sunday marks the first official day of fall. Lucky for Fido, the crisp air and clear skies make for some of the best walking weather of the year. So why not take advantage of the golden foliage and head on a hike?

Mammoth Lakes, California has hundreds of miles of trails set along the Eastern Sierra, with plenty of pet-friendly options. Dogs are welcome to ride the Panorama Gondola, bringing you both up 11,053 feet to the summit of Mammoth Mountain. Take advantage of photo opp’s here before your pup gets tired.

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Time-Lapse Video: Raising the Costa Concordia Cruise Ship

After nearly 20 months since Costa Concordia's shipwreck off the coast of Italy, the vessel is finally upright. The above video shows the ship over the course of a 19-hour operation to pull it up from its capsized state.

Maria Pedone


Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Indian Festival Lights Up Times Square


Nina Davuluri, who was just crowned Miss America 2014, is already setting off sparks as the first Indian-American to receive the beauty title. And as a Syracuse native, it’s no wonder the Empire State is ready to celebrate with a display as monumental as her win.

Diwali, known in India and across parts of Asia as the Festival of Lights, is fittingly being brought to Times Square, one of New York City’s brightest areas. This Sunday, plan to wander Broadway from West 45th to 46th streets for a sampling of Indian culture. Starting at 11 a.m., you can nibble on South Asian eats, learn how to drape a sari, and take dance lessons in traditional styles—think Miss America’s energetic Bollywood number for the talent competition.

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Pet Travel Wednesdays: Brews & Bones


As pet parents, playing is what we do best—fetch in the park, local hikes, beachside runs. But after all that adventure, us humans could use a break—and nothing cures an ache (or the midweek blues) like an ice-cold beer. And if you’re lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, Bay Woof has mapped out the best restaurants, bars, wineries, and more to tipple while still keeping your pup’s tail wagging.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Co., for example, has won for “Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant” two years in a row. While you can sip on house-brewed Mavericks craft beer, your pup can nipple (read: gnaw) on their house-made Mavericks bones—talk about a pairing! Now you and your pals (whether two-or-four-legged) can all kick back over your favorite treats.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Photo courtesy of Ellipses Public Relations

100 Ways to Travel Better: 3 Tips from a "Lazy Traveler"


Looking for the best travel tips? Travel + Leisure has teamed up with CNN to bring you 100 Ways to Travel Better, the definitive resource for top travel advice from experts—and you!

CNN iReporter vshilpi from Bangalore, India isn't ashamed of being a "lazy traveler." Not all tourist traps are worth visiting, and time is of the essence while you're away. Here are three of this iReporter's takeaways that will help you travel faster and more affordably:

1. On local travel: While in a major city, purchase an all-inclusive day, two-day, or week-long public transportation pass for "the ultimate money saver."

2. On dining: "If you smell something good, try it." Any spot that's bustling with locals is a good call.

3. On packing: "Pack well, but don't carry your world with you." Most items (except for medication) will be available once you land, so keep to the necessities.

Have your own travel tips? Submit an iReport here, and be sure to follow the hashtag #travelbetter on Twitter.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Photo courtesy of CNN iReport/ vshilpi


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