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Sarah Medina

Sarah Medina

Travel Editor, North America

Sarah Medina is the North American Travel Editor at Time Out. She's in charge of USA news and features, travel features across North America and runs a nation-wide network of freelancers in the US's top travel destinations. As part of the international travel team, she also works on national and global projects. 

Articles (119)

Guide to spending Valentine’s Day in San Francisco

Guide to spending Valentine’s Day in San Francisco

There's no questioning the romance of San Francisco—the views, the fog, the charming restaurants, and the historic inns. Yet, it's also a notoriously brutal city for dating. Whether you’re a lover or a fighter, February 14 can be a fairly stressful day. Survive Valentine’s Day in San Francisco with our guide, including the best date ideas, dinner specials and gifts to give. Big spenders may want to wine and dine the object of their affection (complete with a huge bouquet of flowers), but we've also got plenty of cheap date suggestions for a more low-key evening. There's something for everyone this February 14th.  RECOMMENDED: The best romantic restaurants in San Francisco

The best hot springs in California

The best hot springs in California

Hot springs in California lure visitors from far and wide for rest and rejuvenation. With geothermal waters bubbling just below the surface of several places to visit in California, it’s easy to find restorative waters throughout the Golden State. For stress-melting, skin-nourishing bliss, check out these steamy pools of mineral-rich water, just as generations of Californians and health-seekers have for decades. These gorgeous natural hot springs provide far more than a backdrop for Instagram boasting. Sulfur-rich hot springs have been shown to offer healing benefits for skin irritations and infections, arthritic pain, digestive issues, and much more. California hot springs include luxurious soaks at upscale hotels in Napa, laid-back dips at clothing-optional havens within California national parks, or hidden swimming holes that require a bit of work before the reward. Grab your crew and make a weekend of it—you’ll likely be surrounded by multi-generational families and local couples enjoying romantic getaways. Some offer far more than a place to soak, allowing visitors to enjoy fine food and drink, spa services, and other activities that fuel hours of soaking. Whatever aquatic relaxation you need, here are the best California hot springs for soaking to your heart’s content. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in CaliforniaRECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in California

The best cheap family vacations in the USA

The best cheap family vacations in the USA

You might think splitting the atom presented a challenge, or landing men on the moon and returning them safely to Earth hit a hurdle or two...and if this is the case, then clearly you've never attempted to organize a family holiday. As you level up in logistical planning you will of course benefit from some worthwhile ideas  and we’ve got plenty of suggestions for the best cheap family vacations in the US to take this year. The kids will eventually tire themselves out, you will have explored somewhere new and your bank balance will remain mostly intact.These family vacation spots offer entertainment for everyone, and it’s no surprise that the great outdoors is one of out top choices with a reasonable price tag. National parks, outdoor adventures, and camping are all options for reconnecting with nature, plus there's something to be said for a vacation where the kids can burn off a ton of energy with minimal parental intervention. But if you prefer travel that's a little less focused on the natural world, we've still got plenty of options: quiet beach towns in Maine, mountain getaways in Colorado, living history parks in Virginia and dude ranches in Texas.From whitewater rafting to seaside amusements parks, these family-friendly trips will take you from coast to coast while stretching your dollar as far as it can go. However you choose to travel with the family in the US, you'll treasure the memories long after you've paid off that pesky credit card. So, here are some of our f

The best music festivals in the US

The best music festivals in the US

Once again, as we slowly, tentatively emerge from winter hibernation, the live music scene is similarly emerging with a new, exciting, vibrant energy. Starting this summer, your favorite artists will return to large stages in New York, Austin, New Orleans, Indio and more for the best music festivals in the US, alongside fun event activations, comedy tents, massive art installations and even spa services. Yes, really.  So, what is the biggest music festival in America? Well, that depends on what you're after. Whether you've been longing for bass-thumping EDM and the chance to dress up in costume, soulful jazz ensembles and some of the best Southern food around, or big name headliners behind some of the best pop songs ever written—fests are back and ready to get you dancing in 2023. Here are the best festivals in the US over the next year, in chronological order. May they inspire the music-filled weekend of your dreams. 

