Where do the Travel + Leisure editors want to go? These three destinations are on our radar now.
T+L Pick: Nashville, Tennessee
Nashville, Tennessee has always been home to country music but we’re noticing the rise of exciting, enterprising chefs. Start at Josephine, a farm-to-table-style spot in the 12 South area, then hit Pinewood Social, with a menu by local star Josh Habiger. The stellar turkey and cranberry sandwich tastes like Thanksgiving any day of the year.
Atlantic City’s boardwalk hummed with activity on a balmy Saturday afternoon in July. A cavalcade of families roamed the sandy platform, dawdling over soft-swirled ice cream cones and baskets of fried Oreos, flanked by the umbrella-laden Jersey Shore. A gaggle convened outside Caesars for the annual food and wine festival, this year headlined by a group of Food Network stars: Robert Irvine, Rocco DiSpirito, and Pat and Gina Neely. Kitschy shops were full of tourists snatching up t-shirts and knickknacks. The scene was a snapshot of Americana at its best, a throwback to AC’s heyday.
But despite the robust crowds on this weekend, it has been a frenetic road for a relic that once thrived as the eastern seaboard’s entertainment epicenter. The Great Recession, Hurricane Sandy, and overall tourism shifts (Pennsylvania is now the northeast's gambling capital) have taken their toll. The gleaming 2012-opened, $2.4 billion Revel was supposed to be the antidote, a Las Vegas-grade temple to Michelin-star restaurants, clubby pool parties, and an ultra-luxe spa. The brain trust used Sin City’s evolution as a template, one that focuses on self-indulgent pleasures over blackjack and roulette tables; gambling was supposed to be an afterthought. A $111 million loss and March bankruptcy later, the hotel is now switching its attention, unveiling slot machine promotions and advertising campaigns—“Gamblers Wanted”—to draw visitors to their casino (they’ve even lifted the ban on smoking).
Visitors to Oahu will soon breath more easily, thanks to new smoking bans that Honolulu’s mayor Kirk Caldwell signed into law yesterday. The prohibitions extend an existing Hawaii state ban—which already includes all indoor and partially enclosed public places such as restaurants and bars—to bus stops and parks on the island of Oahu. In other words, no more lighting up on Waikiki. For another smoke-free beach environment, don’t miss Jamaica, which also banned smoking tobacco on its beaches this month.
Peter Schlesinger is a Research Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Follow him on Twitter at @pschles08.
If you haven’t checked out EX-PATS, the Reserve Channel’s new series on YouTube, you’re missing out—not only on great al desko daydream opps, but also on some truly inspiring stories of people who’ve dared to leave it all behind for a new life in a foreign country.
The fourth episode takes viewers to a jungle-filled archipelago in Panama, where a surfer and former medical salesman from San Diego, Neil Christiansen, founds the nonprofit organization GiveAndSurf.org to fund a pre-school for the isolated island children from Bahia Honda. Press “play” for a look at his inspiring story.