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Showing posts from October, 2017

Spooky Destinations...

Spooky Destinations Around the World
By Damien Martin
Perhaps you’re a skeptic and don’t put any stock in ghost stories. At least from the comfort of your own home. But when you’re out on a crisp night and a chill wind blows through you, is there maybe a second of doubt that crawls up from the ancient parts of your brain and puts you on high alert? If you’re into that sort of thrill, you might want to put these haunted cities on your bucket list.
New Orleans
In the Big Easy, the difficulty might be in finding a place that isn’t reputed to be haunted. A good place to start is the city’s oldest cemetery, St. Louis Cemetery No. 1. In addition to the unique practice of above-ground burial (made necessary by the city’s low elevation and proximity to the Mississippi River), which gives the cemetery a labyrinthine feel, legendary Voodoo queen Marie Laveau is said to be buried there. Though visitors are now allowed in only with a guide, many have tried their hand at making an X on Laveau’s grave …


Top chocolate tours around the world
By Damien Martin

It has to share the Halloween spotlight with costumes, ghost stories and apple-bobbing, but everybody’s favorite sweet treat gets all the attention on Oct. 28, National Chocolate Day. What better way to celebrate than curl up with a glass of hot cocoa and plan a chocolate-themed getaway? Virtuoso-preferred suppliers have some great tours that offer a taste of the sweet life.

United States

Here in the U.S., there’s no sweeter place than The Hotel Hershey just down the street from Hershey’s Chocolate World in Pennsylvania. There you can delight your senses at the chocolate tasting experience or be proactive and create your own candy bar. In New York, Beyond Times Square lets you get your hands dirty during its three-hour History of Chocolate program. Join director of the Big Chocolate Show and culinary historian Alexandra Leaf as she walks you through chocolate’s origins in Mesoamerica to today’s practices and learn what separates the t…

Craft Beer

Top trips for craft beer loversBy Damien Martin
So beer isn’t exactly a new thing. In fact, several of the oldest known recipes discovered around the world are for beer. The Roman historian Tacitus even made special mention of a fermented drink made from barley or other grain in his cultural survey of Germanic tribes. It’s been a staple in many cultures for a long time. But while the latter half of the 20th century was dominated by large breweries taking advantage of mass-marketing, the new millennium is all about craft and microbrews. Some destinations have been in on the act for a while, and others are just getting started. Here’s a sampler of some of the best destinations for a great brew-cation.

The long Belgian brewing tradition dates to at least the crusades, when monks sold their creation to raise funds. Think of it as a medieval bake sale. Over the centuries, the Belgians have perfected the craft and the nation of about 11 million people has approximately 180 breweries an…


Top places to visit on your next trip to Italy
By Damien Martin

Not that anyone ever needs an excuse to talk about Italy, but October is Italian Heritage Month. Though Christopher Columbus sailed for Spain, he was Genoese by birth. And though he was wrong about where he was going and behaved badly when he arrived, he was the first Italian in the Americas and paved the way for many positive contributions by Italian-Americans. Parades in New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco and other U.S. cities on Columbus Day celebrate Italian heritage, but an even better way is to visit some of the best spots in Italy, which boasts the most UNESCO world heritage sites of any country.

Rome The world’s first metropolis, celebrated as the caput mundi (“head of the world”) and La Citta Eterna (“the Eternal City”), Rome is so full of history it requires several days just to make a dent. The Colosseum and ancient city hearken back to the days of the Roman Empire. Vatican City contains priceless works of ar…

Top Animal Lover Getaways

Top Animal Lover Getaways By Damien Martin
Wednesday is World Animal Day. The holiday is marked in different ways around the world, but in each locale it’s dedicated to improving animal welfare standards. Largay Travel is lucky enough to have great partners committed to conservation and sustainable tourism. They are also devoted to allowing travelers to see some truly majestic creatures in their natural environments. Though there are too many awesome itineraries to list, here are a few favorites.

Lindblad: Antarctica, South Georgia & The Falklands, 24 days

Onboard the National Geographic Explorer or Orion, you’ll start your journey in Buenos Aires or Santiago before heading to the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia, Argentina, and across the Drake Passage. The itinerary is flexible in order to maximize wildlife viewing but typically spends six days on Antarctica, five days on South Georgia and two days on the Falklands. Myriads of king penguins swarm South Georgia, which also teems wi…