In lieu of a trip to the Caribbean, these Texas resorts promise water slides, entertainment, and spa treatments.
Winter certainly has its challenges, and not being able to easily take a dip in a pool or relax in a hot tub during one of the most stressful times of the year is one of them. Not everyone can make it to Hawai‘i or the Caribbean to enjoy sun and sand, but there are plenty of places in Texas that make it easy to shake off the winter blues and let the whole family let their hair down (and get it wet). Many of these locations fall in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, so visitors from the surrounding Ark-La-Tex region will find that many of these standalone indoor waterparks make great Texas day trips, although having an overnight stay at one of these Texas resorts with indoor waterparks and pools is hard to pass up once those temperatures start dropping. Before you head out, be sure to check specific park details for important details like whether or not they allow outside food and drinks, if your wristband lasts all day, and more. If you have an adventurous little one, be sure to check the height requirements for some of the more exciting attractions so that you know which areas of the park to avoid. Even if you skip the regular FAQ, if you’ve got little kids, you’ll want to check requirements for floaties, adult ratios, etc., to avoid any unforeseen situations that can result in meltdowns for all ages. Whether you’re traveling through Texas, to Texas, or you’re staycationing in Texas—these resorts and indoor waterparks offer wet and wild experiences throughout the entire year.
In the oldest wine-producing region of Virginia, wineries are pushing for a more inclusive and diverse industry.
The vibe toward experiencing wine is shifting in Virginia. People are realizing that what was once pretentious doesn’t have to be. Tasha Durrett created Black Women Who Wine, a group for Black women and their friends of all palates to enjoy wine and learn about the history of winemaking with good company in Central Virginia. “There’s so much opportunity in the Virginia wine industry if people are willing to let others in, and now they are,” explains Durrett. “It’s an exciting time to be in the space, and I’m excited to see that some of the ‘bougieness’ has dissipated. I’m excited to see what’s to come for everyone who wants to be a part of this industry.” Charlottesville has been recently gaining acclaim for its wineries and is home to the Monticello Wine Trail, which includes over 40 wineries spanning a radius of 25 miles with breathtaking views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This area is the oldest wine-producing region in Virginia, dating back to the 1770s when Thomas Jefferson had a dream of bringing high-quality wine to the state. Since its origination in the United States, the wine industry has been predominately a white and male-dominated industry. “Although there are more than 8,000 wineries in the United States, about one-tenth of 1% of the winemakers and brand owners are Black,” according to Phil Long, the President of the Association of African-American Vintners. A major barrier to entry for people of color interested in the wine profession is money. It’s expensive to learn about wine, from obtaining professional certifications, taking classes, paying for tastings, and traveling to learn and work in harvests. In addition to the unique blends and flavors of award-winning wine, what is notable about this region is the energy driven by communities and winemakers seeking to grow, innovate, and create inclusive spaces that welcome wine entrepreneurs and wine lovers from different backgrounds and perspectives. Among the highly respected vineyards in the area, these wineries are taking action to diversify the wine industry through mentorship opportunities, sharing lessons learned, and creating thoughtful entrepreneurial collaborations and community partnerships.
With green spaces, colorful markets, and warm hospitality—there is so much more to Bangkok than meets the eye.
Bangkok is not your average beauty. She doesn’t have the chic panache of Paris or imperial charm of Kyoto. Bangkok is never going to make the list of Greenest Cities or be awarded the Most Relaxing Metropolis. The beauty of this frantic, bustling, ancient Asian capital instead exists in a million tiny moments—from fragrant blooms threaded onto prayer lanyards at the flower markets to the soft steam off a perfect, egg-encased Pad Thai at a street stall. Watching a sunset over Wat Arun can be life-affirming. The Chao Phraya River at dawn is a Rudyard Kipling scene of slowly puttering longtail boats, backdropped by the softest pink sky. This city is truly is one of the most beautiful places on Earth in the most unexpected ways. Bangkok, Thailand also has a brand new park this year, and her residents are celebrating newly open borders, welcoming back tourists once more. Here are 15 of its most beautiful places to explore.
From polar bears in Manitoba to whale sharks in Mexico, the North American continent offers its fair share of impressive wildlife viewing.
Let me first apologize to Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and Wyoming’s stunning elk herd, as well as Minnesota’s moose and the country’s many mountain lions. Though large animals are extremely rare globally, we’re still fortunate in North America to see many species that live on or near our continent. In fact, consider this slideshow not so much a “Best Places to See Critters” list as a “Isn’t It Great to See Critters?” narrative that offers up a set of wildlife destinations and tour operators that encourage us to explore the wilderness and see these magnificent animals for ourselves.