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#ShopLikeALocal as Only the Experts Know How

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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.

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Emirates Debuts First Transatlantic Flight

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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).

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Dogfish Head Brewery Opens Delaware Hotel

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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

Souvenir Blacklist—What Not to Bring Back

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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.

Cultural Artifacts

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.

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5 International Homestays

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If you’re looking to immerse yourself in a new culture, homestays are a great option; a well-connected outfitter can help you find the right fit. Here, five ideas to get you started.

The Andes, Peru: Aracari Travel Consulting

The Details: In the rural Andean community of Luquina Chico, on Lake Titicaca, Aracari coordinates with 13 local families to provide lodgings in private houses. Guest rooms are basic but have an authentic, Andean feel, as well as lake views.

Don’t Miss: Dining with your hosts on regional dishes such as trout or quinoa soup, observing farmers planting a potato crop, or learning to catch carachi, a small fish native to Lake Titicaca. Three days from $567 per person, all-inclusive.

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Smorgasburg’s New South Street Seaport Spin-Off

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The words South Street Seaport and hip have never been strung together by a New Yorker. That’s changing: the cool factor is rising in the cobblestoned historic district downtown, which was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. Now in-the-know residents are watching outdoor movies, browsing pop-up shops, and sharing tables with tourists at SmorgasBar, a new spin-off of Brooklyn’s red-hot bazaar Smorgasburg. Through October, vendors cook up everything from lobster rolls to bulgogi burgers, while drinks such as bourbon-spiked slushies are served out of former shipping containers. That’s what we call precious cargo.

Photo by Martha Camarillo

New York City's "Falls for Dance" Festival Opens

Ten years ago, New York City Center came up with an inspired idea: invite dance companies—ballet, modern, contemporary—and popular and national troupes from throughout the United States and around the globe; present sampler programs (four works by four companies each night); and offer all tickets at a rock-bottom price: $15. Ideal for the hard-core dance fan or the curious first-timer. The Fall for Dance Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary now through October 5 with performances by 24 international companies, Royal Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Bodytraffic, among them, and three commissions from up-and coming choreographers: Annabelle López Ochoa, Justin Peck, and Liam Scarlet.

The dance cavalcade continues at City Center with the New York premiere of British choreographer-iconoclast Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty, set in turn-of-the 19th century and advancing to the modern day, with a gamekeeper instead of prince to woo Princess Aurora (October 23-November 3).

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Take Your Dream Trip for Free

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Dream of visiting far-flung destinations like Croatia (pictured), the Galapagos, Zion National Park, Botswana, Australia, the Everest region of Nepal, or Antarctica?

To celebrate their newly released 2014 trips, leading adventure travel company, REI Adventures, is giving away seven trips to their most popular destinations around the world.

If you can’t decide on a continent to visit, don’t worry—you can enter to win once every 24 hours until October 31.

Find out more information and entry requirements here

Gabrielle Blitz is the Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of REI Adventures

Committee Urges the FAA Reconsider Electronic Device Prohibitions

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An advisory committee is recommending that the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) ease its restrictions on electronic devices below 10,000 feet, finding current rules pointlessly prohibitive. The council's 28 members hail from the aviation industry and within the FAA.

Flyers today must shut down their phones, tablets, e-readers, and other gadgets to prevent interference with the plane's equipment during takeoffs and landings. Anyone who refuses to do so may be kicked off the plane, a la Alec Baldwin.

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Family Pie-Making at Paws Up Resort in Montana

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I have a confession: I've never made a pie in my life. Not apple, not pumpkin, not cranberry. Not even for the holidays. So when I heard that the glamping retreat Paws Up, in Montana, is hosting its first ever pie making weekend (October 11-14) for families, I began to fantasize about the Martha Stewart me—the one that makes crafts for her kids and whips up delicious meals from scratch. (I have yet to see her appear.)

