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Gerrish Lopez

Gerrish Lopez

Contributor, New Orleans

Gerrish Lopez is an avid traveler and freelance writer from New Orleans. For Time Out, she has written about everywhere from Vancouver to New York, and she also has bylines in USA Today and Thrillist

Articles (106)

The best things to do in New Orleans right now

The best things to do in New Orleans right now

New Orleans is a top destination for big annual events like Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, for its renowned restaurants and bar scene and—for better or worse—Bourbon Street. Beyond the Quarter and its non-stop party scene, however, you can still find plenty of fun things to do in New Orleans, from world-class museums and amazing architecture to eye-opening history and outdoor attractions. Shop local businesses and unique art, dine at trendy new spots and beloved dives, take in the majesty of the mighty Mississippi, catch some incredible live music and so much more. The best things to do in New Orleans will give you a taste of all the city has to offer, setting the stage for many return visits. This guide was updated by New Orleans-based writer Gerrish Lopez. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The 18 best things to do with kids in Las Vegas

The 18 best things to do with kids in Las Vegas

Vegas is a lot of fun n’ all, but don’t make the mistake of thinking it’s just for adults. Vegas is a full-blown, jam-packed holiday for all ages, and there is absolutely zero chance of the kids ever getting bored. After all, what’s more fun for a kid than a gondola ride on a fake Venetian river? Hide and seek in a botanical garden? A four-story M&M World?  Nothing, that's what. From 3D film screenings to a real-life chocolate factory, this city was built for kids. After all, Vegas is pretty much a huge, buzzing adventure playground anyway. If you and the family are looking to get out into nature, head to a show or try out a tropical aquarium, you’re guaranteed to love it here. Read on for the best things to do in Vegas right now.  RECOMMENDED:📍 The best things to do in Vegas🍴 The best restaurants in Vegas⛰️ The best hidden gems in Vegas🏖️ The best pools in Vegas🏨 The best hotels in Vegas

Where to go shopping in New Orleans

Where to go shopping in New Orleans

New Orleans is a funky, eclectic town, and shopping in New Orleans can be equally so. Certain streets and neighborhoods are packed with shopping opportunities of all sorts, while the city also offers a slew of shopping spots for specific interests, from art and antiques to music and books. Trinkets and treasures can be found in the French Market and in shops throughout the French Quarter, but go further out to find some amazing, only-in-New Orleans treats to bring back. This is a party town, so you can find plenty of costume shops and vintage stores. All the standard big-name stores have a presence in New Orleans—shop high-end fashions at Canal Place or check out the Riverwalk for outlet shopping — but it’s much more fun to shop local here. Browse art galleries, local-made crafts and jewelry, even locally-designed clothing. If you’re looking to shop like a local, here are the best spots for shopping in New Orleans. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in New Orleans

Indulge in the best beignets in New Orleans

Indulge in the best beignets in New Orleans

Who doesn’t like fried dough? From donuts and funnel cakes to churros, buñuelos and zeppole, there’s nothing like this hot, fluffy treat. In New Orleans, the iconic beignet is the fried dough delicacy of choice. In their original and simplest form, the fried, pillowy squares are piled high with powdered sugar, producing a cloud of sweet joy with each bite (if you’re not covered in white powder, you’re doing it wrong). The best beignets in New Orleans include this traditional version as well as other creative interpretations both savory and sweet. From an order of three and a chicory cafe au lait at the famous Cafe du Monde to delicate, blue crab-stuffed versions at white tablecloth establishments, beignets are served at restaurants throughout the city. Innovative options include tantalizing, praline-filled beignets or indulgent beignets bursting with the likes of crawfish etouffee. You can sample some of the best and most creative versions at the annual Beignet Festival in October, or work your way through this beignet bucket list, one by one. You’ll definitely want to try them all.

Time Out’s favorite airport lounges in the U.S.

Time Out’s favorite airport lounges in the U.S.

At Time Out, we’re all about helping you see the world on the cheap and leading you to the best travel deals whenever possible. But sometimes, even the thrifty seek a bit of luxury on vacation, a place to comfortably kick their feet up before it’s time to squeeze into that basic economy seat. I mean, who can turn down a $99 flight to Europe? Not us! For that, we love an airport lounge. These once exclusive domains for the most privileged passengers have dramatically changed since American Airlines opened the first in NY’s LaGuardia Airport in 1939. What started as an invitation-only club for folks to enjoy a pre-board cocktail has evolved into a massive network of areas for travelers to rest, work, refuel and idle before a flight. Today, there are more lounges than ever, offering all kinds of amenities (pickleball, anyone?) and greater access for all. Headed to the airport soon? We asked Time Out editors and frequent contributors to share their favorite lounges in the U.S. Whether you're lounge-curious or a pro looking for a new respite when you fly, you'll find helpful intel for your next trip below. 