The 18 best restaurants in Palm Springs

The 18 best restaurants in Palm Springs

With its star-studded history and amazing mid-century modern architecture, this sun-fueled mecca has a lot to offer—so it’s no surprise whatsoever that the best restaurants in Palm Springs rise to the occasion, too. Sure, you’re bound to spend most of your day lounging by the pool. But there are plenty of tasty restaurants and bars that deserve a spot on any list of fun things to do in Palm Springs. Most restaurants in town offer incredible takeout options and beautiful outdoor patios, and there are plenty of splashy hotspots serving trendy poolside cocktails that just can’t be missed. This is a town that plans ahead, so we recommend making dinner and weekend brunch reservations in advance—particularly during spring and fall, its busiest seasons. Keep in mind that many restaurants are on the smaller side (which means they tend to fill up quickly), while several of the best restaurants are located within hotels that are thankfully open to the public. And while Palm Springs is known as the golf capital of the world, it's also famous for its date shakes—no visit is complete without an ice-cold shake with ample chunks of the sweet stone fruit. The Coachella Valley area supplies about 95 percent of the country's dates, making it a popular ingredient throughout Palm Springs’ kitchens. Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best spots for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner for your next desert adventure to this glamorous resort town. RECOMMENDED: 🏨 The best hotels in Palm Springs🏠 

The best wineries in Sonoma

The best wineries in Sonoma

Napa may get all the attention, but Sonoma is where Northern California locals go to relax in the sun. In fact, if Napa is all wine-fueled luxury—with its chic wine tastings and fancy wine tours—then think of Sonoma as its laid-back cousin, the one who shows up with a picnic blanket and an unassuming bottle of award-winning vino before a hike. In fact, you've probably already tasted some of Sonoma's best cabs, merlots and sauvignon blancs in restaurants across the country, but there’s nothing like a day in Wine Country or, better yet, an overnight stay at one of the finest Sonoma hotels, to make you fall in love with this beautiful land. Whether you prefer rustic-chic tasting rooms, historic chateaus or brisk vineyard hiking, you’ll find it at the best wineries in Sonoma. RECOMMENDED: 🍷 The best wineries in Napa

The best honeymoon destinations in the USA

The best honeymoon destinations in the USA

Life is sure full of its fair share of ups and downs, but undoubtedly one of the more fun parts is getting hitched. When you know you've met your soulmate or partner-for-life, the time comes to take the next step and commit to spending the rest of your lives together, looking after each other as the years fly by and the pounds stick around.  What's more, you don't have to go endure a long-haul flight if you don't want to, why not keep the celebrations domestic? Planning the celebratory trip after the nuptials can be as stressful as planning the ceremony itself. If you’re looking to stick to the States, we’ve rounded up some ideas for the all year round best honeymoon destinations in the USA, because different locations are—obviously—better suited for different times of the year. Where should I honeymoon in...say, September? Have a look through our extensive list and have a ponder. What makes an amazing honeymoon destination? For starters, you’ll want a super sexy place to stay, a romantic hotel where privacy and perks are top of the list. But why travel if you’re just going to stay inside all day? These honeymoon destinations have plenty for you to explore, including fabulous dining and activities that are bound to strengthen your newly-wedded love bond. From California beach towns to Utah’s gorgeous canyons to quaint coastal towns in New England, these honeymoon options span from coast to coast and prove that booking a romantic getaway closer to home can be every bit as exci

The best things to do in San Francisco right now

The best things to do in San Francisco right now

San Francisco has it all — the weather, the food, the outdoors, and a whole lot more. It was even named the best city in the world in 2021. This is a city that offers something for everyone, whether you're a foodie wanting to enjoy world-class dining, a nature enthusiast hoping to take in pristine views, a museum hopper wanting to soak up wine and culture, or a wine guru looking to sip the freshest California varietals. That's why our list of the best things to do in San Francisco runs the gamut. From eating burritos to shopping dispensaries, sipping on craft beer, and admiring every view of the Golden Gate Bridge, what more could you want? Get the skinny on iconic San Francisco attractions and the best restaurants in San Francisco – not to mention which outdoor activities have us rushing into the fog. Then get out there and enjoy all the city and larger Bay Area region has to offer.   RECOMMENDED: The best San Francisco hotelsRECOMMENDED: The best Airbnbs in San FranciscoRECOMMENDED: The best attractions in San Francisco

The 20 best things to do in San Diego

The 20 best things to do in San Diego

When you think of San Diego, otherwise known as Los Angeles’ chilled out younger sibling, you think of sandy beaches, ice-cold drinks and a bunch of seriously laid back people. But that isn’t all there is to do in this beautiful city (though the sandy beaches are a lot of fun). San Diego is actually a cultural hotspot, full of art, amusement parks and picnic spots, whether you're looking for things to do with kids or to party all night.  The best bit? The weather is pretty much always great. So whether you’re here for San Diego Beer Week, Comic-Con or the triathlon, you can do it in sunshine, and buzzing food and nightlife scene has more than enough on offer to keep you going. Think craft breweries and street food stalls and fish tacos on the beach. Think old chapels, luscious parks and museums with after-hours parties. Oh, and there’s whale watching, obviously. So whatever you’re after in this beachy city, there’s bound to be something for you. Here’s our pick of the very best things to do in San Diego right now.  RECOMMENDED:🍽️ The best restaurants in San Diego🏨 The best San Diego hotels🍹 The best bars in San Diego🏘️ The best Airbnbs in San Diego

