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Trip4Real Offers Peer-to-Peer Tours in Spain

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Peer-to-peer, local, authentic: these are all buzzwords permeating the travel world—with no hints of disappearing any time soon. Our latest P2P find takes a page out of Vayable, a worldwide marketplace of local-led experiences. The Barcelona-based Trip4Real, which launched last year, is solely focused on Spain, with 3,000-plus activities in 50 cities, from popular spots such as Barcelona and Madrid to small towns in Basque Country.

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Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the NYC World's Fair

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More than two thousand visitors, near and far made the trek to Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York last month for a special, limited public viewing of the New York State Pavilion’s interior. 

The rusting monument, designed by acclaimed architect Philip Johnson for the World’s Fair, was recently recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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"The Rubber Duck" Makes U.S. Debut in Pittsburgh

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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.

Since its launch in 2007, the giant duck has swum the shores of Amsterdam, Belgium, Osaka, Sydney, São Paulo and most recently, Hong Kong.

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.

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Vote For Your Town in T+L's America's Favorite Towns Survey

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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.

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Video: How to Eat a Lobster with Seafood Expert, Luke Holden

Last week, a six-clawed lobster was found off of Midcoast Maine, and just a week earlier a two-toned lobster was pulled from similar waters. But most lobster fans have been buzzing over the rare affordability of lobsters these days—prices per pound are the lowest they've been in 20 years. Maybe this is the one good side of Global Warming?

Americans consumed 231 million pounds of Maine lobster last year—a record high. The conclusion? A trip to Maine—especially in the late-summer or early fall—is not complete without eating lobster. In warmer months, lobsters molt, and their shells become so soft you can eat them with your hands, without the aid of crackers. Just ask for a "shedder" and you'll sound like a local. Maine native Luke Holden, of Luke's Lobster in New York City, shows you just what to do.

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Insiders Dish on Charleston

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During a one-hour T+L Twitter chat sponsored by the Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, T+L editors asked expert locals and Charleston insiders for their favorite places. We took some of the highlights and turned them into this mini-guide.

Where to Stay:

Charleston Place: A 442-room Georgian hotel with 1-to-1 staff-to-guest ratio. charlestonplace.com; doubles from $235
NotSoHostel: This 150-year property on Spring Street is a favorite of the younger crowd. notsohostel.com; doubles from $62
Wentworth Mansion Head up to the cupola for 360-degree views of the Charleston peninsula. wentworthmansion.com; doubles from $420

Where to Eat:

Bowen’s Island: A traditional seafood shack where the all-you-can-eat oyster roast is served with hushpuppies, French fries, and cole slaw. bowensislandrestaurant.com; dinner for two $30
FIG (Food Is Good): Don’t miss brunch at FIG, where the coddled sea island farm egg and ricotta gnocchi get rave reviews. eatatfig.com
HUSK: Order the BBQ plate with Virginia pork, pit beans, and rapini at this buzz-worthy southern restaurant by chef Sean Brock. huskrestaurant.com
Magnolia’s: A street-side grill with the best shrimp & grits in town. magnolias-blossom-cypress.com

What to Do:

Farmer’s Market in Marion Square: Check out this 200-year-old fair for local produce and stone-ground grits.
Firefly Distillery: This distillery is both a tea plantation and liquor manufacturer. Tour the 11-acre facility, then order a Sweet Tea Vodka martini. fireflyvodka.com
Ghost Tour: Book a 90-minute haunted graveyard carriage ride with Bulldog Tours. bulldogtours.com; tours from $18
King Street: Charleston’s three-mile shopping promenade is lined with independent boutiques, including the well-known Heirloom Books. heirloombookcompany.com
Arthur J. Ravenel Bridge: This single cable-stayed bridge opened in 2005; head across for views of the Cooper River.
Sullivan’s Island: At the entrance to Charleston Harbor, Sullivan’s Island is home to sea turtles and tidal creeks, and it’s all just a 15-minute drive from King Street.

To learn more about Twitter Chats hosted by T+L editors, email “yes” to TLSocial@aexp.com.


Eat Like a Local: Abu Dhabi Seafood, Straight from the Pier

Eat Like a Local: Abu Dhabi

Ever wanted an authentic meal abroad, but you can barely speak the language, let alone dare to stray off the map? That’s why Travel + Leisure and CNN teamed up for our series 100 Places to Eat Like a Local. For the next few months, we are gathering tips from chefs, editors, and iReports from you to pinpoint the best local food around the world.

This week we are highlighting a fish market in Abu Dhabi, brought to us by iReporter Sean Blake. Sean knew no one when he moved to the Untied Arab Emirates in 2011, and so set out to photograph 30 kitchens in 30 days, familiarizing himself with the people, culture, and, of course, food.

Sean’s freshest find came from the Al Mina Fish Market. “They take the fish right out of the water and you can buy minutes old,” he said. “They will have it prepared and cooked right there.” Talk about sea-to-table! Not only can you watch your food get cooked, you actually get to choose which swimming fish to eat. In addition, many of the market’s fish cleaners have been working there for over 25 years. It is as if you are going over a friend’s house for dinner, as long as your friend is an amazing cook who lives down by the pier.

Have your own favorite local joint? Share your own iReport for a chance to be featured on our blog!

Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.

Eat Like a Local: Detroit's Rustic Farm Fare

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Together with CNN, Travel + Leisure's multi-platform series 100 Places to Eat Like a Local combines iReports from you, television spots, chef recommendations, and editor finds to spotlight the best local food around the world over the next few months.

This week, we are highlighting a Detroit restaurant (brought to you by iReporter ProMich) that goes above and beyond the farm-to-table concept. In 1976, Rina and Adriano Tonon decided to take an old apple orchard and transform it into a five-acre garden adorned with Italian herbs and vegetables. Years later, Café Cortina is a prospering model for younger restaurants aiming to be organic and sustainable. The basil, rosemary, Swiss chard and 80 year-old heirloom tomato plants make the dishes at Café Cortina as delicious as they are healthy.

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Win Free Beer (and a Trip to Denver)

How do we know when a city is serious about beer? When the tourism office shoots an entire video around the local craft brewers. When visitors rank it atop the list of best cities for microbrews. And when that city sets aside nine whole days to pay a sudsy tribute to hops and yeast.

That city is Denver, Colorado. The video is above. The ranking is part of our America’s Favorite Cities survey. And those nine magical days happen from October 5–13 during an event called (appropriately enough) the Denver Beer Fest, which finishes up (appropriately enough) with the three-day Great American Beer Festival.

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Hawaii's Amazing Artisanal Chocolate

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This month’s T+L includes an eight-page feature on Hawaii’s new food scene, where we spotlight some of the young chefs, upstart farmers, pop-up restaurateurs, and food-truck vendors who are taking Hawaiian cuisine to the next level.

Had we more space in the print magazine, we would’ve devoted another eight pages to Madre Chocolate, a terrific new bean-to-bar chocolate operation (Oahu’s first) based in Kailua. (A tony suburb just 20 minutes from Honolulu, Kailua is where President Obama and family have stayed during their Hawaiian vacations.)

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