The 20 best hotels in New Orleans, for a trip of a lifetime

The 20 best hotels in New Orleans, for a trip of a lifetime

The best hotels in New Orleans range from high-end national brands to quirky, boutique properties, with plenty of options in between. There's something out there to suit everyone – even if you've got a very acquired and niche taste.  These New Orleans hotels offer everything you need for a comfortable stay plus service and attention that will make your visit to the city memorable. A new crop of independent hoteliers has transformed unique spaces into posh retreats, while a handful of historic hotels have stood the test of time and have become attractions in their own right. Plus, many of these hotels even have on-site bars and restaurants that have earned accolades on their own.  Whether you’re a business traveler, party animal or trend-seeking influencer, these hotels have it all. Deciding which New Orleans neighborhood to be based in is always a tough decision – maybe you’re looking to blow off some steam with a French Quarter fiesta, or perhaps you’re more in the mood to decamp to a trendy hideaway in the Marigny – but wherever you decide to stay, you’ll have a perfect spot to rest your head after exploring all the best restaurants and bars in NOLA. February 2024 update: one of our favorite hotels is currently unavailable, so we've replaced it with a new incredible hotel we've found: the Bourbon Orleans Hotel. RECOMMENDED: The best neighborhoods in New OrleansRECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in New OrleansRECOMMENDED: The best things to do in New Orleans Who makes the cut? W

The 17 best hotels in Boston

The 17 best hotels in Boston

Thinking about visiting Boston? We’ve got you covered. The city is known for its sports culture and huge baseball arenas (as well as its clam chowder, obviously), but it’s got a ton more to offer than that. From shopping till you drop to some lip-smackingly good restaurants and the most perfect spot to grab a cup of coffee, Time Out has all you need for a great stay. But everyone knows the only thing that can ruin a well-planned trip is a bad hotel - so we’ve got you sorted on that front, too. Read on for our roundup of the best hotels in Boston for your travels.  RECOMMENDED:🏙Full guide to the best things to do in Boston 🛏The best Airbnbs in Boston🚣‍♂️The best waterfront Airbnbs in Boston Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in and review every hotel featured, we've based our list on our expert knowledge of the destination covered, editorial reviews, user reviews, hotel amenities and in-depth research to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, see our affiliate guidelines.  

The best weekend trips in the U.S. for 2024

The best weekend trips in the U.S. for 2024

We love a European vacation as much as the next person, but perhaps less so these days. Despite the many flash sales luring us abroad, there’s just too much to see and do right here in America. The rise in low-cost airlines expanding their routes throughout the U.S. has also refocused our wanderlust, nudging us toward short escapes closer to home. And with limited time and budgets, a weekend getaway in the U.S. is just the vacation we all need right now. Our picks bypass the obvious choices, say New York or L.A., in favor of smaller cities with booming art scenes, lesser-known towns with incredible restaurants and coastal spots with plenty of room to spread out on the sand. You’ll find fewer crowds and plenty of small-town charm at these unexpected destinations. Looking for someplace to go in 2024? These places should absolutely be on your travel radar this year. RECOMMENDED: The best cities to visit in the U.S.

Where to find the best fried chicken in New Orleans

Where to find the best fried chicken in New Orleans

Fried chicken is a southern staple, with excellent versions found everywhere from low-key dives to the fanciest of white tablecloth institutions. New Orleans is a culinary mishmash of French, African, Italian, Caribbean and Spanish influences—making it unique for the South—but the city’s dining scene certainly does boast Southern influence and flare, which explains why fried chicken here is just a little bit different. Certain locals will argue that the best fried chicken in New Orleans is none other than Popeyes, but there’s no shortage of must-try spots that take the dish to new heights with style and plenty of seasonings. Whether you’re looking for a sit-down meal with indulgent sides or just a box to take to a picnic, these are the best spots for fried chicken in New Orleans. RECOMMENDED The best restaurants in New Orleans This guide was updated by New Orleans-based writer Gerrish Lopez. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

