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Your dream trip to Chile mapped out

Detroit: our new favorite food city

 Explore every day 

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BEST IN TRAVEL

INSPIRING PLACES TO SEE IN 2018

Lake Pehoé in Chile's Torres del Paine National Park

Winter escapes to Iceland, Japan & more


Contents Winter 2017 / Volume 3 / Number 4

Features

p. 38 Look for the Best in Travel logo for more on our favorite destinations for 2018.

Best in Travel

After months of exploring the globe and weeks of friendly debate, our travel gurus share their top recommendations for 2018.

p. 54

Ice and Fire in the Japanese Alps Secluded onsens, fiery festivals and snow-dusted monkeys: the Japanese Alps are where tradition and nature rule.

p. 66

Uno Más Por Favor Spicy tacos, satisfying soups and refreshing agua fresca: Mexican chefs are taking south-of-the-border cuisine to a whole new level. And we have the recipes.

p. 74

Legends of West Iceland

Searching for the legends of the huldufólk along Iceland’s stark western coast.

p. 85 Great Escape /

Chile Chile’s slender shape yields a variety of experiences: sawtooth horizons, a seaside town that inspired the country’s most famous poet, a mysteriously energetic wine region, and a desert known as the driest on earth.

p. 97 The Photographer’s Story /

Jersey Shore

// Shirakawa-go, Japan

All prices correct at press time. Prices for hotel rooms are for double, en suite rooms in low season, unless otherwise stated. Flight prices are for the least expensive round-trip ticket.

PHILIP LEE HARVEY

The seaside resorts of Southern New Jersey evoke another age.


Contents Winter 2017 / Volume 3 / Number 4

Postcards p. 12

Reader images: surfers in Oman and more.

Globetrotter p. 15 Travel News Happenings, openings and discoveries around the globe. Insider Knowledge 70 percent of the earth is covered in water. Here’s how to see it – from beneath the surface. Amazing Places to Stay Winter goals: ditch civilization, turn off email notifications and relax. Travel Icon Brooklyn Bridge.

Easy Trips p. 33

Ideas for winter trips to Fairbanks (yes, Fairbanks), Belize, Snowmass and Sarasota.

Top Picks Guides p. 102

Paris / Food Miami / Art deco NY / Vintage sights

// Cover Photo: Jonathan Gregson

p. 36 Birch trees in Snowmass, Colorado

Meet a Traveler p. 112

An interview with lovebirds Mike and Anne Howard about their six-years-and-counting worldwide honeymoon.

p. 20

7 New Ways How to make the most of a trip to New Orleans. Olympics Logos Through the Years A look at some of our Winter Games favorites. Gear The art of packing light.

DESTINATION INDEX Australia Brisbane / 48 Canberra / 50 Belgium Antwerp / 51 Belize / 35 Bolivia La Paz / 43 Brazil Bahia / 47 Canada Fogo Island, Newfoundland / 20 Canary Islands Lanzarote / 43 Chile / 39 Atacama Desert / 94

Candlewood Cabins in Wisconsin

Elqui / 90 Torres del Paine National Park / 86 Valparaiso / 88 China / 42 Hunan / 43 Djibouti / 40 Dominican Republic Los Haitises National Park / 47 Estonia Tallin / 43 France Languedoc– Roussillon / 44 Paris / 103 Georgia / 41 Germany Hamburg / 51

Pies from Detroit’s Sister Pie bakery, clockwise from top: the banana Pete, blueberry plum balsamic, ginger peach and salted maple

p. 24

Iceland / 74 India Lahaul–Spiti / 46 Italy Emilia–Romagna / 48 Matera / 52 Japan Japanese Alps / 54 Kii Peninula / 45 Kyoto / 48 Malta / 41 Mauritius / 42 Mexico / 48, 66 Baja California / 43 Guanajuato / 53 Morocco Essaouira / 43 Namibia / 48 The Netherlands

Amsterdam / 48 New Zealand / 41 Northern Ireland / 44 Norway / 48 Oslo / 53 Oman / 48 Wahiba Sands / 12 Poland / 43 Portugal / 40 Puerto Rico San Juan / 53 Scotland Orkney / 48 Sicily Aeolian Islands / 46 Slovenia / 45 South Africa / 42 South Korea / 40 Pyeongchang / 29

Spain Seville / 49 Taiwan Kaohsiung / 51 United Kingdom / 43 United States Alabama Montgomery / 46 Alaska / 45 Fairbanks / 34 Arizona / 43 Colorado Snowmass / 36 Florida Jacksonville / 43 Miami / 107 Sarasota /37 Georgia Atlanta / 46

Louisiana New Orleans / 28 , 46 Michigan Detroit / 26, 50 New Jersey the Wildwoods / 97 New York New York / 23, 109 Tennessee Nashville / 48 Utah Canyon Point / 20 Washington Winthrop / 20 Wisconsin Richland Center / 20

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: MITCHELL CLINE/GETTY IMAGES; STEVE & ANNE TRUPPE; CHRISTINA HUSSEY

A Taste of Detroit Lisa Ludwinski of Sister Pie bakery on what to see, eat and do in the Motor City.


Editor’s Note

@peter_grunert @petervg73

Spoiler alert: the No. 1 country in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 is . . . Chile! We’re celebrating this slender slice of South America, from its ice-shrouded lower tip to the Atacama Desert – the world’s driest nonpolar place – in the distant north. The nation’s wildness courses throughout its 2,653-mile length, but read our Best in Travel (p. 38) and Great Escape (p. 85) features to learn why it’s becoming more accessible than ever before. Chile’s character lies encoded, in a sense, within the DNA of the magazine you’re reading. Nine years ago I was trusted with launching Lonely Planet’s international network of magazines, now 12 strong and published in countries as diverse as India and the U.S., China and the U.K. Lonely Planet was already the world’s biggest guidebook publisher, famous for telling it like it is about the destinations its readers had chosen to travel to. My task was to inspire more readers to travel in the first place, to stretch their horizons and feed their passion for travel through our pages. In mapping out the magazine’s approach, I was deeply influenced by a book called In Patagonia. Written by author Bruce Chatwin, this brief 260-page travel book has 97 quick-fire chapters, in theory following in the footsteps

of past adventurers – among them Butch Cassidy and Charles Darwin – to this southernmost region of Chile and Argentina. In practice, it was an opportunity to give local people met along the way a chance to describe the eerie, bewitching land they’ve made home. Chatwin said traveling through Patagonia was “the most jaw-dropping experience because everywhere you’d turn up, there, sure enough, was this somewhat eccentric personality who had this fantastic story. At every place I came to it wasn’t a question of hunting for the story, it was a question of the story coming at you.” I can’t tell you how much pleasure it gives me to cover Chile – and especially Patagonia – in our Best in Travel issue, and to continue to follow the tradition of showcasing the views of the local people who always keep “the story coming at you.” Peter Grunert, Group Editor

From the Staff

Alexander Howard

Managing Editor “Insider Knowledge” p. 19

I recently transitioned from Lonely Planet’s destination editor for the Western U.S. and Canada, a job that had me, between stints in the office, herding buffalo in South Dakota, piloting an aerobatic plane in Las Vegas and gazing at the turquoise lakes of Banff National Park. I’m excited to start work as managing editor of this magazine and continue to share my travel passions with Lonely Planet’s readers.

Bailey Freeman

Destination Editor “Belize: Caribbean Cool” p. 35

Working on Lonely Planet’s Caribbean and Central American content is an incredible privilege. These magnificent regions combine dynamic culture with dramatic vistas. They are destinations that capture your heart and leave you daydreaming long after you’ve returned home. Belize wraps the best of both these regions into a pint-sized package; winter is when Belize shines (literally), so go find your adventure in Central America’s Caribbean paradise.

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Globetrotter A WORLD OF TRAVEL TRENDS & DISCOVERIES

Contemporary yet cozy: settle in for a stay at Fogo Island Inn, a striking lodge off the coast of Newfoundland.

COURTESY OF FOGO ISLAND INN

p. 20


TRAVEL THROUGH THE AGES

Travel News

LOOKING BACK ON NYC BEAUTIFUL SPACES

New home-rental site PlansMatter is catering to travelers who want to stay in architecturally significant modern properties. Founded by architects Connie Lindor and Scott Muellner, the site, which works similarly to Airbnb, has worldwide listings designed by renowned architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright and Rudolph Schindler. Among the listings are vacation retreats in the U.S., Canada, Switzerland, Sri Lanka and Portugal as well as hotels in South America. // plansmatter.com

Caribbean remains resilient in spite of destructive hurricane season

In September, back-to-back hurricanes tore through the Caribbean, leaving a path of destruction in their wake. Reports of near-total destruction appeared in news headlines, and messages of heartbreak and support were swift. Some islands could possibly take years to rebuild,

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A mesmerizing look into New York’s past is now available online. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation website has an online library of photos from throughout New York’s history, including images from East Village artist and photographer Carole Teller. Beginning in the early 1960s, Teller documented everyday scenes in the city, such as the downtown skyline in the ’60s and street vendors selling chickens on Canal Street in the ’80s. // archive.gvshp.org

How you can help but others bounced back quickly. Much of the Caribbean relies on tourism as an economic driver, and some islands will benefit from seeing more visitors. Our destination editors provide up-todate information on lonelyplanet.com, our Thorn Tree online forums and social media.

CRUISE THROUGH HISTORY ARMY ON THE MOVE Through March 4, visitors at Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute can explore the mysteries of China’s legendary Terracotta Army. Ten of the life-size clay figures, which date back to 210 BC and formed part of a mausoleum for China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huang, are on display during the science museum’s “Terracotta Warriors of the First Emperor” exhibit. Also featured are gold ornaments, weapons, jade pieces and other artifacts. // $35; fi.edu

Historically important sites of the American Revolution are ports of call on a new 11-day cruise along the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia. Beginning in April, guests can set sail from Baltimore on the American Constitution cruise ship, bound for a variety of destinations, including Yorktown, where they can travel to the last battlefield of the war. // From $6,080 per person, with sailings from April 2018; american cruiselines.com

GlobalGiving – a global crowdfunding community that has relief funds for hurricane-affected areas. globalgiving.org United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) – a humanitarian and developmental program that provides aid to children in developing countries. unicef.org The Center for Disaster Philanthropy – an organization that helps donors make thoughtful contributions. disasterphilanthropy.org

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: GREENWICH VILLAGE SOCIETY FOR HISTORIC PRESERVATION IMAGE ARCHIVE DORIS DIETHER COLLECTION; GRANT FAINT/GETTY IMAGES; DEA PICTURE LIBRARY/GETTY IMAGES; COURTESY OF PLANSMATTER

Globetrotter


»FOR MORE, VISIT LONELYPLANET.COM/NEWS

High Rolling Come spring, Silver Dollar City, the 1880s Ozark Mountain-themed amusement park in Branson, Missouri, will premiere its new Time Traveler coaster. The 100-foot-tall thrill ride will make a 90-degree, 10-story plunge, top 50 mph and turn riders upside down three times. // silverdollarcity.com

HEALING HOTEL

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: JOHN DUARTE/GETTY IMAGES; KIM SMITH PHOTO; FRED MORLEY/GETTY IMAGES

Happy Camping in California Longing to go rock climbing, horseback riding or hiking in California? A new reservation system can help turn those travel dreams into reality. ReserveCalifornia.com allows visitors to book campsites and lodging, with more than 100 parks currently available and 41 campsites to be added by March. In addition to arranging state park recreational activities, you can book a tour of the historic Hearst Castle on California’s Central Coast.

