Do you think of Florida as just one big theme park? Think again. With secret islands and sweeping expanses of wilderness, it's a place where you can really get back to nature, and where you're more likely to see a pelican or heron than a cartoon duck. Not only that, the Sunshine State has a wealth of historic towns and cultural cities, and miles of sandy shores. And as UK tourists are allowed to return from next month, it makes the perfect place for winter sun. Pictured: Seven Mile Bridge (top left), Captiva Island (top right), Alligator Alley (bottom right), Sarasota (bottom left), and Crystal River (inset).
One giant step for tourism in Sin City? Plan revealed for a 735ft-high Las Vegas resort in the shape of the MOON that has 4,000 hotel rooms and a 'lunar colony'
According to the Canadian entrepreneurs behind it, it would cost $5billion to build and, with a height of 735ft, would become the joint-second-tallest building in Sin City with the JW Marriott, which is currently the second-loftiest structure behind the 350m- (1,149ft) tall Strat Observation Tower. The celestial retreat - which would be the world's largest sphere - features 4,000 hotel rooms, a 'crater café', a spa, a casino, a lagoon and guests seeking a space-age adventure will be able to take a moon shuttle to a 'lunar colony'. Other attractions at the otherworldly resort would include an event centre for up to 5,000 attendees, a theatre for resident performers and touring acts, a piano bar, boutiques, several lounges and a convention centre.
Driving 850 miles on I-95 is the ultimate test of patience even for a road trip enthusiast. Thanks to 21st-century transportation, there's a way to travel between Virginia and Florida that doesn't require spending 12 hours straight in a car.
Sure, a flight would be quicker, but the Amtrak Auto Train allows people to bring along their vehicles without having to physically drive that far. The car-carrying train that runs through five East Coast states is the first of its kind in the nation.
Please note that businesses, attractions, and events throughout New England have been modified, closed, and/or canceled in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. Please travel responsibly, and check with state guidelines and individual businesses and organizations before making travel plans.
Anyone who has witnessed the annual procession of fall foliage in New England never forgets it — from the early flashes of fire on northern mountainsides to the late colors that smolder in southern forests. Along the way, there are certain towns where the autumn glow seems just a little bit brighter, thanks to a convergence of visitor amenities and natural gifts. From scenic overlooks to downtown shopping, fall festivals to postcard landscapes, these six destinations represent our picks for the best foliage town in every New England state (plus a worthy runner-up, to double your road-trip options).
That said, when it comes to fall getaways, it’s hard to go wrong with almost anyclassic New England town — so if you have a favorite, be sure to make a case for it in the comments at the end of this post.
The Best Foliage Town in Every New England State
Best Foliage Town in Connecticut: KENT
Tickets go on sale for the world's biggest observation wheel, which opens on October 21 and stands 820ft tall on Dubai's Bluewaters Island
Tickets are now on sale for trips on the world's largest and tallest observation wheel, Ain Dubai. Last year, the TV documentary Impossible Engineering showed how the enormous wheel was constructed in Dubai. Now visitors will finally get to ride it from October 21. The record-breaking wheel is over 250m (820ft) in height, made up of 48 double-glazed cabins and can take 1,750 passengers at one time.
Five-year-old boy becomes one of the youngest people ever to complete the ENTIRE Appalachian Trail after hiking 2,193 miles with his parents over 209 days
Harvey Sutton, who is known as 'Little Man' on the Appalachian Trail, was four when he started the hike in Georgia in January. With his parents, Cassie and Josh, he hiked through 14 states, finishing at the top of a mountain in Maine earlier this month. They slept in a tent, awoke at 5:30 a.m. each day, and hiked about ten miles daily. A big challenge was keeping Harvey motivated and engaging his imagination, but he said he had a lot of fun. The family met other hikers who gave Harvey toys, and hiked with one man who set up a treasure hunt for the boy. Harvey was excited to get home and sleep in a bed and is now starting kindergarten.
