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Travel + Leisure Celebrates Charleston with Bow Ties in NYC

201407-hd-bow-tie-day-groupjpgIn honor of Charleston, voted by readers as number one US city in the 2014 World's Best Awards, T+L gave out bow ties from South Carolina's Cordial Churchman.

Charleston's chic, classic style is just one of the many reasons readers rank it so highly. Known for its food scene, historic architecture, and good old Southern Charm,the city has nabbed top spot in the US two years in a row. Last year, it ranked seventh in the world overall, jumping to second place this year—and beating international heavyweights such as Rome, Siem Reap, Istanbul, and Mexico City in the process. Only Kyoto scored higher with readers this year.

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Of Course Dubai is Building the World's First Temperature-Controlled City

Dubai is making headlines again, announcing plans to construct an indoor city that will be 100 percent temperature-controlled.

An official statement from investment company Dubai Holding, Sheik Mohammed Bin Rashid's latest project will be called the Mall of the World. Yet with 20,000 hotel rooms in the pipeline, it's far from the average shopping complex.

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Airbnb Redesign Brings Hosts Center Stage

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In a live broadcast this morning, Airbnb cofounders Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia and Nate Blecharczyk announced a major site redesign for the San Francisco-based company. Over 13,000 Airbnb users tuned in from 78 countries to the invitation-only event, and T+L spoke to company Product Lead Justin Santamaria for a sneak peek at the new look.

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Carnival Cruise Lines to Ban Balcony Smoking

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The "fun ships" are becoming healthier too: Carnival Cruise Lines announced this week that, starting October 9th, it will ban smoking on stateroom balconies, joining an ever growing fleet of companies restricting where guests can light up.

Cigarettes will still be permitted in designated areas—such as certain nightclubs, casino areas, and several outdoor decks.  Why the new restriction? According to Carnival’s official statement, the shift comes in response to the “preferences of a majority of our guests.” It also brings Carnival in line with its sister companies Cunard and P&O, which updated their policies last August. Other brands owned by the Carnival Corporation, such as Seabourn and Holland America, still permit balcony smoking.

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Robot Parks Cars for Travelers at German Airport

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Leave it to the efficient Germans: Düsseldorf Airport now uses a robot to park cars, rather than have travelers search for a spot on their own.

Ray, as the new robot is called, picks up vehicles from six drop-off "transfer boxes" near the terminal before leaving the cars in one of 249 parking spots available through the program—the first of its kind in the world.

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Boston Celebrates July 4th with England's Magna Carta

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In time for Independence Day, Boston's Museum of Fine Arts has opened an exhibition with a rare copy of England's Magna Carta, one of the building blocks for America's Constitution and other bills of rights.

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Zen Moment: Switzerland From Above

This year, Swiss Tourism is celebrating the Alpine nation's incredible views, and a new video does just that. "Switzerland From Above," filmed by renowned French journalist Yann Arthus, takes viewers on an aerial tour of some of the country's most scenic vistas.

The Rheinfalls, high mountain peaks, and bucolic farm scenes (Swiss cows!) all appear in the film, which is set to a transfixing score by Armand Amar.

So take a moment—well, 20 minutes actually—to experience Switzerland from above.

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can find him on Twitter at @pschles08.

 

We Love Virgin America's New/Adorable/Gay-Friendly Website

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If you've booked a flight with Virgin America recently, you may have noticed the airline's fun new Where We Fly page, which uses artsy icons to symbolize each of its destinations.

Just in time for the city's Pride festival this weekend—the country's largest—San Francisco appears as the Golden Gate Bridge under a rainbow, with one of the city's famed sea lions dressed as the police officer from the Village People.

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Cape Cod Beaches Ban Smoking

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Just in time for summer's high season, popular Cape Cod beaches enacted smoking bans last week.

Meant to minimize second-hand smoke for the marjority of beachgoers, the bans apply to six heavily visited lifeguarded areas on Massachusett's Cape Cod National Seashore. Smokers will have to head several hundred feet away from lifeguard stations to light up.

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Man Stranded at the Airport Films Viral Celine Dion Video

What do you do when you're stranded overnight at the airport? That's the question Richard Dunn asked when he found himself alone at Las Vegas's McCarran International Airport.

The answer he came up with has since gone viral: Using his phone to create a lip-synced music video to Celine Dion's 1996 hit "All By Myself."

Even better? The songstress saw the video and responded with a video of her own, inviting Dunn back to Las Vegas so he wouldn't have to be alone.

Peter Schlesinger is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure and a member of the Trip Doctor news team. You can find him on Twitter at @pschles08.

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