The 13 best restaurants in Baltimore

The 13 best restaurants in Baltimore

We won’t bury the lede; eating steamed crabs encrusted with Old Bay is an absolute must in Baltimore. You could go so far as to call it a rite of passage. When discussing food in Charm City, it doesn’t get more Baltimore than that.The dining scene here is about so much more than that classic experience. The best restaurants in Baltimore showcase a city that has embraced its culinary renaissance, and the menus of Charm City are as diverse as its people. Classic American? Venezuelan arepas? Basque pintxos? Asian fusion? All that and more, buddy. Eating is one of the best things to do in Baltimore, whether smashing crabs or getting dolled up in your Sunday best. RECOMMENDED: The best Irish bars in Baltimore 

The 14 best things to do in Baltimore

The 14 best things to do in Baltimore

There is more to Baltimore than The Wire, otherwise known as the greatest television show in the history of television shows (opinions may vary). What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Charm City? That nickname, for one, although maybe thoughts immediately turn to the picturesque Inner Harbor or delicious steamed crabs dusted with Old Bay spice. Everyone has their own picture of Baltimore. The best things to do in Baltimore bridge the divide between fascinating American history and modern boutique shopping, with a fantastic restaurant scene nestled next to brilliant bars, street markets, quirky festivals, and more. It can take years to truly know Baltimore, but these magnificent experiences should be your starting point. 

The most romantic hotels in the U.S. to book for your next getaway

The most romantic hotels in the U.S. to book for your next getaway

Stunning views, breakfast in bed, couples massages, and chocolate-dipped strawberries at turn-down. Sounds dreamy, right? Sure it does. Well, what about soaking tubs big enough for two? Or a private in-room pool? You got it. Whether you’re looking for a big city love shack or a quaint coastal bungalow, these romantic hotels have perks that will have you hanging up that Do Not Disturb sign. Be sure to venture out at some point, though, because these hotels are in some of the best places to visit in the country. Whether you’re taking your relationship to the next level, or planning a romantic getaway with a special someone, make sure you’ve done your research. Finding the right hotel is key to setting the stage for seduction. No need to wait for Valentine’s Day, the most romantic hotels in the US have everything you need to get in the mood for love any time of year. And one last little nugget before we get down to business: these romantic spots are sure to stoke the fires of passion, so it's worth considering the best couples vacations in the US as your next stop on that love train. RECOMMENDED: The most romantic getaways in the USRECOMMENDED: The best cheap flower delivery in the US This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.

Listings and reviews (27)

J. Rieger & Co. Distillery

J. Rieger & Co. Distillery

Now this is what we call an amusement park for the whole family. J. Rieger & Co distillery’s grand expansion, which debuted in 2019, includes two bar experiences, a massive new distillery operation, a museum-worthy exhibit and … drumroll please … a corkscrew slide that runs from the second to the first floor.  For locals who are seeking a one-stop-shop for breakfast, lunch and happy hour in Kansas City, the distillery’s many sections—the Monogram Lounge upstairs and jazz club Hey! Hey! Club in the basement—serve breakfast and coffee, lunch and snacks and premium cocktails and bites every day.  But, of course, we know you’re here for the slide, a fun tribute to Electric Park (KC's original amusement park) and the only known distillery slide in the world. Maybe save it for the end of your visit. As far as we know, a 40-foot custom built side is the coolest way to exit a bar.

The Little Longhorn Saloon

The Little Longhorn Saloon

Affectionately known as “Ginny’s,” the Little Longhorn Saloon sits in a building that looks like a tiny chapel with a steeple and what happens inside is considered honky tonk gospel. Every night of the week (except for Mondays, when they’re closed) you can pull up a barstool, order a Lonestar 12oz draft beer for just $1.50, and listen to live music from Austin’s most bona fide country acts. But Sundays is when the real action happens—we're talking about chicken shit bingo, of course.  Every Sunday, hundreds gather for the Little Longhorn Saloon’s legendary chicken shit bingo. From 4 to 8pm, the bar will host anywhere between four and eight rounds of poop bingo. (Children 13 and younger go first and adults 91 and above go second.) Tickets are $2 a pop and once tickets are sold out, everyone gathers around the board to wait for the shit to hit the ground. Then, the chicken is placed on the board and "picks her number in her own chicken pickin' way." The Chicken Shit Official calls the square and notifies the band. The band announces the winning number and colors, and winners come up to the stage to collect their winnings and get their photo taken.  You have to see it to believe it. 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The biggest theatre hit of modern times bar none is Jack Thorne and J.K. Rowling's epic two-part eighth adventure for erstwhile boy wizard Harry Potter. And now the adventure is coming to San Francisco! The Tony & Olivier Award-winning play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two, will premiere on the West Coast at San Francisco’s Curran on October 23, 2019. With record-breaking productions in London and New York as well as an Australian production set to premiere in Melbourne in early 2019, the San Francisco production will mark the fourth engagement of the smash hit play, as well as its West Coast premiere in North America. The play takes place almost two decades after the Battle of Hogwarts; Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs and his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. Tickets for Harry Potter and The Cursed Child will be available to purchase beginning March 14 at 11am. You can register for priority access, which will begin March 11. Registration will be open until March 3.

