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Megan Gray′s Wishlist
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Antarctica
You may think you’ve kayaked in some extreme spots, but nothing beats an afternoon paddling in Antarctica. Not all expeditions offer this as an excursion, so be sure to check in advance if this is something you really want to try. Zodiac boats are...
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Antarctica
Where ships stop in Antarctica depends on a lot of factors, principally ice and weather. Most tour operators, though, will try to include several stops whenever possible. If you’re lucky, one of these stops will include the chance to climb a snowy...
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Antarctica
OK, since there aren’t any polar bears in Antarctica (they’re Arctic inhabitants), maybe we should call this the Penguin Plunge. Whatever you name it, though, it’s a heck of a story to share with friends back home. While many expeditions offer...
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Antarctica
No matter which Antarctic cruise you embark upon, you will come to rely heavily on Zodiac boats. These rigid inflatables are used around the world—by beach patrols, the military, and thrill seekers—and you will depend upon them throughout your...
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Antarctica
Ice conditions in Antarctica change hourly, and there’s no way to know where exactly your cruise will take you. If you’re lucky, though, you’ll be able to get close enough to pack ice to be able to go for a walk on water. One morning I was on a...
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Antarctica
In a destination as extreme as Antarctica, the trip there is an adventure in itself. This is especially true if you opt to journey the way many people do, by crossing Drake Passage. The Drake is the body of water between South America and...
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Antarctica
Sure, you may pride yourself on being a great outdoorsperson, but would you camp under the stars in Antarctica? Depending on the tour you choose, bundling up for a chilly night on the ice might be a possibility. Several tour companies offer the...
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Antarctica
A popular activity at snowy resorts around the world, snowshoeing also offers you the opportunity to strap in and cover some ground in Antarctica. Several adventure tour companies include an afternoon or full-day outing on snowshoes, giving guests...
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Antarctica
If all those calorie-laden meals on your cruise ship have you wishing for a workout, then a day spent skiing across Antarctica may be for you. Not very many tour companies offer this option, so be sure to ask before purchasing a trip. Typically,...
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Antarctica
Antarctica is a massive continent, full of ice, rock, mountains, and caves. Depending on your tour and where you visit, it may be possible for you to explore these areas by mountaineering or even caving. Of the thousands of mountains on Antarctica...
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316 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Previously known as the Hotel de la Poste, the 97-room property transitioned to the W French Quarter in 2000 and has since undergone a $9 million overhaul. The newly redesigned rooms channel the city’s jazz and voodoo culture, while the new...
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523 Gravier St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Opened in April 2001, this Central Business District property, a converted dry-goods warehouse, is a departure from the typical New Orleans hotel. Instead of fleur-de-lis wallpaper and Louis XIV chairs, you’ll find Fortuny lamps, Herman...
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Oak St, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA
The weekend before Thanksgiving, you will find the Po'boy Festival out on Oak Street. Best sandwich ever...until you try a
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2401 St Ann St, New Orleans, LA 70119, USA
$$$$
“Well, we’ll see about that!” loudly harrumphs an endless of stream of out-of-town customers, eager to challenge the claim that Willie Mae’s makes “the world’s best fried chicken.” They’re usually...
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514 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130, USA
Little-known fact: New Orleans was the first place in North America to license pharmacists (starting in 1769, when the city was still under Spanish rule). After Louisiana became a territory, the U.S. governor extended the requirement, also...
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3322 Lake St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802, USA
$$$$
If you're looking for a place to sober up over an omelette or to grab a quick lunch before an LSU football game, head straight over to Louie's Cafe. The 24 hour diner has been serving up Southern classics since 1941. Louie himself worked behind...
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504 N 5th St, Baton Rouge, LA 70802, USA
Visiting farmer's markets gives you a glimpse into the food culture of a destination and you may be surprised how varied it is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I visited the Red Stick Farmer's Market, held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in various...
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100 North Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70801, USA
Being situated within walking distance of Baton Rouge's vibrant downtown, this castle-like structure was once the political heart of the state of Louisiana. Now visitors can enjoy tours and an informational stroll through the hallowed halls of...
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31025 LA-1, White Castle, LA 70788, USA
This superbly restored estate, once a sugarcane producer in the 1850s, is not just a beautiful place to take a guided or audio tour, it's a wonderful spot to stay. That's right -- you can spend one night or several at this AAA Four Diamond...
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901 Benton Rd #E, Bossier City, LA 71111, USA
$$$$
Crawfish season is a magical time of year in Louisiana. Kim's Seafood in Bossier City is run by a Vietnamese family who moved here from New Orleans via Galveston after Hurricane Katrina. Grab a po boy, egg rolls and a heaping platter of boiled...
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Breaux Bridge, LA 70517, USA
Sun, smiles, beer, craft vendors, carnival rides, top-notch Zydeco bands, swamp boogie, a parade, dancing, a queen, king and princesses, local celebs, food of all kinds including crawfish boil and Etouffee- all converge at Park Hardy to celebrate...
