The Daily Traveler: Foliage Update

This article was posted last year, but updated this year with a couple of Midwest destinations sprinkled in.

The Best Fall Foliage in the U.S.

The least crowded: Southern Wisconsin

When to go: Second week of October

Why go: In general, leaf-peepers in the Midwest don't have to contend with the same kinds of crowds that they do in the Northeast. "I tend to think that the entire region is rather underrated," says Marek D. Rzonca of the Foliage Network. "Historically, when people think of fall foliage, they think of the Northeast and New England. That thinking is not without merit, as the displays in much of the Northeast are spectacular, but the Midwest has its gems as well. Wisconsin has grown in popularity, at least on our site." Danielle Johnson, from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, calls the small resort town of Lake Geneva a "hidden gem for fall color" in Wisconsin. "Crowds die down in the fall," she says, "making it the perfect time to visit."

Where to get the best view: The Lake Geneva Shorepath Walk. The 21-mile trek gives you plenty of opportunities to see the fall colors set against the lake—and, as a bonus, it'll also take you through the backyards of historic mansions. Johnson says the town owes its popularity to the Chicago fire. "Wealthy Chicagoans fled to their second homes in Lake Geneva after the fire and made them their new homes," she says. This includes a number of properties that once belonged to the prominent Wrigley family. (Black Point Estate is the only one currently open to tours.)

Insider tip: Not content to look at those leaves from the ground? Lake Geneva Canopy Tours can take you much, much closer on a 2.5-hour tour through ziplines in the trees.

Click through to see the full slideshow at the Condé Nast Traveler.

Photo Credit: Clint Farlinger / Alamy





The Daily Traveler: Museum of the Moving Image


Why the Museum of the Moving Image is the Coolest Museum Ever

From its Breaking Bad exhibit to its vintage arcade and console games, the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, is one of the coolest museums in New York City. Here's why you need to visit ASAP.

REASON ONE: THE BREAKING BAD EXHIBITION
Admit it. While worrying about how the saga of Walter White will play out in its final season, you've pored over every frame of old Breaking Bad episodes, looking for clues to how it will all end. MoMI understands—and celebrates—your attention to detail. In its Breaking Bad-centric exhibition, the Museum lets you get a closer look at the props, costumes, color schemes, and other behind-the-scenes material that show White's narrative arc. "Our exhibition is all about process," says David Schwartz, the museum's chief curator. "We want to show what they do physically to bring about the transformation in Walter White."

Click through to see the full slideshow on the website of the Condé Nast Traveler.

Photo by Sam Suddaby/Museum of the Moving Image


The Daily Traveler: NYC's Public Art

For the website of the Condé Nast Traveler, I put together a slideshow of the free, public art on view this summer in NYC.

Artist: Orly Genger
Location:
 Madison Square ParkMadison Ave at 23rd St
On view until: September 8

Undulating swirls of primary colors envelop the trees of Madison Square Park, courtesy of local artist Orly Genger and Madison Square Park Conservancy's Mad. Sq. Art program. Genger used 1.4 million feet of knotted rope for the project, some of it collected by lobster fishermen along the East Coast for reuse. When the installation has finished its run in Madison Square Park in early September, it will be shipped off and reassembled at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum in Massachusetts.  

Click through to see the full slideshow on the website of the Condé Nast Traveler. 

Photo by James Ewing



The Daily Traveler: Classic Road Trips Slideshow


Best Drives: Iconic American Road Trips Worth the Gas Money

With the price of gas trending downward, there's no better time to jump in the car, put the top down, and head out for a drive. Here, we have ten itineraries for some of the country's most classic road trips.

Florida

What you'll see:
Water, and plenty of it. You might not be able to walk on water, but with this strip of road traveling across the Florida Keys, connected by 42 bridges, you'll feel like you can drive on it. Instead of grass and pines, you'll whiz by seascapes and palm trees. The Overseas Highway is also a good complement to the Maine Coast, as it's the extreme opposite end of Route 1.

Cultural stop: At the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, you can meet dolphins and California sea lions and watch as trainers teach them new tricks—then head to the indoor, air-conditioned theater for educational presentations about the animals.

Roadside attraction: The famous Seven Mile Bridge connects Marathon to Little Duck key, with stunning ocean views the whole way. But if driving past just won't do, here's a good place to park the car and get out to walk or bike. The first Seven Mile Bridge—which was used by trains, not cars, until a hurricane wiped out huge swaths of the tracks in the mid '30s—is now part of the Florida Keys Overseas Heritage Trail and recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. Now closed to most cars, it's a good place to try and catch a sunset.

Grab a bite: A stop at the Holiday Isle Tiki Bar is almost obligatory when traveling through the Florida Keys. It has all of the grass-hut décor you'd expect from a tiki bar, but what sets it apart is that it claims to have invented the Rum Runner cocktail (made with banana liqueur, Meyers rum, brandy, and grenadine). After a couple, you won't care if it's true or not.