Clusterfest

Clusterfest

Listen up, comedy geeks. The annual Clutsterfest, a three-day comedy fair going down in San Francisco, will feature some monumental talent and fun. Brought to you by the folks who bring you Outside Lands and Bonnaroo, Clusterfest is a humungous comedy smorgasbord featuring past top-shelf headliners like Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart, Bill Burr, Sarah Silverman, T.J. Miller and Hasan Minhaj, plus loads of themed food and oh yea, music too.  Ticket holders get to do more than chuckle and slap their knees in the Bill Graham Auditorium. Along with stand-up, Clusterfest provides immersive experiences that will turn Civic Center Plaza into a Comedy Central theme park. This year's lineup will be announced in March, followed by ticket pre-sale available exclusively at clusterfest.com.  

The Science of Cocktails

The Science of Cocktails

Explore the science of getting schnockered at this classy annual fête, hosted at and benefitting the wonderful Exploratorium museum. This is a formal affair with 20 open bars, where some of the Bay Area’s best bartenders and mixologists will create inventive science-inspired cocktails throughout the evening, and gourmet hors d'oeuvres and sweets. But don’t let your black tie deter you from getting your hands on all the exhibits, many of which will offer tantalizing insights into our favorite boozy beverages, from distillation and brewing to (hopefully) how to cure a hangover. And if you're seeking the ultimate hair of the dog, drink recipes will be made available on the museum’s website following the event.  The Exploratorium’s ninth annual Science of Cocktails returns Friday, February 8. This year's event will be part of the museum’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore 1969-themed spaces and photo booths honoring the Exploratorium’s founding and enjoy live music from Oakland-based band, Hot Einstein.  General admission tickets are $175 and VIP are $275. Tickets can be purchased at the Science of Cocktails page. Don't hesitate—this fun event sells out every year. 

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair

Step back in time at this holiday adventure set in Victorian London and featuring costumed performers, the aroma of roasted chestnuts and quaint shops. A Bay Area tradition since 1970, the Great Dickens Christmas Fair takes over the Cow Palace for four weekends every holiday season. Guests can peruse corset stalls, engage in mead-chugging competitions and maybe even spot Scrooge himself.

38Makers

38Makers

Imagine stepping into a Pinterest board IRL teeming with stunningly curated handmade goods from San Francisco makers. Pop into an early gift fair curated by Pinterest and SFMade and peruse beautiful living wreaths, artisan home goods, jewelry, apparel, bags and accessories, body products, goodies for your pup, and more. While you’re shopping, nosh on savory bites from Pinterest’s PinChefs, indulge in sweet treats from the likes of Humphry Slocombe, Dandelion Chocolate, and more, and sip on cold-pressed juices, vino, or a brew. There will also be live printing from Social Prints.

4505 Burgers & BBQ

4505 Burgers & BBQ

Ryan Farr's spot near the Panhandle is so popular there are often lines for his Texas style brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken, and pork ribs, not to mention the aptly named "Best Damn Cheeseburger.” There are also classic and not so classic sides including posole, cole slaw, baked beans, French fries and Frankaroni— crispy fried macaroni with a hot dog inside. Seating is inside a repurposed shipping container, as well as communal picnic tables on the covered patio. Vegetarians will find several salads as well as a grits and eggs sandwich served with Oaxacan cheese on a bun.

The Riddler

The Riddler

4 out of 5 stars

Owned and operated by an all-women team, this small, cozy champagne bar has black-and-white seating and tabletops that read “Hello Beautiful” in gold writing. Head here for bumps of caviar served with champagne shots and free popcorn with seasonings. 

