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April 27, 2011

Top Ten Destination Wedding Locales

By awayblog

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Now is the time of year when your bills start to get edged out of the mailbox by wedding invites. If you're the one doing the lick and seal, we suggest you skip the hoopla and consider a destination wedding—just you, your betrothed, and the sand and surf. Don't let the logistics get the best of you. Here we straighten it all out and guide you through our top ten favorite destination wedding locations.

10. Palau
Logistics in planning a Palau shindig aren't as difficult as you may think. Continental Airlines flies to Palau out of Houston and Los Angeles, connecting in Honolulu and Guam. And your guests can book a stay at the five-star Palau Pacific Resort, where a wedding package will cost you a mere $2,500 and include nearly everything you need to get married in style, such as floral arrangements, champagne, the marriage certificate, and a wedding coordinator.

Palau Travel Guide

9. Coastal Maine
Comprising a fleet of a dozen turn-of-the-century sailing ships, Maine's Windjammer cruises offers the perfect alternative venue for the couple who wants something different by way of a destination wedding. Get married by a licensed captain atop the Atlantic Ocean while your closest friends and family cluster around you.

Maine Travel Guide

Continue reading "Top Ten Destination Wedding Locales" »

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April 25, 2011

Spring Travel: Going Out to The Old Ballgame

Fenway Park at night (Great Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau)

This time of year, I forget everything about sports except what's happening on the diamond. LeBron and D-Wade tearing through the NBA Playoffs? Yawn. Bone-crunching games en route to hockey's Stanley Cup Playoffs? Meh. But the first of the 162-game baseball season... now there's something to see, even if you have to see it buried under the tarp in a cold, rainy East Coast city that has barely realized it's spring. 

For me, baseball is a travel event. The stadiums, the fans, the ballpark food, it's different everywhere you go. I've watched the sun set on the Rocky Mountains at Coors Field, clapped noise-maker sticks in Chavez Ravine at Dodger Stadium, and bravely donned a Red Sox cap to the new Yankee stadium. I've been to domes too, but prefer being outside in the elements, under the lights, in the nosebleed seats trying to start the wave with a bunch of strangers. Last weekend, I signed up for the MLB package so I could watch Red Sox games at home. Famed NESN announcer Jerry Remy was describing his first visit to Fenway, about how seeing the game in color instead of on a black-and-white TV nearly knocked him down. For all our broadband and HDTV, that feeling still hasn't changed for me.'s Top Ten Baseball Stadiums. What's yours?

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February 24, 2011

Top Ten Movies of 2010: The Best in Travel

Chesler Park
Canyonlands National Park, the setting for our #2 pick (Corel)

The best films transport you to a place that you've never been, or perhaps yearn to relive. And each year, as the Academy recognizes its favorites, we pause to look back at those films in 2010 that best evoked a sense of place on the big screen. 

10. The Ghost Writer
This film posed an interesting challenge for director Roman Polanski: the bulk of the narrative takes place in Martha’s Vineyard, where the former British Prime Minister is hiding out while finishing his memoirs. But with Polanski in exile from both the United States and London (where parts of the film also take place), the movie was mostly shot on the island of Usedom, Germany. This locale in the Baltic Sea—a geographic world away from where it's supposed to occur—still perfectly conveys the windswept environs of the Massachusetts island, but also imbues the film with an ominous specter that perfectly complements the film’s title.

Continue reading "Top Ten Movies of 2010: The Best in Travel" »

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January 10, 2011

Top Ten Most Interesting Prisons

By awayblog

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Château d'If_Marseille_France_Mediterranean_Sea(Sami Sarkis, Photographer's Choice, Getty)
Château d'If off the coast of Marseille, France (Sami Sarkis)

Though not always the best place to find yourself on a Saturday night, prisons are fascinating places to visit (and be free to leave), drawing millions of tourists each year. Perhaps it's the intrigue of the unknown or the slight glimpse visitors get into a life they have never known (and hopefully will never know) that makes the prison tour a highlight on an itinerary. Here is our list of the Top Ten Most Fascinating Prisons:

10. Robben Island, South Africa
Off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, this isolated island, with its largest side barely two miles long, held some of the most notable political and religious leaders of the Apartheid era, including former South African President Nelson Mandela.