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PLACES TO CELEBRATE WILLEMSTAD’S WORLD HERITAGE ANNIVERSARY

Buffalo, New York’s 88-room Hotel Henry Urban Resort Conference Center should satisfy travelers who enjoy hotels with a unique history. The former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, built in the 1870s, has been transformed and now sees guests staying in what once were patients’ rooms. The asylum’s first doctor-in-charge, Dr. Thomas Story Kirkbride, believed light-filled, spacious surroundings helped people heal, and his ideas led to the construction of hundreds of architecturally interesting asylums across the U.S. in the 19th century. // hotelhenry.com

MISSED THE U.S. SOLAR ECLIPSE? Here are your next chances

»THE SOLAR ECLIPSE OF 2017 WAS THE CELESTIAL EVENT OF THE YEAR, BREEDING A NEW GENERATION OF “ECLIPSE CHASERS” WHO’LL TRAVEL IN SEARCH OF THE NEXT HEAVENLY ALIGNMENT. HERE ARE THE BEST PLACES TO SEE THE NEXT SOLAR ECLIPSES.

JULY 2, 2019

APRIL 8, 2024

Buenos Aires, Argentina Watch the eclipse at sunset in this city of European and Latin heritage. Atacama Desert, Chile While not in the path of totality, the clear desert skies will offer your best chance of seeing a partial eclipse.

Austin, Texas The Live Music Capital of the World lies just on the edge of totality. Carbondale, Illinois Making its second appearance in the path of totality in under a decade, Carbondale knows how to throw an eclipse party.

»

ON DECEMBER 4, 2017, WILLEMSTAD, CURAÇAO'S TECHNICOLOR CAPITAL, WILL MARK 20 YEARS SINCE IT WAS DESIGNATED A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE. HERE ARE SOME OF THE BEST WAYS TO CELEBRATE.

1 Shop local art on

2 Explore colorful

3 Feel the Thursday

4 Tour the new West

5 Celebrate Carnival.

Middenstraat.

colonial districts.

Punda Vibes.

Scharloo.

A growing arts community has taken root on Middenstraat, and galleries stock one-of-a-kind items made by local artists.

Spend an afternoon strolling past the architecture of the city’s historic districts.

Every Thursday an al fresco party kicks off in the Punda district, with folkloric dancers, marching bands and lots more.

Once a derelict area, this corner of Willemstad is now a lively, art-centric neighborhood.

Arguably the Caribbean’s biggest party, Carnival comes to Willemstad in February. Start planning now.

Research provided by Lonely Planet writer LEBAWIT GIRMA

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Globetrotter

Scuba Diving for Beginners » IF COMMON INTERESTS MAKE GOOD MARRIAGES, THEN SCUBA DIVING WAS THE PERFECT ACTIVITY FOR THE OCCASIONALLY DISPARATE TRAVEL TASTES OF LONELY PLANET MANAGING EDITOR ALEXANDER HOWARD AND HIS WIFE, DANIELLE (PICTURED ABOVE). HERE HOWARD SHARES HIS TIPS FOR GETTING INTO SCUBA DIVING. BUT FINDING THE PERFECT DIVE BUDDY? THAT’S UP TO YOU.

» HERE’S A RUNDOWN OF THE BASIC DIVING KIT.

Build a basic kit. At minimum, you’ll need a mask, a snorkel and fins. Dive operators often have these available for rent, but owning your own gear means you’ll be more comfortable in the water.

Buoyancy control device (BCD) – Inflatable vest that aids in buoyancy. Most come with weight pockets for additional stability.

Wetsuit – For anything colder than 85°F, you’ll want a wetsuit. They come in a variety of thicknesses, colors and styles.

INSIDER KNOWLEDGE

GET IN GEAR

My idea of adventure travel AN ACTIVITY THAT hasn’t always aligned with my wife’s preferences. She’s a traveler SATISFIED MY of the refined sort, preferring a tour of Edinburgh’s historic closes, PERHAPS UNHEALTHY gazing at Balinese temples, or TOLERANCE FOR RISK sampling the latest foodie trend to take over Manhattan. I, on the other AND COMPLEMENTED hand, am a foolhardy traveler, pleased to get lost in back alleys, HER ABILITIES IN ride cliff-hugging bike trails or head THE WATER out on multiday camping trips. This was why I jumped at the chance when Danielle suggested that we take up scuba diving, an activity that satisfied my perhaps unhealthy tolerance for risk and 1 complemented her abilities in the water (which Try a discovery dive. have been significant since her days on the high Provided at most school swim team). Plus, it was a new skill we dive centers and could learn together. resorts, discovery So two years ago we began our training dives, dives offer the determining our BCDs from our SPGs, studying chance to try a dive dive tables and learning how to communicate or two under the underwater. We received our Open Water Diver close supervision certification after a weekend of coursework and of an instructor. dive training. On our most recent dive trip – to Bali, Indonesia 3 – we got our Advanced Open Water certification, Learn locally. allowing us to dive to deeper, more complex Most towns in the sites. The evening after our last dive, where we’d U.S. have local dive spotted a sea turtle lazily munching on seaweed classes where you and drifted over what felt like miles of dazzling learn in a pool or a coral, we shared a coconut and watched the quarry. Professional sunset. We had something to agree on. Now every associations such vacation discussion is followed by the question as PADI (padi.com) “Can we dive there?” maintain a network of local diving schools.

Mask + snorkel – Look for a comfortable fit: the mask should stick to your face when inhaling through your nose.

Fins – From split fin to blade fin, or open heel to full foot, your choices here depend on personal preference.

Regulator + submersible pressure gauge (SPG) – Converts air pressure to a breathable rate and displays remaining air.

Getting Your Feet Wet

» NEW TO SCUBA? HERE ARE FOUR EASY STEPS FOR FIRST-TIMERS.

2 Get certified. Basic scuba certifications can be completed over a weekend and are accomplished in three parts: coursework, confined water dives and open water dives.

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Globetrotter

A TASTE OF

Detroit

Q&A with Lisa Ludwinski of Sister Pie

p. 50

 LUDWINSKI’S   TOP DETROIT  PICKS 

Banana Pete pie (top) and blueberry plum balsamic pie

Q How did Sister Pie come to be? A After living in Brooklyn for six years, I had a growing itch to return to Michigan and start my own business. I knew I wanted to open a good-food/do-good kinda place, and pie seemed like the right place to start. The concept was inspired by both a commitment to baking with seasonal Michigan produce, and the broad definition of sisterhood and what that can mean in a workplace and community space.

Q Describe the experience of visiting Sister Pie. A Our goal is to be a welcoming, friendly place for all people, and we

» WHAT DO SPONTANEOUS DANCING, COMMUNITY ADVOCACY AND WHIPPED CREAM HAVE IN COMMON? THEY’RE ALL SERVED UP ALONGSIDE DELICIOUS BAKED GOODS AT SISTER PIE, A BAKERY IN DETROIT’S HISTORIC WEST VILLAGE. WE TALKED WITH MICHIGAN NATIVE LISA LUDWINSKI ABOUT HER POPULAR BAKESHOP AND GOT HER TAKE ON SOME OF THE BEST WAYS TO EXPERIENCE THE RESURGING MOTOR CITY RIGHT NOW. Edited by CINDY GUIER | Photographs by STEVE & ANNE TRUPPE

Q How did you become a pastry chef ? A I quickly moved to New York after college to pursue a theater career in directing. I was almost immediately distracted by food, both what I saw in the city and what I read about in books and blogs. I started filming a silly, low-budget cooking show out of my various Brooklyn apartments, trying on a new recipe every week. This experience ignited my passion for food, and after many adventures in vlogging, I began working at Momofuku Milk Bar. Only weeks into working in a professional kitchen and I was in love with the hustle and creativity that comes with bakery life.

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try to achieve that with an open kitchen design, a full pastry case with options for many palates, big windows pouring light onto the communal table, and a steady mix of tunes that runs from ’90s R&B to Joy Division. The place is always buzzing with customers, a full staff of bakers, and you’re likely to hear the sound of rolling pins hitting pie dough and oven timers going off as you enjoy a slice.

Q Favorite pie? A Tart pies! My ultimate pie is probably our cranberry crumble pie: all-butter, flaky crust; Michigan cranberries, both whole and in compote form; and a buttery, brown sugar crumble on top. I like to eat it in a bowl, smashed up with some vanilla ice cream or fresh whip. I’m also obsessed with plum pies, and the way they bake down into the most wonderful jammy texture. Peach plum is an especially great combination. I could go on.

Q What dish sums up the city for you? A The catfish tofu sandwich with sweet potato fries at Detroit Vegan Soul [at right]. It’s made with love by two native Detroiters who opened a restaurant to nourish their families and friends with traditional soul food, but wanted to offer healthier, more sustainable options. Their mission is deep with love, community and really good food. » sisterpie.com


Catfish tofu sandwich with sweet potato fries

“BELLE ISLE, Detroit’s beautiful, east side park, is a perfect picnic destination. The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is especially worth a visit.” belleisleconservancy.org

“DETROIT VEGAN SOUL is one of my favorite places to grab a casual dinner, and they now have two locations! Owned and operated by partners Kirsten Ussery and Erika Boyd, this place has my favorite veggie burger in the city.” detroitvegansoul.com

“Detroit’s pride and joy, EASTERN MARKET boasts restaurants, shops and a massive covered Farmer’s Market that operates every Saturday, as well as on Tuesdays in the summertime. I love stopping at the Grown in Detroit table and grabbing a slice from Supino’s or a burger at Cutter’s.” easternmarket.com

“DEQUINDRE CUT GREENWAY is my favorite spot for a quick run, bike ride or leisurely walk. This urban recreational path features incredible art and graffiti and connects the Detroit riverfront to Eastern Market.” detroitriverfront.org

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Globetrotter

A TASTE OF DETROIT

“featuring soul food and live jazz since 1934”

» A cosmopolitan at Baker’s

“When I was in high school, my dad and I skipped out on the father-daughter dance to go see Rear Window at DETROIT FILM THEATRE, a beautiful, ornate cinema located within the Detroit Institute of Arts. I go at least once a year when they screen the Oscar-nominated ‘shorts.’ Get there early to visit the museum, or at the very least to have a glass of wine in the Crystal Gallery before the show.” dia.org

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“Art deco bar BAKER’S KEYBOARD LOUNGE has been featuring soul food and live jazz since 1934.” theofficialbakerskeyboard lounge.com


Ludwinski’s Recipe for a Perfect Day in Detroit

3 P.M.

8 A.M. Start the day with an early breakfast over at Rose’s Fine Food, the best little diner in the Midwest. Order the buckwheat pancakes, plus bacon and an egg on the side.  » rosesfinefood.com

10:30 A.M. “Neighborhood record store PARAMITA SOUND is in an old house and they have a great selection of classic and current vinyl. They support the community around us in everything they do.” paramitasound.com

Clockwise from top left: Zesty gallabah, tandoori bread, and eggs with fassolia at Sheeba Restaurant

After you’re fueled up for the morning, head over to Pewabic Pottery right on Jefferson. It’s a nonprofit ceramic studio with a progressive, inclusive mission, and you can buy beautiful custom pieces to take home. Travel farther down Jefferson to Belle Isle, our city’s largest public park. Wander around the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory and Belle Isle Aquarium before enjoying a long run, walk or bike ride around the island.  » pewabic.org  » belleisleconservancy.org

1 P.M.

“SHEEBA RESTAURANT is a tiny Yemeni restaurant located in Hamtramck, a fantastic city within the city of Detroit. You must order the fahsa [lamb stew] and fassolia [a bean dish], both served with a gargantuan piece of warm tandoori bread. If you have a sweet tooth, head to Bon Bon Bon Chocolate for a magically delicious experience.” sheebarestaurant.com, bonbonbon.com

Lunch should happen in Hamtramck, a small city within the city of Detroit, home to a large Polish and Middle Eastern population. Walk around for a while, and then settle in at Sheeba Restaurant for the delicious lamb stew and tandoori bread. Have a little dessert at one of the many Polish bakeries nearby.  » sheebarestaurant.com

Head over to Woodward for an afternoon at your pick of three excellent museums: Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and the MOCAD (Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit). Take your curiosity one step further by visiting John K. King Used & Rare Books. It’s an easy place to lose an afternoon. Wander the many shelves and stories. I especially like to page through the old cookbooks.  » dia.org  » thewright.org  » mocadetroit.org  » kingbooksdetroit.com

7:30 P.M. Dinner should happen in Southwest Detroit, and there are a wealth of delicious Mexican options. A good choice is Taqueria El Rey for a Mexican feast of grilled chicken and beer.  » taqueria-elrey.com

10 P.M. End your evening at a Detroit institution: Baker’s Keyboard Lounge on Livernois for a drink and a jazz show.  » theofficialbakers  keyboardlounge.com

Book of Pies Lisa Ludwinski’s cookbook, Sister Pie, is due in September 2018.