The resort tapped master pie maker Kate McDermott to teach her baking secrets, while New York Times photographer Andrew Scrivani shows guests how to take great food photos. On the menu: Huckleberry and savory bison or elk pie. Maybe this year, I'll make my fantasy reality.

Clara Sedlak


Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at
Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @csedlak1.

Photo Courtesy of Upper Crust

Guess Where? Cloud Ceiling

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Can you guess where this picture was taken? Head over to our Facebook page and leave your guesses there. Check back on Monday for the answer.

Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @matthewslyndsey

Photo Courtesy of Lyndsey Matthews

The Suitest's Hotel Room Price Predictor

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Considering a visit to New York but turned off by the sky-high hotel prices? Try browsing The Suitest, a suite-focused hotel search engine whose new Price Predictor advises on the probable fluctuation of room rates in any major destination. Much like Bing’s airfare search, the tool also provides insight as to whether rates are likely to climb, decline, or sell out entirely in the next week. It’s all calculated with an algorithm that riffs off Wall Street hedge funds, which use the similar models to analyze mortgage-backed securities (topics not nearly as exciting as planning your vacation). Ignore the “Deal Grades,” or snapshots of a quote’s relative value—they seem largely arbitrary—and focus instead on our two favorite features: “fair value assessments” that compare your quote to the hotel's “usual price” and a six-month calendar showing the average rate each night in the city of your choosing.

Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

Photo courtesy of TheSuitest.com

Have You Broken These Laws Abroad?

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Savvy travelers probably know that feeding the pigeons in Venice's St. Mark's Square could get you slapped with a fine, but did you know that it's also illegal to wear high heels to the Acropolis or wear camouflage clothing in Barbados? Find out more about these and other unusual laws that could land you in jail over at Thrillist.

Read More: Laws You're Already Breaking Overseas

Photo Courtesy of T+L's Photo Contest

Nico Mulhy's Fall 2013 Music Tip Sheet

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The hot ticket at New York’s Metropolitan Opera is Two Boys (Oct. 21–Nov. 14), in which Internet duplicity leads to murder. The anticipation is no surprise, considering the composer, wunderkind Nico Muhly. T+L asked the 32-year-old New Yorker, who has worked with everyone from Philip Glass to Björk, about the music-world events he’s looking forward to most.

London: “Australian composer Ben Frost has written a stunning music theater piece, The Wasp Factory, based on Iain Banks’s violent novel. Frost is directing it himself at the Royal Opera House (Oct. 2–8). Also, the English National Opera is reviving Phelim McDermott and Julian Crouch’s insanely genius production of Glass’s Satyagraha (Nov. 20–Dec. 8).”

U.S./Europe: “The Icelandic band Sigur Rós is touring this fall (Sept. 14–Nov. 28). I love their live shows, a poetic mix of high- and low-tech unique to them.”

New York City: “I’m thrilled that Benjamin Britten’s opera A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be running at the Met at the same time as Two Boys (Oct. 11–31), so I can see it on my nights off.”

Photo courtesy of Nico Muhly

Dogtoberfest & New Pet-Friendly Hotel Ella Come to Austin

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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

New York Hilton Midtown Unveils Herb N’Kitchen, its New Restaurant Concept

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When the New York Hilton Midtown—the city’s largest hotel, at nearly 2,000 rooms—announced in January that it was doing away with room service, people were shocked. The reality: Hilton saw that today’s traveler preferred a quick meal at a reasonable price, and room service was losing money. It was time for a change.

Enter Herb N’Kitchen, the hotel's new lobby dining outlet, open from 6 a.m. until 1 a.m. It’s like an upscale grab-and-go cafeteria, offering everything from made to order gluten-free corn arepas to Pat La Frieda cheeseburgers. Also for sale: bottles of wine and locally made snacks, such as Tumbador chocolate-covered animal crackers from Brooklyn. In the adjoining room (which feels more like a restaurant), guests can have a hot buffet breakfast, or just enjoy their takeaway treats. And food from Herb N’Kitchen can be delivered to the room—it just comes in a paper bag.

