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Beautiful Views: Escape the Daily Grind

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Stuck in the daily grind? Counteract those weekday blues with Travel + Leisure’s full guide to beautiful views. From the iconic skyscrapers of Lower Manhattan to a cliffside pool in Cap d’Antibes, France, we’re highlighting the best spots to stop and stare around the globe. Immerse yourself in Bora Bora’s turquoise waters from a few thousand feet up; get inspired by the 14,692-foot snow covered peak of Switzerland’s Matterhorn.

Want to get away this weekend? Sift through our list of America’s best national parks and plan a trip to Glacier’s Hidden Lake in Montana or Channel Islands in California.

No matter which sight you choose to admire, these daily daydreams promise to add some wanderlust to your workday.

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

Photo courtesy of Hotel du Cap

Video: National Park Adventures

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Embrace the great outdoors with an affordable getaway to one of these national parks.

Volcanoes National Park, Hawaii

Stay: Volcano House

Volcano House reopened in 2013 following a $7 million renovation that preserved the character of the original 1941 design. The rooms have beautiful views: some overlook Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, while others face native Hawaiian rainforest of ohia lehua and koa trees. This 323,400-acre national park is also great for wildlife spotting; more than 90 percent of the plants and animals here are found nowhere else on earth. Cabins from $55/night.

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Family Friday: Road Trip Rentals

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My dream vacation this summer? A road trip across the US Griswold-style, but in place of an overstuffed station wagon, I'd be behind the wheel of a tricked-out RV with Miles and Sebastian napping in the back as my husband attends to our dinner. So I was pretty excited to discover Airstream to Go, a new travel rental company with a small fleet of super stylish trailers (think aluminum-clad interiors; leather couches; plush beds). The best part: experienced trip planners are at the ready to help design your ideal itinerary, whether it's a journey along the Pacific Coast or a Southwestern adventure. And there's no fear of being stranded in the middle of the desert—Airstream to Go promises roadside assistance in case of flat tires or cranky kids. 

Clara O. Sedlak is a mother of two and special projects editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photo courtesy of Airstream

New Book for Barbecue Fans

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Need inspiration for a summer road trip? Look no further than The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue, by T+L contributor Daniel Vaughn. The new release is jam-packed with over 200 pit stops throughout the Lone Star State—as well as a guide to the different style of Texas ‘cue and the stories behind the pitmasters. To execute this true labor of love, Vaughn clocked an estimated 10,000 miles—but with chapters devoted to individual regions, it offers plenty of smaller itineraries that’ll ramp up your appetite. Need extra persuasion? See the Austin-based, BBQ-obsessed trip that Vaughn created for T+L right here.

Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.

Photo courtesy of Anthony Bourdain/Ecco

 

 

3 Things to Do Around Boston

Things to Do Around Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Three ways to get your New England fix, whether you have a few hours or a whole day.

The Sanctuary: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Dodging the hum of the city is a pleasure at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (pictured), a 1902 Venetian-style palazzo with a glass-and-steel addition by Renzo Piano. The 2,500-strong collection includes masterworks by Titian, Michelangelo, and Matisse, but the real showstopper is the transportive inner courtyard, with its classical statues and abundance of summery bellflowers and hydrangeas. Stop in on a Sunday afternoon, when you can catch a chamber music concert in the museum’s new Calderwood Hall.

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The Doctor Recommends: Must Reads for the Week Ending April 12, 2013

Fans of the Ping Island rescue operation scene in Wes Anderson's Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou will love these Tokyo Times photos of the abandoned Fujiya Hotel in Shimoda. (Matt Haber)

Coffee fanatics should check out David Farley's Afar piece "Coffeland," in which the author went to southern Ethiopia to learn more about coffee culture. (M.H.)

Vanity Fair's William Langewiesche goes inside the mind of Felix Baumgartner, the daredevil who undertook the highest free-fall in history last October. (M.H.)

Real life princess (and mother-to-be), the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton will soon be the godmother of a new cruise ship, the Royal Princess, reports Chloe Berman of Travel Weekly UK. (Peter Schlesinger)

The Twitterverse is now expanding into music. According to Mashable's Chris Taylor, the social network is launching an app today after its acquisition of the music discovery site We Are Hunted. All the more tunes for your weekend getaway. (Maria Pedone)

Jay-Z's "Open Letter" says all it takes to go to Cuba is an OK from the President, but CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg isn't about to let you believe it. Over on his blog, he sets the record straight for those who aren't buddies with the First Family (or prefer to do things legally). (Nikki Ekstein)

Travel Weekly's Michelle Baran takes an in-depth look at the rise of culinary travel in the last decade. (N.E.)

Watch: Family Road Trips to Florida, Utah, and Washington

Watch Travel + Leisure's Nilou Motamed on CNN discussing family road-tripping to The Florida Keys where you can stay at Cheeca Lodge & Spa and visit the six-toed cats at Ernest Hemingway's old place. Other recommendations: National Parks in Utah (try the Lodge at Red River Ranch), and Washington for Olympic National Park and a stay at Lake Crescent Lodge.

Related: Best Family Getaways and The Ultimate Florida Beach Road Trip

TODAY Show Video: Affordable Getaways

T+L's Nilou Motamed stopped by The Today Show this morning to talk about budget-friendly vacations with Matt Lauer and Yahoo's Farnoosh Torabi. They discussed New Orleans, Hawaii, and affordable road trips. Watch the clip above.

Don't miss: America's Best Affordable City Hotels and Best U.S. Cities for Affordable Getaways

Family Friday: Cozying up to the Catskills

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The symptoms were reaching dangerous levels. After being cooped up with our twin three-year-old boys in a 900-square-foot NYC apartment in the dead of winter, my husband and I had a serious case of co-op-cabin fever. The cure: Get out of dodge—and burn off some energy—as quickly as possible. My only prerequisite: BRING A FULLY CHARGED iPAD WITH US IN CASE OF A MELTDOWN.

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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.


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