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7 NEW WAYS TO SEE

New Orleans » UNIQUE ARCHITECTURE, HISTORY, MUSIC AND CUISINE: NEW ORLEANS IS ONE OF AMERICA’S MOST LIVELY AND MULTICULTURAL CITIES. AS THE CRESCENT CITY PREPARES FOR ITS TRICENTENNIAL IN 2018, WE HAVE A FEW SUGGESTIONS – HEAVY ON EATING AND DRINKING – FOR SOME

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CANDLELIGHT LOUNGE Tourists have discovered the varied musical landscape of Frenchmen Street. While there’s a reason jazz joints like the Spotted Cat draw crowds, a few steps off the beaten path will take you to Candlelight Lounge (925 N. Robertson St.) in the Treme for a night to remember. Fork over $10 cash in exchange for bottomless red beans and all the music and dancing you can handle.

CAFE SBISA Since 1899, the finest Creole cuisine has been served in the mahogany-paneled, art nouveau dining room of Cafe Sblisa (cafesbisanola .com). Damaged in Hurricane Katrina, the restaurant has had a turbulent decade, but made a triumphant return last fall. Chef and co-owner Alfred Singleton has cooked up an inspired French–Creole menu: crab cakes and daily gumbo specials are highlights.

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FRESH WAYS TO EXPERIENCE ITS MANY CHARMS. By TRISHA PING

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TOUR THE TREME For a historic walk, try the Treme. America’s oldest African American neighborhood has plenty of charm and photogenic spots, including Congo Square – and half the crowds. Stop by Saint Louis Cemetery No. 1, the city’s oldest burial ground and the final resting place of voodoo priestess Marie Laveau, for a guided tour.

LUCA EATS Bad news first: if you want the best classic beignets in the city, you’ll have to wait in line at Café du Monde (cafedumonde.com). But if you’re open to a twist on the classic, head to Luca Eats (lucaeats.com) in Uptown. Their utterly decadent Oreo beignets, served from a colorful trailer, were the official crowd favorite of the 2016 Beignet Fest.

THE PORT ORLEANS BREWING COMPANY New Orleans may be the home of the cocktail, but the city’s newest brewery is becoming a serious draw for hopheads. Port Orleans Brewing Company (port orleansbrewingco.com) serves German-inspired beers and food in its Tchoupitoulas Street taproom, with windows perfect for people-watching.

PARKWAY No trip to New Orleans is complete without a po’boy, and Parkway (parkwaypoorboys.com) serves up the city’s best. Considering their 100 years of experience, that’s no surprise. Try the alligator sausage or the gravy-soaked surf and turf, and don’t forget the napkins. One crispy, juicy bite and you’ll be hooked.

LONELY PLANET / Winter 2017

MAYPOP The modern, glass-andconcrete Central Business District might not seem like the best place to find an authentic New Orleans restaurant. But Maypop (maypoprestaurant.com), the new dining hotspot from native Louisiana chef Michael Gulotta, is just that. Gulotta has had plenty of practice blending Creole and Southeast Asian cuisine at his Mid-City hotspot, MoPho; at Maypop, he takes things up a notch for even more ambitious flavor combinations that reflect the city’s multicultural blend.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP RIGHT: LADY WALKER; COURTESY OF PARKWAY BAKERY AND TAVERN; COURTESY OF MAYPOP; RYAN HODGSON-RIGSBEE; COURTESY OF PORT ORLEANS BREWING COMPANY

Globetrotter


Globetrotter

Packing Light Backlit LCD screen

DUNHEGER DIGITAL LUGGAGE SCALE: Don’t succumb to the shame of repacking your overfull bag at the ticket counter. This portable luggage scale fits easily in any suitcase and is accurate within 1.6 ounces. From $26, dunheger.com

Tilting rear screen is made for selfies

SONY RX100 V: Leave the bulky DSLR at home and opt for this tiny-but-powerful camera. The 1-inch sensor puts smartphone cameras to shame and a superfast autofocus ensures you won’t miss your shot. From $1,000, sony.com

The Tech The bottle is made of nontoxic, food-grade silicone that can withstand hot and cold temperatures, and it’s completely dishwasher safe.

TIEKS FLATS: These ultracomfy, ultra-portable flats are made of fine Italian leather (vegan options available too) and feature a split sole and folding midsole for easy storage. From $175, tieks.com

REI CO-OP MULTI TOWEL: Perfect for long hikes or quick jaunts, this lightweight towel is made of synthetic, quick-drying fabric that can soak up to eight times its weight in liquid. From $18.50, rei.com

QUE BOTTLE: Collapsing to half its size while remaining fashionable, the que Bottle makes it easy to stay hydrated on the go. It’s reusable, too, cutting down on waste and being better for the environment. From $19.95, quebottle.com

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: COURTESY OF SONY ELECTRONICS; COURTESY OF DUNHEGER; COURTESY OF TIEKS BY GAVRIELI; COURTESY OF REI CO-OP; COURTESY OF QUE BOTTLE

GEAR


TORTUGA OUTBREAKER BACKPACK: Packing light pro tip: don’t pack more than what you can fit in your carry-on. This travel backpack features tons of pockets, durable and waterproof fabric, and an adjustable suspension system that makes hauling your stuff a breeze. From $299, tortugabackpacks.com

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: PHOTOS BY JESSIE WEBSTER; COURTESY OF BRYAN BEDELL/FIELD NOTES; COURTESY OF BONOBOS

Expedition Tearproof and waterproof

Left-Handed Reversed for southpaws

BONOBOS MERINO SWEATER: Lightweight, breathable and stylish, this sweater is made from 100 percent merino wool, a strong but supple fabric that has moisture-wicking properties. It’s also odor resistant, so you can go several wears without a wash – but not too many. Ew. From $98, bonobos.com

Front Page Reporter’s notebook that’s easy to hold

FIELD NOTES NOTEBOOKS: A coffeehouse-scribbler favorite, these compact, 48-page notebooks come with graph, ruled, blank paper or a mix of all three. Special-edition notebooks feature durable waterproof pages or limited-time cover art. From $9.95, fieldnotesbrand.com

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Easy Trips

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AURORA PHOTOS/MICHAEL HANSON

QUICK ESCAPES FOR WINTER

Pristine beaches, Maya ruins and a diverse array of cultures – all in a country the size of Vermont. Belize may be small, but it packs a punch.

Also featuring: Fairbanks // Snowmass // Sarasota

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Easy Trips

FA I R B A N K S, ALASKA

 VIA THE AURORA WINTER TRAIN 

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Combining remote winter landscapes of pristine white snow, fascinating galleries and museums, and the best light show on earth, this trip captures the best of a winter in the Last Frontier. Following a key route of the historic Alaska Railroad, the journey cuts to the heart of Alaska, but you’re never far from the comforts of modern life: Instagram-worthy breakfasts, cozy spaces and central heating (most of the time).

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Before setting off on the train, make a stop at 6th Avenue Outfitters (6thavenueoutfitters.com), a local outfitter that’s the perfect place to pick up a cozy down jacket. Next, you’ll board the train to Fairbanks at the Anchorage Railroad Depot, the Alaska Railroad’s (alaskarailroad .com) central hub. The

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railway’s iconic blue and yellow trains snake north and south from here, covering 482 miles between Seward, on the southern coast, and Fairbanks, near the Arctic Circle.

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Drop your bags at your assigned seat and stake out a spot on the Vista Dome Car, which gives passengers a 360-degree viewing experience. Settle in for a show: subarctic meadows covered with snow, craggy horizons blanketed with ice, and tiny railside towns. Keep your eyes peeled for moose or elk against the frigid landscape.

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Fairbanks can see less than four hours of daylight during winter, but you didn’t come here for a tan. Make your first stop at the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North ($12; uaf.edu/museum), an

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igloo- and-aurora-inspired structure featuring some of Alaska’s finest exhibits on the diversity of its people, wildlife and landscapes. Stop in at LuLu’s Bread and Bagels (lulusbagels.com), a purveyor of warming baked goods. The rosemary bread is incredible, and the steaming quiche is certain to thaw those frozen fingers.

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In Fairbanks, keep your eyes on the skies. This is where you’ll have your best chance to see the night sky light up in the green and red hues of the northern lights (Fairbanks can see an average of 240 such spellbinding events in a year). Increase your chances by hanging around for a few days, and check the University of Alaska’s Aurora Forecast (gi.alaska.edu /AuroraForecast) for nightly updates. In the meantime, head to the Alaska House Art Gallery (thealaskahouse

.com), a log house on the south side of town that specializes in indigenous art, and a great place to stock up on souvenirs.

steady stream of water at a piping hot 165°F, but don’t worry: it’s cooled before you can take a dip.  – Alexander Howard

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Although you can see the northern lights in town, the best viewing is in the outlying hills, away from the light pollution. The Chena Hot Springs Road follows the Chena River 56 miles out of town, and it’s dotted with pull-offs, viewpoints and places to explore. Any of these will provide fine northern lights viewing opportunities.

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Defrost with a final stop at Chena Hot Springs Resort ($15 admission to hot springs, pool and hot tubs; chenahotsprings.com), the nearest hot springs to Fairbanks. Discovered by gold miners in 1905, the springs quickly became the state’s busiest soaking spot. The hot springs emit a

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Built in 1916 by wealthy restaurateur Arthur Williams as a way to lure his future wife up to Alaska (spoiler: it worked), the Alaska Heritage House B&B in Fairbanks is on the National Register of Historic Places. The antique-filled rooms harken to a time when gold fever ran through the streets of Fairbanks, but each room has its modern conveniences, including Wi-Fi and coffee makers (suites from $140; alaskaheritagehouse.com).

STEVE HEYANO

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Beginning in Anchorage, acclimatize with a plate of Kodiak Benedict, a twist on traditional eggs Benedict served with fresh Alaskan king crab cakes, from the Snow City Cafe (snowcitycafe.com). Next, familiarize yourself with Alaska Native customs and art with a stop at the Alaska Native Heritage Center, a 26acre facility that shows how people have survived (and thrived) in the region for thousands of years ($24.95; alaskanative.net).


