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Ready for a Day With No Cars in Paris?

By Robert Firpo-Cappiello
August 24, 2015
traffic in Paris
Lonely Planet

Ever walked the streets of one of your favorite cities and thought, “I wish the cars would just disappear”? While we have nothing against the auto industry or the awesome road trips and scenic drives we take in our cars, the staggering burden of traffic in, say, Los Angeles, London, and New York can sometimes make finding your bliss nearly impossible.

Francophiles, rejoice! On September 27, Paris is holding “Une Journée Sans Voiture”the first “Day Without Cars” in the city’s history. How much of the city are we talking about? How about: nine arrondissements, including the Left Bank, the area around the Eiffel Tower, Place de las Bastille, and many other iconic bucket-list spots.

We’re predicting that the absence of auto traffic will inspire a photographic Big Bang, with cameras and smartphones capturing the City of Light like never before. Will you be there?

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Inspiration

5 Things To Do In Seaside Park, NJ

Summer in New York City often means endless chatter about trips to the East End of Long Island and tooth-grinding preparation for an appearance in the Hamptons. But if your style is a bit more mid-century chill—when all a harried city-dweller needed was a tattered paperback, a low-slung beach chair and absolutely no one to impress—consider Seaside Park, NJ. Settled in 1874, this sleepy beach town along the Atlantic Ocean doesn't even fill one square mile on the map. And while it’s geographically close to Seaside Heights—made infamous by MTV’s “Jersey Shore” series—Seaside Park is worlds away from its fist-pumping frenzy. Stay in a roomy vacation rental—for less Since Seaside Park has yet to become a tourist trap, you won’t find any hotels on this slim barrier island town, only a few motels of debatable quality. Instead, opt for a private home rental by the weekend, week, or month. Find an oceanfront house or a quaint little bungalo with a view of Barnegat Bay. Check out area listings on HomeAway.com or Airbnb, or call local, in-the-know realtors like Arthur Rue or Appleby Realty. With a bit of fortitude and search savvy, you can find roomy two-bedroom rentals for four for as low as $50 per person per night. Feast on local favorites & indulge on homemade ice cream There are no major chain grocery stores in town, but you can still stock up for your vacation without leaving the beach—FreshDirect delivers to Seaside Park through Labor Day while Stop & Shop’s Peapod service delivers groceries year-round. Browse through fresh vegetables, fruits, and seafood at the Seaside Park Farmer’s Market along J Street & Central Ave. next to the sparkling marina on Barnegat Bay, open twice a week through Labor Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays and Fridays. The small White Oak Market has been open for 102 years and still stocks basic goods while operating a modest deli counter, good for stocking up for the perfect beach picnic. For a night out, the Bum Rogers Crabhouse on Central Ave. slings fresh piles of buttered garlic crabs, blue point oysters, and whole steamed lobsters among other seafood delights. Wednesday nights are “Beat the Clock,” with 50-cent drafts from 8pm-1:30am. (If your rental isn’t in walking distance, Uber is available.) One block from the beach is Surf Taco, where the grilled shrimp tacos outshine the eponymous surf tacos with plump, seasoned shrimp, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, white cilantro sauce, and a squeeze of fresh lime. Don’t miss the variety of flavorful salsas at their Almost Famous Salsa Bar. What’s a beach vacation without an ice cream shop? Seaside has two. Charlie's Homemade Ice Cream scoops up the classics—the cherry on top is a barbershop quartet that croons for customers on Thursdays, weather permitting. Up the street is The Sundae Times, where you’ll find malts and shakes along with homemade ice cream. It’s a perfect place to read the Sunday paper over an indulgent treat. But the sweetest pièce de résistance in Seaside is the Park Bakery, which has been churning out buttery morning treats since 1947. The line curls around the block before their doors open at 6:30 a.m. each day as locals and visitors in-the-know patiently wait for the famous crumb buns to emerge from the oven. Insider tip: Go for the powdered sugar topped buns vs. glazed. Trust me. Learn to surf, try yoga classes on the beach, or bike the boardwalk Once you’ve had your fill of crumb buns, it might be time to move around a bit. Basic but beautiful $10 yoga classes are held on the beach near the 7th Ave. entrance on Tuesdays at 6 p.m, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 a.m. and Sundays 7 p.m. Bring your own yoga mat or towel and hold that warrior pose while contemplating the blue horizon or the soft white clouds above. For higher-intensity activity, a new weekly $5 Zumba class is also offered on the beach Saturdays at 9 a.m. between M St. & N St. The Hammer Surf School, located near the 4th Ave. beach entrance, offers three-hour group surfing lessons for $100 on the Atlantic for ages seven and up. A surfboard is provided and a beach pass is not required. Lesson times depend on the tide, so call first or check the online calendar before you go. The Shore and More General Store on 5th Ave. sells volleyballs, frisbees, boogie boards, and most importantly, reasonably-priced bike rentals (from $17 per day, from $40 per week). Their stock got a recent upgrade and the new bikes are perfect for a sunrise ride on the boardwalk. Feeling quirky? You and three friends can rent a turn-of-the-century style surrey, fringe and all for $30 per hour. Experience total beachside bliss Seaside Park’s beaches are clean and beautiful, and still a blissful secret. Since relatively few visitors flock along the two miles of shoreline, you’ll have plenty of room to spread out in the sun. Beach access badges cost $10 per day, $35 per week ($20 per week for seniors), and are free for children ages 11 and under. On select summer Tuesday evenings, a makeshift drive-in movie theater sets up on the Berkeley Harbor Marina lawn—the same spot as the farmer’s market. Literally drive in or walk, bike, or skip over for some Hollywood sparkly under the stars. Shop for the best bargains in Seaside Park B&B Department Store opened in 1932 and is beloved for its bargain-filled weekend sidewalk sales. Inside the surprisingly large store are racks of Billabong, O’Neill, Havaianas, Hurley, and other beach-appropriate brands. You won’t want for thematic objects with slogans like, “A Day at the Beach is Better than 100 in Town” or “It’s a Flip-Flop Kind of Day.” Way in the back is a tiny candy counter, where you can purchase saltwater taffy or fresh fudge along with those new flip-flops. Sometimes it’s just that kind of day. A few doors down from B&B, the Right Coast Surf Shop has, ironically, a decidedly left coast feel. They’ll fully outfit you for surf lessons and other water sports with wet suits, surfboards, wax, and anything else you need to ride the right coast waves in style. This article was written by Kerri Allen, an award-winning writer whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, The Huffington Post Travel, Time Out New York, Gayot, and many more.

