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Post-Election 'Haze' for the Travel Industry?

marijuana

The election has only been over for a few days, and so far there have been no reports of disappointed Romney voters booking, en masse, one-way airline tickets to Canada.

That said, there may still be a post-election windfall coming to the travel industry, at least for two U.S. destinations: Washington and Colorado, which both passed ballot measures legalizing recreational marijuana, and possibly opened the doors wide for mary-jane-seeking tourists.

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Golf Cart Renaissance? The Thrill of Low-Speed Rail

railway

Here's a bucket-list trip for the kooky trainspotter in your life.

New Zealand–based tour operator Forgotten World Adventures invites folks to drive "rail carts" along the old Stratford to Okahukura Railway Line, which was originally built between 1901 and 1933, and which runs parallel to the Forgotten World Highway.

The "rail carts," however, are not velvet-draped sleepers from the glamorous heyday of rail travel. They're souped-up golf carts, imported from the U.S. (Georgia, to be exact). Their little steering wheels don't work now—probably a good thing—but you can still can stop and go with the pedals, all the better for enjoying the views, or posing for camera-toting rubberneckers.

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Bunny Fever (Sort of) Heading to India

Playboy Club

Are the bunnies going Bollywood? The first Playboy Club of India—a 22,000-square-foot hotspot set along Candolim Beach in north Goa—will open this December. Fun Playboy Club trivia: It's the first Playboy Club ever on a beach, and plans are for seven more clubs to pop up around the nation over the next three years.

But hold onto your fluffy tail: Given the nation's tough rules regarding decency, there will be some big things missing from this new Playboy Club. Like, the corset-based bunny outfit. Or any nudity, for that matter.

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Donate Your Points and Miles for Hurricane Sandy Relief

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Few would've imagined that this week’s storm with the friendly-sounding name could wreak such havoc and devastation along the East Coast. In the wake of 20,055 flights cancellations due to Hurricane Sandy and with infrastructure is slowly coming back online, there are still an estimated 7.8 million people without power, billions of dollars in damage, and many whose lives will never be the same. They need help. Here are some easy ways for you to help out:

Based on contributions to the Red Cross Disaster Relief, American Airlines is giving AAdvantage members one-time bonus reward miles, starting with 250 miles for a minimum donation of $50. Go here for donation details.
 
Other airlines with charitable initiatives:
Continental Airlines
Delta Air Lines
United Airlines
US Airways

And hotels:
Choice Hotels International, Inc.
Drury Hotels
Hilton Worldwide
Marriott International
Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Please consider making a difference to those who desperately need it and give today.

Photo credit: iStock

Vegas Tip: Beware of Hot, $10,000 Chips

Vegas Casino Theft

We’ve always loved walking through a Vegas casino in the morning: the calm determination of the early-riser slot-machine lovers, armed with their large coffees, and the trickle of tousled, hungover, partiers squinting their way to the lobby to go find their cars.

It turns out that near dawn is also the perfect time to pull off a big heist. Las Vegas Police are looking for a Palmdale, Calif., man who allegedly took $1.6 million in chips at The Venetian casino on Oct. 10. He supposedly walked into the casino at about 6 a.m., and with no staff nearby, picked the lock on a cabinet full of chips and strolled away with his haul.

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World Peace on the Lower East Side: Beurre et Sel Cookie Shop Opens

Dorie Greenspan



Tiny, prolific cookbook author Dorie Greenspan has opened a tiny bakeshop, Beurre et Sel, in the Essex St. Market on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. With about the same square footage as a Midtown elevator, the bright and minimal space still packs a punch with an array of rich, buttery cookies. You can have your trendy cupcakes and doughnuts, I’ll take one of her divine World Peace cookies, please: bittersweet chips of Valhrona chocolate and flakes of fleur de sel in a dense chocolate sable cookie.

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.

The "High Line Effect" in Reverse: London Announces Subterranean Park

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We recently covered New York City's news that its considering a new underground park on the Lower East Side. Today, London announced similar news:

(CNN)  |  London's abandoned rail and tube lines have been put to many novel uses down the years functioning as bomb shelters, impromptu party venues and film sets for Hollywood movies.

But a new idea to create a mushroom garden in a tunnel beneath Oxford Street is perhaps one of the more unconventional attempts to breathe new life into the UK capital's forgotten subterranean murk.

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A Year of Weeklong Surprises at Disney in 2013

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Yesterday, Disney announced Limited Time Magic—a year’s worth of weeklong celebrations for visitors to its Disney World and Disneyland resorts in 2013.

The announcement was made at a press event laden with the happy Disney touches (a barbershop quartet cheerily singing boy-band hits, a Mickey appearance, and a castle carved from 45,000 pounds of ice) but also a dark taste of the queen’s poisoned apple—a panel of marketing experts and psychologists placed surprisingly grim emphasis on the fleeting nature of childhood and the parents’ limited and precious time with their kids.

The 52 weeklong celebrations will feature limited-time elements—themed souvenirs that won’t be offered again, entertainment that will be performed only that week, special menu.

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County in China Boasts Hot Tourist Attraction: Really Old Folks

elderly Chinese person

The terms "centenarian" and "cashing in" are rarely used in the same breath among tourism officials, but that may be changing—at least in a remote county in the Guangxi Zhuang region of China.

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Art as Take-Home Amenity: Man Tries to Lift Painting From Cruise Ship

Norwegian Star

We all know it's fine if you take home the soap or shampoo that you find in your hotel room or cruise-ship cabin. But what about that coffee mug? The bathrobe? Or...the decor in the lobby?

A Kentucky man has been fined $500 after he tried to disembark from the Norwegian Star with a giant painting that—well, was part of the permanent decor of the Norwegian Star.

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