This year’s overall America's Favorite Cities winner has a bit of everything: great food, an exciting bar scene, and endless curb appeal.
1. Because the city is a legitimate culinary capital. Queue up for a table at North, a modern Asian hot spot by James Mark, a David Chang protégé, or book at Birch, an ambitious chef’s counter with a focus on local ingredients (whelks; quahogs; foraged herbs).
In 1904, after Brazilian aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont complained of having to fumble for his pocket watch while flying his dirigible, Louis Cartier obliged with a timepiece that could be viewed with a flick of the wrist. A 1916 Santos watch is on display in “Brilliant: Cartier in the 20th Century” at the Denver Art Museum, along with the dazzling jewelry Cartier created for czars, industrialists, and starlets (including these diamond-and-emerald crocodiles worn by actress María Félix). November 16–March 15.
Mario Mercado is Travel + Leisure's arts and culture editor.
I first came to Lyons in 2011 to watch the Bocuse d’Or, the world’s most prestigious cooking competition. Held every two years, the Bocuse is an extraordinary spectacle—a kind of gastronomic Super Bowl. It takes place in a cavernous auditorium on the eastern edge of the city amid a frenzy of flag-waving, drum-beating spectators. In front of them, 24 chefs, competing for their nations, strive to produce two courses of impeccable food for a panel of judges that includes some of the greatest culinary figures in the world.
In Vieques, the names and phone numbers of all the island’s taxi drivers are posted on a sign outside the airport, which is an indication both of its size and its degree of formality. No need for Uber here. Vieques, just off the eastern tip of Puerto Rico—and accessible by a puddle jumper from San Juan—has a sleepy, eccentric, instantly likable charm: Tulum without the yoga, Harbour Island without the WASP’s. “Vieques is like a really good indie rock band,” says Simon Baeyertz, a former music industry exec who moved here four years ago and, with co-owner Rob Feldmann, opened the hotel El Blok in August. “Maybe it’ll get discovered, maybe it won’t. But it will never be a big pop star. It’s the White Stripes, not Taylor Swift.”
What to do after discovering the provenance of your favorite foods and wines? Track down the origin of what’s in your mug. For that, travelers are flocking to Colombia’s so-called coffee triangle. “The fincas of Pereira and Armenia are like the estancias of Mendoza, Argentina, ten years ago,” says Emmanuel Burgio of luxury outfitter Blue Parallel. His itineraries include the Cocora Valley, home to half a dozen heirloom cultivars—and the world’s tallest palm trees. “It’s full of natural spectacles and hospitable locals,” he says. Guests with bespoke operator Big Five—an early champion of the region—sleep at Sazagua, the area’s first high-end hotel; they can harvest, roast, and taste the local crop at the venerable Hacienda Venecia. Once they’ve got their caffeine buzz, visitors go on horseback rides through the countryside, trips to the tropical fruit market in Filandia, and hikes in the nearby cloud forest.
Nikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
If you've ever craned your neck passing through JFK Airport to get a better look at Eero Saarinen's swooshing, Modernist TWA Terminal, and wondered how to finagle your way in, you'll be happy to hear about Open House New York. For one weekend—October 11 & 12—this city-wide event will open the doors to hundreds of normally off-limits sites in New York City, including the famed TWA Terminal, where Leonardo DiCaprio filmed Catch Me If You Can.
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.
Every parent knows the beauty of the hotel Kids Club: free time for you and endless entertainment for your little ones. Now resorts everywhere are playing a serious game of one-upmanship when it comes to club activities, good old-fashioned sand castle building and arts and crafts just aren't enough to satisfy our lust for learning and adventure. Here, my favorites.
For inspiring young photographers, Wild Dunes Resort in Charleston offers the chance to work with award-winning photographers, including resident Tiffany Briley, to capture the city¹s historic sites and breathtaking lowcountry on film.
