San Diego’s Beer Community Grows

San Diego is a tourist hot spot for a number of different reasons; it has some beautiful coastline and beachfront areas, it has access to some unique parks like Sea World and a Lego Land, and it has one of the best zoos in the world. These sites are increasingly being considered some of the best options for tourists of all ages.

One thing that is being highlighted recently is the beer scene in San Diego which is growing and developing into a real paradise. There are about 130 different beer breweries based in San Diego, and a real wide variety of different styles. Breweries are of course popping up all over the country but San Diego’s brewery scene seems special due to a nearby Hops farm.

San Diego is also home to the Nopalito Farm which grows a wide range of different things and is located just outside the San Diego town border. Along with the vegetables and fruits that are grown at Nopalito Farm, the farm also produces hops that are increasingly used at the local breweries. This brings a whole new emphasis on the grow and eat local movements and has some real benefits to the breweries which can benefit from freshly delivered hops which have a fresher flavor.

San Diego is one of the leading travel destinations on the west coast of the United States, and rightfully so, due to the uniqueness of the sites in the city. Now San Diego is also being recognized for its nascent beer scene and the community that is developing around it.

Travel + Leisure Names Their Picks For Best Rides In Disneyland

Visiting Anaheim’s Disneyland can be an overwhelming experience for newbies. Unless you have access to a ton of Fastpasses, it’s impossible to get on every single ride in this iconic park in just one day.

To help first-time visitors, the writers at Travel + Leisure put together a list of the absolute must-do rides at Disneyland. If you only have a few days to spare at this iconic theme park, definitely put these rides at the top of your itinerary.

The number one Disneyland attraction on this list is the wet and wild Splash Mountain. Based on the film Song of the South, this log flume ride takes guests on a journey with characters like Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Bear, and the sneaky Br’er Fox. Don’t forget to smile for the photo-op as you plunge on a 50-foot drop into the Briar Patch!

Second, Travel + Leisure recommends waiting in line for Disneyland’s Indiana Jones Adventure. In this thrilling ride guests board a car and race through an abandoned (and perhaps haunted?) temple. Thankfully, the immersive queue area makes waiting in line go by quickly.

Like the first prize winner, third place goes to another classic Disneyland ride: Pirates of the Caribbean. Although this ride has changed a great deal since it opened in 1967, the adventurous feelings evoked are the same. Keep a lookout for Captain Jack Sparrow as you take your voyage on this exciting ride.

From four to ten, here are the other big winners on Travel + Leisure’s list: the Matterhorn, the Haunted Mansion, the Mad Tea Party, Space Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, It’s A Small World, and the Jungle Cruise.

Travel (and food) in Los Angeles

If you are looking for a great trip this summer, consider a visit to Los Angeles. While many think of Southern California as a town of beaches, fitness, glitz, and glamour. But, a key piece of the culture of Los Angeles is food. Many consider it one of the best food cities in the country. From high class restaurants to a neighborhood food truck, your options are nearly endless.

Eater.com recently listed the 12 Best New Restaurants, and (surprise!) a Los Angeles based restaurant made the list (https://www.eater.com/2017/7/26/16034248/best-new-restaurants-2017). Located in Venice, Felix Trattoria is Chef Evan Funke’s new restaurant. The name means “happy” or “funky” Trattoria and the restaurant aligns with the surge, nation-wide, of Italian restaurants. Felix Trattoria seves the carby, saucy, cheesy, herby, garlicky yumminess that your soul craves.

Felix Trattoria is in the super boho-hip Abbot Kinney Boulevard. It is in beautifully renovated 1920s building with many traditional and new touches Amazing food choices include spectacular focaccia, and pasta (so many great pastas!). The menu is full of mouthwatering twists on classics and new flavors you may have never tried. But, beware, reservations can be tough. Plan ahead or go early and sit a the front bar (all the better for people watching). Next time you find yourself on a trip to the West Coast, don’t miss out on this Los Angeles restaurant or several others that will make your trip memorable (and perhaps add an inch or two to your waist!).

Seattle Space Needle Gets Multi-Million Dollar Makeover

Seattle’s legendary Space Needle is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar makeover. Most of the changes to the Emerald City’s top tourist draw involve installing glass panels so guests can get an even clearer view of the surrounding city and mountains. These renovations are will cost $100 million and are expected to be finished by the end of 2018.

Visitors in the Space Needle’s observation deck will notice that construction crews replaced all the former walls with glass panels. For the more adventurous tourists, the Space Needle now has glass “Skyriser” benches guests can sit or lean on to feel as if they’re flying over Seattle.

Crews are now hard at work building a spiral staircase to connect the Space Needle’s two observation decks. As you might’ve already guessed, this staircase will have glass all around it so tourists can look out on Seattle as they walk up and down the observation towers. This new staircase, called Oculus, will hopefully be completed for the busy summer travel season.

