Thanks to dramatic transformations, these five world-class museums are casting a whole new light on their collections.
Amsterdam: After a 10-year renovation, a grand atrium now greets visitors to the Rijksmuseum(pictured). More than 8,000 objects, including masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals, have been rearranged as a historical survey. —Raul Barreneche
Honolulu: The extraordinary story of how Pacific Islanders developed their diverse cultures is told—with canoes, costumes, musical instruments, and more—in the renovated Pacific Hall, debuting this month at the Bishop Museum. —Peter Webster
New York City: Housed in a pavilion built for the 1939 World’s Fair, the Queens Museum reopens in November at twice its original size. One of the first shows, “The People’s UN,” nods to the building’s former role as host to the General Assembly.—Peter Webster
Mexico City: The Museo Jumex, displaying artists both Mexican (Gabriel Orozco; Carlos Amorales) and global (Olafur Eliasson; Tacita Dean), expands into David Chipperfield’s sawtooth-roofed building in November. —Raul Barreneche
Cleveland: Come December, the Cleveland Museum of Artwill unveil the last of three wings by Rafael Viñoly, showing works that range from Chinese bronzes to Impressionist paintings. —Peter Webster
Air New Zealand, known for their offbeat in-flight safety videos, has released a new four-minute reel, featuring actress Betty White. The latest video depicts the former star of The Golden Girls at the fictional Second Wind Retirement Resort, where she instructs a lot chess-playing residents to “listen up” as her “cousin’s grandson” (a.k.a. an Air New Zealand flight attendant) reminds seniors of the usual on-board precautions (fastening seatbelts; pulling down oxygen masks).
“We had a lot of fun on set and I think we’ve shown that it doesn’t matter what age you are, it’s important to live life to the full,” says White.
Road trips with your pup just got a little safer, thanks to a new pack of crash-test dummy dogs. Partnering with Subaru, the Center for Pet Safety in Virginia used the dummies—which stimulated dogs from a 25-pound terrier to a 75-pound golden retriever—to test out seven different pet harnesses. Findings released last week “uncovered serious flaws in many of the popular pet restraints…with many resulting in catastrophic failure.”
“Selecting the wrong harness could be just as detrimental as not using one at all,” claims Michael Michale, Director of Communications at Subaru of America. While pet owners may get giddy at Fido hanging his head out of the window, pet advocacy groups insist this is a serious danger to both pet and passengers during a crash.
onefinestay—which is kind of like airbnb.com’s wealthy Auntie Mame—offers posh private apartments for short-term rentals. If you're a well-heeled traveler interested in privacy and space without sacrificing the services of a hotel, they've got the digs for you. Fine linens, fluffy towels, discreet maid service, and even a iPhone fully loaded with local recommendations will make you feel right at home, or even better, during your stay.
Until recently, onefinestay limited its offerings to homes in London and NYC (some of which, we’re told, belong to celebs, so check the family photos for familiar faces), but has now extended its boundaries to include Paris and Los Angeles. So if you’re planning a trip to those cities, peruse some of their swank—and sometimes surprisingly affordable— possibilities for accommodations.
While international tourists are shaking their collective fists at the closed gates of National Parks, another faction within the travel industry is grappling with the ugly effects of the government shutdown: witches, warlocks and their looky-loo friends in Salem, Mass.
After all, October is usually an extra-magical time of year for the hometown of the infamous 1692 witch trials. The month-long “Haunted Happenings,” which includes a psychic fair and witchcraft expo, conjures up about $30 million in revenue for the town, according to a recent AP article.
But here's the fly, or frog, in the ointment: Salem’s visitors center—the nerve center for the event—is run by the currently defunct National Park Service.
They are the stuff of Norse and Greek legends, but now Spain has its own claim on the mythology of sea monsters.
Last week, a giant squid washed up on La Arena beach in Cantabria, according to a report on the web site LiveScience. How giant, you ask? Try 30-feet-long giant.
Beachcombers were perhaps too taken aback to start making “Release the Kraken!” jokes right off the bat. Weighing in at about 400 pounds, the (expired) critter appears to be a specimen of Architeuthis dux, considered to be the largest invertebrate on Earth. These squid also have the biggest eyes—sometimes as large as a human head. (Try not to think about that next time you wade into the ocean.)