When Eden Collinsworth moved to China to write a guidebook on Western etiquette for Chinese businessmen, it’s safe to say that she encountered some cultural differences (like the time when a man asked how much she cost). In fact, there was enough material for another book, I Stand Corrected: How Teaching Western Manners in China Became its Own Unforgettable Lesson, which hits shelves October 7. In this humorous memoir, the former media exec and business consultant sheds light on her time living abroad. Here, she shares some of her experiences, tips for traveling in China, and more.
Pretty much every city with a drainage canal these days likes to call itself something along the lines of, “The Venice of Saskatchewan”. But it takes more than an artificial waterway to make a city with canals a legitimate canal city.
And since you already crossed Venice off your bucket list that time you were in Vegas and stopped for lunch at Buddy V’s, here are 10 of the world's other beautiful canal cities worth a visit.
The air is becoming crisp and the leave are starting to change—fall is officially here. Together with @foodandwine and a few other Time Inc. sister brands, we want to see how you're enjoying the season. Share photos on Instagram and include the hashtag #thisisfall for a chance to be featured on T+L’s Instagram.
I may be in the minority on this, but I absolutely love in-flight dinners. They’re usually the first meal of a trip, and, to someone who remembers vacations by their foods, that matters a lot. I feel a certain energy bubble up in me as I twist open my mini wine bottle and take the tin-foil cover off my reheated “gourmet” cuisine.
Now I’m hoping that a new service from Germany’s Lufthansa takes off stateside. The airline—still dealing with striking pilots—has partnered with online grocer Allyouneed.com to launch Air Food One, delivering airplane food to households once a week.
Because almost everything you know about Oktoberfest you learned from the Wolfhouse brothers, here are 30 fun facts from a real-life German about the world’s most magical annual beer festival.
1. The name is misleading. Because Oktoberfest is in September, for the most part. 2. It’s 204 years old Yup, the festival started its illustrious career in 1810, the same year the US annexed the Republic of West Florida, if that helps give you an idea of how far back it goes. Wait, it doesn't? Didn't know there was a Republic of West Florida? Yea, we looked that up.
3. In the beginning, there was no beer Oktoberfest started as a wedding actually, and a dry one at that. It was essentially a way to let the poor people celebrate the nuptials of Ludwig von Bayern, the King of Bavaria, and princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Also, it kicked off with a royal horse race.
Now's the time to plan your ski vacation if you haven't already—but if you're not in the market for season tickets, Liftopia is launching a new approach to lift tickets. Perfect for those who are caught between unpredictable schedules and budget consciousness, the site—already an industry pioneer for aggregated online lift ticket sales—is now offering the mountain equivalent of flexible fares.
• Two nights in a Traditional room • A “chef-in-training” class at the on-site Cook Academy • A welcome treat from the resort’s bakery • Access to the spa facilities, which include sauna, steam rooms, and relaxation lounges
Cost: $349 ($175 per night) Book now for travel between October 1 and December 19.
• Two nights in a standard king room • Spot four states—Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan—from the Ledge, an all-glass observation deck on the 103rd floor of the Willis Tower • Two $10 breakfast vouchers • Craft cocktails at the Berkshire room • Two passes to the TILT Observation Deck
Cost: $438 ($219 per night) Book now for travel between October 1 and November 30.
History buffs and fans of American Horror Story will love the chipped paint and cracked porcelain sinks, the stained tiles and rusting hospital beds in the halls of the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital—open to visitors today for the first time in 60 years.
As morbid as a plane crash or sunken ship might be, there's something alluring about abandoned wrecks. Eerie, full of history, and possibly haunted, they can be truly captivating.
Moynaq Ship Graveyard, Moynaq, Uzbekistan
Believed to be one of the world’s worst ecological disasters, this desert use to be a busy Soviet fishing port. Once the rivers feeding it were diverted for irrigation, the Aral Sea (formerly one of the four largest lakes IN THE WORLD) dried up completely. Hence, the ships sitting on the old sea floor. Even crazier, the nearest shore is almost 100 miles away!
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Discover destinations that should be on your bucket list in our Dream Trips Twitter chat on Tuesday, September 30th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Join along to ask the experts for advice!
