TRAVEL NEWS

10 Surprisingly Whimsical Spots Where Skulls Are Art

Be thrilled by skull-themed attractions around the world that are more whimsical than bone-chilling.

There’s no bones about it—skulls have captured our imaginations throughout the centuries. A grinning white cranium has a thrilling morbidity, as well as an unexpected beauty; it’s no wonder artists worldwide have been inspired to create captivating works based on their likeness. Human skulls visibly remind us of death’s approach, which is why we often find “memento mori” carved into tombstones. Some ancient cultures, such as the Aztecs and Maya, designed temples and Day of the Dead festivals around their imagery. And let’s not forget the fun and edgy factor, which makes skulls the perfect theme for pirate restaurants and roller-coasters. Enjoy this not-so-grave collection of destinations with imaginative portrayals of skulls. You won’t stumble upon real skeletons in any of these places, although there are indeed crypts and cathedrals built from human bones. Open year-round, these attractions are sure to delight anyone who lives as if every day is Halloween.

9 of the Best Thrift Stores on Instagram

Now you have a new reason to slide into DMs.

There are plenty of reasons to shop vintage, some opt to secondhand shop for sustainability reasons while others enjoy the task of sorting through knick-knacks high and low to find the item that calls their name. For some, however, the task is not always worth the reward—if you’ve never sifted through a pile of clothes at a flea market, just think about the last time you were in a T.J. Maxx. Now on top of the stress of finding the perfect item before someone else swoops in, there is a virus that’s put a temporary pause on some major estate sales and flea markets. For even the most antiquing savvy, things are beginning to look a little different. This pause on in-person treasure hunting, however, has opened us up to a new world of antiquing, and it’s all only a click away. While Etsy has always been popular for those looking to find vintage pieces without the hassle of finding them, a new wave of antiquing has taken over a newer app and is now making it easier than ever to shop. Primarily known as a place to post vacation photos and #FoodPorn, Instagram has started to evolve beyond its original purpose. Thrifters, antique specialists, and vintage hunters have turned here to share (and sell) their favorite finds. Whether you’re looking for a 1960s dress, mid-century modern home decor, or upcycled jewelry, this app has a new, more streamlined way of bringing you vintage finds. Scrolling has always been easier than sorting through piles of misses and dust, so allow someone else to do the hunting and refining for you. Looking to dip your toes into the wonderful world of Instagram thrifting? We’re here to help you get your start, guiding you toward some user-favorites as well as some hidden gems.

15 Unexpected Places With Great Fall Foliage

We found leaves in a hopeless place.

Who said Appalachia and New England get to have all the fall fun? I’m sorry, but these locations need love, too. So, grab your pumpkin spice lattes, we’re going on a leaf-peeping road trip.

10 Cocktails That Are Perfect for Your Autumn Quarantine

Warm up with these autumn-inspired drinks.

When the going gets tough, the tough get going, and when the weather starts to cool, the warm drinks start pouring. With Labor Day far behind us, it’s not just time to retire white wine, it’s time to shelf our favorite Mai Tais and Aperol Spritzes in exchange for something a bit more seasonal. While some might celebrate the autumn with pumpkin carving and apple picking, we prefer to ring in the season with booze. For our 21 plus readers looking to celebrate the season with a drink or two, we’ve rounded up 10 of the best fall-inspired cocktails to warm you up from the inside out.

Haunted Mansions, Military Ruins, and Ghost Towns: Hong Kongs Spookiest Spots

Hong Kong’s forgotten and abandoned places make for chilling, compelling landmarks—and a history lesson in their own right.

Hong Kong might be one of the most densely populated cities in the world, but in between stacks of high-rise apartments, ultra-narrow lanes, and crammed shopping malls, a handful of spaces lie empty and derelict as if frozen in time, untouched by locals. Some of them date back to the early 20th century; others are remnants of the city’s British colonial past; others still are failed residential developments turned eerie. But keep in mind, these aren’t your typical tourist sites. You won’t be able to enter some of them, only observe them from a distance. But even from there, they offer a fascinating glimpse of the city’s history, former architecture, and even social structures. Disclaimer: Many of the locations listed here are abandoned, under construction/renovation, maintained by security, or otherwise a potentially dangerous and/or an untenable attraction to visit. Don’t break any laws, trespass on any properties, or do anything dangerous to gain access to them. Just enjoy this article. 

Where Can You Travel? What’s Open? What’s Closed? Here’s the Current Status for All 50 States

The states are starting to reopen. But is it wise to venture out?

[Editor’s note: This is an updated version of an article that originally ran on May 19.] Disclaimer: This is meant to be a general overview of how each state is reopening. It is not intended to provide every last detail regarding guidelines and restrictions; please refer to the government website of each state for specifics. In addition, please remember that even if a state has been given the green light for a category of businesses to reopen, individual businesses may choose to remain closed. As such, please be sure to contact each business or site before visiting to ensure that it is open. As the United States begins to relax its shelter-in-place orders and some emerge from their homes, many are counting the days when we can get back out there and travel, even if it’s by car to a neighboring community or state. But as we know, a very different landscape awaits out there than the one we left earlier this winter at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. There are things travelers must consider that we never did before, including social distancing and personal sanitization. The big question is: Is it safe to travel in the United States? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pretty clear in its stance. It’s recommended that you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential. Social distancing still needs to be practiced, especially if you are in a higher risk category or an older adult. You shouldn’t travel if you feel sick, or travel with someone who is sick. And you need to protect yourself and others by knowing how to prevent the virus from spreading.  Perhaps the most hopeful advice comes from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. According to him, summer travel “can be in the cards.” He urges caution, since we risk COVID-19 spreading rapidly if proper precautions are not taken. “When infections start to rear their heads again,” he says, “we have to put in place a very aggressive and effective way to identify, isolate, contact trace, and make sure we don’t have those spikes we have now.” As long as we’re aware that “getting back to normal is not like a light switch that you turn on and off,” he says, we should be able to get back to some sort of normalcy. So the answer is: We’re not quite there yet. The best thing to do is pay attention to the several-phase reopening plans that each state has developed, outlining when hotels, restaurants, retail businesses, outdoor areas, etc., should be open for business and what precautions they must take. Some states are freer than others—and that’s something to consider. Do you really want to be on a beach where social distancing guidelines aren’t being maintained? It’s a whole new world that we’ll be navigating, literally. The guidelines are fast-changing and it’s hard to keep up, but here’s where they stand today, state by state.