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Guess Where? Colored Houses

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These colorful row houses strike a note with both residents and visitors in this newly re-developed neighborhood.

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Vacationist: Las Vegas, Santa Fe, Vancouver

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This week we head West, dear Vacationists, for hotel deals in Las Vegas, Santa Fe, and Vancouver, amongst other destinations. Which property is offering rates of less than $100 a night? Click here for more.

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Personal Map Quest

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Run out of clever ways to show off your impressive array of passport stamps? Now you can proudly track your travels with this Places on Earth print.  The print, a hand-drawn map of the world, comes complete with a container of pushpins, and four heavy bulldog clips (to keep the print from curling).

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5 Great New Urban Hotels

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Here are some of the hot new urban hotels from around the globe:

Buenos Aires
Prodigal son Hernán Gipponi (who ran the restaurant at the Guggenheim Bilbao, in Spain) returns to his native Buenos Aires as head chef at the food-centric, 27-room Fierro Hotel Palermo (doubles from $170). Gipponi’s menu is the highlight, but don’t miss the killer wine cellar or the seventh-floor pool.

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TODAY Show: Easy Family Spring Breaks

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

There’s no shortage of travel ideas for families looking to shake off winter this year. From camping in canvas tents in Yosemite National Park to a kid-friendly luxe resort stay in Texas, check out these smart and affordable getaways for March and April.

Planters Plans Mr. Peanut Pocket Parks for U.S. Cities

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Planters, the peanut and snack company, has announced plans to create small, branded, green spaces on unused plots of land in San Francisco, New Orleans, NYC, and Washington, D.C.

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Exploring Los Angeles's Little Tokyo

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If that trip to Tokyo to slurp noodles and buy sneakers isn’t in the cards, go for Plan B: a day in and around Los Angeles’s Little Tokyo. The downtown neighborhood is filled with sushi joints, Buddhist temples, and opportunities to try mochi ice cream (reportedly invented here at pastry shop Mikawaya). Check in to the Kyoto Grand Hotel & Gardens and follow the walking tour mapped out at visitlittletokyo.com.

Margot Guralnick is a contributor to Travel + Leisure.

Image courtesy of Kyoto Grand Hotel

Hottest Spring Art Projects

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Be on the lookout for these new art projects this coming spring.

Architecture
The charming port city of Avilés, in northern Spain, has unveiled the Centro Niemeyer—designed by 103-year-old architect Oscar Niemeyer, the Brazilian poet of poured concrete. Programming at the cultural center includes art, opera, and film and kicks off this spring with “La Luz,” an exhibition about light curated by acclaimed Spanish film director Carlos Saura.

Museum
The Carlos Slim Foundation’s newest masterpiece? The Museo Soumaya, in Mexico City’s Polanco district. Architect Fernando Romero’s six-story building—a torqued pavilion of steel, glass, and aluminum—will house a collection ranging from old masters (Rubens; Tintoretto) to Modernist works (Picasso; Tamayo).

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TODAY Show: Spring Break for Baby Boomers

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

From drag-racing in the desert to witnessing the Grey Whale migration in Baja, these trips offer the adventure of a lifetime.

Mark Orwoll is the international editor at Travel + Leisure.

Paris’s New Literary-Themed Hotel

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Voltaire once wrote, “God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” Paris’s new Pavillon des Lettres takes this spirit to heart, and also pays homage to Voltaire himself, along with 25 other writers who were the inspiration for this chic hotel on a quiet street in the Eighth Arrondissement. Opened by the owners of the nearby Pavillon de la Reine, the 26 sleek guest rooms each channel an international author—from Hans Christian Andersen to Émile Zola—with their prose decorating the walls and their oeuvres on the shelves. Didier Benderli, the protégé of French architect Jacques Garcia, has imbued the hotel with a kind of masculine sexiness (dark velvet furnishings; stone floors).

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Final Chance! Vote for Photo Contest Grand Prize Winner

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Time's running out! This weekend is your final chance to vote for the Grand Prize winner of Travel + Leisure's 2010 Photo Contest. Help decide which one of our 2010 monthly contest winners (seen above) will take the Grand Prize—a trip for two to Hawaii—including a stay at the Halekulani Hotel, a World's Best Award winner. Click here to see the finalists and vote for the one you think deserves to win. Voting ends midnight Monday.

Vote here for the grand prize winner now.

If you missed the chance to enter your photos in the 2010 contest, don't miss the chance to enter your best shots in one of our current contests.

Airline with Club Atmosphere to Serve Las Vegas

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CNN | Mood lighting, club music and pre-flight safety briefings from virtual celebrities: Gamblers may soon have a swanky new way to arrive in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LV Air, a new airline that hopes to start service this fall with four daily nonstop flights between the gaming capital and New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, promises to bring a bit of Sin City fun and luxury on board.

"When you enter the aircraft, it will seem as if you're entering a club. ... It'll be a very festive atmosphere," said Sean Smith, LV Air's chief marketing officer, describing dark blue and purple lighting in coach class, and club music pulsating from the speakers of the chartered Boeing 767s.