Union Square Ice Rink

Union Square Ice Rink

Celebrating ten years of holiday fun (and embarrassing falls), the holiday season officially kicks off on November 1 with an opening day ceremony featuring special performances from the cast of the Aladdin musical. Two days later, the rink is throwing an epic birthday-themed community party on November 3, including free skating, birthday cake and more special performances.  And for those lucky San Franciscans whose birthdays fall between November 3 and January 15, the rink will honor your special day with free admission and skate rentals!  The opening of the rink also brings back some of our favorite holiday traditions, including Drag Queens on Ice (December 7), Flashback Fridays (November 10, December 8, January 12) and Polar Bear Skate (January 1). This year, the ice rink will also showcase a San Francisco-based nonprofit each week.  Worried you'll embarrass yourself in skates? Kaiser Permanente is expanding the Learn to Skate program to every Saturday and Sunday this year. Professional skate instructors will teach beginner skaters of all ages from 8:30–9:30am every weekend for free.  The ice rink will be open daily from 10am–11:30pm; $13–$18 (includes skate rental). Advance tickets go on sale Monday,October 23 at 10am at unionsquareicerink.com. Starting November 1, tickets will also be available at the ice rink ticket window in Union Square Park (333 Post Street). See the rink's event schedule below:  Ice Breaker Opening Celebration | Wednesday, November 1 | 9:30—10amBreak

Anchor Public Taps

Anchor Public Taps

This is Anchor Brewing Company's first public taproom since before Prohibition.  True to the brand, Anchor Public Taps is covered in classic copper—a massive copper-plated anchor designed by local artist Katie Gong hang above the hammered copper bar in the industrial space. In the corner, hundreds of vintage beer cans owned by former Anchor Brewing owner Fritz Maytag are displayed.  In another corner resides Anchor's new small-batch brewing program, Potrero Project. The tiny, seven-barrel mini-brewery will produce experimental, small-batch beers that will only be available on tap at Public Taps.  The opening beer list includes 11 Anchor beers, two Potrero Project beers (a pale ale and a Berliner Weisse) and three collaboration brews with Local Brewing Co., ThirstyBear Brewery and New York’s Brewery Ommegang. Food trucks are also on hand to soak up all those hops. 

Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House

The Bay Area’s most famous haunted home, the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, was once the largest private residence in the United States. The bizarro began when the lady of the house, Sarah Winchester, inherited a vast fortune from her father-in-law, Oliver Winchester, manufacturer of the famous rifle, and she moved from New Haven, Connecticut to San Jose. Winchester came to believe her family and fortune were haunted and started to build a house as a way to elude the ghosts of all the people who had fallen victim to the Winchester rifle. From 1886 until her death in 1922, construction never ceased on the strange new mansion, which at its peak included 200 rooms, 10,000 windows, 47 fireplaces and 2,000 doors, trap doors and spy holes. The house is designed to confuse—staircases lead nowhere and end at ceilings; cabinets and doors open on to walls; small rooms are built within big rooms; balconies and windows are inside rather than out; chimneys stop floors short of the ceiling; and floors have skylights. The best way to experience the haunted house? With a candlelight tour . There’s safety in numbers.

News (337)

4 lessons I learned after taking my toddlers on their first international trip by myself

4 lessons I learned after taking my toddlers on their first international trip by myself

As much as I hate to say it, having kids has undoubtedly cramped my style. Before I had my eldest in 2019, I was frequently flying as part of my job, I am after all a travel editor. And while she’s been on her fair share of trips — she went on her first vacation, a tour of the Pacific Northwest, when she was just five months old — the pandemic and the addition of a second visit from the stork in 2021 meant that travel had definitely slowed for me and my family.  Earlier this year, my partner and I took our two bundles of joy to New Mexico, which proved to be no holiday (potty training problems — if you know, you know). However, with enough time passed to soften the memories of screaming in Santa Fe, we were ready to try again this fall. With one very important hitch: I was going to take the girls on my own, sans husband. I know. I deserve a medal. So, here are the lessons I learned taking my two kids, aged 3½ years and 14 months on their first international trip... all by myself. Pick the right destination With the onset of daylight savings and the seasonal depression that seems to follow soon after, we were looking for a last Sangria in the sun. Before this trip, the longest airplane ride my kids had been on was 2-3 hours and I was not looking to test out a longer one. The radar from our homebase in Los Angeles included tons of amazing options, but in the end we decided on Cabo. It had it all: sun, beach, pool, family-friendly activities, and a reasonable flight time. It als