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110 Frenier Rd, Laplace, LA 70068, USA
You simply can't tour Louisiana without taking a swamp tour by boat, and this tour company in the southeast tip of the state offers one of the best. Guides are as colorful and interesting as the scenery, injecting each tour with historical...
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111 Lake Louise Dr, Lake Louise, AB T0L 1E0, Canada
One of Canada’s most iconic hotels, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is cradled in the heart of the Rocky Mountains, surrounded by towering peaks and fully immersed in the protected pristine wilderness of Banff National Park. In the...
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Singel, 1012 DH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Since 1862, fresh flowers and plants have arrived by barge from the Dutch countryside to Amsterdam. While this assemblage of flora still shows up daily, it comes by van, not boat, to the Bloemenmarkt, the world's only floating flower market. Here,...
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1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beloved by locals and popular with tourists, the Vondelpark is a 120-acre oasis of green in buzzing Amsterdam, southeast of the Leidseplein. Opened in 1865 as the Nieuwe Park, it was later renamed after 17th-century Dutch playwright Joost van den...
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Oudezijds Achterburgwal, 1012 Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's one of Amsterdam's prettiest districts, where swans glide on tree-shrouded canals and gabled mansions recall Holland's Golden Age: de Wallen, better known as the Red Light District (RLD). Since 2000, prostitutes have plied their trade here as...
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Kerkstraat 52, 1017 GM Amsterdam, Netherlands
While Europe has many gay-friendly places, Amsterdam is, by many accounts, its most gay-friendly city. With dozens of LGBT bars, restaurants, shops, nightclubs and even a few saunas and hotels catering to gays, the Dutch capital is heaven for any...
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Gabriël Metsustraat 8, 1071 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
It has been a decade since the major museums on the Museumplein—a grassy square connecting Amsterdam’s main art centers—have all been open at the same time. Here’s what to check out at the Van Gogh Museum. Sunflowers, The...
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IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Step inside the Eye Film Institute to discover an homage to international cinema replete with interactive displays and perched like an ivory spaceship ready for launch on the northern bank of the IJ River. The striking facility, accessible via a...
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Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam’s State Museum reopened in 2013 after a decade of renovations, and it is oh so worth a visit! Weave your way through the museum's vast assemblage of historic art (there are over 8,000 pieces!) to check out works from Dutch masters...
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With its flamboyant facade, art deco foyer, and main hall outfitted with love seats and private boxes, the Pathé Tuschinski Cinema makes going to the movies a romantic affair. Framed by ornate twin towers, the historic building between the...
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Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands
One powerful and emotional experience in Amsterdam that shouldn’t be missed is a visit to the Anne Frank House. This home, where Anne Frank wrote in her diary while she, her family, and four others hid from the Nazis during World War II, has...
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De Wallen, Amsterdam, Netherlands
The red-light district in Amsterdam is a very busy place with an odd mix of life in one small neighborhood. In a peculiar way it’s very beautiful—there’s so much happening both visually and mentally it takes a bit to process it...
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Enge Kerksteeg 3, 1012 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ever wondered how it feels to sit behind one of those curtained windows in Amsterdam's Red Light District (RLD)? Find out from women who've been there at the Prostitute Information Center (PIC), near the statue of Belle on Oudekerksplein engraved...
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Warmoesstraat 65, 1012 HW Amsterdam, Netherlands
Most people don't think of Warmoesstraat when they plan a shopping spree in Amsterdam. But if your gift lists and desires include dildos, vibrators, S + M toys, porn CDs or kinky leather, it's where you'll want to head. As a hub for the city's...
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Warmoesstraat 62, 1012 JG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Girls who just wanna have fun (and their boyfriends) can find satisfaction at Nana on Warmoesstraat, in the Red Light District. Self-described as "the most vibrating shop," the store sports a rainbow of colorful vibrators, dildos and other adult...
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Tweede Egelantiersdwarsstraat 2, 1015 SC Amsterdam, Netherlands
It was the fifth of seven food stops on our Jordaan Food Tour (http://www.eatingamsterdamtours.com/jordaan-food-tour/), a four-hour gastronomic adventure through one of Amsterdam's most scenic and historic neighborhoods. We'd already devoured...
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Warmoesstraat 141, 1012 district, Amsterdam Centrum (Wallen Noord), 1012 JB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Recognizable by the gaggle of camera-toting tourists who routinely gather to gawk at one of Amsterdam's funniest shop windows, The Condomerie proffers colorful condoms and other contraceptive methods in all shapes, sizes, flavors and colors, as...
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Haarlemmerdijk 25-A, 1013 KA Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you like your Louis Vuittons made of chocolate, head for Jordino on Haarlemmerdijk, one of Amsterdam's finest sweets shops. Since 1993, the family-owned shop has been crafting shoes you can eat from fine cocoa products. Alongside the pumps, 90...
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Lijnbaansgracht 191, 1016 XA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Who knew you could buy a little string instrument for as little as €35, learn to play it in days and ramp up in weeks to performing in an urban orchestra? If you're looking for a laugh to go along with your live music, hit Amsterdam's Uke...