Move over penguins, there’s a new bird in Steel Town.
Currently floating down the Allegheny River is a 40-foot-tall (and 30-foot-wide) inflatable yellow duck. An art installation that simply goes by “The Rubber Duck,” created by Dutch artist, Florentijn Hofman.
The international sensation has debuted stateside as part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts. The festival is a four-week long series of dance, music, theater, performance and visual arts, presented by international artists making their U.S. debuts.
We’ve discovered a new—and very fabulous—set of bath amenities to pilfer. This fall, Peninsula Hotels will introduce a custom collection of soaps, shampoos, and lotions conceived by Oscar de la Renta into hotel guestrooms worldwide. The scent—a citrus, aromatic floral musk, with notes of mandarin, bergamot, freesia, and cedar—was developed with Firmenich, while the amenity line was produced by Gilchrist & Soames. T+L talked travel with Mr. De la Renta at the Peninsula New York’s 25thanniversary gala.
Q: Tell us about the amenity line. Why now, and why Peninsula?
A: I’ve been approached several times to do a product line for a hotel, but when this project came about, I was unbelievably intrigued. I have fond memories of the Peninsula Hong Kong and my experience there, taking the tram to the top of The Peak, and eating at the floating restaurants in Aberdeen. They kept pouring, pouring on the food!
If you’re going to an Oktoberfest this year, you might suddenly think the place is overrun with waitresses—those women wearing traditional dirndl outfits with a corset top, apron and peasant skirt. But this year, according to a recent report from Reuters, it’s the female customers who are donning the fashion, embracing that when-in-Bavaria spirit in increasing numbers.
The fashion trend is spreading outside the beer gardens, too. Flight attendants on some Lufthansa flights in recent weeks have been wearing dirndls, in honor of Oktoberfest season, and as perhaps the ultimate stamp of approval, Pippa Middleton was spotted wearing her own dirndl at a recent festival in Austria.
A: The boom in short-term apartment rentals, fueled by companies such as Airbnb, FlipKey, and HomeAway, has made rooms everywhere from Paris to Portland available online. That’s great for travelers looking for affordable hotel alternatives. But the rapid growth of this aspect of the new “sharing economy” has outpaced the law in certain cities—leaving some hosts (if not their guests) in decidedly murky legal terrain.
Anna Wintour. Vera Wang. Tina Turner. The client list of interior designer Stephen Sills reads like a who’s who of the style world. Since the 1980’s, Sills—one of Elle Décor’s Top 25 Designers—has decorated everything from a penthouse on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue to a modern mountain retreat in Aspen. (Back in the day, he also worked on hotels, including London’s Connaught Hotel and the St. Regis in New York.) As for his own Bedford, New York country house? Karl Lagerfeld has called it the “chicest house in America.” His latest book, Stephen Sills: Decoration (Rizzoli), which celebrates 16 design projects, hits shelves this month. Here, Sills shares some inspiration, advice on navigating antiques markets, and more.
In New York City, incredible feats of architecture and design are all around us (like the New Museum, above)…if only we’d look up from our cell phones to notice while walking down the street.
Well, New Yorkers now have reason to stop and look around, as this week ushers in the beginning of Archtober, a month-long, citywide celebration of architecture and design organized by the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture.
Now in its third year, Archtober offers over 150 curated programs, ranging from exhibits and walking tours to panels and workshops, and draws some of the biggest names in the industry—David Rockwell, MoMa’s Paola Antonelli, Jonathan Adler, Todd Williams and Billie Tsien, and more.
Twenty years ago last Friday I arrived at Travel + Leisure. I had been the editor in chief of House & Garden; a book editor at Clarkson Potter; and, fresh out of college, an assistant and then a reader in the fiction department of The New Yorker. I thought of myself as reasonably well traveled, though outside of what I’d read and edited, the closest I had come to South America was Mexico and the Caribbean, and to Asia, Hawaii. The world I entered in the summer of 1993 extended far beyond these boundaries to places that remain tagged in my memory for qualities that were then entirely new to me. My mental notes from a trip to Hong Kong in the fall of that year still remain: East-meets-West glamour; bamboo scaffolding; crossing Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry. From Auckland, New Zealand: green-lipped mussels for lunch on Queen Street; Waiheke Island sheep; grass; New Age shops. And so on, from Botswana (sandstorm; hippos) to Japan (textiles; ceramics; lacquerware), and from Buenos Aires to Tromsø in Norway’s Arctic Circle.