The best bars in New Orleans

The best bars in New Orleans

In the city where the cocktail was invented—and where the annual cocktail industry festival Tales of the Cocktail takes place—it should come as no surprise that the bar scene in New Orleans is one of a kind. You’ll find award-winning bartenders mixing up amazing cocktails at swanky bars around the city, while some of the best bars in New Orleans fall at the other end of the spectrum: iconic dives where generations of patrons have stopped in for a cold beer and conversation. From daiquiris and go-cups to hand-crafted works of art, New Orleans bars cover all the bases. Many of the city’s best restaurants feature bars serving excellent versions of the classics—whether a Sazerac, old fashioned, Ramos gin fizz or French 75—and trendy cocktails bars offer creative twists and inventive new options, but don’t sleep on the neighborhood joints throughout the city that serve up a side of history with a generous pour. Here are the bucket-list bars that offer a slice of the New Orleans drinking scene and the good times that keep the party going. And if you’ve enjoyed the nightlife a little too much? An indulgent New Orleans brunch will get you back on your feet. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in New Orleans This guide was updated by New Orleans-based writer Gerrish Lopez. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

Unique date ideas in NYC

Unique date ideas in NYC

With so many things to do in NYC, from fabulous new restaurants to world-renowned museums to beautiful parks, there’s really no reason to get stuck when you’re looking for ways to impress a date. Grabbing a drink, checking out local attractions or going out for a meal are obvious choices, however, so when things are getting a little more serious and you really need to turn on the charm, make an impression with an activity that's out of the ordinary. It’s time to put on your creative dating cap and check out these unique date ideas in NYC. Our curated list of cool and quirky things to do with your date includes romantic things to do, indoor activities, outdoor pursuits, cultural options and even some cheap date ideas if you’re on a budget. From an intimate concert to a thrilling city tour to creative pursuits like pottery or body painting, try any of these activities and you’re sure to see sparks fly. Your date will know that for sure you’re no average suitor. With any luck, your next date will be a romantic getaway, so get out there and try something new. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to date ideas in NYC

The 50 best cities in the world in 2024

The 50 best cities in the world in 2024

What makes a city great? Some would say it’s all about buzzing neighbourhoods, affordable food and drink and a mighty selection of things to do, from art galleries and museums to live music and theatre. Others might highlight things like the happiness of its locals, access to green space and strong community vibes. We factor in all that and more in our annual survey, which asks city-dwellers around the world to tell us what it’s like to live, work and play in their hometowns right now. Thanks to the opinions and insights of locals on the ground and our global network of city experts, we’re able to create a global ranking of the world’s best cities – and the 2024 results are in. As in previous years, the basis of the ranking remains our global survey of the people who know their city best: the locals. Working with research company Potentia Insight, we surveyed thousands of city-dwellers about the quality and affordability of food, culture and nightlife in their city. We also asked locals how their city makes them feel: are they happy there? Is it a beautiful place? Is it easy to make social connections? Their thousands of responses gave us a unique insight into the reality of living in the world’s greatest cities right now. Now that international travel is forecast to bounce back to the highest levels since 2019, many travellers will be planning a city break this year – so in 2024, we added a little extra weight to a city’s global appeal. Each survey respondent was asked which

Listings and reviews (104)

French Quarter

French Quarter

What is the French Quarter? The French Quarter is the city’s oldest and best-known neighborhood. It’s home to Bourbon Street, where many first-timers go to party. But the Quarter offers so much more, from gorgeous architecture, history, antiques, local boutiques, great food, music and views of the Mississippi. Is it worth visiting? The French Quarter is a must-visit neighborhood, introducing the city’s history and culture. It’s a treat for all the senses, and a compact area you can explore for days. Tickets, accessibility and booking Some of the old cobblestone streets in this old neighborhood can be tricky, but the French Quarter is entirely walkable. Royal Street—a destination for antiques—is closed to vehicle traffic during the day. For a free French Quarter history lesson, download the HNOC’s French Quarter Tours app to hear about important sites and stories as you walk around. Where’s good to eat in the French Quarter? The Quarter is home to classic, elegant restaurants like Galatoire’s, more contemporary options like Palm and Pine and beloved dives like Coop’s Place. There are really too many top French Quarter restaurants to name, so as long as you avoid the tourist traps (you’ll know), you’ll have a great meal.

