Archives For Travel

1. Vibrating shoe insoles that give you directions, sans map. (apartmenttherapy.com)

2. 16 mesmerizing gifs that will make you a mechanism expert. (lifehack.org)

3. Boarding passes that fit in your passport? YES. (buzzfeed.com)

4. Recently rediscovered—Andy Warhol’s digital drawings. (time.com)

5. Sushi slippers! (swiss-miss.com)

6. We can’t wait for Ellen’s show on HGTV. (variety.com)

7. Do happy people take happy photos? (ucsd.edu)

8. The yummiest natural body lotion. (sheamoisture.com)

9. Never underestimate the power of pets. (gawker.com)

10. 2014 Austin City Limits lineup! (aclfestival.com)

 

Portland, Maine, has played the part of the mythical Phoenix more than once. Leveled by the “Great Fire” of 1866, the facade of the buildings you see there today reflect the rebuilding efforts of the late 1800s.

Today, the city is once again reborn—this time as a mecca for artists, foodies, and makers of all sorts. Textile and furniture designer Angela Adams, design duo Wary Meyers, James Beard award winners Rob Evans and Sam Hayward, and author Annie Proulx all call Portland home.

Portland’s neighborhoods include the Arts District, where former department stores have been reimagined as galleries and boutiques, the historic waterfront of Old Port, and the East and West Ends of town. There are also the islands of Casco Bay, some of which are technically part of the city.

This 1900s home on Peaks Island, offered by Brianne O’Donnell of The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty, combines the history of the region with eclectic flair. Just 669 square feet, the completely remodeled home features a wood stove, indoor swing, colorful accents, and beachfront location for early morning surf sessions.

We love how the blend of old and new—from the concrete kitchen counters to the porthole window—captures the spirit of Portland. (And the view doesn’t hurt.)

Find more details about this property on Househappy.org.

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With spring break just around the corner, we’ve been dreaming of our ideal getaway. This contemporary villa in Spain tops the list. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if you booked a one-way ticket—and never looked back.

Situated near the shops, marina, and restaurants in Mallorca’s tony Puerto Portals, this architect-designed home offers two floors of spacious living areas. The ground floor includes four bedrooms and three bathrooms, as well as a studio/library. The first floor features a Bulthaup kitchen and generous indoor-outdoor living spaces with sweeping views of the Mediterranean. Details and finishes were all thoughtfully sourced, from Italian lighting to a Jacuzzi with a self-cleaning, saltwater electrolysis system.

Costa D’En Blanes is listed by Maria Vega and is on the market for $4,736,771.

Find more details about this property on Househappy.org.

If the world was a popularity contest, France would be winning! According to this infographic created by MoveHub, France has surpassed the United States as the most visited country in the world with 81,400,000 annual visitors. Rounding out the top 10 is, in order, China, Spain, Italy, Turkey, the United Kingdom, Germany, the Russian Federation, and Malaysia.

most-popular-countries-1000px-1

Source: MoveHub

Are you getting tired of the winter weather? Wouldn’t you rather be enjoying a sunny, ocean-front property with a breathtaking view? Fortunately, we’ve compiled some of the world’s most beautiful beach houses to get you through the rest of those cold days:

Photos: MSN Travel, Australian Traveler, DesignRulz, Trendir, Ideasgn, DigsDigs. 

Valentine’s Day is coming up tomorrow and love is in the air! If you’re looking for a last minute travel destination, consider checking out one of these Top 10 romantic cities selected by Livability.

10. Hot Springs, Arkansas––Once a popular destination for gangsters like Al Capone, Hot Springs has scenery, restaurants, antique shops, spas, and hiking. Hot spots include historic Bathhouse Row, the Grand Promenade, and Hot Springs National Park.

9. Coral Gables, Florida––A suburb of Miami, “The City Beautiful” is known for its wide avenues, green spaces, monumental buildings, and ornate plazas. For a romantic destination try the Venetian Pool with its crystal blue water, waterfalls, and cave-like grottos for couples to hide away.

8. Cambridge, Massachusetts––This enchanting city is home to two top tier universities, historic mansions, tons of bookstores, and a dynamic art scene. Take a stroll along the Charles River or take your date to one of the many music clubs, theaters, museums, and art galleries in historic downtown.

7. Savannah, Georgia––Imagine taking a horse drawn carriage ride through cobblestone streets lined with Victorian architecture, past fountains and trees draped with Spanish moss. What could be more romantic?

6. Kansas City, Missouri––Filled with Old-World architecture, Kansas City’s growing collection of performance venues, museums, shopping, sports attractions, and eclectic eateries is perfect for date night.

5. Santa Fe, New Mexico––Explore the Adobe buildings dating back to the late 1600s, the red mountains and green valleys, nearby vineyards, ancient Indian ruins, and traditional pueblos. As far as dining options, fresh takes on traditional foods and inventive uses of the chile pepper landed Santa Fe among the country’s best food cities.

4. Charlottesville, Virginia––Mountain views, historic architecture, sophisticated restaurants, and a thriving performing arts scene––what more could you want? Highlights include the Downtown Mall, Main Street Arena, and the Foxfield Inn, complete with in-room Jacuzzis!

