TIME Travel

These Are the Friendliest Cities in the World

Hospitality and helpfulness reign at the planet’s friendliest cities

Every year, Travel + Leisure asks readers to weigh in on their favorite cities around the globe in our annual World’s Best Awards survey. While some are wooed by famed landmarks and ancient relics, or the sheer number of prized artworks preserved within a city’s museums, others are won over by the people.

Friendliness, be it instinctual hospitality, or a warm smile at every storefront, does a lot to make a city more accessible to travelers. Like the U.S. cities that toped the charts in our annual America’s Favorite Places survey and appeared on our Friendliest Cities in America list, these destinations—both far flung and near to home—know how to charm.

People who are proud of their city, passionate about its culture, and invested in its future are eager to share that with visitors. Like voluntary tour guides, they’re the first to point you in the right direction, share a little-known cafe home to the most spectacular local delicacy, or defend its proverbial walls in times of crisis or controversy.

  • 30. Key West, Fla., U.S.

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    Reyperezoso/Flickr

    Key West is one of the most eccentric and seductive cities in the nation. Don your tropical linen shirts with pride and check out one of the colorful artist havens, such as Studios of Key West, newly relocated to Eaton Street. Or perhaps catch a show at the new resident theater company, On the Rock.

    Score: 84.983

  • 29. Santa Fe, N.M., U.S.

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    Kylie McLaughlin—Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

    “Locals are sincerely friendly, and it’s safe,” said a World’s Best voter about Santa Fe. Artists and jewelers flock here in droves for handmade Native American crafts, silverwork, and turquoise.

    Score: 85.000

  • 28. Lisbon, Portugal

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    Getty Images

    Hilly Lisbon is best explored via historic trolley, though with a great pair of walking shoes, you can see the sights on foot. Portuguese food puts great emphasis on fresh fish and wine: order fish stew with lemongrass and ginger at Alma, or 1300’s Taberna’s grilled sea bass with crab rice. And the people? Readers applauded them for their helpfulness and grace.

    Score: 85.023

  • 27. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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    Getty Images

    Pushy peddlers notwithstanding, Puerto Vallarta received praise for being as ideal for couples as well as families on holiday. “There are plenty of things to do,” observed one reader, “yet it somehow retains its small-town feel.” With many a white-sand beach and tropical jungle, its archeological sites and bustling boardwalks, you’ll never be at a loss for a diversion.

    Score: 85.248

  • 26. Amsterdam, Netherlands

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    Moment RM/Getty Images

    There’s something inherently warm about Amsterdam, especially in the springtime when the parks are full of blooming tulips. It’s easiest to make friends if you’re mounted on a bike: in this city, cyclists come first, pedestrians second, and automobiles dead last.

    Score: 85.459

  • 25. Minneapolis, St. Paul, Minn., U.S.

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    courtesy of Meet Minneapolis Official Convention + Visitors Association

    Thanks to the Minnesota Institute of the Arts, the Sculpture Garden (now in its 20th year), and the stunning conservatory at the Como Zoo & Conservatory—among countless other free things—the city has a reputation for being welcoming and open to visitors and locals alike.

    Score: 85.932

  • 24. Copenhagen, Denmark

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    Getty Images

    Copenhagen may be best known for its avant-garde cuisine and striking architecture, but it also registers as one of the friendliest cities in the world. The Danes are relentless in their friendliness, honesty, and hospitality. But yes, the food is in fact superb.

    Score: 85.960

  • 23. Cuzco, Peru

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    Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

    There’s more to Cuzco than Machu Picchu. “Cuzco is a tourist town,” noted one voter, “and for that, the people are quite outstanding. [They] really look out for their visitors.”

    Score: 86.111

  • 22. Portland, Maine, U.S.

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    Courtesy of Greater Portland Convention & Visitors Bureau

    This modest city along the northern coast attracts a laidback, outdoorsy crowd. The people of Portland live up to their reputation for friendliness as easily as the lobster rolls and blueberry pies.

    Score: 86.275

  • 21. Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.

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    Stephen Saks—Lonely Planet Images/Getty Images

    The heart of cowboy country beats with an enthusiastic and zealous group of locals hanging out at the Old Fort Worth Stockyards and enjoying the city’s much-loved barbecue. Many museums are free, and the residents take a certain pride in being less buttoned up than their neighbors in Dallas.

    Score: 86.296

    Read the full list HERE. This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure

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TIME Travel

These Are the Unfriendliest Cities in the World

These places didn't impress visitors with their people skills

Every year, Travel + Leisure mines through tens of thousands of World’s Best Awards surveys—in 2015, we received responses from 199,652 people from around the globe—to better understand where are readers love to go, and why. Of course, the responses say just as much, if not more, about what our readers don’t like.

We asked readers to rank 266 cities on everything from their value to the friendliness of their people: and some cities failed to warm tourists’ hearts. Not surprisingly, many of the cities that found themselves on our 2015 Unfriendliest Cities in America list (based on separate data from our annual America’s Favorite Places survey) were also called out in this census.

Here, some of our most-loved cities for cultures and the arts, or for wild nightlife and burgeoning food districts, show that even the best have room for improvement. (Want to see the cities that have already achieved excellence? Click here for our World’s Friendliest Cities list.)

Of course, we’ve all had an unfriendly encounter with a local, or caught a city that’s just woken up on the wrong side of the bed. We know these cities, at their best, can all be inviting, vibrant, and dynamic destinations.

  • 30. St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.

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    James Schwabel—Alamy

    Score: 76.403

    Good weather and low-key vibes weren’t enough to keep this Florida city off the diss-list. Travelers expressed disappointment in their St. Petersburg experience, suggesting they wanted something more from the city and its people.

  • 29. Newport, R.I., U.S.

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    James Nesterwitz—Alamy

    Score: 75.966

    This coastal town, with its clutch of ultra-luxe B&Bs and the staggering mansions along the Cliff Walk, is certainly attractive, but the wealth and exclusivity make themselves known to out-of-towners (even if you’re just visiting from another well-to-do city). “It’s too crowded,” one reader reported, “and the locals don’t want you there!”

  • 28. Monte Carlo, Monaco

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    Rostislav Glinsky—Alamy

    Score: 75.882

    “Monte Carlo has become a playboys’ playground,” Robert Barnes reported ruefully. “It’s haughty and ultra-expensive,” said another reader. Escape the casinos and hotels and head to the Jardin Exotique or the Romanesque-Byzantine Cathedrale de Monaco (Princess Grace’s final resting place) for a touch of the city’s more cultural aspects.

  • 27. Shanghai, China

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    iStockphoto

    Score: 75.706

    Many travelers found Shanghai to be a bit crowded and overwhelming. “People stayed to themselves,” noted one reader. Spend some quiet time at the new Power Station of Art museum, or the Rockbund Art Museum.

  • 26. Lyon, France

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    imageBROKER/Alamy

    Score: 75.577

    Many praised this walkable, attractive city, though unfortunate encounters with locals dragged down Lyon’s overall score. It did, however, outshine many of France’s other, even-less-friendly cities, thanks in part to its praiseworthy culinary scene. After a bowl of steaming truffle soup, puff pastry-crusted sea bass, or a dish of chestnut sorbet drizzled with chocolate sauce, who could stay in a sour mood?

  • 25. Buenos Aires, Argentina

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    Yadid Levy

    Score: 75.470

    In this year’s survey, many repeat visitors to Argentina’s capital sadly noted a decline in atmosphere. Buenos Aires’ nightlife continues to wow, but crime and crumbling infrastructure made many uneasy. While economic troubles have made a visit to this South American destination very affordable, it’s also cast a bleakness over the once inexhaustible city.

  • 24. Milan, Italy

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    Andrea Scuratti

    Score: 75.149

    “Be extremely careful that tour guides do not take advantage of you,” warned one reader. Other readers observed people seemed self-absorbed. Then again, all eyes have been on this long-loved style hub this year, as the Italian city plays host to Expo 2015.

  • 23. Marrakesh, Morocco

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    imageBROKER/Alamy

    Score: 74.795

    One of Morocco’s largest, most-touristed cities is known for its dazzling medieval medina, the bustling souks fragrant with scented oils … and for being difficult to navigate as a tourist. “If [you] even raise your camera, [people] are on you like flies, wanting money.” While its gardens and riads enchant, hassling vendors can be exhausting.

  • 22. Nice, France

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    Arterra Picture Library/Alamy

    Score: 74.407

    Bad puns aside, Nice’s people did not get high marks for kindness. “The people were not friendly at all,” remarked one unhappy traveler. “I would not pay to go back.” If this French city is on your can’t-miss list, consider a stop in Èze, a medieval clifftop village located halfway to Monaco, or St. Paul de Vence, a hilltop village that has long enchanted artists.

  • 21. Xi’an, China

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    iStockphoto

    Score: 74.382

    Since the discovery of Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Army, Xi’an has become a major tourist destination. Tourists from around the world flock to see the life-size terracotta warriors and horses, though the city isn’t necessarily up to the challenge of hosting all the selfie-stick-wielding hordes. Pushy shop-owners make for tense people-to-people experiences.

    Read the full list HERE. This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure

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TIME Travel

Here Are the Places Travel Experts Want to Go Next

From Mexico City to North Korea

Travel + Leisure staffers share the once-in-a-lifetime experiences at the top of their travel bucket lists.