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Prinsengracht 645, 1016 HV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Headquartered about an hour north of the city, Royal Tichelaar Makkum has been making traditional Dutch pottery and tiles for more than four centuries. In Amsterdam proper, the design store Frozen Fountain sells modern Makkum pieces, including...
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Kinkerstraat 336, 1053 GE Amsterdam, Netherlands
...here is the silver ring I told about in my last highlight. I thought it deserved a photo and highlight of its own. We found this little jewelry shop on at adventure in Amsterdam. It was a "highlight" of my trip for sure! After we put my order...
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Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat, 1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
From vintage shops and hipster boutiques in the Negen Straats (Nine Streets) to posh designer outlets on P.C. Hoofstraat, Amsterdam's shopping scene is nothing if not eclectic. There's something for everyone on Kalverstraat, a shopping street that...
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Albert Cuypstraat 2-6, 1072 CT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Who is Sir Albert? This issue might perplex the uninitiated, because the hotel and its staff insist that the mysterious aristocrat transformed his private mansion into a collection of sleek and fashionable pieds-à-terre for the...
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Professor Tulpplein 1, 1018 GX Amsterdam, Netherlands
An Old World grande dame of the 19th-century tradition, the InterContinental Amstel Amsterdam presides over the Amstel River from its waterfront perch at the eastern edge of the original city. An imposing example of a Dutch take on French...
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Jan Plezierweg 2, 1118 BB Schiphol, Netherlands
It somehow seems appropriate that one of quirky, art-loving Amsterdam’s coolest hotels would be sandwiched between terminals and runways. This sleek airport hotel from the stylish, budget-friendly citizenM chain (it also has an outpost in...
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Prinsengracht 587, 1016 HT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Once Amsterdam’s main public library, the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht looks like a 1970s block on the outside. But inside, renowned Dutch designer Marcel Wanders has transformed the space into a whimsical and grown-up homage to Alice in...
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Nieuwe Doelenstraat 2-14, 1012 CP Amsterdam, Netherlands
One of Amsterdam’s original luxury hotels, a holdover from the late 19th century’s age of Grand Tours and neoclassical architecture, the imposing De L’Europe has been thoughtfully restored in keeping with both its opulent history...
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Prinsengracht 315, 1016 GZ Amsterdam, Netherlands
One could argue that the Pulitzer Amsterdam isn’t actually one hotel. Before 1960, each of its 25 buildings was an individual, 17th- or 18th-century merchant canal house. Painstaking renovations over the years have guaranteed that each room...
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Jan Pieter Heijestraat 190, 1054 MN Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's kitschy Africana at its best in Amsterdam's non-touristy Oud-West. Named for the Ethiopian Empire that reigned from the 12th century until 1975, Abyssinia's interior seems to represent an old African hut. Vibrant colors and flavors assault...
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Overtoom 160-162, 1054 HP Amsterdam, Netherlands
We had been to Gollem for a drink and a snack (note: the meat platter is hearty) the evening before, but when we found ourselves on Overtoom after visiting Vondelpark, with Gollem just opening for lunch, we went for it again. After all, it was our...
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Spui 15, 1012 WX Amsterdam, Netherlands
You might expect to find a man with a last name like “Visscher” (fisherman in Dutch) to be behind a restaurant specializing in fresh seafood. But Fons de Visscher took it a step further. Three years after his successful launch of The Seafood Bar...
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Rozengracht 25, 1016 LR Amsterdam, Netherlands
Long after America bit into the cupcake craze, Europe is finally sinking some teeth into it. Since 2012, Amsterdammers with a sweet tooth have been getting their sugar fix at Van Ness Cupcake, in the heart of the city on Spuistraat. The tiny...
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Herenstraat 16, 1012 HG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Few things are gratis in Amsterdam, where you'll probably pay for your own meal even on a romantic date. But Seasons restaurant gives new meaning to "going Dutch" with a two-for-one Early Bird Special. Set on a pretty side-street off the...
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North Rim, AZ 86052, USA
If you know your flight path is going to go over the Grand Canyon, get a window seat. Even from thirty-some-thousand feet above, the chasms within chasms stretch on to the horizon...
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34631 N Tom Darlington Dr Suite 101, Scottsdale, AZ 85262, USA
Bringing together the elements of feng shui, a Zen-like ambience, and its Sonoran Desert environs, Spa at the Boulders is a 33,000-square-foot escape where you can easily spend an entire day. Besides the 24 treatment rooms and a running list...
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Montego Bay, Jamaica
A popular and new cultural attraction in Montego Bay, the Rastafari Indigenous Village offers a fun and insightful day of Rastafari history, music and food to anyone interested in immersing and learning about this unique group. The day begins with...
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Accompong Maroon, Jamaica
You won’t regret a visit to Accompong Town, an authentic Maroon village in the hills of Cockpit Country. The Maroons, descendants of enslaved West Africans first brought to Jamaica by the Spanish, fought British slaveholders—by...
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Jamaica
Shopping, browsing and haggling at one of Negril Beach's numerous seafront shops is part of the fun. Dotting the white sandy shores are over a dozen independent shacks, tables and mini boutiques selling paintings, wood carvings, colorful...