Inspiration

4 Tours To Try On Your Next Trip To NYC

So, you've already been to Times Square, walked around Central Park, and visited iconic sites like the Empire State Building. But there's more to the Big Apple than meets the eye. These four tours offer another look at a place you already think you know. Walks of New York Disney Broadway Stages Tour Broadway fans, rejoice! You'll start with a walk around NYC's theater district, Times Square, Duffy Square, and Shubert Alley among other hotspots, hearing about the history of the area before an included guided tour of the New Amsterdam Theatre, home to Aladdin. The best part: You'll get to tour a special hands-on, behind-the-scenes tour of the Costume and Prop Studio and a chance to take great pics of you wearing costumes from Broadway productions like Mary Poppins, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Newsies. From $72 per adult, from $65 per child; 2 hours and 30 minutes; Tues, Sat, and Sun starting at 12 p.m., 9:30 a.m. or 10 a.m. depending on the day. Beyond Broadway Discover the hidden secrets of Midtown Manhattan that tourists won't usually get to see, like underground passageways in Grand Central Station that help you avoid the crowds and under-the-radar local favorites in Rockefeller Center and Times Square you've never heard of. $65 per person; three hours; tours start at 2 p.m. in the center of the main concourse at Grand Central Terminal, 89 East 42nd Street and end at 328 West 45th Street. Craft Cocktail Tour Get ready for the most interesting happy hour of your life! This walking tour through the vibrant East Village offers a taste of the best NYC bars and artisinal cocktails. You'll learn about how prohibition played a part in the city's history and visit a mix of micro-distilleries, top-notch local bars, and secret speakeasy spots along the way. $79 per person, adults 21 and up only; two hours, 30 minutes; Tours start at the Temperance Drinking Fountain in Tompkins Square Park (corner of St. Mark's Street and Avenue A in the East Village) at 6 p.m. and end near the corner of Lafayette and Great Jones St. Tenements, Tales, and Tastes You'll learn the fascinating history of classic NYC neighborhoods like Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Lower East Side, home to many groups of immigrants over the centuries, all while tasting treats like dumplings, fresh mozzarella cheese, and giant pretzels. Talk about a perfectly delicious way to see the city. $65 per person; three hours; Tours start at 10 a.m. at the Fountain at City Hall Park and end at the Lorely Biergarten, 7 Rivington St.