Live stream the Northern Lights from your couch tonight

Live stream the Northern Lights from your couch tonight

Just because you're stuck at home, doesn't mean you have to miss out on some of the world's most beautiful natural wonders. Not only can you take virtual tours of national parks and spot cuddly pandas on camera, you can also live stream the Northern Lights from the comfort of your couch.  Set up by Explore.com, the live cam is located at the Churchill Northern Studies Center in Manitoba, Canada and is situated directly underneath the aurora oval—one of the best places on earth to watch the aurora borealis. Although the northern lights occur year-round, late winter and early spring (when the arctic is dark for most of the day and the sky is clear) are the best seasons to see them. So now’s the perfect time to watch the live stream. Tune in during the darkest hours of the night, which are generally from 10pm–4am EST.  View this post on Instagram In the #Denali area, nearly everywhere is free from human light pollution, so no matter where your lodging or campground is, you should have a good chance to see the aurora if the three factors all line up for you. 1. #aurora is happening 2. The #nightsky is dark enough. 3. The sky is clear. Thanks to @neverbyllama for sharing this great shot with us. #auroraboreal #aurora_borealis #findyourpark @denalinps A post shared by Alaska National Parks (@alaskanps) on Sep 15, 2018 at 7:11am PDT As for what you're actually watching, the website also explains that aurora borealis occurs when electrically charged particles emit

Flight passengers no longer need a negative Covid test to enter the USA

Flight passengers no longer need a negative Covid test to enter the USA

Planning an international trip? Here's one less thing you have to worry about. The US government announced Friday morning that air travelers will no longer need a negative Covid test to board flights to the United States.  The testing requirement, put in place in January 2021, required all passengers bound for the USA to have a negative Covid test in hand upon boarding, and applied to anyone attempting to enter the US by air, including US citizens.  That policy will now expire this Sunday, June 12 at 12:01am.  The move comes after airlines and other travel industry officials lobbied the White House early this month, citing rising vaccination rates and mild cases as data proof enough that the policy needed to go.  The CDC also noted, however, that they will re-evaluate the decision in 90 days, and may reinstate pre-departure testing should a new variant pop up.  While this is good news for anyone who will be traveling in or out of the US this summer, things aren't going so swimmingly at other popular airports, especially in the UK. Check out our recommendations for making sure to avoid holiday hell this summer. 

アメリカでパスポートの性別欄で「X」選択が可能に

アメリカでパスポートの性別欄で「X」選択が可能に

アメリカのパスポートが、いよいよインクルーシブなものになる。2022年4月11日(月)から、パスポートの申請時の性別欄で「X」を選択可能になることが発表された。 第3の性別表示は、2021年6月に連邦政府から発表されていた、よりインクルーシブな政策に基づく取り組みの一つ。 性別選択に関して、今後は医師の診断書の提出は不要で、自分に合った性別欄への記載方法を、自身で選ぶことができるようになる。この新しいルールの適用は、初めてパスポートを申請する人だけではない。アメリカ市民の誰もが異なる性別での新しいパスポート申請が可能だ。 パスポートに記載されている性別は、ほかの公的身分証明書に記載されている性別と一致する必要はないが、写真は類似していることが求められる。 さらに国務省では、これまで性転換の過程にある旅行者に発行していた、有効期間が限定されたパスポートを廃止するという。 アメリカには、何年も前から身分証明書に第3の性のオプションを提供しているいくつかの州がすでにある。連邦政府の対応は遅れをとっているが、トランスジェンダーおよびノンバイナリーの人々が世界を旅することを、より容易にするための前向きな一歩といえる。 原文はこちら 関連記事 『世界のトランスジェンダー女性が驚く「乙女塾」の女性化レッスン』 『東京、LGBTQ+フレンドリースポット11選』 『東京、学びのクィアスポット6選』 『東京、セクマイのライフサポートスポット』 『ロンドンにイギリス初のLGBTQ+歴史博物館がオープン』 東京の最新情報をタイムアウト東京のメールマガジンでチェックしよう。登録はこちら

X Gender markers will be available on US passports starting April 11

X Gender markers will be available on US passports starting April 11

United States passports just got a little more inclusive. Starting on April 11, US citizens will be able to select an X as their gender marker on their passport application, and the option will become available for other forms of documentation next year. The change is just one of a number of more inclusive policies that were announced back in June. In addition to the third gender marker, travelers no longer have to provide medical certification in order to change their gender marker on their passport. Instead, all passport applicants have the chance to self-select for gender on the appropriate forms. The new rules don't just apply to first-time applicants – anyone can request a new passport with a different gender selection.  The State Department is also getting rid of limited-validity passports, which were previously issues to travelers who were in the process of transitioning.  The department also clarified that the gender on a person's passport does not have to match the gender on other identifying documents in order to travel, however passport photos should be similar to those on other official IDs.  While the federal government is behind some states who have offered a third gender option on IDs for years, it is a positive step in making it easier for trans and nonbinary people to travel the world.   