Audubon Zoo

Audubon Zoo

What is Audubon Zoo? Part of the Audubon Institute—which includes the Aquarium, Nature Center, Audubon Park and organizations that focus on species survival and coastal wildlife—the Audubon Zoo is home to species (many endangered) from around the globe in impressive environs. Is it worth visiting? The zoo’s exhibits are a true glimpse into the habitats of its resident animals. You’ll find plenty of educational opportunities and animal encounters. The Jaguar Jungle is a favorite as well as the award-winning Louisiana Swamp exhibit. In the summer, the Cool Zoo offers a chance to beat the heat, while several events and festivals featuring music and food take place at the zoo throughout the year. Explore the animal kingdom and enjoy the stunning grounds dotted with live oaks (and the occasional roving peacock). Tickets, accessibility and booking Tickets to the zoo feature dynamic pricing based on day and time. Adult tickets are $35 during peak hours, $30 off-peak. Youth tickets are $30 during peak hours, $25 off-peak. Combine your admission with a visit to the Aquarium and Insectarium (located Downtown) to save. The zoo is accessible to all, and wheelchairs are available for rent. Where’s good to eat near Audubon Zoo? The zoo is located at the far end of Magazine Street near the Mississippi River. Head over to Riverbend for laid-back pub grub at Cooter Brown’s or go the other direction for Mediterranean fare at chef Alon Shaya’s Saba or to family-friendly Reginelli’s for pizza.

Mardi Gras World

Mardi Gras World

What is Mardi Gras World? This 300,000-square-foot working warehouse has been home to Blaine Kern Studios, one of the city’s premier float builders since 1947. Many of the floats that appear in Carnival parades (as well as parades in other cities, including the Universal Studios Mardi Gras parade) are made right here. You’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the studio, learn about the history and tradition of float-building, and get up close and personal with the magnificent works of art. Is it worth visiting? No matter what time of year, you can experience the fun of Carnival season with a visit to Mardi Gras World. The facility also plays host to a variety of concerts and events throughout the year. Tickets, accessibility and booking Admission to Mardi Gras World is $22 for adults, $14 for kids age 2-12 and $17 for military, students and seniors. A free shuttle picks up from Canal Street (call to schedule). Where’s good to eat near Mardi Gras World? You’ll have to walk a bit, but there are plenty of great places to eat near Mardi Gras World. Head to the food court at Riverwalk Outlets for a few local options, including Mr. Shrimp’s Kitchen. The nearby Warehouse District has a slew of offerings including Cochon Butcher for sandwiches. Or head to Magazine Street for even more options, like Gris-Gris’s elevated Southern fare.

Garden District

Garden District

What is the Garden District? The area was originally developed with large lots surrounded by gardens, hence the name. The neighborhood is more elegant and opulent than the French Quarter, home to oak-lined streets and Victorian, Italianate and Greek Revival mansions. The boundaries include a section of Magazine Street—a prime shopping and dining destination—and the historic Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Is it worth visiting? The iconic neighborhood is certainly worth a visit, and when you take a tour, you can see firsthand the homes featured in films like Benjamin Button and TV shows like American Horror Story. Tickets, accessibility and booking Roam the garden district on your own—check out this helpful list of neighborhood landmarks—or take a guided tour from the likes of Two Chicks Walking Tours for more insight. Where’s good to eat in the Garden District? Magazine Street has a slew of restaurants and bars that are all worthy dining options, but the most iconic restaurant in the area is Commander’s Palace. The crown jewel of the Brennan food empire, this landmark restaurant has been a beacon of fine dining since 1880.

La Barbecue

La Barbecue

5 out of 5 stars

at the helm, you know this Central Texas-style barbecue joint will be good. Located inside the Quickie Pickie (a big upgrade from former food truck park digs) with indoor and outdoor seating, La Barbecue serves up brisket, pork ribs, and house-made sausage. Sandwiches are tasty too, both straightforward options and over-the-top ones like La Frito Loco (pulled pork, chopped beef, chipotle slaw, fritos, cheese, and jalapeños).

haley.henry

haley.henry

4 out of 5 stars

Tinned fish, charcuterie, and other luxurious small plates set the stage for unique wines at this Downtown Crossing wine bar. Small producers, especially female winemakers, are the stars of the list of primarily natural wines. If you’re not familiar with natural wines, the friendly staff is willing to help. Sample from the list of wines by the glass, or—if you commit to two glasses—they’ll open any available bottle for you. For your non-wine-drinking friends, there’s also a solid craft beer list.