Luxury 34-acre estate with private path leading to Secret Beach in Hawaii will head to auction with NO minimum reserve if it doesn't sell on the open market for $50 million by September
NEW A 34-acre luxury property on Kauai's north shore with near exclusive access to its famed Secret Beach is heading to auction in September if it doesn't first sell for its $50million list price. The auction has no minimum reserve, meaning it could sell for as little or as much as the bidders dictate. Seller Michael Shotey, founder of electrical products company Taymac, said he wanted to sell because his family is not around enough to enjoy it. They originally purchased the property for $10.75million in 2012. In addition to beach access, the piece of real estate features a villa and two small vacation rental cottages.
You don’t have to be a Hollywood celeb or billionaire to afford to rent a slice of paradise. Check out one of these affordable private island rentals that will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated without emptying out your bank account. The Little Peter Oasis private island can house four people in a bungalow -- ideal for families or two couples -- and is located off the coast of Belize. Guests can indulge in a number of on-site activities, included snorkeling, paddleboarding, kayaking and fishing, or swimming in the 30-foot-deep private lagoon. Those wanting to explore the surrounding area can book additional activities such as diving, guided offshore fishing and Mayan ruin tours, all for an additional price. A personal on-site concierge can help coordinate transfers to and from the island, along with setting up island activities and excursions. An all-inclusive package starts from $5,995 for five days and four nights, including a private helicopter transfer from Belize City.
The landlocked body of water is one of the world's biggest inland seas and at 226ft (69m) below sea level one of the lowest places on earth. It has appeared and disappeared several times over the ages, but was re-created in 1905 when the Colorado River, which runs to the east, overwhelmed an irrigation system and flooded a basin called the Salton Trough. For 18 months, according to parks.ca.gov, the entire volume of the river flowed into the basin and by the time it was halted in 1907, a lake 45 miles long and 20 miles wide had formed.
Spotting an opportunity to make fast bucks, developers moved in during the 50s and 60s and it blossomed into a tourist hotspot, with settlements, resorts, hotels and attractions popping up left, right and center. However, due to farm runoff, the lake became increasingly toxic and salty, fish and birds began dying and the settlements became like ghost towns. It was hoped around 40,000 people would live on the Salton Sea's shores. But homeowners tend not to like environmental disasters and today the population is between five and 10,000, though the area does attract, in normal times, up to one million visitors a year for bird-watching and water sports.
Lennon told MailOnline Travel that he'd 'always heard so much about the place', so he decided to head out on a last-minute road trip in 2019 with a friend and explore the area for himself. He describes Salton Sea, which he has visited several times since, as a 'mysterious and surreal place' with an 'eerie calm'.
He added: 'It sounds a little cliched, but I wanted to show through my images that there can be beauty in death. Salton Sea has a bad rep because of the environmental catastrophe and it is almost a "dead" lake. But seen at the right time of day, especially just before sunset, the light is just incredibly beautiful. Even when shooting in black and white, there's a stark beauty to be seen.' Scroll down to soak up some of Salton Sea's salt-weathered scenery for yourself...
Over recent years, the lake has attracted an influx of artists and hipsters. This image shows installations left over from the Bombay Beach Biennale, an art festival founded in 2016
This is the bizarre holiday home that has been dubbed the 'whale house' thanks to its grey shale exterior and colourful rooms.
Built in 1978, the house - in Mission Canyon, Santa Barbara, California - has been described by a holiday rental company as one of the most 'mind boggling homes in America'.
And now holidaymakers are being given the chance to rent out the the quirky property with prices starting from $625 (£450) per night.
JOE KOVACS About
It’s almost like something you’d see in a James Bond spy movie, but it’s a reality on American roadways today. Drivers are using devices, both high-tech and low-tech, to obscure or completely cover their license plates to avoid paying tolls. Sammy and Mayte Salinas were driving on the Dolphin Expressway recently in South Florida when they noticed a maroon Chrysler Pacifica with the Florida tag DSB5U in front of them using a specially devised cover that moves up and down over the plate.
“At the next toll by plate cameras, they took out their own camera and, sure enough, recorded as a black cover came down over the plate of the car ahead,” reported CBS4 in Miami. “After getting clear of the toll by plate cameras, the driver activated a device, lifting the black cover off the license plate.”
'A parallel universe': From juke joints to feed stores, the humble beauty of America's forgotten roadside buildings celebrated in a mesmerising new photo book
Venture down America's backroads and you'll find, in the words of photographers Steve Gross and Susan Daley, 'a parallel universe', a world of lost-in-time buildings 'that often goes unnoticed'. In a series of road trips, the pair trained their lenses on over 100 forgotten buildings from New England to the Deep South and published the resulting images in a mesmerising coffee table book called Backroads Buildings - In Search Of The Vernacular (Schiffer Publishing).
