Los Angeles is known as “City of Angels” or the "Entertainment Capital" is known for world-class museums, championship sports teams, beautiful beaches and one-of-a-kind culinary experiences. Travel beyond these typical tourist activities and enjoy 5 unique Los Angeles experiences. 1. Haunt O' Ween LA: The Biggest Family Halloween Experience Haunt O' Ween LA - Courtesy of nbclosangeles.com September 30 – October 31, 2022 at 6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Woodland HillsDuration: there is no time limit - spend as much time as you'd like!Cost: $40 - $70 - all ages welcome. Children under the age of 2 go free Enjoy every Halloween activity in one expansive family-fun adventure.Go trick-or-treating in the Town of Haunt O' Ween, wander through the streets of Ghoul City, visit the Farm House, venture into the Hidden Hollows…Explore over 200,000 sq ft. full of performances, games, decorations, photo ops, rides, and more immersive entertainment. Take part in a dance-off in the spooktacular Beyond the Grave Rave or jump the sugar off in multiple custom bounce houses & inflatable slides. Make your own potions at the Moonlight Magic DIY Potion Bar. Participate in an exclusive “Daniel Spellbound” experience hidden within the adventure. Enjoy a wide selection of food & beverage, including adult treats! Get Tickets for the Haunt O' Ween LA Experience 2. Flutter: A Multi-sensory Immersive Experience Flutter Experience - Courtesy of Flutter Now – End of 2022 at Flutter, 217 S La Brea, L.A.Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutesCost: $35 - $90 - all ages welcome Need an escape? Make your way to flutter! Rated as America’s number one art experience, enjoy the one-of-a-kind immersive adventure where art and happiness meet. Flutter has brought incredible artists together to transform 14 rooms into spaces that will inspire you to play, create, imagine, and explore. Let the guide take you through the multi-room experience with a different sensation and adventure in each art-filled space. From projection mapping and virtual reality to painting and dancing, there is something around every corner to stimulate your mind. If a museum and a playground had a baby, it would be flutter! Get Tickets for the Flutter Experience 3. Candlelight Día De Los Muertos: Celebrating the Day of the Dead Candlelight - Courtesy of Fever November 1, 2022 at Ovation Square Long BeachDuration: 60 minutes (doors open 45 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted)Cost: $35 - $70 - 8 years old or older. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in Los Angeles. Get your tickets now to discover the music from traditional songs to music from Disney Pixar’s Coco by Divisi String Quartet at Ovation Square Long Beach under the gentle glow of candlelight. Get Tickets for the Candlelight Día De Los Muertos Experience 4. 2nd Annual Long Beach Oktoberfest Octoberfest Longbeach - Courtesy of Fever Now – October 9, 2022 Friday thru Sundays at 855 Elm Ave, Long BeachDuration: there is no time limit - spend as much time as you'd like!Cost: $20 - $125 - 21+ with valid ID on Fridays. All ages are welcome on Saturdays and Sundays. Children ages 14 and under enter free of charge It’s Long Beach’s second annual Oktoberfest extravaganza! Celebrate all things German with authentic Bavarian beer, delicious food, and more. The world-famous Festmeister Hans und Die Sauerkrauts will command the stage with music, performances, and games. And don't forget to don your Lederhosen or Dirndl as dressing up for the event is highly encouraged. The brats and beverages are waiting for you! Get Tickets for the Long Beach Oktoberfest 5. House of Spirits: Vaughan Hall House of Spirits: Vaughan Hall - Courtesy of Fever October 15 – October 31, 2022 Mondays & Thursdays thru Sundays at Casa Vertigo, Los AngelesDuration: 2 hours. Pre-show lounge opens 45 minutes before your scheduled show time. Cost: $65 - $101 - 21+ with valid ID - You are encouraged to dress up for the evening, be it in costume, cocktail attire, or your favorite time-period clothing! This is an immersive theatrical cocktail soirée, where adults do Halloween in a haunted mansion. Enjoy miniature craft cocktails and enjoy a night of macabre magic, tarot readings, strange roaming specters, secret games. There is a dark legend surrounding Vaughan Hall, but the truth behind the legend is far more disturbing. You will have 2 hours to savor a flight of miniature craft cocktails, sample darkly decadent chocolate truffles, and unravel the mystery to learn the sinister truth behind the demise of the Vaughan clan. The characters and themes of House of Spirits: Vaughan Hall are loosely based on the famous haunting of Loftus Hall in Ireland. The show also touches on Irish folklore and myths throughout the centuries. Get Tickets for House of Spirits: Vaughan Hall Note: If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission from our partners - thank you!