  • Visiting Family in Norway

    Norway, Western Fjords, Nordfjord, people in rowing boat
    Shaun Egan—Getty Images/AWL Images RM

    “Norway has been on my list for years now. I want to visit my family and take advantage of all the natural beauty Norway has to offer: hiking, kayaking, and biking my way through the fjords, and quaint villages.” —Erin Fagerland, Online Photo Coordinator

  • Discovering Marrakesh

    Majorelle Gardens
    Getty Images/iStockphoto

    “I’m always intrigued by places that are hidden and take a bit of effort to discover, so Marrakesh, with its private courtyards, secret gardens, and out-of-the-way shops is very appealing to me. I want to stay at a small riad like El Fenn, where life revolves around the courtyard, though I would certainly want to have a drink at La Mamounia—Marrakesh’s grand dame that has drawn Hollywood royalty for a century. I’d visit Jemaa el-Fna and the medina with its food stalls, spice shops, and artisans, sample sweetened mint tea, and buy a set of Moroccan tea glasses to bring home. I’d spend an afternoon at the Jardin Majorelle, which Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé saved from destruction and transformed into an oasis full of plants and a vibrant blue villa. I also love Moroccan cuisine, so I’d never tire of the mezze, tagines, and other delicacies.” —Laura Itzkowitz, Research Assistant

  • Lapland in Winter

    Europe, North Europe, Scandinavia, Finland, Lapland, Lemmenjoki, A very old and original house of the Sami people.
    Getty Images/Gallo Images

    “At the top of my bucket list is a trans-national winter journey through Lapland, taking in the snowy wonderland of a landscape, seeing the Northern Lights, and immersing myself in Sami culture.” —Nathan Lump, Editor

  • Frida Kahlo’s Mexico City

    Mexico, Mexico City, Coyoacán. The Museo Frida Kahlo, a gallery of artwork by the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in the house where she was born and spent most of her life.
    Getty Images/AWL Images RM

    “There are a few reasons why Mexico City is on my bucket list: there’s tons to see, do, and eat; and it’s relatively inexpensive and easy to get to. My dream itinerary includes walking around the markets, visiting the world famous Museo Nacional de Arte, and dining at all three of the restaurants on the San Pellegrino top 50 list. There’s also an incredible amount of activities just outside the city: I’d love to take a day trip to Teotihuacan to see the ancient pyramids, wander around Frida Kahlo’s house and admire her art collection, and hire a boat to tour the Xochimilco Canals—apparently you can take beers out with you, and for lunch, little rafts float nearby, preparing homemade tacos.” —Stephanie Wu, Senior Editor

  • Photographing the Darkness of the Sahara Desert

    camping in the libyan desert, Libya, Sahara, Africa
    Getty Images/LOOK

    “I’d say roughly 80 percent of the items on my bucket list are travel-related. I feel like I add new items to the list every week, but one of the most recent additions is to camp out in the Sahara Desert on one of the darkest nights of the year. I want to take photographs of the endlessly brilliant, starry sky contrasting against the sand dunes and then wake up with the sunrise the next morning.” —Danica Jorge, Digital Photo Editor

  • The Cannes Film Festival

    Cannes skyline
    Getty Images/Moment RF

    “Other people can take their hikes to see the Northern Lights—I’m doing a different type of stargazing. A trip to the Cannes Film Festival, with sing-songy French to tickle my ears and Mediterranean sunshine to brighten my face, has always seemed to me the epitome of luxury travel: Beautiful, powerful people? Check. Breathtaking scenery? Check. A sneak-peak at the world’s best films? Check. Glamorous parties, luxury yachts, and first-class food and drink? Check, check, and check. Of course the one check I don’t have is the one to pay for any of this, but hey, it’s fun to dream.” —Chris Abell, Digital Producer

  • Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp in Thailand

    Four people Sitting on an Elephant, Chiang mai, Thailand
    Buena Vista Images/Getty Images

    “For an elephant lover like myself, there’s no place more fascinating than the Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp in Chiang Rai, Thailand. The property serves as a village for mahouts, or dedicated elephant trainers, who work with rescued elephants and study their behavior. The 25 resident elephants are integrated into every component of your stay: they greet you upon arrival, assist you in elephant yoga classes, and are your partners in crime for sunset treks overlooking the Mekong. And when you need a break from wildlife (never!), day trips to Myanmar or Laos are a breeze—that is, if you’re not lured into the traditional Thai spa instead.” —Nikki Ekstein, Associate Editor

  • Madagascar’s Avenue of the Baobabs

    A group of young girls walk through Avenue of the Baobabs, near Morondava, Madagascar
    Getty Images/Cultura Exclusive

    “I spend most of my time in cities when I travel; there’s convenience in density. But traveling to the more remote corners of the globe is why I got into this business. You test your patience and skill, navigating from one obscure area to the next, and there’s a satisfaction in knowing that you’re experiencing something so different from your norm. The serenity of looming, cartoon-like trees in the midst of sea breezes and dirt roads make visiting the Avenue of the Baobabs in rural Madagascar a dream for me. It’s always been the place that I envisioned I’d travel to when I was older after seeing it in a childhood storybook. Eventually I will get there.” —Sean Flynn, Digital Producer

  • Time-Traveling in North Korea

    North Korea
    Getty Images/Flickr RF

    Forget Cuba and its vintage cars; for a real time-travel experience—to the glorious 1970s no less—I want to go to North Korea. Ideally, I’d fly into Pyongyang from Beijing on a Soviet-era Air Koryo jet, see the sights of the capital on a guided tour that includes a ride on one of the world’s deepest subway systems, and catch an awe-inspiring and uniquely North Korean cultural performance, be it the Arirang Mass Games, some of the world’s most musically-gifted toddlers, or the Kim Jong-un created girl group, Moranbong Band!” —Derek Eng, Designer

  • Hiking and Camping in Zion National Park

    woman hiking on canyon path
    Getty Images/Brand X

    “My most satisfying vacations are the ones when I get outdoors and off the grid, and the photos and first-person accounts of Zion National Park make me really want to go. Echo Canyon, Angels Landing, the Emerald Pools; they look so stunning in photos. I can only imagine that they are even more astounding in person. The challenge of the logistics and effort required by a hiking and camping trip focus attention and take the mind away from habitual thought patterns—for a real getaway.” —Laura Teusink, Managing Editor

    Read the original list HERE. This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

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MONEY Travel

163 Free Things to Do in America’s Top Travel Destinations

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Travelpix Ltd—Getty Images San Francisco skyline at sunset as seen from the Bay Bridge.

Great spots to visit that don't cost a dime.

They say the best things in life are free, and for every avid traveler, it’s a sentiment worth keeping in mind. We combed the streets of some of America’s biggest tourist destinations, keeping a list of our favorite gratis activities in each one. The biggest takeaway? You can enjoy the spoils of just about anywhere without spending a dime.

Read on for our ever-expanding list, or jump ahead to your city of interest: Chicago; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Nashville; New York City; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco; and Washington, D.C.

Chicago

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Izzet Keribar—Getty Images

1. Get up close and personal with the new Mangalitsa piglets at the Lincoln Park Zoo’s “Farm-in-the-Zoo.”

2. Experience the sounds of the Chicago Jazz Festival in Millennium Park.

3. Squeeze in a workout in the sun on Saturday mornings, with free yoga, tai chi, and pilates classes on the Great Lawn in Millennium Park.

4. Check out one of more than 200 free concerts that the Chicago Cultural Center hosts every year.

5. Make an appointment with a Chicago Greeter, and get one of three dozen insider tours of neighborhoods throughout the city.

6. Look over the three millennia of Middle Eastern treasures at the Oriental Institute, part of the University of Chicago in Hyde Park.

7. Learn about social reformer Jane Addams at the Hull-House Museum on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus.

8. There’s flora for everyone at the Garfield Park Conservatory, which contains spectacular aroids, a lush fern room, and a fine children’s garden, complete with play area.

9. Experience a sunset along The 606, Chicago’s elevated park, which has excellent views of the skyline.

10. From ancient Chinese pottery to Picasso, the Smart Museum at the University of Chicago is a great place to spend an afternoon.

11. Located just north of the Lincoln Park Zoo, theAlfred Caldwell Lilly Pool is a perfect respite from the surrounding bustle in any season.

12. With galleries profiling everything from North Korean society to monumental architecture from around the world, the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College is a gem.

13. To explore the National Museum of Mexican Art is to know the breadth of the Latino experience, in Chicago and beyond.

14. Visit the Crystal Gardens on Navy Pier. Look up and view 80-plus palm trees, “leapfrog” fountains, and a range of distinctly non-native foliage.

15. The original Water Tower’s City Gallery is a tiny marvel on Michigan Avenue, and you might find a photographic tribute to Charlie Trotter or an exploration of Chicago’s printmaking traditions within.

16. Inside the Harold Washington Library Center, visitors can make their way through more than 50 pieces of public art.

17. You can hear John C. Reilly as Abraham Lincoln or David Schwimmer as the Bean (a.k.a. Cloud Gate) via the Statue Stories Chicago program. Just swipe your phone on the statue’s tag to hear more than two dozen sculptures come to life as you visit them around the city.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

Nashville

18. The honky tonk bars on Lower Broadway offer live music daily. Favorites like Robert’s Western World, Rippy’s, and Legend’s rarely, if ever, charge a cover.