Moonhole is located on the island of Bequia and consists of a collection of villas that offer spectacular sea views. The unique cluster of stone homes were built in the 1960s by a couple who sought to create their dream Caribbean retreat. Living in the front house (left) they built the surrounding villas (top and bottom right) for friends who wanted to enjoy their own slice of paradise. Now five of the villas are available for adventurous holidaymakers to rent. The ultimate Robinson Crusoe retreat: Castaway at a Caribbean island hideaway built under a volcanic arch
The 350 residents of Sommarøy in the land of the midnight sun are hoping to free themselves from the tyranny of the clock by declaring the small Norwegian island the world’s first time-free zone.
“All over the world, people are characterised by stress and depression,” Kjell Ove Hveding, the leader of the campaign on the island, west of Tromsø and inside the Arctic circle, told the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK.
“In many cases this can be linked to the feeling of being trapped by the clock. We will be a time-free zone where everyone can live their lives to the fullest … Our goal is to provide full flexibility, 24/7. If you want to cut the lawn at 4am, then you can do it.” MORE
Intuitively, winter might seem like the wrong season for a New England driving tour. But imagine how freeing it feels to drive along dramatic coastal routes without summer’s standstill traffic. How meditative a forest can be when tree-lined arteries are no longer clogged with autumn leaf-peepers. Of course, you must be mindful of road conditions and storm forecasts if you’re setting out on one of these ideal-for-winter drives. But with cellphones and GPS apps adding a warm layer of security, a road trip is an exhilarating way to spend an ice-kissed, blue-sky day.
Best 5 New England Winter Drives
Best Connecticut Winter Drive
Winter’s Essence in the Litchfield Hills
Even if you don’t plan to get out of your car to cross-country ski or snowshoe, drive the pine-lined entry road to the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, Connecticut, and admire old stone walls frosted with winter’s icing. More iconic New England scenes await, as you drive east on U.S. Route 202 and turn left on state Route 63 to journey north toward rural Goshen and its eclectic farms, including Sunset Meadow Vineyards, which is open for tastings Thursday through Monday in the winter. Drive west on state Route 4, and you’ll pass the entrance to Mohawk Mountain, where snowmaking was invented in 1950. Continue on state Route 128, and drive through the classic red West Cornwall covered bridge, which strikes a photogenic pose when the Housatonic River churns below and snow coats the hillsides. You’re headed south next on U.S. Route 7. Watch for a left turn onto state Route 45 south, which clings to the eastern shore of Lake Waramaug, the prettiest lake in the state. Turn left at the U.S. Route 202 intersection, and complete the loop back to Litchfield. Never mind that it’s winter — you’ll want to stop in Bantam for luscious ice cream at the Arethusa Farm dairy. Warm your tongue at Litchfield Distillery, where tours and craft spirit tastings are free Wednesday through Sunday. A bottle of their Batchers’ cinnamon bourbon is the antidote for the rest of winter’s chilly days.
At one time, Howard Johnson's was the largest restaurant chain in the country. In 2015, we traveled to Bangor, Maine, to visit the last Howard Johnson's restaurant in New England.
Update: We are sad to report that the Bangor Howard Johnson’s restaurant closed its doors in September 2016. The following is a look back at our 2015 visit.
At one time, New England-born Howard Johnson’s was the largest restaurant chain in the country, with more than 1,000 locations. In the summer of 2015, however, the last Howard Johnson’s restaurant in New England, and one of just two left in the country, was operating on borrowed time in Bangor, Maine. Unable to resist experiencing this cultural icon for myself, I decided to make the drive to Bangor last week for lunch. Here’s a recap of my visit, with an update on the restaurant’s fate at the bottom of the post.
Like so many other good things, Howard Johnson’s restaurant got its start right here in New England. They even advertised in Yankee Magazine during the 1940s.