Chicago known as “The Windy City” is a city that known for its jaw-dropping architecture, vibrant music scene, amazing food, — including deep-dish pizza — and iconic neighborhoods! Travel beyond the typical tourist sites to these 5 unique Chicago experiences. Note: If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission from our partners - thank you! 1. Louvre Fantastique: The Exhibition Courtesy of Fever Now thru Sept. 18 Thursday - Sunday at 2120 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook - lower level of the old Sears buildingDuration: 90 minutesCost: $20 - $38 All ages are welcomeIn this exhibition, you will have a chance to see over 70 masterpieces from the Louvre's™ priceless collection! Watch as these masterpieces come to life with three-dimensional recreations, projection mapping, augmented reality, and hands-on interactive features. Exhibit goers can experience the magic of the Louvre™ and its timeless art in an entirely new and dynamic way. Walk through the annals of art history, reimagined! Get Tickets for this Louvre Fantastique Experience 2. Chicago Loop Secret Food Tour Courtesy of Fever Various dates starting at 521 S Dearborn St, Millennium ParkDuration: 3 hoursCost: $87 - 18 and olderJoin this 3-hour tour of Chicago's food scene, and see what sets this friendly mid-western metropolis apart. On this tour of the 'Chicago Loop', a local guide will share with you some hidden gems and great stories about the city. Taste where the world-famous dipped Italian beef sandwich was invented, try some of the best deep dish Chicago pizza. Really appreciate how important the immigrants that built this town are to the food scene. Get Tickets for this Chicago Food Experience 3. Sinatra Under the Stars Courtesy of Fever Sundays, September 11 & 25th 6:30pm & 8:30pm at Aire Rooftop at the Hyatt Centric The Loop Hotel or Guild RowDuration: 65 minutesCost: $55 - 21+ with valid IDSinatra Under the Stars will transport you back to a time when Sinatra reigned the scene. Enjoy a classic cocktail under the stars and melt away “those little town blues.” Don’t miss this evening of classic jazz with a touch of some hot takes on contemporary songs performed by some of Chicago’s brightest talents. Sit back and relax to the sounds of Sinatra at two of the best venues that Chicago has to offer! Get Tickets for this Sinatra Experience 4. Candlelight: A Tribute to Adele Courtesy of Fever September 28 at 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. at Stan MansionDuration: 65 minutes (doors open 45 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted) - 8 years old or older. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adultCost: $28-$55 Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in Chicago. Get your tickets now to discover the music of Adele by the Metropolis String Quartet at Stan Mansion under the gentle glow of candlelight. Get Tickets for this Adele Candlelight Experience 5. Harry Potter™: Magic at Play Harry Potter™: Magic at Play - Courtesy of Fever Starting November 11, 2022 – May 14, 2023 at Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan AveDuration: 60 minutesCost: $34 - $68 All ages are welcome, children ages 2 and under enter freeHarry Potter™: Magic at Play is a one-of-a-kind experience that brings the Wizarding World to life through hands-on magical moments and active play for witches and wizards of all ages. Explore three floors of fun inspired by Harry’s adventures in discovering the Wizarding World. Journey from Privet Drive to Platform 9 ¾™, discover and represent your Hogwarts™ house, make your own magic in Hogwarts™ classes, find your position on the Quidditch™ team, and so much more! Get Tickets for this Harry Potter Experience
Atlanta known as “Hot ‘Lanta” is home to CNN, The World of Coca-Cola, Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium and the National Center for Civil & Human Rights! Travel beyond these typical tourist sites to 5 unique Atlanta experiences. Note: If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission from our partners - thank you! 1. The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience Courtesy of Fever Now thru Sept. 25th Wednesday - Sunday at Building 1, Pullman YardsDuration: 90 minutesCost: $45 - $124 - 16+ with valid ID; guests under 18 must be accompanied by an adult Your presence is requested at the most exclusive ball of the season! With this Bridgerton ball, now is your chance to secure your invitation to an immersive experience transporting you straight to the Regency era. Prepare to mingle with other members of the Ton as you sip on cocktails and partake in an evening of music and dance. Rumour has it that Her Majesty Queen Charlotte is looking for the diamond of the season, but will you be the one to win her favour? Get Tickets for this Bridgerton Experience 2. Find the Dinner: Surprise dinner in a restaurant! Courtesy of Fever Anytime at a surprise restaurant! The chauffeur will drive you there.Duration: 2 - 3 hoursCost: $159 - $209 - 21+ with valid ID If you're a foodie who loves a good surprise, this plan was made for you. Wegame presents its catalog of Find the Dinner experience packs, from Find the Gourmet to Find the Deluxe. Let them guide you, with transport included, to a surprise restaurant in your city. This gastronomic experience will be adapted to your tastes and preferences, so you're sure to leave with a good taste in your mouth. Get Tickets for this Surprise Dinner Experience 3. Candlelight: The Best of Frank Sinatra & Nat King Cole Courtesy of Fever September 28th 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m at Magnolia HallDuration: 65 minutes (doors open 45 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted) - 8 years old or older. