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(2014 - Fall Issue)


Bring your bathing suit to Austin, Texas, and enjoy famous Barton Springs Pool, located within the 145-hectare Zilker Park. The pool itself measures 1.2 hectares in size, and is fed from underground springs with an average temperature of 21 C, ideal for year-round swimming. Over the years, the famous pool has attracted everyone from legislators who’ve concocted state laws there to topless sunbathers who turned heads in the 1970s. Robert Redford learned to swim here at the age of five while visiting family in Austin. Barton Springs still attracts thousands of visitors a year. austintexas.org

Canadians are invited to The Forks in Winnipeg September 20 and 21 for a weekend of free outdoor concerts and performances to mark the opening of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Participants will also get a sneak preview of several galleries in the new museum. Performers include Bruce Cockburn, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ottawa-based First Nations electronic artists A Tribe Called Red and Cape Breton fiddler Ashley MacIsaac. CMHR is the world’s first museum dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. Regular paid admission begins September 27. For the RightsFest schedule and to reserve free preview tickets, visit humanrights.ca/about-museum/official-opening#.9_dpPldUWQ.

Discover the best of American cuisine in a new e-book featuring regional specialties, beautifully-illustrated recipes, interviews and food and wine festivals. Working with the James Beard Foundation, Brand USA chose 31 chefs from across the U.S. including Rick Bayless of Chicago, Tory McPhail of New Orleans, Barbara Lynch of Boston, Bryce Gilmore of Austin and Sam Kass of Washington, D.C. Recipes range from Maryland crab cakes to marinated Midwest skirt steak with green tomato relish. Visitors are invited to share their favourite food and culinary travel experiences using the hashtag #foodStories USA. Check out the guide at DiscoverAmerica.com/foodstories.

The Berlin Wall fell on the evening of November 9, 1989. To mark the 25th anniversary of this historic event, the city’s hotels are offering unique themed packages. For example, stay at the Westin Grand Berlin for two nights, chip your own piece of Wall from an original piece of the Wall and snack on a famous currywurst (sausage with curry-flavoured tomato sauce) paired with Champagne. The Kempinski Hotel Bristol also offers a “Wall surprise” along with a guided tour in a Trabi—a popular car built in the former East Germany—following traces of the Wall. Meanwhile, the Maritim ProArte Hotel Berlin offers two nights, another currywurst with sparkling wine and free admission to the GDR Museum. visitBerlin.com

Chincoteague Island, a 26-square-kilometre island off the northeastern tip of Virginia, has been rated one of the Happiest Seaside Towns in America by Coastal Living magazine.  Nestled between a national wildlife refuge and a NASA flight facility, Chincoteague has evolved from a sleepy fishing village to a haven for wildlife and hiking enthusiasts and wild pony watching. Space geeks flock to watch rocket launches, some bound for the International Space Station. But mostly, the island is a place to relax, unwind and enjoy plates of fresh oysters and clams. chincoteaguechamber.com; virginia.org

From October 24 to 26, head to Dominica (Do-min-EEK-a) in the Eastern Caribbean for three nights of pulsating rhythms during the 18th annual World Creole Music Festival. Headline acts include Jamaican dancehall artist Jah Cure, Nigeria’s Afro-beat sensation Flavor of Nigeria and award-winning merengue singer Elvis Crespo of Puerto Rico. Neighbouring islands Guadeloupe and Martinique will send their Zouk masters, while Haiti is sending Tabou Combo, masters of the modern meringue-style Compas. Not to be outdone, local artists such as The Triple Kay Global band and legendary Midnight Groovers will also perform. Dominica is also known as the “nature island” for its hiking, diving, whale-watching and canyoning experiences. dominica.dm

Meet Justine, a 3,000-year-old mummy, at THEMUSEUM in Kitchener, Ontario. Estimated to be in her 20s when she died and excavated in 1904, Justine is one of more than 400 artifacts on display in the Unwrapping Egypt exhibition, which spans 5,000 years of Egyptian history from Pharaonic, Greek and Roman, Coptic and Islamic times. Highlights include stunning replicas of items from King Tutankhamun’s tomb, as the originals aren’t allowed outside their homeland. Unwrapping Egypt continues until January.themuseum.ca

Looking for a winter vacation home for a week or more? Kissimmee, in Central Florida, offers more than 50,000 short- or long-term rentals, from two-bedroom condos to eight-bedroom single-family homes that can easily accommodate a multi-generational family. Some back onto golf courses, so you can head to the clubhouse for dinner if you don’t feel like cooking. Homes come with fully-equipped kitchens and you can even hire a chef. Many of Kissimmee’s homes and resorts are minutes from the gates of Walt Disney World and close to LEGOLAND Florida, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld Orlando, beaches and other highlights of a typical Florida vacation. ExperienceKissimmee.com

St. Kitts is courting luxury travellers with new developments at Christophe Harbour, a hidden gem on the island’s southeast peninsula known for its secluded beaches. Enjoy a Caribbean sunset while sipping tropical cocktails at SALT Plage, an inviting open-air beach bar and dock on Whitehouse Bay. In the 1940s, the area was a centre for salt exports. Within the next year, Christophe Harbour will also boast a full-service marina for super yachts and a residential development, which will offer nightlife, dining, shops and boutique accommodation, including a luxury Park Hyatt. christopheharbour.com; stkittstourism.kn

Visitors to London, England, this fall can track down the favourite haunts of the world’s most beloved and accident-prone bear on the Paddington Trail. Fifty life-sized Paddington Bear statues created by artists, designers and celebrities will be placed across the city in museums, parks, shops and landmarks in advance of the bear’s own movie, which premieres December 25 in Canada. In Michael Bond’s original tale, the stowaway Peruvian bear is alone in London until he finds a safe, welcoming home with the Brown family. The Trail begins in October. Download the map at VisitLondon.com.

The Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, plans to mix up old and new for its 2015 season, including a “reimagining” of Pygmalion, Shaw’s popular tale of a Cockney flower girl transformed into a lady, last produced at The Shaw in 2004. Highlights also include a newly commissioned Canadian play from Michel Marc Bouchard and a new take on Ibsen’s comedy The Lady from the Sea by Erin Shields. Add a glorious 1960s musical, Sweet Charity, the family comedy Peter and the Starcatcher and a new six-night cabaret, The Next Whisky Bar, featuring familiar Kurt Weill songs, and there’s definitely something for everyone. General tickets will be available January 7. shawfest.com

Celebrations continue on Prince Edward Island to mark the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference, the meeting that created Canada. From September 25 to October 11 in seven communities across the island, The Homestead Players will bring a classic book from 1864 to life in words, music and song. Published by man of letters Sir Andrew Macphail, The Master’s Wife gives an account of his upbringing in Orwell, PEI, and captures the strangeness and beauty of a vanished world of mussel mud, cloth-making, fiddling duels, rum drinking, prayers and funerals. tourismpei.com

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