Greenhills Bakery

Greenhills Bakery

Head to Dorchester for traditional Irish breads and scones as well as pies, cakes, and cookies, all baked fresh. The classic Irish soda bread is top-notch, but don’t miss treacle soda bread, barm brack, or brown soda bread. There’s a whole cafe menu as well, with soups, sandwiches, and more Irish favorites like black pudding and Irish sausage rolls.

Il Tartufo e Il Vino - Eataly Boston

Il Tartufo e Il Vino - Eataly Boston

Eataly is currently hosting Boston’s only truffle-centric pop-up. Situated in the heart of Boston’s premier Italian food emporium, Il Tartufo e Il Vino is dedicated to fresh Italian truffles and fine Italian wines. Executive Chef Sam De Los Santos offers a menu full of truffle-friendly dishes; customers have the option of adding truffles to any dish for an upcharge, and those looking to celebrate can buy and enjoy an entire truffle right at tableside.

Empire

Empire

4 out of 5 stars

This Seaport stalwart hosts celebratory groups and corporate types for festive cocktails and a crowd-pleasing, pan-Asian menu of familiar favorites. Specialty nigiri and signature maki tantalize with interesting ingredients including marinated chinese celery, Wild Sockeye salmon, and yellow pepper sauce. The restaurant is exceptionally group-friendly, and perfect for private dinners and special occasions. A highlight for sushi-lovers is the unlimited sushi menu, available on Wednesdays starting at 5pm. 

Saus

Saus

Saus is a casual, counter-service joint offering made-from-scratch comfort foods enhanced by a plethora of condiments and toppings. There’s a whole section of poutines with toppings like carnitas, kimchi, and sambal for extra heft. There are a few tasty sandwiches and salads, plus friks—a few varieties of dressed-up beef and pork sausages served on Iggy’s brioche. But the centerpiece is the hand-cut, twice-fried fries. Choose from fifteen different homemade sauces, from basic ketchup to more creative options like hot beer mustard, Avo-Goddess, bacon-parm, or Secret Saus.

The Smoke Shop - Assembly Row

The Smoke Shop - Assembly Row

5 out of 5 stars

Chef Andy Husbands has invested more than two decades of barbecue practice and planning, in the process becoming a world champion pitmaster and author. His menu showcases slow-cooked meats and savory sides such as sweet-spicy coleslaw and cornbread with honey sea salt butter. The bar carries more than 200 whiskies, and the craft beer list offers something for everyone.

Anna’s Taqueria

Anna’s Taqueria

Anna’s has been dishing out home-style Mexican street food flavors since 1995. With several locations around the Boston area, it’s easy to get your hands on flavorful tacos or giant, filling burritos. Start with your main filling—options include steak roja, spicy chile verde pork, chicken ranchero, grilled veggies, and even tongue—then add on your toppings (guacamole, sour cream, and the like). It's open for breakfast too, so you can start your day with egg- and sausage-filled breakfast burritos or tacos. Fast and cheap, Anna’s is a longtime favorite of area workers and servers for Mexican eats.

News (339)

These are the most and least visited national parks in the U.S.

These are the most and least visited national parks in the U.S.

The U.S. is home to 63 national parks, from pristine lakes and towering mountains to vast deserts and arctic preserves. The National Park Service reported 325.5 million recreational visits to its parks across the country in 2023, an increase of 13 million from the previous year. Twenty parks set a record for annual visits, but some parks did not enjoy the same popularity. If you’re wondering how busy a park might be or looking for a quiet one to visit, here are the most and least visited national parks in the U.S. The most visited national parks should come as no surprise. These are iconic, must-visit spots as well as some that you might not even realize are National Parks. The most popular national park in 2023 was the Blue Ridge Parkway, with more than 16.7 million visitors. The beautiful stretch of highway through the Blue Ridge Mountains garnered 5.15% of all park visits in 2023. The remaining ten most visited parks include parkways, recreation areas and monuments, but topping the list of straightforward parks are the Grand Canyon, Zion, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Acadia National Parks. For wilderness-seekers looking for solitude, the least visited parks will be of interest. Whether because of a remote location or limited camping opportunities, these parks did not see hoards of visitors this past year. Five of the least visited parks are in Alaska. Coming in at number one is Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve in Alaska, followed by National Park of American Samoa