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adultCost: $35-$50 Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in Atlanta. Get your tickets now to discover the music of Frank Sinatra & Nat King Cole by PureSoul Atlanta at Magnolia Hall under the gentle glow of candlelight. Get Tickets for this Candlelight Experience 4. Sleepy Hollow Bar: A Spectral Cocktail Experience Courtesy of Fever Starting September 16 - October 16 & 31st Thursday through Sunday at Underground AtlantaDuration: 1 hour and 30 minutes Cost: $65 - includes 3 cocktails - 21+ with valid ID Our Sleepy Hollow experience welcomes you! Your presence is requested in the Western Woods, where they say no sane person should go. You will find a clearing under the moonlit sky: a spot hidden in the woods overflowing with cocktails, dark music, merriment, and life! As our guest on the night of the Harvest Festival, we welcome you to enter our tavern and enjoy three gothic drinks. We fine folk may have a gift for you here, as well as games of yore to enjoy at your leisure... you may even experience the rare touch of an eerie witch. You’ve probably heard the Hollow is a place where blood runs cold, haunted by a warrior without a head and bathed in red. But please, worry for naught! What awaits you is an eve of fantastical joy in the woodlands that are yours to explore! Get Tickets for this Sleepy Hollow Experience 5. Illuminarium Atlanta Courtesy of Fever Monday through Sunday at Illuminarium, AtlantaDuration: as long or short as you like Cost: $25 - all ages are welcome Illuminarium Atlanta offers the best artistic experiences with the help of the latest tech to guarantee family fun! Come visit three of the amazing exhibitions at Illuminarium Atlanta with this cultural bundle pack. From the astonishing paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe to the deep wonders of SPACE, passing through the long rabbit hole in Wonderland, there's sure to be fun and learning for everyone. Combination Fit 25 Admission for 1 - includes admission for SPACE, Waking Wonderland, or O'Keeffe Get Tickets for this Illuminarium Atlanta Experience
New York City the “The City that Never Sleeps” is a city that needs no introduction, of course. The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, the Museum of Natural History, the Guggenheim Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Empire State Building and broadway are all staples of a NYC visit. If you are looking for something different then the regular tourist stops New York has that too! Check out these 5 unique NYC experiences. Note: If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission from our partners - thank you! 1. The Fluffy Cloud: An Immersive Music & Lightshow Photo courtesy of feverup.com September 24th, 2022 8 p.m. – 2 a.m. at Under the KDuration: 6 hoursCost: $80 - 21+ with valid ID The Fluffy Cloud Experience is more than a concert: it is a radical rethinking of what a live music and arts experience can—and should—be. Experience the world's only 360 degree overhead immersive sound system and lightshow featuring some of the world's best electronic dance music artists. It has stunning special effects, live music, interactive art and games, wellness experiences, food, drinks...and, of course, the show’s centerpiece, The Fluffy Cloud itself. Towering 3 stories high, this act of artistic lunacy offers more than meets the eye. Behind its fluffy exterior, 33,000 LEDs and an unprecedented 360-degree 60,000 watt sound system roars over guests’ heads, creating a one-of-a-kind immersive space where you are not so much listening to sound, but being bathed by it. Capable of hitting frequencies 30% lower than any other sound system on the market, it's hard to explain such a unique experience in writing—you just have to see it (and feel it) for yourself! Get Tickets for The Fluffy Cloud 2. The FRIENDS™ Experience: The One in New York City Photo courtesy of feverup.com Starting August 2022 Wednesdays–Sundays at 130 E 23rd St, New York City, NYDuration: 60 minutes Cost: $50 - $65 Children ages 3and under enter free Step inside the world of FRIENDS™! With two floors of immersive experiences, it’s the ultimate experience for FRIENDS™ fans. You can pose on the iconic orange couch, sit at Monica & Rachel’s kitchen table, kick back and relax in Joey and Chandler’s comfy chairs, Dance in front of the fountain and so much more. Get Tickets for the FRIENDS™ Experience 3. Harry Potter: A Forbidden Forest Experience Photo courtesy of feverup.com October - December Mondays–Sundays, 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. in the woods of Franklin D. Roosevelt State ParkDuration: 60–90 minutes (the walking trail will take approx. 45–75 minutes)Cost: $45 - $56 Children ages 4 and under enter free As the days get shorter and the nights grow longer, enchanting creatures and magical beasts inspired by the Wizarding World come to life in a spellbinding Forbidden Forest. Now is your chance to see these curious inhabitants illuminated! Embark on a bewitching journey through a misty forest trail full of magic and wonder, and discover unexpected surprises around every corner. Ready your wand and cast spells, come face-to-face with Hippogriffs and Centaurs, and experience breathtaking moments based on scenes from the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. After all the excitement, an enchanting village will welcome you with warm food and a blazing fire. Don't miss this opportunity to step foot into our experience inspired by the wizarding world. Get Tickets for this Harry Potter Experience 4. Candlelight: A Tribute to Adele Photo courtesy of feverup.com September 16 at 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity ChurchDuration: 65 minutes (doors open 60 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted) - 8 years old or older. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adultCost: $45 -$65 Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in New York City. Get your tickets now to discover the music of Adele by the Highline String Quartet at St. Ann & the Holy Trinity Church under the gentle glow of candlelight. Get Tickets for this Candlelight Concert 5. The Fans Strike Back: The Largest Star Wars Fan Exhibition Photo courtesy of feverup.com Sunday through Monday starting August - September 2022 at 526 6th Avenue Duration: 60 minutes all ages welcome, however the VR experience is designed only for ages 14 and aboveCost: $45 -$65 The Empire had its chance; this time, The Fans Strike Back! Get ready for the largest exhibition in the saga of fan-made Star Wars events. You’ll find photos, posters, costumes, figures, and models of different types and sizes—all official objects bought by Star Wars fans. There will also be a green chroma to take pictures in the Star Wars universe. It’s a perfect plan for the whole family, from the youngest Padawan to the wisest Jedi master! Get Tickets for The Fans Strike Back