Besides the observation decks, the Space Needle’s celebrated SkyCity restaurant is also getting a makeover. Not only will the panels in this restaurant be made of glass, the tables and floor will be glass as well. Experts expect this restaurant to be ready to open at the end of 2018.

Crews are also building a new restaurant called The Loupe and a café/wine bar called Atmos. Both of these eateries are set to open by the end of 2018.

Completed in 1962 for the World’s Fair, Seattle’s steel Space Needle measures 605-feet and still holds the title for the fourth tallest observation tower in the USA. The main observation deck is located at the 520-feet mark and the SkyCity Restaurant is 500 feet above the ground.

As of today, about 80 percent of the Space Needle’s renovations are completed. Interested tourists can learn more about this project’s progress on the Space Needle’s website: https://www.spaceneedle.com/home/.

California Tourism Continues to Grow

In California, traveling is big business. The travel industry across California has grown 4.8% in 2018 from the prior year. We are talking big dollars here, as the tourist industry in California generate approximately $132 billion per year.

This figure was released in addition to the growth rate, by a study conducted Buy a state government that was interested in tracking the amount of tax revenue that was generated from travel. This figure came to about $12 billion per year. This additional tax revenue helps to fuel California has extensive social network programs available throughout the state.

No one part of the state experience significantly higher growth in another part. California is a state where traveler spread across the state including in the north to San Francisco or Sacramento, as well as to your Yosemite park, or in the south where San Diego, Los Angeles, and orange county with its amusement parks, are all popular options for tourists.

Napa Valley was one of the areas most significantly benefiting from the additional tax revenue. $44 million of tax revenue is generated in Napa Valley alone, an area that is popular for wine travelers. Napa Valley and other nearby areas were not affected by the fires that spread Across the state last year partly because vineyards tend to be cleared out from Drybrush that is one of the common causes of fires.

Ultimately American citizens and the international ones as well are increasingly seeing California as a great option for traveling and this is been demonstrated in the higher tax revenues for the state.

Bratislava Is The Cheapest European City For Tourists, New Report Reveals

According to London’s Luton Airport, the cheapest European city UK residents could visit is Bratislava. In their new report, analysts claim the average price for a UK tourist could fly, eat, and stay in this great Slovakian city for an incredible £113 per person.

 

This news couldn’t come at a better time for the average UK globe-trekker. Tourism data shows UK residents are far more prone to take shorter trips to European cities than long-term vacations.

 

In fact, the number of people in the UK who took a four-day vacation went up by about 170 percent from 1996 to 2016. In that same time period, the number of UK workers who took a 14-night vacation went down by almost 30 percent.

 

Analysts involved in this study looked into factors like the average cost of a round-trip flight out of Luton, a reservation at a three-star hotel, and a three-course dinner at a good hotel. A few other features included in each destination’s final price include tickets to one major attraction, one luxury coffee, public transportation costs, and a beer.

 

This new report claims it now costs a low £36 to fly from Luton to Bratislava. Once guests get into Bratislava, they can enjoy a full meal for two for only £27 and a beer for less than £2.

 

If Bratislava doesn’t tickle your fancy, then perhaps you’d like to go to Luton’s second pick: Warsaw. People can expect to pay about £127 per person to this historic Polish city.

 

In third cheapest destination for UK tourists is the Hungarian capital of Budapest, which also costs about £127 per person. Visitors can buy a ticket from Luton to Budapest for a cool £55 and book a quality hotel for about £37 per night.

 

From four to ten, here are the rest of the cities on Luton’s list: Riga, Athens, Dubrovnik, Prague, Palma, Valetta, and Lisbon.

Pro Photographer/Traveler Shares Panoramic Pictures Of Sublime Cathedrals

A New York photographer and avid traveler is showing off unique vertical panoramic pics of some of the world’s most famous cathedrals.

 

Professional photographer Richard Silver, the owner of richardsilverphoto.com, has been fascinated by cathedral architecture ever since he was a boy growing up in the Big Apple. As a child, Silver often craned his neck to see the intricate murals atop many of NYC’s most famous churches.

 

Although he admired the artistry of these ceiling designs in person, Silver knew there must be a more comfortable way to enjoy these masterpieces. So, Silver set to work using his skills in photography and technology to capture this magic of cathedral architecture for the world to enjoy.

 

Using Photoshop stitching, Silver has been able to put together extremely unique vertical panoramic images of cathedrals from around the world. In total, Silver has captured at least 300 different churches from well over 30 countries.

 

Out of the approximately 450 churches Silver has visited in his life, some of his favorites include Paris’s Basilique Notre-Dame Du Perpétuel Secours and, of course, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in his hometown. Even though he’s seen and taken pictures of so many churches, Silver says he is still excited every time he gets to put together a new photo for his collection.

