Travel Feed

Forgotten America

The humble beauty of America's forgotten roadside buildings celebrated in mesmerising

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).


The ultimate Robinson Crusoe retreat

 

Moonhole resort on Caribbean island Bequia is available to hire

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 Norwegian island that abolished time: 'You can cut the lawn at 4am'

Sommarøy island in Norway
Sommarøy island in Norway, whose 350 residents want to escape the tyranny of the clock. Photograph: Anna Berkut/Alamy

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


Best 5 New England Winter Drives

Enjoy classic New England scenes, stippled in white and sparkling with frost, without leaving the warmth of your car with these 5 winter drives.

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 5 New England Winter Drives

The Litchfield Hills | Best 5 New England Winter Drives

Kim Knox Beckius

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.

 

https://newengland.com/today/travel/new-england/best-new-england-winter-drives/


The Last Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in New England

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.

NEWENGLAND.COM


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.

The Last Howard Johnson's Restaurant in New England | Bangor, Maine

The Last Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in New England | Bangor, Maine

Aimee Seavey

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.

1940 Howard Johnson's Ad from Yankee Magazine | 28 Flavors

A Howard Johnson’s ad from a 1940 issue of Yankee Magazine boasted “Made by a Yankee for Discriminating Yankees”. Do you remember all 28 delicious flavors?

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.

Continue reading "The Last Howard Johnson’s Restaurant in New England " »


This Week's Travel News- States that Don't Make You Force You to Wear Masks- LIBERTY STATES to Visit and Support

Maskstyranny

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!

Florida 

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.

Nebraska 

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.

South Carolina

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."

South Dakota

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!

Arizona 

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.

Georgia 

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.

Idaho 

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."

Mississippi 

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.

Missouri 

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.

Oklahoma

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.

 

Tennessee

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.

 

 


Private Islands That You Can Rent Without Breaking the Bank and escape the COVID HYPE!

image from ssl.tzoo-img.com

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.

SEE THE REST


Want to Forget Corona and Government shutdowns? Explore South Dakota and Find Your Great Place

Great Places Are Waiting Lockup
 
 

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

Need some guidance? Use our maps of South Dakota, get some travel tips, or follow a trip itinerary

As you venture back home, you’ll know you truly made memories that will last forever.

FREE GUIDE

 
 

Best Foliage Town in Every New England State

We used research, road trips, and a dash of personal opinion to come up with our picks, from Maine to Connecticut, for the best foliage town in every New England state.

 

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 Every New England State

Fog hovers above the Housatonic River as it runs past downtown Kent, Connecticut.

Mark Fleming

Best Foliage Town in Connecticut: KENT

 

Continue reading "Best Foliage Town in Every New England State" »


Connecticut Foliage Guide

From the best time for peak color to the perfect foliage towns and road trips, our Connecticut fall foliage guide will help you plan a great escape this autumn.

    
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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.

Red Barn during Fall in Kent

A Connecticut fall foliage scene in Kent.

Continue reading "Connecticut Foliage Guide" »


Ark Encounter unveils new $3M virtual-reality tour that takes visitors back in time

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.


Corona hits Nude Beaches in Jamaica

Jamaican resort Hedonism II reopens amid the coronavirus pandemic

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.


The Latest: Should You Change Your Travel Plans Due to the Coronavirus?

Common sense is your best protection.

image from www.fodors.com

[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.

MORE


Today's Travel Escape- Buy this Island off Ct.

Tiny one-acre island off Connecticut goes on the market for $4.9m

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.


TripAdvisor names America’s top beaches and Clearwater steals it AGAIN

1. Clearwater Beach, Pinellas County, Florida 

For the third time in the last four years, Clearwater Beach in Pinellas County, Florida has been ranked No. 1 in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards

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.  

 see the full list of the top 25 beaches according to the review website.


The best and worst cruise lines of 2020

Best and worst cruise lines of 2020 revealed by Which? with Viking Ocean Cruises top and

The best and worst cruise lines of 2020 have been named by Which? - and it's Viking Ocean Cruises claiming the top spot once again and MSC anchored at the bottom for a second year running. Viking was awarded five stars in every category while MSC received two or three stars across the board - and an overall customer score of just 57 per cent. Second in the annual ranking was Saga Ocean Cruises, followed by Azamara in third. Second-bottom of the table was Holland America.


Route 66, America's 'Mother Road,' revs back to life

For decades, Route 66 captured the imagination of travelers the world over, offering a glimpse of a bygone era of American history, when people hit the road in search of adventure and a better life.

For decades, Route 66 captured the imagination of travelers the world over, offering a glimpse of a bygone era of American history, when people hit the road in search of adventure and a better life.

The two-lane highway established in 1926 and coined the "Mother Road" by John Steinbeck seemed to encompass the essence of America, threading through eight states from Chicago to Santa Monica.

But after it was decommissioned in the 1980s in favor of larger and faster thoroughfares, Route 66 appeared headed for the dustbin of history as the mom and pop stores, kitschy motels, diners and petrol stations that lined the road gradually shut down.

After it was decommissioned in the 1980s in favor of larger and faster thoroughfares, Route 66 appeared headed for the dustbin of history as the mom and pop stores, kitschy motels, diners and petrol stations that lined the road gradually shut down.

"Entire towns folded up and what had been a 2,400-mile (4,000 kilometer) carnival became to a large extent a 2,400-mile ghost town," explained David Knudson, founder and executive director of the non-profit National Historic Route 66 Federation.