While politics in the Middle East have been boiling over these past few months, the food of this region has stormed the tastebuds and hearts of Londoners, whisking them off to sunnier climes. While places like Arabica in Borough Market and Wormwood in Notting Hill are toying with the food of the Levant and North Africa, it is Palomar, which has brought a taste of modern Jerusalem to Chinatown, which most gloriously showcases this latest trend.
Chef Tomer Amedi believes London has so eagerly embraced Palomar because his flavors are to the point yet elegantly layered, evoking strong emotions and a family heritage. This is food from the heart and beguilingly delicious. The Jerusalem soft polenta laden with truffle oil, shards of Parmesan, and mushroom ragout is the stuff of foodie dreams. Raw oysters with a dab of harissa were creamy and spicy and briney.
Sitting in the lively dining room, plate after plate of aromatic goodness placed in front of you, you can almost imagine you’ll go outside to be greeted by palm trees and a warm breeze, not the dreary London cityscape. It’s magical.
Sally Hurst is a London-based chef and contributor to travelandleisure.com
If the Gucci and Prada storefronts weren't enough to dispel any impression of Aspen as a humble mountain town, the Shigeru Ban-designed Aspen Art Museumshould do the trick. The 35-year-old art institution recently debuted a new $45 million building created by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect and funded entirely by private donations from the city's wealthy patrons.
Now that summer has officially ended, T+L editorial assistant Katie James shares her favorite new products to help you shift seasonal gears.
Dolce & Gabbana Aurealux Mask ($169 for six): The beginning of fall means cooler temperatures, layered wardrobes—and all-around confused skin. To combat summer-level oil production and fall dryness, facemasks are my pinch-hitters. I’ve tried plenty, but this one—from Dolce & Gabbana’s debut Aurealux skincare collection—is supremely hydrating. I smooth the fabric over my face and neck right before bed (it fits like a glove), let sit for 10 to 15 minutes, and upon removal, my skin feels plump and refreshed—a recipe for sweet dreams, indeed.
It’s strange to think that we have to define the term shop as either brick and mortar or strictly online, but the rise of virtual shopping hasn’t stopped brands from opening physical storefronts. Here’s a listing of the latest shops to open around the world.
Italian jeweler Roberto Coin is adding another shop to his existing group of 8. This one is in Miami’s design district. His Pois Moi collection will be translated in the décor of the walls in a graphic rose gold pattern. 1360 NE 40th Street, Space 9 - Miami, FL 92011. 305-576-4466.
In South Beach, new mixology programs suit every type of night owl.
Where to Drink… When You’re Young & Sexy
The young and cool head to the Broken Shaker at the Freehand Miami for the handcrafted cocktails like the Golden Nugget, with rum and Florida citrus juice. Ping pong tables and bocce are part of the action for this hip hostel.
This is the time for fall openings in New York City: art exhibitions, theater, opera, dance, but the most special and quietly spectacular: Albertine, a new bookshop (yes, a bricks-and-mortar store), opening to the public on Saturday, September 27, and located in the Cultural Sevices building of the French Embassy at 972 Fifth Avenue (between 78th and 79th Streets). Designer Jacques Garcia has created Albertine as a grand, private French library on two levels with an internal staircase that connects the shop and its reading room.
What’s inside? The most comprehensive selection of French-language books and English translations in the United States: more than 14,000 titles, including novels, non-fiction, art and rare books, comic and children’s books, in addition to DVDs, magazines, stationery, and beautiful paper goods.
The last-minute hotel booking space is getting a little less last-minute, as HotelTonight is unveiling a new feature that lets users book their rooms a full week in advance. The new features, live today, respond to a need to have more flexibility when traveling in certain situations, says CEO Sam Shank, who for the first time talked about demographics beyond the spontaneous weekend traveler when I met with him earlier this week. Business travelers, he pointed out, would especially stand to gain from the new model, which allows you to wait until your schedule is set before deciding which neighborhood (or specific property) might be best suited for a particular trip.