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Submit a Taco, Win a Trip to Cabo

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So, you weren’t planning on celebrating National Taco Day on October 4? Or, did you not even realize that such a holiday existed?

This year, you’re going to want to celebrate. The Los Cabos Tourism Board has parterned with foodgawker to give bloggers the chance to win a getaway to Los Cabos, Mexico.

Now through October 4, users are invited to submit their favorite taco recipes with a photo for a chance to win a 4-day/ 3-night vacation for two and round-trip airfare from any major U.S. or Canadian city.

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Q+A: James Cluer, Mountaineer and Master of Wine for Qatar Airways

When Napa-based wine master James Cluer told his client, Qatar Airways, that he would be out of contact for a month and a half, the airline asked questions. Where was he going? And why for so long? Cluer disclosed he was planning to fulfill a lifelong dream and climb Mt. Everest (29,000 feet above sea level)—a trip that had been years in the making. Qatar Airways suggested he might want to conduct a wine tasting to learn how altitude affects the palette outside of a plane cabin. Cluer agreed. Enter a few seasoned sherpas.

The story is a funny one—either the ultimate marketing gimmick, or an extreme experiment in satisfying one’s curiosity. Turns out, it was the latter. Cluer and Qatar Airways both take wine seriously. The Doha-based airline has won numerous awards, including Best Airline Wine List, and all of its flight attendants are WSET certified and able to provide sommelier services. And Cluer has dedicated his life to the grape. In addition to consulting, buying, and selecting what wines to serve onboard Qatar Airways flights, he also runs 16 wine schools in the U.S. and Canada and operates a luxury wine tour business called Fine Vintage Ltd.

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Kung Fu Coasters? Jackie Chan to Open Theme Park

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China may already have an Angry Birds amusement park, but the nation is about to seriously up its theme park street cred.

According to a recent Guardian article, action film star Jackie Chan has announced that he will open his own theme park in Beijing, to be called JC World.

No doubt, we love the idea of rides inspired by Chan’s action films—who wouldn’t want to go on a rollercoaster called Snake in the Eagle’s Shadow? How about an It’s-a-Small-World-style dark ride called The Forbidden Kingdom, followed by turkey legs and adult beverages at the Drunken Master concession area?

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Anna Nicole Opera Premieres in New York City

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The New York City Opera and Brooklyn Academy of Music present the highly anticipated American premiere of the opera Anna Nicole now through September 28.  The work about the one-time Playboy Playmate, femme fatale, and reality television personality Anna Nicole Smith is by English composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and librettist Richard Thomas and was first produced at London’s Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2011. American soprano Sarah Joy Miller takes on the title character and speaks with T+L about the opportunity and the challenge.

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New Travel + Leisure Articles on Pinterest

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Pinterest isn't just for recipes, decorating, or (our favorite) travel inspiration. It's also a great way to see what other people are reading and discovering online.

Starting today, Pinterest is launching improved article pins, and Travel + Leisure is proud to be a launch partner. Over the next few weeks, you'll begin to see articles from Travel + Leisure on our Pinterest boards, with helpful information about the piece right in the pin—such as the headline, author, and a brief description. This will make your boards more useful and easier to keep organized.

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Q+A: Sarah Simmons of New York City’s City Grit Culinary Salon

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One recent evening in New York City, I traveled to Memphis, and back. At City Grit, a culinary salon founded and nurtured and helmed by Food & Wine’s 2010 Home Cook Superstar Sarah Simmons, diners are invited to new tastes and experiences, often supplied by guest chefs who sometimes fly in just to make a single meal. It’s one of the coolest ways we know to travel and still stay at home.

The evening’s spotlight was on two Tennessee chefs, Michael Hudman and Andrew Ticer, whose restaurant Hog & Hominy blends Southern and Italian cooking, and has earned legions of pork-loving fans.

Tonight the duo is back. To celebrate today’s release of their new cookbook “Collards and Carbonara,” Ticer and Hudman are again firing up the stove at City Grit, with Simmons playing back-up. 