Of course you know Nashville as the "Music City" and that most people come here for the music and all the bars/restaurants on Broadway. But if you are looking for some truly unique experiences check out these events below. From candlelight concerts, Halloween themed cocktail experiences to ghost walking tours - Nashville has it all coming in the next few months. Note: If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission from our partners - thank you! 1. Candlelight Concert: A Tribute to Beyoncé Candlelight Concert September 28 at 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at ClementineDuration: 65 minutes (doors open 60 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted) - 8 years old or older. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adultCost: $45 -$50 Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to the Clementine. Get your tickets now to discover the music of Beyoncé played by the Listeso String Quartet under the gentle glow of candlelight. Get Tickets for this Candlelight Concert 2. The Boozy Cauldron Tavern: A Magical Cocktail Experience Boozy Cauldron - Courtesy Fever August 26–27, 2022 at Studio 615Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes - 21+ with valid IDCost: $55 - includes entry to the experience & 4 signature cocktails The Boozy Cauldron Tavern is popping up in Nashville for a 4-part cocktail experience led by Professor Dolohov Draven and his top students. You will be taken on a magical journey where you can imbibe on the four delicious signature cocktails (including the Tavern’s Famous Butternilla Brew) and hear and feel the stories surrounding the famous tavern and the ghosts that still haunt the establishment. Be quick to head over, for the Boozy Cauldron travels the nation and only appears for a limited time in select cities; after its last day, the portal closes and the Tavern disappears! Get Tickets for The Booze Cualdron Tavern 3. House of Spirits: Casa Vega - A Haunted Cocktail Soirée House of Spirits - Courtesy of Fever October 7–31 Thur - Sun & Monday 31st at a secret mansion in NashvilleDuration: 2 hours. - 21+ with valid IDCost: $79 - $99 based on ticket level Freely roam an open-world cocktail party at Casa Vega, the haunted home of Francisco and Molly Vega. After the mysterious death of their child Little Magpie, Francisco and Molly find themselves tormented by a strange entity that haunts the shadows of their home. You will have 2 hours at Casa Vega to savor a flight of miniature craft cocktails, sample darkly decadent chocolate truffles, and get immersed in the chilling lore. House of Spirits: Casa Vega is loosely based on real-life inspirations, including Spanish painter Francisco Goya, his famous Black Paintings, and several other Spanish folktales throughout the centuries. You encouraged to dress up for the evening, be it in costume, cocktail attire, or your favorite time-period clothing! Be sure to check out the magic, tarot readings, strange roaming specters, live music, secret games and ask the Giant Ouija Board questions! You can also go to the pre-show lounge for additional cocktails, wine, water, soda and food available for purchase, open all night. Get Tickets for House of Spirits 4. Candlelight Concert: A Haunted Evening of Halloween Classics Candlelight Concert October 28 at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at The ParthenonDuration: 65 minutes (doors open 60 mins prior to the start time and late entry is not permitted) - 8 years old or older. Anyone under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adultCost: $45 -$50 Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in Nashville. Get your tickets now to discover Halloween inspired music at The Parthenon under the gentle glow of candlelight. Get Tickets for this Candlelight Concert 5. The Ghosts of Nashville Walking Tour Ghost Walking Tour - Courtesy of Fever Various dates available - Depart at Alvin York StatueDuration: 1 hour - all ages welcomeCost: $55 - includes entry to the experience & 4 signature cocktails The Ghosts of Nashville Tour is perfect for the entire family. This tour is very historical, focusing on the hauntings of the Civil War and how Nashville later became the “Music City''. This tour begins at the Tennessee State Capitol and will visit 7-8 haunted historical locations. You'll hear about ghosts, demons, and a few murders - some dating back over 200 years! Get Tickets for this tour
Cities like Miami, New York and Los Angeles are go-to destinations for art enthusiasts, however, there are tons of other hidden gem cities around the U.S. that people don’t commonly associate with world-class art. Grand Rapids, MI The Jim Henson Exhibition - Courtesy of the GRAM While Detroit typically gets all the street cred for art in Michigan, Grand Rapids boasts some of the coolest museums for art lovers, including the Grand Rapids Art Museum, with 6,000 permanent objects including work from Andy Warhol and Picasso, and the picturesque Frederik Meier Gardens & Sculpture Park. Plus, the hotels in the city’s Hotel District boast over-the-top collections as well, like the historic Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton, which was named in Historic Hotels of America’s top 25 most magnificent art collections list for 2022 for its “America at Work” collection by artist Paul Collins. The city also hosts the annual ArtPrize, an independent international art competition that celebrates artists working in all mediums from across the world, every fall (the next one is Sept.15-Oct. 2). Fort Worth, TX Cufflink Art Gallery While Fort Worth’s Cultural District is home to world-renowned art museums like The Modern, The Kimbell and the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, this Texas city also has a burgeoning underground art scene, with cool new galleries showcasing local artists and powerful street art, like that in the Foundry District's Inspiration Alley. In Polytechnic, a predominately Black and Latinx neighborhood, Sedrick and Letitia Huckaby recently opened Kinfolk House, a collaborative art space that serves to uplift the diverse community’s beauty, talent and culture through collaborative exhibitions, events and educational opportunities. Hotels like Hotel Dryce put guests within walking distance of the Cultural District and boast some local art of their own—Hotel Dryce has a partnership with local art gallery Art Tooth for its art in the rooms and public spaces. The latest newcomer to Fort Worth’s art scene is Cufflink Art, a gallery in the trendy Near Southside that focuses on contemporary artists from the 20th and 21st century. St. Petersburg, FL The dalí museum While Miami is known as Florida’s art-centric city for hosting Art Basel Miami every December, St. Pete has an under-the-radar yet thriving art scene with a vibe much different than Florida’s more frenetic east coast art city, from renowned museums like The Dali and the Chihuly Collection to the walkable galleries and vibrant murals splashed around downtown. For those looking to stay in the heart of it all, The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club is within walking distance to the city’s top art spots, and its Navigator can coordinate the perfect creative itinerary. Plus, the hotel is an artistic masterpiece in itself, with a photogenic pink exterior and Mediterranean Revival design from the 1920s.