You can stay inside a literal house of pancakes—for free

You can stay inside a literal house of pancakes—for free

Do you love waking up to the smell of pancakes? Well, now you can wake up in a house that’s literally pancakes. In honor of National Pancake Day, frozen waffle brand Eggo has announced a pancake-themed rental home in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and you can book a stay for free. This one-of-a-kind property in the Smoky Mountains has been renovated to look like a giant stack of pancakes. It features a chimney that looks like a stick of butter, breakfast-themed decor, interiors featuring the bright yellow and red Eggo color scheme, fluffy pancake beds and a game room with a pancake-themed pool table. Even better, the freezer will be stocked with Eggo pancakes in all sizes and flavors. Did someone say pancake s’mores roasted at the fire pit and dipped in a maple syrup fountain? Yes, Eggo said it. "Eggo and waffles are an iconic combination, so much so that fans might forget about our pancakes. That's why we're flipping our focus with this unexpected experience that celebrates Eggo pancakes as a breakfast go-to that's equally good at making parents' lives easier and making breakfast delicious," said Joe Beauprez, Senior Director of Marketing for Frozen Foods with the Kellanova group of brands. The Eggo House of Pancakes will be available for booking on the vacation rental platform HomeToGo starting on February 28, which is National Pancake Day, but only for a limited time. If you’re lucky, you can snag one of four separate three-night stays for up to eight guests on March 7 to 10, Marc

You can ride a steam-powered train to the Grand Canyon

You can ride a steam-powered train to the Grand Canyon

All aboard! Fans of classic trains can take a steam-powered excursion to the Grand Canyon once again starting in March 2024. The Grand Canyon Railway announced dates for the 2024 season, and will run its 1923 steam engine on select Saturdays. Fewer than 200 steam engine locomotives—once a widely-used means of transportation in the 19th century—remain in the U.S., and just a handful are in operation as passenger trains. Grand Canyon Railway has one of these trains, and offers leisurely, steam-powered excursions to the Grand Canyon once a month. Steam engines of the past were powered by coal, but Grand Canyon Railway’s steam engine GCR No. 4690 is now powered by nearly carbon-neutral waste vegetable oil and snowmelt. The train’s fuel source has earned it the nickname “French Fry Express.” Grand Canyon Railway offers steam-powered journeys from Williams, Arizona to the Historic Village on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon on Steam Saturdays: the first Saturday of each month between March and October. The engine will pull the 9:30am train on these days. The full-day journey drops passengers at the Historic Village at 11:45am. You can then explore the area for a few hours before the train departs for Williams at 3:30pm. Tickets start at $70 for adults, $36 for children ages two to 15. Find dates, details and booking info on the Grand Canyon Railway’s website.

Disney World is offering free water park tickets to hotel guests

Disney World is offering free water park tickets to hotel guests

Your next Disney World vacation just got a little splashier. Disney World announced that it will offer free water park tickets to hotel guests starting January 1, 2025.  Guests staying at any of the official Disney World hotels—from value hotels to deluxe resorts—will get free access to Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach water parks during their stay. Tickets to the water parks usually cost $74 plus tax for adults and $68 plus tax for kids ages three to nine, so that’s a big savings. The new perk also allows hotel guests to visit the water parks on the day of arrival, so you can fit in a round of fun on the slides, splash pads and lazy rivers before official hotel check-in at 3pm. Disney World’s water parks are open year-round, and the free water park tickets will be offered for Disney hotel stays through all of 2025. This new perk is one of many that Disney hotel guests enjoy, like complimentary transportation, early entry, extra nighttime hours, early access to dining reservations and more. Bookings for park tickets, hotel stays and vacation packages for visits through October 2025 are available now on the Disney website.

Revealed: the best beaches in the U.S.

Revealed: the best beaches in the U.S.

Ready to plan your next beach vacay? Inspiration awaits, as TripAdvisor has revealed its Travelers Choice Awards for 2024: Best of the Best Beaches. This raking highlights the sunniest, most beautiful beaches in the world. Here you can get your fill of sun, fun and water activities as you marvel at the breathtaking views. The best beaches in the U.S. span eight states, but we bet you can guess which states came out on top. That’s right, the perpetually pretty beaches of Hawaii and Florida lead the pack. Here’s how the list shakes out: Coming in at number one is Ka'anapali Beach on the island of Maui, a winner for the second year in a row. Ka’anapali also ranked number four among the best beaches in the world. With crystal clear waters, a stunning backdrop of lush, green mountains and perfect conditions for surfing and snorkeling, this beach deserves its crown. At number two is the family-friendly sunbathing spot Siesta Beach in Siesta Key, Florida. Siesta Beach always ranks high on the list of best U.S. beaches, and is ranked number nine in the world. Rounding out the list of best beaches in the U.S. are Poipu Beach Park in Poipu, Hawaii; Hollywood Beach in Hollywood, Florida; La Jolla Cove in La Jolla, California; Cannon Beach in Cannon Beach, Oregon; Santa Monica State Beach in Santa Monica, California; Driftwood Beach in Jekyll Island, Georgia; Coligny Beach in Hilton Head, South Carolina and Ocean City Beach in Ocean City, Maryland. “Whatever your taste and style, these l