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T+L Trips with Sponsor Cox & Kings: China; Russia

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Welcome to the fifth installment of T+L's promotional partnership with luxury adventure operator Cox & Kings, where booking a trip to a destination featured in T+L is easier than ever. Here's how it works:

• Every month, T+L editors work with Cox & Kings to develop two trips inspired by destinations we love.
• Each itinerary is designed to offer insider access and unique experiences—whether it's a stay at an exclusive hotel, a behind-the-scenes tour, or dinner in a private residence.
• For a limited time, T+L readers can take advantage of exclusive savings on this month's featured trips.

October Specials

China
The Highlights: Sail in a traditional sampan boat along the fishing harbor of Aberdeen, in Hong Kong; visit punti dwellings along Hong Kong’s Ping Shan Heritage Trail; browse fresh produce at Tai Po’s local market; base yourself at the venerable Mandarin Oriental Hotel Hong Kong.
The Details: 4 days and 3 nights, from $3,490 per person**

Optional Extension: Hangzhou
The Highlights: Feast on lotus-wrapped chicken at Louwailou restaurant; shop at the city’s silk market; visit the Lingyin Temple, where Buddhist monks still live and pray.
The Details: 4 days and 3 nights, from $3,295 per person**

Optional Extension: Vietnam
The Highlights: A one-night cruise through the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ha Long Bay; whip up regional dishes at the Red Bridge Cooking School in Hoi An.
The Details: 7 days and 6 nights, from $3,285 per person**

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Two New Ways to Speed Through the Airport

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Waiting in line—perhaps the most dreaded aspect—of the air travel experience—is improving by leaps and bounds this year at U.S. airports. For one, the TSA PreCheck expedited screening program, which is now available for international flights, is growing rapidly: the TSA has installed PreCheck lanes in 40 airports, with planned expansions into 60 more domestic airports by the end of 2013. Meanwhile, in-airport PreCheck enrollment centers will also soon start rolling out—opening up the program to all U.S. travelers willing to pay the $85 fee—no passport or frequent-flier membership required. The first will be in Indianapolis and Washington Dulles this fall, followed by some 300 locations across the country.

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Must-Reads for the Week Ending September 20, 2013

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The Telegraph's Soo Kim reports on plans to open a Jackie Chan theme park in Beijing. The best news? Admission is expected to be free. (Peter Schlesinger)

Skift takes a look at budget airline Ryanair's first foray into social media. Famously brash, the company is now tweeting with attitude. (P.S.)

I'm a sucker for commercials with nice music. This new Carnival Cruise Lines ad (the company's first TV spot since the Triumph debacle last spring) fits the bill. Showcasing Instagram photos from passengers, it is an upbeat step forward for the beleaguered cruise line. The New York Times reports. (P.S.)

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Guess Where? River Boat

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Can you guess where this picture was taken? Head over to our Facebook page and leave your guesses there. Check back on Monday for the answer.

Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @matthewslyndsey.

Photo Courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Enterprise Debuts Electric Cars in Orlando

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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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Preserving the Charm of Beijing's Hutongs

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In and around the Gulou district of China’s development-hungry capital, an enclave of hutongs—alleys formed by walls of traditional courtyard residences—has managed to dodge the wrecking ball. Determined to preserve the charm (and avoid the fate of hutongs in nearby Nanluoguxiang, now overrun with souvenir shops), entrepreneurs have moved deeper into these narrow streets. French-owned Wuhao showcases one-off furniture and accessories by emerging talents. At Good Design Institute, everyday objects get a twist, such as lampshades made of bed slats. Serk stocks carbon-fiber bikes—and doubles as a bar serving Belgian beer. For a more local tipple, head to Mai (40 Beiluoguxiang, Dongcheng), known for its craft cocktails.

Photo courtesy of Serk

Pet-Friendly Hikes in Mammoth Lakes, CA

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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.

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