Photo Courtesy of LV Air.


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Technology Aboard Cruise Ships

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Gone are the days of heading out to sea and losing all contact with the world. Cell and Internet services are now standard (though free in-room Wi-Fi is not), and some lines have gone even further with their tech amenities. Holland America has introduced a series of classes covering such subjects as digital photography and blogging. And on its October voyage, Crystal Symphony will offer a digital filmmaking workshop, led by BBC producer Michael Rosenblum, that includes instruction on shooting and editing travel videos.

Sherri Eisenberg is a contributor to Travel + Leisure.

Illustration by Jean-Philippe Delhomme

Vacationist: Lake Tahoe, Bermuda, Rome

201102-b-vaca-squawcreekjpgThis week’s Vacationist deals run the gamut, from a northern California ski retreat to a Bermuda beach hideaway and a palazzo in Rome. Another bonus? Many of the properties recently underwent renovations and expansions, which means that you’re sure to enjoy the best possible accommodations for your upcoming stay. Get your skis, bathing suit, or walking shoes ready now.

Still not a member? Click here to join.

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News Kid on the Mall: Washington D.C.’s Newseum

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The Newseum, an interactive museum in Washington, D.C., is dedicated to the role of journalism in history.  Sound dull and preachy?  Not at all.  In fact, it was declared the “best museum ever” by my three under-10 companions this past weekend.

Where else can you peer inside Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s stark cabin?  Or stand in front of a real television camera and give your own fast-paced sports report?  Or feel the breeze on your face as you ride the ferry to the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on Blackwell’s Island alongside investigative reporter Nelly Bly?

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Delta: SkyMiles Are Forever

CNN |  SkyMiles no longer expire, Delta Air Lines announced Tuesday.

The frequent flier perk system, which enables users to earn free plane tickets or in-flight upgrades, is the first among major U.S. airlines to preserve points indefinitely.

Before January 1, 2011, SkyMiles became invalid if no qualifying mileage activity, such as acquiring or redeeming miles, occurred for more than 24 months.

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Crystal Cruises’ New Voluntourism Program

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This year, Crystal Cruises is taking voluntourism at sea to a new level with its just-launched You Care, We Care program, which offers passengers the option of free, service-oriented shore excursions on all 2011 itineraries. Each of the 58 trips has been carefully designed by local tour operators to help communities. You can decorate a children’s center in Lima, Peru; tend to an urban farm in Cartagena, Colombia; or help in beach clean-up efforts in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Sherri Eisenberg is a contributor to Travel + Leisure.

Illustration by Laurie Rosenwald

Is a 'Euro Vegas' in the Cards?

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USA Today |  It will be if Sheldon Adelson, best known as the man behind The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas, has his way. His Las Vegas Sands corporation also has holdings in Macau and Singapore, which have become Asian gaming meccas.

Now, Adelson is eyeing Spain. According to the Agence France-Presse wire service, the mogul is betting on establishing a "Euro Vegas."

He told the Foreign Correspondents Association in Singapore that Las Vegas Sands is talking to officials from Barcelona and Madrid to establish a strip of casinos.

Photo Courtesy of The Venetian

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Let the Good Times Roll: Best New Travel Bags

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Invest in a good roll-aboard—it makes life so much better on the road. Clockwise from top: Tumi Alpha Bravo Bremerton in ballistic nylon, $495; Britto Collection by Heys Landscape Flowers 22-inch hard-side Spinner, $250; Timbuk2 Checkpoint in ballistic fabric, $250; Longchamp Darshan Luggage, $475; the North Face Rolling Thunder in durable nylon, $229; Halsea Roller Suitcase in laminated canvas, $335; Trunki by Melissa & Doug child-size Trunki Ruby, $40.

Dorkys Ramos is a contributor to Travel + Leisure

Photo by Levi Brown

NYC Wants Its Rude Rep Back

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David vs. Goliath.

Cain vs. Abel.

Tyson vs. Holyfield.

Sure, those fights were pretty epic, but they pale in comparison to one battle that has been going on since the dawn of time…or, y’know, for a few decades. Or something. I’m talking about the duel between NYC and Los Angeles.

Residents from the bicoastal cities historically have been actively engaged in an extreme competition to be the best of the best. But a new blog, based in of one of those cities (New York), is beginning a campaign to win a different, seemingly unexpected title: rudest.

Yep. Rudest.

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TODAY Show: Affordable Beach Getaways You’ll Love

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

This time of year, there’s nothing more tantalizing than a sunny getaway. Or is there? Sure, a bungalow on the beach sounds great, but what if you could stay there for less than $250 a night? T+L Features Editor Nilou Motamed shares her tips for where to soak up the rays—and save.

Want more? Check out our slideshow of all 30 of T+L’s picks for best affordable beach resorts right now.

