Charleston gets big ranking again

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Charleston makes another world ranking; this time #2 by Travel + Leisure Magazine.

The accolades keep coming for SuperCool Charleston, S.C., as readers of Travel + Leisure Magazine, the leading masthead in the industry, ranked the low-country gem as the #1 city in the U.S. and Canada and #2 in the whole wide world for 2014. Continue reading

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London in spotlight as Wimbledon nears

LondonThe world’s oldest tennis tournament is just a little more than four weeks away as the Wimbledon Championships makes its run at London’s All England Club June 23-July 6, where it has been held since 1877.

There are myriad Internet packages to be had to obtain tickets still to this year’s events, including air fare and lodging, but the Club warns that it is not responsible for tickets obtained other than one of three ways. There is Ticketmaster, of course. There are the official hospitality packages from the two approved vendors, Keith Prowse and Sportsworld. Continue reading

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Students are away, time to play in Chapel Hill-Carrboro

chocvb-slider-exploreSuperCool Chapel Hill, N.C., always offers an eclectic mix for foodies, music scene folks, sports enthusiasts and nature buffs. But it shines in the summer precisely because the main contributor to its normal vibrancy — 30,000 college students — largely take off to internships or one last summer at home.

When that happens, the locals take back the town, and events are more geared towards visitors. Take the music scene, for instance. Indie label Merge Records, which formed in 1989 by the members of Superchunk and has produced such artists as Arcade Fire, Annie Hayden, Imperial Teen and Porntastic, is celebrating 25 years all during 2014 with some classic re-releases and other events.

But the crown jewel The Merge 25 Festival, happens in the middle of the so-called offseason, July 24-26 mostly in the indie-minded former mill town of Carrboro, right on Chapel Hill’s western border.

The two big shows at the venerable Cat’s Cradle have already sold out, but the July 26 outdoor party is still in play if you want to plan a visit. That show will feature: Neutral Milk Hotel, Caribou, Teenage Fanclub, Bob Mould, Mikal Cronin, Ex Hex, The Love Language and The Music Tapes. Tickets are $59 and are available through the Cradle.

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Stalking culture in Sydney

The most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales, Sydney is a cosmopolitan and international powerhouse with 4.6 million people in its metropolitan area.

The most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales, Sydney is a cosmopolitan and international powerhouse with 4.6 million people in its metropolitan area.

If you believe Australia is more Cate Blanchett than Crocodile Dundee, you’ll enjoy travel author Tony Perrottet’s account of his recent visit to SuperCool city Sydney that he chronicled this month for the New York Times travel section.

Perrottet, an Aussie native who attended Sydney University and now lives in New York, argues that his hometown cultural advancements are still overshadowed by its natural beauty and marketing campaigns that insist on promoting a beer-swilling-beach-and-party atmosphere: Continue reading

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D.C. and Montreal for the budget conscious

Almost all major attractions in the District of Columbia are free.

Almost all major attractions in the District of Columbia are free.

Two of our SuperCool places have made a top-10 list of spring budget vacations.

Washington, D.C., and Montreal, Quebec, Canada, have made the cut on the destinations list featured by budgettravel.com. The site is the companion to a popular magazine published six times a year and bills itself as “the ultimate resource for the world’s savviest travelers.”

The editors praise D.C. for the large number of free attractions:

From tours of the Capitol building to the endless galleries and exhibits of the Smithsonian Institution, from the National Archives (you may have heard of some of its contents—the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution?) to the Library of Congress, this town offers more in the way of freebies than anywhere else.

The site praises Montreal for feeling like an old world Parisian city in the heart of our own continent. Eight other destinations from Myrtle Beach to Las Vegas also made the list, so there are plenty of budget-conscious options as spring emerges.

 

 

 

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It’s sweet, it’s sticky, it’s … it’s …

It’s maple syrup, silly, and the Supercool greater Ann Arbor, Michigan, area along the I-94 corridor is syrup central this time of year. And there’s a festival this weekend to prove it.

The Big 400 Maple Festival runs from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. this Saturday, March 8, from Chelsea to Jackson, south to Irish Hills to and as far north as Stockbridge — a 20 x 20 mile area known as the Big 400. The festival includes tours of tapping areas and the syruping process, the release of a local maple wine, and pancake breakfasts just about everywhere. Continue reading

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Don’t try to find that 107th thing to do in Santa Fe

Snta Fe_2-23-14As one of it’s 10 Destinations on the Rise in the United States, Tripadvisor catalogues the 106 things to do in the nation’s tallest capitol (7,000 feet high), Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The list encompasses the Santa Fe Opera House, ranked #1, to the Cities of Gold Casino, ranked #88, leaving the last 17 listed attractions unranked. This makes ToM wonder how those 17 made the list, without ranking or review. We’re pretty sure it is part of a massive travel payola scheme (that’s just a satirical statement, Tripadvisor buddy. Don’t call the lawyers). Continue reading

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Seattle leads Pacific Northwest retirement spots

Seattle-ToM-2-18-14You can do a lot of things in Seattle in the rain — er, the mist — including retire there.

Moira McGarvey, who founded the retirement planning site GangsAway!, blogs on HuffPo that Seattle leads the way among 12 way-up-there spots to stake the tent on once retirement comes a calling.

McGarvey addresses the obvious issue of more rain than you might want by sounding out the trade-offs:

It certainly does rain in Seattle, but it’s the gray over cast in winter that is a serious challenge for some. If you are one of those who find gentle rain and the greenery that comes with it comforting (think Ireland without the brogue),  you’ll also appreciate the mildness of the climate. It doesn’t generally get too cold and in the summer it doesn’t get much higher than 80 degrees on a regular basis.

ToM has a friend in Seattle who is begging us to visit, but always throws in that we should plan to come sometime in a three-week period spanning July and August. But the attraction of the outdoors and Super Bowl champs might just get us there some other time of the year.

It does call out to our laid-back style though – and our aversion to taxes. Washington state has no income tax.

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Ha, ha — that’s funny

CH-comedy-2-12-14Comedy has become big business in the supercool Chapel Hill, N.C., area. And to prove it, DSI Comedy Theater in neighboring Carrboro is producing its 14th annual Comedy Arts Festival now through Feb. 16 at six venues throughout the region with ticket prices in the $5-$20 range.

Performances include improv, stand up and sketch, including performers Aaron Glaser, Adam Cohen, Amber Karlins, 4DDI, Airwolf and 4 Day Weekend. The headliner is Bruce Vilanch, head writer for the Oscars and a celebrity square and writer on Hollywood Squares.

There are also a ton of workshops, live podcasts and a special screening of the film The Muslims are Coming, which just has to be hilarious, right? Right? Everything you need to know including ticket purchasing is at the N.C. Comedy Arts website.

Be aware there is some serious winter weather in the area, so follow schedule updates on Twitter #NCCAF.

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