I think the last time I went to the theater was in 2010. (Slightly embarrassing given I live in New York City.) But every parent knows how it goes; somehow paying a sitter an hourly rate equivalent to the price of a ticket doesn't seem worth it. Well, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis is on to something. It just announced a new playcare program—I believe the first of its kind—for kids ages 4 to 11. You drop your little ones off at the theater's Level Eight Education Suite, head down to catch a matinee, then pick them up after the show, all for $10 an hour. Unfortunately, I'm not headed to Minneapolis anytime soon, but I'm hoping the Guthrie's idea catches on. It's genius.
Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @csedlak1.
The one gadget I can no longer travel without? My e-reader. But now that I’ve seen the new generation of Kindle Paperwhites, I’m thinking it might be time to upgrade what I’m putting in my carry-on. Here, the three things I’m digging most about Amazon’s latest release.
Page Flip: The only thing I miss about the paper book experience is the ability to flip back to earlier chapters. The new Paperwhite lets you pull up a slider that lets you scan through any novel—improving on their previous X-Ray feature that simply found previous mentions of common characters or concepts.
Integration with Goodreads:This isn’t out just yet, but soon, Kindle users will get to share book recommendations with friends on this innovative social media network.
On paper, the scheduled ceremony has plenty of dignity: according to recent reports, the Dallas Symphony will perform on the morning of the 22nd at Dealey Plaza, where Kennedy was shot, followed by readings from the president’s speeches (by Presidential biographer David McCullough), a military flyover and a performance by the U.S. Naval Academy’s Glee Club. Area museums, such as the Sixth Floor Museum (in Dealey Plaza) and the Dallas Museum of Art, will be doing thoughtful exhibits.
When Greek-American filmmaker Chrysovalantis Stamelos took his first trip to Turkey in 2008, he was immediately besotted with Istanbul’s minarets, markets and countless layers of multicultural history. “I went knowing a lot about the Greek community’s past there,” Stamelos admitted, referring to grisly incidents like The Great Fire of Smyrna (present-day Izmir, a lively port city on the western peninsula of Anatolia), a monstrous blaze that prompted the systematic evacuation of Greek residents, circa 1922. “But it felt like home to me,” he continued, adding that he eventually moved from New York City to Izmir—permanently—approximately three years ago.
“Hello Anatolia,” Stamelos’s latest documentary, co-produced with Paras Chaudhari (the two launched their Queens-based production company, Crescent Street Films, in 2005) shadows Stamelos as he rediscovers the birthplace of his ancestors. “I couldn’t shake off the stories I grew up with…of old Smyrna and Asia Minor,” Stamelos recalled. Equal parts vibrant travelogue and poignant self-discovery, the film is a thoughtful blend of interviews, neighborhood exploration and artistic immersion.
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.
Delta Air Lines, fed up with long lines its passengers face when arriving at Customs in New York City's JFK airport, is footing the bill to install automated passport machines.
Lines at the airport are the worst in the country, averaging over 90 minutes during peak hours, and nearing five hours on some occasions. Automated machines can shed 40 percent off of waiting times to clear customs, and at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport—the only U.S. airport to already have such machines—interview times with Customs officers have been halved to 30 seconds.
Delta views the new automated machines as a step in the right direction, says spokesperson Leslie Scott. She hopes the airline's contribution—whose price is undisclosed—will spur increased staffing, especially at peak times for international arrivals.
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 Pedone is on the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.
The feeding frenzy known as the New York City Wine & Food Festival is just days away. You name a culinary superstar, and chances are good he or she will be there: Daniel Boulud, David Chang, Alex Atala, April Bloomfield—the list goes on. (Even Whoopi Goldberg is making an appearance at a chicken-themed evening.)
While many of the big-ticket items are already sold out—including Martha Stewart’s cake-decorating class and a dinner with Eleven Madison Park’s Daniel Humm and Will Guidara—there are still plenty of ways to get a taste of what the fifth anniversary event has to offer.