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The waters off the coast of Belize are known as some of the most spectacular diving and snorkeling spots in the Caribbean. For mind-blowing marine life, head to Belize’s first underwater protected area, Hol Chan Marine Reserve (boat tour from $12.50 per person; holchanbelize.org). Located just to the south of renowned Ambergris Caye, the 3-square-mile reserve is divided up into multiple zones where you can explore Technicolor reefs, twisted mangroves, dreamy seagrasses and the famed Shark Ray Alley, where nurse sharks and sting rays swirl about in the shallow sea.

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BELIZE  CARIBBEAN COOL 

REINHARD DIRSCHERL/ULLSTEIN BILD/GETTY IMAGES

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Mainland Belize is only 68 miles wide and 180 miles long, but this Central American country is a little dynamo home to expansive rainforests, extraordinary Maya ruins, prismatic reefs, glistening beaches and a number of lively cultures. Winter brings sunny skies and balmy weather, so pack your bags and go experience the best of Belize.

While Belize’s coast and cayes tempt visitors with their sparkling waters and thriving marine life, the country’s forested interior envelops some of the most interesting relics of its ancient history. Maya ruins are strewn across Belize from top to bottom, and most are well preserved and ready for exploration. Caracol, Xunantunich, Altun Ha, Cahal, Lamanai – take your pick!

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The Great Blue Hole (pictured) is a submarine marvel that defies belief. Aerial views reveal a perfectly round spot nearly 1,000 feet across where the ocean floor simply gave way, creating a remarkable underwater sinkhole 400 feet deep. This peculiar formation beckons divers to take the plunge into the unknown

to swim among its caverns and otherworldly limestone columns. If you’re still getting used to your fins, not to worry – there’s plenty to explore in the reefs around the hole’s rim, as well as off the shores of nearby Half Moon Caye.

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Need a respite from all your adventuring? Head to Placencia and enjoy a rum or two on the colorful patio of Barefoot Bar, a beachside watering hole that draws all manner of locals and travelers with its laid-back vibes. At night, things kick up a notch with live music and the occasional full moon party. Cheers!

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Tiny Belize is a melting pot of cultures, drawing from European, Caribbean, Central American and African heritage. A large number of Garifuna, descendants of African slaves and indigenous Central Americans, reside in Belize, and Dangriga is the community’s beating heart. Stop by and learn about the Garifuna people’s history and present at the Gulisi Garifuna Museum, and if you are in town in late November, don’t miss Garifuna Settlement Day, the region’s biggest cultural celebration.  – Bailey Freeman

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Spend a few days off the grid at Glover’s Atoll Resort, located 35 miles from the mainland. Choose a cabin and let the sea breeze carry your worries away (cabins from $30; glovers.com.bz).

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»

Easy Trips WHAT’S WITH THE FOUR MOUNTAINS?

S NOW M A S S, COLORADO

A box of ski gear from Kit Lender

 WITHOUT THE BAGGAGE 

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Ski trips and packing light don’t usually go hand in hand, but in Snowmass, Colorado, a traveler-friendly rental program means you can avoid the baggage grind and get right to the good stuff.

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After your first full day on the slopes, soothe aching muscles with one of the Viceroy Hotel Spa’s (viceroyhotelsandresorts .com) Ute Indian- or Nordic-inspired rituals. Also available are 30-minute “ski-in, ski-out” treatments

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for those who want to kick off their boots and warm up mid-run (from $95).

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A naturalist-guided snowshoe tour with Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (aspennature.org, from $65) is an enjoyable afternoon break from hurtling yourself down the mountain. If you’re lucky, you might catch a glimpse of a snowshoe hare or great horned owl. ACES also offers “Hire a Guide” programs for those who prefer to design their own adventure ($50 per hour, per guide).

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This area of Colorado boasts a wealth of culture that far eclipses its size. Take in some contemporary art at Aspen Art Museum (free admission; aspen artmuseum.org), where past exhibits have included works from Julian Schnabel and Gabriel Orozco. If you leave inspired to create your own, Anderson Ranch Arts Center (andersonranch

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BUTTERMILK / summit elevation 9,900 ft. 44 trails 5% expert terrain + Location of the X Games each January ASPEN MOUNTAIN / summit elevation 11,212 ft. 76 trails 26% expert terrain + Snowmass’s original ski area ASPEN HIGHLANDS / summit elevation 11,675 ft. 122 trails 36% expert terrain + Site of the popular Highland Bowl SNOWMASS / summit elevation 12,510 ft. 96 trails 30% expert terrain + 3 terrain parks

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All lodging in Snowmass is ski-in, ski-out. The Westin Snowmass (peak season from $220 per night; westin snowmass.com) offers an inviting fireplace, rooms with slopeside views, a ski valet service and a hot tub.

.org) offers workshops in painting, ceramics, photography, printmaking and furniture design (from $1,145).

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Ski towns take their après options seriously, and Snowmass is no different. Chef Richard Sandoval’s passion for tequila is evident at Venga Venga (richardsandoval .com/vengavenga), where

he stocks more than 100 varieties. A bit higher up at Gwyn’s High Alpine (gwynshighalpine.com) the motto is “fine dining at 10,500 feet.” It’s perched at the top of the Alpine Springs lift, and you couldn’t ask for a better view to accompany your hot toddy.

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Cap off your trip with reservations for a “snowcat dinner” at Lynn

Britt Cabin (from $85; aspensnowmass.com). Get cozy under a pile of blankets as you’re whisked up the mountain by a wintery all-terrain vehicle after the lifts close, for an intimate four-course dinner in a rustic cabin. You’ll be treated to live acoustic music that will undoubtedly include at least one John Denver song.  – Kristina Juodenas

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Start at Four Mountain Sports (packages from $64; aspensnowmass .com), where knowledgeable staff will fit you for skis, boots and boards, and offer free overnight storage and transfer service. Online outfitter Kit Lender (packages from $98; kitlender.com) can supply everything else you need, from goggles to pants. Book in advance, and perfectly packed boxes, complete with a prepaid return envelope, will arrive at your hotel ahead of check-in. Alternatively, local company Suit Yourself (packages from $50; suityourselfaspen.com) offers complementary dropoff and pick-up service.

Nifty 50

On December 15, the ski area celebrates its 50th anniversary. Festivities throughout the weekend will include a day of $6.50 lift tickets (the price they were when the resort opened in 1967), and retro-themed ski parties.

The Aspen/Snowmass resort is made up of four mountains, each with its own distinct personality.


meandering the sidewalks, looking for a new pair of sunglasses, stopping for a drink at an outdoor café, and choosing where to go for dinner.

A vintage Ringling Bros. poster at the Circus Museum

The Ringling Underground, a music event series at The Ringling’s Museum of Art

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: COURTESY OF THE JOHN AND MABLE RINGLING MUSEUM OF ART; WALTER BIBIKOW/AWL; PASSION4NATURE /GETTY IMAGES

Clockwise from top left: Um quam nes aut re pre consecae. Et quias aut fugiamet quist, cusda ped que latempo rporitin nulpa di vit atet plabo. Nequod quodit et

Food is also top of the agenda at the Forks & Corks Festival, held each January (eatlikealocal.com /forksandcorks). Dozens of local restaurants and bars take part, serving a range of eating options that reflect Sarasota’s eclectic dining scene. It’s a hugely popular event, so book tickets in advance, especially if you’re interested in attending the Grand Tasting, held in the spectacular setting of the Ringling Museum.

Sunset at Siesta Key

S A R A S OTA , F L O R I DA

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 COASTAL CULTURE IN THE FLORIDA SUN 

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Northern snowbirds have flocked to Sarasota on Florida’s Gulf Coast for more than a century. Those wealthy pioneers wanted to escape cold winters without giving up cultural pursuits and good food. Today their legacy draws visitors looking for a side of theater and fine dining to go with their beach time.

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Sarasota’s wealthiest snowbirds were John and Mabel Ringling, whose eponymous museum is an unmissable attraction. The Circus Museum celebrates the art form that made them their fortune (the highlight is a huge diorama depicting a circus in its heyday). Nearby you can see how they spent that fortune, first in Cà d’Zan (House of John), their glorious waterfront home built in Venetian Gothic style, and then in the State Art Museum of Florida, where the Rubens and Rembrandts inside, collected by the Ringlings on their European trips,

vie for attention with the sculptures, including a copy of Michelangelo’s David, in the garden courtyard outside (admission from $25; ringling.org).

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The natural world’s beauty in the form of orchids is just one of the delights at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens ($20; selby.org). A world center for the study of epiphytes (tree-dwelling plants that absorb moisture and nutrients from the air and rainwater, such as some orchids), the gardens also have an impressive array of landscapes in a bay setting,

offering welcome shade when the sun’s blazing down, along with botanicalthemed art exhibitions.

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For more tropical plants and a glimpse into a Florida that predates Europeans, head to Historic Spanish Point ($12; historicspanishpoint.org). Step inside a prehistoric shell midden, created by the discarded debris of the area’s earliest inhabitants, take a stroll along one of the many trails, and see how New Yorker John Greene Webb and his family lived when they built a house here in 1867.

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Sarasota’s thriving, year-round cultural scene is in large part thanks to its many performance venues, and none is more popular –

or provides a better excuse for dressing up – than the Sarasota Opera House. The company presents performances in a restored, 1926 theater; the season runs through the winter, and this year’s includes ever-popular favorites La Traviata and Carmen, along with lesser-known pieces to tempt established opera fans (tickets from $19; sarasotaopera.org).

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In theory just a traffic roundabout, in practice St. Armands Circle (starmandscircleassoc.com) is one of the centers of Sarasota’s social life. Lined with restaurants and shops, and with a pretty park in the middle, it’s best explored in the coolness of the late afternoon, when locals and visitors take their time

You can’t visit Florida without visiting a great beach, and Sarasota doesn’t fall short there either. The beach on Siesta Key, to the south, grabs the headlines (it’s regularly named America’s best beach) but it can get uncomfortably busy. Much quieter, partly because you need a boat to get there, is Beer Can Island, to the north. Unromantic name aside, this wonderful stretch of sand is perfect for picnicking, lazing and swimming. Come midweek and you might even have it to yourself. – Clifton Wilkinson

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Small (just nine rooms) but perfectly located (in the heart of downtown Sarasota) Hotel Ranola is a great boutique sleeping option. Decor has a Princely purple accent and all rooms have full kitchens (from $99; hotelranola.com).

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Best Best in in Travel Travel 2018 2018  In our annual roundup of the best places to visit,   we present a year’s worth of travel inspiration to take   you out of the ordinary and into some unforgettable   experiences. From a land of exploding volcanoes and   melting glaciers to a charming, under-the-radar city   brimming with world-class art and architecture, here are   our picks for what to see and do in 2018.   For more on the best trends, destinations, journeys and   experiences, see Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2018 book   and visit lonelyplanet.com/best-in-travel. 

