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TravelBits

Floating Above It All

JR Tokai L0 Series ShinkansenJapan Rail is rolling out a brand-new train that can hit 311 miles per hour. It’s called the JR Tokai L0 Series Shinkansen, and as it’s magnetically levitated, it hovers above the track for smooth, frictionless travel in any weather. Slated to begin functional service in 2027, the L0 Series technology, called maglev (magnetic levitation train), actually makes the train levitate at speeds exceeding around 93 mph. This technology is currently being employed worldwide, and there are talks of it being used for a train between Washington, DC, and Baltimore. Source: Business Insider

Santorini

It’s a Stunner

Santorini is one of the most idyllic and stunning islands in the Greek Cyclades. Spend the afternoon hiking from the second biggest town Fira to the capital city of Oia, located at the northernmost point of the island. The two-and-a-half-hour hike to Oia takes you up the cliffs, and the reward is magnificent views of the Caldera, the volcano, and the sea. If you’d like to make a day of it in Oia, aim to leave before 10 a.m. and you’ll arrive on time for lunch around 12:30 p.m. For those famous panoramic Oia sunsets, start your hike around 5:30 p.m. to reach the city as the sun begins to sink into a fluorescent orange sky.
Source: New Jersey Digest

It’s a Wrap

Not even death could stop Christo from creating new works of colossal public art. The famed artist passed away in May 2020 with two massive and ambitious projects still left unrealized. His partner Jeanne-Claude passed away in 2009. One of their planned projects — covering Paris’ Arc de Triomphe in silvery blue fabric, crisscrossed with red rope — debuts on September 18. The artwork, L’Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped, will be viewable there until October 3, when it will be dismantled.
Source: Frommers

Castle Hot Springs Resort

Detox Like a Vanderbilt

Tucked into the red-rock Bradshaw Mountains of Arizona, the remote, otherworldly Castle Hot Springs resort provides a true escape from the monotony of daily life. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 210-acre refuge was beloved by some of America’s most renowned families (the Vanderbilts, the Astors, the Roosevelts, and the Wrigleys) thanks to its off-the-grid location and calming, restorative waters. Closed to the public for over 40 years before reopening in 2019, a visit to Castle Hot Springs now feels like stepping back in time. You can enjoy the resort’s slow pace, soak in the natural thermal water, nosh on farm-to-table dining, and enjoy the plentiful spa services and yoga classes. Source: Fortune

Fantastic Food, Warm Staff, and a Deep Sense of Place

Brush Creek Ranch

Set amid creeks, prairies, and mountains, family-friendly Brush Creek Ranch in Saratoga, WY, is a Western fantasy come to life. This 30,000-acre all-inclusive resort offers the traditional horseback riding and fly-fishing but guests can also busy themselves with everything from ice fishing, cooking and baking classes, rare small-batch whiskeys and dine on Wagyu beef that was raised on the ranch. In winter, guests have access to a 600-acre private ski mountain nearby. The log cabins and lodge rooms are relaxed, yet beyond comfortable.
Source: Travel + Leisure

Seeing Art and Nature in Full Color

In 2017, Tennessee’s tourism board began installing scenic viewfinders with EnChroma lenses that alleviate red-green colorblindness. Stationed at 12 scenic spots throughout the state, the viewfinders resemble the sort of stationary binoculars you’ll find at observatories and outlooks facing dramatic natural vistas. The fall foliage program was so successful the state has installed more and more viewfinders. Many travelers started visiting the state just to try out the viewfinders. And the results were life-changing, as you can see in the Tennessee tourism office’s moving video showing people taking in autumn’s reds, golds, and oranges for the very first time. Source: The Washington Post

Dark Sky ReserveStar Light, Star Bright

A growing list of Dark Sky Reserves in the U.S. help travelers find places with the least amount of light pollution — and the best stargazing. When human-made lights began to shine as bright as the sun and moon, urban dwellers quickly lost sight of the vast galaxy that twinkled above — and the benefits of dark skies. Enter the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA). Founded in 1988, the United States nonprofit recognizes public parks, reserves, and places across the world with the least amount of light pollution. Most are open to campers or offer lodging — meaning you can spend the whole night looking up at the sky’s universal beauty – making them all that more important to protect. Source: National Geographic

Show Me the Money

Climbing Mount EverestOutforia, an outdoor and nature resource website, compiled a list of the most expensive hikes on earth. It calculated the cost of joining a guided climbing group and how much the required equipment would cost to purchase or hire. Unsurprisingly, Mount Everest came out on top as the most expensive climb in the world, at $84,123. Just one mountain in the United States made the list, Denali, located in Alaska. According to Outforia, the first recorded ascent of Denali happened way back in 1913 when four hikers made their way to the top. In 2019, that number hit more than 1,200 hikers in a year. The cost to hike it? About $12,000. Source: Outforia

Pick Your Hood

Location definitely matters in Mexico’s colossal capital and it simply comes down to which pocket of Mexico City suits your fancy. In the trendy Roma and Condesa neighborhoods, the fiestas just keep coming as you tap into the spirited nightlife and culinary scene, while across town in the electric Centro Histórico, it’s all about soaking up the myriad cultural offerings and old-world flavor. Or take it down a notch and embrace the low-key bohemian lifestyle of Coyoacán, just like Frida and Diego did back in the day.
Source: Condé Nast Traveler