19. Hike the high trail at Radnor Lake—the site has 1,200 acres and hosts canoe floats, wildflower walks, and aviary tours, all free and open to the public.

20. Located within the Country Music Hall of Fame, the legendary letterpress studio Hatch Show Print offers tours for $15 a person, but if you stop by the shop, you can see right into the work space and watch the posters printed, free of charge.

21. Built in 1897 as part of Tennessee’s centennial celebration Nashville’s Parthenon is an exact copy of the Athenian one. While there’s a charge to enter the museum inside, viewing the façade is free.

22. Take in the Bluebird Cafe Early Show. Reservations are free and tickets become available online about a week before the show.

23. Meet your favorite author at Parnassus Books, Ann Patchett’s neighborhood bookstore. Free readings, signings, and children’s events happen near daily.

24. Make the pilgrimage to CMA Music Fest, a weekend-long celebration of country music’s biggest fans that offers of a plethora of budget-friendly things to do, from free concerts to meet-and-greets, giveaways, and more.

25. Open-house days at Vanderbilt’s Dyer Observatory (the first Tuesday of every month, from 9 a.m. to noon) offer visitors the chance to try out the site’s solar telescope, free of charge.

26. Stop by a practice of the Nashville Predators, the city’s hockey team, at the Centennial Sportsplex, which are always open to the public.

27. Live on the Green happens every summer in Public Square Park, and features established performers as well as emerging artists.

28. The Tennessee State Museum is a must-see for Southern history buffs. It’s open six days a week, and admission is always free.

29. Nashville’s Centennial Park has several free entertainment offerings, from plays to outdoor film screenings.

30. Come the holidays, keep your eye on the Nashville government website. In early December, that’s where they’ll announce the winners of the Ann Chapman Holiday Lights Contest, which you can visit for free.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

Los Angeles

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Naphat Photography—Getty Images/Flickr RMGriffith Observatory Museum

31. Immerse yourself in art and music at LACMA, where during the summer they offer open outdoor jazz concerts on Friday nights, as well as gratis access to the museum on the second Tuesday of every month.

32. Indulge your inner birder and take a complimentary bird walk with the L.A. Audubon Society in the city’s many woodlands, lakes, shrubs, and salt water marshes.

33. Pay a visit to the magnificent Central Library in Downtown L.A.

34. Ears will be happy and wallets will be full, thanks to the countless free concerts offered during the summer all across town.

35. Take a stroll or bike ride down a portion of theMarvin Braude Bike Trail—a mostly-flat, well-paved 22-mile beach path running along the Pacific from Will Rodgers State Beach to Torrance.

36. Hit up one of the many donation-based yoga classes around the city, like those at Runyon Canyon or Bryan Kest’s Santa Monica studio.

37. At the Downtown L.A. ArtWalk the blossoming community convenes on the second Thursday of the month to showcase art, music, and more.

38. You can help counteract the effects the local car culture has on the environment by planing trees with the folks at Tree People, then spend the afternoon hiking Fryman Canyon.

39. Head over to Venice for Abbot Kinney First Fridays, to support locally owned businesses and peruse one of the city’s top art walks in one of its hippest neighborhoods.

40. Crane your neck at the historic Watts Towers, a series of 17 interconnected sculptural structures built over 33 years by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia.

41. There are free Metro Station art tours put on by the department of transportation called Metro Art Moves, which highlight murals, architecture, digital installations, and more.

42. Zen out at the donation-based morning meditations at Zenshuji Soto Temple in Little Tokyo, then stroll the 120-year-old neighborhood’s streets to see its restaurants, galleries, and indie clothing shops.

43. Capitalize on the complimentary, docent-led tours that take visitors through the interior space and gardens at the Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry.

44. Take a self-guided tour of the up-and-coming galleries in the unassuming alleyways of Chinatown’s Chung King Road on various Saturday nights, when they fling their doors open to the public.

45. One of the city’s most-filmed commercial buildings is also one of its oldest. The Bradbury is recognizable by its open cage elevators, marble stairs, and ornate iron railings.

46. The Los Angeles Conservancy website offers plenty of maps for self-guided walking architectural tours of the city, from locations spotted in “500 Days of Summer,” to the DTLA Arts District and more.

47. Built in 1899, the Hollywood Forever Cemeteryis the resting place for some of Hollywood’s greats, like Johnny Ramone, Cecil B. DeMille, Jayne Mansfield, Rudolph Valentino, Douglas Fairbanks, and more.

48. The Annenberg Space for Photographyshowcases digital and print photography from some of the world’s most renowned photographers alongside up-and-comers.

49. Angelenos love to climb the city’s staircases—originally designed to connect steep-streeted communities in the 1920s—to fit in a workout. Use the Secret Stairs app to get sweat like the locals in Echo Park, Silverlake, Santa Monica, and beyond.

50. The sights and sounds at the Original Farmers Market are a feast for the senses, and entry is free.

51. The stunning Malibu property at the Getty Villa, part of the Getty Center, focuses on Greek, Roman and Etrurian art, is also free to visit.

52. The La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park are home to the largest discovery of Ice Age fossils in the world. You can always wander the outdoor grounds, and on the first Tuesday of the month, they also offer free museum and active archeological site visits.

53. Griffith Park is the largest municipal park with urban wilderness area in the country. They offer free access to the building and grounds, as well as complimentary entry to their star parties and guided sunset walks.

54. The Broad Museum in Downtown L.A. opens September 20 and plans to make art democratic by extending complimentary general admission.

55. Get a dose of local Latino culture and history atOlvera Street while shopping, listening to mariachi music, and watching traditional folkloric dances.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

New York

56. The Museum of Modern Art offers free admission every Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 pm., and you can visit the sculpture garden for free every morning from 9:30 to 10 am.

57. The Financial District’s Federal Bank of New York holds more than 6,500 tons of gold. Anyone can sign up for a free tour of the gold vault on weekday afternoons.

58. Visit the bucolic Brooklyn Botanic Garden on Tuesdays, when its admission fee is waived

59. For a peek inside a preserved historic home, head to Hamilton Grange in Harlem, Alexander Hamilton’s former home.

60. The Dia Foundation has several art installations in New York City, but the most impressive are the New York Earth Room and the Broken Kilometer. Though closed for the summer, they will reopen in September.

61. You can go stargazing on the High Line every Tuesday starting at dusk. The Amateur Astronomers Association sets up telescopes on the section between West 15th and West 16th Streets.

62. Bryant Park is one of the city’s liveliest spots during the summer, with lots of free activities. Yoga fans should head there on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m., or Thursday evenings at 6 p.m., for free classes.

63. A handful of NYC parks offer free outdoor movies during the summer. There’s still time to catch the end of the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival and Syfy Movies with a View at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

64. During the summer, there are few things more pleasurable than taking a ride on a boat, and theStaten Island Ferry is absolutely free.

65. There are hundreds of art galleries in Chelsea, mostly located between W. 14th Street and W. 29th Street around 10th and 11th Avenues. They’re free to visit during opening hours, and many put on museum-quality exhibits (check out Gagosian, David Zwirner, Milk Gallery, and Pace).

66. New York has plenty of public beaches that are free to visit. Brighton Beach, is near Coney Island, but is more under-the-radar and full of Russian restaurants. The Rockaways draw surfers to Queens, and Fort Tilden is a favorite among hipsters.

67. It’s easy to overlook the public library, but the Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street and 5th Avenue is one of the city’s architectural gems. It’s not only free to visit, but it also hosts exhibits, docent-led tours, and talks with acclaimed authors.

68. One of the most alluring aspects of Grand Central Terminal is the Whispering Gallery under the Guastavino-tiled arches near the Oyster Bar. When two people stand at diagonal arches and whisper to each other, their voices ring through like an old game of telephone.

69. Central Park is free and open to the public, but not many people know that the Central Park Conservancy offers free guided tours of Manhattan’s largest park.

70. SummerStage concerts in the city’s parks are ending soon, but the Harlem Meer Performance Festival will continue into September.

71. Occupying 8 out of 16 acres where the World Trade Center once stood, the 9/11 Memorial honors the lives of those lost during the terrorist attacks on the site in 1993 and 2001. While the museum is complimentary only for 9/11 survivors and their families, the outdoor memorial is always free.

72. Brooklyn Bridge Park curves around the waterfront in DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights, and is chock full of activities, from basketball to bocce, and a pop-up pool made of recycled shipping containers.

73. Stop by the pioneering Brooklyn Brewery in Williamsburg to learn about the fine art and science of beer making. There are free tours every half hour on the weekends.

74. One of Brooklyn’s best craft distilleries, the New York Distilling Company, opens its doors to the public for free tours and tastings on Saturdays and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

75. Fans of the Tonight Show can watch a taping with Jimmy Fallon at NBC’s studios in Rockefeller Center with a bit of advanced planning. Free tickets are released a month in advance, though if you’re lucky you can get standby tickets the night of the event.

76. Until mid-October, you can take a kayak out on the Hudson River at Pier 26 in Tribeca, or the Manhattan Community Boathouse locations at Pier 96 in Midtown and in Riverside Park at 72nd Street.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

Washington, DC

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Henryk Sadura—Getty Images/Tetra images RFUSA, Columbia, Washington DC, Thomas Jefferson Memorial at dusk

77. Nearly everyone who comes to D.C. plans to stroll around the city’s famous National Mall and Memorial Parks. While the monuments are free anyway, you might not know that the National Park Service offers free tours at most of these sites on the hour.