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 Top Countries     

 Best Value  p. 43

 Top Regions  p. 44

 Best Culture Trips for Families  p. 48

 Top Cities  p. 49


Chile

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Marking 200 years of independence in 2018, Chile is a sinewy sliver of a nation, isolated from the rest of South America by the soaring Andes to the east, the vast Pacific Ocean to the west, the bone-dry Atacama Desert up north and the impenetrable wilds of Patagonia down south. It’s Chile’s dazzling extremities that lure most travelers. In Patagonia, Puerto Natales’s airport was expanded in 2016, making Torres del Paine National Park more accessible than ever; in the Atacama, there’s been a big bang in astrotourism, with new stargazing hotels and observatory tours. Meanwhile, in between Santiago, the ever-trendier capital with its flourishing food and performing arts scenes, and coastal and artsy Valparaíso, you’ll find tourist-friendly wineries in the Casablanca Valley. For more on Chile, see our “Great Escape” feature (p. 85).  » Don’t Miss  Hike the five-day “W” trek through Torres del Paine National Park, a highlights reel of Patagonia that can be as rustic (tents and camp grub) or as chic (room and board refugios) as you want it to be. The design of the striking Remota, a 72-room luxury hotel outside Puerto Natales in Chilean Patagonia, was inspired by the region’s historic sheepsheering sheds.

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South Korea is a compact playground of Asian modernity. High-rises soar in the futuristic capital, Seoul, which in 2017 received a huge facelift with the opening of the Seoullo 7017 “sky garden,” an elevated linear park with cafés, bars and libraries. South Korea has embraced its hosting of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and a new high-speed railway line will whisk travelers across the country to the February Games. South Korea is an unsung outdoor wonderland. You can hike peaks and raft pristine rivers, or surf, swim and sunbathe along 1,500 miles of coastline. Urban centers Seoul and Busan are packed with high-tech delights, and yet South Korea remains a country rich in traditional culture, where you can get a breath of Zen on an overnight stay in a peaceful temple or uncover history at Joseon-era palaces.

Modern architecture in Seoul

3 3 Portugal Portugal Musa Brewery’s taproom in eastern Lisbon’s up-and-coming Marvila neighborhood

Portugal has seized the spotlight as a dynamic center for art, culture and cuisine. Several artfully designed museums have opened in the past two years, there’s now a celebrated microbrewery scene, and stellar Portuguese chefs are creating culinary buzz from Lisbon to the glittering beaches of the Algarve (seven new restaurants received Michelin stars in 2017). Heightening Portugal’s appeal are its incredible affordability and its natural wonders: in 2016, more than 300 beaches earned the coveted Blue Flag eco-rating and two new biosphere reserves were named. It’s no surprise everyone is talking about this small, seafaring nation. There are architectural treasures and UNESCO World Heritage sites, magnificent Roman ruins, and wine routes crisscrossing the country. Given Portugal’s compact size and excellent road network, you can squeeze a lot into a single visit.  » Don’t Miss  Sip your way through the wineries of Portugal’s Douro Valley, the world’s oldest demarcated wine region. Stay in a guesthouse on a wine estate, such as Quinta Nova or Quinta do Vallado.

4 4 Djibouti

Positioned for dramatic effect on the Horn of Africa, this petite nation is in the process of being ripped in three by diverging tectonic plates. Magma seethes beneath ever-thinning crust; Martian-like deserts spew steam from fumaroles; and sunken lakeshores glisten with huge salt crystals. In geological terms, this is a sprint finish. But in human terms, this is spectacularly slow motion – a reason to make travel plans to this extreme desert landscape, not cancel them! Add intoxicating culture (visit Djibouti City’s African and European quarters), beckoning beaches and incredible whale shark diving, and you have even more reasons to hop on a plane, or ride the brand-new train, to witness Mother Nature at her brutal best in 2018.

 » Don’t Miss  In Seoul’s chaotic Gwangjang Market, vendors sling bowls of bibimbap (rice and vegetables) and sizzle up crispy seafood pancakes, best washed down with makgeolli (rice wine).

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 » Don’t Miss  Djibouti’s Bay of Ghoubbet is one of the world’s most reliable sites to swim with school-bus-size whale sharks. Peak season is November to January. Book with an ethical operator that enforces ecologically sound guidelines.

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Malta

In New Zealand, teetering on the rim of the Pacific Ring of Fire, mud bubbles, mountains explode and glaciers melt into rivers rushing toward immense oceans, passing geothermally heated beaches. Seemingly solid landscapes are torn asunder with a violence and unpredictability we don’t expect in a country where every urban corner offers cafés and pop-up bars serving artisan coffee and sublime craft beers. It’s a wildly exciting place. The country is crisscrossed with quality trails, but there’s a royal flush of routes – a premier league of paths that collectively caress the coast, clamber around the Southern Alps, explore escarpments, flow through Fiordland and venture onto the shoulders of volcanoes. These are the Great Walks. A tenth walk, the 28-mile Pike29 Memorial Track, is in development and expected to open in 2019.

Ringed by cerulean water that sparks with silver-gold sunlight, the Maltese islands invite a dabble in watery pursuits, including some of the world’s best diving. But especially in the spotlight now is the long and vividly evident history of this Mediterranean archipelago. Prehistoric temples crown hills, 17th-century fortifications stalk the coast, and a warren of tunnels – from catacombs to air raid shelters – dig deep underground. Malta’s riches have been here for centuries, if not millennia, but the country is experiencing a moment. This tiny nation’s buzz has been building to a crescendo in preparation for Valletta’s stint as European Capital of Culture for 2018. Expect baroque, pop and international film festivals, plus a contemporary art biennial, and, of course, a laid-back lifestyle born out of proximity to warm sea, beaches and more than 300 annual days of sunshine.

 » Don’t Miss  Watch sunset across Lake Waikaremoana from an eye-watering aerie on the cliff, or spy a shy kiwi bird while walking Stewart Island’s Rakiura Track.

 » Don’t Miss  Take a dip in the Blue Lagoon, a beautiful sheltered cove with a white-sand seabed and inviting, periwinkle-blue waters.

Hiking past the 570-foot-high Earland Falls on the Routeburn Track, one of New Zealand’s Great Walks

7 7 Georgia

Hemmed in by Russia, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan, Georgia is at a crossroads of the South Caucasus, and the influence of its eclectic neighbors is felt at every turn. Here, history is not a thing of the past but informs every complex chess move Georgia makes in the present. Forward-thinking but proud of tradition, this is a country of ancient recipes cooked up in tucked-away taverns where toastmasters raise glasses of spirits to honor heroes old and new. The country is so proud of its wine region that airport immigration officials often welcome travelers with a bottle of red along with a passport stamp. One hundred years ago, Georgia was declared an independent state in the wake of the Russian Revolution – just one of many reasons to raise a glass to toast 2018.  » Don’t Miss  Pressed against the Azerbaijan border, the remote desert caves of Davit Gareja comprise 15 monasteries carved into the hillside, adorned with detailed frescoes and murals.

Crystal lagoon, on the Maltese Island of Comino

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This brochure-perfect island is justly famous for its dazzling sapphire seas and luxurious beach resorts, where the watery fun includes coral reef dives, kitesurfing, sea kayaking and lagoon cruises. During the colonial days, Mauritius was known as the “Star and Key of the Indian Ocean” for its strategic position. These days there’s much afoot in the deep blue sky, with the government establishing the island as a hub for flights to mainland Africa. Past glories are also getting a spotlight in 2018, when the island celebrates 50 years of independence. A good time to join the multicultural (mostly Creole and Indo-Mauritian) islanders in celebrating their departure from British rule is around March 12, Independence Day, when the nation’s flag is raised at Port Louis’s Champ de Mars Racecourse.  » Don’t Miss  On the southwest side of Mauritius, hike amid old-growth forests and waterfalls in Black River Gorges National Park, home to the endemic Mauritius kestrel, pink pigeon and echo parakeet.

Wangfujing food street, Beijing

China 9 9 China

The stunning sights scattered across the world’s most populous country are no secret. In China you can uncover ancient civilizations, explore gleaming megacities, hike the iconic Great Wall, gaze up at starry Silk Road skies and see some of the world’s most profound Buddhist art. Since 2016, China has opened extensive new high-speed rail tracks, creating the world’s largest HSR network. Beijing’s imperial palace, the Forbidden City, has been upgraded, and four previously restricted halls are now open to the public. Gargantuan Shanghai Tower welcomes visitors to the world’s highest observation deck, and in late 2017, cultural hub Design Society was set to open in cosmopolitan Shenzhen, featuring a partnership gallery with London’s V&A Museum. Twenty-first century China is here to stay, so hop on board a bullet train and explore this modern Middle Kingdom.  » Don’t Miss  Take in the “golden triangle” of China’s megasights: the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Terracotta Army in Xi’an and the blazing neon skyline of Shanghai.

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South Africa

With its beaches and mountains, wildlife and wine – and let’s not forget vibrant culture and cosmopolitan Cape Town (rightly regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful cities) – South Africa has long been one of the world’s most alluring countries. Crawling with iconic African wildlife, big and small, South Africa’s national parks and reserves are premier safari destinations, and these adventurous forays into incredible wilderness cost a fraction of those elsewhere. In 2018, the country’s many attractions will be bolstered by “Nelson Mandela Centenary 2018: Be the Legacy,” an official program of events – some sporting, some educational, others devoted to the arts – honoring the legendary late South African activist and former president. There is more to see than ever before, and favorable exchange rates, making 2018 a phenomenal year to visit South Africa.

Cape of Good Hope, South Africa

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 » Don’t Miss  Take a self-drive safari in South Africa’s 7,500-square-mile Kruger National Park: wait at zebra crossings, pause for breath at rhino crashes, and skirt carefully through the long shadows of elephants.

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Best Value Best Value

If you want to wander frugally or save on a visit to pricier bighitters, then our list of good-value getaways is the place to start.

1  Tallinn, Estonia  One of Eastern Europe’s loveliest old towns, Estonia’s capital is compact, fashionable and a great value. Explore the city on foot for free, stay in dorms, guesthouses or private homes, and visit the roof of the vast Linnahall, a templelike structure built for the 1980 Moscow Summer Olympics, for Baltic Sea views and a superb city panorama.

2  Lanzarote,  Canary Islands  Increasing numbers of in-the-know independent travelers are heading to this intriguing island. Awaiting them is a well-developed infrastructure that makes finding affordable lodgings, food and rental cars a breeze. The moonlike scenery of Timanfaya National Park, unspoiled beaches of Órzola and black-sand wineries of La Geria reward those who come here for more than a traditional seaside break.

5  Poland  Poland somehow manages to remain affordable and relatively under-visited. Kraków, with its magnificent architecture, grabs the crowds, but beyond is a roll call of Europe’s leastappreciated highlights. In the north, explore Gdańsk’s rebuilt old town and haunting coastal scenery. Elsewhere, Lublin, Toruń and Tarnów’s historical beauty can form the basis of a wonderful week. 6  Essaouira, Morocco 

3  Arizona  For affordable adventures in Arizona, aim for simple roadside motels, then camp and hike. Visit Saguaro National Park around Tucson, or for views without the crowds, try Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, southwest of Phoenix. For a grand bargain, visit the Grand Canyon’s South Rim in the shoulder season: March to May and September to October.

Morocco has been a popular destination for decades, but if you’re seeking another side of this safe slice of North Africa, then Essaouira might just be the place for you. The walled city’s narrow alleyways, traditional hammams and medina pile on the sensory delight. Characterful riads are affordable, especially if you’re traveling with family or a group. Best of all, the food is sensational.

4  La Paz, Bolivia 

7  United Kingdom 

Situated at an elevation of 12,000 feet, La Paz is one of South America’s best value places to linger. Budgetconscious travelers can get by on less than $30 a day, eating at unforgettable markets and taking hiking and biking trips. La Paz also has a fast-emerging yet affordable upscale scene, with superb restaurants, boutique hotels and hip coffee shops.