It's hard to believe, but this winter's ski season is almost upon us. Not exactly known for being an affordable passtime, skiing does offer big savings to those who plan in advance.
Know when and where you want to go? Book early through Liftopia.com and access deals that can be up to 80 to 90 percent off rates you'd find at the slopes. Simply choose your region and your dates—the site partners with over 250 resorts across North America. Acting fast helps, as the disocounts for popular destinations and weekends can sell out early.
GetSkiTickets.com offers similar savings with nearly 50 resorts in U.S. and Canada, including biggies such as Park City, Squaw Valley, and Mount Sunapee. The site sells discount lift tickets, season passes, lessons and rentals.
The airline that gained popularity with egalitarianism and blue chips just announced its first premium cabins, debuting on transcontinental flights starting on June 15. But don’t call this Business Class. In JetBlue parlance, these seats are known as Mint.
Travelers will be able to experience Mint on JetBlue’s new Airbus 321s flying from New York’s JFK to LAX next summer, and later, to SFO. Each aircraft features 16 lie-flat seats, including a handful of private suites that have sliding doors for total seclusion.
“Think about it as elegance with a small e,” JetBlue CEO David Barger said as he revealed the new cabins, along with their signature His and Hers amenity kits curated by Birchbox, seasonal tapas menu from New York City’s hip restaurant Saxon + Parole, and unpremium pricing.
After watching the federal government grind to an ignominious halt last night over the budget impasse, you could be forgiven for wanting to get out of town—as in, leave the country—for a while.
Fortunately, although national parks and monuments are now closed and thousands of FAA aviation safety inspectors have been furloughed (shudder), U.S. passport offices remain open and processing applications. If you’re traveling within the next two weeks and need to get a rush passport, you can still schedule an appointment at your nearest passport agency. Just call ahead to make sure that office isn’t located in a federal building. If it is, you may be out of luck.
If you had a limitless budget, where would be the one city you’d shop in and what would you buy? Whether you’re a top designer, devoted foodie, or just travel-obsessed, responses to this type of question are nothing short of daydream-worthy.
For our most recent #ShopLikeALocal Twitter chat, answers to this question ranged from Designers Yeardley Smith of Marchez Vous and Kara Ross of Kara Ross NY both choosing New York City; Designer Chris Benz voting for Paris to hunt down the many treasures he covets; Creative Director, Rafe, wanting to head off the map and buy a beachfront house in Palawan; or Designer Cynthia Vincent dreaming of a summer home in Istanbul so that she can decorate it with everything from local markets and bazaars—for us, we would choose all of the above.
Beginning today, Oct. 1, Emirates Airlines launches a new route: JFK-Milan. Why is this big news? Because the expanding UAE-based airline will offer the only first-class service between the two popular cities. And, it's the first flight of the airline’s that does not touch down in Dubai before flying on to other gateways.
We expect Emirates’ first transatlantic service to be a big boon for business and leisure travelers, and are already imagining the crush of Louis Vuitton suitcases during Milan and NYC’s Fashion Weeks.
Departure and arrival schedules are timed to sync with flights going to and from feeder markets, especially those on JetBlue (US) and easyJet (Europe).
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 Pedone is part of the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.
Q: Are there any souvenirs that I can’t bring home with me?—Sarah Neff, Austin, Tex.
A: Everyone loves a good souvenir, but be mindful when shopping overseas—there are certain items that you simply cannot bring back with you because of U.S. import restrictions, or that you should avoid buying due to environmental and safety concerns. Here, a look at the souvenir-shopper’s blacklist.
The United States has import restrictions that protect the cultural property of countries whose art and antiquities have traditionally been vulnerable to theft and illegal trafficking. The Department of State has agreements with 16 nations, including Cambodia (covering Khmer archaeological materials: ceramics, stone, and metal articles) and Peru (restricting certain textiles, sculptures, wood, and metal articles from both the pre-Columbian and colonial periods). The U.S. has similar agreements to prohibit the trade of culturally significant items from China, Greece, Guatemala, Italy, and Mali, among other countries. (See eca.state.gov for more details.) Be aware that countries without U.S. import agreements may have their own export protections in place. Look into local permissions and permits for any relic or antiquity you plan to carry back to the States.