Known as the Live Music Capital of the World, Austin will certainly exceed all your expectations for nightlife and dining. To start off the evening, the first question you need to ask yourself is, “Boots or bats?” If the answer is boots, head to South Congress Street, or SoCo, as locals call it, and visit Allens Boots, one of the most authentic purveyors of cowboy boots and Western wear in America, open daily to 8 p.m. The smell of premium leather hits you as soon as you walk in. Bat lovers should wander over to South Congress Bridge, home to nearly 1.5 million free-tailed bats, comprising the largest urban bat colony in the world. After sunset every evening, late March through September, crowds congregate atop the bridge to watch the bats pour out for their nightly feasting. You’ll quickly understand Austin’s slogan, seen plastered around the city: “Keep Austin Weird.”
If you’re looking to unwind before dinner, head to the relatively new Austin Proper Hotel and snag one of the coveted velvet chairs at its bar, Goldie’s. Opt for the classic Brown Derby, made with Weller Reserve Bourbon, or Jamaican Doctor, which should restore your health thanks to Appleton 8 Rum and fresh pineapple.
For tender, meat-falling-off-the-bone barbecue, it’s hard to top Franklin Barbecue, but be prepared to grab a beer and wait in a long line. Also try another local barbecue institution, Iron Works. The former iron factory now churns out some of the tastiest ribs, sausage and sliced beef you’ve ever had. Best to get the sampler plate and try all three. For fine dining, indulge in the tasting menu at Barley Swine, where Chef Bryce Gilmore takes Southern cooking to new heights, thanks to his use of locally sourced produce, fish and meats. Start with the poached rainbow trout and move on to the Muscovy duck from Belle Vie Farms in Thrall, Texas, or the 30-day, dry-aged Akaushi ribeye.
Make Rainey Street’s historic strip of bungalows, now large outdoor bars, your first stop after dinner. It’s rare not to find a live bluegrass or country music band playing while you down one of the many craft brews at Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden. Keep the party going at Cheer Up Charlies, a live music venue in the Red River District that’s played a major role in the Austin LGBTQ+ scene since it opened in 2010. End the night where it all started so many hours prior, at South Congress Street, to catch a set on the small stage of The Continental Club. Since it opened in 1955, it’s been the premier venue in Austin, attracting such performers as Robert Plant and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons. The next superstar could be playing that night.
It’s entirely possible France’s most noteworthy eateries define the term “destination restaurant.” Examples of how some of the more enduring Paris restaurants have approached this is compelling. While hot spots like Le Drugstore changed with the times and tastes of clientele, others, like Café de la Paix, steadfastly stay true to the roots and recipes that have delighted guests for generations.
Embracing a life well lived often means embracing a life well-traveled. Every journey becomes a canvas for experiences that shape our lives and at the heart of every adventure lies the indispensable companion: quality luggage.
Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s staying power is rooted in the way it delivers continuity and consistency for long-time loyalists of the Grand Velas brand and anybody else seeking a luxury, all-inclusive experience. One of Grand Velas’s hallmarks is its activities, amenities and restaurants across its three buildings can be enjoyed by all guests, enabling them to do the destination their way. This is particularly important when groups have different ideas of how they want to spend their vacation time.
The Saronic or Argo Saronic Islands of Greece call travelers to explore its seven small islands and islets brimming with history, natural sites and more. With most easily accessible by boat, the islands’ proximity to ports of Athens make the Saronic Islands an ideal destination for those preferring shorter boat rides. In fact, trips from Athens ports to the islands take only between 10 minutes and two hours, depending on the island you choose, making them perfect for day or weekend trips. From Piraeus port, you can access Hydra, Spetses, Aegina and Poros directly. Come explore these stunning islands with us and find the inspiration to plan your next trip to these islands. Hydra Hydra town curves around a slope overlooking the Argosaronic Gulf like an amphitheater and is considered one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Most unique to the island is its lack of vehicles. People on the island get around on mules and donkeys as well as water taxis, making for a peaceful and laid-back day. Hydra lies a two-hour ferry ride from Piraeus port in Athens.
In 2025, Riviera River Cruises will launch two ships with sailing itineraries on Europe’s Danube and Douro rivers. Riviera Radiance will sail the Danube and offer six itineraries, including one exclusively for solo travelers, and three holiday itineraries. Riviera Rose will be based on the Douro River and sail one itinerary.
JetBlue, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines and American Airlines are some of the airlines now charging passengers more to check bags at the airport than to purchase the service online in advance. In an effort to cover higher costs, more airlines increased baggage fees in 2024.
Condor Airlines recently introduced Condor Cards, a membership program that allows frequent Condor passengers to receive additional benefits. The two card options include World Activity Card, tailored to the needs of sports enthusiasts, and World Family Card, offering benefits for families or friends traveling together on vacation.