9. Supermax, Colorado
The United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility in Florence, Colorado, is ranked as the highest level of security a prison can have; this Supermax is the bee's knees of prisoner playgrounds.

8. Cebu Center, Philippines
The Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in Cebu, Philippines, harbors some of the Philippines' most dangerous thieves, murderers, rapists, and smooth-moving fellas west of the Cebu Strait. With inspiration straight from the movie The Shawshank Redemption, the prison warden felt like music and exercise needed to be integrated into the daily routine of pacing behind bars.

Continue reading "Top Ten Most Interesting Prisons" »

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August 10, 2010

Top Ten Tribute to Tourist Tack

By Lacy Morris

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Wall of Sombreros (Wikipedia)

1. The Sombrero
In Spanish it means "hat with a brim," which is exactly what it is. If Mexico had a theme song, and a music video was created, the background dancers would most likely be wearing sombreros. Initially devised to protect horse riders from the sweltering rays of the sun, it is now a staple wardrobe piece for embarrassing dads, drunken college students, and the men hired by mega-resorts to play "authentic" mariachi-band music for the hotel guests. Sombrero land, commonly called the Mexico border, is a beehive of brims—go all out and get a pom-pom edged beauty, or stay classy with a felt, intricately decorated one, typically worn by the more wealthy sombrero-lovers of yore.

Modern Day Gem: The Seattle Sombrero at Cabela's

I_heart_NY 2. I Heart New York T-shirt
Duplicated by many, worn seemingly only by tourists, and hated by most every legit New Yorker: the I Heart New York T-shirt. It can be seen everywhere throughout the city from billboards to bumper stickers, socks to earrings. The logo is the brainchild of a man named Milton Glaser, a graphic designer born and raised in, you guessed it, New York City. He has helped redesign the covers of  Fortune, Time Magazine, and the Washington Post. Milton created the logo in the mid 70s for the New York State Tourism Department and it has since become a pop-culture phenom with kudos given by Apple, Madonna, and the Red Cross.

Can't make it to the Big Apple? Buy online. Pink hoodies, umbrellas, baby rompers—you name it!

Continue reading "Top Ten Tribute to Tourist Tack" »

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July 13, 2010

Away's Top Ten Mountain Resorts for Summer Fun

By awayblog

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Mountain Biking
Mountain biking trails abound at Deer Valley Resort, Utah. Don’t worry, they’re not all this extreme! (Deer Valley Resort)

If you're like most American families, summer vacation usually means you're heading to the beach, amusement park, or maybe even a big-city adventure. But don't overlook the fun waiting to be had at four-season mountain resorts from coast to coast. After the snow melts and skiing is no longer an option, these resorts transform into family-friendly summer playgrounds. From kid camps to watersports to hiking to spas, there is something to do for every member of your family. And whether or not you choose to stay at the resort, most activities can still be enjoyed by non-guests. These top ten mountain resort destinations were selected not only for their plethora of activities, but also for their convenient locations throughout the country and plentiful, affordable lodging nearby.

10. Whiteface-Lake Placid, New York

9. Seven Springs Resort, Pennsylvania

8. Massanutten Resort, Virginia 

7. Boyne Country, Michigan

6. Deer Valley Resort, Utah

5. Smugglers' Notch Resort, Vermont

4. Winter Park Resort, Colorado

3. Big Sky Resort, Montana

2. Sunday River Resort, Maine

1. Northstar-at-Tahoe Resort, California


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June 23, 2010

Summer Flings: Away's Top Ten Dude Ranches

By awayblog

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Mcginnis-dude-ranch_Libby,Montana(Mcginnia Meadows Cattle and Guest Ranch)
McGinnis Dude Ranch, Libby, Montana (McGinnis Meadows Cattle and Guest Ranch)