78. One of the best things about visiting the city is its abundance of free museums. The Smithsonian Institution operates 17 museums in the D.C. Metro area that offer free admission.

79. The drum circle at Meridian Hill Park is one of the city’s longest-running traditions.

80. Just north of Georgetown, the Washington National Cathedral is one of the more recognizable landmarks in Washington; tours are free on Sundays.

81. Rock Creek Park spans more than 2,000 acres in Northwest D.C. with hiking trails, picnic grounds, an ampitheatre with a summer concert series, bicycle paths, a tennis center, and more.

82. Another key member of the free museums in the Smithsonian Institution is the National Zoo, located in the southern end of Rock Creek Park.

83. For a quick fix of nature and beauty, the U.S. National Arboretum has colorful azalea gardens in the spring, a holly and magnolia garden in the fall and winter, the Bonsai & Penjing Museum, and the National Grove of State Trees.

84. The most popular spot for watching planes land at Reagan National Airport is Gravelly Point, located just next to the airport in Arlington, Virginia.

85. Anyone can take a free tour of the White House with some advance planning.

86. The Shakespeare Theatre Company shares the famous playwright’s work with as many Washingtonians and visitors as possible through its Free For All shows.

87. Tucked among the Smithsonian museums near the Capitol building, the U.S. Botanic Gardenfeatures plants from all over the world, from desert-friendly succulents to a tropical rainforest, to regional mid-Atlantic plants.

88. Free outdoor movies are a favorite summer event in the city, especially the 17-year-old Screen on the Green on the National Mall, which generally shows classic movies.

89. The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center also offers tours of the Capitol, including the Crypt, the Rotunda, and the National Statuary Hall.

90. The Folger Shakespeare Library offers free tours of its collection, reading rooms, and Elizabethan garden.

91. Just across the Memorial Bridge from the Lincoln Memorial lies Arlington National Cemetery, which honors America’s fallen men and women of the military.

92. For an especially scenic tour of Georgetown, hop on the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal Trail.

93. Every summer, the National Gallery of Art hosts a concert series in its sculpture garden called Jazz in the Garden.

94. At the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, there’s a free performance very day at 6 p.m. at The Millennium Stage; there are also free guided tours of its theaters, artworks, and the Hall of Nations.

95. One of the most beautiful buildings in town is the Thomas Jefferson building at the Library of Congress, open since 1897. Free walk-in tours discuss the art and architecture of the building, its contents, and more.

96. See the original Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and Bill of Rights at theNational Archives, which houses all three as well as exhibit rooms, a theater, and a learning center.

97. Located on the National Mall, the National Gallery of Art and its various events are free to the public, as are guided tours of the museum’s many collections.

98. There aren’t any guided tours of the Supreme Court, but visitors can hear arguments, walk around the first and ground floors of the building, and on weekdays can attend free 30-minute Courtroom Lectures.

99. Many Washingtonians have a serious love for the free Fort Reno summer concert series that features local punk bands in a relaxed park in Tenleytown.

100. As part of Passport DC, countries including Japan, Belize, Qatar, Ghana, and Costa Rica offer free admission to their embassies in the city, along with exhibitions, performances, and cooking demonstrations that highlight their culture and traditions.

101. It’s free to enter two of D.C.’s major marketplaces. There’s the more than 130-year-old Eastern Market, and newcomer Union Market in the NoMa neighborhood.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

San Francisco

102. Catch Off the Grid’s popular Twilight at the Presidio campfire party every Thursday, from April through October from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

103. Every Tuesday at 6:15 p.m., Grace Cathedralfloods with urbanites toting neon yoga mats for a soothing, free yoga class that sprawls throughout the entire cathedral.

104. Several free film screenings happen in parks across the Bay Area each summer, spanning from the Mission to Napa.

105. Once a month the city’s globetrotting literati convene at the Hotel Rex bar for Weekday Wanderlust, a chance to mingle and swap stories of their travels.

106. One of the most renowned museums in San Francisco, the de Young, is free on Friday evenings.

107. There are many urban hikes throughout the city. One of the best is the Lands End trail, which begins near the ritzy Sea Cliff neighborhood, then winds around the craggy coast along the Pacific.

108. From Sansome Street, make your way up the Filbert Street Steps, a steep wooden staircase that leads to to the top of Telegraph Hill, where you’ll find Coit Tower and a 360-degree view of San Francisco and the Bay.

109. At Oakland’s monthly Art Murmur event, dozens of local galleries open their doors to the art-curious, while food trucks and street performers take over the streets.

110. Not many people know about the Wave Organ, an acoustic metal sculpture that the Exploratorium installed nearly 30 years ago.

111. In the Outer Sunset district, the aptly named Grandview Park provides vistas that span downtown to the Golden Gate Bridge and, on a clear day, even Pt. Reyes.

112. Giants Stadium is the only stadium in the U.S. that offers a designated space where fans can watch the games for free.

113. The Cal Sailing Club hosts an open house almost every month, giving free rides on their fleet from the Berkeley Marina.

114. Local figure Deleano Seymor is famous locally for his immersive and informative free tours of the Tenderloin (by appointment; donations appreciated).

115. Inside the Presidio are stunning works of art crafted from natural materials by famed artist Andy Goldsworthy.

116. You’ll find frequent live readings by best-selling authors from across the country (and globe) at City Lights, Green Apple Books, and Book Passage.

117. Every second and third Tuesday of the month,Milk Bar, a small trendy bar in the Upper Haight, hosts a free comedy night with local and national comics.

118. From July to October, the annual People in Plazas festival kicks off at squares across the city, offering more than 140 free lunchtime micro concerts.

119. The best way to see the Bay Area’s bounty of heirloom produce and flowers is at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.

120. Hardly Strictly Bluegrass is coming up October 2 through 4 in Golden Gate Park. The annual festival sets up multiple stages for three days of totally free musical fun.

121. Get a free crash course in the lore of San Francisco’s most Instagramable transport system at the Cable Car Museum.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

Las Vegas

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Mitchell Funk—Getty Images

122. Beginning in late August, the KA Theatre in MGM Grand opens its doors to the public every Tuesday between 11 a.m and 11:30 a.m. for the ultimate insider tour of the mechanics of this $165 million production.

123. The world’s largest permanent circus can be found at Circus-Circus, where you can watch death-defying stunts by unicyclists and acrobats high above the casino floor at no charge every half hour.

124. On weekends starting at 7 p.m., join the Carnival-like parade of dancers and acrobats dance down the Rio’s main course hourly during the Masquerade in the Sky at Rio.

125. The largest gold nugget in the world is right here in Las Vegas—at The Golden Nugget.

126. Local chocolatier Ethel M sits right in one of the largest botanical cactus gardens in the world, and you can take factory tours (free samples!) after a stroll of the unusual gardens.

127. Don’t want to leave the strip? Don’t missM&M’s World, a four-floor chocoholic’s haven, with a free 3-D movie starring Red and Yellow.

128. Right across the street, Hershey’s Chocolate World has opened in New York-New York, a two-story flagship featuring an 800-pound chocolate Statue of Liberty.

129. Incredible public artworks on the 67-acre CityCenter campus include 15 works by artists such as Nancy Rubin, Claes Oldernburg and Coosje van Bruggen.

130. Within Crystals, CityCenter’s high-end mall, light artist James Turrell has installed Shards of Color—four recessed geometric shapes lit in neon.

131. But the best secret in Crystals is Turrell’s Akhob—an enormous permanent installation inside the Louis Vuitton Maison flagship.

132. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas houses some of the best free art around: there are the so-calledWallworks—murals by artists like Kenny Scharf and Shepard Fairey—on the concrete walls of the parking garage, and much more.

133. P3 Studio has hosted artists from Fab 5 Freddy to Shelter Serra, who work there for several weeks; passersby can wander in and often take part in an interactive art piece.

134. At Wynn Las Vegas, look for the 7-foot-tall, 2,000-pound Popeye sculpture by Jeff Koons right on the shopping esplanade that Steve Wynn purchased for $28 million.

135. Love Pawn Stars? Line up early to get a look inside the real Gold and Silver Pawn Shop in Downtown Vegas.

136. This fall, Rick Harrison opens a kingdom for his devoted followers in the form of Pawn Plaza, a giant shopping center made out of shipping containers with retail and restaurant tenants.

137. You could hold your dream nuptials at Denny’s, on Fremont Street, or just gawk at it with your family between the hours of 4 p.m. and 10 p.m., when kids eat free.

138. The best way to drink for (nearly) free is to play the slots at older downtown casinos, such as El Cortez, Golden Nugget and The D, where the play amounts are lower. (Still, make sure you tip, or your server will mysteriously become unavailable.)

139. The 9-foot-tall chrome Lucky Cat at the Cosmopolitan dispenses fortunes free to those who put their hand on his paw. They vary from fortune cookie messages to free drinks and room nights.

140. You’ll inevitably end up at the Fountains of Bellagio, which recently added a three-song electronic medley by Tiesto to its lineup of Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli and Tony Bennett.

141. Some of the best gawking in Las Vegas happens inside the Bellagio’s 14,000-square-foot, skylit conservatory, where 120 horticulturalists, engineers and designers create incredible displays.

142. Similarly, the waterfall atrium at Palazzo, with a two-floor waterfall and seasonal flowers, is a great place to experience imagineered nature, at the entrance of the Grand Canal Shoppes.

