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.
The best honeymoon destinations in the USA
What's better than your wedding day? After all, it's the day you've likely envisioned for months—if not years—and when you're surrounded by all of your friends and family, partying the night away to celebrate your love. There's only one thing better: your honeymoon. While the day you get hitched is definitely a lifetime highlight, it can also bring a lot of stress and exhaustion. The post-wedding trip, however, is all about relaxation and romance—just the two of you. While some couples venture off abroad to the likes of Europe or somewhere tropical, you don't have to travel far to have a memorable honeymoon. From California's Wine Country to the beaches of Nantucket to the desert in Arizona, the best honeymoon destinations in the USA will create a perfect paradise to celebrate your nuptials and new life together while staying domestic. RECOMMENDED: The most romantic places in the USA
The best music festivals in the U.S.
When Woodstock debuted in 1969, the outdoor music festival was an exciting new concept in America. Since then, the music festival business has exploded, with nearly every major city hosting one of its own. Now, you can see artists live, eat great food, and feel the vibrant festival energy somewhere every month of the year. From large festivals like Coachella in California, Bonnaroo in Tennesse and the Governors Ball in New York to the more niche festivals like Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island, chances are there is a music festival within a road trip distance from you. Whether you're into pop, country, EDM or folk—if you're looking to dance your way through the year, we have you covered. Here are the best music festivals across America in 2024.
13 West Coast breweries where the views are as good as the beer
The West Coast has a distinct beer culture. Breweries up and down the region win awards and loyal fans for their innovation and craft. In California alone, there are more than 1,000 breweries—with hundreds more across Washington and Oregon. Another thing the West Coast is known for: its natural beauty. So what better way to enjoy the Best Coast than sipping a cold brew while taking in a gorgeous view? From snowcapped mountains in Oregon to hop fields in Washington to waves crashing ashore in Southern California, we've rounded up the best West Coast breweries with beer as good as the scenery. RECOMMENDED: The best road trips in the U.S. for epic drives
The 22 must-see castles in America
When you think of a towering castle, perhaps you think of medieval Europe. Of Downton Abbey and the seasons of drama. Of corsets and carriage rides and scandalous goings-on. And yet, you don't need to cross the Atlantic for a taste of that aristocratic life. America is home to its own roster of magical, jaw-dropping castles, and one worth visiting is likely no more than a road trip away. So trade your Netflix queue and become your own Lady Whistledown as you explore these grand castles, complete with sprawling grounds, lavish ballrooms, and hidden passages. These fairytale sites are worth a detour from iconic must-visit estates, like the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina and California's famous Hearst Castle. Take in the opulent decor, stunning architecture, and stories of a bygone era of wealth and glamor. RECOMMENDED: The most beautiful train stations in the U.S.The most famous buildings and monuments in the U.S.
The best camping in the United States
Let's be real: life is chaotic. If you're looking for an escape from the demands of everyday life, there's no better activity than camping—especially in the U.S. Camping culture in America is big for a reason: we have some of the most beautiful and varied landscapes in the world, many of which have sites open to the public to reserve for overnight. When booking your next adventure, choose from taking in views of the California coast, sleeping on an island with wild horses, or enjoying the magnificence of the Grand Canyon. Whether you're looking for a spot to pop up a simple tent or prefer more of a glamping experience, we've compiled the best camping spots in the USA for your next adventure. No matter your destination, breathe in the fresh air, feel the warmth of a rolling campfire, and get ready to find that sense of peace and calm you've been craving.