The immediate result of the U.K.’s 2016 Brexit referendum on European Union membership was the pound weakening against pretty much all currencies; that’s good news for those wanting to visit London. Make the exchange rate work even harder by aiming for Devon, Cornwall and big-ticket cities such as Bath, York and Edinburgh.

8  Baja California, Mexico  For many, visiting Baja California still means a quick hop over the border into Tijuana, but that means there’s 745 miles of lessexplored territory farther south. In the north, the wine route through the Valle de Guadalupe is like Napa but a lot cheaper. Meanwhile, towns such as Todos Santos, Loreto, San Ignacio, Mulegé and La Paz offer affordable accommodations. 9  Jacksonville, Florida  Jax, as it’s known locally, offers long stretches of the St. Johns River, the Intracoastal Waterway and America’s largest city park system, which can be explored on foot, by bike or on a guided kayak tour. Barbecue joints and beachside cafés offer budget- and family-friendly dining, and the city has the state’s lowest hotel rates. 10  Hunan, China  Highlights of Hunan province include Zhangjiajie’s amazing sandstone canyon, with almost 250 bizarrely shaped peaks and the world’s longest glass bridge. Another must-see is Fenghuang, a stunning historic town that literally hangs over the Tuo River. This being China, costs can be very low indeed: budget meals and accommodations are in the sub-$10 range.

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Belfast & The 1 1 Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland

Belfast’s transformation over the past two decades has been remarkable. Today, Northern Ireland’s capital has much more to it than the legacy of the Troubles (though you should definitely visit Crumlin Road Gaol, a working prison until 1996, to get a sense of how scary things became). A city once patrolled by heavily armed troops and dogged by sectarian violence, modern Belfast is full of hip neighborhoods that burst with bars, restaurants and venues to suit all tastes. The rusting old docklands area is now the vibrant Titanic Quarter, home to fancy apartments and a sensational museum devoted to the ill-fated RMS Titanic. Beyond lies the Causeway Coast, whose timeless beauty and high-grade distractions – golf, whiskey and some of the world’s most famous rocks – are more popular now than ever.  » Don’t Miss  Take the Black Taxi Tours 90-minute tour of West Belfast’s troubled political legacy. The tour covers the key sites, including the famous murals and the infamous “peace wall” erected in 1969 to separate the warring Catholic and Protestant communities of West Belfast.

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Languedoc– Roussillon, France

 » Don’t Miss  Wander around the Roman amphitheater in Nîmes, where gladiatorial battles and gruesome spectacles were once staged in front of 24,000 baying spectators.

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ANDREW MONTGOMERY

The charms of the south of France are many and varied: white beaches, blue seas, country markets, maquis-covered hills. The area is littered with Roman ruins, notably the fabulous Pont du Gard aqueduct and the well-preserved ruins of Nîmes and Narbonne. But for too long, Provence and the Côte d’Azur have stolen the limelight; 2018 might be the year that the lesser-known region of Languedoc–Roussillon takes its turn in the sun. Two fashionable new museums are currently in the works – one in Nîmes and one in Narbonne – and they’re set to put this fiery corner of France on the map, although anyone who’s tasted the region’s fabulous food and fine wines really won’t need any extra reasons to visit.


Containing the U.S.’s largest national park (Wrangell–St. Elias), biggest state park (Wood-Tikchik), and the tallest mountain in North America (Denali), the vast, untrammeled wilderness of Alaska is speckled with awe-inducing natural features. The Last Frontier state mixes incredible wildlife with a rough-and-tumble outdoor spirit, satisfying any thirst for adventure. Where else can you spend 20-hour summer days tackling snow-laden mountains, spotting grizzlies or following the path of the Klondike Gold Rush? With increased flight links to many cities, Alaska has never been easier to reach. Recently, the state’s major cruise companies have announced expanded capacities, larger ships and more variety for travelers. Smaller operators, such as Alaskan Dream Cruises, are increasing their itineraries and expeditions, too, allowing more options to spot bald eagles, humpback whales and glacier-studded fjords.

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: JAMES + COURTNEY FORTE/GETTY IMAGES; IPPEI + JANINE NAOI

Bear Lake in Kenai Fjords National Park, Alaska

 » Don’t Miss  With a summit elevation of 20,310 feet, Denali, the highlight of Denali National Park & Preserve, makes for a once-in-alifetime encounter.

Julian Alps, 3 3 Slovenia

When Hollywood calls to film a fantasy flick on your home turf, you know you hold the keys to an ethereal realm that bests the most advanced computer graphics. Locals in the Julian Alps are quick to point out that their backyards were featured in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and a slew of other films. This region offers mountain bliss in an overlooked corner of Europe. More than two-thirds of the region is protected by the Triglav National Park mandate, which curbs development along the summits and ensures that infrastructure improvements happen in a slow and studied manner. Once suitable only for the intrepid, the Julian Alps are opening the door to every stripe of traveler. A growing number of locally run operators are pairing pulse-racing treks with upmarket versions of homestays in stylish shepherd digs.  » Don’t Miss  Ascending Mount Triglav, Slovenia’s highest peak, is a rite of passage for adventurous locals. The average active traveler should allow two days to complete the trek with a registered mountain guide.

Kii 5 Peninsula, 5 Japan

Travel to Japan is red-hot. The number of visitors has doubled in the past three years and is only predicted to rise. Since the word is out about this thrilling country, travelers need to dig a little deeper. The Kii Peninsula, which dips down into the Pacific Ocean south of major tourist draws Kyoto and Osaka, offers many of Japan’s most lauded attractions. There are Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, sublime natural scenery and steaming hot springs, traditional culture and modern convenience – without the crowds. But the Kii Peninsula is starting to get noticed, in part because traveling here is remarkably hassle-free. Getting around is easier here than most other places in rural Japan. Walking trails, expertly maintained, are now completely signposted in English, and detailed itineraries, maps and bus schedules are available in English online.

Steps along the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail that stretches across Japan’s Kii Peninsula

 » Don’t Miss  Walk the Kumano Kodo, one of two UNESCO-listed pilgrimage routes (the other is Spain’s Camino de Santiago). You can spend a day or a week on the trails, under a canopy of trees, following in the footsteps of 1,000-plus years of spiritual seekers.

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Positioned photogenically in the Tyrrhenian Sea, a stone’s throw off the tip of Italy’s boot, the Aeolian Islands are a slow-travel paradise. Shaped by their explosive geology, these seven alluring sisters woo visitors with sublime seascapes, volcanic slopes, black-sand beaches and some of Europe’s best coastal walks and dives. Neighboring Salina and Panarea court a refined crowd with their wineries and family-run boutique hotels, while rustic Alicudi is a hermit’s fantasy at the end of the ferry line, where steep mule paths climb from a fishing port past vine-draped adobe houses to the island’s lonely, dormant crater. The Aeolians have been largely off the beaten track but have begun luring wise travelers seeking a good-value Mediterranean break. It’s possible that 2018 could be your last chance to outpace the crowds.  » Don’t Miss  Nothing compares to a sunset climb up Stromboli, the Aeolians’ most charismatic volcano. A two-hour ascent brings you face-to-face with the fire-spewing crater.

Deep 7 7 The South Leon’s Oyster Shop in Charleston, South Carolina, is known for its spicy fried chicken.

The Deep South conjures visions of all sorts: thick-columned plantation homes with sweeping verandas from South Carolina through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi; cotton fields in the Mississippi Delta; moss-covered cypress trees and alligators in Louisiana bayous; and barbecue smoke drifting from a tumbledown shack in Alabama. The region is also identified historically with slavery and civil rights conflicts. In 2018 it will be 50 years since Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee; the anniversary has spurred several civil rights-focused sights to open. Foremost is the Memorial to Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama, a stunning structure of suspended columns that pays homage to more than 4,000 documented lynching victims. In Atlanta, King’s birthplace is being refurbished. Meanwhile, New Orleans turns 300, and the Mississippi River city is throwing a multi-event yearlong birthday party.  » Don’t Miss  Abandon your diet for plates of fried chicken and turnip greens, buttersmothered biscuits and flaky peach cobbler. You can find the region’s pan-crisped, gravyladled staples far and wide, though they might be best enjoyed at a mom-and-pop diner.

A Hindu temple along the Baralacha La, a treacherous, high-altitude mountain pass near India’s Lahaul–Spiti district

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Lahaul & Spiti, India

If you like your mountains big, your roads rugged and your landscapes verging on the supernatural, then the windswept valleys running east and west from Keylong are a little piece of Shangri-La. On paper, Lahaul and Spiti look to be easy detours off the road to Ladakh, but in this torturous terrain, every journey is an expedition. Crossing into Spiti involves a breathless climb over the 14,931-foot Kunzum Pass before tumbling into the parched valley of the Spiti River. Kept bone-dry by the rain shadow of the Himalayas, the ochre badlands of Spiti hide some of India’s most spectacular Buddhist art, while wellwatered Lahaul has seldom-visited temples and a back route to Kashmir considered to be one of the world’s most dangerous roads. Long overlooked by travelers rushing to Ladakh, this wild and wonderful area is starting to get the attention it deserves.  » Don’t Miss  See the monochrome landscape burst into kaleidoscopic color in the mural-cloaked chapels of Tabo, which is the oldest continually operating Buddhist monastery in the Indian Himalayas.

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: GETTY IMAGES/MELINA MARA; GETTY IMAGES/STEFAN AUTH; OPPOSITE FROM TOP LEFT: ALAMY STOCK PHOTO/FERNANDO QUEVEDO DE OLIVEIRA; GETTY IMAGES/LA_CORIVO

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 » Don’t Miss  Sample moqueca, a classic Bahian seafood stew made with shellfish, coconut milk, tomatoes, onion and dendê oil, an African palm oil. Enjoy it with a refreshing caipirinha, the national cocktail.

Located on the northeast coast of Brazil, Bahia is a tropical paradise of white sandy beaches, clear blue water, islands surrounded by coral reefs, plantations rich with cocoa beans, and Chapada Diamantina National Park, famous for its wild waterfalls. But Bahia’s natural playground has become more accessible to tourists, thanks to the face-lift that Salvador, a Portuguese colonial city that’s also the state capital, underwent after being chosen as a host city for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Bahia is ground zero for some of the liveliest festivals in a country that’s famous for them, whether it’s Carnaval, a tribute to a patron saint on his feast day, or a Candomblé ceremony honoring an orisha (deity). Fortunately for travelers, locals are inclusive: everyone is welcome to join the dancing in the street or the party on the beach.

A canyon at Buracão waterfall in Brazil’s Chapada Diamantina National Park

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Los Haitises National Park, Dominican Republic

In the south of Samaná Bay, Los Haitises National Park is a patchwork of craggy islets, blue canals and verdant forest, an ecosystem that appears plucked from prehistory. Perhaps the park’s most unique feature is the series of limestone caves worn ragged with water erosion and streaked with salt. Pass into the yawning Boca del Tiburón (Shark’s Mouth) before swinging around to shore to explore caves that were once ceremonial grounds for the Taíno people; these caves contain well-preserved carvings and paintings depicting animals, deities, medicine men and even the Spanish cross. Los Haitises is hardly a well-kept secret, but visitor numbers are rising: some big hotel projects are brewing nearby, and an updated sustainability plan will enhance infrastructure and preservation, so you’ll be greeted with improved trails and facilities.

Prehistoric-looking Los Haitises National Park is lined with dozens of small islets that are only navigable by boat.