143. Inside the Forum Shops at Caesars, the newly revamped Fall of Atlantis show’s giant talking statues and pyrotechnics are fun to watch …

144. … but the nearby 50,000-gallon aquarium is even better. Enjoy this water-tainment without guilt: Vegas resorts account for just seven percent of the Las Vegas Valley’s water use: overall, some 80 percent of the Strip’s water is returned to Lake Mead.

145. The open-air Grand Bazaar Shops has opened across the street from Bellagio, mashing up the outdoor dining and retail concepts from Seattle to Marrakesh.

146. Don’t miss the massive new Swarovski Starburst, a 14-foot LED-lit crystal starburst that lights up the Grand Bazaar Shops at night.

147. Nearby you can stroll along the new LINQ entertainment corridor, which runs perpendicular to the Strip, all the way to the High Roller.

148. Don’t miss The Polaroid Fotobar, one of the best free hidden gems in Las Vegas—a museum open until 2 a.m. on the weekends, and midnight on other days, that showcases great work of photographers working in the format.

149. On the south end of the Strip, the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, a symbol of excess once perched on a perilous median, is now solar powered and has plenty of convenient parking.

150. There’s the spewing volcano in front of the Mirage—now with flame shooters, a soundtrack, and water and lighting effects. It starts each night at 5 p.m., erupting every 30 minutes until 11 p.m.

151. Check out the Downtown Container Park, a retail, dining and play park made entirely of shipping containers. Find the free entertainment calendar, including a new outdoor family movie series, on the park’s website.

152. Do a self-guided tour of the Fremont East Entertainment District, whose refurbished vintage neon lights include the famous horseback rider from the Hacienda Hotel, a red slipper and a martini glass—and the newest addition: a new neon sign of a 30-foot-tall Pabst Blue Ribbon.

Portland, Oregon

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Cultura RM/Wonwoo Lee—Getty Images/Cultura RMShop sign for Outdoor Store, Portland, Oregon, US

153. Hike in Forest Park, one of the largest natural areas in any city in the U.S., filled with fiddlehead ferns, 112 bird species and 62 types of mammals.

154. Tour the International Rose Test Garden, inhaling blooms that are being developed and evaluated for scent and color, and can’t be seen anywhere else in the world.

155. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening is from Portland, and named some of the show’s major characters after streets in Northwest Portland. From NW 2nd Street to NW 24th Street, and from Burnside to Vaughn, there are roads named Flanders (Ned Flanders), Lovejoy (Reverend Lovejoy), Quimby (Mayor Quimby), and Kearney (one of the bullies).

156. Flip through hardbacks in the Rare Room at Powell’s City of Books, the country’s largest independent bookstore.

157. Mount Tabor is a volcanic cinder cone that’s now home to a city park, where you can walk on paved or dirt trails, enjoy a picnic, or take kids to the playground. On a clear day, you can see Mt. Hood from the top.

158. Tour the Oregon Rail Heritage Center; there’s no entrance fee to see the museum’s vintage steam locomotives.

159. With 140 vendors, the Portland Farmers’ Market on the grassy campus of Portland State University is one of the largest and best greenmarkets in the country, running every Saturday of the year.

160. Tilikum Crossing opens September 12, the first bridge in the country made to carry walkers, bikers, and public transportation—but no cars.

161. Pop into galleries with the First Thursday Gallery Walk each month from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., with more than 20 participating galleries downtown.

162. The beloved young adult author Beverly Cleary grew up in town, and Grant Park has bronze sculptures of three of her characters: Ramona Quimby, Henry Huggins, and Henry’s dog Ribsy.

163. Cruise along the Eastbank Esplanade, a paved 1.5-mile path with awesome downtown views. It runs along the river and links up to the 20-mile Springwater Corridor trail, if you want to go farther.

Want to know more about the above? Read the full scoop here.

This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure and was written by Andrea Bennett, Max Grinnell, Caroline Hallemann, Laura Itzkowitz, Amy McKeever, Jenna Scatena, Krista Simmons and Sarah Z. Wexler.

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TIME Travel

8 Awe-Inspiring Pyramids From Around the World

New ideas for your travel bucket list

Giza, Egypt doesn’t have a monopoly on “great” pyramids. From the mysterious Temple of the Feathered Serpent at Teotihuacan in Mexico to the kitschy Luxor Las Vegas, here are eight of the most striking structures in the world.

  • The Pyramids of Giza

    giza-pyramids-egypt
    Seth K. Hughes—Alamy

    The only surviving wonder of the ancient world, the Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure pyramids are well-deserving of their “great” designation. Add the site to your bucket list, but tread lightly—tourism is both a blessing and curse for the preservation of these spectacular tombs.

  • The Memphis Pyramid

    memphis-pyramid-usa
    iStockphoto

    Initially called “The Great American Pyramid,” this Memphis monument right on the Mississippi River pays homage to the city’s Egyptian heritage. Newly reopened after a 10-year hiatus, the structure now houses Big Cypress Lodge, a wilderness-themed hotel complete with an alligator pool.

  • Teotihuacan in Mexico

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    Robert Harding Picture Library Ltd/Alamy

    While the Aztec city of Teotihuacan thrived between the 1st and 7th centuries A.D., the legendary Temple of the Feathered Serpent is still confounding historians and archeologists. Earlier this week, “large quantities” of unexplained liquid mercury were found at the end of the 340-foot-long tunnel underneath the ancient pyramid.

  • The Mayan Pyramids of Tikal in Guatemala

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    Ken Welsh—Alamy

    An easy day trip from Guatemala City, Tikal is a favorite tourist destination, largely due to its five soaring pyramids. Once a thriving city, the ancient Mayan ruins—complete with carved monoliths and ancient ball courts—are now protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Luxor Las Vegas

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    F1online digitale Bildagentur GmbH/Alamy

    The Luxor Las Vegas hotel and casino stands 350 feet tall—less than 100 feet shy of the original Great Pyramid’s height—and features a spotlight pointing up through the apex, which supposedly can be seen from space.

  • Pyramid of Cestius in Rome

    pyramid-cestius-rome
    imageBROKER/Alamy

    Likely built as a tomb for a wealthy citizen in 12 BCE, the Pyramid of Cestius illustrates the Roman obsession with Egyption design and culture post-conquering. This infatuation with the Egyptian aesthetic is also thought to be the inspiration for the numerous Roman obelisks that still stand today, from the tower in St. Peter’s Square to Sallustiano above the Spanish Steps.

  • Uxmal Pyramid in Mexico

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    Brian Overcast—Alamy

    Known as the Pyramid of the Magician, this Mayan structure is considered emblematic of the Puuc architectural style, and one of the most important archeological sites in Mexico.

  • The Sudanese Pyramids

    sudanese-pyramids
    Andrew McConnell—Alamy

    Egypt may have the biggest pyramids, but Meroe, located in modern-day Sudan has the most. Like their Egyptian neighbors, Nubian royals were commemorated in death with steep sandstone pyramids built over their tombs.

    Read the original list HERE. This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure

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TIME Travel

25 Facts You Didn’t Know About Disney Parks

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Peter Ptschelinzew—Getty Images/Lonely Planet Images Summer never fails to attract big crowds to Walt Disney World in Orlando.

From historic moments to revamped rides

Sorry, mouse fans: if you’ve ever been to a Disney Park, chances are you missed a lot.

“Disneyland was designed so that you really couldn’t see everything in a single visit,” says Paula Sigman Lowery, a consulting historian for the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. She points to Walt Disney’s signature love of arcane embellishment, first in his animation (in Pinocchio, just try to catch all the details of the background paintings in Geppetto’s workshop) and later in his groundbreaking California theme park.

The business names painted in the windows of Disneyland’s buildings are a perfect example. “Imagineer Harper Goff designed the Jungle Cruise’s African Queen–style boats,” explains Lowery. “He also played banjo in the Firehouse Five Plus Two, a Dixieland jazz band comprised of Disney animators and artists. So his window in Adventureland advertises banjo lessons.”

Disney acolytes live for those minutiae and hat tips to those in the know, fueling a brand loyalty that’s the envy of businesses around the world. Disney Parks have parlayed this emotional connection into an uninterrupted reign as America’s best family getaways and most-visited tourist attractions since 1955.

Today, in addition to all the Easter eggs Walt and his Imagineers baked into their attraction designs, the parks have also accumulated almost six decades of hidden history that’s waiting to be discovered by eagle-eyed guests—provided they know where to look.

Have you seen Disney’s nuclear power plant? Did you watch one of the biggest scandals in American politics unfold at a Disney resort? Ever have a sense of déjà vu when riding a ride? Spoilers ahead: you may never enjoy Disney the same way again.

How many of these secrets did you know?