Where to see immersive Frida Kahlo exhibits in the US this spring

Where to see immersive Frida Kahlo exhibits in the US this spring

If last summer was the summer of immersive Van Gogh (which took over a whopping 29 cities across the USA and many more around the world), then 2022 is the year of Frida. This spring, the popular Mexican artist is getting her own immersive exhibit in eight cities across North America.  Expect the same premise as Van Gogh – an immersive experience achieved by projecting large-scale moving images onto the walls, ceilings and floors – but swap out the flowers and starry nights with the surrealist mind of Kahlo and experience famous artworks including The Two Fridas, The Wounded Deer and Diego and I. This time, the exhibit will also focus on the artist's life and location with additional archival photos of Kahlo and her family home in Mexico City as well as flashing images of hammers and sickles representing her involvement in the Mexican Communist Party.  We can probably guess what Frida herself would think of this new way to market her work, but that won't stop super fans from showing up in numbers. (Tickets are already selling out fast.) And if you really want to get down with Frida, then some locations will also offer immersive yoga experiences, including Boston, Dallas, and Denver.   Photograph: Michael Brosilow, courtesy Frida: Immersive Dream    All the cities hosting an immersive Frida experience: Boston When: Feb. 10 through May 8, 2022 Where: Lighthouse ArtSpace at the Castle, 130 Columbus Avenue, Boston, MA Buy Tickets: Prices Start at $39. Get tickets here.   Chica

Yosemite's famous firefall will glow again next month

Yosemite's famous firefall will glow again next month

We don't have to tell you about all the gorgeous natural wonders that exist in Yosemite National Park. From Yosemite Valley to Half Dome, the country's most-visited national park is a sight to behold. But every February, something truly magical happens in Yosemite. We're talking about the famous Yosemite firefall. Have no idea what we're talking about? Let us explain. Every year, at the end of February, the sun hits Horsetail Fall on the east side of El Capitan. At just the right angle, it glows a fiery orange at sunset, making the waterfall look like a glowing lava stream as it cascades down the mountain. It's incredible to behold, and the annual event, which lasts for just about two weeks, is known to attract more than 2,000 visitors and sightseers in a single day.  In years past, Yosemite has tried to curb the crowds and protect the surrounding flora and fauna—including instituting a reservation system in 2018. You don’t have to book in advance this year, but there are still rules in place if you want to see the phenomenon.  This year's firefall is expected to glow nightly from February 10—28, with restrictions in place every day. Starting February 10, visitors have to leave their car at Yosemite Falls parking, and walk one and a half miles (each way) to the viewing area near El Capitan Picnic Area. It's recommended that visitors bring warm clothing and a headlamp or a flashlight. Roads may be closed to vehicles around the area, and parking, stopping, and unloading passeng

This map predicts when you'll start seeing fall foliage in each state

This map predicts when you'll start seeing fall foliage in each state

Whether you love fall or despise it since it signals the end of summer (relax, you've got until September 21), one thing is certain: you can't deny the beauty that fall foliage season brings to much of the United States.  RECOMMENDED: The best places to see fall foliage in the United States For those of you who are eagerly awaiting leaf-crunching season, this interactive map, which is created annually by SmokyMountains.com, has the knowledge you want – it predicts when fall foliage will start making an appearance in each state in the United States. Photograph: Courtesy smokymountains.com As a general statement, fall colors start popping out at the end of September and beginning of October but, for a more specific timeline, play around with the map's moveable date range (shown above). Keep in mind, though, that nothing is certain. "While no tool can be 100% accurate, this tool is meant to help travelers better time their trips to have the best opportunity of catching peak color each year," reads the website. According to the visualization, those in the Pacific Northwest, for example, will be able to gaze at red, orange and yellow foliage by early October. In New England, on the other hand, residents should pay extra attention to nature starting the week of September 27.  And if the data in your state just doesn't cut it, you could always embarking on a nice cross-country fall-foliage road trip to do some more leaf peeping. Fall is a beautiful season to travel in, after all. 

The EU has announced an updated ‘white list’ for travel from outside Europe

The EU has announced an updated ‘white list’ for travel from outside Europe

Well, it was fun while it lasted. Following last year’s global shutdown, the majority of EU countries started to allow travellers to cross borders freely within Europe – as long as they brought along a negative test result or proof of vaccination – again this summer. Meanwhile, visitors from elsewhere have had to find themselves on the coveted 'white list' – a small list of nations currently deemed safe by the EU – in order to avoid restrictions like mandatory quarantines.  This week, the EU updated the 'white list,' but instead of getting larger, the list got much smaller. Six nations were removed from the list, including the United States, and no additional countries were added.  Also removed from the list this week were Israel, Kosovo, Lebanon, Montenegro, and the Republic of North Macedonia. The full list is now as follows: AlbaniaArmeniaAustraliaAzerbaijanBosnia and HerzegovinaBrunei DarussalamCanadaChinaJapanJordanNew ZealandQatarRepublic of MoldovaSaudi ArabiaSerbiaSingaporeSouth KoreaUkraine Visitors from these countries will now be able to enter the EU without having to quarantine and can move freely between member nations. To compile the list, diplomats had originally recommended including all countries with an incidence rate of below 75 cases per 100,000 over a 14-day period – a number that is currently not being met by most of the world.  But there’s still hope for Brits and Americans dreaming of a European holiday this year. EU countries are free to ignore the a