 » Don’t Miss  Take a motorboat tour through larger waterways and take in pristine views. For a more relaxed approach, embark on a kayaking tour through smaller inlets and mangrove forests, or drift in the open waters at sunrise to catch the best views of abundant bird life.

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1  Oman  Oman is an excellent and gentle introduction to the Middle East. Elegant Muscat offers an insight into a centuries-old way of life: join a traditional wooden sailing dhow cruise, sit and watch fishermen at work, or relax at the beach. Beyond the capital, there are mud-brick villages, forts and castles to explore, and souks where you can hone haggling skills.

2  Norway  Thanks to family-friendly resorts and the fact that kids under 8 stay free, Norway is increasingly popular for families with children learning to ski. Throw in Viking museums, theme parks with trolls and fairy palaces, elk safaris and dog-sledding, and a trip to Norway will convert your kids to all things Scandi. 3  Namibia  Namibia is the perfect place to introduce children to southern Africa. While Namibia is known for wildlife in Etosha National Park, sand dunes at Sossusvlei, and adrenaline sports in Swakopmund, it’s also an excellent place to learn about modern tribal culture (via an organized visit to a Himba settlement). Safari tours typically allow children over 8.

Whether you’re exploring Aztec ruins, watching the kids run around a colonial town square, learning about Frida Kahlo’s art or eating corn on the cob from a street vendor, Mexico is an exuberant and friendly destination. Take the tempo up in fun-loving Mexico City, relax with locals on the beach in Tulum, or ride a train through Copper Canyon (also home to an adventure park with seven zip lines).

5  Emilia–Romagna, Italy  Children love Italy. There’s pizza, pasta and gelato, plus a culture that welcomes kids everywhere. But to escape the crowds and really get to know modern and historic Italy, head to Emilia– Romagna: there’s Parma ham and parmesan for your little foodies, the mosaics of Ravenna for budding artists, and photogenic Bologna, with a past to fascinate history buffs.

6  Orkney, Scotland  The adventurous journey required to reach Orkney will kick-start your family’s immersion into the islands’ fascinating cultural heritage. Once off the ferry you have 5,000 years of history to explore, from the ruins of a Neolithic village at Skara Brae and the Viking legacy at Kirkwall to Orkney’s role in World War II, well documented at the Scapa Flow Visitor Centre. 7  Amsterdam, The

Best Best Culture Culture Trips Trips for for families Families Travel can broaden children’s understanding of other people and societies. Expand the whole family’s cultural horizons with these inspiring trips.

 Netherlands  In Amsterdam you can experience serious science (at the hands-on NEMO Museum), serious art (Van Gogh Museum and Rembrandt House Museum both have child-friendly activities) and very serious history (at the famed Anne Frank House and the Verzetsmuseum Junior, which tells the stories of four Dutch children under occupation). For a lighter mood, take a pedal boat on the canals, eat stacks of Dutch pancakes, and burn off energy in the magical Vondelpark.

8  Nashville, Tennessee  There’s no better way to experience country music culture than visiting Nashville, and there’s plenty of kid-friendly activities. The Country Music Hall of Fame, for example, has interactive exhibits and listening booths, and kids love seeing the city from a seat on the Music City Trolley. Meanwhile, the Belle Meade Plantation has a fascinating history and grounds geared for rambling. 9  Brisbane, Australia  For a taste of the outdoorsy, barbecue-loving culture that is quintessentially Australian, a trip to Brisbane hits the right notes. Splash around on man-made Streets Beach (perfect for small swimmers) or let off steam at New Farm Park’s treehouse playground. For ancient Australian culture, there’s Aboriginal art in the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art. 10  Kyoto, Japan  In Kyoto there are tons of kid-oriented distractions if the cultural overload is too much. Take the Shōren-in temple, which has carp to count and a bamboo forest to explore in its landscaped gardens. At 400-year-old Nishiki Market you can buy all sorts of Japanese delicacies before heading into a shopping mall for a plate of something more familiar. Playing in a fountain in Mexico City

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GETTY IMAGES/EVA ALAVEZ / EYEEM

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Once a traffic-congested metropolis resting on its historical laurels, Seville has bloomed into a city of bicycles and modern streetcars, eager to reinvigorate its artistic past. The capital of Andalusia will host the 31st European Film Awards in 2018, and showcases its good looks in the HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones. Adding color to an ongoing artistic renaissance, Seville is in the midst of celebrating the 400th anniversary of homegrown Baroque painter Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, with half a dozen one-of-a-kind expositions continuing into 2018. Whether somber or joyous, life here is always lived passionately. Flamenco artists treat every performance as if it’s their last, operas depict hotblooded heroines and unscrupulous Figaros, and bars and restaurants manage to capture the latest food and fashion trends while standing by their age-old traditions: seriously good tapas.

GETTY IMAGES/SPANI ARNAUD / HEMIS.FR

 » Don’t Miss  Flamenco, an amalgamation of song, guitar and dance, is partly rooted in Seville and the city puts on high-quality, authentic shows every night of the week.

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Martin Creed’s Work No. 790: Everything is Going to Be Alright is being featured for a second time at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

After decades of neglect, Detroit is rolling again. It’s like the whole place is caffeinebuzzed and freewheeling in ideas. Young creative types jump-started the scene when they began transforming the crazy-huge slew of abandoned buildings into distilleries, bike shops and galleries. This sparked fresh public works, such as the just-opened hockey and basketball arena downtown, and the QLine streetcar that gives easy access to city hot spots. More are coming: three new parks will extend the riverfront trail (ideal for two-wheeling via the new 43-station bike-share scheme in the greater downtown area), plus groovy hotels will emerge from an old wig shop and a forlorn parking lot. Meanwhile, murals keep brightening derelict buildings, urban farms continue to sprout on vacant lots, and chefs keep cooking in inventive restaurants. Scrappiness rules in this gritty city.

Canberra, 3 3 Canberra, Australia Australia

The Cupping Room coffee shop

 » Don’t Miss  Step into the sky-lit hall at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where muralist Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry tells the city’s blue-collar labor history in vivid color.

Canberra packs a big punch for such a small city. National treasures are found at almost every corner, and exciting new boutique precincts have emerged, bulging with gastronomic highlights and cultural must-dos. Admire an extraordinary volume of treasures in the Australian National Gallery, National Library and Australian War Memorial. Beyond these stately monuments and galleries, the 617-acre National Arboretum is home to a whopping 94 forests of rare, endangered and symbolic Australian fauna crisscrossed with walking and cycling trails. Canberra’s picturesque Manuka Oval will host an International Test cricket match in 2018, providing sporting fans the perfect excuse to visit Australia’s federal capital. Later in 2018 the Australian War Memorial will take center stage as it hosts the 100th anniversary of the WWI Armistice; a series of commemorative events will take place on November 11.  » Don’t Miss  Works from the world’s largest collection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art (more than 7,500 pieces) are on display at the National Gallery of Australia.

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: COURTESY OF THE ARTIST, GAVIN BROWN’S ENTERPRISE AND MOCAD; COURTESY OF SEED PRESS

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The second-largest city in Germany, Hamburg throbs with international beats. At times you’ll forget you’re even in Deutschland, thanks to the city’s unique stew of different cultures. Walk down a pedestrian street and you’ll pass a Portuguese seafood bistro, a Middle Eastern market and a designer boutique that defies categorization. Meanwhile, the stunning $934 million Elbphilharmonie concert hall, which opened in 2017, captivates with its details: the glass top shimmers like crystalline sails, while the base reflects the brick aesthetic of the surrounding historic and oh-so-walkable HafenCity port area. From here, alluringly accessible Hamburg radiates out along its vast harbor and the Elbe River. Surprises abound: three-season riverfront beach bars, nightlife that’s among Europe’s best, and low-rise charms that reward wanderers who use the city’s dozens of old steeples as compass points.

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 » Don’t Miss  Early on Sunday, thousands of locals and visitors hit the famed Fischmarkt in the St. Pauli neighborhood. Go there to drink beer, buy fish and listen to German pop music.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: GETTY IMAGES/FABIO NODARI; JONATHAN STOKES

Bullerei restaurant in Hamburg is housed in a former cattle hall.

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Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Spring and Autumn Pavilions, a Taoist temple complex by Lotus Pond, is a top sight in Kaohsiung.

Taiwan’s second-largest city is a hub of industry. It’s also a modern landscape of wide streets, airy cafés, sultry jazz dens and riverside parks. Beaches skirt the urban area, more than 2,400 acres of forest bristle on its doorstep, and the Cijin fishing village is just a ferry ride away. Like the rest of Taiwan, the city teems with temples, ranging from fun, shrill-colored kitsch to elegant edifices by masters of folk art. A massive arts center and 1 million-plus-square-foot music complex, complete with banyan-caressed plazas and wave-lapped walkways, is emerging on Kaohsiung’s balmy harborfront, Taiwan’s showcase for experimental architecture from around the world. Adding to this will be a spectacular cruise terminal, for those favoring an Odyssean approach to the port city. A sleek 36-station light-rail system links these monuments to the rest of Kaohsiung.

 » Don’t Miss  Along two sweeping boulevards by a stark blue harbor, banana and bicycle warehouses from the 1970s shelter Pier-2 Art District, an array of galleries, boutiques, cafés and entertainment spots.

6 6 Antwerp, Belgium

Once northern Europe’s greatest city, today Antwerp is one of its best-kept secrets. Antwerp pairs Bruges-style good looks with big-city cool. The unofficial capital of Flanders is laden with historic riches and home to world-class arts and design, and in 2018 it’s showing its cultural chops with a celebration of its baroque heyday. Inspired by the city’s most famous resident, baroque artist Rubens, Antwerp Baroque 2018 will feature Flemish masters rubbing shoulders with modern talent in a calendar that spans parades, concerts, street art, multimedia shows and workshops. Though Antwerp doesn’t skimp on Belgian classics such as beer, chocolate and the gin-like genever, the port city is unafraid to go all out when it comes to food and drink, especially in the old docklands of Het Eilandje. Its warehouses brim with coffee shops, cocktail bars and restaurants, mingling with hi-tech museums and architectural showstoppers.  » Don’t Miss  A bike ride of a few hours is enough to explore the old town and docklands, street-art-filled Park Spoor Noord, art nouveau Zurenborg and Antwerp’s left bank, with its postcard-worthy skyline.

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Matera, Italy

A crown of honey-stoned houses perched above a ravine, Matera is stunning. But that’s only half the story: snaking beneath the surface is a labyrinth of cave dwellings, churches and monasteries that date back more than 9,000 years, making it one of the oldest living cities in the world. Located in a remote part of Basilicata, which is at the long-overlooked “arch” of Italy’s boot, the UNESCO-listed site feels bypassed by time. Its alleyways, tunnels and staircases form an Escher-like maze that often doubles for biblical towns in movies. Largely restored from near-ruin, Matera is capitalizing on its cavernous appeal, with hotels, restaurants and bars carving out a scene as cool as their rock-hewn walls. There’s a flurry of events planned ahead of the underground destination’s stint as a European Capital of Culture for 2019.

 » Don’t Miss  Exploring Matera’s sassi (cave districts) is the highlight of any visit. Strike out alone or with a guide from a tour operator such as Sassiweb or Viator.

Accommodations in Matera’s Sextantio hotel are in large caves.