  1. Abominable B-Ball: Hidden at the top of the 147-foot mountain of Disneyland’s first roller coaster, the circa 1959 Matterhorn Bobsleds, is something more surprising than a roaring, fur-covered beast: a single-hoop basketball court for use by park employees on their breaks. It was created by vote to fill the extra space in the snowcapped icon, as the coaster makes us of only the bottom two-thirds of the peak.
  2. A Kinder Dumbo: Timothy Q. Mouse, who presides over Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Magic Kingdom and Disneyland), once brandished a training whip to make the elephants soar. Times changed, and the whip was quietly replaced with a “magic feather.” One of the original Dumbo “flying elephant” vehicles is on display at the Smithsonian.
  3. Meow vs. Mouse: As any urban dweller can tell you, mice are a fact of life—especially at Disneyland, a theme park built in the center of Anaheim, CA, where every day brings spills of all sorts that critters love. To help curb the problem, Disney takes a barn cat approach and “employs” hundreds of collarless, free-roaming mousers that they feed during the day (and spay and neuter) then let loose at night. It’s a fun irony that Mickey’s greatest natural enemy is given the keys to the Kingdom after dark.
  4. Raiders of the Lost Iguanodon: Although they are different rides on opposite coasts, the track layouts of Indiana Jones (Disneyland) and Dinosaur (Disney’s Animal Kingdom) are nearly identical. The sets and lighting are different.
  5. Disco Yeti: The largest and most complicated audio-animatronic ever assembled is the 22-foot-tall Yeti inside Expedition Everest (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)—and it doesn’t work. When the ride opened in 2006, it lunged menacingly at every passing train, but its systems couldn’t sustain the intensity, and it had to be turned off. Now its design-failure immobilization is concealed with a strobe-light effect, spurring some guests to nickname it “Disco Yeti.”
  6. Walt’s the Password?: Although it may be more of an open secret at this point, mum’s the word on a mostly off-limits speakeasy-esque private dinner club called Club 33, hidden in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. (Tokyo Disneyland also has one but not the Magic Kingdom.) To find it, look for a gray-green door near the Blue Bayou restaurant with a mirrored plaque that reads “33”—but don’t bother pushing the button for entry unless you have a reservation. (There’s purportedly an 18-year waiting list and $10,000 initiation fee.) Inside, celebrities and business VIPs can grab dinner and a Big Easy–inspired cocktail, the only such place within Disneyland itself where alcohol is allowed.
  7. Presidential Fashion: Each president in the Hall of Presidents (Magic Kingdom) wears clothing made using the techniques of his era. For example, if there were no sewing machines in his time—we’re looking at you, Georgie boy—then his suit is hand-stitched.
  8. Bye-Bye, Beatles: For rock ’n’ roll fans, Walt Disney World may not actually be the most magical place on earth: The Beatles officially broke up at Disney’s Polynesian Resort. While on vacation there on December 29, 1974, John Lennon signed the papers that made their dissolution legal.
  9. Repurposed Film Props: The organ in the ballroom scene of Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is the actual one played by Captain Nemo (James Mason) in 1954’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea—albeit with a different configuration of the pipes.
  10. Copyright Disney: Want to upload that vacation video to YouTube? Don’t be bummed if Disney asks you to take it down. As in most privately owned theme parks, everything in Disney—characters, rides, and architecture, down to every mouse-eared design detail—is the company’s intellectual property. Disney hasn’t flexed that legal muscle yet, but as a spokesperson seemed to suggest in this story on Daily Finance, it could. It’s just one reason that the movie Escape from Tomorrow, shot guerilla style at Walt Disney World, was such a gamble; the filmmakers even have a cheeky “lawsuit-free” ticker on their website.
  11. Cinderella Castle Trickery: Cinderella Castle feels more imposing than it actually is thanks to the use of forced perspective and a barely perceptible incline. The fiberglass structure (not stone; Disney got special permission from the government for that building-code exemption too) is built higher than the rest of the park.
  12. It’s Not All Imagineered: The gas lamps along Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A. are 19th-century artifacts, not reproductions. “Disneyland used to have a costumed lamplighter who lit the lamps at dusk,” says Lowery. “When the energy crisis hit in the 1970s, the gas lamps were turned off.” Out of nostalgia, the lamps were later re-lit. Lowery believes they originally illuminated Baltimore’s streets.
  13. Splash Mountain Sings: Why does the cast of audio-animatronic characters on Disneyland’s Splash Mountain look so different from the cast in Orlando and Tokyo? Economizing. Many of its creatures, including singing geese, frogs, and foxes, were repurposed from America Sings, a robotic musical revue in Tomorrowland that was dismantled in 1988.
  14. Cereal Killer?: The second face in the quintet of singing busts—the one with his head broken off—in the graveyard of the Haunted Mansion (Magic Kingdom and Disneyland) is Thurl Ravenscroft, who was better known as the voice of Frosted Flakes’ Tony the Tiger (“They’re grrreat!”). Ravenscroft was a favored Disney company player; his voice is also heard on Pirates of the Caribbean, Country Bear Jamboree, and in Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room.
  15. But Was He a Disney Fan?: On November 17, 1973, President Richard Nixon delivered his infamous “I’m not a crook” speech to a convention of Associated Press editors in the ballroom of Disney’s Contemporary Resort (Walt Disney World).
  16. Chew Chew Cho Cho: The steam engines of the Disneyland Railroad run on old French fry oil. After a few days’ use in kitchens throughout the park, waste oil is stored in tanks and then shipped off-site to be converted to a biodiesel the trains can run on. Every time guests order fries, they’re helping to meet the five locomotives’ appetite for 200,000 gallons of fuel a year. Bonus: the smokestacks smell a bit like lunch.
  17. Boy Scouts of the Caribbean: When Pirates of the Caribbean (Disneyland and Magic Kingdom) was built in 1967, randy pirates chased the women in mechanized circles during the pillage scene—perceived by some as threateningly sexist. Eventually the critiques were addressed in a few different ways across the parks. Gender roles got switched (women now chase the looting pirates away) as did motivations (hungry pirates look like they’re chasing women for the pies they’re holding) for a more family-friendly rendition of the murderous scalawags.
  18. The Reality Beneath the Magic: Because the Magic Kingdom is built on sodden ground, it needed a firmer foundation—technically most of the park is actually the roof of a two-story building that conceals the utilidor, a warren of service corridors. It’s wide enough to admit vehicles and holds wardrobe, break rooms, and the Digital Animation Control System (DACS) that serves as the nerve center for the park’s effects, from the currents of the flume rides to the soundtrack of the Haunted Mansion. Some 30 hidden stairwells and elevators connect it with the “upstairs” of the park.
  19. Christmas in the House of 2000: An unbilled Jean Shepherd, the narrator and author of the stories that became the holiday movie classic A Christmas Story, voices the Father (“John”) in the current 1994 incarnation of Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress (Magic Kingdom). Yep—Dad is Ralphie, all grown up.
  20. City Planning Innovations: In 1971, when Walt Disney World opened, its systems were revolutionary and progressive. The resort was the first place to install an all-electronic telephone system, and it routed all unsightly cables underground. It was also the first place in Florida to institute a 911 emergency system. Generator heat warms water, hot water runoff is used for cooking, wastewater is reclaimed for plants and lawns, and sludge becomes fertilizer. Trash was sucked away at 60 mph in Swedish AVAC pneumatic tubes, originally to a special incinerator that emitted no soot, only steam. (In the 1980s, Disney decided landfills were cheaper.)
  21. Looks Are Frequently Deceiving: Although the Polynesian-style roof of Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (Magic Kingdom) looks like straw, it was actually built with shredded aluminum, which holds up to the elements better.
  22. Behind-the-Scenes: Parade Technology: The floats in Disney’s signature parades stay on track and in sync with the help of quarter-sized sensors embedded in the pavement.
  23. Droids Meet Jones: Hidden among the hieroglyphs in the Indiana Jones scene of the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios is a tribute to his creator, George Lucas. Look to the right, above the crate, and you’ll see images of two more of his creations: C-3PO fixing R2-D2 with a screwdriver.
  24. Nuclear Mickey: Could the nuclear future that Walt Disney World’s Carousel of Progress shows become a Florida reality? Maybe—if Disney ever decides to act on some of the extraordinary concessions it won from the state government before construction began in May of 1967. As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, the resort is actually its own independently governed municipality called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, giving it the right to form a school district, implement a criminal justice system, and issue tax-free bonds for infrastructure projects ranging from parking structures (as it did in 2013) to airports and yes, even a nuclear-power plant.
  25. Wait-Time Tweaks: Cribbing a page from airlines’ standard operating procedure about flight times, posted wait times for rides are intentional lies. According to a Walt Disney World cast member on a seven-hour Backstage Magic tour, management overestimates by five or 10 minutes so that guests are “pushed” at different areas while also coming away from rides with a warm impression of exceeded expectations.

This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

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TIME Travel

These Are the Best Places to See Baby Animals

Head to these hiking trails, beaches, and wildlife refuges for the opportunity to meet baby koalas, tiny turtles, and other cute baby animals

In Kaikoura, New Zealand, a forest trail begins along a crystal-clear stream that feeds into the Pacific Ocean.

Are those dogs barking? Splash! What was that big, black creature that just swam by? Ten minutes into your hike, the mystery is revealed: hundreds of baby fur seals are having an unsupervised pool party. These pups are leaping, twirling, and diving into the freshwater pool fed by a raging waterfall.

Just as uplifting? Baby leatherback turtles hatching on the shores of Trinidad. Or a baby giraffe taking its first wobbly steps in Kenya. Or an alligator emerging from its shell in Louisiana.

For the animal lovers and wildlife photographers, spring and summer are the prime times to observe rambunctious youngsters and their fiercely protective mamas, whether out in nature or in a preserve. You can book a trip to cuddle a koala in Queensland, spot rare cave chicks in Cook Islands, or peek in on the world’s teeniest primates in Peru. Read on.