Join Budget Travel as we continue our series Discover USA. Discover USA explores states, counties, cities, and everything in between. We will be exploring US destinations to help you find things to do, itinerary ideas and plan where to go next. This week, we invite you to Discover what Columbus, Ohio has to offer. When people think of Columbus, they think of contributions to history, parks and shopping destinations. It’s also home to The Ohio State Buckeyes, most popular for football and basketball. Columbus is also famous for its food scene. Many popular chains started in Columbus, and the city is often a test hub for new food concepts. Discover what else they are known for. Columbus, Ohio is the 14th largest city in the U.S., one of the fastest growing cities in the Midwest and Ohio’s capital city. Columbus is vibrant and alive, known for its open attitude, smart style and entrepreneurial spirit. Outdoors Metro ParksGreen spaces abound in Columbus. There are 20 Metro Parks in Columbus and Franklin County featuring more than 230 miles of trails and more than 28,400 acres of land in seven Central Ohio counties. Quarry Trails Metro Park is the newest Metro Park that opened in November 2021 and features a 25-foot waterfall. Coming to the park in fall 2022 is the country’s first urban via ferrata. The route will be on a 150-foot-high cliff face in an abandoned limestone quarry and access will be free. The Scioto Mile Scioto Mile Downtown Columbus - Photo by Randall L. Schieber Located in the heart of downtown Columbus with more than 175 acres of lush parkland stretching along the Scioto River, the Scioto Mile is one of the most popular areas to get outdoors and was named one of the 21 Best Urban Parks in the country by Men’s Journal in 2022. Bike TrailsColumbus also has several popular bike trails. The Scioto Greenway Trail is an urban greenway at its best. A segment of the Central Ohio Greenways trail network that covers more than 120 miles throughout the state, the 12.2-mile multi-use trail hugs the banks of the Scioto River, connecting several parks and offering fabulous views of downtown Columbus. Other popular trails include the Olentangy Trail and Alum Creek Trail. Water SportsWith the Scioto River and Olentangy River, water sports are also popular with residents and visitors alike. Windrose Outdoors offers kayak and standup paddleboard rentals downtown. Columbus is also home to unexpected outdoor adventures such as ziplining at Zip Zone Outdoor Adventures and mountain biking at parks like Quarry Trails Metro Park. Arts & Culture Literature Book StoresColumbus boasts 14 independent bookstores, including the iconic Book Loft, one of the nation’s largest independent bookstores with 32 maze-like rooms of bargain books located in historic and picturesque German Village. Other bookstores include Prologue Bookshop, Gramercy Books and Two Dollar Radio Headquarters, a family-run independent publisher. . Library Courtesy of Columbus Metropolitan Library Columbus boasts one of the country’s most beautiful libraries. This library features original Beaux-Arts-style architecture and Vermont marble dating back to 1907. This spot was once the official residence for several Ohio governors, including former president Rutherford B. Hayes. AuthorsColumbus is also home to numerous authors like 2021 National Book Award nominee and MacArthur 'Genius' Hanif Abdurraqib, author Saeed Jones, who has written perhaps the most widely read love letter to the city, and bestselling poet Maggie Smith. Columbus has a history of producing writers too. Famed New Yorker writer and humorist James Thurber was born here, and is memorialized in the Thurber House museum. Visual Arts Short North Arts District 2 - Courtesy Experience Columbus /photo by Levi Ely MuseumsColumbus Museum of Art - holds one of the country’s best impressionist and contemporary art collections, and frequently hosts traveling exhibitions that earn national acclaim, such as a recent one focused on Van Gogh, and another on the ancient Dresden Tapestries. The Wex - The Ohio State University's contemporary art center was named by The Washington Post as having “one of the most dynamic contemporary programs in the country.” Columbus is also a cartoon capital, being home to the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, which houses the world’s largest collection of materials related to cartoons and comics, including original art, books, magazines, journals, comic books, archival materials, and newspaper comic strip pages and clippings. Arts Districts Columbus is home to two thriving arts districts. The Short North Arts District features art galleries alongside independent boutiques and some of the city’s best restaurants. For nearly 40 years they have hosted Gallery Hop on the first Saturday of every month. Just a few miles away, the Franklinton Arts District is an emerging arts district where you can find art galleries like ROY G BIV, The Vanderelli Room, Wild Goose Creative and more. Many artists have studios at 400 West Rich, a collaborative community housed in a 100-year-old warehouse. Top events include the monthly Franklinton Fridays, a neighborhood-wide celebration of art, performance, and community, and Scrawl, an annual event where dozens of artists create 50 mobile murals over the course of two days. Public ArtColorful and elaborate murals are on display throughout the city, including the massive 11-story mural, “The Journey.” in the Short North.. Located on the side of the Graduate Columbus, the mural was painted by artists Ryan Sarfati and Eric Skotnes and incorporates virtual reality. Otherworld is another must-see art experience. In fact, it was just named one of the country’s 10 best immersive art experiences by USA Today 10 Best. Music Columbus Record Stores - Courtesy Experience Columbus Twenty One Pilots, Caamp, O.A.R., Rascal Flatts, Willie Phoenix, Dwight Yoakam and Bobby Floyd are just some of the musicians who got their start in Columbus. Before they were household names, they played on stages in Columbus, from outdoor venues to dive bars and from sold-out arenas to indie record stores. With a reputation as one of the country’s best undiscovered music cities, visitors and residents can experience Columbus’ thriving music scene with the Columbus Live Music Trail that is a guide to more than 40 venues devoted to live music, including Newport Music Hall, America’s longest continually running rock club and other venues like Dick's Den, a famous jazz venue, and KEMBA Live!, a large outdoor/indoor venue featuring national acts. Columbus Symphony is the city’s flagship musical performance organization and is known for bringing international stars such as Yo-Yo Ma and Renee Fleming to perform with the orchestra. Performing Arts Shadowbox Live - is a groundbreaking and inventive theater troupe performing original rock operas, sketch collections and seasonal stage performances. Columbus Association for Performing Arts (CAPA) - keeps Columbus’ three historic