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COURTESY OF SEXTANTIO; OPPOSITE, FROM TOP: GETTY IMAGES/FERRANTRAITE; COURTESY OF OLIVER COLE

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San Juan is a place where old meets new, where the city’s colonial past meshes comfortably with an emerging modern urbanity. Old San Juan is a walled enclave with cobblestoned roads, leafy plazas, and historic churches and forts. Beyond the walls, modern San Juan is draped with murals, and its museums and galleries form a dynamic art scene. In recent years, many innovative restaurants have opened, with farm-to-table eateries beckoning foodies and casual diners alike. The exuberant nightlife – dance clubs, lounges, bars – has long been a highlight, as have San Juan’s dazzling beaches. In September 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, becoming the biggest storm to impact the island in 89 years. While San Juan did not escape the wrath of the hurricane, there's no doubt that it will rebuild and remain the enchanting city it's always been.  » Don’t Miss  Simply wandering around Old San Juan, the city’s colonial and historic heart, is a delight. All paths eventually lead to Plaza de Armas, the old city’s main plaza.

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From silver mining to the silver screen, the small city of Guanajuato punches above its weight when it comes to topical appeal. The wealth produced by the local seams of silver created a visually stunning cityscape of ornate churches, pretty squares and colorful houses, spread out over the surrounding verdant valley. This natural and man-made beauty caught the eye of Pixar producers, who used the city as the real-life basis for their animated Land of the Dead in the 2017 film Coco. Other highlights, or lowlights, of this World Heritage City are the creepycool tunnels dug to allow drivers and pedestrians to get around town without navigating the many torturous hills. Back above ground, the city is brimming with architectural wonders and museums, including one celebrating a famous local: artist Diego Rivera.

 » Don’t Miss  Take part in an estudiantina, a mobile street party that takes place every weekend. Look for the costumed ticket sellers in the city center on weekend afternoons.

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10 10 Oslo, Norway

Oslo’s charms have sailed under the Scandinavian radar for far too long, but this compact capital is rising fast. The Tjuvholmen waterfront area has been reinvented by the city’s biggest urban renewal project. It’s now home to a host of bars and bistros, plus the fantastic Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. It’s one of several architectural experiments that are gradually reinventing Oslo’s skyline: there’s a new high-rise district known as the Barcode, plus a striking extension planned for the Vikingskipshuset (Viking Ship Museum). Along with the rest of the nation, Oslo will toast a landmark event in 2018: the 50th anniversary of Norway’s beloved king and queen. Expect fanfare and pageantry aplenty, along with a packed calendar of events. Also, Oslo’s landmark Opera House is marking its 10th birthday in 2018 with a celebratory season of concerts and performances.

 » Don’t Miss  Step back in time at the Vikingskipshuset, home to two beautifully preserved Viking longships, the Oseberg and Gokstad, dug up from Oslofjord 1,100 years after they were buried during a chieftain’s funeral ceremony. Fragments of a third ship, the Tune, are also on show. Outside the Oslo Opera House

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The Photographer’s Story

Tyler Haughey Photographer Tyler Haughey is a New Jersey native living in Brooklyn. See more of his work at tylerhaughey.com and on Instagram at @tylerhaughey.

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“The Yankee Clipper Motel is one of this subset of motels down there that are identified as historic buildings. It was built in the early 1960s and still holds a lot of its original detail.”

’ve spent the last two years documenting the midcentury modern motels of the Wildwoods, a group of shore towns on a 5-mile island in southern New Jersey. Built in the 1950s and ’60s and virtually unchanged, they form the largest concentration of postwar resort architecture in the U.S. As a native of the Jersey Shore, I’ve always been interested in the coast’s history and buildings, and when

I happened upon the Wildwoods one winter, I felt like I’d traveled back in time. The motels represent the way American families used to vacation – with the rise of car culture and a new landscaped highway sparking a massive migration to the area. More than 300 motels were built, influenced by European modernism and Miami Beach, though in the last 20 years, half have been knocked down. Come summer, they’re still packed with people, but for nine

months of the year they have no choice but to close. This is when I shoot; with all distractions stripped away, their character can really shine through. Each motel is different, decorated to set itself apart and attract motorists, with bright colors, neon signs and the iconography of exotic, faraway destinations. I love that so many are able to continue on and thrive, as time capsules of summers past.”

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“This overturned chair at the Barcelona Motel is very evocative of the off-season. It’s also vintage, and hints at the attentive way motels are trying to keep the era alive.”

“It took them this long to get rid of the little box TVs and replace them with flat-screen TVs . . . but it also shows that they are willing to modernize, to keep their customers coming back.”

“They put a word on the side of a building and hope that it transports people to a place that they might otherwise not be able to visit, especially by car.”

“This is really one that is a quintessential midcentury motel: it’s got the L shape, it’s three levels, all the colors and the theme is really still intact . . . evocative of Capri in Italy.”

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“The majority of these motels, like the Sea N Sun Resort here, have at least one plastic palm tree. In the winter a lot of these places take out the plastic palm fronds.�

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The Photographer’s Story

“Grecian Gardens reminds me of a watermelon with the pink and the green, which is just so reminiscent of summertime. The motels are usually L-shaped or U-shaped, with a pool out front.”

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“As well as their bright, fun color schemes, a lot of motels, such as the Gold Crest Resort Motel here, have amenities like pools and mini-golf to attract families.�

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Accommodations: $ <150, $$ 150-350, $$$ >350 Restaurants: $ <15, $$ 15-25, $$$ >25

V I N TAG E N E W YO R K CITY With its compact size and streets packed with architectural treasures, Old World cafés, atmospheric booksellers and curio shops, NYC is an urban wanderer’s delight. On your next visit, wander back to yesteryear with a tour of the Big Apple’s favorite vintage destinations, including a historic music hall, an iconic boardwalk and the city’s top flea markets.

Harlem’s legendary Apollo Theater first opened in 1913.

GETTY IMAGES/FRANKVANDENBERGH

SIGHTS Coney Island About 50 minutes by subway from Midtown, the wide, sandy beach of Coney Island has retained its nostalgic, kitschy and slightly sleazy charms, famous boardwalk and

1927 Cyclone wooden roller coaster amid a modern amusement park area. » coneyisland .com; 1208 Surf Ave., Brooklyn Lower East Side Tenement Museum Three recreated tenement

apartments relate the heartbreaking but inspiring heritage of turn-of-the20th-century immigrant families in New York. Visits are by guided tour only; book ahead. » tenement.org; 103 Orchard St. Morris-Jumel Mansion Built in 1765, this stately mansion is Manhattan’s oldest house, with beautifully appointed rooms. Around the corner lies storybook Sylvan Terrace, graced by its original gas lamps. » morrisjumel.org; 65 Jumel Terrace New York City Fire Museum In a grand old firehouse dating from 1904, this ode to firefighters includes a fantastic collection of historic equipment and artifacts. » nycfiremuseum .org; 278 Spring St. Radio City Music Hall Guided tours of this art deco movie palace include the glorious auditorium, classically inspired murals in the Women’s Downstairs Lounge, and the ultraexclusive VIP Roxy Suite. There are often fabulous talents in the lineup. Top performers have graced the stage here, from Frank Sinatra to B.B. King and Dolly Parton to Sting. » radiocity.com; 1260 Sixth Ave.

EAT Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop Sandwiches $ This old-school diner is filled with regulars coming in for Jewish deli fare like chopped

liver, pastrami and whitefish salad. » eisenbergsnyc.com; 174 Fifth Ave. Fraunces Tavern American $$ George Washington supped here in 1762. Expect heaping portions of tavern stew, clam chowder and slow-roasted chicken pot pie. » frauncestavern.com; 54 Pearl St. Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant Seafood $$$ Hugely atmospheric, with a vaulted tiled ceiling, this station eatery serves seafood stew and pan-fried soft-shell crab, but the real claim to fame is the two dozen oyster varieties. » oysterbarny.com; Grand Central Terminal, 42nd St. Nom Wah Tea Parlor Chinese $ Hidden down a narrow lane is the oldest dim sum place in town. Grab a seat and point at the mouthwatering (and often greasy) delicacies pushed around on carts. » nomwah.com; 13 Doyers St.

DRINK Maison Première We kept expecting to see Dorothy Parker stagger into this old-timey place, which features an elegant bar, suspendered bartenders and a jazzy soundtrack. The cocktails include various juleps and more than a dozen absinthe drinks. » maisonpremiere.com; 298 Bedford Ave. Old Town Bar & Restaurant It still looks like 1892 in here, with the mahogany bar, original tile floors and tin

ceilings. There are cocktails, but most visitors come for beers and a burger. » oldtown bar.com; 45 E 18th St.

SHOP Beacon’s Closet Twenty-something groovers find this massive warehouse of vintage clothing part gold mine, part grit. Coats, polyester tops and ’90sera T-shirts are handily displayed by color, but the sheer mass can take time to conquer. » beaconscloset.com; 74 Guernsey St. Philip Williams Posters You’ll find nearly a half million posters in this cavernous trove, from oversized French perfume ads to Soviet film posters and retro airline promos for TWA. » postermuseum .com; 122 Chambers St. Screaming Mimis If you dig vintage threads, you may just scream, too. This fun shop carries an excellent selection of pieces, organized – ingeniously – by decade. » screamingmimis .com; 240 W. 14th St.

ENTERTAINMENT Apollo Theater A leading space for concerts and political rallies since 1914, the Apollo hosted virtually every major black artist in the 1930s and ’40s, including Duke Ellington and Billie Holiday. Today, its thriving programs of music, dance, master classes and special events continue to draw crowds and applause. » apollotheater.org; 253 W. 125th St.

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MAP KEY  SIGHTS Coney Island Lower East Side Tenement Museum Morris-Jumel Mansion New York City Fire Museum Radio City Music Hall

 EATING Eisenberg’s Sandwich Shop Fraunces Tavern Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant Nom Wah Tea Parlor DRINKING Maison Première Old Town Bar & Restaurant  SHOPPING Beacon’s Closet

Philip Williams Posters Screaming Mimis ENTERTAINMENT Apollo Theater SLEEPING 6 Columbus Carlton Arms The Harlem Flophouse The Iroquois Ivy Terrace Wythe Hotel

WHERE TO STAY LOCAL LIFE FLEA MARKETS Artists & Fleas This is a popular art, design and vintage weekend market in Williamsburg, with an excellent selection of crafts. » artistsandfleas.com; 70 N. 7th St. Brooklyn Flea On Sundays you can get more market action down in Dumbo, with vintage furnishings, retro clothing and bric-a-brac. » brooklynflea.com; 80 Pearl St.; Apr–Oct Grand Bazaar NYC Browsing this well-stocked market is perfect for a lazy Upper West Side Sunday morning. » grandbazaarnyc.org; 100 W. 77th St. Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market This weekend flea market brings a booty of vintage furnishings, clothing and other objects from past eras. » annexmarkets.com; W. 39th St.

For More Information See Lonely Planet’s New York City ($21.99), Pocket New York City ($13.99) and Guides app (free download at app stores).

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 for ’60s style  6 Columbus $$$ Flash back to the 1960s at this ode to modernism by Central Park. Rooms are small but satisfying, with retro-cool detailing. » sixtyhotels.com/6-columbus  for bohemians  Carlton Arms $ An eclectic mix of travelers at this century-old hotel excuse the basic facilities for low prices and art adorning nearly every inch. » carltonarms.com  for jazz  The Harlem Flophouse $ In this 1890s townhouse, nostalgic rooms are decked out in brass beds, polished wood floors and vintage radios set to a jazz station. » harlemflophouse.com  for glamour  The Iroquois $$$ Steeped in history (James Dean lived here in the ’50s), this classic hotel has a dark and intimate cocktail salon, Lantern’s Keep. » iroquoisny.com

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