Clocking in at more than six million acres, Denali National Park could be a state by itself, but it's actually part of Alaska. Established as the first national park to conserve wildlife in 1917, the park has ranked among the best in America ever since. The park's biggest (literally) attraction is Mount McKinley, North America's tallest peak, which is where Denali National Park got the name. (Denali means "The High One.")
Wildlife photographers will have plenty of chances to snap shots of bears, moose, sheep, wolves, and caribu. Be sure to take precautions against bears—bear resistant food containers are required in the backcountry from mid-April through mid-October—and don't get too close to the wildlife.
Don't let snow and ice deter you from visiting Denali during the long winter season. Snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and even mushing (travel via sled dog) are all popular past-times in the park....read more»
This week, United launched its new top-of-the-line credit card, the MileagePlus Club card.
With an annual fee of $395, the card has to offer perks aplenty to justify its cost. It does:
- Full United Club airport-lounge membership
- Premier Access airport services (priority check-in, security, boarding, and baggage handling)
- Fees waived for the first and second checked bags
- No foreign transaction fees
- One-and-a-half miles per $1 spent (two miles for United tickets)
- Platinum status in Hyatt's Gold Passport program
- Close-in booking fees waived
- $95 statement credit after the first purchase
Feeling feisty? Better keep it to yourself if you're flying out of Newark, JFK, or LaGuardia. According to the NY Daily News, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is considering fining flyers for bad behavior.
So if you're asked to sit down, turn off your electronic devices, or just to be quiet—you better comply, because if you delay a flight, you're paying for it.
Enter Virgin America's "Class of 2,000,012" sweepstakes by April 6 for a chance to win one of 20 grand prizes of 100,000 Virgin America Elevate points each.
Unlike similar sweepstakes, there's a guaranteed payoff just for participating: All entrants receive 1,000 Elevate points.
Famous as a retreat for presidents and rich people, Martha's Vineyard has a bit of a snobby reputation. New Englanders, though, know that this island is just a good old relaxing getaway from the city, and an excellent weekend destination. It's the quintessential New England beach spot, featuring lighthouses, quaint shops, clay cliffs, and, of course, stellar seafood.
Leave the car behind and rent a bike for the weekend—there are plenty of scenic paths to explore, and you'll need to work off all the homemade ice cream anyway.
Be sure to get out on the water one way or another, be it via a private boat tour (surprisingly inexpensive for a few hours), kayaking, or just a swim. ...read more»
When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. When you watch the Game of Thrones on HBO, you just plain win. The hit series, based on George R.R. Martin's massively popular A Song of Ice and Fire novels, is that good. To celebrate its second-season premiere, we're taking you behind the scenes for a look at the filming locations used to bring this fantasy epic to life.
If the Azure Window, Tollymore Forest, and the Mourne Mountains sound like fictional places from Thrones' Seven Kingdoms, it may be time to brush up on your real-world geography: These fascinating places—and others spanning four countries and thousands of miles—were used by the production team to give the show's fantasy world its vivid lived-in feel.
Primary filming for seasons one and two occurred on a soundstage at Paint Hall Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland. But just as Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy used numerous locations in New Zealand to stand in for everything from Mordor to the Shire, the Game of Thrones team took advantage of Belfast and its environs to double for many different locations within Thrones' vast fantasy world.
Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge (Photo: iStockphoto)
In the first season of Game of Thrones, the nomadic Dothraki horse riders gather at a city called Vaes Dothrak, which is marked by two gigantic bronze stallions whose hooves meet midair to form an arch above its windswept entryway. The HBO production team "used a place called Sandy Brae in the Mourne Mountains of Northern Ireland to stand in for Vaes Dothrak," says Phil Bicking of the popular Game of Thrones website WinterIsComing.Net. Interestingly, the Mourne Mountains were once an inspiration for another famed fantasy epic, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis.
US Airways excutives are approaching American Airlines creditors with acquisition offers, according to various trade reports. This move is an end run around American's current managers, who say they don't want to talk merger or acquisition until they complete the bankruptcy process.
But US Airways is in a position to press for a quick deal, and creditors may be receptive.
Meanwhile, trade sources also say that IAG, the holding company for British Airways, would like to acquire American to prevent it from falling into unfavorable hands. American and British Airways have an important partnership, allowing the carriers to dominate routes between London and the U.S.; British Airways doesn't want to jeopardize that....read more»
Fans of the movie Mama Mia may recognize the island of Skopelos as the filming location for many of the Greek scenes. However, the island is not as popular on the Greek island circuit as ones like Mykonos, and so this one remains well off the tourist track.
There are 123 churches on this small island, as well as a number of monasteries. Walk or hike along the cliffs to explore them all. When you're ready for a dip, get a boat out to the waters that are part of the National Marine Park. Back on land, be sure to taste the locally produced cheese, fruit, and nuts here. Follow up dinner with a trip to a taverna, where you're likely to hear traditional Greek music known as "rembetika." ...read more»
Sometimes we come across a story that really gets our blood boiling, like Jaunted's piece on a congressman who wants to sell U.S. national parkland. Get the scoop on that, plus an op-ed in defense of the TSA, and an infographic of the 10 most popular cruise ships in our regular roundup of the juiciest travel stories of the week.
Arthur Frommer Stands up for the TSA
Here's something you don't hear every day: "Every time I am patted down, I am grateful for security agents who take their jobs seriously." Arthur Frommer takes a less-traveled approach to TSA bashing, which seems to be de rigueur in the media of late, on his blog. We'll admit it: We've found a fault or two with the TSA in our time, especially when they've gotten caught, say, giving a pat-down to a toddler in a wheelchair. But we also try to see things from the agency's point of view once in a while. For proof, read our recent Q&A....read more»