Woodloch Pines ResortFamily Friendly and Carefree

Constantly rated as one of America’s top all-inclusive family resorts, the Woodloch Pines Resort is the classic choose-your-own-adventure place. The four-season resort is nestled on a mountain lake and delivers fun for the whole family including over 30 activities scheduled daily, a giant rock-climbing wall, indoor and outdoor pools, water sports, and nightly entertainment. The all-inclusive rate also includes excursions like horseback riding, fishing, skiing, and boating.
Source: Forbes

Second Line Parade in New OrleansSunday Celebrations

New Orleans is a city that loves to celebrate, but you don’t have to wait for a specific day on the calendar to throw down. Second Lines — neighborhood parades thrown by African American civic organizations known as Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs — are weekly parades that kick off every Sunday outside of summer. In fact, approximately 800 Second Lines take place there each year. Folks gather somewhere in the city (often in the Tremé); a band leads the way, dancers parade in their finest clothes, and the Second Line — a following crowd, which should include you — high steps behind.
Source: Southern Living

Powerful Return

Niagara Falls’ newest attraction, Niagara Parks Power Station, offers visitors a closer look at its historical power, breathing life into Canada’s once-abandoned hydroelectricity station. Built in 1905, it is a gorgeously untouched facility and the kind of place that young families and engineering geeks love. Visitors can choose between guided and self-guided tours of Generator Hall where exhibits help explain the water flow in the plant; hands-on opportunities include a chance to help solve simulated emergencies (such as a storm-blown tree branch threatening entry into the power station’s penstocks and wrecking the turbines below) using levers and audio instructions. And during the summer of 2022, the museum’s attractions go deep. That’s when the passages beneath the generator floor will be ready to welcome visitors safely. A newly-built glass elevator will bring you down into the bowels of the disused water tunnels — this is the “Wheel Pit.”
Source: The Globe and Mail

Via FrancigenaMedieval-style Travel

After more than a year of pandemic lockdowns, travelers are flocking to pilgrim routes. Traditionally religious, they offer travelers from all walks of life a chance to find inner peace and reconnect with the world. With more travelers than ever embarking on pilgrimages, it may signal a boom in a post-COVID world, as people move away from short-haul city breaks toward fewer flights and longer trips with a sense of purpose. Take Europe’s best-known pilgrimage, the route to Spain’s Santiago de Compostela. In 1972, just 67 pilgrims were recorded as completing the walk. In 2019, some 348,000 did so. Other lesser-known walking pilgrimages like the Via Francigena from Canterbury to Rome are attracting more visitors, while Japan’s Buddhist Shikoku pilgrimage has also seen similar growth.
Source: BBC

Las Grutas TolantongoBucket List Destination

Who doesn’t like an infinity pool? But one spot in Mexico’s Mezquital Valley puts even the most luxurious hotel swimming holes to shame. Las Grutas Tolantongo, or the Tolantongo caves, are a collection of hot spring pools built into a cliff in Hidalgo sitting three to four hours northeast of Mexico City in a picturesque canyon. The pools are filled with warm, naturally mineral-infused water that’s heated by the surrounding volcanic mountains. There are also caves and a tunnel to explore for a dose of adventure, a hot spring river to swim in, and a kid-friendly pool with a waterslide.
Source: Travel + Leisure

Fall Travel Trends

Uncertainty remains the new normal in travel this autumn driven by the rise in COVID cases and ever-changing travel restrictions, but here are eight things you can expect:
  • Booking a flexible ticket will be easier
  • More domestic travel, less international
  • Domestic and international airfares are expected to drop this fall as demand drops
  • The beach may be crowded
  • Still may not be able to rent a car
  • Budget carriers are making a play for travelers
  • Traveling with children – think road trips
  • You really should be thinking about 2022.
Source: The New York Times

Lighthouse Beach on Sanibel Island, FLWhite Sand and Warm Waters

The sea is hands-down the main attraction in Sanibel Island, FL, and while there are some top contenders when it comes to beaches — Lighthouse Beach, Bowman’s Beach, and Blind Pass Beach are all stellar options — whichever spot you choose you can rest assured you’ll be treated to fine white sand and calm turquoise waters. To get out on said waters, sign up for a kayak tour with Tarpon Bay Explorers, where a naturalist will explain every wading bird and mysterious underwater shadow you encounter as you paddle through the mangrove forest (tours from $35; includes use of the kayak for the rest of the day).
Source: Budget Travel

Andy Goldsworthy Wood LineTake a Walk on the Green Side

Founded by Johnny Morris, The Presidio, a former military reservation that is now a national park, is one of San Francisco’s most fantastic green spaces and well worth a wander for its historical sites, modern kitsch (there is even a Yoda statue here) and its plentiful trails and forest cover. In the southeast corner of the park, continue your Lyon Street Steps visit by heading down the Andy Goldsworthy Wood Line, where world-renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy has made a lane through the forest composed of recycled eucalyptus. The trail here follows the adjacent Lover’s Lane path and leads into the heart of the Presidio, from where you can even continue north and make your way to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Source: USA Today

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