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The Best Craft Vodkas

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Since the 8th century, flavorless, ethanol-esque vodka has been a means to an end (see serfs, Russian), and rightfully so—the stuff just isn’t that good. But a new band of global distillers is shaking up (ahem) the scorned booze with inventive ingredients and high-quality methods, transforming it from soda-with-lime afterthought to a sip-worthy nightcap. Here, in honor of National Vodka Day, seven craft bottles worth putting on your shelf.     

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What Your Instagram Filter Says About You

What Your Instagram Filter Says About You

A picture may speak a thousand words, but a filter is a look into a traveler’s soul. Here’s what you’re projecting with your choice of special effects.

Earlybird
To blazes with hard-edged modernity! You yearn for the softly faded era of steamer trunks and hot-air balloons. Jules Verne is your Virgil. Your ideal evening starts with a Delmonico steak and an oyster roast, and ends at the kinetoscope. In your luggage: a hoopskirt and a stovepipe hat.

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We Love Urban Cowboy Bed and Breakfast in Williamsburg

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On a Thursday night in June, the open-air communal living room at Urban Cowboy—a new four room B&B on a leafy Williamsburg, Brooklyn, block—is echoing every stereotype about a borough that’s now considered the universal fulcrum of cool.

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Q+A: Singer (and Soon to Be TV Star) LeAnn Rimes Talks Travel with T+L

After teaming up wtih LeAnn Rimes to DJ the performance of her new single, "Help Me Make it Through the Night," Wednesday on The View, I sat down with the Grammy Award-winning singer to get her travel picks. And don't miss the debut of LeAnn & Eddie, airing tonight at 10:30 p.m. EST on VH1.  

Q: You guys are on the road so much. What’s an ideal Saturday when you’re home in L.A.?
A: Riding Eddie’s Harley to Malibu, then ending the day at Moonshadows, a waterfront spot with freshly caught seafood, or Malibu Country Mart. There’s an amazing Greek restaurant there called Taverna Tony—we always get the roasted baby lamb!

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Photographer Ben Watts Captures Australia's Byron Bay

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Photographer Ben Watts trains his lens on Australia’s hippest beach colony.

Two hours outside Brisbane, Byron Bay is a long way to travel—its remoteness edits who comes here. The hippie-chic spirit is similar to other bohemian outposts: Bali, Ibiza, Montauk. One of my favorite things is the diverse mix of people—everyone from artists to backpackers to celebrities.

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How to Ride a Vespa Like an Italian

how to ride a Vespa

So you think you can just scooter around Rome like a carefree Audrey Hepburn or Gregory Peck? Think again. Mastering the iconic bike—not to mention the traffic—requires serious know-how. Claudio Sarra of Bici & Baci, which provides Vespas to the St. Regis hotel ($$$$), gives us tips on safe navigation.

1. Driving in Rome can be dangerous. Put on a helmet, fasten the chin strap, and slide the visor down to protect against oncoming insetti.

2. Lift the Vespa off the kickstand before starting the engine and giving it gas, or risk losing control and launching it unpiloted into the street (a common mistake).

3. Avoid aree pedonali (pedestrianized zones) and bus lanes, which are marked with yellow paint. Everywhere else is fair game. Well, not sidewalks.

4. Romans hardly follow routine traffic laws, let alone use hand signals; be hyper-attentive for other scooters veering in and out of gridlock, and bypass the busiest intersections.

5. With such narrow frames, parking is a breeze—and free (even in metered spots). Be sure to take your belongings with you, and don’t forget to lock up.

Travel Tip Video: Rome Made Easy

Related Links:
T+L's Definitive Guide to Rome
Europe's Best Places to Eat Like a Local
How to Learn a Language

Illustration by Michael Hoeweler

Neighborhood Buzz: Nashville's 12 South District

12 South: Imogene & Willie

Music City’s once-gritty 12 South district is on the rise, with 1920’s bungalows reimagined as locavore restaurants and stylish shops. T+L walks the line.

Go full Willy Wonka at Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream, an Ohio import where the wackadoodle flavors include Riesling-poached pear and goat cheese with red cherries. Worth two scoops: “biscuits & peach jam,” inspired by the classic dish at nearby Loveless Café. 2312 12th Ave. S.

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New Book Shines a Light on Hinckley Yachts

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For a generation of mariners, Hinckley has been a source of national pride—their handcrafted vessels are decked out with a classic style that stands out in oceans and harbors across the world. In his new book, Hinckley Yacts: An American Icon, sailing aficionado Nick Voulgaris III takes readers on a nostalgic journey through 86 years of boatbuilding. T+L sat down with the author for an up-close look at the project.  

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Miami Art Week Kicks Off

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Miami Art Week kicks-off another year of buzzworthy fairs this week, drawing the international cognoscenti for the latest round of high-priced purchases and ritzy parties. It’s an especially notable time for a culture scene whose boundless growth has shifted the art world’s center of gravity toward South Florida—the glittering Pérez Art Museum Miami’s debut is the latest jaw-dropping splash, and hotels like The Betsy have a full slate of arts programming—exhibits, meet-the-artist events, and more.

As its cachet continues to rise, T+L sat down with Art Miami Director Nick Korniloff to get the scoop on the 2013 rendition. 

Q: What are the can't-miss exhibitions at Art Miami this year?

A: The 2014 edition of Art Miami will provide an unprecedented group of high-quality galleries from around the globe that will have a selection of works at the forefront of the contemporary market. The fair will have three distinct curated projects—Check Out (above), Think Big and Zoom In (below)—that clearly define the overall depth, diversity, and quality of the Art Miami Fair. Each project area incorporates large-scale sculpture, flat work, video, and new media. In addition, we will have a special exhibition of Banksy original works, including one piece from his recent NY residency program.

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Irish Singer Declan O'Rourke Makes U.S. Debut

“Divine Intervention.”

That’s how Irish folk-rock star Declan O’Rourke characterizes his foray into music. How else to explain the circumstances behind the acquisition of his first guitar, gifted to him by a priest as a ten-year-old boy in Melbourne, Australia?

It’s been a faith-driven journey from there to here, another string-picker on the Dublin open-mic circuit to opener for cult-band Snow Patrol and the legendary Bob Dylan. On October 8th, O’Rourke celebrated his first U.S. release with the album “Mag Pai Zai”, which, along with records “Since Kyabram” (2004) and “Big Bad Beautiful World”(2007), has been a mainstay on the Top Ten charts across the pond. The latest ballads stay true to O’Rourke’s classic, crooning sound, yet unfurl with a newfangled sense of self-assuredness.

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