TRAVEL NEWS

These 8 Virginia Wineries Are Creating Inclusive Spaces for All Wine Lovers

In the oldest wine-producing region of Virginia, wineries are pushing for a more inclusive and diverse industry.

The vibe toward experiencing wine is shifting in Virginia. People are realizing that what was once pretentious doesn’t have to be. Tasha Durrett created Black Women Who Wine, a group for Black women and their friends of all palates to enjoy wine and learn about the history of winemaking with good company in Central Virginia. “There’s so much opportunity in the Virginia wine industry if people are willing to let others in, and now they are,” explains Durrett. “It’s an exciting time to be in the space, and I’m excited to see that some of the ‘bougieness’ has dissipated. I’m excited to see what’s to come for everyone who wants to be a part of this industry.” Charlottesville has been recently gaining acclaim for its wineries and is home to the Monticello Wine Trail, which includes over 40 wineries spanning a radius of 25 miles with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This area is the oldest wine-producing region in Virginia, dating back to the 1770s when Thomas Jefferson had a dream of bringing high-quality wine to the state. Since its origination in the United States, the wine industry has been predominately a white and male-dominated industry. “Although there are more than 8,000 wineries in the United States, about one-tenth of 1% of the winemakers and brand owners are Black,” according to Phil Long, the President of the Association of African-American Vintners. A major barrier to entry for people of color interested in the wine profession is money. It’s expensive to learn about wine, from obtaining professional certifications, taking classes, paying for tastings, and traveling to learn and work in harvests. In addition to the unique blends and flavors of award-winning wine, what is notable about this region is the energy driven by communities and winemakers seeking to grow, innovate, and create inclusive spaces that welcome wine entrepreneurs and wine lovers from different backgrounds and perspectives. Among the highly respected vineyards in the area, these wineries are taking action to diversify the wine industry through mentorship opportunities, sharing lessons learned, and creating thoughtful entrepreneurial collaborations and community partnerships.

Stoke Your Wanderlust With Photos of 15 of Bangkoks Most Beautiful Places

With green spaces, colorful markets, and warm hospitality—there is so much more to Bangkok than meets the eye.

Bangkok is not your average beauty. She doesn’t have the chic panache of Paris or imperial charm of Kyoto. Bangkok is never going to make the list of Greenest Cities or be awarded the Most Relaxing Metropolis. The beauty of this frantic, bustling, ancient Asian capital instead exists in a million tiny moments—from fragrant blooms threaded onto prayer lanyards at the flower markets to the soft steam off a perfect, egg-encased Pad Thai at a street stall. Watching a sunset over Wat Arun can be life-affirming. The Chao Phraya River at dawn is a Rudyard Kipling scene of slowly puttering longtail boats, backdropped by the softest pink sky. This city is truly is one of the most beautiful places on Earth in the most unexpected ways. Bangkok, Thailand also has a brand new park this year, and her residents are celebrating newly open borders, welcoming back tourists once more. Here are 15 of its most beautiful places to explore.  

You Can Visit the ‘Into the Wild’ Bus. But Should You?

It was at a brewery with our tour guide that I heard the bus where Chris McCandlessthe ill-fated American nomad and subject of Jon Krakauers nonfiction book Into the Wildwas available to visit in Healy, Alaska. I had read Into the Wild in college when I was first starting to consider the type of life … Continued

Where to Spot All of North America’s Most Adorable (and Sometimes Dangerous!) Wildlife

From polar bears in Manitoba to whale sharks in Mexico, the North American continent offers its fair share of impressive wildlife viewing.

Let me first apologize to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and Wyoming’s stunning elk herd, as well as Minnesota’s moose and the country’s many mountain lions. Though large animals are extremely rare globally, we’re still fortunate in North America to see many species that live on or near our continent. In fact, consider this slideshow not so much a “Best Places to See Critters” list as a “Isn’t It Great to See Critters?” narrative that offers up a set of wildlife destinations and tour operators that encourage us to explore the wilderness and see these magnificent animals for ourselves.

Why Do I Need to Keep Window Shades Open? and 5 Other Flight Questions Answered

Time for a refresher.

Have you seen photos of the Golden Age of Flying? Glamorous passengers reclining comfortably, dining on smoked salmon and caviar, all prepared on expensive and real crockery, while a cloud of smoke wafts around. Not a bag of nuts in sight! We might not get this pampered treatment these days—far from it—but flying is much more affordable now, and we have better technology (think wi-fi and movies). And more importantly, flying is the safest mode of transportation. We’ve heard the inflight safety briefing so many times now that we tune out the crew when they’re talking about smoking, phones, emergency exits, and window shades. As boring as it may seem, every rule has a reason and we’re uncovering the whys here. We’re sure you know many of these, so humor us and consider this a refresher.

The Worlds 10 Most Beautiful Cities at Night

Guess what? New York didn’t make it.

Under inky skies dotted with stars, a city can come alive with the glitter of skyscrapers, the thump of activity, and the twinkle of neon signs. If the after-dark skylines of cities call to you, then you’d find this new study by UK-based hotel chain Premier Inn fascinating. The hotel chain researched over 250 cities on Instagram to find the most photographed destinations around the world after sundown.  New York may have topped the list in the US and Canada with 50,000 hashtags, it was number 13 in the world list, while no other American city even cracked the top 20. No surprise here that the world’s top 10 list was dominated by Europe. Ready to explore these beautiful destinations by night? We may have a recommendation or two on what to do there after lights out as well.