Location, location, location. It's hard to experience the real western heritage of a dude ranch vacation without actually traveling to terrain that exhibits "Real West" attributes. High mountain meadows and lakes with rippling creeks; Rocky Mountain vistas, sweeping plains; dusty desert trails; cactus, pines, aspens, and fir trees; wildlife and rangelife. A true West environment is all part of the rustic recipe of a complete dude ranch vacation. Here we highlight some of the best ranches west of the Mississippi that offer an all-inclusive week vacation. All feature horseback riding as the main entrée, but there's a lot more on the menu to entertain your palate.

Continue reading "Summer Flings: Away's Top Ten Dude Ranches" »

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June 04, 2010

Top 10 Soccer Cities in the World

By awayblog

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FIELD OF DREAMS: Barcelona's Camp Nou (Wikimedia)

In just one week, the world's eyes will be fixed on South Africa for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the first time the quadrennial football/soccer event has been hosted on the African continent. And that's a lot of eyes—an estimated 1.5 billion people tuned in to watch the final game of the 2006 tournament—a testament to the global appeal of the "beautiful game." To celebrate this year's running of the event, presents its totally opinionated list of the world's ten best soccer cities, where the game is part of the city's cultural DNA. Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments section.

10. Munich, Germany
9. Mexico City, Mexico
8. Glasgow, Scotland
7. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
6. Rome, Italy
5. London, England
4. Buenos Aires, Argentina
3. Madrid, Spain
2. Milan, Italy
1. Barcelona, Spain

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Related Topics: 2010 World Cup · Africa Travel · Top 10 Lists

March 25, 2010

Top Ten College Towns

By awayblog

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Ithaca Commons, Summer(Downtown Partnership-IthacaCVB)
Students stroll Ithaca Commons, a downtown shopping district in Ithaca, New York (Downtown Partnership/Ithaca Convention and Visitors Bureau)

Every so often, an intoxicating combination of American spirit, extreme natural beauty, and youthful charisma charms a town into being a haven for indubitable good times. Earthy Athens, Georgia, and its musical roots are evident in the town's beloved 40 Watt Club, where people gather for live shows almost every night of the week. For an outdoors paradise, head to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where waterfalls, suspension bridges, and four state parks are enough to keep even the most extreme outdoorsman satisfied. Head out West, where Boulder, Colorado, residents have some of the most mouthwatering sub shops, can enjoy a plethora of local-brewsky serving breweries, and are only a short carpool (it's all about the environment here) ride away from the Rocky Mountains. Whether it be the surrounding rivers, lakes, and mountains; the first-class cuisine; or an extreme devotion to their hometown football team, these top ten college towns have that special something that makes magic…magic.

10. Athens, Georgia
University of Georgia

9. Oxford, Mississippi
University of Mississippi

8. Ithaca, New York
Cornell University and Ithaca College

7. Amherst, Massachusetts
University of Massachusetts, Amherst College, and Hampshire College

6. Ann Arbor, Michigan
University of Michigan

5. Madison, Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin

4. Boulder, Colorado
University of Boulder

3. Iowa City, Iowa
University of Iowa

2. Davis, California
University of California

1. Eugene, Oregon
University of Oregon

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February 26, 2010

Top Ten Ways to Survive Winter's Last Blast

By awayblog

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Bourbon St, Richard Nowitz_New Orleans CVB
Sample Seafood Gumbo on New Orleans' Bourbon Street (Richard Nowitz/New Orleans CVB)

Here, our survival tips and perfect trips for riding out the remaining winter season in style.

10. Hit the Hot Springs

9. Take a Cold Water Dip

8. Head for the Red

7. Get Festive

6. Engage in a Little Light Therapy

5. Cave in and Get Pampered

4. Feed a Cold

3. Get Outta Dodge and Go Urban

2. Go Green

1. If You Can't Beat 'Em...

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