  • Giraffes, Kenya

    baby-giraffe
    Lanee Lee

    “I kissed a giraffe, and I think I liked it”—that could be the theme song of the Giraffe Centre, a conservation center on the outskirts of Nairobi that breeds and protects endangered Rothschild’s giraffe subspecies. From the viewing platform, put a pellet between your lips, lean out, and smooch. One of the giraffes from the tower roaming the 120-acre refuge will gently lick your face to retrieve the snack. Want more quality time with mothers and baby giraffes? Stay at nearby Giraffe Manor, where you can feed them from the dining room or your room’s window.

  • Leatherback Turtle Hatchlings, Trinidad and Tobago

    baby-leatherback-turtles
    Nakita Poon Kong for Turtle Village Trust

    Leatherbacks are the world’s largest turtle, weighing up to 1,000 pounds and reaching eight feet long, and they’re also the oldest species of their kind, outliving dinosaurs. From March to August, approximately 6,000 leatherbacks journey to the shores of Trinidad and Tobago to nest. You can spot them along Matura, Manzanilla, and Grand Riviere beaches in Trinidad and Turtle Beach and Englishman’s Bay in Tobago (although contact the Forestry Division first for a permit). Or enlist a guide from conservation groups and eco-tour operators like Save Our Sea Turtles and Nature Seekers. Lucky visitors get to witness a birth, or see the one-inch hatchlings scramble into the ocean.

  • Polar Bear Cubs, Canada

    polar-bear-cubs
    Michael Poliza—Churchill Wild

    Six hundred miles south of the Arctic Circle, the Churchill region of Manitoba is by far the most accessible place to spot polar bears. They gather along the headlands overlooking Hudson Bay each fall in anticipation of the water icing over—though that wait is getting longer, as the local climate warms. Churchill Wild offers a weeklong “Mothers & Cubs” safari at its Nanuk Polar Bear Lodge, overlooking Hudson Bay. Sightings are never guaranteed, but there have been years in which they’ve had a 100 percent success rate.

  • Fur Seals, New Zealand

    fur-seal
    Lanee Lee

    From April to October, hundreds of native fur pups clamber upstream (yes, they really hike up rocks) to play in a freshwater pool fed by a raging waterfall. It’s like a seal daycare, as they happily splish-splash around while waiting for their mothers to return with dinner. The seals are used to being around humans and may even come right up and stick their nose on your camera lens. Take the easy 10-minute Ohau Stream trail located off the South Island’s Highway 1 to witness this natural marvel. It’s free, with no security and no guardrails.

  • Pygmy Marmosets, Peru

    pygmy-marmoset
    Bluedogroom

    Peru’s Cocha Salvador Lake is the place to witness the teeniest primates on the planet. Pygmy monkeys have babies so little (newborns weigh about half an ounce) that two can cling to a human’s finger. Founder Josh Cohen of Wild Planet Adventures recommends visiting during peak birthing seasons: May and June or November through January. Guides are specially trained to locate troops among the quassia trees and even have a special call to draw them out.

  • Baby Bottlenose Dolphins, Fort Myers, Fla.

    bottlenose-dolphin
    Brandon Cole Marine Photography/Alamy

    One of the world’s largest Atlantic bottlenose dolphin populations clusters just off the shores of Fort Myers. Spot calves in the spring, playfully leaping and twirling in the waters within their family pods. Take a dolphin cruise with Adventure in Paradise, or for an up-close encounter, go kayaking with Good Time Charters. Dolphin calves are very curious and often swim near the kayaks to say hello.

  • Orangutans, Malaysia

    orangutan
    Lindsay Taub

    Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort, in collaboration with the Sabah Wildlife Department, has devoted 64 acres to the care of orphaned baby orangutans—an endangered species found only on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. Twice a day, they come out to play and snack on fresh fruit. Watch from a platform amid the jungle as they leap overhead, swing on obstacle courses, and monkey around with the caretaker.

  • Eaglets, Haines, Alaska

    bald-eagle-chick
    William McRoberts

    With up to 400 full-time feathery residents, the Alaska Chilkat Bald Eagle Preserve has the world’s largest concentration of bald eagles. You can spot eaglets in early May or late June during hatching season or during September’s fledgling season (when they begin to try out their wings and fly). The preserve is free and open to the public; head to the Chilkat River between mile markers 18 and 24 on Haines Highway to see America’s emblematic bird. If you prefer a guide, choose from offerings that include Chilkat Guide’s rafting trip and Alaska Nature Tour’s “Valley of the Eagle” walking excursion.

  • Joeys, Australia

    joey-kangaroo
    Tourism Western Australia

    As the locals say, Lucky Bay is so beautiful (with its white sands and turquoise waters) that even the kangaroos love it. Their adorable offspring, a.k.a. joeys, can be spotted year round, but opportunities are best during summer—November through January—when they come to drink from a nearby fresh spring in early morning or late afternoon.

  • Kodiak Brown Bear Cubs, Kodiak, Alaska

    brown-bear-cubs
    Matt Von Daele

    With roughly 3,500 Kodiak brown bears (a grizzly subspecies) in the area, the odds of spotting a furry youngster here are in your favor. Especially in August, according to Edward Ward, general manager of the Kodiak Brown Bear Center. That’s when the cubs are “acting just like toddlers” and getting swatted around by their protective mothers. The Brown Bear Center on Karluk Lake in the Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge offers the island’s only overnight viewing tour, along with accommodations.

    Read the full list here. This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure

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TIME Travel

These Are the World’s Most Accessible Airports

Make travel fun again

Of her three hometown airports, D.C. resident Katie Stanton prefers Reagan—for travel, and even for dinner.

When she comes home from a business trip, the Social Media Director at travel-planning platform Exploring.is says she often picks up pizza from local favorite & Pizza, which has an outpost in Terminal C. She also enjoys the airport’s A-list people-watching (recently she saw Mitt Romney), but mostly, she loves how close it is to the heart of the city.

“I can get from my downtown
 apartment to my gate within 30 minutes,” says Stanton. “I’ll pay up to $100
 more to go in and out of DCA, as opposed to Dulles or BWI.”

She’s not the only one: the D.C. area’s smallest major airport is the favorite for manyTravel + Leisure readers, who ranked airports around the world as part of the magazine’s World’s Best survey. One category in the survey focused on airport location and access—how close the hub is to the city center, and how user-friendly it feels. Among the top 20—which includes 10 international airports, and 10 in the U.S.—one winning airport has a golf course next door, while another makes it easy to visit a global icon during a short layover.

Several winners also have an intangible quality that just makes travel feel easier. Jennifer Aquino likes international top-10 winner Zurich because “making connections is easy. It’s unlike Frankfurt, which feels unfriendly and depressing, in the way that it’s laid out, its low ceilings and the lack of light.” But Zurich offers an aesthetic pick-me-up, says the Singapore-based education and career coach. “It’s clean, bright and smart,” says Aquino. “I love passing by the shops and 
cafes after a long-haul
 flight. It’s a nice place to arrive, after feeling gross and groggy. Zurich is a pleasure.”

  • 10. Orlando International Airport (MCO) in Orlando, Fla.

    orlando-international-airport-florida
    age fotostock/Alamy

    An airport that serves a high volume of over-stimulated kids and beleaguered parents deserves special credit for making anyone’s top 10. The airport’s hub-and-spoke design, combined with people movers, helps minimize walking (and whining), and the airport’s new app lets you track your flights or get directions within the airport. Your best bet for transfers is by way of your hotel: more than 50 hotels (about half being Disney-affiliated resorts) offer free rides to and from the airport. To make your transfer really short, you can always stay at the on-site and AAA four-diamond Hyatt Regency, which has porters who will go to baggage claim for you.

  • 9. Honolulu International Airport (HNL) in Honolulu, Hawaii

    honolulu-international-airpot-hawaii
    Kelly Headrick/Alamy

    The Hawaiian airport may not made the top 10 for having efficient mass transit, but readers did like that the hub is decked out in welcoming tropical foliage—and that it sits only three miles from downtown, and eight from Waikiki. Readers did say, however, that they look forward to completed renovations at HNL: The airport is undergoing a modernization program that includes wider runways, a new concourse and a compact car rental facility, scheduled to be done in 2017. In the meantime, your best on-site places to soak up local flavor are Samurai Sushi and Bento, near gates 24 and 25, or the Hawaii Market En Route, nears gates 12 and 13, where you can get bags of Kona coffee. For a time-efficient excursion, the USS Arizona Memorial, at Pearl Harbor, is just three miles away.

  • 8. Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.

    minneapolis-st-paul-international-airport-minnesota
    Courtesy of Metropolitan Airports Commission

    Even if readers found this airport to be a bit sprawling, getting around inside it isn’t tough: light rail links the two terminals, and buses or trains can take you to either downtown Minneapolis or St. Paul. (In this physically fit city, there is also a bike trail leading to Terminal 2.) They’ve so minimized your need to schlep here that they’ve created a 1.4-mil walking path in Terminal 1, just so you can be sure to get some exercise during downtime. For more stationary layovers, the airport gets points for having 24-hour videogame arcades in both terminals (thoughtfully labeled as welcoming both kids and adults). And while the airport has its own mall—featuring local-goods store Uptown Minnesota—the big daddy of shopping, Mall of America, is less than 20 minutes away by light rail.