So how did it all begin? In 1925, Howard Deering Johnson started his first soda fountain in the Wollaston neighborhood of Quincy, Massachusetts, with a focus on making superior ice cream. He had two stores when the stock market crashed in 1929, but he managed to hang onto them, and even added his name and products to a dairy bar on Cape Cod, which became very popular. By the 1930’s he had introduced the “Simple Simon and the Pieman” logo, and by 1935, there were 25 Howard Johnson’s ice cream stands in Massachusetts, with more expansion in the works.
Quality and homemade taste were important to Johnson, and no doubt contributed to the brand’s steady success. In the automobile-fueled post-war years, Johnson was poised and ready to deliver friendly service to an American public that was desperate for a little fun and adventure. This included expanding to new states, opening restaurants on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Turnpikes, and adding hotels.
This Week's Travel News- States that Don't Make You Force You to Wear Masks- LIBERTY STATES to Visit and Support
By Bob Barney
It's time for citizens to stand up against the tyranny of the government, who have elected themselves to be our taskmasters! You are being enslaved America. Fight back. Refuse to wear masks - take governments to courts, and support those states that son't require masks! BOYCOTT THE STATES THAT DO!
States with No Mandates- SUPPORT THEM!
Statewide order: No
Florida recommends but does not require face coverings for the general public. Several cities and large counties, including Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Hillsborough (which includes Tampa), have mask requirements, but local governments are barred from assessing fines and penalties for noncompliance under a Sept. 25 executive order by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
Statewide order: No
Masks are required for both clients and staff at barbershops, salons and other personal-care businesses. They are recommended for restaurant employees and for the general population when in public. Lincoln and Omaha have enacted broader local orders that require face-covering in most indoor public places. Other cities and towns have weighed mask orders but Gov. Pete Ricketts has questioned whether they have authority to enact them under state law.
Statewide order: No
Numerous counties and cities, including Charleston and Columbia, have instituted mask mandates. Gov. Henry McMaster has encouraged masking but says a state requirement would be unenforceable. State guidelines encourage reopening businesses to have employees wear masks, “especially when in settings in which social distancing is not feasible."
Statewide order: No
The South Dakota Department of Health recommends “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission."
States with No Mandates, but still limit your 1st Amendment Freedoms: Support only those areas that allow freedom!
Statewide order: No
Masks are required for employees and customers of barbers and cosmetologists. They are recommended in other circumstances. Several cities and counties have full mask orders in place, including Maricopa County, home to Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe, and Pima County, which includes Tucson.
Statewide order: No
People are “strongly encouraged to wear face coverings as practicable” outside the home. Gov. Brian Kemp revised his coronavirus health order Aug. 15 to allow local governments to impose limited mask mandates, as Atlanta and several other jurisdictions have sought to do, reversing a month-old ban on such local orders. Cities and counties that have 100 or more confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people can enforce mask requirements on public property.
Statewide order: No
Idaho's capital and largest city, Boise, requires masks in public, as do several other cities. The state's Stay Healthy Guidelines, updated on June 13, recommend that employers “identify how personal use items such as masks, face coverings, and gloves may be required by employees, vendors, and/or patrons."
Statewide order: No
Gov. Tate Reeves lifted Mississippi’s mask requirement on Sept. 30, about two months after it was imposed. On Oct. 19 he issued a new order mandating masks in indoor public settings in counties with high COVID-19 case rates. The order currently covers 61 of Mississippi's 82 counties and is in effect until at least Jan. 15, 2021. Face-covering is still required statewide at schools and “close contact personal care services” such as salons, barbershops and massage parlors.
Statewide order: No
The state Department of Health and Senior Services recommends wearing a face covering in public. Gov. Mike Parson has said he does not intend to implement a statewide requirement. Several cities and counties have enacted mask mandates, including Kansas City and St. Louis.
Statewide order: No
Gov. Kevin Stitt, who recovered from a bout of COVID-19 in July, has called on Oklahomans to wear masks in public but rejected calls for a state mandate. A few cities, including Tulsa, have adopted mask requirements.
Statewide order: No
An April 28 executive order from Gov. Bill Lee urges people to “wear face coverings in public places,” as do state health guidelines. Several jurisdictions have enacted local mask mandates, including the counties that are home to Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and Chattanooga.