Click through to see the full slideshow at the website of the Condé Nast Traveler.

Photo: istockphoto



The Daily Traveler: NYC's Driveless Drive-Ins


SYFY MOVIES WITH A VIEW
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Pier 1, Brooklyn

Films: There's a loose globe-hopping theme, with each movie in the lineup showcasing a different city.

Lineup: Ferris Bueller's Day Off (July 11), Enter the Dragon (July 18), Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (July 25), 8 Mile (August 1), Roman Holiday(August 8), Rocky (August 15), Vertigo (August 22), and an audience pick (August 29).

Added Value: Brooklyn Radio spins pre-movie music from the featured city; BAMcinématek screens short films before the main feature; and snacks are sold by Blue Marble Ice Cream, Luke’s Lobster, No. 7 Subs, Lizzmonade Brooklyn, and the Brooklyn Bridge Wine Bar.

FYI: Since this movie spot is set right on the water by the Brooklyn Bridge, the gorgeous views of the Manhattan skyline might distract you from the movie.

Click through to see the rest of the slideshow on the website of the Condé Nast Traveler.

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Bridge Park

The Daily Traveler: Governors Island

I previewed summer events taking place at Governors Island, one of my favorite places in New York City.


Jazz Age Lawn Party
If The Great Gatsby has you primed to take on the Roaring Twenties, this is the place to break out your cloche hats and seersucker suits. With a backdrop of tunes by Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra, you can shop for vintage clothing, check out the Tin Lizzies in the 1920s car show (which, this year, includes Gatsby's 1925 yellow Rolls Royce), take a sepia-toned photo against a paper moon, and, of course, head to the dance floor and show off your Charleston. Tickets cost $30 ($35 at the door if there's any availability).

Click through to read the full article at the Condé Nast Traveler's website.

Photo © Robert Quinlan / Alamy



The Daily Traveler: Car-Free Destinations

Island Vacations: Car-Free Destinations for Your Big Summer Trip

Leave the traffic behind and blow all the gas money because, where you're going, you don't need a vehicle

Rottnest Island
Australia
Just a little more than 11 miles west of Perth is a sun-worshipper's haven, with beaches and bays ready for surfers, snorkelers, swimmers, and divers. The best views to be found are actually just off the island—and under the water. In addition to the tropical fish—and more than 130 species of tropical fish have been spotted here—there are a number of shipwrecks to be explored off the coast, including at least three that can be reached by snorkelers without a boat. The destination is popular with students partying to celebrate the end of their terms, so it's wise to book in advance.
Getting Around: You can rent a bike. You can hop on a bus. (Yes, cars are forbidden, but coaches are allowed to traverse the six-mile-long island.) Or you can do both with the combo Bike & Bus pass. For $30 to $40, you'll be given the use of a bike but, when the fatigue sets in at the end of the day, you can hop on any of the Bayseeker buses that run a regular circuit around the island. Just leave your bike at the bus stop, and it'll be collected for you.
Getting There: Rottnest Island has the requisite ferries, including the Rottnest Fast Express, from Fremantle and Perth City, and the Rottnest Fast Ferries, from Hillary. But there are also a few airlines that service the island without requiring an expensive private charter (and arriving by air gives you the chance to take some aerial photos). Check out the on-demand services of Rottnest Air Taxi or Ozwest Aviation.
FYI: The name Rottnest came to be when a Dutch explorer saw the island's native marsupials and thought they were rats. (The island's name translates to "Rats' Nest.") In fact, the animals he saw were not rats, but Quokkas. They look like crosses between cat-sized squirrels and mini-kangaroos, and they're adorable.

Click through to read the read of the slideshow at the Condé Nast Traveler's website. 

Photo: ADS/Alamy

The Daily Traveler: New York City's Gardens

As part of the Condé Nast Traveler's New York blog, I profiled 10 gardens.

New York City's Outstanding Urban Gardens

Wave Hill

Wave Hill is an interesting combination of historic home and nature conservatory. The mansion, set on a hill overlooking the Hudson River, has had several VIP residents: Theodore Roosevelt's family rented it for summers, Mark Twain leased it for a time, and Arturo Toscanini lived here from 1942 to 1945. After a two-year renovation, the house reopens this July 6 and 7, but you don't have to wait until then to enjoy the rest of this public garden and cultural center. Nab an adirondack chair on the huge sloping lawn; wander the aquatic, herb or flower gardens; hike a short nature trail; or take pictures of the Palisades from the Italianate pergola. If you're lucky you might spot a proposal or a wedding—Wave Hill is a popular place for both.

Click through to read the rest at the Condé Nast Traveler's website.

Photo courtesy of Wave Hill.