  • 7. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) in Salt Lake City, Utah

    salt-lake-city-international-airport-utah
    Michael Schoenfeld—Courtesy of Salt Lake City Department of Airports

    Skiers love this airport, given that there are 11 resorts within an hour’s drive. And despite its active winter weather, the Utah hub tends to score very well for on-time performance, making it pleasantly reliable. If you’re just heading downtown, you can take a 15-minute cab ride or a 30-minute light-rail ride (the latter costing less than $3 one way). Like a lot of airports, SLC has an art collection, but you don’t have to hunt it down: many paintings hang next to the people-mover. For layovers, the airport offers Wingpointe, a seasonal 18-hole golf course right next door (just $44, if you get a cart), and free one-hour tours of Temple Square.

  • 6. San Diego International Airport (SAN) in San Diego, Calif.

    san-diego-international-airport-california
    Frank Rogozienski Photography/Courtesy of San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

    The sunny city is so nice to fly in and out of that even Charles Lindbergh—for whom the airport was first named—launched his first transatlantic flight nearby. Today, the airport sits right off the bay—complete with sailboats and cruise ships—and the descent into San Diego glides past the downtown skyscrapers. Once on the ground, you’re just a few blocks from downtown, Little Italy and the all-important I-5. Recent renovations have simplified the already compact airport, with separate arrival and departure zones to keep things moving smoothly. Terminal 2 may offer an edge for local dining and chilling, with a branch of beer-nerd-magnet Stone Brewing and the PGA Tour Grill, featuring murals on the Torrey Pines course.

  • 5. Tampa International Airport (TPA) in Tampa, Fla.

    tampa-international-airpot
    David Lawrence

    Even though this Florida airport keeps extending its network—it now gets as many international travelers as Orlando—readers found Tampa to be almost magically consistent. The average time it takes those international travelers to depart the plane, go through customs and baggage, and then get to the street is 26 minutes—and you’re only a half hour from Clearwater Beach. An expansion project, due to be completed in 2017, will add about 1.5 miles of people movers, lighten curbside congestion and add a car rental facility closer to the airport entrance. In the meantime, the best spot for a killing a little time over a local beer is Airside C’s Cigar City Brewing, which offers such beachy beers as a Patio Pils and a white ale called the Florida Cracker.

  • 4. Portland International Airport (PDX) in Portland, Ore.

    portland-international-airport-oregon
    Courtesy of Port of Portland

    Not many airports inspire affection the way PDX does: even its recently replaced green carpet has developed a fan following. But the Oregon hub also offers compellingly easy transfers, thanks to the city’s excellent mass transit—like the MAX red line, the light rail that takes you downtown in a little more than half an hour for just $2.50. Since Portland is so bike-friendly, PDX also has bicycle parking and bicycle repair stations. For the best local shopping and snacking, check out the airport branches of Elephants Delicatessen, Powell’s Books and Made in Oregon, where you can buy airport-carpet-inspired t-shirts and mugs.

  • 3. Dallas Love Field (DAL) in Dallas, Texas

    dallas-love-field-airport-texas
    dallaspaparazzo/Alamy

    The home base of keep-it-mellow Southwest Airlines has long charmed travelers with its easy-to-manage vibe: It’s just 20 minutes from downtown Dallas and a short hop to the main freeways. A recently completed renovation has made Love’s fans swoon even more, with streamlined outdoor pick-ups and a new baggage claim hall that speeds up luggage retrieval. Plus, the recent repeal of a 1979 regulation has allowed airlines to offer more non-stop flights out of Love, which only widens its reach. For the best local-flavor refreshment before your flight, stop in at the airport’s branches of Jason’s Deli, wine bar Cru or Texans’ beloved Whataburger.

  • 2. McCarran International Airport (LAS) in Las Vegas, Nev.

    mccarran-international-airport-las-vegas
    Courtesy of McCarran Int'l Airport

    Unlike some casinos, this international airport does a good job of keeping the crowds contained and moving efficiently, according to readers. Since it’s located just two miles from the Strip, you get a postcard-worthy view of the city while taking off or landing, and cab or shuttle rides to the main hotels often take less than 10 minutes. If you’re just passing through, you can get a healthy dose of Vegas without ever leaving the airport, thanks to the slot machines scattered around the terminals. Despite the city’s sometimes-gritty rep, the airport got accolades from readers for seeming clean.

  • 1. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Washington, D.C.

    ronald-reagan-washington-international-airport
    Courtesy of Washington Reagan Airport

    With the Washington Monument and the Capitol building often in clear view during takeoffs and landings, it’s no surprise that the airport that used to go by “National” took the top prize for location in the U.S. Offering only domestic flights, Reagan may just feel mellower compared to Dulles and BWI, but the more distant D.C. airports also can’t compete with Reagan’s proximity: From DCA you can typically get downtown in less than a half hour by cab, and you have easy access to the Metro’s blue and yellow lines. For some pleasant downtime, Reagan also channels the city’s museum scene, offering permanent and rotating exhibits, like an upcoming look at the Hubble Telescope.

    Read the full list here. This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure

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TIME Travel

5 Things Americans Traveling to Bangkok Should Know

thailand bangkok skyline
Christophe Archambault—AFP/Getty Images This aerial picture taken on April 5, 2014 shows a general view of the skyline and the Chao Phraya river passing through Bangkok.

In light of the recent explosions in Bangkok, here's what you should know before your next trip to Thailand

On Monday, a deadly explosion rocked the popular Erawan Shrine in downtown Bangkok. The latest reports put the death toll at 22, with more than 120 people injured.

Tuesday a second bomb was thrown from a bridge over the Chao Phraya River, just missing a pier where tourists and locals catch water taxis and riverboats, detonating in the water without harming anyone.

The tragic attacks come just a few months shy of Thailand’s high tourist season, which runs roughly from November through January. We spoke with several area hotels and tour companies who said they have not noted an uptick in cancellations, and are moving ahead with current and future tours. If you’re planning a trip to the country, here’s what you should know:

  • If you’ve already booked a flight but want to cancel or postpone your trip, Thai Airways is waiving its flight-change fees from now until September 18.
  • While police and army presence will increase around Bangkok, the Tourism Authority of Thailand says that life in the city is “continuing as normal” and banks, hotels, tour operators, shopping malls, restaurants and public transit systems remain open.
  • As of Tuesday night, the British, Australian and U.S. Embassies had not advised their residents against traveling to Bangkok. In its official statement, the U.S. Embassy encouraged all travelers to Thailand to “review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security and follow instructions of local authorities.”
  • Be active on social media. A regular Facebook status or tweet can help loved ones back home follow your journey and know you’re okay. For the latest news, follow the American Citizen Service account, which is maintained by the U.S. Embassy, on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Several news outlets are reporting that the attacks have made Thailand vulnerable: the Thai baht was teetering on a record low before this week’s attacks, but now has reached its lowest rate since 2009. Travel experts advise checking the exchange rate before you leave.

This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure.

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TIME Travel

These Are the Best and Worst American Cities for a Staycation

atlanta
James Duckworth—AtlantaPhotos.com

A majority of the spots are sprinkled throughout the South, with a few wildcards here and there

You don’t need to burn any miles to get in a solid summer vacation—or at least a killer Summer Fridays Personal finance website WalletHub has shared its yearly list of best (and worst) spots to spend those personal days.

WalletHub defines a staycation as a time lasting about four days (hello, long weekend). The destinations on its lists are derived from a 100-city ranking of America’s most densely populated cities using 17 metrics, including number of swimming pools, tennis courts, public golf courses, zoos, museums, and more. Based on these metrics, each city is assigned three numerical rankings: Recreation, Food & Entertainment, and Rest & Relaxation. A majority of the spots are sprinkled throughout the South, but there are a few wildcards thrown in here and there (ahem, Boise).

10 Worst U.S. Cities for Staycations

10. Laredo, Texas

  • Recreation Rank: 92
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 99
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 39

9. Newark, New Jersey

  • Recreation Rank: 82
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 87
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 90

8. North Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Recreation Rank: 94
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 84
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 67

7. Hialeah, Florida

  • Recreation Rank: 93
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 96
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 71

6. San Bernardino, California

  • Recreation Rank: 97
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 90
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 57

5. Jersey City, New Jersey

  • Recreation Rank: 99
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 95
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 69

4. Fremont, California

  • Recreation Rank: 90
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 100
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 86

3. Anaheim, California

  • Recreation Rank: 98
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 94
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 84

2. Santa Ana, California

  • Recreation Rank: 100
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 83
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 191

1. Chula Vista, California

  • Recreation Rank: 95
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 97
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 100

10 Best U.S. Cities for Staycations

10. Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Recreation Rank: 48
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 1
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 14

9. Portland, Oregon

  • Recreation Rank: 16
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 3
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 38

8. Tampa, Florida

  • Recreation Rank: 25
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 18
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 1

7. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

  • Recreation Rank: 9
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 2
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 24

6. St. Louis, Missouri

  • Recreation Rank: 6
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 9
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 12

5. Boise, Idaho

  • Recreation Rank: 2
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 20
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 7

4. Scottsdale, Arizona

  • Recreation Rank: 21
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 4
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 5

3. Cincinnati, Ohio

  • Recreation Rank: 1
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 10
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 16

2. Atlanta, Georgia

  • Recreation Rank: 4
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 22
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 2

1. Orlando, Florida

  • Recreation Rank: 13
  • Food & Entertainment Rank: 7
  • Rest & Relaxation Rank: 4

This article originally appeared on Travel + Leisure

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