Natural beauty and wonder await you in South Dakota. Across the state, you will be inspired to expand your journey in the west from the Black Hills and Badlands, to the northeast to explore the glacial lakes and outdoor adventure. Along the way, you’ll follow the Missouri River as it flows down through central South Dakota and experience the history of Lewis and Clark. Discover the land of the southeast and its bustling cities, quiet country escapes and family attractions. As you venture back home, you will know you truly made memories that will last forever.
There are plenty of fun things to do in South Dakota for adventurers of all ages and interests. Visit our beautiful state to relax, discover, and enjoy the good life. Explore the many attractions, eat delicious food, and find a cozy place to stay for the night. Family fun is easy with so manythings to do when traveling SoDak with kids.
As you venture back home, you’ll know you truly made memories that will last forever.
Please note that businesses, attractions, and events throughout New England have modified their operations, closed, and/or been canceled in response to COVID-19. Please travel responsibly, and check with state guidelines and individual businesses and organizations before making travel plans.
Planning a trip to Connecticut this year for some autumn color and fun? Our Connecticut fall foliage guide is here to help. Learn the best time to see the leaves change, discover our favorite foliage towns and scenic routes, and read up on a few fantastic fall attractions.
Nothing brings history alive like seeing it play out before you. Reading about ancient civilizations is one thing, but being able to see actual life-size replicas of cities and items really helps you imagine what it might have been like to live in a different time and place.
Ark Encounter in Williamstown, Kentucky, has been hailed an excellent exhibit -- with over a million visitors a year since opening in 2016 -- and the attraction even earned the number one spot on USA Today's top ten "Best Religious Museums" list earlier this year.
Hedonism amid the pandemic: How Jamaica's famous 'clothing optional' resort, where guests are free to bare it all and engage in steamy sex romps in its nude pools, is adapting to the new era of coronavirus restrictions and social distancing
The Hedonism II Resort in Negril, Jamaica reopened last month under new coronavirus health restrictions. Prior to the outbreak, the hotel, touted as an 'adult playground', was known for offering 'the sexiest hedo experience' where guests are encouraged to ditch their clothes and let loose under the Caribbean sun. The resort has become a swingers' paradise since its rebranding in 1981, attracting travelers from all over the world who identify as 'consensually nonmonogamous', to meet others with similar lifestyles. But as Jamaica reopened its borders last month, resort owners were faced with the challenge of having to adapt to the new era of social distancing, while still keeping in line with Hedonism's 'be wicked' mantra. The ongoing pandemic means that some of the resort's most popular activities and attractions that involve close contact - and intimacy - such as its sexy foam parties
(left) and 'car washes', have been scrapped. All guests are now required to have their temperatures taken upon arrival and must keep six feet apart in all common areas, including the lobby, restaurants, bars, and pools.
Common sense is your best protection.
[Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an earlier article that originally ran on January 28 with multiple updates since then.]
Everyone’s talking about the new coronavirus, and it can be hard to differentiate between the facts, misinformation, sensible precautions, and overreaction. All over the world, measures are being taken to control and contain the virus, sometimes based on scientific evidence and sometimes more in response to fear. Now that there are many cases in the United States, fear is growing. While the intention is to be helpful, many people are sharing misinformation and unproven advice on social media. We outline what you need to know, but remind you that the World Health Organization (WHO) is the expert source for advice.
Tiny one-acre island off Connecticut goes on the market for $4.9m complete with four-bed mansion (...and legend has it that Captain Kidd buried his treasure nearby)
The unusually-named Potato Island (left and inset) is among the archipelago of the Thimble Islands off the east coast of in Connecticut, in the U.S. Potential homeowners may even be lucky enough to stumble across lost loot in their garden as legend has it that British pirate Captain William Kidd buried his treasure somewhere in the 17th century. The luxurious mansion (right) has a heated swimming pool, offers privacy and seclusion but is just a two-minute boat ride from the nearest coastal village, Stony Creek on the mainland.
1. Clearwater Beach, Pinellas County, Florida
Hawaii has another beach in the top 10 - Hapuna Beach, ranked No. 7, on the island of Hawaii.
The eighth and ninth spots are reclaimed by Florida, with St. Augustine Beach ranked No. 8 and Fort Lauderdale Beach ranked No. 9.
Rounding out the top 10 is Driftwood Beach on Georgia’s Jekyll Island.