Beachside bonfires have been a Southern California tradition since at least the 1950s. Families cooking hot dogs. Surfers warming themselves against the early-evening chill. Lovers holding hands and gazing into the flames, with the roar of the surf in the background. Out-of-state visitors wanting to follow in the footsteps of their favorite actors from Baywatch and The O.C. Over the years, beach cities up and down the coast installed permanent fire rings for ease and safety. These fire rings have become part of our national pop culture. Think Gidget and Moondoggie. Think Annette and Frankie. And now think if those fire rings were banned--because that's almost what happened, until a fateful decision this month.
This summer, Ritz-Carlton guests will have more to look forward to than just sunbathing. The luxury hotel company will expand its ecological program, Ambassadors of the Environment, to three of its properties. The program, created by award-winning environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, emphasizes education and sustainability through various Caribbean eco-adventures.
Singapore ramped up its appeal as a cruise destination with the opening of the $400 million International Cruise Terminal last May. It doesn’t have any height restrictions, which means the large ships, like the Oasis-class Royal Caribbean ships, can now dock in Singapore. Just when Singapore-bound boaters didn’t think it could get any better, the existing Singapore Cruise Centre completed an $11 million renovation earlier last year. All aboard!
Jennifer Chen is Travel and Leisure's Asia correspondent.
EX-PATS, the Reserve Channel’s new YouTube series, showcases people who've abandoned the home front to pursue their passions in a more exotic culture.
In this next episode of EX-PATS, host Savannah Jane Buffet takes a trip to Placencia, Belize to visit Pam and John Solomon. After living the fast life in New York City, the couple decided to resign to paradise, packing their love for food and drink, and opening RumFish y Vino restaurant in this Belizean fishing village.
Now parents, Pam and John are thrilled to be raising their daughter, Libby, in a country where farm- or sea-to-table is the only way to eat. Press play to catch the island breeze.
Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Sentosa Island’s transformation from tourist trap to hip getaway was completed this year with the recent opening of W Singapore – Sentosa Cove. The 240 rooms have a jungle theme, so don’t forget your safari gear. And of course, guests can expect the usual whimsical W touches like mood lighting and glow-in-the-dark bathtubs. The resort also has private berthing docks so guests can rock up in their yachts. With a water-centric design, this hotel is bound to please . . . even if you’re not that hip.
Jennifer Chen is Travel + Leisure's Asia correspondent.
A: While attending the University of Miami in 1973, I worked weekends on the pier at NCL. We delivered and picked up the ships’ mail, assisted guests going through customs, ran errands, and sold baggage insurance. I also worked part time in the mail room.
Dust off your hiking boots—Wales recently introduced an 870-mile walking path that winds along its salty coasts, from Chester to Chepstow. Along the way, you’ll see Flint Castle (built by King Edward I and surrounded by Dee Estuary), waterfalls (near Dyserth), and towering coniferforests that jut into the sea. Personally, I'm dying to get to St. Cwyfan’s Church, built on a tiny island in the 12th century and only accessible at low tide; the Boathouse at Laugharne (where Dylan Thomas spent the last four years of his life); and Cardigan Bay, known for the UK’s largest population of bottlenose dolphins. The most exciting part? Knowing I’ll get there on my own two feet.
Instead of your standard fare of hot dogs and fireworks this 4th of July, we suggest you visit Patara, an ancient city off the coast of Turkey. Why in the world would I think about Turkey for the most American of holidays, you ask? Turns out our Constitution has roots in the ancient Lycian League, whose federation-style government had so much influence on our Founding Fathers that James Madison and Alexander Hamilton even mention them in the Federalist Papers. Check out the beautiful beachside town of Patara, Turkey for the recently opened excavaction of Lycian ruins, which includes their parliament building, a large necropolis, Roman baths, and a Byzantine basilica. You may have to trade hot dogs for veal kebabs, but just think: you’ll have a leg-up on your high school US history teacher who didn’t give you an A.
Corinne White is an editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.