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New Visitor Center Debuts at Macy's Herald Square

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New York City and Macy’s Herald Square recently unveiled a new Visitor Center, housed inside the world's largest store.

Over the past two years, NYC visitor numbers have broken records, with 52 million in 2012. To help accomodate tourists, one of the city's most-visited (and shopped at) sights, Macy’s Herald Square, has stepped up with partner NYC & Company to unveil a revamped, user-friendly visitor center.

Flanked by curved staircases on either side, the white-tiled mezzanine sits above cosmetic brands like Chanel and Dior. Four touch-screen kiosks resembling giant iPhones allow visitors to plan their next move, with extensive attraction, dining, and nightlife listings. Nine languages are available—including Mandarin and Portuguese—while Google Maps provides step-by-step directions that can be printed on the spot. By Nov. 1st, you'll even be able to purchase attraction tickets (Empire State Building Observatory; Circle Line cruises) directly through the kiosks.

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Dogfish Head Brewery Opens Delaware Hotel

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Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, based in the tiny town of Milton, Delaware, is now venturing into the travel world. In late spring 2014, these brew masters plan to open Dogfish Inn in downtown Lewes, at what is currently the Vesuvio Motel. The 16-room motel, which sits halfway between Dogfish’s brewpub and distillery in Rehoboth Beach and their production brewery in Milton, will serve as a warm welcome to visiting beer-lovers. Locals are buzzed about the opening as well—with no pub or restaurant on-site, nearby venues will be providing snack-relief.

Designers from Studio Tack in Brooklyn and Lighthouse Construction in Magnolia, DE will renovate the space, which promises to bring some laid-back “Dogfish vibes” to the beach town. Sound too chill? Pedal down the Breakwater Trail to reach the brewpub for a taste of those famed IPA’s—and opt for a taxi ride on the way back.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is part of the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Photo courtesy of Dogfish Head Craft Brewery

Dogtoberfest & New Pet-Friendly Hotel Ella Come to Austin

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October is Adopt-a-Shelter Dog Month, and what better way to raise awareness than by celebrating the season with our canine companions? Come October 19, Dogtoberfest kicks off in Austin, Texas. The annual festival—now in its sixth year—features a slew of activities where your pups take center stage. Weiner dog races, a canine costume contest, and DogtoberTROT, a 1K stroll around Austin’s Domain mall, are among the most anticipated.

Don’t live in the area? No worries—Austin’s newest pet-friendly addition, Hotel Ella, just opened today. There’s no size or weight limit for dogs, which means whether you have a dachshund or Doberman pincher, specialty biscuits, beds, and in-room dining are all up for grabs.

Maria PedoneMaria Pedone is part of the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.

Photo courtesy of dogtoberfestaustin.org / Nicole Mlakar

Karl Lagerfeld's New Travel Projects

Karl Lagerfeld's Pick: Hotel Metropole

Among fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld’s new side projects? A Monte Carlo pool with serious style cred. T+L reports.

“Work is making a living out of being bored,” Karl Lagerfeld once quipped. If that’s the case, he’s been exceedingly bored lately—and focusing his eagle eye on the world of travel. Lagerfeld just unveiled a slick redesign of the pool, patio, and Odyssey restaurant at Hotel Metropole (pictured; $$$$),in Monaco, where he had a house for 10 years and maintains a close friendship with Princess Caroline. Surrounded by the lacy garden rooftops of Monte Carlo, the new space is strikingly graphic, with angular ebony-and-ecru furniture, square umbrellas, and a backlit black-and-white photo mural depicting models in the mode of Odysseus, togas and all.

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Newfoundland’s New Fogo Island Inn

Fogo Island Inn

It’s an incongruous sight: sleek white boxes on stilts above the rocky, windswept coast of a small island off northeastern Newfoundland. But the 29-room Fogo Island Inn is actually infused with the area’s DNA. It’s the vision of Zita Cobb, a local fisherman’s daughter turned tech entrepreneur, who launched an ambitious arts program on the island in 2006. For the new inn, Cobb tapped Newfoundland-born architect Todd Saunders, who also built the four on-site artists’ studios. The interiors were a collaboration between international designers (including the U.K.-based Ilse Crawford) and island craftspeople; quilters created bedspreads and other textiles, while boatmakers made furniture. Guests can learn about Fogo’s icebergs and humpback whale population from experienced guides, and mingle with residents at the restaurant and art gallery. What’s more, all profits go back to the community. In other words, it’s a white box with soul. $$$$

Amy FarleyHave a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@aexp.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.