Baggage fee hike: these two airlines just raised their fees

Baggage fee hike: these two airlines just raised their fees

Travelers on JetBlue and American Airlines will have to pack light or pay up. The two airlines have increased their fees for checked bags, though the fees for each apply to different situations. Here’s what you need to know about the increases. The new JetBlue fee applies to travelers within the U.S., Latin America and the Caribbean who wait until the last minute to check bags. If you wait to check a bag until within 24 hours before your flight, you’ll now pay $45 for your first bag and $60 for your second. That’s $10 more than the regular rate, according to the website, so plan on checking your bags in advance to avoid the fee. “While we don’t like increasing fees, it’s one step we are taking to return our company back to profitability and cover the increased costs of transporting bags,” the airline shared in a statement. “JetBlue continues to believe customers shouldn’t have to choose between a low fare and a great experience. By adjusting fees for added services that only certain customers use, we can keep base fares low and ensure customer favorites like seatback TVs and high-speed Wi-Fi remain free for everyone.” American Airlines has increased checked bag fees for all passengers. The $5 increase applies to bags checked in advance and at the airport, so for domestic flights you’ll now have to pay $35 for your first checked bag, $40 for your second. If you check your bag at the airport, you’ll pay $40 and $45, respectively. For flights to Canada and other short internatio

This is the best country for Americans to live abroad, apparently

This is the best country for Americans to live abroad, apparently

As working remotely has become more common, many workers are traveling around the world, giving the digital nomad life a try. For those who want more stability but a new adventure, living abroad is increasingly within reach. While some countries may view Americans with disdain, there are many that welcome—and even encourage—newcomers from abroad. Thrillist recently surveyed travel experts living around the world to find out the best countries for Americans who want to live abroad. According to freelance travel writer Katie Lockhart, Vietnam is one of the best countries for Americans. The country has a fast-growing economy, a low cost of living, reliable Wi-Fi and of course an abundance of amazing food, culture and sights to take in. You’ll have to put up with traffic and pollution, but that’s a tradeoff many are willing to accept. According to freelance travel writer Barbara Woolsey, another top spot for Americans living abroad is Spain. It’s one of Europe’s most affordable countries, and a hub for the fashion and tech industries. While you won’t find many available jobs—Spain has a very low unemployment rate—if you can continue your U.S. work remotely, you can get a self-employment visa, which will allow you to travel throughout Europe as well. Other countries where Americans can comfortably work abroad, according to the surveyed travel pros, include Ghana, Bermuda, Argentina, New Zealand and Germany, among others. Each of these countries offers a chance to explore a new pla

This is the best U.S. airport for business travelers

This is the best U.S. airport for business travelers

When you’re traveling for work, you don’t have much room for inconvenience. You need to be comfortable, connected and able to get where you’re going—fast. A new report by BusinessFinancing.co.uk reveals that U.S. airports offer business travelers the best experience. To determine the rankings, the business research and information website compiled Airline Quality reviews of major international airports submitted by reviewers identified as “business travelers.” Airports were then ranked globally, by continent and by country. So, what makes a business-friendly airport? According to reviewers, flight selection, cleanliness, connectivity, reliability and quiet are all factors that enhance a business travel experience. According to reviewers, the airport that offers the best experience for business travelers in the U.S. is Chicago’s Midway Airport. Midway received the highest average rating, with reviewers calling out its reliability, fast TSA process and selection of restaurants. Midway even ranked number 19 among the best airports in the world for business travelers. Following Midway on the list of best U.S. airports for business travelers are, in order, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Boston Logan, Dallas/Fort Worth and Dulles. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International has the dubious distinction as the worst U.S. airport for business travelers, with increasingly lengthy wait times, dirty carpets, lack of shelter from the elements and insufficient restrooms, according to reviewers. Photog