In recent years, however, the iconic road that has been immortalized in countless books, movies, music ("Get your kicks on Route 66"), and a TV series has been experiencing a nostalgia-driven revival that is attracting tourists from around the globe.

- Ultimate road trip -   MORE


Vacation in Switzerland?

The REAL-LIFE fairy-tale landscape: Images capture Switzerland's beautiful Lauterbrunnen

The images capture Switzerland's impossibly picturesque Lauterbrunnen Valley, a 'trough valley' that contains no less than 72 waterfalls. Plus alpine meadows and lonely mountain inns. The most photographed of the waterfalls is undoubtedly the free-falling Staubbach Falls. Here water cascades dramatically almost 1,000ft from an overhanging rock face. Behold the Alps at its most breathtaking.


The Beauty of Italy's Countryside

Spellbinding images show the beauty of Italy's most stunning forests

Italy is best known for its picture-perfect cities, stunning lakes, incredible mountains and beautiful coastline. But its fairy tale-like forests are just as spellbinding- as these jaw-dropping images show. They were all snapped in enchanting woodland areas across Italy throughout the seasons and entered into the 2019 Experience Forests photo contest run by the Italian branch of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).


Stunning private island in New York's Lake George goes on sale for $15million

image from i.dailymail.co.uk

A private island on one of America's most scenic lakes has gone on the market for $15million. 

The 3.3-acre isle, which lies in Lake George in upstate New York, offers its new owner a private sandy beach, 2,700ft of lakefront and stunning views of the surrounding lake and mountains.  

The centerpiece of the island is a luxurious 15-bedroom mansion, which includes a formal dining room, a billiards room and a ball room. A whole wing of the house serves as a master bedroom suite with a private balcony.

There is also a separate, four-bedroom stone cottage, two separate two-bedroom apartments and a boathouse, as well as a diving board and a rope swing for adventurous guests.     MORE

Luxurious: The island includes a boathouse, 36 dock spaces, a diving board, rope swing, waterfall, greenhouse, expansive patios, separate balconies and a private sandy beach as well as the main mansion (pictured)
Luxurious: The island includes a boathouse, 36 dock spaces, a diving board, rope swing, waterfall, greenhouse, expansive patios, separate balconies and a private sandy beach as well as the main mansion (pictured) 

Ready for some Sun this December?

The hottest Caribbean hotel openings from St Lucia to Barbados and Jamaica

Whether you like to fly and flop, kick back on a catamaran with a rum punch, or hike through a towering rainforest, the charismatic Caribbean offers it all. Today, with ridiculous ease, you can jet direct from the UK to a dozen balmy islands, arriving just in time for tea or a sundowner. Every year, there are new, fun things to do and yet more fabulous hotels in which to relax. Here we look at some of the hottest new openings for 2020.


Exact $500million replica of the Titanic will set sail in 2022

Exact replica of the Titanic will set sail in 2022 and follow original ship's route

Construction has resumed on the Titanic II after an ongoing financial dispute. The new boat will feature the same cabin layout as the original to mimic its 'overall aesthetic', including formal dining rooms, a grand staircase, a smoke room, and a Turkish bath. The ship will also be able to fit nearly the same number of passengers as the original - but this time there will be far more lifeboats, just in case it meets a similar fate as the doomed ship that hit an iceberg and sunk in 1912, killing 1,500 people.


St Lucia has all the write stuff

Joining a Caribbean course for budding novelists – and discovering an island that’s a real thriller

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the beautiful Caribbean island of St Lucia where the warmth and friendliness of its people are matched only by the beauty of its landscape. 

From the moment you arrive, the island is mesmerisingly otherworldly... from the chickens strutting around outside the airport, to the banana plantations lining the roads. Then there are the tropical forests packed with birds in jewel-coloured jackets.

The Caribbean island of St Lucia, which has been passed back and forth between the French and the English through the years, as the two countries fought for ownership

Victoria Pepe is an experienced editor who wears her knowledge lightly. She expects nothing but that you get involved, enjoy yourself and develop your skills. I’m an experienced novelist, but there were people who had no experience, and they found it useful and uplifting. 

It begins with basic word games, and develops slowly until you are writing fluently. You won’t write a novel while you’re there, but you will leave with a suitcase full of ideas.

Away from the writing, we also spent time at the hotel where the course is based. East Winds is a boutique resort set in 12 acres by a private beach near Rodney Bay in the north of the island.

It’s run by Judith Milne, an English businesswoman who moved to St Lucia to manage the hotel. She socialises with guests and is on hand with tips about the island and its heritage. 

St Lucia has been passed back and forth between the French and the English through the years, as the two countries fought for ownership. This explains the language: many things have English names, others French.

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USA NEWS Best Winter Vacations

1Some travelers are enchanted by winter's first snowfall, while others are itching to escape the season's cold weather. To help you find the locale that best suits your winter vacation wants and needs, U.S. Newscompiled a list of the best winter destinations based on expert analysis and reader votes. Use 1these ideas to start planning your getaway, and vote for your favorite spots to help determine next year's ranking.

Sun, Snow or in between many love to travel over the winter time. From Hawaiian destinations, to Winter sports events in the Canadian world-renowned ski slopes at Whistler Blackcomb.   Rome, St Lucia, Florida and more.   See some great destinations HERE