The 10 best cheap hotels in Las Vegas, for a budget-friendly stay
Despite the glitz and glamor, there are ways to explore Sin City on a budget in style. Veteran Vegas penny pinchers know it’s wise to save your money for the slots, shows and other attractions by booking a room in one of the best cheap hotels in Las Vegas. For the uninitiated, finding overnight accommodations in Las Vegas ain't for the faint of heart or the light of wallet. (If money is no object, check out our guide to the very best hotels in Las Vegas). It can be an expensive town to visit, especially on peak weekends and during major events, but bargains can be found – it just requires some sleuthing. That's where we come in. These budget-friendly options offer all the amenities you need and a location you’ll want, at a fraction of the prices charged by the Strip’s big-ticket luxury hotels. Choose cheap lodgings and you’ll save enough cash to dine at the best restaurants and sip at the best bars in Vegas. That's a win-win! We’ve scoured the local landscape to locate the best cheap hotels in Las Vegas, each providing easy access to the city so you can hit the casinos knowing you’re in the black by saving hundreds with one of these affordable hotels that won't break the bank. RECOMMENDED: The best things to do in Las Vegas Who makes the cut? While we might not stay in every hotel featured, we've based our list on top reviews, hosts and amenities to find you the best stays. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For m
The best places to see cherry blossoms in the USA
Representing the beauty and fragility of life—as well as the transient nature of our very existence—cherry blooms (sakura) are deeply intertwined with Japan's culture and traditions. While it's a dream-worthy bucket list trip to see the trees in bloom in Asia, we have plenty of opportunities to see the pink and white blossoms right here in the USA, too. Washington, D.C. is by far the most famous U.S. location for cherry blossoms, which wrap around the Tidal Basin to create a breathtaking backdrop to the national monuments. But don't forget about other locales that are just as stunning without the crowds, from the Japanese American Historical Plaza in Portland to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to the 300,000 Yoshino cherry blossom trees in Macon, Georgia. If you're looking for a spring getaway, a voyage to peep these beautiful first signs that winter is passing is always a good idea, we have rounded up the best places to see cherry blossoms across the USA. RECOMMENDED: The best places to see wildflowers in the U.S.
The 9 best cheap flower delivery services in the USA
Loved one's birthday around the corner and need a last-minute solution? We've got you covered. But don’t be put off by the crazy amount of incredibly expensive flower delivery services out there – although they’re great, too. But it's not always an option for people looking for budget-friendly bouquets. Luckily, it turns out there are a whole bunch of (see what we did there) great companies out there that will take a bouquet straight to your loved ones without breaking the bank. Here are the best cheap flower delivery services in the USA. RECOMMENDED: 🍫Complete your gift with the best chocolate shops in the USA How do we know it's the best of the best? Our lists are expertly curated by our local experts far and wide to offer you the lowdown on the best delivery services in NYC. This article includes affiliate links. These links have no influence on our editorial content. For more information, click here.
The best things to do in San Francisco right now
San Francisco is a city like none other—its charming streets, famous landmarks, sweeping views, world-class restaurants, boundless nature and vibrant culture make it one of the most beloved places to visit in the world. While the city's top tourist attractions, like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz are worth seeing—if you want to experience the city like a local, we have you covered. From eating burritos in the Mission to rooftop bar hopping to hanging out on a sunny day at Dolores Park, we have rounded up the best ways to truly get a taste of this wonderful city. So, grab a sweater to keep you cozy and some sneaks to get you up our iconic hills, and get ready to leave your heart in San Francisco. RECOMMENDED: The best museums in San Francisco This guide was updated by San Francisco-based writer Clara Hogan. 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 places to see wildflowers in the U.S.
The winter months can be fun for a while, but once the holiday cheer wears off and February rolls around, spring can't come fast enough. As the chill finally fades and temps begin to rise, Mother Nature is known to put on a stunning floral display. After all, there's no greater sign that spring has finally arrived than the first sight of flowers blooming. Wildflowers sprout so prolifically and vibrantly in many spots across the country that people travel out of their way just to see them. So, if you're looking to take a spring getaway and get into nature, we have rounded up the absolute best places to see wildflowers in the US. Watch as hues of the rainbow take over hills in California, the mountains in Idaho and meadows in Colorado. While many blooms start in springtime, flowers can pop up in places as late as July. Before you go, make sure to bookmark handy wildflower trackers, and wherever you visit, it's important to respect nature by staying on designated paths and taking pics rather than picking flowers. RECOMMENDED: America's coolest indoor botanical gardens and green spaces
The 13 most romantic hotels in the U.S.
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 US🌹The best cheap flower delivery in the US💕The most romantic hotels in NYC 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 af
The 12 best hot springs in California
California is known for a lot of beautiful things, attracting visitors from near and (very) far for its National Parks, hiking trails, hidden camping spots and more. But for an experience you’ll never forget, you’ve got to add its hot springs to your bucket list. Here in California you’ll find everything from natural springs and waterfalls in the middle of nowhere to human-made pools and luxury stays. It all varies, but it’s all magical. From Big Sur to Calistoga, here are the best hot springs to visit in the whole of California. Aaand relax. RECOMMENDED:🏖️ The best beaches in California🏕 The best camping in California🏞 The best hot springs in the US🏨 The best hotels in California This guide was last updated by Bay Area-based Clara Hogan. 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.
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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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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