TODAY Show: Splurge or Steal Winter Travel Deals

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Dying to leave your coat, scarf, and hat behind? February is an ideal month for a winter escape, especially for those of us on the East Coast, where snow still covers the sidewalks. Here are a couple great ideas at two price points, so you can decide whether now’s the time for a splurge or a steal.

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Vacationist: Greek Islands Week

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A Greek Islands getaway is one for the bucket list—a trip of a lifetime complete with tours of whitewashed villages, lunches at seaside food stands, and endless hours on sun-soaked deserted beaches. But with almost 3,000 islands in all, how do you hone in on the right hotels? Enter Vacationist’s Greek Islands Week, for deals on charming properties in Patmos, Kos, and Crete, and up to 40 percent off at the 88-room Margi Hotel, in Athens, just minutes from the Adriatic. Book your Greek Islands experience now.

Still not a Vacationist? Click here to join.

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Hilton’s Holistic Spa Concept

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With treatment “journeys” based on healing rituals from around the globe, Hilton’s Eforea spa concept is paving a new path in the world of wellness. Slated to open in Bangkok and Melbourne in March, it will be rolled out to 90 properties worldwide. Our favorite treatment? The Aboriginal-inspired Escape body wrap: an exfoliation with mother-of-pearl followed by a cocoon of warm pearl-and-kelp mud. At the spa’s Travel Bar, you can buy products from the treatments in TSA-approved sizes. hilton.com; treatments from $115.

Nora Zelevansky is a contributor to Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Hilton Hotels & Resorts

FAA: One Billion Fliers a Year by 2021!

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CNN |  Feeling crowded at the airport and on your flights? Get ready to have even more company when flying.

Air travel in the United States is expected to more than double in the next 20 years, according to the Federal Aviation Administration's annual forecast released on Tuesday.

It also predicts U.S. airlines will carry 1 billion passengers a year by 2021, a milestone that will come two years earlier than previously thought. (To put that number into perspective, about 712 million passengers flew on domestic carriers in 2010.)

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Photo by Don Wilson/Courtesy of Port of Seattle.

Francis Ford Coppola’s New Culinary Projects

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Director and vintner Francis Ford Coppola gives T+L the scoop on his Francis Ford Coppola Winery, in Sonoma, California, and his soon-to-open Palazzo Margherita, in Basilicata, Italy (coppolaresorts.com).

What’s on the menu at the winery? It’s a family resort, but with no hotel. You can swim, play bocce, see movie memorabilia, and eat at Rustic. The menu has all my favorite things: for meat, we have an Argentine parrilla grill. For dessert, there’s a cream puff with a cannoli filling my mother used to make. And to drink, our Archimedes Cabernet or caipirinhas.

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T+L on the Today Show: Hotel Getaways to Fall in Love With

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Oops, even if you missed the chance to sneak away for Valentine’s Day this year, there’s still time to redeem yourself and steal away with your loved one. After all, romance is a year-round affair, and what better way to celebrate togetherness than to escape to a dreamy hideaway?

T+L Features Editor Nilou Motamed’s top picks for a romantic hotel getaway are:

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Win a Trip for Two to Paris!

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Sick of Valentine’s Day? Even if you love to hate the holiday, you’d still accept a free trip to Paris, non?

If your answer is “OUI!” click over to NileGuide and enter their “Fall in Love with the City of Love” contest to win a trip for two to the City of Light. In addition to airfare and seven nights in a furnished luxury apartment courtesy of iStopover, the grand prize also includes dinner at the Les Deux Magots, tickets to the Eiffel Tower, and a visit to the Museé Rodin.

All you have to do is become a fan of NileGuide on Facebook and enter your contact information. C’est facile, n’est pas?

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Q&A: Most Romantic Experiences in Africa?

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Last year I had the pleasure of meeting the mother-daughter team behind Extraordinary Journeys. As their name implies, Marcia and Elizabeth Gordon (below) custom craft some pretty swoon-worthy adventures—to Africa, a place they know top to bottom (and all the secret spots in between) and that easily inspires dreamy visions of exotic animals, ancient baobab trees, and untamed landscapes where it’s impossible not to get away from it all.

201102-b-africa-1jpgSince my husband and I have a new baby and no real plans on deck for celebrating Valentine's Day this year, I thought I’d call on Elizabeth to share her expert tips—and provide me/Carry On with a vicarious dose of travel-inspired romance. Clip and save, dear readers. Sleeping under the stars on the Savannah beats a box of chocolates any day.

Question: In your opinion, what are some of the most romantic and memorable experiences in Africa?

Answers:

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Trend Alert: Restaurants Using iPads as Virtual Sommeliers

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With the release of the iPad nearly one year ago, the device is changing the way we do business. And while it might seem an unlikely combination, even restaurants have hopped on the bandwagon. Yes, a handful are loading their menus onto iPads for customers to peruse—a costly and wasteful business practice, all in the name of flashiness, as far as I'm concerned. But that’s not exactly what I’m talking about; there are more and more turning iPads into useful (and yes, flashy) tools that actually improve the dining experience.

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