3. Bend, Oregon––With a range of surroundings including high desert, pine forest, snowy mountain peaks, and cascading rivers, Bend is the perfect romantic getaway for couples who love the outdoors.

2. Napa, California––Wine country. Need we say more?

1. Scottsdale, Arizona––This town has a little bit of everything from spas to restaurants to night clubs. For the ultimate in romance, take a sunset hot air balloon ride over the legume trees and columnar cacti of the Sonoran Desert.

This article can be found in its original form on Livability

Photo: Napa, California via Millwood Inn

The New York Times has published their list of 52 places to travel in 2014. Here are the top 10:

Table Mountain and Cape Town, Samantha Reinders via The New York Times

1. Cape Town, South Africa

“We often looked across Table Bay at the magnificent silhouette of Table Mountain,” Nelson Mandela once said in a speech. “To us on Robben Island, Table Mountain was a beacon of hope. It represented the mainland to which we knew we would one day return.”

Cape Town has changed significantly since Mandela’s incarceration at Robben Island Prison, but the city continues to inspire people as it has become one of the world’s leading hubs for design in all forms––fashion, architecture, visual arts, and community development.

Transitional church by the architect Shigeru Ban, Emma Smales/VIEW via Newscom

2. Christ Church, New Zealand 

Three years after two large earthquakes devastated central Christchurch, the city is once again welcoming tourists. Though much of the city still needs to be rebuilt, entrepreneurs and volunteers have found creative ways to bring it back to life. Innovative projects like an open-air performance space on blue pallets, a dance floor with coin-operated music and lights, temporary gardens, and a nine-hole mini-golf course in vacant lots across the city, have shown how good old-fashioned ingenuity can help revive a city in need.

A rocky coastal view from the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands, Jim Wilson via The New York Times

3. North Coast, California

The incorporation of the Point Arena-Stornetta Public Lands gives the public access to an additional 1,300 acres of Northern California coastline. New Congressional proposals to include this land as part of the California Coastal National Monument means this 12 mile stretch of wildflowers, cypress forests, cliff areas, pinnacles, and sea caves, will be better protected and preserved.

Kayaking near Porto Palermo, Albania, via Mustafah Abdulaziz

4. Albanian Coast

With limestone-ringed beaches, ancient ruins, and waterfront inns, the Albanian coast is one of Europe’s most beautiful sights. Though threatened by post-Communism development, a new government took office in September under the promise of maintaining the coastline’s natural beauty.

Lunchtime diners at the Grand Central Market, Monica Almeida via The New York Times

5. Downtown Los Angeles

The growing food scene has revived the once seemingly lifeless reputation of downtown Los Angeles. From Grand Central Market (an arcade of over 30 of the city’s best food vendors) to Alma (recently named best new restaurant in the country by Bon Appétit magazine), the insurgence of vibrant cuisine has only encouraged an influx of broader culture.

Desert Rhino Camp, run in part by Wilderness Safaris, in 2009; Olwen Evans via Wilderness Safaris

6. Namibia

In 2013, Namibia’s 79 conservancies received the World Wildlife Fund’s prestigious Gift to the Earth Award, marking the success of the movement to pair sustainable tourism with rural community outreach. From the Desert Rhino camp to the Hoanib Skeleton Coast camp, there are now more options than ever for preservation-conscious travelers to enjoy Namibia’s culture and wildlife.

Cotopaxi Volcano rises above Cotopaxi National Park, Ivan Kashinsky via The New York Times

7. Ecuador

Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world with over 1,600 species of birds, 4,000 kinds of orchids, one of the largest condor shelters on the planet, and a huge percentage of protected land. Now, thanks to the refurbished Tren Curcero, travelers can take a train ride through the mountains of the Andes, past volcanoes, into Cotopaxi National Park, through the countryside, and arrive in the city of Guayaquil––all in four days.

Exploring Son Doong Cave, Carsten Peter/National Geographic via Getty Images

8. Quang Binh, Vietnam

Quang Binh is home to Son Doong, one of the world’s largest caves. Only recently open to the public, adventurous travelers can check out the huge shafts of light, forests of 100-foot-tall trees, caverns large enough to hold 40-story skyscrapers, 260-foot stalactites, and wildlife including monkeys, hornbills, and flying foxes.

Playing in the “Water Labyrinth,” created by the artist Jeppe Hein, in Perth; David Dare Parker via The New York Times

9. Perth, Australia

Formerly known as the laid-back capital of western Australia, Perth has more recently become one of the country’s trendiest cities. From regional wine lists and hip restaurants with celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver, to up-and-coming neighborhoods like Mount Lawley and Northbridge, Australia’s fourth-largest city is becoming a cultural destination in its own right.

Looking across at the complex that houses the nhow hotel, Robin Van Lonkhuijsen/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images

10. Rotterdam, the Netherlands

The cubed architecture of Rotterdam’s post-World War II reconstruction has given this port city one of the most modern looking skylines in Europe. New additions like the redesign of Rotterdam Centraal train station, the renovated Kunsthal museim, a new François Geurds restaurant, the arch of the Markthal (the country’s first indoor food haul), and the latest Rem Koolhaas designed hotel, will only serve to amplify Rotterdam’s architectural reputation in 2014.

To view the complete list, visit the New York Times