Travel blog

Poke’: Hawaii’s Best-Loved Food




Poke’ is as synonymous with Hawaii as cheesesteak is with Philadelphia. You’ll find it everywhere from food trucks and gas stations, to grocery stores and surf shacks. For years, locals have been enjoying poke’ out of plastic storage dishes while seated on the hoods of cars or standing in food parks overlooking the beach. But recently, poke’ has made its way ashore, finding a place on upscale restaurant menus across the mainland. So just what is it? And, why should we by rushing to try a bite of this Hawaiian raw fish recipe that is suddenly getting its due?




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Topics: Hawaii


European Sailings: Top Tips for River Cruising




Up close and intimate, European river cruises take you to the heart of the interior, giving you a bird’s eye view of the countryside. Whether it’s the Danube or the Rhine, these vessels afford you views and experiences you simply could not enjoy otherwise. From the tulip-kissed fields of the Netherlands to the soaring spires of Cologne’s Gothic Cathedral and the fairytale castles of Bohemia, your floating boutique accommodations make traveling easier than ever. However, before you set sail there are a few things to keep in mind. To help you make the most of your journey, here are our top tips for river cruising:




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Topics: Europe


Niagara Falls is for Lovers




Ever wonder why so many couples celebrate their affection beneath the mist of Niagara Falls? From honeymoons to vow-renewals, anniversaries to late-in life nuptials, the picturesque natural wonder is made for love. As the story goes, Napoleon Bonaparte’s brother, Jerome, traveled by stage from New Orleans to Niagara Falls where he and his bride would spend their first days as a married couple. When he returned home, his praise of the destination was so grand that soon many royal imitators took to visiting the falls. In fact, in the early 1900s the phrase “Honeymoon Capital of the World” began popping up on promotional posters and brochures; and with the opening of the Erie Canal, the railways and eventually the automobile, it was suddenly accessible to a lot more adoring lovers.




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What is Hawaii Really Like?: Discovering the Islands With YMT Vacations




It’s hard to miss the Polynesian man in the sulu sarong. The grass skirt the tour guide wears has been passed down for generations from his grandmother who wove the coconut hind herself. It’s just one of the ways Walter Tonga stays connected to the islands and his own rich cultural heritage.




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Topics: Hawaii


Tips for Group Traveling




As you begin planning for your next vacation you’ve no doubt wondered if it’s better to plan it yourself or travel with a tour operator. Here are a few reasons why going with an operator like YMT Vacations can save you time, hassle, and money.




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Topics: Planning a Vacation


Tips for Visiting Hawaii’s Punchbowl




In ancient times, the Hawaiians used a bowl-shaped crater known as Puowaina for human sacrifices. Today, the site, which is shaped like a punchbowl, is sacred for another reason. It is home to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific where 33,000 soldiers lie in rest under rows and rows of stone markers. Here are some tips for making the most of your time at this moving memorial to American sacrifice:




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Topics: Hawaii


Top 10 Hidden Treasures of San Francisco: Vacation Like the Locals




If you’re headed to San Francisco, no doubt you’ll see the Golden Gate Bridge, visit Chinatown, and escape to Alcatraz Island. But after you’ve ridden the cable cars and seen the sea lions that bask along Pier 39, what next? Here are a list of the top 10 places to visit you may never have heard of, local secrets that are every bit as fascinating as the ones that make the guidebooks.




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Topics: Planning a Vacation


The Elk Arches of Jackson Hole: Wonders of the Rocky Mountains and the Western Frontiers




When you pass through Jackson Hole, Wyoming it’s hard not to notice the elk. There are thousands of these deer-like animals, which migrate here out of the high meadows to winter at the National Elk Refuge. Roaming across the grassy plains of sagebrush, the largest herd on the planet finds sanctuary here in the shadow of the Grand Tetons. As a tribute to this native herd, as well as the town’s old west heritage and natural beauty, there are four enormous arches which anchor the town square -- arches constructed of actual elk antlers.




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Topics: rocky mountains


¡Que Viva el Mariachi!: The Movement, The Meaning of Mexico’s Music




You have to go back hundreds of years to discover the origins of mariachi music and, even then, it’s debatable what the name even means. Some believe it comes from the French word for ‘marriage’ while others claim it has to do with a festival honoring a revered virgin. The most popular theory is that mariachi has something to do with an indigenous word for a tree -- a tree whose wood is used to make the quintessential mariachi instrument, the classical guitar.




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Topics: Planning a Vacation


A Desert Kaleidoscope: The Colorful History of the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta




In 1972, an Albuquerque, NM radio station began making plans to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Amid a flurry of ideas, one soon began to take shape: hosting the world’s largest balloon race. Invitations went out to 21 balloons but, at the last minute, a fierce Midwestern storm whittled the participants down to 13. And so on April 8th, with 20,000 spectators watching, the pilots fired up the balloons and rose into the air above the parking lot of the Coronado Center Shopping Mall.




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Topics: Americas


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