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Editor’s Find: The Secrets of St. James’s, London

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Sandwiched between Piccadilly and The Mall in London’s West End, St. James’s may be the most-traveled-through but least-known neighborhood in London. At least, that’s my take-away after spending a recent Tuesday morning walking through its historic streets, courtyards, and mews in the company of Frank Laino, executive concierge of the Stafford London in the heart of St. James’s. After 16 years of catering to the wishes of clients at the discreet, upscale Stafford hotel, Laino knows St. James’s like few others, and recently began squiring hotel guests on foot tours. Here are some of the most intriguing stops on his itinerary.

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Ellis Island Hospital Opens Today for Tours

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History buffs and fans of American Horror Story will love the chipped paint and cracked porcelain sinks, the stained tiles and rusting hospital beds in the halls of the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital—open to visitors today for the first time in 60 years. 

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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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New Photo Tours Launch in Barcelona and London

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Grab your cameras and passports! The Buenos Aires-based travel photography company, Foto Ruta, is launching workshops in Barcelona and London. Founded in 2011 by professional photographers Beck Hayes and Jocelyn Mandryk, Foto Ruta champions the idea of “experiential travel" by offering tours/workshops that allow travelers to have an immersive experience in a destination—and take home some great photos to boot.

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Daily Transporter: Secret Prohibition Tunnels

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When Germans settled in Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, they—being Germans—began brewing beer. Tunnels dug beneath OTR were intended as lagering cellars but came in handy during Prohibition. (Cincinnati also sits above seven miles of subway tunnels from an never-completed system.)

See Cincinnati in America’s Best Road Trips

Editor’s Picks: Cincinnati
America’s Best Beer Gardens
Best French Restaurants in the U.S.
America’s Best Outdoor Bars

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Daily Transporter: Frank Lloyd Wright Walking Tour

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This year marks the 125th anniversary of the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, a National Historic Landmark. To celebrate, the FLW Trust’s annual walking tour of Chicago’s Oak Park suburb—usually a multi-architect survey—has become ALL WRIGHT. The sold-out weekend event features interior tours of private and public works of the influential architect and designer.

See Oak Park in America’s Most Beautiful Neighborhoods

Editor’s Picks: Arts + Culture
America’s Coolest Houses
World’s Most Beautiful Museums
World’s Most Beautiful Universities

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

SC Johnson’s Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed Headquarters Open For Tours

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For the first time in company history, SC Johnson—maker of Ziploc, Windex, and Raid, to name a few—is opening up its Frank Lloyd Wright-designed headquarters in Racine, Wisconsin, to the public.

Free tours will be offered on Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 27. On the Landmarks Tour, visitors will see the 15-story cantilevered Research Tower and the Administration Building—known for its lily pad-shaped columns—as well as the Foster + Partners-designed Fortaleza Hall.

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Daily Transporter: Virginia Garden Week

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In 1927, a Garden Club of Virginia flower show raised $7,000 to save some trees planted by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello. That initiative inspired Virginia Garden Week—eight days and 250 house-and-garden tours across the state—which begins today.

See Virginia in America’s Best Spring Drives

Editor’s Picks: Virginia
Best Beaches on Earth
World’s Strangest Natural Wonders
America’s Coolest Summer Cottages

Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure. You can find her on Twitter at @aegisnyc. Get the Daily Transporter newsletter in your in-box.

Photo courtesy of T+L Photo Contest

Empire State Building Adds New Multimedia Experience

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Waiting in queue at New York City's Empire State Building just got a whole lot more enjoyable, thanks to a new interactive multimedia tour. User-friendly, social-media-connected, and highly informative, the experience teaches visitors the ins and outs of the historic high-rise.

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Joint Venture: Jamaican Farms Entice Visitors with Special “Ganja Tours"

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Wine lovers have Napa Valley. Beer snobs have Oregon. And now, potheads may have their own vacation paradise: wandering the lush grounds that perhaps inspired Bob Marley to sing, “let’s get together and feel alright.”

According to a new AP report, tour operators in Jamaica are increasingly taking visitors to see the marijuana farms that produce the local “ganja”—such as spots near Nine Mile, Marley’s hometown, and outside Negril.

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