Astoria, Oregon, sits at the mouth of the Columbia River, smack dab between Oregon and Washington, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. Judging by location alone, you’d think Astoria would fit the mold of a classic beach town, but if you go there expecting a plethora of pastel ice cream shops and “Life Is Good” t-shirts, well, you’re going to be surprised. Astoria is much different than the other tourist traps that dot the coast. So different, in fact, that it’s often referred to as “Little San Francisco.”
Astoria is home to many of the things people love about Portland (great coffee, microbreweries, artsy culture), combined with a few coastal town perks you can’t get in the city (salty sea air, clam chowder, shockingly aggressive seagulls). And if that wasn’t enough of a reason to visit, “The Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop” were filmed there. Packed your bags yet? It’s about an hour’s drive from Portland, and here’s what to do once you get there (besides the truffle shuffle, which is a given): Keep reading »
Congrats! You just won the lottery … you bastard. Now you can finally support that jet-setting lifestyle you’ve always wanted. After all, you endured the trek to the local 711 and chose your (winning) numbers. You worked hard. You deserve a taste of the good life.
If boatloads of money was burning holes in our pockets, we would take a year off and bounce between these eight fancy pants vacation destinations that were previously out of our reach. Keep reading »
Disclaimer: if you’re averse to anything considered “New Age,” Sedona may not be the right vacation spot for you. Strike that, everyone should go there.
I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is about a 2 hour drive to Sedona. Scottsdale is about as artificial as you can get when it comes to cities, which is why Sedona, one of the country’s spiritual hotspots, seems like an escape to another universe. If you’re New Age phobic, you should still go there; just avoid the crystal shops, the vortex solstice prayer circles and vegan, raw food eateries, and focus on hiking the too-good-to-be-true red rock trails instead. Whether you’re a believer in the mysterious or not, I’m confident you’ll leave Sedona with a feeling of peace and well-being. Here are some of the things I did on my most recent pilgrimage to this spiritual city… Keep reading »
“Cities That Surprise” highlights places across America that defied or exceeded our expectations, for whatever reason. Today, Allison Sass tells us why under all that snow, Rochester, New York is a hidden gem!
After graduating college, I spent two years living and working in Rochester, NY, a city best known for its now-bankrupt Kodak national headquarters, horrible winters, and being one of the three cities in the U.S. that’s actually cloudier than Seattle. Want to visit yet?? Keep reading »
Here’s the thing about Hilo. If you’re looking for a Waikiki-postcard-style Hawaiian vacation, don’t go to Hilo. I know this firsthand because I moved to Hilo in 2006 to spend a semester at the University of Hawaii campus there, and I did no research beforehand. I was just like, “Woohooo Hawaii! Surfing and sunbathing on white sand beaches every day after class!” (I was kind of an idiot, what can I say?) When I arrived, I was surprised to find rocky beaches and a calm bay instead. I think I swam a total of three times during my stay there, and one of those times was just because I fell out of a canoe in the ocean. But you know what else surprised me? How uniquely awesome Hilo is. It’s a historic city that’s been destroyed by a tsunami and rebuilt; it’s a true mixing pot of different cultures; it’s quirky and friendly and beautiful. Hilo is a great destination for people who want to experience a different side of Hawaiian culture, or travelers looking to spend a day or two away from tourist-packed Kona. Here are some of my top picks for what to do once you get there… Keep reading »
Any bookworms who are trying to decide where to take their next vacation will definitely want to check out a new tome called The Library: A World History. Author Dr. James Campbell and photographer Will Pryce explored more than 80 magnificent libraries in 20 countries (best. job. ever.) to create a comprehensive view of the most amazing libraries ever built. While the book is meant to be informative and artistic, I prefer to think of it is a travel guide, because after seeing some of the photos, I’ve already planned out a global itinerary of library pilgrimages. Click through the gallery to see some of these beautiful, book-filled buildings for yourself! [Daily Mail]
Remembering all the rules for packing liquids in your carry-on and navigating the airport security line is enough to make anyone want a stiff drink. Why not kill two birds with one
stone Patrón by filling your 1-quart liquid bag with mini alcohol bottles? Apparently this travel hack will earn you nothing but high-fives from the TSA, but you might run into trouble if you actually try to pop your bottles on the plane — drinking your own booze on flights is illegal. Sad face. Still, if you want to mix yourself a drink in your hotel room without paying mini bar prices or digging through your checked bag, this is totally the way to go. [I Am A Travel Ninja]
Swanky hotel rooms are great and all, but sometimes you just want to sleep in a tree. Whether you’re yearning to reconnect with nature or revisit your childhood, reserving a few nights in a treehouse hotel is guaranteed to give you a memorable vacation. I tracked down 6 gorgeous treehouses in forests from Washington to China to Costa Rica. Some are truly affordable ($87 a night? Yes, please!), some fall squarely in the “if I win the lottery” category (I miiiiight have yelled “FOR SERIOUS?!” during a phone call with a front desk agent at one point in my research), but all are beautiful, unique, and totally travel porn worthy. Click on the gallery to check ‘em out!
I’ve always been a big fan of spontaneous day trips. When I lived in Portland, I loved driving up to Seattle or escaping to the Oregon coast for the day, and now that I live in Nashville, I can hop in the car and explore Chattanooga or Atlanta or just drive until I hit a little town with a diner that serves pie (this doesn’t take long).
I think people often get caught up in the idea that they can’t travel based on limitations on time or money, but a day trip is a great way to explore a new place without breaking the bank or taking time off, and you even get to sleep in your own bed at the end of the day. Need a little more encouragement to hit the road this weekend? Read on… Keep reading »