Photo by Iwan Baan

El Celler de Can Roca’s New Gelato Shop

Rocambolesc Gelateria

The food world is buzzing about brothers Joan, Jordi, and Josep Roca, whose restaurant El Celler de Can Roca, in the Catalonian river town of Girona, was recently crowned No. 1 on the planet. But we’re sweet on their other spot nearby: Rocambolesc Gelateria. The pint-size ice cream shop, decorated with vintage machinery and pipes that look like candy canes, dispenses a rotating roster of soft-serve flavors (baked apple; tangerine sorbet) topped with such novelties as caramelized sheep’s milk and lychee-strawberry “cloud”—and not a sprinkle in sight.

Photo by Alvaro Leiva

Sweetgreen Salad Shop Debuts in New York

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Ask a New Yorker where to get a salad in Midtown Manhattan, and you’ll likely get an answer that includes “too expensive,” “wilted lettuce,” or other unenthusiastic sentiments. As of tomorrow, however, there will be another response: Sweetgreen, a new organic, farm-to-table salad shop at the Nomad hotel.

Founded in 2007 by three then-seniors at Georgetown University, Sweetgreen became a fast favorite in Washington, D.C., and over the last six years, expanded to 20 locations in Virginia, Maryland, Philadelphia, Boston, and, now, New York. (A Tribeca location will open in December.) All of the ingredients are locally sourced; a chalkboard lists the New York or New Jersey farm where each originated. As for the prices, nothing on the signature menu costs more than $11.85 (the "District Chopped"), and that one comes with roasted chicken, goat cheese, bacon, and avocado—a who’s who of costly add-ons at most other spots. Beyond salad (which are big enough to last two meals), you’ll find fresh-pressed juice, gazpacho, and “sweetflow” tart frozen yogurt. Try it all tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the Nomad location is inviting diners to pay what they want, with all proceeds going to City Harvest.

Brooke Porter
Brooke Porter is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.

Photo courtesy of Brooke Porter

Balthazar NYC's London Clone

Balthazar London

Keith McNally’s New York institution recently cloned itself in London—but does the buzz match that of the original? T+L hops across the pond to find out.

For me, entering Balthazar London ($$$$) is an out-of-body experience—as if I’ve been beamed up from New York City to Covent Garden, where Keith McNally’s new brasserie is a dead ringer for the 16-year-old original, or—as we Balthazaristas call it—the Mother Ship. I walk in, expecting to see familiar faces—is that Meg Ryan?—but instead hear the whispers (the British are not subtle), “Is that Gwyneth?” “Is that Nigella?” “Is that…?”

Yes, it is Alan Bennett, the English playwright, with the cast of his latest show, People—and indeed, Balthazar is a grand, gorgeous, beautifully lit set. Both of them are. Distressed French mirrors, brass rails, red leather banquettes—this is Paris of the imagination.

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Tom Colicchio’s New Job: Innkeeper

Tom Colicchio's Topping Rose House

Between his Craft restaurants and his role as head judge on Top Chef, Tom Colicchio is one of the food world’s biggest stars. Now he has a new title: innkeeper. At Topping Rose House, an 1842 Greek Revival mansion in Bridgehampton, New York, he oversees 22 rooms and cottages with interiors by Alexandra Champalimaud. The food, of course, takes center stage, and the locavore menu reinforces Colicchio’s passion for fresh and sustainable ingredients. His inspiration? European country inns with restaurants: “It’s all an extension of hospitality. We want this to be the place where once you’re here, it’s a warm embrace.” $$$$

Photo by Melanie Dunea/CPI Syndication

Hey, Kids—Lets Go to Moe’s Tavern This Summer!

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Coming soon to Universal Orlando: long lines of middle-aged guys waiting to get their pictures taken with Krusty the Clown and Sideshow Bob.

The Orlando theme park recently announced that it will expand the area around the simulator-style Simpsons Ride to embody all that is magical about the Springfield hometown of Bart, Homer, Marge, Lisa and Maggie. According to its release, the new Springfield area of the park will open this summer and include one new ride—the hopefully-not-too-aptly-named Twirl ’n’ Hurl—as well as a line-up of Simpsons-inspired food and beverages that would make any would-be Homer swoon, such as "Krusty-certified meat" at Krusty Burger, a "Taco Fresho" with Bumblebee Man, and an array of donuts (“is there anything they can not do?”) at Lard Lad.

As proof that theme parks have become as much for grown-up kids as actual kids, Springfield will also feature a Moe’s Tavern and Duff Beer, “brewed exclusively for Universal Orlando,” according to the release. And hey, for any parent who has waited hours so their child could get an autograph from a giant mouse or princess, a cold beer with a donut may sound like a family vacation dream come true.

Photo credit: 2013 Universal Orlando Resort. All rights reserved.

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