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Graceland, the mansion-museum where Elvis Presley lived for 20 years, is facing financial troubles after the pandemic. The estate has welcomed over 20 million fans since it began its second life as a museum, giving a glimpse into the life of the musical legend. However, post-COVID, revenue has reduced, and it has defaulted on its bonds. It may not be a death sentence for the famous tourist attraction—travel has picked up considerably this year, and the new movie Elvis is generating new interest in the King—but it’s a sign of the times. Many other tourist spots and iconic businesses have not been as lucky. After the pandemic shut down travel, businesses dependent on the tourist dollar fell like dominoes, and for many, there was no recovering from it.
From the historic Stonewall Inn to one of the few remaining lesbian bars, these New York establishments are a must-visit.
New York City has a wide variety of LGBTQ+ bars, restaurants, brunch spots, community centers, bookstores, and more. You can easily spend your entire week-long holiday just exploring the city’s queer spots and still not cover them all. Many come with their own unique history, while others are newer and offer exciting events every week. Here is a selection of a few you should not miss out on!
From fried chicken in the Carolinas to beignets in New Orleans, the American South is known for its delicious comfort food.
Southern cooking is the very definition of comfort food: fried chicken, creamy grits, beignets, and gumbo. It is warm and welcoming. It combines influences from enslaved African Americans, Native Americans, the British, and the French, and recipes and traditions have been handed down from one generation to the next, reports Faith Rose, a food tour guide with Bulldog Tours in Charleston, South Carolina, and Advisory Board Member to the Culinary Institute of Charleston. Still, there are geographic variations in recipes. So while you may find grits from Louisiana to North Carolina, Alabama to Mississippi, and Virginia to Georgia, the recipes will have been tweaked to each region’s agricultural bounty and cultural traditions—meaning it’s all the more fun to sample the following iconic foods whenever and wherever you head southward.
What it's like to visit an oft-misunderstood country.
Following several decades of war and instability, Iraq is experiencing an era of relative calm. The threat of ISIS has been mostly pushed beyond the borders, daily life has regained a sense of normalcy, and tourism is becoming a booming business. Travel advisories, however, are slow to change. It could take years before the world sees Iraq as the bucket list-worthy travel destination it has become. But the streets of Iraq are safer than they have been in a very long time. The numerous military and police checkpoints prove that the Iraqi government has taken extensive protective measures to keep things that way. Tourism is in its infancy, and so is the infrastructure to accommodate travelers, but it’s steadily growing. My personal experience in Iraq as an American woman was profoundly positive. Yes, I had to follow the conservative customs expected of women in the region, but at no point did I feel unsafe or unwelcome in the country. Please note that my experiences and recommendations may not encompass what others may experience in the country, especially the LGBTQ+ community or BIPOC travelers. INSIDER TIPShould you decide to travel to Iraq, follow the U.S. State Department’s advice, which includes security information, including enrolling in the STEP program for emergencies.
According to a few of the city's most respected chefs, restaurant critics, and food lovers.
Did you know that Paris has more than 44,000 restaurants? From cheap and cheerful street food like the French Taco to high-end cuisine served in one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the city, Paris is a destination for self-professed food lovers. But if choosing from 44,000 restaurants feels overwhelming—you are not alone. To help you digest (no pun intended) the Paris dining scene, I have gathered some of my closest friends, food experts, and fellow eaters who know everything about Paris when it comes to the City of Light. From modern bistros to high-flying restaurants by the chefs we all see on the television, this is your absolute guide to Paris by the people who have tested, tried, and eaten their hearts out in the French capital. Here are some tips from some of the city’s most respected, reputable, and, dare I say it, real-deal Parsian foodies on where to eat and where to go when your stomach starts growling. Bon Appetit! Related: The Best Things to Do in Paris
After traveling across Africa and writing a memoir about it, Boipelo Tladinyane Hlubi knows a thing or two about navigating this exciting continent.
Bored with her computer systems career, Boipelo Tladinyane Hlubi, a South African solo traveler, resigned and embarked on her dream trip of touring all 54 countries in Africa on public transport. This desire to tour her continent was birthed after sharing interactions with African nationals and other tribes from South Africa, which sparked curiosity about the various cultures that shape Africa. Despite the fact that she had already toured four continents, it is Hlubi’s solo travels in Africa that captured her heart the most and inspired her to write a memoir titled: A Safari Back to Self: Backpacking 54 Countries in Africa. From navigating between cultures and religions, surviving deportations, jumping on and off moving vehicles, and the endless customs processes—here is what Hlubi wants you to know about solo traveling throughout Africa.