downtown theaters booked with touring Broadway productions and other stage shows of all kinds. As the city’s leader in theatre rehabilitation and redevelopment, CAPA is responsible for maintaining the Ohio Theatre, the Palace Theater and the Southern Theatre, and promotes performances in all of them. BalletMet - is Columbus’ premier dance performance organizations, producing the annual Nutrcracker performance as well as a season of other classical and contemporary ballets, in addition to running an academy for ballet students of all ages. Culinary Budd Dairy Food Hall rooftop - Courtesy Experience Columbus Columbus’ food scene has been drawing the attention of top national outlets. Chapman’s Eat Market in German Village one of the 50 best restaurants in the country in 2021 (New York Times) Lox Bagel Shop in the Short North Arts District - one of the best bagels in America in 2021 (Food & Wine) Budd Dairy Food Hall - by celebrated Columbus restaurateur Cameron Mitchell is one of the 10 best new food halls in the U.S. in 2021 (Fodors) Food Halls Columbus has seen several new food halls open recently, all with their own unique mix of restaurants. East Market opened in April 2022 in Columbus’ new Trolley District and is housed in a historic trolley servicing station. The market features nine vendors currently with three more coming soon. Visitors can also enjoy their bar, Railhouse, and speakeasy, Switch, as well as expansive outdoor seating. Budd Dairy Food Hall in Italian Village opened April 2021 and features eight unique kitchens plus a revolving pop up and a buzzing rooftop patio. North Market - the 145-year-old public market , where numerous successful restaurateurs have launched from a humble stall to local and even national stardom. Some of North Market’s most prominent vendors include Hoyo’s Kitchen, Momo Ghar and Hot Chicken Takeover. CARD WIDGET HERE
As a woman who travels solo to do research, I’ve learned that there’s more to traveling safely than just being aware of my surroundings and staying away from sketchy hotels. Keeping one step ahead of identity thieves is just as important as keeping yourself physically safe. Whether you’re traveling alone, with a companion—or even with a group—these tips should help make your trip hassle-free and keep your personal identity safe while you’re on the road. Many of these suggestions are common sense. Some of them are so simple that you’ll wonder why you haven’t been doing them all along. None of them take much time or effort, but all of them will save you the financial cost and personal pain of having your identity stolen. BEFORE YOU GO Notify Credit Card Companies: I learned the hard way that you should notify your credit card company or financial provider that you will be traveling (so they don’t block your card as a security measure when you try to pay the bill at an out-of-town restaurant). Most of them have an automatic phone system that makes it as simple as answering a few yes and no questions. As technology improves, the bigger credit card companies already know you’re traveling through your purchase of airline tickets or booking of a hotel or rental car. Check Your Latest Credit Card Bill: Along the same lines, it’s good to check your credit card bill before you go on a trip. That way you’ll be able to easily spot any new charges that look suspicious upon your return. Big Tip: Don’t wait until you’re in a hotel room or an airport to pay your bills or check your bank account! To avoid exposing sensitive information online when traveling, do your bill paying and checkbook reconciliation before you go. Clean Out Your Purse. I always clean out my purse for two reasons. One, I do a lot of walking when I’m traveling and I want it to be as light as possible. Secondly, my wallet has a lot of extra things in it like gift cards, store cards, etc. that are just unnecessary. I only take what I absolutely need, which is usually two credit cards and some cash. (I recommend taking at least two credit cards, since one could be turned down and then you have a backup. I never had a credit card refused in my life until I was in Las Vegas—and that was because I didn’t call ahead of time and tell them I was traveling). Tell The Post Office: Hold your mail and use informed delivery. You can set up informed delivery through the U.S. Postal Service to receive an email listing of the scanned mail that was delivered. When you return, you can identify any missing items. Holding your mail lessens the likelihood that you’ll have any problems. DURING YOUR TRIP Make Copies: I always worry about what could happen—not what is likely to happen—so I’m all about protecting and duplicating everything I can. Lots of people store their valuables in a hotel safe, but you should be just as careful with your traveling documents—especially your passport. For added security, take a picture of passports and credit cards in case your wallet is lost or stolen. Protect Your Boarding Pass: Use mobile passes when you can, but if you print a paper ticket for backup (raising my hand), make sure you rip it into pieces when discarding. Boarding passes reveal full names and travel destinations. Avoid Remote ATMS: Remote ATMs are more likely to have skimmers attached or cameras that can capture your password data. Also, do you really want to withdraw money from that ATM in the dark, empty-looking parking garage? Social Media...Just No: Don’t share too much while you’re traveling. You can tell everyone about your trip on Facebook and Instagram when you get back. Avoid Public Wi-Fi: This is a hard (if not impossible) one. At the very least, don’t use your computer or phone for anything that could reveal personal or financial data. WHEN YOU RETURN Change Your Passwords: I’m trying to make this a habit because it’s probably the most important thing to protect your identity. Even if you’re not traveling it’s a good idea to change your passwords every few months. Do A Checkup: Don’t wait too long to check your bank and credit card accounts for anything that looks suspicious. Do it while any purchases from the trip are still fresh in your mind. FINAL NOTES I enjoy traveling alone because I can explore at my own pace and change my schedule if necessary. But the freedom to do what I want doesn’t mean I can let my guard down when it comes to protecting my personal identity. If you do a lot of traveling or are traveling abroad, it might be worth the peace of mind to sign up for one of the many of the companies that provide identity protection services or credit monitoring. Also, check with your credit card company. Many of them offer protection as part of their plan. Taking the necessary steps to safeguard my identity is slowly becoming second nature to me when I travel. I hope these tips help you travel safely as well. Happy Travels! Jessica James is an award-winning author who shares her passions for history and travel by writing about little-known destinations and historical sites on her blog www.pastlanetravels.com.