You could win an Endless Lobster Experience from Red Lobster

You could win an Endless Lobster Experience from Red Lobster

Attention lobster fans: strap on your lobster bibs and get ready to chow down on all the lobster you can eat—if you’re lucky. To kick off its annual Lobsterfest, Red Lobster is giving 150 lucky crustacean-lovers around the country a chance to win a lobster-filled feast for the ages. Winners of this first-ever Endless Lobster Experience can roll up to a Red Lobster of their choice to enjoy a complimentary two-hour dinner that includes piles of lobster, two sides and Cheddar Bay biscuits. "Enjoying lobster is a delicious way for guests to indulge in a way that they deserve, and there is no better place for a lobster lover to satisfy their cravings than at Red Lobster, especially during Lobsterfest," said Sara Bittorf, Chief Experience Officer at Red Lobster. "This year, we are thrilled to take our Lobsterfest event to the next level by sharing the Endless Lobster Experience with 150 lucky guests nationwide!" The fine print indicates that by “endless” they actually mean a maximum of 12 1 1⁄4 pound live Maine lobsters followed by Maine lobster tails or Caribbean Rock lobster tails. Despite the limitations, that’s a crazy amount of lobster. Details on how to enter the giveaway will be revealed on February 20, 2024 on Red Lobster's social media channels: Facebook, X, TikTok, and Instagram. Tune in to try your luck!

Retire for less than $1,500 a month in this Texas city

Retire for less than $1,500 a month in this Texas city

Whether retirement is on the horizon or a ways away, it’s never too early to start thinking about your plans. For some, retirement may be a chance to pick up and move somewhere new—especially if it’s a place where you can get more bang for your buck. If you’re looking for a southern spot to retire on a budget, a new report by finance website Insider Monkey has revealed the best places to retire in the South for less. The report names five southern cities where you can retire for $1,500 a month or less, and topping the list is Brownsville, Texas. Here, the average monthly rent is $775, and groceries for one person come out to $288 a month. The cost of living is 25 percent less than the national average. Zoos, state parks and wildlife refuges make Brownsville a great spot for nature lovers. Texas and Virginia are top retirement states as each boasts two cities on the list. The remaining cities in the top five are McAllen, Texas; Lynchburg, Virginia; Roanoke, Virginia and Lubbock, Texas. InsiderMonkey compiled data from FinanceBuzz, Forbes and several other sources to choose its initial list based on cost of living and livability score. Find the full report and methodology on the InsiderMonkey website.

This U.S. airport just launched a new silent disco for travelers

This U.S. airport just launched a new silent disco for travelers

Many of us end up running to our departure gate at the airport, but at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) you can dance your way there. The airport’s new San Fran-Disco experience lets you dance to a San Francisco-inspired playlist before takeoff. San Fran-Disco is a unique new addition to SFO’s range of innovative traveler amenities, and was launched as part of the Quiet Airport program, an initiative designed to enhance the passenger experience by reducing terminal noise.   The dance floor can be found under the shiny disco ball near the Johnston & Murphy store in the post-security area of Harvey Milk Terminal 1. To join the party, simply pop in your headphones, connect to the airport’s #SFO Silent Disco Wi-Fi network and press play. You can groove to your heart’s content, no matter how many people are watching. The curated playlist is sure to inspire some moves, and what better way to get the blood flowing before a flight than dancing? Like all parties, however, this one won't last forever. San Fran-disco will be available through March 15, 2024. If you're not flying through SFO, check out the playlist here and join the party from wherever you are.

Nearly $1 billion in grants awarded for U.S. airport upgrades

Nearly $1 billion in grants awarded for U.S. airport upgrades

As part of President Biden’s Bipartisan Investing in America agenda, the FAA has announced $970 million in grants to improve 114 airports across the U.S. The funding aims to meet the growing demand for air travel with upgrades dedicated to enhancing the passenger experience. The nearly $1 billion in funds, granted to airports in 44 states and three territories, are dedicated to improvements including new baggage systems, larger security checkpoints, increased gate capacity and the modernization of aging infrastructure throughout terminals and ground transportation. The investments will increase terminal sustainability and improve accessibility while creating good-paying jobs. “Under this administration, we are doing more to improve the travel experience than ever before, from expanding consumer protections to modernizing the physical infrastructure,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “These investments we’re announcing today, made possible by President Biden’s historic infrastructure package, will make it easier for passengers to get to and through airports, create jobs and increase safety for all.” Grant recipients include Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia, receiving $35 million to fund the construction of a 14-gate, 400,000 square foot terminal building including connections to the Aerotrain and Metrorail; Chicago O'Hare International Airport in Illinois, receiving $40 million to fund improvements to Terminal 3 including increasing the cen