 

Anyone interested in viewing this collection can check out free images under the “Vertical Churches” tab on Silver’s main website. Silver also has many other photos from his travels available on this website from countries like Japan, France, Italy, and Vietnam.

For Adventurous Tourists: The Ten Least Visited Nations On Earth

Many tourists crave authentic experiences with locals in their journeys to foreign lands. In our age of globalization, however, it’s getting harder to find countries that haven’t already been discovered by hordes of tourists.

 

For people who want to travel “off the beaten path,” the company Intrepid published a list of the ten destinations with the lowest tourist traffic every year. Globe-trekkers who truly want to be surrounded by locals will love visiting any of these ten countries.

 

Coming in at number one on Intrepid’s list is the East African nation of Tanzania. Only about 1.28 million foreigners visit Tanzania each year, which only represents 2.3 percent of the country’s 55.6 million population. Despite it’s poor showing in the travel industry, Tanzania has some of Africa’s most famous attractions, including Mount Kilimanjaro and the Serengeti.

 

According to this study, the second least visited nation on earth is Papua New Guinea, which only welcomes about 198,000 tourists (or 2.45 percent of the nation’s total population). Situated in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, Papua New Guinea has many great attractions for outdoors enthusiasts like Mount Wilhelm and the Kokoda Trail.

 

Moving on to third place, the African nation Kenya only welcomes about about 1.3 million visitors (2.77 percent of its population) per year. Just like Tanzania, Kenya is a superb destination for people interested in going on a safari, especially during wildebeest migration season between August and September.

 

Counting down from number four to ten, here are the rest of the least visited nations on earth: Indonesia, Egypt, Mozambique, Iran, Columbia, Sri Lanka, and China.

TripAdvisor Reveals The Top Landmarks Of 2018

The travel website TripAdvisor just released its 2018 list of the world’s most popular landmarks. Writers behind this study said they determined their findings using a sophisticated algorithm able to measure the number of positive reviews for all the landmarks listed on their site over the past year.

 

Number one this year went to northern Cambodia’s massive Angkor Wat Archeological Park. Situated near the city of Siem Reap, Angkor Wat measures about 155 square miles, making it one of the largest temple complexes in the world. Built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat has one of the world’s most impressive collections of Hindu and Buddhist-inspired architecture.

 

Spain’s Plaza de España in Seville took the second place on this year’s landmark list. Created in 1928 for a major exhibition, guests absolutely love the Plaza de España’s ideal location in the Parque de María Luisa.

 

Winner of the third place spot on TripAdvisor’s list was the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dubai. Although this opulent mosque has the largest carpet in the world, it is not the largest in the world. Saudi Arabia’s holy Masjid al-Haram, of course, has the distinction as the world’s largest mosque.

 

Coming in fourth place this year was the Vatican City’s Saint Peter’s Basilica. With an interior length of 693 feet and a width of 450 feet at the transept, this masterful basilica remains the largest Roman Catholic church in the world.

 

Another major site in Spain clinched the fifth place position on TripAdvisor’s 2018 landmarks list. The Mezquita Cathedral de Cordoba, which was initially a mosque, is now one of Spain’s most impressive Roman Catholic cathedrals. Visitors are especially impressed with this church’s hundreds of columns made with precious materials like onyx and jasper.

 

From number six to ten, here are the rest of the top picks on TripAdvisor’s 2018 list: the Taj Mahal, Duomo di Milano, Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Budapest’s Houses of Parliament.

 

Disney Theme Parks Remain The World’s Most Popular, New Study Shows

Every year the non-profit Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) and the firm AECOM collect attendance data at the world’s biggest theme parks, water parks, and museums. Just recently, the two groups published their intriguing findings from the 2017 tourism season.

 

Overall, Walt Disney Attractions had the highest attendance in 2017 with 150 million guests worldwide. That’s an increase of 6.8 percent from 2016’s numbers. Second and third place in this category went to Merlin Entertainments Group and Universal Parks & Resorts, respectively.

 

Perhaps it’s no surprise that Orlando dominated this year’s list for the most visited theme parks. Study authors note this mainly had to do with the opening of the new Avatar-themed area in Disney’s Animal Kingdom as well as Universal Orlando’s Volcano Bay.

 

First place in the global theme park category went to Disney’s iconic Magic Kingdom in Orlando, which brought in roughly 20.4 million tourists in 2017. While it’s only a 0.3 percent increase from 2016, the Magic Kingdom remains the best performing theme park in the world.

 

The second most popular theme park in 2017 was Anaheim’s Disneyland and the third was Tokyo Disneyland. Universal Studios was able to clinch the fourth spot with its Osaka theme park, but Disney also took home the number five position with its Tokyo DisneySea.

 

With a recent $10 billion investment, analysts don’t expect Orlando to lose its dominant position in the tourism industry anytime soon. In fact, study authors believe Orlando will only grow in the ensuing years with the future development of restaurants, shopping areas, and more themed attractions.