Travel

Travel

8 popular tourist destinations that still pack a lot of local culture

One of our common travel woes is excitedly visiting a new destination, only to be met with a tourist trap that's lost most of its culture (we're looking at you, Bali and Cancun). Fortunately, there are many destinations that are able to attract millions of visitors each year while retaining the region's way of life. Read on for our picks of eight cities that are popular tourist spots, but still pack a lot of local culture.

Travel

Napa Valley Reboot: After the fires

I was driving through the Napa-Sonoma wine country in mid-December when a low, dark cloud drifted into my peripheral vision. It was over a vineyard and seemed to be billowing – a scary sight after the October wildfires that killed at least 43 people and burned more than 245,000 acres in Northern California.

Travel

Explore the gardens and wineries of Cornerstone Sonoma

There's no shortage of things to do, taste or sip in Sonoma, where wineries line the lanes and cute boutiques and bistros crowd town squares. It's tempting to scamper here, there and everywhere. But a single multiple-attraction destination can be appealing, especially when the weather turns drippy and damp.

Travel

7 of the world's most expensive cities and their cheaper, cooler alternatives

For the urban travel aficionado, the world's biggest, baddest and most expensive cities have unmatched allure. Places like New York City, Tokyo and London are certainly some of the coolest, busiest and most energy-packed places on earth, but just a couple nights spent in any of those destinations can leave your bank accounts quickly drained. Luckily, the world is a big place, and many of the world's most expensive cities for tourists have alternatives that are not only cheaper, but often rival their more coveted cousins when it comes to all things trendy and cool. While we understand that certain destinations offer cultural riches that can't be had elsewhere, our alternatives offer some of what you'd find in their more expensive counterparts, without the heavy toll on your finances. What's more? They have plenty of awesome culture to explore all on their own. Read on for some of the world's coolest, budget-friendly cities that you need to visit now.

Travel

Exploring the archaeological wonders of Jordan

In Jordan's extraordinary rose-red "Lost City" of Petra, I have just huffed up 700 zigzagging stone-carved steps to the ancient mountaintop High Place of Sacrifice with its sacred altar and goat blood drain. And now, along a dirt trail, I rest in a rug-draped souvenir stall while an octogenarian Bedouin woman – who is traditionally clad in a long embroidered madraga dress and grew up in a cave – deftly strings a fragrant necklace of dried cloves to sell me.

Travel

Shake up your cruise routine with these adventurous options

Cruisers who are tired of the Caribbean and Mediterranean and want to spice up their next water-based vacation should check out new offerings for 2018 from AdventureSmith Explorations. Destinations include Tasmania, Patagonia and remote areas of Indonesia. Or, to get really off the grid, there's a 17-day journey into the high Arctic to explore the Northwest Passage. The 132-passenger Ocean Adventurer is offering northbound and southbound itineraries that venture into the northernmost reaches of Canada and down the coastline of Greenland. Outings on inflatable Zodiac boats will get passengers up close to glaciers and icebergs. Musk ox, walruses and seals are among the wildlife that cruisers likely will spot along the way. Shore expeditions may visit remote native hunting and fishing villages and grave sites of early Arctic explorers. Prices start at $9,695 per person for a triple cabin or $12,595 for a double. There's also a charge of $2,495 for one night's pre- and post-expedition hotel accommodation in Ottawa and internal flights. Air to get to Ottawa is extra. Read about AdventureSmith's new 2018 lineup at http://tinyurl.com/y8dtaj2m.

Travel

These airplane 'seats' are the closest thing to your bed at home

Airlines make a big deal about the comfort their lie-flat seats provide to business and first-class customers. It's unusual today to find an airline that doesn't offer 180-degree recline, fully flat seats in their business and first-class cabins on long-haul flights. Even so, let's face it: sleeping well on a plane, even sleeping fully horizontal, is a challenge. The cabin air is just as arid as it is at the back of the plane, the engines and HVAC systems make the same amount of noise, and even in a "dark" cabin you'll experience light pollution from illuminated signs, other passengers' reading lights, and those ubiquitous in-flight entertainment systems. It all makes sleeping while flying an iffy proposition.

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