This beautiful glass-domed train is officially open in the Rocky Mountains

This beautiful glass-domed train is officially open in the Rocky Mountains

2021 is proving itself to be the year of the epic train ride. From these luxury new sleeper cars in Europe to an all-you-can-drink tequila train in Mexico, rail travel is looking more glamorous (and eco-friendly) as we all rediscover domestic travel opportunities in our home countries.  But no new rail line launch is as exciting as this anticipated recent opening in the Rocky Mountains. The first US offering from luxury Canadian company Rocky Mountaineer, the new 'Rockies to the Red Rocks' trip kicked off on August 15, taking passengers on a two-day ride from Denver, Colorado to Moab, Utah – passing through stunning Rocky Mountains and southwest scenery along the way. Best of all? Passengers will witness all that gorgeous nature from the train's glass-dome top! That's right, we're talking unobstructed views of some of the most gorgeous scenery in the USA. Each train car also has a small outdoor viewing platform where you can get a blast of fresh mountain air. Rocky Mountaineer is renowned for its super luxurious service – in 2020, the company won a Globe Travel Award for 'Best Rail Company' – which includes personalized, at-your-seat meal service and cocktails. Meals are made using local ingredients (like Colorado bison and farm-fresh veggies) and feature collaborations with local companies (desserts are crafted by the Aspen Baking Company). And the route also includes a stop-off at a hotel for the overnight portion of the trip – both so that guests sleep well and so they do

Check out this haunting new underwater sculpture park in Cyprus

Check out this haunting new underwater sculpture park in Cyprus

If you're headed to the Mediterranean this summer, make sure to pack your snorkeling gear. The Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa (MUSAN) is open for business - and the images are haunting.  Located 200 meters off the coast of Aiya Napa on the eastern part of Cyprus, MUSAN depicts a forest full of trees, children at play, and other whimsical characters. The catch? It's all underwater. The museum was created by British  sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, who is well-known for his under-the-sea exhibits (like this recent one in off the coast of France). Like all of deCaires Taylor’s projects, MUSAN strived to create a habitat for life in the ocean while examining the impact of man on the natural world.  Photograph: Courtesy © MUSAN / @JasondeCairesTaylor In order to create the surreal experience of walking through a dense underwater forest, hybrid trees weighing 13 tonnes were lowered into the sea. In other sections, grey children are frozen mid-play in the forest, and some are seen pointing cameras at the human race as a critique of the way the world currently tends to treat nature. Photograph: courtesy © MUSAN / @JasondeCairesTaylor   Photograph: Courtesy © MUSAN / @JasondeCairesTaylor   Each of the sculptures is made from pH neutral materials so there's no negative impact on the surrounding environment, and in fact, the structures will act as a new home for marine life as they become covered in biomass over time – which means this is one museum that will only get be

Here's how to live stream the Perseid Meteor Shower tonight

Here's how to live stream the Perseid Meteor Shower tonight

Life on earth getting you down? Look up tonight and you might spot a pretty awesome celestial distraction: one of the brightest meteor showers of the year. The Perseids appear in the night’s sky at around the same time every year, peaking in mid-August. Created by debris from the Comet Swift-Tuttle, the Perseids all seem to come from the constellation Perseus, hence their name, and are known for being particularly colorful. This year, the meteors have been making an appearance in the night sky since late July, but the shower will peak on August 11 through the morning of August 12, when you might see as many as 100 meteors per hour! (Assuming you're somewhere very dark.)  The Perseid meteors are visible all over the planet but are especially beloved in the Northern Hemisphere, where their appearance coincides with light, warm evenings and summer holidays. When’s the best time to see them? The hours before dawn are typically a good time to try, but a bright moon might limit your ability to catch them. If you can, try looking once the sun has set but before the moon has risen.  But if you can't get out of the city in time or you're in the Southern Hemisphere, you can still get in on the action. NASA will be hosting a live stream of the meteor shower tonight, August 11 from 11pm to 6am EST on its Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages. If it's too cloudy on Wednesday night, NASA has promised a make-up stream the following night, August 12.  So regardless of whether you're huddli

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