Leaf peeping is a great way to explore Fort Collins, Colorado, and the surrounding Northern Colorado area during its most beautiful season: autumn. Fort Collins proximity to the Cache la Poudre River canyon and Rocky Mountain National Park makes it a leaf-peeping magnet, and the perfect basecamp for fall adventures to Lory State Park, the Roosevelt National Forest, Rocky Mountain National Park and more. While the peak season for fall foliage typically runs from the last week in September to the second week of October, experts anticipate the leaves will peak slightly early this year, perhaps closer to mid-September. Here are five affordable fall adventures in Fort Collins: 1 - Take a Hike Courtesy of Caramie Petrowsky While there are myriad hikes in and around Fort Collins, one stands out as perfect for a sunny fall day paired with a picnic lunch. Greyrock Trail is a 7.1-mile moderate-to-strenuous loop hike that is gorgeous in the fall (and a bit quieter), with sweeping views of Greyrock Mountain and the Poudre Canyon, Rocky Mountain National Park and the Comanche Peak Wilderness Area. 2 - Drop a line Horsetooth Reservoir Between the Cache La Poudre River and Horsetooth Reservoir, Fort Collins offers paradise found for fishermen and fisherwomen. The Poudre is perfect for fly-fishing, though there are a few spots where you can bait fish. At Horsetooth, try your hand catching smallmouth bass or walleye from the shore or a boat. Fort Collins also has 15 Natural Areas that allow fishing, including Riverbend Ponds, a popular fishing spot with easy access from the trailheads. It’s one of two Natural Areas where gizzard shad (part of the herring family of fish) are found. 3 - Road trip to Red Feather Lakes Who doesn’t love a good road trip? Red Feather Lakes, located an hour drive northwest of Fort Collins, is a secluded, hidden gem that’s less populated than many Colorado outdoor destinations. Surrounded by 612,000 acres of Roosevelt National Forest, the Red Feathers Lakes area is a year-round outdoor playground, but fall is stunning. Hike or fish in one of the eight lakes in the area, four of which are open for public fishing. You may also fish in the nearby Cache La Poudre River, Colorado’s only designated Wild and Scenic River and the area’s best spot for whitewater rafting and kayaking. Nearby Beaver Meadows Resort Ranch offers lodging, fishing, horseback riding and more. 4 - Attend a festival Pumpkins on Parade - Courtesy of Caramie Petrowsky Festival season doesn’t slow down come fall in the Fort; here are three to check out. Tour de Corgi (Oct. 1) brings a sea of cute corgis in costume to one of the most quirky festivals in town. Pumpkins on Parade (Oct. 20 - 23) is a fun-for-all-ages celebration at The Gardens on Spring Creek complete with hundreds of locally grown pumpkins and fun and festive activities for the whole family (tickets are $10 for adults/children 12+; $5 for children 5-11 and free for under age 4). Día De Los Muertos (Oct. 28) includes a spectacular alter, mariachi band and tributes in picturesque Old Town Square. 5 - Celebrate the harvest There is no shortage of local pumpkin patches and farms offering all sorts of fall fun: The Bartel’s Farm – Stop in for a huge selection of pumpkins, corn mazes, and hayrides. The Farm at Lee Martinez Park – Visit the farm animals and take a hayride. There’s also a pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect future jack-o-lantern. Northern Colorado Corn Maze – Jack Lantern’s Corn Maze is a Colorado favorite. Something from the Farm – This family-owned farm features an organic pumpkin patch, hay bale maze, hayrides, a pumpkin catapult, and more. Fritzler Farm Park – Located in nearby LaSalle, attractions at the farm include a corn maze, pumpkin patch, pedal go-carts, barrel train, pumpkin cannons, slide mountain, and more. Spooky’s Pumpkin Patch — Choose from a variety of pumpkins, gourds, carving kits, and even straw bales and corn stalks for your fall decorating needs at this patch, located on South College Avenue. Colorado native Caramie Petrowsky is a former daily newspaper arts and entertainment editor who loves exploring new places with her husband and their two children. As a CSU alum, Fort Collins holds an especially dear place in her heart.