Inspiration

3 Flash Sales You Won't Want To Miss!

We've just discovered three flash sales happening this week that you won't want to miss. Here's what you need to know. For ski lovers who are planning ahead Vail Resorts and RockResorts in Colorado, Lake Tahoe, Grand Teton National Park, Utah, and Jamaica are having a 96-hour flash sale starting Tuesday, Aug. 18th until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 21st where you can save up to 50 percent on stays at luxury-style campgrounds, boutique hotels, and resorts. Sample prices include rates at The Lodge at Vail from $129 per night, rates at The Pines Lodge at Beaver Creek from $117 per night, and even a 60 percent discount at Half Moon, A RockResort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, with rates from $229 per night. If you currently have the Epic Pass, you're eligible for even more discounts—purchase the 2015-2016 season Epic Pass by Sept. 7th for $769 per person for access to unlimited skiing and snowboarding at 10 U.S. ski areas and select ski resorts in Australia and Switzerland. For a last-minute beach getaway Looking for the perfect autumn beach vacation? Grand Lucayan on Grand Bahama Island is having a 72-hour flash sale where you can save up to 50 percent on stays of at least two nights between Sept. 2nd and Nov. 15th as long as you book by Thursday, Aug. 20th. Rates start from $90 per night (with a two-night minimum-stay required) and you'll get a $125 resort credit to be used for dining, spa services, tennis, and golf (cart fees excluded). The best part: children ages 12 and under stay for free.  For a quick trip to Milan Suddenly in the mood for Italian food or interested in checking out Expo Milano before it ends on Oct. 31st? Take advantage of this amazing flash sale from Emirates where you can score 2-for-1 airplane tickets to Milan when you book by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20th. Two people can fly round-trip from JFK to Milan $999 in economy class or splurge for two business class tickets for from $3,800 for both of you. Tickets must be used between Oct. 1, 2015 and Mar. 23, 2016. Plus, Milan was named one of Budget Travel's best places to visit in 2015, so get to it!

Inspiration

Save On Flights To Sydney Now Thru Aug. 25th

Great news for anyone planning (or dreaming of) a trip to Australia: Qantas is having a big sale on flights to Sydney now thru Aug. 25th. Here's what you need to know. Round-trip flights from L.A. to Sydney start at $1,349 per person when you fly between Nov. 1-30, 2015; Feb 1-Mar. 30, 2016; and May 1-Jun. 21, 2016. Round-trip flights from San Francisco, New York City (JFK), and Dallas/Fort Worth start at $1,549 per person. Travel dates for San Francisco must be between Feb. 1st and Mar. 30th or May 1st to Jun. 21, 2016. To take advantage of the sale price from New York City, travel between Nov. 9-29, 2015; Feb. 1-Mar. 30, or May 1-Jun. 21, 2016. Coming from the Dallas/Fort Worth area? Travel between Feb. 3rd and Mar. 30th or May 1st to Jun. 20, 2016. And now for the fine print: You must book by Aug. 25th to cash in on the sale. There is a 10-day minimum stay requirement, meaning you need to stay in Australia for at least 10 days after your transpacific flight departs. Please note that fares are based on flights that depart from Sunday through Wednesday, but travel from Thursday to Saturday is also available for an additional fee. Please visit Qantas.com for more info and to book your flight.

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