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Archive for the ‘U.S. Destinations’ Category

Oct
06

Ever heard of a Silent Disco?

Well, you wouldn’t actually hear it. It’s silent, right?  But you could watch one on Oct. 29, when Traverse City adds yet another entry to its list of fall happenings: the first-ever Old Town Halloween Carnival and Monster’s Ball. And it’s a spooky sight to behold.

In a Silent Disco, dancers are issued wireless headphones through which music is broadcast via an FM transmitter. It’s the perfect eerie effect for a Halloween street party, since everyone appears to be moving to no discernible music at all. (An added benefit is that non-dancers don’t have to shout at each other over the music, and the neighbors don’t call the cops to report you for making a public nuisance.)

Already known among Halloween cognoscenti for its ghoulish  5K Zombie Run footrace, where shambling “zombie” runners chase down normal-looking “survivors,” and the unspeakable cuteness of its kid-friendly Downtown Halloween Walk, Traverse City seems determined to make itself the Halloween capital of the Midwest with yet another event.

Photo credit: Porterhouse Productions

Photo credit: Porterhouse Productions

Billed as “the largest Halloween event in Northern Michigan,” the Oct. 29 Halloween Carnival and Monster’s Ball starts with a Saturday morning “Monster Pancake Throwdown” – a contest among local chefs in this bastion of culinary competitiveness for the title of Best Pancake in Traverse City. Pancakes will be served out with a host of other locally-produced sausages, eggs, jams, syrups and ciders. Family-style fun continues from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with a kids’ costume contest, a haunted bouncy castle, old-school carnival games, Halloween creatures, a pneumatic “virtual hearse ride,” a pumpkin pie-eating contest, performances by local bands and dancers and other fun.

But things really begin to happen after dark, when the streets are taken over by the Monster’s Ball, with local food, wines and microbrews, and music from live bands and DJs. Entertainment will include the last live performance of Michigan dance-rock group Ella Riot (this will be the band’s farewell show), a costume contest featuring premium prizes, and an all-night Silent Disco dance party featuring DJ Body Rock and Wally Sparks (of Ella Riot), DJ Dominate and others.

Tickets for the Old Town Halloween Carnival & Monsters’ Ball can be purchased online at www.porterhouseproductions.com.

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Oct
06

Travel + Leisure has released their list of America’s most historic, charming, and downright beautiful neighborhoods, and folks across the country are bound to have strong opinions about which towns were left off the list. I’m happy to say I’ve personally spent time in four of the ten neighborhoods selected, and the others are now on my short list. I was surprised to see parts of Baltimore, Oklahoma City and Houston on this list, and you may be surprised by some of the other selections.

Check out the article and let us know which ‘hoods you think should have made the list, and which ones you think were deservedly named “Most Beautiful.”

Photo credit: Travel + Leisure / Nik Wheeler/ Alamy

Photo credit: Travel + Leisure / Nik Wheeler/ Alamy

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Sep
27

In just 17 days, LEGOLAND, Florida is set to open its doors to the biggest Lego park in the world. The park will offer a mix of over 50 rides, shows and attractions, including never before seen Lego models. Daytona International Speedway is re-created from more than 180,000 Lego pieces and 1000 “Minilanders,” as the Lego citizens are called, and allows visitors to race against each other by pressing a button to launch their cars.

Other interactive elements for families to enjoy together will include Pirate’s Cove with a live water-stunt show, and “Miniland” featuring New York City, Las Vegas, Washington DC and more, all created from hundreds of thousands of Lego pieces. You really have to see it to believe it!

Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND, Florida

Photo courtesy of LEGOLAND, Florida

Check out the huge countdown clock at http://florida.legoland.com and start planning a trip today to this unique family-friendly spot!

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Sep
21

This weekend is the season premiere of HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, the 1920′s gangster show set in Atlantic City, New Jersey. To kick off the premiere, the New York City MTA has converted some subways into fully-functioning 1920′s-era trains, from the subway cars themselves, to the maps, and even the advertisements displayed.

Boardwalk Empire Vintage NYC Subway

Photo: Scott Beale / Laughing Squid @ laughingsquid.com

If you’re in NYC anytime in September, see if you can catch one of these cool-looking trains on the 2/3 line for a truly transporting experience!

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Sep
20

Every year Travel+Leisure invites readers to vote in its 16th annual World’s Best survey, rating cities on things including overall value, sights, shopping and more.  The results include some perennial favorites, and some surprising new additions.

Rome, Italy - Coliseum

Rome, Italy - Coliseum

Florence, Rome and New York City are annual favorites, and this year is no exception. Readers love the culture, cuisine and character of these cities, and they flock to them in droves.

Istanbul is back in the top 5, with its glittering mosques and super-trendy culinary delights. Siem Reap, Cambodia is another top choice that may not be on everyone’s bucket list, but it should: it has evolved from a cluster of riverfront villages into a full-fledged destination complete with art galleries and boutique hotels.

See them all in the World’s Top Cities Slideshow.

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