North Lake Tahoe, CATahoe City Octoberfest - Courtesy of gotahoenorth.com Tahoe City is holding its Oktoberfest on Sept. 24. The free family-friendly event includes craft beer, live music, food, Bavarian-themed games and a craft village. Kids will be able to paint a free pumpkin, while supplies last. The event goes from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. The Made in Tahoe Festival is Oct. 8-9 at The Village at Palisades featuring all local artists. The festival will go from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and is free to attend. The Kentruckee Derby is Oct. 22 at the Truckee Community Recreation Center from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. The event is $100 and raises money for Truckee non-profits. The Tahoe Chocolate and Wine Festival is Nov. 6 at the Lone Eagle Grille at the Hyatt Regency from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $175.Orlando, FloridaDark Arts at Universal Orlando - Courtesy of Universal Orlando DARK ARTS AT HOGWARTS CASTLE -The darker side of magic comes to life this fall in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade at Universal Orlando Resort with the return of Death Eaters and the breathtaking experience “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” – a sinister spectacle of state-of-the-art projection mapping, special effects, lighting and more that brings awe-inspiring moments and creatures from the Harry Potter films to life on the majestic Hogwarts castle. “Dark Arts at Hogwarts Castle” will run select nights September 16 through October 31 from dusk until park close in Universal’s Islands of Adventure.Aurora, Colorado - DALÍ ALIVEDalí Alive © 2022 by The Salvador Dalí Museum, Inc. St. Petersburg, FL and Grande Experiences. Worldwide rights ©Salvador Dalí, Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dalí. Stanley Marketplace in Aurora, CO is the permanent location of its second U.S. digital art gallery and fourth worldwide, dubbed LUME Colorado. For the grand opening of LUME Colorado, Grande Experiences will present DALÍ ALIVE, an immersive, multi-sensory look into the artist’s life and work, in partnership with The Dalí Museum. The immersive experience will open on October 21, and tickets are available now. In addition to the new LUME Colorado and the world premiere DALÍ ALIVE show, Stanley Marketplace is a collective of 50+ independent, local restaurants, boutique shops, bars and more. To enhance the DALÍ ALIVE experience, many of the businesses will also present Dalí-inspired activations, from cocktails to menu items to books, gifts and more. Maine to Tennessee - Fall Color TrailCourtesy of Spacious Skies Campground Spacious Skies campground has created a 13 stop Fall Color Trail from Maine to Tennessee. They have created a new way for travelers to celebrate the East's famous fall foliage with a campground to campground route called the Fall Color Trail. The Trail showcases where to stay ansd when to move on to follow the months-long progression of fall color. Campers who make a reservation and stay at two or more Spacious Skies Campgrounds just need to refer to the promo code FALL13 to receive the discount.
A beach vacation is the perfect way to spend time as a family and is a great opportunity to reconnect and forget about the stresses life can bring. The combination of the sea and the sun is ideal for creating unforgettable memories you and your family can cherish forever. However, with over 1,000 beaches in the United States, it can be difficult to decide where to go. Florida alone, for example, has 189 beaches and 360 miles of coastline The Family Vacation Guide took a deep-dive into Instagram and Tripadvisor data to determine which beaches are the most beautiful, and which you absolutely cannot miss visiting. And it’s perhaps no surprise to learn that every single one of the country’s top 5 most beautiful beaches can be found in Florida.#5 Navarre Beach, FloridaNavarre Beach, Florida - Courtesy of visitflorida.com 8.37 beach beauty scoreNavarre, a compact beach community found just east of Pensacola at the far northwestern tip of Florida, beckons with 12 miles of pristine white shoreline. Nestled between Gulf Islands National Seashore and Navarre Beach Marine Park, this beach community offers solitude and simplicity. Its pristine beaches are named among the best in the nation year after year, and visitors compare crossing Navarre Bridge to transcending paradise time and time again. Relaxation is the main attraction in Navarre. Visitors can sun on the beach, swim in emerald waters, enjoy a picnic in the park or pedal along a scenic bike path.#4 St. Pete Beach, FloridaDon Cesar Resort on St. Pete Beach, Florida - Courtesy of doncesar.com 8.68 beach beauty scoreReady for a break? Kick back on the sandy white beaches of St. Pete, as the balmy waters of the Gulf of Mexico lap at your toes. With an average of 361 days of sunshine per year, St. Pete Beach is guaranteed to please. You can also find the architecturally and historically grand Don CeSar resort (Pink Palace - yes! it's really PINK) which is a must see! #3. Clearwater Beach, FloridaClearwater Beach, Florida - Istock/Morgan Somers 8.74 beach beauty scoreCompleting the top three Florida beaches is Clearwater Beach. This beach is a great place to go with the family. The amazing weather and white sandy beaches make it a wonderful option to explore. Its calm waters also make this beach a great place to jet ski or paddleboard, which could be a fantastic experience for you to share with your family.#2. Pensacola Beach, FloridaPensacola Beach, Florida 9.12 beach beauty scoreRunners-up on our list is Pensacola Beach, just eight miles along the coast. This beach in Florida also boasts beautiful sea and sand, which makes it a great place to make a sandcastle or two. After a busy day in the sun, you’ll want to put your head down on a comfy bed.#1. Panama City Beach, FloridaPanama City Beach - Istock/TerryKelly 9.52 beach beauty scorePanama City Beach has been crowned the most beautiful beach in the US. The mixture of white sand and blue clear water has this Florida beach topping our list, and after enjoying some of the best things to do in Panama City Beach with kids, you can round the day off with a phenomenal view of the sunset. This beach will certainly give you and your family that ‘wow’ factor. Methodology - To calculate which beach in the US can officially be crowned the most beautiful, they looked at Tripadvisor reviews and found the total number and percentage of reviews mentioning the word, ‘beautiful’. They also looked at how many times each beach had been hashtagged on Instagram, to create an overall score of how beautiful each beach is. To see the full rankings and article click here.